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2007 Backpacking Light Staff Picks
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Benjamin Smith
(bugbomb) - F - M

Locale: South Texas
2007 Backpacking Light Staff Picks on 12/04/2007 22:27:49 MST Print View

Companion forum thread to:

2007 Backpacking Light Staff Picks

Greyson Howard

Locale: Sierra Nevada
Re: 2007 Backpacking Light Staff Picks on 12/04/2007 23:09:55 MST Print View

Roger, we really, really, REALLY need to know more about your tent.

Pamela Wyant
(RiverRunner) - F - M
My 2007 faves on 12/05/2007 02:03:49 MST Print View

Icebreaker base layers - like Alison, I like the 'low stench' factor. The Icebreaker merino wool is also comfortable and 'no itch', plus comfortable in a wide range of temperatures.

Nunatak Ghost quilt - love the texture of the Pertex shell, the warmth of the down, the comfort of being able to vent easily, and the low weight.

Darn Tough Vermont Micro Crew socks - durable, comfortable.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: 2007 Backpacking Light Staff Picks on 12/05/2007 02:20:54 MST Print View

> Roger, we really, really, REALLY need to know more about your tent.

More details at


Fred eric
(Fre49) - MLife

Locale: France, vallée de la Loire
2007 gear on 12/05/2007 03:39:50 MST Print View

bushbuddy : i have been using it now for a year ie about 4 one week trips, its light , its fun

tarptent double rainbow : only way i could convince my wife to leave our 4.2lb tent at home :)

Valandré mirage sleeping bag : i am in love with it ( the 35cm one )

Komperdell C3 duolock, i should have put them first :)
i cannot hike without trekking poles, my back is in a very bad shape ( car accident) and the only way i can support any weight on my shoulders is by using trekking poles, the movement of the shoulders when using poles, keeps my back muscles from contracting and being painful.
i love their weight / stiffness for 3 sections poles.

err thats 4 items, but its so hard to remove one .

Edited by Fre49 on 12/05/2007 07:12:34 MST.

Jonathan Ryan
(Jkrew81) - F - M

Locale: White Mtns
2007 Backpacking Light Staff Picks on 12/05/2007 06:06:47 MST Print View

Bushbuddy Ultra - Easy to use and super enjoyable for camp time relaxing. Easily become my fav 4 season stove. Did I mention how nice it is to have something to roast hot dogs and marshmallows over at the end of the day??

Fenix LOD CE - Navigated through the Grand Canyon for 3+ hours in the pitch black of the morning with nothing but this light. Upon encountering our first rattler, my fiance with her Petzl e+lite could not see more than 5 feet in front of her while I was able to spot that sucker more than 100 feet away. I use this light every night for at least 30-45 minutes jogging around town and I only find I need to recharge the battery one a week.

Patagonia Cold Track Light pants - My new Fall thru early Spring running/hiking/snowshoeing/light duty mountaineering pants. Superlight at 9 oz and moderately durable. The super stretch material easily moves with every stride and the fit is functional without giving you the crotch hugging "I am a fitness freak" tights look when stopping to get gas on the way home from a hike.

Adam Rothermich
(aroth87) - F

Locale: Missouri Ozarks
Re: 2007 Backpacking Light Staff Picks on 12/05/2007 07:46:19 MST Print View

Here's my list:

Homemade down quilt. I've never been as proud of anything as I am of this quilt. I've used it on hot, muggy Missouri summer nights and down to the upper 20's with supplementing clothing. Easily my favorite piece of gear.

Leki Ti UL poles. They weigh barely under a pound for the pair, so they're relatively heavy by SUL standards, but I couldn't imagine hiking without them anymore. They're great for kickstand to sit on for a short rest, moving branches off the trail, setting up my tarp, keeping people in line, giving my hands something to do while hiking, and great for some added push up big hills. And I got them for 50% off :D.

Homemade Liberty Ridge windshirt. I was astounded at how much I actually use it and how handy it is. Who would have thought that a 3 oz shirt would be able to extend my range of comfort so much. The only thing it really lacks is good breathability, since I made it out of 1.1 oz DWR ripstop. I still have the pattern, so I may order some Momentum90 one of these days and make another.

Two pieces of gear I haven't yet used enough to put them on this list are the GG Whisper and my homemade poncho-tarp. I haven't really used the Whisper on that many trips but the times it has been out I've been really impressed with it.
I just made my poncho-tarp two weeks ago and got a chance to use it as a tarp this past weekend. It worked really well as a tarp; I still haven't tested it as rain gear though. But at only 7.25 oz, how could I not like it!


Sven Klingemann
(svenklingemann) - F
Re: Re: Re: 2007 Backpacking Light Staff Picks - Roger on 12/05/2007 07:51:16 MST Print View

Roger - I think that there certainly would be interest ... would you consider making some upon request? (*Probe*)

Daniel Goldenberg
(DanG) - M
Re: 2007 Backpacking Light Staff Picks on 12/05/2007 09:20:56 MST Print View

Montbell UL comfort pad system.

I really like the integrated system which consists of 3 items: 90 cm (35 inch) torso pad, inflatable pillow, and closed cell foam extension pad. What sets the system apart is the toggle system that allows you to toggle the components together.

BPL Cocoon hoodie.

Warm and super light. The hood is great in combination with a hoodless bag.

Ryan Bozis alcohol stove

Learned about this stove from Andrew Skurka's website. It's similar to a supercat stove but much easier to make. Compared to the supercat it burns a little slower and more efficiently with a more contained flame so it works well with narrow pots.

David Noll
(dpnoll) - MLife

Locale: Maroon Bells
Re: 2007 Backpacking Light Staff Picks on 12/05/2007 09:24:31 MST Print View

This summer my wife and I used the SL-1100 in combo with a
MSR Pocket Rocket and the wind screen you came up with on your site. We used only 6-1/2 oz of fuel for 6 days using
freezer bag cooking. Love that little pot.

Jeremy Cleaveland
(jeremy11) - F

Locale: Exploring San Juan talus
top 3 on 12/05/2007 09:28:49 MST Print View

homemade Liberty Ridge windcoat, with full molded zip and hood, 1.1 oz dwr. this has been ever reliable and useful for several years and I've been quite impressed with it's durability. It almost always comes with me for its meager 3 oz weight.

Cilogear 60L Worksack, Version 1. Versatile, light, durable, and comfortable, and carries everything I need for rock climbing, mountaineering, and guiding backpacking trips.

Montrail Hardrock trail runners. I got these on sale this August, and after wearing out 4 pairs of Sportiva Exum Ridges, the Hardrocks felt really comfortable, having more padding and a wider toebox than the Exum Ridges. Granted, I still love the scrambling and climbing ability of the Exum Ridges, but for putting in miles on a trail the Hardrock is where its at.

and, I can't resist number 4... my Paramo Aspira Jacket. Yes, its heavy, but in cold, wet conditions, or anytime in winter, it really simplifies layering, and the weight counts for hard shell, soft shell, and some insulation. Very comfortable and breathable too!

Edited by jeremy11 on 12/05/2007 15:22:32 MST.

Brian UL

Locale: New England
Re: 2007 Backpacking Light Staff Picks on 12/05/2007 09:45:58 MST Print View

MLD Zip - plenty durable, all the features of heavier packs at only 10 oz!

Caldera Cone - for my Snow peak 600. It just works! No fiddling in the wind!

Dri Ducks - same pair going strong now for its second season. These allowed me to give up my poncho without shelling out 100 bucks on poorly breathable heavy raingear.

I should also add my ULA/BPL Arctic pack .

Edited by MAYNARD76 on 12/05/2007 10:09:19 MST.

Mitchell Keil
(mitchellkeil) - F

Locale: Deep in the OC
Re: 2007 Backpacking Light Staff Picks on 12/05/2007 12:39:12 MST Print View

My Picks:
1: Caldera Cone System -- an alcohol based complete system that is light, well made, and works!

2: Montbell Super Stretch Sleeping Bags -- pick one it doesn't matter which... they are all wonderful for the person who tosses and turns and is looking for a truely well made lightweight down bag.

3: Exped DM7 shortie: More and more my go to pad year round. Yes it is heavier than most pads. But oh the comfort and warmth this pad provides. Combined with a pad chair converter from thermarest, this pad becomes a great camp chair. Can be used to float around on Alpine lakes. I don't need as warm a bag in the cold when using this pad.

I am sure that I could add to this list but 3 is the limit.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Re: Re: 2007 Backpacking Light Staff Picks - Roger on 12/05/2007 13:52:30 MST Print View

Hi Sven

> would you consider making some upon request? (*Probe*)
As I explain at the FAQ web site, it turned out I was making $3/hr out of the manufacturing. Maybe I am too slow. Just not worth my while, as I have so many other things to do at present.

Kathleen B

Locale: Pacific Northwest
2007 Backpacking Light Picks on 12/05/2007 14:31:06 MST Print View

New to me this year that I like especially well:

ULA Equipment Circuit backpack

Patagonia Houdini windshirt

Shires' Contrail tarptent

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Only three :( on 12/05/2007 16:49:07 MST Print View

1) Caldera cone with Titanium Esbit stand for my 2 quart AGG pot. So easy, stable and fuel efficient that I could never go back to cooking with ordinary pot stands and windscreens.

2)WM POD 15 or 30 with modfied attachment to a torso length Ridgerest pad. This set up is soooo warm, light and Versatile.

3) Homemade double quilt for trips with my partner. 3 inches of dense loft, a passive yolk for our necks, and an attachment system for 2 Stepehnson's DAMs makes this the ultimate luxury bed for two.

Like most everyone else, I would LOVE to sneak a fourth item in, but Henry Shires has already got plenty of votes ;)

John Haley
(Quoddy) - F

Locale: New York/Vermont Border
Re: 2007 Backpacking Light Staff Picks on 12/05/2007 17:32:05 MST Print View

ULA Conduit: Worked so well on a month thru this year.

TT Contrail: This will probably remain my favorite shelter for a very long time.

TiGoat CF Adjustable Poles: Were great on the long trek. So light, and they took a beating, too.

Brett .
(Brett1234) - F

Locale: CA
2007 Backpacking Light Picks on 12/05/2007 18:35:42 MST Print View

My top 3 items:

1. Like several other posters, my Caldera Cones make the list. They finally make meal preparation over alcohol easy, faster, and convenient. One cone of Titanium(or Al) is the screen and pot support. No fiddling with a Jenga-stack of components, just light the stove and put the pot/cone combo on top.

2. Cilogear 45L Worksack. a light and minimalist alpine pack which can me modified to many configuarations. I have loaded it up to get to base camp; striped it to a sack for the summit attempt, and put on all the comfort items to haul metal and rope to the crag. (Im wearing it in my avatar picture to the left)
I now own two Cilogears, the 'schoolbag' is actually big enough for an SUL weekend pack (but my kit is not so light...)

3. Fenix L0D AAA light with CREE LED. I have a box of lights, but this is my Every Day Carry, on a mini biner on my key ring. On the trail it can clip to my hat or hang around my neck. Amazingly bright and smooth beam. This replaced my Photons because I can always start with a fully charged AAA, unlike the Photons (the new rechargable type could also solve this issue.)

The idea is a 'list of 3', so I really should not mention the 'flick-lock' mechanism of my new Black Diamond trekking poles which made all my other poles obsolete.

Edited by Brett1234 on 12/05/2007 18:38:29 MST.

Greyson Howard

Locale: Sierra Nevada
Re: 2007 Backpacking Light Picks on 12/05/2007 19:22:09 MST Print View

Thanks for the information Roger.

My top 3:
Jacks'R'Better No Sniveler quilt: comfortable, warm, versatile, and well made.I slept warm every night I used it this summer, even when others in 15 degree mummies were cold.

Titanium Goat basic bivy: Sure, there's better bivies for a lot more money, but this was a great deal, and with just a 1.1 dwr top, kept me dry in a 20 minute light-rain this summer (I didn't even wake up, and I sleep light in the field)

REI Peak UL Trekking Poles: Not my first year with them, but the year that sold me on them completely. Light, stiff, and adjustable. Comfortable grips and straps too.

Richard Gless
(rgless) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: 2007 Backpacking Light Picks on 12/05/2007 19:34:41 MST Print View

My top 3:

1. Jacks 'R Better Mt. Roger's Quilt - My wife and I both really like it and have used it down to 25'F with no problems. Much better (and lighter) than sleeping bags, even those that zip together.

2. ZPacks Z1 Pack - really light weight, minimalist pack with lots of room and just the right features.

3. Cocoon Hoody - same weight as my fleece jacket, but lots, lots, warmer.

All three of these either took a lot of wieght out of my pack or extended my temperature/comfort range significantly without adding weight.