Cool Stuff: Snugpak Poncho & Jungle Bag
We photojournalists always have too much to carry, yet have to perform in the worst possible conditions. Half the time we don't know what the weather will be, or if we even have a place to stay. Snugpak is a dream come true for my work challenges, the island adventure travelers, or all of us that live in the islands where every month a melodrama pops up if we are not prepared.
My wife's hand painted coconut is a good size-reference. The Snugpak Jungle Bag ($75.65) is clearly around the size of a coconut, but opens up to over 7' long, 5' wide.
Great versatility as you can use it as a conventional sleeping bag, or open it up like a blanket. You don't know if you will be on the floor of an airport, sleeping on the concrete at the Salelologa Wharf, in an airport departure lounge awaiting weather or mechanical issues, or checking into a sketchy hotel room because that’s all that exists or all you can afford.
You have it covered because Snugpak and Randall Adventure Training have it literally covered; your questionable 3rd World bed or your San Francisco elegant departure lounge carpet.
More magic was incorporated for us as it features a zippered mosquito net for your face, optional to use if needed. Stuck outside at a South Pacific airport or wharf... we all know it’s needed.
I found the Jungle Bag with its Travelsoft Insulation comfortable in an unheated LA ghetto apartment in the dead of winter with my socks on, as well as on the beach in Windward Oahu with just shorts on.
The Snugpak is my regular air travel traveling companion — off with me in a few days to cover Manu Samoa at the USA Las Vegas Sevens, the NCAA Convention in San Diego, and a side jaunt to the Outdoor Retail Travel Show in Salt Lake City.
Randall Adventure Training (ESEE) does not advertise it, but different grades of Snugpak sleeping bags are available if you will be following our Manu Samoa to Europe, I reckon easily through a special order from Randall Adventure Training http://www.eseeknives.com/proforce.htm.
If you want something easy to travel with, Snugpak has it, and Randall Adventure Training will get it for you. Other items from Snugpak available on Randall's website include the Snugpak Ionosphere, Snugpak All Weather Shelter, and plentee, plentee complimenting products from other companies listed under their Outdoor Gear section. Expect a review on these shelters next month.
About one third the size of the Jungle Bag is Snugpak's Enhanced Patrol Bag ($50.15). So, so perfect for the past few weeks of island deluge you had to suffer through.
The hooded poncho packs super thin to the size of a water bottle, yet opens up to cover you and a full sized backpack... or even use as an emergency sleeping bivy if your Jungle Bag is elsewhere. An impressive feature of the Enhanced Patrol Poncho is that it’s made out of a Paratex Dry no sweat waterproof material. It is a far more sophisticated poncho than you are used to as it has 3/4 length real sleeve arms, allowing you to avoid that sometimes annoying, in the way, fabric flow with the traditional military versions. I really like the functional kangaroo pouch in front for your hands, and the waterproof map pocket above that with flap.
You can pay far less for a piece of junk guaranteed to rip in 5 minutes, but you don't solve any rain issues, and you put your precious gear at risk... essentially just wasting money.
Both Randall Adventure Training's Snugpak Jungle Bag and Advanced Patrol Poncho will be with me at the USA Sevens, the Tokyo Sevens, the Hong Kong, and Tutuila's Marist Sevens. Asia presents weather issues just like our islands where you just never know if the sun shines or the rain pours. Lucky American Samoa has Rainmaker Mountain... the perfect rain forecaster for thousands of years. See you at the Sevens, with my Snugpak and several Vailimas in hand.