Category archives for Steve Casimiro

Will GoPro ever be knocked from its perch at the top of the hands-free camera mountain? Challengers keep challenging, and the latest is TomTom — yes, the GPS maker — which thinks smart editing is the key The Bandit Action Camera attempts to solve one of the biggest hassles of shooting with POV cameras (or…

When you drive a 25-year-old Volkswagen van, you discover that the ways in which you can break down and become stranded are nearly endless. And this is only a joking matter when you’ve become de-stranded; when you’re still out there, stuck at the trailhead many miles from pavement, a cell signal, or good espresso, it’s…

“People will stare. Make it worth their while.” This quote seems very Oscar Wilde, but it’s attributed to author Harry Winston, who absolutely would have approved of the new women’s Sidney shades from Smith Optics. They’re seen here in the anything-but-wallflower “red tortoise,” the least-shy of Smith’s three color options. More than half of the…

Few items of gear have so positively changed my life as the Jetboil. Compact, lightweight, and extremely fast to boil water, this stove/cooking system simplified, lightened, and streamlined my backcountry chefery. Menus, never my forte, have been reduced to ready to eat and ready to boil, and I’m so much happier for it. I even…

Apple might have brought sophisticated yet streamlined design to the masses, but Crank Brothers brought it to the bike world. From pedals to wheels, the kids from Laguna Beach have established an ethos that’s fun, spirited, and fresh, yet still highly functional. This last quality is the most important, especially in a multi-tool, which might…

The New Camcorder

If you’ve shot video lately, it’s most likely been with a still camera that has video capabilities, or your phone. Even the venerable Canon 5D Mark II, which spawned the massive and very exciting world of DLSR filming, is primarily a still, not motion, camera. But the video-first device—we know it by that very 1980s…

All messenger bags are not created equal, but their differences are often subtle and revealed only through actually using them to carry stuff around on your body. The Switch from Bergans of Norway, though, sets itself apart right from the get-go, with a style and silhouette suggesting that it’s no common sack-with-a-strap. Designed to serve…

Last fall, I was teaching a photo expedition in Morocco for National Geographic when I found myself on the way to Saharan sand dunes at the end of a long day of shooting with batteries running dangerously close to empty—dangerously close to empty with a sunset camel ride still to shoot and an overnight time…

Respect the Vest

Pity the vest—it gets so little respect. Other than a brief retro-inspired bump over the last few years by urban lumberjacks, the sleeveless body hugger hasn’t really been popular since the 1970s. This is a shame, because the right vest, one like the Patagonia Nano-Air, can be a staple of your backcountry (and front country)…

Folding bikes are cool in the way that new versions of FileMaker are cool: They’ll enhance your life but not necessarily your social status. Cyclists whose needs demand a compact, portable solution are by definition willing to compromise performance in the name of a tidy package that can fit next to their desk at work,…

Lots of backpacks come with rain covers, which is fine if you don’t mind the added weight or bulk. Or that everything inside still gets wet if you accidentally drop it in a river or marsh puddle. Or that you actually have to dig it out and scurry to get it on when a sudden…

Spring is a time of renewal, regeneration, and rebuilding. And while that traditionally means getting to work on shedding the layers of fat you might have acquired for your long winter of hibernation, it also extends to the spirit, too: Sometimes a new daypack or pair of sunnies is just what it takes to germinate…

When I was 11, my family bought a rattletrap cabin and 2.5 areas in the woods of Pennsylvania — at auction, for just $3,300. The price should give you a clue how much work was involved making the place even remotely livable, and most of the pictures we have of that era show my dad…

See more gear reviews in our Elements Gear Guide >> Upon seeing the Barebones Canyon Lantern for the first time, music fans of a certain age might find themselves singing a Cowboy Junkies lyric: “We are miners, hard rock miners … .” In fact, they might find themselves having a hard time not singing it: The…

See more gear reviews in our Elements Gear Guide >> The modern obsession with sneakers eluded me until I started paying closer attention to New Balance. Granted, the Massachusetts company has been making shoes for more than 100 years, but for at least the last decade and a half it’s been designing shoes that seem to…

See more products in our Spring Essentials gear guide. The Adidas Ultra Boost road running shoe is among the best of spring’s new models—an extremely comfortable, extremely nuanced runner so perfectly engineered and built that you can pull it out of the box, slip it on, and bang off ten miles of training without an…

Many years ago, I was having one last coffee in the Paradise Inn on Mount Rainier before heading up to ski the mountain when I connected with a friend who was involved with product design at Marmot. She was touring the West on a borrowed motorcycle, and I still remember her excitement over discovering how…

The Hand Hatchet

How much handle do you really need? Gränsfor’s hand hatchet has a 9.5-inch shaft, weighs 1.3 pounds, and can take down small trees if circumstances demand you build an emergency cabin or suspension bridge across a wild gorge. It’s small enough to fit under your car seat, big enough to get the job done. $109…

The Nike 2014 Hyperfuse apparel line has a “ghostly aesthetic,” and whether it makes you feel weightless like Casper or not, it looks very modern, very sexy, and very approachable. The transparent color-blocked nylon shell of the Tech Windrunner jacket is water- and wind-resistant and has taped seams. $150 • BUY Read more from Steve…

No outdoor brand has been as progressive as Patagonia in its efforts to clean up and preserve the planet while owning up to the built-in hypocrisy that comes from selling stuff at the same time. On one hand, it wants you to buy its products, on the other it knows that consuming more doesn’t really…

Is this a new era in sleeping comfort? Big-wall climber Andy Kirkpatrick has been using a synthetically insulated blanket, not a sleeping bag, for some of his biggest assaults, including a seven-day winter climb of the Eiger. And now comes a new brand, Rumpl, that makes just that — synthetic blankets. Rumpls are, in a…

Starbucks Via might have revolutionized backcountry coffee consumption, but when it comes right down to it, it’s still…Starbucks. And it’s still coffee, not that rich, aromatic elixir of the gods known as espresso. But a new, ingenious little device coming out early next year could brighten those dark desperate hours when you’re craving something more…

The iPhone camera gets better with each new version of Apple’s iOS operating system, as well as its phones, of course, but it’s still a far cry from offering the creativity and control of a real camera. That leaves the door open for apps like Manual, which lets you have greater input on ISO, shutter…

You wouldn’t think that you could shake up the bike helmet market all that much, but Smith did it this spring with its amazing Forefront mountain biking helmet and now it’s looking to do the same thing in road cycling with the Overtake. Weighing a scant 250 grams, the Overtake is constructed of a polymer…

Brace yourself for a round of widespread fascination with all things hiking, especially thru-hiking, as Cheryl Strayed’s memoir, Wild, comes to the big screen this fall, with Reese Witherspoon in the starring role. Danner has even created a special women’s boot, worn by Witherspoon in the movie — I only got a sneak peek and…