Dec 31, 2013 at 11:45 am #1311592
@dwambaughLocale: Pacific Northwest
Companion thread to 2013 Staff Picks http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/2013-staff-picks.html
Please add your own!
Patagonia Drifter AC shoes
Gossamer Gear Mariposa backpack
Light My Fire Mora knife with firesteel
Gaia GPS app for iPhone
Olicamp hard anodized aluminum Space Saver mug/pot
Orion fire starter/flare
Nalgene Oasis Canteen
Olight i2 1xAA LED flashlight
Edit: OMG! I forgot the most excellently named Borahgami 2-person 13oz tarp tent!Dec 31, 2013 at 12:18 pm #2059101
@thebenternLocale: Central Arkansas
Here's some I can think of off-hand:
Mountain Hardwear Plasmic Rain jacket
Patagonia Houdini (2012 <= )
Target Champion brand stretch fleece beanie (bargain warmth for my head!)
Cabot & Sons Merino Wool Hiking socks
Merrel Bare Access zero-drop shoes (I wear these everyday on the town and on the trail)
All of mine are clothing, hmm…Dec 31, 2013 at 12:32 pm #2059103
@phstudioLocale: So. Cal.
My picks for 2013:
Hyperlite Mountain Gear 2400 Southwest pack
Hyperlite Mountain Gear Echo II Tarp (tarp only, I don't have the inner or the beak)
Katabatic Gear Sawatch Quilt
Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xtherm
Rab Boreas (it made my Houdini obsolete/redundant on my Colorado Trail thru hike)Dec 31, 2013 at 12:47 pm #2059111
Lightheart Solo tarp-tent
EE Rev-X 20˚
Opsrey exos 58 and 34
Opinel #6 / Westcott 3" scissors
dirty girl gaitersDec 31, 2013 at 1:05 pm #2059117
@lunchandynnerLocale: Pacific Northwest
Exped Synmat UL7 S
Golite Jam 50 (2012/2013 model)
OR Helium I, Centrifuge
Lawson Equipment Glowire Blaze Orange
MEC Vega hoodie
Vibram FiveFingers Spyridon LSDec 31, 2013 at 1:09 pm #2059118
Mine are pretty simple.
UL backpacking equipment: Enlightened Equipment Revolution 30. This has been a really nice piece of gear. Its simple and comfortable and light. The venting ability of a quilt really makes sleeping much more comfortable over large temperature ranges. My only complaint is that Tim's new Enigma quilt just might be simpler, lighter, and more comfortable.
UL backpacking activity: I picked up a tenkara rod and have really enjoyed it. It has a learning curve, which makes it interesting. It also occupies me when on trips with people who like to spend more time in camp. I need something to do or I get surly.
Lifestyle: Beer brewing. I've previously dabbled in some simple brewing but really got into it a little more seriously this year. It takes a bit of equipment and time, but I like the learning curve associated with brewing. Also, my job has no tangible widget I make at the end of the day, so brewing scratches that itch a little.Dec 31, 2013 at 1:58 pm #2059143
@nedjursekgmail-comLocale: Pacific Northwest
Moving up from a Zpacks Hexamid Solo to a Hexamid Twin. I love all of the extra space with only a 3oz weight penalty. Sometimes, in the push to go lighter, more is better. Makes me seriously question the utility of solo cuben shelters.
Zpacks Poncho/Ground Sheet – best designed poncho I have used and mates perfectly with the Hexamid Twin. I am a bigger guy, so I use the newer twin size poncho.
Custom Feathered Friends Vireo sleeping bag. I had FF add 5oz of overfill to the top half of this specialty bag producing a 22oz 20 degree bag. It was fully field tested this year in wet, cold, and snowy conditions and performed great. FF was great to work with and the quality and materials are excellent.
Zimmerbilt Quickstep backpack. This is great little pack that will be the heart of my nascent SUL kit. I had Chris Zimmer make me a detachable lid for it as well.
Crazy light carbon fiber trekking poles. Picked up a pair of Ruta Locura Yana Poles on Craigslist to replace my old Leki Super Makalu poles. Used them this entire season and loved them. They have proven much more durable then I thought they would be. I have also picked up a pair of Gossamer Gear LT4's but have yet to use them in the field.Dec 31, 2013 at 3:28 pm #2059175
@bolsterLocale: Between Jacinto & Gorgonio
Do these have to be newly released in 2013? If not, then here are items I'm happiest with from 2013:
Inexpensive, low-stink, Paradox Dri-Release Poly/Merino base layers from Costco.com.
GoLite Bitterroot w/ Down-Tek…lite, warm, and resistant.
Zelph Starlyte stoves…now there are three of them.
Uber Inexpensive Imusa mugs.
EE RevX 30°.
I will be watching this thread closely for rain jacket recommendations! Do need.Dec 31, 2013 at 4:47 pm #2059191
@paintballr4lifeLocale: East Coast
Zpacks Hexamid Solo Plus
Black Diamond Carbon Cork Poles – I got tired of my LT4 poles not locking!Dec 31, 2013 at 5:19 pm #2059203
1. Toaks Outdoor titanium pot
2. Fenix HL21 headlamp
3. Komperdell carbon fiber trekking poles
Other Outdoor Activity Item:
1. Mountain bike (possibly adding a new Montague bike)
1. 2014 Honda CR-V (lost my 2003 Honda Pilot 3 weeks ago to the ice storm)Dec 31, 2013 at 5:38 pm #2059206
@johnzotkLocale: Northern Rockies, USA
New to my gear list for 2013:
MLD Newt Pack
Luke's Ultralite Down Vest
LiteTrail 550 ml Ti pot
Carryovers from previous years, still on the favorites list:
MLD Solomid, spinn fabric
QStarz GPS Data Logger BT-Q1000XTJan 1, 2014 at 12:07 am #2059243
If 2012 was about getting as light as possible, 2013 was finding that balance between weight and those other factors: convenience & comfort
Altra Lone Peak 1.5: lived up to their hype after switching from Wildcats, helping me overcome PF & hike 250+ miles last summer
Zpacks 20 sleeping bag: worth the $$, warm & lightweight
HMG 3400 Windrider: comfort that surpasses the extra weight
Yama Cirriform Tarp: a perfect long distance tarp; yes I sold it and yes I miss it
Zpacks Duplex: limited use thus far, but really enjoying the space, dual doors, panoramic views, and all-in-one set up
Paragonia R2: perfect combination of warmth & breathability; a necessity for those of us who sweat a lot
DeFeet Wooleator socks: surprisingly tough and comfortable
Ultra Steripen: the convenience in time and effort outweighed, for me, the extra weight over Aqua drops
Ruta Locura 9" carbon fiber stakes: I experienced a noticeable difference in the efficacy of these long boys
Guthook PCT App: reliable, convenient & thorough- I never used my paper maps once this summer
Werthers Originals: a small candy that goes a long waysJan 1, 2014 at 4:07 am #2059246
@leadfootLocale: Middle Virginia
My favorite things: Lite Trail cookset
Golite Ultra 20 quilt
Glacier NP (!!!)
MSR UL folding spoon and fork
membership to BPL
my first cuben item..rain mitts.Jan 1, 2014 at 7:35 am #2059262
@skomaeLocale: northeastern US
Rab Strata with Polartec Alpha – Pretty much the ideal cool to cold weather climbing jacket. Doesn't get stuffy when you're working hard, but warm enough for belaying. Hood fits over a slim profile helmet. Great for biking when it's cold too. Not as ideal if you just want to wear it for idling.
Asolo Reston WP boots – They're so comfortable and lightweight. I originally bought these for winter day hikes when my serious double boots are overkill and I find myself wearing them every day. Could be a bit more breathable, but for day use it's not a big deal.
Petzl Tikka RXP – This is the new, smaller headlamp with Petzl's Reactive Lighting tech. I love it. It's a bit heavier than the popular headlamps these days but if you have a lot of hiking to do in the dark this one is the bee's knees. It automatically adjusts its output between two different LEDs so that it can light up the trail at your feet and the trail off in the distance easily. This is one headlamp you don't have to fiddle with. You can lock it into various outputs if you have tricky lighting conditions but it's rarely needed.
Zpacks Multipack – The perfect complement to nearly any pack. It can be a pack lid, huge hip pocket, summit pack, or man-purse.
R1 Hoody – Still my favorite fleece thing. The hood and the wrist gaiters make it more appealing to wear in cold weather than any other fleece I own. The Power Dry gridded fleece keeps me comfortable in changing conditions even when I'm working hard.
Fleece, fleece, fleece – With a few thrift/consignment shop finds, fleece has again risen to the top of my favorite clothes. They breathe better, dry faster, and wear harder than synthetic fill, the only problem being bulk. Even then, fleece vests don't take that much space and do wonders for cold weather comfort. Must be paired with some sort of wind-resistance though.
Uniqlo UL Down Parka – At $69 this jacket is simply outstanding. The low price point of this and other Uniqlo stuff (fleece, fleece-lined pants) has enabled me to expose more people to cold weather hiking and backpacking.Jan 1, 2014 at 8:35 am #2059272
Favorite gear purchased this year:
Goosefeetgear down socks
Zpacks Arc Blast: comfortable and lightweight
Hammockgear 20* Argon quilt : light and warm
Blackrockgear UL down vest and original hat
Trail Designs Ti-Tri Sidewinder with Evernew 900ml potJan 1, 2014 at 9:34 am #2059291
@funnymoLocale: Sunshine State
Here we go (in no particular order):
1) Revelation quilts from EE. I used and enjoyed the Golite Ultra20 (original, inappropriately rated one) for years. The warm-weather and 30 deg models I have are warm, soft, and light. Well-constructed as well.
2) NeoAir XTherm Large. I don't frequently get to use this pad to its fullest (warm) benefit but appreciate its warmth and dimensions for comfort in the woods.
3) Squeeze Mini. Wow it's small!
4) Wild Oasis from SMD. I have used the Gatewood Cape / Serenity combo over several years and appreciate the extra room while maintaining a USUALLY bug-free environment that the WO offers. The ease of setup is nice. Side entry shelters are my preferred option for cooking, tying shoes, and easing my mud free butt into bed at night because I didn't have to crawl under a tarp! IMO, a better value in terms of price/space/weight than the Zpacks Hexamid tent.
*** My Long Term, continues to pass the test no matter what award goes to ***:
My old BPL 550 pot w/ handles, Ti-wing Esbit stove, homemade aluminum windscreen, BPL folding Ti spoon. What a cookset – light, compact, efficient and still has the cool factor – as evidenced by LiteTrail's success with its similar (albeit lighter) cookset. No matter how many lighter pots and myog varieties I try, this is my go-to kit on almost every single trip.Jan 1, 2014 at 9:41 am #2059292
@dwambaughLocale: Pacific Northwest
The Sawyer mini! Left that off my list. Guilt free water purification :)
It is small and light enough that I throw it in my day pack without a thought. I still carry a few MicroPur tabs for backup, but the mini is a no brainier. No mixing, waiting, batteries, or phaff.Jan 1, 2014 at 11:04 am #2059307
@jenmitolLocale: In my dreams....
This is fun.
Here are my favorites of 2013:
Rab Xenon X. Talk about wrapping yourself in your cozy sleeping bag when you step outside!!
Trader Joes coffee singles and the Packit Gourmet all American burger wrap..
The Sierra. I'd never been and now I literally can't wait to go back!!! I need to figure out how to live near there so I can go all the time.
Quilts. Never thought I'd make the switch, now I can't imagine using a bag again. I've given Tim Marshall so much of my money I am embarrassed.
The cuben Duomid with solo cuben innernet. I think I may have found shelter nirvana. Except for the fact that I got my hands on a trailstar in the past week or so and now I'm all confused.
Zelph's starlyte stove paired with the caldera cone. I can't imagine a better kitchen set out there.
My Zimmerbuilt pack.
My resolutions for 2014?? Less work, less complaining, longer hikes in out of the way places.Jan 1, 2014 at 11:07 am #2059308
@rexLocale: Central California Coast
Trail Designs Sidewinder Ti-Tri
This stove makes cooking with Esbit far easier and more reliable. It Just Works, even when the wind is pushing flames several inches through the vents. Amazing.
DeLorme inReach SE
Keeps my wife happy, tracks my travels, nice to have for SOS functions. I use it without a smart phone, and barely use the DeLorme web site, so the hiccups in those features don't affect me.
HyperLite Mountain Gear Windrider (now the 2400 Windrider)
Light enough, simple, tough, almost waterproof, and comfortable.
Writing for BPL
I enjoy writing the articles and interacting with an enthusiastic community. Writing for BPL led to a career change, and maybe a return to grad school.
— RexJan 1, 2014 at 2:24 pm #2059378
My picks out of the gear I acquired in 2013 (not necessarily new items to market in 2013) are:
1) ULA Catalyst Cuben Hybrid
This pack is great for larger loads such as packrafting and winter hikes. The cuben hybrid fabric minimizes water weight uptake and keeps my gear mostly dry when packrafting (I use drysacks for crucial stuff). At 40oz, it enables me to undertake a wider variety of backpacking trips. Compared to the HMG cuben hybrid packs, the Catalyst is more fully featured which suits my style.
2) Locus Gear FL CP2 poles
The Locus Gear Flick lock poles are the best UL poles (latest version is the CP3's). The flick locks are much nicer to use than the GG LT4 twist locks, and they're decently stiffer too for just an extra ounce. The also collapse shorter since they're 3 piece and the price isn't too ridiculous. My only complaint the small diameter grips, which I remedied by replacing them with GG grips. 4.8oz ea with the straps off.
3) Garmin Geko 301
This GPS is excellent for trips where you'd prefer to have the safety net/convenience of a GPS, but you don't plan on using much if at all. The Geko 301 is very light (~3oz) and it gives me a my UTM coordinates, which is all I need to locate myself on the map should the need arise. It's been discontinued for several years now, which means they are widely available on eBay for $30-$70. The 301 has much better battery life than the 201 and 101 versions.
Nite-Ize #1 S Biners -Light, strong & well made. Great for bear bagging. 0.1oz.
Nikon AW100 Camera – Waterproof camera's are so nicer to use, and this one is good.
Mountain Hardware Quasar Rain Jacket – The move to more durable 9oz 3 layer rain jacket with a higher quality membrane looks promising.Jan 1, 2014 at 7:25 pm #2059475
@alaskaonedayLocale: Northern CA
HMG UltiMid 2 my go to shelter right now.
McHale Sarc my week long trip hauler
McHale Bump my everyday pack
Stents, never needed them before but after two heart attacks in September, I don't go anywhere with out them ;)Jan 5, 2014 at 1:22 pm #2060602
@scwcollinsLocale: New England
1. Montbell Tachyon: I love windshirts and this one is my favorite. It is super comfy, lightweight, and has a great hood. I also like that it's a pullover instead of a full zip. (Counter to what one might expect I find it easier to get the jacket on and off without having to deal with the zipper.) And off the trail it has made a nice fall jacket around town.
2. Goosefeet Gear down socks: With these my feet are no longer cold when sleeping outside; plus they make awesome slippers around the house. They also manage to be super warm without making my feet sweat — amazing!
3. Customer service from ZPacks, Goosefeet Gear, and HMG: I know this isn't a physical piece of gear, but I feel obliged to give a shout-out to these companies for cheerfully putting up with my numerous pain-in-the-ass requests. Thank you Joe, Ben, and Mike/Dan!
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