One of the things we enjoy most about #vanlife is being able to watch the seasons change on a daily basis. We watched spring creep into summer, and now summer slowly fade into fall. It’s only mid august but when we opened our van doors to a crisp morning just outside Buena Vista, Colo., the crisp harvest air met our cheeks. The shadows are getting longer and the days shorter. As the Colorado portion of our tour winds down we can’t help but feel a little bitter sweet. We love Colorado in the fall. But, we’re excited to get back East and see nature’s light show that is fall in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Of course, our tour wouldn’t be possible without some great gear. Without further ado, here’s our picks for this month’s Gear on the Go!
When we’re not in the bucket seat of the van or out on the trail, we love relaxing in a hammock. Who doesn’t? There are a lot of hammocks out on the market these days and it’s hard to imagine a company able to improve on the traditional hammock. Sea to Summit has done just that with their new line of light weight, packable hammocks. I am a large human, and sometimes single person hammocks don’t quite fit me. At 10 feet long, the Sea To Summit Pro Hammock provides comfort for even a tall dude like me. We’ve spent many hours napping and relaxing in our hammock, and we never woken up with a stiff neck. Our favorite thing about this hammock is how well it breathes. Nothing is worse than getting up after a few hours in a hammock, only to realize you have come down with a wicked case of swamp…a-ahem, back. This hammock really does breath like it’s made of mesh. The Pro Hammock packs down into itself so space is never an issue in the van or in our packs. Weight is also never an issue. At 12.7 ounces the Pro Hammock is one of the lightest standard hammocks on the market (and if you really want to be amazed, check out their ultralight line of hammocks).
Sea To Summit keeps up their reputation of innovation with their new hammock suspension straps. Their standard straps are ten feet long so you can wrap them around massive trees or connect your hammock to two impossibly far away trees. We can set up our hammock in less than a minute every time and we never have to worry about disconnecting the hammock to adjust the length. We just cinch the straps to make them tighter.
Lowe Alpine has been making bomber gear since their inception 50 years ago. We’ve had the pleasure of trying a a few of their packs. They are all designed with a specific purpose in mind. The Lowe Alpine Superlight 30 is built for super-light-weight climbing, mountaineering, and alpine adventures.
At first glance, the Superlight 30 is a minimalist pack. This 30 liter pack weighs a minuscule 20 ounces with the removable frame that doubles as a bivy mat. Remove the mat and you’ll forget your wearing a pack at all. These packs are made of unstoppable 100D ripstop nylon and they are treated with a TPU coating that makes them roughly 13 times MORE abrasion resistance than the fabric normally would be. We don’t baby our gear so this is music to our ears.
The harness is another feature that we were surprised by. It was designed to carry weight well, but it also gives you a massive range of motion. You can climb freely without having to worry about what’s on your back. The Superlight 30 has an extra wide top so you can get a climbing rope in an out with ease.
When you’re sitting in something called the ‘Crazy Legs Quad Beach Chair’, you know you’re in for a party. This super foldup lounger swings over your shoulder and accompanies you to parties, lake shores, beaches, and most importantly, right outside the van doors. This is our go to when it’s time to finally relax.
We don’t get to sit all that often so when we do we take it seriously. We’ve taken our Crazy Creek Crazy Legs Quad Beach Chair to infinity and beyond! Just kidding, but in all seriousness we take these things everywhere. They make great seats for sitting around a campfire. We actually enjoy being a little lower to the ground, because the smoke from the campfire just drifts right over our heads (into the waiting eyes and lungs of our friends in normal camp chairs).
These chairs are easily totable so you can take them everywhere. We work a lot of festivals, and as a result we get to see a lot of great music. We take our Crazy Legs Beach Chairs with us so we can lounge while soaking up some sweet tunes. They are low enough to pass any venue’s chair policy. They are also great on hot days, because the mesh backing lets the breeze cruise right through.
Perhaps the best thing about buying a Crazy Creek product is that you’ll know you’re buying a great product from a fantastic company. Crazy Creek has been making chairs since 1987. They also offer a lifetime warranty against manufacturers defects which is a huge bonus.