THE GREAT OUTDOORS — Some of the greatest adventures in life are of the weekend variety — destinations within a gas tank from home. These miniature treks can be as awe-inspiring as they are convenient.
This review looks at a handful of products that are great for weekend getaways. Whether you’re bouldering in Moab or relaxing at a mountain campsite, these products might be worth a look.
A good duffel bag is often like your phone charger — never around when you really need it. The Stash solves this problem by reducing the size of a duffel and making it convenient to bring along.
The Stash is made with 305D Cordura, so it’s rugged enough to handle extended outdoor use. The bag stuffs inside its side panel pocket for compact storage, then can be expanded when the need arises. For example, I’m taking it with me on a trip to Africa this summer. There will be severe luggage restrictions for one portion of the trip, but once that’s over, I can open up the Stash and use it for souvenirs.
With three different sizes, the Stash can accommodate lots of various uses. And for the times when it's toting a heavy load, there is a padded shoulder strap to go along with the padded haul handles.
Weekend getaways are often spontaneous, so it’s nice to have a versatile chair in your car. With its reclined seatback and adjustable armrests, the Mesh Lowdown Chair is perfect for chilling around a campfire or relaxing on a lakeshore. The durable steel frame, combined with the quilted, 600D poly construction, can handle up to 350 pounds.
One nice upgrade is how the mesh backing allows ample airflow. So if you’re sitting in the chair for several hours at a summer music festival, it won’t stick to your back when you try to stand up.
Kelty also uses a unique approach to storing the Mesh Lowdown Chair. Rather than a typical bag, it comes with a Roll-Tote carry bag. This is ingenious because the Roll-Tote can also be used to carry firewood or gear. There's also a two-seater version of the chair available (as seen in the photo below).
These trail shoes are versatile enough to handle any place your getaway takes you. If there’s water involved, that’s a plus. Astral shoes are some of the best on the market when it comes to handling wet conditions. The laces and upper components can easily handle extended submersion and afterward, they’ll shed the water quickly.
These TR1-Mesh shoes have excellent ventilation, so your feet will stay fresher over the course of the day. The footbed is more level than you might be used to, with a mere 1 mm drop from the heel to the toe. The arch is also less pronounced than a lot of other shoes. These minimalistic elements are intended to enhance your balance and stability.
The rugged soles will give you plenty of traction if you’re hiking or trail running. They have 5 mm lugs that really grip the ground. As an added bonus, all the lugs are beveled to help reduce the buildup of mud or snow.
These pants may look standard to the naked eye, but they boast impressive features. First off, they’re made with a super high-density weave nylon that’s abrasion resistant and is UPF 50+ (99 percent blockage). It’s also durable water-repellent to ensure it doesn’t soak up too much water when submerged and dries quickly afterward.
The Equatorial Pants have six pockets with mesh liners, including two zip security pockets for safekeeping your belongings. They also have articulated knees for better mobility (people rock climb in them and say they work great).
With all these features, you might think the Equatorial Pants would be heavier than most pants. But they’re surprisingly lightweight and packable. You can stuff them into your backpack without taking up much space at all.
When Outside magazine dubbed Spy's Happy Lenses the best lenses on the outdoor eyewear market, people began taking notice. The magazine praised the lenses for how well they revealed subtle deviations in terrain, making them ideal for low-light activities like an evening bike ride.
Regardless of the weather conditions, Happy Lens technology is easy on the eyes, blocking out 99 percent of the sun's glare and offering excellent color contrast. The lenses get their name from their unique ability to filter bad rays while welcoming in the long-wave blue light that is supposed to enhance your mood.
Spy’s Hunt sunglasses feature polycarbonate Happy Lenses housed in a durable Grilamid frame. They have non-slip rubber injected into the temples so they stay put in wet conditions. These sunglasses are comfy and sized for most faces, with frame measurements of 55-19-130.
Kelty offers an impressive lineup of lightweight backpacking tents, but this is the lightest of the bunch (tipping the scales at just over 3 pounds). With such a streamlined design, you can throw the Horizon 2 into your car even if you’re not sure you’ll need it. It doesn’t take up space and is effortless to transport.
Another aspect of the Horizon 2 that makes it great is how easy it is to set up and break down. There may be some people who enjoy figuring out complex tent configurations, but most of us just want to get the tent situation figured out ASAP once we’ve reached our campsite.
The Horizon 2 includes an integrated “stargazing fly,” which is perfect for clear nights in the backcountry. There’s also a vestibule that gives you a protective awning. The walls and fly are made from 40D nylon, while the floor is made with rugged 70D nylon.
What are your favorite outdoor products? Let us know in the comments.
Some of the greatest adventures in life are of the weekend variety— destinations within a gas tank from home. This review looks at a handful of products that are great for miniature getaways (as well as longer trips, if you decide to stay).