Snugpak Gear Review

Is Snugpak the holy grail for compact camping gear?

 

From the tundra of the Arctic Circle to camping in your backyard, Snugpak has you covered with a wide selection of gear.

 

I brought the MML 3 Softie Smock and the Tactical 2 Sleeping Bag along on a recent adventure. The MML 3 Softie Smock is a pullover, insulated jacket, which is extremely compressible for convenient space saving during packing. The fabric is super comfy and kept me warm throughout my trip. It is rated from 0 celsius comfort to -5 celsius low. Thus, it keeps you warm in some of the coldest climates. While at Prudhoe Bay, I only needed to wear an under shirt and the MML 3 Softie Smock while exploring the Arctic Ocean. This created a perfect combo, along with my riding jacket for the outwear, for my trek to the far north.

MML 3 Softie Smock at the Arctic Ocean

The tactical series of sleeping bags gives you everything you need and nothing you don’t. I was on the quest to find the most compact, space saving sleeping bag which would still provide me with the low temperature rating needed for my trip. I found the cost to be reasonable when comparing it to other brands, which attempt to compete with its size and temperature rating, but cost significantly more.

Tactical 2

Compressed size

Something that I personally feel strongly about, and place my full support behind, is a company with traditional values and heritage. To my knowledge, Snugpak is one of the last companies of its kind which still engineers and produces several products at their vintage mill dating back to the 1800’s in West Yorkshire, North England. Because of this, the products come with reassurance that the price you are paying is supportive of workers being paid a fair wage to produce a quality product with pride instead of a bunch of machines doing the job.

So again I ask… is Snugpak the holy grail for compact camping gear? Why yes, yes it is.

 

To view the full US product line, click on the link below:

http://www.proforceequipment.com/product.php?brand=snugpak

Dalton Hwy

 


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Golden Tyre GT723 Review

 

So, probably one of the most controversial topics I could blog about is motorcycle tires. Coming back from Alaska, I swapped out my K60 Scouts in Montana for Golden Tyre’s just released GT723s to continue some off-road riding in Idaho and Utah before heading home.

Before I ramble on about my experience, I would like to share the below paragraph which was sourced directly from the Golden Tyre website.

“The GT723 was originally designed as a purebred race tire for the most demanding rally stages on the planet. Its perfect balance of grip and road manners have created a confidence inspiring race tire that is now used as the best adventure tire on the planet. Adventure riders throughout the world have found that the exceptional grip and durability has been paired with an unmatched level of longevity not found in traditional race tires. Adventure riding covers a wide variety of terrain and the GT723 has you covered anywhere your adventure leads!”

So does this tire live up to their ad? Well, that’s debatable and is based entirely on your riding needs. I’ve broken this down into three sections: The good, the bad, and the ugly.

The Good (which is actually great) – Off-road riding with this tire on my R1200 GSA was amazing! I tackled a variety of terrains including super slick mud, rocky sections, gravel, hard-pack, and the dreaded sugar sand.

The Bad – On-road capabilities are what you would expect with a full knobby tire. Highway speeds will be reduced initially, but improve after the tires have had a chance to break-in.

The Ugly – Holy heck, these things are scary when they are first mounted! The knobs flex a lot making you second guess yourself.

Right after I left the dealership, I was riding two-up and fully geared. As soon as I began driving, an uncomfortable feeling came over me as I felt very little control over the bike on the road. The tires have full knobs which caused a great deal of flex and difficulty with safely maneuvering the bike due to the amount of weight on it. After checking into the hotel, I removed my panniers and did some solo riding around town on the pavement to get a better feel for them. They improved slightly, which gave me hope.

The following day, my passenger flew home and I continued to Wyoming to visit Yellowstone National Park before hitting Idaho. My highway speeds were initially limited to 65 MPH due to almost experiencing a fishtail feeling in the handlebars, which continued to worsen with more speed. I did not want to chance losing control of the motorcycle on the highway, so continued at a slower pace for roughly 200 miles. I eventually started to notice slightly less feedback on my handlebars and was able to gradually increase my speeds. After traveling for another 400 miles, I was able to open the bike up to 90 MPH without having that feeling of losing control.

 

I made my way down to Idaho where I met up with the guys at KLIM and stripped my bike of excess weight. We left KLIM HQ and rode off into some great terrain, which put these tires through a series of great off-road riding tests.

It didn’t matter what terrain we encountered: Slipperier than snot mud, rocky single track, or gravel, these tires were excellent. The ride was almost everything I could have hoped for to get an accurate account of exactly what these tires could handle.

After leaving Idaho, I continued to travel on the road to Utah to attend the 2017 BMW MOA Rally. The tires continued to perform better on the road over time, and I experienced a lot less road issues than I had at the beginning. I want to say that my overall mileage with the tires was between 900-1,000 at this point.

I left the MOA Rally and returned home to complete my testing of the tire in some of the most challenging terrain one can find… Florida sugar sand! I figured I would drop the bike a lot so I removed all my panniers, and mirrors in preparation for the inevitable fall(s). I met up with my buddy, Alberto, from Florida Outdoor Adventures, at Croom Motorcycle Park. He assisted me by videoing this experience for your viewing pleasure. Before I embarked on this challenge, I dropped my tire pressure on the front down to 27 PSI and the rear to 30 PSI.

For those that don’t know, Croom is a large fenced-in park for motorcycles, ATVs, and Side-X-Sides.

After the camera gear was setup, I headed off and started my run in the big open sand pit, which looks like something out of Star Wars. It was quite entertaining seeing everyone stop in their tracks to watch me attempt this. It was probably the first time anyone has seen a 600 lb. motorcycle in the park, let alone in the sand pit!

Once in the sand pit, I was 100% focused. I took Big Bertha around, hit some large whoops, practiced starting from a dead stop, and managed to leave with all of my extremities intact, due to a miraculous lack of falling.

Follow the link below to witness the pure amazingness that was Croom:

https://youtu.be/NkBfwW40gUk

Who do I recommend these tires for? Someone doing serious off-road riding. These are purposefully built tires for the ultimate off-road challenge. I might go as far as saying that these are the best off-road tires I have ever experienced.

If you’re interested in purchasing these tires, below is the link to their website:

https://www.goldentyrewest.com/adventure-rally


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KLIM TK1200 Karbon Modular Helmet

Hi there!

As Mrs. 2wheeladv, I am #blessed with the opportunity to travel the world two-up, and have also had the privilege to start testing out some gear of my own! What better time to do so than on the 2017 Arctic Circle or Bust Tour?

I traveled for a total of 2.5 weeks and spent 12ish days on the back of the Beemer. I took in the breathtaking sights, sounds, and smells of Alaska, The Yukon, British Columbia, Alberta, and Montana. It went from freezing cold rain to hotter than the Canadian wildfires, so I had a wide range of experiences.

 

Rock climbed to the top of a glacier and ticked off a few friends in the meantime? Check.

Rode the Denali Highway in all its dusty glory? Check.

Saw a deer saunter through our campground? Check.

(Deer said, “No pictures, please!”)

Tested out the new Klim TK1200? Double check.

Not gonna lie, it was a bit daunting to test out a new helmet on such a long journey, but it worked out swimmingly with zero regrets.

Pros: 

-Lightweight and did not get caught in the wind (thus, no sore neck). I did not experience wind turbulence as I have with other helmets.

-Great at temp control due to the easy to operate vent adjustments (kept cold air out and cool air flowing during hot days).

-Loved, loved, loved the transition lens (one less screen to have to finagle with and kept my fair skin protected from the sun, as well).

-Chin strap clasp was easy to hook and release in a jiffy, which was much more convenient for me when hopping on and off the bike to see the sights, as compared with the annoying traditional loop and lock strap on the Shoei and most other modular helmets which have cramped my style in the past.

-Quiet helmet when compared to my previous modular helmets.

-Reasonably priced at $599.99, especially considering all of the features that this helmet has to offer.

 

Cons (which were not really cons, but rather minor, personal preferences):

-Difficult for me to wear my cheap-o earplugs due to the snug fit around the ears/cheekbones when pulling the helmet over my head. It is unclear if the issue would have been improved had I brought along a pair of those fancy, schmancy custom ear plugs like the hubs wears.

-Fogging would have been a major, but fixable, issue in the cold rain if I had been driving (anti fog spray or pin lock would be needed, which I did not bring along on this trip).

Overall, it is a versatile helmet and is also good looking too. 😉

Till next time, ride safe!

With our new Colombian friend.


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