Note: We tested so much gear down in Bishop, we decided that the only way to fit in all the gear we wanted to cover was to double-up the reviews of our favorite pieces all week. In part 1, we check out some trail running shoes. In part 2, we looked at some outdoor amenities, and in part 2 we reviewed some great climbing clothes. Out last installment covers your feet and, well, everything else. -BB
Five Ten Coyote VCS Canvas Climbing Shoe $100, fiveten.com
The Good: The pliable canvas upper makes for extremely comfortable climbing shoes.
The Bad: More advanced climbers may want a more aggressive downturn for bouldering.
The Ugly: How they smelled after a long weekend of climbing.
Comfort isn’t necessarily king when it comes to climbing shoes. When I was first learning to climb, I was taught the 15-minute rule: your shoes should be so tight and uncomfortable that you can only wear them for 15 minutes at a time.
Apparently no one told Five Ten, because their Coyote VCS Canvas shoe is soft, pliable, and very comfortable. The canvas upper wraps around the foot, giving them a secure, but not too tight fit. I usually kick off my shoes in favor of a pair of sandals ASAP, but in Bishop and the preceding tests over the last few months, I was able to wear the shoes indefinitely.
The only downside to that is the pliability of the shoe takes away from the shoe’s ability to hold a solid toe edge on more technical areas. For beginning to fairly intermediate climbers this won’t be a huge issue, but advanced folk might get frustrated.
Besides that one gripe, the shoes have performed well – the Stealth C4 rubber smears like a champ, and the side edges grip well. These shoes are definitely worth a look for someone who wants a comfortable pair of climbing shoes that won’t break the bank. – Billy Brown
Eureka! Copper Canyon 4p Family Recreation Tent $210, eurekatent.com
The Good: More space than a third-world hotel room.
The Bad: On the heavier side coming in just shy of 20 lbs.
The Ugly: The smells coming from 4 full size adult males bottled up inside 1 tent after consuming
camping food and climbing for 3 days.
The Eureka Copper Canyon 4 is a roomy tent that boasts an arm stretching 8x8ft of floor space. With
7ft of clearance overhead you don’t have to be yoga master to be able to contort yourself to easily lay
out your sleeping bag inside. All 4 sides of the Copper Canyon 4 sport large mesh windows that you can
unzip to allow a refreshing breeze for afternoon naps or to get a bomber view of the stars at night.
The base of the tent features a bathtub style floor that wraps up the side to help resist any water from
sneaking it’s way inside. Eureka includes a neat stow bag that has wheels on the bottom for the Copper
Canyon 4 to allow anyone in the family to move it around.
We got a chance to test the Eureka! Copper Canyon 4 on a recent trip out to Bishop to go scamper
up some rocks. I got to spend a couple of nights with one other roommate in the Copper Canyon 4 and a
night where we put 4 full-sized adult men in this bad boy. It fit four grown men comfortably, but with just two guys, it felt like sharing a hotel room. Four huge mesh windows opened up and let the breeze in during the brutally hot afternoons in the Buttermilk. It was sturdy, too: we had some high winds come through our campsite and blow a popup tent 100ft in the wrong direction. The Copper Canyon 4 came through the high winds unscathed.
Bottom line: at 18lbs 20oz this is a definitely a car camping tent, but it’s great if you don’t plan to hike with it. Its seven feet of headroom, vertical walls and 64 feet of floorspace make it feel more like a cabin than a tent. -Will Hinkson
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Author: Billy Brown