Category Archives: Outdoors

  • 0

The 13 Best Snorkel Masks for 2019

Tags :

Category : Outdoors , Snorkel

One of the most exhilarating vacations for couples, families, and marine life enthusiasts is snorkeling. It has been popular for years and is the motivation of tourism across the tropical world. Whether you are a local to the beach, or you are looking to hop on a plane and explore the world beyond, there are many variables that can determine the success and fun of your trip. The beauty of snorkeling is to be found in the views underneath the water. This is why it is very important to maximize the quality, and comfort of your views. Alas, you have the importance of the snorkeling mask guide! There are so many factors that make up snorkeling masks, and it is very important to understand what will best fit your needs.
Top Snorkel Mask Comparison Chart

PictureNamePriceWhere to Buy?

1. Seaview 180 degree GoPro Compatible Snorkel Mask
$$$$Check Price on Amazon

2. Dive IT Dry Snorkel Mask
$$Check Price on Amazon

3. YONGQI LJR Full Face Snorkel Mask
$$$Check Price on Amazon

4. Scubapro Frameless Mini Mask
$$$$Check Price on Amazon

5. Phantom Aquatics Velocity Scuba Snorkeling Mask Snorkel Set
$Check Price on Amazon

6. Cressi Scuba Diving Snorkeling Freediving Mask Snorkel Set
$Check Price on Amazon

7. Aqua Sphere Kayenne Swim Goggle, Made in Italy
$$Check Price on Amazon

8. PROMATE Snorkeling Scuba Dive DRY Snorkel PURGE Mask Gear Set
$Check Price on Amazon

9. North Scout Mask
$$Check Price on Amazon

10. Ocean Reef Aria Full Face Snorkel Mask
$$$$Check Price on Amazon

11. Atomic ARC Subframe
$$$$Check Price on Amazon

12. Cressi Panoramic Wide View Mask Dry Snorkel Set
$$Check Price on Amazon

13. LUOOV Full Face Snorkeling Mask $$Check Price on Amazon

Buying Guide
The first important consideration is going to be fit, a ubiquitous concern amongst many pieces of worn equipment. The sizing of a snorkeling mask is going to be determined by measuring your face form the bridge of your nose down to the chin. Once you get this measurement, you also need to keep in mind that everyone has a uniquely shaped face. The centerpiece of snorkel mask sizing is the difference in the “skirt”. For some snorkeling terminology 101, the skirt is the rubber portion of the mask that makes contact with your face. In general practice, the wider the skirt is, the more contact the mask will have with your face. The more contact with your skin, the more likely it will be to make a good seal. Of course, there are other factors that will adjust how tightly sealed the mask is to your face. At the top of the additional variable list is the materials the mask is made of. A mask made of plastic is likely to be inexpensive, however, they come with many undesireable consequences. A plastic skirt is less flexible and may form a poor seal on your face, also durability of the mask is definitely something to be worried about with a plastic mask. On the upper scale of the table, a mask made from silicone will be much more durable, fit better, and offer more stretch in the mask.
Once you have perfected your fit, there is also quite a collection of colors and styles to consider. The masks are generally separated into two categories, clear and colored, usually dark-colored. A dark-colored mask may look nice in design, but it might make you feel tunnel-visioned. A clear mask on the other hand, will allow for a wider view. In addition to the traditional styles, a whole new snorkel mask model is soaring in popularity and gaining momentum. The full face masks! These masks will definitely make you look like you just landed from planet Zebulon, but they do offer a unique fitting style that can be very interesting and advantageous. One of the most irritating issues with snorkeling masks is leaking and fogging with the masks. The most important measure you can take to assure you won’t have to deal with these annoyances is buying the right skirt and having a well-fitted snorkeling mask. Other masks have special features such as vision-enhancing coatings, tinting to deal with certain places that might deal with things like heavy sunlight.

Best Snorkel Mask Reviews
Seaview 180 degree GoPro Compatible Snorkel Mask
Panoramic Full Face Design and preventing Gag Reflex with Tubeless Design
One of the most interesting snorkeling masks to enter the market. First glance at this mask will leave you bewildered, is this even a snorkeling mask? Full-face masks are a growing trend. The full 180-degree design makes it much easier to not only breathe underwater but breathe comfortably. There is definitely an argument for the new face mask technology. Blowing in out of the same air vent can be very uncomfortable. This mask is priced a little higher than stereotypical snorkeling masks, however, it also offers great compatibility for GoPro camera integration. If you are looking to document your trip with little difficulty, this is a great choice for you. It has a nice modern look and comes in 5 different colorways, panoramic white paired with either teal, navy blue/grey, blue, plum/grey, and pink. This mask also has a very useful anti-fog design. The breathing chamber is engineered to be apart from the main viewing window. This will help diversify the channels and eliminate the crossover of airflow that creates dreaded fogging in snorkeling masks! It is recommended to have a clean-shaven face for this mask to increase contact between mask and skin. This may not be a good choice for you if you are rocking a big grizzly adams beard! Another major benefit to this mask and an attribute to all full-face masks is that you will not have to worry about holding your head at an awkward angle while taking in the underwater sights!
Pros

Full Face Mask
GoPro Adapted
Design
Breathing Chamber

Cons

Pricy
Full Face Mask might look a little ridiculous in a casual setting

Dive IT Dry Snorkel Mask
The Dive IT brand has gathered its engineers to fight against one of the biggest problems snorkeling masks frequently face, fogging. They have successfully trailed their mask to run for 90 hours straight without fogging! This is quite the feat and although we are all a little confused about how you would even go about testing a mask for 90 straight hours, the claim is certainly a testament to their confidence. This mask features a nice clear mask design, although it does have a black outline layer that may make you feel like you have restricted tunnel vision. It has a very sturdy and thick breathing tube. It is also a great mask for fitting purposes. It comes equipped with dual positioned buckles to adjust the helmet to your unique head shape. The Dive IT brand also offers a nice 2 years warranty over this mask. This is a definitely a great model if you are looking for a traditional mask that fights annoying fogging during use.
Pros

Combat Fogging
Price
Warranty

Cons

Tunnel vision
Breathing tube functionality

 
YONGQI LJR Full Face Snorkel Mask 
Another model featuring the revolutionary full-face design, the YONGQI LJR Full Face Snorkel Mask.  Honestly, I don’t even know how to pronounce that, but I can tell you it’s a replacement for the no longer available October Moon 2nd Generation mask.  October Moon Second Generation (AKA Yongqi LJR) separates themselves from the pack with a nice design, very thick breathing mask, adjustable tools, and a unique breathing system.  This mask a great for beginners who are just learning and figuring out how to snorkel. One of the most amazing features of this mask is the breathing system. It will actually block air and water from coming in the top of the tube if you choose to dive underwater. This feature is game-changing and it’s best for those looking to integrate more swimming fun into the experience. It can also be useful for divers with this additional functionality. The design itself does look a little bulky and this mask may be a little heavy on the face in comparison to some other models. Like the Seaview model, this mask also comes packaged with a GoPro mount that can allow you to easily create great videos and memories that last a lifetime. Some have complained that the plastic materials in this mask give off a troubling smell. This mask also comes with a carrying bag and extra washer as a treat from the October Moon company to you. In Conclusion, this mask is a great price for a full face mask and has a very awesome breathing tube.
Pros

Breathing Tube
GoPro Mount
Full Face Mask

Cons

Heavy
Pricy
Not great for free diving below 2-3 meters

Scubapro Frameless Mini Mask
This mask is specially designed for self-assembly. If you have vision difficulty and require prescription lenses, this is a great strategy for snorkel mask purchase. This mask is designed for small to medium face size and is prided on their exceptional field of vision. The skirt of this mask is made of high-quality silicone materials that will ensure durability and avoid the risk of odor from plastic materials. One drawback to this mask is the black surrounding color that may make you feel tunnel visioned or claustrophobic in the water. However, this mask is a great route for those looking to further customize their lens and add in a special lens. This does not come with a breathing tube.
Pros

Customizable for prescription lenses

Cons

Really not a lot of snorkeling purposed functionality

Phantom Aquatics Velocity Scuba Snorkeling Mask Snorkel Set
If you are looking for a traditional mask, this is probably going to be the pair for you. The Phantom Aquatics Velocity has a rare combination of low price and high durability potential. The mask is made of crystal silicon, the highest grade silicone available. This will not only create a comfortable and robust seal between your face and the mask, but premium materials like this are less likely to break or be deformed in any way. Another great feature of this mask is that the color system is extremely diverse and customizable. There are over 11 colorways to choose from. This mask is known for having a great fit. It has an ergonomic design that is specially made to accommodate flexibility matching unique head shapes.
Pros

Durability, material quality
Avoid leaking
Price

Cons

Antiquated breathing tube design

Cressi Scuba Diving Snorkeling Freediving Mask Snorkel Set
Competing with the Phantom Aquatics model, the Cressi traditional snorkel set has many exciting qualities as well. This mask is a little more expensive than the Phantom Aquatics model, but it comes with a really sleek design with shiny silicone coating the frame of the mask. The breathing tube also comes with technology to eliminate water entry when submerged. This can be a game-changing feature for many snorkelers. This mask is especially known for being lightweight and opting to avoid having a bulky snorkel mask that will weigh you down and harm your experience. This mask also comes highly customizable in 9 colors.
Pros

Brand Name
Design
Durability
Breathing tube, (rare amongst traditional masks)

Aqua Sphere Kayenne Swim Goggle, Made in Italy
Sometimes, the best snorkeling masks are those that are lightweight and reduce clunkiness. The Aqua Sphere Kayenne goggles are a great option for those who do not want to have to drag around a big mask on their face while swimming. These goggles are specially designed for snorkeling because they offer a wider viewing mask. They are also very customizable, offering 18 colorways. They offer a 180-degree viewing area and also have a great system on the sides of the mask for adjusting the fit. These are a great pair of goggles, however, they do not have any type of underwater breathing support. However, these can be a great option for those who aren’t comfortable with the traditional snorkeling experiences and would rather have a simple pair of goggles with a wider view. This wouldn’t make sense if the decision is purely motivated by pricing as this pair of goggles is only slightly less expensive on average than typical snorkel mask sets.
Pros

Lightweight
Great viewing space

Cons

Does not come with breathing tube
Pricy

PROMATE Snorkeling Scuba Dive DRY Snorkel PURGE Mask Gear Set
FIrst glance at this mask may instantly turn you away from this mask. However, despite a somewhat clunky looking design, this mask offers great features to enhance your snorkeling experience. The mask is centered around it’s silicone purge valve for easy draining. This feature has received nothing but praise for its unmatched ability to keep water out of the breathing valve as you diving really deep into the water, (even depths as massive as 20-30 feet). If you have been snorkeling before you are familiar with one of the most annoying things to happen to snorkelers, getting a disgusting mouth full of water when you were opting for air. This can be especially annoying if you are snorkeling in salt water. This mask comes at a great price and is made of high quality materials to ensure its durability. The PROMATE mask is also highly customizable with an amazing 13 colorways released.
Pros

Avoid Fogging
Breathing Tube Functionality
Customizable

Cons

Clunky design

North Scout Mask
If your name is James Bond and you are diving underneath enemy lines, this is definitely the hi-tech mask you are going to need to accomplish your mission. This mask is the ultimate creation of snorkel mask technology. The full-face design comes with an advanced silicone facial lining to secure the connection between face and mask and ensure that no leaking happens while using this mask. This mask also comes with the latest and greatest technology in the breathing tube, allowing for diving into the water without water getting into the tub or mask. This mask abandons the traditional concept of the mouthpiece altogether, trying to emulate almost an astronaut type of breathing apparatus. This mask is one of the top premium models in the snorkeling mask market. This mask is great for professional use or snorkeling/diving with a group of experienced veterans, but it might look a little over the top if you bring this bad boy out on a family snorkeling or swimming trip.
Pros

Full Face Mask
Breathing system

Cons

Price
Will definitely look over the top in a casual setting

Ocean Reef Aria Full Face Snorkel Mask
One of the priciest options for snorkeling mask, the ocean reef mask features a full face mask with a very sleek design and clear mask for optimal viewing area. The model is especially focused on easy and natural breathing within the space of the face mask. There are a lot of sizing options with this mask and it comes customizable in 10 colorways. It is very lightweight for a full face mask, only weighing about 2 pounds. This mask is also optimized to keep water from getting into the mask when you dive underneath the water. There is a plastic ball bearing that closes as you dive. When you reach the surface it will strategically clear and allow you to breathe again in the mask so you don’t have to necessarily come all the way out of the water to get another breath of air. This mask is known for being very comfortable as well. The design puts pressure on the right parts of your face to maximize the seal and keep water from leaking into the mask.
Pros

Lightweight
Full Face Mask
Comfortable
Viewing Area

Cons

Price

Atomic ARC Subframe
The ARC subframe mask not only looks incredible but features amazing lens technology that will dramatically enhance your snorkeling experience. The lens coating is designed to increase light transmission and reduce glare to make it easier to take in the amazing views underwater. It has a very wide frame to make sure that you do not feel tunnel visioned, even in the black frame model. It comes in two colorways and both feature a really bad-ass look integrating the signature lens. This mask is also very well known for its resistance to leaking. This mask is a little pricey, but it is one of the absolute best in terms of fitting, quality materials fortified for durability, and awesome lens technology.
Pros

Lens Coating, sun resistant
Wide frame

Cons

No breathing tube
Expensive

Cressi Panoramic Wide View Mask Dry Snorkel Set
Another Model from the Italian company, the panoramic wide view mask and dry snorkel set is the complete package for those looking for a traditional mask. Like many other traditional models, it comes highly customizable with 12 different color options. It also features a very wide masks to enhance visibility and reduce feeling tunnel visioned in the mask. This design makes it easier to choose a black frame that might help reduce glare from a particularly bright sun. The lenses are designed to be extremely durable with a polycarbonate frame. This mask has a unique feature that separates it from other traditional masks with quick adjust mask strap buckles. The mask has a very high quality squirt that should optimize fit between skirt and mask, eliminating dreaded leaking. The straps should also really help with this. The adjustable mask also alleviates difficulty fitting the breathing tube. This mask is a little pricier than some of its competitors, but it comes with great fitting and design.
Pros

Fitting
Full Face Mask
Color Options

Cons

Price
Polycarbonate vs. Silicone material

LUOOV Full Face Snorkeling Mask 
This full face mask model is one of the most affordable masks on the market. This mask is very unique because of its pricing and features. It does not sacrifice the dominant features of full face masks that would usually account for its lower price. It features a full face fitting, and breathing apparatus allows for actually diving under water. The breathing tube will prevent water from getting into your mouth and face when you dive underwater. This mask also comes in four colorways with a signature all black style, and then blue, green, and pink each with a white frame. It is a surface mask and is not suitable for freediving. In conclusion, this mask is a great price and offers all the bonafide features of full face snorkel masks.
Pros

Full face mask
Fitting
Lightweight

 
Final Thoughts & Recommendations
In Conclusion, few markets are changing as rapidly as snorkeling masks. The full face mask design has swapped search results for snorkeling masks. The full face mask is a great design that eliminates a lot of the problems faced by traditional snorkeling masks. The main benefit is to avoid the breathing apparatus that sometimes leaves you taking a big gulp of ocean water. The mask also future a full 180-degree view that will make you feel like an astronaut underwater. Finally, this mask is optimized to reduce leaking. The full face seal is very secure and will ensure that water does not leak into your mask, few things burn like salt water in your eyes. However, this mask does have some potential risks associated with it. For one, you will probably look like you are taking your snorkeling trip a little too seriously if you are wearing it for more casual use such as at the beach, pool, or family snorkeling trip. Additionally, if there is a defect in the face seal or breathing apparatus, you could risk having the entire mask being filled up with water. Many of these masks are also designed with the intention of using the camera phenomenon GoPro during trips. Document your trip and create amazing videos!
With the pros and cons of the full face mask reviewed, the traditional style mask certainly hasn’t been booted out of relevancy yet. The traditional mask features a more casual design that gets the job done advertised by snorkeling masks. These masks also allow for easy customization of the lens to be more accommodating to those who would prefer a prescription lens instead of trying to wear glasses or contact lenses underneath their masks. When looking for traditional masks, you will find immense variation. It is especially important to prioritize the quality of the materials. If you can find a silicone mask or even polypropylene, it will probably be much more durable than a plastic model. Additionally, you should look into the functionality of the breathing tube. Some models are adapted to allow you to dive underwater, and this is really so important it could easily be your top priority to look for. The coloring of the mask is also going to be very important. A clear mask will help you feel more at one with the underwater world, whereas a black framed mask may make you feel tunnel visioned. However, a black mask may be a more appealing visual design. In conclusion, which model you chose will really depend on your priorities. Are you a casual snorkeler? Are you aspiring for professional activity in the underwater world? No matter who you are, make sure you avoid water leaking into the mask/breathing tube, poor quality materials, as well as the unique features to each mask that makes them stand out. Good luck with your decision, I hope this guide helped you!
 

The post The 13 Best Snorkel Masks for 2019 appeared first on Sport Consumer.


  • 0

Best Instant Pop-Up Tents for Camping

Tags :

When it comes to tents, there’s no shortage of variety and quantity from which to choose.  There’s a dizzying array of pop-ups online for beach shelters, 1 or 2 person wilderness canoe excursions or family camping at a park.  If you’re not totally familiar with what a pop-up tent is, I’d be thrilled to fill you in.  Essentially, it is a tent which can be put up in (ready for it?) less than 2 seconds.  Actually, I’m sure my tent goes up in 1 second, but it’s tough to tell!  Oh well, who’s keeping time anyway right?!
I should mention that there are a couple different categories of “pop-up” tents.  I should probably call them “instant” tents.  Overall, there are your conventional tents which take 5-10 minutes to set up.  Then there is an “instant” pitch tent which usually takes about 1 minute to set up, and finally, the “pop-up” tent which takes about 1 second.  Please note, that when we refer to the “1-second” assembly time, that refers to the main structure being open and ready to crawl into.  However, that 1 second does not include the additional 60 seconds you’ll probably need to install the pegs around the exterior perimeter.
How Do They Work?
A pop-up tent is made with reinforcement rods which form the structure of the tent, and they get twisted and folded into a circular shape which is then put into a zipped round bag which acts as a backpack for easy carrying.  To open the tent, you merely throw it into the air (yes, it’s literally that simple) and the reinforcement rods which have a tension (ie. spring-loaded) are released to take the shape of the tent.  It’s a very cool concept and a real time/effort saving invention to be sure.  However, they are not without their limitations.
Pros
There’s no question that the extreme convenience of a pop-up tent is very tantalizing, and many campers fall prey to that allure each year!  (well that sounded bad – like we don’t like them, but we do!).  The price point is also another consideration.  Prices range from bargain basement prices (ie. can’t get a lower price in any tent) to the very high end (like $500 for a 2-person model).  Often they fall right in between the super-cheap tents and the higher-end mountaineering shelters.
Cons
As you may have guessed, for every good thing, there has to be something negative to balance the issue.  Well, you’d be right!  Some of the overall negative issues surrounding pop-up tents are;
1 – Their storage shape and size are usually bigger overall and less compact than a non-pop-up model.
2 – Their rain fly is short and does not cover the entire tent, so it would not be suitable or useful for very heavy or prolonged rainfall.  I haven’t seen any options for a rain fly that does cover the entire tent on all sides right to the ground.  That’s the big negative, and it’s the only reason I don’t use my pop-up on long, multi-day wilderness canoe outings.
With all this said, let’s look at some of the top options you can find online today – for a DECENT price!
What to Look For
It’s worth mentioning that most tents will have a UV coating on the fabric (which is typically polyester or nylon.  All the tents we reviewed have some form of waterproof coating and most have a UV coating.  There are lots of details beyond our reviews that you can find on Amazon, so feel free to follow our links to continue your research!  Look for features like portability, durability, weather-resistance, storage, price and warranties.
Top 5 Pop-Up Tent Reviews
 
#5 – Coleman Pop-Up (4 Person)
Coleman Pop Up Tent
Coleman is, of course, an iconic and classic name in outdoor gear so it would be hard for us to leave it out of our favorites.  We like the 4-person model since most 2-person models of the 1-second pop-up variety are notoriously small for 2 actual people with normal sleeping bags and some gear.  Let’s take a look at some specs for this tent.  It features taped floor seams for maximum protection from water, two storage pockets for gear and a multi-position rainfly.  The 4-person model is 9′ 2″ long, 6′ 6″ wide and 3′ 4″ tall in the center.  It’s made with inverted seams, which means the actual sewn seam is located INSIDE the tent to prevent water from sneaking into the need holes of the stitching.  It also has a zipper cuff made of weather-resistant fabric to add to the rain-resistant qualities.  Overall, buyers of this tent were quite happy, other than a few who came to realize that sizing was a bit tight for the advertised number of people!
Pros

Excellent Price
Performs well in the rain
Super fast setup
Great Brand

Cons

A tad bit small for the number of people listed (a 2-person tent is more suitable for 1 person)
No rainfly that extends to the ground on all sides
Does not fold into a compact shape like a small fire log – instead, it folds to a 2-1/2 foot circular disc which can be awkward for some

 

 
#4 – AYAMAYA 3-4 Person Pop-Up
AYAMAYA 3-4 Person Camping Tent
There’s no hiding the fact that this tent is made in China, but really, which ones are not?!  Even some of the higher end tents that appear to have no connection to China and are not even available on Amazon are made in China!  We care more about how well the tent is constructed and how long it will last.
We like the 1-second setup scenario as usual, and we also appreciated that there is some flexibility (and honesty) in the allowance for “3 to 4 people”.  I guess it depends how big your “people” are!  This tent has more ventilation than most (windows or screens on all 4 sides).    Once again we see a decent quality tent with waterproof, taped seams and durable zippers.  It has an integrated “Oxford groundsheet” (which is really a floor) but it’s made with 4000MM fabric and the 3000MM waterproof fabric roof.  The manufacturing process did not include any toxic chemicals which means there is NO SMELL!  That’s kind of different I’d say!
You can turn your window coverings (flaps) into a bit of a rainfly by using the included cords to pull them out to shed the rain.  Overall, this is a decent choice for the price.  Remember, we’re not giving you ABSOLUTE “best” options here.  We ARE giving you the best options for the price (ie. “VALUE”).  If you want the absolute best, you can snag a tent for $500 or more that has better features …. which you may not even need!  Maybe! 🙂
Pros

Great Price
Good looks
Good construction and weather “resistance”

Cons

Not for extreme weather
Made in China (we thought we’d throw that in just to make our Pros/Cons list look more balanced – in fact most tents of any brand are made in China)

 

 
#3 – Toogh Automatic Setup (4 Person)
Toogh 4 Person instant Camping Tent
Here’ another good offering from our Chinese friends!  Once again, we care less about where it’s made, and more about its quality, longevity and overall value.  This tent has a very good dose of all 3 of those qualities.  It’s made with 100% Polyester fabric and a rainfly.  It’s not a 1-second setup, but rather, a 60-second model.  However, the construction of the 60-second design (as opposed to the 1-second design) allows for a more portable storage shape/size.  Toogh claims 24-hour customer support, but we have to be honest and say we did not test that because we did not actually purchase this tent under our name (so we likely would not be given support).
Within the hexagonal shape is a useable rectangular (sleeping) space of 81 inches long and 71 inches wide and 50 inches tall.  The size is ideal for 2 adults and 2 children rather than 4 large adults!  However, it can hold 6 people comfortably as long as they are not actually lying down and sleeping.  Can you say board games!?   However, the whole package weighs 8lbs.
Pros

Great-looking design
Super tall for comfort (not quite adult standing height)
24-hour customer support
Fast setup

Cons

Rainfly is small and does not cover the entire tent
Heavy

 

 
#2 – Zumit Pop-Up (3-4 Person)
ZUMIT 3-4 Person Instant Tent
 
The Zumit is another pretty looking tent (in my opinion) with a great set of specs.  Like others on our list, it has a 190T Polyester PU coated fabric which is high-density for maximum waterproof resistance.  It has lots of ventilation and it’s the design we’re very familiar with since it’s the 1-second opening model.  The dimensions are 110 x 78 x 47 inches and the 3000 mm fabric is certainly adequate for protection from the elements in all but the harshest environments.  It even fits a queen-sized air mattress.  The weight is 8lbs.
The one thing we really liked about this tent is that it has something the others (lower on our list) did not have and we REALLY like this.  It comes with a front and back porch option!  You read that correctly!  It has integrated awnings that really make the tent feel substantial and offers you a whole new dimension in weather protection.  This is one feature I miss on my own pop-up tent and that’s why we ranked the Zumit pretty high!
I do have to say one thing here.  The ranking may change once we gain more experience with the Zumit, or we receive more feedback, but right now the jury is out on the rain-resistance level of the tent.  This tent does NOT come with a separate rainfly since the manufacturer claims its “high-density Waterproof Oxford fabric” will keep you dry in even the rainiest weather.  I’m not totally sure that’s accurate, but I can’t say for sure.  I’ll keep this file open for now and re-visit once I have more info.
Pros

Great looks
Front and back porch options
Very sturdy
Lots of Excellent reviews from satisfied owners

Cons

One user complained that it was not rainproof and should have a rainfly

 

 
#1 – Gazelle Pop Up Portable
Gazelle Pop Up Portable Camping Tent
Gazelle Pop Up Portable Camping TentWe LOVE this tent not only because of its looks but because the parent company has had years of experience building some of the best ice-fishing shelters on the planet.  This model is a 90-second setup version which is totally unique to all the designs in our review.  It is in my opinion, the most reliable of all the options we’ve outlined, and you can get a “4-8 person” size which includes a separate room that can be used to sleep people, or as a kitchen.  There’s also a 3-person model available.   It’s an incredible 71 inches tall and has 61 square feet of floor space.  It’s definitely not a hiker’s tent or even a canoe/kayak trip tent, but it’s one of the very best options on the market for a family camping tent in a state/national park or campground where your vehicle is nearby.  The uniquely-designed rainfly extends past the roof edges for good protection, however, because of the design, wind can catch under the edges making it flap.  It also has a removable floor, though some have complained about its design specifics.
The “bad” thing about this tent is its weight and size.  The 4-8 person model weighs a whopping 47 lbs!!  The stored dimensions are nearly 12″x12″x63″.  That’s 5 feet and 3 inches in length you’ll need just to store it, so be sure to have a substantial automobile!
Pros

Easy to set up
Sturdy
Really Weather Resistant
Very well constructed with high-quality materials

Cons

Big and heavy (storage, transportation and handling may be an issue)
Hard to take down and re-pack well
Rainfly flaps around
Expensive compared to the others

 

As you can see, there is no such thing as the “PERFECT” tent.  All of our options are quite good, but you’ll have to balance the various qualities against various price points.  Please let me know if you agree/disagree with my assessments and if you have had experiences with these tents.  I’d like my reviews to be as accurate as possible so the more input I have, the better!
 

 

The post Best Instant Pop-Up Tents for Camping appeared first on Sport Consumer.


  • 0

The 7 Best Ice Fishing Shelters for 2019

If you love fishing and are bummed at the end of the season thinking about how long it’s going to be until you can head out on the water again, you’ll be happy to know that you don’t have to wait until the cold temperatures go away before you can fish again. There is a way you can go out even on the coldest days of winter: ice fishing. It’s serene, peaceful, and quiet. Just you and whoever you want to join you, a hole in the ice, your pole, and your ice fishing shelter.Maybe you’ve never thought about ice fishing before because it seems like sitting out on the ice might not be very much fun. That’s why it’s important to have the right ice fishing shelter to give you a safe, warm home away from home out on the ice.Having the right ice fishing shelter is essential to enjoying ice fishing. The right one can make or break your trip. Before you buy your ice shelter, though, there are a lot of factors to consider. In this guide, we’ll help you learn what you need to know before deciding on the ideal ice shelter for you. Then, we’ll take a closer look at the best 7 ice shelters for this winter season.Top Ice Fishing Shelters Comparison ChartPictureNamePriceWhere to Buy?1. Eskimo Wide 1 Inferno Insulated Ice Shelter with Swivel Seat $$$Check Price on Amazon2.Eskimo Quickfish 2 Pop-up Portable Ice Shelter $$Check Price on Amazon3. Eskimo FF949 FatFish Pop-up Portable Ice Shelter $$Check Price on Amazon4. Eskimo QuickFish 3i $$Check Price on Amazon5. Shappell Wide House 5500 Ice Shelter $$Check Price on Amazon6. Popsport 2/3/4/8 Person Ice Fishing Shelter $Check Price on Amazon7. Eskimo FF9416I FatFish Insulated Pop-up Portable Ice Shelter $$$Check Price on Amazon Buyer’s GuideIf you’re new to the sport of ice fishing, it’s likely you’re not sure where to begin when shopping for an ice fishing shelter. Here, we’re going to spell out the basic things you need to know and what to look for so you can be sure to find the right one for you. Immediately following this guide, you’ll see our top 7 picks to help you pick the right ice shelter for you.PortabilityOne thing you’ll always need to keep in mind is portability. You might be thinking that you just set up shop around your fishing hole and stay in one spot, but that’s not usually the case. When you’re fishing, you move to where you think the fish are. The same is true for ice fishing, although it’s not nearly as simple as walking to another part of the shore or navigating your boat to the other side of the lake.Ice shelters frequently need to be transported, so it’s important to look for one that you’re going to be able to move. If you plan to ice fish alone, make sure you can handle transporting your shelter by yourself. Like most things, it will be a little bit easier if you have help.If you choose a shelter that’s too large or heavy to transport on your own (or even with help), you’ll have to tow it. This is typically done using an ATV but can be successfully done with the right equipment in the right conditions with a car or truck.StylesThere are a few different styles of ice fishing shelter you should be familiar with: Hub-StyleHub-Style Shelters are similar to tents. They have internal framework that holds the material in the shape of the shelter. They are usually quite easy to set up and give you a generous amount of fishing space. You might have some trouble getting them up in severe weather conditions, especially when it’s windy, but they’re usually pretty solid once you put them up.While the setup isn’t particularly difficult, it does hinder (to an extent) how portable this style is. Setting it up and breaking it down once is fine, but if you have to start doing it a few times a day, it can get pretty tedious. The size and shape can also make it a little awkward to transport from spot to spot, especially in high winds. You’ll typically need to use ice anchors to give it stability and it’s not always easy to move those from place to place.You’ll find that chairs are a big deal when it comes to ice fishing shelter. Hub-Style ones do not come with seats so you will need to provide your own. Flip-StyleFlip-Style Shelters are really portable. In fact, they were specifically designed for easy setup and breakdown. Basically, a Flip-Style Shelter has a sled-like frame that can be easily moved around on the ice. It can hold all of your gear and usually has pretty comfortable seating. Once you’re in position, the shelter part flips up and over the fishing area, enclosing you inside and protecting you from the elements.A great thing about these is that they usually give you a lot of storage space. You’ll often find storage areas underneath the seat and pockets along the walls. They’re very convenient and durable and hold up well in harsh winter weather.Unsurprisingly, they’re easily the most expensive variety of ice fishing shelter, but you’ll need to take into account a few things here. One, you probably won’t need as many materials to haul it, which will save you a bit of money in the long run. And secondly, it comes with all the seating and storage you’ll need so you won’t need to worry about providing your own chair. Cabin-StyleCabin-Style Shelters are unique in that they have a built-in floor. This allows them the distinct advantage of being able to keep out some of the cold and hold in the heat. The floor has openings so you can easily drill and access your ice holes.Cabin-Style Shelters are quite similar to Hub-Style in that they set up in the same basic way as a tent. They have a frame and will require ice anchors; therefore, they have the same downsides. Cabin-Style Shelters aren’t particularly easy to move around. They don’t come with a lot of extras and you’ll definitely need to provide your own chair. SizeThere is a lot of variety when it comes to size. You can easily find an affordable, portable single man shelter. When you’re trying to find a one-man shelter for yourself, it’s important to keep your build in mind. If you’re exceptionally tall, make sure you find a shelter that offers you a little more room so you can stretch out and stand up if you want to.If you’re planning to make ice fishing something you do as a group, find an ice shelter that can fit the number of people in your core group. You can find some that are large enough to fit up to 9 people but there are plenty of 2, 3, and 4 person shelters available, too.Obviously, a 9-person ice shelter is going to be too much for most people. But you will have to carefully consider the size you buy. If you get a one-man shelter, you won’t be able to share your fishing space with friends. If you get one that’s too big, it’s going to be really tricky to maneuver during those trips when you’re on your own.SeatingWhen you’re ice fishing, you spend most of your time sitting down so it’s important that you have somewhere comfortable to do it. As we’ve mentioned, Flip-Style shelters usually have built-in seats. They’re usually quite comfortable with padded cushions and backrests plus they often have extra storage available underneath.If you choose to go with another style shelter, you’ll have to provide your own seating. This can be a camping chair or something special that you buy just for ice fishing. Or, it can be something as simple as an overturned 6-gallon bucket. It’s really up to you. Just make sure it’s comfortable.There are pros and cons to having a built-in seat in your shelter. They’re sturdy and usually pretty comfortable, plus they make it a little easier to move the shelter around. They’re attached to the frame and will move as the shelter does. That said, you’re stuck with having the chair in the same spot all the time. This could be particularly annoying if you’re with a friend and the positioning is awkward for you both to get comfortable.If you bring your own chair, though, it just adds one more thing you’ll have to carry and another thing to move; however, you do get the flexibility to move it wherever you want to which might make it easier to get into a good position close to your hole, especially if you’re sharing a shelter with another person. Some Other Things to ConsiderIf you’re new to ice fishing, you might not realize all the little things that will impact what ice shelter you should choose. Here are some tips and things to remember when you’re trying to determine which one best suits your needs:WindowsYou might be wondering why you would want windows on an ice fishing shelter if the whole point of them is to keep out the cold and the elements. Well, they make checking on weather and just seeing what’s going on around you a whole lot easier. When you choose your shelter, make sure that the windows are large and at a good height for you to see out of. They won’t do much good if they don’t provide you with an adequate view.GearWe won’t get too deep into gear in this guide but you need to have some idea of the amount of stuff you’ll be hauling along with you before you can decide how much space you’ll need.First, you’ll need a portable propane heater. There are a lot of different styles and brands to choose from but they will all need propane canisters to work. Plus, you should always have an extra just in case you run out or something goes wrong.You should bring yourself enough clean clothes to keep you warm for however long you’re going to be out and it’s always a good idea to have more than what you need in case it’s colder than you expected or if something unexpected happens. Don’t forget extra gloves and socks.You’ll have your fishing equipment: ice auger, poles, lures, etc. You’ll also need a large 5 or 6-gallon bucket to hold your catch throughout the day. Sonar is optional but comes in really handy when you’re trying to figure out where the fish are going to be biting.Consider what safety equipment you’ll want to have with you. Your life vest is a bare minimum. You might also invest in other safety equipment for ice fishing.Then, there’s the whole issue of food. This can be as simple as a lot of prepackaged, pre-made things like sandwiches, snacks, and even fruit. You might also consider taking a grill and meat and having something a little more satisfying.This is just a short list of what you might discover you want to take with you, but it gives you a good starting point to determine what you’ll need to have on hand so you can figure out how much room you’ll need and the number of storage options you’d like to see in your ice fishing shelter.HaulingYou will need a way to haul your shelter. We’ve touched on this a little bit already, but it’s worth mentioning again. Some shelters will come with built-in sled bottoms that let you easily pull it around on the ice, either by hand or using some kind of vehicle.If you’re hand pulling, make sure you have durable, strong ropes that aren’t going to hurt your hands because you’ll be using them a lot. The kind of runners the shelter has will determine how easy it is to move. Large, smooth runners are ideal for moving your shelter around.Now that you have a better idea of what to look for, let’s have a close look at our picks for the best 7 ice fishing shelters of 2017. Ice Fishing Shelter ReviewsEskimo Wide 1 Inferno Insulated Ice Shelter with Swivel SeatEskimo is a name that appears a lot on this list because they’re one of the top brands in the industry. The Wide1 is the best one-man shelter we found. This wide-bottom flip-style shelter is fully insulated with quilted fabric that’s 35% warmer than non-insolated shelters. It’s also designed to give you 32% more fishing space than comparable one-man shelters while still being portable and lightweight.The expandable front end allows for the extra room and double-walled hinges keep the structure sturdy and the cold wind out. Once expanded, there’s room for a heater and a few fishing lines. The swivel seat keeps you comfortable while you fish and the mesh storage pockets let you keep everything you need close by. There’s more storage available underneath the seat, too.For a one-man ice fishing shelter, you can’t get much better than this. It’s warm, portable, durable, and has loads of storage.Pros: A lot of storageInsulated and warmMore fishing spaceCons:Expensive Eskimo Quickfish 2 Pop-up Portable Ice ShelterAnother offering from Eskimo, the Quickfish 2 Pop-up Portable Ice Shelter is a hub design that’s designed for 2 fishermen. Set up is quick and easy and should take less than a minute once you get the hang of it. It’s a pop-up design and has self-tapping anchors that all easily fit into a carrying bag, making it extra portable.The 25 square feet of space inside which is more than enough for 2 people. There are mesh storage pockets on the walls where you can put all your necessary equipment and supplies. The windows are removable so you can control the ventilation and there’s an extra-long skirt to help keep drafts out.The fabric has a high thread count that’s 59% more than other shelters of this size. This makes the material denser and keeps out wind and water. Corner joints are reinforced so there’s less risk of wear and tear over time.Pros:Great size for 2 anglersWaterproof and blocks windEasy setupCons: Difficult to get it back into the storage bagNot insulated Eskimo FF949 FatFish Pop-up Portable Ice ShelterIf you’re looking for something that can fit 3-4 people, you can’t go wrong with the Eskimo FF949 FatFish Pop-up Portable Ice Shelter. The insulation consists of a layer of IceTight fabric on each side for 3 layers of protection. This provides you and your fellow fisherman with unprecedented sheltering from cold and moisture, even on harsh days.This shelter is a pop-up design that expands to give you 65 square feet of fishing area, enough room for you, a few friends, and your gear. The large windows are removable so you can control the airflow into the shelter and a long skirt helps keep out any drafts. Large mesh pockets on the walls give you plenty of places to store your gear, plus you get self-tapping anchors that are easy to set up.This design has 2 doors opposite of one another for easy entry and exit. For increased safety, reflective trim is integrated into the design so you know you’ll be seen at night. The corners are reinforced with heavy-duty material to help this shelter last for a long time.Pros:Large enough for 3-4 peopleTriple layer insulation for exceptional warmth2 doors for easy entryEasy setupCons:A little unreliable on windy daysExpensive Eskimo QuickFish 3iAnother option from Eskimo, the QuickFish3i is made with their special insulated fabric that keeps it 35% warmer than non-insulated shelters. The self-tapping anchors are easy to grip and strong enough to stay intact under a lot of pressure. Its hub design makes it easy to put up.  It’s so easy, that it can be done in under a minute.The fabric works because it’s so dense, thus keeping the cold and moisture out. It has a really high thread count which keeps the shelter watertight. There’s also a long skirt to prevent drafts and offer a little extra insulation.This shelter is designed to hold up to 3 people and has 37 square feet of room. Mesh pockets on the walls are a great way for you and your friends to keep all of the necessary supplies and gear organized. The windows open using hook and loop strips and can be easily removed if need be. It’s really portable and all fits back into the bag so it can be easily carried on someone’s back.Pros:Effectively insulatedLots of storagePortableEasy to put upCons:A little heavy Shappell WH5500 Wide House 5500 Ice ShelterWhile you may never have heard of Shappell ice fishing shelters, it’s not for lack of quality, that’s for sure!  Established back in the 1970’s, this American Company started the process of manufacturing higher end, tough tents for ice fishing conditions.  The iconic outdoor/fishing equipment company Eagle Claw has recently taken over Shappell and because of its reputation as one of America’s premier fishing tackle companies, Eagle Claw makes sure the Shappell brand is made to the highest standards.The Wide House is made for 2-3 people and features 2 big oval doors for easy entry and all anchor points are reinforced.  It features high visibility reflectors and it’s made with 600D polyester material, which is best described as not “heavy” duty, but EXTREME duty!  With 6 removable windows and shades, this is a shelter to last a lifetime, and a very good competitor for Eskimo!Pros: RoomyVery toughGreat parent brand (Eagle Claw)reasonably pricedCons: Not as “famous” as Eskimo sheltersIt’s blue (not red like Eskimo …. if you really like red!) Popsport 2/3/4/8 Person Ice Fishing ShelterThe Popsport is a really an off-brand bargain shelter, but it makes our list because of the price (less than $100!! REALLY!), because it doesn’t get any really negative reviews, AND because the features are pretty decent for the price!  The 300D Oxford Fabric is a generally tougher weave than a standard weave, and results in a longer-lasting material.  It has an actual frost resistance of -22ºF.  The 4 windows allow light in (obviously) but keep cold airflow out.  The poles are fairly heavy duty in their design.  Overall, it’s a reasonable value for $100.  And hey, many have used it for a tent in warmer weather, so a sturdy tent for this price is not a bad thing!  It’s 58 x 58 x 66 inches when opened.Pros:ComfortableLots of storageGood size for 3 fishermenBudget-pricedCons:No name brandNot a lot of history or reviews to research Eskimo FF9416I FatFish Insulated Pop-up Portable Ice ShelterIf you’re looking for some really big that can fit a lot of people, the Eskimo FF9416I FatFish Insulated Pop-up Portable Ice Shelter is exactly what you’ve been waiting for. It covers a whopping 109 square feet and can fit 7-9 people and their gear. For the safety of the group, the shelter is marked with reflective trim for high nighttime visibility.Considering its size, this shelter sets up quickly. Its ball and socket design adds the strength it needs to make sure the long walls are supported and the self-tapping ice anchors are easy to use and durable so they’ll remain steady under pressure. Storage pockets are places around the tent so everyone has a place to put their gear.There are 10 removable windows so you can easily control the view and air circulation. 2 doors offer easy entry and exit for everyone coming and going. This large ice shelter provides 60% more fishable area than comparably sized shelters. The denier fabric has a dense thread count for a tighter weave fabric that will keep out wind and water. There’s also an extra-long skirt to eliminate any drafts.Everything comes in a convenient storage bag that can be carried on your back for easy transport once you’ve broken down the shelter. The bag tends to break pretty quickly, though, so expect to come up with an alternative way to carry this. It’s also a little on the expensive side, but that’s to be expected with a shelter this large.Pros: Fits a lot of people and their gearAdequate storageHigh nighttime visibilityCons: ExpensiveStorage/transport bag breaks easily Final Thoughts & Conclusion The Eskimo Wide 1 Inferno Insulated Ice Shelter with Swivel Seat is one of the best one-man shelters out there from one of the best companies in the business. This flip-style shelter is fully insulated and has more space than most other one-man shelters thanks to the expandable front end. Plus, it comes with a comfortable swivel seat that provides a nice amount of storage space.If you’re looking for a great 2 man shelter, try the Eskimo Quickfish 2 Pop-up Portable Ice Shelter. This hub-style shelter is easy to set up and gives you 25 square feet of space, enough for 2 people and their gear. Mesh storage pockets provide storage while the dense fabric and long skirt are waterproof and keep out the cold.The Eskimo FF949 FatFish Pop-up Portable Ice Shelter is a little bigger still and has room enough for 3-4 people. The IceTight fabric provides astounding warmth even on harsh winter days. The pop-up design provides a whopping 65 square feet, plenty of room for a few friends and their gear. With 2 doors, reflective trim for safety, and plenty of storage, this is one of the best ice fishing shelters in its size.The Eskimo QuickFish 3i is designed for up to 3 people and is made of Eskimo’s dense, quilted insulating fabric for superior protection from the elements. Set up is quick and easy and it provides enough storage space for you and 2 of your buddies. It as protection against drafts and removable windows to control the temperature and view.Another 2 person option is the Clam Outdoors 9714 Nanook 2-Person Ice Fishing Shelter with Padded Seats. Clam Outdoors has been in the outdoors business for more than 3 decades so you know this is a brand that makes high-quality products. This shelter is easy to set up and to transport. The 2 padded seats are comfortable, adjustable, and removable if you’re using this as a one-person shelter and want more space.The Frabill Citadel 3255 Insulated Flip-Over Side Door with Boat Seats is large enough for 3 people. The sled base makes moving this shelter pretty easy and the Combo-Case Bench seating provides a sturdy, comfortable place to sit plus gives you additional storage under the bench in the form of a molded storage case.Need something for a lot of people? Try the Eskimo FF9416I FatFish Insulated Pop-up Portable Ice Shelter. It can hold 7-9 fishermen and their gear. It sets up quickly and has superior support with the ball and socket design. There are plenty of storage options for everyone who will be using this shelter. Compared to others that can hold this many people, you get 60% more fishable area which is sure to give everyone a chance to make their big catch.As you can see, you have a lot of options when it comes to ice fishing shelters. Whatever one you choose, make sure you keep our buyer’s guide in mind so you know you’re making a well-informed decision. Check out our list of the 7 best ice fishing shelters and decide which one is the right one for you. We covered a variety of different kinds of shelter in sizes that can fit anywhere from 1 to 9 people. The post The 7 Best Ice Fishing Shelters for 2019 appeared first on Sport Consumer.


Categories

w88