TAT Equipment Review

Posted: August 7, 2010 in TAT

I’m going to give the equipment I bought for the trip a quick review for anyone who might be in the planning stages of something similar. Since I’m a teacher I’ll rate everything using letter grades :).

Suzuki DR-Z 400S
Great bike, performed nearly perfectly on this trip. Of course, it could use a 6th gear :p.

Renazco seat
It would have been a painful ride without this seat. Held up great, no tears.

Wolfman Enduro tank bag
One of the straps started to come apart internally, but the strap held for the whole trip. I really like this bag, it is very useful. I should be getting a replacement from Wolfman.

Tusk gas tank panniers

Not crash proof, one nearly ripped off. Dust breaks the zippers.

Dunlop d606 tires
Worked great and I got good mileage out of them.

Nelson Rigg CL-850 saddle bags

These would be fine for on the road touring. They didn’t hold up too well to crashing though. I broke a few buckles and ripped one of the straps out of the back. Still, they stayed intact and kept my stuff dry even though they are not waterproof.

Moose Expedition gear
Waterproof except for the crotch. Did not breathe well and were hot. Seams came apart by the end of the trip.

GoPro Hero HD video camera

Held up, even to crashes. Great video for the price.

Canon A570IS camera
No issues, very happy with the quality of the photos.

Gorrillapod tripod
Broke the first time I tried to use it. Replaced by found rocks.

SOG multi-tool

661 Pressure suit
Saved me in a crash, zipper got hard to work when it got really dusty.

SPOT satellite tracker
Tracked great, only had to change the batteries once the whole trip (and those were the batteries it shipped with when I bought it months ago).

Garmin Vista HCx GPS
My only complaint is that the tiny screen was a little hard to see at times, especially when it got dusty.

Pelican i1015 case
The latch kept coming open on me, which resulted in me losing my new iPhone in the desert :(.

Eureka Backcounty II tent

Thermarest sleeping pad

Snugpak sleeping bag
I probably should have spent more money on a down sleeping bag that would have packed up smaller and kept me warmer. This one did ok for the price.

Clarke 3.9 gal gas tank
I didn’t hit reserve once on the whole trip.

  1. Freakin’ awesome trip, especially from New Mexico on. Did you take food? If so, what types? Did you cook much? Did you stay in motels often? How often? Vs. how often did you camp and use tents? Some of those trails look like they were next to nothing. How often did you guys get lost? How did you typically find your way back? How accurate were the TAT trail maps?

    • tavisb says:

      Thanks Stephen. We carried a little emergency food with us but got most of what we ate when we stopped for the night. We carried some dehydrated meals. We stayed in a motel every few days, camping the rest of the time. I converted the TAT maps to GPS tracks, that worked much better for me than the maps or the roll charts.

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