13 Oct 2013

Teva Barracuda Sandals

I needed a lightweight and waterproof pair of sandals to wear in the raft during my Grand Canyon trip. After some research I settled on the Teva Barracuda. 

In  NZ these retail for $99. I purchased them for $US36 from Zappos in the US and had them delivered free to my hotel to collect on arrival - what a bargain! 

These sandals have an injection-molded upper of EVA with footbed channels and drain holes. Open toe construction allows for water to drain quickly.

They are designed for surf and sand versatility and have adjustable hook-and-loop straps at ankle and toe for a preferred fit.

Superlight foam in the midsole for added comfort and flexibility with a Durabrasion™ rubber outsole providing superior grip and lasting tread.

These sandals performed very well. I'd love to use them as "camp" shoes, but although very light at 340 grams (total weight of the pair) I will stick with my current set-up (see gear list) or Teva thongs and toe socks - 255 grams. If I took these sandals I would still need to include the spare socks weight.

Mont Bell Tychon Wind Jacket

Just back from my US trip, always a good excuse to pick up some gear without getting slugged for the freight.

A wind jacket is my most used piece of additional clothing. They are great to pop on when you stop for a break, particularly if you have been sweating. Also ideal when on the tops if you are exposed to the wind.

This is Mont Bell's brand new jacket. They have really concentrated on shaving off the grams on this 2013 model - no pockets and no additional fabric strip behind zipper.

This baby weighs in at 49 grams!! The size I have on is medium. Cost was $US75. I am wearing a 200 Icebreaker merino 3/4 zip top under this.

I worn it daily on my Grand Canyon trip both when hiking and in the raft. It is not waterproof (not intended to be) but is very windproof (It's intended use).

On the river I worn my 150 Merino top and popped this windjacket over the top. In every rapid we got drenched but I remained warm as the jacket blocked wind preventing coldness with the wet merino top against my body. Combined with low humidity and hot sun, drying out was quick.

Note also that this new version has vented arm pits. Sorry photo doesn't show detail. It is not the entire black panel - just mesh under the armpit area, but you get the idea.

I can highly recommend you pop a wind jacket into your pack's outer pocket - this rolls up smaller than a tennis ball.

If I had to be picky I would add a couple of centimeters to the length.

John Abela at Hike Lighter has a very good review - http://hikelighter.com/2013/07/01/montbell-tachyon-wind-jacket-2013-edition/


9 Oct 2013

River Rafting and Hiking the Upper Grand Canyon

Hi - Here are some shots of my GC trip - no rapid running photos as it was impossible to shoot these and hold on at the same time, plus water doesn't mix well with digital cameras!

We spent 7 days in the upper canyon. We were on the river 2 days when the US Govt shut down and closed all US parks so we had the whole GC to ourselves including the South Rim. When we got out it was like a ghost town.

Enjoy the all the pictures at: https://plus.google.com/photos/110150820322034133105/albums/5932255747553953025?banner=pwa