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John M.

John M.

NEW YORK

John M.'s Passions

Hiking & Camping
Skiing
Running
Paddling

John M.'s Bio

Hiker, backpacker, skier and runner

John M.

John M.wrote a review of on July 15, 2019

Unbelievably lightweight and compact
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I love this pad. It is one of my all time favorite pieces of gear. It- I have the Mummy R- weighs 15 oz, and packs down to about the size of a Nalgene. It comes with a inflation sack. I think the uninsulated version is perfect for all but Winter; a 50, 60 degree day and 30's night is fine. The fabric is a thinner denier to save weight, this will not be a problem sleeping in a tent. If you like sleeping under the stars, a ground cloth might be advisable. I cannot recommend an outdoor product more.

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John M.

John M.wrote a review of on May 3, 2019

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I added one to all my packs and bladders. (You can buy one hose/sternum strap set and the three sternum strap set to move a reservoir between 4 packs).
The magnet is strong. Fits any 1/4' (standard) reservoir hose, as well as the new Platy Big Zip 5/16' hose.
My only concern is it effecting a compass' magnetism, so I make sure never to carry my compass in a shirt pocket.

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John M.

John M.wrote a review of on May 3, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 1"
Weight: 220 lbs

A very lightweight hoody with a 50+ UPF rating. Prevents the exhaustion that comes with too much Sun, not to mention skin damage. Great for exposed ridge hikes, and early morning and late afternoon Sun while moving around camp.
The material is so light, you can rinse it in a Lake or Brook, wring it out, and it will dry within a hour while worn and within in a few hours attached to the outside of a pack. I cannot attest to durability.

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John M.

John M.wrote a review of on April 30, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

It fits a bottle of wine with a little room to spare. They weigh nothing, and fold down small. I usually carry one filled with red in my Osprey's stuff pocket in between my camp shoes, usually Sanuks. I have numerous one liter Platy soft water bottles, which I carry in my pack filled to camp, and I have never had one leak or burst.

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John M.

John M.wrote a review of on April 2, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Only once have I had a filter fail, and I was glad I brought these. Easy to use, they weigh nothing and they kill everything, including crypto. The taste is minimal; open your bottle and let the air at it to lessen the taste.
I like filter water directly into my water bladder, and then toss 2 Micropurs in on day 3 or 4 of a backpacking trip to clean it.
A great product.

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John M.

John M.wrote a review of on February 21, 2019

Great piece of gear
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

A very lightweight, perfect sized mug. Handles are solid.

I always carry one on 4 day, 3 night solo backpacking trips; I store a 4oz Nalgene jar with sugar for coffee in it. It's use allows me to use my stove solely to boil water, so I have no need to store it away from my tent each night to keep bears away from me. I can safely store the stove in the tent's vestibule.

It's dishwasher safe, and the only wear on mine is cosmetic- the painted logo has faded over time. I carry it, the 4oz Nalgene stored in it, and a long spoon in a 2 liter GG air bag.

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John M.

John M.wrote a review of on November 27, 2018

Durable and lightweight enough
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

At 3 1/2 lbs, lightweight if not ultralight. The tent comes with a foot print, but you'll only need it for the fast pitch option. The heavier denier allows you to set up anywhere without a footprint.
The door is on the left, so a left zip sleeping bag is a plus. The vestibule is big enough for a pack and a good amount of gear. The vent is above your head while sleeping, so it's easy enough to open or close without fully leaving the tent. I make sure to guy out the back of the tent in hot, wet or humid weather.
I carry the parts separately: the fly and body in a compression sack, the stakes and poles in the Marmot provided sacks. Switched out the stakes for MSR groundhogs for guylines and vestibule, and mini-groundhogs for the tent body. I made lightweight guy lines out of 1.8 mm paracord which saves space and weight. The tent comes with 4 guy lines, you'll need 5.
The only complaint: why no guy line tabs on tent fly ends? I haven't had any moisture build up and seep into the tent from the end walls, but it is the only place it could happen. To prevent this: guy out the tent fly's back wall, tighten the fly buckles, and open the top vent.
There is a plastic J clip on tent's ceiling that you can hang a lantern from. There is a lampshade pocket that fits a headlamp and provides ambient light.

I would recommend for any solo backpacker. It's my third one person tent, and the best designed and lightest I have used.

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John M.

John M.wrote a review of on November 27, 2018

Unreal comfort, especially on warm days
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

The perfect 2 or 3 day pack.

The mesh back panel / suspension is the best made. Two top pockets, a stash pocket big enough for camp shoes or a jacket. and two large hip belt pockets offer plenty of on the go access. I do solo backpacking trips of 3 days, 2 nights with this pack regularly, for longer trips I carry the Aether 70.
Easily fits a three season bag, one person tent, stove, clothing, food, etc.
The two trekking pole loops for transport are great, as are the trekking pole fast stow straps ( for scrambles) on the pack's left side.

I was able to get the previous version discounted, the new version has sleeping bag compartment straps (the old version did not) for attaching a sleeping pad.

This pack is made for overnights and weekends in comfort while doing big miles.

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John M.

John M.wrote a review of on November 27, 2018

Big load hauler
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Unbelievable comfort while carrying big weight. It's a multi-day pack made for carrying heavy loads. Suspension is great. Could use a couple extra pockets. Stash pocket is great for carrying camp shoes or a rain jacket.

Love the trekking pole loops for transport (on the pack's back), and the trekking pole loops (on the left shoulder strap and below the water bottle pocket) for climbs and scrambles so there is no need to break the poles down or toss them up ahead of you. I was using a Gregory Triconi (basically a 60 liter Gregory Baltoro-2008 model), but at around 35 pounds I began to feel it. At 50 pounds (day one, with 5 days worth of food and transporting 5 liters of water to my campsite), the Aether still carries the load comfortably.

Cannot recommend enough.

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John M.

John M.wrote a review of on November 27, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Lightweight and pretty powerful; dim by pushing on the bulb. It has an emergency setting. Runs on 3 AAA batteries. Can hang in tent. Good for rain or cold weather when you're stuck in a tent, and it saves headlamp batteries. Excellent back-up light for solo backpackers. Just turn top battery around when carrying to prevent pack shifting from turning it on.

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John M.

John M.wrote a review of on November 24, 2018

A solid, mid-weight leather boot
4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: Runs small
Height: 6' 1"
Weight: 220 lbs
Size Purchased: 11.5

A solid boot for cold and wet conditions; classic leather hiking boot design with modern waterproof materials. I wear a lightweight synthetic hiking boot in most conditions when backpacking, but in the soaked NE this October it was obvious a thicker, leather boot was needed. I found the St. Elias to run small { I wear an 11, had to exchange for an 11 1/2); the ball of the foot area was very tight. The real issue with fitting is understanding the toe box fit will not change much after breaking them in, the sewn in rubber toe guard doesn't allow for it. They do require minor breaking in. The sewn in toe guard does prevent delamination, a common problem with some glued on hiking boot toe guards. I will be cleaning and applying Nikwax spray after early uses to waterproof the broken in leather and to prevent it from wetting out. Very happy with the boot: great materials, well made, etc. Have read about lace problems, so I replaced the Vasque laces with a pair of round wave laces.
I wore them winter backpacking in December in NY (a dusting of snow, lots of mud). The boot proved to be waterproof; I wore them with and without gaiters.

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John M.

John M.wrote a review of on July 26, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 1"
Weight: 220 lbs
Size Purchased: XL

Well made, durable materials, and quick drying. I have many, and always carry at least one when backpacking. They allow for good movement, and aren't degraded by dried deet (insect repellent is a must when backpacking in lyme country). The price is reasonable, and they seem to be discounted regularly.

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John M.

John M.wrote a review of on July 26, 2018

Bear baggin'
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I always carry three: a 15 liter for dehydrated meals, a 5 for snacks and drinks, and a old 15 for garbage which I line with 2 plastic heftys. I cut the corners off my Mountain House meals to prevent them from removing the internal waterproof coating. I hang all three from a mini-caribiner with the PCT bear bag method (Google pct bear bag).

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John M.

John M.wrote a review of on July 12, 2018

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 1"
Weight: 220 lbs
Size Purchased: 38/32

Durable fabric for the price. Quick drying, and functional. Six pockets are plus (four of them either zipper or velcro closure). They are very lightweight; great for warm or hot weather backpacking. The only downside is the stitching; the back pockets are single stitched on the inside of the U, while the rest of the pocket is double stitched. This leads to the stitching wearing away if sliding on your butt while descending on rock.

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John M.

John M.wrote a review of on April 24, 2017

3 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I have many stuff sacks, by many brands (REI, OR, Osprey), and I end up using the 3 liter Granite Gear on all trips. I carry my mug, spoon, and nalgene sugar container in one, and toiletries in another. The white interior does allow you to see what you are looking for, but other than at night you probably won't need it. Just purchased the 16 liter long and am carrying a Prolite 4 sleeping pad in it; it's well made and durable.
update---switched to the GG air bag stuff sack---unbelievably lightweight

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