Author: Kevin Glover

Kevin Glover lives, climbs and backpacks out of Spokane, WA. Originally from the Nevada high desert, he moved to the PNW ten years ago and has worked as a glacier and rock guide in the Washington Cascades. When not testing gear, he is a medical student at the University of Washington and will gladly check that rash out for you.

Active Shell is Gore’s lightest waterproof membrane and it has a way of turning good gear into great gear.  Mammut’s Shirko jacket is a nice jacket in a lot of ways, but Active Shell makes it absolutely shine. Mammut Shirko Features: Features GORE-TEX® Active Shell Detachable, stow-away hood Sealed zippers Pre-shaped sleeves with Velcro cuffs Drawcord hem, one-handed adjustment MSRP: $360 The Shirko weighs in at a feathery 11.5 oz on my test scale, which is a good indicator of what this jacket is meant for.  It’s an ultralight, highly packable shell that isn’t loaded with features like so many…

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Unless you’ve been living out in the woods (if you have, you’re doing it right) you’ve probably heard of Columbia’s new Omni-Heat technology.  It’s a 33% reflective dot pattern against a 66% breathable membrane that Columbia touts as the warmest thing since the inside of a Hot Pocket.  This technology, along with three others in Columbia’s ‘Omni’ family, is featured in the Triteca jacket. Columbia Triteca Softshell Features: Omni-Wind Block ultrabreathable windproof Omni-Heat thermal reflective Omni-Wick EVAP advanced evaporation Bonded softshell 2-way comfort stretch Hybrid for stretch and breathability Attached, adjustable storm hood Vented hand pockets Waterproof zippers Drawcord adjustable…

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When the All Clear dropped in March of this year, everybody wanted to see what CamelBak’s UV gizmo would end up looking like.  As one of the biggest names in outdoor hydration systems, CamelBak had high expectations and they definitely delivered on the ‘cool’ factor. CamelBak All Clear Features: Portable purification system is built into your water bottle Utilizes proven UV technology to effectively neutralize microbiological contaminants Treats 80 cycles or 16 gallons with each charge Impact and weather-resistant cap insulates UV bulb for effective purification every time LCD screen verifies success Fill from taps, streams, spigots and more Available…

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Spy makes a wide range of sick counterculture shades that seem like they’re the province of ski bums, but they’re equally liked by roadies and downhill nuts.  For my own part I was stoked to get my hands on the Spy Rivet sunglasses – interchangeable lenses, grippy Hytrel rubber, and Spy’s experience in ventilation generated a whole lot of promise.  How did the Rivet do on the road or trail?  Let’s find out. Spy Rivet Features: Built from high quality Grilamid 8-Base ARC lenses Ventilated Scoop System Comfortable Hytrel temple tips 100% UV protection MSRP: $94.95 – $134.95 Spy Rivet…

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After my adventures with the Nutcase Street Gen 2 Street Sport helmet, I felt an urge for something lighter and cooler.  The Giro Hex presented itself as a great option.  It offers huge vents, a respectable weight, and is a wallet-friendly option for the all-mountain rider. Giro Hex Helmet Features: Suggested use: All-Mountain, MTB Trail Ride, MTB Endurance/Marathon Features: P.O.V.™ adjustable visor w/ 15° vertical adjustment Construction: In-mold – EPS liner, polycarbonate shell Fit system: Roc Loc® 5 Ventilation: 21 vents MSRP: $90 Giro Hex Mountain Bike Helmet Review The Hex weighed in at 328 grams on a lab scale, which places…

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I’ve owned a few pieces of clothing from Columbia’s Silver Ridge line, and I’ve been consistently impressed.  Columbia chose an excellent fabric for breathability and durability, and the Silver Ridge shorts have climbed through the ranks to become my favorites. Columbia Silver Ridge Cargo Shorts Features: Fabric: 100% nylon Silver Ridge ripstop, 57% recycled polyester/43 polyester mesh Omni-Shade® UPF 50 sun protection Omni-Wick Classic fit Side-elastic waistband Gusset detail Hook and loop closure Zip-closed security pocket Hand pockets Mesh pocket bags Inseam: 10″, 12″ MSRP: $45 Columbia Silver Ridge Cargo Shorts Review I covered a lot of wicked terrain this…

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After testing my third Sierra Designs product this summer, I’m becoming convinced that Sierra Designs is on a roll. I’ve tossed around a Mojo 2 tent, a Revival 50 pack, and now the Nitro 15 800-fill down sleeping bag which capped off my SD camping experience. Sierra Designs Nitro 15 Features:  Ergonomically shaped footbox  Removable pad locks™  Snag-free zipper tracks™  Draw cord at collar  Draft collar  Ultralight footbox vent (12″)  Offset ultralight jacket zipper (30″)  Ultralight Jacket Hood™  Partial Flex™ on the exterior torso  Zipper draft tube  EN Tested  Includes stuff and storage sacks MSRP: $399-419 Sierra Designs Nitro 15 Sleeping…

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The Revival 50 from Sierra Designs conjures up two words in my head: comfortable and smart. At three pounds 12 ounces (M/L version) the pack is fairly light, and it’s ideal for trips anywhere from overnighters to a week or so. Finding a really comfortable pack is something of a holy grail, and this Indiana Jones has spent the last month clambering around the Ruby Mountains to get well acquainted with the Revival 50. Sierra Designs Revival 50 Features: Top-loading design Front-pulling waistbelt adjustment Unique Fulcrum suspension design with single DAC aluminum stay Exterior: 150D Nylon Rain Dobby w/315D Cordura…

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The Sierra Designs Mojo 2 tent is billed as an ultralight hybrid shelter for three-season backpacking.  Its unique construction features an attached rainfly over a fully mesh upper tent body.   At 3 lbs. 2 oz. there are some lighter tents on the market, but there are very few competitors who can match the Mojo’s comfort and smart engineering. Sierra Designs Mojo 2 Features: Hybrid single-wall construction DAC NSL poles Interior area: 26.5 square feet Vestibule space: 7 square feet Peak height: 38″ Capacity: 2-person Season: 3-seasons Weight: 3 lbs 2 oz (packed), 2 lbs 11 oz (trail) MSRP: $399…

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Nutcase produces cool helmets.  It’s really as simple as that: they’re safe, they’re well made, and they look way cooler than your riding buddies’ helmets.  Admittedly they’re a ‘street’ style helmet which isn’t the norm for mountain biking, but last summer when I was looking for something different, I picked up one of these flashy lids and I’ve been sporting it proudly ever since. Nutcase Street Sport Helmet Features: Injection-molded ABS shell Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) protective inner foam for high impact protection 2 front intake vents 7 multiple top-mounted exhaust vents, and 2 rear exhaust vents Adjustable Spin Dial allows…

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Outdoor Products is known as a value brand and is carried at many big-box retailers.  They offer a mix of quality and economy in their products, and I picked up their Gama 8.0 pack to toss around this month. The pack is in the extended day/overnighter range and it holds 2,390 cubic inches.  The Gama 8.0 offers an urban look coupling smart design for the outdoors. Outdoor Products Gama 8.0 Features: Lightweight aluminum internal stay to stabilize large loads Suspended mesh back panel for maximum airflow Deluxe back padding with molded texture for added comfort Extra padded, ergonomically designed waist…

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The Topeak Pocket Rocket promises a small pump with big performance, sleek grey looks, and a lightweight package that won’t slow down your ride.  It’s in the ‘mini’ range, and pumps (hypothetically) up to 160 psi.  I needed something for my Litespeed on Nevada’s rough roads, so this Topeak seemed just the ticket. Topeak Pocket Rocket Features: Light weight mini pump with alloy barrel for roadies Integrated dust cap keeps Kraton head clean and ready to use High efficiency Single Action pump with thumblock lever Head: Presta/Schrader Barrel: Butted Aluminum Handle: Plastic Capacity: 160 PSI / 11 bar Includes a…

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The Camelbak Transformer is a bit like the Swiss Army knife of packs. It’s versatile to a fault, sturdily built, and probably has a good chance of outliving its owner. I’ve been using it for about eight months throughout the fall as well as a mild winter with lots of hiking and biking, and now during a beautiful Nevada Spring. It’s a good “do-everything” pack, but it’s a bit on the heavy side. Camelbak Transformer Features: Hydration Capacity: 102 oz (3.1 L) Cargo Volume: 793.3 cu in (13 L) Total Volume: 982.4 cu in (16.1 L) Includes the 102 oz…

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