Sea to Summit

5 Days of Last Minute Gift Ideas: Day 2 is for anyone looking to lose weight!

Don't worry I am not going to recommend some low-fat, health conscious, trail snack or the latest exercise gadget. I am the one who loves backpacking so I can eat my forbidden guilty pleasures of Snickers and Top Ramen. 

I am however going to recommend an awesome sleeping bag for anyone who wants to shed some serious size and weight, but isn't quite ready to head toward the ultralight quilt option. Any of the Spark Sp sleeping bag series by Sea to Summit will score you major gift giver points! I tested the Spark Sp II and loved it... the official review is in the works, but know it gets 2 thumbs up. TheSpark Sp II regular length bag weighs in at 16.4 oz and compresses down to the size of a large grapefruit. This simple, but effective, bag features a 1/3 length zipper, 10D Nylon shell for minimal weight, and is filled with ULTRA-DRYDown™.  

Spark Sp I - Regular* // Fill Weight-6.3 oz // Bag Weight-12.3oz // EN Temp Rating- 46F/8C 
Spark Sp II - Regular* // Fill Weight-9.9 oz // Bag Weight-16.4oz // EN Temp Rating- 35F/2C 
Spark Sp III - Regular* // Fill Weight-14.1 oz // Bag Weight-22oz // EN Temp Rating- 25F/-4C 
*Long also available. Specs on website.

Gift Wrapping Tip: Compress it down and put it in a small box or gift bag. No one will ever suspect it is a sleeping bag.

Gift Giver Rating: Big Spender! $$$$

Top 5 Cool Outdoor Items That Fit in Your Pocket

In previous articles we have discussed "essential" things and "coveted" things, but some of the biggest treasures that we found at Outdoor Retailer came in smaller packages.  This inspired us to create our final OR list, "Top 5 Cool Outdoor Items That Fit in Your Pocket"! SeaToSummit_Field Repair Buckles

#1 - Sea to Summit has some pretty great stuff but their new "Field Repair Buckle" is fantastic, and like many great ideas I held it asking why it didn't always exist. This buckle allows you to replace broken buckle without replace the entire strap due to a smart pin and lock system that you can fix with a screwdriver. Available March 2013, this should be in everyone's pack.

lifestraw-vertical-shot#2 - Lifestraw is a company whom has worked at bringing drinking water to people all over the world and now they have shared that technology with us. Their patented filter system allows you to drink from any water source through a straw like apparatus. It filters up to 1000 liters,  protects you from 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria and 99.9% waterborne protozoa and only weighs 2oz. Clean water, no pumping necessary. Pretty cool if you ask us.

SolEmergencyBivy#3 - Weighing in at under 4oz and only half the size of a soda can when packed up, the SOL Emergency Bivvy by Adventure Medical Kits provides a lot of protection in a tiny package. Opening up to 36x84" this one person emergency shelter is waterproof, windproof and reflects 90% of ones radiated body heat. Pocket this guy for some piece of mind.

flamesticks#4 - The Flamestick burns for approximately 6 minutes and the fact that it is waterproof makes it a great item for harsh conditions and a must have for an emergency kit. One box, which is about the size of a lighter, provides 100 minutes of burn time. Lightweight at 1.4oz and efficient, they are a must have. They are not self-igniting, so be sure to have a lighter or match handy.

Lifeproof5#5 - And finally one of our favorite pieces is from Lifeproof. Lifeproof iPhone cases are submersible to 2 meters and drop proof, really drop proof like officially from 2 meters, unofficially probably higher more. 2 meters = 6.5 feet for those who don't want to use a conversion chart. :)  But best still the case is slim, simple and comes in a variety of colors for both the iPhone 4/4s and 5. They also have some super cool accessories for it like life jackets for the water enthusiasts, arm bands for running and bike mounts. Not really pocket-size is their full line of cases and accessories for the iPad. The company mission "where life takes you" is reflected in the quality of their product. On a side note, after seeing the cases at OR we can't seem to help noticing that lots of people have them while out on our hikes and in everyday life.

Outdoor Retailer Winter 2013 - Things We Now Covet...

This was the first time I have attended the Outdoor Retailer Trade Show in Salt Lake City, UT and it was pretty incredible. Aside from seeing people like Alex Honnold, the incredible Steve House and legends like Fred Beckey and Jim Whittaker, we got to see every piece of gear you may want, need or otherwise. But still in the sea of cool new things certain items blew us away.  - Paul