Did a fairly short 25 mile weekend in the GSMNP near Deep Creek. Highs in the 80s and lows hitting about 50 I think.
Major gear taken:
BPL UL 60 Quilt
Alcohol stove and 16 oz beer can pot
Homemade gravity filter
Base pack weight came to around 7 lbs and final pack weight was around 14 lbs with food and water.
Was a first trip with the gravity filter, neoair, quilt, and contrail (borrowed from a friend...still waiting for The Ones to be available again...)
Gravity filter was made with an 8L sea to summit dry bag, silicone tubing, and a sawyer in line filter. Total weight came out to be about 4.7 ounces.
Filter worked great. Filtered water for whole group and constantly pumped out about a liter a minute throughout the trip (water was relatively clear though). No complaints and I think I will be using this more on future trips, especially when I'm with others.
Wasn't sure how Neoair was going to work as a makeshift frame and as a pad but was very pleased with both aspects. Rolled into a cylinder, with gear placed in a pack liner inside, the neoair worked great! You can adjust the amount of air before adding gear to reduce pack volume and ensure all the gear doesn't fall to the bottom or choose not to, depending on gear volume. Then inflate some more after gear is in to take up any extra space. Pad was very comfortable to sleep on as well after letting some air out from fully inflated. Not sure about the noise complaint I keep hearing... Didn't make much noise at all...and way less than my flexair pillow makes...
The quilt was my first experience with a quilt in general and I can't say that I'm a fan of quilts yet... I do like the venting option but wish the foot end was not closed up permanently as it is in this model (is it easy to change this?...) The cord in the middle was kind of a pain to lay on. Temps dipped to about 50 at night and while I wouldn't say I was warm, I was not freezing. Could sleep and not shivering or anything like that. Was wearing just some shorts and a thin t-shirt. I would put 50*F as the limit for the quilt alone. I had a jacket I would have put on had it dipped any lower. The button on the collar and shock cord was a welcome feature. I toss and turn quite a lot when sleeping and found that I had to constantly fight to keep the quilt tucked in around me and the open part on the bottom, underneath me. I figure one could get used to this over time but am just not sure it's for me. I'm going to keep using the quilt for warm weather but will probably take a 45 degree bag if it's it going to dip below 60 as I would rather do that than bring extra insulating clothing.
Tarptent Contrail performed well for it's design. I had never actually set it up before taking it out (didn't have a chance but did skim through directions first) but it went up reasonably easily. The friend I borrowed it from complained it pooled on the top and had to be drained periodically if it rained, but I found that with a tight pitch and using the little orange line attached in the back that I did not have this problem. Was lightweight, shed rain (no winds) just fine, and was pretty roomy. The only thing I did not like was inherent in the design of the shelter. I really don't like crawling in feet first into a shelter. I would much rather have the door on the side than at the head. This made things pretty difficult for me getting in and out and also meant that I could not sit up in the shelter as the highest point was where the mosquito netting was, making changing inside difficult. I am hoping to not have to deal with this issue using The One but we shall see. Any comments are appreciated. I suppose I was spoiled by an MSR Hubba that I could sit up fully in and move around a fair amount...
Here are some photos: