Pixel Hiker https://pixelhiker.com Exploring Outdoors with a Camera Sun, 02 Feb 2020 22:55:59 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.4.1 https://pixelhiker.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/cropped-pixel-hiker-square-logo-2-512sq-32x32.jpg Pixel Hiker https://pixelhiker.com 32 32 151627949 Rugged Ridge Phone Mount Review Jeep JK JKU https://pixelhiker.com/rugged-ridge-phone-mount-review-jeep-jk-jku/ Sun, 02 Feb 2020 22:55:59 +0000 https://pixelhiker.com/?p=13362 Picture of a Rugged Ridge Phone Mount Review Jeep JK JKU Installed

Rugged Ridge Phone Mount Installed and iPhone Mounted

A while back I wrote about the Rugged Ridge Phone Mount 13551.16 I bought for my 2018 Jeep JKU Altitude Edition and I recently realized I never followed up with additional comments or a review on the mount. To that end, I decided it’s better late than never.

For those who can’t be bothered to follow the above link, I will give a little recap. Rugged Ridge sells what’s probably the best phone mount for Jeeps. They have a model available to fit most jeeps and they are available at Amazon for $39.99 with Prime same-day or next-day delivery with. Can’t beat that right?

Picture of a Rugged Ridge Phone Mount Review Jeep JK JKU Installed

Rugged Ridge Phone Mount

Rugged Ridge Phone Mount Installation:

Tools required: 1/4″ Drive Ratchet, Short 1/4″ Drive extension and 1/4″ Drive 7mm Socket. I found 1/4″ drive to be the best but use what you have. The 7mm socket is what’s critical.

Installation is under 5 minutes using the following 6 steps:

  • 1 – Remove existing accessory tray from the dashboard (It simply pops out). 
  • 2 – Remove the hex head bolt with 7mm socket
  • 3 – Attach upright arm and secure with hex head bolt removed in the previous step
  • 4 – Insert new accessory tray
  • 5 – Remove the nut from the phone mount socket and place over the ball on the upright arm
  • 6 – Pop phone mount socket onto the mating ball and tighten the nut. Done!
Picture of a Rugged Ridge Phone Mount Review Jeep JK JKU Installed

Picture of a Rugged Ridge Phone Mount Installed in My Jeep JKU

Rugged Ridge Phone Mount Review

Our little mini-review here is actually for two units as Erin and I are both using them in our Jeeps. If you have poked around on this site you might recall she has a 2018 JKU Oscar Mike Edition. For Erin’s part of this, her use is a testament to the Rugged Ridge Phone Mounts cold weather durability as she lives in Northern Vermont where winters start in September and end in May and 0 degrees in January is a heatwave. I’m in Connecticut where the weather is typically less severe.

Heat: In my original post I mentioned that heat was an issue as the phone is in direct sunlight through the front windshield. This is no fault of the mount. This summer I’m going to conduct tests to see if the Quadlock Case is a contributing factor due to its black color and obvious trapping of the phones the heat. As I mentioned in my previous post I have an idea to deal with the heat.

Phone Cases: When using the Rugged Ridge Phone Mount the type of case used on your phone affects the usage. My girl’s iPhone 8 plus has a very thick UAG Case. While it fits the mount just fine it’s a two-hand affair to mount the phone. I have the same phone and my phone slips in much easier as the Quadlock case is thinner and made from a slippery plastic and features radiused edges. The UAG is “sticky” with sharp square edges. Often when inserting the iPhone with the UAG case the position of the mount becomes disrupted. Less so with my phone. I think phones with no cases or smooth thin cases will be one hand insert affairs.  At the end of the day, this is no big deal unless you’re annoyed by such things. I’m not.

On the Road: This is the heart of what matters. The Rugged Ridge Phone Mount holds the phone very securely and simply will not move under normal driving situations. Our offroad results are equally good. Erin gives her phone mount a regular offroad workout and she says the phone remains in place for events that have broken her jeep. That’s a pretty strong statement in my opinion. I suppose long term non-stop, rough terrain, offroading might cause the mount to move but I probably won’t experience those conditions here in Connecticut.

The mounting height of the Rugged Ridge Phone Mount is pretty good for viewing Waze or your favorite GPS app.

The one detail I’m not completely thrilled with is the accessory tray, the jeep factory part is soft pliable rubber. It does a better job of holding odds & ends quietly in place versus the hard plastic Rugged Ridge supplied accessory tray. Not a big deal but it keeps me from giving the mount a 5-star review.

Room for improvement: As I mentioned previously I have a few ideas to address the heat issue I experienced. I also plan on adding some anti-slip phone decals to the bottom of the accessory tray.

The big improvements I plan on adding will come when I install an Alpine Restyle Sound System. I plan on installing USB ports in the accessory tray and I have some ideas for wireless charging.

Bottom Line: The Rugged Ridge Phone Mount is a great mount for jeep owners. Is it perfect? no, but at $40 delivered it’s tough to beat and I would definitely recommend it to a friend.

FILSON ALASKAN GUIDE SHIRT REVIEW https://pixelhiker.com/filson-alaskan-guide-shirt-review/ https://pixelhiker.com/filson-alaskan-guide-shirt-review/#respond Mon, 18 Nov 2019 03:04:35 +0000 https://pixelhiker.com/?p=13342 FILSON ALASKAN GUIDE SHIRT


Filson Alaskan Guide Shirt

This post doesn’t exactly fall into the categories of hiking or Jeeps, instead it’s about looking great and feeling great around those outdoor activities. It’s no secret I love flannel shirts and the Filson Alaskan Guide Shirt is my favorite line. These shirts are a medium weight and a very warm. They are also durable and the colors never fade. I have been wearing the red/black  and green/black for nearly eight years and both look as good today as the day I bought them. While no longer made in the USA they are still worthy of their price tag. Every button, stitch and crease is perfection.

I wear the Alaskan Guide Shirts three seasons. They keep me warm when the days begin to cool, they are a light windbreaker and I often wear them walking the dog and under other jackets.

Filson Alaskan Guide Shirt

Filson Alaskan Guide Shirt

The red/black shirt is not just my favorite but also a favorite of females young and old. When combined with my olive colored Orvis Heritage Field Coat this old guy gets compliments at every coffee stop. Interestingly many guys prefer the green/black.

I wear the Alaskan Guide Shirts three seasons. They keep me warm when the days begin to cool, they are a light windbreaker and I often wear them walking the dog and under other jackets.

When I want to get attention from the ladies the younger crowd prefer the red/black flannel under my black leather. I finish it off with a splash of Creed Adventus cologne. The more mature ladies prefer the red/black guide shirt under the previously mentioned Orvis Heritage Field Coat with a splash of John Varvatos Vintage cologne.

When I get a chance I’ll post some personal pictures where I am not kissing my dog.

Filson Alaskan Guide Shirt Description

The iconic Filson Alaskan Guide Shirt is made with midweight breathable cotton flannel that’s wind-resistant and brushed for soft comfort. A pleated back provides a full range of motion, perfect for hunting, fishing, working and daily use. The long hem offers full coverage and keeps the shirt tucked in. Button front with two chest pockets and button-adjustable cuffs.

Filson Alaskan Guide Shirt Features

  • Button-front closure
  • 2 flap pockets
  • Adjustable button-closure cuffs
  • Pleated back for ease of movement in shoulders, with hanging loop
  • Thick and dense fabric brushed on both sides for a soft feel
  • Tight weave for durability and wind resistance
  • Spread Collar
https://pixelhiker.com/filson-alaskan-guide-shirt-review/feed/ 0 13342
HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FOR HIKERS | HIKING GEAR 2019 https://pixelhiker.com/holiday-gift-guide-for-hikers-hiking-gear-2019/ https://pixelhiker.com/holiday-gift-guide-for-hikers-hiking-gear-2019/#respond Fri, 15 Nov 2019 16:22:36 +0000 https://pixelhiker.com/?p=12535 In my other post HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FOR HIKERS – STOCKING STUFFERS 2019 I touched on the lighter side of gift giving with hiking related Christmas Tree Ornaments and Stocking Stuffers for hikers. This post is different, it’s about great functional gifts for hikers, backpackers and campers, gifts that are meant to impress and up the ante on someone’s hiking game. Some of the items on this holiday gift guide are items I own and use while others are items I want or shall I say NEED.




Premium lightweight cook and eat kit for 1-2 backpackers, featuring the PocketRocket Deluxe micro stove. Premium stove kit takes ultralight adventures up a notch with deluxe features that enhance your cooking experience on the trail. Sized for two but light enough for one, the kit comes equipped with MSR’s pressure-regulated, fast-boiling PocketRocket Deluxe stove that perfectly nests in the kit’s ultra-compact Trail Mini™ Duo Cook Set. Ultralight backpackers and minimalist bikepackers alike will appreciate the stove’s push-start ignition, consistently fast boil times (even when fuel and temperatures are low), and broad burner for more versatile cooking and simmering. The 1.2 L pot is the ideal capacity for boiling water for two pouch meals or cups of coffee, while the included bowl adds a second eating/drinking vessel for sharing with a trail partner


Osprey Talon 33 Backpack

Osprey Talon 33 Backpack

I’m not typically a “Brand” type person, meaning I like the best product for my needs and I wont buy something just because I am loyal to a particular brand. That said I have never been disappointed with OSPREY products. Beyond my Talon 33 liter backpack I also have some of their hydration backpacks and they are in my opinion the best. The OSPREY TALON would make most day hikers happy and typically cost about $149 but is occasionally on sale for $99. Read my review of the Osprey Talon 33.


Oboz Sawtooth Mid BDry Waterproof Hiking Boots

Oboz Sawtooth Mid BDry Waterproof Hiking Boots

I ABSOLUTELY LOVE my Oboz Sawtooth Mid BDry Hiking Boots, so much so that I tell anyone who will listen to go to the nearest REI and try them for themselves. The O Fit Insole orthotic is the path to happy feet whether hiking or just walking around. While no footwear can please everyone’s feet I bet the sawtooth can please many and at an affordable $149.  I think a pair of Oboz sawtooth would make an excellent gift. If you aren’t sure about there size print out a picture and attach it to an REI gift card for the amount. If your a stay at home holiday shopper you can also take advantage of Amazon Prime to buy your loved one a pair of OBOZ. Read my review of the Oboz Sawtooth Hiking Boots.




 So maybe your loved one has a pair of hiking boots that they will never part with so getting a pair of sawtooths is out of the question. Good news! Oboz offers a trim to fit O FIT INSOLE that can be used with any hiking boot. My girl is getting these as a Christmas gift for her 15 year old ASSOS hiking boots.  Heres the OBOZ description of the INSOLES. “OBOZ trim-to-fit anatomically-designed aftermarket insole maximizes stability and support with a medium arch and a deep heel cup. Dual-density EVA throughout provides both cushioning and durability, and Poron® Comfort urethane pods under the metatarsals and heels adds extra protection to high-strike zones.” Oboz is selling the O Fit INSOLE through local shoe stores and Amazon. Visit Oboz Footwear




Internet hikers are very opinionated on whether or not hiking or trekking poles are a necessity. I believe everyone is different and everyone’s needs are different. There is no right or wrong answer. I will say that my girl bought me the BLACK DIAMOND ALPINE CARBON CORK TREKKING POLES last August because a salesperson at REI had suggested to her that I would need them for hiking Franconia Ridge Trail in New Hampshire. I thought it a very considerate gift because I didn’t think I would use them and also didn’t want to spend the money. Well I didn’t need them to ascend to the summit or traverse the peaks but coming down was a whole other thing. It was brutal and I simply can’t imaging NOT having the hiking poles on that descend. I relied on them so heavily that my triceps hurt for days. I really have the most awesome girl. So if you really want to give a hiker or backpacker in your life an amazing Christmas Holiday Gift I don’t think you can go wrong with the BLACK DIAMOND ALPINE CARBON CORK TREKKING POLES. I have a review the poles coming I just need to take the pictures. I will update this post when the review is complete so for now visit Black Diamond




I have always enjoyed having tiny little lights. Back in my earliest camping days I had this light that looked like a 3/4″-1″ tall Coleman Lantern. We used to hang it from the center of our Eureka tent for “Mood Lighting”. Eventually though I moved it to my key ring  and replaced it with a slightly brighter but similarly sized “Ray O Vac” lantern. I still have them both to this day they they are retired for safe keeping. Now I have my mind set on the $10 NITE IZE MOONLIT LED MICRO LANTERN. I have have used other products from Nite Ize such as LED Illuminated Dog Collars and an Illuminated Safety Vest for myself while walking the dog so I can say Nite Ize is the “Good Stuff” not that $10 is much of a risk for a small LED light that you can clip to just about anything and has a battery life of 60 hours. This micro-sized lantern brings big ambient lighting solutions to small spaces. Clip it to anything from a zipper to the top of your tent for quick hands-free lighting. It features an integrated carabiner clip with a light that swivels 360°. Available in white or red LED options. The versatile MoonLit LED Micro Lantern features a secure carabiner at the top allowing it to clip and hang providing ambient hands-free lighting just about anywhere. The bright LED (white or red) can be set to glow or flash, and swivels in place 360° providing a comprehensive lighting solution in a compact package. Water resistant and featuring replaceable batteries that last over 60 hours, the MoonLit Micro Lantern is a great lighting companion for camping, fishing, reading, clipping to poorly lit areas like closets or shelving, and much more. Operates on two 2032 batteries.  Visit Nite Ize




The BIG AGNES MTNGLO TENT CAMP LIGHT is a tent light that is almost universally loved by campers who own it. I don’t own one yet because until learning of the Big Agnes existence I had been using those little led strings on Amazon the kind you see in mason jars and wine bottles. You can see them in my review of the Woodstock/Lincoln KOA campground. They work ok but they are delicate and tangle easy.

Big Agnes mtnGLO Tent Camp Lights Big Agnes mtnGLO tent/camp light uses patent-pending mtnGLO Tent Light Technology™ and tough LED lights to illuminate your tent interior or campsite with enough light to sort gear or play cards.Triangular pyramid shaped case doubles as a lantern – Use clip on case when hanging as a lantern. Visit Big Agnes

  • Three modes: off / full light / flicker
  • 100″/254cm long strand of LED lights encased in lightweight nylon tubing
  • Four plastic clips on light strand allow you to customize your lighting experience
  • Three AAA batteries provide power (batteries not included)
  • Light strand can also be powered by any USB source


Filson Smokey Bear 75th Birthday Collection

Filson Smokey Bear 75th Birthday Collection

As I mentioned in my Filson Smokey Bear Collection post I am a huge fan of Filson apparel. The recently released Smokey Bear Collection is a wonderful throwback to the youth of us older folks and sure to appeal to the newest generation of hikers. If anyone is paying attention I want a hat and briefs to start.



https://pixelhiker.com/holiday-gift-guide-for-hikers-hiking-gear-2019/feed/ 0 12535
HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FOR HIKERS | STOCKING STUFFERS 2019 https://pixelhiker.com/holiday-gift-guide-for-hikers-stocking-stuffers-2019/ https://pixelhiker.com/holiday-gift-guide-for-hikers-stocking-stuffers-2019/#respond Fri, 15 Nov 2019 03:51:24 +0000 https://pixelhiker.com/?p=12406 It’s no secret I love giving gifts to friends, family, the occasional stranger and even myself. To that end I totally embrace Christmas and for me my Christmas Spirit begins the day after Halloween. I start looking at holiday gift guides for hikers on other websites and was somewhat disappointed as they were all click bait to get visitors to buy stuff. While I understand that is a fact of life for owning and operating websites I also feel there has to be balance. This Christmas or Holiday Guide is a little different. First off I consider all the gifts on this page to be “Stocking Stuffers” and I happen to own many of the gift suggestions even if I do not include my own pictures (I started this page in October). Many of the links will take you to Amazon, there is no way of avoiding it these days but other links will take you to the appropriate source.

Anyhow I hope you find this useful, I will add more pictures and gift ideas as I find them and of course if you have something positive to say are a Hiking Christmas Tree ornament suggestion or any uncommon stocking stuffer suggestion that would appeal to visitors of this site please share it at the bottom of this page.

Gifts For Hikers Stocking Stuffers

Gifts For Hikers Stocking Stuffers


What makes a better stocking stuffer for hikers than hiking and outdoors themed Christmas Tree Ornaments? Nothing is better! Your recipient gets a neat ornament on Christmas and every year they will proudly display them. I like to write the date on them in permanent marker in an inconspicuous place if possible. This helps tie the ornament to a memory.

Hiking Compass Ornament

Hiking Christmas Tree Ornament Features Hiking Boots, a Compass and a Map Hiking Christmas Tree Ornament Features Hiking Boots, a Compass and a Map

The “Hiking Compass Ornament” is one of my favorite stocking stuffers that I’m including in this guide. It’s about $12.50

 Hiking Boots Compass Design Round Porcelain Christmas Ornaments by OSWALDO

 Hiking Boots Compass Design Round Porcelain Christmas Ornaments by OSWALDO Hiking Boots Compass Design Round Porcelain Christmas Ornaments by OSWALDO

This is a cute porcelain finished ornament that features a compass, knife and a pair of hiking boots against a mountain trail background. It’s $17 and the type of ornament that can last generations.

Kurt Adler 3.75″ Resin Hiker Sign “Hike” “Life is Better At The Top” Hanging Ornament

Kurt Adler Hiker Sign Life is Better On Top Hanging Ornament Kurt Adler Hiker Sign Life is Better at The Top Hanging Ornament

This ornament by Kurt Adler is so awesome I would be tempted to leave it up year round. I feel this ornament sums up hikers.

Kurt Adler “Hiking Trails” Hiking Themed Ornament

Kurt Adler Hiking Trails Hiking Themed Ornament Kurt Adler Hiking Trails Hiking Themed Ornament

This ornament is a favorite of my girls. The hiking boots look like the pair she owned when we first started hanging out, drinking beer and of course hiking back in 1987. We didn’t start dating until 1990-91. I bet she still has the boots at her parents.

Hallmark Keepsake 2016 Happy Campers Lantern Ornament

Hallmark Keepsake 2016 Happy Campers Lantern Ornament Hallmark Keepsake 2016 Happy Campers Lantern Ornam to ent

This Hallmark Gold Crown Exclusive Happy Campers Lantern Ornament needs no words describe it, Hallmark did a great job with this cute lantern ornament. It will please hikers, campers or just about anyone else who enjoys the great outdoors.


As a kid I think there were many years I enjoyed my Christmas Stocking gifts more than the big gifts. A gifts physical size often had little to do with fun factor of a gift.  This hasn’t changed for me and to this day I still enjoy buying awesome stocking stuffer gifts for my girl. Below is a few items I think any hiker would enjoy finding in their Christmas Stocking.

Darn Tough Hiking Socks

Darn Tough Hiking Socks
Darn Tough Hiking Socks

Available in men’s and women’s styles, constructed of Coolmax or Merino Wool Darn Tough Hiking Socks  are considered by many to be the best hiking socks available. Darn Tough Socks are made in Vermont USA and carry what is probably the best guarantee in socks “Our unconditional lifetime guarantee is simple and without strings or conditions. If our socks are not the most comfortable, durable and best fitting socks you have ever owned, return them for another pair. No strings. No conditions. For life”.

STANLEY CLASSIC FLASK 8 oz – Item# 10-00837-045

Stanley Classic Flask
Stanley Classic Flask with my Ocicat Ryan Reynolds

I was visiting my local bike shop, Class Cycles in Southbury, Connecticut and something caught my eye. That something was the Stanley Classic Flask in all it’s retro glory mounted in a special water bottle cage for a bike. I was excited like a kid. For me it brings back quite a bit of nostalgia from my childhood. You see back in the the day (I’m 52) the green enamel Stanley Thermos Bottles were THE THERMOS TO OWN. They kept your hot food & beverages like soup and coffee hot and your cold drinks cold. My mom lived out of hers. Like I said seeing the flask I just had to buy this for my girl it spoke to me. While I bought the flask in the picture as a bike gift it is a well regarded flask among hikers and backpackers. My Ocicat Ryan Reynolds seems to like it too.



OMG we just love the WHISKEY PEAKS ROCKS GLASSES. Now we don’t drink any whiskey around here but we do enjoy drinking iced tea and drinking it from the Mount Washington glass. For me it makes me daydream of being there and reliving fun memories.

2016 marked the centennial of America’s National Park Service, so we decided to celebrate the best way we know how: by raising a glass. In this case, Whiskey Peaks, a handsome set of two hand blown whiskey glasses made from premium lead-free glass. Featuring a raised topographic impression of some of the greatest, most majestic peaks in the world, Whiskey Peaks will keep you inspired and sippin’ “on the rocks” whenever 5 o’clock calls.

  • Half Dome, Yosemite National Park
  • Denali, Denali National Park
  • Mount Rainier, Rainier National Park
  • Mount Whitney, Sequoia National Park
  • Mount Everest, the highest mountain on Earth
  • Mount Washington the most prominent mountain east of the Mississippi
  • Mount Fuji, Japan’s highest mountain



Reliable lighting should be part of any hiking backpack and it also make a great stocking stuffer. I personally LOVE getting lights for gifts and I love buying and testing various lights. Part of your lighting needs should be a headlamp. Headlamps are great for providing hands free light while doing just about any task in the dark. Lately I have come to prefer Petzl headlamps and have bought two since August.

PETZL TACTIKKA+ Headlamp, 250 lumens, Ultra-Compact Headlamp. Compact and powerful headlamp ideal for hunting and fishing. White or red lighting preserves night vision and ensures stealth. 250 lumens

Designed for activities where stealth is key (hunting, fishing, nature watching…), the TACTIKKA + headlamp offers a powerful 250 lumens of lighting. It features a very long burn time and great lighting versatility: proximity or focused lighting for movement, and red lighting to preserve night vision and ensure stealth. TACTIKKA + is a HYBRID headlamp that is also compatible with the CORE rechargeable battery.



I’m not certain of the correct terminology whether it’s dry sacks or stuff sacks but they are so useful in organizing a backpack. I had some Walmart ones briefly but they didn’t last. If anyone who knows me that buy’s me Christmas gifts I would LOVE a few of these Kammok Buuro Bag Stuff Sacks. They review very well and the safety orange can be a bonus in a signaling emergency. They are inexpensive and the smaller sizes definitely fit in a  Christmas Stocking. Visit Kammok and start your holiday shopping…for me.

Instantly add organization to your gear bag. Five sizes range from 1-16 L with a water resistant coating to keep your gear dry and orderly. The bags have built-in button snaps that attach to your hammock, backpack, or ridge line.

  • Finally organize headlamps, socks, snacks, and more
  • Water resistant fabric keeps gear dry
  • Packs into itself for easy storage




I now own two of these Fenix PD35 V2.0 2018 Flashlights kits and I gave a 3rd to Erin. I use one for hiking and walking the dog and the other stays in my Nissan Murano. The light is very compact, light and incredibly bright. The kit includes a special battery part#18650 that can be charged with an included micro USB cable. It will also operate on traditional CR123A batteries such as Energizer Lithium. This kit isn’t cheap but I think once you try it there’s no going back to another flashlight. The Fenix PD35 is a great stocking stuffer.

The Fenix PD35 V2.0 2018 Upgrade 1000 Lumen Flashlight with Fenix 2600mAh Built-in USB Rechargeable Battery & LumenTac Charging Cable

New and improved, the PD35 V2.0 flashlight is destined to carry forward on Fenix’s most popular flashlight. Fitted with the Cree XP-L HI V3 LED, this light delivers a maximum 1000 lumens at a distance of 820 feet (250 meters). Turn the light on and off with the tail switch and cycle through the six lighting modes via the newly designed metal side switch—which also has a built-in battery level indicator. You can achieve an incredible 430 hours of runtime when using the new ECO brightness level. Compact and built-tough, the PD35 flashlight is IP68 rated; dust proof and waterproof underwater to two meters. Perfect for just about any outdoor or work activity, the PD35 is destined to be YOUR favorite light too.

Size: Length: 5.4″ (138mm), Body: 0.9″ (23mm), Head: 1.0″ (25.4mm)

Weight: 3.1 oz. (88g) weight excluding batteries.

Battery (included): One rechargeable 18650 Li-ion battery or two CR123A batteries (Not Included). NOTE: The light will not work with flat-top 18650s.  We recommend any of the ARB-L18 series from Fenix.

Included: Holster, lanyard, two spare O-rings and spare rubber switch boot




Is there a wine drinker in your hiking group? I’m sure they would love the cool $9.95 GSI OUTDOORS SOFT SIDED WINE CARAFE. I know Erin and my girl would love to get this as a gift and one of them will. Should lead to heck of a review. Buy it at REI or direct GSI Outdoors. While your at GSI check out the rest of their alcohol carrying products. Your Welcome.

The Soft Sided Wine Carafe designed to transport your favorite wine into the backcountry- or just to your picnic. Leave behind the bulk and weight of the wine bottle, you stay light on the trail.



https://pixelhiker.com/holiday-gift-guide-for-hikers-stocking-stuffers-2019/feed/ 0 12406
$37 Oboz Wind River III BDry Hiking Boots Mens https://pixelhiker.com/37-oboz-wind-river-iii-bdry-hiking-boots-mens/ https://pixelhiker.com/37-oboz-wind-river-iii-bdry-hiking-boots-mens/#respond Sun, 01 Sep 2019 19:29:35 +0000 https://pixelhiker.com/?p=13285 You read the title right, I bought a pair of mens, size 12 Oboz Wind River III BDry Hiking Boots for $37 at REI and talk about perfect timing! As you may recall a few months back, April 2019, I bought a pair of Oboz Sawtooth II Low Hiking Shoes for more every day shoes. I have worn the Sawtooth II’s every day weather permitting of course. Lately I was thinking though it was time to get something different for fall. I know what your thinking, this guys is concerned about fall fashion, well no I’m not. As we roll into September my feet have been getting wet while walking the dog or during early morning hikes. Basically the morning dew goes through the mesh top of the Oboz Sawtooth II Low Hiking Shoes, this is because I intentionally did not buy the “BDry” version, now my toes “BWet”.

Well as luck would have it I received a promotional email from REI for 50% of select items this labor day weekend. While many items caught my attention it was the $210 Oboz Wind River III BDry Hiking Boots for Men on sale for $104.99 that stood out (ladies is the same). Initially I thought to myself this is too good to be true, they will never have size 12 available but that was not the case. While I shouldn’t have been hesitant because I wanted, needed these hiking boots I didn’t really have $104.99 to spend. We have been on a bad luck spree with vet bills lately and in fact Friday Willow is getting a tooth extracted at a cost of nearly $700.

But wait, then it hit me, I remembered I had my $77.85 REI Dividends available still and I could apply them towards this order. I did just that, and after taxes, free shipping I bought the Oboz Wind River III BDry Hiking Boots – Mens for $37. Perhaps if I’m lucky I will have them for my trip to Franconia New Hampshire later this month.

Technically I could use these boots or the Oboz Sawtooth Mid BDry Waterproof Mens Hiking Boots for hiking and day to day but truth be told I like buying boots. Hmm maybe I will dress accordingly for fall fashion after all.

It should be noted that the Oboz Wind River III BDry Hiking Boots are actually considered backpacking boots and due to that can carry a heavier load than a boot like the Sawtooth.

Lastly stay tuned for an informal real world, honest review Oboz Wind River III BDry Hiking Boots in the coming weeks.

Visit REI and Oboz Footwear.

Picture of Oboz BDry Wind River III Hiking Boots

Oboz Wind River III BDry Hiking Boots

Oboz Wind River III BDry Hiking Boots

Trekking down a trail for a few days takes you to a place of solace few other activities can match. Get there in the Oboz Men’s Wind River III B-Dry Backpacking Boot, and arrive with your foot ready to take on the next day. A waterproof, breathable, B-Dry membrane seals out moisture from rain or puddles without sealing in your sweat. This boot boasts an asymmetrical chassis that helps your ankle resist rolling without limiting the flexibility of the boot where you need it. An EVA midsole absorbs the additional impact of your loaded pack coming down on your foot, minimizing energy loss so you can keep crushing miles on the trail. The Wind River outsole is not only grippy on all sorts of terrain, but it’s also based on a topo map of the Wind River mountain range which makes it that much cooler.

  • Boots for backpacking or hiking under load
  • Waterproof B-Dry membrane seals out precipitation
  • Nubuck leather and textile resist abrasions
  • EVA midsole absorbs impact as you hike
  • TPU chassis provides stability
  • Wind River outsole grips varied surfaces
  • Item #OBZ001I

Oboz Wind River III BDry Hiking Boots Features

  • Waterproof nubuck leather uppers feature abrasion-resistant nylon mesh panels for just the right combination of breathability and protection
  • BDry™ waterproof, breathable membranes keep soggy elements out while letting water vapor escape, keeping your feet cool and comfortable
  • Asymmetrical chassis acts as an integrated shank, flexing where needed, and offers exceptional lateral support to prevent ankle rolling
  • Lightweight polyurethane pods in heels soak up impact and provide long-lasting comfort
  • EVA foam midsoles in the forefoot provide cushioning
  • Proprietary O FIT™ insoles add supportive arches and deep cushioning heel cups for stability and comfort
  • Deep 4.5mm directional lugs grip terrain on the way up while providing exceptional traction for braking on the way down
  • Dual-zone lacing provides a secure fit
  • Molded rubber toe cap protects uppers from abrasion
  • Board-lasted construction delivers a sturdy underfoot feel
  • 15mm heel rise

Oboz Wind River III BDry Hiking Boots Technical Specs

Best Use
Footwear Height
Footwear Closure
Nubuck leather/fabric
Polyurethane heel/EVA forefoot
Asymmetrical TPU chassis
Weight (Pair)
3 lb. 4 oz.
https://pixelhiker.com/37-oboz-wind-river-iii-bdry-hiking-boots-mens/feed/ 0 13285
Learning From Past Experiences Preparing For Franconia Ridge 2019 https://pixelhiker.com/learning-from-past-experiences-preparing-for-franconia-ridge-2019/ https://pixelhiker.com/learning-from-past-experiences-preparing-for-franconia-ridge-2019/#respond Sat, 17 Aug 2019 18:44:16 +0000 https://pixelhiker.com/?p=13237 Franconia Ridge Loop Panorama Crop 02

Franconia Ridge Loop Panorama

In a couple weeks, early September 2019, I will be hiking the Franconia Ridge Trail in New Hampshire’s beautiful White Mountains for the second time. To begin with before last years hike to prepare myself I read a lot and spoke to quite a few folks who had done the hike. Even with that knowledge and experience of others I wasn’t ideally prepared for my hike.

Basically my initial hike last year was fantastic I did learn a lot about myself and this particular hiking experience and there was a lot of room for improvement.

Mistakes I Made Hiking Franconia Ridge

Carry Too Much Weight

Camera Gear: To begin with the single biggest mistake I made was over packing and the extra weight was brutal. Let me break it down. The biggest mistake was my decision to bring My Nikon D810, a couple lenses and a full size tripod.

That’s a total of 10.29375 (164.7 ounces) pounds of camera equipment! What am I doing different this trip? I’m glad you asked! last year when I returned from New Hampshire I posed a question on a photography forum, the question was “what photography equipment do you take hiking?”. The responses were very informative because many photographers responded and and their responses covered most types of hiking on the planet. An interesting and unexpected response emerged and that was the singling out of a camera, the 14.22 ounce Leica D-Lux 7 Digital Camera.

That nod to the Leica grabbed my attention and also scared me a bit because Leica cameras are notoriously expensive. That said much to my surprise the D-Lux 7 is under $1100! This is due largely in part because it shares a lot in common with the Panasonic Lumix DC-LX100 II Digital Camera. Fortunately for me though I don’t need to buy one. My close friend Greg was headed to Alaska on a hiking and fishing trip and asked for a camera recommendation so he could leave his heavy Canon 60D at home. I recommended the Leica and he bought it. He also graciously offered to loan it to me for my Franconia Notch hike. So using the Leica will reduce a whopping 9 pounds off my pack weight! Think about that for a minute. That’s about 1/3 of my Osprey Talon 33 Backpack’s loaded weight.

Packing For Others

Because I was hiking with Erin and Willow (dog) I carried extra food and two liters of water for Willow along with pet first aid supplies. While Erin and Willow are not joining me if they were Willow would carry her own supplies just like us humans do. A liter of water weighs 2.2 pounds. So not packing or a dog easily reduces 5 pounds from my Osprey Talon 33 Backpack.

Packing For Worst Case Scenarios and the Unknown

I read all kinds of horror stories about unexpected dangerous weather conditions on Franconia Ridge and I have respect for all those warnings but I really didn’t need to bring multiple light sources, extra batteries, four days of protein bars etc. I simply would not attempt the hike with any known possibility of dangerous weather. It’s also important to note that on a gorgeous early September Saturday there are several hundred people hiking the ridge. That’s a lot of fellow man looking out for one another. There is also the Greenleaf Hut to provide water, food and assistance. I also brought too many layers of clothes. This is hardwired in my head. I hate being cold so I tend to over dress and carry too much clothing. This time Ill  bring what I need, no more no less. I will resist the urge to overthink and over prepare.

My avoiding the mistakes and lessons learned from above I figure I will start with a pack weight of about 15-17 pounds including the 5 liters of water in my Osprey Talon 33’s reservoir.

Training To Hike Franconia Ridge Trail

Hurbo Vertical Climber Maxiclimber

Hurbo Vertical Climber Maxiclimber

I’m mostly doing what I did last year which is a lot of bike riding and long hikes at local parks. That’s all good for my stamina but last year I wasn’t prepared for the extremes of the climb up and the more painful ascent down. Those extremes used muscles I don’t fully utilize in my normal exercise routines. This year to prepare I purchased the $130 Hurbo Vertical Climber Maxiclimber from Amazon. The Hurbo Vertical Climber Maxiclimber utilizes your body weight to simulate a step/stair type of machine that also works your upper body. When I first purchased it i could only manage 6 minutes, it nearly killed me and it hurt to walk for 4 days and it hurt exactly the correct muscles. I love this thing, It is amazingly effective and a shocking value.

Foot Health

Not sure If I mentioned previously but I was born with birth defects on my hands and feet. While it’s not normally an issue in my day to day life and it’s also in my opinion not an excuse for me. The issue with my feet is I was born with ‘Webbed feet”. The term webbed is not entirely accurate. There’s no webbing between my toes, in fact it’s just the opposite. I was born with no separation between my toes except for my big toes. during the first few years of my life the doctors performed plastic surgery on my feet to somewhat separate some of the toes. Not sure if the effort helped, made things worse or did nothing but I do know my feet give me grief.

I’m prone to ingrown nails, nails growing into the adjacent toes, nail fungus, athletes foot and odd calluses. Last years hike these calluses and the athletes foot were the biggest problem with my feet .

The athlete’s foot makes the skin on the bottoms of my feet hard which in turn causes them to split wide open on occasion. This is very painful. I often fill the cracks with pain relieving Neosporin or a cream that contains Lidocaine to numb the pain. Then I cover the bottom of my foot with the biggest bandaids I have. The calluses also cause me grief when my feet sweat. Last year during the descent the calluses were so soft from sweat they began to tear off the bottoms and sides of my feet. It was awful but I kept moving on.

This year I decided I was done with all this and have taken steps to get my feet under control. Nightly now Im soaking my feet in a mixture of hot water and epsom salts for about an hour. Initially after soaking the first few times I used a calluses shaver to remove the heavy calluses. Now I’m using a calluses stone or file while my feet are in the water just before I’m done soaking. A little each night and my feet are starting to look pretty good. After I’m done soaking I rub some Dr Teal’s Epsom Salt Gentle Exfoliant Softening Foot Scrub “softening remedy” on my feet. I rub my feet for a couple minutes softening remedy then I let them site for a few more before rinsing them off.

In an effort to take advantage of the epsom salt soak to combat athlete’s foot, before bed and first thing in the morning I am applying Lotrimin Ultra Cream to me feet and pouring Lotrimin Foot Powder into my shoes. Lastly I’m attacking the fungus nails directly with “Toenail Fungus Stop Nail Repair Pen“.

I’m two weeks from my hike and while my feet are not perfect they are the best they have been in decades. Happy healthy feet are conducive to a good hiking experience.


I think that about covers it, reduce the weight of my backpack, pack smarter, improve my workout routine and heal my feet. I did leave out one embarrassing item. Last year while waiting for a sandwich at Wayne’s Market I slid my hand in to my pocket and felt a horrible sensation, you know the one, the sensation of a knife cutting your flesh. You see I had a small assisted opening pocket knife in my pocket that had somehow managed to open and when I placed my hand in my pocket it sliced me pretty good. fortunately the nice girl working there helped me out. So this year…no sharp objects in my pocket.

Stay tuned for the results of my hike.

https://pixelhiker.com/learning-from-past-experiences-preparing-for-franconia-ridge-2019/feed/ 0 13237
Best Camera for Hiking Leica D-Lux 7 Digital Camera 19116 https://pixelhiker.com/best-camera-for-hiking-leica-d-lux-7-digital-camera-19116/ https://pixelhiker.com/best-camera-for-hiking-leica-d-lux-7-digital-camera-19116/#respond Sat, 17 Aug 2019 15:24:16 +0000 https://pixelhiker.com/?p=13247  

2020’s Best Camera for Hiking Leica D-Lux 7 Digital Camera 19116

Sources:  Adorama, Amazon,

Poised as the ideal pocket camera, the Leica D-Lux 7 is a svelte, compact camera characterized by its large sensor design, versatile lens, and sleek styling. The 17MP Four Thirds MOS sensor offers impressive performance with a sensitivity range up to ISO 25600 along with an 11-fps continuous shooting rate and UHD 4K30p video recording to suit multimedia shooting applications in a variety of conditions. Balancing the imaging capabilities is a flexible DC Vario-Summilux lens, which offers a 24-75mm equivalent focal length range along with a bright f/1.7-2.8 design for controlling depth of field and working in difficult lighting conditions. This lens also utilizes optical image stabilization to minimize the appearance of camera shake in order to realize sharper handheld imagery.

Leica D-Lux 7 Digital Camera 19116

Complementing the sensor and lens attributes is a travel-friendly physical design, which incorporates both a 2.76m-dot electronic viewfinder and a 3.0″ 1.24m-dot rear touchscreen LCD. These assets are backed up by built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, which work in conjunction with the Leica FOTOS app for seamless wireless sharing as well as remote camera control from a linked iOS or Android device.

17MP Four Thirds MOS Sensor

A 17MP Four Thirds MOS sensor affords notable resolution and the larger physical size offers a high sensitivity range up to ISO 25600 along with low noise levels and vivid color and tonal rendering. The sensor’s design, with 21.77MP total resolution, also supports working in multiple aspect ratios—4:3, 3:2, 16:9, and 1:1—while maintaining the same field of view. The sensor and image processor also enable continuous shooting at up to 11 fps and UHD 4K movie recording.

Vario-Summilux Lens

The built-in DC Vario-Summilux 3.1x zoom lens offers a 24-75mm equivalent focal length range, covering wide-angle to portrait-length focal lengths to suit working in a variety of shooting situations. Its bright f/1.7-2.8 maximum aperture range also suits working in low-light conditions and offers improved control over depth of field. Additionally, also benefiting working in difficult lighting, optical image stabilization minimizes the appearance of camera shake to help render sharper handheld images.

UHD 4K Video Recording

In addition to the versatile still shooting modes, the D-Lux 7 also supports recording UHD 4K video with either 30p or 24p frames rates at 100 Mb/s in the MP4 format. Full HD 1080p60 is also supported, in both MP4 and AVCHD formats.

4K PHOTO Modes

Utilizing the D-Lux 7’s video recording capabilities, a trio of still shooting modes are available for recording continuous 8MP stills at a 30-fps shooting rate:

  • Burst: this mode will allow you to continuously record, making it ideal for instances where you need a fast frame rate in order to capture the best moment.
  • Pre-Burst: this mode is ideal for times when you’re unsure of the critical moment to press the shutter button and will record images one second prior to and one second after pressing the shutter button in order to give you 60 frames to choose from.
  • Burst (S/S): this mode most closely follows the video recording process, and allows you to playback your video, pause at the chosen moment, and use the shutter button to mark a chosen frame from the video and save it as a single 8MP frame.
Leica D-Lux 7 Digital Camera 19116

Leica D-Lux 7 Digital Camera 19116

Body Design

  • Bright electronic viewfinder has a 2.76m-dot resolution for clear eye-level viewing, even in bright sunlight.
  • Rear 3.0″ 1.24m-dot LCD features a touchscreen design for intuitive menu navigation, image playback, and for selecting AF points while shooting.
  • Included hot shoe-mounted external flash can be used to provide additional illumination when working in low-light conditions.
  • In-camera charging of the BP-DC15 lithium-ion battery is supported via an optional USB-connected power bank or when connected to a computer or AC adapter.

Wireless Connectivity and Other Camera Features

  • Built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, when used in conjunction with the Leica FOTOS app for iOS and Android, permits sharing imagery directly to a linked mobile device and also enables remote control over the D-Lux 7 and remote shooting via a live view image.
  • Post Focus allows users to select the point of focus after an image has been taken. An electronic shutter function avails a top shutter speed of 1/16,000 sec. to better enable working in bright conditions and with wider aperture settings.
UPC: 799429191160

Visit Leica

https://pixelhiker.com/best-camera-for-hiking-leica-d-lux-7-digital-camera-19116/feed/ 0 13247
Jeep JK Unlimited Soft Top Mopar 82213651 82213652 https://pixelhiker.com/jeep-jk-unlimited-soft-top-mopar-82213651-82213652/ https://pixelhiker.com/jeep-jk-unlimited-soft-top-mopar-82213651-82213652/#respond Mon, 29 Jul 2019 03:15:14 +0000 https://pixelhiker.com/?p=13209 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited with Soft Top Installed

Jeep Wrangler Unlimited with Soft Top Installed

Jeep Wrangler Soft Top Installation – Lessons Learned

Today was the first time I installed a soft top on a Jeep since the late 1980’s. It was not a joyful experience. For starters my soft top which was in Mopar factory sealed boxes was missing some parts and ended up costing me an additional $180 bring my total to $780 which is still a bargain albeit a frustrating one.

Before you remove your hard top do yourself a favor and check all your parts and make sure your soft top kit is complete!

Jeep Wrangler JK Unlimited Soft Top Bow Brackets

Jeep Wrangler JK Unlimited Soft Top Bow Brackets

Used soft tops are often missing the brackets that connect the roll bar and the soft top knuckle joints. So you will need bow brackets and the 6mm bolts. I had my brackets but not the screws fortunately my local Tractor Supply had 6mmx1x25mm body bolts that allowed me to complete the installation. The bolts were not T-30 Torx so I needed a 10mm socket to install them. No big deal.

Jeep Wrangler Soft Top Missing Knuckle Joint Shoulder Screws

Jeep Wrangler Soft Top Missing Knuckle Joint Shoulder Screws

Bow Knuckle Joint Shoulder Screws 190-24x.625 6036311AA (4) $28 – Missing these screws was a pain in the butt. I had to use cable ties to whole the soft top bows to their brackets. The screws are $7 each!


Jeep Wrangler Soft Top Missing Tailgate Bar

Jeep Wrangler Soft Top Missing Tailgate Bar

Mopar 55395757AE Tailgate Bar for 07-18 Jeep Wrangler JK (1) $145 – The tailgate bar hurt the most ast it cost $145! Without the tailgate bar rainwater will poor in at the rear window and tailgate.

Make Certain The Soft Top Functions To Your Expectations

Watch YouTube videos and read the instruction manuals. If I was to purchase a soft top again maybe I would not by the Mopar or a full soft top at all. Removing the hard top is incredibly easy and I question whether I needed a soft top at all.

Install the Jeep Soft Top Early as Possible

It’s nearly August and here in Connecticut I will be removing the soft top in late September or early August. I wish I Installed it in early May.

Mopar Jeep JK Unlimited Soft Top 82213651 Versus 82213652

What’s the difference between the Jeep Soft top 82213651 and 82213652? My research indicates the 82213651 is constructed of black diamond fabric (sailcloth) and the 82213652 is manufactured from black twill fabric.

Most opinions are the twill is superior in durability and looks. The twill is better for all year use in hot and cold climates. Twill is is more quiet than sailcloth. The negative of the twill is it’s more difficult to clean and mud really clings to it. BMW uses black twill on their convertibles.

The black diamond sailcloth is thinner than twill, and can sweat. it’s also less durable. It is however easy to clean and cheaper to purchase.

Mopar 82213651 Complete Cable Style Sunrider Soft Top with Spring Lift Assist in Black Diamond for 07-18 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited JK 4 Door

Same as production Top. Complete Soft Top and folding framework. The Soft Top is made of a tough, vinyl-coated cotton/poly blend Sail Cloth and features two quick-release header latches to raise and lower with minimal effort. Spring Lift Assist makes this top easier to fold up and down. Zip-out windows, heavy duty seams and exclusive door frame system minimizes wind noise and water leaks. For use with full hard doors. All tops now available with privacy tint windows. A great way to replace a worn or damaged existing top at a competitive price.

Mopar 82213652 Complete Cable Style Sunrider Twill Soft Top with Spring Lift Assist in Black for 07-18 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited JK 4 Door

Same as production Top. Complete Soft Top and folding framework. The Soft Top is made of a 30-oz. triple-layer Black Twill fabric material that has superior durability to other fabrics used on Jeep® soft tops. This is the same Black Twill fabric that’s found on high-end sports and luxury cars like BMW and Rolls Royce. It features a smooth wrinkle-resistant appearance and contains no PVC’s.
The new fabric is much more flexible with a softer feel and superior cold-weather performance even when compared to sailcloth fabric. Top features two quick-release header latches and Spring Lift Assist that makes this top easier to fold up and down. Zip-out windows, heavy duty seams and exclusive door frame system minimizes wind noise and water leaks. For use with full hard doors. All tops now available with privacy tint windows. A great way to replace a worn or damaged existing top at a competitive price.

Mopar Jeep JK Unlimited Soft Top Installation Instructions 82213651 82213652

Download Jeep Wrangler JK Unlimited Soft Top Installation Instructions 82213651 82213652

Download: Jeep Wrangler JK Unlimited Soft Top Installation Instructions 82213651 82213652

Click to Download the Jeep Wrangler JK Unlimited Soft Top Installation Instructions 82213651 82213652

https://pixelhiker.com/jeep-jk-unlimited-soft-top-mopar-82213651-82213652/feed/ 0 13209
2020 Jeep Gladiator vs 2019 Toyota 4Runner https://pixelhiker.com/2020-jeep-gladiator-vs-2019-toyota-4runner/ https://pixelhiker.com/2020-jeep-gladiator-vs-2019-toyota-4runner/#respond Sun, 21 Jul 2019 02:44:10 +0000 https://pixelhiker.com/?p=13190 2020 Jeep Gladiator vs 2019 Toyota 4Runner

2020 Jeep Gladiator vs 2019 Toyota 4Runner

So Car and Driver Magazine wrote this silly comparison “2020 Jeep Gladiator vs 2019 Toyota 4Runner”. I simply do not see these two vehicles competing for the same customer base. I could see Jeep folks deciding between the JKU/JLU and the Gladiator or stretching a bit and having a Gladiator vs Tacoma but definitely not the 4Runner. For the record I own a 2007 4Runner Sport Edition and as you already know a 2018 JKU.

Anyhow at the end of the article there was a microsoft poll, I have attached the results.

Poll Results 2020 Jeep Gladiator vs 2019 Toyota 4Runner

Poll Results 2020 Jeep Gladiator vs 2019 Toyota 4Runner

2020 Jeep Gladiator vs 2019 Toyota 4Runner

The 2020 Jeep Gladiator and the 2019 Toyota 4Runner may not be very similar in form. One is a less-than-full-size convertible pickup, and the other is a mid-size SUV. But when life’s trials push you to bug out of town for safety or to just get away to more peaceful pastures, one of these rugged, off-road-friendly ruffians is what you want parked in your driveway. Be it fleeing zombies, a flood, or an impending visit from your in-laws, these overland-ready utilitarians are built to tackle less-trodden paths whilst loaded with gear-and to look good while doing it-without entirely sacrificing on-road drivability. How do they stack up?

The all-new Gladiator clearly is a beefed-up four-door Jeep Wrangler JL with a cargo bed. Despite its freshness on the market, it is arguably one of few vehicles that can make Toyota’s current 4Runner seem modern. With its front and rear live axles and design cues that trace back to World War II, the Gladiator is an anachronism that has been meticulously fussed over to operate far better in day-to-day use than it has any right to. And you can remove its roof and doors and fold its windshield down flat, which spikes its driver’s cool factor better than a selfie with Keanu Reeves. The Gladiator’s inherent compromises limited it to third place in our most recent comparison test of compact pickups. The 4Runner fared only slightly better in its last comparison test, back during Obama’s first term, when it finished second to the Jeep Grand Cherokee.

That Toyota sold about 140,000 4Runners last year speaks to the solid fan base that this SUV has cultivated over the years. Like the Jeep, the 4Runner’s body is mounted atop a separate ladder-type frame, diminishing its packaging efficiency in favor of a tougher build. It only has a live axle at the back, and its control-arm front suspension and conventional SUV layout make it feel less like a novelty on the road than the Jeep. Its 270-hp 4.0-liter V-6 is a decent match for the Gladiator’s 285-hp 3.6-liter V-6. Both of these vehicles have a maximum passenger count of five, yet the Toyota’s 5000-pound towing capacity falls well short of the Jeep’s 7650-pound rating.

The 4Runner starts at $35,905 in rear-drive SR5 form; four-wheel-drive models begin at $37,780; and it’s possible to exceed $50K on the top Limited Nightshade 4WD model. Given its antiquity, the Toyota cannot be had with certain active safety features, such as front and rear automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise control, that are available on the newer Jeep. While pricing for the four-wheel-drive-only Gladiator opens at a similarly reasonable $35,040, its breadth of optional equipment makes it easy to inflate that figure massively. Witness our $55,040 test vehicle, and that’s only a mid-level Overland model.

On the Road

Stellar road manners are not included with either of these vehicles. These are old-school trucks with chunky transfer-case shift levers poking up through the floorboards. Their responses are vague, performance is modest, and their rides are often choppy, particularly the Gladiator’s. Both are adequately quick-zero to 60 mph takes 7.1 seconds in the Jeep and 7.7 in the Toyota-yet their soft suspensions and tall-sidewall tires combine to make them feel ponderous on the road. The 4Runner is particularly lethargic due to its hefty steering and five-speed automatic transmission. In contrast, the intelligent action of the Jeep’s optional $2000 ZF eight-speed automatic (a six-speed manual is standard!) works well to make the most of the V-6’s 260 lb-ft of torque. Along with the Gladiator’s better low-speed maneuverability and-thanks in large part to its sprawling 137.3-inch wheelbase-good-for-a-Wrangler stability at higher speeds, this is the Wrangler that non-Jeepers will find the most tolerable.

Both the 4Runner and Gladiator are heavy at about 4800 pounds and push large amounts of air, making them similarly thirsty at the pump; both of our test vehicles averaged less than 20 mpg. With lots of ground clearance and two-speed transfer cases, both vehicles offer significant capability when the pavement ends, although the Gladiator’s 27.5-inch longer wheelbase means that it’s a bit large for some trails, and it will often scrape its belly over obstacles. Our 4Runner TRD Off Road Premium’s abilities were bolstered by the $1750 Kinetic Dynamic Suspension system that hydraulically manages body roll, giving the car increased wheel articulation while off-roading. Both models offer more extreme off-road variants in the 4Runner TRD Pro and the Gladiator Rubicon.

The Inside View

These two vehicles share few similarities on the inside, save for both sitting rather tall in the saddle, making it cumbersome to climb in and out. Passenger space in the first and second rows of seats is slightly better in the Gladiator (104 cubic feet to the 4Runner’s 96), yet the upright cabin can make it feel more compact than it actually is. Aside from some initially funky ergonomics, such as the shallow dashboard and the centrally located window switches, the more contemporary Jeep also gets the nod for materials and electronics, including Fiat Chrysler’s excellent 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen interface. The Toyota will seem more familiar to any SUV driver, and all of its controls are intuitively arranged, but its plastics and switchgear look and feel cheap and its 6.1-inch center touchscreen is in need of a big upgrade. While power outlets and connectivity options are plentiful in both vehicles, there’s no mistaking that the Jeep design is a decade newer.

Six-footers will find similar levels of comfort in the back seat of either vehicle, although the Gladiator’s seat backs are a bit more upright than we’d like, and the rear door aperture has a narrowing cutline at the bottom that makes it an effort to squeeze through. Folding down the rear seats makes little difference in its versatility, although there is that five-foot bed out back that’s perfect for large, grungy items. In addition to a spacious 47 cubic feet of secure cargo space, the back end of the Toyota also houses several of the 4Runner’s niftiest features: an available third row of seats on certain models ($1365); an optional-and convenient-slide-out cargo floor ($350, reduces cargo volume by one cubic foot); and the standard power rear window, which, in practice, is more entertaining than it is useful.

The Bottom Line

Aside from their distinct personalities and different cargo layouts, what truly separates the Jeep Gladiator and the Toyota 4Runner are the intangibles. The 4Runner, while highly capable, simply drives like the old SUV that it is. The Gladiator, for all of its even more antiquated design foibles, brings a sense of occasion to its use, and that’s before you remove its roof and doors. That novelty, combined with a solid execution that improves upon the on-road composure of the newly redesigned JL Wrangler, helped the Gladiator make partial converts out of several drivers previously indifferent to the seven-slot grille. While the Gladiator is far from perfect-and downright expensive if you get happy with the options and accessories-it’s the type of fun we’d want to bring along when heading for the hills.

https://pixelhiker.com/2020-jeep-gladiator-vs-2019-toyota-4runner/feed/ 0 13190
Filson Smokey Bear Collection https://pixelhiker.com/filson-smokey-bear-collection/ https://pixelhiker.com/filson-smokey-bear-collection/#respond Fri, 19 Jul 2019 18:01:07 +0000 https://pixelhiker.com/?p=13170 Filson Outfitters
Filson Alaskan Guide Shirt

Filson Alaskan Guide Shirt

It’s no secret I LOVE FILSON ALASKAN GUIDE SHIRTS!, They are part of my wardrobe in all but the hottest weather. The Alaskan Guide Shirts are premium quality, warm, heavy, well fitting and look great. They are the way flannel shirts were made in my grandfathers day.

The shirts also get a lot of comments when I wear them. In fact on two occasions I gave strangers the shirt off my back so they could experience the Filson quality. We are talking $125 shirts here but it’s worth it to share the Filson experience with my fellow man.

Well today I received an email from Filson that the Smokey Bear Collection is coming soon. Naturally I’m very excited at the prospect.

Filson Smokey Bear Collection

Not sure if the younger generation knows who Smokey the Bear was so if you don’t know read this and learn. For my generation and the generation before Smokey Bear was was an icon. There were signs, billboards and his television commercials would air from Saturday morning cartoons to evening sitcoms with the message “Only you can prevent forest fires”. Seeing Filson bring his message to life on a premium line of look good, fit good outdoor themed clothing is very exciting to me. Currently the Filson website lists the Smokey Bear Collection as “coming soon” (August 10) but you can sign up to be notified of availability here on the individual Filson product pages.

Below is a list of the items I plan on buying in order if they are available at once. There’s other shirts and collectibles that would make great gifts.

If I sound excited I am! On August 10, 2019 I might just have to take the train to the New York City flagship location to see the entire line for myself and celebrate Smokey Bear’s 75th birthday.

Filson 876 Broadway New York, NY 10003

Filson Smokey Bear Cap

Filson Smokey Bear Cap


Tip your cap to 75 years of wildfire prevention with the limited-edition Smokey Bear Cap. Constructed from sturdy 100% cotton bull denim twill, this classic 6-panel design features a felt Smokey Bear patch and adjustable leather back strap.


  • Officially-licensed Smokey image
  • 6-panel crown design
  • Sturdy bull denim twill is piece dyed for solid coloring
  • Embroidered ventilation grommets
  • Adjustable leather back-strap with custom Filson buckle
  • Pre-curved brim
Filson Smokey Bear Camp Shirt

Filson Smokey Bear Camp Shirt


Ready to wear around camp, the Smokey Bear Camp Shirt will keep Smokey’s wildfire prevention message front of mind. Made with a sturdy, midweight 5-oz. cotton, it’s ready to withstand the wear and tear of heavy field use. Features a button-front and custom Smokey Bear graphics.


  • Officially-licensed images of Smokey Bear and his wildfire-prevention message
  • Midweight 5.3-oz. 100% cotton
  • Button front
  • Camp collar naturally lies flat and open for maximum airflow
  • Straight hem for untucked wear
  • Machine washable
Filson Smokey Bear Hoodie

Filson Smokey Bear Hoodie


A tribute to Smokey’s 75 years of vigilance, the heavyweight Smokey Bear Pullover Sweatshirt will keep you warm year round. Constructed from tough, durable 15.3-oz. 100% cotton fleece, it features archival Smokey Bear graphics on the chest and back. Limited Edition.


  • Made with burly 100% cotton fleece
  • Officially-licensed Smokey Bear images
  • A continuation of Filson’s commitment to support the U.S. Forest Service
  • Drawcord-adjustable hood
  • Discharge-ink printing
  • Center-front kangaroo patch pocket
Filson Smokey Bear Boxer Shorts

Filson Smokey Bear Boxer Shorts


Show some love for one of America’s most symbolic icons with the Smokey Bear Boxers. Constructed from midweight 5.3-oz brushed cotton twill to be warm and comfortable. Features a durable elastic waistband and single-button fly.


  • Midweight 5.3-oz. cotton twill is brushed for comfort
  • Single-button fly
  • Elastic waistband
  • Officially licensed Smokey Bear image
  • Limited edition; limited quantities available
Filson Smokey Bear Blanket

Filson Smokey Bear Blanket


Honor Smokey Bear’s 75th anniversary as the U.S. Forest Service’s symbol of wildfire prevention with the Smokey Bear Blanket. Custom-made for Filson by Oregon’s iconic Pendleton Woolen Mills, it features a wool/cotton blend for durability and warmth, with whipstitched edges to make sure it doesn’t fray. Made in the USA.


  • 82% wool/18% cotton blend is napped for comfort
  • Made by Pendleton Woolen Mills in Oregon
  • Graphics designed in-house at Filson with officially-licensed Smokey images
  • Whipstitched edges add durability
  • Limited-edition, limited quantities available
https://pixelhiker.com/filson-smokey-bear-collection/feed/ 0 13170