TEST SERIES BY JERRY ADAMS
August 27, 2018
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6' 2" (1.88 m)
195 lb (88.50 kg)
I started hiking about 50 years ago. My first backpacking trip was about 45 years ago. I currently try to do one backpack trip of 1 to 5 nights every month (which can be tricky in the winter). Mostly I stay in the Western half of Oregon and Washington. In recent years I have shifted to lightweight - my pack weight without food and water is about 12 lb (6 kg). I make a lot of my own gear - silnylon tarp-tent, bivy, down bag, simple bag style pack.
PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS
Manufacturer: Oboz Footwear
Year of Manufacture: 2018
Manufacturer's Website: http://obozfootwear.com
Listed Weight: 9 oz (255 g) for men's size 9
Measured Weight: 10.5 oz (300 g) for each shoe men's size 12
The Oboz Campster sandals are intended for outdoor use. From the website: "Slip them on after a 13-mile march, rock-hopping your favorite creek or cracking beers on the trailhead tailgate."
When I cross creeks with my boots, they can get wet inside which takes a long time to dry, is uncomfortable, and develops fungus growth on my feet. Using the Campsters should solve this problem.
The outsole is made of non marking rubber and Ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA). There are lugs on the bottom for traction. The lugs are about 1/8 inch (3 mm). There's a dual density EVA midsole. The sole is about 3/8 inch (9 mm) thick at the midsole and 1 inch (25 mm) thick at the heel. It's about an additional 3/8 inch (9 mm) thick all around the edges. I think maybe this will keep my feet from sliding sideways. It wraps up over the toes a little to protect the toes.
I got the size 12 Campsters. They are about 12.25 inches (311 mm) long, 4.25 inches (108 mm) wide at the midsole and 3.375 inches (86 mm) wide at the heel.
I got the black color. They also have olive and dark shadow/russet.
The uppers are made from polyester webbing. This is not stretchy, well, maybe it stretches a tiny bit. The webbing is 1 inch (25 mm) wide and 0.1 inch (2.5 mm) thick. The ends of the webbing are welded into the outsole. There are 5 pieces of webbing that run sideways, and 3 pieces of webbing that run lengthwise (from toe to ankle). The sideways and lengthwise webbing are woven, that is a lengthwise webbing goes over a sideways webbing, then under the next sideways webbing, etc. The lengthwise webbing are sewed to the sideways webbing at places.
There is a heel strap which is another piece of 1 inch (25 mm) webbing attached to the top webbing piece with a pivot - a plastic piece that allows it to rotate. The heel strap can be rotated up so the Campsters can be used like clogs with no heel strap, or it can be rotated down so it goes around the heel. The inside of the top sideways piece and the heel strap are lined with a 3D mesh like material (thin foam).
These sandals have no adjustments or buckles or anything. I have had sandals that have Velcro adjustments so I can make them bigger or smaller. I have had sandals that have buckles that make it easier to put the sandals on. On the one hand, the flexibility of having buckles and adjustments is good, for example I can loosen them up if I want to wear socks. On the other hand, the simplicity of no buckles or adjustments is good - lighter weight and less to break. And aesthetically, simplicity can be good. They fit good and are easy enough to put on and off so I don't need any of that stuff.
There is a small loop at the heel and the top. Maybe this is to make it easier to get on and off?
There are several "Oboz" logos. There is a label inside the ankle strap with the size, and "made in Vietnam".
Bottom and top of Campsters:
Inside and outside view:
For the top sandal in the photo, the heel strap is rotated into the "clog" position. For the bottom sandal, the heel strap is rotated into the "sandal" position.
I wore them around the house a little. They seem fairly comfortable. They seem fairly robust for sandals - I'll find out more during my testing.
I wore them without socks and the size 12 fit well. I normally wear size 12 shoes/boots but sometimes size 13 seems to fit a little better. I tried thick Merino socks and the Campsters were too tight. I tried thin synthetic socks and they fit pretty well - I might try that for a backpacking trip.
They recommended to use my normal shoe size if I wore the sandals without socks, but go up one size if I wore the sandals with socks. That matches my experience.
The Oboz Campster sandals are lightweight sandals for outdoor use.
I will use them mainly as camp shoes and for river crossings. I'll also try them backpacking a little, but I don't think they're robust enough for that, and too much dirt and gravel and stuff will get into my feet.
I am a fairly lightweight backpacker and would normally never carry an extra 21 ounces (600 g) camp shoe, but I'll try it for this test. If they can solve the problem of getting my boots wet from crossing creeks, maybe they'll be worth the extra weight. They look like very good sandals for the trailhead, car camping, and to wear at home.
FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
May 2, 2018 - 4 day car camp and 2 day backpack in Mill Creek Wilderness in central Oregon. 39 miles (63 km), 3200 feet (1000 m) elevation gain, 29 to 70 F (-2 to 21 C).
June 1, 2018 - 2 day backpack, and 1 day car camp in Black Canyon in central Oregon. 12 miles (19 km), 1700 feet (500 m) elevation gain, 36 to 72 F (2 to 22 C).
June 18, 2018 - 5 day backpack and 1 day car camp on Mt Hood in north central Oregon. 45 miles (72 km), 7600 feet (2300 m) elevation gain, 45 to 80 F (7 to 27 C).
I wore the Campsters around the house and in the yard for a couple weeks.
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
Overall, I was very satisfied with the Campster sandals. I used them on 9 days of backpacking, 6 days of car camping, and around the house and yard for a couple weeks.
I am a lightweight backpacker and would normally never carry the extra weight of sandals. Testing these is an experiment to test this assumption.
On the Mill Creek Wilderness trip I used the Campsters to walk about 6 miles, crossing creeks several times. About 5 minutes after crossing a creek most of the water had drained and I was just walking normally. I walked on normal wilderness trails with boulders, steep spots, sticks, and dirt. With other sandals I've used, sticks and dirt and stuff gets into the sandals, between feet and sandals. This did not seem to happen much with the Campsters.
On the Black Canyon trip I backpacked for a mile in the Campsters. I had several stream crossings. Then the heel strap started slipping down so I stopped to fix it, but it was just easier to put my boots back on.
On the Mt Hood trip I used the Campsters to cross the Sandy River. That would have been difficult to cross otherwise. There was a lot of water flowing swiftly.
I used the Campsters as camp shoes on 12 evenings. One evening it was raining so I just left on my boots. Another evening the terrain was rough so I just left on my boots.
Stream to cross:
Walking through stream:
Afterward, I put foot up on a log so water would drain out:
The Campsters were very good for stream crossings. The Sandy River crossing in particular, had swift water up to about my knees. It was difficult to maintain my balance, but I had a stick for a third point of support which helped. The Campsters stayed on my feet and provided good support.
Crossing streams with my waterproof breathable boots is a real problem when the water level is above the tops of my boots so they fill with water. Then it takes days for the boots to dry out. The Campsters are much better. After crossing a stream I just let the water flow out of them by lifting my foot up on a log, then they dry out within an hour or so. While they're drying, they're comfortable enough.
I normally wear waterproof breathable boots and merino socks. At the end of the day, the socks get damp with sweat. This is uncomfortable and provides a perfect environment for growing fungus like athlete's foot. With the Campsters as camp shoes, this is largely resolved. I just took off my boots and socks and wore the Campsters until going to bed. I put the boots and socks out to dry, hopefully in the sun. My feet were much drier overall. They seem to have less fungus growth.
I hiked with the Campsters on some fairly difficult trails. There were sharp rocks, steep places where there was a lot of sideways force between my feet and the sandals, and slippery places. The Campsters were pretty good but not as good as my boots. For the most difficult conditions I definitely prefer regular boots.
The Campsters are very good sandals:
* They were very good for difficult stream crossings.
* They were comfortable around camp, and around the house and yard at home.
* The webbing was pretty good at keeping dirt and sticks out, although not as good as regular shoes or boots.
* The Campsters were pretty good on rough terrain, for example sharp rocks and weird angles, although boots are significantly better.
A defect is that after crossing a stream and the Campsters got wet, the heel strap on my left foot kept slipping down, so I just put my boots back on.
LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
July 28, 2018 - 5 day car camp at the ocean beach in southwest Washington state. I wore the sandals for 2 days. I walked 10 miles (16 km). 55 to 75 F (13 to 24 C).
August 12, 2018 - 2 day car camp in Olympic Peninsula in northwest Washington state. I walked 10 miles (16 km). 55 to 75 F (13 to 24 C).
I used the Campsters about 10 days around the house, in the yard, and driving around.
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
During the Long Term Test period I used the Oboz Campsters on several more day trips and around the house, in the yard, and driving around. In total during the FR and LTR periods I did 13 nights of car camps and 9 nights of backpacking. I also used the sandals at home for about 14 days.
I was planning another backpack trip but I busted my big toe so I wanted to wear regular shoes/boots for better protection.
I drove about 500 miles wearing the Campsters on the Olympic trip, and several trips at home. I don't normally like to wear sandals driving but the Campsters felt really secure on my feet so they were fine.
I reaffirmed during the LTR period that the Campsters are great for beach walking. For example, I walked about 7 miles on the Dungeness spit. The Campsters were quite good although occasionally some sand got between my foot and the sandals.
I did a little more walking on rough rocky surfaces. The Campsters did better than most sandals but regular shoes provide better support against my foot sliding sideways.
During the FR period I noticed that when the sandals got wet, the heel strap on the left side would slip down. I tied a small piece of fluorescent red cord around the connection between the heel strap and the sandals. This prevented the strap from slipping down when wet.
Overall, I really like the Oboz Campster sandals.
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.
Copyright 2018. All rights reserved.
* The Campsters provide good support on rough surfaces compared to other sandals I've used
* They were good walking on sand
* The straps attach to the soles all the way around preventing most dirt and sticks and stuff from getting in under my foot
* The left heel strap rotated down when it got wet walking through a stream
In the future I will probably try a backpack trip where I just wear the Campsters and no boots. This would be really good of it was hot and I had a lot of streams to wade through. My toe got injured towards the end of the test period preventing me from doing so as planned.
Otherwise, I will just use the Campsters for driving to and from the trailhead and around the house. For my style of backpacking, they’re just too heavy to carry around.
Thanks to Oboz and BackpackGearTest.org for letting me test these.
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