Kerri: my Geek Pocket LTR is ready for your edits in the Test Folder here:
Text version pasted below:
Long Term Report
Date Location Trail Distance Terrain/ trail type Weather
Altitude range Carried
June 10, 2012 Saguaro National Park, Tucson Mountain Unit Sweetwater 7 miles
(11.2 km) Rocky high desert canyon and ridgelines 80-90 F (27-32 C),
sunny and dry 2700-3900 ft
(820-1190 m) GPS
June 15-16, 2012 Santa Catalina Mountains in the Coronado National
Forest near Tucson, Arizona Samaniego Ridge 8 mi
(13 km) Sky Island ridgeline Sunny, 60-85 F
(16-29 C) 5000-7100 ft
(1520-2160 m) GPS
June 21-23, 2012 San Francisco Peaks in the Coconino National Forest
near Flagstaff, Arizona Mt Humphreys 25.6 mi
(41.2 km) Forests to mountain peak tundra Sunny, 50-80 F
(10-27 F) 8050-12562 ft
(2450-3830 m) GPS
July 27-28, 2012 Santa Rita Mountains in the Coronado National Forest
near Tucson, Arizona Vault Mine Trail 5 mi
(8 km) Sky Island canyon Partly cloundy, 60-85 F (16-29 C), rain at
night 5500-7300 ft
(1675-2225 m) GPS
September 23, 2012 Santa Catalina Mountains in the Coronado National
Forest near Tucson, Arizona Pima Canyon Trail 7 mi
(11.3 km) Sky Island canyon Partly cloudy, 78-91 F (26-33 C), 15% RH
(820- 1280 m) GPS
This day hike was my first opportunity to test the Geek Pocket. I
clipped it horizontally to the hipbelt of my pack and loaded it up
with my GPS:
Geek Pocket in Saguaro NP
Hmmm, looking at the photo now I can see from the strap lettering that
it was actually upside-down, but there was nobody else out on the
trail that day anyway! My first thought was to clip it to the belt on
my shorts, but as can be seen in the photo that is not accessible
either. I wonder if Geek Pocket is bucking the trend of recessing
straps (perhaps to avoid snags?) by designing a product that requires
an exposed strap.
The pocket worked just fine to carry my GPS once I had it properly
positioned as close to the front as possible to minimize interference
with my arm swing. It made my GPS very accessible while hiking.
Problem is, I don't often access my GPS while hiking. I'd really like
to put my camera in it, but it doesn't fit :(
Samaniego RidgeThe Samaniego Ridge trail is one of the less-used paths
in the Catalinas, as it is poorly maintained and has a reputation for
difficulty which is well-earned. The northern trailhead is also
notoriously hard to get to as a high-clearance 4WD vehicle is
required. Fortunately my Jeep Wrangler is up to the challenge, and I
arrived at the trail head late Friday afternoon.
The backpack I used on this trip has small hipbelt pockets, too small
for my GPS. The shoulder straps do not have an exposed webbing strap,
so I attached the Geek Pocket to the hipbelt webbing. It is visible
in the photo at left in the middle of my waistline. My GPS rode along
safely and unobtrusively at this spot. I was a little concerned when
I set off that it would be bothersome there, especially if it bobbed
up and down, but it did not.
My GPS was nicely accessible whenever I wanted it: I just had to rip
open the hook-and-loop strap and pull it out of the Geek Pocket.
Visible on my left shoulder strap (right side of the picture) is my
other accessory pocket with my camera. I sure wish I just needed one
of the two!
Geek Pocket on Weatherford TrailThis was a 3-day 2-night backpacking
loop hike consisting of the Kachina, Mt Humphreys and Weatherford
trails in the San Francisco Peaks, including a summit of Mt Humphreys.
The photo at right was taken on the Weatherford trail with Mt
Humphreys in the background.
Once again the Geek Pocket rode on my hipbelt right at the front. I
like the accessibility of this position, but I don't like the way my
GPS gets handled when I take my pack off and drop it on the ground.
The hip belts naturally hang down, and with the Geek Pocket containing
my GPS as an anchor it hangs down even more and is the first thing to
hit the ground when I drop my pack. It is a good thing that the Geek
Pocket is somewhat padded and very protective, as so far my gear
hasn't sustained any damage.
I'm finding it is somewhat of a hassle to undo the strap and extract
my small GPS from the pocket. I seemed to access my GPS less than I
would have liked due to the awkwardness of the operation. I'd prefer
to have the Geek Pocket on my shoulder strap in easy reach as my
camera is in the photo.
Vault Mine Trail
This was a 2-day/1-night backpack up to the Agua Caliente Saddle. It
was the first time the Geek Pocket had to deal with rain in normally
sunny Arizona. It didn't rain while I was hiking, but it poured
during the night. The Geek Pocket got pretty well soaked in the rain,
but by the time I was packed up to go in the morning it had dried out
completely. When I put my GPS in the Geek Pocket, it did not feel
squishy with water, just slightly damp.
Pima Canyon Trail
This was the first time I used the Geek Pocket with my lumbar pack. I
attached it to the waistbelt, which unfortunately was too wide to
easily accommodate the clip, so I had to fold the belt in half to use
the clip. This actually worked just fine, and it extended the space
in my small lumbar pack nicely.
The Geek Pocket has proved to be a versatile accessory, as it has been
capable of adapting to use on a day pack, backpack, and a lumbar pack.
Things I like:
Versatile: attaches to pretty much any strap quickly and easily.
Protective: the thick fabric prevented my GPS from damage when
dropping my backpack to the ground.
Ease of access: no problems getting to whatever is in the pocket.
Weather tolerant: held up well in the Arizona sun, and dried out
quickly when it got wet in the rain.
Sturdy, reliable: I had no problems with the unit detaching from a
strap despite being bounced up and down mountains. After four months
of use it looks pretty much the same as when I received it, though a
bit dusty and dirty from the trail.
Room for improvement:
Limited to attaching to an exposed webbing strap. It seems like
fewer backpacks, including my current favorite, have an exposed
shoulder strap. I had to be a little creative in using hipbelt straps
as the attachment point.
Limited width of items I could carry in it. The Geek Pocket is
not made of stretch material, and has a limited width. I was not able
to carry my point-and-shoot camera in it, and this is the piece of
gear I access most frequently on the trail.
Many thanks to Backcountry Solutions and BackpackGearTest.org for the
opportunity to test this product.