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New gear.

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New gear.

Postby Rockchucker » Fri Dec 20, 2013 11:32 am

With winter setting in I've decided to revamp a few of my gear choices for next year. The goal is reduced weight and and increase comfort.

The first thing I upgraded this year was my air mat. My Big Agnes insulated q-core is very comfortable but too narrow for my fetal side sleeping. So after a ton of searching I settled on the Exped syn mat ul 7 long and wide. While I didn't need the length the width is perfect, I may even sleep better on it than on my bed at home.

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Next I really love my enlightened equipment revelation x 20* quilt I found it to be a bit much for summer hiking. I was tormented, went back and forth between a western mountaineering bag, another quilt, feathered friends bag .... On and on. Well when Tim at EE had his thanksgiving sale I couldn't resist. So I purchased a Enigma 30* quilt with down tec. Very impressed with the design of this quilt.

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The left is the 20* rev x with 30% overstuff, on the right is the Enigma 30* with 5% overstuff.

The 20* weighs 23 oz and the 30* weighs 16oz. The 20 is 850 grey goose down and the Enigma is 850 down tec, water resistant down.

The other piece of the puzzle was my pack. It seems every pack is ok but just not quite right. Wether it be size or capacity. So I contacted Chris at Zimmerbuilt custom packs and came up with a plan. I'm overwhelmed by the quality of this pack. It is near perfection .

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Loaded with my gear.

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The sewing is impeccable

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The frame transfers the weight very well.

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Overall I'm very happy with these upgrades and encourage everyone to explore these cottage manufactures. Hand made in the USA ( except for the mat)

http://www.enlightenedequipment.com/wordpress/

http://www.zimmerbuilt.com

I haven't had an opertunity to try the quilt or pack aside from around the house but can't wait to get out.
Last edited by ERIC on Fri Jan 10, 2014 9:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Changed [img] tags to [rimg] in order to resolve cropping issue. Click edit button to see changes.
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Re: New gear.

Postby Rockchucker » Fri Dec 20, 2013 11:33 am

Oh crap the pictures got cropped! I'll post another of the quilt.
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Re: New gear.

Postby Rockchucker » Fri Dec 20, 2013 7:24 pm

Crickets..... :boring: :dontknow
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Re: New gear.

Postby maverick » Fri Dec 20, 2013 8:12 pm

You say the weight transfers to the frame very well. How many pounds did you load
you pack up with? How does the hip belt and shoulder harness feel? Does it transfer
the weight to your hips? Would really like to hear your assessment of it after you
have had a chance to carried it off trail for a few hours with a decent amount of
weight.
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Re: New gear.

Postby Rockchucker » Fri Dec 20, 2013 9:06 pm

I plan on loading it down with water and comparable weight of a 5 day trip and doing a short 5-6 mile hike out in the tungstens this next week.

As far as the weight goes that I loaded so far wasn't a ton but 14 lbs. that's all the gear, bear container with a small amount if food( left over from my last trip), and clothes for cold camping. Summer gear would be a bit lighter. To simulate food I'll put 2 lbs per day so 10 more lbs plus 2 l of water. I'm guessing around 25-28 lbs total for a 5 day trip. Good to 10* maximum low.
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Re: New gear.

Postby RoguePhotonic » Sat Dec 21, 2013 1:53 pm

Other than that extreme pad your new gear looks like it will get the weight down pretty nicely.

I never much chime in with gear as it's never really been a hobby of mine you could say. My over all style of long distance backpacking has set certain standards for myself that is hard to go much lighter than 20 pounds. Despite thinking about it allot I cannot see many areas to cut much weight. I did however gain weight for next year by picking up a Western Mountaineering Megalite to replace my Summerlite. That bag is simply too small for me. I cannot zip it up at all and it's annoying when you roll over to always have to tuck it under my back each time. Also no matter how hard I try I cannot close it off completely around my head so on windy nights I always get a draft. I have had the wind take the whole bag off my body many times. The Megalite solves these issues so I will take a 4 ounce hit in weight. Plus backwoods.com had a sale of 25% off so Instead of 420 I got it for 306.

I also am going to use a heavy tent next year. The Hexamid is a great tent over all but long term living in major storms I am just ready for something more bomb proof. Picked up a Big Agnes Copper Spur 1. It's kind of funny to go from a spacious tent to a cramped one while gaining like a pound and a half.

Clothing with gear probably annoys me the most. Every year they change colors and you don't always like the result. My trusty Marmot Lightweight Crew LS shirts that have served me so well over the years have been discontinued completely. Those shirts were only like 6 ounces for a XXL size and never once did I ever get a hole in one no matter how crazy the bush whacking was. Nothing else compared to the great performance and now they are dead! :crybaby:
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Re: New gear.

Postby Rockchucker » Sat Dec 21, 2013 2:14 pm

The pad actually weighs less than the BA q core but I gained 6" of width. BA =25oz Exped = 21 oz
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Re: New gear.

Postby RoguePhotonic » Sat Dec 21, 2013 2:19 pm

I'd consider 21 ounces heavy for a pad but your ability to sleep comfortable is important. We all have our places we have extra weight.

I don't really know what my weekend setup would weigh but probably 10 pounds or less. Of course then I will bring 8 pounds of food so either way I am heavy!
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Re: New gear.

Postby Rockchucker » Sat Dec 21, 2013 2:35 pm

What pad do you use? I used CCF for many years but I can't get comfortable on them any more, dang bones need a soft place to lay at night;)
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Re: New gear.

Postby RoguePhotonic » Sat Dec 21, 2013 2:50 pm

Well for many years I used this cheap black foam pad I got from Big 5. Some how that I will never know I lost it while I was making my way out to VVR in 2012. I then picked up a Therm-A-Rest Prolite in Mammoth and have been really happy with it. It's really warm and comfortable for me.

I actually bought one of them in 2008 when I first did the High Sierra Trail but I could not stay on it. Every couple of hours I would wake up and be off the pad and freezing. I spent a horrible night on a snow field with it. So after that 8 day trip I gave it to my dad and never used another until in 2012. Now I love the thing.

I love the fact that these blow up pads give you allot of ability to sleep on lumpy surfaces vs a foam pad.

Compared to your pad though I'm sure it would be very uncomfortable. I have been sleeping on the floor for almost 10 years so having any pad is great luxury.

I know ultra light people go to the extreme of buying a pad just for your torso and stick their feet on their packs but I'm not sure if I could get used to doing that.
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Re: New gear.

Postby Rockchucker » Sat Dec 21, 2013 3:04 pm

I would love a wide pads that's torso length, I mostly sleeper curled up and could easily be fine on something say 54" long and 26" wide. I know guys cut and reweld the pad but I'm way to chicken to cut a $200 pad.
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Re: New gear.

Postby Rockchucker » Sat Dec 21, 2013 3:17 pm

Seems depending on which prolite you have but the reg is 16 oz and the long is 22oz.
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