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The best piece of gear I've bought this year

Share your advice and personal experiences, post a gear review or ask any questions you may have pertaining to outdoor gear and equipment.

Re: The best piece of gear I've bought this year

Postby Wandering Daisy » Tue Sep 30, 2014 7:05 am

I have been mainly disappointed in the new gear I bought this year. I needed shoes and backpack. I stopped at both Sierra Trading Post in Reno and Backcountry Gear in SLC on my way to Wyoming. Sierra Trading Post was a bust. Backcountry Gear is an internet store and the "in store" experience is very tedious - they do not have a regular display of equipment - you pick out what you want on their computers, then they go back in the huge warehouse and bring it to a window. Then you try it on. It really is slow. The only shoes that fit were full price (Vasque) and as usual, fit great in the store but rub one of my little toes once I started using them. The pack was a great sale price, light weight and with what appeared as a good suspension system and will work for weekend trips, but although it had the capacity for a 10-day load, it did not balance once I put in a full bear can. Again, I only figured this out after it was too late to return.

I bought a new raincoat at the NOLS store in Lander. It is a Montbelle and so far I like it and it works well, although a bit heavier than I would like. We will see how long it stays waterproof. All my other rain jackets have leaked after about a year's use. So I guess this has to be my "best piece of gear bought this year", but the term "best" is relative - it is only "better" than the other purchases.



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Re: The best piece of gear I've bought this year

Postby Bluewater » Tue Sep 30, 2014 7:59 am

Wandering Daisy wrote:The only shoes that fit were full price (Vasque) and as usual, fit great in the store but rub one of my little toes once I started using them.


I hope your new Vasque shoes work out better after some more time on the trail. I also tried a new shoe this year with mediocre results. After many years my favorite Montrail shoe was discontinued so I started using New Balance for the EE width but ended up with blisters at the beginning of a long trip :(


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Re: The best piece of gear I've bought this year

Postby TahoeJeff » Tue Sep 30, 2014 8:29 am

Before I went on this trip in the Spring:

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=11288&p=85214&hilit=kern#p85214

I pulled the trigger on a Termarest Neoair, a Jetboil Solti and a Steripen. I have used all 3 on a few trips this summer and have been very very happy with them. It was nice to get some "high tech" gear to supplement all my old school stuff.
Many of us have been so brainwashed over the years — by sheer repetition, rather than by either logic or empirical tests — that statistical disparities are automatically taken to mean discrimination, whether between races, sexes or whatever.
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The best piece of gear I've bought this year

Postby Hobbes » Tue Sep 30, 2014 10:30 am

After the HST meet-up semi-worked my New Balance trail runners (just needed a lot of shoe goo), I got a pair of Altra LonePeak 1.5 in size 12.5 (1 full size up from my regular 11.5). Like Bluewater, I wear a size EE, but so many reviewers mentioned the LPs run wide that I went and bought a pair of Ds (medium) - the only width they come in - on sale from Shoewarehouse.

I must say, they really do rock. I wore them on 3 pretty long day hikes (12-14 miles each) during our Aug 395 road trip with no problems. They are much heavier than my NB running shoes, so they feel like boots to me. Dave McCoy is carrying Altras at the hostel - he had a new pair of 2.0 that he really likes, so I might try them out next year.

I also bought a Steripen for our day hikes. I never really treat my water, but I didn't want to take any chances with DW. (Ask Mav about his various adventures introducing his SO to the wonders of the great outdoors.) I think it's a great piece of equipment - I don't know if I'll bring it with me on my solo trips, but it's nice to have around for those less inclined towards the full immersion experience.

Also at the meet-up, Mav let me use his jet boil. It's sort of awesome to just light that sucker up, rather then mess around trying to get little Esbit tablets to get going. Still, since I rarely cook, I think I'll continue to take my Caldera UL stove under certain situations.
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Re: The best piece of gear I've bought this year

Postby sheperd80 » Sat Mar 14, 2015 10:03 am

Rei Flash 22. Great, lightweight, simple daypack with just enough pockets and lashing options to be versatile.

Salomon XA pro trail runners, the breathable kind not waterproof. Slightly heavier duty than an UL shoe but still very light. Great support for my feet just a slight annoyance with the tongue sliding downward sometimes.

Black Diamond Trail Ergo Cork trekking poles. Love em. Only slightly heavier than the carbon fiber models i looked at and much stronger.

Prana Zion pants at the ridiculously low price of $18! And the GF bought me some Kuhl Radikls. Both are insanely comfortable and a great fit. Dont know yet if id trust the Kuhls on anything more than leisurely dayhikes due to the spandex strips but they are my absolute favorite for that purpose.

I guess the title of the thread was 'best piece of gear' but ive bought several im happy with so there ya go. :-/

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The best piece of gear I've bought this year

Postby gabe&mel » Fri May 08, 2015 12:09 pm

Tarptent Stratospire 2. Used it for 4 weeks on JMT last August. Way roomier and sturdier than old Double Rainbow it replaced. Two doors and two generously sized vestibules. It is an odd shape with a fairly large footprint but we love it.

TenkaraUSA Iwana. Just started fishing last year and love this lil guy. Packs up so small.


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Re: The best piece of gear I've bought this year

Postby Jimr » Fri May 08, 2015 5:57 pm

I've replaced absolutely everything. And I mean everything!!
Including this.
http://www.thetentlab.com/Deuce/DeuceofSpadespage.html
Believing is seeing.
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Re: The best piece of gear I've bought this year

Postby RoguePhotonic » Sat May 09, 2015 9:56 am

For this summer I picked up a Suntactics scharger 8 which has double the power of the solar charger I have been using.

I also bought a Sony RX-1. Hopefully it's the ultimate trade off between carrying my big DSLR and a compact camera.

Other than that most of my gear choices will remain the same. I think this will be one of the first years where I use the same tent and same trekking poles across two trips.
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Re: The best piece of gear I've bought this year

Postby Bluewater » Tue Jun 16, 2015 9:06 am

After trying the newest version of the New Balance MT1210 trail runners this year I found that they had changed the last and it was necessary to order a 4E width this time. . . but the insole I like didn't fit (what the!?!).

I started checking with my runner friends for possible solutions and after a quick diagnosis at Endurance House I found the Altra Olympus trail runners. They only come in a D width but they are made with a very large forefoot, extra stability and huge cushioning. I finally found my new trail shoe! I did 12 miles with 2,500 feet of altitude change on the local trails in comfort the first day, right out of the box with the standard Altra insole.

I also ordered a new pack for heavier loads this season. The Zpacks Arc Haul is an external frame pack made for comfortably carrying up to 40 lbs and only weighs 24 ozs. On 10 day trips this summer my starting pack weight is getting close to 30 lbs (10 lb base, 15 lbs of food, 1-2 liters of water) and my homemade Cuben packs max out at 20 - 25 lbs. The waiting list was 6 weeks when I ordered in May and it should arrive soon[emoji3]


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Re: The best piece of gear I've bought this year

Postby MountainMinstrel » Wed Jun 17, 2015 9:49 am

bluewater, Please post a review of that Zpacks Arc Haul when you get some miles on it. Been looking at getting a new pack but need something that can deal with 30+ pounds. This looks like it could be it.
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