Column Debut! Personal Cargo is dedicated to the accessories you put not on your RV but rather on you (or in your hands). From essential survival tools to the latest camping gear, we’ll review equipment aimed at helping you enjoy your next road trip.
We love the outdoors. But let’s be honest, we also love our creature comforts. I mean, this is RV Magazine after all. We enjoy Mother Nature while traveling in vehicles with beds and kitchens. We do not pretend we can tough it out by crafting sleeping bags from sheep carcasses like Bear Grylls.
Instead, we usually pack our rigs with personal cargo that help make our winter road trip more enjoyable — not more Spartan. With that in mind, we look at two types of important apparel: eyewear and outerwear.
We field-tested the TAG Heuer Squadra sunglasses and the 5.11 Tactical Sabre 2.0 jacket and found that, in addition to cool-sounding names, these products offer innovative designs that any RVer could appreciate. Check out our analyses and see if they’re right for you.
Squadra Kurt Busch Limited Edition
Manufacturer: TAG Heuer Avant-Garde Eyewear
Materials: beta titanium arms, polyamide lens
Retail Price: $390
The 411: If you’ve driven at dusk or dawn or when rays reflect off snow, you know how low-angle sunlight can diminish your vision. TAG Heuer has an answer. The watchmaker also makes performance shades for athletes. The Squadra Kurt Busch Limited Edition, designed for and named after the NASCAR racer, is stylish and high-tech.
The Good: The Squadra’s no-crack lens is rimless and hugs your face while flawlessly providing 100-percent UV protection. The light, flexible arms are comfy.
The Bad: These specs are more expensive than some gooseneck trailer hitches. Ouch.
The Verdict: If the Squadra is good enough for Busch as he blurs by at 190-plus mph, it’s more than enough for those of us who chug along in our RVs. Just be ready to pay a pretty penny, so find bargains online.
Too heavy on your wallet? Try this affordable alternative…
These shades from Dual Eyewear offer 100-percent UV protection, but for significantly less cash ($49.95). The flexible, impact-resistant frames are aesthetically pleasing and lightweight. Plus, the polycarbonate lenses have a unique feature: spot diopters (available in three types of magnifications), much like bifocal glasses. They’re meant to help drivers and racers read data from GPS units, cycling computers, or cell phones that are propped up on their dashboards or handlebars.
Sabre Jacket 2.0
Manufacturer: 5.11 Tactical Series
Materials: Polyester and elastane shell, nylon and polyester lining
Retail Price: $259.99
The 411: Anyone who’s ever had to fuel up the RV in subzero winter conditions or check the trailer hitch during a rainstorm knows that reliable outerwear is a must-have. The Sabre Jacket 2.0 is guaranteed to keep your core dry with its waterproof shell and detachable hood. Its high functionality is no surprise, though; it’s made by 5.11 Tactical Series, a premier manufacturer of apparel and accessories for the military, law enforcement, and first-responders.
The Good: There’s plenty. It’s a good-looking jacket. It’s 100-percent waterproof yet breathable. The storm collar and the hood help keep the elements out. There are plenty of pockets. Plus, there are armpit zippers that go down the sides, which help air out excess heat and provide quick access to your hip (ideal for 5.11’s undercover law-enforcement customers wearing holsters).
The Bad: Considering its price, the Sabre is heavier than we thought it’d be, yet not thick enough to be a standalone jacket during harsh winter months.
The Verdict: Minor complaint aside, the second generation of the Sabre (hence the 2.0 suffix) is a stellar example of form meeting function. RVers and outdoor adventurers will find that the Sabre will far exceed their needs.
We Want You…
…To tell us two things: your favorite aspect and least-favorite aspect of RV. The first four people to email firstname.lastname@example.org will receive a Blu-ray of the action-adventure movie Cowboys & Aliens, which recently debuted on Blu-ray and features an extended edition and more than two hours of exclusive bonus features. For more info about the movie, go to www.cowboysandaliensmovie.com