Ah, summer is right around the corner, and it already feels like it’s here with higher than average temps for many places. We recently traveled to Hawaii for the first time in years and got the chance to test out some fantastic travel/hiking/nutrition products on the garden isle of Kauai. We gave this gear a thorough knock-around, from hitting the trails in Waimea Canyon to snorkeling off Poipu Beach to dodging aggressive chickens (yeah, Kaui is known for its wild chickens).
Seaview 180 V2 Full Face Snorkel Mask ($69)
The Seaview 180 V2 Full Face Snorkel Mask might look more like a space helmet than traditional snorkel gear if you are an old-school snorkeler. We tested out the V2 on Poipu Beach during some rough water conditions but took a few practice runs in the pool first. The first thing to know about this mask is that you absolutely need to get your sizing right, or you will not get the seal you need to create a good fit. The full face mask takes some getting used for those who have only used mask/snorkel combos; getting it on and getting your breathing right takes a few tries. We floated around the pool for about ten minutes to start the test, and everything seemed fine, great field of view, no fogging, minimal leaks after getting a good fit, and relatively easy to breathe. Things got a little tricky once we got into the ocean due to the choppy conditions and more exertion due to swimming in the waves/chop. Once we got past the breakers and into a rhythm, things got a bit easier, and although conditions were a bit dusted up on the bottom, we still had an excellent view. So if you are looking for the latest in snorkeling tech and want a wider field of view and the ability to breathe with your nose, this mask/snorkel hybrid is excellent for most entry to intermediate level snorkelers.
- 180° Maximum Visibility
- Breathe Naturally
- Anti-Leak Design
- Fog Resistant
- Action Camera Mount
- Auto Drain
- Fully Adjustable
- Designed & Tested in the USA
Seaview Kradan Mask and Snorkel Set (39.99)
For those looking for more of your standard mask and snorkel kit, the Kradan set is an excellent choice for both advanced and novice users. The kit comes with a mesh bag, and the snorkel breaks down to create a compact solution if you are trying to travel light. For a more advanced snorkeler, the Kradan features a DryValve Buoy design that allows you to dive without taking in water, and if you do, the Quick Drain Purge Valve will enable you to clear the water quickly. The Kradan mask is also much easier to take off, and in deep water, if you need to defog or get your bearings, we would recommend this model over the 180 V2 for open water swims, especially for newbies.
- Quick Drain Purge Valve
- Split-Lock Collapsible Snorkel
- Splash Guard Cage
- Wide View Visibility
- DryValve Buoy Design
- Adjustable Auto-Lock Strap
- Travel Friendly
- Durable Design
- Designed & Tested in the USA
Seaview Rawa Travel Fins (39.99)
Finally, a set of light and compact fins to travel with, yet still powerful enough for open water swimming. The Rawa Travel Fins pack down nicely and are lightweight, so they don’t eat up valuable weight limitations for your luggage. The side clips/straps allow you to quickly find a comfortable fit and easily get the fins on and off, even in the water. Keep in mind you are making a trade-off with the Rawas; what you lose in size/weight, you also lose in power and length, so this might be something to consider for more serious users. Overall the wide toe box and flex were comfortable for longer sessions and allowed us to power around Poipu Beach in the current and make quick dives to the bottom.
- Compact Design
- Adjustable Sizing
- Auto Locking Straps
- Flex Fin Material
- Wide Comfort Toe Box
- Durable Construction
- Travel Friendly
EZQuest UltimatePower 65W GaN USB-C PD Wall Charger (49.99)
When on the go, it’s essential to charge your devices quickly, and the 65W USB-C charging station with GaN technology from EZQuest gets it done along with simultaneously charging 1 USB-C and 1 USB-A device. The wall charger features a folding US wall plug and includes an EU Converter plus a high-quality 2 Meter USB-C cable and is compact compared to most chargers with this much power. The charger also will prevent your devices from being damaged with smart power conversion and an industry-leading over-current, over-voltage, over-temperature, and short-circuit protection.
What can you power? 65W is capable of charging a single MacBook Pro 16-inch at 65 Watts. If you use both the USB-C and USB-A ports simultaneously, you will get 45W/12W. This charger supports QC4 +, PD 3.0, QC3.0, QC2.0, PPS, AFC, Apple 2.4A, FCP, and SCP charging protocols.
This wall charger is worth every penny for travelers demanding compact and high-powered efficiency.
LIVSN – Flex Canvas Short ($79)
The Flex Canvas Short is the perfect mix of technical and tailored, so you can push the limits on the hiking trails or break out to Hamptons in style. Built off the success of their pants, Livsn takes the same features that made their pants so great and makes them, well, shorter. The slight flex makes hiking comfortable, and the ample pockets allow you to stash your phone, wallet, keys, etc., with ease and minimal bulk. We like that the pockets are somewhat stealthy, so you don’t look like “captain cargo shorts” and that the inseam (8.5″) is the perfect length. We tested the Flex Short in various conditions, dressing them up for dinner and pushing them on the hiking trails of Waimea Canyon, and they performed like champs and looked great with a Reyn Spooner. If you are looking for a pair of shorts that work hard and play hard (in style), then hit the buy button.
Cool Features – Reflective tape on the inside of the shorts can be flipped up and used at night so you can be seen easier at night, along with an internal security pocket to keep your cash stash.
- Durable and highly mobile outdoor shorts with a tailored fit
- Built to be versatile, comfortable, and tough
- Made with sustainable 8 oz EcoFlex Canvas
- Useful features subtly integrated
- Reinforced and refined construction
DeckerXLabs Men’s X-SCAPE NBK Mid Hiking Sneaker ($200)
If you are looking for a hybrid shoe that will provide the comfort of a sneaker with the trail performance of a hiking boot, the X-Scape Mid is your new best friend. These mid-top sneak/boots feature a grippy Vibram® N-Oil Litebase sole made from 90% natural ingredients that give you traction on the trail and the concrete. They are also water-resistant, incredibly light, and fit alongside today’s chunky sneaker styles so you can easily transition from the trail to the festival. We tested ours out in Hawaii on the trails of Waimea Canyon national park, which is filled with narrow and muddy terrain. The X-scapes held their ground and provided a comfortable ride the entire time, with no blisters or discomfort after doing 15+ miles in brand new boots.
Essential Elements Hydration Variety Pack ($44.99)
Recently, the market has been flooded with hydration powders, all promising rapid hydration with additional supplements like vitamin c, etc. We have tried many of them; some are good, some are awful, and some are excellent, and Essential Elements falls into that category. During the summer months, it’s easy to forget about drinking water and staying hydrated with all the good times we are having, from outdoor activities to one too many adult beverages. Hydration supplements like Eè Hydration can be powerful tools to help you stay energized and feel good when pushing yourself harder than usual. One packet daily along with 8-10 glasses of water will most definitely do the trick, and we tested these out on some long humid hikes on Kauai, where it’s easy to lose water from sweating in high humidity.
Essential elements® Hydration features a combination of apple cider vinegar, sodium, potassium, and buffered vitamin C to ease digestion. The electrolyte formulation helps your body maximize water absorption into the body and create efficiency, so you stay energized. Yes, electrolytes are real and effective when used correctly! The variety pack offers three funky flavors like Blue Raspberry Lemonade, Watermelon Cucumber, and Yuzu Lime, all with zero sugar.
Many might balk at the hefty price, but this is the going rate for high-quality hydration powders and about the same price per serving as a bottle of Gatorade with much higher quality ingredients/nutrients. You are worth it, and you will feel significantly better if you stick to a good hydration plan and use this supplement right before exerting yourself.
Kate’s Real Food Bars Variety Pack (29.88)
So we love Kate’s Real Food Bars so much that we will feature them again! Look no further if you are looking for a high-performance snack made from all-natural, whole food ingredients that tastes incredible. Kate’s Real Food Bars are the perfect companion on the trail, ski lift, or while traveling for a quick and filling snack that will give you the boost you need vs. empty calories and processed ingredients found in most packaged bars/snacks. We HIGHLY recommend getting the variety pack so you can find your favorite; good luck! If we had to choose, we will go with Mango Coconut.
- Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate
- Peanut Butter Milk Chocolate
- Peanut Butter Hemp & Flax
- Dark Chocolate Cherry & Almond
- Lemon Coconut
- Mango Coconut
Helinox Introduces Blue Bandana Collection (Various MSRP)
We are big fans of Helinox and use their camping chairs regularly when we are out glamp campin’. Just in time for summer Helinox has partnered with Artist Tae-Hun Kim to create a custom blue bandana print for their latest collection of camping/glamping furniture.
The furniture collection consists of a range of the brand’s most popular outdoor furniture styles rocking a custom bandana print developed exclusively for Helinox by artist and advisor, Tae-Hun Kim.
If you are looking for a stylish piece of kit that is light weight, durable and extremely functional for your outdoor endeavors, whether it’s at a music festival or by a lake – this collection is worth a click.
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“I’ve been influenced by this pattern since I was very young, when I used to wear a bandana as a hood or around my neck for hiking, and the bandana has always been part of my outdoor kit,” said Kim. “We drew on the deep history of the bandana pattern and created a new design that also reflects the ethos of Helinox furniture – inspired by nature and designed for anytime, anywhere.”
The new blue bandana print is available across a core range of Helinox’s lightweight, packable furniture and accessories including Chair One, Sunset Chair, Incline Festival Chair, Table One Hard Top, Cot One Convertible, Origami Tote, Bloncho, Toasty, and Chair One Seat Warmer, with prices ranging from $59.95 for the Seat Warmer to $349.95 for the Cot One Convertible.
The new Bandana Collection is available at select retailers and online at:
So there you have it, our first installment of what we hope to be many summer gear guides. If you get the chance to check out any of these products we would love to get your thoughts, please share at email@example.com. In the months ahead we will be hitting up the Outdoor Retailer Trade Show to get the scoop on what’s coming for Fall/Winter and get out some updates on the summer’s best camping and festival gear for 2022.
If you didn’t get a chance to check out our Spring Gear Guide, you can check it out HERE.