Clothes

Why I Chose It

These shoes have been reviewed to death.  There’s something like 3,500 reviews on Amazon.

They’re not waterproof and don’t have the construction quality of a full-on hiking boot, but I chose them because of their breathability, comfort, and weight.  The first pair I ordered had a weird defect from the factory where the right shoe sat a bit higher than the left.

Thoughts After Using It

I took 2 new pairs of this shoe with me.  I did not alternate them every other day and just wore the first pair non-stop.

After 4 months and several hundred miles I think they were pretty close to giving out.  I needed to ditch my gear for a bit, so I just starting wearing the 2nd pair at that point even though there might be some mileage left in the 1st pair.

Why I Chose It

This was a purchase from when I was playing golf.  The G30 lenses are supposed to enhance the contrast to make reading greens easier for putting.

I thought they worked as advertised and like that they’re not so dark I needed to take them off when it’s overcast or nearing sunset.  Probably not the best for snow conditions though.

Thoughts After Using It

Not much to report here.  Been wearing these for a few years already and really like them.

They’ve been dropped on the ground, bent in weird ways, and suffered all kinds of miscellaneous trauma with no complaining.

Why I Chose It

I”m actually bringing more than just two pairs of socks.  In addition to these Smartwool, I also have 2 pars of Thorlos hiking socks, 2 pairs of Swiftwicks from my golf days, and another 2 pairs of heavy Thorlos for colder weather.

Smartwool, Thorlos, and Darn Tough are all about the same price.  I haven’t tried the Darn Tough, but I can’t imagine there’s anything more comfortable than the Smartwool.

Thoughts After Using It

I  mentioned how I forgot a few items when I departed, but I also lost a few items while I was out there.

Very sadly, one of the things I lost was a pair of these socks.  The last place I think I had them was Flagler Reservoir in CO when I did laundry in my BearVault.  So, if you’re ever around there take a look.  Fantastic socks.

Why I Chose It

Like my hats, I can’t stand tight fitting pants.  In a previous life I must have lived in a place where people wore free flowing robes or something like Greece or Rome.

A lot of people like the Prana Zion Strech pants.  They’re a little cheaper and have a lot of good reviews.  People report they fit like standard Levi’s jeans though and I need relaxed fit.

Thoughts After Using It

These pants were excellent for all weather and terrain conditions.  Considering all the forests and brush I walked through it’s amazing how well they held up.

I did get one very small rip in the fabric behind the right knee area.  They dry extremely fast after washing.  The color was perfect for how dirty I got as well.

Why I Chose It

I was looking for an affordable hat that gave good sun coverage, was lightweight and had vents for breathability.

This one also floats, has a chin strap, and a size/security adjustment strap.  There are two sizes S/M and L/XL.  I got the L/XL and think they may run a bit small in sizing.

Thoughts After Using It

This hat did shrink a bit after washing so people with big heads might take note.  I resolved that though by stretching it out over the lid of my BearVault.

Other than that, it was a gem.  Easy to forget you’re even wearing it.  Never had a problem in high winds either.

Why I Chose It

These are sandals I picked up when moving to Florida.  I ended up wearing them a lot because it was so hot.

I’ve had good luck with Merrell footwear and these seem durable as I’ve had them a couple years.  I just plan to wear them around camp and while showering, however, they look like they might even be up for some short hiking duty.

Thoughts After Using It

For the most part, I encountered fall temps on my trip.  So, I got to wear these during the day and let my feet breath.

They also pulled shower duty.  Still holding up well after several years.  I wouldn’t say I hiked in them, but I did do a good amount of walking around various campsites.

Why I Chose It

A wind/rain resistant jacket for warmer weather.  This was another item salvaged from when I was playing golf.

It got a lot of use out on the course.  I like how the fit is non-restrictive for swinging a club.  Expensive though like anything labeled for specialty camping/hiking/boating/golfing use.

Thoughts After Using It

Only wore this a few times as I left for this trip during fall and encountered mostly long sleeve weather.  Still does a good job repelling the elements.  Not much provided in the way of warmth, but that’s not what it was designed for.

Why I Chose It

Tight fitting hats squeeze my head and always give me a headache after a while so I decided to try this fleece 2 in 1 winter hat.

It has earflaps that can be flipped up out of the way and the face cover can be stored in the top when not in use.  I was concerned this would make the top feel lumpy, but no problems so far.

Thoughts After Using It

This was another one of my favorite items.  Soft, warm and a good fit.

I didn’t use the face mask part that stores in the top, mostly because it didn’t get too cold.  Not sure how much protection it would offer anyways.  The flip up ear flaps really came in handy though.

Why I Chose It

I’ve gone through a couple of these Columbia fleeces over the years.  I liked them so much I was going to pick up another, but the manufacturing seem to have changed.

The fleece doesn’t seem as thick as it used to be and just not as good of quality.  I picked up one of the light duty jackets at Costco instead and someone on Youtube reports they are the same as the Apex Bionic from The North Face

Thoughts After Using It

I ended up wearing the Costco knock off North Face jacket almost exclusively instead of this fleece.  One of the major reasons being it blocked the wind which this fleece doesn’t really do.

The Costco jacket also layered nicely under my heavier Columbia jacket.  The fleece ended up serving as an extra pillow to prop my head up when reading.

Why I Chose It

Another item like the fleece gloves that’s not designed for heavy duty or extreme environments.  Just a regular water/wind resistant jacket for temps around freezing.

The hood is detachable and there are a ton of pockets.  The sizing runs true and the color might not appeal to everyone, but I found it on sale for $36.  Costco also has some nice jackets in the $20-30 price range.

Thoughts After Using It

If I had any extra money this is one place I wouldn’t mind upgrading.  This jacket didn’t do a bad job for $35.

But when you’re outside as much as I was in colder temps, a good jacket is probably a wise investment.  I’d like to see how the $30 Costco jackets perform.  I’m thinking the down jackets that run a couple hundred are probably worth it though.

Why I Chose It

I had a pair of fleece gloves when I lived in Chicago, but wore them out they saw so much use.

What I liked about these is they’re comfortable and offer some protection, but also flexible for driving or using smartphone.  However, hey’re not waterproof and won’t be good for extreme temps.  I also have a pair of fingerless gloves for light duty use.

Thoughts After Using It

These were advertised as smartphone/tablet friendly with little ridges for swiping, but I found it to be hit or miss (mostly miss) when trying to operate electronics.

For everything else they were great though.  So, I just wore my fingerless gloves when working/browsing.  Not waterproof, but I would say there’s some water resistance.

Why I Chose It

They used to sell these at Costco for $15 or $20.  I don’t know if they do anymore though.

These are the Merino wool blend.  I also have the entirely synthetic Performance version of these thermals.  I found the Merino’s on Ebay for $12.

Thoughts After Using It

I mentioned I picked up a set of 32 Degree Heat thermal top and bottoms from Costco for about $10 a piece over in the sleep section.

Was pleased with both the Paradox and the 32 Degree Heat.  I think top of the line Merino Wool like Smartwool sell for close to $100.  Hard to imagine they’re 4-5 times better, but it’s possible.