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PJ Orlando

PJ Orlando

The Dessert Southwest mainly in Arizona

PJ Orlando's Passions

Hiking & Camping

PJ Orlando's Bio

The next adventure is what drives me currently. I have sworn myself to ultra-light hike, backpack and do extensive camping over the next 3-5years in places all around the U.S. and possibly abroad.

I'm very... very lucky to live in Southern Arizona which has numerous hiking and backpacking areas. I did recently travel to the Gila Wilderness in New Mexico for two weeks.

I love to hike everywhere...Urban, Trail, or just walk to the store and back. My gear goes through the test everyday. So I know when it works or doesn't and wont write about it till I've used it in the field.

My ultimate destination I hope will be next summer or the one after in Spain. I plan to do El Camino del Santiago and then I want to run with the bulls.

PJ Orlando

PJ Orlandowrote a review of on June 9, 2011

Wrap your mind around a new way
4 5

It's truly ultralight and for that it acts and feels well different then what I know people are used to. In this case different is better and with one or two tweaks it could be one of the best packs ever.

The Good: Plenty of room with a separate hydration sleeve. I've got a 3L reservoir but will bet 2L works better. The mesh pocket in front looks to hold plenty and if you maximize all the spaces this can easily go for an overnight or multi-night-Ultralight pack.

The frame less pack is so light, I keep checking that I didn't leave anything behind. I like the way it sits and conforms on my back and even with only a mesh hip belt; the load transfer works well.

The top pocket is all mesh, but I live in the southwest and carry my Manta rain cover just in case. The shoulder straps are similar to what you get on a Manta and that works for me. "Inside out compression straps" are always a huge plus.

The Bad: Removable pad is hard to get in and out with gear and is just enough to cover your hip or as a sitting pad. I would have loved to see a more "fold out" style so I could literally lay out with it.

The Ugly: Side pockets are not worth a damn for a water bottle or most anything medium to large. I'm really shocked that they did not use more of the Exos style pocket on this pack. Or even like the 46l with the pockets going up the entire side. It would have been perfect for it.

This is a pack that If the bigger version (46L) was a bit bigger and/or had a sizable removable pad I think this thing would be awesome and could even replace my Exos 58 one day.

Overall minus the pockets I think this 32l is terrific for everyday use, a day pack, or even for a overnight ultra light trip; It's the only way to go... I totally recommend it but... understand it feels different the way it sits but comfortable.




PJ Orlando

PJ Orlandowrote a review of on May 4, 2011

The Bivy is Great and did everything asked.
5 5

Marmot Home Alone Bivy...

Uh its a bivy, um no its a tent...Well not really sure what you want to call it but the name has bivy in it; so lets go with that. What it comes down to, is its a very light weight hybrid that is made for 3 1/2 season camping. It has durability and a simplistic design, lacking only perhaps one well talked about feature. Plus if you have any experience in backpacking or your just milling around REI; you realize a company like Marmot is in the upper tier of tent (Uh sorry, bivy) making. This product falls right in line with that.

The Good:

The Home alone bivy is just about featherweight as you can get. Comes with one pole that is a basically a hoop cut in half. It's a non-freestanding rainproof, windproof tube like structure. Durable enough for one antsy sleeping camper (me) on a bed of pointy lava rocks at 9900 ft. We are talking "membrane-strata" laminate on light weight nylon. Packable down to something virtually unnoticeable in your bag. The mesh door allows you to gaze at the stars while reducing the chance of condensation. Close the flap, but not all the way in case of rain and know you are going to be good and dry for the evening. Teriffic just sitting out a southwestern monsoon before trekking onward.

The Bad:

Seven stakes (you can get away with 5) in all so setup does take a little bit of time compared to a freestanding tent or bivy sack. Be prepared for getting a routine down and staying down for the night. It's a bivy with a pole so the head room is not too grand but it has a lot of space length wise. All and all minimal sacrifices for a ultra light option.

The Ugly:

Just a vent in the foot box area would cure condensation for good. A little wetness does develop around the feet when the foot box is not raised. In a rain storm though, its going to be worse. Some people have even gone to extreme measures and created a mesh vent and flap of their own.


Well if you didn't get the point from the commercial above lol...I love this bivy and I don't think it will ever be left out of my bag. When you are out there and have to rely on your choices of what gear you picked. A smile wil come cross your face knowing this was indeed the right choice. When worried about setting up camp as night was quickly falling in Jordan Canyon. The fact I could get myself, sleeping bag and pad in there, then pull in my 58+ liter pack in as my pillow; helped me relax for a tense bear sniffing night. Nuff said.go get it :-)