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Gear Reviews

Gear reviews provided by EMS in cooperation with Wandrian Adventures.

 

Suunto Core Extreme Edition Everest

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Suunto Extreme Edition Everest
It’s fitting that this device is called “Extreme Edition Everest”.  Everything about the circumstances are extreme.  Suunto Core watches are extreme in their functionality: they managed to outfit this beautiful device with a barometric altimeter (so it does both functions), a compass, a depth meter, sunrise/sunset table, and thermometer, among other features.  At the end of the day, these are really cool devices that have a simple user-interface, a bunch of handy functions for urban dwellers and mountain-folk alike!The Extreme Edition Everest has been released in honor of Apa Sherpa, the only person to summit Mt. Everest 20 times.  Talk about EXTREME!

Apa was at EMS SoHo in late October to discuss his adventures, which include bringing down tons (literally) of garbage from the mountain, and his foundation, established to provide education to Sherpa children in his native Nepal.

There are only 8848 units issued worldwide, to recognize the height of Everest in meters.  With a portion of the proceeds supporting the Apa Sherpa Foundation, it’ll be an extreme surprise if any inventory is available come New Years.

$399.  EMS SoHo was the first retailer in NYC to receive this limited edition watch, and inventory is very low worldwide.  Every unit is numbered, and has Apa Sherpa’s signature on the underside.

-Adam Sherlip, Gadget Guru


Leatherman Charge TTi

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Leatherman has the right philosophy.  “Who says a multi-tool can’t be sexy?”, is what they ask on their website regarding the Charge TTi.  Unequivocally, the answer is, “Nobody, once they see the Charge TTi.”Leatherman is famous for their big multi-tools, but recently focused on creating the smaller pieces for the general consumer.  With the Charge TTi, they went back to what they do best, making a large gourmet masterpiece, with top quality  ingredients, such as titanium plating on the handles and S30V steel for the cutting blade.

Titanium doesn’t rust, doesn’t conduct electricity, and is lightweight and durable.  S30V is a premium, powder-made, American steel that has superior corrosion resistance and retains sharpness longer.  Leatherman packs in 19 tools into the Charge TTi, almost as many as the larger Surge, but at the same size as the Wave.  On top of materials, the Charge TTi adds a crimper and a cutting hook on top of the standard Wave features, and comes packaged with a partial bit kit for the interchangeable screwdriver, and a leather or nylon sheath.

At 8.2 oz and $167, the Leatherman Charge TTi is for serious people that want a serious tool.  With that seriousness though come a lot of fun!  It’s worth the investment, especially with the 25-year warranty that Leatherman stands by.

-Adam Sherlip, Gadget Guru


Costa Del Mar 580 Glass Lenses

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Zane, Shiny Tortoise, 580 Blue Mirror Glass
We’re going to start this review by bragging a little: EMS SoHo is the only retailer in NYC that sells Costa Del Mar, excluding optical shops.  One of the biggest brands in the Southeast (they’re from Florida), Costa is looking to grow their business in the Northeast, and with their 580 Glass lenses, we think they have some of the best glasses on the market today.
What makes these so special?Here’s the brief.  580 represents the nanometers of light in the yellow spectrum.  Yellow’s difficult for our eyes to process and results in optical exhaustion and strain.  Costa has patented technology that reduces the yellow and enhances the red, green and blue (RGB).  When our customers try these on, there are two responses people choose from: “WOW!” or “Holy S#!t”.  The optical contrast and quality is that good.  And we haven’t even mentioned their frames, which are produced in one of four countries (Japan, Taiwan, Mauritius, China), depending on who specializes in particular materials and construction.

The 580 Lenses are Costa’s premium line.  They just announced 580 Polycarbonate lenses, and offer their base-model 400 Lenses in glass and non-glass options (CR-39 and Polycarbonate).  You need to try these on!  Prices range from $129-$249.

-Adam Sherlip, Gadget Guru


Powertraveller Powermonkey-eXplorer

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Powermonkey-eXplorer Gray
Solar power has come a long way.  Just a couple of years ago the options were limited, the products were inefficient, and in general were not well suited for adventurists.
Enter the U.K. brand Powertraveller and their Powermonkey-eXplorer.  This solar-charger is highly adaptable, as the panel (the Solarmonkey) and battery (Powermonkey) are separate units, giving you ultimate control of how to charge.  You can charge the battery in advance from AC/DC or USB, and then use the panel and the battery to charge handheld devices while outside and on the go.  At night, the battery has enough juice to handle multiple devices on its own.The package comes with wall adapters for around the world, and plugs for a full assortment of devices including Apple handhelds, BlackBerry, USB, USB Mini, USB Micro & a variety of cell phones.  The battery will charge every model of the iPhone.  The only downside is that it can’t charge camera batteries that must be removed from the camera and placed into a wall unit.

Overall, this is one of the lightest, convenient, and well-executed solar chargers on the market, and is available for only $119.95.  We say “only” because you compare the Powermonkey-eXplorer to the$99 Solio Classic, you get significantly more battery reserve (the Powermonkey has a 2100mAh battery @ 5V vs. Solio Classic’s 1600 mAh), has no options for being on the go (the Solarmonkey straps onto a backpack easily vs. Solio Classic’s fan shape that props on an included pencil), and you get the full wall plug assortment, which would cost an additional $15.

-Adam Sherlip, Gadget Guru


Suunto T6D Triathlon Pack

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Suunto T6D Triathlon Pack
Some people think marathons are the ultimate endurance test.  To them, the triathlete says “Now add swimming and bicycling.”  For them, Suunto says “We’ve got the product for you.”  Enter the T6D Triathlon Pack.When Suunto entered the Heart-rate Monitor market to compete with their compatriots Polar Electro (both companies are from Finland), they began with the T6 and built down.  Over the years the T6 went through model upgrades, the most recent was modifying the Comfort Belt (“C”) model, into a Dual Channel Comfort Bell (“D”) that comes paired with the watch in-box, and also keeps a channel open for aerobic gym equipment, like a treadmill or stationary bike.

The T6D has only 3 display screens, one for time, and the other two for training.  The training screens are both fully customizable based on which activity profile you are using, to allow you to maximize your training data.   is a unique training-metric that allows Advanced/Professional Triathletes to gauge how much oxygen then need in their bloodstream to recover fully.

Among the customizable screens, the advanced EPOC (Excess Post-Excercise Oxygen Consumption) metric, and fact that it’s still made in Finland, the T6D includes a built-in altimeter to determine incline/decline rates, and when used in conjunction with the Pods that come as part of the Triathlon Pack, you have the ability to understand and record your speed and distance calculations while running, and speed, distance and cadence for bicycling.  The waterproof Memory Belt will track your heart-rate while swimming, and will store the extra data collected by all the pods.  When all’s said and done, it’s components are worth nearly $830, yet are available in a package for $659 at EMS SoHo.

-Adam Sherlip, Gadget Guru


DeLorme Earthmate PN-60w

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DeLorme Earthmate PN-60w
Whether you’re an adventurist, traveling in a group, sending off a loved one on an excursion, or just looking for an awesome GPS device, DeLorme‘s Earthmate PN-60w changes the landscape of what a GPS device should do.  Traditionally, they showed you your position and helped you navigate.  With the addition of Spot, the PN-60w now doubles as a personal messenger & personal locator beacon (PLB), in case of a life-endangering emergency.  It works nearly everywhere around the world.  This device is absolutely revolutionary, and comes packed with speed and features.  To help sweeten the deal, DeLorme’s a $30 MapLibrary subscription will entitle you to 1 year of DeLorme’s maps (they started as a mapping company), which you can keep for life! $549 + annual subscription for Spot service.
-Adam Sherlip, Gadget Guru

Hey Gearheads!  Are you a Weekend Car Camper?

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If you’re like us and need to leave the city or the ‘burbs to get to some quality campgrounds, the sense of adventure, excitement and freedom that comes from car camping is hard to rival.  You pack your vehicle chock full of gear, food, and then more gear (and in my case, more food), and set off for a weekend of peace, quiet, and nature, with the ability to take along just about anything you need and want, and of course some things you don’t need or want.Sure, there are folks that will always keep things basic, ditching amenities and comforts for their Walden Pond experience.  But not us.  We like to stop off at rest-stops and buy excess snacks.  We like to blast our music in the car with the windows down.  We like to have the option of changing our minds.  And we like to have cool gadgets!

Before you leave, you need to know where you’re going, but not necessarily.  The DeLorme Earthmate PN-60 ($399.95) will make the days of getting lost obsolete.  It’s a great handheld GPS unit that can easily be mounted on the dashboard to support the US & Canada road maps, as well as trail maps and campsites to help you choose your destination.  For an additional $30, you’ll get 1-year access to download all of the maps DeLorme carries, which includes NOAA nautical charts, USGS 1:24K quads, US aerial imagery, and 1:50K Canada topo.  You can keep these maps forever, although DeLorme’s strength is in constantly producing new and updated maps, so shell out the minimal fee annually.

Unless you plan on camping on the grounds of Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant (where unconfirmed rumors claim you can plug a device into the soil to get energy), you’ll want some way to power your electronics you can’t live without: cell phone/smart phone, iPod (we have yet to meet someone who owns a Zune), etc.  If that’s you, you’re going to want to get your hands on Powertraveller’s Powermonkey-eXplorer ($119.95).  This is the perfect combination of convenience, usability, lightweight, battery capacity, and adapters to charge everything you can ask for.  If you want to share your music with your friends/family, check out the Chill Pill ($45).  These ultra portable speakers belt out great sound for such a small device, and are USB rechargeable (Hello Powermonkey!).  They give you 6-hours of playtime, which will allow you to play through 2/3 of The Beatles playlist before needing a recharge.  This factors out songs that nobody wants to hear, like Piggies and Little Child.  And yes, this claim has been tested.

As a car camper, you have the luxury of bringing along your life wherever you go.  So if you have dependency issues with your laptop, worry not, Powertraveller’s SolarGorilla ($239.95) is a super-sized version of the Solarmonkey (the panel that accompanies the Powermonkey), and in conjunction with your battery options ($30 off Mini/Solar combo, $40 off Power/Solar combo): Minigorilla ($149.95) or Powergorilla ($279.95), you can harness the power of the sun (no, not like Superman), save it, and keep your iPad, netbook or laptop/notebook available to play solitaire or produce TPS reports.

Don’t bother taking along plastic water bottles, just bring your Camelbak and  1L waterbottle (like KleanKanteen or Nalgene).  Most weekend camping trips in North America have access to fresh water, but even that should be filtered/sterilized in some capacity.  While chemicals are always a viable option for those of you looking for the nostalgia of drinking pool water, we prefer to geek out about the Katadyn Pocket ($289.95), the extreme marathoner of filtration units that lasts up to 50,000 liters (13,000+ gallons), that would take about 60-years of use by one normal human being (present company included) until its filter needed replacement (OK, so we calculated this by assuming someone drank 2-liters of water a day through the filter, divided 50,000 liters by those 2 liters, then divided that by 365 days in a year, and got 68 years.  If you have another person, divide this by 2.  If you are being particularly active, divide this by another 2 to plan for 4 total liters of consumption.  With that in mind, you’ve still got a solid 15 years of use!).  The Katadyn Pocket will filter out everything not named “virus”, so if you want some extra piece of mind, consider a SteriPen Journey ($99.95), a UV-powered water purifier.  “How does this work?” you ask.  Well, as many of you have learned the hard way, UV (ultraviolet) light is what gives us sunburns.  If we get too many sunburns, we risk getting cancer, which is a mutation of our genes.  When this light is applied to microscopic lifeforms, it scrambles their DNA so that they become sterile/dormant.  This means you get to drink the water without anything actively messing with your body, and that’s fine by us.

When it comes to vegging out, we love listening to music on our Chill Pill’s and drinking our clean water thanks to our filter/purifier while sitting in the ALITE Monarch Chair ($59.99).  This chair uses counter-balance to keep you from cracking your head open, and weighs just a pound and a half!  It holds up to 250lbs (113kg, for those of you on the logical metric system), and is surprisingly comfortable.  Just be sure not to fall asleep in it, since it only has one set of legs.

A frequently overlooked accessory is a lantern.  We here in NYC get 365 days of lightness, with all the ambient light our 8.5 million residents keep on during the night.  It’s easy to forget just how dark the sky can be.  The Black Diamond Titan Lantern ($79.95)  is a versatile lantern, with adjustable brightness, that lasts up to 168 hours.  It’ll be great to keep by your side while enjoying a bottle of wine that you open with your Leatherman Juice CS4 ($82.50), a compact, lightweight, convenient multi-tool that includes a corkscrew and bottle opener, since nothing defines car camping like a great fermented beverage.

Once you’ve consumed the standard serving size and nothing more, you and your loved may wish to cuddle and star-gaze (that has a totally different meaning when you’re outside of NYC or LA) on the luxurious, self-inflating Queen Size Kelty Sleep Well Air Bed ($99.95).  Be sure to throw a tarp underneath to help protect the underside as a buffer from objects that can puncture the mattress.  Sure, you could use a tent, and we’d recommend plenty of great ones, but for what it’s worth, there’s nothing like sleeping outside.  If you don’t feel comfortable exposed to the elements, you can invest in any number of shelters, like a sleep screen, a light-weight tent, or just another tarp.  Check out your options here.  What good is a mattress if you don’t have a sheet or sleeping bag?  If the weather is going to get chilly at night, as it tends to do in Autumn in the Northeast, you and your significant other can share some body heat in the Big Agnes Dream Island 15° ($189.95), a sleeping bag that provides enough space for cuddlers.

When duty calls, and you need to find a nice area to pop a squat, make sure you have a light to ensure you don’t ensnare anything valuable.  The Petzl Tactikka Plus Headlamp ($43.95) dishes out variable doses of LED-powered light up to 60 or so lumens, with the option of using red light, to remain undetectable to night creatures.

You’re all set to have a great weekend, so jump in the car and leave your worries behind!

For recommendations on footwear, clothing, and camping gear to go along with your car camping weekend, be sure to see one of our passionate and knowledgeable guides at Eastern Mountain Sports SoHo on the corner of Spring St & Broadway (530 Broadway, 212.966.8730).

-Adam Sherlip, Gadget Guru


Recap of Weekend Car Camping Recommended Items

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