The Great Golden Swallow Gear Review: Part 3

Seth displaying his catch. Photo by Justin Proctor.

Thermarest Prolite Plus sleeping pad:

Seth: Comfortable and light, these pads kept us insulated and padded even on cement floors, but the compression sack that is supposed to store the pad is far too small. I don’t recommend sleeping on these on a hot, humid day at around noon.

Justin: This is the first thermarest I’ve used in my life. I’ll probably never have to buy another. I slept comfortably on this thermarest every night, whether it was lying on concrete, a tiled floor, or a more forgiving forest floor. I threw out the ludicrously small sack that came with this otherwise good product on the second day.

John: Don’t ask me, I just sleep on an old yoga mat. I should also point out that it took Seth and Justin a few minutes to deflate and roll these up every morning.


ExOfficio Men’s Boxer, Curfew, medium: (worn by Seth – see photo)

Seth: These highly expensive pairs of underwear are fast drying, don’t retain bad odors, and are quite breathable. Their only downside is that there’s a bit too much fabric in the seat, so they can be wedgie-prone.

Justin: I think Seth just wanted to beat me on the pricing of luxury undies.

John: What’s underwear?


Coghlan’s Bug Jacket, large:

Seth: The mesh is fine enough that mosquitoes can’t bite through it, the drawstrings on the wrists and waist are easy to use and help prevent intruders, and the zipper for the hood works perfectly for when you need to eat. When it was very hot and humid I tried wearing only the bug jacket with nothing else on my torso and despite some itching, it still worked perfectly, although it may have attracted more mosquitoes. Don’t know why the guys didn’t join me in wearing the jacket, though.

Justin: Never used it myself, it looked a little silly.

John: My bug jacket was a DEET bath every morning and evening.



Icebreaker Men’s Anatomica RLX Boxer with Fly, Black, medium:  (worn by Justin)

Justin:  If you’re going to drop an entire week’s salary on one pair of underwear, you might as well go with Icebreakers. Rumor has it that one baby sheep’s life is extinguished in order to make each pair. Fantastic. I wore a pair of Icebreakers every day for one month straight without washing. During that time, I was hiking from 5 to 10 miles a day through rugged, humid conditions. I’m also a sweaty man. These boxers never once retained odor, never once bunched up in uncomfortable places, and would dry on their own even when contained under a pair of pants. I hate to be cliché, but these boxers are without a doubt the best thing that’s happened since sliced bread.



EMS Men’s Trailhead Plaid Shirt: (worn by Seth)

Seth: This nicely-patterned shirt wicks sweat fairly well, mosquitoes don’t bite through it (although maybe the permethrin repellent I sprayed on it is partly responsible), and the fabric has a nice elasticity to it.

Justin: Wait, that was Seth? I thought a shirt model was just joining us for fun.

John: I’m still not sure where Seth repeatedly found a place to get his shirt pressed while deep in the bush, but kudos to him.


The North Face Men’s Cool Horizon Woven: (worn by John)

John: A good shirt is a good shirt. Except when grapeleaf.

John and Seth wearing their respective shirts. Photo by Justin Proctor.

EMS Men’s Trailhead Shirt:  (worn by Justin)

Justin:  breathable and lightweight, but moisture-absorbing.  Not for the overly sweat-laden man.

Justin sporting his EMS Trailhead shirt and pants.


EMS Men’s Trailhead Pants, Inseam Options: (worn by all three)

Strong, breathable, flexible, and quick drying, these pants come in a variety of great colors and do the job well.

Justin: Best pants on earth.  I wear them hiking through hell and high water, and I also wear them to semi-formal occasions.  The design of the pant eliminates annoying and tiring resistance around the upper leg, knee, and crotch regions while lifting the leg during steeply sloped treks.  I don’t understand how to use (or the practicality) of the drawstring on the ankle, which is inside the pant and rubs against my ankle when I’m wearing high boots.

John: I loved these pants, but avoid the grapeleaf shade if you can. Never thought it was possible, but one can definitely have too much grapeleaf….

Seth: My particular pair had very shoddy stitching all over and just to keep the pockets functional I had to use our emergency sewing kit, which didn’t even have the charcoal thread I needed (had to use royal blue).

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