The top 5 items we rely on to be comfortable while overlanding, for now :-)
Living in your vehicle and out on the road makes you reliant on, well, anything that you’ve chosen to haul around with you! Here are the top five items that have made life on the road more comfortable for us, from our number five choice down to our top pick. These are items that we don’t think will change in the near future, as we rely on them almost on a daily basis.
Coming in at #5 is our very dependable stove, which was made by “Partner Steel Company”, of Pocatello Idaho. We have been very impressed with this 18-inch propane stove as we have used it almost daily for two years straight, and it continues to work as perfectly as the first time we used it. This stove is very light and rugged, which is good for us because we are pretty rough on equipment. When we purchased this stove we did have an option of getting the “emergency repair kit”, which includes common parts that may be needed to repair the stove if there is an issue, but we chose not to buy it, and so far we have not regretted it. We were also concerned about having it in countries with different propane adaptors, and thought we might get stuck somewhere without a working stove, not able to replenish the fuel, but we took a chance and so far we have had no issues filling it - it helps that we don’t actually use much propane - a full tank lasts us for about 2 months. We have had other stoves in the past: Coleman, Campchef, etc. , and they worked fine for us - it all comes down to which brand you are most comfortable with. What makes us the real difference is just simple design, quality materials and beautiful craftsmanship which are all hallmark points when it comes to Partner Steel products. We are very happy with our choice.
Placing #4 is my Arc’teryx Down Jacket which for being and “ultralight” style jacket is so incredibly warm Im now not sure just how insulation works anymore. Without this jacket I would be frozen dead somewhere in the Andes mountains or found cuddling an Alpaca, neither of which I would enjoy. It weighs just 8oz and packets into a small, included and attached stuff sack. The outside material seems pretty thin and light but so far its held up well and is much tougher than imagined. With its 850 fill power goose down, and superlight, tear-resistant and wind resistant Arato™ 7 nylon shell, this jacket is warm, light and looks great. If you were to put on a goretex over garment I’m convinced that you would be comfortable down to just below freezing. I love this jacket
Feet are #3 and the Oboz Bridger boots made by a company in Montana have been the best boots to date. They were easy to break in, comfortable for all day wear and look like a mountain runway fashion boot with there flashy Rio Red color! Shannon was shopping around for a new boot and I have really liked Keens but when a friend in Australia had a set of Oboz Bridgers in her size she decided that it was a great opportunity to see if this would work for her. After a few weeks of Australian hikes she returned the boots to her friend Steph and we were off to the store to buy a set of her own. Shannon really likes the way they feel, and how sturdy these boots are for her. I’m a lightweight fan but Shannon prefers ankle support and these fit the bill. So far they have held up very well and being overlanders with minimal shoe selections for those nights out, these look good for those fashion trendy places that we happen upon!
#2 was hard choice for us as we have had a few roof top tents and we finally decided to “splurge” on a hard top variety. We investigated for some time, talked to many people and then decided to take the wallet plunge and invest in the James Baroud Grand Raid XXL. Others we have had have been of the soft shell variety and work great except in “weather”. When I say “weather” I mean the wet variety which can really be a pain when your in “weather” all the time. One thing we decided we had to have is a nice hard top model that we could keep dry, cozy and strike quickly. So far we are happy with our choice, when its raining or has been raining its easy top wipe the sides dry, and collapse in just a few minutes. We have weathered (no pun intended) a few very big storms and aside from the noise its a great place to sleep and hang out. We have wired in USB outlets and LED lights which really helps with daily life and installed solar on the roof. It has held up very well through North America, the Australian outback and now South America and we don’t see its demise in site for some time.
Our #1 choice and I don’t think it will ever change ranking for us is our Rumpl puffy down blanket. We purchased the 2 person blanket measuring 88”x84” in Black. This is a product that after we purchased it, we could not imagine a better blanket for our lifestyle or any lifestyle for that matter. We had always used regular sheets and usually a rectangular sleeping bag unzipped and used as a top blanket. Well, we got tired of the large size, bulk, packing it up every day, and they never seemed that warm until our “magic blanket” arrived. Now we use this all the time, we have even stayed in Air bnb’s, hotels, friends couches and the blanket goes with us. Let me tell you, this thing is warm, like instantly warm. It packs into a small stuff sack measuring 8x9 and weighs in at just over 2 pounds. The material is a ripstop DWR nylon that is very light and the 600+ fill down, well “its just so fluffy I’m going to die”.
1-Rumpl down blanket
2-James Baroud Grand Raid XXL Roof Top tent
3-Oboz boots (BRIDGER MID)
4-Arc’teryx ultralight down jacket
5- Partner steel - aluminium 18” two burner camp stove