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.