Friday, December 10, 2010

My Review of Keen Newport Backpack

Originally submitted at Sierra Trading Post

Closeouts . From hiking the hills to surviving a long commute, Keen’s Newport backpack is designed to haul what your day demands, whether it’s a laptop in its designated sleeve or a 3L water bladder. Top compartment has a zip pocket with a key fob Main compartment has organizer pockets and a ...

Good Hybrid Backpack

By Granola Alex from Portland, OR on 12/10/2010


4out of 5

Pros: Easy To Load, Good padding, Large capacity, Lightweight, Comfortable, Highly Adjustable

Best Uses: Hiking, Cycling, Office, School, Day trip, Car Camping, Commuting

Describe Yourself: Casual/ Recreational

What Is Your Gear Style: Comfort Driven

Was this a gift?: Yes

A good hybrid backpack is an important purchase for it can be an item that has a lot of versatility. I am a college student and avid outdoor enthusiast so a hybrid school/hiking backpack was something I was looking for to fit my needs. The Keen Newport is a backpack that has become a great fit for me. It has a sleeve for a water reservoir and a top loading compartment. The external webbing on the pack appears to be designed for holding wet or dirty shoes; there are a couple of drainage holes at the bottom of the sleeve. The webbing is not designed to hold a snowboard or snowshoes like those see on some winter backpacks for the bottom webbing on the Newport is sown to the backpack itself. One thing that I was looking for in a hybrid backpack was some side pockets to hold a water bottle for easy access but the Keen Newport doesn't have any. I have been using the external webbing to hold a water bottle and it seems to be doing a good job. The main compartment zipper seems to be strong and holds up even if you cram a bunch of books into the pack. Another nice touch to the backpack is it's made of 100% recycled materials including the aluminum frame which is kind of a theme for Keen products.


Monday, November 22, 2010

My Review of Patagonia Torrentshell Jacket - Men's

Originally submitted at REI

From the perpetual drip of a rain forest trek, to the flash and bang of an alpine afternoon thunderstorm, the new Patagonia Torrentshell jacket is built to protect in rough conditions.

Torrentshell Collar

By Granola Alex from Portland, OR on 11/22/2010


4out of 5

Fit: Feels true to size

Sleeve Length: Feels true to length

Chest Size: Feels true to size

Pros: Lightweight

Best Uses: Hiking and Camping, Wet Weather

Describe Yourself: Avid Adventurer

Was this a gift?: No

Patagonia Torrentshell Rain Jacket (November 2010)
I picked up the Torrentshell jacket this week after my 2nd Marmot rain jacket was falling apart. I thought it was time for a company switch. Personally, I live in a rain jacket and I would say it is the most important piece of outdoor equipment to purchase. Maybe my opinion has something to do with living in Portland, OR. Either way I expect a lot out of a rain jacket and hope the Torrentshell will hold strong through years of constant use. Some things that appealed to me when I bought the Torrentshell are the big side pockets. I tend to carry all my electronic devices in my jacket pockets staying out of the rain. I need roomy pockets to be able to fit them all and the Torrentshell has that. The Torrentshell is also very light weight and packs down easily in my backpack or other small out of the way places. I noticed this jacket has a drawstring hood adjustment which does a lot better job than Velcro at form fitting to your head. One thing that might be a drawback is that the collar zips up much higher up on the neck than other jackets do. This feature is nice if you're caught in stormy conditions and are protecting your mouth and nose from the elements, but it can look and feel a little inappropriate if you're just walking around town or in a casual setting. Overall this seems like a nice jacket and I'm happy with my choice.