GoLite Product Review – Where Green and Light Collide

I’m often pointed at for carrying such a small towel for after showering. This is because I travel very light. By light, I mean my backpack is carry-on acceptable on most flights and this is the same backpack I used to travel one year around the world. In the backpacker community, we have a common ground of packing light and having little negative impact on our planet. Everything on our back and perhaps even in the front is all we own for many of us, and we love it that way. It goes without saying then, what we carry and how we carry it is the single most important thing for backpackers.

Summit of Bomber Peak
Summit of Bomber Peak by Amy Rathke

When I was told I’d be reviewing GoLite’s products, I went on their website and immediately went straight for their Values page.

Therefore I GoLite. This is our motto. This is what drives us. Less is more. Less is liberation. Less is our passion. But we didn’t invent this philosophy. You did. You want to get away from all the stuff—the blaring music, the gadgets, the never-ending load of work and the glut of more, more, more. So you go light. You head out on the trail, because you want to experience nature on its own terms. You value adventure over advertising. Memories over souvenirs. You don’t want to clog the planet with more stuff. You just want to have pure, simple, heart-pounding fun. Therefore you GoLite.

I fell in love with simply that. The mind of a backpacker couldn’t have been described any better. Their The Meaning of Life page is filled with information about the company and how they help make minimal impact on our planet with their products. It’s well detailed and well written. Another one of my favorite sections is the I’m Not Trashpage giving you information on how to recycle their own products. Now to the fun part, testing out the products.

Tumalo Pertex® 2.5-Layer Storm Jacket

Wet weather doesn’t get in the way of this jacket. A waterproof light jacket with a breathable shell. It is in fact very light which had me question it’s waterproofness. Since it hasn’t been raining and I was in desperate need for a shower, I decided to take it to the shower with me. It have to be a pretty serious storm to equal the same amount of water hitting the jacket outside but it’ll be a great test then. The shell keeps the water flowing right down the jacket. The only areas that were entering water was the zip pocket right at the top of the zipper and also if you don’t have the flap down through the center. When I was done, I shock the jacket and it looked like no water had even hit it.

Tumalo Pertex® 2.5-Layer Storm Jacket
Tumalo Pertex® 2.5-Layer Storm Jacket

Pros

  • It’s fashionable. First night I received the jacket, I actually went to a few bars with it. So whether you’re backpacking about or going out casually, you won’t have to worry about how you look with it.
  • For breath-ability, there are two massive side vents that zip down near your arm pits which I liked. I don’t seem to be sweating much with the jacket. The thin layered shell helps.
  • A very well fitted hood. Absolutely no rain is coming down the neck area with this jacket.
  • The zippers are rough and nearly unbreakable. No issues getting them stuck whatsoever.
  • You can nearly totally close yourself in with this jacket.

Cons

  • I can just hardly put my hands into the side pockets. Would be nice to have a bigger opening for easier access however this could be also part of the waterproofness by keeping the zipper opening shorter.
  • Would be nice to have an inside pocket within the jacket

TraveLite Convertible Carry-On

Even the tag itself was made out of recycled material as well as the entire backpack itself. Weighing at only 2lbs 1oz / 935g, this is light. I have this product in red, nothing too flashy or calling out ‘Steal Me’. It’s the type of bag that will keep you organized, light, and moving quick. The type of bag that will last you for years. For my next experiment, will this thin layered shell withhold sharp objects poking at it? It didn’t hold up all that well throwing around a knife to it. I wasn’t too forceful and I was able to make a few holes a few times. It is meant to be light therefore I don’t expect it to withhold a drill. Just keep your pointy items facing up and protected.

TraveLite Convertible Carry-On
TraveLite Convertible Carry-On

Pros

  • There are tons of compartments. Organization is a huge issue for me usually but with this bag, it’s simple.
  • For the main compartment, it fully opens like a book. Within the book, you have the two sides that can again fully open. Finally I can separate my dirty laundry. This makes packing very quick and won’t have to take everything out to get something I’m looking for.
  • Packing space is wonderful because of the thin layered shell.
  • Solidly constructed strap with a gel-padded shoulder pad.
  • Love that I can remove all straps and put them away in a seperate compartment. I can switch from backpack, shoulder strap bag, or just carry it with the handle. Brilliant!

Cons

  • Not really a con. More so a Pro if anything but I did have to remember where I packed some of the things I put in there. With so many compartments, it’s easy to get lost in such a light small bag! Surprisingly though, each compartment has plenty of space and it’s not a bunch of small useless compartments.
  • In heavy loads, it doesn’t seem to conform perfectly with my back. Would be nice to keep the backpack closer to my body.

Paparoa Shortsleeve Travel Shirt

Best put by GoLite themselves “This shirt goes from the commuter bike to the office, from the bottom of the suitcase to the backcountry or a dinner date and never looks the worse for wear.” I love personally carrying  this in my backpacking trips in the last minute must look good moments. Never know when you’ll get a job interview abroad, a date, or going out to a club that requires you to dress well then the next day you could wear the same shirt in your hike.

Paparoa Longsleeve Travel Shirt
Paparoa Longsleeve Travel Shirt

Pros

  • Comfortable fabric and well fitted
  • Seems to keep me warm pretty well
  • Bonus for the zip down chest pocket. I like that.
  • I can easily pull a superman and rip off all the buttons quickly without breaking the buttons. Helpful to save the world in time. Or get in bed quicker…

Cons

  • Picture doesn’t do it’s justice. Once you put it on, you won’t want to take it off because it’s so comfortable. That’s all I could really think of to put here.

Overall

I’m impressed with GoLite’s products. It’s created by backpackers for backpackers. Some products are priced high for most budget backpackers however these are more products you purchase once and that’s it. I’ve been through many backpacks, tshirts, etc that if I had bought just one good higher quality, then not only would I have contributed to a greener planet but I could have saved more money as well. The products don’t stream “Steal Me” either while in the same price range you could get something flashy but it likely may not have the same high quality as these. You can purchase their products here or visit the official GoLite website. Do you have a GoLite product? Which one? What do you think of it?

The products listed were sent to me to review.

Michael Tieso

Michael Tieso travels around the world writing, photographing, and filming his adventures. He is the Editor-in-chief of Art of Adventuring.
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