New gear:

Discussion in 'Backpack Hunting' started by jmden, May 20, 2012.

  1. jmden

    jmden Well-Known Member

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    Recent lightweight kit additions for solo backpack hunts in late summer/early fall:

    Easton Mountain Products Kilo 1P Tent - Easton Mountain Products

    best points: quite roomy, 2 lbs., side entrance, vestibule big enough to hold pack/gun
    best price: Easton Mountain Products Kilo Tent 1-Person 3-Season from Backcountry.com

    Marmot Hydrogen sleeping bag - Hydrogen 30F / -1C | Marmot Clothing and Equipment

    best points: 850+ goose down (best warmth to weight ratio available, compresses the most, will last the longest), Pertex Microlight shell that is highly water resistance and highly breathable, 1 lb. 9 oz., 29F lower comfort rating
    best price: Marmot Hydrogen Sleeping Bag: 30 Degree Down from Backcountry.com

    Thermarest NeoAir Trekker and NeoAir All Season sleeping pads:

    Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Trekker - Lightweight, go-anywhere air mattress comfort.

    NeoAirâ„¢ All Season

    I used the Trekker for summer/early fall and the All Season now for later fall/winter. There are somewhat lighter pads, but at 19 oz., these are very light and incredibly comfortable and with optional bag (http://www.moosejaw.com/moosejaw/sh...st-and-Light-Sack_10185852_10208_10000001_-1_), pack to be considerably smaller than 1 L water bottle. The Trekker is my favorite, but the All Season has a much higher R-value rating making it a better choice for colder conditions, although I've slept on the Trekker in low teens and been fine. The Trekker is quiet, the All Season has a bit of that crinkly sound I don't care for.

    Complete sleep system for 4 lbs. 12 oz.

    Check out the new Kifaru Duplex Timberline packs as well: Timberline Overview
     
  2. pyroducksx3

    pyroducksx3 Well-Known Member

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    Have you got your hydrogen yet? I talked to someone about them and they said it was contricting, so much so that his wife didnt even feel comfortable in it. I recently got a slik 20 deg and am ordering a helium for a companion bag. That tent looks pretty great as well.
     

  3. jmden

    jmden Well-Known Member

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    One of the reasons I purchased it is that it is slightly larger in the shoulders than most bags of this weight and I tend to have trouble in this area in bags that are too narrow. It feels great to me. I looked at numerous other bags: Feathered Friends, Western Mountaineering, Mountain Hardwear, etc.

    Down Sleeping Bags - Warm Weather Reviews - OutdoorGearLab Was able to try out the FF bag, but even in a larger size it was too constricting in the shoulders. After ruminating on this decision for well over a month, I decided that all things considered most important to me, price included, the Marmot Hydrogen was the bag I was looking for.

    The Marmot Helium appears to be a warmer, heavier twin to the Hydrogen. Same fill, same shell. I've got FF -30F bag, TNF15F and 20F bags and a heavier MH 32F bag, but was looking for the most lightweight, comfortable, hi-quality down, water-resistant shell, reasonably priced bag out there and eventually settled on the Hydrogen. It's meant for super lightweight solo backpack hunting and it should work great for that.
     
  4. Tim in Washington

    Tim in Washington Well-Known Member

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    Will that new Timberline bag fit on a Gen 1 frame ?
     
  5. jmden

    jmden Well-Known Member

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    Yep. I made sure of that. They send a little kit out to modify an attachment point, but other than that, yes.
     
  6. Strider

    Strider Active Member

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    Nice gear! Except for the tent, that is the same exact setup I use. I have a Marmot Hydrogen in regular and a Helium in large. Although I like the bigger bag better, the regular size is significantly roomier than some other mummies I have had.

    The tent I take for most trips is my MSR Hubba. Light, but not as light as yours. I get claustraphobic if tent-bound for a day or two in the MSR and will even take a two-man if weather looks bad. The Easton is light, but seems really small. The vestibule seems like you would have to crawl over your gear getting in and out. Is it more roomy than it looks?
     
  7. jmden

    jmden Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, it's small, but the footprint is larger than several other 1 man tents I looked at. Combined with the Easton superlight carbon pole, this lets the tent still use somewhat more robust fabrics than other 'superlight' tents and still come at 2 lbs. A side entrance has often seemed easier to get in and out of for me as well, but with this design in rain, you may get a bit of rain in the tent when getting in and out--some designs are getting better with this issue. Yep, getting in and out of the tent--all of your gear will not fit on the far end of the vestibule, although it would be close.

    It's actually a pretty good sized vestibule (10 or 11 square feet as I recall, compared to other 1 man tents), but all things considered, this seemed to be the best compromise of what I was looking for. Have owned a Nemo Gogo 'bivvy tent' (just sold it to help fund this purchase) in the past and a regular goretex bivvy--the ability to sit up in your tent and move around a bit is huge in inclement weather and this thing weighs less than the bivvy sac I have and the bivvy tent I used to have.
     
  8. Strider

    Strider Active Member

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    Going from a bivy, the Easton will feel like a palace! :D

    What pack are you using to carry it? I use the Deuter 65+10. That is a nice, light, and comfortable pack. After packing 120 lbs of deer out with it last year in one load though, I decided to move to a little heavier and more substantial pack and frame this year.
     
  9. jmden

    jmden Well-Known Member

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    Kifaru Duplex Timberline 2 (DT2). The Kifaru packs are the only packs I've found that are designed from the ground up to carry 100+ lb. loads, which happens with mine a couple of times a year and it's (Gen 1 frame that that DT2 pack bag attaches to) been doing it for nearly 10 years. Patrick used to own MountainSmith and knows a thing or two about making packs.
     
  10. jmden

    jmden Well-Known Member

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    Finally had a chance to test the Easton Kilo 1P on a short trip. Unfortunately, I can't say that I can reccomend it and I will be contacting Easton Mountain Products regarding my concerns. I've been in alot of different high-quality, lightweight tents and make a few myself and I've got to say that that was about the wettest I've been in a tent when it didn't even rain.

    There are several key issues that I see. Very poor ventilation. I was pretty wet just due to the fact that most of the moisture I was giving of breathing at night (most adults give off about a quart of water at night breathing) ended up as condensation on the inside of the fly. A tent with good weatherproof ventilation is worth its weight in gold to you being able to travel/hunt day after day because ventilation goes a long way to keep you warm and dry in your tent.

    Two other issues I could fix in minutes on my sewing machine at an added weight of probably 1/4 oz. but there are a couple of other issues, such as a pole that is simply not strong enough and walls that are not vertical enough so that you can't even sit up without touching the wall that are not an easy fix. Another is the fact that if with noseeum inner walls, when you sew the noseeum inner wall to the approx. 6" watertight floor wall material, the fell seam must be constructed in such a way that the noseeum is on the outside of the floor wall material at the seam. That way, if moisture does get on and drip down the noseeum inner wall, it will 'flow' down the to the outside of the tent. As it stands now, this tent has the noseeum part of the fell seam on the inside, so if water does 'flow' down the noseeum to the floor wall, which it did, it then drips right on the tent floor.

    Hindsight is 20/20 and I'm kicking myself for not being critical enough and noticing these issues right off the bat. Sometimes you just have to 'try something on' to know for sure. I'll be sending an email to Easton. Too bad.
     
  11. Tim in Washington

    Tim in Washington Well-Known Member

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    Good review,sorry it didn't work out.If I had your shelter making skills I don't think I'd ever buy another tent
    Tim
     
  12. Strider

    Strider Active Member

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    I too appreciate the follow-up. Sorry to hear it didn't work. Hopefully it didn't ruin the trip. At least it didn't rain too!
     
  13. mcseal2

    mcseal2 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the reviews, and for listing the best places to find the new gear. Always good to see real results from reliable sources.
     
  14. jmden

    jmden Well-Known Member

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    Looking closely at ordering a TarpTent Rainbow: Tarptent Ultralight Shelters. At 2 lbs. 2 oz., it is 1 oz. heavier, but much bigger floor area (40" x 88"...now that's good 1 person tent living space and a 43" interior height) and some livability features (such as 2 built in ventilation vents at the peak and some flexible pitching options with the vestibule door, among others). Less $ too. Ventilation is so key and I'm kicking myself for not thinking enough about that before ordering the Easton. I'll report back on the Tarptent Rainbow.

    BTW, the Bibler Torre and the Marmot Swallow I have both have built in ventilation features but this seems to be a very rare feature in most lightweight backcountry tents. Just fyi, Marmot seems to be one of the few big name, 'mainstream' manufacturers that consistently offers ventilation in the fly of some of their tents. Nemo has some venting in some of their tents as well. A dryer tent interior is worth it a little extra $.