Good afternoon and we are excited to get started again with the outdoor reviews and previews that all of our followers want to see. In the next 3-4 days we are going to be doing a full preview of a great cargo carrier produced by PAKMULE. As a cargo carrier owner I can tell you they are a game changer for anyone heading out on their trips whether it be on a stream or into the woods. The cargo carrier that I currently own is all steel and horribly heavy. Not only is it hard to move around and store but also getting it hooked up to the back of the truck. The PAKMULE line of carriers are aluminum which is far lighter than steel and the way I will be moving forward.
So… I tracked down a Pakmule carrier since I don’t own one so I could take a look. The positives.. It’s light… really really light but you would expect that for an aluminum carrier rather than a full steel carrier like I own. A couple of things.. Will aluminum stand up to a beating like steel will? Is there truly any difference on your tow vehicle when having a steel rack weight rather than the light aluminum option. I truly doubt it but there might be a small difference. All my research leads me back to the difference in using an aluminum carrier in your receiver rather than steel is a very small difference which is almost irrelevant. In my opinion it comes down to how you store your cargo carrier between uses and how difficult is it to get it on your vehicle by yourself. As you can see by the price there is a large difference between the Pakmule aluminum carrier and a standard Harbor Freight/Wal-Mart steel carrier. The Pakmule comes in at $795 (Ouch) compared to a steel version that you can pick up for $150-$200. Would I love to try out a Pakmule = Absolutely but currently I have a steel carrier that I have had for 5 years and its still going strong and there is no need to put out $800 for one. For now I will just hold onto what I have but I have to admit the Pakmule is a really nice lightweight carrier for anyone that has the funds to drop on one.
As you know I am truly transparent and if there is an issue with a product it comes out in these write-ups. Like I stated earlier I have seen a Pakmule carrier up close and they are fantastic carriers and I love the idea of being able to move it and put it on my vehicle without the struggle of a heavy steel carrier but… My attempts at communication with the Pakmule salespeople/customer support has been pathetic to say the least. My first email to Pakmule stated what I was going to write about and someone there sent me a big thumbs up type email – maybe 2 sentences. Next I sent a couple of emails to support/customer service just asking questions about the product. NO RESPONSE… NONE…. I racked it up to maybe COVID issues with short staffed or might be that their customer service is lacking. Guess we will never know.
In summary.. if you have $800 to drop on a cargo carrier this is the carrier for you. It’s built incredibly well and it’s LIGHT… I love the Pakmule carriers but for now $800 is a little steep for me. Look them up at the website link below.
Thanks for your continued support of Bang For Your Buck Outdoor Reviews and we are excited to get back to providing the reviews you want to see. Take care and check back often for new information.
You probably have heard of the phrase used in the title – Snug As A Bug In A Rug.. But if not you probably think I’m crazy.. Well.. the phrase was first used 1769 was first used to mean “very cozy and comfortable”. The first use of the phrase was probably alluding to a moth larva happily feeding inside a rolled-up carpet. Although we don’t want moths anywhere near our sleeping gear you get the point.
Hammock Gear was established back in 2009 just outside of Columbus, OH and they pride themselves on using only the highest quality materials to make their awesome products – like insulation products which is what we are going to briefly look over today.
I love this statement on their website – Drawing on the expertise of our team members, as well as the experience of our customers, we are constantly striving to improve our line of products preferred by hammock and ground campers alike. This combination of expertise and high expectation is the foundation of our mission as a manufacturer of outdoor recreational gear.
I have talked to numerous people that absolutely love their HG products. From my interactions with the company and the people there, they are different. It’s not easy to explain a feeling you get but when talking to them they are open, helpful, responsive and just plain nice and by the way they make amazing gear. Let’s dive into a few quick items.
HG has a couple different lines of Insulation for you to choose from and inside those two option (Economy and Premium) there area multitude of options you can select to drill down to exactly what you want.
First – Currently HG is running a sale on all STOCK and CUSTOM QUILTS ! Use “EQUINOX” at checkout for 15% off and any order over $99 receives FREE SHIPPING inside the USA.
Let’s first look at their Economy Top and Under Quilts.
Instead of me trying to reinvent the wheel below is what HG has listed on their site describing their Economy line.
I’m going to give you a quick glimpse at what their products are about with the description of the Economy Burrow Top Quilt… I think you will get the picture. With the numerous different options available for Economy Stock Top, Economy Under Stock, Economy Incubator Stock, Economy Incubator Custom…… and the list goes on.. It would take days to list everything. So below is a quick look at one of the products and you can head over to their website to see the full line and descriptions available. Below is a list of products with their corresponding link to the HG webpage.
The Economy Burrow top quilt works well for ground sleepers (make sure you order the wide width) and hammock sleepers alike. With a Economy Burrow you can rest assured that when those temperatures plummet, you will remain toasty warm. Our top quilts feature a half taper design and vertical torso baffles, which helps to make sure you have proper side coverage to your hips, while also saving a little bit of weight due to the tapered footbox. We have two options for foot boxes, zipper and sewn. The zipper footbox is more versatile, allowing you to unzip and lay the quilt out flat. The sewn footbox should be utilized if you only camp in cold weather, and don’t need to vent the top quilt. Each top quilt comes standard with grosgrain loops along the sides of the quilt to allow ease of attaching our Ground Pad Attachment Kit, which comes in handy if you sleep on an insulated pad. Our Economy Burrow is 15-20% overfilled to help minimize down migration and prolong the loft of the down over time and use.
Hammock Gear is committed to providing down products that meet RDS (Responsible Down Standard). RDS certifies that geese and ducks are treated ethically (no live plucking or force feeding) and the down is traceable back to the source. Both our Premium and Economy quilts use down that meets the Responsible Down Standard.
The Temperature Rating corresponds to the Colors available for each quilts available in both Standard Width or Wide Width as well as Zipper or Sewn Footbox:
Prices Range From $139.95 for an Economy Top Quilt and up depending on the customizable options you choose.. As an example here is what I plan on looking at in the near future.
Premium Burrow Custom – 10 Degree Rating – Standard Length – Wide Width (Because I sleep in a tent as well) – Zipper Footbed – 850 Down Fill (950 Available) – Overfill 2 Ounces (Overfill available in 1-4 ounces) – With a Ground Pad Kit – My Total is $334.94. And I selected probably the coolest color combo of Cobalt Blue Outer Shell with Burnt Orange Inner Shell!!
After dealing with HG for a while now I have the utmost confidence in what they are doing and bringing to us outdoors folk… Head over to their website and pick up an awesome piece of insulation at a discount. At the same time you are helping a great company during this amazingly difficult quarantine time. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed with their products and especially their commitment to you the consumer. Hands down one of the best customer service groups around. Check ’em out…
First.. Yes I know the title is long but it is what it is! I have been asked multiple times in the past few weeks how I do reviews and why I think I am different. So here goes.
First.. Do I review the gear for what it is only.. It’s actually pretty simple for me. I write reviews about how I I like a particular piece of gear whether it be a fly rod, sleeping bag, pair of hiking boots or a tent. I also give my thoughts about the company that produces the gear as well. What kind of company are they, do they produce a great piece of gear and harm the environment at the same time, are they doing their part to preserve… I think you get the point. And lastly I give my thoughts about the people I have dealt with inside of those companies. I tend to tell it like it is and if a company has great products but the people aren’t friendly it gets included in my write-up. For me it’s a package deal. If you have a good product but the person I email or talk to is arrogant or off putting it’s going to get included and I don’t purchase from those kind of companies. It’s how I am. You may disagree but that’s your opinion.
Second.. I am asked all the time to be a part of company affiliate programs. Are they great programs.. usually so.. Do I participate in them? No! You ask why? Affiliate programs are great for people that do reviews and want to make money at the same time. Would I like extra money in my pocket while doing reviews and would allow me to purchase more gear to review? Absolutely. So why not… Well.. In my opinion, if I am a part of an affiliate program if makes things a little grey.. Am I reviewing the gear for what it is or is my ability to make money sending you to buy that particular item clouding my judgement to a degree. Also.. what is the perception of those that are reading my reviews. Does the reader take what I say with a grain of salt and question if the product I give a glowing review for is truly that great because I am a part of their affiliate program? As you can see this is a little sticky to say the least. Hence the reason I kindly decline offers to be a part of affiliate programs and keep doing what I do without getting paid to sell something.
That’s it.. Short but sweet explanation of what I do, how I do it and how I can sleep at night knowing I am giving an honest review of a product. As always thanks for your support by reading and sending all your great messages and keep watching for more reviews.
I have Tenkara rods from a couple different companies and I have to say they are a joy to fish. Are tenkara rods for everyone… maybe not. But if you haven’t tried tenkara fishing you really should give it a shot.
So today we bring you a great option for backpackers or people that just don’t have space when they are trekking out to a stream. Introducing the Tenkara Rod Co. and their new rod – The Beartooth !
Hold up captain… so what is Tenkara fishing? Well if you are a fly fisherman and have been living under a rock let me give you what Tenkara Rod Co. quickly describes as tenkara fishing. – Tenkara is a simplified method of fly fishing that comes from Japan. With Tenkara, you use rod, line and fly. There is no reel. This is a fixed line style of fishing where you rely solely on the length of rod and line to reach your casting zone.
That should explain it and I have to say it’s fun and incredibly simplistic.
Now back to The Beartooth Tenkara Rod…
Background story of how the Tenkara Rod Co. started. Stolen from their website – Sorry Drew!! Lol
The founders of Tenkara Rod Co. are Drew and Tuna. Drew spent 6 years of his life in Japan and has always had an affinity for Japanese culture, and Tuna had been an avid fly fisherman since he first discovered it. When the two friends came together with this idea for a company built around the Japanese method of fly fishing it just made so much sense.
Tenkara Rod Co. was born on Kickstarter 7 years ago with our first project for the Teton and Sawtooth rods. Since then, we have done multiple other kickstarter projects and shipped tens of thousands of Tenkara rods all over the world. We definitely love to fish, but we also really enjoy helping other people to get outside and enjoy nature through Tenkara fishing.
As you can see Drew and Tuna like the Kickstarter path and the new Beartooth rod heads down the same path. This is now their 5th Kickstarter so they know what they are doing and as with most Kickstarters this is an opportunity to get an awesome product earlier than it hits the shelves.
From the Tenkara Site again….
Five years ago we released the Mini Sawtooth and Mini Teton rods. They were our original pocket rods. At 8ft and 12ft people always asked us what the difference was. In an effort to make things less confusing we took elements from each of those rods and combined them into The Beartooth. At 10ft. in length, The Beartooth is a perfect balance of our older rods, and is now our go to mini rod.
This is our fifth Kickstarter campaign. So by now we have experiences all of the challenges that come with running a kickstarter project and how to overcome them. We have been manufacturing Tenkara rods for 7 years now and we are confident that we can deliver a quality product on time. We have been testing and using this rod for over a year now and we are definitely ready to bring this to market.
Let’s look at the package options for The Beartooth…
The link to the Kickstarter is below and by looking at the page.. For a goal of $10,000 and pledged to date of $42,256 that should tell you something. PEOPLE LOVE THE TENKARA ROD CO!! And.. They want the new Beartooth rod!! So get over to Kickstarter and reserve yours today. I am!!
Video about the Beartooth Tenkara Rod below.. Give it a watch and click the K in the top left corner to direct you to the Kickstarter website dedicated to The Beartooth.
I am a huge fan of Drew and his company so give them a shot.. You won’t be disappointed.
Good afternoon and I hope everyone is getting through this amazingly stressful time. In an effort to keep busy I have been reaching out to some amazing people that produce some amazing gear and as we all know their business depends on people and most of those people are stuck inside their homes. For the most part we can’t get out doing what we love… fly fishing, backpacking, camping, etc.. but we can still support them. Over the next week or so I am going to be bringing you one or more quick write-up about these people so make sure you check in each day to see who has been spotlighted.
This is also a great time to go through all your gear, donate the items you don’t use anymore and support these companies and individuals by buying some cool new gear you will be using in the near future.
I will get this started tomorrow and some of the names are:
Everyone needs sunglasses.. Not sure people that fish but EVERYONE!! When I’m looking for glasses I have a few things I have to check on my list to fit my needs.
Are they polarized
Do they have a decent amount of style to them
Do they block the sun from burning my retinas!!
and lastly… DO THEY FLOAT ??
When I first started talking to Rheos I was skeptical if a pair of sunglasses that were $55 would meet my needs and have any quality at all. And.. floating is a huge must for me being not only a fisherman but also an every weekend lake person.
Order was placed for a couple pair of Rheos glasses and I chose to go with the Bahias model. They fit the look I wanted and were at a great price point – $55.
The two pair of glasses arrived and came in a cool package.. At the end of the day this isn’t a must for me. I opened the box and inside were both pair of glasses and in a standard bag.
After getting the glasses out of their bag I looked them over and they are truly a good quality pair of glasses. Especially at a price point barely north of $50. The next test.. Do they actually float? THEY ABSOLUTELY DO!!
Let’s back up.. Yes floating glasses are nice but there is a backstory why floating is a must.. As I said earlier I am an every weekend lake person. I am on docks, boats and in the water constantly and in the sun where sunglasses are a must. three years ago I was floating in the water with a large group, wearing my Oakley prescription sunglasses.. Someone decided it was a great idea to push my head under in their stupid drunken state and what happened? Yes my glasses were ripped from my face and before I knew it at the bottom of the lake. Now you know why floating in a must have in a pair of glasses I own.
I couldn’t be happier with my Rheos glasses as they definitely check every box on my needs list.
Enough of my stories.. Let’s go over some information about Rheos glasses and in particular the Bahias (Sport) I own. As usual when I do a review I steal content from the actual website of the product and this review is no different. Why would I try to describe the features of a product when the company has done a good job themselves… So here we go and thanks to Lejend and the Rheos team!!
About The Bahias
Polarized Floating Sunglasses – Bahias
The Bahias frame is dedicated to one of the best kitesurfing locations in the western hemisphere, Bahia Salinas in Costa Rica (though we may be a little bias because that is where our team first learned to kitesurf so many years ago). The mini sport-style frame is perfect if you are looking for a smaller fit of an athletic style, complete with full-wrap for wind protection.
Nylon is the biggest innovation in eyewear since polarization. The science behind our new Nylon Optics collection means every fisher, boater, surfer and mermaid-in-disguise will have clear vision on the water without any optical distortion. And unlike heavy, bulky shades, our lightweight floating frames will never sink.
Beginning in 2020, all Rheos shades will be outfitted with the latest innovation in sunglass technology: Nylon Optics. These lenses are clearer than glass and light enough to be the most comfortable sunglasses you’ve ever worn. This technology allows us to develop optics of the highest quality and class at an accessible price point like no one else in the world.
How Do They Float?
The basic principles of buoyancy apply: when an object displaces water, the heavier of the two sink. Meaning, if 2 oz. of water is displaced and the water weighs just barely more than the object, then the water sinks and the object floats. With that in mind, our frames are made of the highly durable and ultra-lightweight specialty Nylon material. These frames weigh approximately 30% less than similar sunglasses moulded in polycarbonate, all while maintaining a hyper-durable structure to ensure comfort for long-term wear and floating capability. Because our shades weigh less and displace the same amount of water as standard frames, ours float while theirs sink.
How Do Polarized Lenses Work?
Light is made up of waves traveling in different directions. Vertical light is useful to the human eye; it helps us see. But when light strikes a flat surface, such as a lake, snow, or even your car or boat windshield, it changes to horizontal light and creates a glare. Polarized sunglasses block horizontal light, so you don’t see the glare. And nobody likes glare. It’s just about that simple.
And.. there is a lot more information on the Rheos website.. Below is a link to check out and better understand how they make their glasses and explaining the features. I have to admit.. I actually learned things about sunglasses that I didn’t know just from reading this page. Truly great information!
+ Sport frame shades for men and women + Polarized NYLON lenses as clear as glass + 100% UV protection and polarization + Long-lasting comfort with featherlight frames + Floatable design for life on the water + Outstanding impact and scratch resistance + Backed by our Saltwater Promise Designed with love in Charleston, South Carolina.
Did you know? A portion of your purchase will go directly to nonprofit organizations that defend our coastlines and waterways.
**NOTE** It should’t have to be said but I will say it anyway.. I picked up the Bahias as they filled what I needed in a pair of sunglasses. Obviously Rheos has far more models than the Bahias.. Below is a link to the page of different models they offer.
And.. Not only do they offer sunglasses for adults they have a kids line as well! AWESOME!!
Lastly let’s give you a little background on Rheos Nautical Eyewear. From the Rheos website (again!)
Our story is the same as yours – We love life on the water.
The Rheos Story
Like you, we feel most at home when surfing, fishing, kayaking, you name it. If there is a body of water nearby, we’re there! But we want to be protected while we play.
Sun damage is up to four times more harmful when reflected off water’s surface, yet only half of Americans wear sunglasses when near a body of water. Why? Fear of damage, sinking or loss. We believe your sunglasses should protect you and not the other way around.
That’s why we designed the best sunglasses for the water. No more sinking, no more breakage. Just adventure.Since launching in 2016, we’ve grown a strong community of fishers, paddlers, surfers and mermaids-in-disguise.
Who We Are
We are paddlers, fishers, surfers, and mermaids-in-disguise. We didn’t just make floating sunglasses. We made the best sunglasses in the world… and then we made them float.
Our team is small but mighty. Based out of the coastal city of Charleston, SC, we need water to breathe.
The Rheos River
“No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.” – Heraclitus. Rheos is the Greek word for river current. Just like our brand philosophy, a river is constantly flowing, constantly changing, and most importantly, it carves its own path.
As a member of 1% for the Planet, we promise to give back at least 1% of our annual revenue to nonprofits that support environmental causes.
We partner with local groups to advocate for our waterways, and as a team we regularly volunteer to keep our beaches and marshes clean.
I know that was a lot of information but after using the Rheos sunglasses I am passionate about what they are all about and the products they are putting out there… Give them a try and I guarantee you won’t be disappointed!
Now I just need to get my hands on a few more pair! Next Up.. Maybe a pair of Coopers (Square) in Gunmetal Thermal and Waders in Gunmetal Gunmetal… As you can see there are a lot of options and I need more!!
In a short six days I’ll be driving to the airport with my lovely wife and will begin the long trek to Buenos Aires, Argentina. Leg one gets us to Dallas and then the long 11 hour overnight flight to Buenos Aires. Over the 10 days in Argentina there will be lots of steak and wine with fly fishing and a trip to the Polo Club. Should be a memorable time.
Check back for a few posts while we are down there. There will be a few fishing posts but we might sprinkle in a few posts about Buenos Aires in general to give people an idea of what can be seen and done in this cool city. So.. Let’s go over some of the details of the trip…
Lodging… Since we will be there for 10 days we have decided to split our time between two different hotels.
The Lodging– Two Amazing Places
Nights 1-4 we will be staying at the Fours Seasons Buenos Aires. Who wouldn’t want to stay at a cool place like that.
Nights 5-8 we will be at the Melia Recoleta Plaza. Another great looking hotel. We opted not to go for the rustic lodge feel this time around.
The Food – Meat, Meat and More Meatand Then Some Wine
The national dish of Argentina is Asados which is a variety of barbecued meats and then wash it down with a bottle or two of Malbec. One night we will be giving Las Nazarenas a try. From the many recommendations I have received this is the place to be. Mark it down!!
The Guide – The Man / The Myth / The Legend – Alejandro Pozzi
When traveling to a foreign country there is always a slight level of unknown you are dealing with and when fly fishing the need to find a great guide is incredibly important. So when I started my research of the best fly fishing guides in the Buenos Aires area everything kept coming back to Alejandro Pozzi… Initially I reached out to Alejandro and laid out what my plan was for the trip and that I would be doing gear reviews and he was 100% on board. I’ve never dealt with a guide that was more accommodating and willing to share information than Alejandro. The guy is absolutely solid in my books and I can’t wait to fish with him.
The Gear – Bring On The 8 Weights
As with any time you are on the water there are numerous pieces of gear you take and use but we are going to start with a quick look at the two fly rod/fly reel combos we are taking.
Combo 1 – Scott Tidal Fly Rod – 9′ 8 weight / Redington Behemoth 7/8 Reel / Rio Summer Redfish WF8F Fly Line
Combo 2 – Moonlit Lunar S-Glass 8’6″ 8wt Fiberglass Fly Rod / Big Y Fly Company – The General 7/8 Reel / Rio InTouch Big Nasty WF8F Fly Line
So we are taking a graphite rod and a fiberglass rods with two fairly similar reel types but different lines on each reel. Two totally different rod and reel setups and I would image will fish different as well.
Check back in a week for another post after we arrive in Buenos Aires, Argentina!!
If you have ever used a cooler for any length of time you know that the time is coming during the day that you are going to have melted ice/water in your cooler. And.. If you have food in the cooler you now might have soggy food. Why?? Because dumping ice into a cooler is a great idea until it starts to melt. The days of soggy food, drinks floating in melted ice water are over!
The Neatice bag is fairly simple and easy to use. Fill the bag with ice, secure the zip top closure, roll the top down and secure the first velcro strip then secure the second velcro strip.. And now you have a totally enclosed ice bag. Brilliant!!
So.. fast forward to the next day.. Now you have a bag full of water… Simply insert the included drain tube into the valve at the bottom of the bag and drain the water… Fill it back up and you are good to go again. Oh.. and just a reminder.. NOTHING IS WET IN YOUR COOLER!! It’s simply fill and drain and fill and drain.
Now let’s go over the length of time it stays cold.. Well.. that is going to depend on your cooler. I tested this in a Grizzly 165 quart cooler.. No it doesn’t fill the entire cooler. I am going to pick up a couple more just to be able to do a full cooler of the Neatice bags and review but so far I have to tell you I am truly sold on this ice bag. Back to length of time the bag holds ice… In all actuality it depends on the cooler you are using. Are you using a $500 Yeti or a cheap $25 Coleman. Yes it makes a difference. You aren’t going to buy these bags and throw them in your cheap cooler and extend your ice time for hours more. Nope.. these bags are going to extend your ice time a little but the real winner is you aren’t going to have sloshing water all over the place that got your food soggy.. These do exactly what they are supposed to.. KEEP THINGS DRY!
So.. you might be asking yourself.. Why don’t I just use large gallon size ziploc bags? Well you could do that but they will pop open and you are back where you started. I know personally this isn’t a great option. Regular Ziploc bags just don’t work like the Neatice bag..
Here’s a quick look at what is listed on the Neatice page.
Zipper: TPU(Thermoplastic Polyurethane) -BPA free, potable water safe, microbial resistant
Drain Hose: 10″ Silicone – BPA free, potable water safe, durable and flexible with on/off valve
Weight (with drain hose, empty) : 5.6 ounces
Dimensions (when full) : 15in x 9in x 6in
Capacity: up to 10 pounds of cubed ice
There are a couple of options to purchase.. You can pick them up on the Neatice website or on Amazon. Currently they are (1) $39.99, (2) $74.99 or (3) $99.99. If you have a large cooler pick up three of these bags and you won’t be sorry.
If you have any questions drop Scott a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.. Or you can give him a shout at 518-796-4817. Don’t worry.. He has that number listed on the website so I’m not giving out something he doesn’t want made public. The contact I have had with Scott has been exceptional.. He is incredibly responsive and open to answer any questions you have. He’s a solid dude…
I am going to stray for a second from my normal way of writing reviews because I want to give you some info on the two inventors/owners/outdoors folk at Neatice… There are times you run into a product and wonder who the heck came up with this brilliant thing so here you go.
We spend every moment of our free time in the outdoors and strive to maximize the enjoyment of that time. NeatIce was envisioned to save food, save water, and maximize the fun while eliminating the hassle of the common messy cooler problem.
Scott Kraeger is the inventor and designer of NeatIce and has been playing in the outdoors ever since he was knee high to a grasshopper. He grew up in the snow belt of Upstate New York and spent over 20 years as a forester in the Adirondack Mountains. He and his wife, Emily, and dog Moxie moved to Colorado in 2015 to enjoy all that the Rocky Mountains have to offer. He worked in the bicycle and outdoor sports industry for a few years before chasing his ultimate dream of developing a product in the outdoor sporting goods world that would truly solve a problem and add to outdoor enthusiasts overall good times.
Emily is the co-creator of NeatIce, a science professor and an enthusiastic outdoorswoman. Her training in the science of ecology has inspired and informed the role of NeatIce in conserving water and reducing food waste. She loves to cook creatively in the camp kitchen and develop delicious cocktails for apres adventures.
Moxie also enjoys all things in the natural world. Her favorite pastimes include playing ball, swimming, chewing sticks and chasing squirrels. When not playing in the great outdoors, Moxie can be found either barking at the mailman or holding down the couch at NeatIce HQ.
So jump on their website and pick up a product that will say goodbye to soggy food and floating drinks. You won’t be disappointed!!
After a few weeks off for planning and communicating with our gear partners. We have compiled a list of some really cool items we are going to start writing about. So be watching the site…
In addition to awesome outdoor gear reviews we will be heading out on our annual gear review trips. The calendar of trips is coming together with our first in three weeks. We will be heading to beautiful Argentina to chase big Golden Dorado. Stay Tuned!
Also… we are working on a podcast concept that we think is very unique and a far cry from most of the boring monotone podcasts out there. It’s still in the beginning planning stage but we hope to have it ready to go sooner than later.
Thanks as always for following us and if you have an idea about a review or know of an outdoor piece of gear you think would make for a good review drop us a line. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
When camping and you are able to pull your vehicle up to the campsite the thought probably doesn’t cross your mind about the weight of your camp chair.. but food those that are having to carry their chair either in a pack pack or strapped to them somewhere weight is a huge concern. Today we are looking at a multitude of chair and sit pad options that are out there for those that need to keep it light..
As a side note.. My backside has graced nearly every one of these chairs at my local REI or Backwoods stores and all of them do the job they were made to do and that’s give you a place to get up off the ground. Sadly this is one area that some don’t think about and they get to camp and see everyone sitting in their comfortable chairs and they have the luxury of pulling a log or rock up to the campfire. Yes, I know some love the thought of sitting on a big hunk of wood or rock but for me I would rather have a chair and I am willing to add a little weight to my pack to have that comfort later. But.. to each his own.
So here we go with some chair and sit pad options for those that don’t want to sit on the ground, log or rock.
First up is the REI Co-Op Flexlite Air Chair. Priced at $99.99 the Air Chair is a quick set up chair that has an aluminum frame much like a tent. Think lightweight poles… The seat is made from a ripstop nylon and is water repellant os it easily repels water and anything else you might spill on it while around the campfire. The Flexlite Air Chair folds up to 5”x16” and can be stored in the stuff sack that is included. Here’s the great part.. This chair only weight 1 pound with a weight capacity of 250 pounds. Absolutely impressive. Yes, I know the chair costs $100 and some would rather drop their rears on the ground of a rock instead of pay $100 for a chair but in my opinion the comfort is what I’m looking at and it weighs near nothing. The chair comes in three color options – Orange, Black and White.. The REI Co-op Flexlite Air Chair is a fantastic option.
A relative of the Flexlite Air Chair is the REI Co-op Flexlite Chair. Nope.. No Air in the name of this chair which means it’s heavier.. Not by a huge amount but it is heavier. Compared to the Air Chair the regular Flexlite Chair weighs 1 pound 12 ounces. Typically this chair retails for $79.95 and for me adding $20 to the purchase is worth dropping almost half of a chairs weight but currently the REI Co-op Flexlite Chair has been dropped to $59.93 which really makes you think. Near half the price of it’s lighter family member but almost near double the weight.. Hmmm. Makes you wonder which way you should go. The chair folds down to a 4.5” x 15” package and fits in the included stuff sack and has a weight capacity just like the Air Chair of 250 pounds. Sitting in both there really isn’t much of a difference so it comes down to price and weight between these two chairs. 1 pound and $99.99 for the Flexlite Air Chair and 1 pound 12 ounces and $59.93 for the Flexlite Chair.. You decide what works for you and budget.
One of the pricier chair options in the review is the Helinox Chair Zero. With a price take of $119.99 it’s a little higher than the Air Chair but weighs the same light 1 pound. Folded dimensions are 13.8” x 3.9” x 3.9”, so it’s a little smaller than the Air Chair and a little easier to pack away. Not much but to give it credit it is smaller. The seat sits 11” off the ground and also made with an aluminum frame and weight capacity is 265 pounds. Like the others, the Chair Zero comes with a stuff sack for easy storage. For those that are truly backpacking in to a remote location and want the luxury of a chair this may be your option. Smaller packed size with a crazy low 1 pound overall weight and will hold up 265 pounds.. this chair may be the perfect chair for those that don’t care about dropping $120 on a camp chair. And… It’s very comfortable!
Next Up -Another Helinox chair – The Helinox Chair One. Priced at $99.95 this chair is $20 cheaper than it’s sister the chair zero but it also weighs in at 2 pounds. Double the weight for a drop in price of $20. Doesn’t seem like a great deal to me. Packing down to a size of 13.8” x 3.9” x 4.7” it’s slightly larger than the Chair Zero but did I mention it’s double the weight?? Like all the other chairs listed above I have sat in this one and it’s comfortable but no more comfortable than any of the others. The only thing and I mean only thing this has that the others don’t is a weight capacity of 320 pounds. So if you need a chair that can hold over 300 pounds and still stay around 2 pounds this may be the chair for you. Other than the added weight capacity this chair makes no sense to me. If you are truly backpacking and trying to shave off as much weight as you can spend the extra $20 and get a Helinox Chair Zero over the Chair One. Easy decision…… and those colors. Ouch!!!
The Big Agnes Skyline UL Chair.. Weighing in at 1 pound 12 ounces it’s a light chair but just not as light as a couple others. But still light for anyone looking for a good solid camp chair option. Packing down to 3.5” x 17” it will easily pack down to a size you need to either include in your pack or attache to the upside. Now.. in my opinion this chair is the most comfortable out of all the chairs reviewed here. It just has a different feel to it. I’m not sure if it’s because it feels like you are more laid back or what. It’s just different. I really like this chair and at under 2 pounds it’s a great choice. Frame like the others is made from an ultralight aluminum and the weight limit comes in at 275 pounds. Plenty for most people out on the trail. If you need more than 275 – The Helinox Chair One is the chair for you. Price for the Big Agnes Skyline UL Chair is $109.95 so a little higher than some of the other options but a great chair in my opinion. Two Thumbs Up From Me !! And…. I love the yellow color option.
The little sister to the Big Agnes Skyline UL Chair is the Big AgnesSkyline UL Stool. For those that don’t need a full size chair and just need something small maybe the stool is what fits your needs. Coming in at 1 pound 4 ounces it is surprisingly heavy for a stool but still light when it comes to carrying it around. Packed down size is 3.5” x 12” so it’s small… really small. Weight capacity of 250 pounds and like the others the frame is a lightweight aluminum. This is one of the few options in the review that I have not sat on. It was out of stock when I made my trek to my local REI. Maybe that means something… Priced at $79.95 it’s budget friendly compared to some of the other light weight options in the review but remember.. It’s a stool not a chair so if you lean back you are in for a fall… Color options like the chair – Black or Yellow
As you know there are a lot of chair options out there and we just brought you a few really good options of lightweight chairs with large weight capacities, that pack down small and don’t break the bank. Now we are going to look at a few seat pads.. For those that don’t have a problem sitting on the ground or wherever you can lay these pads out. They obviously won’t be as comfortable as a chair but they pack down to near nothing and weight far less than a chair. It comes down to what do you want to carry with you compared to comfort and price. So here we go….
The first one we are going to look at is made by the ever popular company – Therma-A-Rest. With a recognizable like they have it’s near guaranteed you will be getting a good product. The Therma-A-Rest Z-Seat Pad. I’m not sure how many products out there can boast they have three hyphens in their name… If you are looking for unique you might have found it with the three hyphen sit pad. Your friends will be envious. Their chair or pad probably at best has one hyphen… Sorry.. Back to the pad.. The Z-Seat Pad weighs an astonishing 2 ounces. For everyone highly concerned about weight I’m not sure 2 ounces can even be felt much when backpacking so this may be your option. Packed size is 12” x 2.75” x 2.5” so it’s amazing small. Small, light closed cell foam with a aluminized coating makes this pad a great choice for the camp. The pad as said before has an aluminized coating which adds warmth when resting on rocks or logs. Accordion design allows the seat to full up to an incredibly small size. And the best part… The price tag is $14.95… This is a great option if you want something that will take the edge off but not make you haul a packed down chair around with you. And at 2 ounces what else needs to be said…
Next up is the REI Co-op Sit Pad.. Weighing in at 4.4 ounces it’s another super lightweight option for sitting around camp. Unlike the Z-Seat Pad this sit pad inflates with a small valve on the side. If you own a sleeping pad this is the same concept. Inflate, sit, deflate, roll up and shove it in the included stuff sack and you are ready to go. Packed size is 3.5” x 8” and when open it is 16.5” x 12” x 1.5” so plenty of room to sit on when something basic is needed. Like the Z-Seat the price is highly attractive as well at $19.95. Just as a side note.. This sit pad gets mixed reviews. Some people love it and some hate it but at $20 it doesn’t hurt to give it a try. If you are one of those people that it doesn’t meet your needs throw it in a closet and know you are only out $20. Not as painful as finding out you don’t like a $120 chair.
And Lastly….. The REI Co-op Flash Sit Pad. Better reviews than the regular sit pad but slightly heavier this sit pad might be a good option. This sit pad has polyester and Mylar insulation layers which help retain heat and like the other pad this one inflates with a valve quickly. In addition to being a sit pad this pad can roll up and snap forming a lumbar or sleeping pillow. Killing two birds with one stone and all for a low price of $24.95. Higher than the other sit pad options but multi-use makes it worth the extra possibly to some? Some specs for the pad – weight 3 ounces, packed size of 2.5” x 5” and when inflated it expands to 16” x 11” x 1.5”.
This is obviously not an exhaustive list of sitting options out there but these are a few great options for those that are needing to pack in a chair or sit pad. All decently priced with lightweight numbers you really can’t go wrong with anything we reviewed. I would suggest heading over to REI or whatever outdoor store you shop at and sit in them to see what you like. For those that shop online.. Close your eyes and point at the screen. You can’t go wrong with any of them.