McKesh Portable Towing Mirrors Review

I just got back from my first long haul with my family towing our Hideout. I am very happy that I bought the McKesh towing mirrors for this trip. My 2004 4Runner isn’t nearly as wide as our trailer which makes the factory mirrors near worthless when towing. I had purchased the CIPA 11950 strap tow mirrors on Amazon as an inexpensive mirror option while getting used to towing the trailer originally.

These CIPA mirrors worked reasonably well. They were easy to remove and mount. They were relatively easy to adjust and fit on my factory mirrors well enough. The primary problem with them is that I could not mount them far enough away from the car to see the legal distance behind my trailer. In most states, you are supposed to be able to see 200 feet behind what you are towing. These mirrors did not allow that with my setup.

So, off to the computer for more research. I had browsed the 4Runner forums to see what others were using and remembered someone mentioning these McKesh mirrors from Hensley Manufacturing. They’re pricey which was the reason that I avoided them in the first place. During our last camping outing, I ran across a Toyota Tundra that had them on his car and he had nothing but good things to say about them. Knowing that I had a long drive coming up and I was struggling to see behind me, I bit the bullet and bought them.

The first set that I received looked like it had been hugged to death during shipping. The mirrors were both completely broken and not usable at all. I contacted Hensley Manufacturing and they quickly shipped out a new set of mirrors. The second set arrived safely and were in great condition.

McKesh Mirrors Installation

I started working on getting them installed the night before my trip. The installation is easy enough. The hardest part was getting the strap the correct length so that the mirror leg is level. As an installation expert now (haha), I would highly recommend that you check the fit of the grip mount that grabs the bottom of your door. Set it under your door, pull the strap tight with your hand, and gently close your door. If your door closes, you’re good! My door didn’t close all the way. I had to take these to my bench vise and modify their shape so that they fit the bottom of my doors.

The second modification that I am going to need to make is to the aluminum extension bar. During one cold morning, I was able to slide this bar out even with the screws tightened all the way down. I am not sure how I am going to make this modification. I have some ideas and will update this page once I have it figured out.

Review Wrap Up

McKesh Mirror installed and in action

First off, consider your budget. If you can start off with these McKesh Tow Mirrors and already know you will have visibility issues, you’re golden. If you can get by with something else, good for you! These mirrors aren’t for everyone. I also don’t think there is a perfect solution out there. If you do need a solid option, give these mirrors a shot.

Arc’teryx Atom LT Jacket Review

This is a review of the Arc’teryx Atom LT Hoody after one year of use. I wanted to let others know about this jacket. I have found that it is a very comfortable and dynamic jacket.

During the fall of 2018, I was looking for a jacket that would keep me comfortable in the upcoming winter hiking months and I stumbled upon the Arc’teryx Atom LT Hoody. I knew that I was going to be doing some winter hiking with my buddies and my current gear was aged and wasn’t ideal for the hiking conditions that I would be pursuing.

I had a couple of ‘must-haves’ for the jacket that I was looking for:

  • It needed to have a hood.
  • The jacket needed to be comfortable, allowing me to move freely, and fit me well.
  • It needed to have ventilation so that my body wouldn’t overheat.
  • The jacket needed to have some level of water repellency.


I was initially going to just purchase a Patagonia Nano Puff Hoody. I appreciate Patagonia’s environmental conservancy efforts and think that they have a solid jacket in the Nano Puff Hoody. Typically, I go to REI to try on gear and see how it fits. On one of those ventures, I was 90% certain I was ready to purchase a jacket and was looking through Patagonia’s offerings. This particular REI did not have my size and I ended up looking for similar jackets. I happened across the Arc’teryx Atom LT Hoody jacket. REI had a sale on it and I ended up purchasing it.

The Atom, In Use

I have to say that this jacket is a great all-around jacket. This jacket has amazing versatility.

I wear it to work during mild days and it keeps me comfortable. Also, I can wear it to the mall and not be too concerned that I’m going to get too hot in it. My body naturally runs warm and this is a concern of mine when considering a jacket to wear.

The best thing is that I have worn this jacket in different hiking and climbing scenarios and have never been cold. It has a great ability to balance my body’s temperature. I’ve climbed Mt St Helens in this jacket in 8F weather and was not cold (as long as I maintained momentum). I’ve used this jacket in a number of different hiking events and have always been happy with it. The side mesh does an exceptional job of venting my body heat during elevated heart rate activity.

The hood fits my head well, too. There is a single pull drawstring on the back of the hood used to adjust the fit. There is not a brim for this hood, so I would suggest that you wear a cap underneath if there is a significant down pouring of rain or snow.

After a Year In…

I have had this jacket for over a year now in fairly continuous use. The major issues that I have had with it are that the material by my chin wears faster due to my facial hair growing out and rubbing against it. This material is nice because it is soft against my face but it apparently wears quickly when exposed to mildly abrasive material (aka facial hair).

I have reapplied a water repellant layer to the jacket after the first 12 months of its life. This was in preparation for a night hike up Mt St Helens, as well. This isn’t the biggest drawback of this jacket. Prior to applying the water repellant layer, I had noticed that moisture was beginning to wick further into the base of the jacket which decreased the warmth of the jacket overall.