The Essentials: Innate Gear ‘gear’

Innate Gear is a Vancouver, BC-based company that makes a lot of cool ‘things’ for storing and transporting various ‘stuff.’ This includes everything from vacuum insulated bottles, stainless steel flasks and other food-storage containers to stuff sacks, travel towels and document envelopes. Due to Innate’s commitment to sustainable design and manufacturing most of these ‘things’ are made from leftover, surplus or repurposed materials.

I received a bunch of various Innate Gear ‘gear’ last summer and have been using them over the past few months, during climbing adventures as well as ‘real life’ travel and work. To wit:

Portal Deluxe Travel Envelope

Whatever you call this, it is brilliant. It is an awesome topo holder: soft and pliable enough to fold into a pocket, roomy enough for a folded piece of letter-size paper, weather-resistant enough to withstand the occasional shower and the clip-in point is big enough to fit a carabiner through. I now bring it on every multi-pitch rock route for which I have a topo. Stuff it into your pocket while climbing; clip to the belay for easy study without fear of losing the topo to an errant gust of wind.

In ‘real life’ I use it to separate and store all my various cords when travelling (If you’ve never travelled with a photographer, we bring cords for camera battery chargers, AA-battery chargers, iPhones, iPads, Macbooks, card-readers, external hard drives, Ethernet cables. Basically, a lot of cords!) I have several of these envelopes by now and cannot imagine travel without them. Light and tough, they’ve made my life much more organized (which is a good thing). Oh, they’re also handy for throwing a selection of energy bars, gels, sandwiches, etc. into your backpack, or keeping vital travel documents, like passports or plane tickets, separate

Innate_002The envelope in use as a topo-holder during a ‘Yamneering’ outing.

Mentor Trail Sacs

This is basically a small roll-top storage sack. This one, however, is very supple, weighs pretty much nothing, and comes with a handy carabiner clip. I use mine for storing two 500ml thermoses for those long, cold days: the roll-top and welded seams ensure none of the honeyed tea goodness ends up on my gear! Additionally, the small size is handy for bringing some snacks along on multi-pitch climbs, hanging off my harness via the handy carabiner loop.

Innate_003The Trail Sac shown with two 500ml thermoses inside. The Thermoses leak, but the Mentor Trail Sac doesn’t!

Caravan Compartments

These are kind of like the envelopes, but roomier. I use a small one as my outdoors ‘medical kit’ (think two bandages, a handful of painkillers and some duct tape). Aside from the medical kit, I have also managed to stuff some climbers’ tape, a tiny headlamp, a small knife and a wad of toilet paper into this little bag. It comes with me on every climb, be it a multi-pitch adventure in the Ghost or cragging at Haffner Creek.

Innate_001My ’emergency kit’ stored in the smallest Caravan Compartment from Innate: bandages, pain pills, duct tape, tiny headlamp, toilet paper. (All you need to survive in the backcountry, right?)

Doppio Tumbler

I’m pretty sure when Innate designed this as a response to requests for a tumbler that could handle “a couple of shots” they were thinking coffee not Scotch. But, given that I don’t drink coffee, I have found numerous other uses for these tiny, double-wall mugs: such as keeping your drink colder for longer. I’m sure it works well to keep coffee hot, but it is truly excellent making sure the ice in your whisky doesn’t melt too fast.

Innate_004Just big enough for an ice cube and “a couple of shots.” Not sure this is what Innate meant when they designed the Doppio, but it sure works for me!

Overall: Innate makes a whole bunch of cool stuff for all your random organizational needs: it’s awesome!

Note: Innate Gear provided The Alpine Start with a selection of products for review, however this in no way influences our opinion of the products.

8 thoughts on “The Essentials: Innate Gear ‘gear’

  1. Chris says:

    Nice selection of organizing bits. Love the smaller mergency kit container (I’m using doubled up zip-loc bags). What thermos do you use for cold climbing?

    • Raf says:

      I have two, both 500ml, one is a Thermos-brand thermos, the other doesn’t have a label – MEC maybe? The Thermos is a bit better, though with proper pre-warming both will keep tea hot for around 8 hours.

      I hadn’t thought of it, but maybe I should look into getting something newer, maybe there’s some new tech out there!

  2. greg foweraker says:

    Hi Raf-Thanks for the thoughtful review of the Innate essentials! With regard to your comment on vacuum flasks and tech; there have been some advances in lighter alloys in stainless steel but the real trick to keeping drinks hot longer lies in the quality and durability of the vacuum process plus a relatively narrow opening with a well insulated stopper to reduce conductive heat loss.

  3. Chris says:

    After an exhaustive search on Amazon, I found the sweet spot for a 1liter or under thermos appeared to be the “LebernaTM 34 Ounce Stainless Steel Vacuum Insulated Briefcase.” Weird name, but cheap, no BPA (all stainless on the inside and out) and good reviews for leakproof and well insulating. I clicked the buy it now and will evaluate in NH next week.

  4. greg foweraker says:

    HI Chris,
    Look forward to your review of this vacuum flask, in particular around the heat retention. The specs note 12 hours; we conduct pretty exhaustive testing and generally find the standard designs of 32 oz flasks rarely retain temperatures above 70C after 8 hours when measured in a lab with ambient temperatures of 0C. Any field data and notes you can share would be greatly appreciated!

    • Chris says:

      Well here is the field test update. After several days climbing in zero and below temps in Crawford Notch, I can confidently recommend the cheap Amazon stainless steel thermos from my earlier post. One very long day we were out for 9 hours in windy -5F tempts and the hot chocolate was still quite warm, if not quite tongue burning hot. The quick pour top also worked as advertised and I didn’t have any leaks even after the nice waitress at the Stairway Cafe overfilled the thermos.

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