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.

Goal Zero Rock Out 2 Review

Loudness: (4 / 5)
Sound Quality: (4.3 / 5)
Bass: (2 / 5)
Clarity: (3.9 / 5)
Weight: (3 / 5)
Usability: (4.1 / 5)
Overall: (3.6 / 5)

The Goal Zero Rock Out 2 Solar Rechargeable Speaker is a great light weight speaker and can easily be strapped to your backpack for portability.

Tested In: Eastern Sierras

Duration of Test: 7 days

 

Review

The Pro:The light weight and ruggedness of the speaker makes it easy to pack and store. Axiom Surf only charged it one time within the 7 day period as long as you get the right angle of the sun for the solar charge. We believe Goal Zero is using high grade panels which is why we did’t have to charge very often at all. The inside pockets make it nice to carry various small items like your iPod and cables. The cables attached to the speaker make it really easy to strap to anything from backpacks to hanging it from rope. The highs to mids on the speakers are really clear and great sounding.

The Con:If your looking for a speaker with a lot of bass, Axiom Surf wouldn’t recommend this. It does have a deep bass technology but, the bass is faint. The solar panel on the back of the speaker is easily scatchable so we always kept resting it on the speaker side. Axiom Surf wish the solar panel was able to charge MP3 player instead of charging from the car for completely off grid use.

Overall:This speaker is targeted for consumers looking for a lightweight packable speaker. Because it’s so easy to hang or attach, we often found a good location for the speaker to project the sound. A great speaker for outdoor or camping use in my opinion.


 

Dakine vs VESL Surfboard Strap

Specs

Strap Width: Dakine = 1 3/8 inches and VESL = 1 1/8 inches

Strap Length: Dakine = 12 feet and VESL = 10 Feet

Duration of Test: 2 years for Dakine and 1 year for VESL

Both of these straps utilize the same type of pull to tighten technology but Axiom Surf has found the Dakine straps quality are a little better.

Review

The Pro: The Dakine Baja Tie Down Straps – 12′ – Black and VESL Surf straps are great straps any way you look at it. The technology is really basic and Axiom Surf never had any of these come loose on the highway. These straps are made to hook over roof rack bars so if you’re running factory OEM roof racks you’ll have to find a way to mount them. Rock climbing carabiners can work for the factory rack.

The Con: Since the technology for straps in general have been around for a long time, these have no problems holding. We can tell the VESL straps quality are a little less than that of the Dakine but, for the price of the VESL you really can’t beat it.

Overall: This is a must have surf gear product when you have to strap your board to the top of the vehicle. The Dakine will probably hold a little more wait because the strap is 1 3/8 inch wide so if you’re loading a lot of boards or Stand Up Paddle Boards then, pay the extra money and get the Dakine Baja Straps.

2015 Ripcurl E4 Front Zip Wetsuit Review

Usability: (3 / 5)

Durable: (2.5 / 5)

Warmth: (4.3 / 5)

Stretchy: (4.3 / 5)

Overall: (3.5 / 5)


Specs

Thickness: 3/2 mm

Style: Front Zip

Duration of Test: 2 years

The Rip Curl Men’s E Bomb Chest Zip 3/2 Wetsuit, Large, Black is by far one of the best and comfortable wetsuit Axiom Surf has tested.

Review

The Pro: The 3/2 thickness of this wetsuit keeps warm all year long in southern California. Only after 2 years Axiom Surf notice a little bit of leakage so we’ll end up sending it back to Rip Curl soon for a fix. The stretchy material makes it easy to take the suit on and off. There are suits out there which are such a pain to take off even when it’s not even that thick because they’re too stiff. We’ve also tested the same suit but zipperless and zipperless can be a hassle taking off when you have broad shoulders.

The Con:We’ve tested this suit out for roughly a year and a half to two years and the silicon seals by the crotch is pealing apart and the zipper is tough to zip across the chest. After having RipCurl look at the issues, they deem the suit non-repairable.

Overall: Axiom Surf would definitely recommend this to anyone in the market but, get the front zip. We haven’t tried their back zip but, I do have the E4 zipperless and it’s a bit tight at the neck. The front zip has a pull string you can tighten the front up to your liking which is by the zipper. There is a standard key pocket for your car key in the left leg. A solid suit just wish the seals were better.

Rinse Kit Portable Shower Review

Usability: (4.3 / 5)

Durable: (3 / 5)

Overall: (3.6 / 5)


Specs

Dimensions: 17x12x14 inches

Weight: 9 lbs. dry

Tank Capacity: 2 gallons

The Rinse Kit Portable Sprayer pressurized portable shower is a optimal way to clean yourself after a fun surf session.

Review

The Pro: This device is really easy to fill up and has a really nice strong hose cord. Axiom Surf has been using this for camping and surfing with no problems at all. We like how you can remove the lid, stand on it and easily rinse your feet off. Putting your sandals back on without sand on your feet is always the challenge right? The hose attachment is exactly like the one you find at your house where you can change different spray settings. When the pressure goes low, switching the nozzle to jet will give you a little extra water pressure.

The Con: Axiom Surf wish there was a way to fill this up without using the hose and still have the Rinse Kit pressurized. The hose provides the pressure so this unit doesn’t need any electric device to pump the water. Another wish would be to heat the water up easily somehow and put it into the container. Lastly, sometimes the pressure runs low but there is still water in the reservoir.

Overall: This is a great product for your daily surf routine and to have as part of your surf gear. It especially comes in handy when the beaches close the public showers due to drought and you need a wash. In regards to camping, it may be hard to find a hose hookup to fill up the Rinse Kit when you need a quick shower.

6’2″ Dakine Surfboard Bag Review

Usability: (4 / 5)

Durable: (3.8 / 5)

Padding Thickness: (3.2 / 5)

Overall: (3.7 / 5)


Specs

Bag Length: 6’2″

The Dakine Mens One Size Black is made of a durable material keeping your board protected from the elements.

Review

The Pro: Axiom Surf ran this surfboard bag for many years and it’s been tossed around in airplanes, on top of cars, in garages and still haven’t had any rips or tears. Dakine does make quality bags so you wouldn’t expect anything different from this bag. The shoulder strap is convenient and the handle is padded for long hauls.

The Con: We aren’t sure why but, why don’t companies integrate more pockets on the surfboard bags? It would be great if you can store wax, combs, keys and fins in one bag. Unfortunately, accessory pockets don’t exist. Lastly, the padding is decent but we did end up wrapping our boards in towels and tapping it up for extra protection. Surfboards are expensive.

Overall: The Dakine surfboard bag is pretty generic bag a side from the quality material it’s made out of. We wouldn’t recommend this for travel abroad but, does work great is your in and around town. Check out the updated bags below.

6’5″ ION Surfboard bag Review

Usability: (4 / 5)

Durable: (4 / 5)

Padding Thickness: (3.8 / 5)

Overall: (3.9 / 5)


Specs

Bag Length: 6’5″

The ION surf bag will protect your board with a thicker and quality padding used.

Review

The Pro: This surfboard bag does have a better padding built into it and consumers can see through the window it’s perforated pad make it more breathable. The pocket in the inside is to pack your fins while, the one outside is used to put your identification card. It’s a great travel bag with shoulder strap and handle giving you the ability to carry on your shoulder or hand.

The Con: Although the padding is great quality, Axiom Surf still recommends adding another layer of padding when utilizing the board on airborne travel trips. We did hope they will use a more secure ID cardholder or something that is enclose. There could be a scenario when users are constantly opening and closing the ID card the card itself can come loose.

Overall: We would highly recommend this bag to anyone in the market for a shortboard carrier. There are a lot of brands and the bags are generally the same but, ION did think about the travel scenario for surfers.


ION surfboard footpad deck grip traction pad 3-pcs grey / orange

HS2 Futures Thruster Fin Review

Flex: (4 / 5)
maneuverability: (4.3 / 5)
Hold: (3.8 / 5)
Responsive: (3.5 / 5)
Overall: (3.9 / 5)

Are you having trouble pivoting on the lip or maybe you just need to be more agile on the face. Well, the HS2 futures provides all of that and more.

Review

About the Fin: Futures in a Medium thruster setup.

The Pro: Axiom Surf tested these thruster setup across all different size beach breaks and we’re here to report the Future Fins Generation Series Hayden Shapes HS2 V2 Honeycomb Carbon thruster surfboard fin set (medium) are a fast fin. The rake and angle of the fin really gives the surfer the ability to move quickly and turn on the face without any hesitation. The fin does allow the surfer to pump quickly to where you need to be to move you back to the face. We found ourselves able to pivot and catch up to the face when riding in the white water, really because of the carbon giving us the ability to flex and pump through the mush sections. The fin template is a little shorter and stocky giving you the maneuverability. Oh yeah and the marble design is aesthetically pleasing as well.

The Con:The HS2 Futures are hard to find in the states and with that, getting these fins were a little expensive on the shipping side. We would of love to try these out in a quad setup on a different board so having a five fin available would be a nice touch.

Overall: If you’re looking for a thruster setup that’ll extend your ride time then, Axiom Surf suggest trying these out. Not only will you be faster but, you’ll definitely have more turns on the lip or face.

Blackstix Thruster Future Fin Review

Flex: (4 / 5)
Maneuverability: (3.4 / 5)
Hold: (3.8 / 5)
Responsive: (3.5 / 5)
Overall: (3.7 / 5)

The Futures Fins – Blackstix Thruster are a great all around fin. Axiom Surf has tested these in all different types of conditions and they’ve always held up well.

Review

About the Fin: Futures in a Large Thruster setup.

The Pro: The Blackstix provide good hold and if you find the right line you can get plenty of speed from this performance surf fin. The fin provides great speed to put surfers the right position. While testing the fin Axiom Surf notice the ability to pump and gather enough speed to get through some tough sections or a head of white water.

The Con: These fins might ride differently if you’re surfing thicker and large waves as we weren’t testing on big days.

Overall: Axiom Surf highly recommends this surfing fin. It can change your surfing if paired with the correct board. The speed and hold of the fin guides you through the rough points of the wave and make for an enjoyable ride.