Showing posts with label Lightweight Gear Reviews. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lightweight Gear Reviews. Show all posts

Luna Oso (2017 Review) Flaco and 2.0 Sandals

Luna Oso Sandals are a hiking and running sandal with an aggressive tread manufactured here in the Pacific Northwest. They are great as a running sandal, but I will be using them primarily for walking. As soon as the mailman arrived, I took them out of the box and headed into the forest.


Hiking in the Forest with the Oso


Right away the hardcore tread catches your eye. The Oso features a custom Vibram Megagrip Outsole, that screams, "take me into the mountains!". So that is just what I did. After only a few steps, I said to myself, "oh yes".

You see, I've been looking for a mountaineering type minimalist sandal, that I could use on my adventures in the Olympic Mountains. Typically I wear sandals on and off the trail. These puppies are just what I need!

Disclaimer: This article contains ads in the form of affiliate links, which help finance future content on this site (no extra cost to you). These sandals were given at no cost in exchange for testing. These words are strictly my own opinion.


Luna Oso 2017
2017 Luna Oso with Vibram Megagrip Tread



Frogg Toggs Ultra-Lite Rain Gear (Review)

I have been using Frogg Toggs Ultra-Lite Rain Gear now for several hiking seasons.  Choosing over other costly competitors for its weight and water repellency, and of course the price point. I can easily roughly fold it up and quickly shove it in my backpack.  Then pull it out in a timely manner when it starts to rain.

Disclaimer: Barefoot Jake purchased this rain protection with his own money, to replace old lightweight rain gear. He was under no obligation to write this article. Contains ads in the form of affiliate links.


Rain Jacket
Frogg Toggs Rain Gear in Olympic National Park




(Review) Bedrock Cairn Sandals

The Bedrock Cairn Sandals are minimalist footwear designed for the active lifestyle. These sandals feature military grade webbing (straps) and an exclusive Vibram sole. I found the Cairn's great for hiking in the Olympic Mountains. They really did a awesome job at protecting my feet from sharp rocks and cradling them while on steep terrain.

Disclaimer: Bedrock provided these sandals for no charge, in exchange for an honest review.


Bedrock Cairn
Bedrock Cairn Sandals



Ti Deuce of Spades (Backpacking Trowel)

The Tentlab Deuce of Spades is a small tool made out of titanium. The purpose of this device is to dig cat-holes in the backcountry for going poop. This trowel can be used for both hiking and backpacking. It is so light and small, that you can literally carry it in a small pocket.

GG Backpack Hipbelt Upgrade

The Mariposa and Gorilla backpacks are two of GG best selling models. They are high volume, and work great for almost any kind of adventure! These packs are available with removable hipbelt and aluminum stay (frame).


(Discontinued) Pilgrim Backpack

Lets take a look at the Pilgrim Roll Top Backpack. This newest addition from GG caters to the minimalist hiker. The new pack includes a frameless design, fixed hipbelt and roll top closure. Sizing hits the sweet spot for a weekend ultralight backpacking trip in the summer months. I really like the sleek design of a roll top closure, and the fixed hipbelt gives the whole pack a stable and secure feel while its riding on your back.



Setting Up a Backpacking Tarp Easily

Setting up my lightweight backpacking tarp in the rain forest. Camping under a tarp can be the perfect way to experience wilderness. A tarp can be a perfect thing to add to your hiking gear list, when visiting Olympic National Park; since it rains so much in the Pacific Northwest. Some of the best sleep I have ever gotten was under a minimal shelter. I feel it has something to do with the amount non-restricted fresh air, that circulates around you; allowing for a more natural sleep.


Review: Railriders Hydro-Zip-T

I wore Railriders Hydro-Zip-T while backpacking in the Olympic Mountains.  Long term tested in all conditions; including pacific northwest rain, snow, sun and bugs.  It came in most handy as a town shirt or something I could change into before hitch hiking back to town after a long hike; when my primary shirt had heavy odor.




Railriders Hydro Review
Railriders in the rainforest





(Review Ad) Gorilla Backpack

This is my hiker review of the latest version of the Gorilla ultralight backpack.  I tested this pack on the Olympic Peninsula during four season conditions.  During my test I carried loads much higher than the manufacturer's suggested weight comfortably. It is a strong pack for carrying moderate volume loads and can definitely handle a lot of weight!


(Photo Review) Toaks Wood Burning Stove

Camping with a Toaks Wood Stove


A camping review of the Toaks Titanium Wood Burning Stove.  This system uses little pieces of wood as a fuel source to heat the stove.  It may be a popular option for lightweight backpacking solo or with a partner. Be great tool for an overnight hike into the Olympic Mountains.

I paired it with the Toaks Titanium 1600ml Pot to use it as a complete cooking system.  The beautiful thing is you can collapse the whole thing into itself; inside the pot.  Also, a hiker rarely need to carry liquid fuel; since it burns on wood.   This will save you weight and space on long trips.

 Burning the stove for an extended period lets you create a reserve of coals on the bottom of the reservoir.  I do this with the large pot to cook real food!

Comparing to other wood burning systems I used in the past, the Toaks version impressed me the most.  I believe it to have something to do with the height of the burn chamber.  Boy, this sucker can put out some flame without anything on top, then add the pot and it puts all the heat to the right places. The design does not allow too much flame to escape around the outside of the pot; this maximizes heat efficiency.



toaks wood stove review
Toaks Titanium Wood Burning Stove






Bobcat Kovea Spider System by Flat Cat Gear

The Flat Cat Gear Bobcat Kovea backpacking stove is a system for the used to boil water or cook real food in the woods.  This stove has a handful of parts, but is simple to set up in the backcountry.  I found it to be very efficient during my four season testing in the very wet Pacific Northwest.

This system can be used with esbit, alcohol or canister as a fuel source.  I purchased it for the convince use with a fuel canister.  Bad winter weather or traveling with a partner, its nice just to flip a switch.   I was surprised how efficient it was in the long term.

My stove system was used on a ten day walk across Olympic National Park this last summer. We had two hot meals a day and still had plenty of fuel left at the end of the trip.

Disclaimer: Barefoot Jake paid for this stove with his own money. He was under no obligation to write this review. This post does contain ads in the form of affiliate links.

Bobcat Kovea Stove Review
Kovea Spider Canister Stove - striker - Bobcat floor and windscreen - Evernew 1.3 liter titanium pot





Sea to Summit Nano Mosquito Pyramid Net (Review)

The Sea to Summit Nano Mosquito net is a pyramid shaped bug shelter for camping.  The Single size was tested; meaning it only has enough room for one hiker.  It is very minimal having four walls and no floor, so it's perfect for the ultralight backpacker or anyone looking to shave weight off of their back.


Using a Mosquito Net with a Floorless Tent


All you need is a trekking pole or branch to elevate.  Then use four rocks, sticks or tent stakes to construct the length and width of the shelter.

I decided to add it to my Olympic Mountain hiking gear list, to help keep the mosquitos away from my face at night. The netting will not keep very small bugs out.  It fits perfectly under all my ultralight tarps and pyramid shelters.  The only variable is extending or contracting the height by anchor cord.

I have used this protection in peak bug season in the Olympic Mountains.  There were times I was very grateful to have this piece of kit.



Sea to Summit Mosquito Net Review
Sea to Summit Mosquito Net - Pitching instructions on stuff sack (my hand size is Large)



(Free Product) Kumo Backpack

The Kumo Superlight is an extremely versatile pack offering the hiker the option to use it for several types of backcountry adventures. The robic Kumo volume is such that it can be used for minimalist backpacking, mountaineering, day hiking and even thru-hiking for the veteran long trail hiker. Unofficially certified by me as possibly the most functional multipurpose backpack you can buy.


Type 2 Daypack (Free Product)

The Type 2 is a multi-use backpack.  It is constructed from the new Robic fabric and features air mesh shoulder straps.  Designed for the weekend warrior or may even be used as a lifestyle pack.


Hiking in Bedrock Sandals Gabbro

Hiking review of the Bedrock Sandals Gabbro 2.0.  Field tested around the Olympic Peninsula in muddy autumn conditions.  I've been a fan of Bedrock Sandals so I was excited to try out their new Gabbro 2.0 model.



Air Beam Sleeping Pad (Free Product)

The Air Beam Inflatable Mattress (3/4 length) is the perfect solution for lightweight backpacking.  Giving the ability to shave a few ounces off your back; without giving up a comfortable night's sleep.  This is especially nice for trips where you could be faced with sleeping on various terrain types.  It has helped me sleep soundly on everything from razor-sharp scree to river gravel bars in the Olympic Mountains.



(Review Ad) Mariposa Pack

Hiker review of the latest model of the Mariposa 60 Lightweight Backpack. Field tested in the Olympic Mountains, where I carried above manufacture suggested loads on my back. In this review I look at Robic fabric, overall weight, pockets and durability of this minimalist piece of outdoor gear.


Golite Chrome Dome (Mechanical Issue)

Golite Chrome Dome Review
I own 2 Golite Chrome Domes.  Both have failed at the same point.  Has this happened to you?  Let me know in the comments below.



Read my original review

Review: Q-Twinn Cubin Fiber Tarp

Editor's Note:  I asked David W. to write a review for his cuben fiber Q-Twinn Tarp.  David has been a backpacking partner of mine on several trips in Olympic this season.  The following review are his words.



(Review) Locus Gear Khafra Sil

  Testing the Locus Gear Khafra in the Queets Rainforest.  I wanted to try the Khafra for some time now in the Olympic Mountains.  Locus Gear sets itself apart from the other cottage companies with their attention to detail and craftsmanship.  I was very excited to take it out for a few nights in the Olympic National Park during spring conditions.

  I like to go out in four season weather, so need with a large shelter for these specific conditions.  Wanting to be ability to have a ton of headroom to act as a storm buffer.  Spending hours pinned down in a storm has led to a bit of claustrophobia in a smaller shelter during winter.  This upgrade has not really given my backpack a weight or space penitently.  The amount of livable space has almost tripped.  To me, that makes the extra weight worth it in bad weather.