Goal Zero Guide 10 Plus Review

Battery Capability : (2 / 5)
Battery Consumption: (3.7 / 5)
Durable: (4 / 5)
Overall: (3.2 / 5)

The Goal Zero Guide 10 Plus Recharger is small, compact and built to last in the elements but, it lacks usability with certain devices.

Tested In: Joshua Tree and Eastern Sierras.

Duration of Test: 7 days

 

Review

The Pro: The rechargeable Goal Zero battery pack is built solid for any camp or hike trip. Pair this charger up with a mini solar panel and you’re able to power small devices off the grid. The durable cable ring allows you to clip on to a backpack, rope or any object as long as you provide your own carabiner.

The Con: The battery doesn’t work with certain devices. After testing with the Black Diamond Storm Headlamp, the headlamp only turned on about 10% of the time utilizing 4 AAA Goal Zero batteries. It’s recommend to test all devices with the Goal Zero batteries. Secondly, it comes with the AAA adapter but, no AAA batteries. The issue here is when you purchase Goal Zero AAA batteries, it comes with the adapter so consumers will always have an extra adapter.

Overall: The unit is built solid and ideal for life on the go. However, Goal Zero should of tested the batteries on multiple devices before selling this product to the masses. The minus side of the battery is completely flat compared to a regular battery where there is a little lift. This could attribute to the issue of the battery not being able to work with certain devices.

Black Diamond Orbit Lantern Review

Light Projection: (4 / 5)

Battery Consumption: (3.9 / 5)
Brightness: (3.9 / 5)
Overall: (3.9 / 5)

The Black Diamond Orbit Lantern – 105 Lumen – ultra white is small compact and packs a punch for its size as it has a bright LED light.

Tested In: Various camp trips from the mountains to the sea.

Duration of Test: 5 years

 

Review

The Pro:The LED Black Diamond Lantern is decently bright, compact and light in weight. It’s enough light to get you by and the newer generations have a built in flashlight at the bottom. The hooks are a nice feature as they are easily collapsible and perfect to hang in your tent. The light feels like it’s built with high quality and I haven’t had any real issues with it as the design is simple and solid build. The rubber feet help keeping the lantern from sliding around.

The Con: I did wish it had the built in flashlight at the bottom but, the newer generations do. Black Diamond could of improve on adding another LED towards the top of the lantern so it projects more light outwards. This model has about 50 to 60 lumen. I’m sure the lantern can handle two LEDs as it’s packing 4 AAA batteries.

Overall:This is a quality light and has lasted for years with no issues because you can how solid the light is.The newer model has the flashlight at the bottom which makes the lantern a bit more versatile. Great for packing in a side pocket of a surf pack for those full moon night sessions.

Energizer Solar Foldable Lantern Review

Solar Panel Quality: (4.3 / 5)
Brightness: (3.8 / 5)
Light Projection: (4 / 5)
Battery Consumption: (4.3 / 5)
Weight: (3 / 5)
Overall: (3.9 / 5)

This super handy light provides great lighting around the camp and can be folded upwards to give optimal lighting.

Tested In: Various camp trips from the mountains to the sea.

Duration of Test: 5 years

 

Review

The Pro: Axiom Surf have had this Lantern for over 5 years and only ran the battery a handful of times. We still have the original battery when we receive the light because the solar panel is efficient enough to run through the night. This lead us to believe Energizer is using a high quality solar panel. The orange night light is a nice feature when you don’t need a lot of light say in your tent and need to step out for a bathroom run. You can adjust the solar panel up to point at sun for optimal energy consumption. The Lantern also can be folded up in case you need to look at something more closely.

The Con: The light is bright enough and Axiom Surf used it as a main light during many trips but, it’s not as bright as those propane type Lanterns.

Overall:The Energizer Solar Lantern gives consumers an off grid solution and barely uses any battery as long as you’re charging the Lantern daily via the sun power. It utilizes 8 LED lights which doesn’t take as much power but, at the same time giving great lighting. It’s light weight and isn’t as bulky as those propane Lanterns. We did notice less bugs when using the Energizer at night then those propane Lanterns which attracts a ton of moths. The specs say 2.5 hours of run time when switch to the solar option but, Axiom Surf ran it to about 3 hours no problem.


Black Diamond Storm Review

Comfort: (4.5 / 5)

Weight: (4.5 / 5)
Brightness: (4.5 / 5)
Light Projection: (4 / 5)
Battery Consumption: (3.5 / 5)
Overall: (4.2 / 5)

Axiom Surf has tested a lot of different headlamps and this one beats them in comfort, brightness and durability.

Tested In: Eastern Sierras CA and Sedona AZ

Duration of Test: 11 days

 

Review

The Pro: The Black Diamond Storm Headlamp, Black provides great lighting at 350 lumen, has great seals to keep dust or water out and functions real easy with just a push button. The controls to turn it on and off is well thought out because you don’t have to cycle through all the different options available on the light. You set one option and you turn it off and on. We tested using this light on the low mode which uses the front center light while the high beam utilizes both the front and one of the side lights. The light beams spread wide enough so there is always proper lighting where ever you look. Also, one of the side light is designated to change red, blue or green for signaling others.

The Con: This headlamp is a little on the pricey side at $50, we believe you won’t need any other light for a real long time. You get what you pay for. Axiom Surf did wish there was an option for a rechargeable lithium battery so users don’t have to buy batteries but, you can have a rechargeable option.

Overall: Axiom Surf would highly recommend this product to anyone. You can see in the photos the backing is perforated to let air in and out to reduce heat and increase comfortability. The headlamp is light even with 4 AAA batteries and on low mode lasts for hours no problem. If you’re in the market for a headlamp buy one below.

RTIC SoftPak 20 Review

Holds Ice: (3.7 / 5)

Weight: (4.2 / 5)
Usability: (3.9 / 5)
Overall: (3.9 / 5)

The portable RTIC 20 Soft Pack has great insulation and will last you days without having to refilling your ice.

Tested In: Eastern Sierras and Day Beach Trips

Insulation Thickness: About 2 inches

 

Review

The Pro: Axiom Surf has knocked this thing around and have push pull stuffed it into many places in our vehicles. The seal around the zipper didn’t leak one bit. We take this everywhere with us now. Recently, tested this 7 straight days in the Eastern Sierras and I did have to buy ice a couple of times. Granted the weather got up to 100 degrees in some of the cities and lakes there. The cooler stayed mainly in the truck bed and with the shoulder straps carried it around to some of the lakes. You can tell this is a high quality cooler from the insulation to the zipper.

The Con: The only draw back we saw was the zipper being a little tight to zip so RTIC gives everyone lubricant to loosen up the zipper and the pockets in the front back being a little small. As far as the lube, we’ve applied it a couple of times now and it has broken in. This zipper is built like this so there won’t be any leaks which is understandable.

Overall: There are a lot of coolers out there and expensive ones too. This one is on the pricier end but, not as expensive as some of the other brands you see out there. Axiom Surf think for the price you spend on this it’s a fair price for the quality you get in this soft cooler. We don’t know if it’s the insulation or the beefy design but, this Softpak is pretty durable for being a soft cooler. Make sure to approximate the size of the cooler and see what you intend to use this cooler for as this one maxes out at 20 can drinks.

Therma Cell Mosquito Repellent Review

 

Weight: (4.2 / 5)

Usability: (3.6 / 5)
Repellent of Mosquitos: (3.9 / 5)
Overall: (3.9 / 5)

The Thermacell MR-LJ Portable Mosquito Repeller offers consumers a 15 by 15 radius area of a free pest zone.

Tested In: Eastern Sierras

Duration of Test: 7 days

 

Review

The Pro:I tested this in the sierras and it works well. The areas tested were around lakes and streams where mosquitos are known to be around. It’s light weight and small enough to place in a pocket or carry on your backpack. The back shows the butane cartridge so you can see if you’re low on fuel.

The Con: It does take a few minutes to turn on because it burns butane and heats up the metal pad to expose the fuses of the pollen. The repellent is in full action when the top piece is lit orange. I really wish it would come with a small piece of velcro on the back to strap to my bag.

Overall:All in all this unit does the job for mosquitos. There were other bugs around when using this unit so this is specifically for mosquitos. The camo pattern helps if you’re out hunting and the light weight makes it real easy to carry on your pack.


Geigerrig Hydration Bladder Review

Weight: (4.5 / 5)
Usability: (3.8 / 5)
Leak Proof: (4.2 / 5)
Overall: (4.1 / 5)

After testing multiple bladder packs, the Geigerrig Pressurized Hydration Engine and Reservoir – 2 Liter, 100 Ounce is the one you must own as it is easy to clean and use.

Tested In: Sedona Arizona

Review

The Pro: Axiom Surf has tested many different hydration bladders from camel packs to Dakine. We must say this one stands out as the best one. This hydration pack is really easy to clean, just flip it inside out and throw it into the dishwasher. The material is durable and we love how you can spray water from the bite tube. The spray feature is really handy as we used it to cool us down and serve water to our fury hiking companion. Geigerrig hydration bladders features a mold and mildew resistance material but, we haven’t had it long enough to ensure this point.

The Con: We’ve seen videos online of sliding the water insert clip with ease on or off however, this one is a little harder to accomplish this task. It may take some time to break in. It will take new users a little while to figure out how to spray the water effectively so watch the video below to help you out.

Overall: This is a truly a high tech hydration bladder. Cleaning other hydration bladders are such a pain because you have to use a tube brush of various sizes to clean everything. Geigerrig really thought about the users use on and off trail which is why Axiom Surf recommends this for any type of hike or just to keep water on you at the beach. We hope to try out the filter insert soon for super clean water consumption.


 

Coleman Insta Start Stove Grill Review

Easy to Clean: (2.5 / 5)
Propane Consumption: (4.8 / 5)
Weight: (2.5 / 5)
Durable: (4.4 / 5)
Star Rating: (3.5 / 5)

Fry or grill, this Coleman PerfectFlow Insta Start Grill Stove set will equip you for all your cooking needs while enjoying the great outdoors.

Tested Period: 3 years

Tested: Southern California desert, beaches and national forests

Dimensions: 22 inches long by 17 inches high by 13 inches deep when open

 

Review

The Pro: The Axiom Team has been testing this product for years in many conditions and this stove has done a great job with no issues to date. The burner and grill work fine in no wind conditions but, when the wind did pick up the burners still performed and kept the stove or grill hot enough to cook meals. The blinders on the sides of the stove does a great job of blocking the cross wind. In addition, packing this thing is a snap as it only needs to be collapse and locked with the front clip and packing the grill is a breeze because everything is compact.

The Con: Everything comes apart easily but, cleaning the inside of the grill can be a bit of a drag from all the drippings of the food so bring an extra sponge or towel for cleanup. On another note, screwing the gas hose is easy but, when switching between multiple camp sites and breaking this down every time can get old real fast. Maybe they could of used a flexible hose as the metal one seems a little flimsy.

Overall: Other than the cleanup and the hose, we would high recommend this grill for car camping, van or RV. It would be much to big and heavy to pack in somewhere but, a great stove for base camp.

Thermarest Basecamp Review

 

Comfort: (3.9 / 5)
Weight: (3.8 / 5)
Durable: (3.2 / 5)
Overall: (3.6 / 5)

Sleep better with the Therm-a-Rest Basecamp Self-Inflating Air Mattress, Large – 25 x 77-Inches and recharge from your camp or hiking activities by resting your body properly.

Tester

Height: 5’10”

Weight: 180lbs

Test Period: 3 years across California mountains

Pad Dimensions: Large size – 77 x 25 x 2 inches with 2 inches of thickness

 

Review

The Pro: The Thermarest Basecamp is nicely built and haven’t had any tears or rips in the 3 years of testing. This is a very durable sleeping pad. The valve to inflate is really easy to use and isn’t terrible to blow up by yourself so a pump isn’t needed. The use of the open cell foam provides comfort, durability and reliable for any camp trip. The sleeping pad footprint is great for someone up to 6 feet 4 inches.

The Con: If you’re a side sleeper this wouldn’t be recommended. We found our arms falling asleep after about 2 or 3 hours and rotating to the other side to mitigate the dead arm effect. For the side sleepers, it is recommended to go with a 3 or 4 inch sleeping pad.

Overall: All and all, we would recommend this product to campers who sleep on their back or stomach(depending on weight). It might not be as comfortable for the average person who sleeps on their side so finding a 4 inch pad is probably a better option then the Thermarest Basecamp.

Dizaul Solar Charger Review

Weight: (4 / 5)
Durable: (4.1 / 5)
Solar Panel: (3.8 / 5)
Charge of Devices: (3.8 / 5)
Overall: (3.9 / 5)

This rugged Solar Charger,Dizaul 5000mAh Portable Solar Power Bank does the job when you’re out and don’t have a plug for your phone or MP3 player.

Tested In: Eastern Sierras and So Cal Beach Days

Duration of Test: 1 month

 

Review

The Pro: This light weight charger is handy in which it can clip on to your bag for the “on the go” moments and is protected with a rubber casing for damage control. The Dizaul Solar Charger can charge two devices at the same time without any problems and comes with multiple light options. There is a built in light you can use by tapping the power button on twice or you can plug in the light into the USB that comes with the charger. This unit is nice to have when you’re on the go and running low on power for a device and don’t have time to charge your phone or mp3. Available to charge by the sun or micro usb.

The Con: Axiom Surf wish they would of used a bigger panel as the charger takes a while to charger by sun but it gets the job done. We’ve comparing this panel to the Goal Zero panel on the Rock Out 2 speaker. We did notice it won’t charge older versions of the ipod shuffle.

Overall: The charger does its job just a little slower than I would like. The lights on the panel is easy to understand with the blue lights conveying the amount of power left and the green light indicating it’s charging. It’s versatile, rugged and light is perfect for going off the grid while needing a little power for small devices.