Live durable diaries: adventuring in asia 

Product Reviews

July 31, 2018 |

Ever wonder what it really takes to Live Durable™? For globe-trotting videographer Karsu Nalbantoglu, it means bold and unbridled exploration. A native of Turkey and sometimes resident of Charlotte, North Carolina, Karsu recently set out on a solo trip to broaden her horizons and explore the world. Her fearless and curious zest for life took her on a one-way trip to Asia where she’s been working and living for the better part of 2018. 

Karsu’s adventure-packed journey was the perfect opportunity to take our fabric testing beyond the lab, to see how it stands up to life in the real world. We equipped Karsu with high-quality apparel and gear made with CORDURA® fabrics to help her experience her adventures in durable comfort and style. Follow her journey with us below.

Venturing to Vietnam

Karsu’s first excursion, and possibly the most action-packed, brought her to Vietnam. Karsu trekked miles and miles through the rice terraces and hidden villages of Sa Pa, confronting sporadic rain showers and competing hot and cold weather conditions along the way.

Fortunately, Karsu’s Outdoor Research Women’s Ferrosi Hooded Jacket – constructed of lightweight, water-resistant CORDURA® fabric – has helped her keep dry and warm in the face of high rain levels and lower-than-expected temperatures. She also discovered that it could help protect her most prized possession – her camera – between shoots, so she could worry less about her gear, and focus more on capturing the perfect photo opps.

Whether by way of train, bus or foot, she toured the rest of the country, stopping only long enough to snap a few pictures or capture a couple frames. Regardless, her trekking remained stylish.

Whether taking short excursions into town or traveling a long stretch of the countryside, the ONU Split Leg Culottes kept Karsu looking and feeling fabulous. With its lightweight, water-resistant durability, these pants are a great match for sunny or rainy days – a critical factor given Asia’s often unpredictable weather. The split leg also provided a sense of sleek style, which isn’t always easy to achieve while backpacking this diverse geographic landscape.

Taking in Thailand

The next destination on Karsu’s journey was Thailand, where she spent countless days recording the panoramic views of this beautiful kingdom. According to her journal, Karsu spent several days and nights hanging between two palms trees on the white sands of the Thai islands, and swinging from treetops watching sunsets over the crystal blue waters on the Gulf of Thailand, thanks to her Sea to Summit Ultralight Hammock. “You can’t get much closer to paradise,” writes Karsu, “I honestly don’t know how I traveled so long without this hammock in my life.”

The super lightweight packability of the Sea to Summit hammock took the burden of travel off her shoulders (literally). It also stood up to being packed, hung and repacked day-after day and night-after-night. This hammock became an absolute treasure, allowing Karsu to sit back and enjoy the breathtaking views of southern Asia.

When You’re Durable, You Keep Going

Five months in, Karsu’s journey is far from over. We look forward to seeing many more ways she is putting products constructed with CORDURA® fabric to the test throughout Asia. Be sure to catch our anecdotes in the new Live Durable™ Diaries series here. And if you’re on a remarkable journey of your own, be sure to share your story with us using the hashtag #LiveDurableDiaries.