Saturday, January 16, 2016

Gear Review: Life Outdoorz Hammock Straps


Hammock Hanging with My Life Outdoorz Straps

I was excited to get a new set of hammock straps because it’s been way too long since I’ve used my hammock.  Life Outdoorz hammock straps forced me to re-commit in mixing my hammock back into my adventure rotation.  With that said, I decided to head out on a camping trip with my dog BeeGee.  The straps are 10 feet long and 2 inches wide coming in at 23oz and the incredible ability to hold 2,204 pounds.  The straps are wrapped around a tree, fed back through a metal O-Ring, and then 1 of the carabiners hooks onto your hammock.  While you are at it, check out Check out the Life Outdoorz website; however, be prepared because the website is extremely underwhelming.

using our Life Outdoorz Hammock Straps
BeeGee and me in our hammock getting ready for bed

As it turns out BeeGee isn't a huge fan of being in a hammock.  I guess the rocking and it feels too unstable for her to get comfortable.  I hoped by putting a bug net around the hammock, it would help her settle down.  That was not the case and she never really came to terms with hammock hanging.  I guess I need to spend more time getting her use to the hammock, or maybe not.


The Good Stuff

When first looking at my new straps, my first thought was “wow these things look durable and sturdy”.  I think the straps look a lot like seat belts and that means no stretch.  The strength and anti-stretch ability was tested by BeeGee (my dog), all our gear, and me all in our 2-person hammock.  The straps held us just fine and there was no stretch to be seen.  Furthermore, once you have found 2 trees for hanging your hammock, it’s a breeze to actually hook your hammock to the straps.  Life Outdoorz claims 2 minutes, but I don’t think I was actually that fast though.  Finally, the wide strap protects the trees you are using to hang from.  There was no noticeable damage to the tree bark after our trip.

using Life Outdoorz Hammock Straps
Wrap your straps around a tree and they hook right up to your hammock

The Issues

The straps, O-rings, and carabiners are heavy.  These are great for use in the back yard or car camping, but I wouldn’t take these straps on an extending hiking or backpacking trip.  It is simply one of the tradeoffs, a little more weight for a lot more durability.  Finally, the design can be a little difficult to use.  If the 2 trees you decide to hang from aren’t very close, you will end up hanging too low or won’t have enough slack to hook up to your hammock.  I assume a hammock master wouldn’t have these issues, but I did.  I had to experiment with multiple trees before a founding a suitable pair.

using Life Outdoorz Hammock Straps
Straps wrapped around a tree, no stretch here

Final Thoughts

These straps aren’t made from the lightest fanciest materials, but they are durable and a good set of budget straps that will get the job done without any major issues.  I think these are a great set of starter straps and I plan to use these as my loaner set for anyone who wants to give hammock hanging a try.  I received this product for free to provide an honest review.  

Are you a hammock hanger, if so what do you use to hang your hammock, rope, or straps?  I’d love to know your thoughts.  I'd love to know your thoughts.  If you’re looking to stay updated on BeeGee’s adventures, go ahead and follow us on Facebook.

Read More »

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Gear Review: Tlishtan Bike Pump


Testing Out my New Mini Bike Pump

So I was lucky enough to receive a free bike pump from Tlishtan.  The pump feels durable and is 8 inches when in its compact mode.  Another nice feature is a life time warranty; however, after searching for a website, Tlishtan doesn’t have one.  So I wouldn’t put much faith in that.  Thankfully, instructions aren’t really required for a pump and the instructions printed on the package are more than enough to get you going.  So sit back and continue to read the review.

What comes in the package
Opening up my new bike pump

When I received my Tlishtan Bike Pump, I was a little surprised by what was in the package.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen a pump with a design like this.  The pump has an internal screw on connector that slides out instead of the normal fixed end.  Tlishtan made its pump out of aluminum and the ability to connect to Presta and Schrader valves.  Furthermore, this pump weighs is on the heavy side at 5.4 oz (according to my kitchen scale) and can air up tires all the to 100 psi.


What I like

The first thing I noticed picking up the Tlishtan pump was the weight and the feeling of durability.  I have no doubt this pump will outlast the plastic holder.  Another huge plus for me is the ability to pump air quickly.  Most hand pumps I’ve used snag when you start getting to higher psi.  While there was a little snag, overall the pumping experience was much smoother than anything I’ve previously used.  Furthermore, the valve connector attaches fine to Schrader and Presta Valves.  I have each type of valve on my mountain bike and had no issues connecting or staying connected.  Finally, I think the design is great.  The pump is created in a way that lets the user move the pump in different ways to maximize comfort without damaging the valves (this is done by a flexible hose).  Plus, the design offers internal dust protection.

Tlishtan's mini bike pump
Tlishtan pump fully extended

The Issues

One of the smallest issues is the weight.  I probably won’t be taking this pump with me on my road bike because of how heavy it is, but it’s a fair trade off for the durability.  Second, I think the psi range is a little lacking.  I use my road bike with a higher pressure, 110-120 psi, which is out of this pump’s safety range.  Finally, my biggest issue is with the plastic/rubber dustcap that covers the valve connector.  With the slightest of touch or easiest of ride, the dustcap pops off.  This pump was designed so well to prevent dust getting into the internals and to pump smoothly just to throw it away with an ill-fitting dustcap.

using my Tlishtan pump
Getting my mountain bike ready for a weekend adventure

Final Thoughts

This is a solid pump.  If the dustcap issue is fixed this will be by far the best small pump I have used.  If I didn’t already own one, I would definitely buy a Tlishtan Bike Pump as my go to pump.  I received this product for free to provide an honest review.  #MiniBikePump

What type of pump are you using, floor, mini, or CO2?  I'd love to know your thoughts.   If you like the blog, go ahead and follow us on Facebook.

Read More »

Monday, January 4, 2016

Trip Report: Trail of Lights, Austin TX

A Walk through Austin’s Trail of Lights

On the 18th of December, Linda and I headed out to the Trail of Lights in Zilker Park, here in Austin.  The Trail of Lights (TOL) is similar to Santa's Ranch and the Hidalgo Festival of Lights; the difference is that people walk, not drive, through the TOL.  Before going, I thoroughly checked to see if pets were allowed, but unfortunately, they wanted BeeGee (and her soon-to-be-included sister) to stay home.  Our trip, on a chilly night, began with a Capital MetroRail ride downtown and then a shuttle ride to Zilker Park.    

at the Austin Trail of Lights
Selfie at the Zilker Tree!

Trail of Light’s Background Information

The Trail of Lights (TOL) began in 1965 as the Yule Fest and is now 1.25-miles long.  After 50 years, TOL has evolved from a small community event into the large event that it is today.  There are multiple activities at TOL: there is a fun run, pictures with Santa, a Yule log, a Ferris wheel and carousel, food trucks, live performances, and the lighting of the Zilker tree.

at the Austin Trail of Lights
The 2015 Entrance to the Trail of Lights

General admission is $3, but there are a few other/fancier ticket options available.  Knowing from prior years that traffic around Zilker Park would be backed up; we reserved two spots on a shuttle ride, which you can purchase at the TOL’s website. We rode the Capital MetroRail to the downtown station, and then walked a few blocks to Republic Square Park, one of the two sites from which passengers are shuttled to the TOL. The other site from which to grab a shuttle is Burger Center. Both shuttle rides cost $5 for both to the TOL and from the TOL and include the entrance fee for the TOL, which I thought it was a pretty good deal.  However, if you still prefer to face the traffic, then you can pre-purchase parking online (none sold on-site).   

The Zilker Tree

The shuttles drop everyone off at the Zilker tree and we incorrectly thought this was the beginning of the TOL.  We wandered around for a bit, looking at the tree and merchants set up under the large Christmas light tree.  After trying to meet up with some friends, we eventually realized this wasn’t the right spot, aka the entrance. 

at the Austin Trail of Lights
Standing underneath the Zilker Tree

The Trail of Lights

Once we eventually made it to the real entrance, we met up with our lost friends (Linda and I were actually the lost friends).  We walked through the entrance and the Rainbow Tunnel.  After that, there a few exhibits such as future Santa that looked like something from the Jetsons and a few Disney exhibits.  We stumbled across Armadillo Alley and took a short break to eat at Evil Weiner.

at the Austin Trail of Lights
Santa riding around in his spaceship

Moving on we saw the Journey of the Kings and Silent Night, which features a very large baby Jesus.  Further along, we found the 360 Bridge replica, which I thought was extremely neat.  Linda has never seen the bridge, so she was less than excited.  The next exciting exhibits on our walk were the Bat Cave (a tunnel with bat silhouettes) and Santa’s Workshop.

at the Austin Trail of Lights
The 360 Bridge Exhibit.  I need to take Linda to see it ASAP

This brought us to the next food area, The North Pole.  The North Pole contains the Ferris wheel and Photos with Santa.  I was excited about the Ferris wheel; however, tickets are $6 and I just couldn’t justify riding it for twice the price of an entrance ticket.


at the Austin Trail of Lights
Walking through the Bat Cave

Not riding the Ferris wheel and skipping pictures with Santa, we continued on to Santa's Workshop.  Next, we headed to Tiny Town, a miniature Austin, which I thought was a great exhibit.  You could also hit a button to “vote” on whether you are naughty or nice, which would change the color and kept a running tally of the votes.  As you can guess, I was nice and Linda was naughty. 

one of my favorite exhibits
Checking out Tiny Town.
Shortly passed Tiny Town was the Yule log, and I was hoping to be warmed up by the fire.  Unfortunately, all the warmth was too far away.  We finished up our walk by walking through Candyland and past the carousel ($4 per rider).  After that we were at the exit tunnel, ending a night that just seemed too short (I wish there were more lights!).

All good things must come to an end
The exit tunnel

What are your thoughts on the Trail of Lights and what type of Holiday events are in your area?  If you like the blog, go ahead and follow us on Facebook.

Read More »

Monday, December 21, 2015

Trip Report: Austin Ghost Tours

A Walk with Ghost

Linda is back and she was kind enough to write up a recent trip report.  We went on a downtown Austin ghost tour.  So stick around and keep reading for a great post.

The Details

Austin Ghost Tours: Haunted Historic District Walking Tour
Website: http://www.austinghosttours.com/
Location: Begins at Moonshine Patio Bar and Grill - 303 Red River, Austin, TX 78701
Price: $20.00

Waiting for the Cap Metro to get downtown
Us at the train station waiting for a ride

The Trip

Halloween is the perfect day of the year to have a birthday.  It means I can always make sure Jarrett partakes in Halloween festivitiesJ.  For example, I love ghost stories and ghost tours.  Jarrett, on the other hand, does not even want to consider the idea of ghosts.  So, on any other night, Jarrett would have refused to go on a ghost tour with me, but since it was my birthday, he could not refuse.  Jarrett and I are also history buffs, and we just moved back to Austin, so when I found out about the Haunted Historic District Walking Tour, I knew we were taking it on Halloween.

A quick selfie before we head out on the tour

The tour begins at the Moonshine Patio Bar and Grill at 8:00 p.m.  Jarrett and I knew we would be having drinks that night, so we took the Austin Metro.  It stops just a block from The Moonshine, and on Halloween it provides rides later than usual, so it was an excellent means of safe transportation for us. Also, who doesn’t like trains? We love them, and we thoroughly enjoyed our ride through the city of Austin. 

When we arrived at The Moonshine, we were already short on time.  We sat at the bar area, and explained to our waiter that we were hungry and needed some food and drinks pronto.  He recommended one of the sandwiches.  We shared a Turkey Press.  I ordered a Silvermoon Margarita and Jarrett ordered a Blind Mule.  The food was delicious, and our waiter was expeditious.  Even our friends Yanine and David, who arrived fifteen minutes before the tour, were able to get their drinks before we headed on the Haunted Historic District Tour. 

The Moonshine and Robin!

The tour was about a mile and took about an hour and a half.  Because it was Halloween, there were two large tour groups.  Nevertheless, our tour guide was loud enough for all of us to hear Austin’s stories.  We learned that The Moonshine is Austin’s oldest building because a flood in the 1800s destroyed all earlier structures.  We saw the home of one of the survivors of the Alamo and heard stories involving Christmas trees and angels being thrown to the floor when no one was in the home.  We also learned about one of Austin’s oldest fires and the fireman who haunts a building in downtown Austin, and the story of Texas’s first serial killer. 

Our first stop, the Susanna Dickenson Museum

Throughout the tour, the tourists are encouraged to take photographs and check for any possible anomalies.  At the end of the tour, the tour guide passes around photographs of any paranormal activity any of tourists caught on camera.  They’re also encouraged to share their paranormal encounters with the rest of the group.  The stories were entertaining to hear, but the scariest moment occurred when a possibly mentally unstable man joined the group and told a ghost story.  It wasn’t his story we minded, because it was pretty great; it was his aggressive attitude that intimidated many in the group.  He talked down to the tour guide and interrupted other people.  Things could have easily escalated out of control at that point, but our tour guide was knowledgeable and graceful enough to calm the man down and get him to leave. 

Passing by the Speakeasy, which was speakeasy (and its haunted!)

After the tour, the four of us returned to The Moonshine.  Jarrett and I had the White Chocolate Bread Pudding, and it was amazing.  I had a Hard Lemonade and Jarrett enjoyed an Angel’s Envy Old Fashioned.   After an hour-long conversation about irrelevant topics, Jarrett and I headed back home via the metro.  It was the end to the greatest birthday I’ve ever had. 

Final Thoughts 

For a night of adventure, Jarrett and I strongly recommend riding Austin’s CapMetro, The Moonshine Patio Bar & Grill, and the Austin Ghost Tours.  If you’ve been on this ghost tour or any other, let us know your thoughts.  Make sure to keep up to date on all our adventures by following us on Facebook.

Linda
Read More »

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Trip Report: Texas Triple Threat (Video)

Playing Viper Paintball’s Texas Triple Threat


Jarrett and I started the trip off by waking up a little late on Saturday.    Thankfully, we made it just in time for the mandatory player meeting, which covers all the general rules and safety rules. After the meeting, we had a few minutes to get all our gear ready.  It’s easy for paintball veterans to get tired of the players’ meeting because it’s mostly the same rules and information. However, they are very important part of the game helping to ensure everyone stays safe.

at Petty Paintball
Us geared up and ready to play

The Details

Location: 550 Bateman Rd, Red Rock, TX 78662 or coordinates 29.931842, -97.458883
Hours: Saturday and Sunday 10 am to 6 pm
Price: general admission $12.00, paintball $45.00 for 2,000 paintballs, rental package $20.00
(includes paint marker, air tank, mask, and 100 paintballs)

Petty Paintball Logo
Check out the logo if you need to contact Petty Paintball
Playing in a scenario can end up being pretty expensive.  Entry for the weekend was $60.00, unless you get the early bird specials, and a case of 2,000 paintballs is $65.00.  Plus, it’s pretty easy to blow through more than one case of paint at a multi-day scenario.
From Viper Paintball
The Texas Triple Threat poster

Day One

We started the off the first part of the scenario having a huge firefight.  This giant battle took place in the middle of the field between 2 of the teams; maybe all three.  It was hard to tell who was in the skirmish with all the paint flying and everyone running around.  Plus, Jarrett spent most of the morning dead because he is a noob. After Jarrett was done being wrecked, and respawned, we linked back up and went out on a scouting mission. After wandering around in the woods on our mission, we chatted up a ref for a little bit.  Being a ref can be a lonely and boring the job, but very important for all the players.

Just sitting in the sun waiting to play
The stage where the player briefs always occur

After we finished that mission, we mostly went out and did our own thing.  This lead to us wandering around in the woods and getting into small firefights here and there.  And of course we got out more than a few times.  Eventually, there was a game pause so everyone could rehydrate and eat dinner before moving into night play. 

at Petty Paintball
A red player defending out base

Night Play

Night play started out a little rough.  We started by walking down to our base after eating some good din din.  On the way, we were promptly shot even as we shouted we were out (by saying dead men walking and other similar phrases). Once in our night base (bases rotate during night play), we just hung out around the base.  We were waiting for it to get dark and watched others on our team play with their generation III night vision and infrared devices. Tired of hanging around we volunteered and finally got our first night missions.


Blue Base at Petty Paintball
What our night time base looks like in the day

Our mission was to take and hold a small outpost near the Castle.  Our team consisted of Jarrett, three kids, a random guy, and me.  The random guy was super unlucky and was eliminated by a barrel tag from a night ninja about half way to our objective. After securing the objective for only a few a minutes, we were discovered and a firefight broke out.  Luckily, the three kids drew most of the other team’s fire and we were able to stay stealthy. This allowed us to hold the objective for the allotted time.  And once the ref said time was up we hustled out of there.  After our quick and skillful escape, we headed back to base.  We ended up sitting around for about 15 minutes until The Blue and Green Generals decided they didn’t want to play anymore that night, so the game was stopped until the morning.

Blue Base at Petty Paintball
Messing around waiting for it to get dark

Day Two

The next morning, we showed up to play but felt a little tired from all the physical activities in the head the day before.  Instead of jumping back into the action, we noticed that Petty Paintball needed some help setting up the speedball fields, so we helped with that first.


While we were away, Red team ended up at the castle.  The nice thing about the castle is it is easy to defend.   So, Jarrett and I didn’t have to worry about our team being destroyed.  The allowed us to hook up with some of our team going to do a mission.  Of course this many people moving through the woods drew a lot of attention and we ended up in a huge firefight. We got our fair share of kills in early in the battle.  The Jarrett and I got lucky enough to be shot by our own team.

The Castle at Petty Paintball
The Castle, our base for day 2

After this, I stayed in the Castle as long as possible and defended it to the last seconds.  Jarrett had something going on with his paint maker and ended up taking pictures the last 10 minutes. Once the game ended, we headed out of the playing field and prepared ourselves for the final battle.  Before the final battle began, we had to sit through another player’s briefing to learn all about the rules and safety.

Green attacking the Castle at Petty Paintball
A green player sieging the castle in the last minutes of the game

Final battle

The final battle is on two of the speedball fields to make one mega huge field with the empty space filled in with air ball bunkers. The final battle is a three-way shoot, just a huge paint fest.  In the middle, there are five things called slapsticks. You slap the stick to make you team’s color showing up.  This gets your team points and the team with most points wins. Jarrett decided to abstain from the final battle (because he still had paint maker stuff going on) and I ended up have a maker malfunction at the start and had to sit out the rest of the game. We both just wandered around during the chaos and took pictures while trying not to get shot up too bad. 



After the final battle comes everyone’s favorite part the final score and the freebies.  I don’t remember/care who won, I just know it wasn’t Red Team.  Which means it’s not that important (joking, congratulations Blue Team!).  After the final score comes the various player awards.  Finally, all the free stuff is given away with special thanks to Viper Paintball, Petty Paintball, and Kee.

Final Thoughts

We had a great time playing the Viper scenario. The big games tend to be somewhat expensive, but worth it. Let us know if you are playing the next triple threat January 16 - 17, or if you played the smaller Petty Pink Santa scenario on December 5th.  Make sure to keep up to date on all our adventures by following us on Facebook.


Read More »

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Trip Report: Violet Crown Trail

Riding the Violet Crown Trail

So Linda sent me an article about a new trail opening on August 14th in Austin, The Violet Crown Trail. I decided to go out and give the new trail a try on August 15th.  The terrain was similar to Purgatory Creek.  There were a lot of rocky limestone sections, but Violet Crown had better surrounding scenery.  Lessons learned on this trip:  it was already blazing hot outside at around 9:30 AM, and the trail was packed with hikers, walkers, and runners.

Background Information

Location: 30°15'51.3"N 97°46'23.7"W, in Zilker Park near Barton Springs
Admission: Free or $5 on weekends, holidays, and special events
Elevation: 480 to 700 ft
Weather: Sunny, 96 F
Difficulty: Easy to Advanced


The Violet Crown Trail (VCT)  came to exist in 1999 and required 15 years of land purchases to get the area needed for the project to begin. Currently, the first 6-mile section is open out of the total 30-mile trail. Once complete, the 30-mile trail will be the longest in central Texas. Additionally, the current plan has the Violet Crown Trail running from Zilker Park to Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. The entire trail is estimated to be complete by the end of 2016. 

Zilker Trailhead

To start my trip, there was an event happening in Zilker Park, so it was tricky to navigate to the trailhead.  I could see where I needed to, but was forced to weave around by traffic cones.  Finally, I parked and was instantly disappointed by how hot it was.  Out of the parking lot and at the trailhead, I was met at excitedly by a guy from REI handing out coupons to get people to vote for charity funds to improve the Violet Crown Trail (check out the results here).

After a quick talk with REI guy, I started down the trail.  The trail alternated between smooth trail and then a lot of rocks. The rocks weren’t too bad, but the trail was packed with people.  This made navigating through the maze of rocks a lot more challenging, and even impossible at times.  Also, I had some difficulty following the trail signs, which is how I made a detour to a creek early in the ride. 

The greenbelt at violet crown trail
A quick detour down to the creek

Once I was back on track from my detour, I crossed a dry creek bed, which led me to an official detour.  This section was true singletrack and ended up being a nice ride for a bit.  Once again, I ended up finding a high traffic stretch.  This forced me to walk a decent amount, so I wouldn’t accidently run over any hikers on this narrow stretch of trail.  What I was slowly learning was the norm, there wasn't a sign stating that the detour was over.  Missing an unmarked turn, I road to far and had to fight my way through some brush and across a dry creek to make my way back to the official trail.

A little scratched up but back on the main trail, I started on a section that would have been nice to ride.  But as always, there was just too much foot traffic to really get going.  After slowly making it past all the walkers and runner, the trail abruptly ended at a creek bed.  Not knowing where to go, I road parallel with the creek, which was the wrong choice.  Even worse, a few hikers decided to follow me the wrong way as well, but I successfully played off my error by taking a few photos.  The hikers looked disappointed as the turned around and headed back the other way. 

playing off I was lost when a bunch of hikers followed me
Took a quick picture to play off I was lost when a bunch of hikers followed me

Finding the actual trail once again, I crossed the creek.  There was an easy section of trail, but my progress was slowed once again because of all the foot traffic.  After riding for a bit, I found a section of washed out trail and had to detour.  With the trail located again, I was riding under the 360 overpass, where there were a few murals painted.  A little bit further was a section I couldn’t ride.  The trail was extremely narrow with huge rocks and a steep drop off into a creek bed.  However, I was fine walking here because the scenery was so nice.  Along with overlooking a creek, there was a high cliff face as well.  By this point, I was almost to the 290 Trailhead and the final section of the VCT was full ups and downs while crossing a ton of dry creek beds.  Finally, I was at the end  of the trail and it ended with a steep set of switchbacks.  I wanted to ride the switchbacks to see how powerful the old legs were, but I was instantly greeted by a hiker and ended up walking instead.


on the violet crown trail
Painted mural at the 360 overpass

290 Trailhead

After walking a fairly steep hill, I couldn’t ride the narrow path because there were too many hikers.  I was excited to finally be at the 290 trailhead after about 2.5 hours.  After a short rest, I felt a little defeated because I needed to ride the entire trail back and I was already pretty beat.  Thankfully, I had gained a little knowledge of the trail and it only took about an hour to ride back. 

on the violet crown trail
The 290 Trailhead

As I was riding back, I accidently went on a small side quest.  I reached a creek bed that didn't have any directions, so I ended up following two hikers.  They were apparently just as lost as I was and we ended up an unofficial section of trail.  The right choice would have been crossing the dry creek bed, but we ended up  paralleling the creek instead.  I rode/walked up a mini mountain where the trail mostly ended at the peak.  Desperate to keep moving forward, I decided to fight through a barely visible overgrown section of trail.  Unfortunately, this ended in a steep, dry gulch.  It was pretty tough to scurry down.  Thankfully, I eventually made it back to the creek crossing and was back on my way.  By this point, I was pretty flustered and considered just having rescuers come save me from the wilderness, but after a few minutes of riding, I was back to feeling mostly positive.  

I eventually made it back to my car, pounded 32 ounces of water, put the AC on full blast, and headed home.  I’m glad I took the time to try the trail out, but I was even happier to be done.

Final Thoughts

From what I’ve seen this trail looks like it will be a lot of fun when completed.  However, cycling ended up being extremely difficult for me because of some advanced sections of trail, the amount of people spread out on the trail, and it was difficult staying on the actual trail (not enough signage).  In my opinion, you are better off just hiking the trail and leaving the bike at home for the time being. 

What are your thoughts on the Violet Crown Trail, either current or future project?  If you like the blog, go ahead and follow us on Facebook.

Read More »

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Gear Review: TechSavvy Selfie Stick


TechSavvy Selfie Stick TSi:  A Gear Review on my Second Selfie Stick


The Background

Similar to my Kengadget Selfie Stick review, there is very little information available about TechSavvy.  However, feel free to check out their website here.  This website is pretty basic, only having an about us, warranty, and product page, and honestly, there is no point of the website except for the warranty page.  Finally, the Selfie Stick cost $24.95 on the TechSavvy page, but can be found for $13.99.  The contents I received: a pink accented selfie stick, USB charging cable, lanyard, instructions, and a small carabiner. 

Selfie Stick, charging cable, lanyard, instructions, and carabiner
New Pink Selfie Stick and all its accessories.

Purpose

The whole point of the selfie stick is to take pictures of yourself and friends with ease; however, I find it increasingly hard to get people to take selfies with me.  There seems to be a negative vibe about using a selfie stick in public.  Selfie sticks are designed to be lightweight, extendable poles that allow the user to take a picture from up to 32-inches away.  This is done with a push of the button at the base of the pole once the stick is synched with a phone using Bluetooth.    

At least she isn't embarrassed to selfie with me
Taking a selfie with BeeGee.  At least she isn't embarrassed to selfie with me 

Performance

I have been using the TechSavvy for just short of a month now. I had plans to use it on a few mountain bike rides, but it’s been a rainy weekend since receiving the selfie stick.  Instead, I took it to downtown Austin on a 2-mile ghost tour.  The stick was able to survive being shoved into my pocket and bumps from various costume wearing partiers.  Additionally, there was a light rain at one point during the night and it had no effect on the sticks survivability.  If the stick had been destroyed, TechSavvy fortunately offers a lifetime warranty on its products.    

Heading downtown for a Ghost Tour
Linda and I waiting at the train station

This selfie stick once again made taking photos a lot easier as I was able to take quick pictures easily with a button click.  Moreover, the phone holder easily accommodates my Galaxy 6 and huge Mophie phone case.  I would guess that Galaxy Notes would fit as well (I haven’t tested this).  I also found this stick quicker and easier to use than the Kengadget stick.   Finally, the picture button is a blue LED, so it is insanely easy to find, even in the dark.  Finally, the instruction booklet made figuring out how everything works a breeze.  It required no guesswork.

Issues

After using this selfie stick, I only found 2 real issues:  the telescoping pole spins and it’s impossible to fully tighten the screw for the phone holder.  The pole will spin a little in relation to the plastic handle.  I’ve never had a problem with the pole spinning, but with a heavy enough phone and over enough time, I can see how it would get easier to spin.  Secondly, the screw that locks the phone holder into your favorite angle cannot be hand tightened to the point of fixing the phone’s position.  Instead, the phone holder is still adjustable by hand, even at maximum tightening.  The last possible issue, which was fine with me, is the TechSavvy stick is only 32-inches.  This is much shorter than most sticks, which are usually 40+ inches. 

Final Thoughts

I now own 2 selfie sticks and the TechSavvy Selfie Stick is now my go to stick for all my adventures.  It has a better price and is just better overall quality. 

Are you using a selfie stick or are you too embarrassed?  I’d love to know your thoughts.  Also, Make sure to keep up to date on all our adventures by following us on Facebook.


This was a sponsored product review. One TechSavvy Selfie Stick TSi was provided by TechSavvy for review.
Read More »