Your favorite gear of 2015
Dec 8, 2015 at 7:55 pm #3369501jimmer ultralightSpectator
The BRS-3000T cannister stove has turned out to be my favorite new peice of gear for 2015. For $15 shipped and 25g, it my go to solo cannister burner.Dec 10, 2015 at 8:37 am #3369786John DeMorrisSpectator
@bulwyfLocale: West TX
The Thermarest Z Seat has been the best bang for the buck piece of gear I’ve bought in 2015. It makes all of my overnighters and day hikes more enjoyable. I use it as a seat for breaks and meals. It acts as a knee rest while I set up camp. And since I’m a side sleeper I use it as a knee pillow. All this for only $15!Dec 10, 2015 at 8:38 am #3369787Keith JundanianBPL Member
Z-Packs Zero 36L, 9oz – I LOVED my OHM 2.0 until i got this badboy and then it was all over.
EE Revelation 50, 12oz – What a perfect item for the warm Mid-Atlantic summer nights.
MYOG Redbull alcohol stove (free), 450ml Vargo Titanium Mug (30$), tinfoil lid (free), 1/2″ stiff screen potstand (free), 4oz – $30 for a 4oz cook setup. Not bad!!
Borah Gear 5’x9′ silnylon tarp and Borah Gear bug bivy, 15oz combined. – This company makes great gear at a great price. This combo was under $130 for a sub-1lb shelter system.Dec 10, 2015 at 9:53 am #3369800Gator PaddlerBPL Member
Zpacks 10 degree sleeping bag, which I mainly use as a quilt.Dec 10, 2015 at 1:42 pm #3369840Arne L.BPL Member
Cumulus Comforter M350.
Used it as a blanket in the summer and in late shoulder season as a quilt. Fantastic piece of kit.
I sewed in a footbox-zipper to make it even more versatile. 589 grams (20,77 ounces) for a brilliant hybrid quilt/comforter.Dec 10, 2015 at 4:35 pm #3369880Dec 10, 2015 at 5:33 pm #3369889ed hyattBPL Member
@edhyattLocale: The North, Scotland
My ten year US visa.Dec 10, 2015 at 5:58 pm #3369893jimmy bBPL Member
Favorite- by far my supplex MYOG pants. Ditched the overweight convertables and the hassle with zips and floppy cargo pockets. The MYOG pants are no frills, light weight and I just roll them up when I want shorts. Surprisingly they don’t work their way down. Making a few more pair this winter and may add zips to the front pockets.
Also love my MH Thermostatic jacket and my Starlyte stove I finally started using.
Also looking forward to trying out our Northern Lites Snow shoes we picked up a few weeks ago. No doubt they will impress. May be waiting on the snow part of the equation for a bit.
jimmybDec 10, 2015 at 9:00 pm #3369925McDowell CrookSpectator
This year I’ve gotten a lot of use out of my Montbell Thermawrap Sport Vest. I love this thing. Keeps my core in the goldilocks zone when in just about any activity or temperature, and pairs well with thin layers underneath or thicker layers on top. It’s convinced me to move away from down-filled tops/vests/jackets altogether.
I’ve also been impressed with the new Patagonia Air Hoody this winter. Just don’t get it near velcro.Dec 10, 2015 at 9:10 pm #3369930bjcBPL Member
Two items for me:
Montbell Ex Light Anorak: light, warm and comfortable.
Yama Mountain 1P cuben Cirriform tarp and net tent: Light and great in bad weather.Dec 10, 2015 at 9:29 pm #3369936rubmybelly!BPL Member
@sleepingLocale: The Cascades
Not backpacking, but my favorite piece of ‘gear’ this year is my Moots Routt 45 bike. Love this thing.Dec 11, 2015 at 12:02 am #3369952Nick SmolinskeBPL Member
@smoLocale: Rogue Panda Designs
Zpacks fleece hat – love how warm this keeps my ears!
Zpacks challenger rain jacket
Downmat Lite 5 M – not the lightest downmat, but cheaper than the UL options. I finally switched from CCF and it is oh, oh so comfortable (and warm!).Dec 30, 2015 at 8:26 pm #3373337Josh KuntzBPL Member
@josh_kuntzLocale: Idaho & Montana
Some of these are new, some have just re-proven themselves to be fantastic long-term pieces of gear.
Dec 30, 2015 at 9:02 pm #3373341James MarcoBPL Member
- Seek Outside Unaweep 4800 – This pack can compress down so small and so quickly that I use it on short day hikes even though it is designed for heavy loads. Speaking of heavy loads, I used it to pack 4 elk out of the mountains this year and had almost ZERO hip and shoulder pain even with some loads in the 70-80 lb range for over 6 hours. Simply put, the Unaweep 4800 is incredibly versatile and tough enough to handle big weight. Oh, and it is waterproof!
- First Lite Corrugate Guide Pant – These nylon pants have incredible stretch, solid DWR, fantastic durability, minimal “sag” when wet or worn for several days and a great pocket design. I was allowed to test a pair on one backpacking trip and upon returning home, I immediately purchased 2 pair and I wear them more than any other pants I own.
- Mountain Hardwear Scree Gaiter – Light and tough as nails. Many seasons of abuse and they keep on keepin on.
- Montbell Ex Light Down Anorak – Easily the warmest and most comfortable ultralight jacket I have owned. And it looks stylish enough to wear to a restaurant.
- Kuiu Kenai Hoody Jacket – The new Toray “full range” synthetic insulation provides an unbelievable combo of warmth and breathability. This is the same as the Patgonia Nano-Air, but with pit zips and a lower price. Super warm, breathes better than any insulating piece I have ever owned and is really comfortable.
- Backcountry Navigator Pro App – For $10, my android phone becomes a better GPS than 95% of GPS units available.
- Honorable Mentions: Seek Outside Lil Bug Out Shelter (with vestibule), Tarptent Rainshadow 2, Havalon Piranta Knife.
@jamesdmarcoLocale: Finger Lakes
My top three are:
Gossamer gear Murmur 36 Hyperlight. I had a chance to test this as a prototype and the final version has all the major bugs worked out. With a NightLite torso, the whole thing goes about 15 ounces and carries about 27 pounds comfortably.
The Steripen Opti really does the job with water. It lets me carry a maximum of one liter on the trail, and takes about a minute to make more at some stream. Better than a filter or chemicals by far at 3.5oz with no extra carry weight while I “cook” water, nor, extra fiddling with hoses & pump.
My Oware tarp used to be offered in Cordura and weighed about 18oz for ~8’9″x11’9″. It suited me OK till had a minor accident and needed to cut it down. I added the cut down corners to the front beaks making it a largish beaked shelter. I have used it out in 4 heavy rainstorms and a couple 6″ snow storms since. It never let me or my gear get wet. Add a cloths line and it is good all year. All for about 17.5oz (including stakes and line) after sealing from being “stretched.” Not new, but you couldn’t get any better than this. I don’t know how many times I have cooked my supper or breakfast under this tarp.Dec 30, 2015 at 10:14 pm #3373345Gator PaddlerBPL Member
Nice article, especially in light of the outrageously expensive gear article. It seems like real gear for real people is being highlighted. For example, I’ve been contemplating hot tenting, and that stove seems ideal, but I had no idea a titanium version existed.Dec 30, 2015 at 10:58 pm #3373350Steve KBPL Member
@skomaeLocale: northeastern US
The same pieces of gear I’ve been using since last year and beyond are still proving to be my favorites again, though not for lack of trying on my part to improve my equipment load out.
MLD Duomid: For my needs it excels year-round and provides a reassuring amount of shelter in the most blustery of conditions. It’s truly a one man palace, and still surprises me with its overall livability.
HMG Porter 4400: Easily the best pack I’ve ever owned. Rugged good looks and tons of space for even my biggest winter loads. I still only use this in the winter, but I’m tempted to make this my one pack.
EE Revelation: This quilt easily takes me down to freezing and only weighs 1.5#. I love the straps that keep it firmly attached to my pad, eliminating air gaps and slippage.
REI Expedition -20°F: Good to -15°F at least, and thanks to its dual zipper baffle, is still comfortable just below 32°F without ever a snagged slider. 3.7#.
Neoair XLite and XTherm: This pair of pads sees me through four seasons of backpacking with excellent comfort and durability. With a simple CCF pad on top the XTherm has taken me comfortably to -15°F on a raised wooden floor, and most other times well under freezing temperatures without any extra pad at all!
Arcteryx Squamish: One tough wind shell. I’ve crashed through brush and rock climbed with this one with barely a trace of wear. A backup sits in my closet but the first one is still going strong, only having gotten better with age. Wish the DWR was longer lasting like the Epic stuff, though.
Arcteryx Beta LT: I’ve got lighter shells than this one, but Gore-Tex has finally gotten breath ability right with the new PU-free Pro, and the Arc’teryx fit is superlative. I’ve never once felt like I needed pit zips, and I love the freedom of movement even when layered up. Helium HD is a good runner up, but the membrane is very delicate.
Patagonia R1: Still the best base for cold weather. Stays tucked in and ample coverage of the face, neck, back and wrists. Too bad the Cap4 isn’t cut like this, because the lighter fabric would be welcome in less frigid temps.
Steripen Ultra: The one new addition to my pack, and heavier than my old Opti. Love the screen, which makes it easier to share on group trips. It’s totally usable in bright daylight unlike older models. Wish it took CR123 like the old one, but rechargeable is inevitably the future.Dec 30, 2015 at 11:10 pm #3373352Dec 31, 2015 at 12:09 am #3373359Randy LaurentBPL Member
@survivalist7Locale: South LouisianaDec 31, 2015 at 4:01 am #3373370Donna CBPL Member
@leadfootLocale: Middle Virginia
Dec 31, 2015 at 5:23 am #3373374Bill GilesBPL Member
- ULA Circuit pack
- LL Bean cheapo windshirt
- Icebreaker 260 1/4 zip merino top
- Darn Tough socks
- EE Prodigy quilt
- Caldera Cone cook set. (various sizes)
@wgiles51Locale: Central Illinois
The Merino Wool Balaclava Buff. Thin, light and fits in your pocket, but gives a degree of protection to otherwise exposed skin.Dec 31, 2015 at 5:33 am #3373375matthew kModerator
Another win for me this year is the 20×66 women’s XLite sleeping pad. It’s got a slightly higher insulation value than the Men’s XLite (R3.9 vs R3.2) and strikes a nice balance between a shorty and a full-length pad. 12.7 ounces on my scale.Dec 31, 2015 at 8:48 am #3373382Gary DunckelBPL Member
My 2015 favorites have been the BRS-3000T stove, coupled with a titanium JB Sol cup. And thanks to Josh Leavitt’s concept and my pot riser thingy, along with Bob Moulder’s “Moulder Strip” idea, I now have a winter capable canister stove setup. It thrills me.
Also on the list are the replacements for my much loved 5-year old (and tired) Inov-8 390 GTX mids and the non-GTX 370s. I went with TNF Ultra Fastpack mids for the non-GTX (24.6 oz for the pair, and Vibram soles!). Salomon’s X-Ultra for the GTX mids (34 oz.). Both pair look to be just what I want/need.
But let’s not forget those BPL 135 cm. Stix trekking poles that Jeremy Gustafson sold me. My preferred length is 125 cm., so I figured I’d have to shorten them somehow in order to have a backup pair of my all-time favorite trekking poles. It turns out that the 135 cm length is perfect for snowshoeing in deep powder. Win!
Happy New Year, y’all… all y’all!Dec 31, 2015 at 9:41 am #3373388Nick AschenwaldBPL Member
Dec 31, 2015 at 9:51 am #3373389Chris AllisonBPL Member
- Seek Outside Unaweep 3900
- Scarpa Spark Trail Runners
- Merino Wool Buff
Thanks for the round up. Two questions for anyone, but particularly for the folks who made the recommendations in the article:
- How does the BT-2 compare to the MLD Duomid?
- I’m hiking the PCT in 2016 — my base weight including a crummy 5lb pack is ~18 lbs. — looking for a new pack. Is the 30L of the HMG pack sufficient or do you think it would be too small for a thru-hike?
ChrisDec 31, 2015 at 12:16 pm #3373403charles flottSpectator
My UV buff in size XL and Kuhl liberator convertibles are the only things that has stayed in my pack over the years. My feet have loved the move to INOV8 roclites.
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