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Favorite new piece of gear?


tmountainnut

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TollerMom

My new gear is a little MSR packtowl, a Thermarest Zlite pad (to go under the Neoair I bought from Aaron), a mini Hozuki lamp by Snow Peak, a Bearikade Weekender bear can, an Enlightened Quilt. Super excited to use it ALL on a 4th of July backpack trip to 20. lakes Basin on Tioga Pass near Yosemite. I'm taking one of my girlfriends on her first backpack trip.

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PaulMags

A one gallon pot that I bought this past winter for melting snow. Also, perfect for making snow ice cream for my buddy's sons on a recent trip! (condensed milk, vanilla, chocolate chips and snow)

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Bobo Uzala

Funny you mention your older gear as most of my stuff is 90s vintage. Seriously getting back into backpacking I have an old alum Teflon coated MSR pot and a MSR dragonfly stove. Although reliable, they are heavy.

Nothin' at all wrong with a MSR Dragonfly and I'm still using a Teflon coated pot. ;) I had 2 MSR XGK-II Stoves, they sounded like jet turbines! Interestingly, at the end of a couple of climbs in the Andes and as a gift/tip, my guides opted for the XGK stoves over gringo dollars, shows how valuable they were!

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Lemonjello

Bobo- Yeah, the dragonfly is loud! It has been with me on deployments and is stable enough for even a large cast iron skillet I got from a roadside market. Of course I had to do all cooking with gasoline. I just leave the pump on the bottle instead of removing each time in a put in a Ziplock. I do have a lexan and aluminum base that clips on and bungee that holds fuel bottle in place. I don't know who makes it or where I got it, but that stand makes a huge difference in stability. And in snow it prevents melting a hole under your stove in the snow. Prepping for my 2015 PCT thru hike, I may have to go with a lighter pocket rocket canister stove....

I love to cook and I make some damn good grub on trail and the dragonfly will be hard to not take.

As as far a new favorite gear, also my snow peak 1400 pot with fry pan lid. Big enough to melt snow for water, light enough to not worry about and can cook a pretty good sized soup/stew in for two people and I've baked cornbread, homemade English muffins, poached eggs, hash browns and peach cobbler! Best of all, the dragonfly packs in it!

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Sea to summit has me interested in their spark bags. They are superlight and have water resistant down, which sounds great. However i'm skeptical because bags like that tend to be fitted for "smaller" people, even in the long size. I'll have to see if it fits first.

I agree but if you aren't a side sleeper/toss and turner it might work. I'm 6'4" w/ a moderate build. The 35* WM Highlite has similar specs minus the treated down and that's just acceptable in size to me as a side sleeper. It took me some getting used to though. In the reg length the Spark series is even more restrictive 57/50/35.

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Anyone have any favorite new pieces of gear?

Personally, i picked up a new osprey Exos 48 backpack and a fresh new roll of leukotape :-)

I've been eyeing a sea to summit sleeping bag, but otherwise i'll probably just use my gear money towards trips.

I have the osprey kestrel 48 and I really enjoy it. However, when I bought the pack, osprey was just coming out with the new kestrel design. Is the new design much different? How do you like the exos and it much different from the kestrel series?

Dan Randazzo

Eastern backpacking (FB page)

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tmountainnut

I have the osprey kestrel 48 and I really enjoy it. However, when I bought the pack, osprey was just coming out with the new kestrel design. Is the new design much different? How do you like the exos and it much different from the kestrel series?

Dan,

My only experience with the kestrel was buying one for my girlfriend a few years back so she could go backpacking with me ;-). She seemed to like it, probably because they had a version that was available in purple.

The suspension and materials are different between the kestral and the exos.

I actually switched back to my older version exos 46. I really like the new padding on the shoulders and hipbelt of the new 48 pack, but they changed many things that i didn't really see the point of.

As far as load carrying, the new one is a little better than the old one. i carried 40 lbs of water plus standard gear on a maze trip with the 46, which was very uncomfortable, but doable. where on a trip to Chesler park, i had about 40 lbs in the new 48 (again, 26 lbs of water plus standard gear and some extra camera gear). Again, it wasn't great, but better than before. Mostly because of the new padding on the shoulders and hips. i do like the larger mesh pocket on the bottom of the lid too.

what isn't great is the new flap on the top of the main pack opening (annoying, not very useful unless you’re using the pack without the toplid all of the time), theres a new internal strap (annoying, not very useful), the new side straps aren't as good as the old one (being picky there), there's no front slash pocket (I really liked that pocket on the 46), just the stretch pocket, and the frame isn't quite as rigid (moves around more) because the center cross brace is no longer attached to the vertical braces. I think if they had just taken their old pack and given it the new padding, they'd have a winner.

I mean, its by no means a bad backpack, its still great, i just decided i still prefer the 46, so i'm sticking with my old pack.

something to add is that when i'm not carrying day(s) of water, my normal setup is 2-3L of water at most in my pack, my pack weight is under 20 lbs with food and water. for that, either will work just fine.

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tmountainnut

I agree but if you aren't a side sleeper/toss and turner it might work. I'm 6'4" w/ a moderate build. The 35* WM Highlite has similar specs minus the treated down and that's just acceptable in size to me as a side sleeper. It took me some getting used to though. In the reg length the Spark series is even more restrictive 57/50/35.

I'm not really sure why they restricted the regular length spark down, probably to save weight, but i found the long version fit me really well. a little tighter than my FF osprey, but not bad at all.

I wrote up a review about it in issue 16. Check it out.

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hikerboy

my favorite piece of new gear, i actually purchased about a year ago, my lightheart solong6 tent.it replaced my big agnes fly creek ul2, is roomier and lighter, and set up is fast and easy.since i bought it, i used it on a week long section hike in maine last fall, and it kept me and my gear dry in thunderstorms with 40 mph winds.

this spring i took it on my benton mackaye trail thru hike, continuing on the AT till mid June, and it held up like a champ.

very happy, plus their customer service is awesome.the zipper on my rainfly failed, she had a replacement out to me on the trail in just a few days.

judy is great!!

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