GearJunkie: Running Wild, Well-Ventilated, and Free: CamelBak Zephyr Running Vest Review

By Mary Murphy From GearJunkie.com

GearJunkie editor Mary Murphy spent 8 weeks early in 2020 putting down miles while testing the new CamelBak Zephyr 10L running vest.

What do you get when you stick a frequent runner in quarantine? Well, ironically, more running. In the past 2 months, I’ve gotten creative with my running routine, and I’ve logged more miles per week than usual. Whether it was a quick morning jaunt or a long afternoon journey, a vest, to me, was essential.

Luckily, CamelBak had just launched a new collection of packs and vests. I tried out CamelBak’s Women’s Zephyr Vest ($150) to see how it performed over time.

Let’s Talk (Women’s) Specifics

Generally, I’m of the belief that gear for women doesn’t always have to be gendered (everything from hiking boots to climbing harnesses to skis.) But for gear that’s meant to hug your body during high-output activity and keep you comfortable for the long haul, women’s-specific is the way to go.

I do think CamelBak did a nice job with the vest’s women’s-specific design. Usually, slight differences between men’s and women’s vests include a fit narrower at the shoulder and slimmer at the torso, with more room at the chest area. This vest fits me extremely well in all three of those places.

The removable sternum strap (there are actually two) can be adjusted to your chest and height, and the side torso straps adjust easily while in place or running.

The vest fits two 500mL squeeze bottles. Depending on what else I was carrying, I stashed the squeeze bottles in either the upper mesh or midline stretch-cord pockets. (Although there’s a zippered security pocket intended for your phone, I preferred storing my smartphone in one of the stretch pockets for better accessibility).

For runs under 5-6 miles, one bottle was enough for me. For longer runs, I carried both squeeze bottles or slipped a 1L bladder into the main compartment. My advice with this vest: There are a plethora of configurations and options for carrying your gear and hydration, so find the one that works best for you.

How Does the CamelBak Zephyr Feel While Running?

I logged around 55 miles in this vest in total, and my favorite part of it is the body-mapped mesh. Simply put, the ventilation is amazing. I never experienced chafing or rubbing.

One feature of the vest that helped eliminate this is sternum strap loops at adjustable heights. In case you can’t find the right fit just by adjusting the torso straps, you can adjust the two straps above and below your chest, a great feature for women. 

Given its capacity, the vest weighs almost nothing — a light 7 ounces. I actually enjoyed running in this vest, whether on a trail or even around my neighborhood. (I’m the type of runner who finds myself frequently running farther than planned, so it’s always nice to have the essentials with me.) 

And in the age of COVID-19, that meant, at the very least, hydration, a pair of gloves, a travel bottle of hand sanitizer, and a clean mask for post-run.

CamelBak Women’s Zephyr Running Vest Specs

  • Capacity: 10 L
  • Compartments: One interior compartment, eight exterior pockets
  • Materials: Polygiene fabric, engineered knit mesh, BPA-free plastic
  • Accessories included: Two 500mL CamelBak stow flasks
  • Weight: 7 oz.
  • Price: $150

The Zephyr Vest Storage

The interior of the pack has room for a layer or two and bars, and maybe an extra water reservoir if necessary. It can fit up to a 3L reservoir. And in terms of price, you’re definitely paying for high-end materials. The stitching, buckles, and mesh construction are all solid.

After longer runs in hot conditions, I did, however, notice slight condensation on the interior of the main compartment. The first time, I assumed it was because the top compartment zipper wasn’t fully closed.

The second time, I guessed it was due to heat and humidity. It only happened twice. The more important note is that the mesh body paneling (the stuff against your shirt/skin) wicks sweat away very well.

I used the exterior mesh pocket on every run to stash a pair of gloves. Nothing ever jostled around, and the mesh pocket is deep enough to stow multiple small items safely. This storage was still super helpful for items I didn’t need within immediate reach.

Final Comments

I only have one complaint: the incorporated safety whistle. A whistle (helpful for those who run alone and during races that require safety devices) was on a loop just long enough that it bounced against the top sternum buckle, making a soft clicking noise while in motion.

My solution was to just tuck the whistle out of the way, but you could also try re-adjusting the pack. This probably wouldn’t be a concern for all runners, as I think it had to do with the height of that top strap (the third loop down).

Everything else on this vest — the light and breathable materials, the pocket placement, the functionality — were all great and super helpful when carrying anything besides a set of keys.

On my longest run, I was able to fit all of the following items: two 500mL CamelBak squeeze bottles, a phone, earbuds, a pocket knife, a bottle of Purell (thanks, coronavirus), a few energy gels, my EpiPen, my travel wallet, gloves, and a windbreaker. There are also bungees to secure trekking poles if you so choose.

So if you’re a female runner looking to run longer distances and want a comfortable vest for along the way, I recommend trying the CamelBak Zephyr on for size.

How Yakima Knows Its Racks Will Fit On Your Car

By James Riswick From AutoBlog.com

Yakima’s Fit Team scouts car news and dealers to get settings and instructions on its site ASAP

As I’m writing this, Autoblog won’t get its first drive of the all-new 2021 Mercedes GLA-Class for another 11 days. It’s as new as a new car can get. And yet, I already know that my Yakima FullBack bike rack will fit on the liftgate. I even know that I’ll need to use hub setting 5 and will be limited to 60 pounds of bike. There are pictures, too.

That’s because Yakima’s Fit Team is seriously on top of things. Although they can coordinate with manufacturers ahead of time, such as with the 2021 Ford Bronco and Bronco Sport, most of their “fits” are determined by simply getting access to the cars at dealerships and determining which of Yakima’s products will fit and, if they do, identify instructions for customers of the car and product alike.

“We follow new releases,” said Yakima fit technician Taylor Thompson. “We’re looking at all the (sites) for news about the upcoming vehicles that are coming out. Part of our job is knowing when those vehicles are going to be hitting the lots, because we’ve got to get our hands on it and be able to tell people where to place (the products) on their car.”

Sure enough, a new GLA recently arrived at Mercedes-Benz of Wilsonville near Yakima’s headquarters in Lake Oswego, Ore. As one of the Portland-area dealers Yakima has a relationship with, the Fit Team was soon on the scene to size up the redesigned subcompact crossover.

“We could look at a car yesterday on the lot, and we’ll come and get that fit entered in, and our website is populated with information the next day,” Thompson said. “So you have close to real-time information. It makes us very nimble and quick to the consumer.”

The site in question is yakimatech.com, and it’s not just for the newest cars for sale. They have fits going back decades, with a 1976 Porsche 924 the oldest one listed on the site. More helpfully, it makes it very easy to see which of Yakima’s products will fit a car you already own and then provide the appropriate product settings for your car if necessary. In many cases, there are diagrams provided (usually for roof racks and rails) or pictures of cars on dealer lots (usually bike racks like my FullBack). The latter is a terrific idea to make sure that what you accomplished by following the instructions matches what the Fit Team managed with the same car.

After all, getting the right fit is paramount.

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Gear Patrol: Design Experts Say This Is the Best Water Bottle of 2020 – CamelBak MultiBev

When a jury of product design experts awarded the best new products of 2020, the list included both Ferraris and this travel mug.

Earlier this year, when a jury of product design experts revealed its selection of the best-designed items of 2020, the list included a sleek office chair, an e-bike for commuters, three Ferraris and, somewhat surprisingly, a travel mug. The mug in question is CamelBak’s MultiBev, and calling it a travel mug — or any one thing at all — is somewhat misleading.

That’s because the MultiBev is a two-in-one drinking vessel. CamelBak built it as an insulated water bottle with a non-slip base but engineered its lower half to include a removable cup for portioning, sharing or using as an alternative to single-use vessels at coffee shops. The removable cup even gets its own lid, which is made of flexible, food-grade silicone that stashes inside the MultiBev’s main cap. That little compartment might even count as a third use, as it’s spacious enough to contain snacks, tea or a small wad of cash.

Water Woman and Yakima Rackpack’r – Kayla Lockhart

For as long as she can remember, Kayla Lockhart has always been drawn to the water. Born and raised in Minnesota, she was the only one of seven sisters to gravitate towards the hunting and fishing her dad loved. “I didn’t have the easiest childhood, and I would use the outdoors as a tool for healing,” she says. “When things were tough, I would seek out water and walk to the lake. Luckily, in Minnesota there’s always a lake nearby.”

A committed angler, Kayla is constantly on the move in search of new water and new challenges. In 2019, she got a lot of both. “Last year I experienced some intense highs, and some serious lows,” she says. “I got married, fished incredible water in Colombia, and caught my Holy Grail of fish in Mexico. But I was also in a serious car accident and went through some really down days. Now I’m looking forward to a slightly less crazy year.” Knowing her, it may be less crazy, but probably not less busy.

A Year of Gear

Going through a few vehicles in one year, Kayla definitely put her Yakima set-up to the test with her on-the-road lifestyle. “We road trip every year to Jackson, WY, and last year on the way home our brand-new van broke down—like all the way broke. We had to buy a new van to get home,” she says. “Then a few months later, we were hit by another driver and that van was totaled.” Luckily, the van suffered the worst of the accident.

“Honestly, I was dreading the transfer of our rack system,” recalls Kayla, “But it was so easy! We just unlocked the racks and switched it all over to the new vehicle.” Kayla uses a combo of a SkyBox 16SlimShady Awning, and LoadWarrior cargo basket to carry her gear and keep her camp dialed, but she’s most fired up about her newest Yakima addition: the DoubleHaul“I’m super excited about the DoubleHaul rod carrier!” says Kayla. “It’s so nice to be on the river and when you’re ready to check out a new spot, just slide your rod in and move on.”

Fishing Line = Lifeline

There’s plenty on the list for her in 2020, including another trip to Mexico, but it’s a project closer to home that she’s really excited about. “In the summer of 2020 I’ll be helping launch the Portland, OR chapter of the Mayfly Project,” Kayla says. Founded in 2015 in Arkansas, The Mayfly Project is a non-profit organization that uses fly fishing as a catalyst to mentor children in foster care and give them tools to manage their mental and emotional health. “I grew up as a foster child, with some challenging family circumstances,” says Kayla. “I didn’t start fly fishing until I was in my 20s, and I fully believe if I’d discovered it when I was 10, it would have helped so much.”

Kayla knows firsthand the positive impact of holding a rod, and the power of community to help people navigate challenges, both of which have guided her to a life connected to the water. And she’s committed to expanding that community, to help protect the outdoors she loves. “The more people fly fishing and caring about the waters, the more people who can give a voice to the fight to protect our watersheds and our natural resources,” she says. Spoken like someone who knows how to read the water.

Men’s Journal: Outdoor Retailer 2020: The 10 Coolest Products We Saw This Year

From Men’s Journal by The Editors

Every January, the companies that make winter gear, including skis, boots, jackets, and more, gather in Denver at Outdoor RetailerOpens in a new Window. to show off their latest technology and designs. Gear will hit shelves at your local retailer between the day the show doors open and next fall and winter. We combed the aisles for the latest and greatest, and this is a sneak peek at the gear we’re most excited to put to the test for ourselves.

Yakima CBX SOLAR

Designed in conjunction with Sunflare, this is the first commercially available cargo box to hold your skis and other gear that can also power your campsite. The box has an integrated 36 Watt 5 Volt (3 amp) solar panel that’s permanently affixed to the box lid and powers two USB connections. Other innovations include the removable torque tool that eliminates knobs, clicks when the box is properly installed, and that stows out of the way of gear storage. A new open/close lever features a handle that’s easy to grab even with gloves on. The glossy anthracite box has a matte micro-texture and streamlined shape.

Available later this year $1299

Yakima Grand Tour Cargo Box

Yakima Grand Tour

For those who like to travel in style, GrandTour elevates cargo box design with a premium, sleek look that doesn’t sacrifice superior functionality or exceptional capacity. It offers best-in-class features like a torque knob that takes the guesswork out of a safe and secure attachment to your vehicle. That same knob is also fully removable, helping to take full advantage of the flattened interior floor for maximum internal usable space. The beautiful shape and automotive finish that compliments your vehicle make GrandTour the perfect addition to your next grand tour.

Grand Tour will be available at your local Yakima dealer this month.

PRODUCT DETAILS
  • Removable torque limiting knob ensures a safe and secure installation
  • Market-leading internal usable space with an unobstructed flattened floor provides more space for your gear
  • Optimized hatch clearance for better vehicle fit
  • Internal lid stiffeners for durability and easy open and close
  • Dual-sided opening for easy access on either side of your vehicle
  • Integrated interior tie-down points
  • SKS Locks included for added security
  • Distinctive automotive badging
  • Made in the USA
Grand Tour 18 Specs:
  • 18 cubic feet of cargo space
  • Weight: 58.00 lbs
  • Dimensions: L 91.00in x W 37.00in x H 17.00in
  • Minimum Crossbar Spread: 24in
  • Maximum Crossbar Spread: 38in
Grand Tour 16 Specs:
  • 16 cubic feet of cargo space
  • Weight: 51.00 lbs
  • Dimensions: L 79.00in x W 35.00in x H 18.00in
  • Minimum Crossbar Spread: 24in
  • Maximum Crossbar Spread: 36in

Outside: The Coolest New Gear from Winter Outdoor Retailer 2020 – Yakima CBX

From Outside Online by The Editors

We know winter is well underway when the Outside gear team heads to Denver for the Outdoor Retailer Winter Show. Here, the outdoor industry—retailers, media, and brands—is already hyping up products for winter 2021. Our editors are on the show floor this week, sifting through thousands of items to bring you the highlights, starting with our picks for Gear of Show. Here’s what we’re most excited to test out.  

Yakima CBX Solar Cargo Box ($1,299)

For serious outdoor aficionados who inevitably load up their car with gear, rooftop boxes come with some serious pros and cons. Namely: you get more storage space but lose valuable real estate for heavy-hitting upgrades like solar panels. Yakima solved that issue with the CBX Solar, the first mass-produced cargo box with an integrated sun-powered sheet on top. 

Its lightweight Sunflare panel is 36 watts (five watts of power with a three-amp max), enough to power your spare batteries and electronics from two USB ports (there is no built-in battery to store the charge). Yakima claims the panel works great in low-light situations but exact charge times have yet to be determined. And there’s no loss of space in the carrier: it features 16 cubic feet of cargo room, comparable to its non-powered boxes, and is long enough to hold up to 185-centimeter skis. Plus, it opens from both sides and is easy to install on any type of crossbar. 

There are plenty of car-rooftop solar options out there, but if you want simple installation, added storage, and a tidy little amount of juice for life on the road, the CBX Solar is a smart solution. We can’t believe no company made this sooner. 

2020 SKI Magazine Editors’ Choice – SCOTT Vapor & Symbol 2 Plus D

SKI Magazine editors used, abused, and reviewed a lot of gear this season. Here’s what stood out on a trip to Sun Valley.
By: SKI Magazine Editors Dec 13, 2019

Every season, SKI’s editors take a break from their desks to practice what they preach—skiing. Our annual Editor’s Choice trip is an opportunity for our staff to put boots on the ground and do some in-depth gear testing, as well as preview new and exciting things that are happening at ski resorts around the world. These trips have taken our staff to some pretty far-flung places, including Chile and Japan, but this year we headed somewhere closer to home: Sun Valley, Idaho.

Why Sun Valley? Because it’s got everything, from classic resort slopes ideal for testing carving skis to accessible backcountry that beckons to powder hounds and ski tourers alike. We did our best to sample a little bit of everything Sun Valley and Ketchum have to offer and put a plethora of new gear through the wringer in the process. Here are our editors’ favorite pieces of gear of the season.

SCOTT Vapor Goggle With Amplifier Lens Technology

The best type of ski goggle is the kind you don’t notice wearing: no fog, no glare or visual distortion, and the world only seems less clear when the goggles come off—not while wearing them. The new Scott Vapor is this type of goggle, and it’s comfortable on the face to boot. $120

SCOTT Symbol 2 Plus D Helmet

The Symbol 2 Plus D helmet’s industry-leading RAS Fit System and integrated MIPS means it sits exactly where it needs to be when buckled up, and an intuitive ventilation system makes it easy to cool off—or warm up—without having to remove gloves. $220

For the full list check out: SKI Magazine 2020 Editors Choice

Yakima Acquires Road Shower

LAKE OSWEGO, Ore., December 5th, 2019 – Yakima, a pioneer in recreational cargo management solutions and outdoor specialty products, announced today that it has completed an asset acquisition of Road Shower, the leading on‐vehicle outdoor recreation water transport system. Through the acquisition, Yakima will take ownership of Road Shower’s intellectual property and existing inventory as it works to transition production to its own facilities.

“We are thrilled to add Road Shower’s proven products to our ever‐growing portfolio of industry‐ leading racks, cargo boxes, and outdoor specialty equipment,” said Yakima CEO Ryan Martin. “Road Shower is a natural fit for us in that it fulfills specific needs for a wide range of Yakima customers and facilitates greater enjoyment of the outdoors.”

Following on the heels of the launch or expansion of several key categories for Yakima—including Truck, Basecamp, and Sportsman—Road Shower offers utility and versatility to adventure campers, anglers, surfers, bikers, kayakers, and anyone who wants to keep their gear, their vehicles, and themselves clean while out in the wild.

“After four years of exploring options with Yakima, I couldn’t be happier to hand the Road Shower reigns to such a forward‐thinking, innovative group of people,” said Road Shower founder Joel Cotton. “I take comfort in knowing that the products I put so much into developing and bringing to market are now in such capable hands.”

Cotton began work on the first‐generation Road Shower in 2007 after a frustrating experience trying to clean up with a solar shower after a long day of riding Utah’s White Rim Trail. In fact, Cotton mounted his very first Road Shower to a Yakima bike rack for transport. Fast forward 12 years and Road Shower is now in its fourth iteration, available in 4‐, 7‐, and 10‐gallon capacities.

“One of the things that drew us to Road Shower, aside from its quality, is the entrepreneurial spirit that went into its development,” said Jonny Wood, Yakima Product Manager, Automotive & Expansions. “Yakima came from humble beginnings, too, founded in a Yakima Valley machine shop some 40 years ago. We’re big fans of Joel and his vision and are excited to continue his great work.”

Road Shower will be available for purchase at Yakima.com beginning December 12th.

To learn more about this newest addition to Yakima’s product offerings, please visit Yakima.com/roadshower.

PRODUCT DETAILS
  • Available in 4, 7 & 10-gallon sizes.
  • The Patented Design is built strong with welded aluminum construction and durable powder coat finish.
  • Brass water connection fittings.
  • Large top-cap allows for easy filling.
  • Pressurize the tank through the Schrader air valve or a garden hose.
  • Pressurize with hand or electric pump – Built in pressure relief valve safely and automatically tops out at 65 psi (max).
  • Included garden hose adapter harnesses the pressure of your home water spout and fills and pressurizes at the same time.
  • Includes a stick-on thermometer strip for the outside of the tank.
  • Includes two outlet water ports, one on each end, for convenient water access.
  • Included Hose Lengths: Small and Medium 55”, Large 81”.
  • Integrated lock loops allow you to lock RoadShower to your roof rack.
  • Stainless steel universal mounting hardware fits all Yakima® crossbars and most other roof racks.
  • 1-year Limited Warranty.
  • RoadShower SM with 4 gallons of water – 53 lbs.
  • RoadShower MD with 7 gallons of water – 84 lbs.
  • RoadShower LG with 10 gallons of water – 120 lbs.

Rack It Up: Yakima Shows Up with Latest Products for Adventure-Seekers

From TractionLife.com By Graham Heeps

Yakima’s Ford Ranger project truck for the 2019 SEMA Show had the LockNLoad platform rack and HangOver bike rack. Photo: Graham Heeps

Few More Reasons To Hit The Outdoors

Yakima brought a bunch of new gear transport solutions to the recent SEMA Show in Las Vegas. 

In the spring of 2019, the Portland, Oregon based company introduced a range of truck racks that have proved to be a huge hit with pickup owners. All three are designed for use with the company’s new HD bars.

The racks are available in three heights. Bedrock HD mounts flush to the top of the bed – ideal for transporting bikes, cargo boxes or a rooftop tent, with up to 300 lb on-road carrying capacity.

The fixed-position, mid-height Outpost HD is great for overlanding, when you want to keep a lower centre of gravity, but still want to carry up to 300 lb of gear – or up to 500 lb on-road.

OverHaul HD for the pickup fans

OverHaul HD truck racks are height-adjustable.

The third option, OverHaul HD, carries as much as Outpost but is fully adjustable to support loads up to and beyond the cab height. Yakima says that multiple tie-down points and the ability to fit most truck beds – plus compatibility with Retrax XR tonneau covers – contribute to Overhaul’s outstanding functionality.

And as with Bedrock and Outpost, once the bases are fixed in place, the rack can be unlocked and removed when not required, without needing to reattach the bases for every use.

The versatility of the LockNLoad Platform

The LockNLoad platform rack can be customized with all manner of accessories.
Photo: Graham Heeps

Another star of the SEMA booth was the LockNLoad platform rack we featured here, which was introduced in late-September after a couple of years in development with Yakima’s team in Australia.

Tested on backroads in the Outback, the low-profile rack is said to major on versatility and comes in six sizes to suit all types of vehicles, from a Subaru Crosstrek to a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van. 

Yakima’s familiar T-slots – in the frame and in the slats – make it easy to install accessories like a perimeter rail kit, spare wheel holder or light bar brackets, or the platform can be customized with a kayak or bike rack.

Yakima’s new GrandTour Cargo Boxes adds new streamlined products to the lineup

Sleek and modern, the GrandTour is a premium addition to Yakim’s Cargo Box Collection.

Finally, Yakima provided a sneak peek of the new line of GrandTour Cargo Boxes, which will be available from February 2020. Featuring a sleeker, more streamlined design, they’ll be available in 16 and 18-cu.ft. capacities. There’s dual-sided opening for easy access and a torque-limiting wrench to avoid stripping the fixings during installation.

Hit up Yakima’s website to learn more.

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