Monday, April 28, 2014

My Favorite Gear - OutdoorGearLab Reviews

Here's a list of my top 10 personal favorite pieces of climbing/bouldering gear and outdoor wear with OutdoorGearLab reviews:

Remember, before you buy any outdoor gear, first go to so you can see a top selection of products all in one place with detailed information as well as unbiased performance comparisons. We also have price comparisons for each product which show you the current retailers and any sales they're offering. Then simply click the link from OutdoorGearLab to the retailer of your choice and at no additional cost to you of course we get a small share of the sale from the retailer - so we all win!

Under Armour UA Tech Short Sleeve Shirt - Men's
Other than the relaxed style of classic cotton t-shirt this is my all time personal favorite performance shirt because of its incredible functionality combined with a great look and feel. Stretchy and lightweight polyester fabric, raglan sleeve design for a full range of motion as well as non pack strap chafing shoulder seams, great moisture wicking ability, a nice looking athletic cut and many colors to choose from all come together to make this my top choice for a shirt that does it all.

Prana Stretch Zion Pants
Stretchy and light yet fairly durable fabric. Built-in adjustable waist belt, many useful pockets, the leg pockets have both side and top entry zippers that are very handy, the legs have snaps to hold the pant bottoms when rolled up and just an overall nice look and feel. Great for climbing or around town.
Review by Brian Blum

Mountain Khakis Original Mountain Pants
One of, if not the most durable pants we've ever tested. Loose, comfortable fit and casual look with a rugged and simple design. Great for work, outdoor adventures, bushwhacking, off trail hiking etc..

Five Ten Guide Tennie - Canvas
My favorite pair of shoes for light cragging or hiking and daily use. Not as durable as the original leather version but lighter weight and dries quicker. Climbs easy to moderate level rock very well. Burly yet stylish look for around town while being tough enough to withstand a lot of abuse outdoors. 5.10 sticky rubber on the sole in a dot tread pattern is not the best for steep, wet or muddy dirt trails but allows for unsurpassed friction on talus or slabby approaches in the mountains as well as extreme parkour/free-running exploits in the urban jungles.

Five Ten Arrowhead
Edges like an actual arrowhead would with a sharp pointed toe tip. Similar to the Anasazi VCS but with a more aggressive down-turned design for extreme rock climbs.

Evolv Shaman / Rasta Shaman
An aggressive down-turned design with good toe hooking rubber and form fitting heel for steeper angled rock climbs. Also very comfortable. The cool Rasta color version sadly costs a bit more (unless you got them free like me:) than the original orange & blue color scheme but are so styly ;)

Mad Rock Flash 2.0
For warming up, cooling down, working a project, doing laps or cleaning/developing and running around just goofing off at the rocks this is one of the most comfortable, inexpensive and relatively high performing rock shoes I've ever climbed in, tested and reviewed. Also great for beginners.

Testing the Mad Rock Flash 2.0 on
"Flyan Mayan" V7, South Lake Tahoe, CA.

Mad Rock R3 Bouldering Pad
This pad is maybe not the one single best pad for bouldering but combined with other pads I feel it is a vital component of most pad arrangements. I also like to haul a lot of stuff to the boulders (cameras, extra shoes, ropes, food and beer etc..) and this pad securely stores and packs the gear very well with a round drum like shape and nice padded shoulder and waist straps. The shredded recycled foam is divided into sections making it very flexible so it can conform to uneven landings and lay over rocks better than any other pad its size. The nature loving environmental hippy in me also really likes the green recycled aspect.

Prana Geo Chalkbag
The classic oval shaped Prana chalk bag design with stylish color patterns and a nice solid ring of strong nylon around the mouth to keep it open. The oval shape holds a lot of chalk in it without easily spilling out of the mouth. The closure system works reliable and smooth and there is an easy to use toothbrush holder.

Krieg Bouldering Pot
This is my favorite chalk bucket ever. It has great stability: it won't slump over like many buckets. While few buckets are completely spill-proof, the closure system on the Krieg does a great job of keeping the chalk in. The burly nylon around the mouth/rim of the bag helps keep it wide open for fast and easy chalk stops. You also get the option of customizing your fabric if you want the bag made-to-order. I have a Krieg bag made out of old FedEx Tyvek envelopes. Krieg does one thing and does it well: make chalk bags and buckets. In twelve years they have made over 1,000,000 bags!

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