Extreme Gear 

We review a wide range of survival gear to help you make the right choices when buying.

Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet

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RZ Mask – Breathe Safe

The other week I was contacted by our new friends at RZ Mask to test one of their Breathe Safe filter sets. For those of you not familiar with RZ Mask (I was one of you until recently), they produce a multi-purpose mask used by motorcyclists, construction workers, hunters, soldiers, Baja racers, etc. These masks are made of a waterproof neoprene that protects the wearer from the elements (rain, cold, etc.) and is very similar to masks worn by snowboarders and cold-weather enthusiasts. The part that makes these masks different and very cool is the integrated filter technology that provides the user with additional protection from dust, pollens, and other air pollutants.

RZ Masks come in many different colors with a wide variety of graphics and themes. I was sent their Digital Camo Mask model, which is designed for hunters and soldiers in dusty desert terrain. When I first opened the package, I was very impressed by the ingenuity behind the product. At first impression it looks like a simple neoprene half-mask combined with a surgical mask; however, it is much more than that. The mask has two hard plastic exhaust vents integrated into the front of the mask that directs the air flow through internal filters that look similar to surgical masks. Unlike surgical masks, these interchangeable pieces are very soft and very thin carbon filters that remove 99.9% of dust and particulates from air directed in by the vents. There are also interchangeable Scentless RZ filters designed for hunting that filter not only the air inhaled, but also your exhaled breath so extra-sensitive prey do not smell you and get spooked.

After trying on and inspecting the mask and its components when it arrived, my next step was to figure out how to test this gear out. I don’t have any equipment that can test the quality of the air before, and after it had traveled through the mask, so I couldn’t check the claim that it filtered 99.9% of dust and particulates. I also didn’t have any dust storms or opportunities to subject it to heavy pollutants or particulates, so I settled for an extensive wear-test to judge it for comfort and fit. I also took the opportunity to use it while doing some heavy cleaning around the house, which subjected it to lots of pet dander (that I am allergic to) and some household chemicals.

The masks come in three sizes: Youth, Regular, and XL. The mask I tested was a Regular (“Fits Most”) and was very comfortable. I have an extra-large head (Size 7 ¾ in fitted baseball caps), and it fit perfectly, so someone in need of the XL would have to have a huge head. On several occasions, I wore the mask for more than a few hours, and I did not find myself sweating profusely or feeling strangled as I expected. When I used it while cleaning, I noticed a big difference in my reaction to all of the pet hair and dander I was exposed to. Normally I have a terrible reaction where my nose runs profusely, and I end up with irritated/clogged sinuses. I did not experience any discomfort or reaction while using the mask. When I exposed the cover to household chemicals fumes/vapors, I noticed a small difference, but still smelled and felt the chemicals in the air. It should be noted that these masks are not designed to meet OSHA requirements and are only suggested for individuals dealing with light pollution and dust/particulates, but I had to test it out to see how good they were.

Overall, I like this product and will keep it handy for the next time I know I’ll be riding ATVs or traveling to an area with the dusty terrain. If you are an avid motorcycle rider, dirt biker, or support one of our troops overseas, this is a great product to buy for yourself or as a gift for someone else. I know I’ll be looking for future situations where I can test this mask some more.

Please Note: This was given to me as a promotional item, and these are my views and opinions

One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain

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Some things never change like eternal diet plan

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5.11 Taclite Pro Pants

Verdict: 5.11 Taclite Pro Tactical Pants. Possibly the best pair of casual travel pants evah!

5.11 Taclite Pro Pants: I’ve always been a huge fan of 5.11’s line of clothing. I’ve worn everything from their Covert shirts to their cargo shorts. Their clothing is rugged, well-designed and practical for my free-time activities. Many of 5.11’s products fall under the “Tactical Gear” category, however for us non-tactical people they double as excellent Travel clothes. Read More

Arctic Shield Boot Insulators

Whether you are an outdoor enthusiast, an emergency res-ponder, a member of the military or just an everyday citizen preparing for an emergency, a reliable flashlight is a necessary piece of gear.

I have owned a wide variety of flashlights in my lifetime, and they all have one thing in common: THEY BROKE. Our friends at Brownells sent me something the other week that may have finally changed my luck with flashlights. The Brownells Versatile Light is a beautiful piece of equipment. Built for multiple applications, it is compact enough to fit comfortably in almost anyone’s hand and easily mounted on a handgun or rifle using most standard light mounts. It is made of corrosion resistant aircraft grade aluminum, and it is waterproof, which is always an important feature. I don’t know how many times I’ve had a piece of gear fail because an unexpected rainstorm soaked it!

The model that I was sent, BVL280, is the more powerful of the two Versatile Series flashlights, with 280 lumens of maximum output. This flashlight is not your ordinary light; it is a compact spotlight that brightens the blackest night. The light is turned on with a sealed rubber 2-stage push button on the end of the handle that allows you to lightly hold for brief illumination or click for a constant hands-free stream of light. It uses a shockproof LED emitter in place of traditional filament light bulbs. This doesn’t just provide you with a brighter white beam of light, but also extends the life of the emitter if it is subjected to bumps, jolts, or is dropped. One aspect of the light that I have not tested is the power management system that reportedly “delivers maximum output for up to 2 hours, then backs down the output to give you up to 24 hours of usable light from one set of batteries.” The power management system can also sense if the flashlight is overheating and will reduce power output to compensate. Smart technology in a flashlight? I’ll take it!

Whenever I review anything, I always like to look at the extras included with or designed into the item, and this Brownell’s flashlight doesn’t disappoint. The first option I saw and immediately got excited about was the three interchangeable colored lenses (red, green, and blue) included with the light. If you’ve ever gone into the field at night, color lenses are great because they do not ruin night vision. This allows you to illuminate animals at night without scaring them off and keeps you from blinding anyone accompanying you in the field. The light also comes with a small free-spinning lanyard that is easily interchangeable, additional rubber rings to provide an extra grip or finger stops, and a pair of CR-123A lithium batteries.

Brownells Versatile Flash Light Review

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There is no good blog without great readability

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