Monday, December 31, 2018

Outdoor Vitals LoftTek Adventure Jacket – Trail Review

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It is time to review the Outdoor Vitals LoftTek Adventure Jacket.  As with all of our reviews, this has been Trail Tested and isn't an info commercial like some of the other videos that you may have seen for this product.

Susan joins for this review and with the Outdoor Vitals LoftTek Adventure Jacket, there are problems.


Link :
Price : $150 – Shipping around July 2019
Weight : Medium Size : 11.6oz
Sizes : Small - XXXL

Colors : When this jacket officially launches it will be available in multiple colors. Charcoal and a blue color.

Out material : 20D nylon Ripstop

Liner Fabric : 10D Nylon Ripstop

Insulation ; Lofttek Siliconized Hollow Fiber Synthetic Down

I’ve had a number of issues with this jacket and I took a look on Youtube to see if anyone else has reviewed it and I found a bunch of videos that equated to INFO commercials which didn’t amount to much.

So what you are about to see isn’t a commercial but rather a true trail review of this jacket not only done by myself but with Susan as well.  Man and woman perspective.

Review :
Pros :

Good stitching
Long pit zips
Good hood. Comfortable and easily adjustable in the right sports

Feature a water repellant treatment; this is a nice to have but you still wouldn’t want to get this jacket soaking wet.  If it is, you will be warmer than traditional down but you won’t be running around amazed at how warm you are.

Cons :

Pit zips can be felt against your skin if wearing a tshirt.

Isn’t all that wind resistant -with  gusty winds around 10 – 20mph, definitely noticeable especially on the front of the jacket and the arms.  The back of the jacket and the hood seem to feature more fill than the rest of the jacket. OV claims told me directly that the wind resistance level is equal to that of a high level down jacket wind resistance which is far from the truth.

Fill material is coming through the outer material – Outdoor Vitals has stated that they are going to address this before the jacket is released as other complaints have been made.

Plastic sort of sound

Loose fit Boxy, non-flattering fit; Outdoor Vitals stated that it is meant for an Athletic Fit but I don’t see that with the jacket that I have received and not with the pictures that outdoor vitals has posted on their web site.  Their own pictures so very loose, boxy jackets, not form fitting.

Hand pockets don’t offer that much protection due to the low amount of fill. Not vey warm.

Jacket as a whole is Not very warm. Seems underfilled. Very thin.

Temp range for woman is going to be higher than a man. At 45f and hiking i was comfortable enough whereas Susie was cold.

At 45 and with it being breezy i was never completely warm...due to low fill and thinness

Thumb holes are worthless. So small that my thumb wont even fit

Summary :

With my testing I would say that this is a 50f jacket; below that you will need a long sleeve shirt or warm mid layer to be comfortable in lower conditions for most people.

Outdoor Vitals claims that LoftTek™ is the world's most advanced synthetic down imitation. The loose fill nature of the fibers mimics down’s extreme weight to warmth ratios and packability, while the it’s synthetic nature allows it to stay warm in wet conditions!  All of this may be true but with the jacket that I received is so thin that I can’t agree with these claims.

I’m hoping that the criticisms for this jacket are addressed by the time that this jacket launches; if they are, Outdoor Vitals will have a good offering on their hands but as it stands now, I’m not impressed.  I truly hope that they succeed as I like all that I have seen from this company so far and I hope that they will ask that we review the release version of this jacket when the day comes.

If you are going to pay down prices for a synthetic jacket you might as well get a good down jacket as there are many out there for around this price point.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

2 Feet of Snow, 3 Days in the Forest - Overnight Adventure

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The biggest Winter Storm in Decades is approaching and it will be measured in Feet, not inches!  Hundreds of Thousands will lose power and lives will be lost.

This is a 3 Day Winter Storm Adventure which includes elements of backpacking, camping and bushcraft!

Merry Christmas everyone, thank you all for an amazing year and for being so kind to my family and I.

Friday, December 21, 2018

What The ??? - Bushcraft Tripod Weirdness Review

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A Bushcraft Tripod which can be used as a self defense weapon?
A Bushcraft Tripod which can be used as a cane?

Yeah, this is a weird one.....

Make sure to check the comments in the video as I will be doing a giveaway for one of you can protect yourself!  :D


Link :

Price : $23
Weight : 15.4oz
Height : 31.5
Max Load : 11lbs

Version : This is an older version; the newer version of this is black and from what I can tell is identical other than color.

Solo Stove has a version of this which is taller and also more expensive by $10.

GGbuy is a Chinese company from what I can tell; the amazon listing features very poor English which is kind of fun to read.  The listing for this is really trying to sell it and recommends this for a number of uses including a walking stick and self defense.  It also states that you can use it to hold a lantern.  Perfect for your outdoor activities for BBQ, picnic, even drying clothes, or other emergency needed.

Material : The listing says that it is made from Alumina but also states that it is made from steel. The chain may be steel but everything else is likely aluminum.

Review :

The quality of this is ok, the size is workable and I think it is a neat idea.  The cost seems high to me as this is something that feels like it should cost around $10.  You can easily make your own version of this with three sticks, some rope and a chain or piece of wire. 

Some people will like this and if you are considering purchase it, keep in mind that quality, size and nature of this product.  It’s not going to be for everyone and if you know what to expect, you might happy with it.


Would I go out and buy this; no, I would save my money.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Savotta Vertical Pocket S Review - Pouch 9

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Today Luke discusses the Savotta Vertical Pocket S!
Do you need one for your pack?
Find out now.

Link :

Price : $32.46
Weight : 4.2oz
Sizes : S M L
COLORS : Green, Black, Camo

Measurements : 24 x 14 x 6 cm
9.5 x 5.5 x 2.5

A 2 liter pocket with molle/pals attachment straps.
Expected start of deliveries: during June. Order yours now!
A great choice for the Savotta Jääkäri back pack series. The Cordura material is highly durable and thanks to its polyurethane coating, the product offers moderate rain protection.
Two-way reverse zipper gives light protection from spray
Material: 1000 Denier Cordura with polyurethane coating
Metal eylet for draining at the bottom
2 x 30 cm attaching straps
Made in Finland and Estonia in Savotta factories
With scandinavianoutdoors, my experiences with them have been excellent; easy to order, great site and the shipping was quick.  I’m not affiliated with them, just sharing my experiences.

Large size pouch which is excellent for multiple kit bags, large first aid kit and so on.

Pricey but you are getting Savotta quality which is renowned.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Eberlestock Terminator - Is it Still Worth Buying?

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Is the Eberlestock Terminator Pack still worth buying today even after so many excellent military/tactical packs have come to the market?  This is a followup review of my thoughts concerning this pack in what I am sure is to be controversial to some.

Is it still worth buying?  Find out what I think now!

Detail Overview Video :

Overnight Adventure with this Pack :

Link :

Colors : Coyote Brown, Dry Earth, Military Green, Multicam which costs $45 extra

NSN# 8465-01-600-5068 assigned December 6, 2011 and the issued packs were olive green in color from what I was able to learn.

Total Volume: 4,100 c.i. (67 Liters)
Weight: 8 lbs 10 oz
Dimensions main bag: 23"h x 12"w x 10"d
Materials : 1000D and 500D Nylon combo.  YKK Zippers

Pros :
Roomy - but not as much as you would think
Can be comfortable even with a heavy weight but the pack isn’t perfect in this regards and I will talk more about that in a moment.
Excellent quality.
Can Carry a TON of WEIGHT and does so well.

Durability is excellent as this pack has taken a beating over the years and continues one like it was new.
Adjustable which means that it can be tailored for shorter and taller individuals.
Ability to carry a scabbard when you need to.
Removable buttpack is great.

Cons :
Not Waterproof so you will need to plan ahead if rain is a possibility.
Large and Very Heavy. For only a 67L pack, it’s huge!
Complicated – LOTS of POCKETS

Sleeping bag compartment is a bit small which is surprising for how large this pack is.  If you want to carry the modular sleep system for an example, it will have to be carried on the outside as it will not fit.

Because of the design of the pack and the back-panel, it has a tendency to sway side to side and that brings down the comfort rating in my opinion.  While it is still comfortable the pack never really feels like it is a part of you which is truly very important….or it is for me at least. When I throw a pack on my back, I want it to become a turtle shell, not something that can move independently with the shifting of the weight.  There are packs that allow for movement like the Bora from Arc’teryx that that level of movement is different than this as the Terminator feels uncontrolled where as the Bora is the opposite; very controlled.

As with all products, they are not made for everyone so my question for you all is this, is the Terminator pack made for you?

Buying Tip : Want to save some money on one of these packs, look on eBay as it is common to find these for sale for less than $250 very often.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Budget Gear Winter Storm - Overnight Adventure

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It's Friday and I have another winter adventure to share with you all! It starts pleasant enough with a camp on the cliffs and ends with a snowy adventure through the backroads of the Pisgah National Forest!

This Adventure features Budget Backpacking Gear,
The Backcountry,
and the Backroads and more!

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Modular Sleep System Pouch - Rare – LBT-6130A

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Now this is an awesome piece of military gear which allows for you to carry the Modular Sleep System on the outside of your Backpack!

Link : eBay (Good Luck)
Price : Whenever these appear on eBay, $20 - $30 is very common
Weight : around 3lbs
Color : Coyote Brown Only or at least, that is the only color that I have seen them in.

What makes this pouch so desirable as it is one of the very few systems that was developed to handle the Modular Sleep System ; The sleeping bags and the bivy while giving the soldier the ability to attach it to the outside of the backpack instead of taking up massive amounts of space inside of the rucksack.

Introduced around 2007; VERY little information is available concerning this pouch.

Made by London Bridge Trading Co.

This pouch is designed to carry a modular sleeping system, or act as a very large GP (general purpose pouch).

The pouch can either be MOLLED onto the outside of a rucksack, or simply placed in the pack

The LBT-6130A Modular Sleeping System Pouch can store a variety of different sleeping bags and systems. Outside cinch straps allow you to compress items that are stored within the pouch giving it a lower profile. The inside features an expandable interior with cord drawstring closure.


ID window

Four (4) adjustable buckle closure

Four (4) MOLLE straps with snaps

MOLLE webbing featuring three (3) rows and ten (10) columns

Interior drawstring closure with barrel lock

Carrying handle

Monday, December 10, 2018

Tough! - Fjallraven Kaipak 28 Backpack Review

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Today Luke presents (finally) his review of the Fjallraven Kaipak 28 backpack! Trail Tested!

Simple, TOUGH, Comfortable!

Link :
Price : Retail price is $150 but these can be found for $120 on Amazon at the time of filming
Colors : Grey, Red, Blue and Green.
Sizes : 28L, 38L and a 58L
Weight : 2lb 5oz
Dimensions : 22 x 11 x 8in
Raincover Included : yes
Unisex Pack

Materials : G-1000 heavy duty fabric, making it immensely hard wearing and can be treated with Greenland wax if necessary.

Volume : 28L (1709cu in)
Waist Belt : yes
Access : top
Pockets : 2 lid, 1 zippered front, 2 side
Trekking Pole Carry : yes

Pros :
Very comfortable.

There aren’t a thousand straps hanging from everything; simple.  No overly complicated with tons of pockets.

Includes a waist belt which can be used if you want or wrapped the other way around the pack if you don’t need it.

Durable : I’ve had this pack for over a year and it continues to live on.  I have one seam that has started to come undone; no big deal. Considering the use that I have given this pack, it should be worse!

Cons :
The 28L doesn’t have a floating lid whereas the other sizes do.

Overall this is a great day pack which feels comfortable when heading into town as it does spending an afternoon bushcrafting.  It’s well designed, is very comfortable and the price isn’t terrible for being a Fjallraven product.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Limited Performance - ThruNite TH30 Headlamp Review

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It is time to review the ThruNite TH30 Rechargeable Headlamp; this is a true Trail Review, not an overview which some channels present as it covers the Pros and Cons and whether this is a good fit for you.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Sabra Gear Mono Backpack Review

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Up for review is the Sabra Gear Mono Backpack.
Find out now how it has held up with my testing on the trail and in the backcountry.

Link :
Price : $359 with lid and waist belt addons which is how most people will order this pack.
Weight : Around 5lbs with the waist belt and lid

Features :
Full 500 D Cordura Construction, both outside and inside fabric.
Double layered bottom for reinforcement and extreme durability.
Roll-top closure for quick access, safe closing, and full functionality when used in a light weight mode without the lid.
Quick and easy main body access, with a super tough #10 YKK zipper.
All the zippers are with durable and easy to grab zipper pulls, for easy operation when wearing gloves or under stress.
Optional top lid with a large compartment.
Two open side pockets for bottles or long objects.
Hydration bladder sleeve and two hydration ports.
Effective compression system allows tight compression when the pack is not fully loaded.
Long compression straps allows carrying bulky items on the outside of the pack.
Removable back panel built from a polymer sheet and a 6061 T-6 aluminum rod, provides excellent load transfer, stability, and freedom of movement. Can be bent to fit perfectly to the user's body.
Removable emergency pad.
Optional removable waist belt.
MOLLE webbing In key areas.
Two axe loops.
Made in Israel.

Specs :
Mono without waist belt and Lid: 1.7 kg / 3.75 Pounds
Waist belt: 280 Grams / 10 Ounce
Lid: 280 Grams / 10 Ounce
Mono without Lid: 50 liters / 3100 cubic inches
Lid: 6 liters / 960 cubic inches

Fabric: 500 D Cordura.
Zippers: Highly durable #10 YKK zippers.
Buckles: ITW Nexus GTSR super heavy duty Mil-spec buckles.
Webbing: Mil-spec nylon straps and webbing.

Dimensions cm / inch:
Height of main compartment fully extended - 100 / 39.5
Height of main compartment up to the top of the back system - 64 / 25
Width - 28 / 11
Depth - 20 / 8

Comfortable load range:
With waist belt: 23 kg / 50 Pounds
Without waist belt: 10 kg / 22 Pounds
Load range meaning - The weight which the pack feels very comfortable and stable with.
You can easily carry a heavier load, but it will slightly decrease comfort. You can carry a much heavier load without worrying about the pack durability.


Pros :
Very comfortable for a military grade pack. Not on the same level as an Osprey but better most tactical style backpacks – excellent weight distribution
Excellent quality.
Very durable.
Top shelf materials and components.
Good price especially when compared to other brands.
Duel access

While comfortable I would like to see a slight redesign to the back as it could become even more comfortable with some padding.  This would also assist with breathability or sweat.

That leads to the next point, VERY poor breathability.  You are going to be soaked wearing this pack if you are going to go any sort of distance with any level of exertion.

Because of the lack of ventilation, this is a very hot pack.

Light on webbing and attachment points.

Monday, December 3, 2018

IFAK Winners Announcement - Three Individuals

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It's time to announce the Military Surplus IFAK Kit winners!
Thank you all for entering.