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Where does durability win over light weight?
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Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: Re: Sales on 01/13/2013 20:33:36 MST Print View

Ponchos do not really work well in the NE.. especially the white mountains which have a pretty decent amount of sketchy ups and downs where seeing your feet is quite useful. also the trails tend to be narrow and snagging on trees in the rain is not fun or good for the poncho which will then become a leaky shelter.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Where does ingenuity win over light weight? on 01/13/2013 20:48:30 MST Print View

Not to mention the age-old conundrum of converting a poncho into a shelter while it's raining.... no, no I will not use a poncho. I will consider a free-standing tent, a hammock, and a bivy bag. Stake-out tarps and poncho tarps are too finnicky, I have a hard enough time with the easy stuff and sleeping time is the last place for a hassle!

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Where does ingenuity win over light weight? on 01/13/2013 21:06:19 MST Print View


I wasn't suggesting you use it as your shelter. That takes some skill, but there are all kinds of other uses. With a little cord ponchos can be adapted to all kinds of situations as rain gear. Point is, they don't cost much, and with a little practice and ingenuity can function in areas where people say they don't work. Backpacking is often about gear... We need gear, obviously. But more important is skill. Not everyone can afford the latest top of the line eVent rain jacket or parka.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Lightweight vs. Durability -- Sometimes a False Choice on 01/13/2013 21:31:58 MST Print View

In my experience, I've found that I seldom need to plug failure with more heft and more weight.

For starters, it is critical that we match our gear to the task (trip) at hand. It would be foolish, for example, to load a frameless silnylon pack to 50 pounds and then go bushwhacking in the thickest of growths and sharp granite walls... you get the picture.

Carrying below 25lbs, my pack has a light frame and it has the lightness and durability of Dyneema. Based on my own experience and also countless others, I know that material is more than up to the task of my kind of hiking. To that, I carry a length of duck tape for added insurance. If I ever encounter a rip (and that would be a first rip in near ten years of hiking) -- I most likely will still continue to use dyneema or similar -- and not knee jerk to the next heavier material grade.

To me, I want to pick the lightest gear/material that provides the durability I need -- and no more -- esp. if that unneeded durability comes at added weight cost.

Back to the water bottle example... I've been pretty darn happy with my Platypus bottles. Not one leak in near ten years of use. Sure, one will likely occur eventually -- but I minimize its occurrence with due care, and redundancy. On overnight trips and longer, I'll carry three of them: 2 one-liter size for trail use and 1 three-liter size for camp use. YMMV, of course, but you get the idea. Avoid carrying just one big size so you won't risk losing it all -- or if you do, then at least carry a couple of patches.

Ben Smith

Locale: Epping Forest
lightweight vs durability on 01/14/2013 01:28:22 MST Print View

3 years ago I went through 3 pairs of Salomon XA 3D Pro GTX's in 24 months. This was all well within warranty and I only paid for the initial pair.

I still have the salomon's knocking around in the garage somewhere for washing the car and I have a pair in the alps for tramping around town in the snow but I don't give them any real use anymore. I've replaced them with a pair of inov-8 mudroc 290 and some f-lite 195's. I've been abusing both for 8 months or so now and only the mudroc's show any sign of cosmetic wear.

Just wanted those who are thinking that inov-8's aren't durable to have something to measure them against! Lightweight doesn't necessarily mean less durable. These smaller companies (especially those cottage companies you have over in the USA) make their items to a really high quality.

Brett Peugh
(bpeugh) - F - M

Locale: Midwest
more on the durability side. on 01/14/2013 20:56:32 MST Print View

I use the Nalgene HDPE and never have to worry about it breaking or the MSR Hydormedary pouch. I wear Chaco sandals and get a good 5 years constant use out of them before having to redo the soles. For a pack I am still using a Granite Gear Vapor Trail. Still haven't found a good, durable long tent that either was good on weight or price. Went REI for the eVent sale they had a few months ago with the lifetime warranty. Stuff has some slight markings on it but no wear. I am not really making much money right now but I am secure in my gear and never have to second guess it.

josh wagner
(StainlessSteel) - F
max on 01/15/2013 10:07:36 MST Print View

not sure what you are getting at in the grand scheme of things here...

you mentioned cost as a factor in gear, particularly about your rain jacket, then you mention about upgrading to a $1200 camera like it's no big thing.

then you say "i notice no big difference b/t 10 and 15 lbs" which basically violates every rule of lightweight backpacking (everything weighs something). i don't know about you but i definitely notice a difference b/t 15 and 10 lbs. my knees do especially after a few days of big miles.

i do understand your point in the beginning of this (the balance b/t durability and weight savings), but i feel like it's moved beyond that in page 3.

i used a ultra light hammock (1.1 single) for a year and was fine in it most of the time. then one night i couldn't find any good trees to hang from, and had to hang from 2 that were WAY far apart. the 1.1 stretches so much, and with this huge span i couldn't get the end straps high enough to keep my hammock from nearly touching the ground. in a huge thunderstorm the water was hitting and splashing up from the ground and ended up soaking my hammock. needless to say it was a miserable night's sleep. so now i'm using a 1.9 single that is a few ounces heavier.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Re: Max on 01/15/2013 10:41:00 MST Print View

Our opinions will, inevitably, be different. Our experiences will be different, and what works for me might not be applicable to you.

I have never had knee pain. Not once. I got into running for the first time in my life, this year, and my frist run left me sore in my calfs, but no knee pain. My third run of my life was 6 miles up and over a nice big hill near my college campus, and I walked out of that the next day like I've been doing it for years. I just have pretty resilient bones and joints; I think I have my mother to thank.

We went on a 3-4 mile hike for a school trip and I strapped 60 or 70 pounds to my back to carry up multiple tents, the ingredients for a massive pot of chili, and tons of water. I am still in my prime, and I want to milk it.

I will be the absolute first to agree with you on ounce-counting. I understand it, I am NOT one of those people that says "Lose 5lbs instead" when someone wants to know what toothbrush is the lightest. I do cut extra straps off my bags and I have a half-toothbrush. At the same time, I often think about "stupid-light" and when it comes to fabric materials, I can't cut ounces there. The lightweight philosophy lets me carry my credit card and phone in a ziplok bag instead of a dry-sack, but it doesn't let me rip through a raincoat. So I'm careful about what I choose.

So, for me, 15lbs is fine (although I'm closer to 11 anyways, I was just giving an example).

Now, as to the camera, I can find a D300s used for 700-800 if I'm patient enough. Secondly, let me put this in perspective; by spending $90, I got a Boreas 40L on sale. I could have possibly saved up $800 and gotten a custom backpack, but for my enjoyment-to-money-spent ratio, the Boreas does fine for now.

When it comes to a camera, if I pay a substantially lower amount, say, $100, I will not have access to the sensors, visual quality, level of detail, and creative tools of a full-frame DSLR. So, my enjoyment-to-money-spent ratio is very different. I love photography- I live it. So to spend almost a grand on a camera is not a big deal.

I will be selling my old camera as an offset- it's really only a $300 upgrade, or something like that.

Different strokes for different folks! My topic started broadly and then I focused my section of the thread with a little personal anecdote. Do not confuse this with me preaching the "right" way to do it. When I say "My 2ยข" I mean it.

josh wagner
(StainlessSteel) - F
i hear you on 01/15/2013 11:15:04 MST Print View

i agree w/ you that 15 lbs isn't terrible, but to say that there's no difference b/t 10 and 15 is not a true statement for me.

just understand that there's a huge difference b/t 3 miles and 20+ miles.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

I've done a bit on 01/15/2013 11:19:03 MST Print View

I did 25 miles once switching between 25lb and 45lb (helped a buddy carry his pack, although he had it most of the way).

I'm still waiting for knee pain. Maybe someday. I DID have back pain... but I'm careful anyways, I stretch often and I use trekking poles.

Edited by mdilthey on 01/15/2013 11:21:16 MST.

josh wagner
(StainlessSteel) - F
err on 01/15/2013 12:25:17 MST Print View

hey, i didn't mean to imply that you never did any big miles. sorry if it came off like that.