Outdoor Retailer: Day 2 - 3 Things To Check Out

Summer OR is so big that it overflows into over a huge area across the street from the Salt Palace with 3 giant tents, two outdoor water tanks (one for flyfishing and one for paddling) and a tailgating area.  And this is in addition to filling all of Salt Palace as it does in the winter. The Pavilions tend to house the newer and sometimes smaller companies. Here are 3 things that caught my eye and I am looking forward to trying.

Aquabot by Lunatec: Designed and created in San Diego, CA this addition to your water bottle came from the desire to stop wasting the precious water you have just took the time to filter when camping. The cap turns your existing Nalgene or Camelbak bottle into a pressurized super soaker with 3 settings: jet, shower or mist. It allows you to drink from an upright bottle without sucking or tipping, wash dirt off things with a high pressure spray or cool off with a mist function. Sound cool? It is. They currently have a Kickstarter campaign going and you can be first in line for your Aquabot when they come out this fall.

Scrubba Wash Bag, MSRP $54.95: Basically there is not longer an excuse to be a dirty stinky backpacker or traveler. The Scrubba Bag allows you a solution to efficiently and effectively wash and clean your clothes when on the go. 

Dogger Jogger, MSRP $48: Need to get exercise your high energy pup and would love to take them on a bike ride with you? We have all see the people riding their bikes while holding the leash... crazy! Or the contraptions that have them attached hands free to your seat post... seems like a difference in opinion of which way to go will bring you both down. Bill, the inventor, wanted a safer alternative and created the Dogger Jogger.  Check out this new safe way to take a ride with your four legged best friend. How does it work? 

Review: Feathered Friends Spoonbill Sleeping Bag


The enjoyment of our Feathered Friends sleeping bag began on my first phone call to the Seattle based company, the person who helped me spent a good amount of time on the phone as we figured out the build of my new bag. We discussed down fill choices as well as the coating and material of the bag and color options.


The bag I chose was their award winning Spoonbill UL, which is a specialty bag that is built for two. It has the same fill as their 20 degree bag, but because two people are in it the rating of the bag is dependent on how warm a sleeper the residents are, Saveria is a warm sleeper so I knew we would be in good shape for our WTC snow camp.


When I received the bag it was in perfect AdventurUs colors, which was an added bonus. We were so excited we tried  to sleep in it on our bed for a couple of days, but it was a bit too warm for indoor use.

The first time we used it was on a weekend trip to Joshua Tree NP in late February, it was actually a little warm but with the half zips on either side we were able to regulate our temp very easily. We finally got to put the bag to the real test  over  a March 2 night / 3 day trip in the Eastern Sierras. Our first night was just under 9000 ft. near a stream on dirt where it dropped to 19 degrees, the only thing cold was my nose. It easily stuffed away, about the size of my 15 degree bag and Saveria carried it (don't feel too bad I carried the whole tent...and our Jetboil Sumo too). Our second night was just under 10,000 ft on snow above a lake, the temp felt warmer and was a perfect nights sleep.

We got a "regular" length, I am 6'2" and Saveria is 5'1", sorry 5'2" :)  and we both fit in easily with any clothes we wanted to stuff in the bottom.

My experience ordering to using the Feathered Friends Spoonbill could not have been better. A big thank you to them and a big recommendation to anyone looking for a great 2-person bag .

Review: Black Diamond WoolWeight Glove


As far as wool versus synthetic, I usually go to synthetic for base layers and the like, but lately I was searching for a good mid-weight glove for use while hiking in the winter, enter the Black Diamond WoolWeight glove. First, I did size up for these gloves, the other Black Diamond gloves I have are size large (except my over mitts), but after trying on a pair I went for the extra large, it was the right choice, it helped with the dexterity I was after. But truly where these gloves shine is how quick they dry and the comfort they provide during hiking efforts.

I wore these on a snow shoe day hike on Mt. Watermann in the Angeles National Forest with Saveria and our WTC class. At the first rest stop I was adjusting my snow shoes and I was easily able to deal with the straps but my gloves did get covered in snow, they felt damp on the outside but my hands were still warm. We began to hike, and the next time I checked my gloves were dry.

The next I wore these as my main gloves was on a three day snow camp in the Sierras. Again the range of these gloves was perfect, from hiking during the day to cold 20 degree nights.

I love gloves and finding the perfect ones for a specific situation is always a fun challenge.  These a great all arounders that pack small and cover a big range.

Patagonia's new Encapsile Down Belay Parka Sells out in a Week

When I was a kid I hung up pictures of my favorite bands or movie posters maybe a cool car or lacrosse player, but now I am about to hang up a picture of a jacket, my life has changed.Patagonia has raised the bar to stratospheric levels with science, functionality, a little voodoo and art with their new Encapsil down belay parka. The parka was put through its paces by some of Patagonia's toughest ambassadors in some of the world's toughest spots and glowed all the way. I still love my DAS parka and it is what goes in my pack whenever the weather calls, but the DAS has a new cousin that is pretty hard to ignore. With the large price tag, limited edition status and the fact it is already sold out this piece will not be easy to get but my hope is the new Encapsil down technology will make its way throughout their down line.


The Pin-Up Jacket


The Loyal Go To

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

The Ultimate 10 Essentials from Outdoor Retailer Winter 2013

The "10 Essentials" are an established list of items that, in an emergency situation in the wilderness, you would be glad you had. This list is based on feedback from numerous people who had been in life threatening situations. One should always have these items in your pack whenever you step on or off the trail. There are MANY options for each of the categories and there is often not a right or wrong item. That being said, we here at the AdventurUs offices decided to keep our eyes peeled at Outdoor Retailer to find the best and coolest items to complete your "10 Essential Systems" list, with some style. 1) Navigation - We know there are many fancy new options out there, but we believe having solid map and compass navigation skills is important and therefore feel a manual compass is important. Our choice the SuuntoMC-2 global compass.


2) Illumination- The Goal Zero Solo, solar powered, compact flashlight, no need for concern over spare batteries. Just hook this guy to the back of your pack and charge as your go.


3) Sun Protection - Sun Bum Pro sunblock, 30 or 50 SPF. This all natural sun care product is non-greasy, non-migrating and recommended by The Skin Cancer Foundation that caught our eye because of their great packaging. They also have chapstick in great flavors with SPF to protect your lips. Just as important as protecting your skin is protecting your eyes. We love Optic Nerve and chose their "Roger That" sunglasses to protect our eyes. They are ideal for snow travel having removable side shields and polarized lenses and have a price point that won't break the bank!


4) Nutrition - The hardest part of having these bars as an emergency product is that they are so yummy you will want to eat them! NOW energy bars are gluten free, all natural and loaded with Chia Seeds! All of the flavors were great, but the energy bars are top choice for calories and protein.

5) Hydration - We love the Vapur anti-bottle because it becomes super compact when empty, has an easy open lid when you wearing gloves and a drinking spout that won't spill all over you. At the show they unveiled their newest line which is a Vapur bottle with a slim filter built-in allowing you to collect and drink water safely from any source!


6) Insulation - The new Patagonia Nano Puff Hybrid is awesome, puffy and fleece, why choose when you can have the best of both worlds.


7) Fire - ReadyFuel Utility Flame and a Bic lighter, done! The cool fire starter gel lights easily, burns hot enough to boil water and leaves only sand residue behind. Stay tuned for a video with more about this cool product.


8) Emergency Shelter - Introducing the NEW Sol 2 person Emergency Bivy, for you and a friend or your gear, allows you to cuddle and keep warm, and is the size of a Red Bull can. TINY! Is this too big? :) Then you can get even smaller with the 1 person Sol Emergency Bivy.


2 Person 1 person

9) Repair Kit and Tools - We wanted to highlight the ultimate multi-tool that we found. We talked to the rep at the Wenger booth and after telling him what we were looking for he did not hesitate when recommending the Wenger EvoGrip S18 in Yellow. This knife had all the tools you need, great grip and the yellow make it hard to lose! The scissors are self sharpening and the S-version has a safety mechanism on the blade making it hard to chop your finger off when opening and closing it... very helpful.


10) First Aid - This may not be the smallest and lightest option, but the Day Tripper Mountain Series Medical Kit is well-organized and a complete package. Adventure Medical Kits has a full line of products ensuring that you will find a solution that works for you.