First Look: Bear Grylls unveils line of Camping gear

British survival celebrity Bear Grylls makes a comeback to TV this year with his upcoming NBC reality show “Get Out Alive.” Along with the airtime, Grylls approved the launch of a line of namesake camping goods.

The Bear-branded products will be sold under the Bear River International brand, a licensing firm. Grylls adds the camping gear to a portfolio of endorsed products, including those from Gerber Knives, Craghoppers, Bushnell, Coreban, Degree Men, and Dockers.

Bear Grylls image.jpg

Grylls gettin’ dirty in the field; his branded backpack at right

But from our first look the camping gear line is not just a stock of commodity items with a star’s name slapped on the side.

We had a chance to see all of the Grylls gear at the Outdoor Retailer trade show last week, and we were impressed with the depth of the line — from sleeping bags, tents, dry bags, cups, cutlery, pads, to backpacks.

Bear Grylls Sleeping Bag.jpg

One of Bear’s bags

The whole line — every piece of gear, down to the pads and camp-cooking utensils — are ostensibly tested and approved by the Bear-man himself. He’s quoted all over the catalog endorsing the gear.

At first glance, the line looked well made for the budget-minded camper. It’s not high-end, though not cheap, either. The sleeping bag line, for example, ranges from 30-degree polyester fill bags for $69.99 to a 650-fill down bag rated to 0 degrees ($299.99).

Bear Grylls tents.jpg

Grylls tent with fly (right) and without

What caught our attention at the trade show were the Easy Up Tents. We had a chance to play with one, the Bear Grylls 2P Easy Up model, and we were impressed by its easy-to-setup design and solid build.

Basically, the tent has a hub-and-spoke piece where the poles come together at the top. You pull it up to help the poles snap into place. The shelter can go from stuff sack to set up in less than a minute.

Bear Grylls tent image.jpg

Pole hub on top of tent

It costs $130 for the two-man size tent, which struck as a good deal. It’s made for car camping, not backpacking, and it uses fiberglass poles and a taped polyester fly.

For backpackers, the Grylls line has tents that weigh around 5 pounds and cost about $140 and up. We look forward to testing the line out when it comes to market later this year.

Bear Grylls pack.jpg

Catalog shot of Bear Grylls backpack

Grylls’ company describes him as a “branded expert for survival and outdoor adventure.” This line of gear will use his household name to gain notice and launch a camping line to the mass market, from weekend warriors, to survival wannabes, to serious campers and fans of the Bear the world over.

—Sean McCoy is a contributing editor. GearJunkie caught up with Grylls last year in the post “Interview With a Bear.”

Posted by Bent Albatross - 01/31/2013 03:10 PM

When deciding whether or not to buy, it’s probably worth taking a second to look at his picture and imagine the photo shoot that produced it. Just sayin’.

Posted by Riiiiiiight - 01/31/2013 11:08 PM

Look at that “pole hub”. Are you serious??

Posted by T.C. Worley - 02/01/2013 10:25 AM

Can honestly say I never consider how quickly a tent can be erected when buying one. How small does this thing pack? Cannot understand why a “survivalist” makes a car-camping tent – other than the profit thing. So strange. I thought Coleman had this market wrapped up tight.

Posted by Jess - 02/01/2013 05:04 PM

No worries, the line will have BOTH backpacking and car camping tents. The hub system is the car camping series only. There is something for everyone.

Posted by Jonas Archer - 02/01/2013 06:34 PM

I wish I were a wealthy child. Than I could purchase all the products!

Posted by Clairemrgn - 02/02/2013 12:15 AM

Obviously this range is aimed at dedicated campers as well as fans, fans will buy some of the gear if its reasonably priced. However as with most BG merchandise it is more than often and quite sadly out of the average fans price range :(

Posted by gravity - 02/02/2013 10:18 AM

Puff piece of writing for gear evaluation. Sadly seems to be the trend for Gear junkie lately.

Posted by Riiiight - 02/04/2013 08:26 PM

Agree with gravity.

Posted by Evan Nieters - 04/14/2013 05:27 PM

I am an 11 yrs old Boy Scout troop 21 Birmingham al I like your show a lot and I hope I get to see more shows on you

Posted by Robert - 06/24/2013 03:01 PM

Hi there, two week ago I bought TETON Sports Scout 3400 which looks a little similar to this backpack.
Does anybody know which of them is better please? I checked this review:(
I am regular traveller mostly low mountains :))

Posted by Just a backpacker - 07/15/2013 02:20 PM

I just had to post. Who are the people designing this stuff not just marketing it! This company needs to get some people who are backpackers and field test, i.e, start on some simple 15-20 miler San Gabriel wilderness type trails then progress to 25-50 milers.
This comment above made me laugh out loud! “For backpackers, the Grylls line has tents that weigh around 5 pounds and cost about $140 and up” I am not commenting on price but the weight, a “5 pound tent for backpacking” that is crazy. If you want a backpacking tent look at something like the SierraDesign Light Year an amazing 2lb 11oz.
I believe this company should take their staff on a backpacking trip, carry their food, cooking equipment, water, the “5lb tent”, etc and they will come back and redesign their gear.

Posted by Just a backpacker - 07/15/2013 02:37 PM

FYI: The comment “Posted by Just a backpacker – 07/15/2013 02:20 PM” is my opinion!

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