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Scott Jasper

Scott Jasper

Colorado and Wyoming (mostly)

Scott's Passions

Backpacking

Scott's Bio

I live in Ames, Iowa and work as a mechanical engineer in Des Moines. I love alpine/sub-alpine backpacking and have packed in Colorado, Wyoming, Washington, California, Utah, South Dakota, Arkansas and Iowa. I've posted a lot of 5 star gear reviews on backcountry.com. I keep a VERY detailed log of my gear -- every piece of gear/food/clothing has been weighed down to a tenth-of-an-ounce -- and I scrutinize the crap out of this stuff! If I give it 5 stars, I mean it.

Scott Jasper

Scott Jasper posted a video about on April 13, 2014

If you're looking at this cartridge you probably already know about its features and benefits. If not, see my review of the excellent Platypus GravityWorks 4.0L Filter System. I think the GravityWorks systems flow like a stream!

Video (test/first video upload) shows Arkansas' Buffalo River Trail after a spring rain.

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Scott Jasper

Scott Jasper wrote a review of on April 13, 2014

2 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

First off, I think Platypus GravityWorks Filter Systems are the bomb! I give this 2.0L Filter System a 2 star, or "not recommended", rating only because I think the GravityWorks 4.0L Filter System is the best backcountry filtration system out there (see my separate review of that excellent product)!

Reason: For virtually the same weight, cost and space in your pack, you get the flexibility to manage up to 8L (with the 4.0L system) vs. only up to 4L (with the 2.0L system) - again, see my review of the 4.0L system.

It seems as if the usefulness of the 2.0L system is for day hikes (and it's presented that way in at least one Platypus product video). In contrast, the 4.0L system can be used for day hikes AND overnights AND weekend trips AND week-long trips, etc.

Reviewers Note: Upon re-reading backcountry.com's product description above, the 2.0L product would be a good choice for solo backpacking adventures. But, for all the reasons I've outlined above, I still recommend the 4.0L system.

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Scott Jasper

Scott Jasper wrote a review of on April 13, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I've been using the Platypus GravityWorks filter system for over four years and it may be the best backcountry water filter system out there. It's light (under 11 oz), fast (4 liters in 2-1/2 minutes) and flexible (you can carry up to 8 liters into camp).

I use the clean reservoir as my hydration bladder, thus eliminating the weight of my 4 oz hydration bladder. The performance specs (1.75 liters per minute) are as good as the fastest pumping systems out there. And while the water is filtering - by gravity - I can take care of other backpacking tasks (try doing that next time you're pumping 4 liters of water by hand). And... with two 4 liter reservoirs (one "dirty", one clean), you can carry up to 8 liters - useful when you're camp is away from a water source. Lastly, this system is super-convenient for dispensing clean water at camp: Hang the 4 liter clean reservoir and use outlet tube and shut-off valve to fill water bottles, wash hands, etc.

The magic in the GravityWorks filter cartidge is its hollow glass fiber technology. The tiny glass fibers filter to 0.2 microns to remove bacteria and protozoans (i.e. giardia). But... hucking a glass fiber filter around the backcountry comes with some caveats: 1. Treat her gently - the ends are protected with foam rubber, but a slam to a rock might cause damage; 2. Protect from freezing (I keep my filter in the foot of my sleeping bag when overnight temps drop below 32 deg); 3. Carefully follow Platypus' instructions for backflushing air bubbles (air bubbles being the scourge of hollow glass fiber filtration).

I've backpacked for over 25 years and have previously used First Need Deluxe, Katadyn Pocket, Katadyn Hiker and MSR Hyperflow pump-type filters. I won't go back.

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Scott Jasper

Scott Jasper wrote a review of on April 12, 2014

Platypus' Platy SoftBottle Rocks!
4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I'm a big fan of Platypus products and their SoftBottle is no exception. On backcountry adventures I use my 1L SoftBottle around camp / in my tent and as an emergency backup for my Platypus hydration system. I got the push-pull cap for easy drinks during the night. This cap is so hard to open and close that I mostly screw it on-off (and, thus, a one star deduction).

Photo shows my Grey 1L SoftBottle weighing in at 0.90 oz (empty) and 35.0 oz (full).

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Scott Jasper

Scott Jasper wrote a review of on April 11, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I bought Therm-a-Rest's RidgeRest Regular SOLite Sleeping Pad (17.7 oz / R2.8) for winter adventures. When combined with my always-used Therm-a-Rest Regular Prolite (16.4 oz / R2.2) I get a fairly lightweight package that minimizes heat loss to the ground (combined 34.1 oz / R5.0).

Product description above says, "its low weight and small size when packed ... help you shave weight and save space in your pack during your four-season overnights." This pad is BULKY! The only way it's helping you save space in your pack is because it wont fit in your pack (and must be lashed to the outside).

p.s. Pad is meant to be used "silver side up" when placed on the ground. The shiny surface is intended to reflect radiated body heat back to your body.

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Scott Jasper

Scott Jasper posted an image about on April 8, 2014

MH Skyledge 3 Tent - Component Weights

Mountain Hardwear Skyledge 3 component weights:

29.2 oz - tent canopy
20.2 oz - rain fly
19.3 oz - (3) poles
3.50 oz - (8) stakes (Note 3)
1.55 oz - tent stuff sack
0.75 oz - (4) guy cords / plastic hardware
0.70 oz - pole stuff sack
0.45 oz - stake stuff sack
0.30 oz - pole splint

Sum of weights: 75.95 oz = 4 lbs, 12 oz

Notes:
1. Scale is accurate to within 0.05 oz
2. Weights are for former Skyledge 3 model, not the Skyledge 3 DP
3. MH furnishes tent with 8 stakes... it can use up to 12 = 4 (canopy) + 4 (rain fly) + 4 (guy cords)
4. Skyledge 3 footprint not included with tent
5. Photo shows Skyledge 3 on snowy 11,000 ft morning in Mt of the Holy Cross Wilderness, Colorado

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Scott Jasper

Scott Jasper wrote a review of on April 6, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

Pulsar 1P tent component weights (scale accurate to within 0.05 oz):

18.8 oz - rain fly w/ guy cords
18.0 oz - tent canopy
11.7 oz - pole
3.50 oz - (7) stakes*
1.60 oz - 304" guy cord + plastic guy hardware**
1.10 oz - tent stuff sack
0.50 oz - pole stuff sack
0.30 oz - pole splint
0.30 oz - stake stuff sack

Sum of weights = 55.8 oz = 3 lbs, 8 oz
Marmot's stated maximum/packed weight = 3lb, 6 oz

Tent also includes (3) 12" x 3" strips of self-adhesive ripstop nylon, for repairs. These weigh 0.45 oz, total, and aren't included in weights above.


Pulsar 1P footprint weights (footprint not included with tent):

6.20 oz - Marmot 1P footprint
0.50 oz - footprint stuff sack


* Marmot furnishes tent with seven stakes. Tent can use up to eleven: 4 for canopy + 3 for rain fly + 4 for guy cords. I substituted (11) MSR Mini Groundhog Stakes (3.60 oz total) for the originals.

** The original guy cords and plastic hardware look like they came with a cheap badminton set (c'mon Marmot!). I substituted 240" of Sea to Summit 1.8mm Reflective Accessory Cord (0.40 oz total) and tautline hitch knots.

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Scott Jasper

Scott Jasper wrote an answer about on April 5, 2014

And one more follow-up comment regarding backpacks for young teenagers... I recommend the least expensive pack that's sized for the intended use (overnight or weekend or week-long trips?) and that fits really well. Reason: This pack will likely be outgrown in a year or so (my son went from a size small Osprey Atmos to a size large in 2 years!). I also recommend trying the pack on in-person and having knowledgeable sales staff help fit and test-load the pack (to simulate trail weight). If you save tags and take reasonable care of the pack, you'll likely be able to sell it for a decent price when your teen outgrows it.

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Scott Jasper

Scott Jasper wrote a review of on April 5, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I gave it as a gift, but have feedback to share
Fit: True to size

My son used this hat on a recent 40-mile trip on California's Lost Coast Trail. He appreciated the vent holes and deep brim for cooling and shade from the all-day-every-day sun. The blue color (no longer carried by bc.com?) looked nice with his "blue sapphire" Marmot Precip jacket.

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