Items 16 to 20 of 108 total

Deane's Nort Review

3/10/17 4:05 PM

Deane Parker


I recently got a new backpack, the Cactus Henry. It's an awesome pack; suitable for long and short trips. I chose it due to the secure harness. I initially passed up the Nort as it looked too small for long backcountry day trips, plus it doesn't come with a chest harness. On further investigation, it turns out the Nort is chest strap compatible, with the additional sternum strap


That was enough to turn me on. I ordered the Nort. It is a classic shape—skinny and spine hugging, ideal to protect the vitals from a huck to flat somersault (well, not for this puppy).


Once I installed the sternum strap the security was almost as good as the Henry's. The shoulder straps are comfortable but not over padded, and they feature a cool li'l exit for a hydration hose and a couple of loops on the straps to snug the hose away.


It's safe to say that even on a short two-hour ride I carry a lot of gear (see pic). The Nort swallowed it all and still had room for two ham sandwiches, several snack bars and a zombie apocalypse kit (maybe). It has three zippered compartments. The main one is roomy, and there's a small internal fleece-lined pocket and a medium-sized external pocket. Finally, the interior is lined with high-vis nylon to make it easier to find stuff.


Deane's Nort


The Nort is a heavy duty, lightweight backpack suitable for short to long day trips. Just like all Cactus packs, it's made to wear in not out.


Tip: get the sternum strap. 


Below I have listed the tools, spares and clothing I take on pretty much every ride. Some would say a balaclava, satellite tracker and emergency bivy bag is OTT for a two-hour ride, but you know what? Crashes happen, and I'd feel stink if I couldn't keep someone, or myself, as comfortable as possible after a big stack and/or direct emergency assistance accurately to our position. So if you're riding with me, relax, I got your back.


- Rain jacket/shell
- Polypro balaclava
- Emergency bivvy bag
- Spot satellite tracker
- Sunscreen/lip balm/chamois cream(butt butter)
- Pump w duct tape wrapped around it
- Spare tube (2 on longer rides) w duct tape
- Tools/spare kit in Cactus tool bag. Bike specific multi tool w chain breaker, leatherman multitool w pliers, 3 tire levers, replaceable derailleur hanger, set brake pads, SPD cleat, 3 quick links, 2 chain pins, heavy duty needle and dental floss, tubeless valve, selection of tube patches and tire boot, selection of zip ties.

–Deane Parker.

Comments | Posted By Kester Brown

Being a Cactus customer, you're most lkely to be wearing your Down Jacket further than the local cafe and it hasn't remained in pristine condition. The Cactus Down Jacket is an investment which should last you for years and years so to keep it in tip-top condition you will probably need to wash your jacket once a winter. 


Cleaning the jacket with a special Down Cleaner will gently remove the dirt, oils and residue, and will rejuvenate the light & airy properties of the feathers, giving you a warmer, puffier down jacket - like when it was new.


Prior to washing, apply cleaner directly to heavily soiled areas. Close all zippers.

HAND WASH DIRECTIONS: Fill sink or tub with just enough warm water to submerge item; add ReviveX® Down Cleaner. Compress item to remove air and place in water. Rinse item repeatedly until water runs clear (at least 3 times). Gently compress or roll item (do not wring) to expel water. Place item in washing machine for 2 spin cycles to remove excess water before drying.


REGULAR MACHINE WASH: Add 5 capfuls of Down Cleaner to washine machine. Wash with cold or warm water on gentle cycle. Do not add fabric softner. 




OPTIONAL: Before drying outdoor gear, apply ReviveX® Durable Waterproofing to the outer shell fabric. Apply liberally to shoulders, cuffs and zipper areas.


DRY: Dry garment by itself in a large dryer (it needs room to tumble freely) add some tennis balls or dryer balls to help break up the down clumps. 


Comments | Posted By Cactus Outdoor


If you've had your Mountain Jacket for decades (or even one heavy use season), it might be looking like it's in need of some TLC. To make sure your Mountain Jacket, Lifties or other waterproof/breathable product lasts, stays being waterproof/breathable and continues to perform at it's best, give it a wash every now and then. Dirt, smoke, body oils and other residues can clog waterproof breathable pores and inhibit breathability.

Also, our Mountain Jackets and Lifties are treated with DWR (Durable Water Repellent) to aid in waterproofing. A build-up of residue on the fabric surface will prevent this coating from performing causing the garment to “wet-out.” Removing those residues by washing improves the garment’s performance.

We wouldn't recommend using any old washing powder/soaps as they can leave residue, preventing the DWR from working or clog the breathable pores. We sell a product called ReviveX Pro-Cleaner which is awesome. 





• Close all tabs, velcro and zippers. We recommend washing items separately.

• Apply cleaner directly to embedded stains. Gently scrub with a bristle brush. Repeat as needed.

• Select delicate/gentle cycle, warm water and load size (most likely low since technical garments are typically washed individually).

• Add 3 capfuls ReviveX Pro Cleaner to wash.

• Run wash cycle and rinse twice.

• Dry as per the manufacturer’s recommendation.



Before drying, you can apply ReviveX DWR Spray help restore the DWR, although many times it is simply not necessary. Sometimes, all the garment really needs is a good cleaning with a clean-rinsing detergent. Once you have rinsed those residues clean, you can usually place the garment in the dryer and the heat will help re-activate the DWR coating. 

Comments | Posted By Cactus Outdoor

Deane's Henry review

17/07/17 1:46 PM

Deane went on a weekend mission with his Cactus Henry and here's what he has to say about it:

A backpack is an essential biking tool. Some prefer to ride without but I like containing everything I need for a 2-6 hour ride in one place. I like the crash protection to my back, effectively cradling my spine. A chance visit to the Cactus showroom introduced me to the Henry. It's a traditional looking backpack, on first look I dismissed it as being too big for a day pack. I tried it on and was immediately impressed with the fit. 


It doesn't have gadgety features found on most biking backpacks. No fancy media pocket, no helmet harness and only 1 zip (normally the first thing to fail when full of mud and salty sweat). One cavernous compartment, which I didn't manage to fill on an overnight ride and a pocket in the lid for easy to get items. The Henry is very light, 480g, makes it appealing  for runners and adventure racers too. Lightweight materials make this possible but during testing in wet conditions everything stayed dry, this may change after more wear, we'll see...


The outstanding feature of this pack is the harness. From a heritage of packs designed for ski patrollers and heavy duty west coast bush bashing, it's safe to say Cactus know how to make a pack fit snug to your back. A secure waist and sternum strap kept the bag from flopping round and holds my hydration hose close for easy access. It has a hydration sleeve to keep your bladder separate to your gear and a hidden opening in the lid for the hose to come out of. 


It's not easy to replace equipment that has been faithful companions on many missions, my previous day pack was one of these items. With the advent of sophisticated bikepacking bags, strapped to the bike, it is now possible to have a bag that doubles for day trip and multi day trips. The Henry is ideal for this purpose, small enough to cinch down for a quick blast in the hills and big enough to load up for an extended bikepacking trip in the backcountry. 

Check out the Henry here. To check out more of Deane's adventures, check out his website here

Comments | Posted By Cactus Outdoor


9/06/17 11:20 AM



With busy lifestyles, full time jobs, no more public holidays for a while, the microadventure concept can be a lifesaver. The idea behind a microadventure was made common by British adventurer and author Alastair Humphreys and is defined as an overnight outdoor adventure that is "small and achievable, for normal people with real lives".

When planning a microadventure, key points to keep in mind is that it's short, simple, local, cheap – yet still fun, exciting, challenging, refreshing and rewarding. All of us here at Cactus are pretty good at microadventures - and with winter here, they become even more important to keeping us all happy (and sane).


A microadventure could be anything from meeting your best mates for a picnic up your local hill one evening after work, a short mountain bike ride to a new secret camping spot through to a short overnight mission to a near by DOC hut. If you have some sort of floating vessell (packraft, dinghy, SUP) you have even more options. 


Microadventures are an awesome and super easy thing to organise with a few mates but also just as ideal for the family. The kids will love it. 





It was almost a little far away to be called a microadventure as the West Coast is a 3 hour drive from ChCh, but last weekend the Cactus Marketing department (just me (there's only one of us)) and 3 mates grabbed our tramping packs and headed for Hokitika. That's where the good weather was and we all LOVE the coast. 


We filled our packs with yummy food and a pack of cards and took a short 3 hour walk up to a tiny, four bed hut (luckiy we also took at tent) for the night. We found a magic spot shelted from the wind, shot the breeze while eating chips watching the incredible West Coast sunset. It was bliss. The following day we walked out, grabbed some manditory fish & ships to eat on the beach before driving home.


The walk up through the stunning West Coast bush. The Miklat is the perfect microadventure pack. 


 The tops...


 Our magic spot in the sunshine.


Better than TV.


 The hut which we had to ourselves for the morning.


We nailed it. Thanks to Mike, Amanda & Paul. 


We'll try and share more microadventures here on the Cactus blog. If you have had a good microadventure and feel like sharing, get in touch. Email me here


Comments | Posted By Cactus Outdoor

Items 16 to 20 of 108 total