Dec 6, 2015 at 12:19 pm #3368961J DosBPL Member
@damagerLocale: 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.Dec 6, 2015 at 3:08 pm #3368994Jeffs ElevenBPL Member
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!!Dec 6, 2015 at 4:52 pm #3369018Christopher YiSpectator
@traumaheadLocale: 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.Dec 6, 2015 at 5:09 pm #3369021Cayenne RedmonkBPL Member
@redmonkLocale: 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.Dec 6, 2015 at 5:21 pm #3369024Justin WSpectator
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.Dec 6, 2015 at 5:57 pm #3369026Lester MooreBPL Member
@satoriLocale: 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).Dec 6, 2015 at 6:14 pm #3369029Dec 6, 2015 at 6:31 pm #3369035Brad RogersBPL Member
@mocs123Locale: 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.Dec 6, 2015 at 6:37 pm #3369037Ken ThompsonBPL Member
@hereLocale: 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.Dec 6, 2015 at 7:40 pm #3369050Jenny ABPL Member
@jenniferaLocale: 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.Dec 6, 2015 at 9:00 pm #3369062Barry CuthbertBPL Member
@nzbazzaLocale: 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.Dec 7, 2015 at 12:38 pm #3369171Bob SteeleBPL Member
@bobsteelephotoLocale: Eastern Sierra (Aspendell)Dec 7, 2015 at 1:01 pm #3369179Joshua AbelBPL 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!Dec 7, 2015 at 3:33 pm #3369226Stephen MBPL Member
@stephen-mLocale: Way up North
McHale Sarc pack and Paramo Valez Adventure Light smock and Cascada trousers.Dec 7, 2015 at 4:18 pm #3369233Paul MagnantiBPL Member
@paulmagsLocale: Colorado Plateau
100 weight fleece pullover. Use it in all four-seasons. Simple, light, effective, durable and inexpensive.Dec 7, 2015 at 5:11 pm #3369247JCHBPL Member
@pastyj-2-2Dec 7, 2015 at 8:45 pm #3369300matthew kModerator
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!Dec 7, 2015 at 10:24 pm #3369328Kyle MeyerBPL Member
@kylemeyerLocale: Portland, OR
Seek Outside Divide pack. Carries light loads like a dream, compresses well, and carries beastly loads when necessary.Dec 8, 2015 at 12:54 am #3369343D MBPL Member
@farwalkerLocale: What, ME worry?
Dec 8, 2015 at 7:28 am #3369366Serge GiachettiSpectator
- ZPacks Arc Haul
- Melanzana hoodie
- My WM Alpinelite and Antelope bags
@sgiachettiLocale: 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.Dec 8, 2015 at 1:13 pm #3369430toddBPL Member
@funnymoLocale: SE USADec 8, 2015 at 5:07 pm #3369460Mordecai _BPL Member
Katabatic Helios 55
Pearl Izumi trail n2
Merino, short sleeves with arm warmers in the early AMDec 8, 2015 at 5:10 pm #3369461William KerberBPL Member
@wkerberLocale: 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.Dec 8, 2015 at 5:31 pm #3369467Peter HBPL Member
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:
As far as “new for 2015” goes, I made no great discoveries. Although, I’ll give a +1 to the Vasque Mindbenders.Dec 8, 2015 at 7:03 pm #3369483Logan KidwellBPL Member
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.
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