Sam

Sam

Arlene's Passions

Fly Fishing
Hiking & Camping
Paddling
Snowshoeing
Climbing

Sam

Sam wrote an answer about on December 6, 2013

I've fallen in a river with this strapped on the outside of my pack and it took me about a minute to get myself and it out of the water. I set it out in the sun for 30 minuets, give or take, and let it dry out and it didn't seem any worse for wear or even damp for that matter. the water all just kind of rolled off the surface. I've heard of closed cell foam absorbing water after a whole lot of use and abuse but I've had mine for over 10 years and it still works fine rain or shine, (though it looks a bit ratty around the edges)

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Sam

Sam wrote a review of on April 19, 2013

5 5

The 30oz bottle is great for week+ trips in the summer time and 4 to 6 day trips in the winter when you need to melt a lot of snow for drinking water. I get about 3hrs of burn time out of my DragonFly with this container when it's on full blast. Great bottle and cap combo.
The 20oz bottle is my go too for most longish camping trips (4 to 6 days) in warmer weather and weekends in the winter when I will be melting a lot of snow to drink. It holds enough fuel for my DragonFly stove to burn for about 2hrs on full bore and longer if I'm doing a lot of simmering.
The 11oz bottle is perfect for extended weekends in the back country as long as I don't have to use the stove to melt snow for water, in which case it works for short overnight trips. I get about an hour of burn time, give or take, with this small bottle.
I, like the majority out there, miss the old bottle cap; however, I really don't mind the new "child proof" caps that much. The trick to these new caps is to NOT crank them down to tight as the child lock mech takes care of leaking issues. If you can get into the can the white gas (or whatever) comes in, you should be able to get into these without a problem, just don't use gorilla strength when you close it. If you do tighten it too much then use a stick or some other lever through the loop at the top to help get it open.

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Sam

Sam wrote a review of on April 19, 2013

4 5

Okay, first off I have this and a Z-rest and honestly, in the summer time I pretty much dislike, if not hate, them both. They are rather hard and don't offer that much reward for the weight and bulk. For summer camping; go with an inflatable. So why the 4 stars you ask? Because in the winter this thrown under an Inflatable gives you an incredibly warm sleep (as long as your sleeping bag does its job and keeps you toasty on top). I've camped on top of mountains here in Colorado in subzero conditions with steady 30+ mph winds (granted this is usually inside a tent or snow cave, but I have tarped it a couple of times when the temp hung right around 0) and the combo of these foam pads and an inflatable is incredible, not to mention VERY comfy! So, for winter camping I don't leave these behind, they have become a part of my "permanent" gear list (at least until something better comes along).

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Sam

Sam wrote a review of on April 19, 2013

4 5

I'm pretty much going to say the same thing here as I said about the RidgeRest SOlite. Honestly, in the summer time I pretty much dislike, if not hate, them both. They are rather hard and don't offer that much reward for the weight and bulk. For summer camping; go with an inflatable. So why the 4 stars you ask? Because in the winter this thrown under an Inflatable gives you an incredibly warm sleep (as long as your sleeping bag does its job and keeps you toasty on top). I've camped on top of mountains here in Colorado in subzero conditions with steady 30+ mph winds (granted this is usually inside a tent or snow cave, but I have tarped it a couple of times when the temp hung right around 0) and the combo of these foam pads and an inflatable is incredible, not to mention VERY comfy! So, for winter camping I don't leave these behind, they have become a part of my "permanent" gear list (at least until something better comes along). For winter time make sure you go with the full length, unless your short (no offense), to take advantage of the cold blocking all the way down your legs.

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Sam

Sam wrote a review of on March 22, 2013

5 5

I wasn't sure whether or not I should get this (mostly because it's 3 rimes more expensive than any tarp I've ever gotten) but I wound up really liking it! It reminds me of a 4 season tent's shell without the floor or poles. You can even lower the "door" (of which there is only one by the way) if the wind picks up and you start to get a bit chilly. It sets up in about 5 minutes and I've noticed that time decreasing as I get used to it. It also stood up to 25-30mph winds with no problem; just make sure the guylines are tight. It's light enough that I would be more than willing to take it on solo trips, yet I can easily fit in it along with 2 of my friends and all of our gear (I'm 6'10" 210lbs and one of my buddies is 6'4" 320lbs so this is not a common ability for us in a light backpacking tent). It's surprisingly warm inside which is kind of a double edged sword. In the mountains where it stays mostly cool and in areas where there is a high chance of rain, this is the best tarp I've ever used. Combined with a good ground cloth I would even consider using this for winter camping. If you are hiking in an area where it's going to be hot 24/7, not a high chance of moisture and shade is a premium concern, go with a more traditional tarp that allows a better breeze to get through.
It comes with MSR Mini Ground Hog stakes (or at least mine did) which work pretty good but I would look at getting the Standard Ground Hogs as they add extra security if the wind picks up. I sometimes inter mix them with the standard size being used by the door, where the wind can catch the hardest and the Minis everywhere else. Over all, it hurts to put this kind of money down for a tarp but after words the benefits are well worth it.

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Sam

Sam wrote a review of on March 22, 2013

5 5

After using friends DragonFlys in the backcountry for years I finally got one for myself. I have used a cartridge stove (Not sure what brand, I've had it since I was a kid) and have always liked the liquid fuel stoves over the cartridge style due to their versatility and the fact that you can use a wind screen as well as the stability of this stove in particular.
The DragonFly is amazing in the winter time for melting snow and uses a very small amount of fuel for the job (over a hr. on high per 10oz of fuel) and takes no room in my giant winter pack. For summer, it's a bit bulky but I like the fact that you have solid heat control and can bring foods to a simmer (great for beans and rice based dishes).
In real world conditions the stats given by MSR are a bit unrealistic but here's what I have found to be the average; 45F outside with a 10-15mph breeze at just over 7,000 ft., you can bring 3 � cups of water to a rolling boil in right at 3min 45sec (by the way, it works great at altitude also, lighting right up at a bit over 12,000 ft.). I used a GSI tea kettle for these tests and this was consistently the numbers I got (give or take 10sec either side on average). These numbers were with the wind screen and reflector that are included with the stove. For small pots (narrow based solo sets for example) you will need to jerry-rig something to narrow down the pot stand (I use tent stakes propped between the legs and have had no issues with stability).
Now as far as the noise, it's true that it's pretty loud (reminds me of a small jet engine) but this is only the case when it's on full blast. When simmering the noise is on par with that of your typical liquid fuel stove. If you're looking for quite, go with an alcohol stove (which I also like), if you want something that works with pretty much any pot and gives you the most control over the flame level (and a lot of heat when you need it), then this is the stove for you.

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