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Would something like this be useful?
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Jim L
Would something like this be useful? on 09/21/2012 11:05:03 MDT Print View

For a while I was bitten by the 'light bike' bug. There is a weight weenie's site ( that was pretty useful when comparing bike parts. Would something like that be useful (or does it already exist) for backpacking stuff?

Obviously, it would take quite a bit of effort to come up with the appropriate categories and subcategories and some sort of process to monitor/control submitted weights, descriptions, etc.

I know that there are SOTM reports, reviews, manufacturers' data, gear lists, etc scattered around, both here and elsewhere, which cover this ground and that the product set would change at a pretty ferocious pace. I can come up with lots of reasons why not. Looking for reasons to balance those - if there are any.


and before you ask, I am not at this time volunteering to build it or a priori ruling out some future offer to build :)

mik matra
(mikmik) - M

Locale: Allways on the move
Re: Would something like this be useful? on 09/21/2012 16:58:22 MDT Print View

Yes VERY MUCH so!!

I am very familiar and a semi active member on weightweenies as I am racing cyclist but found that the weight comparison charts on weightweenies has mostly old gear on there and not as much as the new relevant stuff.

Cheers. Mik.

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
moderator on 09/21/2012 17:10:15 MDT Print View

Why the double post?

The fact is this will not work, you can buy a pack and trim it down 10 ounces, prices are changing, no.

Jim L
moderator on 09/21/2012 18:13:36 MDT Print View

What double post? What does trimming and price reduction have to do with the original post?

Sign me confused, as usual.

mik matra
(mikmik) - M

Locale: Allways on the move
Re: moderator on 09/22/2012 03:25:41 MDT Print View

Michael, the original item's weight is put down. If you choose to trim bits and adjust this or that then that is by your choice but the manufacturer's original release would be on the list.

I suppose bike stuff isn't altered as much as camping gear and one thing I can see in a camping weight list is the real light stuff (especially cooking gear) is home made and therefore would be hard to put on a list.....could do a 'homejob' section though I suppose.

Great idea by the OP!!

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Would something like this be useful? on 09/22/2012 03:50:34 MDT Print View

I see two big issues right off.

Multi use items
Various sizes and iterations

Multi use items
Unlike a bicycle, backpacking gear can serve multiple purposes. A poncho is rain gear, shelter, pack cover, ground sheet, etc. Having that same item in each category is a useful remember to prevent bringing unnecessary gear, but the weight must only be counted once. Adapting this would require a little clever database and coding work.

Various sizes and iterations
Packs, clothing, trekking poles, sleeping gear, footwear and other items all come in different sizes. Not having the exact weight for a particular size is unacceptable.

Gear companies big and small change their gear frequently, often annually. Of course that results in different weights.

Then there's custom gear, which a lot of us have. A website that doesn't allow for these variations is also unacceptable.

I've proposed a solution elsewhere, I think either on this forum or Whiteblaze, maybe both. Basically, each user would enter each piece of gear he has. This inherently eliminates the issue of sizes and iterations. The difference is that the user could also assign it to multiple categories if it's a multiple use item. Of course the coding and database would have to account for this and only count the weight once to the total weight. It would be particularly advantageous if the categorized master list could be used to quickly put together gear lists for different types of trips. The gear list for each trip would also be categorized as to make it easier to see if there is missing gear or redundant types of gear.

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: Would something like this be useful? on 09/22/2012 08:12:05 MDT Print View

I think people who do the exact weight spreadsheet thing will stick to weighing and recording their own gear. I know I don't trust any manufacturers weight. Plus for clothes they usually only give weight for a medium. Yes then there is the modification issues.
Custom spec'd work and one off MYOG items are another can of worms.

Me. I'm happy doing the weighing and recording myself for myself.

And what you are suggesting has been asked/tried before. Don't know whatever happened to them.

Edited by kthompson on 09/22/2012 08:39:55 MDT.

Terry Trimble
(socal-nomad) - F

Locale: North San Diego county
it been done on 09/22/2012 09:39:19 MDT Print View

It has been done by a quite a few people already and also backpacking light forum has gear list comparison section with the new gear people have updating constantly on this site.

Hike thru has hiking and comparison weight of popular backpacking gear.

Mark Verber has done backpacking equipment weight and comparison ,reviews.

Paul"ACYE" Nanian at Thru hiker did a backpacking comparison matrix backpacks ,shelter,stoves and cookware, sleeping good. Some of the information is dated but it still is good information on equipment charts. It took me awhile to find the pages because he pulled the pages off his new revised website.

Have fun,

Edited by socal-nomad on 09/22/2012 09:41:14 MDT.

mik matra
(mikmik) - M

Locale: Allways on the move
Re: Re: Would something like this be useful? on 09/22/2012 14:57:43 MDT Print View

@ Eugene - In the cycling world it is widely accepted that when a manufacturer releases new gear (especially a bike frame) they give the weight of the smallest frame usually bare meaning no paint or protective lacquer. Footware and size specific objects can be put on the list as long as you mention the size you have measured. Custom gear would be under the 'custom/homade equipment' section.

No doubt that camping equipment lists would be a harder project to set up but the stock standard stuff like shelters, sleeping mats, sleeping bags, back packs, walking poles, water purification equipment, utensils (knives, lighter, flint, spoon/fork/spork, multi tools), rain jacket/pants, gps units, whistle, compass, stuff sacks, water bladders....just off the top of my head could be put into a spreadsheet with weights. For begginers it's a great way of comparing gear. For experienced guys and gals not so I guess (just like in the bike website).

And the rest is all on this forum, how to lighten your equipment.

Brian Lindahl
(lindahlb) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Would something like this be useful? on 09/22/2012 21:54:08 MDT Print View

I'd say no. Bike parts are pretty standardized and usually perform the exact same function. Therefore, comparisons make sense.

In outdoor gear, products are NOT standardized, in any sense. They all come with different features and in different sizes, etc. Comparisons strictly based on weight are of very limited usefulness - they would have to be prohibitively narrow/restrictive with regard to each individuals preference. For example, do you compare a 1 person tent to a 1 person tarp? Some people would like to see that comparison, others would not. A bit of a contrived comparison, but it illustrates my point. Packs would be the most obvious item where comparisons based on weight would be VERY useless.

Here's a question... for the majority of gear comparisons you've seen on here, are they based on weight? No. In fact, VERY VERY few gear comparison posts are focused on weight alone. Most of them are focused on trade-offs of features per weight. Compare this to a weight-weenie biking site, and you'll see quite a difference. It's usually a single comparison... weight versus durability.

Edited by lindahlb on 09/22/2012 21:55:31 MDT.

Emily B
Would something like this be useful? on 09/22/2012 22:14:33 MDT Print View

There is a site that from what I recall has a goal somewhat similar to that suggested by the OP:
I haven't used it because when it was first made I already had all my stuff on geargrams. But from what I recall, it has weights for a fair amount of UL stuff, submitted by users; and one can make lists that are a combination of stuff found on their list, and one's own stuff (modified, MYOG, etc). Could be useful for putting together hypothetical gear lists when researching gear options.

Patrick O'Neil
(human) - F
Re: Would something like this be useful? on 09/23/2012 19:36:26 MDT Print View

what about ? The database seems to be growing. Not sure if this is what you were looking for. Mostly dealing with tents and sleeping bags at the moment. I think such a site is useful just to get a list of gear going when your thinking of a purchase. Of course you can chop weight off, but it's nice to get a starting point.