Your favorite gear of 2015

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Home Forums Campfire Editor’s Roundtable Your favorite gear of 2015

Viewing 25 posts - 1 through 25 (of 72 total)
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    J Dos
    BPL Member


    Locale: Redwoods of Santa Cruz Mts

    Editor’s Note 12/30/15: This awesome thread was created on December 6, well before we published our 2015 Staff Favorites article, but we want to recognize @damager and say thanks for starting the topic!

    Greetings fellow BPL’ers!

    Another great year in the outdoors is coming to an end. So what piece of gear has most impressed you this year? The one (or two) indispensable pieces that always seem to end up accompanying you on trail, bike, mountain, ski, etc? Cheap or wildly expensive. Lowly undies to a flashy new shelter.

    I’ve been using the Icebreaker tech-t lite merino baselayer now for almost 3 years and have been blown away by their performance and durability. I own 2 shirts (recently bought a 3rd on sale) and use them every day, ranging from trail runs, dayhikes, overnights, longer trips, bike tours, and day-to-day wear. In fact they still look good enough to wear around town on their own. I wash them infrequently, air dry them, and they never seem to smell. I guess they just work with my body chemistry.

    Jeffs Eleven
    BPL Member


    Locale: NePo

    Mine are:

    Arcteryx Solo Hoody.  Really warm.  Good with being wet.

    Soto Windmaster lighter.  Smoke a bowl anywhere!  reliable.  (as reliable as a piezo can be)

    Eberlestock Mainframe meatshelf.  I use it for carrying firewood.  I strap on whatever backpack I want to use and it does all the heavy lifting.  Here my Catalyst is sideways on top of a bundle.  It was actually not uncomfortable.

    Highwaters!!  What a nerd!!

    Christopher Yi


    Locale: Cen Cal

    Arcteryx Squamish windshirt.  Replaced my 2012 Patagonia Houdini, lost some weight so the Houdini was a bit big.  The adjustable cuffs and non floppy hood on the Squamish are worth the extra 1.5 oz weight increase.

    Zebralight H600w Mk II and H600Fw Mk II headlamp. ¬†Heavy at 4 oz each, but can’t beat the run time with the 18650 battery or¬†the overkill¬†900+ lumens. ¬†For trail running using the flood on my waist and spot on my head work really well.

    Runner up: Injinji toe socks. ¬†Had a lightweight Coolmax version develop a toe hole after one hike and a midweight Nuwool develop a toe hole after one trail run. ¬†Never developed toe holes in my regular socks. ¬†If they didn’t have durability problems they’d be my favorite piece for sure.

    Cayenne Redmonk
    BPL Member


    Locale: Greater California Ecosystem

    Vasque mindbender : nice and stiff, good for using the edge on rocks and ledges.

    Torsolite sleep pad : ¬† I’ve used this for many years and never slept all that well on it. ¬†It’s finally worn out beyond patchability and I’m getting a new pad for the first time in 6 or so years.


    Well, i really kick myself when i forget my pee bottle during late fall, winter, and early spring trips, so it must be one of my more favored pieces of gear–of all time. ¬†I’m really digging the Six Moons Designs Fusion pack that’s still fairly new.

    Kovea Spider is my first ever canister stove, and gotta say, i’m hooked. Previously, i would either use alcohol or go cookless. I still do cookless often on trips by myself (unless it’s more extremely cold), but when i go with other people i always bring the Spider. ¬†And in combo with same, really like the ceramic non stick Evernew pot i got recently on clearance at REI.

    Lester Moore
    BPL Member


    Locale: Olympic Peninsula, WA

    Fancy Feast can DIY¬†alcohol stove. Used one all summer and Fall and can’t believe how light yet¬†effective it is. There’s no going back to white gas or isobutane for me¬†(at least for 3 season use).

    Bob Moulder
    BPL Member


    Locale: Westchester County, NY
    Brad Rogers
    BPL Member


    Locale: Southeast Tennessee

    I did two big trips in 2015, Pecos Wilderness in New Mexico and two weeks in Brooks Range Alaska and my top gear for 2015 is:

    Seek Outside Unaweep 4800:¬† I bought this pack for Alaska as I didn’t have a pack that could carry my gear plus a Bearikade Expedition.¬† I started the trip with 40 pounds with packrafting gear and the pack carried like a dream.



    Ken Thompson
    BPL Member


    Locale: Right there

    Still love my ULA Ohm version 1 all these years later. Recent Altra Lone Peak shoes. Why haven’t shoes been made like this before? For me they are awesome.

    Jenny A
    BPL Member


    Locale: Front Range

    I have become very fond of my Black Diamond Distance carbon ¬†FLZ trekking poles. ¬†I purchased them in order to save a bit of weight and because they compact so small, thought I would only be using them occastionally. ¬†Have found them to be very robust, plenty durable, and they have become my favorite poles. ¬†Expect that someday I’ll nick the carbon fiber and that will be the end of them, but so far so good.

    Barry Cuthbert
    BPL Member


    Locale: New Zealand

    Gear-wise, my kit has been pretty stable for the past 4-5 years, and I don’t expect that to change unless something wears out or breaks and can’t be fixed. The only gear I have purchased in the last two years has been trail running shoes and the pick of those for me has been the Saucony Xodus, a highly grippy, stable, protective and tough shoe for the rivers, roots, rocks and muddy technical terrain I tramp on. A much underrated and under-publicised trail shoe.

    In reality though, the people I’ve gone tramping with have meant far more than any of the gear. In particular my two kids aged 13 and 9, who want to go on longer harder tramps, who read guidebooks and study maps and dream up challenging plans. And their mum and my wife who allows us to take some risks to experience those dreams.

    Bob Steele
    BPL Member


    Locale: Eastern Sierra (Aspendell)

    ZPacks Arc Haul +1.  What a fantastic pack.

    Altra Lone Peak 2.5 +1.  Years of metatarsal foot pain gone in days.

    Joshua Abel
    BPL Member


    Zpacks Duplex. I held out for a long time since I’m 6’4″ and wasn’t sure I’d fit comfortable, I do! it’s amazing! so much space and so light!

    Stephen M
    BPL Member


    Locale: Way up North

    McHale Sarc pack and Paramo Valez Adventure Light smock and Cascada trousers.

    Paul Magnanti
    BPL Member


    Locale: Colorado Plateau

    100 weight fleece pullover. Use it in all four-seasons.  Simple, light, effective, durable and inexpensive.



    BPL Member


    1. ZPacks Arc Haul
    2. EE Enigma 10 deg Hyperdry
    3. Merrell AllOut Peak trail runners
    4. ZPacks Duplex (ok, 2+ years old but still beyond awesome)
    Matthew / BPL


    I finally drank the kool-aid and tried an Esbit stove. It’s wonderful. Switching to a Toaks 550ml cookset with a Brian Green tray stove and a little wire potstand pulled about a half a pound out of my pack compared to my old alcohol stove for a price of about $50. It’s so simple and easy to use!

    Kyle Meyer
    BPL Member


    Locale: Portland, OR

    Seek Outside Divide pack. Carries light loads like a dream, compresses well, and carries beastly loads when necessary.

    D M
    BPL Member


    Locale: What, ME worry?
    1. ZPacks Arc Haul
    2. Duomid
    3. Melanzana hoodie
    4. My WM Alpinelite and Antelope bags
    5. Buff
    Serge Giachetti


    Locale: Boulder, CO

    Katabatic Artemis–Probably the best all around pack I’ve owned so far.

    Not for backpacking, but I’ve been very happy and gotten a lot of use out of my Mountain hardwear fluid vest pack for trail running and day hiking over the last couple of years.

    BPL Member


    Locale: SE USA
    1. Zpacks Arc Haul – Everything I loved about the Arc Blast in even more durable fabric!
    2. Montbell Ex Lite Anorak – Crazy light, warmer than it looks
    3. Icebreaker BodyFit 150 Relay Crew  Р thinner than my other baselayers and the thumb loops are a nice touch.
    Mordecai _
    BPL Member


    Katabatic Helios 55

    Pearl Izumi trail n2

    Merino, short sleeves with arm warmers in the early AM

    William Kerber
    BPL Member


    Locale: South East US

    For temps 45F &¬†below I’m liking my Railrider Bushwacker Weather pants and a SEKRI GEN III Level 2 grid fleece from eBay.

    Peter H
    BPL Member


    Locale: Sacramento

    I sold almost all of my gear, this year, in order to pair down and keep my closet UL :) The things I did not and will not sell:

    EE Enigma

    Zimmerbuilt Quickstep

    As far as “new for 2015” goes, I made no great discoveries. Although, I’ll give a +1 to the Vasque Mindbenders.

    Logan K
    BPL Member


    Locale: Florida

    I made 3 significant gear discoveries/ game changing changes this year:

    Seek Outside Unaweep.  I bought the 4800 and it is a bit heavier than what I was using prior, but still light and carries like a dream. 1 pack quiver!

    Seek Outside LBO. It is a lightweight tipi with double doors, plenty of room, and a very wind- sturdy shape… And a stove jack.

    Lite Outdoors titanium wood stove. Cold weather camping will never be the same.

    Happy Holidays,


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