I like this pack so much I bought three of them. No lie. First I bought one for my wife (we enjoy strenuous dayhikes in the Rockies). I borrowed it to use on a dayhike with me brother and he envied it so much that we bought him one for Christmas.
I found myself using my wife's bag so much that i just bought one for myself.
It's tough, it's well thought out, and it's just the right size. Perfect for carrying trekking poles (when not being used), fishing rods, or water bottles. Bladder sleeve also if you prefer that route.The waistbelt serves no functional purpose though, so I cut it off. No biggie.
I own some very high end overnight backpacks, but I love this little gem from Mountainsmith for day trips.
I'm a picky SOB and I have thousands invested in backpacking gear (it's about my only serious pastime these days, so I willingly throw money at it), but this relatively cheap pack has earned a prominent place in my gear collection.
I've taken this tent on a few trips since I purchased it on your website earlier this year and I'm quite impressed with it. I bought it because I don't need the fly on most nights and it's far nicer looking at the stars than a tent ceiling. I use it primarily as a luxury lightweight solo tent. It weighs 9 ounces more than the Seedhouse SL1, but the extra square footage is nice to have. While the inner mesh tent is free-standing, the fly does require stakes and guylines (included) to function properly. If I don't plan on using the fly but think that there is a remote possibility of precipitation, I'll go ahead and stake out the fly and then remove it. That way, I can throw on my headlamp at 3:00 A.M. and have the fly installed and cinched down in a little over a minute if necessary. The fly fits very well and helps the tent withstand significant winds with ease. The vestibule isn't huge, but it will fit a few pairs of boots or a small pack. The only thing I'm not crazy about is the entry. It can be a little awkward getting in and out with the fly on, particularly if it's raining. That's a small flaw in such an otherwise excellent tent though.
I've been using the Sweetwater system for three years and I have no complaints. It's easy to pump and the filter element is easily cleanable with the included brush. Adapters for some common water containers are included for a leak-free connection while pumping. I screw the adapter directly onto my Platypus containers and don't worry if they tip over. The filter element has a foolproof mesh indicator to let you know when it should be replaced (I just replaced mine for the first time this year. I use the optional chlorine based Viral Stop if the source water is questionable, but some would say it is unnecessary here in the U.S. BTW, the Sweetwater was rated highest on a thorough U.S. Army test of portable, commercially available filter/purifier systems (when used in conjunction with Viral Stop).
You don't have to be a physics major to figure out that you will save fuel when using this windscreen for your Giga Power. Even in Zero wind conditions it reflects heat toward the pot. I always use it. It fits snugly under my Trek 900 pot for travel.
There is a riveted flap that you can slide to the side to allow the Piezo igniter to protrude up from the base of the screen. My Giga Power does not have the Piezo and the rivet was scratching the bottom of my Trek 700 when stored for travel. I have to use a piece of cloth to prevent that and it was a little annoying. I'm a purist and I called Snow Peak and recommended they make two versions of the windscreen, one for stoves with Piezos and one for those without.
This pot works well for me since my Giga Power stove and a large canister fit perfectly inside. The Giga Power windscreen also nests perfectly under the pot when stored in the mesh bag (included). I don't mind the quirky lid/pan when it starts to rattle when water boils since it's just telling me that my water is ready. If you ignore what it's telling you the lid will pop off though. The handles will get hot if the flame is too high, but if you keep the flame low the handles stay cool enough to grab and you use fuel more efficiently. The lid/pan makes a good plate to eat from, but it's too small to do any serious cooking.
The Snow Peak Giga Power Manual stove is one of those few things almost can't be improved upon. It's simple, rugged, incredibly lightweight and compact, and even has four pot supports, which is significantly more stable than three.
I've had Piezo igniters fail and that's why I went with the manual version. I bring a Bic and matches with me anyway.
Definitely get the Snow Peak windscreen also. It's compact, reasonably light, and will improve fuel efficiency.
This is the stove that convinced me to switch from liquid fuel backpacking stoves. I'll never look back.
This pot works well for me since my Giga Power stove and a large canister fit perfectly inside. The Giga Power windscreen also nests perfectly under the pot when stored in the mesh bag (included).
I don't mind the quirky lid/pan when it starts to rattle when water boils since it's just telling me that my water is ready. If you ignore what it's telling you the lid will pop off though.
The handles will get hot if the flame is too high, but if you keep the flame low the handles stay cool enough to grab and you use fuel more efficiently.
The lid/pan makes a good plate to eat from, but it's too small to do any serious cooking.
I went through a couple of steel insulating mugs before I sprung for the Snow Peak 450. It's lighter, never burns my lips and appears to be very well made. This one is a keeper. I didn't mind the Snow Peak name and logo on the side, but the "Outdoor Lifestyle Creator" subscript was a bit over the top, so I took a green pad and scrubbed the whole thing bare. Now it's a true minimalist mug.
This is a great bag for July and August in the Rockies. It's extremely light and packs down smaller than a football! The stuff sack is the best design I've ever seen. The Phantom 32 is also fairly roomy and well-made. The only downside is that it's not a 32 degree bag, at least not for me. Even around 40 degrees I'd want to be wearing long underwear to ensure comfort. That's why I only use it in July and August, but rely on a Marmot Pinnacle 15 degree bag for cooler temps.
This is my second Marmot bag and I'm extremely pleased with it. It's roomy, well-made, and the temperature rating is quite accurate. The water resistant shell also does a great job in shedding condensation when the bag touches my tent wall at night. You can spend more to shave a few ounces with lighter materials, but you won't get a better quality bag. Perfect three-season bag for the mountains, and built to last.