XEO 19R Named ‘Best in Show’ By GearJunkie.com

GearJunkie.com selected the XEO 19R from LED LENSER as ‘Best in Show – Top Gear For 2016’ at the 2015 Outdoor Retailer Summer Market, held in Salt Lake City, UT August 5-8, 2015. Gear Junkie’s editors and reporters covered the show to find the best products and innovations in gear design.

The XEO headlamp is the first of its kind with a bright 2000 lumen output in two independently operated LEDs, state-of-the-art technology, and transformative design that allows the user to wear, carry and mount the light comfortably for all situations.

The XEO was created with a new user-friendly dynamic control pad that lets the operator easily adapt the light between settings. Light modes and brightness can be changed with the use of the five intuitive programmed buttons on the top of the light, making lighting favorite activities simpler than ever.

The XEO will also introduce three new advanced features including a USB charger and power bank, OPTISENSE™ technology and an air intake chamber. The remarkable USB charger and power bank will let the consumer use the headlamp battery to charge a phone, GoPro®, or other electronic devices on-the-go. OPTISENSE™ technology uses an integrated brightness sensor to give the light the ability to measure the output needed in real-time and then adjusting accordingly. The air intake chamber was designed to allow air enter into the headlamp as the user moves, cooling the LEDs so the XEO will maintain peak performance and brightness for longer.

The XEO headlamp includes a rechargeable Li-ion battery pack, optional extended power cord and run for up to 40 hours. It is designed with IPX6 splash-proof housing, and is backed by our industry-leading 5-year warranty. The XEO also has a variety of mounting accessories that can be used in a number of original ways: like clip it to a belt or bag, transform it to a handheld flashlight, mount it to a helmet, or even attach it to a bike during a ride.

Our President on the Rubicon Trail

The Rubicon Trail is a 22-mile trail in California that is known for some of the toughest terrain for 4-wheeling tests and adventurists looking for a challenge. Starting in Georgetown, CA and traveling to the beaches of Lake Tahoe, the trail provides beautiful scenery and great camping opportunities… if you can make it.

When we heard that our President, Ben Rivera, had a trip to the Rubicon Trail planned – we had to hear more. After returning from the Rubicon Trail we sat down with Ben to ask some questions and learn all about his experience on the Rubicon Trail.

Ben, how long have you been planning this trip?
I’ve been planning this trip for over 24 years as it has been a dream of mine since I first learned about it. I’ve been building my truck for as long as I’ve worked at Leatherman. In fact, I purchased my Land Cruiser (1984 FJ60) using my second ever paycheck from Leatherman. I absolutely love Lake Tahoe; my family and I go on trips there all the time. It’s a beautiful location with lots of camping, hiking, and outdoor adventures. Plus, it’s not too far from Portland.

What kind of planning and prep had to go into this trip?
We started truly planning a year ago. I sat down with a group of buddies and we all agreed we were going to do it. I had to make a list of changes and upgrades (specific to this trip) that I had to make on my truck to even be able to consider doing the Rubicon Trail.

We spent a ton of time on YouTube, watching videos and learning from others who had done the trail. We analyzed the police and rescue cars thinking if our car was comparable with theirs that we would be fine on the trail. It honestly didn’t look too bad. We were wrong; the trail is hard, very hard.

What unexpected things did you come up on?
The internet lies! Or our perception of it was really off; we really underestimated how radical the trail really is and how difficult it would be for me in my Land Cruiser; the length of my truck is too much. I thought there was going to be a difficult trail and then an easy one off to the side in case I needed to, “go around”. It wasn’t like that, you’re on the trail and there is no off-ramp.

There were moments when I was looking at a goal about 200ft in the distance and I didn’t think I could make it or squeeze through the hole between the rocks. It was always small goals and then look ahead to the next one.  It’s a huge puzzle to solve and you’re always thinking, okay how do I get across this one?  Then before you know it the puzzle becomes, okay why won’t my car start?

What would you have done differently?
I wish my car had a shorter length, more length and taller tires (I have about 2-1/2” suspension lift and 33” tires). My friend had a ’66 Bronco which had a shorter wheel-base and 35” tires. He did much better than I did. The trail has too many moments when my car was too long to make it through the gap that was in front of us, I would end up high-centered or stuck between boulders.

Would you do it again?
Yes. I have to do it, and I have to make it all the way through the trail. We turned back not too far from the middle of the trail.  Travelers coming toward us told us the hardest part was yet to come, I was running out of power steering fluid, running out of luck, and out of time.  We got a good idea of what to expect when we go back. We heard from others that it gets easier once you are close the finish line on the Tahoe side, after you get through the middle.

It’s almost like there’s an inside joke going around that no one will tell you how hard the trail really is. You have to dive in and experience it yourself. I talked to a lot of people before the trail, even locals along the way, and no one warned me for the radical trail that I was headed for. YouTube definitely doesn’t give you an idea, either.

Which Leatherman did you take?
Signal! It was great, I used it many times. There was one moment when my power steering cap fell into the engine and it was just dangling in the bottom, seconds from falling onto the very dusty ground. I pulled out my Signal and very carefully went down to use the pliers tip to grab the cap before it fell and was coated in dirt that I didn’t want mixed with power steering fluid. Saved the day, that’s for sure.

There was another moment when the starter gave out.  We trouble shot the situation for quite a while after which we narrowed it down to the starter (the battery cables were on and off a lot using the pliers at first…it sure seemed like they were loose).  We ended up taking the starter apart to clean the contacts in the built-in solenoid.  The Signal screwdriver and diamond file were perfect for the task!

What was your favorite part?
Camping, it gets cool at night and the temperature is just perfect. You wake up and it’s so peaceful and quiet. I spent a few early mornings hiking around and finding viewpoints around the trail.

I also really liked the people. It wasn’t very crowded but everyone is there for the same reason. We love 4-wheeling, we love camping, we love the outdoors, and we love the challenge. Everyone is willing to help each other out and help us solve the puzzle before us. As you travel along the trail and see people stuck, you stop and ask if you can give them a hand. It was great.

You could seriously also consider going back to backpack the trail. It’s only 22 miles, and you can explore beautiful spots near and off the trail.  Camping with great people and watching people drive their trucks over amazing obstacles would be as much fun as running your own truck over them.

All in all, it was a good experience?
Oh, absolutely. In total it was a really good time, I got some big scratches and dents on my truck that I’m pretty proud of and it was an awesome vacation outside with friends.

Next time, I plan to make it the whole trail. I want to give myself enough time and a better prepared truck. I’m still working on convincing my son to come with me, too. I’m not sure he understands what is fun about wrecking your truck to accomplish a goal…yet!

Do what you love, longer.

With our SEO headlamp series we want you to get outdoors and connect with nature equipped with the best and most reliable lights you can. We want you be hands-free and able to participate like you would midday.

We want you to hike, ride, ski, surf, run, bike, snowboard, skate, climb, camp, tailgate, explore, adventure, fish, backpack, canoe, kayak, travel, race, tour, navigate, or party… longer.

Shop the SEO series headlamps.

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Sofi Tsingos: Owner of GT-Moto

Sofi Tsingos grew up following her dad around the garage watching him put together old cars and motorcycles in his aircraft maintenance shop. After many years of building alongside pops, Sofi created a company that thrived off the passion her father had passed on to her from the ground up.

Sofi’s love for motorcycles is contagious, we found her passionate outlook for this industry to be fun, creative, and knowledgable. She was a strong-willed entrepreneur and we knew her story would be perfect to share with the Leatherman family.

“It started in a small two-car garage, packed with motorcycle and hot rod parts.”

Working on bikes wasn’t always an easy afternoon in the garage with dad but she’s never let her passion dwindle. While attending technical school, Sofi struggled with many people telling her she doesn’t fit in or belong in the community she had devoted her whole life to. Although heartbreaking, she never let these little comments steer her away from chasing her dream. She ditched the nay-sayers and continued to surround herself with a community that shared the support and passion she did. From there, GT-Moto was born.

Sofi stands on a strong belief that friendship is at the root of everything she does, and that’s clear to see once you get to know her. While running a business full-time and spending days at a time travelling to meet new people and attend events, she still finds the time to commit to helping support all of those who suffer from cancer.

“I believe a cure is possible and as our loved ones have fought and continue to fight, so shall we!”

To help, in the best way she can, she’s been involved in building custom bikes for auctions to support local community friends, participating in events benefitting St. Jude’s Children Hospital, and donating to causes that spend resources to research cures and giving better quality of life after treatment to survivors.

It was an amazing shoot with Sofi, it was great to meet someone so inspiring, creative, and talented. For more on Sofi, her family, her charity work, or motorcycles, head to her website.

Welcome to the family, Sofi – we’re lucky to have you as a friend.

For more on Tread, visit our website.
Photos by Brandon LaJoie

Leatherman supports the Britannia Classic

Downhill longboarding is a sport of friction. It’s how your wheels grip the tar, how tightly you hold your line, it’s that moment before your breath catches and you realize you’re going to have a new hole in your leathers.

At the Britannia Classic, all the gritty business is left on the track as laughs flow as freely as the shouts of exclamation directed at riders nailing a corner or an absolutely spectacular wipe out that turns the race on its head. This year, we got to participate as we gave each rider a Grind.

Many were surprised to hear that Leatherman had a tool directed at skateboarders and were even more shocked at just how much the tool accurately encompassed all their needs. We’re thrilled we were able to be part of a safe and family friendly event such as the Britannia Classic. It was awesome to witness their hard work pay off and young people to develop their skills and become world class athletes.
For more information on our action sports tools including Skate, Snow, and Surf tools: Visit our action sports page. 

A Leatherman Family

When I was 12 years old and a boy scout all I wanted for Christmas was a Leatherman like my dad. He had one that he used at work as a firefighter and around the house. I thought it was the coolest thing. I did get that tool under the tree that year almost eighteen years ago and I still have it today. I used it on every camp out and adventure that I went on as a scout.

Today I am a scout leader and a father and I still carry the same Leatherman I got all those years back. Now I am passing on the tradition to my boys by giving them a Leatherman like my dad did for me. They all got a Leap this year and it has been a fun time teaching them how to use their tools for everyday tasks like working on a bike or more simple things like cutting paper. I hope that when they get older they have the opportunity to share their skills with their kids too.

Cory L.
Las Vegas, NV

Cory was the winner of one of our Father’s Day Tool Tales prizes. For more information on how you can share your favorite story about Dad and win one of our Father’s Day prizes, click here. Final winner will be chosen on 6/19/2015. 

Bagpipes, Runners, and LED LENSER

LED LENSER had the opportunity to support the inaugural TEDxPortland 6K night run, held May 7, 2015 in Portland, Oregon. This non-competitive, family-friendly route took runners around the Portland Waterfront at sunset and continued into the evening.

The theme this year was “Paint the Town Red.” LED LENSER donated Red SEO 5 headlamps for pacers and volunteers of the event. The power and versatility of the SEO 5 was a hit among the runners and volunteers alike. Watch the video below and see the awesome spirit of Portland, Oregon!

Mother only asks for a Tread for Mother’s Day, what happens next?

Joel cut it pretty close and visited the Leatherman Retail Store on Friday before Mother’s Day. He was hoping to get his wife, Tarah, the one thing she asked for, a Leatherman Tread. Unfortunately, they’re not for available until June.

When we heard word of this and that the Tread is the only thing Tarah asked for, we couldn’t leave Joel empty-handed. Watch the story unfold…

SSgt Josh Burnett and Military Working Dog, Jecky

We sometimes hear about awesome organizations who use our products to give to military men and women around the world for various reasons. Very rarely do we get something as cool as an image of them in the moment with our products.

The Vietnam Security Police Association assembled some packages with Surge multi-tools and M5 LED LENSER lights to give to members of the Old Dawgs and Pups program.

Here, in the image below, you see Staff Sergeant Josh Burnett opening his new Surge and M5 with the help of his MWD, Jecky. Jecky must assume there’s dog treats in the box but there must be another package from his official Old Dawgs & Pups sponsor on the way for him.

This is a one-of-a-kind photo and we thank all the military men and women around the world for everything they do. 

New VP of Marketing at Leatherman Tool Group, Inc.

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Bobbie Parisi to Vice President of Marketing of Leatherman Tool Group, Inc. as of February 16, 2015. Parisi will be located at our Portland, Oregon manufacturing headquarters and report to our President, Ben Rivera.

Bobbie Parisi

Bobbie Parisi

Parisi has an extensive brand management background in the outdoor industry in the Northwest. Prior to this role, Parisi served in executive level marketing and brand management positions at Yakima Products, KEEN, Dr. Martens, Nike, and Jose Cuervo.

Parisi is an outdoor enthusiast, active in the community, and passionate about getting youth into the outdoors. She is currently serving as a board member on the OIWC (Oregon Industries Women’s Coalition), a non-profit that promotes diversity in the outdoor, bike, and snow industries, and as a Board member for Big Brothers, Big Sisters organization. She also serves on the Portland Athletic & Outdoor Advisory Council.

“At Leatherman, we place top priority on crafting quality products for end-users at our headquarters in Portland, Oregon,” said Leatherman President, Ben Rivera. “Bobbie Parisi will be instrumental in driving the global direction of our brand, product innovation, and communications. I’m very excited to have Bobbie join Leatherman as Vice President of Marketing.”

In this role for Leatherman, Parisi will be responsible for leading the marketing department, as well as global brand strategy, advanced product development, and product management. She will also be managing the LED LENSER brand for the US market.