The Scrubba Wash Bag

The Scrubba Wash Bag – A washing machine for VanLife and traveling

I received this product from DeepCreek PR for the sole reason of this review. I do not receive any financial benefit from DeepCreek, Scrubba, EarthEasy, or affiliate links. Thoughts are my own.

The Scrubba Wash Bag: Laundry on the go

Let me tell you something about VanLife. After a day of hiking, biking, climbing, snowboarding, or some combination of all 4, your clothes stink. And it’s not like I can just throw them in the laundry room or conveniently wash them while binge watch Stranger Things. Since those things are my entire life, as well as wrestling my friend’s dogs, I need to do laundry pretty frequently so it doesn’t stink up the van, and I can’t fit a wash machine in there. So, The Scrubba Wash Bag filled an essential need since I haven’t found a laundromat in the middle of the desert/alpine/Narnia. Yet.

Van and Travel Friendly

Scrubba Wash Bag packs small
The Scrubba Wash Bag plays nicely with the rest of my laundry accessories in the van.

The Scrubba Wash Bag folds down to about 6″ x 2.5″ x 2.5″ and only weighs 5oz. Space is a premium in the van as well as my suitcase, but I can find some empty corner to shove it in. If I would have had this a year ago, it would have definitely found it’s way to Thailand and Mexico with me. Sink laundry in some of the sketchy sinks I saw just didn’t seem…..sanitary.

In terms of usable size, it can hold 3 gallons (11.4 L), but it does best when you only use 1/3rd of that volume. That’s approximately a day’s worth of summer clothes or your baselayers and a couple pairs wool socks in the winter.

The Results

So, those are the reasons I was interested in reviewing The Scrubba Wash Bag, but how did it work?

Scrubba Wash Bag Nodules
Scrub your stains on this surface and the Wash Bag does the rest.

First, I have to say my days of rolling around in the dirt and mud are pretty few and far between. I don’t get a lot of visible dirt or stains on my clothes. When I do, it’s pretty light. Like, a few mud splashes from riding or walking through a wet trail, or maybe the hot sauce dripping out of a delicious burrito. For this use, the Wash Bag worked well enough. There’s a textured surface with hundreds of nodules on the inside of the bag so if you can kind of guess where the stain is, you can work it out pretty easily. It gets a little tricky when you have a few pieces of clothing in there.

When my clothes aren’t really all that dirty, but are more stanky, I fill the Wash Bag to a little over half. I don’t really use the textured surface that much and just really need to work the detergent through the clothes thoroughly to get the smells out.

When you’re done, responsibly dispose of the dirty water, rinse a couple times, and then hang them out to dry.

All in all, this is a great addition to my van.

Scrubba Wash Bag in Van

Pret Snowboarding Helmets and Tree Runs

Between OR Show and SIA, I had the pleasure of interacting with Pret Helmets on Twitter. Those interactions led to a scheduled interview, and that scheduled interview led to helmet to test out.

Since I know each and every one of you read each and every one of my posts, I know that you’re familiar with my history of TBIs. I love snowboarding, but I’d never do it without a helmet.

Since most active sports have an associated helmet, and most of them are single-impact helmets, one of the first questions I asked was, “how do I know if I should replace a helmet?”

Unfortunately, there’s never anyway of knowing. You don’t have x-ray vision to lookin at the foam inside your helmet. The answer I received was, “if you think you’ve taken hard enough falls to damage the foam, it’s probably time for you to replace it.”

Ummmm…under those conditions, I should have replaced my old snowboarding helmet 12 falls ago. Thank goodness I met with Pret!

Pret Helmet SelectionThey have 4 different models for men:

  • Cynic
  • Shaman
  • Effect
  • Carbon Effect

And 3 different models for women:

  • Lyric
  • Luxe
  • Facet

Pret prides their construction on being lighter and having a lower profile than their competitors, but still meeting all industry impact ratings and certifications. They are obviously doing something right as they have seen 100% growth in sales from Year 1 to Year 2 and expect similar numbers in Year 3.

Pret Helmet TechnologyThe helmet I got was the Carbon Effect. You’ll notice that the “rubber lime” color I have on in the video below isn’t on the website for that model. That’s new for Winter 2014.

What you will notice is the reinforced carbon composite protected areas. These are areas where impacts to the head can do the greatest damage.

And finally, the “nice to haves”…

  • X-liner, removable, anti-microbial helmet liner….to reduce the stank.
  • VTT3 – Their most advanced ventilation system that allows you to control the heat escaping your dome.
  • Removable ear covers, for fashion and function (on warm, spring days)
  • Audio ready ear covers, for listening to your sweet sweet tunes as you slash the powder.
  • Magnetic buckling system – No snaps, no clicks, no need to take your gloves off.

All in all, very glad to have Pret protecting my head. You’ll see why below. Enjoy!

Featured Product Review: GoScope Extreme – GoPro Pole 2X

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received GoScope Extreme – GoPro Pole 2X  for free from GoScope as coordinated by Deep Creek Public Relations in consideration for review publication.

Well, what can I say? I was really excited to have the chance to try out this GoPro Pole. I haven’t had much luck capturing and sharing my mediocre snowboard skills, and my pictures have been limited to chairlifts, post-falls, and shaky helmet mount videos. Not anymore!

The GoScope Extreme – 2X is awesome because it collapses down to just 17″ for tight tree runs and can extend out to 37″ for wide open groomers. The small, compact nature is also great when I’m not using it. It fit well in my backpack, right next to my Hydroflask filled with….liquid confidence. The fact that it’s a measly 6oz. certainly makes it something that can always come with for those video-worthy moments.

Short for trees
Collapsed for trees
Long for groomers
Extended for groomers and Action Selfies

 

It also has two mounting platforms at the end so that if you’re a really fancy videographer, you could mount one GoPro upside-down facing forward and other facing back at you for maximum selfie satisfaction. I am neither a fancy videographer nor a great snowboarder. So, just one GoPro for me. In fact, one is too many.

The last feature I really like is the wrist cord. Comes in really handy when things like this happen:

And yes, I was using the GoScope during that fall. It survived wonderfully, and I had no worries about losing it if I accidentally let go because you can tighten it to whatever size your wrist is.

Other cool little trinkets that come with (as you can see in the first pic)  are two vest clips and a small lanyard. I used these in a different way. I put a slipknot in the lanyard and put it around the base of the GoPro mount (where it mates to the GoScope). Then clove hitched the vest clip and attached it to the pole. That way, if I took a real crasher and the GoPro disconnected from the pole, it would hopefully not be lost on the mountain, and instead just dangling behind.

Needless to say, this is going to find its way into my bag anytime I head out to ride. It small, it’s light, and I’m not afraid of a selfie here and there. Or filming sweet crashes like the one above.

Speaking of that, stay tuned for the next GoScope Extreme installment when I finish editing all of the video from that day. It’ll be just as mediocre as me!

GoScope Selfie

Featured Product Review: Climb On! Bar for Men

Willy and Poll, erm, I mean, Will and Polly, social media magician and creator (respectively) of Climb On!, foolishly put out a public tweet asking for volunteers to try their Climb On! Bar for Men, one of their new products. Little did they know that I am monitoring my timeline for freebies at all hours of the day. So of course I volunteered.

CO! founder Polly & professional climber Jonathan Siegrist - Photo courtesy of CO!
CO! founder Polly & professional climber Jonathan Siegrist – Photo courtesy of CO!

I’ve never been much for hand creams, lotions, bars, and goos, even back in my powerlifting days. Heck, for the first year of my climbing career, I didn’t rely much on more than just Cetaphil hand lotion on really bad days. But, when they asked for volunteers, I was at the peak of my climbing and training frequency. I was abusing my hands about 5 days per week either climbing or lifting weights, and I was seriously starting to explore the world of hand care.

Thank goodness they tweeted.

The first thing I noticed when I opened the small, tin container was the fragrance. It wasn’t girly. It wasn’t really “manly”, even though it’s designed for men, either. It absolutely wasn’t chemical-ly since it’s manufactured with 100% food grade materials. It just smelled “good”. Like when you walk into a Pier 1 or Bed Bath and Beyond. Not too strong, but strong enough to know it’s there. I really liked it.

Photo courtesy of CO!
Photo courtesy of CO!

Then, when I took the bar out of the container, I expected it to be the consistency of Chapstick. Nope. It was more firm, but still rubbed off on my hands easily.

How much to apply to your hands is really an exercise in experimentation. How damaged your skin is, the moisture of your skin when you apply, the moisture of the air…it all plays a part. Too much and it will leave your hands quite waxy for longer than you’d probably want. Too little and it doesn’t do much of anything (obv). However, just the right amount will leave your hands tacky for about 3-5 minutes and then fully absorb into your skin. It’s a glorious feeling.

My hands were quite beat up, and no, I don’t have pics, but just imagine dry, cracked skin, a guy that picks and tears his calluses when he’s bored, and daily abuse. Yes, that bad. Within a week, all but the deepest cracks were gone. The edges created from tearing calluses were softened, and even Anh could hardly tell I had “climber’s hands” anymore.

I now find myself putting it on my hands even when I don’t need it, just because it feels and smells so good. I liked it so much that I bought my dad Climb On! Bar for Men as a Christmas present. When my sample is finally gone, which it will be soon, I’ll be buying more for myself. Trust me, if I’m buying it, it’s worth the money…cuz I’m cheap ‘n stuff.

 

 

Featured Product Review: Kate’s Real Food Bars

Kate's Real FoodI will admit, I’m quite late on this one (though, not nearly as late as the Climb On! Bar for Men review). As it goes with me, better late than never.

I was originally contacted by Rachel to see if I was interested in getting a few samples of Kate’s Real Food Bars. I believe my response was, “does the pope shit in the woods?” (Don’t worry, you’ll get it after it sinks in.) A few days later, these wonderful bars showed up in my mailbox. Like usual, I did my online research. Just like the Mazamabars I was lucky enough try, these, too, are made with real food. When you take a look at the ingredient list, there’s nothing you don’t recognize. SCORE!!

Product Testing

I brought these bars with on a trip up to Minnesota’s North Shore for a weekend of camping and rock climbing at Palisades Head and Shovel Point, near to where we spent New Year’s Eve in 2011. Just like the Mazamabar, I didn’t want to taint the results so I didn’t eat much, if anything, for breakfast and waited until I was completely hungry to eat these.

They are spectacular!

Kate's Real Food Tram BarThey are largely made of some kind of nut butter, chocolate, and rice. Then each bar has it’s own unique addition to make you want to try them all. The rice gives a nice “crunch” with every bite, regardless of outdoor temperature. A couple of samples also had dried fruit. This paired well with the chocolate.

Once again, these are priced right in line with their competitors like Clif and Luna. The downside is that the portion is a bit smaller. I had to eat all three bars before feeling like I was “full enough” to go on with my climbing day. Of course, not skipping breakfast could mitigate that situation. Just remember, you’re actually eating real food. Hey, I wonder if that played into the name of “Kate’s Real Food”? Hm. I guess we’ll never know.

Irregardless, the next time you’re deciding which snack bar to buy, I’d go with Kate’s Real Food Bars. You can buy them here from this link. And if you’re looking for a complete meal replacement in one bar, go with Mazamabar. They are by and far the two best bars out on the national markets in terms of nutrition, size, sustainability, and availability.

P.S. I really hate that “irregardless” is not flagged as spelled wrong by spellcheck. “Irregardless” is not a word!!!

Katek's Real Food 4