A Review of Cabela's Camping Line of XPG products - Worthy of the Logo
By: Frank Ross
While looking through Cabela's extensive line of outdoor products you may have seen a wide selection of items with the XPG logo, and wondered just what it stands for.
XPG stands for Extreme Performance Gear, but what it really means is extreme value. All of Cabela's buyers, product specialists and product developers have applied their decades of experience in buying, designing and using products in the field to develop a line of gear that is a cut about the competition. And the best feature of them all is a great price.
All products are the sum of their parts, the process that was used to put them together, and the assembler's dedication to quality. In building the XPG line, each individual product developer took the best that the industry has to offer in the way of raw materials, insulation, hardware, and technical features. Let's take a look at a few of the XPG Series of products.
For example, the XPG Extreme Mummy Sleeping Bag contains premier Northern® 750-fill-power goose down for maximum protection from the cold and minimal weight on the hike in and out. A proprietary laminated rip-stop nylon outer shell and liner are windproof, downproof (the feathers won't work their way out), highly breathable and water-resistant. And to top off the protection, each bag also has water-resistant No. 5 YKK® zippers featuring anti-snag technology. Chevron construction was used to prevent the down from clumping or shifting, which forms cold spots. To make this a fully functional bag under the worst conditions, chest and back baffles, oversized draft tubes and a full hood keep cold air from penetrating the inside of the bag. The bag is capped off with Cabela's exclusive NightSight™ drawcord system that has a drawstring and round chest collar cord for easy adjustment in the dark. You can compare this bag, feature for feature with any competitor's product line and what you'll find is that a bag this good is available, but at a price that is 20 to 40% higher than the XPG.
The same goes for XPG Trekking poles. They're designed with all of the high-performance features that hikers demand; lightweight 7001-series aluminum, cork handles, an internal shock absorbing system and two different interchangeable tips that adapt to any terrain. Again, the competition's price for similar features is much higher.
The XPG Expedition 4-Season Tent takes extreme to the extreme. DAC Featherlite® aluminum poles, known for superior quality and performance, are used to maximize structural integrity and reduce the weight by 15 percent. Having a lightweight tent is a fine thing. Having it collapse in harsh conditions just makes it lightweight junk. DAC poles are exceptionally rigid, with incredible recovery and uniformity properties. For ease of installation, the poles slide into continuous pole sleeves.
What good is a rain fly that doesn't do its job, or wears out prematurely? The fly on the XPG Expedition is made of polyester, which is noted for superior resistance to fabric killing UV rays. However, polyester isn't waterproof. By adding a treatment of 1,500-rated waterproofing coating, you have a rain fly that won't leak and lasts a long time. To improve access, and keep out the elements, the fly's two doors have accompanying vestibules and two-way zippers with snag-proof cording for improved ventilation. Throw in a clear window for visibility and shrouded mesh vents to improve air movement and moisture removal and you've got one killer tent, even without the heavy duty aluminum pegs.
Pack designers are constantly searching for ways to make packs lighter, stronger and more durable and Cabela's hit a home run with the innovations designed into the XPG 2000 daypack and 4000 internal frame pack. They began with an extremely durable, lightweight fabric and added features that make accessing your stowed gear much easier. On the 4000, a clever, heavy-duty J-zipper opens up the entire length of the pack and the torso adjustment can be extended from 15"-21" for maximum comfort. Hydration on a hike is a critical issue. Both models of the XPG have it covered with a special compartment topped off with tube ports through the top and clips on the shoulder straps to keep the tube handy. And, the 2000 has two additional pockets for extra water bottles. A highly abrasion resistant fabric makes the bottoms last much longer, and a glut of tie-down straps, loops and zippered pockets provide a place for everything you need on a hike.
Throughout Cabela's XPG line, the features are well thought out, the materials top quality and the hardware is top drawer.
I know what you're thinking. All of the great features are expensive. To offer these highly technical, performance products at these prices, surely they cut corners somewhere. You're right. Cabela's cut out the middleman, and you can put that portion in your pocket, or stay an extra day on your dream trip.
If you're looking for a powerful, lightweight flashlight that can stand up to everything outdoors, the XPG line has that covered as well. Cabela's has three flashlights that qualify for the XPG logo. Two models use 123 lithium batteries as a power source, and the third features the lithium-ion rechargeable. XPG lights come in either 1-Watt, 3-Watt or 5-Watt versions using powerful American-made Luxeon™ LED chips that produce more light for longer periods of time than standard LEDs.
The 123-lithium powered 1-Watt model produces 30 lumens, while the 5-Watt light puts out 115 lumens. Both lights feature an innovative new lens that produces a highly focused beam of crisp, bright light. If you don't need so much light, a switch allows you to reduce power consumption by 50%, doubling the battery life to six hours.
The rechargeable super-compact XPG has the advantage of a lithium-ion battery that charges faster, has a higher output, produces longer run times and takes more charges than any other rechargeable system on the market. This light casts a 65-lumen beam using one 3-Watt Luxion™ LED, inside in a machined aluminum housing that is O-ring sealed against moisture. These aren't ordinary flashlights. They perform above expectation or they're not XPG.
Want to keep your camera or change of clothes dry on a hike or canoe trip? That's right, the XPG line includes dry sacks from small to extra large that will keep anything dry, even under total submersion. Their rugged 600-denier diamond ripstop nylon, PVC laminated outer shell has electronically welded seams for lasting toughness and waterproof integrity. When not in use they fold down to a very compact size and are easy to store until needed.
Cabela's is all about quality at an affordable price. That's Cabela's. That's XPG!