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Victor Lin
(babybunny) - F
Well, it's been more than a decade. Need new gear. Shells, sleeping bag, tent, etc. on 02/03/2013 22:32:09 MST Print View

It's been more than a decade since I bought my previous ultralight gear and I've been a bit out of the loop. Please bear with me. I'm trying to put together a kit for an upcoming motorcycle trip around the world.

1. I have a Montbell Super Stretch #2 that has lost a TON of loft and filling. I have used it almost every day for 10 years because I don't use regular bed sheets.

- is there any way to refurbish the bag? Add filling to it. I'm in the US.
- what new bags can you recommend? The BIG issue with the Montbell is the baffle construction allows down to congregate in areas and leave other areas with no insulation. I want a bag with better baffle construction so filling always stays put.

2. Waterproof shells - super reliable and long lasting lightweight shells? I have some old Red Ledge stuff but I find that the waterproof laminate can peel off with age. The same with older REI waterproof products. What about GoreTex?

3. Sleeping pads - maybe a newer 2" thick air core type mat with down insulation in the middle?

4. Tent - I have a Marmot EOS 1P and an old old REI Half Dome 2. The thing that I don't like is that they are a bit slow to set up, especially when there a downpour and you just want desperately to get under a roof and stay dry. This is going to be especially critical for a motorcycle trip. Something freestanding and super quick to set up would be awesome. 2 person tent.

5. What's everyone cooking with nowadays? I'll have to use a multifuel stove, and I've only ever used homemade soda can alcohol stoves and a Jetboil.

6. Uhhhhh... I'm sure I'll think of something later.

Greg F
(GregF) - F

Locale: Canadian Rockies
some answers, more questions on 02/04/2013 11:50:43 MST Print View

1) How often have you washed the Bag and How did you wash it? Using a special down detergent and really good rinsing and drying may help restore it. But 10 years of daily use is probably close to the life span of the bag. You could add more down to restore the loft as well.

The baffle construction you are refferring to is a continuous baffle system. The theory is that you can move the down to the top or bottom if you get cold or to warm. As you lose loft more down starts just falling to the sides and not staying put. Most 20 degree and warmer bags from the typical manufacturers have continious baffles so you might need to go to the more specialty guys to avoid that feature. Marmot, Montbell, WM all have continious baffles. You could look at a quilt as well.

2) All 2 layer WBP's delaminate with time. By from REI and return to get a new one if it delaminates before you think is reasonable. I just had to do this with my wifes Marmot Precip. Event is the most breathable right now. Go for light weight. 8 ozs is a good goal, max 12 oz.

3) I like NeoAirs, They are the lightest but plenty of options with Big Angus and the UL SymMat.

4)Tents, Lots of options here, check out Tarp Tent, Zpacks, Six Moon design, MLD, etc for light weight designs, they have a limited amount of freestanding options. For true freestanding, all poles included REI may be the place to look with BA and MSR having some heavy lightweight options.

5) Nothing beats the jet boil for boiling water for speed and conveniece. It is heavy though and you cant cook food in it. Stoves is really a personal choice thing. Is saving between 1/4 to 1/2 lb in weight worth the inconvenience of alcohol or esbit. Do you want to simmer rather than just boil water?

Once you figure out what is out there try to really narrow down your needs. Since you are buying from scratch you have a lot of opportunity to cut weight with almost no marginal cost increase. Light gear and heavy gear are roughly the same price when starting over.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
WPB shells on 02/04/2013 13:39:30 MST Print View

SHELLS> Give REI's Kimtah lightweight eVent parka and pants a close look. Since eVent is the best in breathability and waterproofness (or perhaps GTX Pro Shell) that seems tehhe best bet.

My experience has been very good with eVent, as say, compared to GTX PacLite, which is merely "OK".

BAG> GET A NEW BAG!! Try to get a down bag that has down treated with a DWR like Marmot's Dri Down or LL Bean's Down Tech. It will absorb far less moisture day after day, keeping it both light and warm.

STOVE> Look at Trail Designs Tri Ti and Sidewinder stoves. My Sidewinder uses a 3 cup non-stick, ceramic coated pot which is perfect for solo use. You get a choice of 3 fuels, alcohol, ESBIT or wood (if you buy the Inferno insert option.)

TENT> I love my Tarptent Moment. With the optional crossing pole it becomes freestanding.

Edited by Danepacker on 02/07/2013 11:51:26 MST.

Victor Lin
(babybunny) - F
Re: some answers, more questions on 02/06/2013 21:14:04 MST Print View

1) How often have you washed the Bag and How did you wash it? Using a special down detergent and really good rinsing and drying may help restore it. But 10 years of daily use is probably close to the life span of the bag. You could add more down to restore the loft as well.

I've washed the bag maybe 10 times, each time with the McNett down wash and then tumbling it dry with tennis balls. I shined a light through it today and what's left of the down is all clumped near the seams/walls of the baffles, with nothing in the middle of the baffle compartments.

The baffle construction you are refferring to is a continuous baffle system. The theory is that you can move the down to the top or bottom if you get cold or to warm. As you lose loft more down starts just falling to the sides and not staying put. Most 20 degree and warmer bags from the typical manufacturers have continious baffles so you might need to go to the more specialty guys to avoid that feature. Marmot, Montbell, WM all have continious baffles. You could look at a quilt as well.

What about the Montbell Super Spirals? http://www.montbell.us/products/list.php?cat_id=796



2) All 2 layer WBP's delaminate with time. By from REI and return to get a new one if it delaminates before you think is reasonable. I just had to do this with my wifes Marmot Precip. Event is the most breathable right now. Go for light weight. 8 ozs is a good goal, max 12 oz.

Is eVent also 2-layer? Is GoreTex basically never going to delaminate?

3) I like NeoAirs, They are the lightest but plenty of options with Big Angus and the UL SymMat.

Cool, I'll check them out. They should be warmer than a ProLite 4 right?

4)Tents, Lots of options here, check out Tarp Tent, Zpacks, Six Moon design, MLD, etc for light weight designs, they have a limited amount of freestanding options. For true freestanding, all poles included REI may be the place to look with BA and MSR having some heavy lightweight options.

Thanks. Freestanding is a must, but so is fast setup.

5) Nothing beats the jet boil for boiling water for speed and conveniece. It is heavy though and you cant cook food in it. Stoves is really a personal choice thing. Is saving between 1/4 to 1/2 lb in weight worth the inconvenience of alcohol or esbit. Do you want to simmer rather than just boil water?

I'm really looking for an international fuel burner. I'm not a big fan of my JetBoil. I'll supply my own pot. The default would be just the MSR Whisperlite.

Once you figure out what is out there try to really narrow down your needs. Since you are buying from scratch you have a lot of opportunity to cut weight with almost no marginal cost increase. Light gear and heavy gear are roughly the same price when starting over.

Edited by babybunny on 02/06/2013 21:20:57 MST.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Freestanding tent on 02/06/2013 23:57:25 MST Print View

Vic,

The TT Moment is freestanding with the optional crossing pole.

Also look at Big Agnes Fly Creek for freestanding.

Eli Zabielski
(ezabielski) - F

Locale: Boulder, CO
Answers on 02/07/2013 08:38:51 MST Print View

1. What about the Montbell Super Spirals? http://www.montbell.us/products/list.php?cat_id=796

I have two MontBell U.L. Spirals (0 degree and 15 degree). I will look when I get home to make sure that they are really continuous. I am quite sure they have continuous baffles, though. Another thing to consider is the difference between the Super Spiral and the Spiral bags. They both have 800 fill down, but the Super Spiral fabric stretches for more freedom while sleeping. But, MontBell bags seem to be pretty wide (especially the 0 degree Spiral), and I am pretty thin, so I didn't need the stretch feature, which costs more.

2. Is GoreTex basically never going to delaminate?

GoreTex claims (on their FAQ page) their membrane won't delaminate, but there are many versions of GoreTex also; GoreTex Active, GoreTex, GoreTex Pro, GoreTex Paclite, and probably some more. These fabrics vary between weight, durability, waterproofness and breathability. Gore-Tex does have a guarantee that if your Gore-Tex product doesn't keep you dry, they will repair it, replace it, or refund you.


3) I like NeoAirs, They are the lightest but plenty of options with Big Angus and the UL SymMat.

Cool, I'll check them out. They should be warmer than a ProLite 4 right?

Yes. A Neoair has an R-Value of 3.2 and a ProLite has an R-Value of 2.2. I have both, and I would say that the fabric on a ProLite seems MUCH more durable than a NeoAir.

4. I'm really looking for an international fuel burner. I'm not a big fan of my JetBoil. I'll supply my own pot. The default would be just the MSR Whisperlite.

For an international motorcycle trip, I think a stove with very versatile fuel options would be a good idea.

Edited by ezabielski on 02/07/2013 08:41:30 MST.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Well, it's been more than a decade. Need new gear. Shells, sleeping bag, tent, etc. on 02/07/2013 11:05:42 MST Print View

For a motorcycle trip, I would get heavy duty rain gear made for that, not hiking gear. A 60mph wind will drive water into places you don't want to be wet and cold and you basically spend the day sitting in them. Bib bottoms are nice. Check the motorcycling world for reviews.

You won't find many tents that are easier to put up than your REI dome. If it has pole tunnels, you may find clip style systems a little quicker. Watch the term "free standing" -- some need LOTS of stakes to be fully functional. You want something bombproof for a trip that long. The UL tents are using small diameter poles and hub systems that are light but more fragile and 10+ stakes aren't uncommon. Think about a hammock :)

Get a stove that will run on the same fuel your bike does. You won't be going anywhere you can't fuel the bike and your stove fuel might get you to the next town if the bike runs out. The MSR Whisperlite Universal is a cool rig and will use unleaded gas, kerosene and propane. The Primus Omnifuel will even burn diesel. I would want something a little bigger than a typical UL hiking stove as you will probably be doing more real cooking than just boiling water for dehydrated meals and using bigger pots too.

Develop a good system for water purification. Think viruses. That's another good reason to have a good stove.

I'd go for tough and reliable on the pad and the sleeping bag too. They are going to get used.

Get some good locks for your bike and storage.