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Here at Gear.com we tend to get a little fanatical about our insoles -- in particular, custom insoles. But this time around, we're not looking at a pair of custom orthotics or Surefoot or cork or moldable insoles --- we're looking at a non-orthotic insole from Thinsulate that has one purpose: keep your foot warmer inside your snow boots than a stock insole can. Thinsulate has built the insoles with a series of layers intended to serve unique functions. The top layer is an abrasion-resistant fabric, as you might imagine. It is antimicrobial and is a wicking fabric to help keep feet drier and reduce odors (perhaps would be good for Thinsulate to consider a partnership with Agion Active for this material). The second layer below the top layer is what Thinsulate calls the comfort layer. This is a foot-conforming foam to provide some additional comfort. However, I would not put this on par with a custom moldable insole. This is merely a memory foam type of material to give a bit of cushion. Below the comfort layer is the thermal layer, and I believe this is where the insole differentiates from stock footbeds you'll find in most snow boots. The thermal layer is Thinsulate insulation to provide warmth without bulk. There's a reason the Thinsulate brand tends to get recommended from friend to friend. It appears to work. It's the Gore-tex of insulation. And that's what these insoles are for -- provide better warmth for snow boots and other winter shoes that don't require orthotic support insoles. The final base of the insoles is the bottom layer that is a shock absorbing foam. I swapped out my stock insoles in my snow boots from The North Face with the Thinsulate insoles, and I can say that they are comfortable on first try. They certainly beat the stock insole for warmth -- but that's not much of a hurdle, since the stock footbeds were basically a thin and floppy piece of foam. Nevertheless, I would venture a guess that the thermal layer is doing its job. For those who aren't picky about arch support or custom toe bridges as you might get from a moldable insole, this may be a good and inexpensive replacement for your stock footbeds in your snow boots. I can see these being particularly useful for non-aerobic winter activities, such as ice fishing. So if you are still using worthless stock footbeds in your snow boots, spring for a Thinsulate replacement and see for yourself if it turns up the heat for you. Shop: Search for more Thinsulate items....Read more...
We admit that we are so stoked on camping, skiing and biking that we sometimes neglect the other outdoor sports we enjoy like hunting and fishing. But whether you are camping or hunting, you are bound to need an excellent knife. Check out the press release below about the finest knife of 2009 -- the 585 Mini-Barrage from Benchmade Knives. 585 Mini-Barrage Wins Knife of the Year July 30, 2009, OREGON CITY, Ore. - The Shooting Industry Academy of Excellence presented its 2009 Knife of the Year Award to Benchmade Knife Company for the model 585 Mini-Barrage™. The awards were presented at the Shooting Industry Masters event on July 24th in Windsor, Connecticut. "We are thrilled and honored to receive such a prestigious award" says Les de Asis, CEO and Founder of Benchmade Knife Company. "Benchmade prides itself on manufacturing high-quality, American-made products. To have our standard of excellence recognized is extremely rewarding and gratifying." The 585 Mini-Barrage features a patented AXIS® Assist Locking Mechanism, combining speed and strength in one complete package. Other key features include 100% ambidextrous function, reversible carry clip and 154CM blade steel. For more information on the 585 Mini-Barrage, please visit: http://www.benchmade.com/products/product_detail.aspx?model=585 Benchmade has won Knife of the Year eight times since 1998 and remains committed to designing and manufacturing world class sports cutlery and superior-edged tools. Knife of the Year winners include 610 Rukus (2006), 425 Gravitator (2005), 921 Switchback (2003), 556 Mini-Griptilian (2002), 690 Elishewitz (2001), 720 Mel Pardue (2000), 710 McHenry & Williams (1999), and the 910 Stryker (1998). For more information on previous winners, please visit: http://www.benchmade.com/shooting_industry/recap/ For a recap of all winners at the Shooting Industry Masters, please visit: http://www.shootingindustry.com/09SIAEwin.html Sincerely, Team Benchmade "It's not just a knife... It's a Benchmade"...Read more...
Eureka!, maker of high-quality, innovative sleeping bags and tents for a wide range of campers and outdoor enthusiasts, introduces eight new sleeping bags for 2010. Eureka!’s new Implosion series includes the Kotey 35°, the Riner 40°, and the Shawnee 40° offering minimal pack size and weight while providing warmth for activities in temperate climates. The new Deep Woods Collection featuring the Centerfire and Rimfire are rectangular, classic-designed sleeping bags with upgraded features for whatever Mother Nature has to offer. The Implosion sleeping bags series is highly compressible and lightweight with a 50D polyester ripstop shell, Eureka!’s own/proprietary Rteqmicro fill and vertical “S” quilting for better insulation distribution. These performance bags come in three different styles – a the mummy, rectangular and hybrid, offering outdoor enthusiasts a variety of design and shape options depending on their sleeping patterns and preferences. Each bag features “peached” polyester liner fabric that is super-soft and feels warm to the touch, as well as an internal pocket and an integrated compression stuff sack.
- Kotey 35° mummy bag (82” x 32” x21”): 2 lbs 1 oz. Retail: $84.90
- Riner 40° hybrid bag (82” x 33” x 24”): 2 lbs 8 oz. Retail: $89.90
- Shawnee 40° rectangular (78” x 33”): 2 lbs 8 oz. Retail: $79.90
“The Implosion Series bags are just right for adventurers who are concerned about carry weight and pack size while on the trail; they provide exceptional performance without the bulk,” said Rob Marcello, Eureka! sleeping bag product manager. “Eureka!’s high performance sleeping bags provide consumers with the technical features they crave blended with the comfort they need to get a good night’s rest.”Eureka!’s new Deep Woods Collection consists of classically designed rectangular bags that are durable, warm and roomy, providing the rugged outdoor enthusiast with a bag that is perfect for harsh elements. Each bag features a 100% yarn-dyed cotton flannel liner for excellent resistance to fabric color transfer and Eureka! ThermaShield™ insulation. The Centerfire collection features bags that are constructed of a two-tone 10 oz cotton duck shell with stylish riveted reinforcements giving the bags the look of a pair of work jeans. Other notable features include a “sip n’ zip” 20-inch zipper on the left side that allows campers to sit up and enjoy breakfast in bed or easily do other activities that require use of both arms without getting out of the bag, and a “downwind” zippered foot vent at the bottom of the bag for comfort. The bags also include an integrated (detachable) carry duffle.
- Centerfire -10° (80” x 38”): 13 lbs 6 oz., MSRP: $139.99
- Centerfire 0° (80” x 38”): 12 lbs. 4 oz., MSRP: $129.99
- Centerfire 15° (80” x 38”): 11 lbs. 3 oz., MSRP: $119.99
- Rimfire 0° (80” x 38”): 10 lbs 8 oz., MSRP: $109.99
- Rimfire 15° (80” x 38”): 9lbs 7 oz., MSRP: $99.99