Thursday, July 10, 2014

Can Zamberlan 760 Steeps Still Be Purchased?

The 2010 and 2011 Backpacker Magazine Editor's Choice Zamberlan 760 Steep has been discontinued. We only have a men's 9.5 and a women's 10 left in stock. There might be a few more out there, but worry not, Zamberlan has replaced them with a new boot, built on the same last, called the 750 Route.

Like the Steep, Zamberlan designed the Route to give superlative comfort to long-distance trekkers and backpackers. The boots, handmade in Italy, feature Gore-Tex waterproofing, a Vibram sole, and are comprised of leather and waxed suede to ensure durability and protection for expeditions of all kinds.

We just received our shipment, and as sad as we were to see the Steeps go, we're just as psyched to be able to hook people up with a pair of these awesome new Zamberlan Routes.

Are your old, beaten boots causing your feet or back to hurt? Have you been putting off replacing them? If you're answering yes, you deserve a pair of the 750 Routes.

See you soon!!

Monday, July 7, 2014

"Should I Buy a Sleeping Pad with Horizontal or Vertical Baffles?"

That's a great question, and to answer it accurately, we have to ask you one more question. Will you be sleeping in a tent or hammock?  If you predominantly sleep in a tent, according to the research and testing I recently completed, I don't think you can make a wrong decision here. If you answered "hammock," skip the next two paragraphs (What is this, a choose your own adventure blog?).

It's true that in the past vertical-baffled sleeping pads were known to "taco," leaving the wannabe sleeper wedged or worse, too close to the edge and rolling off the pad. Big Agnes has taken that feedback to make improvements upon their popular Air Core and Insulated Air Core sleeping pads. I literally just got off of one, and the new design features a berm around the pad's perimeter which effectively cradles sleepers and largely reduces any issues with tex-mex cuisine. It also felt as if the vertical baffles gave alignment to my body as I laid on my back.  Plus, vertical baffles allow the pad to slide into Big Agnes sleeping bag sleeves better than pads with horizontal baffles.  .

Sleeping on ground with a horizontal-baffled pad is also a go. A few moments ago, I was atop Nemo's new Astro Air (nearly identical to the Astro Air Lite and Astro Air Insulated), and I enjoyed the level of comfort achieved from the contouring feeling which horizontal baffles give. The big benefit of this type of construction is its side-to-side stability.  The top baffle is also enlarged, to provide sleepers with a instant pillow.

If you mostly like to sleep in a hammock, that settles it; you want a sleeping pad with horizontal baffles. It alleviates any feeling of constriction by spreading out the material horizontally, rather than being wrapped up like an eggroll. Hammocks alone are rather comfortable, but when a sleeping pad featuring horizontal baffles is brought into the equation, the comfort level skyrockets (IMHO). It morphs regular hammocks from a floating coffin-esque sleep station to a hovering cocoon of cushion.

All in all, technology and gear companies are advancing at a rate which gives benefits to backpackers and campers they could've never dreamed of decades ago. You really can't go wrong nowadays.

But you can still come by and test them out for yourself :)

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Win a Rafting Trip for Four, Courtesy of The Point

whitewater rafting kennebec river maine
Want to experience some unforgettable recreation? Then stop by soon, because the generous folks at 104.7 The Point have a sweepstakes going that any outdoors-oriented person would be glad to win.

Entries can be made until July 13th to win and bring three friends on a free white water rafting trip at Northern Outdoors, along the Kennebec River in Maine. The package also includes two nights in a deluxe cabin.

Independent Radio has designated six places where entries can be submitted, and CCOutdoorStore is (our favorite) one of them. A single finalist will be chosen from each entry box, and then from the finalists, one ultimate winner will be selected. The effort it takes to enroll in the contest multiplied by luck could equal an extraordinary experience!!

The entry box is smack-dab between our expansive hiking boot section and our Julbo and Native Sunglasses display.

Here's a video Northern Outdoors published about a month ago; it looks pretty sweet:

See you at CC!