The Road Team has returned to Colorado with a bang! Last month we pointed the van west and couldn’t be happier to reunite with dry air, freezing snow-melt streams, and familiar faces. It’s been a dry spring, and mud season was rather short this year. We’ve been doing rain dances and hiking the high alpine trails we wouldn’t normally be able to. Our fingers are crossed that the solar shower will hold up, the van tires will grip the dirt roads, and our gaiters will withstand post-holing through snow-covered high altitude trails. It’s time for Gear On The Go: July 2018.
There are so many mountain biking navigation apps on the market, it’s tempting to take a break and pull your phone out to check progress. With 360 degree rotation and a secure mount even on bumpy trails, the Wraptor keeps the fun going without the stops. This hands-free handlebar mount fits standard and plus-sized phones, with or without a case, as well as most handlebar sizes. We use it to find our way to coffee shops whenever we’re in a new town and to track our mileage when we’re cruising singletrack in the backcountry. The simplicity of the product is why we like it so much. You can easily rotate your phone from portrait to landscape should the need arise. We often set our phone to timelapse and get a fun summary of our day’s ride from the view of our handlebars. It secures to your bike without the use of any tools so you can switch it from bike to shopping cart to scooter. As with most NiteIze products, you can use the Wraptor for more than just it’s intended use. It was designed to securely mount your smartphone to your bike, however, you’ll be surprised at how many ways this little thing can come in handy… We’ve even seen it used to secure a phone to a stroller.
This isn’t just one of the lightest hammocks that we’ve ever used, it’s one of the lightest hammocks on the planet. When talking about gear weight, sometimes it’s hard to visualize how much something actually weighs. Last year, we made a video to show you just how light this hammock is. You can watch that video here! At just 5.4 ounces (regular size) and made from monofilament nylon fabric this hammock isn’t just light, it’s also quite strong and breathable. Like the other hammocks in the Sea To Summit lin, this one comes with a built-in water-resistant stuff sack. For the light-weight through hikers out there – you can also purchase a 15D Ultra-Sil trap and bug net to complete your backcountry setup. What we love the most about this hammock is how well it breaths. Who doesn’t love swinging in a hammock on a summer day feeling the breeze through the material? It’s even better when you don’t end up with swamp back from laying in it too long.
This pedal kayak leaves your hands free for high fives, pointing at wildlife, and fishing. Let your feet do the work (by powering the surprisingly smooth pedal driver), while you sit back in the adjustable chair and fish, look through binoculars, or just relax. We love this new take on a recreational kayak. The Malibu Pedal actually just won a 2018 Peak Gear Award from Elevation Outdoors Magazine! What makes this kayak obviously different is that you won’t be using a paddle. The new Pedal driver system allows you to pedal almost effortlessly through the water. The best part about this boat is how simple everything is. Attaching the Pedal Driver and adjusting the seat? No time. Learning how to steer without using a paddle? No Time. For us, this is the most comfortable and relaxing way to spend time on the water. The Malibu Pedal has 3 cup holders and extra room for your camping gear and pup (or child). You won’t be flipping or rolling in the kayak, but just in case there is a waterproof click and seal hatch under the seat.
Obviously, we travel a lot. It’s part of the gig. The catch is, we don’t really get to spend a lot of time in each area that we go to. This can be problematic when we’re not familiar with a place and we want to make the most of our brief stint wherever it is that we are. The first thing we do is try to get a lay of the land. Where are the majority of trails situated? Where is there camping/public land? Where are the major bodies of water? Lucky for us, and all of you, National Geographic Maps has us covered. They have just released a new line of maps that are centred around specific towns. They are designed to give you information that only a local would know so you can hit the ground running and make the most of your time. The “Local Trails” line of maps is a combination of standard trail maps on the front and helpful selection of trail recommendations on the back. These recommendations vary from easy 1 mile hikes to very strenuous days hike. Each recommendation has detailed specs on length and elevation as well as a detailed elevation profile to help you track the peaks and valleys you’ll be travelling through. At a 1/2 inch = 1 mile scale you can be sure that each detail is shown for whatever trail you chose. Perhaps our favorite feature is that they show a difficulty rating for each trail segment, not just for each trail. This allows you to really know what you’re in for as you adventure into the backcountry.
There is one way for this tour to be a reality, our sponsors! Sending a thank you shout out to our title sponsor Nite Ize, and all of our other awesome sponsors that make this happen: Crazy Creek, National Geographic, Sea to Summit, Mountain House, Lowe Alpine, Old Town, Leki, HydraPak, UCO Gear and Wenzel. If you like the gear that keeps us groovin’ click here to enter for a chance to win our Grand Gear Giveaway!