If you haven’t heard about the handy new Walkabout product line from Kangeaux Outdoors, please let us introduce you. First, as a disclaimer, we were sent two Walkabout carriers (the Congaree and the Yosemite models) to test out on our last adventure to Badlands National Park, but all review information here is our own opinions and experiences. We were not compensated in any way for this review other than the products in our hands. Each Walkabout carrier has a unique pattern design, named after one of the US National Parks (so far that includes Mesa Verde, Yosemite, Congaree, Shenandoah, Denali, & Biscayne). Because of that concept, we thought it would be appropriate to try them out while camping and hiking in the Badlands!
What is the Walkabout? This ingenious little clip-on carrier unit can carry just about anything you can wrap it around, up to 150 pounds in weight. They have three main parts – the Strap-Wrap (Velcro/Neoprene/Webbing), a flat black carabiner with the Kangeaux logo, and the Survival Series 550 Para-cord lanyard and bracelet combo. The bracelet can be removed from the other two parts and used separately. It unravels to be a useful lanyard for those who prefer to carry lightweight gear around their neck or shoulder. In addition, the whole thing comes in a nice little carrying sleeve with a cinch closure, which can also be harnessed through the carabiner, making it all close at hand as a package. When closed up, the carrying sleeve is about the size of a large ring of keys. The current design’s strap-wrap piece is 12 inches (30.5 cm) long and 1 ¾ inches (4.5 cm) wide. Kangeaux Outdoors plans to release different sizes and patterns in the future as well.
What can you carry with the Walkabout? There are truly endless possibilities to answer this question! During our four days of camping and hiking we used them to carry water bottles (along with my son’s baseball cap), coffee mugs, a cell phone, my camera tripod, spare USB battery banks (our favorite use), flashlights, and a hatchet. Our 8-year-old son was thrilled to have a secure and easy way to carry his water bottle, and he even carried around some rocks for a while to test out their carrying capacity! We also spoke with several friends and together came up with many other uses: bear spray, climbing gear, fishing poles, trekking poles, water shoes, wireless computer mouse, a Nintendo 3DS, a GPS unit, protein bars, hand sanitizer, baby bottle or sippy cup (attach it right to their carrier or stroller!), emergency blanket/tarp, string lights for an RV or tent, a small lantern, and rolled-up rain gear, jackets, or other clothing.
How did they perform for us? We did not drop even one piece of gear that was strapped into the Walkabout. The inner surface of the wrap grips securely thanks to the Neoprene texture, and none of our products moved until we wanted it to move, and only by loosening the wrap and repositioning the gear.
The carabiner was adequate in size to clip effectively. The one and only frustration that I had with the Walkabout at all is that the ‘biner has a concave gate. This was only a problem when I wanted to clip it directly to my stiff, 2” wide web belt. Instead I resorted to using the Walkabout on either my belt loop, clipped to my pants pocket, or on one of our backpacks. In reality, it is totally just a minor, personal preference.
Our verdict: At the initially planned MSRP of around $25, and knowing they are made in the USA, we guarantee that we will purchase these items for our “Every Day Carry” Bags, our Survival “Bug-Out” Bags, and put them in our camp gear boxes. We love that you can clip these babies anywhere on anything, from backpack straps and loops, to pants pockets, to tripods. We also love to spend our hard-earned money on products that go beyond one intended use, and the Walkabout definitely is our new, favorite multi-purpose tool! Interested? You can get more information about Kangeaux Outdoors and add your email to their update list to keep up on when their online store goes live at their website: http://www.kangeaux.com/. There’s a detailed video promo for the Walkabout on Vimeo, and you can also find Kangeaux Outdoors on social media: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+!