REVIEW: REI Mars 80 Overnight Backpack

REVIEW: REI Mars 80 Overnight Backpack

The REI Mars 80 has quite the reputation, almost a cult-like following. Before buying this pack, I researched it like crazy. And the thing that jumped out at me is this: with how many people rave about this pack, there is not much on the web in terms of personal reviews. Sure, REI has great reviews on the Mars 80 but nothing in-depth. And everything else out there seems to be just a blanket statement or purchase encouragement. I would much rather talk about how I’ve used this pack and what my personal opinion is after owning it for a couple of years. First of all, I’m a pretty big guy. 6’2″ and 220lbs. I have broad shoulders. I have a size large in this pack. The REI Mars 80 is really comfortable. I’ve hiked miles with 55lbs on my back and it’s crazy how it balances and carries the load for you! It’s a pretty big pack but there are so many adjustable options, you can customize it down for a much smaller load. That’s actually one of my favorite features of this pack. I’ve used it quite a bit hunting with a very small load. Strap it down, carry some water, snacks, camera, as well as everything I would need if I’m successful and need to pack out an animal. It’s a joy to wear and really versatile in my opinion. I also really like the multiple access points, yet very streamlined, simple features. You can unzip the entire main compartment when you’re packing up camp, or you can go through the top instead. The exterior pockets...
REVIEW: Keen Gypsum Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot

REVIEW: Keen Gypsum Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot

Before I let you know what I think about these boots, I thought it best to let you know what I use them for. I generally wear these boots for three main purposes: – hiking/backpacking – working outdoors in wet conditions – outdoor photography during the wetter months of the year Many of you know that I am a professional photographer (feel free to check out my photography work at www.joshuaraineyphotography.com). My day job often includes tasks like walking through overgrown fields to photograph an adorable couple, exploring old abandoned buildings during a portrait session, etc. I use these boots during many of the photo shoots I do in less than ideal weather conditions. I also wear them while working around the house/property in the Spring and Fall. Oregon is kind of a bummer if you’re a fan of dry weather. We just don’t get very much of it around here. And lastly, I wear these boots while hiking and backpacking. That is probably the most obvious use but I definitely wanted to point out that these boots are not not just for the trails. Here’s my honest opinion on the Keen Gypsum Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot and what I like/dislike about these boots. First, they are waterproof up to the top of the tongue and I have had no trouble with them leaking. No trouble at all. I’ve tested them by standing in water that covers the top of my feet, for a long time, and my feet “magically” don’t get wet. Walking through puddles, no problem. Crossing shallow creeks on a hike, no problem. Filling your water...
REVIEW: Mountain Hardware LightWedge 3 Tent

REVIEW: Mountain Hardware LightWedge 3 Tent

At just over 6lbs and less than $200, I had to make this purchase. I bought the Mountain Hardware LightWedge 3 for an overnight trip to Indigo Lake. I must say I have not been disappointed! Here are a few things I like about this tent, based on my experience using it. Two pole construction. Obviously cuts down on weight, however, the main reason I’m a big fan of this is because it keeps things simple. It’s so easy to pack, store, and prep for a trip. Everything is super condensed and you only have a few pieces to keep track of. This tent is a wedge so it narrows at the foot box and gives you a bit more room at the entrance. The pole design is very efficient and stays sturdy while keeping the weight as minimal as possible. This tent has a great vestibule. It’s the perfect amount of room to get geared up in, or store a couple of packs, or make coffee in while laying in the tent. Don’t do that though, you might catch the thing on fire. Weather protection. My first trip with this tent was in some 50mph+ winds coming off a high alpine lake. The wind seriously howled that first night! In the tent though, it was perfectly calm. The other people in our group had a teepee style tent with a small opening at the bottom and dirt/sand was blowing into their tent the entire night. Us, nothing. This tent has been tested in a rain room with 1200″ of rain in 24 hours and it didn’t leak (not...
Greys GRXi Spey & Switch Rod Sale

Greys GRXi Spey & Switch Rod Sale

I picked up a Greys GRXi spey rod from Backcountry.com a while back and have been super happy with it. I purchased the 12′ 7w model and it casts incredibly. I’ll be posting a review of the rod soon along with some original content and photos, but for now you can check things out on Backcountry.com if you’re looking for a reasonably priced spey rod around...
Rio Gold Fly Line Closeout Clearance

Rio Gold Fly Line Closeout Clearance

Just picked up a great fly line at a really good deal through Campsaver. They have the Rio Gold on clearance with an extra 20% during their current promotion, making the line only $39.18 (regular price of $75). This is one of the best all around trout fly lines ever! Head over to the clearance section of Campsaver.com right now. And if Campsaver doesn’t have the size you need, you can get the line for under $50 at Chicago Fly Fishing Outfitters. We’ll have a product review coming soon for the 5w size of this line so check...
Incredible Deal On Lamson Guru 4 Fly Reel

Incredible Deal On Lamson Guru 4 Fly Reel

If you’re looking for a great spey or switch fly reel at a really good price go check out this Lamson Guru 4 at Campsaver.com before it’s gone. The reel is normally $269 but Campsaver.com has it on sale for just under $174 and an extra 20% off making the total only $139.42 with free shipping! That’s a seriously good deal for an amazing...
Lamson Velocity Fly Reel On Closeout At Campsaver

Lamson Velocity Fly Reel On Closeout At Campsaver

Campsaver.com has the Lamson Velocity fly reel on clearance with an extra 20% off the clearance price right now. The sizes and prices (after extra discount) are: 1: $128.22 (regular price of $249) 3.5: $167.42 (regular price of $309) 3.5x: $173.02 (regular price of $319) They offer free shipping for all orders over $50 too! What a steal?!? Get it at...
Discount Lift Tickets at Liftopia

Discount Lift Tickets at Liftopia

If you like to ski or snowboard and you haven’t checked this website out yet, you’re crazy! Liftopia offers discount ski resort lift tickets all over the United States including right here at home, Oregon, and you can save a bunch of money if you buy your tickets through them. The prices vary based on how busy the ski resorts expect to be so some days have bigger discounts than others. You save even more if you buy your tickets a ways ahead of time. There’s nothing to lose here, buy your next lift tickets through them for incredible sale prices and you’ll be happier on the mountain, I...
REVIEW: Redington Rise Fly Reel

REVIEW: Redington Rise Fly Reel

At Outdoor Gear Steals we like to review products from a budget-minded perspective. We don’t have an unlimited amount of money to spend on outdoor gear, as is the case with most people out there, so we try to focus on products that are great values, rather than just the highest priced item out there. Everything we review is a product that we own, something we’ve purchased. We actually use these products, we’ve actually paid money for them. That’s also why you’ll see original photos of the products we review. The Redington Rise fly reel is a great reel for the value-minded fly fishing enthusiast. Yeah, I said it. I like to just jump to the punch line sometimes. Now, here’s why we think this reel is awesome. First, let me clarify the reel we are reviewing. Redington just came out with a brand new Rise reel as of September 2012. We are not reviewing the new reel. We are reviewing the older model of this reel. The reason for this; we are all about getting great deals on outdoor gear and we love closeouts and specials. Since the new model just came out, you’re going to be able to find the older model of the Redington Rise on closeout at numerous online stores. Sure, there are improvements to the new model and yes, it may be worth the investment. It’s still very reasonable priced and I’m sure it’s a great product, however, we are trying to point out awesome deals and you’re not going to find prices less than retail on the new model. The best thing about...
Liftopia – Lift Tickets at Really Great Prices

Liftopia – Lift Tickets at Really Great Prices

If you haven’t already heard of Liftopia.com then you need to get yourself over there and check out this great website for super good deals on lift tickets. Prices change often and are different based upon specific dates, but some of the lift tickets are up to 80% off. For the budget-minded skier or snowboarder, this can’t be...

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