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Seth Spartan

Seth Spartan

American living in Cairo, Egypt.

Seth Spartan's Passions

Hiking & Camping

Seth Spartan's Bio

Now a blue/Off-Piste telemark skier going into my third season. Formerly a Black / double black snowboarder since '98 who prefers the trees and bowls over the park.

Former collegiate rower / cyclist gone to the computer geek world. In the seasons free of powder, I'm primarily a Trail runner, though I've also competed in the top 5% of my age group in triathlons (all distances). Always been a backpacker, though getting into mountaineering.

Seth Spartan

Seth Spartanwrote a question about on March 19, 2015

How comfortable is compared to ground sleeping? My wife has hips and sleeps on her side so she frequently finds a thermarest in a normal tent is not sufficient for a good night's sleep. How does this tension tent compare?

How does this tent handle someone getting up in the middle of the night? Does it rock around?



Seth Spartan

Seth Spartanwrote a review of on November 11, 2009

2 5

While my wife and I used this for 5 weeks while backpacking across the country this past summer, we found the batteries dead at least once. Thankfully we had a backup plan, but it got me thinking: why bother with this, if you're going to carry a backup plan?

Yes, the SteriPen can purify 1L in 90 seconds and we never had any problem that appeared to be related to water, but for something this fundamental reliability is key. With a chemical treatment you know how many doses you have left. With this, you have no idea if you have 100L or 1L left, and who knows, if the button gets hit in your pack or the temps kill the batteries, your new batteries may be dead tomorrow morning.

There are plenty of chemical treatment options that can purify your water very quickly. Many are as light or lighter than this and you know exactly how much you have left.

I like the steri-pen, I really do. But if I'm going to carry a chemical backup plan, why am I carrying this in the first place?





Seth Spartan

Seth Spartanwrote a review of on February 20, 2009

1 5

It's mountain hardware, how bad can they be? Really?

Bad if you're using them for skiing. And not worth the cash if you're mountaineering.

Wind blows right through them. No warmth whatsoever. And the wet snow melted and soaked them so fast that within 1/2 the lift ride they were wet to my base layer. For skiing, I say they're terrible. I normally ski in hard shells and boxers 'cause I run warm, and for my first season in 10 years I'm wearing thermals. I don't normally want insulation, but shesh, how about a little wind protection?

I've sliced through the ankles in the second month of owning them, but I'm learning tele this season. If you're a better skier you may not have that issue.

Full length zips might be nice if you were mountaineering, but they're more of a pain in the butt for skiing. Fortunately (as noted above) I don't want any ventilation either. The fabric does that for me. Possibly the worst outdoor gear purchase I've ever had.




Seth Spartan

Seth Spartanwrote a review of on November 13, 2008

2 5

I know a lot of friends of mine like 'em but I'm not a fan. Here's why:

1) Climbing Mt. Rainer with the winter mix. Winter mix got too cold to light. (Thankfully I had my MSR Whisper Lite to cook / make water with.)

2) Can't fly with the canisters. So if you're flying some place, you're going to have to cross your fingers and hope you can find a store that sells it. That's fine if you travel to western populated locations, but eastern Europe or Central Asia. Good luck, I'll take the stoves that can take unleaded fuel or karosene.

3) Another on flying: Say you do buy some. Odds are you probably won't use it all. Still can't fly with it home, so you're stuck donating it to someone. (Which I'm sure they will appreciate.) At least with the unleaded fuel options you can pour the $0.30 of gas into a car.

4) Care about your carbon footprint? Think about everyone of those cans that gets thrown away.

And generally: I found my MSR WhisperLite to be able to boil 2 cups in a pot just as fast as the Jet Boil can in it's specialized mug. (And another plus to general stoves: you can cook 4 or more mugs at once, so you're not eating in shifts if you only brought one stove for a group.)

Overall, if you're a solo hiker and this is the ONLY thing you have, it's not bad. It is REAALLY easy to use. But for people in groups or air travelers, I think there are better options out there.