Nathan Preston

Nathan Preston has 3 articles published.

Break Into Winter With c2 Apparel

in Gear by
Photo Credit: Corey Kopischke Photography

See if this sounds familiar: It’s wintertime. The alarm has already sounded and been silenced. Kneading your eyelids open while trying to adjust your senses to focus on a harsh, low wintry morning light, motivation loses out (yet again) to the warm dark security of…your bed.

Alas, c2 is here to help drive you up and out of that bed, heeding the call of your active lifestyle, allowing you to face the cold with great confidence and less bulk traditionally offered in the world of winter performance wear.

Originally developed as mountain-bike-specific for frigid conditions, c2 founded their designs upon a simple conclusion: being comfortable and performing at one’s best in freezing temperatures should not be encumbered by heavy, stagnant clothing. Joining with Massachusetts-based powerhouse  Polartec®, c2 has continued to manufacture in the USA by providing a hybrid of Polartec’s Power Stretch® and Powerwool® stalwarts. These technologies have allowed c2 to create a broad line of performance outerwear utilizing thinner, softer fabrics (properties typically associated with base layers) which are abrasion resistant, protected with a waterproof membrane, all while maintaining superior moisture management.

Today we’re introducing c2’s Extreme Tights and Elite Half Zip, respectively. These items could be used separately or coupled and enjoyed during activities such as mountain biking, trail running, nordic skiing, snowshoeing, and essentially anything in-between (for all you snow cave aficionados out there)

Extreme Tights

Two fabrics in the Polartec® Power Stretch® line adjoined together

Top section is dual velour

Bottom ankle is Hardface® coated for additional abrasion resistance

Ankle cuffs attract less snow

Inside fibers pull moisture away from skin and create a space for air insulation

Short ankle zipper makes them removable over shoes or boots

Fabrics create a snug feeling and stay in place easily when the fit is correct

Normal tights are held up by drawstring or bib suspenders

Elite Half Zip (men and women) Polartec® Powerwool®

Designed to be a multi-activity and comfortable next-to-skin warming layer

Comfortable thin zipper at neck snugs in the warmth without irritating the skin under a jacket, jersey, or sweater

Merino wool is inherently resilient due to a cortex of intricate filaments that give the fiber its soft crimp. These synthetic fibers further enhance the overall tensile stability and resistance to abrasive surfaces.

Polartec® Power Wool™ is a design breakthrough: by isolating a merino wool interior and a synthetic fiber exterior, c2 developed a hybrid fabric with distinct surface features to optimize wicking, breathability, odor resistance, and durability.

Many wool sensitive customers attest this does not feel like any wool they have ever worn. The combination of washing to remove natural bacteria and milling into a soft fiber shape give the merino wool inner layer it’s extremely soft feeling.


EcoZoom Dura Rocket – The Ideal Base Camp Stove

in Community by

This nifty cast iron stove from EcoZoom is called the Dura Rocket.  The compact and durable Dura Rocket might become the ideal addition to your next base camp adventure, or simply a new way to experience cooking in your own back yard.

EcoZoom Dura Rocket
The versatile EcoZoom Dura Rocket is a great addition to any base camp.

Utilizing biomass fueled heat (dead tree branches/ yard clippings/ wood chips) the Dura combines an abrasion-resistant and… wait for it…durable 10 cm ceramic combustion chamber, which allows for internal mixture of gas and flame, thus decreasing harmful emissions for eco-friendly and energy-efficient cooking.

The ceramic combustion chamber’s interior is reinforced with a protective refractory metal liner, which increases combustion efficiency as well as the overall life of the stove. The Dura Rocket comes complete with installation sockets for a “stick support”, allowing the user to feed oblong items into the chamber as they burn down, as well as a reinforced metal door frame for increased convection.


EcoZoom Dura Rocket
Small, but packed with features, the EcoZoom Dura Rocket is a base camp workhorse.

The Dura Rocket is completed with a three-pronged chip-resistant cast iron top, which is sturdy and stable enough to handle a superfluity of pots and pans. Also, should there be any need for movement whilst the stove is burning or still warm, the stove is equipped with strong stainless steel silicone-gripped handles.

EcoZoom Dura Rocket EcoZoom Dura Rocket

The EcoZoom stands at a little over 11″ tall, and just under 11 inches in diameter; it weighs 13lbs and can be purchased at EarthEasy for 99.95. You may also consider coupling this carrier bag, for greater ease of transport.

Numinous 65L Travel Pack Review

in Community/Gear by

When searching for a pack, a specific use generally stays at the forefront of my purchasing decisions. Whether it be for day use, extended backpacking journeys or destination travel, having a well-proportioned carryall can be as essential as any other component of a trip. But what of those in-between times, when perhaps there is business travel within spitting distance of say, a National Forest? Or headed to a foreign land to explore its urban culture quickly turns into a day in the mountains? If you’ve found yourself in the awkward packing scenario of placing your day pack into the bottom of your suitcase, or worse still, traveling with your favorite weekender pack and either having items stolen from it or just generally feeling insecure about your stored belongings, the Numinous 65L Travel Pack may just be the right choice for your next multi-day, multi-function journey.


With capacity as deep and cavernous as any duffel twice the size of Numinous’ 65, even the least discerning or scrupulous packer will find comfort and convenience with its open layout. Once the frame backing has been unzipped, a well-thought-out meshing with multiple organizers and zippered compartment is fitted to the frame’s back panel. The opposing cargo area is as large as any mid-sized suitcase or duffel, but packs very deeply– I was easily able to load the Numinous 65L Travel Pack to 50 pounds, which only required a firm elbow drop as it was being zippered closed. Naturally, each time I did this, a fist pump and a satisfied expression ensued.


Where the Numinous crew’s ideology comes forward is in its innovative security system. With an obvious and serious nod towards keeping valuables safe in uncharted territory, the 65 comes equipped with Ziplocks to secure packed items, as well as a nifty retractable cable locking system, which allows any adventurer the ability to leave their pack behind while fastened to a sturdy stationary object, much in the same way a bike would be locked to a rack or pole. I simply did not come across an opportunity to leave the pack unattended in an area I may have found unsafe. However, I could clearly see where the Wire Lock might come in handy say, on a road trip when headed into a restaurant and a laptop (or one of a zillion high-priced gadgets we’re coupled to these days) could be locked away inside 65’s laptop compartment, with the Wire Lock secured around the under-framing of a driver’s seat. Perhaps a highly motivated thief might find a way to unhinge the cable, but given a (more likely) opportunistic smash and grab scenario, I’m willing to bet the cable would deter such an event from panning out. The same would likely hold true for a “divey” hotel or hostel, as the Numinous 65L Travel Pack can easily be secured to a bed post, as indicated on the Numinous website.


When it came time to leave a few packed items behind and head out on a predetermined (and in this case, Christmas cookie calorie reducing) hike around family members’ immediate out-of-door expanses, the Numinous dutifully rose to the occasion. Being that its soul is rooted in a “do all” travel range and made with additional protective Kevlar material, this travel pack definitely feels heavier and bulkier than your average mid-sized backpack, even with nothing in it. However, once its chassis is securely fitted with use of an adjustable back, lumbar, and sternum system everything feels quite sturdy and comfortable. I found both straightforward and moderately technical trekking to be entirely doable, with the only difference (as compared to typical multi-day backpacks) in its outward girth. Perhaps it’s not the best pack for turning down-canyon to a friend when penalty is high (dropping off a cliff) and then possibly smacking said friend squarely in the shoulder.


Throughout my journey, I appreciated the secure and industrious nature of this well-thought-out travel companion. I like how the backpack-style straps could be flattened neatly and concealed with a simple zip of the outside liner. I checked it in multiple airports, with nary an issue, mostly as a result of so much Anti-Slash fabric used throughout its design. Please note that the 65 cannot be considered for any kind of carry-on travel as, at the time of this review, it exceeds overhead standards. However, all locks are TSA-approved, for worry-free travel.

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