Tag Archives: hiking gear reviews

Gear Review: Polaroid Cube Camera

August 14, 2015  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment
Polaroid Cube

Polaroid Cube

Ultralight Point-and-Shoot Camera
Polaroid Cube
$100, 2 oz.
polaroidcube.com/shop/polaroid-cube.html

Anyone who’s lamented the weight and bulk of photography equipment in the backcountry—but wants to bring pictures back from every trip—can’t help but be curious about a point-and-shoot camera that weighs two ounces, is the size of an ultralight headlamp, cost just 100 bucks, and shoots 6-megapixel photos and high-definition 1080p video. That it comes from Polaroid, the company that changed consumer photography with instant cameras, only heightens the interest. So I picked up a Polaroid Cube for a six-day rafting trip down Idaho’s Middle Fork of the Salmon River to see what kind of pictures and video it could produce. Continue reading →

Best New Gear of the Year: My Top 10 Favorites

August 7, 2015  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment
MRS FlyLite

MRS FlyLite

By Michael Lanza

I’ve tested an untold number of new backpacks, boots, tents, jackets, and other outdoor gear and apparel over the past two decades, and I’ve seen the good, bad, ugly (the fishnet long underwear probably took first place in that category)—and the best of the best. So just as I posted not long ago a list of the 10 most-read gear reviews at The Big Outside by you, my readers, now I present my personal picks for my 10 favorite, new pieces of outdoor gear and apparel this spring and summer—the most innovative, top-performing, best-value stuff that’s worth spending your hard-earned dollars on. Continue reading →

Gear Review: Osprey Talon 18/Tempest 16 Daypack

July 31, 2015  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment
Osprey Talon 18

Osprey Talon 18

Daypack
Osprey Talon 18/Tempest 16
$90, 1 lb. 5 oz. (S/M Talon 18)
Men’s Talon 18 sizes:
S/M 16L/976 c.i., fits torsos 41-51cm/16-20 ins.
M/L 18L/1,098 c.i., fits torsos 48-58.5cm/19-23 ins.
Women’s Tempest 16 sizes:
XS/S 14L/854 c.i., fits torsos 33-43cm/13-17 ins.
S/M 16L/976 c.i., fits torsos 40.5-51cm/16-20 ins.
ospreypacks.com

I’ve used enough daypacks over the years to notice the little differences between the many models out there—and to be very picky about them. Not only do I favor lighter, simpler daypacks for everything from dayhikes with my family to ultra-dayhikes, but I expect comfort, good access, and versatility, and I know what I like in features. With those requirements in mind, I took Osprey’s Talon 18 out on several dayhikes of varying lengths—including a 27-mile, 12-hour day—during a six-day rafting trip down Idaho’s Middle Fork of the Salmon River in the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness. Continue reading →

Gear Review: Marmot Aquifer 24 Daypack

June 26, 2015  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , ,   |   3 Comments
Marmot Aquifer 24

Marmot Aquifer 24

Daypack
Marmot Aquifer 24
$129, 14L/1,465 c.i., 1 lb. 11 oz, (without Hydrapak reservoir, included)
One size
marmot.com

Wear a daypack for enough hours and you will know—maybe better than you want to—whether you love it, like it, or might chuck it off a cliff. I hauled Marmot’s Aquifer 24 hydration pack on a couple of ultra-hikes on opposite ends of the country, in very different terrain and climates: a 17-mile, 6,800-foot, 15-hour, June dayhike over four summits in the Northern Presidential Range in New Hampshire, and a 25-mile, roughly 4,000-foot, 12-hour, late-May dayhike off the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, to take a full measure of the Aquifer’s comfort and functionality. Continue reading →

Gear Review: Arc’teryx Acrux2 FL GTX and Acrux FL Hiking Shoes

June 19, 2015  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment
Arc’teryx Acrux2 FL GTX Approach Shoe

Arc’teryx Acrux2 FL GTX Approach Shoe

Hiking/Approach Shoes
Arc’teryx Acrux2 FL GTX Approach Shoe
$270, 2 lbs. 3 oz. (men’s 9)
Sizes: men’s 7-14, women’s (Acrux FL GTX, $220) 5-12

Arc’teryx Acrux FL
$190, 1 lb. 14 oz. (men’s 9)
Sizes: men’s 7-14, women’s 5-12
arcteryx.com

Is it possible for a shoe to be everything you need in backcountry footwear—and if so, what’s that worth? Those are the questions raised by Arc’teryx’s new Acrux2 FL GTX Approach Shoe and Acrux FL—both very “Arc’teryx” in their shoot-for-the-moon design and price. In pursuit of answers to those questions, I took both out on hikes intended to put the claims about these shoes to the test: ultralight backpacking the very rugged Royal Arch Loop in the Grand Canyon in the Acrux2 FL GTX, and dayhiking 17 miles through New Hampshire’s Northern Presidential Range, and Zion’s steep and scrambly Angels Landing, in the Acrux FL. Continue reading →

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