Outdoor Retailer Roundup: These are a Few of Our Favorite Things

Our Reader Reporter Erica takes one last tour to gather a wish list of her favorite items at the 2012 Summer Market.

Snug as a Bug in a Hammock: Grand Trunk Hammock-Compatible Sleeping Bag

I was just introduced to hammock camping this year when I scored a lucky deal on a hammock at a garage sale, and absolutely fell in love. That’s why when I walked past the Grand Trunk booth and saw the hammock/sleeping bag set up I instantly turned around and had to know everything about this product. This patented sleeping bag ($180) is designed specifically to fit around a hammock with openings at the head and feet that cinch around the hammock ties. Additional ties on the head and foot of the bag attach to the same carabiners as the hammock, to ensure that the sleeping bag will stay in place overnight. Typically when you sleep in a bag directly in a hammock, the insulating loft is compressed underneath you. Since the Grand Trunk wraps around the hammock, you avoid this problem entirely. (2lb 10oz; 32 degrees, grandtrunkgoods.com)

CamelBak Octane 22 LR Multi-Sport Daypack

CamelBak is doing great things in the world of daypacks. The backpanel is made of a breathable mesh and has two zippers that open to reveal the new 3L CamelBak Antidote Lumbar Reservoir. This bladder has a new shape and disconnects easily from the tubing so it can be refilled without having to remove the whole system. Additionally, the location of the reservoir (the lumbar section of the spine) actually provides cushioning against your back and feels great! A couple of cool features on the front of the bag are an overflow pocket that’s big enough to stow away extra shoes or a jacket during a hike, and a loop of Hypalon fabric (super strong) that you can attach equipment to via a carabiner and trust not to rip. (19L, 1.5 lbs, $130, camelbak.com)

Necky Kayaks’ Elias

Sea kayaking can be both fun and frustrating. On a windy day you’re constantly getting pushed in the wrong directions, and lots of kayaks that are light enough for someone like me to pick up on my own don’t usually have enough storage to bring along the camping necessities. However, Necky has crafted a beautiful fiberglass sea-touring kayak (15.5 feet long) that is a modified version of their older woman-specific Eliza kayak that addresses all those problems. It’s light enough to lift onto a car (47 lbs), has a roomy cockpit (32”x16”), and has two waterproof storage bulkheads in the bow and stern that total 199 L of storage. One final feature is the retractable skeg just to the right of the cockpit that you can slide forward or backwards to change the direction of the rudder to correct for the wind pushing you in the wrong direction. This would be a great kayak to take out on a weekend tour out on the open water! neckykayaks.com

Don’t Forget the Ketchup!: GSI Outdoors’ Pack Kitchen 8

GSI has found a way for backpackers to bring their condiments of choice to dress up fire-grilled burgers with the Pack Kitchen 8 accessory set ($17). Stored in a mesh bag are a cooking spoon, mini spatula, ultralight salt and pepper shaker, scrubby sponge, camp kitchen towel, and 2 condiment “bottles” (my favorite part!). These “bottles” are made of PE laminate and polypropylene and are soft and foldable so they’re lighter and fit better in a pack. Now there’s no excuse- bring along your favorite condiments and enjoy your backcountry gourmet! gsioutdoors.com