Matt S.

Matt S.

The World

Matthew A's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Snowboarding
Snowshoeing
Climbing

Matthew A's Bio

I'm a Marine who spends a lot of time in the Middle East. When deployed we live in a field setting with no luxuries so we value high quality and functional outdoor gear.

Matt S.

Matt S. wrote a review of on June 19, 2009

5 5

This is without a doubt the best stove I have ever owned for basic trail food and a continuous addiction to coffee! While you are pretty much limited to food that needs to be boiled or simmered, I love the fact that it boils water in a couple of minutes. Throw in the coffee press (also made by Jetboil, but does come with the stove) and it makes a quick cup of tasty coffee any time you want it. The coffee press does feels a bit flimsy, but it has held up well so far. The attached insulated cup is a nice feature, and I'm a real big fan of the semi protected heating element that works well in weather that would prove hard with my white gas stove. If you use the smaller Jetpower fuel canisters (100g) you can even mail them ahead of time (ground only) to your destination. All in all, a great simple stove as long as you realize that you won't be grilling or frying anything.

Also, keep an eye out for the new redesigned PCS, the "PCS Flash" which is supposed to be released sometime this fall (2009). It looks like it comes in new colors, has a see through lid, and has added strips on the side that change color to show temperature.

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Matt S.

Matt S. wrote a review of on June 19, 2009

4 5

These are your average sandals, though in my opinion they are one of the better options when compared to other cheap sandals. They are a bit denser and heavier than most making them feel both durable and comfortable. One thing to keep in mind is that these are a bit rubbery (you can bend them) and though they work great indoors, they are not made for anything other than very gentle terrain outdoors.

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Matt S.

Matt S. wrote a review of on June 16, 2009

5 5

This towel is fantastic! I've tried two other microfiber towels and this one is by far the best. It takes up very little space and dries every inch of me completely. I only have to hang it out to dry for a few minutes before it's stowed for it's next use. During the first week or two of use If your skin is dried out it does feel a bit scratchy for a moment or two, but as soon as it gets a tad damp it feels very soft (I've only noticed this on my overworked hands). I will be buying another!

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Matt S.

Matt S. wrote a review of on June 9, 2009

5 5

This purifier is a bit larger and more expensive than other compact purifiers but is without a doubt the best one I have ever owned! Unless something new has recently hit the market, it's "the only non-chemical water purifier certified to EPA Guide Standard for microbiological purifiers against bacteria, cysts and viruses." (REI). I have used this in Thailand, Korea, Iraq, and all over the US in some pretty nasty water. It's done a great job every time in giving me clean, healthy, and good tasting water. Make sure you pick up a Nalgene bottle as it screws directly into the base of the purifier making the whole process much easier. I wouldn't trust my health and safety to any other purifier and never leave home without it!

Also, note that this has been updated to the First Need Deluxe XL (not sold here.) Both are almost the same except that the XL now filters around 150 gallons and has an improved flow rate of 2 quarts per minute. The new XL replacement cartridge is backwards compatible with the Deluxe.

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Matt S.

Matt S. wrote a review of on June 9, 2009

2 5

I'm not a big fan of this headlamp. Even on the highest setting when I use the red filter the light is so dim that I trip and stumble as I walk. Even with no filter the white light is not that powerful. One of my fellow Marines also has this headlamp and he agrees that it's way to dim. Also, the on/off button is very hard to push.

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Matt S.

Matt S. wrote a review of on June 9, 2009

4 5

This is one of the most durable Solar Showers I've ever used (and I have tried several). I'm currently using it in Iraq and it puts up with a lot of abuse! Because it's so big (at least two to three times the size of most solar showers) several of us can use it without a refill. My only complaint would be with it's extremely long hose. Even when I hang the shower 7 feet above the ground I have to literally crouch down on my knees to wash my hair otherwise gravity won't push the water out faster than a slow trickle. I would have to hang it around 8/9 feet to avoid crouching and that's not an easy thing to do. You can make the hose shorter by rolling it up and fastening it (via attached velcro straps) to the shower, but that greatly reduces the amount of water that is pushed out of the nozzle. The long hose aside, even when I can't hang the shower up very high I would still take this any day of the week!

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