Archive of ‘Gear Review’ category
The Columbia Men’s Bugaboot boot was given to a few of the #omniten guys to test out during the #omnigames. I was one of the lucky guys who got a pair. A very comfortable medium weight super warm water proof boot.
We were told by Columbia that we would be given a pair of boots but I honestly had no idea which ones we would be getting. I had done some research before the #omnigames to see what was out there. I was honestly rather skeptical about a “lifestyle” company who also makes boots. I will say that I am very particular about boots mostly because I have found more that I do not like wearing than I do like to wear. I have owned several pair of Columbia shoes like the Conspiracy and the Master of Faster. Both of which are comfortable and fit great.
I wore the Bugaboots pretty much non stop through the entire #omnigames. During the two full days of events I never felt any discomfort, pain, or found blisters. I was a little worried about breaking in a new pair of boots while needing to wear them all the time. I had taken several pair of wool socks in various thicknesses and chose the lightest pair. I was afraid with the built in Omni-Heat my feet would overheat. My feet did not overheat and instead the boots kept my feet warm while venting when needed.
- Waterproof oil full grain leather shell
- Waterproof waxed canvas
- Omni-Heat thermal reflective liner and 100 grams insulation
- Top hook metal hardware
- Omni-Grip high traction rubber
- Full length Techlite midsole for comfort and cushioning
- Waterproof bootie construction
- Weight: size 9, ½ pair = 23.2 oz/657.71g
- UPPER – Waterproof oil full grain leather mixed with waterproof waxed canvas
- LINING – Omni-Heat Thermal Reflective
- INSULATION -100 grams Omni-Heat technology
- MIDSOLE – Techlite
- OMNI-GRIP OUTSOLE – High traction rubber
Cost: $75 – $150
To Learn more about the Bugaboot and other boots by Columbia check out their website.
I am very pleased with these boots and I am excited to spend more time in them in the coming winter adventures.
Full Disclosure: Columbia Men’s Bugaboot used in this review was provided to me by Columbia Sportswear as part of the #omniten #omnigames at no charge. This did not influence my review in any way. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely my own and were not guided in any manor.
On the first day of the #OmniGames in January Columbia unveiled a brand new type of insulation and products that use that insulation. The new insulation is called TurboDown. A mixture of Columbia’s Omni-Heat Thermal insulation and premium down. If that was not enough they then added their Omni-Heat thermal reflective system. Below you can see how the products are layered and a short explanation of of the technology behind it all.
There will be three collections of the TurboDown outerwear. The Gold, Platinum and Diamond Collections for both men and women.
The Gold will feature 550 Down Fill + 100g Omni-Heat Thermal Insulation = 650 TurboDown.
The Platinum will feature 800 Down Fill + 60g Omni-Heat Thermal Insulation = 860 TurboDown.
The Diamond will feature 850 Down Fill + 40g Omni-Heat Thermal Insulation = 890 TurboDown.
So how does this new insulation stack up to the other products on the market?
So what does all this tech talk mean? Well its means that these jackets and other outerwear are super warm. Not to mention they are super light weight. We were all blown away by the concept of the new technology and super excited to try it when they came out later this year. In a way that only fate can bring during presentation of the TurboDown technology. All four seasons of #OmniTen were were gathered around a TV screen in a hotel suite in Park City Utah as the wind howled and snow was falling heavily. Little did we know Columbia had more in store for us. As the presentation concluded and a demo product had been passed around our attention was gathered on some of the staffers bringing in cardboard boxes. Inside those boxes were Diamond 890 TurboDown jackets for each of us. The entire group of adults turned into young children as if Santa Clause himself was delivering amazing Christmas presents.
For the next two days we all would be found wearing the jackets at every opportunity we could. Everything from Scaling ropes courses to VIP Events.
Look at all that TurboDown
The jackets are as advertised super warm and light weight. If you are looking to upgrade to a new puffy I would highly recommend looking at the new TurboDown line when it hits the market later this year. They will range in cost from $130 up to $325. With the cost of down ever growing and a continual drive for emerging technologies is needed Columbia has done a fantastic job of merging form function and design.
Reports of #omniten members using it on cool breezy nights in Arizona as well as the sub zero temps in the east coast. Do not just take it from me here are some comments from the other #omnicrew
The #OmniGames: On Preparing for the Unknown, Columbia Sportswear Turbodown Reveal, and the Start of the Games
The Big Reveal: The #OmniGames…and TurboDown!
#Omniten: Not Just About Gear. It’s About….
#TryingStuff at the #OmniGames, Part One: A Week in Two Days
Full Disclosure: The Diamond 890 TurboDown used in this review was provided to me by Columbia Sportswear as part of the #omniten #omnigames at no charge. This did not influence my review in any way. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely my own and were not guided in any manor.
The Gateway front pack by Seek Outside is like having a fanny pack but instead of having the belt attach around your waist the pack connects to your backpack.
Plenty of room for a drink, snacks, camera, and maps.
There is a drink holder compartment with a pocket and a zippered section that is divided with a small organizer inside.
My first impression was that it was smaller than some of the other front packs that I have tried and it was also not incredibly easy to use. The pack came with no instructions and when I contacted the company about it they sent me to a video of a guy wearing the pack and talking about how great it was. Nothing was said other than you just hook it up or something to that affect. The product is not water proof but it is made up of ripstop nylon so it does have some water resistance to it. It seems rather durable and could hold up to some heavy use.
Overall I would not see myself using something like this but it might be good for on the go parents or someone looking for a a little extra storage space and quick access to gear.
To learn more about the Gateway front pack by Seek Outside you can visit their website here.
Full Disclosure: The Gateway front pack used in this review was provided to me by Seek Outside at no charge as coordinated by Deep Creek PR. This did not influence my review in any way. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely my own and were not guided in any manor.
Out of the box and directly onto my feet. The Columbia Conspiracy™ OutDry Shoe is comfortable light wight and an all around great shoe. These trail runners are made for adventures both on and off the trail. Built with Columbia’s OutDry water proofing and the Techlite midsole. I had no idea what to expect when trying on these shoes. I honestly did not expect much as I am not a huge fan of shoes that ride low on my ankles. I was very impressed with how sturdy they where and provided enough stability for just about any kind of activity you can think of. I have hiked and did a little trail running in them. They are also great for out and around town or even for daily wear. The tread on them is grippy enough for trails but still works great on pavement.
Lets Get Technical
- OutDry patented waterproof breathable construction
- Breathable sandwich mesh upper
- Protective rubber screenprint
- Protective wrap
- Asymmetrical lacing alleviates pressure on the top of foot
- Techlite lightweight cushioned midsole
- Techlite FluidFrame multidensity underfoot support for smooth foot transfer
- TPU shank
- Omni-Grip non-marking traction rubber
- Weight: size 9, ½ pair = 10 oz/283.5g
- OUTDRY UPPER
- TECHLITE MIDSOLE
Techlite FluidFrame technology
- OMNI-GRIP OUTSOLE
High traction non-marking rubber
To learn more about these fine shoes and the awesome technology used please head on over to the Columbia’s Website.
FULL DISCLOSURE: Columbia sent me these shoes to review at no charge, but my views and opinions are my own.
The Columbia Powerdrain Cool™ Shoe This hybrid lightweight shoe is designed to allow you to go from trail to water and back again. It features the Omni-Freeze ZERO technology.
Lets get right to guts of these shoes. They are light weight, breathable, sturdy, fast drying, and super comfortable. I find myself wearing them around the house because I had forgotten I still had them on. I also find that I wear them more around the house and in the yard than I do actually on trails or doing awesome adventuring. I suppose spending time in the back yard could be considered an adventure since it now looks like a jungle. (I need to mow but its simply to hot to be bothered by such work). (more…)
In an earlier post I took at the Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 1. The Fly Creek UL 2 is identical in shape form and function. The only real differences you will notice is the size. The UL 2 gives you a considerable larger living space. The tent was very easy to set up and it did so very quickly. This tent was provided to me on loan from Chris over at TheGearHouse.com. In full disclosure I did not pay for the tents they were loaned to me for testing and then returned shortly after the review.
Tech Specs of the Fly Creek UL 2
|Fly Creek UL 2||Specifications|
|Trail Weight||2lb 2oz|
|Packed Weight||2lb 10oz|
|Fast Fly Weight||1lb 11oz|
|Packed Size||6″ x 19″|
|Floor Area||28sq ft|
|Vestibule Area||7sq ft|
On the inside there was enough room for myself and all of my gear plus I still had room under the vestibule. This tent was much easier to get into and out of than the UL 1. I was also had more room to change clothes and felt less inclosed like I had in the UL 1. One thing you do get with the larger space and more fabric is more weight. Even then the weight is only an additional 7 oz of total packed weight.
A look at the Inside of the Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 2
Fly Creek UL 2 set up with rain fly.
Overall this was a great small roomy light weight tent that I will be taking with me on my John Muir Trail in July. To learn more about the Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 2 you can visit the Big Agnes Website. Do you have this tent or have you used one before? I would love to hear what you have to say.
Recently I had the opportunity to test out the The Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 1 Tent and the bigger brother the Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 2. The tents were provided to me on loan from Chris over at TheGearHouse.com. In full disclosure I did not pay for the tents they were loaned to me for testing and then returned shortly after the review.
The Fly Creek UL 1 is a great little tent. It sets up and tears down quickly. Weighing in at a packed weight of two pounds three ounces puts this tent at one of the lightest on the market. It packs down into a very small package so you can tuck it away in your pack. One thing I would recommend is to not pack the poles and stakes with the tent when you pack it up in your backpack.
My only issue with the tent is size. I am not a huge person, but found it a little hard to change clothes or maneuver around the inside of the tent without bumping the sides. I had plenty of room to sleep and did not feel claustrophobic once i laid down. I do understand it is a 1 man tent and if you do not mind small spaces you can’t beat the weight of the tent for the space you do get.
Tech Specs of the Fly Creek UL 1
| Fly Creek UL1||Specifications|
|Trail Weight||1lb 14oz|
|Packed Weight||2lb 3oz|
|Fast Fly Weight||1lb 6oz|
|Floor Area||22sq ft|
|Vestibule Area||5.5sq ft|
View of the inside of the Fly Creek UL 1 with rain fly on and off.
Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 1 set up with rain fly on.
Overall its a great backpacking tent. Sturdy light weight and all around great tent. I would honestly consider purchasing this tent if it had a little bit more room. Do you have this tent or have you used one before?
To learn more about this tent check out TheGearHouse.com for more information.
Happy Trails and Happy Camping.
This past weekend I got to experience testing out my first ever front pack. The pack that I was able to test was a RIBZ Front Pack. Before I get into the review let me take a brief moment to explain what a front pack is.
A front pack is a bag or pack that allows for easy access to important equipment from the persons waist or chest. These have become very popular in Europe however they are quite new to the outdoors in America. The front pack not only provides ease of access to your essential gear but it also provides a counter weight if worn with a backpack.
The RIBZ Front Pack uses a unique harness system to allow for the weight distribution allowing the pack to be comfortable as a stand alone or used in addition to any backpack. It also allows for the weight in the RIBZ Front Pack to be distributed comfortably and even. One thing about the RIBZ Front Pack is that the harness system can not be removed to be used with a backpack. (more…)