Andy Best – Dometic CFX-40

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For most people, the idea of bringing your seven-month-old daughter on a three-day overlanding trip through the remote Utah desert would be unthinkable. For photographer Andy Best, it’s just another Friday.

“Our daughter is amazing,” says Andy. “We’re lucky. We’ve been able to travel since she was three days old. It’s amazing for me to be able to take our daughter to these places and really see them through her eyes.”

After seven years working in commercial filmmaking, Andy decided he and his wife would sell everything and live full time on the road. During that time, he learned about what gear was essential to live mobile; what consistently worked, and what didn’t. But over all that time, going through all that gear, Andy never got around to installing what he now considers an essential part of his rig: a Dometic CFX 40.

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“On the road, I have to be efficient to function,” says Andy. “When I lived out of an ice cooler, I’d always lose food because the ice would melt. I can’t tell you the amount of food I’ve ruined in coolers – from running out of ice or getting things soggy and wet. It’s crazy.” The Dometic CFX has helped Andy do more than he ever imagined.

“As an outdoor filmmaker and photographer, I really need to stay out for long periods of time, to study, look at angles, look at the sun, or see when the moon is rising. If I don’t have the right gear I can’t stay out and get the work done. The Dometic CFX has been a huge game-changer for me.”

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Staying out longer helps Andy professionally – but most importantly, it helps his family stay together while he’s working. “When you’re living out of an ice cooler in the desert, it really limits the food you can bring,” says Andy. “One of our favorite things now is to make a big meal and save the leftovers. Then we can move fast, get lost and work for a few days, and have the leftovers whenever we want. That feels like cheating, it’s so easy.”

“With the right gear, you can be out a long time, even with a young child,” says Andy. “I’m hoping that these trips build a foundation where she wants to come out and enjoy these places and maybe someday, pass that forward to her own family… Someday. Not soon.”

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If you want to keep following Andy and his family, check out instagram.com/andy_best and andy.best.

Find out more about: Dometic Mobile Coolers and the CFX-40W

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CamelBak Chase Bike Vest Review

The following is by Ben Delaney from BikeRadar.com

A Hydration Solution for Gravel Racing

Endurance running, gravel racing and the original premise of the CamelBak converge in the Chase Bike Vest. If you are riding gravel events and like the concept of being able to drink with both hands on the bars, then CamelBak hopes the 1.5L Chase Bike Vest works for you.

Yuri Hauswald, winner of the 2015 Dirty Kanza 200 in camo jersey here, helped design the Camelbak Chase Bike Vest for gravel racing

Hydration High and Tight

Of course, you can use the Chase Bike Vest however you like, but the concept came from Yuri Hauswald, winner of the 2015 Dirty Kanza 200 gravel endurance race. He liked the idea of having extra fluid-carrying capacity that didn’t feel like a backpack.

Starting from CamelBak’s Ultra 10 running vest, which sits high on the back and has storage on the chest, Hauswald and CamelBak fine-tuned the design for something that would stay in place while racing, wouldn’t feel hot or heavy, and of course would provide an easy way to drink while keeping both hands on the handlebars.

With a total capacity of 4L / 250 cu in, the pack is on the smaller side, but still large enough to carry a couple of inner tubes, tools and food in the back pockets, plus more food and/or your phone on the chest pockets.

The 4L pack sits high on the back, so you can still reach your jersey pockets

Two stabilizing straps across the chest slide independently up and down.

The material that touches the body on the back and under the shoulder straps is an open mesh with a fair amount of loft to it, to allow for more cooling than a solid material.

CamelBak Chase Bike Vest: How it Feels When Riding

As far as hydration packs go, the Chase Bike Vest is relatively light and airy on the back. It sits securely over rough terrain and can be adjusted for height on the back as well as tightness around the chest.

Still, 1.5L of water on your back plus supplies is a noticeable weight and presence. On a four-hour gravel ride in the Arizona desert, the Chase Bike Vest didn’t exactly disappear on my back, but it wasn’t annoying, either.

Basically a modified endurance run vest, the Chase Bike Vest has front storage and double stabilizing straps

After going through the two bottles on my bike, I was happy to have the extra water in the CamelBak. And, of course, it is convenient to be able to drink while navigating unknown terrain, both hands securely on the controls.

The hose has a quick disconnect to the bladder, so you can quickly switch if need be. and the bite valve has a lock switch too.

As with all CamelBaks, cleaning the bladder isn’t as simple as sticking a water bottle in the dishwasher. The large screw-on cap is wide enough to get a hand inside to scrub, but then you need to wedge something in the cleaned bladder (like the hose) to help the inside dry.

The main selling point, however, is what CamelBak has always offered — a way to drink with both hands on the bars

Ongoing Testing: Gravel Riding and Racing Ahead

As a roadie, I like to travel as lightly as possible, using the bike for carrying water, tools and spares, whether I am riding pavement or dirt. That said, I also don’t like to be stuck in the middle of nowhere without enough to drink.

As with some of my other colleagues, like multi-time DK200 finisher Josh Patterson, I’ll be doing more gravel events this year, where I will continue to test the Chase Bike Vest. I’ll report back here soon.

Specification

  • Hydration Capacity: 1.5L/50 Fl Oz
  • Hydration Type: CRUX™ Reservoir With Quicklink™ System
  • BPA/BPS/BPF Free: Yes
  • Quick Link Disconnect: Yes
  • Gear Capacity: 2.5L/150 Cu In
  • Pack Weight: 330 G/0 Lb 11 Oz
  • Dimensions: 33 X 32 X 14 Cm / 13 X 12.6 X 5.5 In
  • Fits Torso: 71-116 Cm/26-46 In
  • Number Of Exterior Pockets: 8
  • Price $100

Yakima HoldUp EVO – Available Now!

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Yakima HoldUp EVO

Fast, secure, and easy to use, the HoldUp EVO is built to handle new bike standards, like fat tires and boost hubs, but it easily carries the classics too. The StrongArm hook secures the bikes at their wheels, protecting carbon frames and painted surfaces.  Tilt the rack with bikes loaded for quick rear-of-vehicle access using the new easy to reach tilt lever and KickStart™ foot pedal. The super-simple locking SpeedKnob™ makes install a tool-free breeze and included SKS bike locks keep your mind at ease.

PRODUCT DETAILS
  • Hitch mounted tray rack that loads quickly and carries two bikes without frame contact
  • NEW Easy-access tilt mechanism and KickStart™ foot pedal make raising and lowering the rack a breeze, even with bikes loaded
  • NEW Tool-free locking SpeedKnob™ makes installation and removal fast, easy and secure
  • StrongArm hook secures bike at wheels, protecting painted surfaces and carbon frames
  • Easily adjust trays to reduce bike-to-bike interference
  • Fits most bikes, including fat-tire, mountain, road, hybrid, women’s specific, BMX, kids’ bikes, & E-bikes under 50 lbs.
  • Accommodates disc brakes, through axles, boost hubs, and full suspension bikes
  • Fits 20” to 29” wheel sizes and tires up to 5” wide
  • Integrated SKS (Same Key System) locks included for added bike security
  • Carry four bikes – just add the HoldUp EVO +2 (compatible with 2” version only)

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Never Forget Essential Camp Gear Again

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Anyone else feeling seasonally confused lately? There’s still fresh snow in the mountains, but the hint of springtime in the air has us itching for upcoming warm-weather camping escapades.

The slightly warmer weather and resurgence of your hay fever sneezing means it’s time to play storage closet Jenga and haul out your camping gear. But it can be easy to forget essential items when packing for your first car camping trip of the season. Season after season you end up having to get creative after somehow forgetting can openers, wine keys, or even forks. The solution: a camp cooking “go bag.”

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WHAT IS A CAMP COOKING “GO BAG?”

Also known as a “bug out bag,” “chuck box,” etc., it’s a container of your choice put together at the beginning of the season to make sure that you never forget essential camping items again. Keep it on hand in your gear collection, ready for anything from spontaneous weekend escapes to full-fledged bucket-list missions you’ve been planning out since you scored those permits back in January. A “go bag” means you can grab it and go, which makes your life much easier when it comes time to make like a tire and hit the road.

You want to pack your go bag with the items you usually forget but always need, like a lighter, wine opener, or GSI Kung Foon. The key to a go bag is to wash any camp gear when you get home from a trip (in a real sink–so luxurious!) and and put it straight back into your go bag once clean and dry – no one likes a go bag full of mold.

Note that this list is focused on camp cooking only–refer to our more comprehensive packing list here. It’s also based on the essentials, so think about any personal preferences you have and remember to add them to the list!

 

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HOW DO I GO ABOUT PREPARING ONE?

1. Obtain a “bag”, or a box, or bucket. We recommend a storage container that’s doesn’t dominate the car or make your dog feel cramped, but big enough to hold all your essential camp gear. (Unfortunately “storage container” isn’t as catchy as “go bag,” but you get the idea.)

2. Round up your current camp cooking gear and check it against the list below. Sometimes it’s extra satisfying to lay everything out on a table (or the floor if you have a massive gear closet) and gaze out at your hoard.

3. This is also a great time to take stock of any new gear you’ll need to purchase, or repairs to current gear that need to be made. Get these done, add them to your go bag, and you’ll be all set.

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THE GO BAG CHECKLIST

STOVE

Meet your new favorite stove! The GSI Glacier Camp Stove, with its downright sexy canister mount and powerful 11,000 BTU/h burner, you’ll be able to boil water with speed and style. You’ll also need:

  • IsoButane. Double check that it works with your stove, and determine if you’ll need to buy more.
  • Matches or a lighter. Pack waterproof matches to be extra prepared for any type of weather!

COOKWARE

There are a plethora of cookware options available depending on what kind of camper you are. Read our “GSI Cookware 101” post here, and learn about how to find your cookset soulmate here to choose what’s best for you.

If you’re looking for a cookset to do it all, the GSI Glacier Stainless Camper gets it done. Plus, its rugged stuff sack holds the set and doubles as sink/wash basin for easy clean up. It includes a complete set of cookware and tableware for 4:

  • 3 L Pot
  • 2 L Pot
  • Strainer Lid
  • 9″ Fry Pan
  • (4) 14 fl. oz. Mugs with Insulated Sleeves
  • (4) 14 fl. oz. Bowls
  • (4) 7.5″ Plates
  • 4 Sip-It Tops
  • Folding Pot Gripper
  • Welded Sink Storage Bag

Don’t forget:

 

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UTENSILS

Lucky for you, all your silverware and kitchen needs come in one convenient kit: the GSI Destination Kitchen Set 24. It’s compact, organized, lightweight, and has cutlery and utensils for 4, including:

  • Mini Cheese Grater
  • Collapsible Whisk
  • Pivot Spoon
  • Pivot Spatula
  • Utility Knife
  • 12 pc. Cutlery Set
  • Spicer
  • 2 Condiment Containers
  • Cutting Board
  • Scrubber
  • Camp Towel
  • Ballistic Nylon Case

Don’t forget:

  • Can opener
  • Wine key/bottle opener
  • Measuring cups/spoons

MISCELLANEOUS

  • Foil
  • Biodegradable soap
  • Trash bags
  • Tablecloth and clips
  • Cooler
  • Collapsible, reusable water container (GSI 20L Water Cube)
  • Vacuum insulated water bottle
  • Table lantern
  • Partyware
  • Playing cards

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RinseKit: Your Portable Hot Water Shower

From GiGadgets.com by Michelle Wang

Have you ever stuck in the mud but found nowhere to clean up after a long hike? Or had no access to clean water to prepare a dinner around the campfire? No worries. The RinseKit will properly have this trouble settled. It is a pressurized water tank with a six-feet hose hidden inside, making it an easy-to-transport gadget when you are heading for hiking, camping and more.

With its patented design, RinseKit retains the same water pressure as a conventional garden hose (55-75 psi), which allows the two-gallon water tank to be filled full without pump or electricity. Hook up the RinseKit to any faucet, which allows the water to be compressed and spring out from the nozzle through the hose. It provides a continuous spray for around five minutes before the tank dries up.

With six sprayer nozzle settings available, the RinseKit provides multiple functions to suit your demands. Either a dirty or sandy feet rinsing, or a muddy gear cleaning, the RinseKit has your requirements covered. But under the high-power “jet” settings, the water runs quickly, be sure to store enough water in advance.

Additionally, the device features a battery-powered heater system that quickly heats water in the RinseKit chamber to 100°F. With a full charge, the tank can hold heated water for hours, removing all the troubles that you may face with cold water. For example, you can take a hot bath before heading to bed even in a camp.

Outdoors fans may find the RinseKit useful in many ways. They can use it to wash away dirt, sand, and salt water after a sun bathing on the beach, give a shower to the dirty gear, pet or wash dishes without worrying about health issues. What is more interesting is that they can even measure the catch with a built-in ruler. The removable lid is also can be used as a standing pad or cutting board. No worries, its sturdy builds make this RinseKit durable.

Since RinseKit was created, it had grabbed media’s attention, and featured on ABC, USA Today, Fox, and more media outlets. Such an extensive coverage is partly a result of its user-friendly design, and most importantly, the inventor Chris Crawford’s dedication to bringing effective cleaning solutions for outdoor fans.

Yakima Grows its Multi-Platform Retail Training Program for 2018

The brand’s technical training program will reach even more retailers in 2018 through in-store events, clinics and expanded online content

From SNEWS By 

Yakima RackDawg Training Event

Yakima, the innovation leader in vehicle racks and cargo solutions, is continuing to demonstrate its deep commitment to its retailers with the expansion of its retail training program in 2018. The program includes both hands-on training at clinics and events across the country, and online training through the Yakima Garage and Brandlive.

“We far exceeded our retail training goals in 2017, and we’re excited to maintain that momentum and reach even more partners in 2018,” said Matt Swainbank, Events and Training Manager at Yakima. “Our goal is to provide all of our partners with unparalleled support, and we have created a diverse array of educational options. From our RoadWarrior team of brand and training representatives located across the country, to our industry-leading full-day RackDawg training events, to the ever-expanding online Yakima Garage training site and new for 2018, live video training in partnership with Brandlive.”

At the center of Yakima’s retail training program are the RoadWarriors, a traveling team of dedicated brand and training representatives across the country. In 2017, this team trained more than 4,000 retail employees in cities across the country through hundreds of clinics and 17 RackDawg events. RackDawg is a full-day training event that is free to all retailers. It includes sales and product training, hand-on technical installation, with lots of Yakima-style fun mixed in.

Led by Yakima’s RoadWarrior field team, the Yakima vehicle fit team, and Yakima sales representatives, RackDawg embraces the spirit of the brand, arming retailers with the know-how they need to give their customers the best experience possible. The RackDawg program kicked off in February in Austin, TX and continue throughout the spring nationwide.

“Yakima has shown a wide-ranging commitment to having the best trained Rack Attack employees through RackDawg and in-store training seminars. These efforts have translated into us having the most knowledgeable staff providing great service and expert installs for our customers. In return for these efforts Yakima has seen some great sales growth across their range in our 12 stores,” said Graeme Paterson, president of Rack Attack.

Yakima’s online training portal, the Yakima Garage, is even more robust for 2018 with more content than ever, including a library of sales and installation videos, company news, and quarterly sales contests.

New for 2018 is the addition of live product training events from Yakima headquarters and key tradeshows, in partnership with Brandlive. These live retail training sessions, broadcast to Yakima’s dealer network, allow the company to be nimble and train retailers on new products as soon as they are available.

“For many years, Rock/Creek has been the beneficiary of a multitude of training opportunities created by Yakima. Whether is been their dedicated tech reps, the RackDawg program, or the Yakima Garage, we’ve always seen the value in participating in these programs. There is a direct correlation between these opportunities and how it translates to rack sales within Rock/Creek,” said Jonathan Scott, co-owner of Rock/Creek Outfitters.

Added Scott, “One of the biggest reasons we appreciate these events is the fact that it reminds us who our true partners are. Thanks to this hands-on training, we can differentiate ourselves from the rest of the retailers out there, as we have gained the knowledge to take care of the customer in the best way possible by having the best trained and most knowledgeable staff. We are appreciative of Yakima going the extra mile to help make us stand out.”

Upcoming 2018 RackDawg Events

  • Thompson, CT – 3/28/2018
  • Cincinnati, OH – 4/5/2018
  • Lansing, MI – 4/12/2018
  • Salt Lake City, UT – 4/17/2018
  • Bay Area, CA – 4/24/2018
  • Denver, CO – 4/24/2018
  • Tampa, FL – 10/24/2018

For more information on RackDawg training, visit yakima.com/rackdawg. To register for an event, visit yakimagarage.com, or contact Yakima at roadwarrior@yakima.com.

About Yakima

Yakima Products, Inc. is a world leader in vehicle racks and cargo solutions for a variety of consumers, from outdoor enthusiasts to car aficionados. The company offers variety of cargo management products, including racks for bikes, boats, ski equipment and other gear, cargo boxes and bags, rooftop tents and awnings, and high performance multi-sport trailers. Yakima Products, Inc. is headquartered in Lake Oswego, Oregon. For more information, visit www.yakima.com.