Category Gear Reviews

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GEAR REVIEW – RUKUS SOLAR MUSIC PLAYER

It is large, heavy, plays extremely directional sound, and isn’t waterproof; but I still love this ugly chunk of plastic.  The newer models seem to address many of these issues, but I hope not at the expense of durability.  Our Rukus has survived all sorts of abuse over the 6 years we have owned it: […]

Gear Review – Alps Mountaineering Clearwater 20 Sleeping Bag

The old saying “you get what you pay for” sums up the Clearwater 20 bag perfectly.  It is heavier than most synthetic bags and is nowhere near comfortable at 20 degrees; however, it compresses fairly well, is warm enough for most excursions, and is relatively inexpensive. I have had this bag since 2010 and it […]

Snowmass Lake Maroon Bells, Maroon bells backpacking, buckskin pass

Gear Review – Arc’teryx Bora 80

Thank you REI garage sale!  I purchased this pack almost 10 years ago and it changed my perception of backpacking.  Previously, I had always used external frame or cheaper internal frame packs which lead to discomfort, fatigue, and general disdain for backpacking.  With this pack, I can throw 60 pounds of gear on my back […]

Pictured Rocks National Shoreline backpacking, mosquito beach campsite

Gear Review – Kelty Ouray 2 Tent

While definitely not the lightest or most compactable tent on the market, this three season tent has been both bomb-proof and roomy for us.  With 35 square feet inside, plenty of head and leg room (I am 6 feet tall), and TWO 7 square foot vestibules the Ouray more than makes up for its extra […]