Mountainsmith Tour Lumbar Pack Review

Mountainsmith outdoor products are designed in Golden, Colorado which is only a couple of miles from where I grew up. I love that this review hits so close to home. For this product review, I tested the Tour lumbar pack.

What is a lumbar pack? It is Mountainsmith’s quintessential waist pack that pioneered this product category almost 35 years ago. Don’t call it a fanny pack or a bum bag. It is far from that. Instead, this pack has made me rethink what it means to travel light in the mountains. Read on to find out more about this great piece of gear that should be in every outdoor enthusiast’s gear quiver.


Mountainsmith Tour Lumbar Pack

Price:

$79.95 MSRP
Colors: Heritage Black, Otter Brown, Deep Blue, Lichen, and Asphalt Grey

Ratings:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5/5) Comfort & Fit

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5/5) Versatility

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5/5) Durability

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5/5) Value

Overall Rating: 5.0

Summary:

Overall, it was a great experience using the Mountainsmith Tour Lumbar pack for hiking. Keep reading to find out what I carried in it and how it performed in each of the rating categories.

MY REVIEW

First impressions out of the box were solid. What I mean is that the pack felt well designed and it wasn’t as heavy as it looked. Every inch of this pack was well thought through when it was built and the materials used were top-notch. I could tell right away that I was in for a treat.

As Mountainsmith would say, the Tour pack is “Forged For Life” meaning that it is built to last just like all of their other products. Their commitment to durability is impressive and it is visible in both the materials and craftsmanship used in this pack.

The fabric used in the production of this pack is Cordura® HP. When compared to other popular materials like nylon or poly, it excels in both abrasion resistance and anti-tear strength. It is also water resistant. The material is firm, yet very comfortable when the pack is worn.

The waist belt is well padded, soft, and flexible for a great fit. It has a high level of comfort and includes a small zipper pocket on the right side which is great for a compass, a mobile phone or a small satellite communicator.

Using the included shoulder belt, a consumer can add additional stability by throwing it over one shoulder and cinching it down. This belt also adds an additional level of comfort while on the trail. Throw it over one shoulder with the waist belt tucked in and it doubles as a carry bag for around town.

The Tour pack is extremely versatile. On one of my hikes, I was able to carry water, portable stove, fuel, base layer, fire starter, compass, mobile phone, and a puffy jacket. I had additional room for other small items in the main compartment, inner sanctum™, and in the front zipper pocket.

My favorite feature of this pack is the ability to shrink down and tighten up the load with the bottom panel compression straps. They can also double as a spot to carry an alpine bivy.

Mountainsmith left nothing out of this pack. It includes easy to use pull tabs on the zippers, an internal clip for keys, front panel bungee system, and two large handle straps on the top for easy hand carrying. They literally thought of everything with the features of this pack. Oh, and I almost forgot. The interior yellow fabric makes it easy to see things inside the pack, especially at dusk and dawn when the light is flat. This and the features listed below are a fantastic feature set for such a small pack!

The only feature that I felt was unnecessary was the pass through headphones port. With technology these days, it seems like the majority of people now have bluetooth headphones so this would not be needed in most cases.

An added bonus for this pack would be to include a small, packable rain cover. That would make me more comfortable tossing in my DSLR camera or an extra lens.

Pro Tip:

It’s not obvious at first, but the outer bungee cord is perfect for stuffing a jacket onto the outside of the pack so that it doesn’t take up precious internal pocket space. Simply scrunch up a jacket, place it under the bungee cord and cinch it down.

Here’s a quick list of features on the Tour lumbar pack direct from the Mountainsmith website:

FEATURES

  • Backpanel stash pocket ideal for securing passport, boarding pass, etc.
  • Patented Delta Compression System load adjustment
  • Side reinforcement bottle pockets (Fit up to 32oz)
  • Inner Sanctum™ interior zippered compartment for small valuables
  • Front panel bungee attachment system
  • Zippered front panel pocket with key clip
  • Bottom panel compression straps
  • Bright yellow lining promotes interior visibility
  • Strapette compatible (sold separately)
  • Headphone port
  • Bar tack reinforcements
  • YKK® Zippers
  • 3M™ Reflective Cord

MATERIALS

  • 610d Cordura® HP
  • 210d Nylon Embossed Liner

DIMENSIONS

  • 11.5″ x 10″ x 5″ / 29 x 25 x 13 (L x H x D)
  • Waistbelt Width: 1.5″
  • Waistbelt Circumference: 28″ – 48″

VOLUME

  • 550 cubic inches / 9 L

CAPACITY

  • Up to 12 lbs

WEIGHT

  • 1lb 9 oz / 0.73 kg

Pros & Cons:

👍 Pros

  • Affordable price
  • Great design
  • Comfortable fit
  • Lots of functional features

👎 Cons

  • No rain cover included

Mountainsmith Tour Lumbar Pack. A classic pack that can be taken on trail, travel, and everyday adventures. It is durable, reliable, comfortable, and carries the perfect amount of gear to support all of your favorite activities.

Visit your local shop or order online. Head on over to their site now and check out this great lumbar pack.

➳ Outdoor Prolink provided equipment and associated materials for this review. All photos are a courtesy of LaGuardia Adventure Photography. That’s me!

Truck M1 Ski Glove Review

Truck is an outdoor industry disrupter who offers six different designs at excellent prices. By selling direct to the consumer and cutting out the middleman, they are able to provide great quality at a low price point. For this review, I tested the M1.


M1 Ski Glove

Price:

$29.95 MSRP
Colors: Tan, Black

Ratings:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5/5) Comfort & Fit

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5/5) Durability

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5/5) Value

Overall Rating: 5.0

Summary:

Overall, it was a great experience testing the Truck M1 glove for skiing. Keep reading to find out how they performed in each of the rating categories.

MY REVIEW

First impressions out of the package were good, but I was skeptical. When I pulled them out of the package they seemed a bit thin. I wondered if they would hold up and keep my hands warm out on the slopes.

As Truck would say, “We know good design because we use it. We know good materials because we benefit from them. We know excellent durability because we need it. If we can create products that we believe in, we are certain you can believe in them too. We are proud to offer you high-quality gear at fair prices.” Truck’s commitment to building great products at affordable pricing is refreshing because it seems that most outdoor gear today is way too expensive.

As far as comfort and fit goes, the M1 delivers. The polar fleece lining on the inside is soft and plush. The outer goat leather is flexible enough to give you dexterity clipping buckles and zipping zippers out in the wild.

The palm and thumb section adds additional comfort when gripping poles.

In terms of durability, these gloves can be deceiving. They are thin and light so they seem like they won’t last. During my testing, I tried scraping them against trees and bindings as well as pulling on the seams frequently. Time will tell for sure, but so far I have been quite impressed with their all-around durability.

My two favorite features of these gloves are the suede nose wipe and the touch screen capability. I only wish that the touch screen capability was present in the index finger instead of the pinky. Who swipes and taps on their mobile phone with their pinky? That’s not very intuitive to me.

Pro Tip:

If you are looking for gloves that will keep you warm in extreme cold, you may want to try the Pro Mitten or Trigger models. The Trigger looks intriguing to me and I hope to have an opportunity to test a pair out on the next sub zero powder day.

Here’s a quick list of features on the M1 gloves direct from the Truck website:

FEATURES

  • Water-resistant Goat Leather
  • Anti-Wicking Continuous Filament Nylon Thread
  • 250g Polar Fleece
  • Breathable 4-way Stretch Nylon
  • 40g Polyfil on Back of Hand
  • Reinforced Palm and Thumb
  • Touchscreen compatible pinky
  • Suede Nose Wipe

Pros & Cons:

👍 Pros

  • Excellent price
  • Great design
  • Comfortable fit
  • Free returns and exchanges

👎 Cons

  • Minimal color options
  • Loop on outside of middle finger can get caught on bindings
  • Touch screen compatibility on pinky instead of index finger

Truck M1 Ski Gloves. A great pair of ski gloves at an affordable price which offer comfort, dexterity, and durability for your next mountain adventure.

Order direct online. Head on over to their site now and check out what they have to offer. You will be stoked!

➳ Truck provided equipment and associated materials for this review. All photos are a courtesy of LaGuardia Adventure Photography. That’s me!

Patagonia Lightweight Capilene® Baselayer Review

Patagonia Lightweight Capilene® Baselayer

I recently had the opportunity to try out a lightweight Capilene baselayer from Patagonia and it changed the way I think about my wardrobe. 

Since living in China, my family and I have often had many discussions about how we can simplify life and live with more of a minimalist mindset. What does this have to do with a baselayer you ask? A Lot! Read on… 

The Patagonia Lightweight Capilene® Baselayer is one of the most important articles of clothing when it comes to a layering system. If you don’t know how to layer clothing for your next adventure and wonder why it is so important, stay tuned for my up and coming blog post on the subject.

USE:

Perfect for just about any warm weather, outdoor activity to keep you cool and dry. However, it is also an important next-to-the-skin layer in cooler weather. 

PRICE:

$39.00 and eight different colors to choose from.

MY REVIEW:

My overall experience with this product was a good one. I put it to the test exercising outdoors and layering under a flannel during a day in the office. 

I also put it to the test in my closet. Once I realized that it takes up less space than the average T-shirt, weighs less and can be worn under just about any Fall/Winter top, I was hooked on a new idea. In minimalist fashion, I asked myself, “why do I need thirty cotton T-shirts? Can I narrow it down to seven (one for each day of the week) and not only wear it as a T-shirt in the Spring/Summer by itself, but also wear it as an under shirt in the Fall/Winter. I was pretty stoked by the idea of cutting down the amount of clothing I have in my closet and that’s how the minimalist mindset fits into this story.

When I first put the baselayer on, it felt soft on my skin and was light as a feather. I could also tell how the material would keep me cool in warmer weather. It almost felt like I had a superhero costume on so maybe it will also improve my athletic performance? 🙏

While exercising outdoors, I noticed that the material wicked sweat away like a windshield wiper does rain off of a windshield. Okay, that is a bit of an exaggeration, but it was very efficient in keeping my body dry.  This becomes very important when wearing it as a first layer under a mid and top layer in the Winter because if your body is not dry, you will get cold from that sweat on your skin.

Wearing the baselayer under a flannel was extremely comfortable too. Sometimes flannels can be a little bulky with a T-shirt underneath, so having that thin, soft layer made all the difference. It didn’t bunch up in the sleeves and didn’t catch on the fabric next to it.

I’m excited about my new strategy of minimizing the clothes I own and I owe it all to this shirt. I can also see how this piece of clothing will work for me over a wide range of outdoor conditions. I’m ready to get outside and conquer the next adventure!

PRO TIP:

Stuff this lightweight shirt into your backpack. You never know when you might need an extra out on the trails !

RATING:

👍 soft feel, super lightweight, good fit in the shoulders/arms and a stylish Patagonia logo at the bottom

👎 odor control seems like a bit of a marketing gimmick

SPECS:

  • 2.3-oz (80-g) 100% recycled polyester double knit with Polygiene® permanent odor control.
  • Fair Trade Certified™ sewing.
  • Fabric is certified as bluesign® approved
  • Capilene® Lightweight has a smooth face for easy layering and includes Polygiene® permanent odor control
  • Fabric’s open-grid pattern next to skin provides excellent breathability, moisture-wicking and dry time
  • Self-fabric crew at collar with internal neck tape for comfort
  • Locker loop for hang drying
  • Offset shoulder and side seams eliminate chafing under pack straps
  • Full underarm gusset for range of motion and chafe-free comfort
  • Flatlock seams minimize chafing; drop tail for more coverage

The Patagonia Lightweight Capilene® Baselayer. I definitely recommend you try a couple of these on your next outdoor adventure or even more simply as an every day T-shirt!

➳ No sponsors have paid for or provided equipment or material for this review.