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2007 Camping Gear Buyer's Guide

Posted in Product Reviews on June 1, 2007 Comment (0)
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Every year, across the country, thousands of us prepare for our annual camping trips. As part of our preparation, we inevitably stop by the local sporting goods or outdoor store to pick up a few new toys or gadgets to make our treks that much more comfortable. With this in mind, we chose to showcase some of the latest and greatest pieces of gear that will make it seem as though you never left your living room. Enjoy, and happy camping!

E-Z Up Eclipse II Instant Canopy
Within a matter of seconds, the Eclipse II canopy unfolds and snaps into place, providing the perfect shade from the hot sun and other environmental disturbances. The top fabric stays attached to the frame and is treated to resist fire, rot, mildew, water, and ultraviolet rays. A series of electrically bonded powdercoated trusses insures rust protection, long-lasting use, and a smooth, cleanable finish. The Eclipse II's light frame is constructed of high-strength steel for durability and ease of transportation.
For more information, contact: International E-Z Up, (800) 45-SHADE, www.ezupinternational.com.

Jetboil Group Cooking System
Jetboil's Group Cooking System (GCS) can best be described as a complete portable kitchen system. Twice as efficient with fuel as some other similar products, the Jetboil system will bring two cups of water to boil in about two minutes or a liter in about four minutes. The GCS integrates a burner with built-in igniter, 1.5-liter pot, pot support, and stabilizer all into one compact unit.

The 1.5-liter pot is made from hard-anodized aluminum for even heating and superior heat transfer, and it features a wide aperture for easy frying and simmering, an insulating neoprene cozy, and a snap-on plastic lid for secure storage. All components, as well as fuel, stow within the pot so you can take it anywhere.
For more information, contact: Jetboil, (888) 611 9905, www.jetboil.com.

Tentrax All-Terrain Camping Trailer
The Off Road A/T is engineered for the 4x4 enthusiast and can be custom-built by adding options to accommodate individual needs. Up to 19 inches of ground clearance is possible using 35x12.50/15 tires. A 2-inch-drop axle comes standard, while an optional lift kit and a 4-inch-drop axle make room for tires up to 37 inches in diameter.

A variety of rack systems are available, making the Tentrax a true packhorse! The Off Road A/T can also be personalized to match your vehicle's paint and wheels. Additional options include a skidplate and nerf bars for extreme off-road use.
For more information, contact: Tentrax, (800) 488-2022, www.tentrax.com.

Bass Pro Shops Deluxe Dome Tent
This new take on a classic design allows for fast and efficient set-up thanks to the heavy-duty, shock-corded fiberglass tent poles and quick-clip system with upper pole sleeves for added stability. Clear skylight roof panels and a hoop awning add significant comfort. The large windows feature inside-zippered storm flaps and taped seams with polyurethane-coated taffeta walls to keep you dry in the event of precipitation. A built-in doormat helps keep the interior of the tent clean, while the oversize carrying bag protects the unit when disassembled. These tents are available in green, charcoal, or tan.
For more information, contact: Bass Pro Shops, (800) 976-6344, www.basspro.com.

Bass Pro Shops Stainless Steel Table-Top Propane Grill
Grill anywhere you want with this convenient, portable propane grill. With an incredible output of 9,000 Btus and 311 square inches of total cooking space, this grill is more than adequate for any outdoor dinner or lunch. The chrome-plated warming rack is perfect for toasting hot dog or hamburger buns. The built-in folding legs allow for easy carrying.
For more information, contact: Bass Pro Shops, (800) 976-6344, www.basspro.com.

Starcraft 11RT Camping Trailer
When you just need to get away, make sure you have one of these hitched up. This is the ultimate go-anywhere camping trailer. It can sleep six comfortably, yet it still has all the comforts of home, including seating, a table, a kitchenette area with freshwater capabilities (19 gallons), a hot-water heater, and a retractable awning system.

Designed with the off-road enthusiast in mind, the 11RT comes standard with 15-inch radial mud-terrain tires and a leaf-spring suspension.
For more information, contact: Starcraft RV, (260) 593-2550, www.starcraftrv.com.

SealLine Storm Sacks
No one ever intends to get their gear wet; however, when camping, anything can and often does happen. Providing the ultimate all-weather protection are SealLine's latest dry bags, Storm Sacks.

These dry bags range in volume from 2.7 liters to 60 liters. The 25L and 35L dry bags will easily fit a tent or mattress pad, and the oval-bottom 60L is ideal for organizing and protecting gear inside a backpack. Each of the dry bags features a roll-top closure and sewn and taped construction to ensure water tightness, as well as PVC-free, 210D PU-coated nylon that is long-lasting and eco-friendly.
For more information, contact: SealLine, (800) 531-9531, www.seallinegear.com.

Digital Hero 3 Camera
It never fails: No sooner do you take your camera out of its case on your camping trip and it falls out of your hand and breaks. So much for the family photos. Consisting of a micro digital camera housed in a waterproof case that straps to your wrist, the Digital Hero 3 can survive the harshest conditions... and then some.

The Digital Hero 3 has 16 MB of onboard memory and can accept up to a 2GB SD flash card for more storage. A 2GB SD card will hold more than 2,500 photos or up to 54 minutes of continuous video. Best of all, the unit has RCA/USB cable connects for playback on a TV, and it is compatible with Microsoft Me/2000/XP and Mac OS 9/X operating systems.
For more information, contact: GoPro, www.goprocamera.com.

Platypus Hoser Reservoir
The Platypus Hoser reservoir is versatile. In addition to serving as a lightweight, ready-to-use hydration system that can be loaded into any backpack, the reservoir can also be used as a basecamp reservoir for drinking or cooking or, with the proper attachments, as a camp shower.

The Hoser holds 34 ounces of water, or any other fluid, and comes with a HyperFlow bite valve which offers the highest flow rate of any hydration pack on the market.
For more information, contact: Platypus, (800) 531-9531, www.platypushydration.com.

SureFire Delta Folding Knife
Having a capable and versatile knife while camping is a must. SureFire's Delta folding model is a rugged yet lightweight utility knife that features a Crucible CPM S30V steel blade, which is renowned for strength and edge retention, and a 1/8-inch-thick titanium frame.

Incorporated into the frame are a number of practical tools, including a screwdriver, wire cutter/crimper, parachute cord/seatbelt cutter, wrench, and self-seating wrench slot for smaller nuts. It also features a reversible pocket clip
For more information, contact: SureFire, (800) 828-8809, www.surefire.com.

Pacsafe 120 Security System
Regardless of where you travel, the threat of someone or something tampering with your gear is always a possibility. That's where the Pacsafe 120 comes into play. The adjustable, high-tensile stainless steel locking device and netting allows you to wrap your bag with the system and secure it to something fixed: a tree, pole, or other object. Four sizes are available to fit almost every type of backpack, soft-sided wheeled luggage, or duffel bag.
For more information, contact:
Outpac Designs
(800) 873-9415
www.pacsafe.com.

Bass Pro Shops 0 Mummy Sleeping Bag
Snug and very warm, these mummy bags feature a rugged polyester shell with cotton percale liner and are filled with 56 ounces of nonallergenic Elite polyester insulation to make them feel as good as your bed at home. The double-layer, offset quilted construction eliminates drafts, while the oversize, fleece-lined foot section with ventilation control provides additional comfort. A sculpted zippered hood and two-way zipper with 3-inch draft tube are also built into these bags. Bass Pro Shops mummy bags are available in green or gray.
For more information, contact: Bass Pro Shops, (800) 976-6344, www.basspro.com.

Hubba Hubba Two-Person Tent
This phenomenal two-person tent is possibly one of the lightest-weight units we've encountered, weighing only 4 pounds. The structural stability is also impressive thanks to a new tent-pole hub system that provides the stability needed to allow for three different set-up configurations as well as two stay-dry entrances.

Easy to pitch, the tent can be set up by one person in less than three minutes. An innovative front awning provides 180-degree views, while a covered food prep/boot storage area keeps miscellaneous items away from the sleeping compartment.
For more information, contact: MSR, (800) 531-9531, www.msrgear.com.

Therm-a-Rest Compressible Pillow
A good night's sleep begins with a good pillow. The Therm-a-Rest compressible pillow features self-lofting foam to provide the best support and cushioning available. The ability to compress the pillow to one-fourth its normal size allows it to be easily stowed in either a gear bag or with your sleeping bag. Once home, the pillow can be machine-washed and dried. The outer shell is available in solid and camouflage patterns.
For more information, contact: Therm-a-Rest, (800) 531-9531, www.thermarest.com.

Therm-a-Rest ToughSkin Mattress
The ToughSkin mattress features the latest in puncture-resistant construction for by utilizing integrated, open- and closed-cell foam construction. In addition to its durability, the mattress provides all of the essential warmth, comfort, and performance of the mattress at home.

Given its light weight and durability, the mattress is good for everything from hiking to expedition use.
For more information, contact: Therm-a-Rest, (800) 531-9531, www.thermarest.com.

Zodi Hot Tap On-Demand Hot Shower
Enjoy the comfort of instant hot showers anytime, anywhere. This portable and self-contained heating unit is equipped with a stainless steel burner that is heated via the same propane that is used in many of today's portable gas grills. A rugged 4-gallon case which doubles as a storage container holds enough water for a 10-minute shower. The hot water is delivered through a powerful battery-operated (requires four D-cell batteries) water pump in just seconds and with exceptional water pressure. A definite must for family camping.
For more information, contact: Zodi Outback Gear, (800) 589-2849, www.zodi.com.

ARB Portable Air Compressor
ARB's RDCP portable air compressor system will prove to be invaluable out on the trail or at the campsite when the time comes to inflate an air mattress or water toys. This quality compressor is leak-tested, pressure-tested, current-draw-tested, and flow-tested under load at the factory before packaging.

In addition to being set in a durable carrying case and coming with a 6-meter hose and all relevant fittings, the RDCP model also contains a VDO gauge and pressure switch.
For more information, contact: ARB USA, (425) 264 1391, www.arbusa.com.

Coleman Fold 'N' Go Stove
The newest member of Coleman's portable stove line is the user-friendly Fold 'N' Go stove. Featuring two fully adjustable 10,000-BTU burners that have been designed to perform even in the coldest of weather, the InstaStart push-button ignition provides easy, matchless lighting.

The unit operates on one 16.4-ounce Coleman propane cylinder and lasts up to 1.1 hours on a single tank.
For more information, contact: The Coleman Company, (800) 835-3278, www.coleman.com.

Coleman Mountaineer Dog Tent
Let's face it, man's best friend needs a place to sleep when camping too. With the minimal amount of space in human tents, Coleman has introduced Rover's very own tent. Featuring a floor size of 48 by 48 inches and a center height of 40 inches, this is the perfect shelter for large and extra-large dogs.

Each tent contains adjustable side panels for maximum ventilation and airflow and a waterproof floor that provides a moisture barrier between your pet and the ground. The same strong frames that are used in the family tents are utilized in this unit as well.
For more information, contact: The Coleman Company, (800) 835-3278, www.coleman.com.

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