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A $7,000 Mountain Bike for an 8-Year Old?! Meet MeekBoyz

Outdoor GearJunkie

Built for young riders with big talent, these carbon-fiber downhill kids' mountain bikes are downright drool-worthy.
'Built for young riders with big talent, these carbon-fiber downhill bikes are downright drool-worthy.We took them for a test ride to see if they’re worth the money.I wanted to buy a bike from Steve Meek after talking with him for only a few minutes.It was his passion — a simple and genuine desire to build the absolute best downhill bikes — along with a charismatic blend of confidence and humility that I found so infectious.The combination was so compelling that I found myself seriously considering how to tell my wife that I’d just spent more than a quarter of my annual earnings on a bike that my son would outgrow in 2-3 years.The MeekBoyz brand is not yet a household name and, truth be told, it may never be.A $7,350 bike for an 8-year-old simply won’t appeal to many, even if it is the best 8-year-old’s bike on the planet (which it probably is). But for Meek, that’s just fine.The Canyon Strive Gives Riders 2 Bikes in 1 Flip a switch on the 2019 Canyon Strive to go from cross-country to downhill.Shapeshifter technology makes the Strive a true quiver killer.Read more… He’s realistic about how many people will look past the price tag and see what he’s building.But indeed the number who do is growing.Last year, MeekBoyz only made a couple dozen bikes.This year promises to double that number, with Meek currently building more than one bike per week.The Bikes MeekBoyz currently sells three full-build bikes.The smallest is the aptly named Mini Beast ($7,350), with 20-inch wheels.Next is the 24-inch  Beast ($7,850). Topping out the range is the Mega Beast ($8,650), a 26’er made for preteens to young teens.According to MeekBoyz’s sizing guide, the Mini Beast is designed for riders up to 32 kg (a hair over 70 pounds), the Beast for those between 32 and 55 kg (70 and 120 pounds), and the Mega Beast has a range of 42-62 kg (93-137 pounds). The brand’s website also provides a “recommended age range” for each model, indicating that the Mega Beast is suitable for riders up to about age 16.In addition to fully built bikes, MeekBoyz also offers each frame and wheelset as a standalone purchase.The frames are all made of UD carbon, reinforced at stress points, and painted matte black.The wheelsets, too, are carbon, with titanium spokes and top-end Hope Pro-4 hubs.The only bright color on the bike is the model name — ‘MegaBeast’ on our demo bikes — slashed out in molten script, as if Zorro took up fire writing.The whole package feels visually understated, uninterested in shouting for attention on the trails.MeekBoyz Bikes Mini Beast: $7,350, 20″ wheels Beast:  $7,850, 24″ wheels Mega Beast:  $8,650, 26″ wheels Origins The company is named after Meek’s two sons, Rory and Toby.When Steve and his wife, Donna, became parents, they did what good parents do and encouraged their kids to pursue their interests.Initially, those interests involved bike riding and BMX racing, an area in which both boys showed tremendous talent early on.The interests evolved and soon included bigger jumps and more gravity-driven trail riding.Their local downhill scene at the time was dominated not by the smooth, flowy trails that are popular in the U.S. but by gnarly, rocky, off-camber stuff.It demanded technical riding.By the time Toby was 8, he was riding at a level where he was limited not by skill but by equipment.Every bike that fit him was either broken by the terrain or performed so poorly that he had problems progressing.Simply put, there were no bikes good enough for the Meek children.Luckily, Meek had experience working with carbon as a boat builder.So he decided to build them a better bike from scratch.He made a prototype, the boys tested it, and then he made it better.He worked out the kinks over several years, and the MeekBoyz brand was born.The MeekBoyz Difference Existing bike suspension is designed to work at pressures that respond to riders of an adult weight range.Simply dialing down the pressure to accommodate kid-size riders leads to underperformance.MeekBoyz’s unique geometry increases the rear wheel leverage to let an off-the-shelf shock work accurately for lightweight riders over even the smallest bumps.This allows the rider to maintain high traction and control.Furthermore, the geometry provides a low standover height while still providing maximum travel.Add to this a reinforced, full-carbon frame and all the other bells and whistles you’d expect at the price point, and you’ve got a lightweight and fully-featured downhill mountain bike.It’s entirely capable of providing the “authentic downhill riding experience to children” that MeekBoyz promises.Comparing MeekBoyz bikes with other downhill-oriented bikes marketed at kids proved a bit tricky, mainly because there aren’t many.Most kids end up riding extra-small versions of normal adult mountain bikes.And although a thorough internet search will reveal a handful of kid-specific full-suspension rigs, many seem to be designed more for “all-mountain” or enduro-style riding.These offer somewhere in the neighborhood of 100-120 mm of travel in the front and rear, compared to the whopping 180 mm provided by the Beast.And while there are a couple of other youth bikes out there catering to the downhill crowd (most notably Slater Bikes and Lil Shredder , both of which are single-product, tiny family companies like MeekBoyz), The Beast weighs pounds less.This puts it in a class of its own, which is probably where it needs to be because it costs almost twice as much as the next most expensive kids bike out there.Do Kids Need a $7,000 Bike?I’ll be honest, most kids are probably riding bikes that perform well enough given their skill level.Flow tracks, jumps, rock gardens, you name it, kids learn how to ride this stuff on bikes of even middling quality.As they progress, however, they’ll notice deficiencies.And if they’re like my boys, they’ll start clamoring for an upgrade.Old bikes will be sold and new ones bought.Often, the need for a pro-quality downhill bike (if it ever comes) will coincide with something resembling a more adult-size body — and (hopefully) a more adult level of financial independence on the part of the rider.So most parents are off the hook.But this won’t be the case for everyone.Some parents will have kids that just get better faster.Others will have the desire and the means to help the kids progress more quickly by putting the technology cart before the horse.And for those who find themselves in this basket, a MeekBoyz bike is like the ultimate upgrade.Firsthand Testing The whole day was a dream for the local crew of test riders.Not only did they get a full 6 hours at the bike park, but they got to rub shoulders with two of the best under-14 riders in the world and follow them down epic flow trails on $8,000 bikes.With four riders and two demo bikes, the testing conditions were perfect.The boys rode multiple laps of the same run, using their normal bikes for one and the Mega Beasts for the other.These “normal” bikes were all quality enduro-style bikes that retailed for around $3,000.The test crew was made of capable riders wanting to progress in their skill and tackle increasingly difficult terrain.They could all already challenge the intermediate trails with confidence — hitting the berms, jumps, drops, and rough sections at speed.In other words, they were testing the bike on the terrain it was designed for.And it most certainly stood up to the challenge.Here’s a sampling of their feedback: “Best bike I’ve ever ridden.” — Keegan Magness “It made me feel like a pro, even though I’m not.” — Hamish Mann “It [the Mega Beast] could handle anything I could ride and made me feel like I could ride just about anything.” — Harry Excel “There was no comparison.The Mega Beast made my other bike feel like a hardtail, even though it was way lighter.” — Jack White Final Thoughts In penning this review, I realized that I felt like writing as much about the people behind the bikes as I did about the bikes themselves.But with an uber high-end, micro-niche product like hand-built $8,000 kids’ downhill bikes, maybe the people behind the product are just as important as what they’re selling.That, at least, is the impression that our day with the MeekBoyz and their amazing pieces of machinery made on me.I drove away from that afternoon not just with a car full of kids who were stoked beyond belief that they’d had such an opportunity, but also with a son who couldn’t stop talking about how friendly and down to earth the brand owners, Toby and Rory, were. “Did you know he [Toby] is ranked No. 1 in the world?But he’s sooo cool.We just kept chatting on all the gondola rides up.It’s like he’s just a regular kid — and a really nice one!” And Steve Meek is just that too.Just a regular guy (and a hell of a nice one) who just happens to have made it his passion to build the best damn downhill mountain bike for kids in the world.And that’s the kind of guy I’d want to buy a bike from.If only I could afford it!Andy   Magness  is an expat Midwesterner who now lives in small-town New Zealand with his wife and two boys.He is a seasoned adventurer and man of many hats.He has recently found a new hat to wear as a spectator to his boys, who have begun flying fearlessly through the air on their mountain bikes.This Convertible Mountain Bike Helmet Sold Out in 2 Weeks Sweet Protection launched the Arbitrator mountain bike helmet this spring in a limited run, and it promptly sold out.And we found out why.Read more… . The post A $7,000 Mountain Bike for an 8-Year Old?! Meet MeekBoyz appeared first on GearJunkie .'

Best of ICAST 2019: Top Fishing Apparel, Shoes, Waders, and More

Outdoor GearJunkie

Ranging from high-tech sunwear to new wading boot technology and dry packs that easily transition into the office, the lifestyle gear at ICAST just keeps getting more technical.
'Ranging from high-tech sunwear to new wading boot technology and dry packs that easily transition into the office, the lifestyle gear at ICAST just keeps getting more technical.I spent 2 days scouting the floor at ICAST , North America’s largest fishing convention, and it was jam-packed with exciting new products for anglers.Here, I break down this year’s top picks for the lifestyle categories, from both ICAST’s best in show picks and my own time on the floor.Cold-Weather Technical Apparel: Simms G4z Stockingfoot Wader The Simms G4Z Stockingfoot Wader is a beast of bodily burden.Made of GORE-TEX Pro Shell, the three-layer upper combines with four-layer lowers.Compression-molded stocking feet cut bulk while focusing on comfort and durability.These are cool waders for cold weather without compromising on a thoughtful athletic action for the angler in motion.The fabric is really the coolest part.It feels soft, almost suede-like without the thickness.I’m looking forward to seeing this fabric cross over into different items, as it’s a waterproof fabric that certainly feels better than most.My Waders Pick: Simms G3 Guide Z Waders I’d also like to add a nod to Simms Women’s G3 Guide Z waders, coming in fall 2019.The burly side-zip is something I haven’t seen in women’s waders, but I like having the kangaroo pocket on the chest for both comfort and quick storage, and the side zip looks to add major ease to getting in and out of waders quickly.Warm-Weather Technical Apparel: AFTCO Overboard Submersible Shorts With a dry bag built directly into the short, it’s no small wonder that AFTCO is calling this board short the Overboard ($99). In addition to keeping your valuables dry, these shorts are packed with tech.Four-way stretch, AFLITE ultralight fabric, stain resistance, and a CORDURA-lined pliers pocket put everything but the kitchen sink into these unassuming and classic-looking shorts.Lifestyle Apparel: AFTCO Yurei Air-O-Mesh Performance Shirt The AFTCO Yurei Air-O-Mesh takes mesh panels to a new level of breathable tech.UPF 40 sun protection, AFCool ultradry wicking properties, and Afguard 3M stain resistance make this one of the higher-performing shirts on the ICAST floor.It’s also got thumb loops and antimicrobial properties for the long-term non-showerer in your life.You know the one.And at $55, it’s not too steep of a buy.Footwear: frogg toggs Skipper It’s easy to take one look at the frogg toggs Skipper ($70) and know your feet are about to have the most breathable experience (and perhaps the oddest suntan) ever.The uppers are all mesh, the soles are lightweight yet supportive, and draining technology in the midsole allows this to be a true water sneaker.My Pick for Crossover Lifestyle Footwear: XTRATUF Kraken This is outside of ICAST’s categories, but I just really like this shoe.When functionality meets fashion, I’m into it.And I like that this shoe is a drainable sneaker, with XTRATUF’s nonslip outer sole and a molded upper.And it feels like it would become a favorite sneaker regardless of whether you’re on the water or land.Plus, it’s a water shoe that won’t make you look like a total nerd.Points for the folks at XTRATUF on this one.Eyewear: Costa Sunglasses Waterwoman My first thought upon seeing Costa’s Waterwoman ($270) was, “Fishing glasses I can wear in my normal life?Thank.You.Costa.” And that’s really the point.The Waterwoman series is functional and cute, with a glam body that flatters a variety of face shapes, a plethora of lens colors to choose from, and the quality build I expect from one of the top brands in the world of sunnies.I snagged a pair of these to put to the test on Montana waters and, to be honest, pretty much any time I leave my house in daylight.And they’re already my new favorites for both looks and performance.And it’s nice to see women’s products making their way to the big stage at the big show.They’re also available now , so snag ’em while they’re hot.Giftware: 13 Fishing Fillet Table Beverage Management System Strong shoutout to the fun folks at ICAST for picking this gem of a gift.This “beverage management system” from 13 Fishing is actually a beer helmet. (It’ll also fit two Pamplemousse La Croix if you’re anything like me). It has a speaker on the front that can be managed by remote control and a knife sharpener on the back so you don’t even need to run to the kitchen when that filleting sesh gets real.I can’t stop laughing at this, envying those who own one, and imagining all the possible usage scenarios for such a fine piece of equipment. . The post Best of ICAST 2019: Top Fishing Apparel, Shoes, Waders, and More appeared first on GearJunkie .'

Meet New York City's Orchard Street Runners

Outdoor Outside Magazine

With their unsanctioned events, OSR offers a slice of vanishing New York
'If you’ve ever participated in a big-city marathon , you’ve had the thrilling—and vaguely postapocalyptic—experience of logging miles on vast avenues that are miraculously purged of traffic. There’s something to be said for creating this kind of unobstructed running environment. But if you’re like native New Yorker Joe DiNoto , 42, you might argue that having to navigate a city’s messy energy on foot is an opportunity to catch a glimpse of its soul. In 2011, while working as a bartender in the Lower East Side, DiNoto founded the Orchard Street Runners , an organization that has become known for its unsanctioned races. (It hosts five to ten each year.) The events have no clearly delineated course. Runners are only obligated to reach certain checkpoints—how they get there is up to them. As DiNoto puts it, there are “obvious opportunities to take a shortcut and obvious opportunities to get lost.” Cutting corners is encouraged. BytFwtFHgth Prominent OSR races like the OSRW10K, an event exclusively for competitive female runners, are invitation only—though DiNoto sometimes puts out a call for race entrants on social media . There are no medals or T-shirts, and the field is usually capped at around 30 runners, which might be why DiNoto hasn’t had any issues with the authorities. Prize money is minimal ($50 to $100), but invites are coveted by locals eager to prove what they can do outside of a conventional racing format. They’re drawn by the prospect of competition, and also, perhaps, by a desire for authenticity. “There’s inspiration all over the place that you can apply to running to give it some kind of emotional connection,” DiNoto says. He would know. The courses for the OSR Bread Route Race Series—start time 2 A.M.—is based on routes that DiNoto and members of his family used to drive in the middle of the night to deliver orders from his grandfather’s bakery. That personal touch goes a long way. “I think it gives people a sense of being part of New York,” DiNoto says of the OSR events’ illicit appeal. “It’s the New York that everybody was drawn to, the New York that’s fading away.”'

5 Epic Adventures Just Outside Zion National Park

Outdoor GearJunkie

In 2018, Zion National Park saw 4.3 million visitors, making it fourth on the list of most visited U.S.National Parks.But just down the road is a less-visited wonderland, the crowd-free town of St.George, Snow Canyon State Park, and 'Greater Zion.'
'This article is sponsored by Greater Zion . In 2018, Zion National Park saw 4.3 million visitors, moving from third to fourth on the list of most visited U.S.National Parks.That’s more than 12 times the number of guests to Snow Canyon State Park, located just 50 miles to the west and known locally as “mini-Zion.” Within a few miles of Snow Canyon are three other state parks , multiple national conservation areas, national forest and wilderness areas, and the emerging outdoors-oriented town of St.George.Greater Zion is southwestern Utah’s best-kept secret, and the following five adventures offer a range of ways to see its splendors (before the rest of the world catches onto them!) and get your blood pumping at the same time.Hiking In or Near Snow Canyon State Park Even with its close proximity to St.George, Snow Canyon offers 38 miles of hiking trails — and more than 180 traditional and sport climbing routes — threading through 7,400 acres of 180-million-year-old petrified sand dunes, volcanic cinder cones, lava fields, and red and white sandstone cliffs.Gila Trail is easy to miss but simple enough to navigate once found.The 2.5-mile trail (one way) winds through a “secret” slot canyon, culminating in an area of ancient petroglyphs carved by the indigenous peoples who called this region home prior to settlers arriving.For those looking to really get after it, the Red Mountain Trail, just north of the park, requires ample wayfinding skills and some serious endurance, running 9.5 miles in each direction.But the views and isolation are every bit worth the effort.Just be sure to do your homework before setting out.Image Courtesy of Greater Zion Convention & Tourism Office Road Cycling the Veyo Loop Though landscapes as vast and varied as these make mountain biking a main attraction for the region, Greater Zion is also a major destination for IRONMAN athletes and road cycling enthusiasts, and there are no shortage of scenic rides within reach — with better quality roads and considerably less traffic than you’ll find in other nearby cycling destinations.One route not to miss is the newly opened scenic  Veyo Loop , the county’s first designated bike route and a mainstay of endurance athletes in training and local cyclists alike.At just about 55 miles, with 2,228 feet of elevation gain, the loop provides endless views of Red Cliffs National Conservation Area, Gunlock State Park, and everything in between.And if that’s not enough, plan your return visit around the IRONMAN 70.3 North American Championships in 2020, IRONMAN St.George in 2020, or the 2021 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship taking place in 2021.Canyoneering Beyond the Zion Border Once a niche activity that was the domain of hardcore adventurers, canyoneering is becoming more popular by the day as mainstream audiences gain glimpses of terrain that is otherwise inaccessible (thanks, Instagram). With Zion already regarded as a worldwide destination for canyoneering, the Greater Zion landscapes surrounding the national park offer near endless—and often equally beautiful—slot canyons to rappel into and hike, swim, and scramble out of, many of which are just minutes from St.George.Lambs Knoll , just outside of Zion, is home to relatively beginner-friendly canyoneering (and an abundance of sport climbing). A bit of work there delivers stunning views of Zion and its surroundings.Island in the Sky is a much more technical route (and shares a name with a district in Canyonlands National Park), requiring an ascent of a butte that rises above the entire surrounding area.Though it demands excellent navigational and route-finding skills, mental fortitude, and comfort with exposure (and a permit), the views and terrain accessed are unmatched.Mountain Biking Gooseberry Mesa  Situated between St.George and Zion National Park, Gooseberry Mesa is a treasure trove of MTB trails on BLM land.Unlike the Slickrock trails in Moab, there are no brutal hill climbs here, just flowy singletrack that tests your balance, agility, and reaction time — think short ups, brief downs, and quick turns.With nearly 30 miles of trails ranging from low, intermediate, to truly vexing, there’s plenty to offer—and even the gnarliest trails can be navigated at a more measured pace by intermediate cyclists.In all, the fun-to-hard-work ratio is better at Gooseberry than most any other MTB destination in the state.Plus, at 5,400 feet in elevation, the Mesa top is much cooler than the valleys below, providing an almost constant breeze.Image Courtesy of Greater Zion Convention & Tourism Office Bouldering in Moe’s Valley If you’re into bouldering, you’re likely familiar with Joe’s Valley in Central Utah.Moe’s Valley , just outside of St.George in the southwest corner of the state, is the perfect counterpart, completing the picture of Utah bouldering . Only in recent years has the zone been established, and it’s still growing, with nearly 200 defined routes and more being put up seasonally.Problems range from V2 to V14 — with the majority in the V3-V7 range — so there’s something for everyone.Be sure to practice LNT principles, and stay on established trails to help preserve the delicate surrounding desert vegetation, so it’s around for future adventurers.You’ll want new generations to be able to explore Utah’s best-kept secret, too! . The post 5 Epic Adventures Just Outside Zion National Park appeared first on GearJunkie .'

Lexus Flexes Off-Road Muscle With GXOR Concept Debut at FJ Summit

Outdoor GearJunkie

Lexus just showed up with a beautiful concept vehicle at the annual FJ Summit off-road event in Ouray, Colorado.
'Very little info is out there yet, but what we do know is that Lexus just showed up with a beautiful concept vehicle at the annual FJ Summit off-road event in Ouray, Colorado.The concept, called the GXOR, is based on the Lexus GX 460.It’s an homage to the Lexus GX owners group by the same name.Could this Lexus concept signal a new direction for the brand?The Community The FJ Summit is a gathering for Toyota off-road enthusiasts, which started with the love for the FJ Cruiser.Since you can’t buy a new FJ Cruiser anymore, the event attracts a wide range of Toyota vehicles.Toyota has been known to come to the event with new vehicles.I was there in 2016 when they showed off the reworked Tacoma.It was the truck’s first public outing in full production guise.GXOR is a Lexus GX 470 and GX 460 off-road enthusiasts group.It has a loyal and ever-growing audience and has a presence across a number of top forums.The group is most active on the GXOR- GX Offroad Facebook page . There is a metric ton of searchable information on the GXOR Facebook group that can help any Lexus GX owner sort out issues, work out the best upgrades, and find like-minded people to adventure with.There is an active classifieds section as well, which is actually where I found and purchased my 2013 GX 460 a few months ago (more on that “adventuremobile” build soon). Lexus Off-Road This is the first time that Lexus as a company has shown up to the FJ Summit in any official capacity.There has been an ever-growing Lexus GX contingent of off-road enthusiasts showing up to the event the past few years, however, and Lexus has apparently taken notice.This year the brand showed up with the not-yet-released 2020 GX 460 and the GXOR Concept build, based on a 2019 GX 460.The 2020 truck has a new grill, new headlights, and some other minor tweaks.The real head-turner for the crowds assembled in Ouray, though, is the GXOR Concept.Lexus GXOR Concept The GXOR Concept is a fully functional and extremely tastefully built off-road vehicle.Builders did not sacrifice luxury in terms of comfort or looks on this one-of-a-kind Lexus GX 460.The parts and upgrades for this build add extreme off-road and overland capabilities.The chassis of the GX 460 is very similar to the current Toyota 4Runner, and it’s the same as the Land Cruiser Prado 150 sold around the globe.The exterior is wrapped in a matte metallic gray and has ghosted-in GXOR graphics on the rear fenders and a GXOR badge on the rear tailgate.The ‘OR’ in that badge is done in Lexus F-Sport Blue, which is a super nice contrast to the gray wrap.Nearly every added aftermarket part has Lexus and/or GXOR logos, but it’s tastefully done throughout.The CBI rock sliders have Lexus cutouts, the Icon suspension remote reservoirs have unique GXOR logos and even the custom Goose Gear interior storage setup in the trunk is branded Lexus.While there are a ton of off-road goodies on this impressive machine, there are a few that stand out.The first being the custom CBI stealth front winch bumper.The big Lexus GX 460 grille is hard to work with for off-road bumper companies, but CBI has pulled off a clean and functional design.The second thing that caught my eye is the high-end Icon Vehicle Dynamics race suspension.It will give this truck the comfortable, smooth ride you’d expect from a Lexus — over any terrain.The sporty and clean Lexus F-Sport wheels wrapped in aggressive 33-inch General X3 tires really sell the off-road luxury prowess of this vehicle.Lexus GXOR Concept Base: 2019 Lexus GX 460 Wheels & Tires: Lexus F Sport Wheels wrapped in General X3 Tires (275/70/18) Suspension: Icon Vehicle Dynamics 2.5 CDC w/Remote Reservoirs and Billet Control Arms with Delta Joints Armor: CBI Custom Stealth Winch Bumper, Frame Sliders and Skid Plates Recovery Gear: Warn 9.5XPS Winch, Maxtrax MKII Recovery Boards Storage: Eezi-Awn K9 Roof Rack with Alu-Box Storage Cases, Goose Gear Custom Drawer System Electronics: Redarc Tow-Pro Brake Controller, Icom 5100A Ham Radio Trailer: Patriot Campers Z1H Accessories: Safari Snorkel, Rigid 50” LED Light Bar, National Luna 12V Fridge, Overland Solar 160-Watt Solar Panel It is obvious that this concept was built by the good folks at XOverland . The build features parts from all the same companies that XOverland works with, and the video and still photographs are all from Montana, where the brand is based.XOverland has also worked closely with Toyota for many of their big adventures.The Future of Lexus Off-Road Vehicles While we will get an off-road edition Lexus GX460 in 2020, it will look nothing like the impressive GXOR Concept shown here.Luckily, most of the off-road accessories shown on the concept are available now or will be soon.The 2020 GX Off-Road Package will be available on Luxury grade GX 460 and gets you Multi-Terrain Select, Crawl Control, a transmission cooler, fuel tank protector, and Multi-Terrain Monitor and Panoramic View Monitors.These features carry over from the TRD line of Toyota off-road vehicles.A new Lexus GX 460 will cost you from $53,000 to over $80,000, and upgrades, like seen on the GXOR Concept, will set you back well over $20,000 more.That’s $73,000-plus for a vehicle that is super luxurious and extremely off-road capable — but also not inexpensive!I, for one, can’t afford to chance beating up a vehicle on the trail worth that much money.Luckily, you can buy very clean and well-taken care of used GX 460s for extremely reasonable prices.I picked up my fully built 2013 for only $25,000.The aftermarket is also finally catching up with the demand for quality off-road accessories for these luxury off-road machines.See you on the road less traveled.I’ll be enjoying it behind my wood-clad, leather-wrapped steering wheel, sitting on my heated and cooled seats. . The post Lexus Flexes Off-Road Muscle With GXOR Concept Debut at FJ Summit appeared first on GearJunkie .'

Tour Divide Controversy: Salsa Drops Racer Jay Petervary

Outdoor GearJunkie


'Salsa cited a ‘conflict’ at this year’s Tour Divide and conduct that did not align with ‘brand values of empathy, community, and positivity.’ In a sudden twist to a story that has stirred controversy within one of America’s most prestigious adventure bike races, Salsa Cycles today announced it had terminated its contract with sponsored rider Jay Petervary.The Minneapolis-based maker of touring and adventure bicycles and gear said in a statement that it was “disappointed by the behavior” of Petervary following a “public debate of rules” that strike to the heart of the Tour Divide and unsupported adventure racing as a whole.Salsa Drops Jay Petervary Salsa’s remarks reference a dispute that swept up much of the Tour Divide community.At its center were Petervary and Lael Wilcox.Specifically, Petervary reportedly took issue with a film crew that planned to document Wilcox’s ride — a ride many believed may produce the first female overall winner in Tour history.Those reports stemmed from a post on The Radivist , authored by a member of the film crew and Wilcox’s girlfriend, Rugile Kaladyte.According to the report, Petervary and others believed a crew tailing Wilcox violated unsupported ethics, which state that no rider can receive any outside assistance — a position many agree underpins the integrity of the Tour Divide.Although Wilcox eventually dropped from the race, the issue polarized many and resulted in third-party and conflicting accounts of what was said.Still, Salsa made the decision based on its knowledge of the situation, citing Petervary’s conduct.But the brand also noted the move was “not based on the Tour Divide rules, nor the interpretation of those rules.” Petervary told GearJunkie he cannot comment on the matter at this time We will follow up with this story as more information becomes available. . The post Tour Divide Controversy: Salsa Drops Racer Jay Petervary appeared first on GearJunkie .'

A Climber and a Hunter Find Common Ground in Moving Video

Outdoor GearJunkie

In Part 1 of a series meant to celebrate public lands and common ground, a hunter and a climber come together to switch places and experience each other's culture.
'In Part 1 of a series meant to celebrate public lands and common ground, a hunter and a climber come together to switch places and experience each other’s culture. “People from different backgrounds can care about the same thing,” hunter Allie D’Andrea reminds us in the first film in a new series sponsored by Fat Tire.She meets up with New York City climber Mikhail Martin.Together, they talk about their cultures, their communities, and how public lands play into both of their lives and pursuits.The 8-minute film gets to the heart of what we might see as divisions within the outdoor culture.Take some time to see these two dive into their differences here. . The post A Climber and a Hunter Find Common Ground in Moving Video appeared first on GearJunkie .'

ICAST 2019: Best Fishing Rods, Reels, and Combos of the Show

Outdoor GearJunkie

St.Croix nearly sweeps this year's ICAST rod category with three wins, and the tech just keeps getting better and better.
'St.Croix nearly sweeps this year’s ICAST rod category with three wins, and the tech just keeps getting better and better.Read on for the best rods and reels of iCast 2019.I spent two days scouting the floor at ICAST , North America’s largest fishing convention, and it was jam-packed with exciting new products for the angler.In this article, I’ll break down this year’s top picks for rods, reels, and rod-reel combos as awarded by a jury of ICAST buyers and media representatives.Freshwater Rod: St.Croix Mojo Bass Glass Rip’n Chatter St.Croix took three out of four spots in this category, and they’re affordable Mojo Bass Glass takes the freshwater category.With Fuji reel seats, Kigan guides, and 100 percent liner S-glass with IPC mandrel technology, this rod looks to be a future favorite for the avid bass angler.Saltwater Rod: St.Croix Avid Surf The Avid Surf is a distance rod, meaning that your cast is likely to go further with this one.Corrosion control locks moisture out of this rod, ensuring longevity in salty conditions.Plus, these things are rugged!They’re made from a reformulated SCIII material and, like all three winning rods, they feature IPC mandrel technology.Fly fishing rod: St.Croix Imperial Salt Yep, St.Croix  again — they nailed the Best in Show in the Fly Fishing Rod category with the Imperial Salt ($350). Coming in 2020, it’s designed with salt in mind.It’s got Sea Guide PVD-coated stripper and snake guides, and it’s built from carbon, with IPC mandrel technology, for durable and fast action on the water.Rod and reel combo: Lew’s Mach Smash Baitcast Combo Reel For just $130, this combo has about everything you could want in an affordable setup.The graphite reel touts brass speed gears, a 7+1 bearing system, and Combat Grip paddle knobs.The rod features Winn Dri-Tac grips, IM6 blanks, and an EVA foam butt section for fighting when those lines get tight.Saltwater Reel: Shimano Stradic FL Spinning Reel Shimano’s Stradic FL ($200-230) focuses on the theme of increased durability in salt environments, coupled with high-level performance.This rod combines MicroModule Gear II for smoothness, Silent Drive Technology for better tolerances, X Protect to combat the effects of salt, and Long Stroke Spool for better casting.Plus, it’ll be available in five options to cover a variety of situations on the water.Freshwater Reel: Shimano SLX DC Baitcasting Reel This budget-friendly, $180 reel puts Shimano’s proprietary Digital Control Braking System in the hands of all anglers.Similar to its higher-end Curado DC reel, the reel boasts a HAGANE body and an SLX platform.It’s available in three gear ratios and right- and left-hand retrieves.Fly Reel: Siegler Small Fly The Siegler Small Fly ($750) is light, active, and reactive.At just 7.2 ounces, it still manages to put up 18 pounds of drag.An asymmetrical spool allows for better line-lay, and the dovetail foot connects low and strong to your rod.Add a lever drag system that provides fine-tuned adjustment for drag pressure, and you’re looking at one nice reel for those long days on the river.Kids Tackle: ProFISHiency, The Bumblebee At $50, this little rod packs a big punch for that special moment when the kiddos outgrow their toy rods.This 5’6″ Spincast Combo is pre-spooled with high-vis braid, has a Micro Spincast reel with a quick 4.1.1. gear ratio, and it has a double-handle reel crank with soft padded knobs for comfortable casts and catches.All good things to help you build a lifelong partner on the lake. . The post ICAST 2019: Best Fishing Rods, Reels, and Combos of the Show appeared first on GearJunkie .'

Carbon Fiber T-Shirt: Vollebak Unveils Top to ‘Save Your Skin’

Outdoor GearJunkie

Vollebak already launched apparel embedded with high-tech materials like ceramic and graphene.
'Vollebak already launched apparel embedded with high-tech materials like ceramic and graphene.Now, it releases a T-shirt laced with material ‘normally reserved for use in missiles, jet engines, and the world’s fastest cars.’ At this point, anything Vollebak does shouldn’t surprise us.The London-based adventure apparel brand has made work shirts pre-stained with fake blood , a solar-charged glow-in-the-dark jacket , and even a lifetime gift card hidden somewhere in the world, but deep underwater.Somehow, though, Vollebak surprised us again.Today, the brand launched the $110 Carbon Fibre T-Shirt . Yes, the material renowned for high-end mountain and race bikes, supercars, and aerospace products now lives in a shirt you can wear to get coffee and donuts.Why carbon fiber?Because, according to the brand, “The entire surface area of the T-shirt is abrasion-resistant.Every square centimeter has carbon fiber running through it. [And] whether you’re lugging climbing rope over your shoulder, you come off your bike on a downhill track, or your bag is shifting up and down on your back on a long run, that’s all abrasion.” Vollebak Carbon Fibre T-Shirt While the shirt is laced with carbon fiber, it’s primarily constructed of stretch synthetic fabric.Yet somehow, Vollebak manages to put a football field’s worth of carbon fiber into each shirt — nearly 400 feet of it.As a performance garment, the shirt remains lightweight (just under 6 ounces), wicks moisture, and boasts high breathability.However, the big selling point is abrasion resistance — Vollebak calls it “ripstop to save your skin” — and the brand promises the fibers will never wash out or scratch off.All that tech comes at a price.The Carbon Fibre shirt runs $110 — but like many Vollebak garments, this will likely sell out fast.Learn more and grab one for yourself here . . The post Carbon Fiber T-Shirt: Vollebak Unveils Top to ‘Save Your Skin’ appeared first on GearJunkie .'

These Are Some Very Good Plant-Based Dogs

Outdoor Outside Magazine

Good for the planet, better for your innards, vegan and vegetarian hot dogs are a win-wiener
'I’m going to be frank here: hot dogs are delicious. The ones from ballparks? Great. The ones from street vendors? Sign me up. That one that’s been turning and burning on a rolly thing at a gas station all night long? I’ll take it. Meaty, salty, fatty: hot dogs, they’re just like us! And what’s not to like? Uh, ask my innards. The problem with hot dogs is that they’re full of nitrates, sodium, and saturated fat. The vast majority rely on meat from animals raised on CAFOs—concentrated animal feeding operations—which have pretty stark environmental consequences and severe animal-welfare problems.  The good thing about hot dogs is that, because they’re processed and then processed some more, they’re actually fairly easy to replicate in a meatless option. I spent many years as a vegetarian and vegan, and my main takeaway from that time was that the more processed a meat was, the better the fake version was going to be. A soy steak is likely still a few years away, but soy and veggie hot dogs are already pretty tasty. They’re not all good dogs, of course. I actually spit one out after chomping into what, texture wise, appeared to be a hot-dog-flavored mealworm. That one was the wurst. Another tasted suspiciously like eating waxy lipstick. But a few were good, even great, if you haven’t had a real hot dog in a long time. July 17 is National Hot Dog Day , and we urge you to throw these links on your grill, because they’re more humane (to animals, your digestive system, and the planet). With enough ketchup and mustard, you know, you might even relish them. Best Overall  Field Roast Frankfurters Field Roast’s Frankfurters were the only hot dog  I tried where I finished the first and thought to myself, I want another. While some of the offerings I tried were simply salty, this one actually had that umami flavor you associate with meat. The texture for these vegetarian versions was good, too—not at all squishy. The only thing I didn’t like was that each dog comes wrapped in its own plastic sheath, which seems wasteful.  Best Available-Everywhere Option Light Life Smart Dogs If I can find vegan  Smart Dogs at Walmart in my rural Tennessee town, chances are you have them where you live, too. The flavor isn’t quite as perfect as Field Roast’s offering, but it’s still close-ish to the franks of your youth. Do not overcook these, though, or they will turn mushy.    Best Novelty Morningstar Farms Corn Dogs What isn’t improved by a little corn-bread batter? Vegetarian hot dogs  are no exception. I loved these corn dogs and would absolutely keep them around for times when I’m in the mood for junk food. And to be clear, these are junk food. They have seven grams of added sugar and one-fifth of your daily sodium intake per serving. But health wise, they still probably beat the monstrosity that is meat-based corn dogs.     Best Flavored Sausage A Tie Between Tofurky Italian Sausage and Field Roast Smoked Apple Sage Sausage If you don’t like hot dogs yet somehow are still 500 words into this story on hot dogs, there are some good flavored sausages on the market. I dug Tofurky’s Italian Sausages , which are livened up by sun-dried tomatoes and basil. And  Field Roast’s Smoked Apple Sage Sausage  would likewise go well on a sourdough roll with some caramelized onions and a hit of Dijon.  Tofurky’s sausages are vegan, and the ones from Field Roast are vegetarian.'

‘Banking on Bailey’ is our Favorite Kayak Film so far This Year

Outdoor GearJunkie

Love kayaking, colorful personalities, and old trucks?Well, you're going to love this video by Filson and Merrell.
'Love kayaking, colorful personalities, and old trucks?Well, you’re going to love this video by Filson and Merrell. “It’s smaller than a tiny home.” That’s how Ryan Bailey, a white-water kayaker, wildland firefighter, and the unofficial Mayor of the town of Banks, Idaho, describes this home to 17 hearty residents.Situated at the confluence of the North and South Fork of the Payette River, Banks is a big deal for kayakers.It holds similar allure as the North Shore of Hawaii does for surfers.It’s like Yosemite to climbers.Growing up, the river terrified Ryan, but it kept calling him.Twenty-one years after his first competition in Banks, he continues to live his life unapologetically; he’s not concerned about “what’s next,” but rather, “what’s right now.” The video celebrates a recent collaboration between Merrell and Filson, the limited-edition Convertible Sandal.Learn more here . . The post ‘Banking on Bailey’ is our Favorite Kayak Film so far This Year appeared first on GearJunkie .'