12/20/16

Camp Maid Charcoal Chimney (First Impressions)

Recently I acquired this new folding Charcoal Chimney.  It is the first of its kind, its very surprising that no one has made a folding chimney before. It fits in a standard 12 inch dutch oven and is very compact in comparison to its counter parts. I am going to go over the features then the experience I’ve had so far.

_mg_6795

  • Rapidly heats charcoal for immediate outdoor cookingNo matter what kind of BBQ you use, charcoal takes too long to get hot. The Charcoal Chimney’s unique air funnel design sucks up air, which is equally effective in strong windy environments allowing you to heat charcoal anywhere outdoors. The airflow creates a quick surge of powerful hot flames contained safely in the device, allowing you to start cooking much quicker. 
  • PortableThe highly efficient design is a single lightweight piece that easily opens and snaps into place, and folds down to store inside your 12” Dutch oven. This is especially important for reducing the amount of gear you have to pack for outdoor cooking.
  • VersatileThe Charcoal Chimney can be used with any BBQ or grill, and it especially compliments the CampMaid Complete Outdoor Cooking System tools.
  • Heats 40 Charcoal BriquettesWhile the Charcoal Chimney is compact and portable, it still heats up to 40 charcoal briquettes.
  • Heat-safe HandleMany outdoor cooking products can be dangerous and cause burns so the heat-safe handle helps protect while being easy to hold, handle and manage – ultimately reducing the risk of injury around flames.
  • Cools down fastThe Charcoal Chimney cools down quickly after use allowing you to pack and store quickly

This was really easy to use. It is super portable and really well designed. I really liked the integration of the charcoal holder, this allowed it not to get any mess on the charcoal ash everywhere. Its really easy to unfold and use. This size is really great for cooking with one dutch oven, if your cooking with a few and you’re wanting to get lots of charcoals ready this might not be the best for you. But if you are looking for portability then this is a great choice.

This is being rolled out in a kickstarter campaign check it out at this link

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2081385079/campmaid-charcoal-chimney-quickest-way-to-get-bbq?ref=nav_search

Check out our Twitter Facebook Google Plus Pages

12/11/16

MSR WindPro II Remote Canister Stove

I Recently acquired the WindPro II. A long, long time ago I use to have the original WindPro and used it a lot. But more recently I have been using my MSR Pocket Rocket for backpacking trips and my main stove. I had been missing the wider stability and the more control this stove has.

MSR_WindProII_PR

  • Inverted Liquid-Feed: Increased cold-weather and low-fuel performance with more consistent output across all fuel levels.
  • Efficient: Remote burner allows the use of a windscreen for maximum efficiency.
  • Lightweight & Compact: Weighs just 6.6 oz.; fits in a one-liter pot.
  • Versatile: Supports pots up to 10″ in diameter; compatible with bake ovens.
  • Includes: Windscreen, heat reflector, canister stand, instructions, and stuff sack.

Taken from the MSR Website

“The WindPro II camp stove combines the stability and wind protection of a remote-burner design with the convenience of canister fuel. Unlike other canister stoves the WindPro II is capable of running on liquid-feed direct from the canister. This added versatility lets you run the stove in traditional upright mode for optimal efficiency and flame control or, with a simple twist, invert the canister on the included stand to deliver liquid gas directly to the burner. This advantage allows greatly improved cold-weather and low-fuel performance, and boosts stove output significantly anytime speed really counts.”

I took this on a couple recent trips including Zion and Bryce Canyon. This thing worked like a champ. I cooked some chicken breast on it with some white sauce and pasta, I also cooked eggs, sausage, and even boiled water on it. This thing is really versatile. I was able to use a medium frying pan on in with the pot stands easily, there was no way I could cook eggs on my Pocket Rocket but because i can turn down the heat I was able to cook with ease. This stove fits really easily in my GSI Bugaboo Messkit it would fit it anything similar easily.

Back when I had the original WindPro I would invert the canister in winter and other cold weather its so nice that they added the feature of the stand and swivel. I have yet to try it in cold weather yet but I know it will perform.

Pros

  • Wide Pot Stands Supports Pots up to 10″ in diameter and bake ovens
  • Remote Canister (allowing for the use of heat shield and wind screen)
  • Light Weight 6.6 oz
  • Liquid Feed Mode for cold weather and high altitude
  • Great Range of Flame Control (a nice simmer-a jet speed boil)
  •  Uses canister fuel so no priming required
  • Made in the USA

Cons

  • Not as compact as other Canister Stoves like the Pocket Rocket or Micro Rocket
  • Not the least expensive stove on the market ($99.95)
  • uses canister fuel (widely available in USA but if traveling outside not as much)

Overall I totally recommend this stove if you are looking for something to do some more gourmet cooking while backpacking or even camping, if you are looking to just boil water this stove isn’t for you I would recommend the Pocket Rocket, Micro Rocket, or the Wind Burner. If you are looking to travel out of the US I would recommend the Wisperlite Universal.

Retails for 99.95 and you can find it at most high quality sporting good stores.

12/4/15

Camelbak Forge Premium Travel Mug 16 OZ

A few months ago I got this cool new mug from Camelbak. I had been looking for a nice insulated travel mug to bring with me to school or work. This thing did just the trick. In this post I’ll go over the features of the mug and my experience with it.

Here is a quick video from Camelbak that goes over the Forge.

Features

  • One-handed self-sealing lever
  • Leak-proof closur
  • Lock-open button for frequent sipping
  • Arms flip up for easy cleaning
  • Vacuum insulation stays hot 4+ hours
  • Impact cap
  • CamelBak® Got Your Bak™ Guarantee: If we built it, we’ll Bak it™ with our lifetime guarantee.

Camelbak_Forge-1

I have been using this mug for a couple months now and I really like it. There are a few main features, which has made this my favorite mug, the one-handed self-sealing lever, easy to clean, the auto lock feature, and the vacuum insulation.

The one-handed self-sealing lever is one of these mugs greatest features. It just allows the mug to be carried with such ease. I can just carry the mug in one finger or have it hanging by a carabineer or something attached to your back. You don’t have to worry about it leaking either; it has a really nice leak proof seal.

The mug is super easy to clean. When you take the top off and press the button the arm flips up and you can easily access every thing you want to clean. You can also just throw the lid in the dishwasher. It’s recommended that you hand wash the main part.

I don’t know about you, but I am a clumsy person always knocking my stuff all over the place so having an auto-locking lid is really nice to stop spills. If you want to vent your beverage it has a lock open feature too.

The Vacuum insulation is really nice. Camelbak says it will keep your beverages hot for up to four hours. I usually have my first mug of coffee or tea gone within an hour but with the travel time to school or work it has always been kept really hot and while drinking it has stayed hot.

Overall I would really recommend this mug to anyone that is looking for a new travel mug, it’s a great color the green one, keeps your beverages really hot, and its just easy to take care off.

Purchase at REI, Backcountry, or Campsaver  (Least Expensive at the time this was written)

12/28/14

Patagoina Ultralight Down Hoody First Impressions

I have been wanting to test out a down jacket for a while now, and got this awesome one from Patagonia. Here is a video on my experience with the jacket.

<

There are three main things I really like about this jacket, the weight/size , comfortably, and the DWR coating. I’ll go over these after I go over all the features.

Features

  • The toughest, lightest-weight shell fabric patagonia has ever used for down garments; with a DWR (durable water repellent) finish
  • 800-fill-power premium European goose down for low-bulk warmth
  • Variegated channel construction stabilizes insulation and allows the use of less down, creating an elegant, low-profile garment
  • Low-profile adjustable hood seals in warmth
  • Two zippered handwarmer pockets; one zippered chest pocket
  • Drawcord hem seals out cold and spindrift; self-fabric stuffsack
  • Insulated with Traceable Down (non-live-plucked, non-force-fed)
  • Shell and lining: 0.8-oz 10-denier 100% nylon ripstop, with a DWR (durable water repellent) finish. Insulation: 800-fill-power premium European goose down
  • 263 g (9.3 oz)

Lets talk about the weight first. This jacket is CRAZY LIGHTWEIGHT. It comes in at 9.3 oz. They accomplish this a couple of ways, with the super light weight shell and fabric liner, the high quality 800 fill down, and the channel design allows for less use of down but doesn’t sacrifice warmth.  The design of the jacket allows it to be compressed and packed in to a super small space.

This jacket is one of the most comfortable jackets I have worn.  Because it is crazy lightweight you don’t even remember you are wearing anything.  It breathes really easy.  It is also super soft too. I have been wearing like almost full time since i got it. I wear all around town and in the field.

The DWR coating on this jacket is great. Last week I was geocaching in light rain and wind, this jacket preformed super great.  The down didn’t get wet and I was warm. I was hiking around in the wind a light breeze the other day also and it blocked it. Paired with a shell like the Patagonia Piolet this will block out all the wind and snow you want.

I will test this jacket after more use and do a more in-depth review after a while.

Purchase this jacket right from Patagonia 

12/26/13

Instagram

Follow us on Instagram http://instagram.com/readaboutgear @readaboutgear

There you will see sneak peeks on new products we are receiving

Like this new pack from osprey we received yesterday.

12/23/13

Lifeproof iPhone 4/4S Case Review

I recently got an iPhone and have been looking for the prefect protective case for it. I was interested in finding a hard-core heavy-duty case to protect it from my heavy use. I came across Lifeproof at the outdoor retailer show and thought they would be a perfect case to try.

Features

  • LifeProof’s CrystalClear double anti-reflective (AR) coated camera-grade glass lens delivers the sharpest eight megapixel images possible, with perfect camera flash operation.
  • With LifeProof, HD videos
  • LifeProof’s ClearVoice system takes full advantage of the iPhone 4S microphone and Siri voice activation while in the case.
  • LifeProof’s patent-pending Sound Enhancement System (SES) improves the bass and mid-frequency speaker response by utilizing the back of the case as a sub-woofer for a richer, fuller sound.
  • LifeProof ensures the optimum performance and reception of the iPhone 4S dual antenna design.
  • LifeProof’s ultra-flat screen protector makes operating and interacting with the iPhone 4S highly responsive without the need of a separate screen protector.
  • Unlike other cases, LifeProof’s open screen face allows unrestricted sweeping hand gesture interactions, compatible with the new features of the iOS.

I have been using a lifeproof case on my phone for about two months now. It has created the perfect amount of protection that I have needed while not hindering the features of the phone that I use. In this review I want to go over a few things, waterproof/dust/shockproof features, slim and sleek design, camera grade glass, and the armband and bike mount accessories.

The Lifeproof case provides optimal protection from water and drops. The polycarbonate frame is the main part of this case that absorbs the shock. There is also a elastomeric inner-layer that also absorbs shock. Waterproof seals are on all the ports and openings; it has an O-ring to protect the phone for water. It is really nice to have the ease of mine that nothing terrible is going to happen to my phone if I drop it. My boss got here new iPhone 5 a few months ago and hasn’t put on a protective case hers and she cringes every time she drops it. I have had many friends shatter their screens on their phones from drops, this just gives the peace of mind I need.

I love the freedom of being to be able use my phone wherever not having to worry about dropping it in water or getting it dirty. I use my phone while I am in the hot tub, in the pool, and in crazy dusty environments. Last month in March I visited the Holi, Festival of Colors. This is a super crazy environment for electronics and such. Every hour they throw colored cornstarch in the air so it creates a crazy dusty environment. Most smart people put their phones in plastic ziplock bags, but many people don’t. I saw a lot of people using their phones just open with no protection. I even saw some of my friends not able to use their phones because too much dust had gotten inside. My phone was fully protected, when I took off my case later to see in anything had gotten inside, I found zero dust inside the case. This case give overall some of the best protection for you phone on the market.

The Lifeproof case is extremely slim an super sleek it doesn’t add very much bulk to your phone at all, when measured from the center of the phone it only add 1.5 mm to the size. Before I got the Lifeproof I had an Otterbox on it. Although it created really great protection for the phone it made it super bulky. I have been super impressed with the difference in weight between those two cases, with the Lifeproof on you can’t really tell the difference in weight. A couple times a few people have asked me how did you get a green iPhone, not realizing that it was a case So it cool to see how slim the case is made.

I am an Instagramoholic, taking pics with my phone all the time. It has been really awesome to have a case that doesn’t affect the image quality from the camera. The double anti-reflective coated camera-grade glass lens provides crystal clear images. You can take the case up to 6.6 ft underwater so you can get some fun images. I got some super cool pics while I was at the festival of colors too, so its great not to worry about dust or water while taking pics.

image-1image-2image-3

There are lots of cool accessories available for the Lifeproof. The main two I have been using are the armband and the bike mount, with mainly being the armband. The armband has been great for going on hikes and working out. It has a quick release for easy access of the phone. It is easily adjusted for different arm sizes. If is fairly comfortable compared to most, it has a good amount of padding which is really nice.

The bike mount is great. It works really well. I actually found another use for it. When I am not using it on my bike I use it in my car on my cup holder. It has been great to use my iPhone as a GPS and music player no hands access is great. You can use the mount like a GoPro mount for you iPhone to take video while on your ride.

I have also been using the dock adaptor too. Without it, you have to use the apple cable that came with the phone. When I go to the gym its great to be able to plug in the phone at the treadmill so I can listen to music while working out while not worrying about power.

I would defiantly recommend this case to anyone looking for amazing protection for your iPhone. It offers great protection from water, drops, and dirt while not hindering the features of your phone.

Purchase these cases at REI

Check out our Twitter Facebook Google Plus Pages