Apr 15, 2011 at 5:33 pm #1272310
I had a fire at our house recently (everyone was safe, but still a bit traumatic).
In any event, my old gear (not used for 2 yrs about) was all smoke damaged. I have the chance (and a bit of a budget) to try to trend towards lighter gear.
This is in preparation for a VIrginia section hike NOBO starting mid-May this year – in a few weeks.
My question is any suggestions about the big 4/big 6 below. Since I am buying everything new, any advice you have will definitely steer me in a better direction. Keep in mind that until the fire, I was in an old Kelty external, REI 1/2 dome tent, 4 lb bag, etc.
1) Tent: Currently leaning towards TT Moment ($220, 28 oz). Have read lots of positive reviews here in hundreds of threads. Not sure I can leap to a tarp or hammock yet.
2) Pack: Current choice Osprey Exos 42. Leaning here because I sweat a ridiculous amount, and it really kills me when hiking. A bit heavy at 37 oz and $180. Two questions: other packs that are not horribly expensive that have a back suspension? Will 42 be enough, or do I need 58 at 3 more oz?
3) Sleeping bag: This is where I am pretty sure I have wrong choice. Current idea is cheap bags like MS +35 ($90, but 46 oz) or REI +45, $100, 27 oz. Not sure I am ready for $300 down bag, or for MLD quilt – a bit scared of the latter. I did see Sierra Designs on sale with last year's wicked hot +45 for $120, but haven't seen great things posted about that. I am pretty sure that +45 is not enough (say at Mt. Rogers in May) but worried about carrying too much.
4) Pad: ThermaRest NeoAir – $140, 13 oz. This would be a hard one for me to change as I really don't sleep well outside and have loved the feedback on the NeoAir.
Big 4 = around 8 pounds, which everyone here I think would guess a bit too much. Probably greatest opportunity is on sleeping bag or pack
5) Filter = steripen (just a personal preference) – $65, 8 oz
6) Stove = homemade alchohol stove or maybe one of the keg systems at 5 oz or so.
Any suggestions would be highly appreciated.
SOBO HOBOApr 15, 2011 at 5:57 pm #1725071
Travis LeannaBPL Member
Sorry for my short reply; posting from a smartphone.
The exos is a great pack, and I have the 58 which has become too big for me after I've whittled down my kit. You'll probably be just fine with a 42. The back ventilation is as good as you're going to find.
It's heavier than frameless packs, but it carries any size load wonderfully. There's a current thread about pack comfort, and many agree that the slightly heavier framed packs make up for their weight by their load hauling capabilities. However, comfort is king. Don't necessarily go by weight with some gear.
Glad to hear everyone is safe from the fire. Good luck!Apr 15, 2011 at 6:04 pm #1725072
Thanks for the reply. I have just been reading reviews on BPL of MLD quilts. That may be the most sensible approach to reducing weight.Apr 15, 2011 at 6:23 pm #1725081
@zackcenturyLocale: Great Lakes
If you ever become a member, take a look at these reviews for the Lowe Alpine Zepton 50L. It's about 2.5lbs, 50L, internally framed, with vented straps and backpanel, and very sturdy construction for a lightweight pack. Roger's review mentions a very short throat on the Zepton, but perhaps this is particular to the women's model because the throat on mine is relatively tall. The frame, hipbelt, and shoulder straps are stiffer than I expected, and I appreciate it.
I've checked out the Osprey Talon line, and I've noticed the Lowe Alpine lightweight line is much sturdier. Sorry I can't comment on the Exos though, I've never tried one. They do seem nice, but they are pricy, as you said.
How big are you? I ask because I found a great way to get a deal on sleeping bags: I am 5'8" and pretty skinny, so I bought a couple GoLite womens 800-fill bags (40F and 0F) for $50 and $75 on closeout, and I use the 40F as a quilt. Shop around, whatever you do. I've found deals by going on Amazon.com and searching by % discount.
There's also a review here for a $100 Kelty down bag.Apr 15, 2011 at 6:30 pm #1725083
How tall are you/how much do you weigh?Apr 15, 2011 at 6:39 pm #1725086
Short, and fat…180, maybe 5'5"Apr 15, 2011 at 6:45 pm #1725088
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
> Roger's review mentions a very short throat on the Zepton,
True, but sometimes the companies do change a 'feature' when it gets a bad review. Could well have happened here.
CheersApr 15, 2011 at 6:46 pm #1725089
sleep still, or roll around a lot? (you should set up your PM so these types of conversations won't clog up your thread)Apr 15, 2011 at 6:50 pm #1725091
Thanks, I have been lurking a lot but need to learn how to use BPL better (and become a member, surely).
I sleep like a stone. Until I wake up freezing.Apr 15, 2011 at 7:04 pm #1725093
NMApr 17, 2011 at 2:35 pm #1725705
@ken_bennettLocale: southeastern usa
The Exos is a fine pack, if it fits. The metal frame digs into the top of my hips in a most painful fashion. I think it's really designed for skinny people, which I am definitely not.
Other pack choices: I love love love my ULA Circuit. I like my ULA Ohm, but I think it's been overtaken by the Circuit. Great suspension system, easily carries all my gear, even my winter gear, and at 36 ounces it's pretty good on weight. I sweat a huge amount, too, and I've just learned not to worry about it.
If you can get to Damascus, VA, you can try on the ULA packs at Mt Rogers Outfitters.
Sleeping bag: really, you should just suck it up and buy a $300 down bag. You'll end up doing that eventually anyway, so any heavier intermediate purchase ends up being a waste of money. (Ask me how I know this….)
The Montbell ultralight spiral stretch bags are great — my wife loves both of her stretch bags (she has a #0 and a #3.) The #3 would be a good 3-season choice in Virginia. But any good high quality down bag that fits well would be fine.
Tent: Love my Moment. Have been using it for a year. Great tent.
Good luck on the trail. May is a beautiful time to be hiking the AT in Virginia.
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