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Adventurers & Explorers

Jun 29, 2018

Nixon Regulus: Timekeeping on the Engagés Greenland Expedition

During May of 2018, The Outdoor Journal reported on five French entrepreneurs who were traversing Greenland’s toughest terrain.

WRITTEN BY

Maxime Lainé

Their goal was to complete 700km in 30 days. In the face of much adversity, the expedition finally made it home to Paris, having being trapped at the finish line without food, and unable to extract themselves due to bad weather.

You can read about those final few days here, and how Maxime Lainé reflected on the journey here.

Before leaving, Max and the Engagés team had to make key decisions regarding the kit that they would carry. One of those choices regarded timekeeping, and Max shares his experience of using a Nixon Regulus watch below.

The is the most impactful experience of my life… for now.

I crossed Greenland, from west to east, along the Polar Circle with 4 other entrepreneurs. It took 31 days to cross more than 550 kilometres of ice by foot, experiencing the harshest environment we had never faced. For this reason, we invested 6 months of preparation, mentally, physically, and planning our equipment. We tested and choose every piece of our equipment very carefully because eventually, our lives could depend on it.

We are very touched that some companies supported us in this crazy adventure, all in their own way. This was the case for Nixon, the watch brand. Via my role as co-founder of Weesurf, I have already had the chance to work with them.

I was very impressed by their will to take risk, and to give a chance to a young startup. That’s what I liked. As such, I decided to knock to their door again, this time with the opportunity to share with them another, but a very different adventure.

Juliette, Angélique and Louis from Nixon, provided each member of the Engagés team with the Nixon Regulus 46MM.

This watch was with us throughout our adventure, it faced the same extreme conditions that we faced, and today I’m still wearing it in one piece as I write this article (which isn’t the case for my toes). For this reason, I want to share with you some key points about this watch, and what makes it’s different.

Resistance

This is the most resistant watch I have ever had. As a surfer, I used to have a lot of them, but no other had ever convinced me that it is truly resistant. We were consistently facing extreme temperatures reaching up to -40°C, and still I never had any battery or display problems.

Weight

At first glance, it might look quite heavy, but is actually surprisingly light. For obvious reasons, this was a key point for us, we needed to carry as little weight as possible. The Regulus passed the test.

Features

The Regulus has what you need: a clock, stopwatch, alarm and timer. However, there is one feature that I particularly appreciate, much like the world clock on our phone, you can set two different times. It was very helpful for us to know what time it was in France, when we wanted and needed to think about our friends and family. When we were thinking about what they were doing at that very moment while we were on our side of the world facing the harsh environment. It helped us keep moving forwards, no matter what. It helped us overcome those daily challenges, and make it to the other side of Greenland.

Bracelet

Throughout the whole expedition, I didn’t take it off, when were setting up the camp, when we were walking, when we were sleeping, when we were cooking, when we were fixing stuff… it never broke. There is an extra element that keeps the bracelet well locked, as if it was made from just one piece, so it fits perfectly to your wrist.

Design

The watch might look quite big off the wrist, but the buttons are smoothly incorporated into the watch, so clothes did not stuck when we had to remove or put them on quickly. More than anything, the buttons are easy to tap, even when wearing gloves. This is a huge advantage because that last thing that you want to do is remove our several pairs of gloves when it was -40C.

Style

Robust and modest. It just rocks.

If you would like to find out more about the Nixon Regulus, then you can do so here.

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Gear

Jun 07, 2018

F-stop Dalston & Fitzroy Gear Review: The Perfect Paris Photography & Getaway Bag

These two new photography packs from f-stop are the latest from the famed company and they don’t disappoint.

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WRITTEN BY

Lorenzo Fornari

The Fitzroy is a sling style pack and I’ll start off by saying that I’ve never been a big fan of this format simply because putting all that weight on one side of the body, on one shoulder, has never been good for me. I was one of those kids who would let their backpacks hang from one strap to look cool and casual but would, and still do, travel with both straps firmly balanced on my back. Alas, for the sake of science and The Outdoor Journal, I decided to spend a few days around Paris with Fitz and its larger brother, Dalston, to see what they could offer on an urban photo outing.

Fitzroy Sling Style

Perfect for shooting in an urban environment. The Fitzroy allows quick access with its sling design. Photo © Rameen Eggspulher

First of all the Fitzroy, Fitz for his friends, is deceptively small. Within its diminutive looking size, there’s a large removable 11 liter padded compartment with two adjustable velcro dividers giving three sections for camera body and lenses or any combination you heart desires. The sling is wide and well padded and slides well when you slide it from your back to front. There are only two ways into the pack, a roll-up opening on top and a full-length weatherproof zipper on the right side. This layout is a useful design feature for an urban environment where you’re often looking around, distracted, giving little attention to what’s going on in your immediate vicinity and keeps prying fingers from your precious gear.

Talking about the zipper, it has large dual toggles that allow for easy access even with gloves on. The roll-up opening means that Fitz can expand quite a lot and allow you to embark a water bottle, other gear, a sweater, etc. The build is top notch and the waterproof ripstop fabric won’t let in any wayward rain.

The Fitzroy (front) and bigger brother Dalston on my back braving the cold and rainy Parisian weather. Photo © Rameen Eggspulher

After a few days of walking around with it I got used to stowing my camera away and easily swinging it round front rapidly with easy access to it. I liked not having my camera dangling about since it allowed me to enjoy my surroundings more instead of having a trigger finger always ready to snap away and think of shooting. When I did want to shoot, however, it would be a simple and fluid movement to bring the pack front and always at the perfect height to easily access my camera.

Work Table on the Go

In addition to the easy access, having the pack in front creates a sort of work table where I can change lenses safely and quickly and this means having more creative freedom.

Despite it’s small size, the Fitzroy is perfect for on-the-go shoot-and-scoot photography. There’s also a discreet mobile phone pocket in the back lining. Photo © Rameen Eggspulher

Tasteful Discretion

Finally, of note, there are two other discreet zippers parallel to the main one. The outer one is an ample flat pouch with a detachable key chain and inner mesh space for loose objects. The second, much smaller zipper, reveals a small space big enough for a large mobile phone and documents such as passports and even wallet if you should feel inclined to put all your most precious eggs in one basket. Because this pouch is really small and right up against your back, it’s almost impossible to see and hard to access given the small latch so it could actually be better to store smaller objects there than in pant pockets when you’re in a pickpocket-prone place like the Paris metro or some busy bazaar in a far off land. Last but not least, Fitz holds one last up ace its sleeve; two external latches for your tripod. Or yoga mat. Up to you.

Light and Reliable

Despite wanting to hate it, this little bag won me over for how well it performed. And the single sling layout didn’t hurt my back as I thought it would’ve also because this pack weighs in at a paltry 500 grams. A featherweight.

Peek-a-boo. Dalston has big capacity and is really discreet. Photo © Rameen Eggspulher

Dalston’s Superior Size

Dalston also slings forward well and allows full access to your gear. Photo © Rameen Eggspulher

Fitz’s bigger brother, Dalston is made of the same material and has two straps and much larger capacity with 5-6 internal compartments and the same roll-up opening on top as the Fitzroy, allowing for a lot of extra space if you need it.

Fstop camera bags
Dalston (left) & the smaller Fitzroy. Photo © Rameen Eggspulher

Although it doesn’t actually look that much bigger than Fitzroy, the backpack has almost all the things you’d expect from a professional pack of this category. That includes a large pouch against the back large enough for a 15inch laptop and an additional pouch in front with an internal mesh space, detachable keychain, and any other medium sized object you can think of.

Getaway Bag

Unlike the Fitzroy, each side of the Dalston has a large but almost invisible weatherproof zipper that allows you to access the internal padded compartments. The traditional backpack layout means that it doesn’t quite ‘sling’ as well as the Fitzroy but can be brought in front easily and used as a sort of workbench to access your gear through the side zipper.
The roll-up opening up top means that it expands quite a lot. I would even go far enough to say that there’s sufficient space to allow you to make this the perfect gear and clothing combo for a weekend getaway.

Fstop camera bag
Dalston in Paris. Photo © Rameen Eggspulher

The only omission is external straps like Fitzroy for a tripod. Or yoga mat. The straps are padded and comfy and there’s a basic front strap for keeping everything nice and stable whether you’re climbing a fence or even skiing down a slope. Even though the pack is more than twice the size of the Fitzroy, it’s only 300 grams heavier, clocking in at about 800 grams. It’s practically weightless.

Camera bag comparison
Dalston (left) & Fitzroy in a less adventurous studio setting. Photo © Lorenzo – The Outdoor Journal

 

Overall: 4.5 / 5

Pros: They’re light, they’re tough, they protect your gear perfectly, no flamboyant logos that can attract thieves, and they’re incredibly well priced.

Cons: None although I’d have to nitpick about the curious absence of external straps on the Dalston while the much smaller Fitzroy has them.

Fitzroy: 129$
http://fstopgear.com/products/urban/fitzroy

Dalston: 149$
http://fstopgear.com/products/urban/dalston

Photo Credit: Rameen Eggspulher
https://www.instagram.com/rameen_eggspulher/

 

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