Solo Stove – Version 2.0 Reviewed, Worth the Upgrade?

Travis Gneiting First Look, Reviews

Solo Stove Version 1.0 vs. Solo Stove Version 2.0

The Solo Stove is a “smokeless” or a less smoke fire pit because of a unique airflow technology that uses a secondary burn to efficiently and more effectively burn fuel. The result in this is an almost smokeless fire. Having personally used a smokeless stove for years in the backyard, and backpacking with the small Campfire Solo Stove I’ve it is a huge difference when compared to traditional fires.

The Solo Stove really has become my favorite backyard fire pit. I’ve used them all from gas firepits to built-in, and homemade firepits. The Solo Stove is easier to clean up and get out of the way. It’s smokeless meaning you don’t have the overpowering smoke smell when you go back in your house, and it just looks great with the stainless steel and patina.

We are excited to see a new stove version for all three models the Ranger, Bonfire, and Yukon. Here are the details for the upgraded models and what we think about them. Be sure to check out the closeout pricing on Version 1 models on Solostove.com

Updates to the Solo Stove

The Ranger, Bonfire, and Yukon Solo Stoves have all been updated to include a removable ash pan and a removable base plate. This is the main difference when comparing the old model to the new updated version 2. This will make it much easier to clean the ash from the bottom of the Solo Stove. This is especially helpful for the large Yukon that is huge and hard to manage with one person.

Accessories

All of the existing accessories you might own for Solo Stoves version 1.0 will fit with the updated version 2.0 models. They both still come with a carry case.

You should consider some of the accessories when purchasing a Solo Stove, they make transporting and using the stove a bit easier and help with a few of the cons of using the Solo Stove.

Comparison

Ranger 1.0Ranger 2.0Bonfire 1.0Bonfire 2.0Yukon 1.0Yukon 2.0
Outside DimensionH: 12.5” x Dia: 15”H: 12.5” x Dia: 15”H: 14” x Dia: 19.5”H: 14” x Dia: 19.5”H: 17” x Dia: 27”H: 17” x Dia: 27”
Inside DimensionH: 8.5” x Dia: 13.25”H: 8.5” x Dia: 13.25”H: 9.5” x Dia: 17.5”H: 9.5” x Dia: 17.5”H 7.5” x Dia: 24”H 7.5” x Dia: 24”
Weight (Pit only)15 lbs16 lbs20 lbs20 lbs38 lbs38 lbs
Weight (with stand)17 lbs17 lbs21.5 lbs21.5 lbs40.35 lbs40.35 lbs
PriceRetail: $299.99
Sale:
$199.99
Retail: $229.99 USDRetail: $399.99
Sale:
$219.99
$299.99 USDRetail: $749.99
Sale:
$399.99
$499.99 USD

Testing Version 2 of the Solo Stove

The Solo Stove was just released on August 1, 2022. I have used it a couple of times but have experience with other Solo Stoves to compare it to. The stove functions just as the previous models do. You load it up with firewood, start the fire waiting for the air to start circulating and the smoke seems to disappear. It has the same tornado-like flames that kids and adults love to stare at.

I have thrown less than ideal fuel on the fire, some slightly damp wood, leaves, bark, and some paper. It will affect the smoke on the fire slightly, but when using good quality wood, and not stacking it above the rim of the Solo Stove the fire remains relatively smoke-free.

My old Gas Firepit looking sad in the background

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Should I upgrade my current Solo Stove?

If you currently have a Solo Stove and despise having to tip over the stove to remove the ash then you should definitely purchase one of the new versions of the Solo Stoves. Additionally, if you already own a stove and haven’t been completely happy with the size of the stove then it is worth the upgrade to have a size that you are happy with. Being able to use the accessories you may have previously purchased also makes this a wise decision.

If you have a Solo Stove and don’t mind tipping over the stove to empty out the ashes after it has cooled then it isn’t really worth the upgrade in my opinion. In fact, if you are looking to purchase a new Solo Stove, you can get a discount on version 1 models right now and this might be a better option for you.

Does the Outside of a Solo Stove get hot?

Yes, but that varies on the location of the stove. At the base, and when using the stand, it stays relatively cool and can even be used on a wood deck. However, at the top of the stove, where the flames are gets over 200 degrees and will burn you.

Can You Cook on a Solo Stove?

Cooking on a Solo Stove isn’t my favorite because it’s hard to get away from the flames and into the hot coals for cooking. This makes it hard to not burn food before it’s actually cooked. However, boiling water, and another simple cooking task can be done. Another downside is that you need to remove the entire cooking grill to add more fuel when cooking.

A tip for cooking with the Solo Stove is to let the wood burn down so that it’s mostly coals at the bottom. The head travels up and makes it easier to cook with.

Can You Leave a Solo Stove Outside all Year?

You can leave it outside with a rain cover, however, it tends to look like it might only last a year before you need a new cover. I recommend one if you are purchasing the Yukon. Because it’s so big it’s not ideal for transporting. With the Ranger and Bonfire, I prefer to keep them out of the year-round weather, and kids are playing in the yard by keeping them in the storage bag in the garage.

What are Solo Stove Competitors?

The main competitor to Solo Stove is the Breeo.

Are Solo Stoves Actually Worth the Money?

With prices dropping on the new version the price is much more in line with other firepits. We think the Solo Stove is completely worth it. It comes with a lifetime warranty and can be easily stored and transported making it a very useful firepit for years to come.

Why is Solo Stoves so Special?

Solo Stove uses an airflow technology to burn off the smoke making it a smokeless or less smoke fire. A lot of people like this experience because they can have a backyard fire pit and not smell like smoke. This is accomplished by the design of the fire pit the hold around the top and airflow in the bottom allow the stove to bring in more oxygen into the fire pit.

Can you use a Solo Stove on a Deck?

Absolutely, with the stand, the Solo Stove stays relatively cool at the bottom of the fire pit.

Can you Burn Anything in a Solo Stove?

For the most part, Yes. However, things like pellets, gas, etc. can not be used. Most dry wood, twigs, etc can be used.

How Long Does a Solo Stove Last?

Solo Stoves have a lifetime warranty and should last that long if properly cared for and protected from the elements.

How Do you Stop a Solo Stove Fire?

It’s very difficult to smoother the fire because of the air inlets at the top and bottom of the stove. The best option is to let the fire burn out. I usually try to plan when I’ll be done with the fire and coordinate how much fuel is being added. This can be time intensive so plan ahead.

Do Solo Stoves Keep Bugs Away?

Insects typically are deterred from smoke. With a smokeless fire, there is less incentive for them to be featured. The heat helps a little, but not as much as a traditional campfire.

Do Solo Stoves Get Hot on the Bottom?

Yes, the bottom of a Solo Stove will get hot. However, it will not be as hot as the top, and the stand is still safe to use on outdoor decks.

Can you burn Duraflame logs in a Solo Stove?

Yes, you can burn Duraflame logs in a Solo Stove.

What do you put under a Solo Stove?

The best thing to put under a Solo Stove is the Solo Stove Stand. With the stand, it is safe to use on grass, dirt, decks, and patios.

Which is Better, a Solo Stove or a Breeo?

The Solo Stove is the original smokeless firepit. Breeo is a different design and aesthetics. Both work on similar principles but have different price points. I feel that the Breeo caters more to a permanate fire pit where Solo Stoves are more portable. Neither is better than the other, just different looks and costs.

What is the most popular Solo Stove?

The Bonfire Solo Stove is by far the most popular size. It is the perfect balance between portability and fire size.

Are Solo Stoves made in the USA?

From the information we can find, Solo Stoves are made in China.

How Long Does Wood Burn in a Solo Stove?

When the Solo Stove is about half wood and half air space it will burn for about an hour with the Bonfire model. This is good to keep in mind when planning to let the fire burn out.

How Long Does it take for the Solo Stove to Cool Down?

After the last remaining coals are burnt out, it will take an additional 30 min depending on the outside temperature and wind to completely cool the stove to the touch.

Conclusion

Why should you buy a Solo Stove? If you are looking for a perfect portable fire pit for the backyard that produces much less smoke than traditional fires and still has the feeling of a traditional fire then the Solo Stove is the fire pit for you. It’s simple, cleans up easily, doesn’t take up too much room, and looks great.

The downside of using a Solo Stove is that they are not cheap. However, the new models are substantially cheaper than the same size previous model. You could build or buy a fire ring or gas fire pit for less. Also, some firewood will be too long to properly fit in the stove causing it not to burn as efficiently and creating smoke. Lastly, the Solo Stove doesn’t put off as much heat as you might expect. The heat is directed upwards instead of outwards. You can buy the accessory to help with this.

I highly recommend the new version of the Solo Stove. I have a gas fire pit in my backyard and prefer the Solo Stove over it. It’s the feel of a real fire, cooking smores over it is much more fun than over a gas firepit. and it just looks great with friends gathered around it.

Pearl Izumi Summit vs Elevated Bike Pads

Travis Gneiting Apparel, Reviews

Pearl Izumi has two collections of knee and elbow pads the Summit and the Elevated.  The Summit series is aimed at being a lightweight super minimal knee and elbow pad and the Elevated is designed to be a bit more robust. How do you know what pads to buy?

You may have been shopping for a lightweight knee and elbow pad and seen there are many options that are very similar. Even the Peral Izumi Summit and Elevated pads are fairly similar. This buyer guide will help you determine which pad is best for you.

Similarities

  • Both the Summit and Elevated knee and elbow pads are CE level 1 certified
  • Both use D3O® protective material in different thicknesses
  • Both use Cordura® fabric for durability
  • Both are the same length
  • Both use the same breathable mesh back panels
  • Both have the same care instructions, simple detergents, don’t pour detergents directly on pads, low dryer settings, 

Differences

Summit Knee and Elbow Pads

The Summit knee and elbow pad are a slightly lighter weight pad that differs from the Elevated knee pad in a few ways: 

  • Retail Price $85.00 USD Knee and $65.00 USD Elbow 
  • The D3O® Pad is not removable
  • The pad is made from 83% polyamide, 13% elastane, 4% polyurethane

Elevated Knee and Elbow Pads

The Elevated knee and elbow pad is designed to offer a little more protection over the Summit pads.  The main difference between the Elevatrred Knee and elbow pad is: 

  • Retail Price $125.00 USD Knee and $85.00 USD Elbow
  • Removable D3O® Pad
  • D3O® Pad is about twice as thick
  • The pad is made from 82% polyamide, 15% elastane, 3% polyurethane 6OD: 55% polyester, 26% polyamide, 16% elastane, 3% polyurethane
  • There are 4 small high density foam pieces around the main knee pad
  • A velcro strap around the top of the calf
  • D3O® is T+ and T- which means it’s rated and tested for warmer and colder conditions ( EN 1621-1 CE standard)

Conclusion

I have been riding both of these Pearl Izumi knee pads for the last couple of months in the extreme heat of the desert with temperatures above 100 degrees. These pads fall in the light trail riding category. I would not recommend them for downhill cycling.  

Both pads are lightweight, very comfortable to pedal in, breathable, and provide just enough protection to save your skin if you were to fall with them on. 

Both pads stay in place when pedaling, and honestly, it might be hard to tell a difference when riding with either pad.  The main difference is the thickness of the padding on the Elevated pads.  They offer a bit more impact protection over the Summit.  

If you are looking to save a few bucks and are more concerned with how comfortable a pad is to wear and are less worried about the impact of a fall, I would recommend the Summit knee pad. I’ve put 4-hour rides in with them on and could keep going. They breathe well and provide a little peace of mind.

If you are looking to push it a little harder, but aren’t interested in a full enduro or downhill set of pads. Or, if you are looking for better protection from the impact I recommend the Elevated pads. That is if the additional $50 for knee and $20 for elbow pads aren’t an issue. 

KETL Mountain Bike Apparel Reviewed

Travis Gneiting Apparel, Reviews

Ketl Mountain Bike Shorts

You may recognize the Ketl brand from Worldwide Cyclery and their popular YouTube channel and owner. Ketl was purchased by Worldwide Cyclery and makes high-end trail riding clothing. One of their most popular products is their shorts which come in two lengths. The shorts were recently updated as a second version with better closure and styling.

Ketl Virtue Hybrid Shorts Version 2

The shorts are the perfect trail riding mountain bike shorts. They are extremely soft stretchy lightweight and move well on the bike. The one thing that stands out to me the most is the unique styling added to pieces like the inside of the pockets breathable super soft and stretchy lining. The unique flat laying belt works a lot better than snap/button closure I also like the notched leg hole and red kettle tag. 

Virtue 11-Inch

The shorts have one open pocket for quick access and another zipper pocket on the right side for keeping things safe while on the trail. The back right pocket has a zipper and the left back pocket has a button. It’s an excellent mix between fashion and function. 

On the inside of the short is a rubber gripper around the waist velcro closure. A slight adjustment can be made to the short waist with the belt built in. The shorts fit true to size for a medium. I’m about 5’10” with a 31-inch waist and the size medium fits me perfectly.

Virtue 9-Inch

The shorts come in two different lengths a 9-inch and an 11-inch. The different lengths are a personal preference although when pedaling a bike the shorter 9-inch shorts seem to rise up about mid-thigh. While the 11-inch shorts provide a bit more coverage and don’t show a stripe of skin when wearing with some knee pads.

There are hundreds of mountain bike shorts on the market so why would you choose Ketl over another. The shorts are specifically they are focused on trail riders. Because the shorts are soft and stretchy they don’t offer as much protection against falls. They are however super comfortable for multi-hour rides on the bike. Other reasons you might consider Ketl over another brand of bike shorts are pockets having zippers.

Ketl Virtue Features

  • 9” or 11″ inseam is perfect for on the bike but can be used for any activities
  • Functional, minimalist design
  • Gusset keeps the family jewels nice and comfortable
  • Super stretchy, lightweight fabric provides freedom of movement
  • Grippy waistband & new G hook adjustable closure system dials in fit
  • Quick drying so you can take a bath in the lake and not regret it
  • Mesh-lined front pockets
  • 2 zipper pockets secure the essentials
  • 53% nylon, 35% polyester, 12% spandex
  • Weight: 218g (taken from size medium)
  • Fabric weight: 144gsm

What size and length should you buy?

9″ on Left, 11″ on Right

The Shorts come in 5 different sizes (small to XXL) and two lengths (9-inch and 11-inch) so what size should you buy?

I was lucky enough to try both the 9-inch and 11-inch shorts of the new version 2 of the Virtue Hybrid Shorts.  I weigh about 165 lbs and have a waist of about 31 inches. The medium shorts fit me perfectly. I would advise using the sizing guide as I feel that it accurately represents the waist size to purchase.

As for the length, if you like riding with knee pads I would recommend the longer 11-inch shorts. If you are a light trail rider who also likes the feeling of sometimes riding lycra I think you will appreciate the shorter 9-inch shorts.  

Ketl also offers free shipping and returns so you can get the exact fit you like. However, we all hate the hassle of having to return or exchange for a different size so I hope the pictures and description help us get the right size the first time.

KETL Virtue Shorts Conclusion

I have ridden over 50 different pairs of mountain biking shorts. The reason I like the Ketl Virtue shorts and turn to them over other shorts is the soft comfortable feeling. With some shorts, I want them off as soon as I’m done riding because they are stiff and rugged. I often keep wearing the Ketl Virtue shorts all day or reach for them even when I’m not riding.  There are some reasons not to wear them or purchase another option. If you are looking for something that offers more protection for enduro or downhill riding I wouldn’t recommend these for park laps. Also, the shorts tend to wrinkle a lot when packed. However, wearing them throughout the day seems to release wrinkles.  For $75 where a lot of other cycling shorts are easily over $100, these are a great value for a comfortable pair of shorts for on and off the trail.

KETL Wayward Shirt Review

The Wayward shirt is super lightweight biking, hiking, or just around town shirt with a true “cycle fit” to it. The KETL wayward shirt comes in long sleeves and short sleeves. It features flatlock seams, super lightweight, and breathable fabric, a rear zipper pocket big enough to fit a credit card or key, microfiber glasses wipe, and a lower rear cut to keep your crack covered.

If you’re looking at the shorts you should also take a look at their cycling jerseys they are made from 53% polyester 40% recycled polyester and 7% panda expandex and made in China.

This makes for a super lightweight stretchy moisture-wicking Jersey that has a nice long cut and stays down when biking. Some of the features include a small zipper pocket lined with microfiber material for cleaning glasses and zipper closure. There are thousands of bike jerseys out there you might consider choosing a kettle mountain bike Jersey when purchasing the kettle mountain bike shorts because of the color matching the fit with a longer sleeve for some protection.

I am 5’10” tall and about 165 lb wearing size medium fits me exactly how I like. The sleeves are tight enough that they don’t flap in the wind, and the length is long enough to cover the front and rear when walking around town or in the saddle. While the jersey has a “cycling cut” to it, it wouldn’t easily be identified as a bike jersey. The natural color options and casual style make this a lightweight shirt I like to wear all the time.

Ketl Wayward What Size to Buy

The Wayward shirt comes in sizes small to XXL. The shirt is also offered in both long sleeves and short sleeves. I am 5’10” tall and about 165 pounds and wearing a size medium. I feel like it fits me perfectly. Not too loose for flapping in the wind but not so tight it is restrictive. 

Ketl Wayward Features

  • Minimalist design great for the trails and post-ride brewery session
  • UPF 30 rating
  • Lightweight and breathable material
  • Side zipper pocket can fit ID or credit cards
  • Microfiber eyewear wipe
  • Fold over collar style
  • Raglan sleeve with flatlock stitching throughout
  • 53% polyester, 40% recycled polyester, 7% spandex
  • Weight: 139g (taken from size medium)
  • Fabric weight: 129gsm

Ketl Wayward Shirt Conclusion

Pairing the Wayward shirt with the Virtue shorts is a great look and feel for a cool riding kit. It is super breathable for hot days, stretches in all directions, and dries quickly. It’s minimal design but has a few subtle branding tags that I appreciate. I love the added zipper pocket for stashing small items when I don’t want to carry a pack or have something in my pockets.  A $50 bike jersey is pretty hard to find when you get free shipping, exchanges, returns, and a lifetime guarantee.

KETL Socks

I believe a good pair of riding socks are one of the most underrated pieces of cycling clothing. If you are wearing a pair of puffy cotton socks it’s time to try a bike-specific sock. They are expensive but having just a single pair and seeing how long they last will be worth the cost in the long run. I’ve literally been wearing some cycling socks for over a decade. A lot of them are built much better than your cheap grocery store tube socks.  The Ketl warm weather socks are as high quality as they come. 

The Merino wool socks fit more snugly and don’t move around your feet as much. The Merino wool allows for a more breathable stench-free sock because of its natural properties. 

Ketl socks come with the same free shipping, and free returns so it’s worth giving them a shot. If you don’t like them return them. 

Ketl Warranty and Repairs

Everything we make is guaranteed to be amazing & last a lifetime. We stand behind our craftsmanship with a lifetime warranty & offer a thorough repair / replace the program. Visit our Warranty / Repairs page for more information on our commitment to excellence.

Spy Optics Sunglasses Review

Travis Gneiting Reviews

Spy Optics might not be the first thought for a good pair of cycling glasses. But the new Monolith has a similar shape and size to a lot of other biking glasses like the Oakley Sutro, Smith Wildcat (See our review here), and TIfosi Rail (See Review here). The main difference is the new Happy Boost Lens that brightens the colors and honestly does kind of make you feel a little happier with just how bright and vibrant the colors are when wearing them.

The Monolith comes in a full frame and a 50/50 frame option ranging in price from $150 to $210 USD. There are nine color options to choose from.

The lenses on the model are one piece curved which can sometimes distort the vision. Spy uses active radius curvature to reduce the distortion on a large.

Size

Framed Sunglasses

Frameless Sunglasses

Specs

  • SPY+’s revolutionary therapeutic Happy™ lens tech is scientifically tuned to boost mood and alertness while enhancing color and contrast, providing a truly life-changing visual experience
  • ARC® (Accurate Radius Curvature) polycarbonate lenses are tapered to follow the natural curvature of the eye, providing crystal-clear distortion-free vision while reducing eyestrain
  • Scoop® ventilation system increases air flow and decreases fog-causing sweat and moisture
  • Constructed from Grilamid®, a lightweight frame material ideal for everyday wear due to its strength and flexibility
  • Comfortable rubber nose pads provide a secure fit no matter how hard you sweat
  • Third-eye SPY+ cross lens detail
  • Snap pin hinges provide a secure, comfortable fit
  • 100% UV protection reduces eye fatigue and long-term sun damage
  • Frame measures 142-00-147

Happy Boost Lens

The image above I took by holding the Happy Boost lens in front of my camera in southern Utah. It shows how drastic the contrast is with the bright sunshine washing out the color and how beautiful and vibrant the colors are with the sunglasses. These are the most intense color optimizing color enhancing lenses I have ever used.

The Monolith has the option of Happy Boost Lens. Aside from the large coverage and unique frames the Happy Boost is something similar to Smith ChromaPop lens. It amplifies the colors making them more vivid and sharp. Think of cranking up the saturation on your Instagram filter. The colors really do put a smile on your face. I find myself having to pull the glasses down from time to time just to see the real colors. The claim is that Happy Boost is 15% more intense. You can learn more about the Happy Boost Lens on Spy Optics Website

Overall

The Spy Monolith is a nice oversized cycling Sunglass. It has a lot of coverage across the face and on the temples and around the sides of the eyes. One issue I have with my face shape is the large gap under the glasses to my face allows a lot of air to come up behind the sunglasses. However, looking at the images from other people wearing them on SpyOptics.com, It looks like they fit much better than I.

Outdoor Master Electric Skateboard Review

Travis Gneiting Reviews, Skateboard

I have personally used the Outdoor Master Electric Skateboard over the past 6 months and this is my honest unbiased review. I tested the electric skateboard in Utah, Nevada, and California in a range of templates and climates. I’ve been skateboarding for a couple of decades now and am very knowledgeable about skateboards to provide an in-depth review of this e-skateboard.

If you love longboarding, skateboarding, surfing, wakeboarding, or wake surfing you are going to love riding an electric skateboard. It takes away the work of pushing uphill or around the flats and has a much more surf-like feeling to it. Like riding fresh powder on a snowboard you can carve back and forth on the electric skateboard pushing into turns just like the feeling you get when snowboarding.

The Outdoor Master is a great way to get into Electric Skateboards at an entry-level price for a high-quality board.  With some electric skateboards costing upwards of $1500 the $660 price tag for the Outdoor Master Booster board is a bargain.  Don’t think because of the small price tag that this is a cheap board. I have put hundreds of miles on it. The battery is the longest range I have used on any electric skateboard. II can go for weeks without charging it.

How Does the Electric Skateboard Work?

If you have never ridden an electric skateboard and are looking at buying the Outdoor Master skateboard because of its reasonable price and quality build there are some things you should know first.

The electric skateboard has an onboard battery as well as a motor. There are typically two types of motors. Hub motors that fit inside the wheels and belt drive motors that connect to the wheel and turn them. Both have advantages and disadvantages. The Outdoor Master has hub-style wheels that can’t easily be swapped out for different wheels if you wanted a bigger or different hardness wheel.

The other major piece of the board is the remote control. This is how you can control your speed as you are riding the board. The remote control has a wheel that you can rotate forward or backward to speed up or slow down the board as you are riding it.  The remote controls also have other features like speed modes, speed display, battery power display, etc. but their main function is to control the movement of the board.

To start off, I like to give a little push when I jump on the board. This reduces the initial “jerk” you get when the motor kicks in. Rolling the thumbwheel forward, you feel the motor kick in and push you forward. For your first time using the board, make sure you are in the first or slowest mode. You will be surprised how fast these boards can go.  As a hint as you get better and more comfortable on the board, tightening your trucks with the included tool will help stabilize the board at high speed, however doing this at low speed removes the surfy carving feeling.

To stop the board or slow down, rotate the thumbwheel back toward you. A helpful hint is to prepare for the initial braking by leaning back on the board to prevent being thrown off it when braking.

Outdoor Master Coupons, Discounts, and Codes

Outdoor Master often has amazing sales on all their gear. This includes summer items like paddleboards, beach tents, bikes, and skateboard helmets. Outdoor Master also has a wide variety of winter products like Ski and snowboard helmets and goggles as well as storage bags.

Outdoor Master Skateboard Specs

  • Range: 27 Miles/45Km
  • Board weight:
  • Remote weight:
  • Charging Time: 4 hours
  • Max-Weight load: 150 kg or 330 lbs
  • Speed Modes
    • 1: 15 Km/hour or 9 Mph
    • 2: 25 Km/hour or 15 Mph
    • 3: 35 Km/hour or 21 Mph
    • 4: 40 Km/hour or 24 Mph
  • Motor: 2 x 450 watt Hub Motors
  • Battery: 12500 mAh Lithium-Ion Battery
  • Wheels: 80 PU
  • Climbing: Upto 30-degree incline
  • Remote Battery: 200 mAh

Electric Skateboard Motor

The Outdoor Master Skateboard uses a motor hub as opposed to a belt motor. There are 2 motors on the rear wheels of the board. This provides equal push and torque when the motors are engaged. You can switch the direction of the motors and they are also used to slow down the board even recycling some of that energy back into the battery.

Electric Skateboard Deck

Most skateboards and electric skateboards are made by layering up maple wood gluing it together in a press then cutting it out. That is how the Outdoor master boards are made. However, sometimes carbon and fiberglass are added for extra strength and durability. The maple boards offer a nice flex you can feel when pushing into turns with your feet. It also helps the board turn better than a solid or rigid board.

Electric Skateboard Grip Tape

The Outdoor Master skateboard grip tape is very grippy and has lasted for months with no sign of wearing off so far. It can get dirty and is hard to clean off if that is something you are worried about.

Electric Skateboard Trucks

The Outdoor Master has a high-quality durable truck that is not branded. The trucks are adjustable and the bushings could be replaced if needed or to adjust the way the board rides.

Electric Skateboard Battery

The battery makes up the majority of the weight of the skateboard. Additionally, at the other end are the brains of the board so there are two large plastic covers on the bottom of the board. The battery on the Boost board is one of the biggest and longest-range batteries on the market and can still be charged in just 4 hours. Once the battery is charged it lasts for weeks depending on how frequently and long you ride the board.

Electric Skateboard Battery Range

The battery range on the Outdoor Master e-skateboard is one of the longest in the market.  The claimed range is 27 miles or 45 kilometers. My feet personally can’t ride it for 27 miles before falling asleep from the vibration of the road or cracks in a sidewalk.  I usually ride it for a few miles at most. Riding the board for just a mile or two every couple of days, the battery lasted over a month.  The Battery in the skateboard remote control is equally long. It closely matched the skateboard battery both battery levels are indicated on the remote, and the board has a battery indicator with 4 bars on the board. 

Electric Skateboard Battery Charge

The electric skateboard charges by a port on the bottom of the board with a rubber plug in it. 

The remote control charges from a USBC cable plugged into the bottom of it.

One of the coolest features of the Outdoor Master Electric Skateboard is that it actually collects energy back when the brakes are used and stores it back in the battery.  Having ridden many electric scooters and e-bikes I have often wished this was a feature.  Theoretically, you could hike to the top of a hill and ride the board down with the brakes applied. You could charge your battery. 

Outdoor Master Remote Control

The remote control feels like it is made of lightweight plastic with an LCD screen to show the following:

  • Power Button
  • Function Button
  • Accelerate and brake wheel
  • Speed Gear (1-4)
  • Remote Control Battery Level
  • Mileage Per Trip
  • Board Battery
  • Braking Gear (1-4)
  • Signal Indicator
  • Total Mileage
  • Speed
  • The direction of the board

Why Buy a Board from Outdoor Master

  • LY-FOC 7.0 Control System
  • 30 Day Return policy
  • 1 Year Warranty
  • Free Delivery

Pros and Cons

ProCon
Long Battery LifeSkateboard Brakes
High-quality board buildCheap feeling remote
Value

Comparison Electric Skateboards

The Outdoor Master Electric Skateboards come in two different models. The Booster and the Cruiser.  Look at the comparison table below to see the difference.

Booster BoardCruiser Board
Battery12500 mAh Lithium4400 mAh Lithium
Board8 Layer Canadian Maple11 Layer Canadian Maple + 2 Layer Fiberglass
TrucksStandardShock Absorbing
Motor2x450W Hub Motor2x450W Hub Motor
ProcessorLY-FOC 7.0LY-FOC 7.0
Max Load150 kg150 kg
Charging Time4 hours3 hours
WeightNW: 20lbs/9.1kgNW 17.2lbs/7.8kg
Range27 miles/45 km15 miles/25 km
Price$659.00 USD$699.00 USD
Shop NowShop Now

Electric Skateboard Brands

Other Electric Skateboard Brand
Atom Longboards
Backfire Boards
Black Hawk
Evolve
Maxfind
Razor
Raldey
Skatebold
Teamgee
Windseeker

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Outdoor Master offer Coupon Codes?

Yes, Outdoor master often has sales and coupon codes for saving extra cash on their products. Check out GearChase.com for a list or just head to OutdoorMaster.com.

Does Outdoor Master have Sales?

Yes, Just like coupon codes Outdoor Master always has sales. The best time to check is around the holidays for sales on Outdoor Master products.

What terrain can you ride on e-skateboard street or all-terrain?

Different electric skateboards are designed for different terrain. The Outdoor Master E-Skateboards are designed primarily for use on paved surfaces. The soft urethane wheels don’t do well off-road, or in the grass. However, there are other electric skateboards that you can switch the wheels out for large diameter wheels and are more designed to use off-road or in various terrain.

Are Electric Skateboards waterproof?

Most electric skateboards are not waterproof. However, most e-skateboards should be fine riding through small puddles of water. If you are trapped in a rainstorm and riding for miles it might be best to hold off until the rain stops and roads dry out. Some of the off-road e-skateboards are designed more to keep the dust-out and can take more abuse. 

Best shoes for e-skateboards?

Skateboard shoes can be a preference. Some like a thin sole so they can “Feel” the board more under their feet. Others may choose a more durable shoe with some toe protection, especially when riding at high speeds. Vans have been one of the most popular shoes for skateboarding. They usually have a good in-between feeling and offer some protection.

Best Helmet for e-skateboards?

Outdoor Master offers a great helmet selection at an incredible price. Typically when choosing a helmet for electric skateboarding the style that matches is an ASTM and CPSC certified helmet. However, in a pinch, a bike-specific helmet could be used. Be sure to check out the high-value helmets offered by Outdoor Master.

Best pads for e-skateboards?

If you are new to e-skateboarding you should be looking to purchase three sets of pads. Knee pads, elbow pads, and wrist guards. There are many cheap pads that will slide out of place during a fall. These are usually pads that are held in place by a small not very secure velcro strap. A good pad with a firm durable stretchy strap or sleeve to slide your leg or elbow into. This prevents the pad from moving out of place during a fall.

There are also hard plastic and soft shell pads. A hard plastic shell pad on the knees, elbows, and wrist is the best option for e-skateboards.

Conclusion

The Outdoor Master is a great brand that I have been impressed with more and more as I’ve used their products and tested them out. You can see our helmet and goggle reviews here or you can check out the inflatable paddle board pump from the Outdoor Master review we did as well.

Amazon Valwix Inflatable Stand Up Paddleboard ISUP Review

Travis Gneiting Paddle Board, Reviews

Valwix Paddleboard Overview

The paddleboard is a great value coming with many accessories and a strong quality build. It also comes with an electric pump that we have a separate review. Everything you need to get started with a paddleboard is included.

The electric pump that comes with the paddleboard retails alone for about $100 alone. The fact that it’s included in the accessories of the paddleboard makes this purchase even better. The electric pump takes about 15 min to pump up the paddleboard to 14 PSI.

The pump is a 2 stage pump that starts off in a high air volume mode and then switches over to high pressure. You can hear the pump change from one cycle to the next during inflation.

Paddleboard Weight

The paddleboard weighs in at 22 lbs. This is about average for most paddleboards I’ve used. It also shows when compared to other paddleboards that it weighs about the same and so the quality of materials are similar. It’s not a cheaper or thinner material.

Packing and Storing Paddleboard

The paddleboard comes with its own carrying and storing zipper case. It is large enough to hold the paddleboard, pump, paddles, patch kit, and dry bag. The bag is not the strongest paddleboard bag I’ve ever used, but as long as it’s not going to be used on a lot of hiking or rough adventures it should be sufficient for storing the inflatable paddleboard in the garage.

Paddleboard Usage

The main importance of an inflatable paddle board is that it’s stiff. The performance of a paddleboard is reduced when there is flex in the board. The Valwix paddleboard is as firm as paddleboards costing twice as much.

Comparision

To show the shape and outline of the Valwix Odyssey Inflatable Stand Up Paddleboard, I have compared it to the ISLE Pioneer Paddleboard. The Pioneer is a beginner board that is a wider shorter board, whereas the Odyssey has a narrower tail and pointer nose for a smoother glide. The width of the board’s area is about the same to allow good stability.

The picture below shows another comparison of the two paddleboards and just how much narrower the tail of the paddleboard is. The thickness of the boards is about the same. The narrow tail allows for a more nimble board that is easier to turn.

The Odyssey is almost a foot longer than the Isle Pioneer. This allows it to glide through the water easier and can help with overall stability in choppy water.

Conclusion

The Valwix paddleboard is a great value. There are hundreds of inflatable paddleboards to choose from on Amazon. My fear is not knowing the quality in comparison to the price when buying a product like this on Amazon. I hope this review helps to show that the board is high quality and a great value.

Airbank WhaleShark D6 Inflatable Paddleboard Pump

Travis Gneiting Paddle Board, Reviews

The airbag stand-up paddleboard pump can inflate paddleboards and other inflatables up to 20 psi from a 12 volt DC card connector. The pump has two stages the first one will inflate using high volume the second will inflate using higher pressure. This makes it great for all-around use from inflating stand-up paddleboards to pool toys and boat towables like tubes.

Airbank currently has two stand-up paddleboard pumps the Airbank D7 and the Airbank d6. Both can inflate up to 20 psi are easy to operate have a real-time digital monitor and pack up in a nice portable design. They can both inflate and deflate paddleboards. Both come with five different nozzles for inflating various types.

Specification

Item Package Dimensions L x W x H‎13.27 x 8.27 x 5.12 inches
Package Weight‎2.02 Kilograms
Brand Name‎AIRBANK
Model Name‎The Whale Shark
Manufacturer‎AIRBANK
Part Number‎D6
Model Year‎2022

The main difference between the two paddleboard pumps offered by Airbank is that the D7 is slightly larger and the DAirbank 6 is smaller and the power cord can be stored inside the pump.

One of my favorite features of the Airbank pump is that the inflation hose can be stored attached to the pump. I’ve tested a lot of stand-up paddleboard pumps that are electric and this is the only brand that offers an attachable hose to the case. Even better the d6 has the power cord attached inside as well. This makes it one of the best portable stand-up paddleboard pumps in my opinion.

The main drawback of Airbank electric pumps is the short power cable which makes it difficult for a large truck to reach the ground and ultimately a paddleboard. I wish the cable were about 5 ft longer it would make this pump more convenient to use. There have been times when I was parked in busy parking lots that made it difficult to pump up boards because the cord was too short.

The Airbank D7 retails for $89.99 USD and the Airbank D6 retails for $109.99 USD. I would guess that the internals of both of these pumps are the same and the only difference is the form factor size and power cable storage.

Update

We recently received the new battery-powered version of the Airbank Pump. This was the first cordless paddleboard pump we have used, and it has quickly become the first paddleboard pump I reach for. When I am pumping up a paddleboard it has to be so close to the vehicle it has always been an issue, especially when the parking lots are crowded. I had to resort to running the cable through a back window in my truck to the bed where I would inflate the paddleboard.

With the cordless battery-powered paddleboard pump I can now take the paddleboard right down to the beach and inflate it there away from the crowds, and where the noise isn’t as loud. I love the convenience of being able to use the pump without a vehicle nearby. I also love there is a plug built-in for peice of mind or to charge the pump back up if needed. The small price increase is well worth it. I’ve used it for paddleboards and tubes. Be sure to take a look at it when trying to make a buying decision on new paddleboard pumps. In my opinion, you should definitely get one with a battery-powered pump.

The pump is just as fast and can pump up multiple paddleboards with a single charge. Just look at the pile of tubes I blew up and it only dropped 1 of 4 bars on the battery indicator.

  • Outdoor Master Electric Skateboard Review

  • Amazon Valwix Inflatable Stand Up Paddleboard ISUP Review

  • Airbank WhaleShark D6 Inflatable Paddleboard Pump

  • AIRBANK Electric Air Inflator D7 Paddleboard Pump Review

Smith Bobcat & Wildcat Sunglasses

Smith Optics Wildcat vs. Bobcat Sunglasses In-depth Comparison & Review

Travis Gneiting Bikes, First Look, Reviews

Are you trying to find out what the difference is between the new Smith Bobcat sunglasses vs the popular Smith Wildcat sunglasses? From a distance, the two sunglasses from Smith Optics both look like large oversized cycling sunglasses for road biking or mountain biking. They both offer a large face and eye protection as well as rubber contact points to prevent slipping, and interchangeable lenses, they even come with the same accessories (sunglasses hard case, and soft bag). So why would you choose one pair over the other?

A quick view of the sunglasses side by side shows the Wildcat is a slightly larger version of the Bobcat. There are a few other subtle differences. If you are simply trying to decide based on the size, I’d recommend if you have a slightly smaller face go with the Bobcat, if you have a larger face go with the Wildcat.

Wildcat Sunglasses on the Left, Bobcat Sunglasses on the Right

Size

WildcatBobcat
Frame Width144 mm140 mm
Frame Height63 mm60 mm
Lens Width140 mm135 mm
Lens Height60 mm57 mm
Temple Length129 mm128 mm
Temple Height12 mm10.5 mm

Colors

The Wildcat comes in 8 different colors.  The Bobcat comes in 6 different colors. If you are looking for a specific color other than Black or White, this could help you decide what pair of sunglasses to buy.

WildcatBobcat
Matte Safari
Matte Cement
WhiteWhite
Get Wild (Blue and Pink)
Black CInder (Black and Orange)
BlackBlack
Matte White
Matte Mystic Green
Matte Merlot
Matte French Navy
Matte Black
Matte Black Marble
Smith Bobcat sunglasses on the left, Wildcat on the right.

Lens Quality

There are basically three categories of lenses offered by Smith Optics on the Wildcat and Bobcat sunglasses. Clear lens, light transmission (ChomaPop) lens, and Photochromatic. Below is a list of lens options for the Wildcat and the Bobcat.

The ChromaPop™ lenses enhance the surroundings. They bring a bit of saturation to the environment. The grass is a little greener and the flowers a little brighter.

Lens

In addition to there being a variety of different frame colors for the Smith sunglasses, there are also unique lens options for each model of sunglasses. If you are looking for a specific color like the Rose Gold or Green Mirro it may help direct your decision.  The Green Mirror is only available for the Wildcat model and the Rose Gold is only available on the Bobcat. 

WildcatBobcat
ChromaPop Black10% VLTChromaPop Black10% VLT
ChromaPop Red Mirror15% VLTChromaPop Red Mirror15% VLT
ChromaPop Opal Mirror30% VLT
ChromaPop Violet Mirror15% VLTChromaPop Violet Mirror15% VLT
ChromaPop Rose Gold Mirror22% VLT
Photochromic Clear to Gray20% to 85% VLTPhotochromic Clear to Gray20% to 85% VLT
ChromaPop Green Mirror15% VLT
ChromaPop Black Gold14% VLT
Extra Clear Lens in Hardcase

Extra Lens

Both pairs of Smith Optics Sunglasses come with an extra clear lens. Typically, most Smith Sport sunglasses come with a set of clear extra lenses.  The clear lens is great for really low light, or night riding with a light.

Lens Swap

Lens are replaceable and can be swapped for the clear lens or purchase a replacement on SmithOptics.com.  The glasses feel a bit fragile when swapping the lens out, but I’ve never broken any part when doing so.  I swap between the clear lens and the VLT lens almost daily. I typically start my rides in the evening and bring a bike light with me. When I put on my bike light I swap my lens over to the clear lens. Be sure to watch our YouTube video for difficulty swapping lenses.

Frame

Frame
WildcatChromaPop™Hybrid TR90 and TPU frameAutoLock hinges hold frames open for easy one-hand on and off
BobcatEvolve™ bio-based frame material is lightweight and durableAutoLock hinges hold frames open for easy one-hand on and off strategic venting increases airflow for reduced fogging and maximum clarity
Smith Wildcat on the Left, Smith Bobcat on the Right

Glasses Temple Arms

The template arms of both the Wildcat and the Bobcat are covered with soft silicone rubber. The Bobcat rubber piece extends a little further forward than the Bobcat. The tip on the end of both sunglasses is left uncovered. The WIldcat has a stronger thicker feel to the temple than the Bobcat. 

Model number and name are stamped on the inside of the temple arm. 

Glasses Nose Piece

Both sunglasses have a very similar silicone nose piece. They are adjustable two-position by pinching the nose piece together there is a click in the plastic to feel the adjustment.

Price Comparison

The Wildcat and the Bobcat are priced the same with a ChromaPop Lens or for an extra $20 you can get the Photochromic lens.

ModelPrice
Smith Wildcat ChromaPop$209.00 USD
Smith Wildcat Photochromic$229.00 USD
Smith Bobcat ChromaPop$209.00 USD
Smith Bobcat Photochromic$229.00 USD

Sunglasses with Helmet

I always recommend pairing Sunglasses and Google with the same brand of helmet. The integration from storage in the helmet and the clean lines of the way the goggle and sunglasses follow the brow of the helmet look a lot better. Additionally, helmets and glasses are usually combined for better ventilation to prevent fogging.

Riding in beautiful Colorado with the Smith Forefront helmet and Wildcat Sunglasses

Other Sunglasses Options

Smith Shift Mag

Smith Flywheel

Smith Ruckus

Smith Boomtown

Smith Reverb

Smith Optics Warranty

Smith offers a lifetime warranty on both pairs of sunglasses. This basically covers manufacturing defects at their discretion. My experience has been that they are pretty good with their warranty process.

Smith Optics Return and Exchange Policy

Smith allows you to return orders online within 30 days of the purchase date. The glasses need to be unused and in the original packaging. Additionally, there is a $6 fee for shipping.

Final Thoughts

I have been riding on and off-road with the WIldcat and Bobcat for the last few weeks. I have a larger face and sensitive eyes so I prefer the Wildcat coverage to the Bobcat.  The Bobcat tends to block more wind from getting in my eyes. Another difference that I prefer that may be small is that the rubber on the temples extends to where you grab the rubber when putting on and taking off the glasses. It is just a little more secure and something I often appreciate. 

Both of these sunglasses are often sold out on Smith’s website, but you can check the inventory.

If they are sold out, you can also use GearChase.com to search many other major online retailers for inventory here.

Favero Assioma Duo Power Meter Pedals Reviewed – Beginner

Travis Gneiting Bikes, First Look, Reviews

I have been cycling for a couple of decades now. I’ve used power as a training metric on my indoor bike trainer. I have also paid close attention to the estimated power output available from Strava. However, I have never used a power meter on my bike outdoors. I’ve looked into power meters in the past but became confused by the different options of the crank, hub, spider, pedals, and even some air estimated power output.

I choose to use the Assioma Duo power meter pedals because I ride multiple bikes and wanted to be able to easily switch between bikes, easily charge, and

Favero Assioma Duo Pedals

Assioma offers two types of pedals. One with the power meter on one side or one pedal and the other includes power meters on both sides. The duo or both side PowerMeter is nice because it shows the balance in the cake

The pedals have force meters that measure the amount of force applied during the pedal stroke. This measurement is collected from each pedal and transferred to your device. This could be a Garmin style head unit, watch, or phone via Bluetooth or Ant+(another popular connection).

Batteries

The battery life is really good on these pedals. I get at least 50 hours out of a single charge. Using the App I can always check to see how much battery power I have left before heading out on a ride. Charging them takes a few hours, but I feel like I only end up charging them a couple of times a month. The battery is rated to maintain a full charge for 500 charges. After 500 full charge-discharge cycles the pedals could lose up to 20% of their initial battery. This means that they last longer than 500 cycles.

Charging the Batteries

Charging these batteries on the go is one of my favorite features. They can be charged by USB for easy portable charging with a battery pack. They also come with a double USB charging brick with long cables making it easy to reach each pedal from an outlet. The chargers connect via magnet to the pedals, with no clips to break, however, if you are stretching over a long distance to connect the charger to the pedals this can be an issue with accidentally disconnecting the chargers from the pedal.

Weight

The pedals weigh 305 grams together. Considering the technology and batteries that are also included inside the pedal spindle that’s just slightly heavier than a pair of SPD or Look pedals. Other power meter pedals weigh more for similar battery life. In comparison, they are one of the lightest power meter pedals with long battery life.

Cleat Compatibility

The Assiomas pedals are compatible with Look KEO cleats. If you are partial to Shimano cleats you do have another option. You can purchase a pare of power meter internals that can be installed on the Shimano pedal bodies. They are extremely easy to install and give you the option to use Shimano cleats. It could also save you a little money if you already have a pair of 

Device Compatibility

The pedals are both Bluetooth and ANT+ compatible for both cycling computers, phones, and watches compatibility. Using the Assioma app the pedals easily connect once rotated a few times and the light is illuminated. The app is also the way that the pedal’s firmware can be updated. Also a simple process of just waking up the pedals, connecting to them in the app, and clicking the update button.

Beginner Power Meter Pedals

As I mentioned I am brand new to using power measurements on an outdoor bike. I have used power to train on an indoor bike trainer but never outdoors. This can give you a good overview of what I think like a beginner and help you make a decision on your own if you are shopping for a power meter.

Before I purchased the Assioma Duo pedals directly from Fevero I did some research on the different types of power meters. I didn’t want to use a crank or hub power meter because I planned on using them on different bikes. If you are shopping for a cycling power meter keep this in mind.

I received the pedals in the mail and never am a fan of reading instructions so I opened the box, and put the pedals on my bike. I searched Google play store for the App and downloaded it.  When installing the pedals I noticed a light turning on and figured they were already charged enough to try to connect to them.  It was super simple to connect the pedals to the app. Just clicked the plus icon and made sure both lights on each pedal were turned on and they were located. 

The pedals needed an update, so I clicked the update button in the app and they started updating. Updating the pedals took about 5 minutes. 

I then connected the pedals to my Garmin Fenix 5x watch that I would be wearing while riding. 

I already had a red look cleat attached to my cycling shoes. I noticed the pedals were a lot tighter by default so I loosed them up and went to an hour test ride. As I took off I remembered something I saw online that you need to zero out the pedals first. So I stopped and used the app (can also use my Garmin) to zero them out.

I then realized I hadn’t set up my watch to display the power output. So I stopped again and added a data screen to show 3s, 10s, Max, and Total Work. This would give me some general numbers to view while I was getting started.

Back to riding, quickly realized I didn’t like having the power numbers on my wrist.  I switch from a Garmin Edge a few years ago because I was trying to simplify my rides. I am already shopping for a new Garmin Edge and holding out for a new release of the Garmin 840 soon.  When paying attention to a spring or climb and trying to view the power numbers on a watch is too difficult to view without taking a hand off the handlebars.

Once I saw the numbers appearing in real-time it was easy to get lost in them. Trying to maintain steady power output. Seeing how much I can increase my max output, FTP, and average power. The more I looked at the data the more data I wanted. I soon set up a few other screens on my watch so I could see my pedaling balance, and pedaling smoothness using the IAV Cycling Dynamics.  I really enjoyed seeing my “Work” in kilojoules. There was no more cheating on rides or using the wind to give me a false sense of output I was generating.  I often ride a similar route and now I can tell if the ride was easier or harder than other times I have ridden the same route.  Some other statistics that I like to pay attention to are the “Total Standing Time” where my power is in relation to my position on the bike and total pedal strokes.

The data can be overwhelming. On my Garmin watch I can select a 20 or so data points to display. In the Garmin Connect app, there are many more.

Now that I have all this data what do I do with it?  Now that I’ve been riding the pedals for a few months now and the newness and excitement have worn off. I still find myself checking my rides in Garmin and Strava for a few key data points like “Work” and average power. Cadence is also a metic I have started to pay more attention to now that I can relate my power to cadence.

Power meters are expensive and not for everyone.  I am an engineer by trade and enjoy diving into the details of products and numbers. I have found that my workouts are more effective and my training more disciplined. I have also found that my knee pain has increased and I tend to push myself harder than before. 

Assioma Duo Pedals Specifications

Price
Assioma Duo$745.00 USD
Assioma Uno$486.00 USD
Sensors Only$647.00 USD
Weight151.5 g each pedal
BrandAssioma
Battery500 Charges at full capacity, but can slowly loose capacity after
Battery Life50 Hours
Charger ConnectionMagnetic
Cleat TypeLook (Duo, Uno) or Shimano with pedal bodies and DUO-Shi
ConnectivityAnt+, Bluetooth
Power MeasurementFoot/Peddle
Water ResistanceIP67
Dust ResistanceIP67 Sealed Body
Accuracy+/- 1%
Install8MM
CalibrationApp, Device, Auto
ManufacturedItaly
Q-factor+54 mm
Stack Height10.5 mm

Power Meter Data

There is a lot of data collected from power meters that can be sent to your phone, collected by Strava or Garmin Connect for example. It’s overwhelming for a beginner. 

Data measured by Assioma Power Meter Pedals

https://cycling.favero.com/blog/tech-tests/data-measured-favero-assioma

Data display by Garmin devices

https://www8.garmin.com/manuals/webhelp/fenix5x/EN-US/GUID-5176B6E4-F272-4437-BDA7-85B31231CB3E.html

A Beginners Guide to Power Meter Data

  • Left/Right Balance
  • IAV Cycling Dynamics
  • Cadence
  • Torque Effectiveness (TE)
  • Pedal Smoothness (PS)
  • NP® (Normalized Power®)
  • IF® Intensity Factor®; Power Zones (Z1 to Z7)
  • TSS® Training Stress Score®
  • ATL®
  • CTL®
  • Consumed Energy
  • Functional Threshold Power (FTP)
  • Power/Weight Ratio
  • W’Bal®
  • Wbal®

IAV Cycling Dynamics

Favero uses an internal gyroscope to measure real-time angular velocity for each pedal stroke. This gives a more precision power calculation to be used with advanced metrics. This image shows how a pedal stroke power is applied, or how much force during a cingle pedal stroke is applied. The Power Phase Peak is where the most power is output, this is highlighted in green.

Pros and Cons

Pro

  • Great Value
  • Easy to set up 
  • Easy to charge battery
  • Easy pair with phone and Garmin
  • Accurate power

Con

  • Extra volume on the pedal
  • Slight Q offset

Power Fields from My Garmin Watch

  • Power
  • -Power
  • -Work
  • -Power to Weight
  • 3s. Avg Power
  • – 10s, Avg Power
  • – 30s. Avg Power
  • – Average Power
  • – Lap Power
  • – Last Lap Power
  • – Max Power
  • – Max Lap Power
  • Power Zone
  • – Power Zone
  • – Time in Zone
  • Pedal Stroke
  • – Pedal Smooth
  • – Torque Eff
  • – Balance
  • – 3s Avg Balance
  • – 10s Avg Balance
  • – 30s Avg Balance
  • – Lap Balance
  • Advanced
  • – Intensity Factor: (IF) for TSS: For any workout or part of a workout, the ratio of the Normalized Power to the rider’s functional threshold power, gives the user a relative intensity in relation to their threshold power. IF is used to calculate TSS.
  • – TSS: Training Stress Score – The training Stress Score (TSS) is a composite number that takes into account the duration and intensity of a workout to arrive at a single estimate of the overall training load and physiological stress created by that training session.  It is conceptually modeled after the heart rate-based training impulse (TRIMP).  By definition, one hour spent at Functional Threshold Power (FTP) is equal to 100 points.
  • – NP: Normalized Power – An estimate of the power that you could have maintained for the same physiological “cost” if your power had been perfectly constant, such as on an ergometer, instead of variable power output.  NP is used to calculate TSS.
  • – Lap NP
  • – Last Lap NP
  • %FTP
  • Cycl Dynamics
  • – Time Stand
  • – Time Stand Lap
  • – Time Seat
  • – Time Seat Lap
  • – PCO
  • – Avg PCO
  • – Lap PCO
  • – Right PP
  • – Avg R. PP
  • – Lap R. PP
  • – Right PPP
  • – Avg R PPP
  • – Lap R PPP
  • – Left PP
  • – Avg L. PP
  • – Lap L. PP
  • – Left  PPP
  • – Avg L PPP
  • – Lap L PPP

FAQ

Is Favero Assioma good?

The Favero Assioma is one of the best, lightest, and most accurate power meters for cycling on the market. They are a very good pedal for measuring power output while cycling. This is a reason they have so many positive reviews online and are favored by many cyclists seeking to measure their power output on a bike ride.

How long do Favero Assioma Pedals Last?

The Favero Assioma pedals are cast in resin to keep the water and dust out of them. This means the batteries can not be replaced. The pedals come with a 2-year warranty. It is safe to assume that these pedals will last well over 5 years with normal usage.

https://cycling.favero.com/blog/tech-tests/assioma-resistance-laboratory-and-road-tested

What cleats does Favero Assioma use?

The Favero Assioma Duo and Uno are designed to be used with the Look-Keo cleat. However, spindles are sold separately that can be swapped with your Shimano pedals. These are different spindles than the Assioma Duo and Uno pedals, so you will need to purchase the Shimano-specific spindles.

Assioma DUO-Shi: https://cycling.favero.com/shop/assioma-duo-shi
Replacement axle for Assioma: https://cycling.favero.com/shop/left-pedal-axle-with-sensor-assioma

Are Favero Assioma pedals compatible with Garmin?

Yes, Favero Assioma pedals are compatible with all Garmin cycling devices.

How does the Favero Assioma work?

The Favero Assioma pedals work to measure the power output of a cyclist by how much force the rider is putting on the tiny sensor installed just under the cyclist’s foot inside the pedal.

How do I connect my Garmin to Assioma pedals?

The Assioma pedals connect to Garmin by Bluetooth or Ant+ for communicating the power information to a head unit.

How do you zero Favero Assioma Pedals?

Inside the Favero app for android or ios, there is a button to zero the pedals. Additionally, if connected to a head unit like a Garmin there are often options to zero the pedals from there.

How do you calibrate Favero Assioma Pedals?

Calibrating the Favero Assioma pedals is much like zeroing the pedals this can be done in the Favero App.

How do you charge the Favero Pedals?

The Favero pedals are charged with two charges for the DUO, or a single charger for the UNO. These are standard USB chargers.

How long do the Favero Pedals take to charge?

With a battery life of 50 hours, you don’t need to charge them very often. When you do it took around 4 or 5 hours to charge.

How long do the batteries last in the Favero Assioma Pedals?

The batteries are rated for 500 charges at full capacity. After 500 charges, the batteries still maintain up to 80% of capacity.. With 50 hours a charge, this will last a normal cyclist for years and years.

If you are interested in the Favero Pedals please check out https://cycling.favero.com/

Tifosi Rail Sunglasses Review

Tifosi Rail Sunglasses Review

Travis Gneiting Reviews, Sunglasses

The Tifosi Rail is a new sunglass with a large oversized frameless lens that is great for cycling, running, and other outdoor activities. The glasses are well ventilated to prevent fogging. The lens is also shatterproof to offer some eye protection as well.

Fit

The glasses are surprisingly lightweight on the face for such a large lens. A claimed weight of 31 grams. They fit well around my large head, with a flexible arm and rubber grip around the ears. I think the best feature of these glasses is the lightweight fit of the frameless design. The worst feature for me is that sometimes I feel my cheeks touching the lens and I feel like the lens isn’t centered around my eyes.

Lens

The glasses are made of Grilamid TR-90, a homopolyamide nylon characterized by an extremely high alternative bending strength, low density, and high resistance to chemical and UV damage. The lens offers a smooth transition around the curve with no noticeable distortion. Included are 3 lenses for various light conditions. A clear lens for a night or very low light use, a rose lens for overcast use, and a dark lens for bright sun.

Tifosi Rail Sunglasses Review
Tifosi Rail Sunglasses Review

Frame

The frame also has hydrophilic rubber ear and nose pieces for a no-slip fit. Adjustable ear and nose pieces provide a customizable, comfortable fit. The frame pieces easily detach from the goggle. See our Youtube review above for instructions on changing the lens.

Tifosi offers a large variety of value-priced glasses that are well above the quality of glasses you might pick up from a gas station. They have a modern fit, designed for features and performance at a fraction of the price of the big named brand glasses.

Tifosi Rail Sunglasses Review Box
Tifosi Rail Sunglasses Review Box

There is a hard case and cloth bag for carrying the glasses. Additionally, there is a pouch for carrying an extra lens in the back of a cycling jersey.

Conclusion

If you are looking for a high-value large coverage pair of sunglasses for outdoor activities that won’t break the bank you need to try on a pair, or VIRTUALLY try on a pair at Tifosioptics.com

MagicShine Olight Bike Light Review

Travis Gneiting Lights, Reviews

Olight/MagicShine Bike Light Review

The Olight or Magicshine RN 3500 is an ultra-bright handlebar or helmet-mounted bicycle light. It can be used for road biking or mountain biking thanks to its adjustable beam, brightness, and mounting options. I have been using this bike light for a couple of months now and compared it to a few other lights I love using from Light and Motion, and NiteRider. This review is my honest opinion and has not been compensated by Olight. However, there are links in this review that help us pay for the products and reviews on GearChase.com. If you find this information helpful please use the links in our reviews to help support our website.

I have used a lot of bike lights over the last 20 years. I remember using rechargeable AA batteries in my first bike light that was barely enough to light a path to walk let alone ride down a trail at night. Over the years, lights have improved to the point where I feel I can ride almost as fast at night as during the day.  There are many categories that bike lights can fall into. Lights for trail riding, lights for road riding, lights to be seen, or lights to see with. There are lights with external batteries, lights that are self-contained, lights with Bluetooth remotes, and more.  This review focuses on one of the brighter lights offered by Olight as a road bike, or mountain bike light used to see and be seen with enough battery for multiple hours rides in an externally connected battery.

In the box

In the box comes the light and battery pack as well as mounting hardware and a user manual.  You may notice if you have been researching the Olight and Magicshine lights that there are some different accessories included in the boxes when comparing the two. The Magicshine seems to come with a Garmin style mount for mountain bike handlebars whereas the Olight comes with a more universal mounting style. 

  • RN 3500 Light
  • Battery Pack
  • 4 Aero Bar Compatible Straps
  • Handlebar mount
  • 3mm Hex wrench
  • 2 Nylon Straps
  • Micro USB Charging Cable
  • User Manual

Specifications

The Olight 3500 offers some impressive specs especially given the price for the light when compared to lights of equivalent size, weight, and lumen count.

  • 350 meter light throw
  • 31000 candela
  • 1148ft/350 m Beam Distance
  • 75 hour Max Runtime
  • 1 meter drop protection
  • IPX5 waterproof rating
  • 110g Light weight (without battery)
  • 316g Total Weight
  • Luminus SST-20×5 Light Source
  • Aluminum Alloy Body Construction
  • Length 2.36 in / 60 mm
  • Width 1.71 in / 43.5 mm
  • Height 1.63 in / 41.5 mm
  • Warranty 2 Years

The Bike Light

The light is bright, of course that is all relative and there are brighter lights available. Having a bike with lights of all power, there is a sweet spot for each light in each condition.  A light with 3500 lumens without a good spread of light can put too much light in one spot washing out the shadows and making it difficult to see details in the trail. 

An average headlight produces anywhere from about 1200 (Halogen bulbs) to 4000 lumens (LED Lights). The laws here in Utah for headlights and high beams are around 300 candlepower (https://le.utah.gov/xcode/Title41/Chapter6A/41-6a-S1616.html) or about 3700 Lumens.  

Because of the different light modes and external battery pack, this is good option for an all around light.

Bike Light Modes

3 Light Configuration Modes

  1. Bottom 2 lights
  2. Top 3 lights
  3. All 5 Lights

5 Light Intensity Modes

  1. Eco
  2. Low
  3. Mid
  4. High
  5. Flash

Light Mounting

The light uses a Garmin-type quarter-turn mount that can easily be attached to almost any type and size of handlebar.  Olight advertises that it can be attached to a helmet but requires additional accessories to attach to a helmet. The plus side is that you can purchase any Garmin mount for handlebars or helmets and the light can attach to it.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Super bright bike light
  • Cost per lumen
  • Versatile mounting options

Cons

  • Long charge time (9 Hours)
  • Difficult helmet mounting
  • Short cord

Bike Light Usage

Using the bike light is pretty simple, however, understanding all the modes can be a little confusing.  

For mountain biking, I like to attach the light to my helmet and run the cable down my back into a hip pack.  When I am riding at a slow pace, I’ll set the light at a lower output to conserve the battery.  When I pick up speed, I’ll turn the light on to full brightness.  Riding like this I can easily get a 2 to 3-hour ride in with the light and battery fully charged.

It’s worth noting that more lumens aren’t always better.  There are times when I am mountain biking at night and have so much light coming off that there are no shadows in the trail.  This can be resolved by aiming the light higher or just matching the brightness of the light to the riding conditions. 

When using the light for road biking, I attach it to my handlebars and the battery to my bike frame. I also take caution to aim the beam down to avoid shining into driver’s eyes.  This light is very bright and if on high power could be very distracting to a driver. I also only use the lower output setting for road biking that meets the needs of my ride. If I’m in a city with street lights I don’t need as much light. When I am on the backroads with no cars or lights, I’ll use a brighter mode.

Installation

To use the light you need to decide where you are going to mount the light, and where you are going to carry the battery.  

The light mounts to any Garmin style mount or can be attached to handlebars or a helmet with special additional accessories. The light comes with a few different sizes of bands that can be selected to fit the diameter of your handlebars for a secure fit. The battery has two velcro straps that can be used to attach the battery (which has a grippy rubber side to it) against a bike frame. I prefer to just toss the battery in a backpack or hip pack because I prefer wearing the light on a helmet.

Battery Indicator

On Light Indicator

  • Flash Red: 0%-5%
  • Red: 6%-20%
  • Green: 21%-100%

On battery Indicator

  • 3 LED light-up constantly: 100%-71%
  • 2 LED light-up constantly: 70%-41%
  • 1 LED light-up constantly: 40%-10%
  • 1 LED flashes: 10%-0%

Light Modes

There are two types of modes on the RN 3500. One controls the number of LEDs on at a given time. This can be changed from 2, 3, or 5 at a time. The second mode controls the intensity of the LEDs that are on. This can be changed from eco, Low, Medium, High, and Flashing.

Waterproof

The RN3500 and most of OLight headlights and Flashlights are waterproof to the IPX5 standard. Check out our page on IPX waterproof ratings to know exactly what this means.

Weight

Battery

The battery alone weighs 9.7 ounces

Light

The light alone weighs 4.37 ounces

Light and Battery Weight

The combined weight of the light including the mount with the battery attached is 14.07 ounces

Battery

The battery pack is a 4 cell 18650 Li-ion cell with a 5200mAh capacity.  The model number is MJ-6116. The Lithium-ion battery is 7.2 V 5.2AH 37.44 WH. The input rating is 5V 2.0A and the USB output is 5V 2.0A for charging other devices.

Charging

The battery takes a considerable amount of time to charge. This is largely dependent on the type of charger, its output, and the cable you are using.  The user manual states that the charging time is 9 hours. Luckily, I was able to charge the battery faster with the included charging cable and a 9V 1.67A/5V 2A Charger. This charged the light in about 5 hours. There is some confusion about the battery light indicator. It appears that the light can be almost fully charged and still only register 2 out of 3 lights on the charge light.

Runtime

I was surprised at the amount of runtime I got from the light. I powered the light on high inside a room with a temperature around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. There was no airflow around the light and it was left on while a timer ran. The light ran on max output with all 5 lights on for a little over 2 hours. The red light starts flashing on time after about an hour and a half. I still had another 30 minutes of use after this.  

I typically ride for about 2 hours in the dark so this light meets all my needs if I were to ride at high power my entire ride.  I find it more peaceful and can conserve battery power by riding uphill or less technical low-speed sections on a low-light output setting. When the speed picks up or I enter a more technical section I hit the button on the top of the light and go to high mode. By doing this I easily get over 4 hours of use with the light. 

There is also a safety feature to help you from getting stranded. Once the light is nearing the end of the battery it will switch to a low output mode and still provide light for you to hurry back.  This feature doesn’t allow you to switch light modes once the battery is almost dead.

Light Heat

The light gets very hot. Testing the temperature when the light was running on high power in a room that was 70 degrees Fahrenheit the light ran at about 140 degrees Fahrenheit max. This is with no airflow around the light. This is pretty hot to the touch without gloves on, so be careful.  Using this light on a ride, it runs a little cooler depending on the ambient temperature outside. 

Other Olight/MagicShine Models

  • BFL 900 Bike Light $60 USD (https://www.olightstore.com/bike-lights.html)
  • BFL 1800 Bike Light $80 USD (https://www.olightstore.com/bike-lights.html)
  • Allty 2000 Bike Light $150 (https://www.olightstore.com/bike-lights.html)
  • RN 400 Bike Light $30
  • RN 800 Bike Light $60
  • RN 1200 Bike Light $70
  • RN 1500 Bike Light $80
  • RN 3500 MTB Bike Light $200 (Featured)

MagicShine Lights

Comparison Lights

  1. Light and Motion 2500
  2. Nighteyes
  3. Lezyne

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Olight the same as MagicShine?

MagicShine is the bike-specific light offered by OLight. Olight and MagicShine are partners. OLight does offer some bike lights but has a wider range of lighting options like flashlights and other use lights. MagicShine focuses mainly on bike lights for road biking and mountain biking as well as rear red lights.

How many lumens are needed for night riding and What are the minimum lumens for riding at night?

A minimum of 500 lumens are needed to ride at night. This is just enough to light up a small patch of road or dirt in front of you when riding in the dark but requires slow speeds for safety and comfort. Riding on the road in the dark the surface is more predictable and there are often additional street lights and headlights from cars around that make 1000 lumens a nice starting point for a good road biking light.

You can comfortably mountain bike or trail ride with 1500 lumens. Because the terrain changes more quickly, it’s nice to have a light that has a further throw and wider beam pattern. WIth 1500 lumens it allows you to ride similarly to how you might ride during the daylight hours.

There is a huge difference riding with a 3500 lumen light at night. It provides an almost daytime riding experience. There is enough light to light up a large portion of the surrounding area, and cast enough shadows to be able to read the trail far ahead.

Are 800 Lumens enough for a bike light?

800 Lumens is a good place to start for a bike light. It is enough for riding around the streets where there is often additional lighting and might be enough for some light trail riding. 

What are the most powerful bike lights?

MagicShine offers one of the most powerful actually usable bike lights available. It boasts an incredible 8000 lumens (https://magicshine.com/collections/new-released/products/monteer-8000-mountain-bike-lights) this is likely overkill and can actually be too much light when biking on the road as it’s about twice as powerful as a car headlight and can washout the trail removing the shadows that help navigate the trail at night. However, there are times when it’s a lot of fun having that much power on your bike. For example when riding in the desert where having a large light throw is beneficial to see as far in front of you as possible, or where there are large rock walls in the distance that are nice to light up at night to still enjoy the scenery.

Can a light be too bright?

Yes, a bike light can be too bright. Bright lights can be dangerous for oncoming traffic both on the road and on the trail.  Automobile drivers can be blinded or distracted by extremely bright lights if not aimed at the ground.  Additionally, on the trail when meeting another rider head-on, the lights can be blinding to them. As a biker etiquette, I like to stop and cover my light or look at the ground aside of the trail to prevent blinding other riders. Lastly, putting too much light or too bright of light right in front of you can wash out the shadows on the trail and make it harder to navigate the trails.

Can the light fall off while riding?

There are many different styles of light attachments; some are more susceptible to falling off while riding. I’ve found that most handlebar-mounted lights that have an integrated battery will rotate while riding your bike. The light doesn’t necessarily fall off, but it’s annoying having to constantly reposition the light.  I have a lot better luck with bike lights that have a detached battery because it reduces the weight of the actual light and helps it stay in place.

If the actual mount of the light fails, yes the light can fall off. I’ve ridden some rough technical trails and never had a light fall-off from just riding. The only time I’ve seen lights fall off is because the rider bumped it, tried to change the setting, or bumped by a tree branch.  If you are worried about light falling off a good thing to do is attach a tether or small cord from your light to your bike or helmet. This can help to prevent damaging the light if it does fall off.

Does the Olight RN3500 come with other mounting brackets?

The RN3500 comes with 1 mount that can be attached to various sizes of handlebars or helmet mounts. This mount requires a tool to attach but then the light can be twisted a quarter turn to remove and add to the mount.  Additional mounts can be purchased as well as any Garmin style mount the light is compatible with.

How long does the Olight/Magicshine take to charge?

The charging time for an OLight or Magicshine light depends on the size of the battery, and the charger output. In general, for a smaller bike light, you can expect a couple of hours. For a larger bike light expect at least 4 hours.

Is the Olight RN3500 the Same as the Magicshine Monteer 3500?

Yes, these are basically the same light just branded differently from OLight and Magicshine. Depending on where and when you buy the light sometimes they come with different mounting options.

What is the color temperature of the Olight RN 3500?

The color temperature is 6500K

Can you mount the Olight or MagicShing 3500 on a helmet? 

Yes, you can mount these lights on a helmet but they require additional mounting brackets or accessories not included in the box.

Olight MagicShine Bike Like Review Conclusion

Overall you can’t beat the value of this light, it’s a high quality, true lumen count, long-lasting battery at a fraction of some of the competition.

Fenix HP30R v2.0 Headlamp Review

Travis Gneiting Lights, Reviews

The Fenix headlamp is an ultra-bright 3000-lumen headlamp with an external battery pack that comes in black or gray with a few accessories for charging and carrying the light with you.

This is one of the highest quality heavy-duty bright headlamps I have ever used. The battery pack can be worn on the back of the head strap or by using an extension cable that’s included can be attached to the belt clip or thrown in a backpack or hip pack for convenience and removing the weight from your head. This is nice when on long hikes where you can feel the strap and the light becomes uncomfortable over time.

The headlamp is controlled by a turn switch and button to adjust the output and number of lights that are continuously on. Turning the knob on the headlamp changes the center light or the outer lights depending on what direction you turn it. The button in the middle turns on the additional light for dual-mode. For example, if you want all three lights on at max power you could rotate the dial down all the way and press the middle button and all three lights will illuminate to turn off the light simply rotate the dial back to the center.

I have been using this headlamp for a couple of months now. It’s extremely heavy when compared to less powerful and shorter-lasting headlamps. If you can get past the bulk of this headlamp it’s the most versatile headlamp I’ve ever used. To be able to use it in a tent or inside and dim the light down just enough to read at night or it’s bright enough to wear when mountain biking in the dark. I used the headlamp on high power for 4 hours and the battery still had one of four LEDs lit. After about four and a half hours the LED battery light started flashing indicating that the battery was running low. The headlamp runs on an eco mode after this and was shocked that it ran for another 6 hours in eco mode. This gives me a lot of confidence in getting out of the dark and not having to carry extra batteries or lights for emergencies.

When comparing this Fenix light to other headlamps offered by Fenix and other companies and deciding if this is the right headlamp for you, here are a few of my considerations. The cost of this headlamp is significantly more than a smaller less bright lighter-weight headlamp. If you are looking at this headlamp you should understand that it weighs a lot on your head and you will likely use the extension battery cable to house it somewhere else. This shifts a significant amount of weight from your head to your belt or bag. If you are looking for an extremely bright headlamp for all sorts of activities with a huge battery and the ability to use light in close-up situations as well as lighting up large areas at night this might be the light for you. Additionally, I found this extremely helpful when needing my hands while still wanting the versatility of such a bright light.

This is an upgraded version of the Fenix HP30 it has a different headlamp and is more powerful because of the new batteries and additional lights. This upgrade allows for longer run times brighter lights and a power bank for other devices. The three LED lights can reach up to 270 meters away with four levels of spotlight and three levels of soft floodlight. It works in a large variety of capabilities and can be used all night long. It’s been the choice of many search and rescue professionals as well as outdoor adventurers and hunters.

If you are not using the headlamp for extended periods of time take out the batteries to prevent accidental discharge.

Operation of the Light

There are two modes for the light spotlight or floodlight. Rotating the switch clockwise or counterclockwise changes the mode of the light; there are low, medium, high, and turbo modes. It’s worth noting that each time the light is turned on it will start out in low mode. You can also run the light in spotlight and flood mode by pressing the button inside the turn dial.

Specifications

  • 3000 Max output lumens
  • 251 m throw
  • 120 hour run time
  • 15733 CD
  • Withstand drops up to 2 m
  • Weatherproof ip66 rated

What’s in the box

The box is well packaged with a foam insert and works great for storing the light when not in use. 

  • The Fenix HP 30r version 2 LED headlamp
  • Extension cable
  • A spare o-ring
  • Belt clip
  • USB type-c charging cable
  • Three cable clips
  • For helmet attachments and hooks
  • Two 5,000 milliamp hour rechargeable batteries

Light Output

  • Spotlight
    • Turbo: 2000 Lumens, 6 hours, 823 ft
    • High: 800 Lumens, 12 hours, 511 ft
    • Med: 200 Lumens, 34 hours, 255 ft
    • Low: 50 Lumens, 120 hours, 137 ft
  • Floodlight
    • High: 1000 Lumens, 10 hours, 255 ft
    • Med: 200 Lumens, 34 hours, 115 ft
    • Low: 50 Lumens, 120 hours, 55 ft
  • Spotlight & Floodlight
    • Turbo: 3000 Lumens, 5 hours, 885 ft
    • High: 1800 Lumens, 6 hours, 580 ft
    • Med: 400 Lumens, 17 hours, 278 ft
    • Low: 100 Lumens, 60 hours, 147 ft

Battery

The headlamp comes with two Fenix ARB l21-5000 mah rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. Additional batteries can be purchased directly from Phoenix. To check the battery level push the button on the back of the battery pack if four lights are constantly on the battery is between 100% and 80%. If there are three LED lights on the battery pack the charge is between 80% and 60%. If there are two lights on the battery is between 60% and 40%. If there is one light on the battery is between 40 and 20%. When one light flashes the battery is between 20% and 1%

Safety

The lamp gets fairly hot when checking the temperature while using the lamp indoors with no airflow and an ambient temperature of 70° on Max output the light reached 120° f if the light reaches 60° c the lamp will automatically step down a few lumens to reduce the temperature

Size and Weight

The headlamp weighs 15.4 Oz including the battery and headband. It measures 3.62 in Long, 2.2 in wide, and 1.73 in tall. The battery case is 4.21 in Long 1.97 in wide and 1.6 in tall.

Charging

The battery charges surprisingly quickly over three or four hours. The headlamp is powered by two lithium-ion 21700 batteries for a maximum run time of 120 hours when run on low settings.

The battery pack is powered by a USB cable that is included. There is also a standard USB port on the battery for charging other devices like your phone. The battery pack has a clip with a safety clip to keep the two batteries enclosed in the weatherproof housing. The battery pack has an o-ring and an extra o-ring included within the box. The battery pack attaches to the light with a plug. Also included is an extension of this plug about 3 ft long if you want to run the battery pack on a belt clip that is included or in a backpack.

The Fenix HP30 r comes with a limited lifetime 5-year free replacement warranty.

Conclusion

Fenix often runs sales and coupons codes for products on their website. Finding this light under $200 is a great deal for this powerful and versatile headlamp. There are really only two downsides to this light to consider. The weight and the cost.  Some of the weight can be shifted by wearing the battery but it’s still a big light for sitting around the campfire.  However, it’s dimmable enough to use in such close proximity cases like reading but powerful enough to use for spotlighting the side of a mountain.  Because of its power, it frees up your hands, versatility and overall rugged build I would recommend this light to someone that is looking for a bright headlamp that can be used in most situations outdoors or indoors.

Smith Optics End of Season Sale

Travis Gneiting Deals

It’s a great time of year when companies need to rid themself of their winter inventory to make room for summer! Smith Optics has a huge sale with a large inventory of sale items, colors, and sizes (which isn’t always the case). If you are in the market for Smith Googles, Smith Sunglasses, Smith Helmets, or other accessories at sale prices hurry over to Smith Sale Page.

Craft Sports - MEN'S CORE BEAT THERMAL MIDLAYER

Craft Sports Core Beat Thermal Midlayer Review

Travis Gneiting Apparel, Reviews, Running

This winter the Craft Sport Core Beat Thermal Midlayer has been one of my favorite midlayers for on and off the mountain. It is made from 100% polyester but feels like a multi-textured garment because of the baffled like underlayer. It feels warm, high quality and durable and all for only $65 USD. As soon as you touch the material it feels like a more expensive article of clothing. I would recomend it for winter athletics as a midlayer or as a light jacket for spring or fall days.

I am 5’10” about 170 lbs and wear a size large. The large gives me enough room for a tighter layer under and enough unrestricted movement with a coat or shell over the top.

If you are looking for a mid-layer that is versitile, high value, as well as looks and feels super high quality be sure to Check out the Craft Core Beat Midlayer.

Waterproof Rating

What is IPX Waterproof Rating?

Travis Gneiting Article

The IPX waterproof, water-resistant, or weatherproof rating standard is an international standard defined by the IEC 60529. It outlines the amount of water and the depth or direction of water on a device. This is important for understanding how much water your phone, GPS, bike computer, the watch can take before being concerned about water damaging the internals of your electronics.

The IP Code stands for Ingress Protection Rating and is defined by the IEC and sometimes called or read as the International Protection Rating. This is usually listed on electronics outdoor gear as IPX-(number) the number defines the level or degree of protection. For example, it is safe to assume that an IPX7 rated product is more resistant to water damage than IPX3 rated product.

Most outdoor products like bike lights, watches, GPS units, bike computers

https://www.iec.ch/ip-ratings

IPX Rating Chart

IP RatingWater Resitance Description
IPX-0No water protection
IPX-1Protection agains water drops like rain
IPX-2Protections against spraying water when tilted upto 15 degrees
IPX-3Protection agains spraying water when tilted up to 60 degrees
IPX-4Protection against spashing water at any angle
IPX-5Protection against low presure spraying water at any angle
IPX-6Protection against high presure spraying water at any angle
IPX-7Protection against water submersion for 30 minutes at up to 1 meter depth
IPX-8Protection agains continual water submersion in under water conditions

What is the ISO Waterproof Rating

The International Organization for Standardizations (ISO) also issues a water-resistance rating for watches.

ISO 22810 Covers watches for daily use like swimming.

ISO 6425 Covers watches used for scuba diving.

What is the ATM or BAR Rating

Another waterproof rating system you might see is the ATM or BAR. This is more common with watches like Garmin. An ATM is an abbreviation for atmosphere. For

ATM RatingHow Waterproof
0 ATMNo water
3 ATMShowering and Bathing
5 ATMSwim in pool
10 ATMSnorkeling and Surfing
20 ATMDeep diving

WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT LEVELS OF ATM RATINGS?

There are 5 ATM ratings to describe a products waterproof or water resistance rating. Each rating describes the various waterproof ratings.

0 ATM or BAR

A watch or electronic device with a 0 ATM or bar rating should not be used near water. They offer little to no water reistance. This means there are little to no precautions taken in the manufacturing of the products. There may not be any water seals, gaskets or glue to protect agains water reaching the electronics.

3 ATM or BAR

An electronic device with a 3 ATM rating might have o-rings or seals to help with water reaching the electronics and are rated to 3 atmospheres of presure. This sh ould withstand electronics in the rain, spashing of water but should not necessarly be taken swimming.

5 ATM or BAR

This rating is where you can start to submerse your electronices for shallow depths and low pressure for a slightly longer period of time that a 3 ATM rating. They are safe to be worn in the shower, swimming pool, but maybe not the ocean.

10 ATM or BAR

This is where you start seeing high end watches like the Garmin Fenix is rated with a 10 ATM. These electronice can be worn swimming, in the ocean, showering, etc. Most highend active watches or wearable computers are rated for 10 ATM.

20 ATM or BAR

Expect to pay a premium for a 20 ATM rating. These devices are usually used for scuba or skin diving as well as high speed sports that can take water at high pressure.

More Resorces on Water Resistants Electronics

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_Resistant_mark

Be sure to Check out our website where we search 100’s of online retailers for the best waterproof watches, bike computers, and GPS units to keep you adventuring even when the weather gets crazy.

Craft Sportwear Core Enduro Hydro Pants Review

Craft Sportswear Endur Hydro Cycle Pant Review

Travis Gneiting Apparel, Reviews

The Craft Endur Hydro cycling pants are designed to be inexpensive windproof and water-resistant cycling pants that can be quickly put on or taken off when the weather requires. They have a stretch waistband, baggy fit, and large leg opening that can be secured with a velcro strap. This makes them a great option for cold-weather riding pants.

Craft Sportwear Core Enduro Hydro Pants Review

With snow starting to melt, and the ground is drying out it’s time to get out on the bike. Temperatures can still be cold (Be sure to check out our super popular how to dress for cold weather biking post) and a cycling pants can make all the difference.

Craft Sportwear Core Enduro Hydro Pants Review Bike
Craft Sportwear Core Enduro Hydro Pants Review Bike

Endur Hydro Cycling Pants Details

  • Windproof and water-protective fabric for all weather cycling
  • Elastic fabric at back yoke for enhanced comfort
  • Reflective velcro adjuster at bottom leg for optimal fit
  • Reinforced fabric at crotch area
  • Flat cord at inside waist
  • WP 5,000/MWP 5,000
  • FIT: Semi-Relaxed
  • FABRIC: Body: Face 100% Polyester, Back 100% Polyurethane, Front/ Back Seat: 94% Polyamid, 6% Elastane
Craft Sportwear Core Enduro Hydro Pants Review Leg Strap
Craft Sportwear Core Endurance Series Ankle Strap

The Core Endur Hydro biking pants are a cheaper version of cycling pants compared to other off-road and adventure cycling pants. They differ from cycling tight in that you can layer more clothing or pads under the pants. They are also easier to put on and take off. They also do not have a pad built-in.

Disclosure: Clicking on these links and making a purchase may earn us a small referral fee, at no extra cost to you and help support our content.

Shower Pass - Body Mapped Base Layer Shirt for Cycling

Shower Pass – Body Mapped Base Layer Shirt Review

Travis Gneiting Apparel, Reviews

The Shower Pass Body Mapped cycling baselayer is a tight-fitting shirt that offers compression, warmth, and cooling for high-performance sporting activities where variable weather and exertions are required.

The custom blend of fabrics bank on the positive benefits of Merino wool, Modal, Spandex, and Nylon. The shirt is also constructed to use these materials in locations like the elbows, back and underarm to help dissipate heat and sweat while still maintaining warmth and comfort.

I have been lucky enough to try hundreds of different cycling jerseys and tops in a number of different weather conditions, the shower pass base layer is a unique garment. The slim fit and extra-long sleeves, long torso, and body zones set this base layer apart from others in a similar category. I have a few favorite base layer shirts, but this is one I keep reaching for on my cold winter rides. Because it’s tight-fitting it’s easy to layer with, a soft feel, stretch, and overall comfort and fit.

It’s worth noting that this shirt is delicate to washing and drying and special care should be taken to avoid shrinking or being mis-shaped.

Who should buy this?

Based on my experience wearing the base layer, I would recommend it to someone looking to layer for colder weather. The slim fit and four-way stretch fabric make it perfect for layering under another jersey or jacket. The advanced fabric makes it a nice base layer for being active.

Specifications

  • Price: $69.00 USD
  • Sizes: Small, Small/Medium, Medium, Large, Extra Large
  • Color: Graphite
  • Fabric: Merino Wool, Modal, Coolmax, Nylon, Spandex

Disclosure: Clicking on these links and making a purchase may earn us a small referral fee, at no extra cost to you and help support our content.

Floyd’s of Leadville CBD

Travis Gneiting CBD, Reviews

I have been using Floyd’s Immunity Support and Cooling Blend CBD for the last couple of months. This is my honest and unbias review of the products. I have been using CBD cream on my knees and elbows for years now with a wide variety of results from very expensive products to cheap grocery store products. Some products I find more success than with others. Floyd’s of Leadville was on the better side of relief from knee inflammation but had a couple of downsides.

Floyd’s of Leadville Immunity Support CBD Tincture

The Immunity Support DBD Tincture is designed to aid in recovery. The dose contains CBD, herbs, vitamins, and a variety of fruit extracts. It is designed to be taken under the tongue from a dropper. It tastes a bit fruity and sour and can leave food and drinks tasting strange after consuming the Tincture.

I didn’t notice any drastic improvement in recovery or immunity from taking the CBD Tincture but I didn’t notice any side effects either. I will continue taking the Tinctures until it’s gone, but I don’t think I’ll be rushing to pay $85 for another bottle. The Sports Cream is something I would recommend.

Floyd’s of Leadville Sports CBD Cream

The Sports Cream has had a great menthol smell to it with a cooling feeling when rubbed into the treatment area. I used it primarily on my knees and back. The cream has a nice lotion-like consistency that is easy to massage in. However, I did notice pilling every time I used the cream on my back. I didn’t notice the pilling as much on my knees. I wasn’t using a lot for my back, maybe two pumps or a pump and a half.

While I didn’t have the cream tested by a lab, I did feel relieved from using the CBD cream. The sports cream retails for around $70 USD. with free shipping over $50. This is a little more expensive CBD sports cream, but still in line with other popular brands like Medterra CBD.

Floyd’s of Leadville FAQ

Is Floyd’s of Leadville good CBD?

Floyd’s of Leadville is a reputable company that sells quality products that contain CBD for recovery, improved immunity, and hydration for humans and pets.

Who owns Floyd’s of Leadville?

Known for his National Championship-winning time trials and DZNuts fame, Dave Zabriskie is a co-owner and co-founder of Floyd’s of Leadville. A former teammate and longtime friend of Landis, Dave was one of the first to learn of the CBD empire Floyd envisioned.

Where is Floyd’s of Leadville Made?

Most of the products like the soft gel capsule, oil, creams are made in Leadville, Colorado.

Where to buy Floyd’s of Leadville?

You can purchase Floyd’s of Leadville in person, hundreds of shops nationwide, or online.

If you are looking for a wide variety of CBD creams be sure to check out Gearchase.com where we list CBD products from 100’s of online retailers.

Jabra Evolve2 85 Review

Travis Gneiting First Look, Reviews

I have been personally using the Jabra Evolve 2 85 Wireless Headphones for the last few months. My primary use has been for listening to music around the house, at my desk, and at the gym. I also used the Evolve2 Headphones for Microsoft Teams, and Zoom meetings daily.  I have used many headphones over the years from over the ear, on-ear, and in-ear. While I’m not a professional audiophile, This is my honest review of my experience with day to day use of headphones.

Design

Features

In this section of our Jabra Evolve 2 85, we’re going to highlight all the key features that make it an excellent product.

Maximum Comfort

Jabra Evolve2 85 features a soft cushion and leather pads for prolonged usage. Enjoy wearing it all day without too much pressure on your ears.

Extended Battery Life

With long-lasting battery life, enjoy up to 37 hours of endless calls or music. Also, you can quickly charge for 15 minutes and enjoy 8 hours of battery!

Active Noise Cancellation

Active noise-canceling gives your voice a filter to avoid background noise without degrading the quality!

Software-Configurable

Jabra Evolve2 85 has downloadable software to enhance your overall user experience. You can use the equalizer in your audio, enable or disable noise cancellation, and more! Check out their Support Page to learn more.

10-Microphone Technology

Jabra Evolve2 85 improves your communication experience with its microphones. Enhance your voice further by using the boom mic.

User Hearing Protection

Jabra Evolve2 85 features Jabra SafeToneTM that gives extra protection to your hearing. Avoid high audio levels and random distortions with Jabra SafeToneTM!

Comfort 

The Jabra Evole2 85 is padded with very soft padding around the ears. The over-ear design and adjustable head strap make them comfortable headphones to wear all day long. I wear them all day long listening to music and online calls. I can still wear them to the gym and they feel great on my head.  The headphones are made from soft memory foam. The headphone earcup also swivels to help make a good seal for further noise cancelation. Jabra scanned hundreds of heads to get just the right shape of the headband and ear cups to be comfortable on any head. 

The cons of the comfort are when I am wearing glasses with the headphones for a long time I do get pain from the large ear covers pushing on the glasses.

Using the Headphones

There are a lot of buttons and gadgets on the headphones and I forget what buttons do what on the headphones and wondering if I should be using the fold-out microphone or just use the built-in microphones without the boom. There are 10 microphones with digital processing and noise cancelation.

Sound

The headphones have a powerful great-sounding immersive 40mm speaker. There is a digital chipset for processing and a modern AAC codec to help the music come in sound as good as possible.

Active Noise Cancellation: 4 microphones digital hybrid ANC

Speaker size: 40mm

Speaker sensitivity: 117dB @1mW-1kHz

Speaker max input power: 50 mW

Speaker frequency range: 20Hz-20.000Hz

Speaker bandwidth – Music mode: 20Hz-20.000Hz

Speaker bandwidth Speak mode: 100Hz-8.000Hz

Microphone

The clarity of voice, tone, and background noise are the main items when using a headphone that is often complained about. I would say that my personal use and friends on the other end say that the headphone sounds great. It’s amazing how well the noise cancelation works with multiple microphones and advanced software.  When compared with other noise-canceling headphones they perform as well or better than most.

Microphone type: 4 Analog MEMS / 6 Digital MEMS

Microphone sensitivity: -35 dBv/Pa (analog microphone)/-26 dBFS/Pa (digital microphone)

Microphone frequency range: 5-20.000Hz for analog microphone/100Hz – 8000Hz for digital microphone

Audio codecs supported: SBC, AAC

User hearing protection: Jabra SafeToneTM

Certifications: Leading UC vendors; meets Microsoft Teams Open Office requirements*

Price

These headphones are expensive for an individual at $450. Additionally, if you want the cradle charger you can add on another $70. When you compare with other headphones that offer the same comfort and features they are pretty comparable in price.  These are high-end, meant to be used all day, and are an investment but can be thought of as a way to improve call quality, productivity, or physical activity, and it’s hard to put a price on those if it works.

Battery

The headphones have a wide variety of how long they will last on a single charge. Jabra claims that a full charge can get 37 hours of battery life in charging only 2.5 hours. Even more incredible is the fast charge for 15 min gets you 8 hours of battery life. It should be noted you need to use the provided charger to get this charging speed. 

Talk time: Up to 30hrs (with ANC/busy light off)/Up to 20hrs (with ANC on/busy light on)

Music time: Up to 37hrs (with ANC off)/Up to 32hrs (with ANC on)

Charging time: Up to 140min

Power consumption: 5V/500mA

Battery status % after 30 min / 60 min: 30% after 30 min and 60% after 60 min

Connectivity

Connection (computer and mobile devices): USB-A/USB-C Bluetooth adapter, 3.5mm jack (corded), Bluetooth

Bluetooth® device

  • Bluetooth version
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Bluetooth profiles: HSP v1.2 , HFP v1.7, A2DP v1.3, AVRCP v1.6, PBAP v1.1, SPP v1.2

Operating range: Up to 30m/100ft

Bluetooth pairing list: Up to 8 devices

Simultaneous Bluetooth connections: 2

Wireless Range

Bluetooth connectivity is one of my favorite features of these headphones. I work from home, can connect to my computer, walk around the house, head downstairs to a home gym, all while being connected to a computer, and have the ability to control the music and volume directly from the headphones.

Durability

It really depends on how these headphones are used. Sitting on my desk all day they only see a small amount of wear on the hear cups and headband.  However, I can see as I wear them to the gym and constantly put them in their case or wear them around my neck I can see the foam breaking down over the last few months of using them.  I still think with average use these would last many years.

Headphone Warranty

Cordless products: one (1) year from the date the products have been purchased

https://www.jabra.com/footerpages/warranty-and-service-business

Conclusion

These have been my favorite over-ear headphones I have used. I don’t like using them for mowing lawns or in the gym every day but from time to time they can be used in every situation. They rate highly on many other websites and youtube videos. The biggest complaint I hear is around the cost. They are premium professional headphones, but if you are on virtual calls daily and also enjoy listening to music while being active or sitting at a desk these are a great option and highly recommended.

OneUp Components Aluminum Pedal Comparison and Review

Travis Gneiting Bikes, Reviews

OneUp Components pedals are one of the most popular pedals for mountain bikers because of their strength, durability, oversized footprint, super thin design, and ability to be rebuilt. The pedals are lightweight (only 365g), thin, and shaped for the ball of your foot make them a great option for most common foot sizes, both men and women.

If you have ever demoed or rented a bike, there is a good chance the demo bike had OneUp pedals on it. This is for a reason, demo bikes take a lot of abuse. Your personal bike may get ridden a few days a week if you are lucky. Demo and rental bikes are out on the trails almost daily. OneUp pedals are long-lasting, strong, and durable enough to withstand daily abuse.

Who Should Buy These Pedals?

These pedals are great for someone looking for a high-end flat pedal that provides superior traction in all conditions. The Aluminum version is going to last longer than the composite(plastic) version but can cost almost twice as much. They cater to enduro style riding and aggressive trail riding but could be used as a cross country pedal for someone not comfortable with clipless(clipped-in) pedals as they provide such a sticky feeling when paired with a good pair of mountain bike shoes they almost give the sensation of being attached to the pedal.

OneUp Pedals Weight

OneUp claims the weight of these pedals at 386g for the pair. When I weigh the pedals on my scale they weigh in at 192g for a single pedal and 384g for the pair.

OneUp Pedals Frequently Asked Questions

Are OneUp Component Pedals Servicable?

Yes, you can service the pedals using a cassette lockring tool to re-grease the bearings or swap out the internals with a rebuild kit for under $25 bucks USD.

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Are OneUp Components Pedals any good?

Yes, OneUp Components pedals are very high-quality pedals that have been tried and tested personally for many years. They are many mountain bikers’ go-to pedals. The pedals are offered in aluminum and a plastic composite.

OneUp Pedals Compairison

Some of the other popular pedals to consider when looking to purchase the OneUp pedals are:

  • Crankbrothers
  • Diety
  • Race Face AEffect Platform Pedals
  • Race Face Atlas Platform Pedals
  • Ethirteen Base Pedals
  • Shimano PD-M8140
  • Bontrager Platform Pedals

OneUp Pedal Tractions

The OneUp Aluminum and Composit pedals are some of the most grippy pedals available for flat mountain bike shoes. This is because of the 10 long pins that hook into the sole of the shoe. The pins are positioned in a way that contacts the outside of the shoe first then when weight is applied the inner pins make contact. This sort of pinches the shoe to the pedal. Once your foot is on the pedal there is no way of rotating it to another position. You will need to lift up your foot and replace it back on the pins almost like velcro.

I choose to ride Five Ten Freerider Pro shoes when I’m not testing other shoes. The sticky tacky 5.10 rubber paired with the 10 pins hook up to the shoes. There is no adjusting your foot once it has been stepped on the pedal, it’s locked in place until you peel your foot off and re-adjust.

OneUp Pedal Servicability

The rebuild kit for the OneUp pedals is about $25 USD https://www.oneupcomponents.com/products/aluminum-pedal-bearing-rebuild-kit. This is comparable with the rebuild kit for Crankbrothers Stamp rebuild kits. Rebuilding does require a tool that might not be in everyone’s toolbox. A cassette removal tool is required to remove the spindle. After that, the pedals can be serviced in just a few minutes with some grease and a few Allen keys. You can check out our video for a complete teardown and assembly of the pedals.

OneUp Pedal Conclustion

I have been mountain biking for over 25 years, probably ridden over a hundred different pedals. I have broken, bent, replaced, and repaired many of them over the years. In the last decade pedals have become much more durable, slimmer, and just last longer in general. My experience with pedals and having ridden so many variations gives me an interesting perspective. These are some of the best value, longest lasting, yet lightweight pedals I’ve ridden. I have years on these pedals and with annual service, they continue to keep going.

Stanley 40 Oz Quencher Travel Tumbler Review

Travis Gneiting First Look, Reviews

There is a reason these Stanley 40 oz Quencher Traveling tumblers sell out every year. They have simply taken everything into account when creating the perfect vacuum-sealed drink holder on the go. Hurry now while the popular colors are back in stock after Christmas.

The Stanley Travel QUencher Tumbler is a 40 oz screw-on lid with a high volume straw and a handle. What sets it apart from other travel tumblers is the handle and it fits in standard cup holders. This is extremely hard if not impossible to find a 40 oz cup that’s insulated, with a handle to do this. Or, if there is one out there it’s so large it’s hard to hold with one hand without a handle.

One of the downsides is that the cup advertises that there’s a three-position screw-on lid however, I can only get it to lock into positions. This means that the straw can be placed for a right-handed or left-handed drinking position, but not in the middle.

Even better the cup is dishwasher safe and stainless steel so it doesn’t take any taste with it, and it’s BPA free. The cup and colors definitely cater to women but as a man using this cup, I couldn’t be happier.

You can take a look at our many other vacuum sealed product reviews to know we have used handfuls of them. Hands down this has to be my favorite mug to use around the house or on the go. And with its popularity and always being sold out I think everyone else would agree.

Stanley Travel Quencher Comparison Reviews we have done

Hydroflask, Mizu, Manna, Fifty Fifty, Klean Kanteen

Who should buy the Stanley Travel Quencher?

If you are looking for the best of the best for Swig refills, gas station refills, drinks on the go, or around the house this is the go-anywhere do it all winter to summer mug. Its stand-out features are what make it my favorite and daily user when I have at least 25 other mugs to choose from.

Click the affiliate link below to help us support the website to check and see what colors are currently in stock and grab them before they’re gone.

If the Stanley mugs are sold out Check GearChase.com Here for other Retailers that might have additional inventory is another way to find the Quencher still in stock.

Rugged Road Ultralight Cooler Review

Travis Gneiting Reviews

The Rugged Road Ultralight cooler is a great option for anyone looking for a high-performance cooler without the weight of the rotomolded coolers that have become very popular. It’s a huge step up from the cheap coolers you find at your local grocery store. Have a look at previous models from Rugged Road, the benefits and drawbacks of the lightweight Rugged Road 65 cooler and we will also compare it with the popular Yeti 45 cooler to help you decide if this is the right cooler for you.

Previous Models

Rugged Road has been making coolers for a while now. The Rugged Road 65 is a new improved version based on the original Rugged Road Onitis 45. It was a cooler about the same size holding 60 cans. It however was closed using straps that were inconvenient. The lid was free to float around if not strapped down. The New Rugged Road 65 is a perfect upgrade and a really good example of innovation from Rugged Road.

Benefits and Drawbacks

Benefits

Based on my own usage of the Rugged Road Cooler the biggest benefit is that it is a premium ice retention cooler that is lightweight enough for a child to move when empty. Other benefits include the easy-open handle and large open rope handles for carrying. The drain plug is attached which is nice if you have ever lost a drain plug from other coolers in the grass, or simply misplaced it. Lastly, the removable and rotateable lid is a unique benefit that I’ve never seen on another cooler. It’s nice to have a flat surface if used as a bench or to be able to flip over the cooler if you would like to use it as a drink holder and cutting board.

Drawbacks

The Rugged Road cooler has a few drawbacks that were noticeable right when we started using the cooler. When I placed the cooler in the bed of my truck it started sliding around unlike other coolers I’ve used because it didn’t have any rubber feet on the bottom, just a smooth slick surface. To get around this I had to always tie down the cooler or wedge it in place with bags or other equipment. While the ice retention doesn’t exactly match that of a heavy rotomolded cooler, it’s going to be enough for 90% of the way I’ll be using the cooler for weekend camping trips without the need to top off the ice. However, some may complain that the ice retention is not up to par with rotomolded coolers.

My Experience with Coolers

We have been testing and using coolers for years now from Otterbox Coolers, Yeti, Blue Coolers, Cobalt Coolers, Rtic Coolers. I have personally tested these coolers in Utah’s desert heat and on the lakes. We have used them on road trips, vacations to Lake Powell, I have put them through many test and know what I prefer in a cooler and can give proper pro’s and con’s based on other coolers and my personal experience of years of use.

Rugged Road Outdoor Coolers

Rugged Outdoor Cooler Vs. Yeti Cooler

It seems that the gold standard for a cooler comparison it to put them up against a Yeti cooler, the brand that popularized roto-molded coolers. We stacked up the Rugger Outdoor 65 next to the Yeti 45 for a side-by-side comparison.

The Rugged Outdoor Cooler although named “65” is about the same interior size as the Yeti 45 (whose name is also a bit miss leading). Each cooler can hold about 65 cans with very little room for ice.

The construction of the coolers is where the differences start. Rotomolded coolers are made by rotating a solid form while a hard liquid plastic is pumped in while the mold rotates, as it cools it creates a strong durable shell that is later filled with an Injectable foam for insulation.

As I understand, Rugged Outdoor coolers start with a piece of foam in the shape of the cooler that is sprayed with an extremely durable plastic much like a bed liner in a truck. This allows for a much lighter weight cooler with superior insulation over your Walmart Colman cooler.

The Yeti 45 weighs almost 26 lbs empty.
The Rugged Outdoor 65 Cooler weights almost 11 lbs.

Who should choose the Rugged Outdoor Cooler over other Coolers?

The Rugged Outdoor Cooler is the perfect cooler for car camping. While Yeti and other rotomolded coolers are better suited for being on the water with their weight and rubber feet helping to secure the cooler. The Rugged cooler really shines because of its lightweight portability and easy latches that even children can easily open and close.

The flip lid is a nice feature for backyard campouts, tailgating, or car camping, but I can see the lid being broken if used in a rough environment and feel like that is where the weakness is on this cooler.

Rugged Outdoor Cooler Conclustion

In conclusion, the Rugged Road outdoor cooler is costly, but a has been a great lightweight alternative that keeps our camping food and drinks just as cold as our Yeti cooler but weighs about 15 lbs less. It meets or exceeds all of our personal cooling needs and thus far hasn’t had any issues with it.

Outdoor Master Google and Helmet Review

Travis Gneiting Reviews

The Kelvin helmet has a boa style ratched to secure the helmet on your head. A lot of modern helmets still just rely on the chin strap to hold the helmet in place. It’s a great way to secure the helmet with various sizing. Also included with the helmet is a goggle strap attachment. This black button strap is used to attach the goggle strap to the helmet. It’s great for little kids that are always on the go. It keeps the goggles attached to the helmet and keeps them in place creating a seamless transition from the top of the goggles to the helment.

There is nothing special about the pinch plastic chin strap. It’s pretty standard for most helmets. Although some of the higher priced helmets are starting to use a hybrid magnetic closure. As you can see there is very soft padding and material around the chin strap and ear flaps. As long as these stay out of the snow, and dry they keep your face warm and chafe free all day.

The ear flaps in the helmet are not removable like they are in many other helmets. Honestly, helmets I own that have removable earflaps never get removed so it didn’t bother me at all. In the photo above you can see just how soft the inside of the helmet is. It’s balanced ventalation keeps you warm without overheating from super cold below freezing days to warm spring days on the slopes.


Kelvin Outdoor Master Helmet Description

COMFORTABLE SAFETY
Ski helmet built for both comfort and safety. Equipped with REINFORCED ABS SHELL & SHOCK-ABSORBING EPS CORE.

CHOOSE BETWEEN 13 DIFFERENT COLOR OPTIONS
The sleek design is available in 13 different color combinations for you to choose from. All in matte finish.

ADJUSTABLE SIZE
Size adjustment dial for a perfect fit. EASY TO WASH removable ear pads & inner fleece liner.

BEST-IN-CLASS VENTILATION
Equipped with 14 individual vents for next-level ventilation for HOURS OF COMFORTABLE SKIING.

Size chart:
– To determine the correct size, wrap the measuring tape around the widest part of the head and take the measurement at the forehead.

To get the most accurate measure, have a friend help with this.
– S: 48 – 52cm (19 – 20.5 inches)
– M: 52cm – 58cm (20.5 – 23 inches)
– L: 56 – 61cm (22 – 24 inches)

Specifications:
– Weight: 1.3 pounds
– Product Dimensions: 11.42 x 9.06 x 9.06 inches
– Packing Dimensions: 11.81 x 9.84 x 9.84 inches
– Material: EPS

Package includes:
1 x OutdoorMaster Ski Helmet

Kelvin Outdoor Master Helmet Details

  • Package Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 10.94 x 8.66 x 7.64 inches; 1.08 Pounds
  • Manufacturer recommended age ‏ : ‎ 5 years and up
  • Department ‏ : ‎ Unisex
  • Date First Available ‏ : ‎ July 22, 2020
  • Manufacturer ‏ : ‎ OutdoorMaster
  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08DFWWQ75

Outdoor Master Pro XM Goggle Review

The Outdoor Master Pro XM ski and snowboard goggle is a great value including multi foam density, a large viewing area, easy change lenses, carrying case and cleaning cloths all at a fraction of the big name goggles companies.

Its hard to believe how advanced expensive magnetic goggle lens technology has made it down to the value priced goggles already!. Outdoor Master has done it right, the goggles have all the quality features of multiple density foam against your face for comfort while keeping the cold air out. The Goggle straps have grip on them to keep them in place around the helmet. They offer a lot of color and lens combinations.

The best feature from Outdoor Master goggles is the extra lens for flat or night skiing and the magnetic interchanglebe lenses. You can see in the photo above the magnets are aranged around the goggle that keep them securly in place.

Outdoor Master Goggle Spcifications

Lens Size 8.27 Inches (W) X 3.74 Inches (H)

Lens Material: Injection Molded Polycarbonate + UV Coating

Frame Material: Bendable TPU Ultraviolet 100% UV400

Gerber Compleat and Armbar Slim Drive Review

Travis Gneiting Reviews

The warranty comes with a lifetime warranty in North America and a 25-year limited warranty outside of North America to be free from defects in material and workmanship as long as the original owner owns the product. The armbar Slim has a Phillips and flathead screwdriver bottle opener and a single blade. Its small simple compact design makes it perfect for anyone that needs a screwdriver with them all the time. One thing I really liked about the screwdriver is that it was center mounted so that it was easy to rotate and use as a real screwdriver. The bit is held in place with a magnet and when not in use is pinched against the side of the cover to prevent it from falling out there is no locking mechanism on the screwdriver which was a bit frustrating at times when using awkward places.

The blade has a locking mechanism and a general shape making it perfect for a vast variety of applications. The texture and shape of the knife make it easy to grip even with wet hands. With an unconventional walking mechanism, it’s still easy to close with one hand. As we’ve come to expect from Gerber the blade is sharp and durable.

With the holiday season coming up these are great gift items that are inexpensive and practical.

Use the link below to support gearchase.com, we will get a small commission for any purchases made through it.

Gerber all-in-one spatula Fork tongs spoon and multi-tool is a great one-piece eating utensil for camping and backpacking. Of a condition, the complete cookie clean utensil has 10 tools in total and is corrosion resistant with textured handles and weighing in at only 2.5 oz. The spatula has a serrated edge to use as a knife and a silicone edge for cleaning out cups and pots after eating. The multi-tool has a veggie peeler bottle opener can opener and package opener built-in. It’s made of anodized aluminum material and hard plastic for the spatula.

One of the neat things about the complete tool is that it can be used as tongs by flipping a Spooner Fork around and attaching it to the spatula.

The multi-tool veggie peeler bottle opener and can opener work surprisingly well. However when using the veggie peeler your hand is placed against the sharp edges of the can opener and package opener which makes it a little difficult to use.

Onewind Hammock Review

Travis Gneiting Camping, Reviews

We have been testing the Onewind 11’ Double camping hammock with a bug net and under quilt over the past couple of months.

Onewind Hammock Review

The 11-foot double hammock with mosquito and hammock straps is a great value from Onewind. For around $65 you get a hammock, ridge cord, hammock straps, storage bag, and bug net.

The hammock is made of durable hexagon ripstop nylon.  It’s 70d soft and strong. The storage bag is designed to be slid from one side to the other by just sliding the hammock into the stuff sack.  This is unlike other hammock stuff sacks like the ENO where the stuff sack is attached to the side of the hammock.

The suspension straps are a little unique when compared to most daisy chain-style straps. The 2 adjust buckle allows for infinite adjustments and is lighter weight than the daisy chain style with many loops for attaching a carabiner.

With the adjustable ridgeline and gear loft, hammock, straps, and the easy-to-set up bottom entry bug net the Onewind hammock is a great value and even better gift.

Onewind Under Quilt Review

The Onewind under quilt is a lightweight under hammock insulation.  It is attached with cords to the hammock poles and can be adjusted close to the hanging hammock for maximum warmth, or loose to allow more airflow.  The under quilt is made out of 20 denier nylon Taffeta fabric and weighs just 1.12 oz.  The filing is a synthetic Bio-based fiber made with DuPont Sorona.

The Underquilt is easy to use, it is attached at both ends of the hammock with a carabiner. The elastic drawcord can be tightened or loosened to adjust the temperature.  The under quilt can also be used flat as an over the quilt.  There are buttons on both sides to attach the under quilt.

We recently reviewed some of the nicest and most expensive under quilts from Hammock Gear that cost well over $100.  The Onewind synthetic under quilt is just $70 and a great alternative to a down under quilt for someone getting into hammocking or hammock camping.

Onewind Bugnet Review

The bottom entry bug net is easy to use. Simply thread the hammock through the bug net from one end, or stuff the hammock and under quilt in from the bottom and pull the attachment points out the holes on each end. There are drawstrings on both sides. The ridgeline keeps the bugnet from drooping over you when laying in the hammock so make sure it is tight.

Conclusion

The Onewind is a super value at well under the competition. The hammocks offer everything needed in a durable and functional product to get yourself started in a lightweight hammock camping kit that packs down smaller than a tent and sleeping bag. Below is an affiliate link to Amazon to see all Onewind hammock products. We do receive a small commission if you purchase something after clicking the link that helps us maintain the website.