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40L volume at capacity, next to a BV500 bear canister (11 liters)

Reader question: Is the Flex Capacitor Pack appropriate for a thru-hike?

From Lisa K.: For two reasons I wanted to share my answer to this reader question. First, I have not yet addressed the appropriateness of the Sierra Designs Flex Capacitor 40-60 Pack for thru-hiking, and I probably should. Second, it gives me an opportunity to discuss the specific needs of thru-hikers in regards to backpack selection. Appropriateness for thru-hiking […]

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Screenshots of the inReach+ weather forecast tool

inReach+ U/I and features || Topo NA, test tool, quick type & weather

The $400 and $450 retail prices on the new Garmin inReach SE+ and Garmin inReach Explorer+ probably causes many prospective customers to balk. Like the second-generation inReach units, the inReach+ models can send and receive text messages and emergency signals even if outside of cellular range. But the inReach+ units are more than just that. They […]

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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.

12 FAQ’s: inReach SE+ & Explorer+ || Incl, Will old devices be serviced?

My earlier preview of the new Garmin inReach SE+ and Explorer+ prompted as many reader questions as it sought to answer. So I followed up with Garmin to dive deeper into technical matters, clarify product functionality, and discuss future product roll-outs. If you’re not yet familiar with the inReach+ units, read the preview first, then return […]

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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+

Garmin announced two new inReach devices shortly after the New Year, immediately prior to the Consumer Electronics Show (CES): inReach SE+ inReach Explorer+ 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 the inReach+ […]

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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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