OutdoorsNW Summer Gear Review

Outdoor Gear

By Hilary Meyerson

Rakuda Companion Backpack

We love a canvas backpack. This one by Rakuda, is old-school in all the right ways. Leather trim, brass rivets and fixtures, and a drawstring cord. The inside is lined in a water-resistant material, with interior pockets and a zippered pouch for valuables. This is a high-quality classic rucksack for the traditionalist. Retail price: $119.
Available online at: www.rakudabags.com

ENO Doublenest Hammock

What else says summer like a hammock? Answer: an ENO Doublenest hammock for two. You can get cozy with your sweetie in this lightweight (only 20 ounces!) nylon snugfest. Best of all, like all ENO hammocks, when not in use, it stows neatly in its attached little compression sack. We like ours best between two trees when we’re camping! Retail price: $69.95.

Mountain House Freeze Dried Food

For the backpackers out there. Mountain House began as Oregon Freeze Dry and incorporated in 1963. They started out freeze-drying foods for the military, and have been recognized as a leader in the industry. Today, they’ve improved on those early meals and make great, yummy meals for the backpacker. We especially enjoyed the Beef Stroganoff with Noodles and the Raspberry Crumble. Retail prices: Vary.  www.mountainhouse.com

Hi-Tec Harmony Life Mid Hiking Boot

The Hi-Tec Harmony Life is light, comfortable and most important, waterproof. Our feet stayed dry, but didn’t get super sweaty thanks to the moisture-wicking lining. Also the outsole is Vibram rubber which gives good traction on those slick Northwest trails. Retail price: $120.  www.hi-tec.com

Platypus Sprinter XT 35

This lightweight and weatherproof hydration daypack might be all you need for your day hikes, and could even work for an ultralight overnight. The Platypus Sprinter has a ventilated mesh suspension with perforated foam padding, a BioCurve Back Panel that lets air flow through, stashable waist belt and compression straps, as well as many bells and whistles. It has a good variety of exterior pockets and loops to carry other gear. Offers 35 liters of space, plus a 3.0 L hydration reservoir. Retail price, $159.95. cascadedesigns.com/platypus/hydration-packs

Therm-a-Rest Camper

You can’t think about sleeping in a tent without thinking Therm-a-Rest. The company has quite literally changed how people camp. Don’t head into the woods without the Therm-a-Rest Camper. This inflatable mattress gives you three inches of cushioned goodness. It’s not only one of the thickest air mattresses on the market, it’s also one of the most durable and puncture-resistant. Retail price: $119.95.  www.thermarest.com

Liberty Bottleworks 24 oz. Bottle

The waterbottle market is supersaturated — pun intended. So you have to be really outstanding to get our attention. These Liberty bottles are the only metal bottles made in the USA (in Washington!) and are the only ones made from recycled materials. We love the leak-free cap, and the fashion-forward artwork choices. If that wasn’t enough, they donate a portion of sales to some great organizations — and they recently received an award for their zero-waste factory and recycled aluminum bottle construction. Retail price: $19.  libertybottles.com

Eureka Midori Backpacking Tent

The Midori is a great tent for the novice to intermediate camper. A two-pole aluminum dome side entry tent, it delivers the goods at a decent price. It comes in two- or three-person models, both with hooded vents in the fly, and interior pockets. Both sizes also include a gear loft. When it comes to tents, you can’t go wrong with Eureka. Retail price: $139.99 for two-person, $179.99 for three-person.  www.eurekatent.com

Easton Compact AL5 Trekking Poles

These lightweight, super-packable trekking poles are just what you need for the hiker on the go. These Easton poles take up very little space when folded up, but extend and adjust to height easily with their patented Rock-Lock™ system. The wrist straps also adjust, and the tips and baskets are replaceable. Tough, light and versatile — a great trekking pole. Retail price: $119.  eastonmountainproducts.com/

Deuter ACT Lite 45 + 10 SL Backpack

For those getting started in backpacking, the Deuter ACT Lite 45 + 10 SL is a great choice. Deuter distinguishes itself with its Aircontact Lite system for adjustments to get a perfect fit combined with great airflow and breathability. This one is contoured for a woman’s back with its shorter torso length, narrower shoulder straps with double “Soft-Edge’ trim and conically shaped hip fins. Storage compartments are roomy, and the straps for sleeping pads or other gear are convenient. All this for just 3 pounds, 4 ounces. Retail price: $179. www.deuter.com

Eton FRX3 American Red Cross Radio

This is like the Superman of all radios: It receives NOAA Weather Band Radio Stations including emergency alerts, it’s an AM/FM radio, a flashlight and flashing beacon for emergencies. Recharging is easy via several options: The Eton FRX3 holds a 15–20 minute charge through its handcrank, charges up via solar power, offers a built-in rechargeable battery or by AAA batteries. There is also USB charge for your smart phone or other devices. We like it all! Retail price: $59.99.   www.etoncorp.com

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