Category Archives: Gear Reviews

subscribe to the blog - email address

Review of the Mountain Hardwear Ozonic 50 OutDry Pack

by Vince Hempsall, September 1, 2015

Mountain Hardwear Ozonic 50 OutDry Pack Review 1

California-based Mountain Hardwear has been around since 1993 and has been responsible for some of the most notable innovations in the outdoor market, namely welded technology in clothing, windows in tent flies and Windstopper Fleece. One of their latest inventions is “OutDry” technology – basically a construction style that “bonds a waterproof-breathable membrane directly to the […]

Review of the Julbo Classic Vermont Sunglasses

by Vince Hempsall, June 4, 2015

julbo-sunglasses-wonow-media-sm

I had never even seen a glacier when I first donned a pair of Julbos in the 1980s. Sunglasses have come a long way since then but I was pleasantly surprised to learn that, for its 125th anniversary, the France-based company relaunched its classic Vermont mountaineering glasses. Founded by Jules Baud, who originally made goggles […]

Review of the Black Diamond Nitro 22 Backpack

by Vince Hempsall, May 15, 2015

Black Diamond Nitro 22 wonow media

Utah-based Black Diamond has no shortage of backpack offerings. In fact, the company makes about 70 different kinds of packs and that doesn’t include the Gregory line of backpacks, which parent company Black Diamond Inc. owns. The new Nitro line (which comes in a 22L and 26L versions) is one of the smallest they make […]

Review of the Big Agnes Lost Ranger 15 Sleeping Bag & Q-Core Sleeping Pad

by Vince Hempsall, May 5, 2015

Big Agnes Lost Ranger 15 Sleeping Bag wonow media

Recently I was asked to review the Big Agnes Lost Ranger sleeping bag and Q-Core insulated pad – a sleep system that subscribes to the theory that down is useless crushed under your body weight and instead you should utilize the sleeping pad’s insulating qualities. The Lost Ranger bag only has down in two-thirds of […]

Review of the Sea to Summit Talus TS3 Sleeping Bag

by Vince Hempsall, March 30, 2015

Sea to Summit Talus Ts3 Sleeping Bag wonow media

  When I was asked to review a Sea to Summit product, specifically the Talus TS3 sleeping bag, I jumped at the chance to check out something made by a company I respect so much. The Talus series of sleeping bags isn’t made from eVent fabric (unlike my favourite compression dry sacks made by Sea […]

Review of the Mountain Hardware Scrambler 30 Backpack

by Vince Hempsall, February 9, 2015

Scrambler

Recently I was asked to review the Mountain Hardware Scrambler 30 Backpack with the new proprietary “Outdry” technology. According the company this new laminate is added to the inside of the pack and forms a “waterproof” membrane – perfect for alpine climbing situations that may get a bit damp. What I learned, though, is that it’s […]

Review of the High Trail Evotec Skins

by Vince Hempsall, January 15, 2015

High-Trail-Evotec-Climbing-Skins-wonow

Nova Sport AG, the Switzerland-based parent company of the High Trai brand, was founded in 2005 by Yvonne Rochat and since then has tried to perfect climbing skin technology. For years it offered the Classic, which is a glue-based, 100 percent mohair skin, but now the company has ventured into the “glueless” market with its […]

Review of the Mountain Hardwear Compressor Jacket & Pants

by Vince Hempsall, January 4, 2015

Mountain-Hardwear-Compressor-wonow

There have been very few moments in my lifetime when I wished I had a pair of down pants. The exceptions have been skiing at Mont Tremblant in Quebec during a -30°C spell and snowshoeing in Manitoba in -40°C weather. I suppose if I was scaling Everest or mushing dogs in the Yukon then I’d […]

Review of the Black Diamond Element 60 Backpack

by Vince Hempsall, June 7, 2014

Black-Diamond-Element-60-Pack-wonow

Backpacks are a tricky thing – you don’t want too many bells and whistles because they’ll just increase the weight, but you don’t want a garbage bag either. I tend to prefer those packs that fall into the middle of the road: just enough straps to keep everything in place but without dozens of pockets, external […]

Review of the RAB Neutrino 200 Down Sleeping Bag

by Vince Hempsall, May 9, 2014

Rab-Neutrino-200-sleeping-bag-wonow

I’m a hot guy in bed. That is, my body is like a 6-foot furnace when I’m horizontal for the night. And when I sleep outside, that furnace seems to kick into overdrive. I’ve spent more than one evening lying in a tent wishing I could just tear a hole in the fabric to increase […]