Top

Archive | Gear Reviews

Wear of the front-most knobs, probably due to extensive climbing.

Review: Salewa Lite Train Trail Running Shoes

Since sharing my early impressions about the Salewa Lite Train last month, I’ve logged many more miles in them, 140 and counting. For product specs, more photos, shoe comparisons, and less informed insight, refer to my first post. Now, though, it’s time for a full-on review. The Salewa Lite Train retails for $130. They are available […]

Continue Reading
salewa-lite-train-outsole

Early impressions: Salewa Lite Train Trail Running Shoe

Update (June 15, 2016): Also read my full review. Earlier this year Salewa launched its “Mountain Training” category with three distinct models for trail running and hiking. The Lite Train is the most minimal of the bunch, but most definitely still shares hallmarks of Salewa footwear, like robust design and impeccable construction. I will eventually write […]

Continue Reading
Goat Crest Saddle, the final of many passes on a thru-hike of the Kings Canyon High Basin Route

Long-term review: Sierra Designs Long-Sleeve Pack Polo

It’s back! After it was disappointingly dropped for the 2015 season, the Sierra Designs Long-Sleeve Pack Polo is in stock again, creating the perfect opportunity for a review. This is my go-to shirt for 3-season backpacking in sun-blessed locations like the Rockies, Sierra Nevada, and Southwest. Its optimal conditions: Daytime high temperatures above about 55 degrees F Abundant sunshine No or low bug pressure A […]

Continue Reading
Top: The stock locking mechanism, which is prone to failure. Bottom: My inexpensive solution, using a #10-32 nylon locking nut and washer.

Long-term Review: Cascade Mountain Tech Quick Lock Poles | Two design flaws + solutions

This summer I used the Cascade Mountain Tech Quick Lock Trekking Poles (short-term review) on two significant outings, in addition to some local day-hikes: a 10-day thru-hike of the Kings Canyon High Basin Route, and an 8-day yo-yo of Wyoming’s Wind River Range, including a northbound thru-hike of the Wind River High Route. The cumulative […]

Continue Reading
The SPOT Gen3 Satellite GPS Messenger. The $150 device weighs 4 oz (with batteries) and can send 1-way emergency and non-emergency messages.

Long-term Review: SPOT Gen3 Satellite GPS Messenger

My mother has requested only once that I buy an outdoor product. It wasn’t an uber warm sleeping bag, a highly engineered stove, or a rain jacket that was guaranteed to keep me dry. No, it was a SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger. She was not shy about her motivations. While a messenger would allow me […]

Continue Reading
Foam is the second best grip material, behind cork but ahead of plastic and rubber. The extension grips are key -- I use them regularly on steep climbs and sidehills.

Review: Cascade Mountain Tech Quick Lock Trekking Poles | Shockingly awesome performance for $30

Update, November 11 2015:  Also read my long-term review. Two months ago at the local Costco I bought Cascade Mountain Tech Quick Lock Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles. They are also available from Amazon (go here) with Prime shipping. At a minimum, I thought they would be useful for visiting family and friends. At best, I hoped […]

Continue Reading