Reviews by Team: Outdoor gear
Bad weather you say? Just a matter of gear.
These are perfectly ordinary disposable handwarmers. Nothing wrong about them per se.
In and out of the packet (Own work. License: CC-BY-SA.)
Except with the marketing, of course. They claim that these last for 12 hours. Maybe with a precise thermometer you might detect some faint memory of heat radiating from these after 12h, but in practice these become useless at around 6 hours, that is the normal time for other brands as well.
So these warmers are no worse than others, but doubling the time claim is just cheating the customer. I recommend supporting a vendor with more realistic claims.
This is a down insulated air sleeping mat for colder times.
The pack is not too massive for a winter sleeping pad, and it comes with a good looking repair kit. (Own work. License: CC-BY-SA.)
With an R-value of 5, this sleeping pad is good well below freezing temps. Tested at around -7C, though not directly on snow. Slept well, so the essentials are in check.
The mat opened but not filled. The stuff sack doubles as a “wind sock” pump. (Own work. License: CC-BY-SA.)
My only complaints are with the stuff sack. It’s possible to roll the mat and get in that way, but in practice this is really hard with your fingers numb. I would recommend just stuffing the mat into the sack.
As is visible above, the sack also works as a pump. It’s nice that you don’t have to buy it separately, but it’s also not as good as a traditionally shaped pump sack. Gets the mat filled though.
All in all this is a decent winter sleeping mat.
This is a collapsible plastic trowel for digging… umm… holes to the ground for you know what when you’re backpacking.
The trowel in it’s extended form. (Credit: Sea To Summit. Fair use.)
Does it work?
Yes, it digs a hole and packs pretty small. This is also a pretty handy thing for shoveling snow to your pot when you’re melting drinking water in the winter.
Is it good?
I wouldn’t go so far. The collapsible structure is not very tight, aka it clatters cheaply. Same thing with the handle container lid.
This will do but I would recommend checking out other options as well. For example, there’s an aluminum version of this as well. Maybe that would feel like a proper trowel? Or something else entirely.
This is a sleeping bag liner. Given that Sea To Summit makes excellent sleeping bags, one would expect their liners to fit in perfectly, but unfortunately this isn’t the case.
The liner and it’s stuff bag. (Own work. License: CC-BY-SA.)
For a longer person this is just too short. The 2 dimensional hood flap will escape from under your head when twisting and turning in the bag. There really should be a 3D sewn hood for it to stay in place (+ a little longer overall).
The bad hood is really a bummer because it’s precisely the head that usually exerts the most dirt to the sleeping bag.
The lower parts of the liner are ok. It also packs into a really small pouch. Gets all crumbled up as you can see in the picture, but who cares.
This isn’t all terrible, but as it’s also quite pricey, try to find something else.
This is a small camping lantern for lighting your tent (or whatever really). It’s small in size and the light is bright enough for most uses, while also being dimmable. Positioning is really easy, as it has hooks and magnets in the bottom. It’s also water resistant.
There are also other versions than this R+ but I wouldn’t recommend them, as they can’t be charged with a USB. Speaking of which, it’s a bit embarrassing that the USB in use is of the outdated micro variety and not USB-C.
You can set the lantern to any color, which in my opinion is just spurious. Unnecessary complexity that’s introduced just as a marketing “advantage”. Because of this it’s also a bit overpriced.
The big button controls brightness while the small one operates color. (Credit: Black Diamond. Fair use.)
This is a good lantern which has pretty much all the features you’d want, and some useless extra too. It’s not perfect but I would still recommend this product. It’s also widely available around the globe.