Gear · hiking · Hiking Gear

New Gear For The Fall – First Review

Kirk gave me first Leatherman multi-tool back in 2003. That tiny purple multi-tool came with me on every hike and backpacking trip I went on for years. It made meals, it cut a lot of duct tape, fixed fingernails, even took out splinters. After 9 or so years, it was retired. It wasn’t dead, far from it, but it was well used. It sits tucked away, in a box of hiking gear, waiting for the boys to be old enough for a multi-tool. I’ll pass it down!

Having a chance to review some of Leatherman’s new tools for fall? Well, that encouraged ol’ Purple to go to the bin even faster 😉 And it gives me some tips/thoughts on what should be in an outdoorsy person’s Christmas Stocking…….

The Leatherman Micra. While not as ‘fancy’ looking as my old one, it is a better design. At 2.5 inches long (closed) and 1.8 ounces, it boasts a lot for its small size. It fits comfortably in my hand. For me, most knives or multi-tools don’t fit well, they are too bulky, too long or too thick for my hands. That isn’t an issue for most men, for ladies with smaller hands, it very much is. It is easy to flip open and doesn’t catch on fingernails. Again, as a female, I appreciate this.

Upgrades from my old model?

  • The tweezers are integrated. I like that. On my old tool, I had long ago lost the tweezers. Where? I have no idea. I can tell you they were missed!
  • The scissors are bigger and bulkier, making it easy to cut open packages of food, to snip cord and so forth.
  • A bottle opener? Hmmm…don’t knock it. It can come in handy. Especially after a hike.
  • And the nail file is even better. I can think of a dozen times or more I sat in my tent and gave myself a manicure with my Micra back in the day. No 5 star spa, but it did a great job.

The Mako Ti, a multi-tool for bikes! Kirk and I enjoy biking (my butt not so much) and I love pushing our youngest two in a pimped out BOB Duallie jogger stroller. Both have that chance of “trail-side” repairs. Previously Kirk had a bike multi-tool that was humungous and weighed way too much (seriously, the thing was a brick!) At 3.5 inches long and 1.4 ounces, it is small, ultra thin and light. Mine came with a black lanyard, making it easy to attach inside my Bob’s “repair kit” that includes spare intertubes and a mini-pump. The lighter the tools, the better. Pushing a 35 pound stroller plus 65 pounds of kids is a workout in itself 😉 Having sat in mud years ago trying to work on a ‘bruised’ jogger stroller was no fun, anytime I have tools to make it easier…I am all for that. This is a tool that would make a handy gift this winter!

Last but not least, was my first use of an LED Lenser brand headlamp, the H7. And well…this headlamp is a game changer, at least for me. I have done my share of idiot hiking, the kind where there are more miles than hours of daylight…and you find yourself stumbling in the dark with a Tikka strapped on your head, barely able to see. I am in the mindset that after 12 years or so of them, they are best suited to camp use. Great for tent use, cooking in the dark and reading trashy novels at 2 am, but not so much for trying to not walk up an elk’s behind in the dark. This headlamp is intense – very, very bright and you can dial it from a spotlight to a wide beam. And you can dial the light from raccoon spotting to nearly out (155 to 2.7 Lumens) but also the light itself can be in normal position or flipped over. Yes, you can read a map in normal view, rather than bending your neck down to get the light there. That alone has made this headlamp the one that rides in my backpack.

The other pro about this headlamp? The battery pack is in the back. Old school right? Maybe. 3 AAA’s are light but offer enough counterbalance that the front stays where it belongs. My pet peeve of the micro headlamps has long been they slide forward, down my hair, eventually only stopped by my glasses and ears. This stays where it should be. And the weight is right on with the claim – 4.13 ounces with batteries in. The package we received not only had a set of batteries in already but came with a second set and a pouch for storage.

I priced it at just under $34 at Amazon (Prime Shipping even) – LED Lenser H7 LED Headlamp. With the long battery life, intense brightness and superior fit, it is a bargain.


FTC Disclaimer: We received product for potential review.

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