Under Review – Gear I am Currently Testing

Here is a list of gear that I am currently testing, as well a list of my completed reviews.

Big Agnes

  • Camp Pillow – Fishbone I-Beam Construction
    • Recently discovered that a decent pillow is as important to me as a sleeping pad to getting a good nights sleep. I tried using my down sweater in a small pillow case, but learned of sweat’s effect on down.
    • First inflatable pillow I’ve ever tried. It will take some time to get used to, especially figuring out the correct air pressure. I may make a pillow cover for it as the material isn’t comfortable.

Cotton Carrier

  • StrapShot
    • Cheaper alternative to similar systems
    • Easy to move between different packs (velcro, no tools needed)
  • Camera Vest
    • Seems like a great solution for:
      • carrying a heavy DSLR
      • on trip/hikes when you need to take for pack off frequently (camera attaches to you, not your pack)
      • climbing/scrambling trips – camera is in the center of your chest and is easier to ‘protect’
  • Hand Strap
    • provides additional comfort and security when using cameras on the trail, especially heavy DLSRs


  • Airlite 28
    • Regulating my body temperature and perspiration is always a challenge for me. As a result, I am always interested in packs that have a suspended back panel.
    • We own one Deuter pack, the Kid Comfort II. It’s been a great pack over the last 3 years, so I am very excited to get the Airlite out on the trail.

Gossamer Gear

  • Riksak
    • Very lightweight pack meant for light loads.
    • Planned uses:
      • When I hike with my wife and son, we will use it to carry the usual contents of our diaper bag.
      • Day pack for my quick, 90 min training hikes near my house
      • ‘Summit’ pack for backpacking trips.
      • Gym bag as needed.

Greenlight Planet

  • Sun King Pro
    • Keeping my techie-gear charged without carrying a ton of extra weight (batteries) is a challenge on multi-day trips. Cutting down on battery use on car camping trips and in general is a personal goal also.The Sun King Pro looks like a promising product:
      • 45 hours of light on 1 days charge
      • 3000 mAh batter capacity
        • will charge my iPhone 5s 1.9x
        • will charge my camera battery 2.9x
      • 5 year battery life

Oboz Footwear

  • Beartooth BDry
    • I’ve been having foot pain on 10+ mile hikes recently, especially when crampons, snowshoes or a heavy pack are involved.
      • I am hoping the full shank or the Beartooth will help
  • Bridger Mid BDry
    • Hoping to use this on shorter hikes when I will be carrying a lighter pack
  • Traverse Low
    • For desert/dry hikes where waterproofing is not a concern.

Peak Design

  • PROplate
    • New quick-release plate that can be configured to fit in both ARCA and Manfrotto RC2 tripod heads.
    • Slides into Capture in 4 directions.
    • Contains 4 loops for Peak Design Anchors Links
  • P.O.V. Kit
    • When combined with a camera clip, it turns any backpack strap, belt or strap-like object into a mount for a GoPro or any point and shoot camera.
  • Capture Tool
    • Capable of tightening & loosening clamping bolts, P.O.V. Kit bolts, quick-release plates and GoPro stock bolts
  • Anchor Links
    • Quick-connectors that can be used with any standard camera neck strap to give it quick-connection capability.
  • Leash
    • Can be used as a camera sling, neck strap, safety tether and/or monopod
  • Cuff
    • Will be used primarily as a security tether when my camera is attached to my pack


  • Ultra
    • Planning on using these as water and camp shoes on backpacking trips
    • Weight: ~9 oz without inserts, ~13 oz with
    • Like the idea of an enclosed shoe that protects my toes for water crossings

Completed Reviews

Hillsound Trail Crampons

Hydrapak Stash

Kahtoola K10 (will be published 04/01/15)

Peak Design CapturePRO Camera Clip & PROpad