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Brian Reyman

Brian Reyman

Denver Area, Colorado

Brian Reyman's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Biking
Paddling
Snowshoeing

Brian Reyman's Bio

Husband. Father. Son. Scoutmaster. Life is good!

Brian Reyman

Brian Reyman wrote a review of on February 17, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I own the reactor stove and started with the original 1.6 liter pot. I recently bought the 1.0 liter pot for a little less weight and pack size. While this one boils water just as well as the 1.6 liter version (which is AMAZING), the stove doesn't fit in the pot as well. It does fit, but requires a bit more careful planning to get it to work. The pour spout is very handy, but the burner adjuster is meant to fit right into the spout when the stove is packed into the top of the pot. A bit tricky and can risk scratching the interior of the pot.

Overall - a worthwhile purchase. But, consider getting the 1.6L setup if you don't absolutely need the 1.0 L. Same great water boiling prowess (which really is significant - this thing boils fast, is impervious to wind, etc. etc. - just like others have reported) with easier packing.

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Brian Reyman

Brian Reyman wrote a review of on February 17, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Best. Sleep. Ever. I've slept on just about every sleeping bad out there and consider myself a bit of a sleeping snob. I'm a side sleeper and toss/turn a lot. A comfortable pad is essential. This one is by far the most comfortable I've ever had the pleasure of resting my head on for the night. The extra length and width (when compared to a standard 20x72" pad) and the adjustable inflation/foam setup makes this thing amazing.

Only downside? It's about 5 times the size and weight of my backpacking Exped sleeping pads. But, if I'm car camping or doing very short hikes, this thing is SOOOOOO worth every penny.

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Brian Reyman

Brian Reyman wrote a review of on October 3, 2012

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I regularly build igloos using the amazing IceBox tool - and this shovel. It's relatively light weight and compactability, along with the long extension handle and flat end blade perform great when building. It can collect and place large amounts of snow quickly and let the digger go for longer periods because they don't have to bend over so far.

I can't speak to its avalanche-assessment or rescue abilities, but every time I need to build an igloo, this shovel's going in the pack.

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Brian Reyman

Brian Reyman wrote a review of on October 3, 2012

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

If I had to recommend someone purchase a single stove to cover the largest number of situations, it would be the MSR WindPro II. Hands down.

Need something that can actually simmer/cook food? Check.
Need something to boil water fast? Check.
Need something light-ish? Check.
Need something that can be effectively protected form the wind? Check.
Need something that can perform reasonably well in winter or colder weather, too? Check.
Need something that requires no maintenance and can keep going for years? Check.

This stove may not be the perfect choice for any single situation (I probably wouldn't bring it as my first choice on an expedition to Everest or as my super ultralight choice), but it does better than most in many circumstances and can cover just about any situation needed; and do it well.

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Brian Reyman

Brian Reyman wrote a review of on October 3, 2012

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I read a number of reviews about various pack covers when making the choice. Most indicated problems with tears or poor features. Sea to Summit's received the best consistent reviews so I gave it a try.

So far, it's been great. Kept the water out. Super easy and light to pull out of an outer pocket on my pack and quickly wrap around things. Put it through some brush/branches, etc. and no tears yet!

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Brian Reyman

Brian Reyman wrote a review of on October 2, 2012

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Need a small, UL mug for boiling water on a small stove? This is a great choice.

Need a solid, light mug? Look for the double-wall version instead. I initially purchased this solely as a mug and had trouble with the liquids cooling off too fast and burning my lips (rough combination). The double-wall is perfect - my hot chocolate stays hot for a while and I can enjoy it without causing pain.

If there's any chance you'll heat water in it, purchase this. If you just need a mug, go with the double-wall version instead.

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Brian Reyman

Brian Reyman wrote a review of on October 2, 2012

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Brought the MSR Quick Skillet on my last backpacking trip and matched it up with my MSR Windpro. I cooked pizza in it one night and fish tacos another (the fish tacos had fish, oil, spices and more). Cleanup required a quick warm water rinse and wiping. No scrubbimg, no tough work. Stuff that would be caked on other non-coated items (or those with lower-quality coatings) slide right off. All my campmates were amazed!

I won't always bring this backpacking with me - when weight and space are at a premium. But, when I want to do some serious cooking, this thing is now a staple in my pack. I can' think of a single way to improve it. This is now a permanent part of my backcountry gourmet kitchen.

One nice thing to note - it fit in nicely to the top (upside down) of my Bearikade Bear Canister. That made packing it a good bit easier.

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Brian Reyman

Brian Reyman wrote a review of on October 2, 2012

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I own several dutch ovens and use them regularly at home when we don't want to cook inside or when we want the unique properties of the dutch oven.

This table provides a solid, fireproof platform for two full-size dutch ovens. It's the perfect height to get them off the ground and easy to work with but not so high that things have to be lifted too high. I've used it many times and it's still in good shape.

One important recommendation - store it out of the rain or purchase a cover for it. This will rust over time if left permanently out in the elements.

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Brian Reyman

Brian Reyman wrote a review of on October 2, 2012

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I store and transport my camp chef griddle in this bag. It does a great job protecting it from dirt and moisutre. It also makes carrying it easier. The only downside is that the material isn't thick enough to hold up perfectly over time. I've had it for about 2 years and use it monthly and several dime-size holes are forming in the corners where the metal edges of the griddle rub.

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Brian Reyman

Brian Reyman wrote a review of on October 2, 2012

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I purchase a fair number of these to gift to new boy scouts as they join my troop. They're a great value - solid and do their job. I don't particularly like the holes as they're just a bit tougher to clean. I do really like the glossy finish only the bowl part. The texture of raw titanium on some other utensils is a bit annoying.

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Brian Reyman

Brian Reyman wrote a review of on October 2, 2012

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

MSR obviously holds the majority of the market on fuel bottles. Probably because of their retail presence in so many stores. Having used both, however, I prefer the Primus version.

Here's why I prefer the Primus:
- More variety. MSR has 3 sizes, Primus has 4. Also, Primus' large is larger and small is smaller, giving a bit more flexibility.
- Matte finish. This is a bit subjective, but I prefer the matte and slightly textured finish on the primus over the glossy finish on the MSR. I think it looks better and feels a bit better when handling in the cold.
- Better cap. It has a child-safety one just like the MSR. Except that it actually works. It stops an easy/accidental opening, while still being easy to operate (a light push down and twist vs. the wrenching the MSR ones sometimes required).
- It's different. It's nice to be able to more quickly recognize which bottle(s) are mine when a group of folks are using white gas stoves and everyone else has MSR bottles.

Note: manufacturing quality is great on both.

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Brian Reyman

Brian Reyman wrote a review of on August 21, 2012

5 5

Recently had a tent flattened in the worst windstorm I'd ever been in. Was in the market for a new all-around tent and decided on the Copper Spur. It's light and compact (for backpacking), roomy and durable enough (for car camping), backed by a great warranty and with the features you need (2 vestibules, vent, etc.).

The only downside is the doors - like others, I truly hate that they zip down and lay on the ground. I have no idea why Big Agnes didn't build a D-Door that zips off to the side.

Overall, this is a great tent. If you can afford it, but it today.

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Brian Reyman

Brian Reyman wrote a review of on August 10, 2011

5 5

Originally thought that all MH meals would have to taste terrible. Quickly found that I was way wrong.

The Spaghetti is the best tasting - and easiest on my stomach. Consistency of Spaghetti-O's, but with a better taste. Chili Mac comes in as a close second, though. I also really like the new tighter packaging - makes it much more convenient to pack and store.

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Brian Reyman

Brian Reyman wrote a review of on August 10, 2011

3 5

I'm definitely a fan of long-handled spoons. They're the best choice for my primary lightweight meals - Mountain House and Oatmeal.

This version of the spoon works fine - the price is right off Steep and Cheap. The finish isn't as smooth as I'd like, though. I prefer the REI version.

If on discount, this is worth the price. Otherwise, I recommend REI's long-handled spoon.

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Brian Reyman

Brian Reyman wrote a review of on August 10, 2011

5 5

I did a fair amount of research on the various gravity-based systems (Platypus, etc.). Landed on MSR as it had similar features, but with the MSR name, which I trust.

Thus far it's exceeded my expectations. the flow is fast and convenient and the unit packs up relatively small/light. I've used it in snow-fed high-altitude creeks and the extremely silty Colorado river near the Colorado/Utah border. It's done well in both situations, as long as regular/thorough backflushing is done.

The only difficult part in backflushing was realizing not to use the supplied attachment. As others have stated, when attached to a bottle, it creates a suction that does not allow the backflush to work. The easiest way is to start the stream filtering as regular. Then, simply place the tube into an open bottle full of water, snap off the attachment from the bag and ensure it's lower than the water bottle. Backflushing then works quickly and like a dream!

I highly recommend the autoflow. Reliable, simple and made by MSR. Tough to go wrong with this one.

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