Category Archives: Camping Gear Reviews


Best Backpacking Camping And Hiking Shopping Sites

Need backpacking or hiking equipment? Here is a list of the best, biggest, and most trusted sites on the Web for buying outdoor gear. There are many places on the Web to spend your money, but we think these 8 sites are the best sites for buying outdoor equipment from. Our conclusion is based upon our examination of each site’s selection of items, offering of gear buying advice and tips, and history as an online or retail store. Rei

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The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Annual Pass

If you like to get out and really travel the country, the new replacement for The National Parks Pass is a great investment for the family.

Parks Pass

This pass allows you and the occupants of your vehicle (up to four total adults) free entrance to all National Parks. It replaces the Golden Eagle, Golden Age, and Golden Access Passports. The old National Parks pass only allowed free entrance to family members in your vehicle. The new National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Annual Pass will emit anyone in the vehicle into the park free without having to be related.

The pass can pay for its self in as little as three visits. Knowing that it won’t cost you anymore each time you enter a National Park will encourage you to get out and enjoy them more often. All of the $80 fee goes to helping run and improve our National Parks and Federal Lands.

The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Annual Pass can be purchased at most National Parks and at the Government web site.

Kelty Trail Dome 2 Tent Review

Kelty Trail Dome 2 Tent Review

Kelty Trail Dome 2 Tent – ’07 Special Buy

This tent is one of those tents that doesn’t do anything special but doesn’t seem to do anything wrong.

The 2 person Kelty Trail Dome tent is a good solid construction simple 2 pole tent. Its fast to set up with easy clip to pole design. One thing that stood out with me was that the floor seams are about 2 inches above the ground. That can be helpful in hard rains or when the ground is really muddy by making it harder for water to seep in. I have had tents who’s seams touch the ground and it can be hard to keep water out.

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Camping Gaz Turbo 270 Stove Review

Camping Gaz 270

The Gaz Turbo 270 Stove has always been one of my favorite backpacking stoves. I have owned various versions of the model for over 12 years.

This little compact stove comes tightly packed and folds up in a neat small carrying pouch. You just unzip, fold out and screw it onto one of Camping Gaz’s butane/propane cartridges. Super fast and easy setup gets you cooking right away.

The cartridge works well as a sturdy base but doesn’t take up much room. It is very easy to control the flame with the smoothly adjustable knob. If you have ever tried to use a stove under a tent vestibule you will appreciate how fast you can light it and not have a big flame flair up on you.

The stove is however susceptible to winds as most pack stoves are. This can be helped by wrapping a piece of foil around the outside of the burner to block some wind. Also canister stoves can have trouble producing good heat when used in very cold conditions. This can be helped by keeping the Gaz cartridges in the foot of you sleeping bag overnight. The warmed cartridges preform better in the morning on cold days.

I highly recommend the solid little Gaz Turbo 270 Stove . Unless you are on a long backpacking trip this stove may keep you from ever priming up a stove again.

The North Face Cat’s Meow +20 Sleeping Bag Review

The North Face Cat’s Meow +20 Sleeping Bag Review

The North Face Cat’s Meow +20 Sleeping Bag – Regular

I took this bag out for a three day weekend in the Colorado Front Range Mt.s . I have to say to begin with that it was probably the warmest +20 degree sleeping bag I have ever used. The second night out it got down to 15 degrees and I stayed comfortable all night without having to put any extra clothing on. That more than I can say for most bags in this very competitive category.

Build quality appears to be quit good. The zippers moved very freely and the hood was easy to pull uptight around my face without any discomfort. There was plenty of room around my shoulders but the foot box did seem a bit confining.

Being 5ft 10in tall the Cat’s Meow in the standard size gave me just enough room to really stretch out. I would say the bag would max out at a 6ft 1in frame. From my cold weather experience in the bag the new Polarguard Delta insulation does store a bit more heat than the now trusted Polarguard 3D.

If your looking to spend under $170 on a good 3 season sleeping bag and want it to last for many seasons to come you should give this bag a hard look. I would definitely recommend this one.

The North Face Cat’s Meow +20 Sleeping Bag – Regular


Material: —-57% Polyester, 43% nylon
Insulation: –Polarguard Delta
Degree: —–20F
Draft Collar: -Yes
User Height Max: (Reg)6ft; (Lng) 6ft 6in
Weight: (Reg) 42oz (1204g); (Lng) 46oz (1294g)

REI Half Dome 2 HC Tent Review

REI Half Dome 2 HC Tent

The New REI Half Dome 2 HC Tent

This is the new version of REI’s best selling two-person backpacking tent. For those familiar with the old Half Dome there has been a few improvements. The fly now has a small window to check out whats going on without having to pull back the fly. Also the sides and floor pull out more tightly to give more usable space thanks to a redesigned center pole hub. The hub keeps the two pole connected to each other which makes it a little faster to clip the tent to the poles.

The New REI Half Dome 2 HC Tent easily fits two 6 footers with enough room for a small amount of gear. This is almost the same tent they have been selling for years. Just a few cosmetic up grades and a new way of attaching the two poles. Its a trusted design and will keep you dry without breaking the bank.

There are a lot of tents in this category. The New REI Half Dome 2 HC sits somewhere in the middle.

REI Half Dome 2 HC Tent

Sleeping capacity – 2
Packed Weight – 5 lbs. 11 oz.
Floor area is
34 square feet
Peak height
is 41 inches
Packed size is
7 x 23 inches