Gear Reviews SPECIAL Charles tests in Solomon Islands
So you want to really test a product in surroundings that the manufacturer has claimed it works in: what could be more extreme than taking the gear to the Solomon Islands on a SUP expedition? In this edition, I have done all of the relevant gear reviews based on my experience with the product during the Outer Edge Nggele Sule Island Paddle.
PALM LIGHT SLEEPING BAG
First impression when receiving this sleeping bag was that it is so small and really does fit in the palm of your hand. Being as that we had to carry all our gear in order to be self-sufficient the Palm Lite ticked all the boxes. Packed easily and with minimal space into my dry bag, light weight and comfortable for someone at 185cm. This bag was perfect and kept me comfortable during sleep hours.
Tested to EN13537 Standards
Outer Fabric: 40D/280T Nylon Diamond Ripstop
Inner Fabric: SILK-TEX 75D/210T Micro-weave Pongee
• Ultra compact pack-down size provides excellent weight to warmth ratio
• Fits in the palm of your hand! Every backpackers ideal sleeping bag
• Thermaspace Technology is a thin, heat reflective layer that provides superior heat insulation
• Semi-tapered shape for added warmth around feet and legs
• Full twin zipper system allows bag to be opened fully
• Curved hood shape to allow for complete closure
• Zip 2 similar models together to form a double
• Additional fill around foot area for added insulation
• High quality SBS ® zippers and pullers with double anti-snag system
• Cap compression bag for easy pack and carry
• Hidden inner storage pocket
XSTREAM PRO SERIES XP135R
Ok so when the manufacturer claims that their product is built for harsh, demanding environments it s a big claim and something that I love challenging. Well what can I say about this headlamp. It s water resistant and proven when I dropped it into the sea whilst coming into Roderick bay on night one, has great LED technology, and to boot is really comfortable when being worn for long periods. Does it meet the manufacturers claims A big yes from me.
• One super bright 1W Cree R2 LED
• Delivers ultra-bright lighting for up to 36 hours
• Two ultra- bright LEDS provide wide angle close range floodlight
• USB charging port
• Built in Lithium-ion rechargeable battery
• Excellent water resistance rating IP 5
• Multiple brightness modes
• Pivoting head for directional lighting
• Adjustable strap
• Storage bag included
We were fortunate to get our hands on the new PRO:NANO gas canister stove to use on the expedition. First time we had the opportunity to use it was on day 2 for lunch and simple assembly, fired right up and boiled water in less than 3 minutes, a huge bonus when you have been on the water for 4 hours… This product kick some serious goals , great value for money, and will certainly offer a great alterntive to what is already in the market place.
Compact design – all components pack away inside the insulated pot 3,700 BTU output Anodized aluminium pot Piezo Ignition Pot Trivet included Mesh storage Bag
SPECIFICATIONS Height : 230mm Pot : 170mm x 120mm Pot Volume: 1.2ltr Weight: 520g (Pot and Burner) Gas Consumption: 4.0MJ/Hr – 82g/HR Injector: 0.19mm
Ok so an open water SUP adventure with music and somewhere easy to store my phone at the same time? Well that was certainly possible with the STEREOACTIVE and ACTIVESAFE strapped to our inflatable board. Truly amazing to think that this floats, so I had peace of mind and it allowed those tunes to come forth when needed on a long day of paddling.
Product Specifications Sources - Bluetooth / USB / AM / FM / iPhone / Android Tuner - AM / FM (Japan, Australasia, Europe, USA) USB Format - FAT 32 USB Audio Format - MP3 Made for iPod and iPhone - Apple IAP2 Lightning Connector Products: iPhone 7/Plus, iPhone SE, iPhone 6s/Plus, iPhone 6/Plus, iPhone 5/5c/5s, iPod touch 5th/6th gen AOA Android Open Accessory - Android Open Source Protocol Battery Up To 20 Hours - provides up to 20 hours of use Charging Requirements - 110~220 Volt AC wall charger (supplied) or 12vdc 2a car charger (optional accessory) Water Resistance Rating - IPx7 / Floats FUSION-Link Remote App - Bluetooth - Control via: Apple (Lightning Connector products) and Android Garmin Smartwatch App via ANT - Garmin Smartwatches (VivoActive/HR , Fenix 3/HR, Tactix Bravo, Quatix 3, D2 bravo) - Requires FUSION-LInk App via Garmin Connect IQ Store Voice Prompts 12 unique Multi-Language Voice Prompts Available for Download. Languages available in English, French, German, Dutch, Italian and Spanish Mounting - Standard FUSION Puck Mount Supplied with Screw, Adhesive Pad & Puck Protective Cover for use when the StereoActive is not attached Dimensions - 236mm X 82mm X 139mm Weight - 1.3 KG
ADINA AMPHIBIAN DIVE WATCH NK142 S2XB
Specifications So an expedition paddle with no GPS, use of maps and compass only, what’s better than going old school and having an Australian assembled watch, that looks great and is functional at the same time.
Band: Exquisite feeling solid stamped stainless steel bracelet. Glass: Sapphire crystal promising unparalleled scratch resistance. Case: Cold stamped nickel-free all stainless steel case, featuring a distinct black directional turning bezel. A clear back case sets off the automatic movement. Movement: Swiss made ETA 2824-2 Automatic movement. Water resistance: 20atm - swimming, showering and of course on adventures of almost a any kind. Dial: Polished steel indexes, glowing supaluminova on black background. Crown: Heavily protected at the 3 o’clock position is a steel, internally threaded screw crown, offering unrivalled water and dust protection. Diameter/thickness: 39.24mm/12.94mm
Imagine Paddle Surf Company
Dave Kalama and the crew at Imagine provided us with 2 inflatable SUP’S. Seriously great boards, can be used in the surf, rivers or bays. If you are looking to make adventure paddling part of your stable of activities, these guys have all the gear.
The RAPIDFIRE DLX, incredibly well constructed, stable as a fly fishing platform and great for the rivers and creeks encountered.
DOUBLE SIDE-WALL RAILS - added stiffness and durability. CARGO BUNGEE - Stow your gear securely and easily within reach. RAIL AND TAIL KICKS - Kick pads on the rail and tail sure up your footing in rough waters. DIAMOND GROOVE EVA DECK-PAD - Brushed eva pad provides great traction and a comfortable ride. AUTOMATIC RELIEF VALVE - Protects your board from damage due to over-inflation KICK -UP SKEG - Navigate shallow waterways without getting hooked up. DIMENSIONS - 9’6” x 36” x 6” 321 LTR
The ICON DLX , proved to be the workhorse of the expedition. Easily carried and additional 40kg of gear and still tracked incredibly well. We even had it fitted with a mast base so we could use a windsurfer sail if we had prevailing winds that did not happen.
DOUBLE SIDE-WALL RAILS - Provide added stiffness and durability. CARGO BUNGEE - Stow your gear securely and easily within reach. DIAMOND GROOVE EVA DECK-PAD - Brushed eva pad provides great traction and a comfortable ride. AUTOMATIC RELIEF VALVE - Protects your board from damage due to over-inflation TOOL FREE FIN SYSTEM - Tool-free fin system takes only seconds to install. DIMENSIONS - 11’ x 34” x 6” 356 LTR 10’2” x 32” x 6” 307 LTR
RADICOOL “We at Radicool Australia are dedicated to the reduction of skin damage including skin cancer caused by over exposure to UV radiation though sun protection clothing.” What a great statement that is. In fact I have to say that the day I did not wear my leggings I got burnt really badly… there is a le
We wore this gear as a protection layer from head to toe.All day everyday for 5 days. The clothing took a pounding, 10 hrs in the water each day and stood the test.
They have a great range of hats, caps, tops and bottoms to suit everyone - Men, Ladies and Kids.
Who would have thought that 100% pure Australian Merino lambs’ wool, untreated and lanolin rich could make hiking so much more enjoyable.
Part of training for the Solomon Island paddle incorporated hiking at least 20km a week. I had suffered with hotspots and sore toes and the occasional blister.
From the first time I introduced this into my routine all of the above has disappeared.
There are sunglasses and then there are “sunglasses”. Tonic Eyewear definitely fits the 2nd category. We had the RISE supplied to us for the expedition. Reality is that with the amount of time spent on the water and the glare all day these were perfect.