Mar 23, 2012 at 4:25 pm #1287717
Hello! Been lurking for awhile and decided to hop on board the UL train. Being a college student (poor) I have some questions about gear purchases that I trust y'all can answer and it would be a huge help for me with saving money.
Next Trip Planned: Front Range in mid-May.
I sold my Osprey Aether 85 in favor of a smaller a lighter pack. I have all but purchase the GG Mariposa Plus but I would like to know about the durability of the pack. I cant afford to buy a new pack for every trip and for every specific scenario and I feel the Mariposa is a pretty sweet all around pack. Right now my base weight including the Mariposa and TT Contrail (also considering) is 13.25 pounds with out much weight to drop at all.
Pretty much I want the best tent (or shelter) for all weather and bugs etc and also the lightest and durable (if such a thing exists). The Contrail is the frontrunner for me at the moment. I considered the Sublite but it isnt great for heavy rain. Oh yes, I cant spend more than around 200 bucks.
Right now I have no rain pants and I have $165 to blow at REI and I was thinking about getting the Patagonia Torrentshell Pants that weigh 8.6 oz. I would like to just get a rain kilt but the pants will double as camp pants to keep me warm. As for the jacket I am just going to go the Dri-Ducks route I suppose.
Thanks ahead of time for reading and any help/idea it is much appreciated.Mar 23, 2012 at 4:37 pm #1858407
Ben 2 WorldBPL Member
@ben2worldLocale: So Cal
Take a look at the SMD Lunar Solo as well, if you haven't already. With longish tents like the Contrail, you should take care to orient the foot end toward the wind. But we know how winds can change directions multiple times. With a Lunar properly staked down, it can take the winds from most all directions.
One other thought… once you've decided what you want, don't get into any rush to buy. Instead, pay your BPL dues, and post "want ads" on the Gear Exchange. You'll often find good second hand gear at good prices.Mar 23, 2012 at 5:40 pm #1858425
@gregfLocale: Canadian Rockies
I wouldnt buy rain pants. For me at least they are not needed. Having soaked legs while hiking even at zero doesnt bother me as hiking keeps you warm. In camp before bed it is cold but since its raining you are eating and getting in the tent as fast as possible. Once you are in the tent you throw on your dry base layer bottoms and go to sleep.
Another option which keeps your legs mostly dry is the rain skirt. You can get one from ULA for about $30 or make one from sil nylon and some cordage.Mar 23, 2012 at 5:48 pm #1858427
the driducks jacket comes with pants.
or if 5 oz is too heavy, get some tyvek pants for 2 oz.Mar 23, 2012 at 5:51 pm #1858428
I really don't feel like rain pants are necessary either. I carried a pair for about 350 miles until I realized I would never use them. I recently bought a zpacks cloudkilt weighing in at 1.1oz, I'll prob never use it except for a door mat for my tent…but hey, you never know.
I would highly recommend getting a bpl year membership and then head to the gearswap and post up some WTB adds. You should be able to pick up a used contrail, if that's what you really want, for between $100-$150. A lot of guys have spare packs laying around…and while they don't feel like putting them up for sale, they'd jump at a WTB add. Heck you could probably pick up a contrail and pack for less than the price of a new contrail.
I'm a college student as well and heading in the UL direction. I had to save for almost 2 years, but now I've got some awesome gear. Just when you think you can leave the ramen diet…you get the UL gear obsession :D.Mar 23, 2012 at 6:00 pm #1858435
Thanks for the replies.
The SMD Lunar Solo I really like as well would anyone happen to have experience in heavy rains in it vs. the Contrail?
I am still on the fence about the rain pants, it is just a big deal to me to be warm-ish in camp at night because I got with buddies and we stay up a while after dinner and talk or do whatever. How about myog Tyvek?Mar 23, 2012 at 6:03 pm #1858439
Haha I understand the Ramen diet!!
What temps were you in when you decided to ditch the pants?Mar 23, 2012 at 6:06 pm #1858441
For pants, I would either carry convertible shorts…or buy some down pants. Perhaps you can pick up a pair of used montbell ul down pants? I just don't remember my rain pants offering much to any warmth, good windbreakers I suppose.
Edit: I wear shorts hiking from anywhere just below freezing to any temperature higher than that haha, I do sweat a bunch though. I ditched the pants in mid 40*weather, I had a pair of convertible pants given to me…and they were the key at the time. Now, I've found the wonderful world of Down…and I'm always warm.Mar 23, 2012 at 6:08 pm #1858442
@gregfLocale: Canadian Rockies
If it is storming enough to need rain pamts you wont want to be hanging outside and if it is nice enough outside to not need rain pants ie a slight drizzle then you dont need the rain pants.
What are you planning on bringing to hike in during the day and what is your base layer at night? iI usually have convertable pants for hiking in plus a lightweight base layer for sleeping and for cold mornings. If you are just planning to hike in shorts than rain pants might work but for me i cant hike in rain pants because tbey are too clammy.
I would try a hike or two without them and see how it goes before buying them.Mar 23, 2012 at 6:11 pm #1858444
drowning in spamMember
Tyvek pants are so cheap from US Plastics that it hardly seems worth it to make your own. I haven't used mine in the rain yet, but I used them a couple times while doing laundry.Mar 23, 2012 at 6:27 pm #1858449
During the day I just hike in running shorts. And I have Capilene 2 pants for a base layer. I suppose I could go the convertible pants route and if its raining I could put on a rain skirt and take off the legs to keep them dry for sitting around at night. Also thats a good point if its raining its not like ill be sitting outside.Mar 23, 2012 at 7:11 pm #1858465
are you set on a tent or have you considered getting a bug bivy and a tarp?
there are a ton of tarp options…Mar 23, 2012 at 7:17 pm #1858467
Ted EBPL Member
@mtn_nutLocale: Morrison, CO
go with six moons cape and net tent, then that covers your shelter, rainwear, and pack cover, and then bring a set of windpants/windjacket for light rain and wind. you'll be lighter, and more comfortable in everything except heavy blowing rain, in which case you'll probably want to be in your tent instead of hiking.Mar 23, 2012 at 7:20 pm #1858469
Luke SchmidtBPL Member
@cameronLocale: Idaho Falls
I would NOT spend big bucks on rain pants at this point. If you need them I'd start with cheap ($20) Wal Mart brand. Not as nice for sure but they'll do the job if you really need them. I'd spend the REI money on your choice of the following
1. A raincoat (a good quality raincoat is more important then nice rain pants).
2. A tarp
3. A pack.
A potential REI pack choice would be the Osprey Exos 46. Its a bit heavier than the Mariposa but you could use your dividend on it. Then I'd buy a cheap tarp (Etowah outfitters) and a cheap rain suit (a Equinox poncho is one option or a driducks suit).
For packs I might consider the Golite Jam as a cheaper alternative. If you learn to pack it properly its pretty good up to 25 pounds (30 if you're lucky). I would be cautious on the pack. I've tried a variety of packs and so far nothing has been quite perfect.Mar 23, 2012 at 7:59 pm #1858484
i like luke's suggestion of checking out the exos 46. that's a really nice lightweight pack. that frees up your money to buy your shelter.
if you want to go frameless and shave some more weight perhaps look at the hornet:
i 3rd or 4th that you don't buy rainpants…
i also like the driducks suggestion. all rain gear really sucks, so you might as well go cheap and repairable…
great advice really all around.Mar 23, 2012 at 9:15 pm #1858512
I really just like the convenience of a tent cause its a all in one thing you know? But I have never used a tarp/bivy combo so I really wouldnt know how to compare themMar 23, 2012 at 9:30 pm #1858519
I also really like the Hornet it just doesnt have water bottle pockets on the side of the pack that I can tell which is a bummer. But the idea of using the dividend for it is very tempting.Mar 23, 2012 at 9:32 pm #1858520
I haven't used a tarp since I was a kid, I'm happy with my GG TheOne tent, although I did have some issues with it standing up to sustained downpours last year on the CT.
For your budget, and since you're undecided on tent vs tarp set-up, I would also recommend becoming a BPL membr and checking out the gear swap forum, even posting an ad for some of the things you're looking for. No need to spend so much on all new gear. Try out a few things and you can always resell what doesn't work for you.
Also, +1 on wind pants rather than rain pants. the top is more important for rain gear. Checkout Montbell stretch wind pants and some or their rain jackets, or also Montane for jackets. Their prices aren't bad and the weight is reasonable also.
have fun.Mar 23, 2012 at 10:04 pm #1858530
Tyler HBPL Member
Ok I'm going to take the opportunity to play devil's advocate here and say that rainpants ain't a bad idea.
I've often wondered why people bring a pair of lightweight quick-dry, convertible, what have you pants when you could just bring rain pants. You definitely get some warmth (lack of breathability helps) and you can wear them through brush, etc.
I say ditch the hiking pants and bring a pair of light rainpants. I do think a cheap pair is good advice though, the Sierra Designs Microlight seem like a good option. http://www.rei.com/product/772610/sierra-designs-microlight-pants-mens
Just my .02Mar 23, 2012 at 10:38 pm #1858537
Thats what I was thinking as well, but the plus to the rain skirt or tyvek is weight obviously which i need help getting down.
I really appreciate all the adviceMar 23, 2012 at 10:46 pm #1858543
Ted EBPL Member
@mtn_nutLocale: Morrison, CO
if you can find older zipperless Golite reed pants, they are ~4 oz and as waterproof as you'll ever need and relatively breathable. Montbell is just coming out with their versalite pants, which are also plenty waterproof and slightly lighter.
i don't think rainpants are necessary unless your expecting very bad weather, but then again, i don't get cold legs, and i use pants that will dry pretty fast as soon as the sun comes outMar 24, 2012 at 4:26 pm #1858791
+1 for shorts and light rain pants. no need to have long pants and rain pants for 3 season. also, I have used my rain/windpants to sleep in vs. capilenes on colder nights. so they replace Lonnie's as wellMar 24, 2012 at 4:30 pm #1858795
@b-g-2-2Locale: Silicon Valley
If anybody is thinking about lightweight rain pants, then I recommend the wind pants kit from Thru-Hiker. Some of the fabrics are about half-waterproof and half-breathable, and that suits me. Mine weigh only 2.45 ounces. When it gets cool and windy, I appreciate that extra layer.
–B.G.–Mar 24, 2012 at 6:36 pm #1858856
Justin CBPL Member
@paintballr4lifeLocale: East Coast
Hey Clint I have a Mariposa for sale if you are interested. If so PM me.Mar 24, 2012 at 8:15 pm #1858904
Luke SchmidtBPL Member
@cameronLocale: Idaho Falls
I wasn't say never use rain pants. There are situatiosn where they are nice. If its really windy or rainy I bring them. I was just saying they are not something I would spend major money on. If your budget is limited I would focus first on a good pack, shelter and raincoat.
As far as shelters go you might be better off with some kind of light tent (unless cost is a major factor in which case a cheap tarp/bivy is hard to beat). But if you're interested in tarps here's tarps 101.
Here is a picture of my setup.
The trick with tarps is getting a tight pitch so they don't flap(a pup tent does this automatically when you intert the poles). What I've done here is stick my two trekking poles in the ground. Then I string the tarp up between them and stake it out tightly in all directions. I can do this pretty fast now but at first I had to adjust a lot to get it nice and tight.
This is a very small tarp so I have a bivy underneath. The bivy does two things. First its wind resistant so it keeps me warm in windy weather. Second its water resistant (but not waterproof, its kinda like a windbreaker). If a bit of water gets blown in the side of the tarp the bivy helps keep it off my sleeping bag.
This tarp is about 5X9 which is pretty small. I'd go with a 6 X 10 or 8 x 10. A bigger tarp gives you more margin for error and more room to work under if you're cooking or packing in the rain.
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