RSS Subscribe 866.891.9177

TMS Blog

Archive for the ‘Gear Reviews’ Category

Gear Review: Manduka Pro Yoga Mat – Eco-Friendly, Most Comfortable

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

Truckee-Tahoe local Coral Taylor loves riding bikes, exercising, and exploring the Sierras with friends and family. She is a licensed civil engineer who works for the Tahoe City Public Utility District, a passionate yoga practitioner and recently certified instructor, as well as an ambassador for the Team LUNAChix Tahoe Mountain Bike Team. Tahoe Mountain Sports is proud to have Coral representing us as one of our elite TMS Ambassadors!

“This is the mat I would buy for a friend or family member, which means a lot, because I try to spend my money mindfully on quality products.”

manduka-pro-yoga-matWhatManduka Yoga Black Mat PRO, 71”

Where – I got myself a new yoga mat as a gift for completing my 200-hr Yoga Teacher Training this spring. Since then, I have rolled this mat out at home, on my deck, at various studios in Truckee, Kings Beach and Squaw, and even on the lawn at West End Beach of Donner Lake.

Pros – I really appreciate the thickness of this mat; with my bony knees and elbows, it makes kneeling or elbow-based poses much more comfortable than other mats I’ve used, especially on uneven surfaces such as grass or sand. During a recent outdoor class, I was very glad to have this mat, which stayed put while other mats were tossed about in the wind.

I also appreciate Manduka’s commitment to the environment and to its customers; this mat has a lifetime guarantee, which minimizes waste. As a lover of nature and a citizen of planet Earth, Manduka’s sustainability practices such as zero waste and emission-free manufacturing make me feel good about purchasing a new consumer product.

This cool video explains Manduka’s recycling efforts behind manufacturing:

 

Cons – The Manduka PRO Mat is relatively heavy, so if you’re carrying it for a ways or bike commuting, it would weigh you down after a while. Initially, this mat was very slippery, which is pretty common with most new yoga mats. However, the “Break-In” technique recommended by Manduka, which involved sprinkling sea salt then scrubbing the mat with a little water and air drying in the sun, seemed to help. The more I use this mat, the stickier it gets. This mat also has a hefty price tag, but if you look at the return on investment, and plan to buy just one mat the rest of your life, it is well worth it.

manduka-pro-71-yoga-mat

 

Suggestions – I like how Manduka offers some additional color options in their PRO limited edition. It would be nice if this mat was less slippery when first using it, and if the mat could weigh a little less while still retaining the lifetime guarantee and all the aforementioned  cushion, that would be nice as well.

 

Summary – So far… so great!  I love my new Manduka yoga mat and look forward to using it for this lifetime of practice. This is the mat I would buy for a friend or family member, which means a lot, because I try to spend my money mindfully on quality products.

 

 

 

Tahoe Mountain Sports also carries the Manduka eKO Lite and the PROlite mats for those looking for something on the thinner side:

Manduka Yoga eKO Lite Mat - 4mm
Manduka Yoga eKO Lite Mat – 4mm
MSRP: $63.95
Manduka Yoga PROlite Mat 71
Manduka Yoga PROlite Mat 71″
MSRP: $77.95

 

Gluten-Free Camping & Backpacking Foods – They’re Grrreat!

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

gluten-free-organic-camping-backpacking-foods

Eating gluten-free can be a pain in the butt. I know this not because I am without gluten, but because my day job is waiting tables. That’s right folks, this glamorous, blog-writing lifestyle is just a side gig. Sorry to disappoint you. Fortunately, I have some good news to lift you back up from your dismay over my underwhelming existence. Ready? The backcountry might be one of the easiest places to eat gluten free.

AlpineAire and Natural High sound like a couple of Colorado-based ‘recreation’ facilities, but they’re actually producers of some of the most gourmet, gluten and weed-free backpacking foods you can get your healthy little hands on. AlpineAire foods are actually made in Rocklin, near Sacramento, so we’ve got some local love for them. They’re ultralight, resealable and self-standing pouches have a shelf-life of 5+ years and (most of their 85+ recipes) are ready just a few minutes after adding boiling water and mixing.

alpineaire-dehydrated-gluten-free-camp-food

Scooping some Santa Fe Black Beans & Rice during an educational in-store clinic.

I’m talking about dishes like Cheese Enchilada Ranchero, Pineapple Orange Chicken, Three Berry Cobbler and Bananas Foster. Is your mouth watering yet? Mine is, and I practically mainline gluten. If it were this easy everywhere to eat well without gluten, however, I might stop. Why not, right? I mean, given the choice, who’d say, “No thanks, I prefer to be chronically bloated and inflamed.” Tea Party republicans, okay, perhaps you’ve got me there. But I have enough experience with gluten-free foods to know they don’t have to taste bad. My restaurant has this flour-less chocolate cake that’s so soft and lovely, I sometimes make myself a bed of it and jump right in.

If that last line didn’t scare you off, not only do I recommend seeking psychiatric help, but I have a couple last suggestions: Bandito Scramble and Strawberry Granola with Milk, because you deserve a gluten-free breakfast more fulfilling than two packets of GU Energy Gel. So, go to the AlpineAire and Natural High pages at tahoemountainsports.com (linked above), treat yourself to some gluten and guilt-free goodness and go bag yourself some peaks with a happy tummy and taste buds.

alpineaire-food-nutrition-info

Example Directions & Nutrition Info

 

Until next time,

SJ

-No preservatives
-No artificial flavors
-No artificial colors
-No MSG
(in the foods, not SJ)

 

 


Scott Johns is an adventure cinematographer, mountain biker and snowboarder living in Incline Village on the north shore of Lake Tahoe. When he’s not creating beautiful imagery for video, he’s out ripping singletrack or shredding big lines in his backyard that we call the Eastern Sierra Nevada.

 

AlpineAire Chicken/Almond Salad
AlpineAire Chicken/Almond Salad
MSRP: $9.95
Natural High Organic Mango
Natural High Organic Mango
MSRP: $5.95

Travel Gear Guide: Tips for Adventurers Caught Playing Tourist

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

This review comes from Scott Johns, an adventure cinematographer, mountain biker and snowboarder living in Incline Village on the north shore of Lake Tahoe. When Scott’s not creating beautiful imagery for video, he’s out ripping singletrack or shredding big lines in his backyard that we call the Eastern Sierra Nevada.

Sunsets in foreign lands. Another reason to travel.

Sunsets in foreign lands. Another reason to travel.

Travel season is upon us and my gear has already seen an overnight kayaking trip down the Carson River plus a combined two weeks of car camping and mountain biking in the rainy Northwets–that’s not a typo, I’m just proposing a name change because the Northwest can be so soggy at times. Some of my gear has been ideal, like my Saxx underwear, and some of it, not so much. Here’s what I’ve learned so far, and summer hasn’t even technically begun:

 

The Value of a Hammockeagles-nest-camping-hammock

My first trip of the season, in a whitewater kayak, was something new to me. I was told I couldn’t bring a tent and was a bit apprehensive about that. Fortunately, Adam Broderick from Tahoe Mountain Sports had already written a great hammock info blog, specifically highlighting ENO hammocks.

With my mind a bit more at ease after reading, I sacked up, spent the cash (much cheaper than a tent, by the way), dropped it in a dry bag and stuffed it in the back of my kayak. Bottom line: hammocks are a huge weight and space saver. No tent, no pad, no problem. Just more room for beer, in my case, and easier traveling if you’re on foot. And I recommend going for the double hammock; the additional space is worth the extra $10.

 

 

Let Gravity do the Filteringplatypus-gravity-works-filter

Something I wished I had on that kayaking trip, but had no budget for at the time, was a pump-free water purifier. My MSR MiniWorks is compact and works great, but pumping water for four thirsty dudes cuts heavily into your relaxation time when you only have a few hours off the river each day.

The Platypus GravityWorks filtration system is ideal for group settings. Just fill it up and walk away; it’ll be ready when you finish your coffee. There’s also a four-liter version, which you can find among Tahoe Mountain Sports’ multitude of other water paraphernalia.

 

 

 

Gabe Lambert Black Rock

Gabe Lambert traveling through…a lot of air. Black Rock Mountain Bike Area. Falls City, Oregon

 

Better than Ricelifeproof-case-iphone-4s

It seems like after every time I go kayaking, somebody’s phone ends up in a bag of rice. This trip was no different. Dry boxes work great to protect your phone, until you pull it out to use it. And using rice to suck moisture out of it, after the fact, actually works quite well, too. But waterproofing–and shock, dirt and snow proofing–your selfie-box, with a Lifeproof case, is a more sustainable, long-term solution to keeping it dry. So, I’ve come up with a new, million-dollar marketing slogan for Lifeproof. Ready? Lifeproof: it works better than a bag of rice. *Please make that check payable directly to Scott Johns, thank you. To watch a short travel film shot on an iPhone by a TMS employee, both under and above water in Central America, click here: 2 Tickets to Roatan, Honduras

 

Taking a Backpacker’s Approach to Car Camping

best-solo-travel-stovesBecause riding a bicycle is my preferred adrenaline-inducing activity, I do a lot of car camping on my mini-vacations. The upside is that there’s more space for extra gear. The downside, I always bring way too much crap. The other two of my three trips proved this once again. So, I’m tempted to start taking a backpacker’s approach to car camping. (more…)

Father’s Day Gift Guide – Good Sons & Daughters Get Him Outside!

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014

This review comes from Scott Johns, an adventure cinematographer, mountain biker and snowboarder living in Incline Village on the north shore of Lake Tahoe. When Scott’s not creating beautiful imagery for video, he’s out ripping singletrack or shredding big lines in his backyard that we call the Eastern Sierra Nevada. Find more of Scott’s work at shredbums.com.

You’ve heard it before. On Father’s Day, what dads really want is to be left alone. Men are biologically wired to hunt and gather, to be outside, getting weird in the woods. Want to truly stoke out the father in your life this year? Start the day with a big, black cup of coffee and one of these gifts, then send him on his way. He’ll come back with a smile, feeling refreshed.

 

Manhood starts with a Leatherman

Leatherman Fathers Day Gift

 

 

Seriously, no man feels complete without one of these puppies, but choosing which one to get him can get complicated. Let’s start with what’s most important. Obviously, all a man really needs is a corkscrew to open his lady a nice bottle of wine at the end of this most epic Father’s Day. The pliers, knives, screwdrivers, etc. he’ll need for who-knows-what are just a bonus on the Juice CS4. But he’ll be grateful just the same.

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Man’s best friend” is actually his belt

arcade-porter-dress-belt

 

Now that he has a Leatherman, he’ll need a proper place to put it. That’s on his belt. We grow as attached to our belts as we do our dogs, and still, a good belt might outlive a good K-9. Arcade Belts has changed the game, too. Put one on and there’s no going back. Arcade has a belt for everyone; dressy belts that are still great outdoors and all-elastic belts that are great for everything, everyday. Tahoe Mountain Sports’ Director of Online Marketing, Adam Broderick, even wore his black Midnighter to a recent wedding when he forgot his dress belt. Nobody knew the difference.

 

 

 

 

Real men wear real slippers

sanuk-pick-pocket

 

None of that K-Mart nonsense for us. The Sanuk Pick Pocket Slip On Shoes are life-changers. These textured hemp slip-ons sport a custom print, soft canvas lining, high rebound Instaplay footbeds, Happy U Rubber outsoles and a large stash pocket for emergency taco money, or whatever. Sandals are great, but their uses are limited. These are so much more versatile and, as those of us privy to the cool evenings of Tahoe know, wear well far beyond dusk, when sandals can quickly become a bit of a bummer.

 

 

 

 

 

A better bag for geeking out

deuter-giga-pro-laptop

 

 

You know that thing he fixed last week? The one he kind of made better, but kind of made worse at the same time? Yeah, that. Chances are he figured out how to botch that repair job by using a tool almost as important as his Leatherman: his laptop. Help him keep it safe and carry this evening’s picnic supplies, too, with the Deuter Giga Pro Daypack. It has all the features he needs, perfectly organized and protected, with an extra-padded, removable laptop compartment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Style him out a bit, too

mountain-hardwear-mens-polo-shirt

 

 

Now that we’ve covered all the super-masculine necessities, let’s get that guy looking a little snazzier. The Life is Good Grateful Dad Tee says it all and the Mountain Hardwear men’s DryTraveler Polo does it all. The latter will have him looking good and feeling comfortable at the office, on the disc golf course or at a casual lakeside dinner. Its poly/spandex blend offers the feel he gets from cotton but dries quickly and will stretch with him comfortably, while the antimicrobial finish helps eliminate odor and the UPF 25 protects him from the sun. Finally, no man’s wardrobe is complete without a plaid button down. The Marmot Newport Short Sleeve Shirt will keep him looking charming through sun-drenched days in seaside cities and mountain towns alike.

 

 

 

 

It might be best to end this post with a little disclaimer: I’m not a father, but I am a man, sort of. I’m a full-grown, thirty-year-old man-boy. The boy part is the key here. Kids or not, we men all need to feel like boys from time to time. Fact: the responsibilities of parenthood leave most men experiencing that feeling less often. Presents are a good way to bring it back, but being outside is better. So, this Father’s Day, if you really want to do the right thing, just make sure he gets to be outside, experiencing a new place, a new activity or an old favorite that he doesn’t have as much time for these days. And if anybody wants to get me an honorary Father’s Day gift, I’d like the Sanuks please.

P.S. I love you dad, thanks for everything.

 

 

Some more good Fathers Day presents, just for good measure:

Outdoor Research Helios Sun Hat
Outdoor Research Helios Sun Hat
MSRP: $35.95

Platypus GravityWorks Water Filters: Lightweight, Fast & Oh-So Easy

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

The Platypus GravityWorks water filtration system works so fast you’ll initially have to double-check you’re using it properly. It’s so easy, it seems too good to be true. All you do is fill it up with non-potable water, hang it from a tree, rock, tent or the top of your backpack, and relax or get some camp chores done while it does the work for you. No. Pumping. Necessary. 

But how?

Water succumbs to gravity and moves down a tube from the “dirty” bag, through the hollow fiber filter, and into the “clean” bag. That’s all it takes! Think of all the things you can do in those few minutes: clean dishes, brush your teeth, take down your tent, apply sunscreen, or stretch out your hammies. When you’re done, you’ll have 99.9999% bacteria and protozoa -free water! When it’s time to move out, roll up the reservoirs and tuck them into your pack or a cargo-pocket. 

Pretty cool, huh? Perhaps this kind of effortless efficiency is why it was awarded Editor’s Choice by Outside Magazine.

So, after all this, why do pump-style filtration systems dominate the field of water treatment? Well, they’re a bit more compact. At least, they were until Platypus said, “Here you go. Meet the GravityWorks 2.0 that fits in your pocket. BAM!” All of the parts needed to get the job done roll up to a size no larger than a standard pump filter.

This video highlights the GravityWorks 2.0 Water Filtration System, the smaller version that’s ideal for two person backpacking trips or solo adventures:

 

There’s a 2-liter version and a 4-liter version. Hmm…which is best for me?

GravityWorks 4.0 - best for groups (families, scout troops, outdoor leadership courses, etc.)
Dimensions: 9.5″ x 3.25″
Weight: 11.5 oz.
Flow: 1.75 liters/minute
Cartridge Life: 1500 liters (depends on water quality)
Includes: Two 4-liter reservoirs, fast flow hollow fiber filter cartridge, hoses and all fittings

GravityWorks 2.0 - best for one or two people (or larger groups that can rotate reservoirs)
Dimensions: 9″ x 3″
Weight: 11.5 oz.
Flow: 1.5 liters/minute
Cartridge Life: 1500 liters (depends on water quality)
Includes: Platypus Push/Pull Cap adapter and 2-liter Platypus Soft Bottle, fast flow hollow fiber filter cartridge, hoses and all fittings for use as a complete system with 4-liter carrying capacity

platypus-gravityworks-reservoir

First, dip it. The wide mouth is easy to fill.

platypus-hydration-gravity-works-4

Next, hang it. Ain’t that cool?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once you have safe drinking water, either plug a drink tube in and slip it into your pack, or detach it all and take your Platypus reservoir practically anywhere…like up Mt. Shasta for a sunrise and some fun spring skiing. The reservoir makes for a great soft water bottle, but you can also connect the adapter (included) to another Platypus soft bottle. Either method is easy to transport and incredibly compact, especially after you suck it dry.

platypus-mount-shasta

 

 

Have you ever used a GravityWorks water filter? Spoken with anyone who has? What did you/they think? Our readers’ feedback is always appreciated in the comments section below.

 

 

SAXX Underwear and the Evolution of Man

Saturday, May 17th, 2014

This review comes from Scott Johns, an adventure cinematographer, mountain biker and snowboarder living in Incline Village on the north shore of Lake Tahoe. When Scott’s not creating beautiful imagery for video, he’s out ripping singletrack or shredding big lines in his backyard that we call the Eastern Sierra Nevada. Find more of Scott’s work at shredbums.com.

The evolution of men’s underwear preferences goes something like this: we start with those hideous tighty whities, placed on us by mom before we are old enough to think for ourselves. Her motivations are obvious: they’re cheap and might contain a small amount of feces when an accident happens.

saxx-underwear-real-men-fishing

Real men wear real underwear. Ben Lanier fishing from a whitewater raft on the Rogue River, Oregon.

As we begin to develop an individual outlook on the world, we feel as though our junk is being held captive. So, we switch to boxers as soon as we’re given the choice. Freedom. Ahh… But, somewhere between adolescence and our mid-twenties, we begin to ‘grow’ out of one side or the other and make a reluctant return to a more supportive solution.

“I was a boxer man for years, but now I wear boxer briefs,” my friend and valet extraordinaire, Tim Ganyard, told me, verifying this totally scientific hypothesis. “It’s not comfortable to run with your guys bouncing around.”

Some of us find further benefits to the support of boxer briefs. I’m talking about saggy sack syndrome. If you don’t know what I mean, you must have the good fortune of never having had your best friends touch the water when you sit on a toilet. Thanks to boxer briefs, I’ve seen a massive reduction in such occurrences.

A couple years ago, a buddy suggested I try out some premium underwear, like Saxx. He swears by them. It took a while to convince myself that spending more than ten bucks for a three-pack of underwear was a reasonable proposition.

saxx-vibe-ultra-fit-underwear

SAXX – Give thanks to those who support your freedom.

Eventually, I found some inexpensive, high-end drawers at a once-a-year sale and bought one pair as an experiment. They didn’t even have Saxx’s patented package pouch, but I immediately wished I had bought more. Leaving cotton and cheap synthetics behind, for materials that actually wick moisture and won’t stretch out into non-briefed boxers after a few hours, will change your life far beyond simply switching to boxer briefs.

Fast forward a couple of months and I’m handed this blog assignment and a pair of Saxx boxer briefs. “I didn’t even know ‘over the fence’ was an option; I’ve always just used the access hole,” said Dave Polivy, owner of Tahoe Mountain Sports, as we brainstormed ideas for this post. See, SAXX has done away with the access hole in some of their products, especially high-performance models like Saxx Kinetic Boxers.

saxx-underwear-pouch

A soft, unobtrusive pouch for your pouch.

 

 

If you’re anything like Polivy, that might take some getting used to, but how many times in your life have you poked through when you didn’t intend to?

Thousands?

The real innovation of Saxx, though, is the built-in hammock for your ham hawk. “It’s all about keeping the man parts from roving around, without being so tight that you lose sperm count,” says Ben Lanier, the dude that originally convinced me to step up my underwear game. After recently spending three days straight in a single pair of Saxx, doing a lot of driving, mountain biking and camping, I have to agree.

Keep everything in place. Prevent unwanted friction and movement to reduce chafe. Get contact-free support. Buy Saxx Underwear.

saxx-best-mountain-biking-underwear

Scott Johns (left) and Tim Ganyard covered in mud outside the Black Rock Mountain Bike Area near Falls City, Oregon, on Johns’ third day straight in a pair of SAXX. Might be time for a fresh pair.

 

Thank you, Scott, for the (extremely) detailed and animated review. We’re glad you’re so stoked on your new underwear.

– The TMS Crew

 

SAXX Pro Elite Boxer - Men's
SAXX Pro Elite Boxer – Men’s
MSRP: $29.95
SAXX Kinetic Boxer - Men's
SAXX Kinetic Boxer – Men’s
MSRP: $36.95

 

New Sierra Designs Backpacking & Camping Gear For 2014

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

Why carry more than necessary on trips that require distance travel over uneven terrain? That’s just foolish. When you put effort into cutting down your weight load, you increase your comfort level and enjoy yourself more. After all, hat’s why we explore the great outdoors; to find solace outside of our “hectic” lives (#firstworldproblems). New for 2014, Tahoe Mountain Sports is proud to carry the supremely comfortable, minimalist sleep systems from Sierra Designs.

If you’re into lightweight hiking and backpacking, you’re going to LOVE a sweet new Sierra Designs sleep system:

Sierra Designs Backcountry Bed

600 Fill Duck DriDown 600 Fill Duck DriDown
As recipient of a 2014 Backpacker Magazine Editor’s Choice Award, the Backcountry Bed provides the comfort you get from your bed at home…in the backcountry. Enter this awesome zipper-less sleeping bag via a large port in the top and seal it off with an over-sized, integrated comforter that wraps naturally to your preferred sleeping position. This allows you to sleep naturally on your back, side or stomach and adjust to varying temperatures. What’s cool about the “Caternary Shaped Opening” is that it’s smaller than the width of the bag, so when you push outward the walls push back, sealing any drafts that could let in colder air. A security sleeve holds your sleeping pad in place so you feel like you’re in a real bed, and a self-sealing foot vent gives you access to the outside but blocks potential wind-tunnels to keep you comfortable no matter the wind levels.
Ladies, there’s a female version too. The women’s Backcountry Bed is four inches shorter, three inches more narrow at the shoulders, and uses two ounces more DriDown filling where women lose more heat than men.

Sierra Designs Mobile Mummy

800 Fill Duck DriDown 800 Fill Duck DriDown
The Mobile Mummy moves when you do, so you can sleep on your side, stomach or back without feeling constrained. The arm ports have no zippers, toggles or hook-and-loop closures to get in your way. You can wear it like a shirt to sit up with free hands, and/or store the foot box and walk around camp wrapped in deluxe comfort. The zipper is easy to operate so you won’t get stuck inside with a full bladder, and dual sliders can be zipped from the bottom to increase ventilation. A draft collar, comfy tube and “curtains” keep cold air out and warm air in so you can drift off into dreamland without compromise. At 2-lbs, 4-oz, this lightweight sleeping bag is ideal for longer treks.
For campers between 6′ and 6’6″, they designed the Long Mobile Mummy. It’s $20 more expensive to cover the cost of that extra 20D Nylon Ripstop outer material and more down insulation.

While you’re busy dropping weight and boosting comfort, you may as well round out the whole package with some lightweight backpacking clothing and apparel for hiking and endurance sports. Check out the new collection of Sierra Designs jackets, shirts, pants and more.

Sierra Designs is leading a movement they’re calling Intelligent Minimalism. According to a recent blog post, “Reduce the physical clutter and you’ll clear the mental clutter too.” Follow this link to read about Sierra Designs’ philosopy: Intelligent Minimalism

 

 

Snow Peak Lighting: Torches, Lanterns and Lamps for the Outdoors

Friday, April 11th, 2014

This review comes from Scott Johns, an adventure cinematographer, mountain biker and snowboarder living in Incline Village on the north shore of Lake Tahoe. When Scott’s not creating beautiful imagery for video, he’s out ripping singletrack or shredding big lines in his backyard that we call the Eastern Sierra Nevada. Find more of Scott’s work at shredbums.com.


Snow Peak
has rad, compact lighting setups for everything under the sun–or stars, as it were. As we’re quickly heading into camping, fishing, backpacking and spelunking season, it seems like a good idea to do a short wrap-up of these products–complete with cheesy puns–to help expedite the decision-making process. You can get all of these awesome products at Tahoe Mountain Sports, your one-stop-shop in Tahoe for top-performing outdoor equipment.

Holy Hozukisnow-peak-hozuki-lantern

Snow Peak’s Hozuki LED Candle Lantern and Mini Hozuki Lantern are a good place to start because they are ridiculously versatile. Both feature a warm, yellow light with high, low and manual dim settings for better backcountry ambiance, as well as an adjustable, candle-like flicker mode. Move it quickly and it will even go out! Both models are also equipped with compressible, removable silicone lampshades for easy packing and cleaning. The Hozuki Lantern features a hook and cord for hanging anywhere and the Mini’s hook is a stretchy rubber loop, fixed on one end, with a magnet on the other for easily securing to straps on your pack, tent or anything else you can come up with. The Mini Hozuki even comes in a variety of colors to match your kit.


Not Your Average Tulip

The Tulip LED Lantern is less of a backpacking lantern and more of a do-almost-anything-else lantern. Use it as a desk lamp at home, illuminate a broader area with it pointed straight up, while preparing dinner or playing cards on a car camping trip, for example, or hang it in the tent to get your Walden on before bed. The Snow Peak Tulip’s gravity sensor will know how you have it set up and focus the beam accordingly. It’s snake-like, adjustable neck ensures you’ll always get light where you need it. Output is 250 lumens, running on three D batteries or powered through it’s USB port.

snow-peak-tulip-lantern


Snow Miner Headlamp/Lantern Combosnow-peak-miner-light-settings

Need a headlamp and a lantern, but don’t want to lug around the extra weight–or spend the extra money? Snow Peak has you covered. The Snow Miner Headlamp is where it’s at. High, low, strobe and dim modes, 110 Lumens and press the silicone dome in to create a focused beam on the fly. The included, unobtrusive hook on the headband instantly converts your headlamp to a lantern.

snow-peak-miner-headlamp (more…)

More Splitboarding Equipment In Tahoe for Fall 2014

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014
splitboard-gear-sale-tahoe

Splitboarding Is The Answer

Ditch the snowshoes. Tahoe Mountain Sports has splitboards and splitboarding equipment for sale online and in Kings Beach. Once you do toss those ‘shoes, or lend them to your friend and kindly leave them at the back of the group, you’ll understand what the hype is all about. Ever trekked through knee-deep powder on snowshoes with a snowboard on your back? Tried breaking trail up a steep mountainside covered in fresh snow? You can probably recall moments of overheated frustration and thoughts of “there’s got to be a better way“. Well, consider cutting your snowboard in half and turning it into ‘skis’ that climb uphill, then reattach as a snowboard for the downhill. Or, even better yet, buy one that’s already split. It’s called a splitboard, and owning one can make – or break – your winter.

Last year we introduced splitboards to our already impressive selection of backcountry touring gear. This year, we’re adding even more splitboarding gear to accommodate the increasing number of backcountry snowboarders that seem to have lately emerged from the depths of Lake Tahoe. Last year, we couldn’t keep Spark R&D bindings with the Tesla System (eliminates the need for slider pins) on the shelf. Same went for most of our Voile hardware and accessories. This year, we’ve more than doubled our order for both Spark R&D and Voile Manufacturing. We’re also adding Jones splitboards to the lineup, and stoked about that partnership because if you aren’t already aware, Jones Snowboards has made their mark as the premier brand in a fast-growing industry.

Please note that it is currently March 2014 and our next shipment of splitboarding gear will not arrive until September. Don’t get discouraged when you see our inventory is low, be excited that it will fill up again soon…with plenty of time to prepare for the record-setting winter of 2015! For any products currently Out Of Stock, you can opt to be contacted via email when they arrive this fall.

Jones Splitboards – Jeremy Jones, big-mountain snowboarding pioneer and founder of Jones Snowboards, is an advocate for sustainable “green” practices. So are we. Jones splitboards provide the most reliable gear available to those seeking extreme adventure. So do we. We’re stoked to have such an outstanding business partner for the coming winter(s). So are they. I’m sure of it.

jones-solution-splitboard-2015

 

Solution Splitboard – $849
The Best-Selling Splitboard in the World. Time-tested shape and flex deliver equal performance to your solid snowboard. The design is identical to that of the Flagship, only split down the middle. The Jones Solution floats in powder, busts through crud and chop, and holds a mean edge on hardpack (credit: Magne-Traction). It’s poppy and playful, and is 300 grams lighter for 2015. It’s also a bit stiffer in the torso so you can really slay it up high.

Stiffness: 8/10, Directional Rocker, Camber Under Foot
Ultra Core, Quadrax Carbon, Carbon Split Stringers
Mellow Magne-Traction, Blunt Nose, Progressive Sidecut
Sintered 9900 Base, Stone Ground Finish, Recycled ABS
Stronger Edges, OneBall Jay BIO Wax, Karakoram Hardware

 

 

jones-carbon-solution-splitboard

 

Carbon Solution Splitboard – $1119
Ideal for Technical Backcountry Lines. The Jones Carbon Solution is built for powerful riders who rip technical backcountry lines and demand a splitboard that offers the same ultra-responsive performance as a top-level solid freeride deck. A carbon topsheet and carbon stringers provide a damp, stiff ride that excels in variable conditions. It’s 500 grams lighter for 2014-15, thanks to the Jones ULTRA core with new ultralight wood cores and two layers of carbon fiber. Jones splitboards with ULTRA Construction are the lightest, most high performance snowboards on earth.

Stiffness: 10/10, Directional Rocker, Camber Under Foot
Ultra Core, Carbon Construction, Karakoram Hardware
Mellow Magne-Traction, Blunt Nose, Progressive Sidecut
Sintered 9900 Base, Stone Ground Finish, Recycled ABS

 

 

jones-ultracraft-splitboard

 

Ultracraft Splitboard – $1199
One of the lightest splitboards on earth. Tested on Denali and the Grant Teton, the performance of the Jones Ultracraft has been proven on some of the heaviest splitboard mountaineering achievements on the planet. Featuring the same trim and power as the Hovercraft, only with a carbon topsheet and core inserts that cut weight by 25%, the Ultracraft Splitboard is the ultimate ride for long days fulfilling big dreams in monster terrain.

Stiffness: 7/10, Directional Rocker, Camber Under Foot
Mellow Magne-Traction, Blunt Nose, Progressive Sidecut
Sintered 9900 Base, Stone Ground Finish, Recycled ABS
OneBall Jay BIO Wax, Karakoram Hardware

 

 

(more…)

Test The Best: Backcountry and AT Ski Preview for 2014-2015

Saturday, March 1st, 2014

If you read our blog regularly, you know we get to see and test all the new gear about one year before it hits the shelves at the shop. These are always some of our most popular posts, so if there is anything missing that you want to hear about, just let us know in the comments section at the end of the post.

This year we headed down to Mammoth for a full day of ski testing and then had some extra random days in Utah, the Tahoe backcountry and at our local resorts like Squaw and Alpine. Here is a brief rundown of everything we tested and those that made the cut for the ski wall during the 14-15 winter season.

Blizzard Scout and Kabookie pictured with the Cochise2014

Blizzard Scout and Kabookie pictured with the Cochise 2014

Blizzard Skis/Tecnica Boots:

This was our first season offering Tecnica boots for men and women along with two models of Blizzard skis: Kabookie and Scout. Starting with the popular Tecnica Cochise line of boots, Tecnica updated the Cochise boots with a better fit, tighter heel cup, improved liner, new graphics and lighter buckles. The main difference between the Cochise Pro and Cochise Light is going to be the existence of the nicer power strap on the Pro model, and the Light model will come with Tech soles in the box while the Pro model will have Din soles.

As for Blizzard Skis, all we can say is WOW! They ski like a dream, hold an incredibly strong edge, transition smoothly and, in general, were some of the best skis we skied all day. The only downfall is that they are not exactly light, but they are not very heavy either. In our testers’ opinions, these are some of the best one-ski-quiver options you can buy.

 

2015-Volkl-skisVolkl Skis:

The clear highlight in the Volkl line is the new BMT line, which highlights the V-Werks construction in three new skis (or more accurately, three models of the same ski with different waist widths). The V-Werks Katana launched  this year and has been a solid, lightweight performer that drives with power and determination. The BMT skis on the other hand, are even lighter, can hold an edge as well as all Volkl skis but initiate their turn really smoothly and rapidly, and are therefore really highly targeted to the backcountry crowd along with a strong crossover appeal to that person who spends their time about 50/50 between resort and backcountry. The Volkl BMT skis will come in a 94, 109 and 122 waist. These are light, indestructible, fast turning, strong edge holding, smooth riding skis. Two thumbs up for sure!

 

 

 

 

salomon-q-bc-lab-skis-2015Salomon Skis and Boots:

We only skied two of Salomon’s skis and they were the Rocker2 100 and Q BC Lab at 114 under foot. The Salomon Q BC Lab (Dims: 140/114/128) is a takeoff from their running line where the S-Lab series represents the best, newest technology and highest end materials that shoes can be made of and developed for. This ski is the new entry into Salomon’s backcountry foray.

Out of all the skis we tested that were in the 115 underfoot category, the Q BC Lab easily beat them all with its immediate responsiveness, lightweight construction and overall consistency in the given conditions. In the same vein, the Rocker2 100 excelled in its class. It wasn’t the edge holder that the Blizzard skis were, but it was a solid, transition enjoying, responsive ski. I would say that the 2015 Salomon skis were the surprise winners of the day.

 

k2-coomback-skis-2015K2 Skis:

The most exciting part of the K2 line is the addition of the famous Coomback ski in a 114 waist. For 14-15 there will be two different Coomback skis available. This particular test day didn’t really beg for a ski that was 115 under foot, but after coming from the Salomon S-Lab, I decided to give it a try. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the same as the Salomon and while it will be a fun and playful powder ski, it is not a ski that can do it all. The Coomback 104 skied similarly to years past and will be a dependable one-ski-quiver long into the future. The ski for the day today was the K2 Annex 98 with its metal top sheet and sandwich sidewalls, this ski held its line just like the Volkls before it. The Annex series is a great choice for that person spending more than 60% of their time at the resort.

 

 

 

 

2015-poc-helmet-goggle-review

 

 

Before I wrap this up I need to mention two of our favorite pieces of winter gear that we’ve been fortunate enough to test, review, and sell – although gear from POC Sports sells out fast because it’s in such high demand. POC helmets and POC goggles are insanely comfortable and integrate perfectly together, creating an almost seamless fit. POC goggles provide superior visibility (peripheral span and contrast/clarity) and, as if you’re not already aware, POC helmets have been repeatedly proven safer than the rest.

 

 

 

 

After a long day of lapping the slopes of Mammoth and trekking to and from the demo tents, we ended testing over 15 skis between two people. Not bad for an average day of work! Check back here for updates as the skis become available and more skis are tested out for the 14-15 season.

 

Tahoe Mountain Sports Gift Cards Fast, easy, and one size fits all. Buy Now! Follow us: