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

Bedrock Sandals - Gabbro 2.0 Review

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.

Bedrock Sandals Gabbro Review

Gossamer Gear Air Beam Sleeper Review

The Gossamer Gear Air Beam Sleeper (3/4 regular) 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.

Gossamer Gear air beam sleeper review

2014 Gossamer Gear Mariposa Review

2014 Gossamer Gear Mariposa
Gossamer Gear Mariposa Backpack - 2014 Bailey Range, Olympic Mountains

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

Gossamer Gear Q-Twinn Tarp - Review

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

Gossamer Gear Tarp
Gossamer Gear Q-Twinn Tarp on the North Olympic Coast

Locus Gear Khafra Sil - Review Look

  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 head room 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.

  I will also be using the Khafra for family type trips.  The extra space and will be appreciated by my backpacking partner I'm sure.  Look forward to taking it out on more adventures; when they demand a large shelter.

Locus Gear Khafra
Locus Gear Khafra at the Old Anderson Homestead - Queets Rainforest

Joby GripTight Micro Smartphone Stand - Review

  The Joby GripTight Micro Stand is a small tripod for smartphones.  The stand simply attaches to your favorite device.  This gives you the ability to shoot quality photos and video using your phone.  A perfect lightweight option for your next adventure.

  I wanted a tripod for my smartphone for some time.  It is very easy to ruin a photo with movement of the hand while capturing.  This would also allow for shake free video and self-timer options.

  The Joby GripTight Micro Stand has several use options.  The user has the option of using the grip portion on any standard tripod.  You can also use the stand with any small Point-and-Shoot camera that has standard tripod threads.   Out of the box you are ready to shoot as a pair as shown.

  Life is an adventure!  This tripod has not left my possession since making the purchase.  I use it for Instagram photos and video; capturing life's daily inspirations.

Joby Griptight Micro Stand Review
One of the variations to store the Joby GripTight Micro Stand for smartphones

Gossamer Gear Hipster Review

Update: Oct. 2014 - I used the Hipster everyday since getting it. Its a part of my lifestyle now.
  The Gossamer Gear Hipster is a pack that fits around your waist.  The Hipster is the perfect option for a minimalist in the city or on the trial.  I picked up this pack for use while urban hiking.  Often not wearing pants with extra pockets, the Hipster is a wonderful solution on bringing a basic items on your adventure.

  The Hipster can also be used on the trail for a hiker that uses or does not use a backpack with a hip belt.  It has minimal capacity to carry a point-and shoot-camera and snacks.  I see it as a option for a fisherman or backcountry day hiker that likes to set up a base-camp and go on a micro adventure for the day.

  Let's take a look at this little multi-use pack.

gossamer gear hipster review
Gossamer Gear Hipster with my urban kit

Beyond our Boundaries ep. 8 - Review

First Crossing
  In this episode the Tougas family detail some thoughts from the trail.  These stories are told while walking the 2,181 mile long national scenic foot path called the Appalachian Trail. In this episode the family crosses the Georgia/North Carolina boarder.  This is the most interesting video to date; I really enjoyed it.  The whole family opens up on their own personal trials and tribulations of hiking a long distance trail.  I found it to be truly honest.

  Come along as they share this adventure through video.

Beyond our Boundaries
Beyond our Boundaries:  First Crossing

Bedrock Sandals Syncline - Hiking Review

  The Bedrock Sandals Syncline are the newest thing to protect your feet on the trail. These sandals are not a new product in the world of minimalist footwear, but the featured two piece toe-corded strap option is. The Syncline also feature a seamless feel lacing system. This sandal set a whole new standard in the ultralight footwear category.

Bedrock Sandals
Ultralight hiking with the Bedrock Sandals Syncline with Corded Toe-Strap option

FireFly Ultralight Titanium Collapsible Wood Stove - Review

  Lets take a look at the Firefly Wood Stove.  This stove is small, but it packs a powerful punch.  You can fit it in your pocket, because the Firefly stores flat.  Set up is 'simple as pie' to start cooking.  Slide 4 walls together and you are ready to go.

  I am a fan of wood because how it leave you smelling in the backcountry.  Nothing says sexy like clothing smelling like a campfire.  Wood also opens up a lot more options for cooking in the backcountry.  The user can actually make real food, not just using the stove to boil water.

  Wood is a fun fuel source when used responsibly.  Always check with local regulations and fire dangers before using a open flame stove.    

FireFly Ultralight Titanium Wood Stove
FireFly Ultralight Titanium Collapsible Wood Stove - using Evernew 900ml Pot

Beyond our Boundaries ep. 7 - Review

Rain and Resupply
  In this episode the Tougas family tell us tales from the trail. These stories are told while walking the 2,181 mile long national scenic foot path called the Appalachian Trail.  Listen in as trail stories are told, even brief status updates of each hiker.   The family experiences their first major rain event on the trail; as one of the tents fail to handle all the precipitation that fell overnight.  Come along as they share this adventure through video.

Beyond our Boundaries episode 7
Beyond our Boundaries episode 7

Injinji Nuwool Toesock Review

  Purchased a pair of Injinji Outdoor Original Weight Nuwool Toesocks a few weeks ago.  Using these socks in very wet conditions in conjunction with my Luna Sandals.  Providing a protective barrier from the webbing.  Have issues with the laces being abrasive against my skin while soft under heavy saturation.    

  I found this a solution to the foot sliding on the footbed under the conditions of heavy rain and snow travel.  A common issue to wearing sandals through a wet environment, is compromised traction from the skin to points of contact on the footwear.  This is especially noticeable in mud.  The Injinji Nuwool Toesock solves this problem.

  Durability is the first thing that comes to mind when you think about wearing a sock in the open.  I experienced a issue with the sock getting a hole, but not where I expected.  A pencil eraser size hole showed up on the mid foot strike point on the foot.  Made no sense to me.  A barefoot sock without a reinforced forefoot pad?  This is the natural point of contact with a proper stride.  Why would this area be the first to fail?

Injinji Nuwool Toesock Review
Injinji Nuwool Toesock - Outdoor - Original Weight - Micro Length

Petzl Tikka XP 2 - New Backpacking Gear Purchase

  Recently purchased the Petzl Tikka XP 2 Headlamp to use on upcoming adventures on the Olympic Peninsula.   My last torch broke; making it unusable in the backcountry.  This is a real problem this time of year, when there is so many hours of darkness outdoors.  The search for a new piece of gear began, upon returning home from the last backpacking trip.

  I briefly did some online research, but quickly became discouraged.  So I reached out to my readers using the social media channel Facebook; asking what was working out for other hikers.  This would save racking my brain for hours trying to come up with a solution.

  Reliability for my readers is a good enough reason for making the purchase.  Having the best group of hikers that follow my blog.  Knew I could count on them for a honest opinion on what really works.

 I don't need all the bells and whistles for a device.  Wanting only a reliable source of light.  When I push the power on button, all I want is for the night to be illuminated.  Simple as that.

Petzl Tikka XP 2 review
Petzl Tikka XP 2

Basic Stats
-  Petzl no longer makes this product
-  3.1 oz with 3 AAA batteries
-  3 light modes, 1 of which is flashing
-  2 red light modes
-  80 lumens on max output setting
-  190 hours estimated on low output setting

Do you use a Petzl Tikka XP 2?  Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Disclaimer:  This piece of gear was purchased with funds donated to this site by its readership and was under no obligation to this basic review.  


Princeton Tec Fuel Headlamp Review - Long Term

  The Princeton Tec Fuel Headlamp has been my go-to source of light for the last 4 hiking seasons.  Illuminating the trail for countless miles of night adventure.  This tool has allowed me to see around camp as well, ensuring I didn't trip over a log during a mid-sleep bathroom break. I used this torch in 4 season conditions.  Doing everything from night hiking, trail running and making camp behind schedule.  There is no way of counting how many hours this headlamp has been used, but we will just say heavily. No complaints on the battery life during my adventures.

  I originally received this piece of gear as a birthday gift from a friend.  He would be pleased to hear how much use it got.  Many adventures in its lifetime, before going into retirement.  Now that's a gift that keeps on giving!

  I had to pull this device out of my gear line up because of the serious problems it has been having.  Had to put two new battery doors on this headlamp, because they kept breaking.  Now the on-off button is having major problems; making it impossible to shut the headlamp off.

Princeton Tec Fuel Review
Princeton Tec Fuel with Broken Door & on-off Button

-  Bulb type:  4 LED's
-  Weight:  2.88 oz with batteries
-  Max Light Output:  70 lumens
-  Brightness Levels:  3; one of which is strobe
-  Wear type:  Headband
-  Battery Door:  Keeps breaking - needs a 3rd to bring back to life
-  Button:  Shorted out - need take out batteries to shut the device off

  I would defiantly say the Princeton Tec Fuel Headlamp had a long and happy life.  This might lead to a question, that applies to all outdoor tools.  How many hours of use should a piece of gear have?  For me, a tool should never fail on you in the backcountry; since that is where the user rely on it the most.  It really sucks when it happens mid-trip and you're hours away from home.  That's what you are paying for when you invest in name brand items. Reliability, right?

I replaced this headlamp.

Disclaimer:  I received this headlamp as a gift and was under no obligation for this review.  

Peak Design P.O.V. Kit Review

  I wanted to try the Peak Design P.O.V. Kit in the Olympic Mountains, after first seeing the mount on their website last year.  This piece of equipment would replace my 7.2 oz GoPro Chesty Mount, which I have been using for years to shoot video and action photography.  I would pair this with the Capture Pro Capture Clip; mounting right to my backpack shoulder strap.  Lets take a look at my thoughts of this handy tool.

peak design
Field testing in an Olympic Rainforest

Luna Trail Sandal Oso Review

  The Luna Sandal Oso could very well be the answer to a long day on the trail.  I wanted to try this pair of footwear for its unique tread design and new lace options.  After receiving them, I put them through some quality testing in the Olympic Mountains.

Tested Surfaces

- Urban Hiking
- Rock
- Mud
- Moss
- Downed Trees
- Trail
- Off Trail

Luna Sandals Oso
Backpacking the Queets Rainforest with the Luna Sandals Oso.  Note:  Testing with Merino Wool Socks for extreme wet conditions.  

Golite Chrome Dome vs Sea to Summit Umbrella Review

  I just started using a hiking umbrella in the last few months.  Now I will not go anywhere without one, even in urban environments.  Generally go everywhere in life on foot and its not secret it rains all the time in the Pacific Northwest; so it just makes sense to carry one.  High winds being the only foe.

  Carrying an extra piece of gear does add more weight to the backpack, but I feel the pros outweigh the cons.  You now pack a light windbreaker, replacing that bulky rain jacket.  Portable shade, provides sun protection and even extra weather protection under your ultralight tarp.  Protecting your camera from the weather; while taking a photograph.

  A hiking umbrella saved my butt big time during my recent bad weather trip in the Quinault Rainforest.  The Olympic Mountain SNOTEL near the area, measure 3.5" in a 24 hour period, before finally turning to heavy snow.  I was able to leave my rain gear in the pack and wore only insulation layers.  Below the knee, was the only thing that got wet.

  So I decided to test the 2 most popular options on the market and see which options worked best for use on the trail; well as urban lifestyle.

Golite Chrome Dome
Sea to Summit Trekking Umbrella vs Golite Chrome Dome

ZEMgear TERRA Hiking Review

  I enjoy trying new options to protect my feet against unnatural surfaces and sharp rocks that are lying in the trail.  Decided to give the ZEMgear TERRA minimalist footwear a try.  The traditional Japanese Tabi design is what struck my initial interest.   This pair of footwear puts a modern twist on what has been around for century's in various cultures.

  ZEM's feature a zero drop construction, which puts your body at its natural alignment.  Well as a flexible soling to allow your foot to travel with a full range of motion.  The split toe benefits balance as your walking or doing lateral type moments.

ZEMgear TERRA tested in below freezing conditions.

Luna Sandals Tech Strap Walking Review

  The team over at Luna Sandals have been doing a pretty good job at hyping up their newest modification to the ATS lacing system.   This added piece of webbing was promised to make the foot feel more secure during lateral movements and lessen the 'toe wedgie' feeling that sandals can give you.  This is especially important for someone that is descending a steep trail grade.  Overtime this may cause irritated at the end of a long day of backpacking.

  So does this extra modification to their ATS lacing system live up to all the hype?  Lets take a look!

Luna Sandals Mono w/ ATS laces & Tech Strap mod in the Olympic National Park.