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The new Garmin inReach SE+ (yellow) and Explorer+ (orange) are best described as conventional handheld GPS units with satellite text messaging.

Preview: New Garmin inReach SE+ and Explorer+

The new inReach SE+ and inReach Explorer+ were announced days after the New Year, immediately prior to the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Last week I was able to inspect them first-hand and discuss them with representatives at Outdoor Retailer (OR). The original manufacturer of the inReach, DeLorme, was purchased by Garmin a year ago. So […]

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Cork is my preferred grip material, but foam is okay, too. More importantly, they have extension grips.

Lust: Black Diamond Vapor Carbon 1 Poles

I generally recommend telescopic poles like the Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork (long-term review) and Cascade Mountain Tech Quick Lock (long-term review) because they are: Convenient for air-travel; Easily stow-able on the outside of a backpack, for extended talus scrambles; and, Adjustable, and therefore can fit different family members, can be used for different outdoor activities (e.g. […]

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The Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR, which has an optical wrist-based heart rate monitor. Sorry for the file photo -- I forgot to snag a photo during my press meeting with them.

Preview: Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR, plus Ambit development plans

Suunto had one major product release, the Spartan Sport Wrist HR. And I learned of future development plans (or, more accurately, non-plans) for the Ambit collection. Spartan Sport Wrist HR The first GPS sport watch with a wrist-based heart rate monitor was the Garmin Fenix 3 HR, which was announced 12 months ago. But according […]

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The 5X has an over-sized full-color display with pre-loaded 100k-scale topographic maps.

Preview: Garmin Fenix 5, 5S, and 5X (with maps!) GPS sport watches

The fourth generation of Garmin’s Fenix GPS sport watch will replace the current Garmin Fenix 3 and Fenix 3 HR. Release date is March 2017. There will be three models: the Fenix 5S, 5, and 5X. You might be asking, What happened to the Fenix 4? The rep did not go into details, but referenced (completely seriously) the […]

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The Black Diamond Spot is a solid all-around headlamp. It's bright, lightweight, versatile, and reasonably priced.

Review: Black Diamond Spot Headlamp || Bright, lightweight, reasonably priced

While in the headlamp aisle at the local REI last summer, I wondered if other customers felt fortunate for the recent advances in LED technology. The three models I was deliberating between were all less expensive, lighter weight, longer lasting, and brighter (by several factors) than the lights I had used for my thru-hikes in the 2000’s and […]

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