Coleman Coastal Xtreme Series Marine Portable Cooler 70L

For the money, this really can’t be beat. I did a bunch of research and this cooler held food cold for 3.5 days in 80 degree days, whereas the Yeti, at 10x the price, lasted only 4 days. Scientific? No, but close enough. At under $40, you just can’t beat it. Is it large? Yes. It’s useful only for car camping, picnics, having beer cold when everyone is over for a bbq, etc. I sometimes wish I had gotten a 50L because this holds far more food than I care to carry and takes up valuable bed space in the truck. Ah well, I don’t feel like buying another.

Make sure you get the Marine version – the hinges are metal instead of plastic. It should last longer. It’s also white so it doesn’t get bleached by the sun.

Big Agnes 2019 Copper Spur HV UL

This is my first ultra-light tent. Before this, I’ve always gotten something from Alps Mountaineering or similar. About 3x the price, 1/3 the weight, packs small, and totally worth it if you can comfortably swing the price. The tent weighs nothing. Lifting it felt like how lifting a carbon fiber bike felt the first time. I was shocked they could make something this light. So far I’ve only used it on dry nights, so I have no idea how it handles in the rain, but California is in the worst drought in 1200 years, so that’s not so important.

Gregory Zulu 65

I did my Colombia trek with the Zulu 40 and it worked perfectly. The pack is made to stay off your back so sweat doesn’t stick to you, which is great in the jungle. I noticed however that the upper compartment on an airplane can easily fit a 65L pack, and not even long-ways, so why go for smaller? Yes, smaller looks neater, but it’s easy enough to tighten the straps and you have the extra room when you have to carry things for other people… so I upgraded. It’s not my go-to summer pack, but I haven’t used it much yet because I broke my leg and well, Covid.

New Daypack: Gregory MiWok 24

Gregory_MiWok_24

So this is my what, third Gregory pack?  Really, I love them.

I bought the 2019 Radial 34, but returned it before I left the store.  It was just much thinner than I expected and the wire rim didn’t click with me.  I couldn’t really understand it.  It got a lot of love online, but didn’t click for me, certainly not at $170.

The MiWok 12 and 24 were on sale for 50% off, so I took a chance.  I’m glad I did.  It’s light, yea thin, doesn’t feel super substantial, but feels sturdy enough for my two laptops, some gym clothes, and bag gloves.

I haven’t gotten to use it much yet, but still, I’m very happy with it.

Looking for new daypack

Wants

    • prevents a sweaty back
  • good for walking to work
  • ok for biking to work
  • ok for airline travel
  • normally will hold one laptop and one large tablet
  • sometimes will hold two laptops and two tablets
  • on flights will hold four laptops, three tablets, two kindles, and lots of wires

So far, only Osprey has a mesh panel to keep the back cool.

All the models I’m considering have a 25-ish and 35-ish size option.  The larger size compresses down to the smaller one so there is little advantage in the smaller one considering when I do pack a jacket, it takes a lot of space.

Options

  • Osprey
    • Radial 34 (2019)
    • Radial 34 (2018)
    • Escapist
    • Nebula
    • Tropos

 

Pack Pro Con
Radial 34 (2019) Hopefully fixed kickstand digging into back $50 more expensive
Radial 34 (2018) $50 cheaper
  • kickstand sometimes digs into back
Escapist Non removable waist strap
Nebula
Tropos

Update: found my backpack.  See next post.