FitnessTravelGear.com features reviews of outdoor, fitness, travel, and street apparel, footwear, bags, and gear. We post a few new reviews every week. So, please check back often. Better yet, sign up for our feed and never miss a review! Gear samples are provided to our testers at no charge by manufacturers.
Andy Schmidt is a sail maker and boat builder in Portland, OR, where he lives with his wife and children. He can often be found hiking in the Cascades, paddling or sailing along a western Washington waterway, or bike commuting. A former Pacific Crest Trail hiker, Andy is currently more focused on day trips and one-night backpack trips with his family.
Allison is a Seattle native who hikes, climbs, skis, snowshoes and fly fishes all over the world. She’s written about base camping, fly fishing, hiking, and food for notable publications such as Outside Online, Sporting Goods Business, Outdoor Industry Alliance, and BACKPACKER. Her wanderlust takes her to hot springs and top-secret fishing holes in Utah, Oregon, Wyoming, and Idaho, as well as Washington’s vaunted North Cascades. When she’s not goofing off outside, you’ll find her backstage at various Seattle –area theatres and concert venues, where she works as a stagehand.
Carrie Wilson is a marine biologist, outdoor writer, and wildlife photographer from Monterey, California. An avid hunter, angler, and hiker, she loves trekking throughout the beautiful Big Sur coastal region and the rugged Sierra Nevada mountains of California with her camera and faithful yellow lab, Roxy. Her syndicated weekly Western Outdoor News column has run for more than 14 years, appearing throughout California. Carrie is also addicted to travel; departing on a new adventure at every opportunity. In the last 12 years her travels have taken her to 24 countries throughout North America, Central America, and Europe.
Natalie Sears is an avid horseback rider, skiier, boater, and hiker, splitting her time between Seattle and her cabin in the Cascade Mountains. She owns a boat detailing company, Deckhand Detailing, and enjoys testing waterproof jackets and non-slip water shoes. Natalie travels to Europe several times a year, and is FitnessTravelGear's go-to tester for all travel-related products. See Natalie's book on Amazon.
FitnessTravelGear's editor, Erika Dillman, has written about health, fitness, the outdoors, and travel, for a variety of national magazines and web sites, including Runner's World, Self, Ms., Hemispheres (United Airlines), Women's Sports & Fitness, MungoPark.com, Festivals.com, Expedia.com, and Underwire.com. Formerly, she wrote and produced a regular travel segment for Outside Radio, Outside Magazine's former radio show. She is also the author of ten books, including the popular "Little Book" series, featuring The Little Yoga Book, The Little Pilates Book, and more. Her favorite travel destinations: United Kingdom, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Greece, and New Zealand. Check out her author page at Amazon.
Nathan Welton is a photographer and writer who splits time between Colorado and Norway. He spent five years in the newspaper industry before becoming a freelancer, and now spends his time shooting and writing about climbing, trail running, back country skiing, and other human powered outdoor endeavors. Check out his adventure photography site at NathanWeltonPhoto.com and his wedding photography at DreamtimeImages.com
Brian Sostek grew up a long distance runner in the wind chills and snowfalls of Minnesota when multiple layers of cotton and wool were a kid’s best bet against frostbite and hypothermia. Though still based in Minneapolis, where he commutes by bike year round, he travels the world with surprising frequency combining work (performing on stage as a dancer and an actor) and pleasure (exploring new lands and waters). Recent excursions have taken him from the urban waterways of Rochester, New York to the wilds of the Amazon Basin, and from the windswept plains of central Canada to the precipitous heights of the Andes. One of his scariest adventures was exploring the catacombs beneath Paris…alone. Visit Brian’s website.
Jill Irwin is a former ski instructor who started alpine ski racing and backpacking as a girl in the Cascade Mountains of the Pacific Northwest. Since then she has added sea kayaking, bicycle touring, cross-country skiing, and adventure travel as outdoors passions. She lives in Seattle, WA, where she is a writer and technical editor specializing in environmental conservation and analysis. Visit her blog, Pacific NW Seasons, to read about her adventures in the Northwest.
Joe Glickman is a freelance writer, author, and kayaker based in Brooklyn, NY. He has cycled across America, participated in a 30-day kayak race from Chicago to New York, and paddled solo for 77 days from Montana to Chicago. Joe has been on two U.S. National Marathon Kayak Teams, racing in Hawaii, South Africa, Thailand, Malaysia, Quebec and, of course, Brooklyn's Jamaica Bay. He penned two dozen "Weekend Warrior" columns for The New York Times and has written articles for Outside, National Geographic Adventure, Conde Nast's Traveler, Canoe & Kayak, Paddler, Sea Kayaker and many more. To complete his book To The Top (Northword Press), he climbed the highest point in each of the 50 states, including Alaska's Mt. McKinley. His latest book, a biography of adventure kayaker Freya Hoffmeister, was published by Falcon Guides. Visit his author page on Amazon.
A freelancer specializing in outdoor sports and travel, Kelly Bastone has written for national and regional magazines, consumer, custom, and trade. She has penned feature profiles, gear reviews, narrative travel stories, and articles on adventure sports, fitness, food, nutrition, beauty, health and science. She's also an experienced backcountry and resort skier, mountain biker, backpacker and world traveler. Check out Kelly's website.
Leslie Steen is an outdoor and environmental writer based in Jackson, WY. After spending much of her twenties as a climbing and skiing bum in some of the finest outdoors towns of the West, her love of writing and conservation work led her to her current role as Communications Manager at the Jackson Hole Land Trust. Leslie has worked as an Outward Bound instructor, retail gear slinger, snowboard instructor, Alpinist Film Festival producer, field biologist, snow reporter, and natural science communications specialist, experiences which collectively inform her opinions on gear. Her favorite activities are powder skiing, alpine rock climbing, mountain biking, and trail running in the mountains of the Greater Yellowstone.
28 years ago, Matt Colonius rode his bike west across the U.S. looking for the best of all possible places to train for cross country ski racing. Now with a northern California warehouse full of coaching, racing, and training gear, Matt continues to bike, run, swim, rollerski, hike, backpack, fish, canoe, garden, and ski as often as he can. He has worked in the outdoor industry ever since that first long tour and for the last 12 years has been the general manager of a specialty bike retailer, Bicycle Planet, in Folsom, California. Matt loves finding the last wild, untrammeled regions while exploring the western US and Canada with his family, and celebrates a day well spent by cooking something phenomenal--usually with Hatch green chilies somewhere on the ingredient list.
Scott Steen is the Outdoor Program Director and Sustainability Coordinator at Camp Dudley, a summer camp at the foot of the Adirondacks. He lives in Wyoming, with his wife, where he is an adaptive ski instructor during the winter months. Scott has a background in Environmental Science and spends several months a year in New York, teaching outdoor education to children. Scott has been hiking, climbing, trail running, and ski touring since childhood. He is also an aspiring writer and illustrator of children’s books. View his art at: Imaginepilly Design.
Tom enjoys hiking, camping, canoeing, and bike commuting. When he can't get to the nearby mountains, he hikes in Seattle's Discovery and Lincoln Parks.
Dennis Liphart is a self-described jack-of-all-trades and master of none. After running in college and kayak guiding in grad-school, he spent 13 years in Hawaii, surfing, racing outrigger canoes, and fishing. For the past 12 years he and his family have lived on Lake Superior in Northern Wisconsin where they enjoy racing bikes, paddling, camping, fishing, hunting, snowboarding, and Nordic skiing. The family has traveled in North America, the Pan Pacific, Europe, South America, Australia, and Scandinavia. Dennis believes that adventure has been the thread that binds his pursuit of fortune and family (fame was never gonna happen).