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Buff Hats: The Anti-Stink Toque

Tue, 06/20/2017 - 07:00

I always thought Buff just made Buffs. But I reviewed the Canadian Collection Buff last week and mentioned Buff doesn’t just make the one thing. They now have balaclava’s, bandana’s, hats and toques as well.

I’m never very far from a toque on most trips. Out running, skiing, riding, hiking and sailing I throw on a toque to stay warm or just to cover up my crazy adventure hair. Most of my toques are quite thick. Nice and toasty for sitting around or moderate movement in the winter but too warm for moving hard or anything in the shoulder seasons. The Buff toques are now my lightweight option.

 

Buff has 4 types of hats and toques. For toques, they have Reversible Microfibre, Polar Fleece and Microfibre, and Merino versions. For hats they have a polyester running hat with a neoprene brim which makes it easy to fold. I got my hands on the Reversible Microfibre and Polar Fleece versions to run them through some trips over this past winter.

Just to clarify toques are called hats on the website. The runnings hats are called caps.

I took both toques hiking, running and camping over the winter and spring. Both are super comfortable to wear but are suited to different purposes or conditions. Let’s dig into the differences.

What are they made of?

Both the toques are microfibre polyester, a soft, wicking, fast-drying fabric just like in the regular Buffs. The reversible model is microfibre inside and out where as the fleece model is fleece on the inside against your skin and microfibre on the outside.

The microfibre polyester is treated with Polygiene, a silver-ion anti-odor treatment. Here’s a bit more on that.

Polygiene

Sweating hard in your shirt, socks and toques creates perfect conditions for smelly bacteria to grow. It’s not your sweat that smells, it’s the bacteria that builds up in the warm, moist conditions in the fabric. Get rid of the bacteria, get rid of the smell.

Wool naturally has anti-bacterial properties but what happens if you can’t wear wool or just want something that wicks and dries faster? Synthetics are perfect breeding grounds for bacteria.

Activated charcoal and silver treatments are now the go to solutions for the smell in synthetic fabrics, both eliminating bacterial growth in the fabric. Polygiene is a silver treatment on the microfibre polyester before it’s made into anything.

The silver chloride in the fabric lasts the lifetime of the garment. You don’t have to wash it as much because it smells less. When you do, a quick wash with mild soap then hang to dry is all you need. You spend less time washing and the shirts, toques and socks spend less time being battered around in the washer and dryer.

Hook loop on top

There is a small transparent loop of thin plastic on the top of both the hats. I think they’re for hanging to dry or store I have to confirm that. I think they just look funny and will probably just cut them off after I confirm what they’re actually for.

Soft

I love how soft and smooth the microfibre and fleece are. Even the softest merino can’t yet match how smooth synthetics are. I tend to stick with merino for most things because of the temperature regulation and the smell factor. But with Polygiene solving the smell problem, synthetics look much more attractive for moderate and high-intensity activities.

Wicking

Both the microfibre and fleece wick well. The fleece is warmer than just the thin microfibre and insulates well when it’s wet.

Wearing the reversible microfibre against your skin will wick any moisture away. Running and hiking hard, it was keeping me dry. When the temperature warms up it becomes a trade off. Keep the toque on, trapping heat and sweating more or just take the toque off. A headband or rolled Buff to keep the sweat out of your eyes is probably the best option at that point.

Fit

Both the microfibre and polar fleece toques are the active or beanie fit Buff talks about in their sizing chart. It fit snug against your skin. If you want something looser they do have a couple models with comfort or slouchy fits.

Conclusion

Normally I stay away from synthetics for anything sweaty and outdoors because of the smell. Merino is my go to for toques, shirts and socks. The Polygiene in the Buff hats eliminates any smell.

The microfibre polyester and fleece are so soft it’s easy to forget their on. To wear overnight or for multiple days, I’d be inclined to go with synthetic for the softness.

Find more about the Buff reversible microfibre hat and the Buff polar fleece and microfibre hat on the Buff site.

Thanks! And a disclaimer

I got these hats for free from Buff to review. I wasn’t paid to review them. I accept free items to review so I can test and review as much gear as possible. More reviews means you have more information when you go to buy something. I use them hard and give you honest feedback about what they’re like.

Thanks so much to Buff for providing toques to get very sweaty.

 

 

The post Buff Hats: The Anti-Stink Toque appeared first on The PureOutside Blog.

Categories: Hiking

Swiss army toque: A Review of the Buff

Tue, 06/13/2017 - 07:00

Say buff to someone and they won’t be thinking lightweight, multipurpose outdoor garment. They might be thinking some dude with huge muscles strutting around on the beach. That’s what you were thinking, right?

Well it’s actually a lightweight, multipurpose outdoor garment. It’s basically a tube of fabric that can be worn in many different ways. I never knew a fabric tube was this useful.

The first thing you need to do with a buff is figure out how to wear it.

How to wear a buff

On the website they have an image for 12 different “official” ways to wear a buff. I’d imagine the real number is far higher than that. Searching around online and talking to people, everyone wears it differently and comes up with their own ways to do it.

Here are the quick explanations for how to wear the the buff in 12 different ways.

  1. Scarf – around neck
  2. Neck warmer – around neck, over bottom of chin
  3. Face mask – pull it up to your eyes
  4. Sun guard – up over your chin and the back of your head
  5. Hood – under your chin but up over the back of your head
  6. Balaclava – Hood and up to your nose
  7. Headband – around your head
  8. Beanie – twist it in the middle and pull it down to make a toque shape
  9. Bandana – tie a knot in it and put one end on your head
  10. Sahariane – lay flat on head and pull top down over head
  11. Hair band – just like the head band
  12. Head scarf – around your head but pull it back to cover your hair too

And if that makes no sense here’s a video for a better visual.

For travelling or backpacking when you don’t have much space and can’t carry much weight having a toque, bandana, balaclava, scarf and headband in one is a pretty good deal.

The Original series made of wicking polyester (haven’t tried a merino or polar fleece) are very soft. I’d imagine the others are designed to be on your face. My favourite ways to wear it so far has been a scarf or neck warmer on cold evenings and bandana or head scarf to keep the sun off my forehead and neck.

Styles and fabrics

There are a few different fabrics for the Buffs. The Polar Buff is microfibre and fleece, and the Merino Buff is, well, merino wool. The UV Buff and the Original are polyester. The UV Buff is Coolmax Extreme that breathes and wicks the best.

I got one of the Originals from the Canadian Collection which is out now to commemorate Canada’s 150th birthday this year. The polyester wicks really well in even the warmest conditions. Staying dry is priority number one to stay warm in cold conditions as well.

7 rad designs from Cameron Stevens from Burlington, Ontario make up the collection. There’s one for the North, West Coast, Rockies, Prairies, Great Lakes, Quebec and the Maritimes.

Other Buff things

Not to be content with just making tubes, Buff makes a ton of other stuff too. There are the slim fit and reflective versions of the Original Buff. They also do Bandana and Balaclava styles that are cut to be those specific shapes compared to the standard Buff tube. They even do Buffs for dogs! A couple of them in blaze orange if you’re out during hunting season.

This year was the launch of a bunch of toque’s and hats as well. I’ve been wearing the reversible microfibre toque as well as the microfibre with polar fleece version this past winter. A review on those is coming soon.

Final Thoughts

Even if you think the Buff’s are weird I suggest you give them a try. They are super useful and you can get them in a muted colour so it doesn’t scream that you’re wearing a fabric tube thingy. The new Canadian Collection is pretty rad if you’re want to collect them all or just pick one up for your favourite part of the country.

Mine has replaced a toque in my bag for most trips because of how useful they are. Even if they’re just a sweat band on your arm, it still doing more than just a regular ol’ toque in your bag.

The post Swiss army toque: A Review of the Buff appeared first on The PureOutside Blog.

Categories: Hiking

Light, Soft, Stretchy: Royal Robbins Traveler Stretch Pant Review

Tue, 06/06/2017 - 07:00

Making a good hiking pant is tough. It has to be light but durable and fit well. Traveler Stretch Pant from Royal Robins has met those and then some.

I’ll dive into the specs and my experience with the Traveler Stretch Pant in this article but won’t touch on much of the history of Royal Robbins. I’ve done that in the MerinoLux 1/4 Zip Review if you want to know more.

Specs

The Traveller Stretch Pants features are simple. They fit well and are durable.

Here’s the specs:

  • Discovery Stretch Nylon (96% nylon, 4% spandex)
  • Tricot lined waistband
  • Machine wash and dry
  • Fast drying
  • UPF 50+
  • Zipper back pocket on right, Velcro back pocket on left.
  • Open front pockets with small velcro stack pocket on front right
  • Zipper stash pocket on right leg big enough for a large phone or GPS
  • Snap on the waist with with additional button
  • Burro (light brown) and Charcoal for colours

The sizing is pretty accurate. I’m a 32 (31 on a good day) and the 32 fits well. The 32 inseam is a touch long for me but I’ve got short legs so that’s to be expected. There are 30, 32 and 34 available for inseam lengths.

The nylon is softer than other nylon pants I’ve got. It’s nice to not swish swish swish as much everywhere you go. It’s now a hiking alarm for my dog. When the swishy pants come out it’s hiking time.

I couldn’t find the weight of them on Royal Robbins website. I will update this post when I found out. Their thickness is between my North Face and GoLite pants so probably around average for weight.

Good fit and comfortable

Good fit on me, could even be a bit snugger down the legs. I’ve got thick legs so if you’ve got skinny legs they might be a big big. Nice for airflow though.

The fit is pretty standard for a hiking pant, like my other North Face and GoLite pants.

I don’t find them constricting anywhere and the waist is tight enough but isn’t too tight. This will just be a sizing thing though.

I’ve only hiked in mine but they would be great for spending days of travel in. The UPF 50+ would keep you covered in hot sunny areas and if you’re caught in a rainstorm, they’ll dry quickly for you.

They don’t sag

One of the things I’ve found with these when they get wet or sweaty is they don’t sag much. Other nylon pants I’ve had, albeit thicker ones, get wet and sag, then end up dragging on the ground if they’re too long. The spandex in these gives some stretch but don’t sag much. Great combo for hiking with long pants in rainy or sweaty conditions.

Durable

The Discovery Stretch Nylon has been very durable. I often end up bushwhacking trying to find trails or get to viewpoints I’ve spotted and there is no sign of wear after many hikes.

The stretch is going to help durability here. Stiff pants will snag and tear whereas stretchy ones will move with the snag and hopefully just bounce back instead of breaking the threads and tearing.

Side pocket gets behind knee

I love side pockets to put my phone or GPS into for easy access (I can’t be without my electronics!). But the side pocket on the right leg is low and too far around the side. Anything I put it there ends up around behind my knee while I’m walking. After one hike with my phone there, I haven’t used it much for anything. Keys or anything pointy would not be comfortable.

90 out of 100 for the Traveller Stretch Pant

The Royal Robbins Traveler Stretch Pant is a great travelling and hiking pant. The soft, stretchy nylon is really comfortable and moves easily for hiking or just lounging around. I found them quieter than my other nylon pants which is nice for not screaming “HIKER HIKER HIKER!”

The deep pockets hold everything I need to like phones and GPS and with the extra zipper on the back right pocket, adds a little bit of security.

I’d like to see the side zipper on the leg moved so the contents don’t end up behind your knee when walking but it’s a good option if you need to stuff more in your pockets.

For numbers I’d give the Traveller Stretch Pant a 90 out of 100 with it’s fit, durability and comfort.

More Photos







 

The post Light, Soft, Stretchy: Royal Robbins Traveler Stretch Pant Review appeared first on The PureOutside Blog.

Categories: Hiking

Better than merino? The Royal Robbins MerinoLux 1/4 Zip Review

Tue, 05/30/2017 - 07:00

The elusive perfect merino shirt. Does it exist? Or do they all fall apart after wearing them hard?

After finding out about merino working in a gear shop nearly 10 years ago, I’ve been infatuated with it’s amazing abilities. No smell, regulates your temperature, keeps some heat when wet. It seems like the perfect fabric for all outdoor clothing.

There’s one problem though.

 

It’s not very durable. Wear a piece of merino a lot and you’ll see holes in less than a year. After wearing many brands of merino  for some travel, work and all my outdoor adventures I concluded that merino wool is amazing but it just doesn’t last that long.

Today we review the MerinoLux 1/4 zip, a base or mid layer from Royal Robbins designed to be the perfect merino piece that will last longer. Will it stand up to the abuse? Let’s have a look.

But first we need a little backstory.

Who’s Royal Robbins?

Royal Robbins, the company, was created by Royal Robbins, the climber, and his wife Liz after climbing Half Dome in Yosemite. Noticing their ragged and ripped cut-off jean shorts after climbing, they realized they needed something better. Liz put together the Billy Goat, a simple, rugged short built for climbing and the apparel company was born.

Both the climbers and the company are run by a deep respect for the natural world. Royal and his friends pushed clean climbing for the first time in the late 60s, a new technique of climbing with no permanent bolts or pitons in the rock. Royals ascent of the Nutcracker in 1967 with nothing but temporary climbing protection ushered in a new era in climbing, and continued his legacy of respecting the natural world. Royal Robbins, the company, continues with that ethos today, swapping out fabrics that use less energy to make, and striving to be a more eco-friendly outdoor apparel company.

Instead of sticking with the standard polyesters used these days, they’ve upgraded to something better.

What’s Sorona?

A quick note before we look at Sorona. I apologize in advance for any misspellings of Sorona as Corona. Auto-correct was insistent that I was trying to say Corona. I wasn’t drinking while writing this (well maybe a bit of wine), just over-active auto-correct. Back to Sorona.

In their efforts to be produce performance but eco-friendly garments, Royal Robbins have included Sorona, a corn-based polyester from DuPont, to their line.

Most often combined with other materials like merino, Sorona dries and wicks like a nylon polyester but requires less energy and greenhouse gases to produce. It’s lower dying temperature requires less energy to colour and its washable in cold water. It dries fast and also lasts longer so you’re buying fewer shirts.

What’s MerinoLux?

MerinoLux which is the fabric in the 1/4 base or mid-layer we’re looking at today is Sorona polyester combined with fine merino wool.

The combination gives you the stink free benefits of merino but still wicks and dries like polyester. The merino regulates the temperature while the Sorona adds a soft, smooth feel to the fabric as well as some durability. It’s wrinkle resistant and UPF 50 for travelling in the sun.

Merino can sag when it’s wet or pulled. The Sorona prevents the sag with a slim fit to the long sleeves and body and a comfy 4 way stretch.

It still has the downside of not being machine dryable because of the merin but if you’re looking to save some energy or travelling, you’ll probably be hanging some of your gear anyways.

Soft

No matter how fine the merino, I find there is still a bit of a wool feel there. It’s hardly noticeable in most of the superfine wool garments these days but it would be nice to be as soft as polyester or fleece.

With the combination of wool and Sorona in the MerinoLux, Royal Robbins has created a very soft combination. It’s not got quite the smooth feel as straight polyester but it’s close. And still has most of the benefits of the merino wool.

Merino but durable

The whole reason merino is so popular is because of the temperature regulation and the lack of smell with sustained use. Being able to sweat in the same shirt for a week and be able to stand yourself is wondrous. The downside is lack of durability. I can’t wear my merino too much where it rubs against other gear because it just wears out.

By adding the strong but more eco-conscious Sorona polyester too the mix you get a more durable shirt with the benefits of merino. You also get better 4 way stretch than a typical merino shirt too. I have yet to hit the smelling point on this one which is impressive. Often as soon as there’s polyester in there, the smell factor goes up.

Fit

Merino can get saggy and lose it’s shape over time. MerinoLux fabric maintains it’s shape a bit better than standard merino and has good 4 way stretch. I have a medium in the MerinoLux 1/4 and it’s fairly fitted but not constricting. I usually have a merino base layer t-shirt on underneath and it fits well. It fits close enough to be it’s on base layer as well if it was cooler. The 1/4 zip makes it easy to regulate the temperature without having to take it off. Thumb loops have become my favourite thing lately. I wish it had some.

Smell?

Recent runs and hikes I’ve kept my jacket and long sleeves of the 1/4 zip on much longer than I would normally. This results in a lot more sweat than usual. It’s been a sweaty test.

But that’s the point with merino and other fabrics. It has to deal with sweat well or else why would you wear it. I’ve worn the 1/4 zip for days straight now before washing and it’s yet to smell. I assumed it was going to start to smell a bit right away from the polyester but so far so good. Future testing will include a head to head with a 100% merino 1/4 zip, wearing them for as many days as it takes to smell (I will show in between!).

Quick-drying

Though not as fast-drying as straight polyester, I’ll take a bit of a slower dry any day just so that it won’t stink. It seems to dry a bit faster than 100% merino but is still slower than polyester. I won’t say I love the feel of wet wool against my skin but it’s not a terrible thing. I don’t mind hiking in it for long periods of time.

For Travel

Having travelled for months through Australia and New Zealand for 4 months in merino, it’s my go to for any sustained adventure. Even just wearing on planes and tour buses, you won’t get more comfortable, especially when it’s warm.

You can wear the MerinoLux 1/4 zip out for a hike and then dinner than night. UPF 50 will keep you out of the sun during the day and you won’t need to do any ironing with it.

Final Thoughts

This might be the ultimate fabric for adventure. No stink temperature regulation from the merino. Faster drying and durability from the polyester. I’ll be continuing to test this as much as possible in the coming year to see what long-term durability is like but so far I’m giving it 2 thumbs up. 100% merino is amazing but it’s just not holding up to hard use. I think the blends will come out on top as the most popular in the end.

The Royal Robbins MerinoLux 1/4 Zip is a great piece for every adventure and a good one to get into for your first piece or if your merino just isn’t lasting as long as you’d like. This versatile piece can be a base or second layer over a wide range of conditions, thumb loops being one thing that would take it up one more notch for me.

Mens MerinoLux 1/4 Zip at Royal Robbins ($70 USD)

Mens MerinoLux 1/4 Zip on Amazon

 

 

 

 

The post Better than merino? The Royal Robbins MerinoLux 1/4 Zip Review appeared first on The PureOutside Blog.

Categories: Hiking

Alpaca Power: Ausangate Alpacor Hiking Socks Review

Tue, 05/23/2017 - 07:00

Merino is all the rage these days for outdoors base and mid layers but alpaca is better in almost every respect, on paper at least.

Merino seems to be the best choice for most garments: soft, doesn’t stink, warm when wet, sustainably produced. But alpaca is all that plus some.

Today’s review is all about Ausangate socks made with what might be the outdoor industry’s next big fibre: Alpaca fleece.

What is Alpacor

The Alpacor High Calf Hiking Sock from Ausungate aren’t made with only Alpaca fibre, it’s a blend with 80% Alpacor, 18% Nylon and 2% Spandex. Cool, but what’s Alpacor?

Alpacor yarn is a blend of natural and synthetic fibres, one of them being Tencel, a smooth, wicking wood-based fibre. Tencel is a very soft fibre, good at wicking and likely a little cheaper than Alpaca so it helps bring the cost down a bit. Icebreaker uses Tencel in their Cool-Lite fabric.

Benefits of Alpaca

With the Alpacor yarn you should get performance that can top wool.

Hollow alpaca fleece fibre traps heat even better than fine wool strands without extra weight. This also contributes to the excellent wicking. Moisture is evaporated off the strands instead of reaching a saturation point like wool does.

Little barbs on wool cause the itchy factor. The merino produced today is so fine and the processes afterwards attempt to remove the barbs or fill in the gaps, creating a smoother strand. Alpaca doesn’t have these little barbs creating a very soft sock. The added Tencel to Alpacor is very smooth as well, often called softer than silk and used in cosmetic face masks.

Another irritant in wool is lanolin which is often removed through a chemical process. Alpaca is lanolin free naturally.

Merino wool is famous for it’s care and handling restrictions. Don’t dry it in the dryer or you’ll end up with a shirt 2 sizes to small. Alpacor socks can be washed and dried just like everything else. I did notice a slight shrinking when I accidentally dried one of mine. Nothing even noticeable out hiking though.

Some of the literature says Alpaca tensile strength is better as well, or the breaking strength when pulled from each end. There’s much debate about this online. Sounds like it depends on many other factors as to which ends up stronger in a sock so the jury’s still out on this one. If there’s any possibility I can get a stronger sock that doesn’t get holes in the heels then I’ll take it. I have to regularly replace my merino wool socks.

Likes for the Ausangate Alpacor Hiking Sock

Ok, so now we can finally get to the sock review.

These are technically winter socks on the website but I’ve been wearing them in a warm May. Every hike the last few weeks has been with the Alpaca socks and I’ve also warm them most days in my Blundstones to work and afterwards to get as much testing time in the socks as possible before writing this.

Soft and Comfortable.

The first thing you’ll notice is how soft the socks are. I don’t have a problem with merino wool but the softer the better in my mind. Comparing it side by side with a Hike+ Medium from Icebreaker there is a difference. Slight but noticeable.

There aren’t any seams inside, just the LIN toe seam above the toes to close the end. It’s slightly raised which I think is just because of the thicker fabric around the toes hitting the thinner material on top of the foot. The only part of the sock that sticks out all inside is the Ausangate logo. I can’t feel it when I wear them though.

Stretchy “compression ribs” around the middle of the foot and just above the ankle are slightly tighter than the rest and keep the sock in place. I have yet to have it move around much on me.

Good temperature

Hiking in the heat and sitting in the office in leather boots, I was expecting my feet to overheat. I run pretty warm most of the time, especially if I’m moving quickly in warm weather. I brought extra thinner socks to change into. I didn’t have to. I didn’t even think about it. Comfortable all day.

The breathable Alpacor with Tencel must be doing what it’s supposed to be. The thinner fabric on the top of the socks and front of the calf must help shed some of that heat as well.

Keeps shape and doesn’t shrink – much

The Alpacor is advertised as no shrink. Throw it in the washer and dryer just like everything else.

I accidentally tossed on of mine in the drier so I got a side-by-side test. Looks like just laying on top of one another the dried one is 1 centimetre shorter on the top. Not a big deal though, can’t even feel it when they’re on. Some of the merino garments will shrink inches in the drier. Seeing some of my own go through the drier, socks are less of an issue.

Dislikes

My only dislike out of all my testing so far is the tufts of thread around the Ausangate logo. I’m not sure if it’s just pilling there from wear or the extra thread from the logo creates the bumps. I’ve hardly noticed them at all yet. If you had a tight spot on your hiking boots just above your toes they might irritate the top of your foot. The rest of the sock is so comfortable and well-made, hopefully they can sort out the thread in the logo.

Will we see more alpaca?

Before looking into all the alpaca information for this review, I had no idea it was such a unique and high-performing material.

The alpaca wool industry is not nearly as mature as the merino wool side of things. I’m very interested to see how it grows and spreads. I have a feeling we’ll all be wearing Alpaca base layers very soon.

Get a pair of Alpacor socks

The Alpacor socks are about the same price as merino at $19.99 (USD). Find them at Ausangate or Amazon.

 

More Photos


Disclosure Stuff

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received the Alpacor Hiking Socks from Ausangate as coordinated by Deep Creek PR, an Outdoor Industry Public Relations Company, in consideration for review publication.

In other words, I get these items free to review. I use these connections to get more rad gear to test so you guys get more gear reviews. All opinions on the items are my own. Honest feedback about the products are in everyone’s best interest. Gear companies can make better gear and you can get straight recommendations on which is the best for you.

Ross

The post Alpaca Power: Ausangate Alpacor Hiking Socks Review appeared first on The PureOutside Blog.

Categories: Hiking

GoalZero Flip 30 Review

Mon, 05/01/2017 - 10:00

GoalZero started in 2009 out of Robert Workmans work abroad to reduce poverty. He was frustrated with all the obstacles to helping people create sustainable lifestyles.

After almost giving up and leaving the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where he was helping at the time, he came to a realization:

“If not us, who? If not now, when?”

One of the issues was power. Getting reliable power opens a lot of doors for people in developing countries and helps those in need after emergencies like natural disasters.

Since the start with a focus on helping in developing countries and emergency situations GoalZero has really pushed into the outdoor market with charging, storage and lighting solutions for base camping and backpacking. Recent innovations have included partnering with tent makers for lighting and power storage built right into the tent.

The Flip 30 is another well-made power storage solution from GoalZero aimed at anyone needing extra power on the go. If you own a smart phone or tablet these days, that’s you.

What is the Flip 30?

The GoalZero Flip 30 is a USB battery pack for charging your USB devices. Charge it up with a laptop, wall outlet or solar panel and then take it on your adventures to power up other USB devices. It’s perfect for charging your phone, tablet, cameras or GPS.

How to Use the Flip 30

Using the Flip 30 is easy. Plug it in anywhere with the attached USB plug. The 4 blue lights on the side flash until it’s full. Each of the lights show 25% so 2 lights mean it’s 50% full.

When you need a charge plug in your USB device and press the charge button by pressing the USB plug into the side of the Flip 30.

If you need to know how much charge is left on the battery, click the USB plug button once and the lights will come on show a light for each 25%.

Features

The GoalZero Flip 30 is a pretty simple device. Charge it up from a laptop, wall, or solar charger. Take it with you on adventures and use it to charge any USB device like phone, GPS or camera.

Here’s a few specs of the Flip 30:

  • flip-out USB plug
  • one 5V 2.1A USB output
  • 5V 1.5A input to charge from laptop, wall or solar charger
  • charge status lights
  • 7800 mAh (3 phones charges or 1 tablet charge)

What’s a mAh?

All battery packs will have a size rating in mAh, or milliamps. It’s the rating for the size of the battery in them, how big their gas tank is. These numbers are important when you’re taking a battery pack on a trip to charge something. You’ll need to find out how much each of your devices takes to charge.

If I wanted to charge an iPhone 7, it’s battery requires 1960 mAh to charge so if I have 7800 mAh total in the Flip 30 then I’ll get 3 to 4 charges for the phone.

4 charges * 1960 mAh = 7840 mAh

That’s cutting it close and requires the Flip 30 to be brand new, working perfectly and fully charged. Most batteries capacity drop a bit over time.

If you wanted to charge an iPad mini that requires 6470 mAh, then you’ll get 1 charge and have a bit left over.

7800 – 6470 = 1330 mAh.

The Flip 30 is a small to medium sized battery pack these days. You can get 10,000 to 20,000 mAh charges in relatively small sizes. The bigger batteries will be heavier. Add up the number of charges for each device you’ll need on your trip for the total number of battery packs you’ll need.

Built-in USB plug

The best feature about the Flip 30 is it’s built in USB plug. You don’t need to carry around a USB cable to charge it, just flip out the plug and plug it in. I’ve forgotten the charger cable for other batteries I’ve had and been stuck carrying around a dead battery. Not as useful.

This flip out plug is a mixed blessing. Trying to plug the Flip 30 into something other than a laptop isn’t great, it hangs off the flip out plug. So far nothing has broken and everything is charging properly. I feel like hanging off a desktop computer or wall charger too much puts a lot of stress on the flip out plug and might lead to issues.

Solid construction

Some electronics feel cheap and like they’ll fall apart after a few uses. Definitely not the case with the GoalZero Flip 30. The case on the battery feels solid like it would survive drops from a good distance. I haven’t tried to drop mine to see how it would survive but it’s fallen to the ground a few times on the dirt or carpet with no issue.

The flip out USB plug is the only thing I worry about. Rotating out, the wires have to move. Only long term use is going to show how long the plug lasts. So far it’s worked great.

Long USB cord issue

The only issue I’ve had with the Flip 30 is an intermittent one. One of my 10’ long USB cords causes the Flip 30 to stop charging after a random amount of time. All my shorter cords have worked perfectly.

Usually I get 5 to 10 minutes of charging with the long cable and then it stops like it’s not connected to anything and I have to press the charge button again.

Chatting with a GoalZero rep, they are aware if the issue and are working on a fix. Normal length USB cords still work perfectly.

Alternative: GoalZero Venture 30

One alternative to the Flip 30 is the Venture 30. Another one by GoalZero the Venture 30 is pretty similar to the Flip 30 with a couple of differences.

The similarities are that it’s got a 7800 mAh charge, the same capacity as the Flip 30. Outside of that it’s got a few notable differences.

The Venture 30 is waterproof. IPX6 water resistant which means splash resistant getting a bit wet from rain or snow isn’t going to phase this battery. It’s not dunk resistant though. Don’t chuck it in the lake.

There are three connections on the Venture 30 compared to the Flip 30’s one. Two of the connections are just female usb ports and one male micro-USB port.

The downside to the additional features is that the Venture 30 is more expensive at $99 US and 2 oz heavier. If you need the waterproofness or additional connections though the extra cost is worth it.

Summary

Pros

  • Solid construction
  • No cord required with the flip-out plug
  • Charge status lights
  • Compatible with any solar charger with USB out

Cons

  • Thicker than other batteries (but short)
  • Doesn’t work with some long USB cords (will be fixed soon)
  • Only one port

If you need power on the goal, GoalZero has a solution for you. If it’s waterproof then the Venture 30 is the one for you. Otherwise, the Flip 30 is less expensive and still has enough power for a few phone charges. It’s thicker than some other battery packs but much more compact. Depends on where you’re going to put it for what form factor you need.

Whether we like it or not, we’re dependent on the little gadgets in our pockets. You might have the willpower to leave your phone at home for all your hikes. I don’t. And then the battery dies. But not any more.

More Photos

The post GoalZero Flip 30 Review appeared first on The PureOutside Blog.

Categories: Hiking

How to set up a hammock: Rallt Double Camping Hammock Review

Tue, 04/04/2017 - 21:32

Hammocks are dangerous if you sit in them wrong. But face the right direction and you can sleep in them all night.

I set up the Rallt double hammock recently to start my testing. First time setting up a gathered-end style hammock. I’ve hooked up spreader-bar hammocks before. Easy. Hook the ring onto the hook. Done.

For a gathered-end hammock it’s not much more. Put the straps around the tree, hook the carabiner on. Done. Sit crosswise and check out the view. Done. Lean back and fall out the other side. Almost.

Apparently sitting in a hammock is harder than it looks.

About Rallt

Rallt is a relatively new outdoor company specializing in lightweight adventure products, currently only hammocks. They say everything should be packable and have a purpose. Good rules for every adventure.

About the Rallt Double Camping Hammock

Rallt currently has a Double Camping Hammock and a Single. Almost identical, they differ only in size. The single is 3m x 1.4m (10’ x 4’7”) long and 450 grams (15.9 oz). The double is a little bigger at 3m x 1.9m (10’ x 6’2”) weighing 546 grams (18.9 oz) without rope or hanging straps.

The hammocks themselves are 70D ripstop nylon gathered at the ends with non-stretch braided polypropylene rope with an aluminum wire-gate carabiner for hanging.

The Single is rated for 181 kg (400 lbs) while the double is rated up to 226 kg (500 lbs). The carabiners are rated for 1019 kg (2248 lbs) and the optional straps are rated for 226 kg (500 lbs), though they test them up to 544 kg (1200 lbs).

Right in the bag with the Single or Double hammocks are 2 lengths of 10 feet of the braided polypropylene rope for tying around the trees. You need to tie your own knots on these ones.

An optional, and recommended, accessory is the hammock straps. They are 10 foot long straps with 18 loops in each with one at the end. Wrap the strap around the tree, slide one end through the loop at the other and then connect the carabiner to one of the loops. No knots needed.

Each size is available in 8 colours and a digital camo (looks pixelated). The colours are pretty bright and show up well in photos.

Ok, those are the specs. What’s it like to sit in?

Using a hammock

We’ll just get this out of the way first. You will probably fall out of a hammock one day. They do have a warning saying don’t pitch them high off the ground in case you fall out. If you fall out of a hammock pitched high in the trees, it’s going to hurt.

The very first time I pitched the Rallt Double, the trees were too close together. The result was the hammock hanging steeply into the centre. It still worked well. I hardly had to move the straps on the trees at all. Picking the perfect trees will take some practice.

Hanging a hammock

I had to check out Rallt’s website to make sure I was hanging everything right. Their quick guide to hammock camping pointed me in the right direction.

From their guide, they suggest an overhand loop on one end of the rope to clip the carabiner too and then a Siberian hitch around the tree.

I used the ropes a couple times but prefer the straps because they’re so easy. No adjusting or trying to get it the right tightness. Just wrap the strap around the tree and clip the ‘biner where you want it. Couldn’t be easier.

They straps, though not as wide as they could be will be nicer on the bark of the tree than the rope will, spreading the load over 3/4 webbing instead of the rope.

Getting in (and not falling out)

Grab both sides of the hammock, take a couple steps back and sit down. Careful leaning back that the fabric is actually behind you!

You can lay across the hammock which will be shorter but easier to get out of. I do this when I’ve got muddy boots on and just want to chill for a bit.

Laying lengthwise along the hammock is definitely the most comfortable. Careful closing your eyes laying like this, you might be out for a while.

If you want to be more flat, hang the hammock with trees a bit farther apart and pull it tighter in between. If you want to be more upright, hang with trees closer together.

Sleeping

Overnighting in a hammock is getting more popular these days. It’s still a pretty unique thing to do and it does come with it’s challenges. To stay warm you can add a sleeping pad in the hammock with your sleeping bag. You can also add an overbag around the whole hammock, like a sleeping bag underneath, to keep the heat in.

Keeping the bugs out

If you need some bug protection, there are nets that go all the way around any hammock keep the critters out. Some hammocks have nets built onto the top so you don’t have to bring something extra. Having the net all around means you can leave it at home if you don’t want it for a trip.

Easy to set up

There isn’t much to setting up a Rallt hammock with the straps. Wrap a strap around 2 trees and clip on the hammock.

If you’re using the rope, there’s a bit more to do but still only tying a knot around the tree and some adjustment after. You can leave the carabiner end knot tied.

Strong

500 pounds is more than enough for 2 people to hang out in the hammock. 2 people is more a sit together or hang out for a bit kind of configuration. I doubt you’ll be sleeping 2 in a hammock all night.

With that kind of weight, I could fit another 320 pound person in there. And I’m not going to be laying in a hammock with a 320 pound dude any time soon.

Straps are rated for the same as the hammock so there’s no worry putting too much stress on them.

Space for 2 people

The double easily holds 2 people. Have fun getting in and out, it’s a bit tricky but there’s plenty of room. The single will only hold one but is lighter to carry.

Inexpensive

Being only $25.99 and $31.99 USD on Amazon.com ($35.99 and $39.99 CAD on Amazon.ca), the Rallt hammocks are a steal. You’ll pay double that price for some of the other hammocks that don’t even include all the gear to hang it.

Attached stuff sack

The Double comes with a stuff sack that fits the hammock and the ropes. It’s attached to the side of the hammock so you never lose it.

I had trouble finding it the first few times. I forgot it was nicely attached to the side of the hammock and went looking around in my bag and everywhere else before realizing, it’s attached.

Aluminum wire-gate clips

The carabiners are rated to 1019 kg (2248 lbs). Plenty for my purposes. All the edges on the ‘biners are smooth and won’t snag the thin hammock fabric. Regular ‘biners would catch. Their glossy black finish go well with the hammock.

Optional Straps

The straps are optional but well worth it. They’re $25.99 CAD ($16.99 USD). With the straps you don’t have to fiddle with any knots and they don’t press into the tree bark as much as the rope does. You can set up the hammock in about 30 seconds with the straps. They come with the little big below or just stuff them in with the hammock.

Wrap-up

The strength and quality of the Rallt hammocks are a great value for the price. You’ll have to spend quite a bit more with other brands to get that kind of quality.

Now I just need to get the hammock stand for the stand-up paddle boards and I’m set for the summer.

 

I get these items free to review. I use these connections to get more rad gear to test so you guys get more gear reviews. All opinions on the items are my own.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received the Double Camping Hammock for free from Rallt as coordinated by Deep Creek PR, an Outdoor Industry Public Relations Company, in consideration for review publication.

The post How to set up a hammock: Rallt Double Camping Hammock Review appeared first on The PureOutside Blog.

Categories: Hiking

LaceLocker Review: Tiny device keeps your shoes tied through long runs and any conditions

Sun, 03/19/2017 - 07:00

How do you keep your shoe laces tied running, riding or on the kids at the park? Can be tough.

Stop during the race and kill your momentum. Not notice your laces are untied and fall flat on your face.

Riding with untied laces and risk having them wrapped around your pedal and suddenly you are tied to your bike. Clipped on with no way to get out.

How often are the kids running around with laces untied. They bounce more than we do when they hit the ground but it’s still hard to watch. And entirely preventable.

Clip a Lace Locker on your shoes and you won’t have to deal with untied laces.

What is a Lace Locker?

A Lace Locker is a funky little device you stick on your shoe laces. With little hook and loop (velcro) tabs, they keep your laces all collected together. Wrapped up in the Lace Locker tabs, they’ll never untie themselves.

To put them on your shoes, slide the first table under your laces and push down, sandwiching the laces on the top of your foot in between two Lace Locker tabs. See the pictures below in the TevaSphere trail runners.

If your laces go through a loop on the tongue of your shoe, you’ll have to take them out of the loop. The tab of the Lace Locker has to have space to slide down on top of the tongue and under the laces.

Tie a single knot and then wrap the two loops and two tails together between the 2 top Lace Locker tabs. Wrap the tabs around the laces and push down to secure. Don’t think about your laces again.

What do they do?

So the Lace Lockers wrap up your laces so they don’t bounce around and untie themselves. Pretty simple. Nice to have.

Great for racing when you don’t want to have to kill your momentum to stop and tie shoes. If your shoes are covered in mud, you won’t have to touch them because they won’t come untied. Rinse or run through the wash to clean the Lace Lockers.

Perfect for kids running around with untied laces all the time. Wrap up those laces and they won’t be face planting.

Seniors or vision-impaired folks can do their shoes up once and not have to worry about seeing them or kneeling down to their shoes to tie up shoes again.

I’ve come back from trail runs with twigs and random bit and pieces of the forest hanging off my laces. Usually don’t notice. If I do notice it’s because a twig is whipping my shins with every step. Not very comfortable.

One of the stories from the Lace Locker site was from a lady who hated the feeling of her laces hitting her shins when she ran. I can relate. I had a pair of shoes that did that and it drove me nuts. Wrap the laces up in Lace Lockers. No more stabby laces tips in your shins.

Where you can get them?

All sorts of different colours are available on LackLocker.com. The basic grey, blue or black or even skull and cross bones. If you want to be seen at night, get the reflective logo. Most are $8 to $10 per pair.

Get some Lace Lockers as prizes from your event or for your running team with custom graphics.

The Lace Lockers went from a strange new product that I had never seen to a fantastic tool for better races and trail runs. The kids will be wearing them too.

LaceLocker.com donates 20% of every LaceLocker to help put young girls through college. Can’t think of a better cause than that. Proceeds from some models are donated to specific things. Help a cause and keep your laces tied at the same time.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received the Lace Lockers for free from Lace Locker as coordinated by Deep Creek PR, an Outdoor Industry Public Relations Company, in consideration for review publication.

The post LaceLocker Review: Tiny device keeps your shoes tied through long runs and any conditions appeared first on The PureOutside Blog.

Categories: Hiking

Vancouver Outdoor Adventure and Travel Show

Thu, 03/16/2017 - 21:28

Gear, tours, bikes, tourism, tents, so many tents. March 4 and 5 outdoor enthusiasts braved the crazy weather and made the trip to the Vancouver Convention Centre for the Vancouver Outdoor Adventure and Travel Show. Vendors as far as you can see made up of tour operators, gear makers and sellers, demonstration bikers and bike shops filled the floor under the sails. I  headed to Vancouver to talk to all the vendors I could about their tours and new gear. A bit of a kid in a candy shop. Some sunshine and a mini-hike in between capped off the weekend.

Adventure Pool

The show had multiple stages and even a pool for talks and demonstrations over the course of the weekend. Not sure how a SUP works or rolling in a kayak? Brave athletes hopped in the cold water and showed off their moves. You could even try scuba diving for the first time.

Climbing Wall

If getting wet isn’t your thing there was a climbing wall as well. The ropes were attached to weights on the inside to let them down gently.

Delorme (Garmin) inReach

DeLorme, now part of Garmin, has already updated the popular inReach satellite messenger with a slightly better mapping system and a new body. The body of the device looks like a 64-series GPS but with all the inReach functions. The SOS button is under a tab on the side to stay out of the way and the charging port on the bottom got a better cover. Really the only difference between the SE and the Explorer now are the maps. With the previous inReach versions if you just want the messenger you can get the SE and save a bit of money but if you want the maps and not need a GPS, get the Explorer.

 

BikeArt.ca

Sharon Tenenbaum put together a very unique display of work for the show. Some of her beautiful photos on canvas and metal had additional painting over top.

My favourites were the skylines and mountain photos created out of bike parts and accessories printed on metal. The finished product was very impressive. You can find more of the images to buy at BikeArt.ca.

Skyview Outdoors and Eureka Tents

Skyview Outdoors brought a ton of outdoor gear. Johnson Outdoors as there as well with a lot of tents. Everything from tiny 1 person tents up to massive family outdoor tents.

GnomeHomes

GnomeHomes are tiny trailers with either a double or queen size mattress inside. They’re light enough a small car can tow them around and some are under $10k. They make them to order so you can get the exact features you want. And most of the parts are sourced in Canada. Some parts, like doors, just can’t be found in Canada so they go to the US for those.

A battery and small solar panel on the roof give you tons of power during sunny periods and at least a few days worth of juice. If you watch the TV in the larger model then it’s going to drain you battery much faster.

Inside is the bed and storage.

Around the back is the kitchen. Bottom left drawer had a refrigerated cooler in it (that draws power from the battery while it’s cooling) but can also switch to keeping food warm.

Treeline Rooftents

Treeline Outdoors from just outside Calgary, Alberta is making some rad rooftents. With models for 2, 3 or 4 people and additional versions that integrate solar products from Goal Zero, Treeline can be set up so they fold off the side or back of your car. An additional Annex or set of walls for under the fold out part would keep you dry even if it was raining sideways. The Annex comes with a removable floor.

Trial Stars

Jeff and Steve from the Trial Stars demonstration group and a guest rider did a few great shows. The audience was packed as they did their thing jumping over, around and onto things both up and down. They started with a little competition to see who could bunny hop (jumping straight) and side hop (jumping sideways) over a little high jump bar they set up. The side hop competition got up to 53 inches, nearly word record height.

They proceeded to jump, over and down three, four, and five foot platforms, hopping up there in various ways. They took a break jumping on and off the platforms to jump over each other laying on the floor. Jeff jumped over Steve, at one point jumping over his face and tapping his nose with the bike tire on the way over. Some of the audience had to look away.

Rice Lake

Staying in Lynn Valley for the night between the 2 days of the show, I had to take advantage of the beautiful Saturday evening. A quick hike along new trails for me around Rice Lake was a welcome change from being inside all day.

 

Day 2

I spent day 2 catching up with the vendors that I missed the day before and getting in a couple of the photography workshops from Leo’s Cameras. They weren’t much of a workshop as a talk but a couple very good ones. A Leo’s staff member gave a great talk on 360 cameras for video and still photos and got my brain firing about how to use those to capture a trip into beautiful places. With the 360 cameras, you can leave it recording and don’t have to point it at anything. Afterwards on YouTube or in one of the apps, just pan around and look wherever you want in the video. You’ll see things you missed after wards since you were likely looking somewhere else. While everyone stared at the waterfall in the video, you can pan around the other way and see the beautiful old growth trees and giant ferns.

Kimoto Kafee

Kimoto Kafee is a coffee shop in Tofino that brings in coffee from Thailand. The coffee was delicious and very welcome early Sunday morning but what caught my attention was the paper and cotton page they used in the photo below to sit in the cup, ready for the water. These individual packets would make for a great on the go or camping coffee solution. I’ve never found an instant I like, Starbucks gets close, but these little coffee holders worked great. They’re working on distribution around Vancouver Island and BC.

Soup Girl

I was hoping to try out some of the delicious looking soups from Soup Girl. I missed the gluten-free one she had going on the Saturday. The small packs are just add water and could make a great backpacking meal for 2. The jars would be too heavy to talk but would be great for home. She had bigger packs as well for 4-6 people.

Big Bear Tools

The Silky hand saws that Big Bear Tools had at their booth caught my eye. A good saw for tail building is a life-saver and I usually have one in my truck, sometimes my backpack, just in case you run into something you can’t get through. We’ve had cut out a tree that had fallen across the road while we were out hiking. It was a slow process with the small saw we had but it was better than nothing. A Pocket Boy 170 like in the picture below is 6.75 inches long with super-sharp, hardened teeth on a japanese blade. It would be easy to toss in a daypack.

 

A boat ride home

After hating the ferry for so long because of the long wait for the other side, I’ve come to like the forced disconnection the ferry offers. The wifi exists but is terrible so there’s no internet. I try to relax and read as much as I can. I’m always running into friends I haven’t seen in ages as well so it’s a fun time to catch up.

And most of the time, there’s a a nice view to sit and enjoy.

Huge thanks to the Vancouver Outdoor Adventure and Travel show for the passes to the show and 2 sets to give away through their blogger program. I’m already excited for what’s in store for next year so keep an eye out for that!

A few other bloggers have their “Trip Report” up from the show.

7 Ways to Be Inspired at the Vancouver Outdoor Adventure & Travel Show

Going inside to have an Outdoor Adventure

15 things I learned from the Outdoor Adventure and Travel Show Vancouver

The post Vancouver Outdoor Adventure and Travel Show appeared first on The PureOutside Blog.

Categories: Hiking

Cotopaxi Luzon Del Dia Backpack Review

Fri, 03/03/2017 - 17:55

Most companies are in business to make money. They get to continue what they do if they make money to fund it. What happens with those profits though differs for each company. Some make money purely for the owners.

Others, like Cotopaxi, are driven by a mission to use that money for a good cause. A certified B corporation, Cotopaxi takes 2% of revenues every year to fund grants around the world, helping active projects increase health, education and livelihoods in developing countries. They actively seek the best projects to fund and are transparent with exactly what they do with the grants each year.

The gear is high quality and meant to least at least 61 years, the lifespan of a person living in the developing world. “Gear for good” is their motto alluding to both their high quality, long lasting gear and their bigger mission of helping poverty all over the world.

The Luzon Del Dia backpack is a prime example of their commitment to simple, strong gear and doing this in a unique way. “Del Dia” means “of the day” so you get a completely unique, one-of-a-kind Luzon when you order. More in the colours section about that.

Features

The Luzon Del Did is a basic pack. It’s pretty simple when it comes to features.

  • 18L pack
  • drawstring top closure
  • adjustable sternum strap and webbing waist belt
  • water bladder pocket with hose port
  • mesh shoulder straps
  • small zippered front pocket
  • no frame (very packable)

It comes in one 18L size. Being a little day pack there isn’t small, medium, or large sizes to pick. One size fits all.

The sternum strap is adjustable up and down and is thin webbing. The waist belt is the same, just a webbing strap. You won’t be holding much weight in an 18L pack

The water bladder just inside the back panel can hold a 2-3 litre water bladder and has a port out the top to route the hose to your shoulder straps. The right shoulder strap has a hose holder just above the sternum strap.

The front zippered pocket is about 2 litres with a Luzon Del Dia logo inside and the Del Dia “1/1” symbol. Your Del Dia is 1 out of 1 because of the colours.

The Luzon Del Dia colours of the day

“Del Dia” means “of the day”. The backpack you get is literally the Luzon of the day. The workers in the factories in the Philipines get free reign to pick the colours for each backpack. They take the scraps and rolls that would sit on the shelf forever and match them up into funky and bright backpacks that you get in the mail.

You don’t get to choose the colours, it’s just a surprise when you get it.

If you don’t like the idea of getting a random selection of colours in the clips and fabric, the regular Luzon backpacks have set colours that you can choose from.

Water bladder pocket

The Luzon has as water bladder pocket just inside the back of the backpack. It easily fits a 2-3 litre water bladder or other pieces of gear if you aren’t taking a bladder.

Strong clips and straps

The shoulder straps on the Luzon are mesh so they won’t be too hot in the warm weather. I was testing in the winter so that wasn’t an issue.

The sternum strap slides up and down on the shoulder straps so you can place it where you want it.

The waist belt is just thin nylon webbing. It’s not going to hold any weight on your hips but 18L isn’t going to weigh much. The webbing will be plenty to keep the bottom of the bag from swinging around too much. I’m surprised there is even a waist belt on an 18L bag but I like it. Moving fast the bag swings too much without the waist belt on.

1 small top opening issue

The only issue I have with this awesome little bag is that you can’t close the drawstring top completely. You can get the drawstring pulled really tight but there’s still a slight opening. Out on a wet day, water is going to get in.

Most of the time this opening isn’t going to be a problem. Multi -day hiking is going to require a bigger backpack. Really wet days will require a pack cover for whatever you choose. This really only applies to the times that you’re out in good weather with the Luzon and the rain rolls in. You’re stuff will get a bit wet.

Lightweight and packable with a twist

At 300 g (10.5 oz) the Luzon is nice and lightweight. There isn’t any frame or extra features to weigh it down. The fabric is thin but feels durable. You won’t be carrying much in 18L but the pack doesn’t add much too that load either.

Having no frame and thin fabric means the Luzon packs down really small. The pack would fit inside a nalgene bottle no problem, maybe smaller.

It’s not mentioned anywhere official but the whole backpack stuffs into the front pocket. The zipper isn’t double-sided so you have to use the zipper upside down to zip it up the pouch but it fits well. The “1/1 Luzon Del Dia” logo on the inside of the pocket becomes the logo on the outside of the pouch.

Since it packs down so well this would be a great day pack or travelling pack to take with you in your other gear. I travelled around Australia and New Zealand for 4 months with a Osprey Talon 33 litre pack stuff in the front of an Osprey Aether 70 pack. It fit but it was a bit big. The Talon 33 doesn’t have a frame but it’s got a stiff board in the back. A Luzon 18 that stuffs down really small would have been perfect for a packable day pack.

Buying a Luzon Del Dia

The Luzon Del Dia goes for $49 USD on Cotopaxi’s website. You can also get the regular Luzon with the standard colours from the site for $39 USD. REI is stocking the Luzon as well.

Summary

Cotopaxi is a relatively new gear company, only starting in April 2014, but already they’re making waves with how they’re approaching gear and the industry.

I love the Gear for Good slogan and the idea of the Public Benefit Corporation and feel like it’s where more companies need to go. Like a percentage of every guide we sell at PureOutside, outdoor companies have a lot of power and responsibility to give back to the community and the outdoors. Cotopaxi shows us it can work well.

The Luzon Del Dia a great little day pack that is going to start conversations and carry your day hiking gear for years. The small drawstring issue won’t cause most people any issue and the rest of the bag and features work so well you’ll forget out it. I know I’ve found a favourite piece of gear when I’m looking for excuses to use it.

Whether you need to shake up the colours in your gear closet, or just need a very packable day pack for outdoor and travel adventures, the Luzon would be a good option.

The post Cotopaxi Luzon Del Dia Backpack Review appeared first on The PureOutside Blog.

Categories: Hiking