If your one who can appreciate the full worth of a cozy nights sleep after a long day of hiking or bicycle touring then you wouldn’t have much of a problem blowing air into this sleeping pad. The Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite is one of the most comfortable sleeping pads I slept on. We spend a 3rd of our lives sleeping so why not do it comfortably while out camping. I know some of my best sleeps were spent in my tent in the outdoors after a long day of hiking or biking.
Before I started using the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite sleeping pad my nights were spent sleeping on the Ridge Rest SoLite closed cell foam pad. While that is a great pad with an effortless setup, I wanted something more compact and lightweight to accompany with me during bicycle touring trips. When you’re out on a bicycle touring trip or hiking you want to go light. The idea is to leave the kitchen sink at home and cut your gear in half. While many variables exist here in terms of your gear setup. Cutting down weight on certain items can change your entire experience.
Space was a concern for me with my Ridge Rest SoLite as it’s not very compact at all. The Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite was the answer. Weighing at only 12oz for the regular size pad and about the size of my Camelbak water bottle I was able to pair this pad with my tent inside of a my dry bag and mount it to my handlebar system during tours.
Recently I went on a bicycle touring trip to the Catskill Mountains. At night temps were in the mid 40-50 degrees Fahrenheit. With the 3.2R value and ThermaCapture technology that the NeoAir XLite boast I had no problems with keeping warm and cozy in my tent.
Now if you’re a side sleeper like myself then this is without doubt one of the best pad’s out there. I sometimes toss and turn around at night to find the coziest spot in my tent. I had no problems redefining comfort, which means more time is spent sleeping under the stars.
If you’re looking for an ultra light setup for camp, bike and hiking trips, look no further.
Just two years ago when I did my cross-country U.S. trip that took me 75 days I brought the entire kitchen sink with me. An image of what that looked like is seen below. Since then I’ve lightened up my gear after going on several shorter trips in the U.S. I think everyone on their first tour tends to bring everything they can in hope to not forget anything. But what I’ve learned is to pack whatever you need and then cut it in half. Packing for a bike trip is very much similar to packing for a camping trip, except your going to need a few extras like tubes, tools and perhaps an extra tire if your going on the long haul.These tools should help you in fixing even a small motor repair. Here is what I brought with me on a 5-day bicycle-touring trip in Virginias Blue Ridge Mountains.People who trips in cars like 1964 impala ss convertible have enough boot capacity to keep all their belongings under one hood.
Camera/Lighting Ricoh GR(This is my go to camera for street photography and highly recommend it.) Headlamp Front/Rear Lights Batteries
Clothes Shorts Thermals Puff Jacket/Rain Cycling Jersey/ Big Underwear/Socks Cycling shoes/ Altra Running Shoes
Tools Compass Pump/Tube/Patch kit/Tire levers Allen key set Bungie/rope Knife
The Sea to Summit dry bag is one of the staples in my outdoor gear arsenal. They are such versatile bags that can be used for storing clothing, electronics, food and all other valuables you have from bad weather. They also make great garbage storage bags for overnight camping when tied to a tree protecting you from bears. The two that I use are Sea to Summit eVent and 30D Ultra-Sil dry sack.
The 30D Ultra-Sil dry sack is a lightweight bag designed to compress your gear without adding unnecessary weight. The bag uses a ripstop siliconized Codura fabric That’s super lightweight and durable. I use this bag to store all my clothing and other small items if needed. I put this bag in my Osprey backpack for camping trips or my Revelate Designs Viscacha saddle bag for bike touring.
I’ve had my Sea to Summit eVent well over 3 years now and my 30D Ultra-Sil for two. They have served me very well and have never failed in keeping my gear dry. If your looking for something more durable the eVent dry sack is the way to go. It’s a tougher fabric. If lightweight and ultra compression is what you’re looking for I’d go with the 30D Ultra-Sil. Do you have other dry bags you use and recommend? Leave a comment below and we’ll share them.
The Altra Lone Peak 3.0 is a trail specific shoe that boast many attributes as a light hiking shoe. When I decided to go for comfort on my trail hikes I was in the market for something with a nice wide toe box and comfort that can sustain itself for hours on end. I was already running and walking in the Altra Instinct 3.5 which is a very light weight shoe with a wide toe box. If you know Altra, you know that they produce a natural foot designed shoe that gives your feet a good splay in the toe box. This pretty much how I discovered Altra. I needed a shoe that would aid my toes to splay better over time in the shoe. This will eventually help with posture, your stride when walking, and over all comfort and healthy feet. Talk about embrace the space, they provide comfort, zero drop which in respect is a barefoot styled shoe with cushioning.
My first Altra shoe was the Instinct 3.5. I used this shoe for everything from runs to bike rides along with long day hikes. I wanted something for mountain bike trail rides, bicycle touring and hikes. It had to be something that can meld to me feet and active lifestyle, rather then having melding to it. The Altra Lone Peak 3.0 was the answer. When I first got these shoes I put them on a trail run. Now I’m not a trail runner at heart, but I was stunned at how comfortable they were. Over roots and rocks they over delivered. My next test was to take them on an upcoming trip on the Kokopelli Trail for a 5 day bikepacking trip. They did everything they needed to.
I used platform pedals for the ride which makes it easier to get on and off the bike. The ridged sole gripped the pedals effortlessly. I was surprised to see how well they gripped when we had to cross over wet rocks. With 6 to 9 hour days of riding, these shoes were so comfortable that I would forget they were even on.
To Sum It Up:
If you’re looking for a shoe that’s extremely versatile, light weight, stylish and sporty, and easy to get on and off. Go for the Altra Lone Peak 3.0. They’re a many color options available for men and women to meld to your lifestyle. Check out the link below to view the shoes we have in stock.
With 3 pockets to work with for packing your essentials for long days in the saddle, it’s a great way to focus on the necessities and the things you may end up needing when your out riding when you least expect it. For this post I’ll be focusing on 3 categories, which are Food, maintenance, and Safety. Let’s start with food.
If I’m going the long haul and plan to do a 75 to 100 mile day I will pack a Cliff Bar, Cliff Organic Energy food which in this case I have the beet, banana and ginger which is a great taste, and 2 to 4 dates. Dates are great because they are high in sugar and will provide you with enough calories to keep you going during your rides. They are simple to pack and small to stuff in your jersey pocket. Depending on which side your comfortable with grabbing these items, I tend to stuff my food in my left jersey pocket.
My center jersey pocket contains my pump, spare tube, Co2 cartridge/ adapter and tire lever. I often carry a second spare tube in my saddlebag in any event I get a second flat. That bag also contains a patch kit, extra Co2 cartridge and valve extension.
Lastly my right jersey pocket houses my mobile phone and wallet. I use a water resistant mesh pouch to store my mobile phone. I sweat a lot on hot summer days and the last thing I want is my phone to suffer from damage due to it seeking in. A small wallet containing I.D. credit card and cash is also stored in the same pocket or you can check here moneybump.co.uk.
This setup can be modified to you liking and is based off of seasonal riding. During the colder months you can bring a light wind vest or rain jacket to stuff in your center jersey pocket. You can also couple that with your air pump by simply wrapping the jacket around the pump to save space.
When I first slipped into the POC Raceday Aero Jersey I knew I finally found a jersey that not only fit perfect, but also looks and works perfect. It’s and Aero Jersey that feels like it and aggressive when showing up on raceday. Since then I haven’t tried much of anything else. It was my go to jersey in my small collection of cycling gear. For 2016 POC Sports introduced the Fondo Light collection, which is now taking up real estate in my closet. The Fondo Light jersey is made of a light polyester fabric that wicks away sweat for those hot and long days on the saddle.
The POC Fondo Light Collection comes in four series (Cuba, Napa Valley, New York and Rio De Janeiro) each symbolic of their region. I of course went with the New York series, which is my native location.
What I love most about the POC Fondo Light Jersey is its form fitting lines. POC pays close attention to detail without sacrificing the important variables, which are performance, style and safety. It’s a classic style jersey with slightly shorter sleeves than the Race Day line. The under arm has a nice mesh fabric for ventilation that provides you with plenty of airflow for a cool ride. It has three large rear pockets that will pack all the essentials for those extended rides. POC adds their signature reflective logo on the rear pocket for added safety and visibility at night. That’s the security I’m talking about in a jersey.
This is my second POC jersey and I couldn’t be happier with it. The New York series color way shares a gray scale color scheme, which touches home for me. I’m a big into photography and this reminds me of when I shot Black and white film. If you’re interested in the POC Fondo Light Jersey I highly recommend it. You won’t be disappointed with it. Visit the online store following this link to purchase.