November 2015

Live at Fin & Feather: John Huston – December 4th

Join John Huston, polar explorer, live at Fin & Feather this Friday, December 4th as he comes to the store and speaks about his experiences exploring the North Pole and other exotic locations including the South Pole, Greenland, and Ellesmere Island. Along the way and throughout his expeditions, John managed to pick up a little insight on the mishaps, revelations, and inspiration for this adventure we call life, and this Friday, he is going to share all of that and more at Fin & Feather, for free, and is opening the conversation for you to be included.

Check out a sample of John’s past presentation here:

John Huston is a Bergans of Norway Athlete and is touted as the first American to do an unsupported expedition to the North Pole. As part of the speaking series, Bergens has also provided some unique raffle prizes as part of the event, and Fin & Feather is throwing a few goodies in the mix as well. Seats are free, but it’s highly recommended to Reserve Your Seats today to ensure you’re part of the action.



Your Guide to Finding the Right Yakima Rack

If the leg room is already a little bit cramped in your vehicle, and you have a ton of adventure gear you need to carry across town or up the mountain, a new rack from Yakima is right for you. Make no mistake however, based on their dependability and high-quality manufacturing, these racks are an investment for years to come, so finding the right one is an important decision.

Luckily for us, and for all of you, Yakima has made it very easy to find the right rack via their Rack Fitting Guide. To access this brilliant feature, just log onto, click “shop”, and add your vehicle information, including make, year, & model, to find the right fit for you.

Yakima Rack Fitting Guide
Yakima Rack Fitting Guide

For those of you that need an idea for the right kind of rack needed on your next adventure, here is a quick list of all the different rack options available from Yakima, which are available through Fin & Feather either in-store or through a 2-week ordering process.


Base Rack Systems: the most reasonable place to start, if your vehicle doesn’t come with factory racks, or you’re looking to upgrade your current system, Yakima has a full line of base rack systems to put some bars atop your car or a hitch in the back.




Skybox 12 Carbonite
Skybox 12 Carbonite

Cargo Boxes: Featuring ergonomic designs to reduce wind resistance, cargo boxes are easy to install onto your existing or Yakima provided roof racks and provide that extra needed cargo carrying capabilities to free up room in your vehicle. Ranging from 11-21 cubic feet, Yakima’s cargo boxes generally can be opened from both sides and all come with locks to protect your gear while you’re on the ski slopes or enjoying the trail.


Softtop Camo
Softtop Camo

Cargo Bags: Rackless cargo bags are a great way to add a little extra gear storage to your vehicle without adding any extra hassle to your packing process. Ranging from 13-16 cubic feet, the cargo bags offer less room than the boxes but also come at a more affordable price, and without the need for a base rack to attach them to your car, this is perhaps the easiest option to add a little extra space in your vehicle.




Boat Mounts: From kayaks to canoes and anything you can come up within between, Yakima’s bread and butter comes from their diverse collection of boat mounts. Whether you are holding one boat or four, not only are the Yakima boat mounts easy to install, but better yet, mounts like the Boatloader which comes with a telescoping arm, make it easy to load your boat by yourself without scratching your car.



HoldUp 2
HoldUp 2

Bike Hitch Racks & Rooftop Mounts: Another premium product line from Yakima, the bike hitch racks and rooftop mounts come with a lot of versatility and options. Whether you’re looking to attach your bikes to your vehicle by the frame or the wheel, or you want to put them on top of your vehicle or behind, and whether you’re carrying your bike or your whole families, no matter the car you have, Yakima can help you transport your bike safely and securely to your next destination.


Fatcat 4
Fatcat 4

Ski & Snowboard MountsFor all those powder seekers and lift-ticket holders, don’t think Yakima has forgotten about you. From basic ski and snowboard top of car mounts, perhaps the most versatile snow sport mount is the Hitchski, which works great as a ski and snowboard holder in the winter and converts to a bike rack in the summer.





Cargo Baskets: If you want to give your vehicle a rugged and versatile facelift, the cargo baskets from Yakima is the best way to do it. Whether you’re looking for a space to store a spare tire, or some space to add a little gear, the cargo baskets are easy to install and look great on top of any vehicle.




Crashpad Medium'
Crashpad Medium

Truck Racks: If you own a truck, take it to the next level and add a Yakima Truck Rack. Making life easier for you, a Yakima Truck Rack can help you carry bikes, boats, and all of your recreational equipment without scratching your paint or breaking your back.




Rackandroll Trailer
RackandRoll Trailer

Trailers: If you’re looking to haul anything in style, Yakima’s RackandRoll trailer (which comes in two sizes – 66” & 78”), is the perfect way to haul all of your adventure gear. Extremely lightweight and durable to boot, the RackandRoll trailers are the perfect addition to a full gear closet and makes it easy to take all your things to the campsite.

Happy Thanksgiving from Fin & Feather (+ details on Small Business Saturday)

Roger and Linda Retro
Roger & Linda Mildenstein

We here at Fin & Feather would like to take a moment to wish you happy holidays this Thanksgiving weekend. We don’t know about you, but Thanksgiving seems to be the starting line for a busy time of year punctuated by changing weather and developing New Year resolutions. A time where good food is joined by better company, when your adventure attention begins to narrow on new winter gloves or sunny vacation homes, but between the busy schedules, time does exist to join hands with family, brace against the cold weather, and feel the excitement of another year nearly behind us. In celebration for all that is, and all that is to come, we would like to extend a way to make your shopping experience at Fin & Feather even more rewarding this Saturday, November 28th.

Although we are closed Thanksgiving day to give us a moment to catch our breath, we will be back in action, resuming our ordinary schedule on Friday. On Saturday, November 28th, also known as Small Business Saturday inside some circles, we are offering Double Rewards Points on All Purchases.

That means that Yeti Cooler you’ve been eyeing, or the awesome Shappell Ice Fishing Shelter that was highlighted as yesterday’s Featured Product, could be yours with twice the in-store credit bonus than before. If you’re not part of Fin & Feather’s rewards system already, or would like a quick refresher on how it works, check out this info on the Fin & Feather Rewards System:


How to Join Fin & Feather’s Rewards System

Stop into the store and sign up at the cash register with just your phone number and email address, no card to carry, no fee to join.


Receive 50 Points Free

Just for Signing Up


Receive Additional 50 Points Free

For completing your profile received via email within 3 days.


Receive 1 Point for Every $1 in Store*

(2 points for every $1 on 11/28)


Cash In Your Points for Store Credit with your Next Purchase:

125 points = $5 in store credit

500 points = $20 in store credit

1,000 points = $50 in store credit

2,500 points = $125 in store credit

5,000 points = $250 in store credit

Wednesday’s Featured Product: Shappell Ice Fishing Shelters

Just in time for that cold weather to come around, this week’s featured product at Fin & Feather is the Shappell Ice Fishing Shelters we have set up on the floor. The best way to stay warm, catch fish, and have a great time – the three different Shappell Ice Fishing Shelter models we carry are the perfect solution for fishing year round. Featuring easy to set-up instructions, simple storage solutions, and optimum windbreak capabilities, come check out these shelters for yourself at Fin & Feather:

Bay Runner – Sled Based Cabin

Featuring a sled-based design which enables you to move this shelter after it’s set up, the Bay Runner also includes one seat with enough room beneath to store standard 5 gallon pails, and another seat specifically for any electronics you might have (i.e. space heater). Constructed out of heavy-duty 600D polyster fabric, this shelter is windproof, waterproof, fire-retardant, and ready for the next decade or two of ice fishing adventures.

FX200 & FX100

Featuring solid one-piece instant flip frames, popping either the FX200 or FX100 onto the ice is a snap, and with a total weight of 37 lbs. for the FX100 (72lbs for the FX200) and a wide body sled base for both, hauling it off the ice is even easier. Upgrade to the FX200 and receive more room and a backdoor, either way this staple line from Shappell will treat your right on the ice.

44″W x 85″D x 59″H
60″W x 88″D x 61″H








Wide House (4500)

With plenty of room for two, the Wide House 4500 is the best bet for you and a buddy to catch the big winter fish. Featuring an easy-entry  door, tool and gear holders, and four removable windows, the Wide House wasn’t only designed for your ice fishing adventures, but it was designed to help you enjoy them the best you can.

5’7″ x 5’7″ x 5’2″h.







How to Find the Right Snowshoes at Fin & Feather

Before you come in and check out our extensive snowshoe selection here at Fin & Feather, become an educated consumer and read about some snowshoe basics and sizing guide to find the perfect fit. Fin & Feather has all the snowshoes you could need for Iowa and abroad and here for you today is everything you need to know before buying the perfect pair:


Why and What are Snowshoes?

Snowshoes allow you to travel deep into the snow without sinking deep into the snow. Much easier than walking with your regular snow boots, snowshoes accommodate generally any footwear and attach via a binding and gives you “flotation” over the snow by spreading your weight over the large, flat surface that a snowshoe provides.  

Snowshoeing at the Top.jpg


The First Thing to Consider When Choosing Snowshoes

The first thing to consider when choosing what snowshoe is right for you is the weight you’ll be carrying on top of them, including your personal body weight and the weight of the gear you’ll be carrying. Generally, the more weight you’re carrying the longer your snowshoe will need to be. From there you’ll want to consider the type of trail you’ll be traveling on and the type of snow you’ll be traveling trough. The good people over at Outdoor Gear have come up with a handy sizing chart for carrying weight and length of snowshoe which is displayed below:

Snowshoe Conversion Chart - Outdoor Gear Lab.jpg
Courtesy of Outdoor Gear


What Snowshoe Should I Use for Different Terrains?

If you are buying snowshoes for a particular adventure, you’ll want to consider what type of terrain you’ll be exploring. For anywhere in Iowa, where you’ll typically find flat or intermediate rolling terrain, recreational snowshoes with less aggressive crampons will always do the trick. If you’re travelling into deep snow or up a mountain, backcountry models that are bigger and wider with more traction will be your ticket. While recreational snowshoes and backcountry snowshoes can mix and mingle in design, running and racing specific snowshoes are very unique in style featuring less weight, smaller frames, and less concern for flotation with the assumption that you’ll be travelling groomed or packed trails. Want to find the right snowshoe for your terrain and body type? Check out the following sizing guides from Tubbs and MSR:




The Difference between Men’s and Women’s Snowshoes

While men can wear women’s snowshoes and vice-versa, snowshoes can vary slightly to accommodate common differences between men and women’s weight and stride. Women’s snowshoes will typically be smaller and more available in smaller sizes to account for weight differences, and often women’s snowshoes will also be narrower to accommodate a smaller stride.


The Snowshoes at Fin & Feather

Now that you have a little knowledge about snowshoes and which pair might be right for you, here is the current snowshoe collection at Fin & Feather. We carry primarily Tubbs and MSR snowshoes, and for more information you can click on the item name below:



Wilderness – Men’s & Women’s – entry level, all-terrain snowshoes

Frontier – Men’s & Women’s – Best for packed trails, all-ability snowshoe


Journey – varied terrain, multi-use snowshoe great for ascending & descending


Flex TRK – varied terrain snowshoe, Quick Pull rotational bindings


Flex VRT – backcountry snowshoe, Boa Closure System bindings


Flex RDG –Lightweight, all-mountain terrain featuring Boa Closure System




Revo Explore – all mountain snowshoes with optional additional tails for deep powder


EVo Ascent – aggressive backcountry snowshoes intended to climb up and down mountains  


Lightning Ascent – “the pinnacle of ultra-light and aggressive all-terrain performance”


Evo Tails – modular additions that can be combined to an EVO snowshoe for increased floatation



Welcome to Fin & Feather

With the new season upon us, we would like to welcome you to Fin & Feather, the Great Outdoor Store of Iowa City. Established in 1967 by Roger and Linda Mildenstein, Fin & Feather has spent the last 48 years as Iowa City’s one-stop shop for all your favorite outdoor activities in Iowa and abroad. It’s been a real adventure seeing the store grow alongside the vibrant streets of Iowa City, and although a few things have changed in the town since the store’s inception, a few things have remained the same including the departments we offer, the customer service you can expect to find within our shopping aisles, and of course, our love for the great outdoors.

Archery LaneFrom the camo to the ammo, and all the trail cameras,scent control products, and tree stands in between, Fin & Feather’s Hunting Department wants you to be well prepared for your next memorable hunting trip no matter the season. Through our  full selection of firearms, as well as Pat Childs, our resident gunsmith with over 50+ years of experience, whether you’re looking to become a responsible first-time gun owner or add to the gun safe collection, we’re happy to help find what you’re looking for. If Archery is more your speed, alongside our wide selection of recurves, longbows, compound bows, and crossbows, as well as our indoor archery lane, Fin & Feather also proudly employs the best specialists in the area to make sure your arrows are always flying straight.

If the good folks in our Fishing DCarson Fishingepartment aren’t at work, chances are they on the water using the same products that sell here at Fin & Feather. That’s because not only does our fishing crew love to cast a line, but also because Fin & Feather has the best of everything you need to get out and catch the big one yourself. Fresh bait, attention-grabbing lures, and the rods and reels to cast them out, Fin & Feather doesn’t stop the fishing service with the products on the shelf, and any one of our experienced anglers are happy to help get some line on your new rod and reel, give some insight on what’s biting and where, and swap some stories of those monsters we’re all catching on a daily basis.

Sweet Campsite - Zion

In terms of living and spending time outdoors, the Camping Department and our Active Lifestyle Apparel literally has you covered. From a wide selection of tents on the floor to the latest and greatest clothing technology, as well as the staff that lives vicariously through your adventures, you can spend everyday comfortable outdoors with the products from Fin & Feather. Whether it’s cooking needs on your next backpacking trip or a winter jacket to keep you warm, as well as the footwear and car racks to get you there, no matter the weather we can ensure you’ll enjoy that time spent under the open sky.


With over 600,000 individual products and services throughout the store (including Boy & Girl Scouts of America necessities, DNR hunting and fishing tags/licenses, and a full line of canoes, kayaks, & stand up paddleboards), it’s easy to say that our extensive coverage of the outdoors is too long to convey in a few paragraphs. The best way to see all that we have to offer is come down to the store, any day of the week, and in doing so maybe catch a glimpse at perhaps our most valuable asset found on the floor, the same thing that has led to our success over the past near half-decade, which is the personable and friendly staff that shares the same enthusiasm for the outdoors that you do.

Store Hours:

Monday – Friday:

8:00 am – 8:00 pm 


8:00 am – 5:30 pm


9:00 am – 5:00 pm

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