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Will Newton

Will Newton

William's Passions

Backpacking
Hiking
Snowshoeing
Kayaking
Will Newton

Will Newton wrote a review of on November 15, 2013

4 5

Familiarity: I returned this product before using it
Fit: True to size

My beloved Arcteryx Squamish gave up the ghost recently, and I thought I'd try the Bitihorn Aero. .7oz heavier, similar pleasant fabric hand, arguably nicer colors, great adjustable velcro cuffs and hem pull. The hood, however, is GIGANTIC and lacks any brim shaping at all. If you need it to wear with a helmet, highly recommended; if not, the Squamish's hood is unbeatable.

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Will Newton

Will Newton wrote a review of on November 15, 2013

3 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

So yes, these straps will hold two pads together. Ironically, they work better on pads with horizontal baffles -- with Exped's vertical baffles the pads tend to clamshell shut if unsupervised. The stuffsack is horrendous; the velcro on the straps will tear it up within one trip.

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Will Newton

Will Newton wrote a review of on August 10, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Started with a Fly Creek UL3: light but too cramped for 2 on a multiday trip. Went to a Jack Rabbit SL3: spacious but too heavy for 2 on a multiday trip, also fly zips are a nightmare, and I don't trust the plastic pole hub. Then BA adds a spreader bar to the formerly meh Seedhouse SL3, and we have a winner. 56oz packed; *more* footprint room than the Jack Rabbit, wonderful headroom. Tight as a drum and perfectly dry when pitched well. If you're attempting to ease an indoorsy friend into lightweight backpacking, this is the tent to do it in.

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Will Newton

Will Newton wrote a review of on July 18, 2013

2 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Was excited to try the FC2P; after 15 nights in it, I'm less excited. The bathtub bottom is cut so low that in any sort of driving rain, splashback becomes a real issue no matter the pitch. Less specific to this tent, the Fly Creek series wastes a lot of space between the ridgepole and the inner. I ended up returning to a Seedhouse SL2; I can live with the weight penalty for more usable room, properly high sides and materials that inspire more confidence. If you're slightly built and live somewhere relatively dry, the FC2P is a competent 3-season tent, but there are much better options for the price.

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Will Newton

Will Newton wrote a review of on June 7, 2013

1 5

3 NeoAirs, 3 leaks. 3 field patches, 3 more leaks. Spare yourself the warranty returns and your tentmates the incessant noisy crinkling. Being stuck halfway through a walk across Iceland with all your patches used and no working sleeping pad is unpleasant. Exped SynMat UL7 is a much better choice, from a size, durability and insulation standpoint; Nemo Astro if you want to go heavier.

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Will Newton

Will Newton wrote a review of on May 25, 2013

4 5

Delightfully warm, amazingly well-fitted jacket. I thought everyone was crazy for raving about the cuffs until I got one; the cuffs really are very well-done. The hood, however, is a big round puffy fishbowl that catches wind and doesn't move with your head, which is a shame, since Arc'x does great hoods elsewhere. If you can live with the hood, this is the lightweight syn piece to beat.

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Will Newton

Will Newton wrote a review of on May 25, 2013

3 5

Among lighter pillow options, Exped is the one to beat. The dual valves are awesome, and the packability is amazing. I may just have an unusually slippery head, but the material of this pillow is such that unless properly positioned it tends to scoot out from under my head. Body oils will naturally stain and degrade the top surface of this (and most Exped products, I find) over time). Went with a washable Nemo Fillo (11oz, blarg) after a year, kept the Exped as a backup.

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Will Newton

Will Newton wrote a review of on May 25, 2013

4 5

Yes, 11oz is a lot for a pillow. Used to use an Exped Air Pillow (4oz) for just that reason. But the Fillo's comfort and adjustability simply can't be beat. Very supportive for side sleepers, washable, and appropriate for the park, beach or travel when you're not out there. Perhaps most importantly, if you a trying to introduce a non-outdoorsy significant other to backpacking, your sleep system is often the make-or-break point. Fillo has a magical ability to help in these situations.

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Will Newton

Will Newton wrote a review of on May 5, 2013

4 5

This is a big, comfy bag, and an amazing deal for the quality. Having used the Marmot Plasma series, I feel that vertical baffles move with you better, esp. for restless side sleepers. Shoulder girth is excellent, on par with WM Megalite or Kodiak; I have a 46" chest and broad shoulders and this bag is non-confining. The hood, however, is a mess; the cinch cord is unfinished and drawing the hood tight leaves 10" or so of pretensioned cord which tends to either tickle or slap you in the face all night. If this doesn't bother you, it's an unbeatable deal. I really hope backcountry refines the hood cord on the next iteration.

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