Gordon - Yeah, upgrading to a down jacket is a great point, considering my elements.
Jeff - I couldn't agree more, I love the UL45 and have realized its weight, just haven't found its replacement yet. The one problem I'm having with our upcoming hike is that all this gear fills the bag, and theres' only enough food for 2-3 days supply. How am I going to fit 6 days worth in it on the arizona trail? I could really use some experienced thru hiker input here, whats the best thru hiking pack when my gear fills up a 45liter bag?
Dan - Thanks for truly breaking it down for me. I'm now looking all over for the montbell ul jacket you recommended, just curious, what's the thickness of the loft? Seems like they run small, is that your experience as well?
DriDucks - Great point, will be ordering them later today
Thorofare - At first I wasn't sure what you were talking about, but found them on the site. At this time I really like my REI pants and will continue to use them up to and through the AZT, probable that I will wear them out on the trail so when I return to normal life, I will look into these for the future.
Packs - You've got me thinking of ways to get more $ so I can get both the jacket and a new pack now. What are your thoughts of the new REI Flash 65, I can remove the frame sheet and aluminum stays because I will be using my pad as the frame, this also solves my lack of volume issue.
1. Agreed, I just bough smart wool top and bottoms at a REI garage sale and the bottoms will replace the burton bottoms and the fleece pants when I'm not in the snow.
2. I'm pretty tough on gear, so I don't think I can get away with a trash bag on the AZT to keep my down dry, the 25L size fits perfectly inside my rolled up CCF pad with some room on top for "quick grabs" I will definitely look into the kits from thru hiker, I have been trying to learn to sew my own gear for awhile (so far I've only made some hammocks) so those kits would be another good lesson.