Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Consumers Scammed at Outlet Malls?

I found this great article through consumerist.com on how outlet shopping is a bit of a scam.

The article found here, discusses how outlet malls differ from regular malls.

One issue the article identifies is the sunk cost idea that once you have invested the gas, time etc to trek out the large distances to these outlet malls, that you feel compelled to buy things. I definitely think this happened to me once before college, when shopping for a major climate change.

Second, it points out that often the outlet stores actually sell inferior products from the same brand name. This is like how different brands slap their logo on items which are not as well built as their normal line or higher end lines of merchandise.

Finally, the last thing that I found to be really true is that the notion of Suggested Retail Price is a total fiction. Although I am fairly price sensitive I keep lists complete with non sale retail prices on most significant items I purchase. Currently significant is anything over 50 bucks.

So with a normal retailer or an online retailer I can sniff out the best deal. I find its important to be cognizant of whether or not you will pay for shipping and or sales tax. Many great retailers like REI, allow you to ship to a store for free. I must say with REI I have been extremely satisfied with the experience.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

My Review of Aluminum Pot Lifter

REI

This portable aluminum handle lets you lift and move backpacking pots off your camp stove.

Great little tool!

Twinedog Los Angeles, CA 8/1/2009

5 5

Gift: No

Pros: Durable, Lightweight, Compact

Best Uses: Backpacking

Describe Yourself: Avid Adventurer

What Is Your Gear Style: Minimalist

I got tired of trying to move hot lids with gloves and or bandannas. Stumbled across this tool at REI and bought one on impulse. Just used it on a three day trip and it performs brilliantly. I suppose it could dent lighter pans and pots. I use it with an open country 2 qt pot and it works wonderfully with it. It makes it easy to poor boiling water into mugs, bowls and food packets!

Example with an open country pot

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My Review of Open Country 2 Quart Pot with Lid

REI

This durable, heavy-duty aluminum kettle stands up to the rigors of the backcountry.

Great little pot for backpackers!

Twinedog Los Angeles, CA 8/1/2009

5 5

Gift: No

Pros: Durable, Compact, Lightweight

Cons: Need a pot lifter, Difficult to Clean

Best Uses: Car Camping, Backpacking

Describe Yourself: Avid Adventurer

What Is Your Gear Style: Minimalist

This is a great little pot! In my opinion there is no need for the budget minded traveler to spend too much on a fancy set of pots. This is the solution. This one pot is all you need. Lightweight, cheap and pretty durable.

Combine this with an aluminum pot lifter and you are good to go. Period.

Pot on top of pocket rocket for scale!

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My Review of Brunton Can Stand

REI

Increase the stability of your Brunton backpacking stove or lantern. Can Stand is designed to fit most common fuel canisters.

Great acessory for your instable stove!

Twinedog Los Angeles, CA 8/1/2009

5 5

Gift: No

Pros: Compact, Functional, Lightweight, Easy to Use

Best Uses: Backcountry Camping

Describe Yourself: Avid Adventurer

What Is Your Gear Style: Minimalist

This is a great little can stand. Combine it with an MSR fuel canister and things are much better. I use mine with a Pocket Rocket and it makes it far more stable.

Brunton Can Stand Supporting Pocket rocket!

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My Review of MSR Pocket Rocket Backpacking Stove

REI

Hands-down winner in the race for space! The tiny MSR Pocket Rocket stove delivers full-size performance yet fits into the smallest corner of your pack.

Great Little Stove

Twinedog Los Angeles, CA 8/1/2009

4 5

Gift: No

Pros: Compact, Powerful, Easy to Light, Lightweight

Cons: Need to bring lighter, Need to ad a can stand

Best Uses: Car Camping, Backpacking

Describe Yourself: Avid Adventurer

What Is Your Gear Style: Minimalist

This is a great little stove. I have been using one for over a year now.

Its a little unstable in the stock version. I improved mine by adding a Brunton can stand from REI which fits the MSR fuel canisters perfectly. Also unlike a jetfuel you have to bring a lighter or matches.

Its super lightweight and small and a great option for the budget minded backpacker. I would get a small 1 or 2QT Open Country saucepan and you are good to go!

WIth a can stand

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This is how small it is sans fuel tank

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