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Cost per oz of weight saved
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Robert Mak
(blmac) - F
Cost per oz of weight saved on 05/21/2011 18:49:56 MDT Print View

cost weight analysis

I tried a value analysis in saving weight. This probably has been done before but I haven't seen it posted. I'm not an expert at doing this, so I'm sure someone could suggest improvements to the methodology.

Categories were devised for materials to be analyzed (titanium, cuben, etc.). To make a comparison, I took the weight and cost of an item in that category then found a comparable item made in a different material (one "level" down), from the same manufacturer when possible. e.g. compare an aluminum and a titanium cookset or a down vs synth bag.

I collected comparisons for the different groups. Next I calculated the difference in weight and cost for all comparisons, then summed them within their respective categories. Finally, I divided the 2 sums to get the average $cost per oz. saved.

Edited by blmac on 05/22/2011 23:29:01 MDT.

Charles Henry

Locale: Arizona and British Columbia
Re: Cost per oz of weight saved on 05/21/2011 23:24:42 MDT Print View

Your saying that higher FP has more bang for buck, ie, cheaper and better to buy 850FP down than 750FP down?

Tim Zen
(asdzxc57) - F

Locale: MI
Re: Cost per oz of weight saved on 05/22/2011 06:18:16 MDT Print View

Thanks for posting another way to slice the weight saving data.

Were the down numbers for bags or jackets? If it was on bags, then were the bags rated the same temperature and had the same dimensions?

What products were used when comparing silicon nylon to cuben fiber? Was it all tarps?

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Cost per oz of weight saved on 05/22/2011 08:16:25 MDT Print View

I asked this question years ago. I think it helps as a buying strategy. Another analysis would be to identify all the small inexpensive items that can be replaced first. I found it more cost effective to tackle all the smaller items like cook kit, dropper bottles, stuff sacks, etc. Some items can cost less AND weigh less, like using a CCF sleeping pad vs heavier and more expensive self-inflating pad, or a simple tarp vs a tent.

You get into equipment weight "brackets," where you want to replace a moderately light item with a SUL or higher performance one. Insulated items are the perfect example--- you have a 20F synthetic bag that cost $150 and the next jump is a high end down bag that is double the price or more; likewise for high loft jackets. Hopefully, you can find that you can save x-ounces by buying a few $10 items vs saving the same weight by buying a $300 sleeping bag. Of course, once you get all the little things down to the minimum, you have painted yourself in a corner and have to spend a lot more to get any more reduction in weight. I think most come to a level that is comfortable in terms of weight and cost. Making reductions from an 8 pound base weight is my guesstimate for increasing costs per ounce.

Paul Magnanti
(PaulMags) - MLife

Locale: People's Republic of Boulder
Losing pounds is cheap... on 05/22/2011 14:26:55 MDT Print View

"Losing pounds is cheap; losing ounces is expensive".

As others noted, it is fairly easy to drop below the 15 lb or so mark. Once you drop below 10 lbs, then it is more difficult to get weight savings without spending more money, time to make the gear and/or going even more minimalist. Throw in variable conditions that can be colder (e.g. Colorado northern New England) even for three season backpacking, and it may be even more expensive to get lower in weight.

John Whynot

Locale: Southeast Texas
Re: Losing pounds is cheap... on 05/22/2011 15:27:30 MDT Print View

I'm down to about a 10 pound base weight now, with fairly minimalist gear (it costs nothing to leave stuff at home or in the store). I'm at the point where I'd rather spend money on actual backpacking trips, rather than gear. Would a tarp and bivy be lighter than my Lunar Solo? It would, but to me the weight saved just isn't worth the money spent.

With a change in diet, and a better fitness program, I shed 18 pounds of body fat. I think this was my most cost efficient reduction in weight carried...

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Re: Re: Losing pounds is cheap... on 05/22/2011 15:35:42 MDT Print View

Well said John.
Spending the cash on getting out on the hill will lose you some bodyweight, make you fitter, and keep you warmer than paring down kit to the point of risking ruining your trip with failed/inadequate gear in unexpectedly bad conditions.

I like to travel light, my summer kit including 2 days of food and some water is under 14 pounds, but shoulder seasons demand some contingency/safety margin where I usually hike.

Robert Mak
(blmac) - F
Re: Re: Cost per oz of weight saved on 05/22/2011 19:05:26 MDT Print View

I'm not confident in the data yet because I only entered a minimal number of comparisons (it's time consuming). It is suggesting higher FP items are better weight value though more expensive overall. If people are interested, I guess I could post a google doc (never used it though, does it do pivot charts?). Then they could add in their own comparisons and we could quickly get more robust results.

For the down here's what's there at the moment.(item,price,oz,category)
REI Halo +25 Sleeping Bag $259.00 31 750FP
REI Lumen +25 Sleeping Bag $139.00 43

U.L.DOWN INNER JACKET M'S $155.00 7.3 800FP

Western Mountain Summerlite 0C $310.00 9.7 850FP
MEC Habanero Sleeping Bag 0C $102.00 71

Edited by blmac on 05/22/2011 19:08:55 MDT.

Robert Mak
(blmac) - F
Re: Re: Cost per oz of weight saved on 05/22/2011 19:41:36 MDT Print View

For Cuben:

Stuff Sack cufib 12.95 0.2 Cuben Fiber
Stuff Sack silnyl 8.95 0.4 Silicone Nylon

Blast 20 - 2,000 cu in (33 Liters) $175 6.8 193 grams Cuben Fiber
REI Flash 30 Pack $80 24

MLD Cuben Fiber Grace Tarps  255 5.8 Cuben Fiber
Grace Tarps 1.35 SilNylon    $110.00 8.5 Silicone Nylon

MLD Large .45oz / 13gms 8 X 16 $17 17 0.45 Cuben Fiber
MLD Large .5oz / 16gms 8? X 16? $7 7 0.5

Cuben Fiber Poncho $155.00 4.4 Cuben Fiber
SilNylon Simple Poncho $85.00 7.5 Silicone Nylon