by Diane Spicer
This Garage Grown Gear review is being written because I want you to find out about what's fresh and new in our hiking community.
No one asked me to write this review.
I can say exactly what I know to be true, because all reviews on this website are unpaid and unbiased.
I've decided to be a Garage Grown Gear affiliate because I really like the way they roll. Keep reading for details.
So what is Garage Grown Gear?
GGG is a collection of small, startup and cottage outdoor brands.
It sprang into life in 2014, a collaborative effort from the very first day.
GGG offers a great way to think about what they do: the "farm to table" approach to outdoor gear and food.
And they do it by focusing on small businesses.
That is a win-win situation, my virtual hiking friend.
You can feel great about shopping at Garage Grown Gear! You're supporting innovation and creativity with each purchase.
Any hiker welcomes a chance to lighten up the load, so you'll appreciate Garage Grown Gear's emphasis on ultralight hiking.
Even if you don't identify with the UL label, you can appreciate what awaits you at GGG.
We'll take it in this order:
Carrying less weight as a hiker makes good sense, whether you're a twenty something who wants to go fast and light or an elder hiker with tender knees.
Six Moon Designs in Beaverton, OR offers a backpacker so many lightweight shelter options, at various price points.
Budget conscious backpackers will appreciate the features of this lightweight shelter, the Skyscape Scout.
Choose between aluminum (cheaper) and carbon fiber (lighter) poles to pitch this little beauty.
Just a few things to love:
If you've got more cash to spend and want a few more bells and whistles, consider a different Six Moon tent: the Lunar Duo.
This three season tent should make your heart beat a little faster, for all these reasons:
If you're going fast and light, why not be the fastest and lightest you can be?
But bring a bivy to ward off moisture, creepy crawlies and debris because it's hard to be a trail ninja when you're soggy and grumpy.
The Recon Bivy gives you a lot for its 6.35 ounces:
a 5.5" bathtub floor made with 15D waterproof silnylon, along with a mesh window.
If you want to shed ounces of weight but not sacrifice your warmth and comfort at night, consider the snuggly lightweight backpacking quilts made by Enlightened Equipment in Winona, MN.
For a basic model at a good price point, consider the Revelation APEX top quilt.
It's rated to 40F.
The quilt features synthetic insulation, with 10D nylon interior and exterior.
It's easy to vent this quilt with the footbox zipper (quick conversion to a blanket).
Or cinch it down around you for more warmth.
Need a warmer option? (Female hikers, I'm lookin' at you!)
How about this Revelation 850DT 10° top quilt filled with treated down?
Its pad attachment system works to keep your body heat where it belongs.
At less than 26 ounces (depends on length), you won't mind carrying this quilt.
So many great features!
Like the versatility of a backpacking quilt but the snugness of a sleeping bag?
Here's the solution: the Conundrum bag.
Choose the temperature range that suits your hiking plans, from 40F to 10F.
Also choose your size:
Hikers are always interested in new trail food choices.
This Garage Grown Gear review introduces you to a few companies who do things right to keep your taste buds amused and your muscled fueled up.
Does your palate crave a little something different after all these years on the trail?
Or are you a newbie who isn't sure what a good backpacking meal looks like?
Either way, Good To Go meals are there for you!
Here are just two tempting options for single serving backpacking dinners:
For lots more backpacking food options, read these Hiking For Her articles:
Kate's Real Food is exactly that: high quality combinations of fast energy from carbohydrates, balanced with protein in tasty and convenient bars.
These aren't the usual icky sweet "energy" bars.
No weird chemicals or fillers to slow you down or make you thirsty.
And their flavor profiles are amazing!
This combo pack gives you lots to choose from on your next hike:
2 Bivy Bars: Lemon & Coconut
2 Tiki Bars: Mango & Coconut
2 Grizzly Bars: Peanut Butter & Dark Chocolate
2 Handle Bars: Dark Chocolate | Cherry & Almond
2 Stash Bars: Peanut Butter | Hemp & Flax
2 Tram Bars: Peanut Butter & Milk Chocolate
As a beginner hiker, a combo pack of trail food saves you money and allows your palate to experiment.
Store these bars in the freezer and you'll always have a snack handy when you head out to the trailhead.
Female hiker hygiene is always somewhat problematic.
The Kula Pee Cloth by Kula Cloth makes drips easier to deal with.
One side is absorbent, one side is waterproof.
Lots of patterns to choose from!
Attach this fast drying piece of fabric to your backpack to air/sun dry when you're finished.
More hygiene tips for women hikers here.
I've hiked with a lot of people over my 50+ year hiking career, so I feel justified in sharing an observation:
female hikers suffer more from dry skin a few days into a backpacking trip compared to male hikers.
As a hiking woman, here's your solution:
Dry Skin Care Salve from Green Goo.
Rub it into your ripped up cuticles, scratched forearms, insect ravaged neck to lubricate and protect your skin.
The organic ingredients will feel and smell wonderful.
Your choice of snowshoes depends on your size and weight.
But this also matters:
Northern Lites offers a full range of snowshoes to cover most snowshoe possibilities.
Based in Wisconsin, they know a thing or two about snow!
Get started with these Quicksliver snowshoes.
They are designed for recreational day hikes on mild terrain.
The binding system is straightforward, so beginners will find them easy to get on and off.
Bonus: These shoes will feel weightless attached to your winter boots.
Ready for challenging terrain?
Step up to the Women's Elites.
These are suitable for mountaineering and winter backpacking.
Their heavy duty aggressive crampon system won't leave you hanging (off the edge of something).
Choose between 2 different binding systems!
These little beauties won't weigh down your backpack when they're not needed, either.
Read my snowshoeing tips to get the most out of these snowshoes.
Without a doubt, hiking snacks are my favorite food to review and share with you.
I recommend that you take a good look at Huppy Bars.
For one thing, they have interesting flavors for jaded palates:
A variety box gives you a dozen bars.
You can customize your box, but when you're just getting started with Huppy why not try them all in one fell swoop?
These bars may look small, but they provide a good hit of calories and hiking nutrition.
They fit easily into your pocket, whether a jacket or a pack waistbelt, until you need them.
I want to put one thing right out there for you.
Small companies can't hold a deep inventory.
This is only a small sample of the marvelous and innovative companies gathered together in Garage Grown Gear.
You won't see this hiking and backpacking stuff in the big box stores.
I'll be rotating through all of the GGG companies on this page.
Garage Grown Gear Review
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