Author: John Clark

Review: Osprey Farpoint 55L Backpack

No matter how far you plan to travel or how long you plan to be gone, there’s no better pack than the Osprey Farpoint. Osprey’s product video makes a bold claim, so it was down to a weekend up in the high country of Tasmania to run the Farpoint 55 travel pack through its paces. My experience with travel packs began a few years ago with a three week backpacking trip to Borneo. Our plan was to cover most of the Malaysian side of the jungle island and with multiple flights and most other modes of transport, a hiking pack wasn’t going to cut it, so a travel pack was the answer. Since then I’m sold on travel packs for trips that don’t involve extensive hiking and tenting because for the short carries from airport to terminal, or from station to accommodation being able to carry gear on your back instead of lugging it over one shoulder or dragging it over uneven ground just makes sense. Osprey claims the Farpoint (for men) and Fairview (for women) to be the perfect companion for the long weekend, and to celebrate the end of teenager number one’s exams we tossed our gear into the back of the Hilux and headed south into the highlands beyond mobile reception to explore and search for aquatic highland gold (aka Tasmanian brown trout that take on...

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Review: Ecococoon ICONSPEAK 600ml Insulated Water Bottle

Saying Ecococoon three times in a row is a potential sobriety test. Nonetheless, Ecococoon is, in fact, an Aussie company that started in 2009 designing cups and bottles. The ‘Eco’ label comes from the fact that they use 50% recycled stainless steel in their products and the ‘cocoon’ part describes the company’s “protect and nurture” ethos. Sounds a bit fluffy but each to their own and the world could sure do with a little “protect and nurture” from time to time. So how does Ecococoon’s 600ml ICONSPEAK stainless vacuum insulated water bottle stack up against its bold claims of...

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Review: Macpac Cascade 90L Backpack – How bombproof is it?

The Cascade is described by Macpac as a “classic tramping pack” and has been one of their top line flagship packs for many years. Hikers have often been heard to use the word “bombproof” in conjunction with the Cascade and a Cascade 90 famously accompanied British explorer Ed Stafford on his 860-day traverse of the Amazon River. I chose this pack specifically for multi-day family hikes in Tasmania with small children who only carry one-quarter of their body weight which usually means just sleeping gear, clothes, snacks and water. The rest is on my shoulders. I also selected the...

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