Author: Kevin Glover

Kevin Glover is an outdoorsman living, climbing and biking in Spokane, WA. Originally from the Nevada high desert, he moved to the PNW for its mild winters and allergen-free summers. He has guided throughout the Cascades and Enchantments for Peak 7 Adventures.

I’m not sure if there’s a more respected name in the world of water filtration than Mountain Safety Research. If there is, it’s probably their sister brand Platypus, who introduced the first mainstream commercial gravity filter which we reviewed in 2013. Their newest water purifier is the Guardian, another gravity filter that offers an unparalleled high-volume system for expeditions, emergencies, and large groups.  MSR Guardian Gravity Water Purifier Features: Meets NSF protocol P248 military testing standard for removing viruses (99.99%), bacteria (99.9999%), protozoa (99.9%), sediment and microplastics from “worst-case” water conditions. Two-stage purifier includes activated carbon to reduce chemicals and unpleasant…

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Handlebar packs come in a few different flavors: cute, waterproof, functional, quick-release, roll-top, etc. When I was planning a bike trip around the Olympic Peninsula along Highway 101 and the Olympic Discovery Trail, I needed something that would sit on my touring bike’s bars and keep the rain shut out tight. I’ve been really happy with my choice of the Ortlieb Handlebar Pack QR, which is a recent addition to the Ortlieb line. Ortlieib Handlebar Pack QR Features: Lightweight, robust PU-coated nylon fabric 2 mesh outer pockets for food or quick access items 2 compression straps with CamLock hooks 2…

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“What is that thing on top of your car? Oh, like for fly fishing? That’s awesome.” That’s how most conversations around the Thule RodVault 2 go. For our Subaru, which is much more accustomed to hauling around bikes and hiking gear, the addition of a long funky-looking fishing rod rack made for new looks and new functionality. Thule RodVault 2 Features: Holds 2 fully assembled fly fishing rods up to 10’ Accommodates reel diameters up to 4.25” with fighting butts Aircraft-grade, anodized aluminum rod tubes and heavy duty, glass-reinforced, nylon reel case for maximum reel protection Fishing rod rack locks…

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“Wow, that thing is the tent?” That’s what my bike packing partner told me as I was about to cinch it onto the bike. I tossed it to them and they shook there head when they felt it; I knew what they meant, the MSR Carbon Reflex 3 is unbelievably light. It was a natural choice for a bike touring circumnavigation of the Olympic Peninsula this past June, where we wanted to go light but still have full protection from the Peninsula’s legendary precipitation. MSR Carbon Reflex 3 Ultralight Tent Features: Easton®* carbon fiber poles Micromesh canopy DuraShield™ waterproof-coated rainfly;…

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Every winter in the Pacific Northwest is different. Forecasters in November give us their take on what the snow year will be like, if it will be an El Niño or La Niña year, etc. It was supposed to be a big winter here in the Pacific Northwest, but right now we’re sitting close to average snowpack in the Idaho Panhandle and perhaps a bit above average in the North Cascades. What I’m going for here is this: with PNW winters, you’ve got to be prepared for anything. So we look for versatile gear to use, like the Arc’teryx Sabre…

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2020 was the year of many things, many of which don’t bear thinking about. But in our world of outdoor recreation, it was one thing above all else: the year of the bike. Shops big and small all over the country were totally sold out of their inventory as people got outside on two wheels. It was amazing, but it also got really hard to get a bike. One of the models that was swept away in the crazy was the Diamondback Haanjo 4 which has been sold out for months. Stock is slowly trickling back in now. I managed…

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I have had so many beautiful weather days climbing in the Cascades – sunny days where you can see all the way from Mt. Rainier to Mt. Baker are my favorite. I’ve also had plenty of terrible weather days in the Cascades, with rain freezing sideways onto my ice axe. It’s hard to find a jacket that can be brought on both types of trips, but the Arc’teryx Nuclei FL fits that role. Arc’teryx Nuclei FL Jacket Features: Coreloft™ synthetic insulation provides warmth with minimal weight and bulk Articulated patterning for unrestricted mobility Gusseted underarms for mobility and comfort Helmet…

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Mid-range probably means different things to different people. It might be too low-brow for the elites, but it often means solid performance at a reasonable cost for a majority of users. That’s the case with the Specialized Torch 2.0. With the slow creep of time and technology, these ‘mid-range’ shoes outshine the high-dollar shoes of just a few years ago by a mile. They’ve been my testing platform for a summer of riding in the Northwest. And, for the most part, they’ve shone. Specialized Torch 2.0 Features: Body Geometry sole construction and footbeds are ergonomically designed Carbon sole with a…

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Patagonia Provisions was launched in 2012. Patagonia organics have been around since the 90’s. What do the two of them have in common? Well, they’re both part of Patagonia’s new and ongoing efforts to supply products to consumers in ways that help the earth, not hurt it. We’re going to talk a little about the Road to Regenerative Lightweight Tee, and some delicious Chile Mango as entry points into this topic. Patagonia has long been known as the outdoor industry’s leading light in both the use of organic farming techniques and fair-trade working conditions within its supply chain. The company is…

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MSR stoves have come with me on almost all of my adventures. Whether it was the effective, ubiquitous and slightly terrifying Whisperlite for group cooking, or my MSR WindBurner canister stove.  The most recent edition is the MSR WindBurner Stove System Combo, which has everything you need for backcountry cooking. MSR WindBurner Stove System Combo Features: Windproof radiant burner and pressure regulator for windy/cold conditions Ceramic-coated 2.5 L sauce pot and 8-inch skillet All components nest inside each other Anti-topple stove uses remote canister and self-centering pot Radiant burner with boil-to-simmer control Strainer lid with locking latch Nests an 8-oz…

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Rain can feel inevitable when hiking in the Pacific Northwest, especially in the early summer months. Like many backcountry travelers, I don’t regard rain as a particular friend of mine when I’m hiking. But, at the same time, it’s what makes the understory in the PNW so lush and green. So, I don a good pair of rain pants and make my peace with it. This summer, those pants have been the Arc’teryx Zeta SL. Arc’teryx Zeta SL Gore-Tex Pants Features: Micro-seam allowance (1.6 mm) reduces bulk and weight 2L Gore-Tex with Paclite® Plus product technology Articulated patterning for unrestricted…

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Of the many ridiculous crazes to sweep over performance outdoor gear, the giant lens-style sunnies with retro colorways might be one of the very best. The Smith Optics Wildcat Performance Sunglasses are one such specimen. Now you too can look like an 80’s Outdoor Magazine cover photo, but with the added performance benefits of modern technology. Smith Wildcat Sunglasses Features: 1 ChromaPop™ bright light lens and 1 interchangeable clear lens Hydroleophobic lens coating Medium fit / XL coverage Hydrophilic megol temple & nose pads for a secure fit Auto-lock hinges 5 base cylindrical lens Microfiber bag and zippered case included…

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Coming off the heels of my review of the Diamondback Sync’r, I was all ready to love another Diamondback bike. My first mountain bike was a Diamondback, and I’ve continued to enjoy the brand for the mix of value and performance they offer. That lineage is continued with the Diamondback Release 29 2. It’s a high-rolling trail bike that comes in underneath $3k and has the features you’re looking for. Diamondback Release 29 2 Features: Level Link Suspension Platform, Hydroformed Tubing, ISCG-05 Tabs, Boost 148x12mm Maxle Drop Out, 1.5″ Tapered Headtube Fox Float DPS EVOL LV, Performance, 3 Position Lever…

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Some things are just better together. This is especially true when you have two pieces of gear that have been engineered to partner perfectly with each other for some specialized purpose, like ski goggles and a helmet. The combo that I’ve been taking out all winter is the Level Snow Helmet with MIPS and I/O MAG Snow Goggles, both from Smith Optics. Let’s jump into it! Smith Level MIPS Helmet Features: Hybrid shell construction Aerocore construction featuring Koroyd Low-profile regulator adjustable climate control with 20 vents VaporFit adjustable fit system Removable Snapfit SL2 ear pads XT2 anti-bacterial performance lining AirEvac ventilation MSRP: $200…

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Welcome to Part 2 of our coverage of the Patagonia Snowdrifter backcountry touring kit! We recently published our review of the Patagonia Snowdrifter Bibs, and today it’s time to cover the jacket. My testing has taken place in the wonderful Pacific Northwest, with all of the challenges that that entails. We’ve had plenty of warm wet days, as well as cold dry ones in Canada, and the Snowdrifters have been with me on both ends of the spectrum. They’ve also been a pretty faithful resort companion, too, so today we’ll dive into how well the Snowdrifter Jacket held up. Patagonia…

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As the winter stretched through November and December here in the Pacific Northwest, backcountry locales and resorts alike struggled to have enough snow to offer any fresh turns to skiers. It was, as they say, a slow year. However, with an epic storm cycle stretching from late December through mid-January, we’ve finally gotten the snow that we need to recharge our aquifers and get some stellar lines. With that in mind, I’ve been having an incredibly good time riding lifts and ripping skins in the Patagonia SnowDrifter Bibs. Patagonia SnowDrifter Bibs Features: Suspenders detach in the front for quick and easy…

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There are durable garments, there are breathable garments, and there are relatively few garments that are both durable and breathable. Part of the difficulty with designing something that meets both of those specifications is just that making things breathable often means making them lighter, and that’s bad for durability. However, with the re-design of their well-known Proton LT Hoody, Arc’teryx is shooting for the ultimate durable, breathable mid layer. This piece really caught me by surprise, so I’m breaking out of my normal product break-down and instead sharing a story about this piece and will follow it with some more…

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The jacket that I have worn the most since 2017 has been the Patagonia Micro Puff Hoody. I reviewed that bad boy and gave it good marks at the time, and it has stood the test in time. So, when Patagonia announced a ‘puffier’ version, the Macro Puff Hoody, I was profoundly interested. While it’s temping to do a direct comparison, this isn’t going to be a Micro Puff versus Macro Puff review because in reality they are very different jackets. Instead, let’s look at what makes the Macro Puff a good tool for the right situation. Patagonia Macro Puff…

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Today I’m reviewing a product that’s unusually close to home: my eyeglasses. If you have poor vision or require corrective lenses at all, then you’re familiar with the struggle of finding good outdoor eyewear. It needs to lightweight, of high optical quality, and ideally durable. I’ve used everything from cheap online prescriptions to boutique mountaineering-specific lens grinders in Colorado, and I can tell you that the quest for the perfect glasses continues. My Fall outdoor eyewear has been dominated  by the Oakley Crossrange frames with lenses courtesy of SportRx. I have had a phenomenal experience, and I’m eager to share…

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My relationship with Sierra Designs goes back to some of my earliest days of doing stuff in the outdoors. As a teenager, I had a tent and sleeping bag from them that I absolutely loved. I still have the tent (a Nitro 2) and, while it’s dirtier and smellier now, it’s still a favorite. So today, when I look at a Sierra Designs product, I have really high expectations for quality because that’s what their customers are looking for, too. With that, this Fall I’ve been rocking the Sierra Designs Whitney Hoodie. Sierra Designs Whitney Hoodie Features: 800 Fill DriDown™…

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