Gear Reviews


Thoughtful, unbiased, and detailed write-ups of my trekking and travel gear that I use extensively and know inside and out.


Osprey Exos 48 backpack propped up on a back porch

Osprey Exos 48 Review

Price: $200 MSRP – Check Price on Amazon Noel’s Rating: 4.3 out of 5 stars Pros: Extremely comfortable, lots of useful features, great airflow between back and bag Cons: Not very durable, mesh loosens after time, lid is hard to access Weight: New Model: 37 oz (1.05 kg)  My Model: 41 oz (1.16 kg) Volume: 48 L Lighter Option: Zpacks Arc Blast: […]

Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX Review

Price: $230 MSRP – Check Price on Amazon Noel’s Rating:  4.6 of 5 stars Pros: Very comfortable; no break-in period; excellent ankle support, traction Cons: Relatively expensive; potential durability concerns Weight: 52.6 oz (1.49 kg) Women’s Model: Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX Lighter Option: Salomon X Ultra Mid 3 GTX: 36.5 oz (1.04 kg) Budget Option: Merrell Moab 2 […]

JBL Charge 3 Speaker in front of a brick wall

JBL Charge 3 Review: A Capable Travel Speaker?

Price: $150 MSRP – Check Price on Amazon Noel’s Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars Pros: Powerful! Great sound quality, impressive battery life, waterproof, able to charge devices Cons: Size/weight not ideal for lightweight travel, exposed subwoofers Weight: 28.2 oz (800 grams) Lighter/Smaller Option: UE Boom 2: 19 oz (539 grams) Budget Option: Anker Soundcore 2 Overview: JBL Charge 3 […]