Review: 5 outdoor products to check out
Posted November 6
THE GREAT OUTDOORS — This time of year presents some awesome outdoor opportunities. The crowds are thinner and the air is crisper. And the fishing gets interesting, as high-mountain trout prepare for another season below the ice.
Here’s a look at five outdoor products that might be worth considering for your next adventure.
Bogs boots are famous for their versatility. They’re built like military tanks, but somehow manage to feel light on your feet. And these Ultra Highs are no exception.
Originally designed for dairy farmers, these boots are 100 percent waterproof and provide incredible traction. While the outer is focused on protection from the elements, the interior is quite plush. There’s an internal midsole with rubber sponge that provides cushioning and warmth. They’re comfort rated to -40 degrees Fahrenheit, so they can handle just about any conditions. And the easy-on handles come in handy, especially when you’re wearing gloves.
One great aspect of these boots is that Bogs makes them all the way up to a men’s size 16. It can sometimes be difficult to find high-end boots that come in that large of a size.
The Shovelhead is all about comfort. It’s loaded with 700 fill power Downtek that’s lightweight and water-repellant. The athletic fit ensures that it fits snug, while still offering free range of motion.
This isn’t an extreme weather jacket, so don’t rely on it for your coldest adventures. But as a mid-weight insulated jacket, it’s perfect for everything in between. The hood is one of the best I’ve seen. It provides ample coverage on all sides, with an adjustable draw cord for added weatherproofing.
Then there are the tiny details that make this jacket great. Things like textured zipper pulls, so you can grip them easier while wearing gloves. And gaiter-like thumb holes in the sleeves, so there’s no gap between the sleeve and your gloves. Also, the interior chest pocket can serve as a stuff sack, making this jacket as portable as it is comfortable.
Julbo touts its SuperFlow system as the best ventilation available for any winter sports goggles on the market. While that’s certainly up for debate, it’s an undeniably efficient feature. Fogging is virtually eliminated with this easily adjustable (even while wearing gloves) technology.
The Airflux is the brand’s most inexpensive goggle to incorporate the SuperFlow system. It’s essentially the same as the award-winning Aerospace goggle, but with a much lower price tag because the photochromic lens from the Aerospace has been replaced by a polycarbonate lens that doesn’t react to light.
Aside from the change in lens technology, the Airflux offers nearly all the same features. You get a durable frame with a spherical lens for super-wide field of vision. And the dual soft foam provides a comfy fit that doesn’t apply too much pressure to your face.
This daypack comes from Granite Gear’s “campus” line of products, so it’s perfect for students and commuters. But given the pack’s lineage, it’s no surprise that it’s also perfectly at home in the mountains on a snowshoeing trek.
With its 38-liter capacity, it provides plenty of space for cargo. It has a slim, vertical design that supports heavy loads, and the ventilation system is top-notch. The pressure-absorbing shoulder harnesses have load-lifter straps and a sternum strap to distribute the load.
The pack’s Repelaweave outer fabric is extremely durable and weather-resistant, helping to keep your cargo safe when the weather turns sour. And the Taurpalite material on the bottom helps prevent the dreaded soggy bottom that can occur when packs are set down on damp surfaces.
Kast Gear is based out of Idaho Falls and specializes in technical gear for fishing. Their products are rugged and designed to withstand the foul weather that’ll undoubtedly be on the forecast this winter.
The Hell Razor Hoodie works both as an insulating layer or as an outer layer. It’s windproof and water resistant, with PrimaLoft 60g Gold insulation that helps lock in the warmth. It’s also quite breathable and can be compressed for storage. The fleece-lined pockets are a great bonus, especially after you’ve gotten your hands wet.
With fishing jackets, freedom of motion is obviously a top priority. The Hell Razor is certainly adequate in this regard, with limber seams at the shoulders. That being said, there’s a bit of stiffness to the design that is slightly constricting. That seems to be the tradeoff here—in order to make it tough enough to handle foul weather, some of the flexibility was lost.
What are your favorite outdoor products for this time of year? Let us know in the comments.
Grant Olsen joined the KSL.com team in 2012. He covers outdoor adventures, travel, product reviews and other interesting things. He is also the author of the book "Rhino Trouble." You can contact him at www.grant-olsen.com.