Dave Costello

Dave Costello

Freelance Contributor

Author Archives: "Dave Costello"

Giants of the Northland

03.23.2012 //

I’ve been paddling in British Columbia for two months and the walled-in, log-choked, continuous and deceivingly powerful rivers here have humbled me every day. On the Ashlu a few weeks back, my friends and I spent a harrowing day racing the runoff from a storm much like this one. The river was running a pushy 700 cfs when we reached the takeout. Hours later, it spiked to 7,000.

The Big Question: Tent, Tarp, Bivy, or Hammock?

03.23.2012 //

If I had to guess, I’d say that most sea kayakers in the northwest carry a three or four season tent. The three, or 3S, will cost less, weigh less and have the best ventilation from mesh panels typical of their class.

Kayak Tents and Shelters

03.23.2012 //

Regardless of whether you’ve packed along a portable manse or a nylon tarp, when the rains hit the fan you’ll crawl inside or under whatever you’ve brought along and pray your long anticipated kayak trip doesn’t go from ecstasy to misery in short order.

Sierra Designs Mountain Meteor 3-Kayak Shelters

03.23.2012 //

A good, roomy dome tent. A true three person with a wonderfully livable interior space, something much appreciated when stuck in it for days on end. A little heaver and a little roomier than other 3Ps, but not a deal breaker for kayakers

The North Face VE-25-Kayak Shelters

03.23.2012 //

North Face VE-25 ($569, thenorthface.com) 11 lbs., 48 sq ft, 3P/4S, Vestibule 16 sq ft This is my go-to tent for ocean kayaking.   An elegant dome design with the highest quality of any tent I am personally aware of.  If weather is a potential factor and you’re well away from civilization for a period of […]

Nemo Pentalite-Kayak Shelters

03.23.2012 //

Nemo Pentalite ($370, nemoequipment.com) 5 lbs., 77sf, 3P/4P, Vestibule 20 sq ft A slightly different take on the nouveau teepee-style tent, the Pentalite has 5 sides and room for four and gear.  Space to weight ratio is very high, weighing in just under 5 lbs. (with included pole).  Center-pole can be subbed with paddles or […]

Nemo GoGo EX-Kayak Shelters

03.23.2012 //

This is my go-to high desert river float shelter and features a two wall system (rare in this class) and I for one, can dig it.

Mountain Hardwear Trango 4-Kayak Shelters

03.23.2012 //

With over ten years of performance history behind it, the Trango 4 is a proven mountaineering tent. Uber-roomy, it makes a fine base camp choice for kayakers.

Nemo Moki-Kayak Shelters

03.23.2012 //

A 3P single wall with an extraordinary linking option—a tunnel, essentially, that connects two Mokis together. We endured 70mph winds with two linked together on a lengthy trip to the Brook’s Peninsula a couple of seasons ago.

Kelty Noah’s Tarp, 16′ x 16′-Kayak Shelters

03.23.2012 //

The Noah’s Tarp comes in three sizes, with guy-out lines and reinforced grommets. It has a full perimeter seam around the waterproof nylon and is easily configurable. Adjustable poles sold separately, but paddles and/or driftwood found on site will work as well.

Kelty Gunnison Pro 3.1-Kayak Shelters

03.23.2012 //

The Gunnison line has been a around several years and the 3.1 won an award for its all around value. The ’PRO’ version has some added features like a vented fly and mesh pockets. The added ventilation is a good thing with a tent that has difficulty keeping adequate air space between the body and fly. What I like about this model is three fold: the roominess, the ease of set up and the price point.

Hennessy Deep Jungle Hammock-Kayak Shelters

03.23.2012 //

Hammocks have a niche on the kayak camping scene. The Hennessy Deep Jungle sports a mondo fly, providing a large dry space to dress and stash gear under (allowing the rain isn’t coming sideways at 50 mph.).

Hilleberg Staika-Kayak Shelters

03.23.2012 //

The Staika is an elegant scan-style dome tent. Tent and floor are attached and go up as a unit, which is handy in a storm. On the other hand, it denies the option to run without a fly.

Integral Designs Wedge-Kayak Shelters

03.23.2012 //

I loved the big mesh panel over my head for fresh air and stargazing, and the two pole configuration did create a comfortable space. You still can’t sit up, but then it wouldn’t be a bivy if you could.

Big Agnes Royal Flush-Kayak Shelters

03.23.2012 //

Another good 3P option. Good ventilation, light weight, good tie downs, interior lower vents, sufficient pockets. RF3 is the lightest of the 3P/4S tents reviewed here (by a good margin).

World Water Day

03.21.2012 //

Thursday, March 22, is World Water Day. And to celebrate it, Teva is asking people to give up the substance they’re supposed to be celebrating—water—in one aspect of their life, for one day. Check out Rush Sturges’ reasons why you should too.

Shredding it in Santa Cruz

03.19.2012 //

Steamer Lane is a jaw-dropping gorgeous point break in Santa Cruz, California. And like every such epic surf spot in Cali, it’s usually dominated by the local prone (lay-down) surfers. But for one weekend every year, for the past 26 years, a small miracle has happened here: it’s been taken over by kayak surfers-and this year, for the first time ever, SUPers too.

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Buyer's Guide

Buyer's Guide