A video review of the ultralight Moon Lence backpacking / camping chair. We love this chair! it’s lightweight & easy to set up. Get yours here.
Luxe Tempo 4 Person Tent Review
We were excited to pick up the Luxe Tempo 4 person tent. It arrived well packaged and in a stuff sack as you would expect. The first thing we noticed was that the stuff sack had compression straps and a handle so you could carry it like a duffel bag which is cool.
What’s in the bag:
- Rain fly
- 2 main poles
- 1 pole for rain fly
- 14 aluminum tent pegs
- 6 neon guy lines
We opened up the stuff sack (tent comes out through the top), and pulled out the tent, aluminum poles, pegs, & rain fly which were all bound by a strap. The first thing we noticed was how light the tent material itself was. Another cool thing we liked, was that the instructions were sewn into the top of the stuff sack.
We laid out the tent and started setting it up. The aluminum poles went together as if they were magnetic (gotta love new elastic!). The poles slip easily int a grommet in each corner crossing at the top. Instead of feeding the poles through a flap, there are clips to hold the sides of the tent to the poles which makes for a much easier set-up. The tent went up very easily and without any issues. We unfolded the rain fly and draped it over the tent. The rain fly clips into each corner and has a strap for adjustments. The rain fly features two vestibules and 2 vents that pop up for increased circulation. After we installed the rain fly, we installed the pole for the fly. In hindsight, we should have done the fly pole first before setting up the rain fly, next time. We staked down the 2 vestibules, popped up the vents and attached one of the guy lines.
What we lined about the tent:
We really liked the size of this tent. At just under 8′ x 7′, this tent has plenty of room. Add the 2 vestibules into the mix for gear storage and you have more than enough room for everyone. This is sold as a 4-person tent, but 3 people can sleep comfortably. (see my article on tent sizes here) We also really liked the weight of this tent. At 7 pounds, and given it’s compact size when in the stuff sack; it will easily fit into a back pack without too much pain. You could even split up the components between hikers if you were back pack camping to distribute the weight even more. When the rain fly is foo, the whole top of the tent is a fine mesh. Small enough to keep the bugs out, and awesome for star gazing! We also liked the fact that there are 2 doors! No more climbing over your tent mate and waking them up in the middle of the night. Not only are there 2 doors, but they are HUGE! Most of the wall on the door side is the door itself. In each corner of the tent there is a pocket for your “stuff” (flashlight, glasses, phone, etc) which is really a cool feature. The gear loft at the roof of the tent inside is also cool. We were able to put our headlamps up there and light up the whole tent without accidentally looking at the other person and blinding them.
What we would change:
The only thing we could think of that we would change is the rain fly opening. When you stake down the rain fly at the bottom of the zipper, you have to squeeze through the slit of an opening. We are fairly agile here at Camp Gear Center, so it wasn’t a big deal. We could see it being a point of potential damage to the tent at this area.
This is a great tent! We didn’t get any rain so we cant attest to the “waterproofness” of it, but if the rest of the construction is any indication, we have no doubts that we would stay dry in this tent. With the amount of ventilation, we also doubt there would be much condensation in cold weather camping either! Below are some additional pics of the features:
You can purchase this tent here
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We were recently given the opportunity to review Ultimate Survival Technologies’ folding stove. This stove burns the solid fuel hexamine type tablet. Hexamine tablets burn smokelessly, have a high energy density, do not liquefy while burning and leave no ashes. This stove doesn’t have to be used with the tablets, but that’s how we tested it.
First impression of the folding stove
We opened the box to pull out the metal folding stove all folded with the hexamine cubes inside. (We sell each separately). The folded stove is about 4-1/2″ x 3-3/4″ x 1″ thick and weighs approximately 4 oz without the cubes. It’s a nice compact little stove. We decided to unfold it and see how long it would take to boil 12 oz of water.
The instructions say to use 1-2 tablets, so we used 2!. We figure if 1 is good, 2 is better!
Lighting the hexamine tablets proved to be a little tricky since the wind was blowing pretty well. A little research determined that these tablets don’t like the wind. We agree. We sheltered the wind and lit the tablets. After about 30 seconds, they were burning pretty well so we added our pot with 12 oz of water.
In hindsight, we should have angled the sides in to support the pot which it probably said to do in the instructions. Reading instructions was never a strong suit. To our surprise, the water started steaming within just a couple minutes; and by just over 5 minutes, we had boiling water. We probably could have used 1 hexamine tablet and achieved similar results. If we had though, we wouldn’t have melted the plastic coating on our handles! It is also advised to use this stove on a non-flammable surface. We accidentally set a few pine needles on fire that didn’t get moved.
what we like:
This little stove has a couple things that we really like. 1. it is lightweight. Weighing in at about 4 oz, it is almost as if it’s not even in our pack. 2. The size. This stove is nice and compact and fits in the smallest of our pack pockets. 3. It cooled off quickly. We expected the metal to stay hot for much longer than it did once we removed the fuel tabs. It was cool enough to put back in our pack within 5 minutes (the air outside was cool, which may have helped that).
What we would change
When we lit the stove, there was a “chemically” smell. We’re not sure if it was the metal stove being used for the first time, our pot handles melting, or the hexamine tabs. Further use will clarify this question. We will post updates after further use to let you know if the smell continues.
This is a cool little stove. The tablets burn for about 18 minutes which seems to be plenty of time (you can add another just after for longer cooking). The tablets also fit neatly inside the folded stove keeping everything contained. This is an inexpensive little stove that does a great job at what it’s supposed to do. You can purchase the stove here and the hexamine tablets here.
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Here at Camp Gear Center, we like our coffee. We also like our coffee to be (and stay) hot. Many travel mugs we have tried tend to loose heat quickly so we were excited to test out the Liquid Hardware Auroratm travel mug.
Travel Mug Details:
- Vacuum Insulated- COLD 24 hours HOT 12 hours
- Magnetic Quick Stick Lid™ tether allows you to quickly attach your lid to the bottle’s side
- Food grade 18/8 stainless steel and BPA free
- Easy to hold in your hand and fits in car, golf cart, SUV etc. cup holders
- Triple layer vacuum insulation technology – does not sweat!
- Drink spout quick pops open for drinking and securely snaps shut to seal your bottle
- Leak-proof lid design
- Wide mouth opening is easy to clean, easy to fill and add coffee, tea, hot cocoa etc…
- Fits most back country water filters that are Nalgene compatible
- Lifetime guarantee
- USA patented and international patents
Upon opening the box, my first impression was how stout this mug felt in my hands. This mug just feels solid. The lid fits snugly and seals to the mug well. The magnetic lid is cool! As per the instructions, I washed the mug and lid and was able to magnetically attach the lid to the mug to let everything dry. Inside the box was the mug, the care and handling instructions as a band around the mug, and a Liquid Hardware sticker.
The next morning, I filled the mug with coffee and went out to start my day at approximately 8:00 in the morning. During the next few hours of normal sipping, the coffee remained consistently hot. While many travel mugs I have tried usually cool off pretty quick, causing me to drink my coffee faster than I would prefer.
Hot Water Test:
That evening, I filled the cup with hot water with the intent of seeing how long it would stay hot. Keep in mind, this is a completely unscientific experiment. I started at 6:15PM with hot water in the cup and the temperature was 193.5 degrees.
The next morning, I tested the water at 6:45 and the temperature was 98.4 degrees. While this is not “hot”, it is still warm and other mugs would be much colder. Again, I want to stress that this experiment is is no way scientific. I am using a candy thermometer in a room with an uncontrolled temperature (I think it got down to 57 in the house last night). Besides, who uses their travel mug in a comp[letely controlled environment?
What We Like:
This travel mug kept my coffee hot for the few hours I sipped it. I have used other travel mugs that cool off before I get 3 miles down the road. The wide mouth is great for filling the mug; less chance of missing the opening and having to clean up a mess. The magnetic “tether” is really cool. Not only does it keep your lid in place, but it has a rubberized covering that keeps the bottle from getting scratched. At 16oz, this mug is the perfect size. Stainless steel is the way to go for hot drinks; plastic can leach chemicals into your drink. The lid is BPA-free plastic (your drink doesn’t spend a lot of time in contact with it). It fits your hand well, fits in all the car cup holders and is the right amount of coffee, tea, or whatever warm beverage you’re enjoying.
What We Would Change:
I honestly can’t think of anything to change on this travel mug. If I could add 1 enhancement, it would be a handle that could be clipped on to the outside of your pack, or maybe different color options. It already comes in black and brushed stainless steel, but I can imagine other stainless colors coming down the road.
In conclusion, this is a great travel mug! For all the reasons listed above, you can’t go wrong with this product. Liquid Hardware is a company concerned with the environment and offer a lifetime guarantee on their products. You can purchase this travel mug here (link).
LED Headlamp Review
Here’s a video of a cool little headlamp I picked up recently at Amazon. Because we like to work with our hands while camping (or anything else), we love headlamps. Headlamps are an essential part of our camp essentials. For the complete list, click here. This little headlamp is pretty awesome. It’s bright, it has multiple modes, and it won’t break the bank! Click here to get one for yourself! Oh yeah, be sure to subscribe to the YouTube channel and our mailing list.