The Vault Regulars

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

How did the gear do?

I had some new bits on this trip but the majority i had used before.
I am just making a few notes here for info purposes.

Tent - Kuiu Mountain Star 2 person. 

  • Great space to weight
  • Robust main body and pole structure
  • Porch adequate
  • Door flapping improved from last time but i now know that the cut of the door material is wrong and i will have to make the best out of it. I have a mod in mind.
  • One way main door zips are annoying and i wish zips were a bit cheaper because i would otherwise change them to two way.
  • Snow was blown through the air vent opening even with it shut. Additional velcro tape added to the vent bottom edge to seal it better.
  • Two inner pockets are small and four would be better. Easily modified.
As a groundsheet protector i used lightweight double glazing sheet that i bought from Screwfix. I had my doubts that it would be any good. But it was. And at £3.29 for next to no grams in weight, it was a bargain.

Tent Light

Obviously at this time of year many hours are spent in the tent, so a light is needed. This Lixada LED one works well and has 3 power settings to save battery power. The price, £7 and 160 grams is ok.
I have since done away with the steel swing arm and clip, so its a bit lighter now.
PHD Minim 500 Sleeping Bag

  • The PHD 500 is a design your own bag and not offered as std.
  • I was overly warm and could have managed with a lighter bag.
  • Sheila was fine and couldn’t have managed a lighter bag.
  • Zips constantly snag and can be difficult to get started.
We also took a very light weight pair of Lanland down booties. Ideal for time in the tent to keep the extremities cosy. They are so light i just leave them in my sleeping bag during transits. They are very cheap as well in comparison to what is available from UK suppliers. A bit of a luxury really.
Thanks to John at over the hills blog for the heads up.

Exped Synmat UL7  (me)

  • Felt the cold through it almost instantly.
  • Comfortable, well made.
  • Easy to inflate with the schnozzle.
  • Stays inflated.
  • I like the vertical tubes rather than the horizontal tubes.
Thermarest Neo Air. (Sheila)
  • Felt the cold floor through it.
  • Was a free replacement for one that leaked and seems to be working fine.
  • Horizontal tubes.
To combat the cold coming through we use 3mm of wood flooring insulation. At 100 grams for 500 mm x 2000mm it is the best warmth to weight insulation out there. Never be without it.
You do have to buy more than you need but with the rough use it gets in a tent you can replace it at will.

Deuter Air Contact 40 + 10 Rucksack

  • Comfortable
  • Well designed hiking sack.
  • Too heavy to use on longer trips.
I usually use the OMM villain 45 but it’s quite a limited sack, basic in fact.
I am thinking of changing it and fancy the Montane Grand Tour 55.
OMM Jirishanca 35L Rucksack (Sheila)

  • A nice sack, comfortable and strong all round.
  • A bit small for multi day hikes. Especially with a winter sleeping bag installed.
  • A floating lid would help.
An addition neck closure would help as can be found on the Villain.
Sheila has now bought a new bag from Cotswold outdoors at a reduced rate from that advertised.
Its the Montane Grand Tour 50

Caldera Cone with 12-10 stove and 600ml Evernew Titanium Pot.

  • I cannot fault this system. 
  • Coped with cooking/boiling water for 2 people.
  • Works well in adverse weather, which for me is the top requirement.
Boots and Socks. (Sheila and myself)
  • Ecco Biom Terrains.
  • Very comfy and supportive boot. 
  • Made from Yak Leather. 
  • Very waterproof. 
  • Good grip.
Lots of good socks on the market, Bridgedale, Teko, Smartwool etc. My particular favourite is xsocks.

  • Jacket. Bergans Super Lett. - Cannot fault it or the Dermizax Material. 
  • It’s a longer length jacket than is generally offered today.
  • Trousers. OR Hellium 2. Lightweight, pack small and do the job.
  • Jacket. Bergans 1316 Sirdal Lady. Not the lightest jacket but reliable and again the Dermizax material is excellent.
  • Trousers. Bergans Super Lett. Lightweight, packable and do the job.
  • Sheila didn’t take a windproof.
Device Charger.
  • Sheila is more techy than i am, constantly using the iphone for photographs and social media. Unfortunately apple and others have taken the backwards step of having fixed batteries. So a charger is a necessity on backpacking trips.
  • Jackery Giant.
  • This “Giant” really is. It’s a 12,000 mAh monster. 110mm x 80mm x 20mm and weighs 309 grams. It charged up the iphone twice and we listened to music for 2 hours with it plugged in. There are 3 bars showing charge level and it stayed on 3 bars the whole trip. So this would be ideal for long trips where civilisation was not being encountered.
  • A 6000 mAh charger would be ideal for 3 - 4 day wilderness walks.
  • Well made, quality product.
  • Reasonable price.
  • Doesn’t get hot when charging a device.
  • Quick re-charge time.


Gayle said...

We've been using a polycro groundsheet for a few years now, albeit only on trips when we think we'll be pitching on something other than grass, and it is surprisingly robust. We've had a single piece last for weeks at a time, with the only damage resulting from nicks to the side, when then spread if not dealt with promptly.

The Jackery Giant looks a good price for its capacity. Do you happen to know how heavy it is?

Gayle said...

That should have been 'which then spread' (not 'when then spread').

AlanR said...

The giant measures 110mm x 80 mm x 20 mm and weighs 309 grass. A very nice piece of kit. Will last ages.

AlanR said...

I'm as bad as anyone for doing similar typos.

John J said...

I tried to order a pair of the down booties but the AliExpress seems to have a headache. :-(

AlanR said...

Just tried to find the page but no success. Maybe all got snapped up. I will keep my eyes open and let you know if i find them again.
You could borrow mine but they will be too small. If you do manage to order any, make sure you get a size bigger.

Dawn said...

Fascinating Alan. Porch space in a tent is a vital criteria for me. Have experiment with a variety of meths stoves over the years. To be honest, not overly keen. One thing that put me off was using bio fuel. It burns dirty and my cook pot was filthy. Thus I have returned to gas.

AlanR said...

I agree. You need a decent porch especially for the wet days. Re the 12 - 10, there's no need to use bio fuel, just use bog std meths. It doesn't soot up and I have used it for a couple of years now. I found that the starlite stove did soot up even when using meths.
Pity we can't buy ethanol off the shelf.

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