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Simple Gear Tests and USB Recharging

In his new column, Simple Gear Tests, Backpacking Light author Rex Sanders provides suggestions for at-home gear tests you can do with minimal time and expense. First up - a plan for verifying the capacity of your USB-rechargeable devices.

Air permeability vs. moisture vapor transmission rate (MVTR): which one impacts moisture transport more in wind and rain jackets?

This study compares the performance of four jackets made with fabrics that span a wide range of air permeability rates and moisture vapor transmission rates (MVTR). The study shows that significantly greater moisture removal can be achieved as a function of jacket MVTR than jacket air permeability.

Standards Watch Hikes into the Sunset

Rex Sanders reflects on what he learned after eight months of digging into backpacking standards.

By The Numbers: How Bad is Thermal Degradation in Synthetic Insulation?

The latest findings on thermal degradation in synthetic insulation from Stephen Seeber may surprise you in this By The Numbers column.

By the Numbers: Is Synthetic Insulation Warm When Wet?

We throw some quantitative testing at an oft-repeated synthetic insulation claim to measure the thermal performance of wet insulation.

By the Numbers: Rethinking Fleece

Stephen Seeber subjects ten fleece samples to rigorous thermal testing.

By the Numbers: Thermal Performance Measurements of Synthetic Insulations

Stephen Seeber presents measurements of several market-leading insulations along with four performance metrics to help judge their performance.

Lipstick on a Pig? Wind & Cold Temperature Testing of the Jetboil Stash (StoveBench)

Backpacking Light publisher Ryan Jordan subjects the Jetboil Stash to the StoveBench testing protocol to answer the pressing question: is this innovation, or lipstick on a pig?

Standards Watch: Standards Are Important (But Not Enough)

Rex Sanders illustrates how difficult it can be to make accurate product comparisons based on manufacturer-provided data.

By the Numbers: If You Carry a Space Blanket, Buyer Beware

Stephen Seeber tests the infrared reflective properties of space blankets.

On Heatsinks and Thermal Balance

Roger Caffin troubleshoots the heat shunt on V4 of his inverted canister stove design.

By the Numbers: Patagonia Worn Wear Micro Puff vs. New Micro Puff

In his new column for Backpacking Light, Stephen Seeber runs thermal testing on used and new Patagonia Micro Puff jackets.

GPS: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

BPL author Rex Sanders tackles the pros and cons of navigating by GPS in a short blog post that includes links for further info.

Standards Watch: Sleeping Bag Temperature Ratings

In this installment of Standards Watch, Rex Sanders tackles sleeping bag ratings: the standard, the pros, and the cons.

Standards Watch: Introduction

Standards Watch will be a monthly column that explains important backpacking product standards, interviews key people, and describes how the industry uses, abuses, or ignores tests and standards.

Measuring Waterproofness in Outdoor Performance Fabrics with a DIY Hydrostatic Pressure Test Device at Home

In this article, I present a DIY testing device (and test results for 30 fabrics) that allows me to measure the hydrostatic head of "waterproof' fabrics at home.

Is a heat exchanger pot worth the weight?

This article attempts to determine how a heat exchanger welded to the bottom of a pot actually affects fuel consumption.

Sleeping Pad R-Values: Not That Useful

R-values alone are not enough for many consumers choosing new sleeping pads, and much of the current guidance is inconsistent.

Estimating the Age (Lifespan) of Your Backcountry Water Filter

The goal of this test is to determine the effective age of your backpacking water filter based on comparing its current flowrate to its flowrate when new.

StoveBench: A Stove Testing Protocol for Comparing the Performance of Backpacking Stoves

StoveBench defines a protocol that is used to measure two important backpacking stove performance features (power and efficiency) in order to determine a single, quantifiable performance factor called the StoveBench Score.

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