Staff Gear Favorites: Part 3
Your favorite piece of gear can be like a good friend. You might only see it a few times each year, but it can feel like no time has passed. RRT’s staff has many gear favorites; here are some pieces in particular that have won our affection year after year.
Sam – Liquidlogic – Braaap
Since the summer of 2016, the Liquidlogic Braaap has been my go-to boat of choice for all things whitewater. Whether you are learning to roll or running your favorite Class V, the Braaap is the right choice. I have run the hardest rapids on my resume and made my happiest memories on the river while paddling this boat. The whitewater boat design and innovation has dramatically changed since the Braaap first came out, however I still find myself wanting another.
The outfitting Liquidlogic uses inside the boat makes for a comfortable ride sunup to sundown and provides comfort walking to and from the river with a boat resting on your shoulder. The design of the Braaap feels sporty, fast, and nimble but provides the volume to manage steep creeks. My favorite rivers for the Braaap are ones with high volumes of water; notably, the Kern River when snow is melting or the Gauley River when the dam is releasing. While living in Asheville, NC I found myself buying boats from Liquidlogic, as they’re designed by paddlers that ran the same rivers as me. If you see me at RRT, please ask about the Braaap and its more playful counterpart, the Party Braaap.
*Although not a stock item, RRT is happy to order the Braaap or other whitewater kayaks for you given advance notice. Contact a staff member for details.
Karoline – Rab – Electron Pro
A love letter to my Electron:
Dear Electron, Thank you for keeping me warm. Through cold bonfires, brisk hikes, and cold days at the crag, you are always there for me. You are truly a cozy little cocoon of happiness. XOXO
Perry – Rab – Microlight Alpine
On the streets or on the trail, the Rab Microlight Alpine is the first piece out of my closet. Its 700-fill down keeps me toasty when needed, and compacts down small when not. With a wind-resistant and ripstop outer material, this is the only layer I need until the rain starts.
Joe C – Rab – Ascendor Light Pants
What if I told you there are men’s pants that feel like yoga pants but look like normal hiking pants? Well, there are: the Ascendor Light pants by Rab. They are so lightweight, it hardly feels like you’re wearing any pants at all! They also come in some fantastic colors. I love using these pants for hiking or climbing because they are lightweight and breathable. It is so easy to move in them you can land the heel hook that makes no sense at all but definitely looks badass. These pants are worth the money and you definitely won’t regret buying them.
All Around Pick – Nemo- Tensor
Incredibly, our staff each selected a different item for their favorite piece of gear. Their favorites covered everything from boats to a poop shovel, but surprisingly enough, a sleeping pad wasn’t listed. That isn’t because we don’t enjoy comfort or because we don’t love what we use. It might just be because we can pretty much all agree on one favorite: Nemo’s Tensor. Fully inflatable, lightweight, and above-average comfortable, the Tensor has been an all-around staff favorite for years.
Perfect for backpacking trips with its small pack size and minimal weight, it’s also been a favorite on packrafting and canoeing excursions. It’s held up to the rigors of the Pacific Crest Trail and was the pad of choice for a staff trip to Alaska. Whether you choose a long or wide version for extra comfort or the insulated pad for frigid nights, the Tensor series will surely meet your demands just as it’s pleased our staff.
These gear favorites have pleased our staff for years of adventures. Odds are, they’ll soon become your favorite too.