Reviews

Fleurieu Way, Australia


Reviews of gear I've used over the years.

Amazon Kindle ereader - This is a wonderful product and weighs less than a paperback. It is so nice having a library of books to carry on tour without sacrificing the space or weight. My model wasn't backlit and required light to read. I now use a Amazon Kindle app on my Samsung Galaxy Note 5.

Asus eeePC - I loved this little netbook. Great size and handled the road well. Unfortunately, CGOAB doesn't allow e-assist journals and I started my own website for my US tour. The screen on the netbook was too small for web design. I replaced it with a MacAir 13" laptop. Even though I no longer tour with e-assist I still enjoy working on my own website.

BOSE noise cancelling ear buds - amazing sound quality for listening to music. The noise canceling feature really works too. The noise isn't completely canceled but noticeably quieter. I really like using these on air planes or while riding on busy highways. They are very expensive.

Canon G10 camera - This was my first 'real' camera. It is a good size and shoots in RAW as well as other formats. I did have trouble with the lens cover not opening completely when turning on. Somehow I got a scratch on the lens that couldn't be fixed.

Exped downmat 7 sleeping pad - Exped makes high quality camping equipment. This mat is filled with down and uses a special pump integrated into the mat. The mat provides 3 inches of thickness and weighs 2 lbs. The mat packs small into a 6x9 inch bag. It has an R-value of 6 which is great for camping in colder climates. I replaced this with an Exped UL synmat 7 (1 lb) and then after a many years I changed to a 25" wide Thermarest Xtherm pad (1 lb 7oz).
Garmin 705 - This is a pricy gadget at $400 but I really like having a dedicated GPS unit to record my route and riding stats. I also use the Garmin road maps that are available on mini SD cards. These maps also include attractions, accommodation, grocery and lots of other information. At the end of rides I upload the data to Garmin Connect and Map My Ride sites. After 3 years the battery died and couldn't be replaced. I upgraded to the Garmin 800 and, again to Garmin 510 (no map cards).

Video review of Green Guru's Cooler Cruiser Bag 

itouch 4 - While touring in Cambodia I lost my iphone when I didn't notice it fall out of my pocket. Ooops! ATT asked $300 to replace it or $175 to cancel my contract. I canceled my contract and bought an itouch. The itouch offers everything the iphone does, except the phone. While touring out of the country, using the contract is too expensive anyway and I always rely on Skype for calls. The itouch is great for that and also takes amazing video. My Google Nexus 7 tablet and now Samsung Galaxy Note 5 has replaced the itouch.

Video review of Luci Solar Powered Lantern

Olympus OMD M5 MkII mirrorless with 12-40 and 25mm lens. I love using the little Lumix p&s but they always get dirt on the sensor and then there are spots on the pictures. No good. This camera is compact for a mirrorless, weather and dust proof, has 5-axis stabilization, shoots well in low light and is very fast shot to shot. I also am using an Arkel handlebar bag with TerraCycle side seat mount to keep the camera handy.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS50 - Great little point & shoot. This camera has 30x zoom, GPS, wifi and is quick enough shot to shot. The newer models are faster and also shoot in RAW. You can't beat the compactness with all the features for the price. It takes really good video and is easy to hold while riding the trike. This camera also has 5-axis stabilization. I can hold it while riding the trike and get smooth results. Unfortunately, these cameras are prone to sucking in dirt while using the zoom feature. With this last purchase, I also picked up an insurance policy. $65 for 3 years. I'll be able to send the camera in for sensor cleaning one a year. Insurance covers everything except loss and theft. Sending the camera in to be cleaned is as expensive as buying a new camera. 

Sony Action Cam HDR-AS100VR - This helmet cam is very small, weatherproof and has very effective image stabilization. I think the colors are more natural than the GoPro. I also like the more aero look compared to the GoPro. There is also an optional wrist remote so you can see what is being shot, turn the camera off and on and make other settings changes. Aside from getting nice video of rides, wearing a helmet cam is a good idea for safety. Drivers do take notice and change their behavior. 

Video review of Tato Gear AB-13 Max Alcohol Stove

Verizon mifi hotspot - I used this on my US tour and really liked it. It works with 5 devices at once. The hotspot uses cell service which is convenient but significantly slower than broadband. The unit came in handy when I couldn't find wifi especially camping. My contract with Verizon ended and I didn't renew. On my Asia tour I bought a Huawei hotspot that will accept a SIM card.


VIO pov hd helmet camera - This was my first helmet cam that I have replaced with the Sony.This camera is corded to a handheld control panel which I thought would be good if the camera ever came loose from my helmet. The control panel comes with a display screen so you can see what is being filmed. The camera is very lightweight. There is also a simple wireless control on a wrist band so you don't need to hold the bulky control panel. Unfortunately, my head bobbed noticeably while riding. The resulting video made me feel seasick watching it. The image quality is good but this is a technology that is improving quickly and better cameras are available. I've lost so much weight my head doesn't bob anymore and I may try another helmet cam.

Camp shoes Aleader and Vivo Barefoot - I give a first look review of 2 possible water shoes.

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