Aug 23, 2013 at 10:12 pm #1306881
Edward JursekBPL Member
@nedjursekgmail-comLocale: Pacific Northwest
I had a Zpacks Poncho/ground sheet and Cloud Kilt that I really liked but just seemed a bit too small for me. I am 6' tall and 200 lbs. The poncho design was great, but with a fully loaded pack it was finicky to put on, gave poor leg coverage, the hood was a bit tight, the arm coverage was sparce and overall it was a bit too snug. As a ground sheet in my Hexamid Twin it was a solo plus size and would not work with two people. The Cloud Kilt fit in the waist, but was the older Velcro model and would split along Velcro if I took a large step up.
Recently I saw Zpacks was offering a larger size poncho and a larger size Cloud Kilt with a zipper. I just got both in the mail. These new items address every issue I had with the older models. The larger poncho has great coverage for the legs and the arms and the hood fits better. It is a Twin size and works better with my Hexamid. The Cloud Kilt allows me more range of motion. Zpacks continues to refine and improve their products. The quality is excellent and the customer service remains amoung the best of any retailer I have ever experienced. If you are a larger hiker like I am, the new sizes make two great products even better.Aug 23, 2013 at 11:04 pm #2018137
@m-lLocale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
I ordered the cloud kilt yesterday, its going to be nice to use it to eat lunch on etc. I have a lot of cuben from Zpacks, good communication through emails, very good.Aug 24, 2013 at 8:10 am #2018184
Nick GatelBPL Member
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
Sounds like a good set up for you. I use the same set up in the smaller configuration, which works great.
Joe is really providing a breadth of UL products.Aug 24, 2013 at 9:22 am #2018194
Joe is pretty much the main one now.
Other guys like Lukes and EE are great too.
What I see, is that the vendors that outsource their mfg, cant innovate and are destined to fall by the wayside. Unless they get as big a Golite and make mainstream heavy stuff their main business.
Look at SMD, or GG, when do they ever have anything anyone wants in stock?
Cant buy something if it only exists on a webpage.Aug 24, 2013 at 3:40 pm #2018262
I have the new cloudkilt ( rectangular version with zipper and cinch cord at waist) and I can happily describe it to friends as one of the most versatile piece of multipurpose gear in my pack. Besides its main purpose, it is a great goundsheet that I place just outside my tent when hanging out before bed, as well as to put under my pack when I store it in my vestibule. I also drape it over my pack when I am setting up camp in the rain. I also have a Hexamid, a drybag and a bunch of small accessories from Zpacks and really appreciate them as a manufacturer devoted to supporting and improving our enjoyment of backpacking.
But I have also enjoyed the products of several other cottage manufacturers. I am a huge fan of Gossamer Gear and have several of their recent pack designs (Mariposa, Gorilla, Murmur, minimalist) They all work great for me for their intended purpose. I also buy from Lawson Klein, Packit Gourmet, and others. Each of these companies come up with different solutions to produce their products at the best price they can deliver to their customers, and I have never questioned their commitment to quality. If some of their products are out of stock for extended periods ( LT4 poles!), I chalk that up to their unwillingness to compromise on product quality by switching manufacturing sources. As far as I am concerned I want all of the current manufacturers to thrive, and, at the same time, I am thankful that some, like Zpacks, continue to innovate as well.Aug 27, 2013 at 12:26 pm #2019079
just Justin WhitsonMember
I like Zpacks stuff a lot, found Joe great to work with, but I can't for the life of me understand why people would spend 60 dollars on a cuben rain kilt. Cuben makes some sense for larger things like ponchos, tents, tarps, etc..(or smaller things that need to be strong) but you're really not going to save significant weight on something like a kilt, which is very easily and cheaply made with silnylon or tyvek homewrap for example.
I made a tyvek homewrap kilt by laying over my real kilt on top of it, cutting around it, sewing some velcro on two contact points (the two edges of the top of the kilt), and it works pretty good, pretty lightweight, and fairly durable. Total cost of project est. at around 7 dollars. Time, around 20 mins at most (was during the beginning of my sewing days).
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