Published on July 2nd, 2010 | by Greg0
Take A Hike with The North Face
I love to hike. IÊ»m not normally one to choose a single favorite activity, my preference tends to be a bit more High Fidelity-esque, leaning towards top five lists. Hiking would make my top three though. ItÊ»s right up there with cooking, knitting and photography. Living in Hawaii makes hiking accessible as often as I want to do it, and makes camping possible year-round. As such, IÊ»ve worn out my fair share of camping and hiking equipment, and whenever itÊ»s time to replace stuff the first place I turn is The North Face.
IÊ»ve got a bag that I use on a daily basis, and has served me quite well for day hikes for several years now. IÊ»m not sure what I would do without my Mako, but itÊ»s limitations are evident when IÊ»m on multi-day hikes. A larger bag was the solution, and so I give you the Crestone 60.
This is another bag by The North Face that is designed specifically for women. ItÊ»s lightweight, at just under 6lbs, and is adjustable in nearly every possible regard. The shoulder harness utilizes the Opti Fitâ„¢ System, which adjusts for the wearerÊ»s back length. There is a cam that locks the harness in place, insuring a comfortable fit regardless of height. This is particularly useful for women who have shorter or longer torsoÊ»s than average. Not only is the shoulder harness adjustable, the hipbelt is dual pivot, insures that the bag sits comfortably, even when packed to capacity. There are heavy, water-tight zippers on all of the outer pockets, and one “dry” pocket. A rain-fly will help to keep the contents of the bag dry, even in wet weather.
Bearing all of this in mind, I went ahead and packed my bag to capacity, and set out to make sure that it was as awesome as I was thinking it would be. What I found is that everything I needed for several days fit in the bag, including food, clothes, camping equipment, and a sleeping bag strapped to the bottom. I use a 3 liter Camelbak bladder (not included with the bag), which fit without a struggle at all. The padding on the shoulder straps and hipbelt made carrying my load quite comfortable, and having a bag that is balanced over my hips and shoulders made a huge difference in how far I could travel. If I could change anything about the bag IÊ»d add a pocket or two on the shoulder straps or the hip strap, and I missed the extensive bungee system found on my smaller bag. Overall, thereÊ»s little I would change.
The Crestone 60 is available directly from The North Face, online or in sports stores for around $220.
The Hayden shoe may not be suitable for those long hikes, but is ideal for anyone who spends their time hiking and trekking through the streets of their city. Certainly they appeal to my green sensibilities, making good use of post-consumer recycled rubber, and plant cellular fibers. This shoe is available in two color schemes, both shroom brown/algae yellow, and a darker pair in barrel brown and taupe. As much as I wanted to wear these shoes I felt it prudent to let our illustrious editor give them a go instead, after all, they were his size. Greg tried out the lighter pair in shroom/algae (pretty color, though the name makes me want to go clean my refrigerator).
These shoes reminded me a bit of shoes a skater might wear, though not quite as bulky. Made out of recycled rubber, and sustainable materials like cork and bamboo all resonate with me. I was informed that they were quite comfortable to walk in for very extended periods of time. Bonus that these stylish shoes can be dressed up or down, making them perfect for taking along on trips. This isnÊ»t the first pair of The North Face shoes that have made for really good multi-use footwear, and almost certainly wonÊ»t be the last. Available in most sporting goods stores or directly from North Face for $95.