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Reviews > Footwear > Sandals > Oboz Campster Sandals > Test Report by Gail Staisil

Campster Sandals

Test series by Gail Staisil, Marquette, Michigan

Initial Report - May 7, 2018
Field Report - July 10, 2018
Long Term Report - September 8, 2018

Initial Report:

May 7, 2018

Tester Information

Name: Gail Staisil
Age: 65
Gender: Female
Height: 5' 9" (1.75 m)
Weight: 160 lb (73 kg)
Location: Marquette, Michigan USA
Email: woodswoman 2001 AT yahoo DOT com

For the last 20 years, backpacking has become a passion. I am a four-season backpacker and an off-trail navigator. Although I do take yearly trips to the American West or Southwest, the majority of my trips are in Michigan. My pack weight varies considerably but my base weight is below 18 lb (8 kg). I am primarily a tarp camper who averages more than 50 nights a year backpacking in a huge variety of weather conditions including relentless rain, wet snow and sub-zero temps.

Product Information

Model Campster Sandals
Women's 11 US (42.5 EU)
Polyester, rubber, EVA
Tested Weight  8.3 oz/235 g for one sandal (Women's 11 US/ 42.5 EU)
Manufacturer's Weight
6.7 oz/190 g for one sandal (Women's 7 US/37.5 EU)
$90 USD 

Initial Impressions and Product Description 

The Oboz Campster Sandals arrived in the requested size of Women's 11 US (42.5 EU) and in the color of Thyme/Magenta. They are also available in the colors of Heather Gray/Coral and Black as well as a full array of women's and men's sizes. The sandals are very lightweight and can beCampster top and sole used in either a clog style or with a backstrap. When tried on, they seem immediately comfortable and I am quite pleased with the fit (more latter).

Sandal Features

One of the first things I noticed on the sandals is that the heel strap has pivots. This allows the backstrap to move completely out of the way by swinging it forward so that it rests on the top of the sandal. This makes the sandal a clog! Really pleased with that feature as I think it will be real handy for scrambling out of the tent at night when fiddling with shoes is the last thing I want to do! Of course the sandal can be worn with the backstrap and it might even be preferable for short hikes. Each backstrap is padded near the heel and there is a small loop on the back of the strap to help get the sandal on. My only finger that works with this is my pinky as the others are too big. However I don't have an issue getting the sandals in place without it being used.

log modeI must say that I am impressed with the large toe box on the sandals as there are no pressure points on my toes. The width of the sandals is reportedly standard (regular) but the volume is high (this would explain the roomy toe box too). The sandals do have a toe cap but it is not overwhelming or clown-like. Looks like it could offer some protection from stones and head on collisions with roots.

The foot beds feature deep heel cups and an anti-microbial top. The Salida Outsole appears sturdy enough fabricated with non-marking rubber and EVA. The bottom outsole features many raised circular dots laid over an embossed map of the Arkansas River Valley near Salida, Colorado (hence the name of the outsoles). According to the manufacturer, the outsole is designed for traction on wet surfaces. The midsole features dual density EVA for cushioned comfort. This can be felt immediately when wearing the sandal or just by depressing that area with my finger.

The Campsters are deemed water capable and reportedly are quick to dry.  The top of the entire sandal is made with polyester webbing that is woven with 5/8 in (1.59 cm) wide vertical straps and 7/8 in (2.22 cm) wide horizontal straps. The straps are tacked together down the middle row. That row is also accented with a pull loop of a different color (Magenta). There is also an embroidered emblem on the top side of the each sandal in the contrasting color as well.


The Oboz Campster Sandals appear to be comfortable and lightweight. Anxious to get out in the field with them and that will happen starting Thursday when I embark on a four-day backpacking trip. Most likely they will be combined with waterproof socks as winter is just ending here and there are snow patches, mud and waterholes to deal with.

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Field Report:
July 10, 2018

USA Locations and Conditions
Relaxing after a hard day at Isle Royale National Park
During the field test period I have taken four Michigan backpacking trips totaling eighteen days, one car camping trip in Minnesota totally six days, and many other outings in Michigan and Wisconsin (May 17-21). The forests included boreal and deciduous settings and lakeshore. Elevation ranged from above 600 ft (183 m) to almost 2,000 ft (610 m).
Location of Trip #1: Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore   
Length of Trip: 4 days, 3 nights (May 10-13)
Pack Weight: 28 lb (12.7 kg)
Distance: 40 mi (64 km)
Sky and Air Conditions: Cloudy 
Precipitation: None
Temperature Range: 29 F to 46 F (-2 C to 8 C)  

Location of Trip #2 Grand Island National Recreation Area  
Length of Trip: 2 days, 1 night (June 14-15) 
Pack Weight: 19 lb (8.6 kg)
Distance: 12 mi (19 km)  
Sky and Air Conditions: Cloudy 
Precipitation: Light mist
Temperature Range: 46 F to 68 F (8 F to 20 F)  

Location of Trip #3: Isle Royale National Park
Length of Trip 8 days/8 nights (June 19-26)
Pack Weight: 32 lb (14.5 kg)  
Distance: 62 mi (100 km) Caneoing in the Porkies
Sky and Air Conditions: Cloudy and sunny
Precipitation: Just a trace of rain!
Temperature Range: 34 F to 78 F/1 C to 26 C 

Location of Trip #4: Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park 
Length of Backpacking Trip (backpacking into and out from rustic cabin): 4 days, 3 nights (July 1-4)
Distance: 5 mi (8 km) 
Pack Weight: 30 lb (13.6 kg)
Sky and Air Conditions: Cloudy, rainstorms, sunny, humid
Precipitation: Lots of rain
Temperature Range: 54 F to 89 F (12 C to 32 C)

Trip Talk
All I can say is WOW! I have worn the Oboz Campsters almost everyday since I received them. Not only have they been on every backcountry trip but also have been my shoe of choice for just everyday life. I must admit that at first, I thought the sandals would be awkward to take on all my backpacking trips as they have a larger footprint (thickness) than my normal minimalist camping footwear. I have been pleasantly surprised at how well they pack. They have been packed both inside and outside my backpack depending on my pack choice. My Gossamer Gear Mariposa has a very large stretch pocket on the center exterior so they have found a home there. They were packed inside my Granite Gear Crown on other trips. They even were packed for an 8 night backpacking trip without a storage problem. I also took them on a car camping trip for six days. Although I didn't do any significant hiking during that time (just a few miles/several kilometers); they worked out well for walking to and from the folk school where I was taking classes. In addition I was on my feet the entire eight hours each day of class.Camp life

Firstly, these sandals are very comfortable all the time. I have worn them both barefoot and with socks. They are easy to get on and off too. Although I sometimes get a bit of debris/sand in the sandals, it seems to mostly be in the toe area. Of course that may be the way I walk that causes them to pick up some dirt. The webbing really doesn't have big gaps so only small particles can get inside. Secondly, I love that the Campsters have a nice wide toe box that doesn't squish my toes no matter how long I wear them.

The convertible straps makes getting in and out of my tent at night so easy. I can just hop into the sandals fast! The toe bumper is very small but quite adequate to keep my toes protected. It doesn't get caught on rocks and roots like some other sandals with big bumpers have.

The soles have been non-slippery. I have worn them on all sorts of surfaces (dry, rocky, wet and muddy) and they held a grip. In addition I found that when the soles get dirty, they easily shed sand and dirt. I have not had to store them in a stuff sack while packing, but justFunny marks! give them a tap or two to release the dirt.

I have worn them wading in the lake to retrieve water on all of my backpacking trips. I usually like to get away from the shoreline to prevent getting a bunch of sand particles in the drinking water. 

They seem to dry out not super quickly but they really don't feel wet enough to keep my feet from staying warm. I usually put on a pair of socks with them to keep the bugs away and also because it was never really that hot to not want to wear socks.
Lately at home the temps have been between 85 to 90 F (29 to 32 C) with high humidity. This is abnormal weather for here so to say that I am overheated, is an understatement. Have been wearing the sandals regularly but kick them off to air out my feet if I am sitting outside. Any footwear is just too much when I am not used to the heat.

So far the sandals haven't retained any odor including the built-in footbeds. Everything appears to be in good condition including the webbing and outsoles. The only nitpick that I have found is that each sandal has some funny markings on the light green webbing in the toe area. A slightly different shape on each. Although I noticed it when they were new (see picture in initial report), both of the marks have darkened considerably. The left sandal has a triangular mark and the right has a rectangular mark. I tried cleaning them off with no success. This is purely cosmetic but not sure why they are there! Could it be glue?

I will continue to take these on many backpacking trips in the long term period. Have also got a lot of questions and compliments on them from other people. Luckily a store in this small town carries them so they can check them out.

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Long Term Report:
September 8, 2018

USA Locations and Conditions

 During long term testing I have taken three Michigan backpacking trips totaling sixteen days, and did many other day outings in Michigan. The forests included boreal and deciduous settings and lakeshore. Elevation ranged from above 600 ft (183 m) to almost 2,000 ft (610 m).
Location of Trip #5: Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
Length of Backpacking Trip: 2 days, 1 night (July 17-18) 
Distance: 15 mi (24 km)
Pack Weight: 21 lb (9.5 kg)
Sky and Air Conditions: Sunny
Precipitation: None
Temperature Range: 43 F to 69 F (6 C to 21 C)

Location of Trip #6: Grand Island National Recreation Area
Length of Backpacking Trip: 2 days, 1 night (July 23-24) 
Distance: 22 mi (35 km)
Pack Weight: 21 lb (9.5 kg)
Sky and Air Conditions: Sunny
Precipitation: None
Temperature Range: 56 F to 69 F (13 C to 21 C)

Location of Trip #7: Isle Royale National Park
Length of Trip 12 days/12 nights (August 17-29)
Pack Weight: 28 lb (12.7 kg)
Distance: 91 mi (147 km)
Sky and Air Conditions: Cloudy, rain and some sun
Precipitation: Heavy rain twice (many hours each time) 
Temperature Range: 46 F to 82 F (8 C to 28 C)

Getting water
Trip Talk

I think the biggest compliment that I can give a product is the desire for another pair. The Campsters have lived up to pure comfort and I am afraid when I wear them out, they will no longer be available. I took care of that by recently ordering a pair in a different color. I have literally worn the sandals most days since I received them. While I do most of my backpacking in more rugged shoes or boots, I have worn them on every trip for hours exploring around camp as well as more sedentary moments at camp. At home they are on my feet every time I go outside to do short walks or errands.

Even though I generally carry much lighter camp shoes; I have found the desire to even take them on my longer trips including a recent 12-day backpacking trip. The amount of difference in weight is more than made up by the comfort, flexibility (water/land) of wear, traction and more. They have performed well on all surfaces which definitely included much slick wet rock (picture on the right just after I came out of Lake Superior to retrieve water....footing was very important!).
Most of the time the sandals appeared clean enough that they didn't require a scrubbing. Mostly that is because I wore them in water so many times and they just cleaned up on their own. Recently I gave them a soap and warm water bath in a sink and scrubbed them to take care of any noticeable dirt. The markings that I mentioned in the field report are still there but are just cosmetic defects. The wear pattern on the bottom of the sandals is noticeable but hasn't affected their performance in any way.

Generally I wear the straps on the sandals and they stay in place very well. I just switch the straps forward for nighttime duty when I need to get out of my tent or shelter. No fumbling in the dark that way!
I will continue to wear the sandals as long as they perform well. In fact they are going with me on another backpacking trip next week!


  • Roomy toe box
  • Sandal can be converted to clog
  • Lightweight
  • Water capable
  • Comfortable




Tester Remarks 

Thanks to Oboz and for this opportunity to test the Campster Sandals. This concludes my Long Term Report and the test series.

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