Camping & Hiking

REVIEW: The Suunto Core Watch

About The Suunto Core Altimeter Watch

Picture this: You’re 3 days in to your 5-day expedition, cutting through the thickest most beautiful wilderness, when the barometric pressure starts to change and the storm alarm goes off to alert you well ahead of the massive storm rolling through so you are fully unpacked and securely sheltered before it even hits. Congrats, you just outsmarted nature.

The Suunto Core Watch combines style and functionality perfectly. There are many reasons why this watch made our list of best altimeter watches. The robust technology packed into this watch may help save backpackers or a hiker’s lives.

Key Specs

  • Temperature Compensation
  • Total Accent / Decent
  • Guided Calibration
  • Cardinal Settings
  • Bearing Tracking
  • Literally 50 Other specs…

    What We Liked


    Out of the box this watch just looks awesome. The big face of this watch is not only eye catching but it is a great for being able to simply glance down and see what you need to see without bumbling through settings. The Suunto core is feature packed with technology once reserved for watches 5 times its price. It has an altimeter, which tracks your vertical ascent, a barometer to ensure you’re always ahead of the weather, a sunrise/sunset predictor to help hikers maximize their hikes, and yes it even tells the time!

    What We Didn’t


    Overall this watch outperforms in every category, but there are a few things that we feel could be improved before the next core series is released. The maximum use on this watch can take a major toll on the battery life. Even without the major functions such as the barometer and compass turned on, that seems to be the synonymous complaint is the battery life. Along with that the backlit settings of the watch can make it somewhat difficult to see in the twilight hours of the night.

    Caring for your Suunto Core

    There isn’t much you need to do to care for your Suunto Core, it can take quite a beating. Where you can prolong the life and functionality of this watch is with taking care of the buttons. The 5 exterior buttons can become jammed up if you’re constantly in the elements. To ensure that this doesn’t happen buying a can of compressed air to spray out the face and around the buttons will go a long way with keeping your Suunto functioning properly.

    Who’s The Suunto Core Watch For?

    Hikers, Fisherman, Preppers, any outdoorsman will find the functionality of the Suunto Core beyond their expectations. If you’re looking for a weather forecast, it has it. If you’re needing an altimeter/barometer for your hikes, it has it. If you’re needing a depth finder, it even has that. This watches technology will make you master of the outdoors. If you’re going to be spending any amount of time outdoors exploring the wilderness, the Suunto Core is for you.

    Our Ratings

    Originally posted 2017-03-08 13:10:00.

I See You: The Best Night Vision Monocular

We looked at the 13 most popular and highest rated night vision monocular available on the market, and compared them against each other based on their image quality, brightness, ruggedness, material, comfort, weight, and overall size. The three best Monoculars that have night vision in all those categories were considered and are part of this review. All 3 are excellent choices, but the one that came out on top is the Bushell Equinox Z Digital Night Vision Monocular.

Bushnell Equinox Z -The Best Overall Night Vision

When it comes to hunting, tactical, or wildlife needs there isn’t a product that Bushnell doesn’t make. Bushnell is synonymous with all things outdoor optics so it’s no surprise that their Equinox Z Digital Night Vision Monocular is our top-rated pick for this year.

This Monocular boasts a myriad of features such as, 6x magnification zoom, 1-3 digital, zoom, the option of daytime or nighttime use, all through their 50mm multicoated glass objective lens.

We love this model because it is equipped with video recording capabilities, that can easily write to a Micro SD card (which is sold separately) so you can capture everything you’re seeing for viewing from the comfort of the indoors.

The digital aspect of this monocular may scare some people away, but it is easy to setup and use. Typically, the outdoors and electronics don’t mix very well, but Bushnell made sure to construct this monocular out of rugged material. The silicone exterior provides excellent surface grip so you can leave on the console of your vehicle and it won’t slide around.

Keeping with the same ruggedness theme, another reason to love this monocular is the fact the unit itself is completely water resistant so you can rest assured no water will ruin the lens or the digital components inside the monocular.

The specs claim that the viewing distance is 500 ft., we as well as other consumers claim that it is closer to 300 ft. but we think variable such as light pollution and the amount of cloud cover play a lot into those specs.

The Bushnell Equinox Z is also tripod mountable which makes it an excellent choice for photographers.

The Equinox Z uses an infrared-sensitive CMOS (complementary metal-oxide semiconductor) sensor and a micro LCD screen to provide awesome night vision capabilities. This is better than some brands which use a conventional intensifier tube.

One feature that we feel Bushnell needs to play up more is this monocular ability to charge via micro usb cable. This is an awesome choice of you would like to leave it in a stationary position during the night without the worry of burning through batteries.

Overall this is the best pick out on the market right now. It scored the highest overall marks in all the categories we tested and if you’re trying to decide between monoculars, we feel that this is the one to beat.

What We Like
  • Quality Video Playback
  • Compact Design
  • 6X Magnification
What We Don't
  • Blurry at Very Long Distances
  • Can’t Hemlet Mount
  • Target May See IR Glow

Firefield 5×50 Nightfall 2 Night Vision Monocular – Huge Monocular Lens

Firefield is a growing name in outdoor optics and for good reason, they’re made of very high quality materials and designed ergonomically with the end user in mind. Firefield’s motto is simple, “Victory” and you should consider it a victory if you get the chance to use this monocular.

There is nothing about this monocular that isn’t rugged. You’ll notice right off the bat that the Firefield Nightfall Monocular boasts one of the biggest, if not the biggest, objective lens in the market making it the ideal monocular for so many different nighttime applications.

It also features a heavy duty rubberized exterior shell that a lot of monocular manufacturers and other outdoor device companies have switched to. What we love is that the unit is fully weather proof, and Firefield goes on to call it “outdoors proof.”

Don’t mistake all the ruggedness of the Firefield Nightfall 2 Night Vision Monocular as bulkiness, however. The monocular is made with zero waste in mind, and the weight, or lack thereof, will surprise you. The unit fits very comfortably in your hands and can easily fit into the front pocket of a jacket, or adhered to a lanyard around your neck.
While this monocular is tripod mountable, it does not feature a video or digital playback of any kind limiting anything you capture to simply memory.

The field of view is somewhat lacking on this device, as with most monocular manufactures claims, just doesn’t seem to match real world applications. That being said, if you’re not needing to see over 200 feet, you won’t find anything wrong with this device.

In addition to being fully weather resistant, the Nightfall 2 boasts fog resistance in its specs and surprisingly lives up to that. Fog is somewhat of a nebulous term, but we feel that it does a great job filtering out light pollutions of all kinds. This makes it great for people who live in a more urban landscape and not out in the country.

Overall this is an excellent pick for a monocular with night vision capabilities. If you don’t require video playback and are looking for simply a straight forward night vision monocular, we highly recommend you checking out the Nightfall 2 by Firefield.

What We Like
  • High Quality Image Resolution
  • IR Illumination
  • Ergonomic design
What We Don't
  • Narrower Field of View
  • Shorter Battery Life
  • Blurry at Longer Distances

Solomark Night Vision Monocular – Most High Tech Night Vision Monocular

Solomark is a name not a lot of people have heard but one that is becoming synonymous with quality optics. Solomark has their hand in a handful of different optic categories from rifle scopes, telescopes, and even microscopes and have created a very quality product with plenty of new digital features that out rank monoculars that are twice as expensive.

The Solomark Night Vision Monocular made our top 3 monocular podium because of its ability to observe a target in complete darkness making it ideal for all types of outdoor activities, such as exploring caves to trekking through the woods. The monocular has multi-coated glass objectives, high sensitivity sensors, a IR illuminator, all tying back to an integrated color LCD-Screen (rare to have that for this price range).

Like the other models above, the exterior of the unit is made from a rubber composite making it difficult to end up in a place it shouldn’t. But even if it were to drop in a not so ideal location, you’re not going to damage the components are heavily protected.

What we love about this unit is it’s probably the most technologically advance monocular out there for under $500. With this unit, you can take pictures and record videos as you view them making it an ideal night time camera replacement. Another thing that separates this monocular from others is its ability to connect to a video output device such as a computer monitor, or a TV for instant video playback.; No unplugging the tiny card and loading it into a reader just to share what you found out in the woods with your family.

With All the tech in this device it’s no surprise that it lacks in the battery life category. The unit only has around a 5-hour lifespan making it less than ideal for long outings outdoors, but this can be fixed with the purchase of rechargeable batteries.

The Solomark almost feels (and looks) like a small set of binoculars, but much easier to hang on to. The unit is wider than it is long, which makes it the ideal candidate if you’re looking for a monocular that you can fit into the back pocket of your jeans.

Overall we feel you’re not going to be disappointed if you go with the Night Vision Monocular from Solomark. For most people reading this, it’s capabilities are all you’ll need, and the technology onboard makes it easy to transition to.

What We Like
  • 100m Clear Viewing Distance
  • Mount to Binocular Strap
  • Comes with 1 GB micro SD
What We Don't
  • Camera Mode Could be Better
  • Blurry at Longer Range
  • Learning Curve on User Interface

Night Visiton Monocular Buying Guide

The choices for Night Vision Monocular can be somewhat overwhelming. Pixel Rate What? Infrared Who? Even choosing the final 3 out of the top rated monoculars was difficult because there are so many ways to select the best one for your need.

Below are the criteria we used in determining the top 3 rated monoculars available on the market this year. If you didn’t like what you saw above, use this guide to help you make the decision in choosing the best night vision enabled monocular for your outdoor needs.

Like anything else, the monocular is only going to be a good as the environment you’re in so please take the time to understand where you’ll mainly be using your tool to make sure you choose one that you can use for many years to come.

Who Needs a Monocular with Night Vision Capabilities?

What outdoorsman doesn’t need a monocular is the real question? In all seriousness if you spend any time outdoors at night, whether it be hunting, hiking, backpacking, rock climbing, it is money well spent to leverage the night vision features available today.

For avid nighttime hunters, it may be a better idea to combine the night vision technology of a monocular with that of their rifle scope and buy a night vision enabled rifle scope, but if you’re spending time out in the wilderness, it doesn’t make sense to lug a rifle around just to see what is out there. Monoculars with night vision are excellent choices for campers and hikers to keep in their bags for keeping their bearings at night. If you don’t want to be surprised what is lurking out there, a night vision monocular is just the thing you need.

Size & Weight

This used to be more of a problem as monoculars used to be bigger and bulkier, but modern night vision monoculars are as compact as you’d expect any piece of technology to be. If you’re primarily going to be using this for long hiking and camping trips, then it may be a good idea to splurge on cutting a few ounces. However just for normal everyday use, most monocular will be able to fit into your back pocket.

Battery

When shopping for a night vision monocular an important thing to consider is how you’re going to power all the bells and whistles of your new device. A lot of manufactures boast a huge selection of options and features on their monocular, but forget that these are used out in the wilderness, most of the time well away from a dedicated power source.

This will all depend on how you’re going to use it but you’ll get more overall use out of the monocular if it’s lithium battery powered, or you make the extra rechargeable battery purchase.

Weatherproof-ness

It goes without saying that your monocular needs to be rated to handle the outdoors, because where else are you going to use it? Luckily most companies that manufacture the best monoculars have weather proofing standard, but there are still varying degrees of weather proof.

This will mostly depend on where you’re planning on using your unit, but if you’re in a much damper environment or going to be trekking across mountain lakes and streams, it is a good idea to spend the extra on a monocular that boasts full water proof capabilities. The last thing you need on your hiking trip is to hinder your ability to see at night.

Digital Capabilities

As technology continues to get faster and faster, the components continue to get smaller and smaller making it easier to digitally enhance products that normally wouldn’t be, and a monocular is no exception to the rule. You can find monoculars with all sorts of capabilities, and you’ll notice it as soon as you look at the price tag.

Luckily the past view years we’ve seen monoculars start to have audio and video recording options standard, and some even where you can replay the video right on the unit itself. If watching back what you’ve seen through the day, say looking at a deer feeder at night, then buying a monocular with video playback may be a great option for you, and one that shouldn’t break the bank.

Zoom

Depending on what activity you’re doing at night, this is arguably one of the most important features of your monocular. When choosing a night, vision enabled monocular you want to be able to zoom in enough while staying a safe distance away, this is especially true when looking for animals.

Many monoculars on the market advertise between 2-8x zoom capabilities, but this can be somewhat deceiving. What you want to look for is whether the picture quality stays clear as you zoom further in. Because let’s face it, what’s the point of zooming in if you can’t see what you’re looking at anyway?

Lens Size

Just as monoculars come in all shapes and sizes, it should be no surprise that the lenses on monoculars vary as well. Out of the units we reviewed we found that the lens on the monocular correlates highly with overall image quality.

This shouldn’t be a surprise, obviously the more light you let into your eye the further and more clear you can see. Now this isn’t a hard and fast rule because there are other variables such as the shape and depth of the overall lens, but as a good rule of thumb, pick a monocular with the biggest lens you can find.

Care and Maintenance


If you’re going to spend the money on the monocular you’re obviously going to want to take great care of it. It should go without saying, that because you’re going to be using your monocular outdoors the chances of things going wrong are just going to be higher.

Most night vision enabled monoculars, especially the ones we ranked as our top 3, are rated for handling the worst of what nature can throw at it, but at the end of the day the digital components are still electronics, and we know how good electronics mix with the outdoors.

What we recommend doing is about after every time you replace or need to recharge the monocular batteries, is take the time to clean all the connections of the unit with rubbing alcohol. So, every micro SD and micro USB slot and depending on what your user manual says, take a microfiber cloth to the outside lens. If using a microfiber cloth isn’t recommended, then taking compressed air to the lens and connections is the next best option.

Types of Night Vision Technologies

There are generally two types of ways that night vision works. And this is not just for monoculars, but any rifle scope, goggles, or camera system. The way you can see it night is either through image enhancement, or thermal imaging.

Image Enhancement works just as the name implies, enhancing the available light. The monoculars outfitted with this technology capture the full spectrum of available light, even the light our puny human eyes can’t see, and intensifies it to the point to where there is enough light for us to see at night.

Thermal Imaging works similarly to Image Enhancement by capturing a wide spectrum of light. Where it differs is that it captures the infrared light spectrum from objects that emit heat and helps our eyes define objects based on the amount of heat the emit.

Wrapping it Up

Picking the right night vision monocular can be somewhat of a hard decision, especially because the technology is so similar across many manufactures. The best monocular will be sized well to fit in your pocket, have an excellent battery life, robust zoom capabilities, can capture what you’re seeing for playback, and most importantly have an incredible picture at all magnification levels.

All three of the top-rated night vision monoculars we pick are excellent choices for enhancing your night time vision, and are built rugged enough to handle even the most avid outdoorsman. The Best Monocular with Night Vision on the Market is the Bushnell Equinox Z

On a Budget? Here is the Best Night Vision Monocular Under $100

Like our top-rated night vision monoculars, but don’t want to spend that much? No problem, if you’re looking for the best monocular under $100 the Waterproof Night Vision 16×52 from Discoball is the way to go. It features adjustable zoom, and a waterproof telescoping lens. It’s not the best night vision, but if you’re looking to spend under $100 bucks, this is the night vision monocular for you.

Originally posted 2017-02-05 20:52:11.

The Best Cooler for the Money

After over 100 hours of researching the field and testing 11 finalists, we found that the Vizio E50u-D2 is the best 4K TV for those on a budget. The difference in image quality was immediately obvious when compared side-by-side against any of the TVs we tested. And it has best-in-class connectivity so you can plug just about anything into it. Whether you’re placing it in a bright living room or a windowless home theater, the Vizio trounces everything else in this price range when it comes to performance for your dollar.

Compare The Top Rated Coolers

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Cooler Buying Guide

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Conclusion

Originally posted 2017-01-17 22:59:54.

REVIEW: The Leatherman Skeletool Multi-Tool

About The Leatherman Skeletool Multi-Tool


The Leatherman Skeletool is one of the most unique looking multi tools to come out of the Leatherman design labs. This multi tool marries a futuristic look with their standard reliably built stainless steel adjustable tools. The Skeletool boasts 7 total tools (Needlenose Pliers, Regular Pliers, Hard-wire Cutters, Wire Cutters, 420HC Combo Knife, Carabiner/Bottle Opener, Large Bit Driver) but don’t let that total make you think this multi tool is bulky, it’s anything but. Weighing just 5 ounces and having a built-in carabiner makes this ideal for hooking onto your keys.

Key Specs

  • Closed Length: 4 inches
  • Weight: 5 Inches
  • Stainless Steel Design
  • Main Tools: Blade, Pliers, Universal Bit Driver, Bottle Opener, Carabiner
  • What We Liked


    Overall this multi tool looks and functions great. We may be a little jaded, but that’s because Leatherman has yet to make a multi-tool we’ve been disappointed in. We love the look of the modern foldable design, and the fact they didn’t have to sacrifice a tool off their standard 7 to accommodate. Many multi tools are comparable in functions (sometimes even more) but where they lose the battle against the Leatherman Skeletool is in weight.

    Weighing just 5 oz. you’ll almost forget that you have it in your pocket. As with most other Leatherman’s the Skeletool can unhinge other tools from the locked or unlocked position, adding to its overall versatility. The unique built in carabiner makes sheaths and holsters outdated, making it easy to adhere to your key ring or belt loop. With the more open design of this multi tool, the chances of water and/or other gunk building up around the hinges is significantly less.

    What We Didn’t


    With the smaller lighter size of this tool, sometimes you’ll have to sacrifice some functionality. An annoyance with this tool is with the screwdriver. To accomplish the smaller design, the screwdriver bit isn’t secured with anything making it susceptible to becoming disconnected from the tool when dropped. Another common complaint (common in all Leatherman’s) is the Black CX edition’s finish will wear off easier if not properly cared for.

    Caring for your Leatherman Skeletool


    Not everyone will put their Skeletool to the test on long hiking trips and other outdoor adventures, but that doesn’t mean that they can skip routine care and maintenance to keep their tool in great shape. While the open design of this Skeletool does make it easier to resist water, moisture, and gunk; the very nature of the folding tool can build up rust and debris making it difficult to fully close the tools completely.

    To keep this tool in great shape we recommend a few things:

    • Rub down with oil consistently, and especially after being out in wet conditions
    • Depending on use, the blade will need sharpening about every 5 uses to keep the blade performing correctly.
    • Good idea to apply WD-40 to the inside tool hinges to make operating one handed easy.
    • Who’s The Leatherman Skeletool For?

      If we had to describe the Skeletool in one word it would be: Simple. The light and compact design of this tool makes it ideal for someone who is looking to put it in their cars’ console for emergencies, and robust enough for any avid hiker/backpacker to keep into their backpack for long adventure trips. Anyone looking for a great mid range multi-tool this is a great pick.

      Our Ratings

      Stainless Steel Model:

      Originally posted 2017-03-06 22:40:46.

REVIEW: The Leatherman Wave Multitool

About The Leatherman Wave Multitool

When you think of multi-tools the Leatherman Wave multi-tool is most likely the model that comes to mind. The Wave has been Leatherman’s most popular model since it was re-designed in 2004. This Leatherman is the perfect everyday carry to keep in your pocket for any job.

It features 17 total tools (needle-nose pliers, regular pliers, wire cutters, wire stripper, knife, serrated knife, saw, spring action scissors, ruler, can opener, a wood/metal file, diamond coated file, large bit driver, small bit driver, medium screw driver, and hard wire cutter.) So, no matter how avid of an outdoorsman you are, this multi-tool will be able to get out of the majority of tough situations. The Leatherman Wave also comes in a stainless steal finish.

What We Liked


Besides the obvious list of 17 tools above, the multi-tool is more than just the quantity of its tools. The Leatherman Wave is extremely versatile in that you can access all the tools from the open and/or locked position. The locked position is where this multi-tool shines over other multi-tools in that every tool (except for the plier head) has a locked position mimicking the functionality of a pocket knife.

What is also impressive is that while the 17 tools on this model are rugged, Leatherman didn’t sacrifice ease of use as you can operate every feature of this model with only one hand. What also makes picking this Leatherman tool is the fact that they back this multi-tool with a 25-year guarantee.

What We Didn’t

The black model, featured in this review, is sleek however if you opt for the black oxide coating instead of this model, some of the black color may come off onto your hands on the first couple uses. This isn’t a product flaw as some users are calling it, but rather a chemical reaction of the conversion coating.

The way the black oxide is formed is by oxidizing the outer surface, essentially controlling rust. We’ve found that to control the color transfer, take a rag with WD-40 and rub thoroughly before your first use.

Who’s The Leatherman Wave For?


With 17 different foldable tools, the question becomes “who isn’t this tool for?” The Leatherman wave should be the go to pick for outdoorsman and travelers alike. This multi-tool is one of the biggest models available, but don’t let that scare you. The Wave still fill fit comfortably in your hand.

This model is a great choice for hikers and backpackers to just throw in their backpacks as there isn’t a situation that it won’t be able to handle. If you’re going to be taking it on rafting trips it’s a good idea to hook a float to the attachable ring, as you don’t want to be up a creek without a Leatherman.

Our Ratings

Originally posted 2017-03-05 16:11:49.

REVIEW: The LifeStraw

About the Life Straw

At the time of writing, the LifeStraw brand of products are in the hands of over 13 million people. The LifeStraw is a personal water filtration system that can be used to filter up to 1,000 litres of water (260 gallons); or enough water for a year for one person. The LifeStraw was oringally developed as a solution to help people in developing nations get access to cleaner drinking water.

The LifeStraw’s filters have gained emense popularity with the prepper and survivalist community as a tool that just might save your life. While the amount of water that a single straw can dfilter is very impressive, LifeStraw also manufactures a family sized life straw which can filter through over 18,000 gallons of water essentially providing safe, clean drinking water for a family of 5 for up to 3 years!

What We Liked

lifestraw review 1
Out of the box the life straw doesn’t look like much, and that’s really the point. The straw measures less than an inch wide and less than 9″ long, making it the ideal water filtration system for any traveller or outdoorsman.

The straw outperforms the EPA’s standard of water filtration, removing 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria contaminats. Where this filter scores high marks with us is that it filters out all that without the use of iodine, cholorine, and other potentially harmful chemicals.

What We Didn’t


There’s very little we didn’t like. The straw fits into most peoples survival plan but there are a few convience factors that may play into your purchase decision. While the straw is small, it’s still too thick to fit into the neck of standard water bottles and cantees (A Nalgeen Should Work Fine).

This may make the straw somewhat useless if you’re not going to be near a clean bank to get close enough to the waters edge to draw out of. So if you’re going on a backpacking trip and are for sure not going to be, a tablet filter may be better suited for you.

Who’s The LifeStraw for?

The LifeStraw is probably the #1 tool to keeping you alive in life threatening outdoor situations making it the ideal tool for Hikers, Backpackers, and Preppers alike.

The LifeStraw is compact enough to fit into any backpackers bag, and even makes a great companion for day hikes as you don’t have to lug around a bottle water. When it comes to building your bugout bag, the lifestraw needs to be one of the first, if not THE first, thing you pack.

Our Ratings

Originally posted 2017-03-02 22:33:25.

High Time: The 10 Best Altimeter Watches

Whether you are a casual hiker who just wants to know what altitude you are at, or a serious rock climber who needs to know how much more vertical feet you can climb before darkness sets in, an altimeter watch is for you.

An altimeter watch measures altitude by measuring changes in atmospheric pressure. It’s not always exact, but it usually gives you a fairly accurate reading of your altitude. We’ve compiled a list of the 10 best altimeter watches. The list of quality instruments will enhance your outdoor experiece, and enhance your style to boot.

The Best Altimeter Watches

Garmin Fenix 3 GPS

  Editors Choice  


This watch is the ultimate in multitasking. Whether you are going hiking, running, skiing, climbing, biking, or swimming, this watch can do it all. It can track your speed, distance, and vertical drop. This ABC (Altitude, Barometer, Compass) watch also has a GPS function, a thermometer, a heart rate monitor. It connects easily over wireless to your other electronic devices. You’ll love the battery length, which is rated to 20 hours in GPS mode and can run for 6 weeks when the Fenix is in its regular watch mode. The watch is tough, with a stainless steel bezel and a Sapphire glass lens. It can take a pounding, but it is also stylish enough to wear into the office. And at only 2.9 ounces, this watch won’t weigh down your wrist!

MSRP: $499.99 (as of July 20, 2017 - 1:24 pm)
Check Price: Amazon ➔

Casio PRG-300-1A2CR


The Pro Trek is an affordable way to get introduced into the world of altimeter watches. Like other Casio watches, it runs on solar power so you won’t have to change the batteries or worry about losing power on a long hike. Despite the low price, you get a altimeter, compass, and a barometer, as well as a stopwatch and a thermometer. The watch functions down to 14 degrees Fahrenheit, and has four daily alarms, a stopwatch, and a countdown timer. The Pro Trek does have a smaller display, which can make the watch features a bit hard to read sometimes. The upside to this is that the watch does not overwhelm a small wrist like many larger watches do. The watch does keep manual instead of atomic time, but that makes sense for the price point.

MSRP: $250.00 (as of July 20, 2017 - 12:31 pm)
Check Price: Amazon ➔

Suunto Core


If you don’t need a GPS or a heart rate monitor, the Suunto Core provides you with lots of functionality at a price that won’t break the bank. At the time of writing this watches MSRP is $299, making it 2-3 hundred dollars cheaper than the top of the line smart watches, but still gives you numerous features. Star with an altimeter, barometer, and compass, and add storm notifications to alert you to incoming inclement weather. The watch senses barometric pressure drops and notifies you of a possible storm. You also get sunrise/sunset times (based on over 400 locations), and a 7-day altitude log tracking. Many users appreciate its durability and its long battery life. A battery can last about a year if the extra features are not enabled. The design is sleek, it weighs in at less than 2.3 ounces, and the watch comes in six different colors.

MSRP: $169.65 (as of July 20, 2017 - 6:21 pm)
Check Price: Amazon ➔

Suunto Ambit3


This top of the line watch earns its chops by combining a plethora of features with an easy-to-use interface. You can use the Suunto Movescount app to import waypoints and routes, or import routes from other users. Don’t worry, it has the traditional altimeter, barometer, and compass, but it does not stop there. The watch is compatible with a heart rate monitor, and can track the important information for your workout such as duration, distance, and calories burned. Hikers will appreciate the storm alarm that will alert you to severe weather rolling in, and highly accurate elevation data. The watch is water-resistant down to 50 meters, and is protected against damage by strong Sapphire glass. The battery life is fairly short, though; coming in at only 30 days even when you don’t use the GPS function. All in all, thought, this is an incredible watch that should enhance all of your outdoor activities.

MSRP: $301.16 (as of July 20, 2017 - 12:31 pm)
Check Price: Amazon ➔

Casio PRW-6000Y-1ACR


You won’t have to worry about running out of juice with this solar powered watch. The Casio 6000Y gives you an altimeter, barometer and a compass set in a modern face with a sharp looking carbon fiber insert band. The atomic clock keeps very accurate time, and you get a thermometer and stopwatch as well. The watch has an old-school feel. Some might like this, while others might want something more modern with more features, especially at the 6000Y’s high price tag. The watch does not have a GPS feature, although it does track weather patterns and store trips. If you do decide to go with the 6000Y you will get a tough, durable watch that you can wear while on a hike and in the office.

MSRP: $381.00 (as of July 20, 2017 - 10:04 am)
Check Price: Amazon ➔

Suunto Traverse


If you are a hiker and want a GPS and ABC watch, but don’t want to pay the money for a Ambit3 or need all of the Ambit’s features, then you might want to check out the Suunto Traverse. It is easy to use, and has many of the same internal features as the Ambit, but does not provide functions geared toward runners, bikers, or swimmers. You do get a great GPS, a flashlight mode, a very accurate altimeter, a barometer, and a compass. The watch also features a data log, a trip summary, and other features geared toward hikers. Battery life is a concern with this watch, as it only lasts 14 days when not using the GPS.

MSRP: $450.00 (as of July 20, 2017 - 8:52 am)
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Casio PRG-300-1A2CR


The Pro Trek is an affordable way to get introduced into the world of altimeter watches. Like other Casio watches, it runs on solar power so you won’t have to change the batteries or worry about losing power on a long hike. Despite the low price, you get a altimeter, compass, and a barometer, as well as a stopwatch and a thermometer. The watch functions down to 14 degrees Fahrenheit, and has four daily alarms, a stopwatch, and a countdown timer. The Pro Trek does have a smaller display, which can make the watch features a bit hard to read sometimes. The upside to this is that the watch does not overwhelm a small wrist like many larger watches do. The watch does keep manual instead of atomic time, but that makes sense for the price point.

MSRP: $250.00 (as of July 20, 2017 - 12:31 pm)
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Casio PAG240-1CR


This solar powered watch is a tremendous value for the thrifty hiker. Not only do you get an altimeter, easy to use compass, and barometer, you can complete a thru-hike without replacing the batteries! The watch stores 41 time zones, and features 5 alarms for those who really need reminders (or extra help getting up in the morning). The watch does have a countdown timer, but it lacks the ability to count down by second, which can be frustrating. The watch is durable and scratch resistant-perfect for an outdoor tool. It is not the most stylish watch on the market, so you might want to swap it out for your boardroom meeting. If you are not interested a GPS-or the price point that comes with it-the Pathfinder is a perfect outdoor watch choice.

MSRP: $250.00 (as of July 20, 2017 - 8:52 am)
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Suunto Vector


If you want the quality that comes with a Suunto watch, but don’t quite have the money for one of their flagship offerings, check out the Suunto Vector. This time-tested watch (first made in 1998) features an altimeter that can take you up to almost 30,000 feet, and is water resistant down to 100 meters. The watch still gives you an altimeter, barometer, and a compass. In addition, you get a 24-hour altimeter memory and log book, an alarm, and a countdown timer. The Vector has a long battery life of 18 to 24 months, and at 1.92 ounces, it won’t wear down your wrist, either. You will get a classic, durable, watch which you can bang up and wear for years with the Vector.

MSRP: List price not available (as of July 20, 2017 - 1:24 pm)
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Casio PAW2000-1CR


While the PAW2000 does not have a GPS function, it does have numerous other features. You get your altimeter/barometer/compass functionality on an easy to read Duplex backlit LED screen. The band is high quality resin, and it is water resistant down to 100 meters. Like other Casio watches, the PAW2000 is solar powered, so no trips to the watch repair store to pick up a new battery. The watch features atomic timekeeping for extra accuracy and sunrise and sunset data. While you do get five daily alarms, some people do complain that the watch alarm is not particularly loud, which could be a problem if you are a deep sleeper. It also might not be the best watch if you have a small wrist. Although the watch feels large on the wrist, it weighs in at only 2.4 ounces.

MSRP: $380.00 (as of July 20, 2017 - 4:33 pm)
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Garmin Epix


Garmin bills this as the first GPS/GLONASS mapping watch, featuring a high resolution, color touchscreen, basemaps, and a 1-year BirdsEye Satellite Imagery subscription. Add in the fitness tracking of the Garmin Fenix, an altimeter, barometer, and compass, and you truly have a do-it-all watch. It has 8GB of internal memory to add in all of your maps. The screen is 1.4 inches in size. You can take this watch out of cell phone range and still have a navigation system, or you can use it to track your interval workouts or your altitude gained or lost while trail running. All of these features do increase the complexity of the watch, and many people don’t need-or don’t want-to deal with all of the different options that this watch offers. But for those who do, this watch can do it all.

MSRP: $549.99 (as of July 20, 2017 - 9:02 am)
Check Price: Amazon ➔

Originally posted 2017-02-26 21:41:07.

Gimme Shelter: The 10 Best Pop Up Tents

If you’ve spent any time camping you’ll understand the bane of having to get to your campsite with enough time to properly set up your tent shelter.

Fumbling with tent poles and stakes to then only have to dismantle everything the next morning is a huge waste of time, and since you’re visiting this page, we’ll take it that you’ve finally had enough of this.

All the pop-up tents below have been curated with one thing in mind – Simplicity. It’s through this lens that we filtered out any tent that requires more than one person to setup. So whether you’re looking for a lightweight tent for your next backpacking trip, a larger tent for Burning Man, or a simple shelter for the kids at the beach; you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for below.

Our Favorites


gazelle pop up tent
five joy pop up tent
lucky bums pop up tent

Pop-Up Tent Reviews


the best pop up tent - gazelle

Gazelle 22272


  Editors Choice  

The Gazelle 22272 is a huge tent; if you want a cabin that you can move with you, check this tent out. You get 61 square feet of floor space, and it stands 80 inches tall. That means that all but the tallest individuals can stand up inside. But despite its size, you can still set it up in 90 seconds! An attachable rain fly provides protection against the elements. The Gazelle makes sure to use quality YKK zippers so that getting in and out of the tent is not difficult, and a removable floor is useful to get rid of dirt and sand. The tent, unfortunatlye, is not light compared to others as it weighs in at 31 pounds. But if you want to camp in comfort and know that the elements will stay outside, the Gazelle is a great choice.

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Fivejoy 4-Person

  Runner-Up  


If you need pop-up tent for more than 2 people, the FiveJoy 4-Person might be for you. It has a large 80.7″x78.7″ floor area to fit in a larger crowd. It is almost at 4 feet for peak height, giving people a bit of headroom. Two doors provide easy access and egress, while two windows let the air in for ventilation. The tent windows can also be used as a rain fly, though FiveJoy does caution that the tent should not be used during constant heavy rain. If you do want to use the tent during adverse weather, put a tarp underneath the tent for protection and one over the tent to keep out rain. Personal items can be kept in storage pockets, and you can hang your lantern on a lantern loop at the top of the tent. The tent folds up into a 35.4-inch circular container, and weighs 8 pounds.

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Lucky Bums Quick & Portable

  Best Value  


This pop-up tent is designed for family use. Set it up in the house for your children to play with, or take it with you to a sporting event or outdoor concert to provide some quick shade. With dimensions of 80″x50″x36″ it sleeps two children and folds down into a convenient flat disc. You can probably even fit an adult in the tent along with a child, depending on the size of each. It won’t break your back either at 3.15 pounds. It has a large door in the side of the tent for entrance and exit. Make sure you check the tent before using it seriously, however, as the tent poles sometimes arrive broken or break shortly after first use. Lucky Bums does state that they will fix any faulty items immediately.

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the best pop up tent - zomake

Zomake Pop-Up


If you are looking for an easy to set up, versatile, 3-4 man tent, then check out the Zomake Pop Up Tent. It folds down into a 31-inch diameter storage circle, and pops right up and open out of its storage container. It is a great tent for ventilation and vision, as it comes with two doors, two windows, and a skylight window. In particular, it is designed to set up at the beach, where it can be used as a sun shelter as well as a tent. The Zomake is also an excellent choice to set up in your house for your small children to play in. Other good places to use the Zomake are at athletic events, festivals, and short trips. It’s not really a backpacking tent at 5 pounds, and it is not waterproof. It can ward off light rain, but don’t expect to stay dry in a large storm. Still, it is easy to set up and you won’t have to spend a lot of time before getting into your shelter.

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the best pop up tent - colemman popup

Coleman Pop-Up


Tower is a company that became known for their high quality paddle boards on the popular ABC show, Shark Tank. With an investment from Mark Cuban the company has exploded into all other water related categories, but their quality remains the same. The mask features the full 180° view through a completely shatterproof lens. The mask features double-air flow engineering so your breath never is exhaled towards the lens of the mask. The light gray sleek look of this mask makes it an excellent choice for your next snorkel adventure.

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the best pop up tent - winterial

Winterial 2-Person


You won’t need a ground tarp with the Winterial Pop-Up Tent. It is constructed out of durable 190T polyester fabric for protection. It pops up to 90″x50″x42″ and folds down to a 25-inch diameter disc for storage and transport. If you are having issues opening or closing tent, check out a YouTube video for proper technique. These videos can be all the difference between an hour of frustration and a minute of setup and takedown. It comes with its own carrying case. There are two windows and one large door on the tent. The Winterial weighs in at a reasonable 5 pounds. It is a great tent to take to the beach or for your children to use to build a fort inside the house. It is not the best tent for condensation, so take that into account when making your purchase.

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the best pop up tent - teton

Teton Outfitter XXL


Sometimes you don’t want or need a huge pop-up tent so all your children can use it as a fort. Sometimes you just need a tent that goes up quickly for yourself alone. That is where the Teton Quick Tent comes in. The Quick Tent is designed to mesh with the other accessories of the Outfitter XXL line. That means you can pair it with the Teton cot and camp pad. This tent is durable, featuring 75 Denier 190T Taffeta nylon and it has a clip-on rain fly vestibule. A larger rainfly (The Elite Rainfly) can be purchased separately for extra protection. It’s probably a good idea to buy the larger rainfly if you plan on camping in inclement weather, as the rain fly that comes with the tent is too small if you are using the tent with a cot. The tent will not weigh you down very much-it comes in at a reasonable 4.3 pounds.

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the best pop up tent - wolfwise

WolfWise Pop-Up


The WolfWise Instant Pop Up tent is a good choice for those looking for a bit of versatility in their tents. You can use the flysheet by itself as a canopy to provide shade or a bit of rain protection. You can use the tent body by itself and benefit from good ventilation. Or you can use both the fly and the tent body together for extra protection against the elements. The tent body itself measures 84.6″x78.7″x57″ with a 51.18-inch height in the center of the tent. You use the pneumatic hydraulic device to get the tent set up. You can store your personal items inside pockets in the tent, and there is a loop to hang your lantern from on top of the tent. The windows are on the doors, and it can get a little warm if you have them closed to keep bugs out.

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the best pop up tent - keumer

Keumer Pop-Up Tent


If you’re looking for comfort in your full-face snorkel mask the Shark Gear Seafin might be the one you need to go with. The mask boasts a wider angle viewing lens than traditional snorkel masks, and eliminates the need to constantly clean the fog out from the inside with its innovative breathing system. We hope that you won’t need to test its durability but in case you did it’s constructed using durable polypropylene with a shatter proof polycarbonate viewing window. The GoPro action camera makes it an excellent choice for the adventure snorkeler, and a detachable breathing tube so you can clean it out thoroughly between snorkeling trips. This full faced mask comes in 5 different sleek colors and with a lightweight carrying bag to protect the lens as you travel. All parts feature a lifetime warranty through the manufacturer.

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survival hax

Survival Hax Pop-Up


This almost 7-foot by 7-foot tent is designed to sleep two or three people while still going up and going down with ease. You can set it up in less than half a minute! The Survival Hax has zippered mesh windows on all four sides for better ventilation, a bathtub floor means you don’t have to use a footprint, and two gear pockets allow you to store your cellphone or headlamp. Or you can forgo your headlamp and hang a lantern on a ceiling loop. A full rain fly helps to keep out the rain. While the tent is rated to three people, it will be crowded.

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the best pop up tent - wnnldeo

Wnnideo Instant Family Tent


The Wnnideo Instant Family Tent is great for those camping with families and who are looking for quick setup and takedown. You won’t need to wait long to get inside this tent. The footprint measures a generous 10 by 7 feet, and Wnnideo claims it can sleep 4 adults or 6 children or teens. Four adults with gear might be stretching it, but you could probably get two adults and two or three children in there. Large double doors make it easy to get in and out of, and the tent still can be set up within a minute. There are six mesh panels for ventilation and to keep out bugs. The rainfly is waterproof and UV-resistant. The tent features a lantern loop, and weighs 9.26 pounds.

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Originally posted 2017-04-06 01:18:53.

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