Outdoor Gear

SurvivalStrap, Always There When You Need It Review

As a firefighter, I’m always looking for “gear” that keeps me safe.  It’s especially nice to find a piece of equipment that I can carry both at work and at home.  My rescue tool, for example, never leaves my pocket.  It’s a versatile piece of hardware that I use almost every day, sometime to free an injured patient from their seat belt, other times to cut the blister pack off of one of my daughter’s newest toys. When I saw the SurvivalStraps web site I immediate thought, “now there’s something that might come in handy no matter where I am.”…


Enjoy a Sand-Free Campsite With the CGear Multimat

Anyone who has ever tried to camp where there is sand knows that it is nearly impossible to not track those demonic little grains into your tent or worse — into your sleeping bag. It’s just as bad at the beach, when you are trying to tan without wearing half the beach on your lower legs. CGear has a solution which they say will eliminate the problem – their Multimat. “The CGear Multimat was originally designed as a deployable helimat to eliminate dirt, dust and debris from being kicked up by the helicopters rotors when landing. The product was so…


Review: i1015 iPhone and iPod touch case from Pelican.

Allow me to set the scene. You’re sitting on the beach in a faraway tropical location sipping on a fancy frozen drink, while listening to tunes streaming from your iPod touch which is resting gently on your towel. Looks good right? That is until the family of six comes marching by with a horde of beach toys, chairs, karts, umbrellas etc. kicking sand all over your precious Apple product along the way. Pelican has been in the business of protecting gizmos and gadgets for over 20 years. Their heavy-duty cases our industry known as ones that offer the maximum amount…


Review: Tom Bihn Synapse

Tom Bihn is a company I have been following for a while now, ever since Judie reviewed the Aeronaut when she was still at The Gadgeteer.  Tom Bihn is not only based right here in the United States, they make their bags in the US, which is a rarity among bag manufacturers.  When Tom Bihn let me know about their new Synapse backpack, I jumped at a chance to review it. The exterior of the Synapse I was sent is made with Indigo colored 1000 denier U.S. Cordura, and the backpack is lined with Solar Dyneema/nylon rip-stop fabric.  The Syapse is…


Coghlan’s Magnesium Firestarter Review

I really liked the Flint Striker from Coghlan’s I reviewed in September.  It works really well but sometimes you need a little more.  The Magnesium Firestarter from Coghlan’s not only gets the spark you need, but also provides you some tinder that burns a little hotter than dryer lint.


SCOTTEVEST Evolution Travel Jacket Review

I was a big fan of SCOTTEVEST’s technology enabled clothing long before I began writing for tech sites. It just appealed to my inner geek. I got one of their classic vests, as well as their mid-weight jackets, long before most people had heard of the company and wore them for years. Those jackets were among some of the earlier designs Scott and Co. offered but were already highly functional. I had not, however, seen any of the more recent designs other than through occasionally browsing the online catalog and posting news on Gear Diary. Judie was sent one of…


Review: Icon Rogue 2 LED Flashlight

Not all flashlights are created equal.  Back in 1979, Anthony Maglica created Maglite.   Maglite is the bar where all flashlights are measured, for me.  Almost nothing could top it back then.  Well, Paul Kim, the designer of the Icon Rogue series of flashlights may be the new Anthony Maglica.  The Icon Rogue 2 is the best flashlight I have come across in all of my LED flashlight reviews I have done.   It is that good.


Tent stake with built-in LED light makes late night tent setups a snap

This orange stake looks like any other tent peg. Look closer and you’ll find that there’s a white LED lamp built into the side. Powered by 4 LR41 batteries (included) this peg will help you survive those hurried late night tent setups by illuminating the ground. The manufacturer claims the light will run for up to 5 hours on one set of batteries. Lighted Tent Peg – $3.72


Review: Coghlan’s Flint Striker

From the days of the cave man, starting fires has long been something man has struggled with.  The Coghlan’s Flint Striker which is a twist  on a fire-starting technology that is almost as old as time.  Even with today’s more modern technology, you  still might want to use one of these instead of matches or butane lighters. Coghlan’s Flint Striker is a rod made of magnesium with a striker attached with a piece of cord.  It is simple to operate.  You just take the striker and hold it in one hand with the word UP facing the top of the…


Review: Life+Gear 6IN1DC Flashlight

It never fails.  The power goes out in the middle of the night and your flash light is out of batteries.  Now that we are getting to the heart of the hurricane season, before the next storm hits maybe you should  get your family a Life+Gear 6IN1DC. The 6IN1DC is touted as a quad power device. The device can run on 3 AAA Batteries,  a DC Adapter (not included), an AC Adapter (also not included) and backup power. 


Spyderco Native Pocket Knife Review

Every year my family takes a week long vacation to visit my mother at her cabin in Maine.  We make it a habit of passing through Freeport, Maine on the way up to her house each year.  Freeport is not only is the home of L.L. Bean but it’s also the home to one of my favorite knife shops, the Freeport Knife Co. I am a collector of pocket knives and I carry one almost all the time either in my pants pocket or my turnout gear.  It’s a tool I end up using several times a day be it…


Gorillatorch: Coming to a Dark Room Near You

I am a huge fan of the Joby Gorillapod, a fantastically flexible mini tripod.  It is one of my favorite gadgets for my camera.  Well, now the good folks at Joby have brought the latest in the Gorilla line, the Gorillatorch.  This is an ultra-bright light, mounted atop the same three flexible legs as the Gorillapod.  At the end of those legs are magnetic feet, which allow you to position the light wherever you need it most.  This would be the perfect solution for workshops, autoshops, and even camping.  Hit the jump for the full press release.


Little Tool That Packs a Big Punch

I’ve been using the Leatherman Skeletool CX for the last year or so.  It goes with me everywhere I go.  I thought it was light weighing in at a mere 5 ounces.  Now Leatherman has one-upped themselves again with the release of the Freestyle CX. This little knife/tool hybrid is packing one heck of a material list. To start, the Leatherman Freestyle CX features DLC coating for scratch and corrosion resistance, making it great for those adventures that really put your gear to the test. Next the premium 154CM knife blade holds its edge three-times as long as traditional stainless…


Review: Coghlan’s Camper’s Kit

It’s May, which mean’s it’s off to camp soon for my son and me as we had to Camp Pilgrim Hills with my son’s class for an adventure in Nature’s Classroom.  One thing we always pick up is water bottles, ponchos and a new first aid kit, because we usually have lost or broken the water bottle, torn the poncho and used the first aid kit. Coghlan’s has come up with a unique package that lets me pick up some of the stuff I need in one shot;  I am talking about Coghlan’s Camper’s Kit in a Bottle. The water…


Review: Kuru Footwear

I am a avid walker and hiker.  Sometimes I will choose to walk when I would normally drive, even if I have to take a empty backpack along to carry my purchases.  Because I walk a lot, I always buy good shoes, which is why I jumped at a chance to check out these interesting shoes. Kuru Footwear gets its name from Kuru, Finland, which is an outdoor destination in Finland known for eco-tourism, environmental conservation, and many other outdoor pursuits.  The company was started by a group of young and passionate lovers of the outdoors who wanted to make…


Review: SmartShield Sunscreen and Insect Repellant

Have you ever had a bug problem and a problem with the sun at the same time?  This happens often when you’re on a camping trip or at an amusement park.  In the past, you had to slather on sunscreen and then spray some insect repellent.  It was a messy and goopy process, and sometimes you would still be swarmed by bugs or burnt to a crisp; not any more. SmartShield isn’t the first combination sunscreen and insect repellent, but it’s one of the best smelling ones I have tried.  I have used Sawyer’s SunBlock with insect repellent, and while…



Review: Coghlan’s 0.5 W LED Headlight

After writing the review for the Coghlan’s LED Micro Lantern, Coghlan’s offered to send me 2 new LED headlights to review.  Today I am going to take a look at the 0.5 Watt LED Headlight from Coghlan’s. The wattage of this headlight is serious. If you need to be able to see anywhere you point your head at night, then you should get this light.


Review: Coghlan’s LED Micro Lantern

Back in the day, about 20 years ago when I was in Boy Scouts, options for a lightweight lantern were rare;  you either took along a big fluorescent lantern or a propane lantern. Lanterns are better than flashlights because they provide a circle of light around your entire work area instead of just one spot. When car camping, this isn’t a huge issue, but if you’re a backpack-style camper, you’ve probably had to live with a flashlight only…not any more.