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2011 Backpacking Light Staff Picks
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Addie Bedford
(addiebedford) - MLife

Locale: Montana
2011 Backpacking Light Staff Picks on 12/27/2011 15:45:24 MST Print View

Companion forum thread to:

2011 Backpacking Light Staff Picks

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
2011 Backpacking Light Staff Picks on 12/27/2011 16:19:30 MST Print View

Addie, congratulations!!!

Next year's pick will be a baby carrier, no doubt!

Dirk Rabdau
(dirk9827) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: 2011 Backpacking Light Staff Picks on 12/27/2011 17:51:57 MST Print View

Loved the picks this year, because the reasons for the choices were not merely an exercise in tech specs and gram counting. Instead, it reflected a greater appreciation of simplicity and making use out of things already owned. And if there is a silver lining in this long recession it is the realization that things rarely make us happy - but experiences do. So go out there with your friends, your family and enjoy the outdoors. Enjoying it lighter usually helps, but the gear is just a conduit to the experience.

James Schipper
(monospot) - MLife
Arc'Teryx Gamma LT Pant on 12/28/2011 00:08:07 MST Print View

Are the Arc'Teryx Gamma LT Pant really 5.7 oz? Seems a bit light.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Arc'Teryx Gamma LT Pant on 12/28/2011 00:22:10 MST Print View

Yeah - that is a misprint.

Hendrik Morkel
(skullmonkey) - MLife

Locale: Finland
Baby Bedford on 12/28/2011 03:47:58 MST Print View

Congratulations to you and your husband, Addie!

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Staff Picks on 12/28/2011 05:19:09 MST Print View

Congrats on the new hiker, Addie!

Yeah, a strange mix of choices, as always. I really like the Backcountry Boiler. This is the esscence of what cottage industry in a niche market should be. Slow to order, slow to deliver, but a singularly GREAT product. So good it makes you forget the wait.

Damien Tougas
(dtougas) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Gaspé Peninsula
Re: Re: Arc'Teryx Gamma LT Pant on 12/28/2011 06:10:00 MST Print View

Yes, that is a misprint, they are actually 11 oz in a men's small. I will make sure that gets fixed.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Awesome on 12/28/2011 08:37:02 MST Print View

Congrats Addie!

Konrad .
(Konrad1013) - MLife
misprint on 12/28/2011 09:21:46 MST Print View

Is the Houdini's weight off too? I would love a full zip hooded windshirt for 2oz

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: misprint on 12/28/2011 09:24:25 MST Print View

Yes on the houdini weight being inaccurate.

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
"2011 Backpacking Light Staff Picks" on 12/28/2011 09:28:02 MST Print View

Houdini comes in around 4oz. . 2oz is more in line with the Montbell Tachyon windshell.

Either way, you'll notice neither of them in your pack.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
2010 Picks on 12/28/2011 09:36:38 MST Print View

For reference, here are the BPL communities 2010 picks:

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=40800

I'm mulling over my 2011 picks now....

Those OR Versaliner gloves looks awesome Will.

Konrad .
(Konrad1013) - MLife
versaliners on 12/28/2011 09:41:18 MST Print View

I've been eyeballing the Versaliners for a few months now myself. Those shell's look stellar. I was able to confirm with Heath Pitts on these forums, who recently got a pair for x-mas, that the shells are not seam taped. So, not 100% waterproof if you're wondering.

Addie Bedford
(addiebedford) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Weight mistakes on 12/28/2011 10:34:48 MST Print View

The two mentioned mistakes have been fixed. Thanks all!

Jonathan Ryan
(Jkrew81) - F - M

Locale: White Mtns
Re: 2011 Backpacking Light Staff Picks on 12/28/2011 11:07:02 MST Print View

Interestingly enough 2011 has seen my favorite gear picks move away from pure BPL standard stuff we see here all the time. My wife and I had a son this year so my attention has moved from spreadsheets and hypothetical trips to what gear works the best with the time I have to use it so here are my top four (could not decide on three).

Saucony 4MM drop shoes: The Kinvara’s and the Peregrines have changed my outdoor experience. I have learned I am not meant to be a super minimalist runner but a low drop shoe with cushion is where it is at for me. Can't wait for the 4mm drop Exodus 3.0

Osprey Talon 22 with Osprey Hydration bladder: Don't even care that it is not UL b/c it just works. I have never owned a pack that carried 100oz against my back so comfortably. Was able to complete a 1 day 26 mile half Pemi loop this year and did not have to waste time planning water stops.

Rechargable LED's: My daily outdoor life now takes place in the dark before and after the little guy goes to bed. Be it a 5:30am run or an 8pm cyclocross trail ride the Petzl Core Tikka and the Niterider MiNewt 600 keep me going.

Honorable Mention
Patagonia 9 Trails Jacket: I agree with Mike, for the last 3 years this has been my go to softshell for running/biking/XC skiing and even backpacking. The super breathable back panel is awesome and the hoodless design is great for layering under a hardshell. Glad I have the old model with the softshell cuffs.

Elizabeth Tracy
(mariposa) - M

Locale: Outside
Backcountry Boiler on 12/28/2011 11:23:37 MST Print View

This is the first I've heard of the Backcountry Boiler.

What's the scoop? What is it and when might it become available?

- Elizabeth

Carol Crooker
(cmcrooker) - MLife

Locale: Desert Southwest, USA
Congratulations Addie and Rob! on 12/28/2011 11:50:51 MST Print View

What great timing. You'll be playing with the baby by the time it gets really hot (living in AZ I'm always thinking about the heat factor):)

jeffrey armbruster
(book) - M

Locale: Northern California
rab latok gloves vs. versaliners on 12/28/2011 13:32:46 MST Print View

so I just received the rab latok gloves--event outer, "waterproof", fleecy lining, excellent dexterity, grippy palm. Sized tight. Haven't been able to try them yet in the snow. Now I see these Versaliners...hmmm. I'm sure that I'm going to love the Latoks. Maybe too warm while Nordic skiing? Probably not. Anybody have experience? Sorry if this is drifting...These gloves may be on my top three list.

Kathy A Handyside
(earlymusicus) - M

Locale: Southeastern Michigan
Camp-Tek Microburst Inflator on 12/28/2011 13:38:07 MST Print View

This is the first I've heard of this. I've been steering clear of pads that are not self-inflating because after an experience with one of those pads going flat halfway through the night because the warm breath I introduced into it when inflating it cooled off. I just went to Camp-Tek's website and I'm sold! I'm definitely going to order one of these. This means I can go to a lighter-weight non-self-inflating pad! Thanks Ray!