Valandre Shocking Blue

Purchased December 2016, reviewed September 2017, updated November 2017 The Shocking Blue (aka Shocking Blue Neo) is the namesake sleeping bag in France-based Valandre’s “Shocking Blue Series” of cold-weather sleeping bags. Many winter sleeping bags are given names that conjure … Read More

Hilleberg Nammatj 2

Purchased July 2015, reviewed August 2017, last updated November 2017 The Nammatj 2 is a four-season Swiss Army Knife of a tent from Swedish tentmaker Hilleberg. Weighing in at between 5 and 6.5 pounds depending on setup, the Nammatj 2 … Read More

The Bomber Traverse Map

The Bomber Traverse is an informal hut-to-hut wilderness backpacking route in the Talkeetna Mountains of Alaska. The purpose of the Bomber Traverse Map is to aid wilderness travel by indicating general backcountry routes and hut locations, by codifying locally-accepted names … Read More

Packraft Makers

Packraft Makers In the 1980s-90s the sport of packrafting went through a long, quiet incubation period. A few grizzled outdoorspeople bought, repaired, and traded Curtis and Sherpa packrafts, pushing the simple boats to their limits (and far past their warranties) … Read More

Campbell Creek

Campbell Creek is a splashy, meandering Class I/II creek that originates in the Chugach Mountains and flows southeast through the urban center of Anchorage, Alaska. Most boaters will float some portion of the 8-mile section between the Piper St cul-de-sac and the Dimond Blvd bridge.… Read More

Gear Storage

Gear Storage Gear can either be lashed on top of a packraft’s bow or stored inside the tubes. Internal storage lowers the boat’s center of gravity, improves sightlines over the bow, and keeps gear dry. However the airtight zippers currently … Read More

Packrafting PFDs

Packrafting PFDs As with paddles, there really isn’t such a thing as a “packraft PFD,” but some PFDs will tend to work better for packrafting than others. Good options for packrafters include those that are light, built from quality materials, … Read More

Packrafting Paddles

Packrafting Paddles Along with your boat and life jacket, your paddle is one of the “big three” pieces of equipment that will largely determine your experience on the water. Solo packrafts are almost exclusively paddled with double-bladed kayak-style paddles. Packrafting … Read More

Arc’teryx Alpha FL

Purchased March 2016, reviewed March 2017 This four-season three-layer alpine shell is light. At less than twelve ounces for a large the Alpha FL is actually lighter than most three-season two-layer rain jackets on the market, including Patagonia’s TorrentShell, OR’s … Read More

Hestra Heli

Purchased winter 2016, reviewed March 2017 The Hestra Heli is the flagship ski glove from Swedish glovemaker Hestra, which calls it “a modern classic with many uses.” Look around at any ski resort and you’ll spot the distinctive two-tone Heli … Read More

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