The Cairn 3D PRO II Adventure is an outstanding sandal in the Bedrock Cairn line and was a close contender for our Editors' Choice Award, being just barely beaten out by its sibling, the more pared-down Cairn Adventure. In contrast to the regular Adventure, the 3D PRO has a molded footbed and a mega-grippy outsole, making it supportive and tractioned enough to handle just about any major outdoor endeavor. While most people will be more than satisfied with the regular version, those who are hoping to complete multi-day backcountry treks or long river missions in sandals should seriously consider the burly 3D PRO II.Editor's note: We updated this sandal review with new sections on choosing the best sandals for your needs. This update happened on March 23, 2022.
Bedrock Cairn 3D PRO II Adventure - Women's Review
Cons: Pricey, can't be worn with socks
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Bedrock Cairn 3D PRO II Adventure - Women's
|Price||$130 List||$105 List|
$105.00 at REI
|Check Price at Backcountry|
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|$54.95 at REI|
Compare at 2 sellers
|Check Price at Backcountry|
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|Pros||Excellent traction, comfortable, versatile||Comfortable, versatile, lightweight, fits many foot types||Stable and supportive, stylish, durable||Comfortable, good traction, stylish||Comfortable, good water performance, low bulk|
|Cons||Pricey, can't be worn with socks||Not as cushioned as other models, can't be worn with socks||Annoying to adjust, uncomfortable for the flat-footed, heavy||Very floppy sole, not suitable for rugged use||Does not fit wider foot types well, lacks ankle adjustment|
|Bottom Line||This outstanding sandal can handle anything you want to tackle in the great outdoors||This is a minimalist workhorse sandal that can take on nearly anything||Whether you're hiking or rafting or hanging out, this classic design plays well for the long haul||This classic option can't hack it on super rugged terrain, but it's a great value pick for casual outdoor use||This sandal blew away our testers as a well-rounded option for adventure travel|
|Rating Categories||Bedrock Cairn 3D PR...||Bedrock Cairn Adven...||Chaco Z/Cloud 2||Teva Original Unive...||KEEN Clearwater CNX|
|Specs||Bedrock Cairn 3D PR...||Bedrock Cairn Adven...||Chaco Z/Cloud 2||Teva Original Unive...||KEEN Clearwater CNX|
|Weight (pounds per pair)||1.26 lbs (size 10/11)||1.06 lbs (size 9/10)||1.44 lbs (size 9)||0.73 lbs (size 10)||1.18 lbs (size 11)|
|Footbed Material||Molded 3D||Granite Grip||LUVSEAT PU with textured grooves||EVA||Polyurethane|
|Midsole Material||Cairn 3D Vibram||Cairn Vibram||Women's specific LUVSEAT dual-density PU||EVA||Proprietary lightweight PU with stability shank|
|Sole Material||Vibram Megagrip||Vibram XS Trek Regolith||Non-marking ChacoGrip||Rubber||Non-marking rubber|
|Upper Material||Polyester and nylon webbing||Polyester and nylon webbing||Polyester jacquard webbing||REPREVE recycled polyester webbing||Washable polyester webbing|
|Width Options||Medium||Medium||Medium, Wide||Medium||Medium|
Our Analysis and Test Results
We love the regular Bedrock Cairn Adventure so much that we had to give its tricked-out sibling, the Cairn 3D PRO II Adventure, a try. The two main differences between these sandals are the footbed (flat on the regular Adventure, molded on the 3D PRO II) and the outsole (grippy on the regular Adventure, insanely grippy on the 3D PRO II). Ultimately, we don't think the 3D PRO II offers quite enough extra oomph to steal the Editors' Choice Award from the regular Adventure. However, it's still an extremely impressive sandal with some real performance perks. Most folks will be happy with the regular version, but if you're planning on some serious backcountry treks or a ton of river time, this upgrade might be the pick for you.
Like its sibling, the Cairn Adventure, the Cairn 3D PRO II Adventure is comfortable right out of the box, with minimal time needed to break it in. One of the main features that distinguish the 3D PRO II from the regular Cairn is its molded footbed (that's the "3D" part), which may be more supportive and comfortable for those with high arches (though our high-arched lead tester thinks both are equally comfortable).
The extra footbed molding and thicker sole make this model feel cushier than the classic Cairn Adventure, making the sole less flexible. This is a mixed bag: when you're carrying a heavy pack or putting in long miles on rough terrain, the thickness of the 3D PRO II is a big plus. But if you need to be flexible and nimble — say for rock hopping or even gardening — the regular Cairn Adventure is more comfortable.
The 3D PRO II Adventure really shines here: we can't imagine a sandal with better traction.
Excellent traction in all conditions is what the 3D PRO II Adventure is made for: Bedrock recommends the regular Cairn Adventure, which has a Vibram Regolith outsole for dry conditions, and the PRO II Adventure, which has a Vibram Megagrip outsole, for primarily wet environments. Truth be told, we can barely tell the difference, but we were able to detect just a hair more grippiness when crossing rushing rivers in the PRO II vs. the regular Cairn Adventure. So if you're planning to use your sandals almost exclusively in wet environments, you'll probably be happier with the PRO II.
This model is simple to adjust but has enough adjustment points to ensure a dialed-in fit, so it scores well here. Like the regular Cairn Adventure, the 3D PRO II has a hook-and-loop adjustment for one of its top straps, allowing the wearer to roughly set the fit. Then, a secure buckle adjusts the other top strap to take the sandal on and off and secure the perfect fit. The PRO II has another hook-and-loop adjustment for the heel strap, while the regular Adventure has Velcro. If anything, we actually prefer the Velcro because it gives a continuous adjustment spectrum rather than the discrete jumps of the hook-and-loop system. After literally years of daily wear, we never once saw the Velcro on the regular Adventure budge. Basically, we don't consider the PRO II Adventure's extra fancy heel adjustment an advantage.
This model offers outstanding stability for a sandal that looks like a techy flip-flop. The adjustable straps described above keep the foot centered squarely on the footbed and barely allow for lateral or back-and-forth movement. The molding on the footbed also helps keep the foot supported and in place, providing a slight advantage over the regular Cairn Adventure. The sole is thick enough to provide cushioning but supple enough to absorb the lumps and bumps of the trail. In short, this is one of the most stable models we tested in any situation.
This sandal performs well and remains comfortable in almost any situation. It's cushioned and supportive, so it's a solid option for multi-day backpacking trips or hikes to the crag; it's ultra-grippy and stable, so it's a pleasure on the river, and it's comfortable and minimal enough to wear at home and around town. This model is a little thicker-soled than the regular Cairn Adventure, so it might not be quite as ideal for activities like gardening, where you're bending and flexing your feet a ton.
We specifically wanted to test the 3D PRO II Adventure to see if it could hold its own against the Chaco models as a backpacking shoe, and we're happy to report that it does! While the Chacos are still a little squishier and comfier with a heavy pack, the 3D PRO II offers enough support to make it a viable choice, and it's a pleasure to wear around camp when the day's hiking is done.
Do you want to be the envy of your outdoorsy friends? Do you want strangers in the grocery line to stop you and ask about your footwear? Then get yourself a pair of Bedrocks. While there will always be a few stray haters, this is one of the most consistently well-liked models we test in terms of style. The combination of simple design, wide straps, and outdoor feel earns our testers compliments every time they leave the house. This model comes in several pleasing colorways, so you're sure to find something that works with your style.
Should You Buy the Cairn 3D PRO II Adventure?
This outstanding offering from Bedrock brings a little extra support and grip than its sibling, making it ideal for tough treks with a heavy pack or for long days on the river. If you're looking for the one sandal to rule all your summer adventures, give the Cairn 3D PRO II Adventure a try. The Cairn 3D PRO II Adventure is one of the more expensive models we tested, but it delivers a ton: it's comfortable, supportive, extremely versatile, and durable. Given that this could be the only shoe you wear this summer, and for many summers to come, we think the relatively high price is justified. That said, the regular Cairn Adventure is less expensive and delivers almost the same performance, so it's not clear that the extra bells and whistles of the 3D PRO II Adventure are worth the cost. How about a happy medium? Bedrock also offers the Cairn 3D Adventure, which keeps the molded footbed but does away with the extra grippy sole. If you want the extra cushion without the big jump in price, consider that option.
What Other Sandal Should You Consider?
If you love the style but crave a more lightweight sandal or a smaller price, then the Bedrock Cairn Adventure - Women's is a potential contender. With only a slight dip in traction, this lighter option is lovely and functional and could be the better choice for those who don't want a thick sole or contoured footbed.
— Joanna Trieger
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