Outside Magazine, February 1995
By Bob Howells
- What’s that peculiar smell in your pack? Probably your towel, that soggy mildew factory that you’re always stuffing back in before it’s completely dry. Replace it with an easy-wring, quick-dry Paktowl ($12), made of soft viscose that’s supposed to absorb nine times its weight in water. Full bath size folds to a flat eight-inch square. From L. L. Bean, Freeport, ME 04033;
- What world traveler couldn’t use eight extra pockets? The Griffo Gear Vest ($50) puts your camera, sunglasses, passport, and PowerBar within quick-draw reach, while its open-back design and Supplex material make it much cooler and lighter than a standard photographer’s vest. From Griffo Gear, 518 Via de la Valle, Suite C, Solana Beach, CA 92075; 800-546-7030.
- Sure, they say the X rays will do no harm to your film, but older machines in backwater airports can still fry that sentimental celluloid. The Security X-ray Bag ($32.50), a lead-lined Cordura pouch, will shield 40 rolls or a loaded camera and about four extra rolls — as long as you’re willing to add an extra pound to your load. From TravelSmith, 3140 Kerner Blvd., San
Rafael, CA 94901; 800-950-1600.
- Montezuma will have to seek revenge elsewhere. With a squeeze of a bike-style water bottle, the Oasis Portable Water Purification System ($30) not only kills protozoa, bacteria, and viruses, its manufacturer claims, but filters out vile tastes as well. From PentaPure, WTC Industries, 14405 21st Ave. N., Minneapolis, MN 55447; 800-637-1244.
- Eliminate the coefficient of ickiness between skin and nylon by slipping a MummyLiner insert ($23 – $55) into your sleeping bag. The washable liner keeps your bag clean and dry, and on a hot tropical night it may be all the bag you’ll need. The top-of-the-line silk model — our favorite — weighs just over four ounces and stuffs into a five-by-seven-inch pouch. From Design
Salt, Box 1220, Redway, CA 95560; 800-254-7258.