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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 take a look at a two pieces of gear designed to make life a bit easier in the backcountry: the Gerber Steady Multi-tool, and the Platypus GravityWorks Filter. -BB
Gerber Steady Multi-tool (6oz) $64, gerbergear.com
The Good: The best application of suction cup tech since the octopus.
The Bad: Non-locking blades make for dicey whittling.
The Awesome: No more of those lame arm-length self shots.
Note: I love the Steady so much, I had to change Good-Bad-Ugly to Good-Bad-Awesome.
Gerber definitely appeals to the iPhotographer/narcissist in all of us with the Steady Tripod Multitool. In addition to the two blades, needlenose pliers, 3 screwdrivers, ect., the Steady also rocks a tripod and a screw-on mount for digital cameras/helmet cams AND a suction cup attachment for iPhone use.
The screw-on attachment/suction cup works with my digital camera, my iPhone, and my Contour Roam. That feature alone means I’ve gotten more use out of the Steady than any other multitool I’ve ever used. I do a ton of testing by myself, so action shots of gear are taken care of; I’ve even recorded a last-minute video review for another website with this thing. Love it.
In Bishop, I used it to snag a few pics, but the needlenose pliers and Phillips-head screwdriver came in handy when my Pathfinder’s brake light fell off the back window. A few twists and tweaks, and the Steady made my SUV street-legal again. Boom.
If you tend to take pictures in the field to remind your social network of your awesomeness, this is your multitool. Now if only we could make it follow you around…
Contest Alert: We’re giving away a Gerber Steady to whoever gives us the best euphemism for “life-threatening” (touchy, dicey, ect.) they’ve ever heard/can think of. Something that makes us laugh or we’ve never heard before will get bonus points. Make your submissions in the comments or on our Facebook or Twitter pages by midnight tomorrow night. We’ll vote on the winner and announce it Thursday. Good luck!
Platypus Gravity Works Grav Filter (11oz) $110, cascadedesigns.com
The Good: Filters water startlingly fast.
The Bad: Trying to find someone who wants to haul water up from the source.
The Ugly: Dropping the wet outlet hose in the dirt. Bleh.
For base camp water, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better high-volume filtration system than Platypus’ GravityWorks filter system. The GravityWorks/Cleanstream hollow fiber filter is about as low-maintenance as you get: to backflush it, you just raise the clean reservoir above the dirty one for a few seconds. And no moving parts means fewer things that can break. Always a good thing when you’re hanging with Trek Tech. It’s speedy, too: the GravityWorks straightens out 4 liters of water in under 5 minutes.
On our first day at the Buttermilks, one of the new guys asked if he could borrow the pump filter I brought for emergencies.
I handed him the revervoir marked “Dirty” and told him to let the filter do all the work.
Bishop gets stupid hot in the late Spring/Summer months, so we posted up at the campsite closest to the river and made a few laps up and down the trail and reloaded out bottles and hydration packs every night. It’s amazing to watch the GravityWorks’ hollow fiber go to work. The micropores filter out bacteria, protozoa, and floaties out so quickly that it’s kind of disconcerting. Shouldn’t there be more of a hold-up as it strains out the garbage?Apparently not, because we all seem to have made it back home without intestinal incident.
Due to its speediness (and our collective lack of diarrhea), I think I speak for all the Trek Tech’ers when I give the GravityWorks a thumbs-up. Just be sure to yell “not it” when it’s time to fill it.