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Review: Gear for a warm weather getaway

Posted October 27

The Ultimate Hammock v2 comes with climbing-rated aluminum carabiners for hanging. (Deseret Photo)

THE GREAT OUTDOORS — This article takes a look at seven products that could be used on a warmer weather getaway.

Ultimate Hammock v2

GRADE: A-

PRICE: $49

This streamlined hammock has a lot going for it (which is probably why it far exceeded its Kickstarter goal). It only weight about 21 ounces, yet is tough enough for backpacking trips. The triple-stitched seams, bartacked stress points and climbing-strength webbing give it a 400-pound capacity.

The Ultimate Hammock v2 comes with climbing-rated aluminum carabiners for hanging. Each carabiner has a sturdy wire-gate, so you can lounge with confidence. And because the hammock is well over 10-feet long and 6-feet wide, there is plenty of room for two occupants.

Included with the hammock is a stuff bag that can hold the hammock and the straps. This compactness makes it great for backpacking, road trips and other outings.

Teva Original Universal Sandal

GRADE: A

PRICE: $50

Tevas seemed like quite a novelty when they hit the market three decades ago. Now they’re commonplace and have a slew of competitors and imitators. But the bottom line is that the original is still the best.

The Original Universal was one of the Teva’s first sandals and very little has changed over the years. It’s still incredibly comfortable, employing the strapping system that made the brand famous. And it still stays snug on your feet, regardless of the conditions.

The Original Universal has polyester webbing straps, which are stout but comfortable. And the outsole is Durabrasion Rubber, which delivers commendable traction and durability, while still keeping a moderately slim profile. With a design this breathable and adjustable, why mess with perfection?

Archeer 65L Internal Frame Backpack

GRADE: B+

PRICE: $49

This pack delivers a lot of features and still comes in under $50, which is pretty impressive for a 65L pack. And while you might think Archeer would have to use clunky components to keep the price this low, the pack only weighs about 3 pounds.

Of course, this pack isn’t as comfortable as more high-end packs. So if you load it up and take off on a three-day trek, you’ll definitely start to feel some strain on your shoulders. But the pack still has some user-friendly features, like the airflow channels throughout the back to keep you cooler.

The nylon outer is tear-and-water resistant, so it does a solid job of keeping the elements at bay. There’s also an integrated rain cover for foul weather. Bonus features include things like an emergency whistle on the chest strap and a hydration system housing.

Allen Sports Atocha Folding Bike

GRADE: A-

PRICE: Varies by retailer

If you’re short on space, a folding bike like the Atocha can deliver many of the benefits of a full-size bike with a fraction of the bulk. You get 24-inch tires with front and rear disc brakes, while the bike can be folded down so it’s only the size of a piece of luggage. And at 29 pounds, it can easily be transported prior to riding.

Many people use the Atocha as a commuter bike, which is understandable, given its small size. But it’s also perfect for trips and outings. The aluminum frame is impressively durable and the Jab wire cable housings ensure that it’s robust enough for extended use.

The Atocha has an 18-speed drivetrain that can handle everything from city cruising to hill climbing. The bike’s capabilities are even more impressive when you consider that it can be completely folded down in less than 10 seconds. Now that’s convience.

CampMaid 6-Piece Complete Outdoor Cooking System

GRADE: A-

PRICE: $169

This combo from CampMaid includes everything you need for Dutch oven cooking, plus some clever additions you didn’t even know you needed. The company promotes its products as the “Swiss Army Knife of Grills,” and this combo showcases their considerable versatility.

It all starts with the 12-inch pre-seasoned Dutch oven, which has a tab on the side for easier pouring. It’s a spacious oven that can hold the lid lifter, charcoal holder and kickstand for transportation and storage.

The combo includes the aforementioned lid lifter, which stores the lid safely off the ground and can also be used as a serving stand or pot holder. There’s also a grill that attaches to the lid holder for cooking and a heat source that holds charcoal and wood. Rounding things out are the KickStand, which is great for handling the lid, and a heavy-duty storage bag to keep it all together.

Joovy TwinGroove Ultralight Stroller

GRADE: A-

PRICE: Varies by retailer

The TwinGroove Ultralight is basically a tandem umbrella stroller with lots of upgraded features. And despite the bells and whistles, it's impressively lightweight because of the 6061 aircraft aluminum frame.

One of the nicest perks of this stroller is the all-wheel suspension. Umbrella strollers are famous for their clickety-clack wheels, but this one actually glides. That may not seem like a big deal, but after a long day of being pushed around in it, your child will definitely be appreciative.

The Groove Ultralight can accommodate children up to 55 pounds, making it perfect whether you have twins or children of different ages. The independently reclining seats can go nearly flat, which is perfect for on-the-go naps. And the stroller is great for trips because it folds extremely small and has a carry strap for easier toting.

BULLS Grinder 1

GRADE: A

PRICE: $1,799

While many U.S. riders are unfamiliar with the BULLS brand, it’s well established in Europe. The company was started in Germany in the late-‘90s by ZEG, which happens to be the largest dealer cooperative in the bike business.

BULLS uses a direct-to-rider model that helps keep prices down. Each bike is built and tested at their headquarters in Germany, then shipped to the customer. The bikes are 99 percent assembled upon arrival, so it’s easy to follow the included instructions and get your bike on the road.

The Grinder 1, a hybrid road bike and off-road traveler, is a BULLS favorite. It has a 7005 double-butted aluminum frame (with internal cable routing) and only weighs 20 pounds. It’s outfitted with Shimano RS505 hydraulic disc brakes that reliably respond in any weather conditions.

With its rugged tires, responsive frame and upgraded 11-speed cassette, the Grinder 1 can handle a variety of terrains. This versatility makes it perfect for outdoor adventures.

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.

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