Essential Outdoor Gear Reviews

7 Essential Outdoor Gear Reviews

1. Tepui Ruggedized Kukanam Sky 3 Rooftop Tents

Maybe you have seen these Tepui tents on car roof racks as you drive around town and wondered what rooftop camping is all about. We say don’t be surprised if you never want to camp on the ground again after trying a Tepui tent for the first time … it’s that comfortable.

We tried ours for the first time at the Tepuifest in Hollister, an annual camping festival of Tepui owners hosted by the company. It takes less than ten minutes to set up and we slept like babies on the memory foam mattress while it rained all night. At 210 pounds the Ruggedized model is right at the limit for some car roof racks, so make sure you check the dynamic weight capacity of your roof racks in the manufacturers specs of your particular vehicle.

The way Tepui tents work is they basically fold over like a sandwich that is held together with a super beefy zipper. That’s why set up and take down is so simple. When you arrive at your campsite you simply unzip the main zipper and your home-away-from-home pops up before your eyes and the ladder comes down automatically. With the ruggedized model you get the diamond plate floor and 360 gram dual stitched Cordura fabric that is 40% heavier than standard models. On clear nights we leave the rainfly off and take advantage of the large sky panels that allow for a panoramic view of stars and trees. Roof rack tents are the next phase in the evolution of camping. We highly recommend these cozy elevated platforms.

MSRP: $1,995.00

2. Helinox Chair Zero

Helinox leads the world in technologically advanced ultra lightweight equipment for the outdoor adventurer. Their Chair Zero is a backpacking chair that weighs about a pound and packs down to the size of a large water bottle that easily fits in a bag or pack.

In addition to the comfort, we love the convenient set up and take down that makes these chairs perfect for backpacking trips, car camping, and even family beach days. The anodized poles are very strong and hold up to 265 lbs. while keeping you raised off the ground.

MSRP: $119.95

3. Gramicci Men’s Live Free Jeans

Gramicci has been making pants for climbers and hikers since 1982 and makes the most comfortable jeans we have ever worn.

The Live Free jeans are all about versatility. Would you consider a two-hour mountain bike ride in a pair of jeans? If you are wearing Gramiccis the answer is yes. These pants have the right blend of lycra and cotton to wear all day regardless of your activity level. Imagine going to the climbing gym in the morning, meeting a few friends for lunch, and then going on a long ride in the afternoon with only one pair of pants all day. That’s what Gramicci jeans are designed to handle, plus you can throw on a nice shirt and go out to dinner as well. For men who love outdoor activities, these jeans won’t slow you down.

MSRP: $79.50

4. Camelbak M.U.L.E LR 15

The M.U.L.E. set the standard for mountain bike hydration packs way back in 1996. Since then hydration packs have exploded in popularity, so it’s good to give some props to the company that started it all. We are amazed at how much lighter and ergonomic these packs have become over the years and it’s not surprising that Camelbak is still the gold standard decades later.

The latest edition is built around the brand new Crux reservoir, which is even easier to load and refill, and delivers 20% more water per sip than previous models. And is designed to keep the weight positioned low on your back for better stability in the saddle and on the trail.

The pack is big enough to carry three liters of water and a day’s worth of snacks and gear. Over the years, Camelbak has added air channels to keep your back cool, universal helmet hooks, and clever compartments for stashing tools, keys and electronics. The latest version also features a magnetic tube trap that snaps easily into place, so you can hydrate without taking your eyes off the trail. The pack weighs in at just over a pound and has a dry capacity of 700 cubic inches which is plenty of space for an extra change of clothes, tools and food for a full day of riding.

MSRP: $150.00

5. Tifosi Optics Synapse

Tifosi makes cycling glasses that fit comfortably and rarely get fogged up. We like the Synapse for its open lens frame and unparalleled field of vision. Featuring shatterproof and scratch resistant polycarbonate lenses, the Synapse is our favorite pair of sunglasses for mountain biking. As always the frames are highly flexible and virtually indestructible.

MSRP: $69.95

6. Espro Travel Press

We love this compact French press for excellent coffee on the go. Just pour in some fresh grounds, hot water, stir it up, screw on the lid, let sit four to five minutes, and press the plunger.

The Espro is the same size as a regular stainless steel coffee mug but allows you to press and transport coffee in one efficient container. If you love the taste of French press coffee but don’t like the hassle of a traditional set-up, then check out the Espro.

MSRP $34.95

7. ENO Eclipse Lantern

The ENO Eclipse is the last word in camping lights. This fun and functional light sets the mood with its classic shape and colorful light show.

The Eclipse features six light modes: from bright white that will illuminate your campsite to the variable, multi-color modes for when the party begins. The iconic “Lava Lamp” shape and ambient lights of the ENO Eclipse will take you back to a time of peace, love and good vibes. Powered by three AA batteries.

MSRP $49.95