The impressive size of a compressed Q Core Sl (compared to a 32oz Platypus)
Showing the size difference between two Regular (20x72) sized pads. Exped Ul7 on bottom, Q Core SL on top.I should also mention that the top part the Big Agnes pad looks longer but in fact the pad has a decent amount of extraneous fabric all the way around.
I was very excited upon hearing that the Q CORE (the most comfortable pad out there, in my opinion) was going to be upgraded to an ultralight format that would only be slightly heavier than my EXPED UL7.
After picking up the pad I must say that it certainly is comfortable. The unique air chamber system leads to an incredibly cushioned pad (especially for back sleepers). The R Value is terrific and the pad deflates and stores terrifically small. The pad is also tougher than expected, despite the Ultralight fabric.
The downside? The pad is NOT sized correctly. The regular size is not 20"x72". It is much closer to 17.5"x70". This makes a BIG difference as you will NOT be able to rest your arms on the pad at ANY point while laying on your back. For side sleepers, some part of your body (either your knees or your butt) will be hanging off the pad.
To suffer both a size and weight penalty for this pad (despite how comfortable it is on my back) is too much for me. Unless you're a smaller person or you don't mind springing for the Large/Wide size, I would steer clear.
Exped Ul7 side by side with a 32oz Gatorade.
Fantastic fit, breathable, comfortable, lightweight, odor resistant, and good looking. I would advise buying a handful or two. Once you put these on, every other pair just isn't worth it.
Even burn all the way, good wind resistance
I really liked these shoes, relatively stylish and pretty darn comfortable.
Unfortunately I had fabric around the inner tear open TWICE. The shoes were the right size for sure, the material was just a little delicate.
I would also advise treating these shoes once you receive them otherwise any rainfall will make them look pretty ugly, pretty darn fast.
Bright, good battery life, and a compact package. The Apollo easily illuminates a game of cards or some night-time tent reading without the need for multiple headlamps.The dimming features on the lantern are very nice as well.
Use the metal hitches on top and link it to the top of your tent and you shouldn't have any dark spots (unless you're in some 6 person monster)
As an all inclusive, lightweight set this cannot be beat. Whether you're just heating water for freeze dried meals or doing some minor gourmand camp cooking, this set is up to the task.
The measurements inside the pots are handy for an task, everything is absurdly lightweight (yet strong) and the main pot fits a snow peak fuel canister perfectly. When I take only the L Pot out for ultralight hiking, I'm only toting four ounces with me.
The handles can get a little hot if cooking over an open flame but titanium also cools incredibly fast.
An interesting idea but this item steps into a market which is already filled with outstanding warm weather bags. Why carry a large, nearly two pound bag that doesn't compress well? ALso, because this bag lacks a mummy hood you'll be losing a lot of the heat which a 35 degree bag might have retained.
It makes much more sense to invest a little more money in something like the Marmot Atom/Hydrogen or Mountain Hardwear Phantom (32/45). If the temperatures are too warm just vent the bag, or else use it as a quilt.
If you can't stand the confines of a mummy bag and you'd rather flip a bag over than unzip it, this will probably work for you.
The Z-Lite sol is a nice pad for several different situations. If you're going ultralight and really want to shave some weight you may be able to get a comfortable nights sleep out of either the (S) or (Reg). If you're accustomed to the 3.5" Q-Core from Big Agnes you will not get a good night's sleep using this as a stand alone.
The best use of this would come from a doubling act where you might use this to enhance the insulating values of another pad. This use might give you more warmth for weight than buying a cold weather pad (or at least for cost)
The downside to the SOL is that while light, it is bulky. Lashed to the outside of a pack it will perform well but it takes up far too much space inside a bag.
Compresses well, immensely comfortable, unbelievably lightweight (a large Arnold Palmer weighs the same), and far warmer than its temperature rating suggests. The 850 fill down gives it an advantage over its brother, the Marmot Arete.
It's closest competitor is the Mountain Hardwear Phantom 45 but the Atom has a higher fill power, and additional fill weight contained inside. The Pertex coating is nice, allowing the bag to easily shed the cold dew of an early morning or negate any condensation problems your tent might have.
Get it, you won't regret it.
As a bag for base camp excursions the Trestles definitely fits the bill. It's definitely warm as well as being plenty comfortable. As a sleeping bag for backpacking/thru-hiking I would say that this bag is A. Too Heavy B. Not Compressible Enough
For a budget bag it will perform decently but I would advise spending an extra 50 bucks and picking up a Mountain Hardwear Lamina, cuts a pound off your carry weight and compresses smaller. If you're dead set on synthetic the Lamina series is the way to go.
You couldn't ask for more in a Ditty Sack, lightweight, colored well for organization, and highly water resistant. Break up your backpacking gear in modular fashion (ie Medical-Grey, Clothes-Orange etc.) and these are your best friends. No one makes a better ditty sack, especially if you're going ultralight.
A great example of inventive multi-use gear. The beam is powerful enough to use for night hiking in a variety of conditions and will strobe down to 2 lumens (basically a candle) for delicate use in a crowded tent.
Being able to convert this to lantern mode allows you to truly flood the inside of a tent with light, none of the dark corners over your book of choice which often occur with other lanterns.
Ingenious, lightweight, and effective.
Without a windscreen you will definitely lose a bit of the excellent fuel efficiency of this stove. I would recommend carrying a small amount of aluminum foil in your pack that you can be shaped to act as a screen in any situation. Better to carry some foil than extra fuel.
These shoes are comfortable (especially with a Superfeet insole inside), and relatively stylish but they don't breathe as well as I would like them to.
A day on your feet indoors with anything but the thinnest pair of socks can get pretty hot, very quickly. I got far better temperature regulation with a pair of much-more-substantial Merrell Moab's. I've also found that the material in front of your big toe will wear out relatively quickly (or at the very least leave a nice white mark on the shoe front).
All in all, they're very solid shoes for knocking around town and walking around a bit. If you plan on office/casual wear and you're not too mobile, you'll more than likely heat up pretty quickly.
I've been wearing nothing but Moab's for going on four years now. They're immeasurably comfortable, relatively rugged, handle water/mud very well and offer tremendous support in a small size.
Carrying no more than 25 pounds backpacking I see no need to wear a higher length mid or full on hiking boot and I love having shoes that can do double/triple/etc duty from on the trail, to around town, to doing some light biking. I've always been a fond fan of shoes that can serve in every situation and these fit the bill beautifully.
Over the summer/fall I beat these shoes up considerably outdoors instructing each day. Only one pair I've owned has been given up, thrashed after 2 1/2 years and even then it was only because it LOOKED beat-up, not because function or performance had been compromised. Go for it, you'll love them.
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