Outdoor Gear Review

Hi everyone!  Today I have a fun post to share- a review of my most-used gear during my trip to Belize!  We had a lot of excursions planned during our vacation, so I had to pick up a few things before we left.  After getting a ton of use out of them, I feel like I can give these products the GretchRuns seal of approval!  They stood up to the jungles of Belize, so I can definitely stand behind these.

Whether you're planning an afternoon hike or about to go on a similar vacation, I hope you'll find these reviews helpful.  Let's get into the products!

LL Bean Stowaway Day Pack

LL Bean Stowaway Day Pack review

This bookbag was actually the very last thing that I bought for the trip, but I ended up getting the most use out it!  I didn't want to spend a lot of money on a brand new bag that would get wet and dirty, and that I might not use a lot after the trip, so I was excited to find this one for under $40 at LL Bean.  I ended up using this bag every day during our trip, and I'm absolutely in love with it!

The bag is incredibly lightweight (only weighs 14 ounces) but holds a ton!  There are two zippered pockets on the outside, along with a big open pouch, and one zippered pocket on the inside.  The bag actually is able to fold up into the inner pocket which makes it a great choice for travel!

The pack is really comfortable to wear thanks to cushions on the back and arms, and it snaps in the front as well.  When I hiked with this, I didn't even notice I was wearing it!  I also made great use out of the two bottle holders, which can be cinched to make sure the bottles don't fall out.  Overall, I'm really glad that I ended up getting this bag and will be using it a ton in the future.

Salomon Techamphibian 3 Water Shoe

Salomon Techamphibian 3 Water Shoe review

I knew that I needed to get a pair of water shoes for a few of the trips we were going on, and I chose the Salomons after doing some research.  I like the fact that these have mesh panels on the side to protect your feet rather than being completey open, and the hard sole on the bottom gives amazing traction.  I walked in a river with these on, and didn't slip on any wet rocks at all!

These are also completey adjustable in the heel as well as the foot.  There's a bungie shoe lace which can be folded into a pocket in the tongue to stay out of the way.  They also dried surprisingly quickly- I set them out at night completely soaking wet and woke up to a dry pair of shoes!

The shoes were a bit of an investment (they cost more than any other shoe that I've ever owned, besides my running shoes!) but I think they're worth it!  I used them in the water, hiking in the woods, and to slip on for errands.

Columbia Sun Goddess Shirt and REI Sahara Roll-Up Pants

Columbia Sun Goddess Shirt REI Sahara Roll Up Pant review

Since we were going to be in a hot and humid climate that was full of bugs, I wanted some long sleeves and pants that would be comfortable, protect me, and keep my cool.  Luckily, I found a line that checked off all of those boxes, and I think they look pretty cute!

The Sun Goddess tops are my new favorite shirts.  They're really thin and lightweight so I never overheated in them (even during 90 degree day-long hikes!), but also help to protect from sunrays and bugs.  There are also panels in the back that keep air flowing, and the sleeves are easily adjustable.  I got this shirt in a few colors, and wore them constantly during our trip!

The Sahara pants are equally amazing.  They're made of a lightweight, stretchy material, so they're as comfortable as yoga pants but look more dressed up.  They have plenty of pockets, both zippered and not, so I could store my room key and some money!  These also roll up in case I ever got too hot.

Now that I have all of these amazing products, I'm excited to get more into hiking!  One of my goals this summer is to be more active outdoors, and now I have the gear to make it happen!

What are some of your hiking essentials?
Do you usually shop before going on a trip?
linking up with Amanda


  1. Living in Colorad, I could use a ton of gear like that!! That day pack looks amazing, and I'm pretty sure I have that Columbia shirt (or a similar version) that I wear on almost all of our hikes!!

  2. I need to check out that Sun Goddess line! I am known for 2 things in the summer: Sunburn and getting alllll of the bug bites. So a shirt that helps and I can still wear in the heat is awesome!

  3. Great recommendations! I've been eyeing some salomons for my hiking here!

  4. I'd be so scared to walk across that little bridge! I'd fall in for sure!

  5. I love my Camelbak for hiking. It's got the bladder that I can take out & use in my backpacking pack, but my Camelbak backpack (the Mule, I think) holds a perfect amount of stuff. Which for a day hike is usually snacks // lunch, water, a hat, & some bug spray // sunscreen.

    Unless I'm going on a crazy trip I try to work with what I've got, or only buy things if I know they'll get a lot of use. With the exception of 1 pair of hiking pants, I mostly just hike in my running gear.

  6. Great reviews. The companies should hire you for their spokeswoman. You dressed perfectly for your trip. Did you get Dan into any of that?

  7. I've never gone on a really long hiking trip, it's usually just a few hours or a day trip. I usually bring some sort of drawstring bag, but for a much longer trip, that backpack looks great! And sunglasses too.. I always somehow forget to bring those haha.

  8. I trust just about anything from LL Bean. Have shopped with them for years, and always will--they are a company that I can stand behind!

  9. You look like such a legit hiker! Love the look. I usually find a way to cover myself in jewels or pink. haha!

  10. Those shoes sound AWESOME! I have had way too many pairs of wet shoes that just don't dry enough!

  11. Great suggestions! That shirt in particular sounds awesome. I might have to get one for buggy humid hikes around here this summer!

  12. you are so smart with the long sleeves and pants even though it's super hot. i wouldn't have even thought of that, but i'd had to be eaten up by bugs and whatnot. i always shop before a trip, it's one of my favourite things to do lol (well, shopping in general...) but i am not much of an outdoorsy hiking type. maybe one day ;)

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