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4 Must-Have Big Agnes Camp Gear Items

As the sun rose steadily into the cobalt sky over Las Vegas’ Red Rock National Recreation Area, I awoke with the smell of the campfire clinging to my skin and realized that I had not slept this well in a very long time. I felt amazing after a chilly night with good company and great gear, and it was all thanks to Big Agnes.

Headquartered in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, Big Agnes is an outdoor brand dedicated to backcountry comfort. Launched in 2001, the company has grown into an award-winning manufacturer of technologically advanced sleeping bags, sleeping pads and tents — something truly unique for the nature enthusiast. 

Although I’ve been camping for years, I often suffer from what I like to call “camping issues.” Without fail, in sequential order, I often forget my flashlight, lose sight of my position, and trip over the tent’s guylines. Moreover, I have yet to perfect the art of changing in the dark, which either results in me putting my clothes on inside out or backwards, or succumbing to a nightlight and giving the entire campground a shadow show.

Well, Big Agnes has fixed all those problems with their new mtnGLO line of tents, which Backpacker Magazine gave a 2015 Editor’s Choice award.

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  1. SL 1 Person mtnGLO Tent
  2. mtnGLO Tent Light Accessory Kit
  3. Lost Ranger 15° Long
  4. Double Z 

I must say, this is an astoundingly roomy three-season tent, and the built-in LED lights give enough glow without casting off harsh shadows. The corner webbing and guylines are all reflective, so even if the lights are off, you don’t trip over them in low-light situations. Factor in the storm flaps and built-in mesh and media pockets and you’re all set for a great adventure. 

When it comes to making and breaking camp, this tent is probably one of the easiest I’ve dealt with in a long time, taking about five minutes to pitch and seven minutes to stow.

The mtnGLO tent lights are also available as an accessory kit if you want to simply upgrade the gear you already have.

In addition to my fabulous tent, I got to spend the cold desert night curled up in a Lost Ranger bag with a Double Z sleeping pad. I’ve long hated sleeping pads because I always seem to move and fall off of them in the middle of the night. Big Agnes, however, has found the perfect solution by creating an integrated pad sleeve that balances weight distribution for undisturbed rest. It’s no wonder I woke up the next morning without having felt a single rock underneath my body — and trust me, there were plenty!

And for the cherry topper … I think my other favorite thing about the evening, besides the s’mores, was hanging out by the campfire in the Elite (not shown), a packable yet comfortable chair that weighs only two pounds but can support up to 320. I’m a huge fan of anything that keeps me from having to sit on the ground after a long day of hiking — and an even bigger fan of things that do it without being horribly heavy to carry all day.  

So there you have it! New gear to check out and drool over, all brought to you by the amazing folks at Big Agnes. Get outdoors and enjoy!

Product Match Dating Spotlight: Arc'teryx Thorium Hoody

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I have a great sense of humor and a wind-resistant outer face fabric that always gives me an optimistic outlook no matter the weather. I'm looking for someone with a lovely, warm personality to match my own. I pride myself in being effortless and packable, always ready for an early morning hike.

I am interested in someone who appreciates:
Taking the road less traveled
An insulated storm hood
Freedom of movement
Reality TV
Storm chasing
Backpacking

On a typical Friday night I am out with friends, but not too late! The next morning I am sure to be hitting the trail fresh and early.

Favorite Quote: "There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm." - Willa Cather

You may also be interested in:

Arc'teryx Cerium LT Hoody

Patagonia Emmilen Jacket

Marmot Kenzie Jacket

or...

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There are plenty of fish in the sea...

3 Reasons Why You Need Water Shoes

Ahhh, yes! The dog days of summer are finally here, and I for one couldn’t be more excited. It’s that sun scorching yet beautiful time of July when the fam and I load up the wood paneled station wagon (or midsize SUV, same diff.) and traverse deep into the wilderness for a weeklong excursion of camping, hiking and swimming.

Like any seasoned vacationer, top-of-mind items that I tend to pack first include the tent and all its accessories, an extra-large cooler, trekking poles, hydration packs and, of course, water shoes.

Water shoes, aka amphibious shoes, are often forgotten in the mix of necessary outdoor gear. Sure, you probably own cheap rubber sandals, and that’s great! They may do the trick when you’re taking out the trash, but not in the thick of the great outdoors. 

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  1. Keen Clearwater CNX
  2. Columbia Megavent™
  3. adidas Outdoor CLIMACOOL® Jawpaw Slip-On
  4. Keen Uneek

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  1. Keen Clearwater CNX
  2. Chaco ZX/3® Yampa
  3. Merrell All Out Blaze Sieve
  4. Keen Rose Slide

SHOP MORE WOMEN'S >>

Here’s a quick breakdown as to why you need to invest in a pair of water shoes for your next adventure: 

1) Variety
Are you particular in the way you dress, even miles away from civilization and cell phone reception? Well, you’re in luck. Athletic brands, such as Nike and adidas, are now inundating the marketplace alongside Keen, Columbia and Chaco, so your high-fashion footwear can remain on point. As a direct result, there are a plethora of bright colors and traditional styles for your viewing and wearing pleasure.

2) Safety
With specially designed outsoles, one can easily transition from wooded trails to sandy shorelines, and even atop pebbly riverbanks or damp rock formations, all without the fear of risking injury. For example, Merrell’s M Select GRIP™ technology delivers durable, slip-resistant traction that releases dirt and debris with its specialized lugs. Brands like Keen, SOLE and Teva have similarly patented protection that works just as great.

3) Comfort
Thinking twice about that “must-see” eight-mile hike upstream? Don’t! Most water shoes integrate compression-molded EVA midsoles for all-day comfort and support. Furthermore, depending on the style, most designs incorporate open or vented uppers that allow feet to breathe and dry off quicker.

There you have it, folks. Three sound reasons as to why water shoes should be your next purchase. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to finish packing.

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The Osprey & Big Agnes Campout

Springtime in the Las Vegas Valley is a short but very enjoyable time of the year for camping. Around here, we take great advantage of the great weather with camping, hiking or any other excuse we can find to get outdoors in our local parks like Valley of Fire and Red Rock Conservation Area.

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Last week, a handful of outdoor enthusiasts were invited by Osprey and Big Agnes to attend the Annual Retail Community Campout. Employees of Zappos.com, REI and Desert Rock Sports got together to hang out, talk shop, test out some new gear by Big Agnes and Osprey and most importantly, enjoy the beautiful weather and scenery.  This year, the event was held at Red Rock Canyon National Conservation area, located about 25 miles west of the Zappos HQ.  
 
If you grew up camping with department store camping gear like myself and have been out of the game for a while, you will be blown away by the quality, craftsmanship and ease of setup/teardown that is the epitome of Big Agnes gear. Osprey, purveyors of high quality packs and travel gear, celebrates their 40 year anniversary and was one of the first to introduce breathable mesh in their line of packs over 35 years ago.
 
On behalf of the outdoor enthusiasts at Zappos HQ, we would like to thank Steve and Mitch from Osprey and Big Agnes, as well as everyone else who attended. While there is no substitute for world-class outdoor equipment, it’s really about the people you camp with that make it a memorable experience.
 
Here’s a highlight reel of last year’s event at Valley of Fire, a mere 51 miles from Downtown Las Vegas.

 
On a Side note, in the summer Months we enjoy Mt. Charleston for hiking and camping, which is a 45-minute drive from the office! This just goes to prove that Las Vegas is WAY more than just The Strip!

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New Brand Spotlight: John Deere

John Deere, John Deere footwear, John Deere boots, John Deere work boots, work boots, work shoes, John Deere is one of the most respected and recognizable brands in the world. Its innovative designs and quality materials include tough, durable leathers and slip-resistant outsoles that meet dirt, mud, and hard work head-on so you can give your best performance every workday.

John Deere work boots come with a variety of soft toe, steel toe, and composite toe styles to match whatever environment you will be working in. Their designs also accommodate what you need during your workday, with both easy slip-on work boots and secure lace-up work boots featuring eyelets and hooks that are set on stainless steel washers for long-lasting durability. The majority of their boots include removable orthotic inserts with airflow technology to keep you dry and comfortable. The John Deere WCT work boot series, which stands for Work Comfort Technology, is named for the tough, high-abrasion, and oil-resistant polyurethane that supports and protects your feet.

Made to stand up to the toughest conditions, your John Deere boots will not let you down.

SHOP JOHN DEERE >>

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Give Dad Some "Aloha" with Maui Jim!

Pops. Dad. Papa. Pa.  No matter what you call him, one thing seems to stay constant with dear ol' dad: his love for practical gifts! This Father’s Day, give him the gift of aloha --and unsurpassed glare protection and color clarity---with Maui Jim sunglasses!

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Classics:

1. Maui Jim “Stingray”

2. Maui Jim “Sandy Beach”

3. Maui Jim “Makaha”

 

 

New Styles:

1. Maui Jim “Breakers”

2.Maui Jim “Legends”

3. Maui Jim “Kawika”

 

SHOP ALL MAUI JIM >>

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Carhartt Celebrates 125 Years of Craftsmanship

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This year marks Carhartt’s 125th anniversary as a family-owned business still run by descendants of its founder Hamilton Carhartt. As America’s legendary workwear brand, Carhartt has been outworking every other brand by staying dedicated to its loyal customers.

What started back in 1889 as a two-sewing-machine, five-employee operation has grown into one of America’s most revered names in quality workwear, manufacturing high-quality clothing, shoes & accessories here in the US and globally.

As Carhartt reaches its 125th year, the brand is constantly innovating and evolving the technology in their products to keep up with the rigorous demands of hardworking customers everywhere. For example, their QuickDuck™ fabric is 30% lighter than traditional sandstone but every bit as durable.

Today, Hamilton Carhartt’s entrepreneurial spirit and determination remains strong with the brand’s unrelenting passion in producing premium quality workwear that stays true to its American-born legacy.

 

SHOP CARHARTT >>

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Wolverine Goes from Work to Weekend Fun

Wolverine not only delivers the best technological advances with their performance work boots & shoes, their durable and dependable footwear also goes beyond the work site and into your daily life—even out on a date!

Two of our favorite fall styles from Wolverine for fall are the “Orville” Desert Boot and the “Ramon” 6” Boot. These timeless styles are the perfect mix of rugged durability and versatility, making them perfect for going from work to a nice dinner out without sacrificing style or comfort!

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Wolverine Ramon 6” Boot

Wolverine Orville Desert Boot