Short Review I : Gear

This is a short review that covers our initial reactions to the gear we used earlier this week during our overnight trip to Swanton.  More detailed reviews, including photos and videos, as well as reasons behind why we purchased our equipment over other brands, will appear in future posts.

 

Staika Hilleberg Tent

Staika Hilleberg TentPros:
100% rain proof right out of the bag; felt very stable, strong and secure during the windy, rainy night; the color (green outside for stealth camping and yellow inside for brighter interior space); easy to put up and take down; very warm & cozy

Cons:
Nothing.  (Although I should note here that I began to doubt it would be large enough for long term travel.  This may just be initial nervousness on my part.  Kai thought the size felt fine.  We decided on this tent after much research and felt it was the best tent for our needs.  We debated over size vs weight and decided on the Staika because its larger than most 2 person tents and has a vestibule on each side but is lightweight.  I convinced Kai that a 3 person tent would be “huge” for us.  So, we’ll have to wait to see if I’ll eat those words!)

Hilleberg the Tentmaker

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Ortlieb Rear Bike-Packer Plus Panniers & Medium Rack Pack Ortlieb Bike Packer Plus

Pros:
100% water proof; very easy to put on and take off racks; quality of bags;Ortlieb Rack Pack exterior pockets on panniers were very handy; when off the bike and on the ground the panniers stayed upright due to the flat bottom/feet

Cons:
relative to our old panniers they’re a little smaller than we’re used to; no snap together function (most panniers have snaps or ways to attach the two panniers together, which is helpful for keeping them organized in a tent or for carrying them)

Ortlieb USA : Bike-Packer Plus, Rack Pack
Check out additional Ortlieb options in our Online Store.

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 Kleen Kanteen Bottles

Pros:
zero taste; didn’t have to worry about denting as much as other thinner bottles

Cons:
nothing so far

Klean Kanteen : 27oz Classic, 64oz Wide

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Kai’s Cutter Cyclical eVent Jacket

Cutter Cyclical eVent Jacket

Pros:
waterproof & breathable; made in Canada; exceptional quality; incredibly light; great fit

Cons:
nothing so far

Cutter Bikes : Men’s Jacket, Women’s Jacket

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Kai’s Rivendell Musa Rain Pants

Rivendell Musa Rain Pants

Pros:
very breathable; extremely visible; comfortable (and for rain pants that’s saying a lot); made in the USA

Cons:
stain easily

Rivendell Bicycle Works

 

 

 

MSR XGK EX Cook Stove

Pros:
easy to set up & light; very powerful/fast boiling; best thing ever: hands stay clean when folding the stove for packing (no soot)

Cons:
it’s loud

XGK EX, Service Kit, Fuel Bottle

[We are not paid to review products and have not received any gifts from any manufacturer or vendor in this post.  If we ever do receive freebies or compensation, we will disclose that information, but in reality, it will have no effect on our reviews.  We are extremely picky, hold everything we purchase to high standards, and will be, forever, brutally honest about the quality of a product and/or a company’s customer service.  Our sole intention is to inform other consumers about our experiences with products and companies.]

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