Gear Review 2021 Part 1

Gear reviewed: Big Agnes Tigerwall 2 Platinum, Slackers Slack Rack W/Slackline, Ride Lasso Snowboarding Boots.

I didn’t really use that much new gear this year, 2021. This was mostly due to the fact that it was the most time I spent in the van to date. I spent just shy of a month traveling to Jackson, WY. In that time, Ally and I stayed in the van almost the entire time with the exception of a few nights in  friends’ houses in Eagle, Buena Vista, and Breckenridge. I lived in the van full time from when she left in the beginning May until July excluding a few nights I stayed in a hotel while exploring Yellowstone and the Tetons with my parents. Then, in the beginning of July she came back and we stayed at The Virginian Lodge in Jackson for 2 weeks before I drove back to WV. Those 2 months of living in he van were horrible……

Anyway back to the gear: since I was in the van for a little over a quarter of the year I really did’t purchase that much gear this year; it was also hard to find somethings due to supply issues. I broke the gear out by function in previous reviews (2020 Gear Review Part 1 and 2020 Gear Review Part 2).  Since I bought random stuff this year mostly for different types of activities and I didn’t have any big expeditions planned, I will not break them out by use this year but list them randomly.

Big Agnes Tigerwall 2 Platinum

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I used the Big Agnes Fly Creek 1 Platinum on the PCT and loved it. The reason I got the Tiger wall was because it had two doors, which I like in a two person tent. Both tents are very similar with the exception of the dimensions and the two doors. They were both quick and easy to setup. The Tiger Wall has more storage pockets. The one above the head also has a slot to run headphones through when storing your phone above. The tent is about 2 pounds so that’s a pound a person. That’s amazing. There isn’t much storage space inside but vestibules on each side make for ample storage. Since the material is so light it needs to be taken care of. I opted for the ground cloth which puts it over 2 lbs but protects the bottom of the tent. Care should be taken in placement when setting it up so nothing pokes through the fabric. I haven’t had any damage to the Tigerwall yet. The Big Agnes Fly Creek accumulated some holes when I thru hiked the PCT, but they were easily patched with tape. Just to give you an idea, the stuff sack for the tent stakes wore through the most from the pressure of them on the sack. Not gonna lie it weighed more when I was done hiking from the tape, but most of the tape was on the stuff sack.

I would definitely buy any platinum tent from Big Agnes I had nothing but great experiences and they are really light weight! This was probably my favorite purchase in this review.

Slackers Slack Rack W/Slackline

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I got this to keep occupied with COVID still happening. I already have a Gibbon 1 inch line but wanted something for the kids to mess with also. The Pittsburgh house where I was spending most of my time doesn’t have trees so I though I would try this rack out. The rack doesn’t come with anything to keep the line taught. To accomplish this one needs to purchase a 4’x4′ beam. It accommodates a 6′- 12′ beam I chose a 8′ 4’x4′ because that’s what I had laying around. I am probably going to purchase a 12′ beam because would like to utilize as much of the 13′ line as possible. As I mentioned before I wanted something for kids so I thought the 2′ diameter line would be more stable underfoot for them. I think it is, but the rack it’s self seems to wobble in conjunction with the line movement. This just helps develop ones balance. The ratchet seems cheaply made. It now needs tools and two people to let the tension go. I am nervous during this process because I would like to keep my fingers.

I don’t think I would buy this particular system again. It’s nice and I’m glad I had it but in the future I think I would just build two small platforms dig some holes and run a slack line from an anchor point over the boxes to the opposite anchor point in the holes. (See diagram below)

Ride Lasso Snowboarding Boots

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I normally get a softer flex boot since I spend a majority of my days on snow teaching snowboarding lessons. The softer flex boot I like unfortunately was not available due to supply chain issues, so I chose this one randomly out of the the few available with my pro deal. The lasso ended up feeling really light oh my feet and I’d say it was a medium flex just slightly stiffer than what I have normally been using. I really noticed it at first but after three hours I got used to it. I think my favorite part about the boot is the side BOA that adjusts the inside of the boot. It really tightens up that heel and locks it in place. It’s the first boot I’ve had where my heel does not move up and down when I pressure the boot to turn the board.

I would definitely buy this boot again! Its mid range price is not a hindrance and well worth the extra cash for that perfect fit! I go through boots like crazy due to the consistency of my gear getting ran over by students while teaching. Even with that abuse I expect these boots to hold up for 2 years. I live in the Mid Atlantic and average three months on snow most of which is teaching plus another few weeks riding out west in the shoulder seasons. This brings me to a  yearly median of just over 550,000 vertical. The only downside is the extra stiffness makes them a little more difficult to drive in. Still safer than driving in ski boots though!

Next up for review

IPad Pro 12.9 500 GB

Woruijia External Hard Drive 1 TB

Werner Surge Paddle

 

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