Etowah Gear is well known in the eastern US, but many westerners may be unaware of their numerous ultralight backpacking products. We visited their booth at the Summer 2007 Outdoor Retailer Show to get acquainted and see their new products. We were not disappointed; owner Paul Fitzner had lots to show us. The items featured here were jointly developed with Brian Frankle at Ultralight Adventure Equipment.
Intrepid Pack Cover Paul is incorporating a fabric he calls “Intrepid” into his product line, which is a 1.1 ounce/square yard calendared ripstop nylon that has exceptional strength and water resistance. The fabric is waterproof to 20 psi, compared to silnylon at 30 psi. The Intrepid Pack Cover is one such application. In size medium it weighs 3.1 ounces and costs $30. It has an elastic binding all around and glove hooks to secure it around the hipbelt.
The Intrepid Pack Cover is made of calendared 1.1 ounce ripstop nylon and weighs 3.1 ounces in size medium. The left photo shows the fit on a Granite Gear Nimbus Access FZ pack (3800 cubic inches). The right photo shows the cover’s use of glove hooks to anchor it to the pack’s hipbelt.
Rain Wrap Superlite Another name might be “rain skirt”. It’s also made of the Intrepid fabric and weighs just 2.5 ounces. If you can get past the word “skirt”, the rain wrap concept has a lot of merit. It’s extremely light and offers a lot of freedom, especially when wearing hiking shorts in warm weather. It has an elastic waistband and Velcro patches to close the slit. The cost is $42. The Rain Wrap is also available in slightly heavier silnylon in regular and long lengths for $30.
Rain Wrap in 1.1 ounce Intrepid fabric extended (left), and worn (right).
Rain Mitt Etowah also makes a waterproof/breathable Rain Mitt made of Frogg Toggs fabric that weighs just 1.3 ounces/pair and costs $18. The fabric is a breathable membrane sandwiched between two layers of non-woven polypropylene, and has limited durability.
The Rain Mitts are made of Frogg Toggs fabric and weigh 1.3 ounces/pair.