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What's your big four weigh/cost? Me- 2 lbs 8.4 oz/$773
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marcus hampton

Locale: Pacific Northwest
What's your big four weigh/cost? Me- 2 lbs 8.4 oz/$773 on 01/19/2014 20:31:17 MST Print View

Here's my big four video. (Pack, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, and tent) That's my thru hiking setup, I often travel even lighter than what you see in that video by traveling critter style. Critter style is a style of backpacking I have been working on for the last several years. In the truest sense of the phrase, "critter style" means no sleeping bag, pad, or tent. It is similar to cowboy style but slightly more extreme. It also means using things like trash bags, duct tape, and cordage to improvise gear like nylon pack covers and store bought trekking pole connectors.

Edited by TheCritter on 01/19/2014 20:36:40 MST.

And E
(LunchANDYnner) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
weight on 01/19/2014 20:33:23 MST Print View

6.55 lbs and ~$600

TarpTent Double Rainbow (2 lbs 9oz fully packed in original stuff sack with all included stakes and polycro footprint)

GoLite Jam 50 w/ two sections of zlite Sol; modified with linelocs/Glowire/roll top (29.8 oz)

Exped Synmat UL 7S (14.7 oz)

MYOG Karo Step down quilt (18.6oz)

Edited by LunchANDYnner on 01/20/2014 07:49:25 MST.

big4 on 01/19/2014 20:35:43 MST Print View

+/- 1 depending on trip and conditions

Edited by livingontheroad on 01/20/2014 05:14:18 MST.

James Reilly
(zippymorocco) - M

Locale: Montana
Re: weight on 01/19/2014 20:41:07 MST Print View

3.28lb. $965

Myog cuben tarp
Myog cuben bivy
Zpacks 20 degree bag
Klymit inertia torso
Arc Blast pack by Zpacks

Edited by zippymorocco on 01/19/2014 21:43:16 MST.

Trace Richardson
(tracedef) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: What's your big four weigh/cost? on 01/19/2014 20:52:47 MST Print View

4.61 lbs / $1400 ish

marcus hampton

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: weight on 01/19/2014 20:58:34 MST Print View

If you didn't click on the video here's what you missed:

Pack- Black Diamond Verto 26. Weight 11 oz. Price $79.95.
Sleeping Bag- MH MTN Speed 32 degree. Weight 15.5 oz. Price $480.00.
Pad- Thermarest Z-light. Weight 9 oz. Price $39.95
Shelter- 6x9 tarp. Weight- 4.4 oz. Price $180.00.

Brian Johns

Locale: NorCal
Weight of Big 4 on 01/19/2014 20:59:23 MST Print View

EDIT EDIT: Great video, Critter. I'd love to know more about "Critter-style camping," but I must say I also enjoyed your blustery summit vid, and the gear used unpacking vid. Keep up the great work.

Depends, but for three-season stuff:

(1) Zpacks Zero (Small Extended Collar 1,900 cu. in.) w/ mesh back pocket, WB pockets, 3/4" waist belt, Zimmerbuilt Shoulder Pocker: 9 oz.

(2) Zpacks Hexamid Tarp w/ Beak + MLD Serenity Old version (5.5 + 7.5 oz.) 13 oz. total.

(3) Enlightened Equipment Revolution X 40* w/ Overstuff 17 oz.

(4) TAR Neo Air Short (original model) 9 oz.

Total: 48 oz. and/or 3.0 lbs

Total Cost (to me; for above pieces): $625[I paid Zpacks $185 for the pack, a forum member $250 for the mid but also a zpacks cuben tub floor so I am allocating $200 to shelter, another forum member $60 for the Serenity, Tim Marshall $170 a while ago for the Rev X, and Backcountry or similar $70 for the Neo Air)

EDIT TO ADD: The above is just the latest and greatest fair weather combo. I have a GG Mariposa 2012, MLD Duomid, Zpacks floor (for less weight), Borah Bivy (7.0 oz.), Montbell ULSS No. 2 @ 27 oz., etc. that may be required, especially for shoulder seasons or expected inclimate weather.

Edited by bcutlerj on 01/20/2014 01:56:04 MST.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: What's your big four weigh/cost? on 01/19/2014 21:19:32 MST Print View

Gossamer Gear Mariposa, 28oz, $30
SMD Gatewood Cape. 11oz, $135
Moonstone Delta Cirrus 32f mummy bag, 30oz, $20
Therm-A-Rest Z-Lite Small, 10oz, $6

70oz (4.375lbs) $191

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: What's your big four weigh/cost? Me- 2 lbs 8.4 oz/$773 on 01/19/2014 21:22:56 MST Print View

I've obviously got other gear, but the "big 4" with them most miles on them are the following:

GoLite SL3: $100 (fly only, purchased on sale when they sold them separate back in the day), 26 oz.
EMS Mountainlight 20: $160, 32 ounces
GoLite Jam2: $65 (used), 19 ounces
Ridgerest 3/4: ~$30, 7 ounces.

Total: 5.25 pounds, $355

Matthew Stenger
(MatthewStenger) - F

Locale: its flat but its home
My Big Four on 01/19/2014 21:38:36 MST Print View

Quilt: Revelation 30 - 21.75 oz, $150 (used)
Sleeping Pad: NeoAir Xtherm Large - 20 oz, $170 (new with discount)
Tent: Tarptent Notch, seamed sealed, with MSR groundhogs - 28.5 oz, $220 (used)
Pack: HMG Windrider 2400 Tall - 30 oz, $175 (new with discout)

TOTAL: 100.25 oz (6.27 pounds), $715

Edward Jursek
( - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
big 4 cost/weight on 01/19/2014 21:38:41 MST Print View

Big 4 for my summer set-up for 2014:

Zimmerbuilt Quickstep, 9oz, $110 (Gear Swap Forum)
Gatewood Cape, 12oz, $65 (Gear Swap Forum)
Zpacks 30degree cuben quilt, 15oz, $300 (Gear Swap Forum)
NeoAir Short, 8oz, $150 (REI, to return if leaks)


(ardavis324) - F

Locale: High Sierra
Re: Re: What's your big four weigh/cost? on 01/19/2014 21:43:32 MST Print View

70oz/4.3lbs. $827

Everything purchased new.

ZPacks hexamid twin
EE Revelation
GG Gorilla
Thermarest Ridgerest wide

I feel like there are no further "upgrades" here. I am extremely content with this setup. Shelter works for 2 persons.

Edited by ardavis324 on 01/19/2014 21:46:51 MST.

Daniel Pittman
(pitsy) - M

Locale: Central Texas
Big 4 weight/cost on 01/19/2014 21:50:33 MST Print View

Pack: REI Flash 18 11oz/312g $25
Shelter: ZPacks 8.5' square tarp 6.35oz/180g $240
Pad: Exped SynMat UL7 medium 16oz/454g $165
Quilt: JRB Sierra Sniveller 24oz/680g $270

Total: 57.35oz/1626g $700

There should be some guy-lines, tent stakes, and a bug bivy, but I don't have those numbers at hand. Probably less than another hundred, and still under 4.5 lbs.

Edit: Tyvek groundsheet pretty light and free

Edited by pitsy on 01/19/2014 22:02:21 MST.

Steve Meier
(smeier) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Hammock set up: 4.4 lbs, $1200 on 01/19/2014 21:59:59 MST Print View

Grand Trunk Nano 7 hammock w/whoopie slings and tree straps: 10.4 oz, $80
Virga Gear Wraith cuben tarp: 5.8 oz, $275 (don't really remember)
Te-Wa Breeze underquilt: 10.5 oz, $135
Katabatic Gear Palisade LW top quilt: 23 oz. of pure delight, $475
ULA CDT in cuben: 21 oz., $235

Total: 71 oz (4.4 lbs), $1200 new

Anton Solovyev
(solovam) - F

Locale: Colorado, Utah
Re: What's your big four weigh/cost? Me- 2 lbs 8.4 oz/$773 on 01/19/2014 22:00:42 MST Print View

Obviously, it all depends on the season: last April in Utah I carried Marmot Helium 15F bag and was glad I did, I was cold on one 20 degree night. Other times I might carry a 40F Marmot Atom.

My shelter is MLD Duomid. I have tried tarps and after one windy night in Utah without a shelter no more tarps for me.

The big four is actually five or even six for me, hard to do without a ground cloth (Tyvek) or stakes.

I have tried frameless packs and had to reject them. Sometime I have to carry 4-6 kilograms of water and GoLite Jam killed me. So, it's Osprey Exos 58 for me.

Weights in metric units:

MLD Duomid 610g
8 Stakes 104g
Marmot Helium 950g
Marmot Atom 650g
Z-pad shortened 210g
Tyvek ground cloth 180g
Osprey Exos 58 w/o lid 1080g
When bugs are out, Raven bivy 250g

I am going to order an inner net for MLD as well, had to deal with bugs on West Coast Trail, don't want that again.

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: Big 4 weight/cost on 01/19/2014 22:01:32 MST Print View

Home made quilt $250 19 ounces

1/8" Pad 24" X 72" $15 3.5 ounces

Home made Bivy $50 4.5 ounces

Homemade Pack $35 10.6 ounces

Total $350 2 lbs 5.6 ounces

Edited by awsorensen on 05/02/2014 16:22:25 MDT.

Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
1 lb 11.8 oz $525 on 01/19/2014 22:06:30 MST Print View

Since (I believe) the OP is not bothering with stakes, lines or groundsheet (maybe you put them in you pocket and therefore they don't "count") I will not bother either - though I appreciate those of you who did.

Stuff I use:

GG G6 Pack 3.7 oz $89.99
WM Hilite Bag (35F) 16 oz ~ $250
Cut down thin ridge rest pad 5 oz price - meh, pretty sure I got this for free somewhere.

The above I have owned and used for 10 or more years.

Zpacks pocket tarp 3.1 oz $185

Just got this.

Total: 1 lb 11.8 oz

cost ~ $525 (face it kids, I'm older, and have more inflation behind me)

Oooh, I win, I'm the lightest! ***insert giant ironic smiley here ***

I only do this as a lark nowadays, and only for overnights (maybe 2 nights). In which case the weight hardly matters. Unfortunately I'm usually alone with no one to be impressed - or to laugh at me which is %95 more likely in the *real* world.

Also I have drunk water from an old wagon track. Does that count?

Edited by millonas on 01/19/2014 22:25:34 MST.

marcus hampton

Locale: Pacific Northwest
GAME OVER on 01/19/2014 22:19:40 MST Print View

I've been backpacking critter style for several years.

Sleeping bag- Mylar blanket. 2 oz. $4.99
Shelter- Natural. Free.
pack- Near weightless.
pad- pile of debris. Free (although I have been stung)

Edited by TheCritter on 01/19/2014 22:39:23 MST.

Lance Stalnaker
weight/cost on 01/19/2014 22:26:10 MST Print View

Warbonnet Blackbird Hammock 24.1 oz
Hammockgear cuben tarp 5.2 oz
Hammockgear phoenix underquilt 13.1 oz
hammockgear top quilt 15 oz
Gossamer Gear Mariposa 27.6 oz

Total weight-5.3#


A comfy night sleep above ground-priceless

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: What's your big four weigh/cost? Me- 2 lbs 8.4 oz/$773 on 01/19/2014 22:26:51 MST Print View

pack: ula ohm 2.0 - $200, 29 oz
bag: western mountaineering summerlite - $300, 19 oz
pad: thermarest z-lite (cut down to barely torso size) - $30, 5 oz
shelter: sil nylon tarp- $70, 15 oz

total is $600 and 68 ounces (4.25 pounds)

Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Re: GAME OVER on 01/19/2014 22:34:20 MST Print View

"Sleeping bag- Mylar blanket. 2 oz. $4.99
Shelter- Natural. Free.
pack- Near weightless. Free
pad- pile of debris. Free (although I have been stung)"

Sir, you dare mock this serious discussion?

But seriously mine would be more like 3.5 if I was going for a "real" trip.

Edited by millonas on 01/19/2014 22:37:00 MST.

(onthecouchagain) - MLife

Locale: Sunny SoCal
big "four" on 01/19/2014 22:50:47 MST Print View

1. ZimmerBuilt Quickstep (full retail) $149.00 9oz

2. EE Enigma 30*, reg/wide (full retail) $215.00 17oz

3. MLD cuben Monk tarp (used gear swap) $110.00 5oz

4. KookaBay custom short pad (used gear swap) $40.00 7oz

so that's $514.00 for 38 ounces or 2lbs 6oz


Bob Bankhead
(wandering_bob) - MLife

Locale: Oregon, USA
Re: weight/cost on 01/19/2014 22:58:41 MST Print View

for PCT and CT in July, Aug, and Sept. Camping at altitudes up to 12,000 feet.

PACK - Six Moon Designs Traveler ..... 31 oz......$175 (no longer available)

SHELTER: Six Moon Designs Gatewood Cape ....11 oz....$125

PAD: zLite 20x72 ........14 oz......$20 from forum member

BAG: Western Mountaineering Hooded Aspen ...25°F ....32 oz....$300 (bought 15 years ago; current model is the Sycamore MF)

Total: 5 lbs 8 ounces
Cost: $620

If you bought the very same items today, the cost would be $815

NOTE: To be realistic, I need to add the weight of the following items which are needed to make the various systems work. Note that I don't usually carry the net tent (7 oz) for the shelter.

6 tent stakes plus lines = 4 oz.
Heatsheet 60x96 inch ground cloth = 3.1 oz.
dedicated sleeping socks = 2.8 oz.
2 36x1 inch webbing straps with buckles for use with pack's daisy chain = 2 oz.
eVent compression dry bag for sleeping bag = 5.2 oz.

That adds another 17.1 ounces and about $80, making the realistic total 6 lbs, 9 ounces at a cost of $700 (for me) or $885 if bought today.

I can cut a pound off both my pack and my sleeping bag, and 4 ounces off my shelter,but the cost is almost $1500. I can just as easily save 2 pounds by carrying one liter less water and carrying the gear that has proven itself over thousands of miles and many years.


Edited by wandering_bob on 01/19/2014 23:05:08 MST.

marcus hampton

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: GAME OVER on 01/19/2014 23:11:44 MST Print View

lol, Mark Millonas. Here's a slight intro.

Here's the video of my bear encounter.

Edited by TheCritter on 01/19/2014 23:39:11 MST.

Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Re: Re: GAME OVER on 01/19/2014 23:39:40 MST Print View

Did that bear bite you? Have you noticed excessive hair growth and a desire to eat grubs? If so you may have become (or are developing into)a werebear - a sufficient explanation for "critter style" I believe.


Edit: In your video you seem, like Beorn (another famous werebear) in the hobbit, to have several dog minions - yet another sign. Largish sideburns, check.

Those two dogs looked so comfy it made me want to curl up on a rung somewhere.

Edited by millonas on 01/20/2014 01:01:59 MST.

Mike W
(skopeo) - F

Locale: British Columbia
What's your big four weigh/cost? on 01/20/2014 00:46:06 MST Print View

Interesting exercise as I've never totaled the cost before. Seems that I bought all of my big 4 from the USA, so it cost me significantly more than the locals would pay for the same gear because of the exchange rate, international shipping charges and duty.

Total weight: 4.79 lbs
Cost: $1050

Edited by skopeo on 01/20/2014 00:47:02 MST.

Owen McMurrey
(OwenM) - F

Locale: SE US
Big 4 on 01/20/2014 01:22:13 MST Print View

This week, with temps possibly into single digits, a very comfort-driven 7.75lbs and $1k.

Osprey Exos 58
TT Notch with ZPacks Solo cuben floor
Marmot Pinnacle
Exped Downmat UL7

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Big 4 on 01/20/2014 07:57:57 MST Print View

Warbonnet Blackbird - 25oz/$160 -
zPacks hammock tarp with doors - 8.5 oz/$315
Hammock Gear Incubator 20 underquilt - 22 oz/$249
EnlightenedEquipment Enigma top quilt (30 degree) - 15.5 oz/$385
Elemental Horizons Kalais pack - 28 oz/$301

Total - 99oz (6.19 lbs)/$1410

Rota Locura Lone Peak - 30.25 oz/$690
OR (haven’t made up my mind yet)
HMG Ultamid2 - 17.6oz/$650
EnlightenedEquipment Enigma top quilt (30 degree) - 10.15 oz/$385
Enlightened Equipment Enigma top quilt (50 degree) - 9.75oz/$190
EE Cuben quilt liner - 2?oz/$80? (I really don’t remember what I paid, and I’ve never weighed the liner, so those are guesses)
NeoAir X-Therm regular pad - 15oz/$150
Polycryo ground sheet - 1.6 oz/$5
Elemental Horizons Kalais pack - 28 oz/$301

96.75oz(6.05 lbs)/$1528 (Lone Peak)
84.10z(5.26 lbs)$1488 (UltaMid)

(All weights/prices are those listed on the respective websites)

John H
(pastyj) - F

Locale: SE US
What's your big four weigh/cost? on 01/20/2014 08:21:30 MST Print View

I don't backpack in the's too darn hot in the SE. This is my late fall/winter/early spring setup, so I guess it is a 3-season setup for you northern folk.

ZPacks Duplex
WM Megalite Long
TAR Xlite Large
Granite Gear Crown VC

6.3 lbs, $1300

Larry De La Briandais
(Hitech) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
10 lbs on 01/20/2014 08:39:38 MST Print View

10 lbs and $200. But only the pack is ligbt (vapor trail). Still working at lightening things up.

Mitchell Ebbott
(mebbott) - M

Locale: SoCal
My big four are big on 01/20/2014 09:18:52 MST Print View

GoLite Shangri-La 2 - 1 lb 9 oz - $150
Kelty Cosmic Down 20 - 3 lb - $40
REI Flash Inflatable Pad - 1 lb - $25
GoLite Quest 80L - 3 lb 13 oz - $150

Cost: $365
Weight: 9.4 lb

I'll be replacing the pad with a SOLite soon, and the sleeping bag with an EE quilt when I get the money. After that, I'll look for a used Jam or similar.

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Re: What's your big four weigh/cost? Me- 2 lbs 8.4 oz/$773 on 01/20/2014 09:26:41 MST Print View

Oooh, I just want to know what categories everyone thinks they are in.

Like Lightweight, Ultralight, Super Ultralight, Super Duper Ultralight, or F'ing crazy, etc.

Doug a scale.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Categories on 01/20/2014 11:02:03 MST Print View

Categories? Whatever I want it to be :)

The real concept of ultralight is that you have real control over the weight of your kit, not what someone else tells you it should be. Once you're outside of the "should" box, you are free to roam the bright sunny world of Hike Your Own Hike.

I'm always "light enough" and generally "ultralight."

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Re: Re: Categories on 01/20/2014 11:26:31 MST Print View

I was being......


Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

WICKED cool idea. on 01/20/2014 11:31:01 MST Print View

Total: $1,057.00, 7.1lbs

Pack: Boreas Buttermilk 40- $184, 1lb 15oz
Bag: Mountain Hardwear Ultralamina 15º- $275, 2lb 13oz
Pad: Thermarest X-Lite Torso- $149, 11oz
Shelter: Big Agnes Fly Creek Platinum 1P- $449, 1lb 11oz

Of course, I was a poor college student when I bought the stuff, so I got everything on sale. The tent was like $250 and I returned 3 gifts to LL. Bean to get the sleeping bag, and the backpack was half off. I think I paid full price for the pad, though.

Good investment. Camping Gear > Textbooks

Tony Ronco
(tr-browsing) - MLife
Re: Big 4 ( = Big 3 + Sleeping Pad) on 01/20/2014 12:46:39 MST Print View

I own multiple selections for Big 3 / Big 4 gear out of my closet :-)

... but lately, this is the set I use most often:

PACK: Gossamer Gear Miniposa: 18.3 oz: $100 (Sale item - MSRP: $135)
SHELTER: Gossamer Gear SpinnTwin: 10.8 oz: $175
SLEEPING QUILT: Golite Ultra-20: 19.4 oz: $150 (Sale item - MSRP: $225)
SLEEPING PAD: Gossamer Gear Nightlight: 4.7 oz: $16 (new ones are more:MSRP: $24)

Total: 3 lb,5.2 oz: $441

Edited by tr-browsing on 01/20/2014 12:59:18 MST.

Gary Dunckel
(Zia-Grill-Guy) - MLife

Locale: Boulder
Combining categories on 01/20/2014 13:08:03 MST Print View

I think I'm probably a F'ing Crazy Lightweight sort of guy.

Edited by Zia-Grill-Guy on 01/20/2014 14:13:16 MST.

Mark Ries
(mtmnmark) - M

Locale: IOWAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!
big 5 cause I carry two pads on 01/20/2014 13:49:10 MST Print View

I've got other pricier gear but lately I've been buying gear swap. Tent six moons wild oasis 16oz stakes incl. $110 gear swap Pack granite gear virga 22 oz $60 gear swap. Bag MB super stretch ul 3 $100 gear swap 23 oz. Exped synmat ul which I cut in half and made 2 out of 8oz $60 exped sent it to me when my non ulsynmat bit the dust and price is 1/2 of what I paid with valve added in. 1/2 of a blue ridge ccf pad 5oz $10. So 4 lb 11oz $340 and this is actually what I've been using lately so I would label me ultra light and ultra cheap... I dunno maybe only cheap

Tad Englund
(bestbuilder) - F - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
big four weigh/cost? $12,784.93 on 01/20/2014 13:51:41 MST Print View

My big four cost me a ton of money to get to where I am now, $12,784.93 and counting.

The big problem I have is, I'm still not finished getting to where I want to be. Everytime I think I have what should be good to go. Doug, puts something on Gear Swap that I think I need because he had it (I must need it if he had it). Or, Dave C, does a review on a pack that costs $510 and after the review ,I have to have it. Or, Nick says the Mchale's are worth the money and there goes another $1,400.00 (just for 1/4 of my big four [it use to be the big tree, now the big four, I hope they don't come up with the big five; I'll have to sell the house])

Its a never ending cycle, for me. My kids look at my gear room and tell me I'm a hoarder (they told me they were going to call the TV show if I don't stop).

I would hate to have to weigh all my "big four" stuff at the same time; I wouldn't even make it into the LW catagory.

Critter, don't worry about me, keep up the good work and I appreciate your Videos (regardless of what I say)

Edited by bestbuilder on 01/20/2014 13:53:53 MST.

Ike Jutkowitz
(Ike) - M

Locale: Central Michigan
re: on 01/20/2014 14:17:22 MST Print View

"I think I'm probably a F'ing Crazy Lightweight sort of guy"


Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Combining categories on 01/20/2014 15:27:34 MST Print View

"I think I'm probably a F'ing Crazy Lightweight sort of guy."

I always thought you were just a F'ing Crazy sort of guy, regardless of weight....

Gary Dunckel
(Zia-Grill-Guy) - MLife

Locale: Boulder
re: Combining categories on 01/20/2014 15:48:39 MST Print View

I originally thought about writing that post this way:

"I think I'm probably a F'ing Crazy Lightweight sort of guy, like that damn Idster."

But I thought that just might set you off, Doug. You'd likely go nuts at the GGG, eat all the brownies and wash them down with single malt, then scare the children and small pets and make the single women run for cover. I was just trying to do my part in keeping things orderly at the GGG.

Robert Perkins

Locale: The Sierras
What's your big four weigh/cost? Me- 2 lbs 8.4 oz/$773 on 01/20/2014 15:53:01 MST Print View

Tad, your post had me and my wife busting up!! She said that your gear collecting pretty much matches mine:). Great post.

Zimmerbuilt Pack, Half-Dome, Perkins Model, 29 ozs. @$200
Z Packs, Hexamid Solo, extended beak, no netting, 6.6 ozs., $260
Z Packs, 20 Sleeping Bag, Long, 19.8 ozs., $420
Exped, Synmat UL, 16ozs., $120

I need a sleeping pad that starts with a 'Z' and I'll have a clean Z sweep!

71.4ozs, 4.46 lbs, $1000, ( I think I paid less on a couple items, just can't remember, so going off current pricing )

Edited by rp3957 on 01/20/2014 18:44:13 MST.

Brian Johns

Locale: NorCal
Re: Tad's $12,784 Big Four Gear Room on 01/20/2014 15:56:54 MST Print View

LOL - literally - funny, Tad. Thanks for the Chuckle. My name is Brian, and I am a Gear-aholic.

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: Combining categories on 01/20/2014 16:38:46 MST Print View

"I was just trying to do my part in keeping things orderly at the GGG."

Don't mess with success Gary. I'm off to the liquor store right now to pick up some essential supplies.

This is a fun thread.

David Noll
(dpnoll) - MLife

Locale: Maroon Bells
What's your big four on 01/20/2014 17:18:48 MST Print View

Mark,not cheap,just thrifty.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Big 4 on 01/20/2014 17:24:01 MST Print View

Pad: Exped SynMat UL7 - 16oz, $120
Shelter: MLD Cuben DuoMid + Solo Inner - 23oz, $400 (Used)
Bag: Zpacks 30F Quilt - 14oz, $335
Pack: ULA Ohm - 23oz, $175

Total: 4.75lbs, $1030

Christian Denniston
(cdenniston) - F
Big Four on 01/20/2014 17:50:06 MST Print View

Pad: Thermarest Black RidgeRest Trimmed 8oz $0.00 (used)
Bag: EE Revelation X 30F 21oz $180
Pack: GG Mariposa 21oz $80 (used)
Shelter: MLD Duomid & Duo Inner 30oz $300 (used)

Total Weight: 80oz/5lb
Total Cost: $560

Kenneth Jacobs
(f8less) - F

Locale: Midwest
Me on 01/20/2014 18:10:26 MST Print View

Quilt: EE Emigma 20 (Long/Wide) - 19.9oz, $379 (new with discount)
Sleeping Pad: EXPED SynMat UL 7 (M) - 16.2 oz, $125 (new with discount)
Tent: GG The One, seam sealed, with 2 MSR Groundhogs & 4 MSR Groundhog Minis and Polycryo GS - 22.7 oz, $200 (used)
Pack: Granite Gear Blaze A.C. 60 - 44.7oz (trimmed w/ 2 additional GG shoulder strap pockets), $150 (new with discount)

TOTAL: 103.5oz (6.46lbs) - $854

Edited by f8less on 01/31/2014 09:39:00 MST.

Tim Hafner
(yucaipatim) - F

Locale: Southern California
big 4 on 01/20/2014 18:24:24 MST Print View

Pack: Gossamer Gear G5/10 ozs/$90
Shelter: Yama Mountain Gear Custom Cirriform Singlewall*/22 ozs/$400
Sleeping Bag: Western Mountaineering Megalite reg/24 ozs/$400
Pad: Original Neoair Small/9 ozs/$125

4lbs 1oz/$1015

*Includes tent, separate cuben ground sheet, 8 Ti Stakes, Guylines, and stuff sack

Mark Ries
(mtmnmark) - M

Locale: IOWAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!
Re: What's your big four on 01/20/2014 18:34:09 MST Print View

Thanks David. I'm waiting for the big guns to come out ya know the ones that got $2000 + into the big four come on let's see some BPL bling.

Charles Grier
(Rincon) - M

Locale: Desert Southwest
For western mountains. on 01/20/2014 18:35:02 MST Print View

Pack- homemade 50 liter with stay. 16 oz
Shelter- Zpacks Hexamid Solo w/bathtub floor & stakes. 15 oz
Sleeping bag-WM Summerlite + 2 oz overfill. 21 oz
Pad-Thermarest Prolite 3, short. 13 oz

Total, 65 oz or 4.1 lb.

For below freezing, I use a Marmot Helium at 28 oz so then total is 72 oz or 4.5 lb.

Total cost about $900 over five or so years.

Stephen Adams
(stevemkedcom) - MLife

Locale: Northwest
What's your big four weigh/cost? on 01/20/2014 18:52:49 MST Print View

Through Hiked the PCT last year with this

Zpacks Arc Blast: 13oz, $225
Zpacks 20 deg bag: 22oz, $410
Gossamer gear the One:19oz, $275
Neo Air Xlite long: 16oz, $180
4lbs 6 oz,$1,090

My wife went to London for 10 days and spent $5,000 while I was on the PCT for 5 months . She dare not say a word about how much I spend on hiking stuff.

Edited by stevemkedcom on 01/20/2014 19:02:39 MST.

Aaron Croft
(aaronufl) - M

Locale: Oregon
Re: What's your big four weigh/cost? on 01/20/2014 22:34:45 MST Print View

Let's see...

Shelter: Cuben Duomid/Solo inner, 23 Ounces, $400 (used).

Pack: HMG Porter 3400, 33 Ounces, $295

Quilt: Katabatic Alsek 22, 21 ounces, $280 (used)

Pad: Exped Synmat UL 7, 16 ounces, $90 (sale)

Total: $1,065, 5.8 lbs

Richard Cullip
(RichardCullip) - M

Locale: San Diego County
3 lbs 14 oz @ $920 for me on 01/20/2014 22:39:36 MST Print View

Gossamer Gear The_One (16oz, $295)
Zpacks 30 deg quilt no/zipper (14.4oz, $325)
ULA CDT Pack w/some trimming (20.7oz, $135)
Exped SynMat UL7 (16oz, $165)

Derek Weeks
(Lighting12) - MLife
My big 4 on 01/21/2014 00:45:58 MST Print View

Shelter: Cuben Duomid/Oooknest Nano 27oz $720 (haven't used the Nano yet) may sale the Nano

Pack: MLD Exdous 18.5 oz $195

Quilt: Katabatic Palisade 30°F 18 oz $465

Pad: thermarest neoair Xlite women's 11oz $99

74.4 oz 4lb 10.4oz $1,479

Edited by Lighting12 on 01/21/2014 00:47:01 MST.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: What's your big four weigh/cost? on 01/21/2014 00:58:23 MST Print View

I can't really answer this question, because the four items (pack, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, and tent) are not the biggest weight items for me. I have to start with a big camera and a big lens and a bear canister. Oh, well.


Edited by --B.G.-- on 01/21/2014 01:08:50 MST.

Brian Johns

Locale: NorCal
Re: Re: What's your big four weigh/cost? on 01/21/2014 01:20:20 MST Print View

Well, You're obviously off to a great start if your camera gear or two-pound bear canister weighs more than your shelter, bag, pad or pack. I like to take a fly rod with me hiking, though I don't consider it part of my "big 4." Keeping those light is how we are able to - without much of a sweat - bring along the items that make our adventures fun. Face it, a bag or pad you use while asleep, or a pack you can't really even see most of the day, are nowhere near as interesting as cameras, fishing gear, or even skis or snowshoes. Not to mention my Col. buddies who require rifles and/or bows for their adventures.

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
What's your big four weigh/cost? on 01/21/2014 06:11:14 MST Print View

Tent: 14oz (tarp, $70)
Pack: 10oz (Murmur, $125)
Bag: 20oz (40F, $275)
Pad: 13oz (NeoAir, medium, $110)
Total: 57oz or 3#9, $580

Mike Hensel
(mike220) - M

Locale: Northwest
Big four on 01/21/2014 06:25:07 MST Print View

I just like the fact that my "Big Four" weighs less than my first pack. (A really old jansport, which I still have out in the shed somewhere)

Jim Colten
(jcolten) - M

Locale: MN
Re: Big four on 01/21/2014 08:39:19 MST Print View

Many big four combos depending on season ... this one for:
low temps >40*F
and biting insects

oz $
24.4 $40 pack Granite Gear Virga bought here on gear swap
15.2 $20 shelter MYOG shaped tarp (materials cost, Noah Lamport sil 2nds)
9.3 $35 shelter MYOG adapted from SMD Meteor plans (materials cost)
9.3 $120 pad original small TAR Neoair
16.4 $90 quilt MYOG, 3oz/yd Climashield, adequate to upper 30's (F) (materials cost)
74.6 $305
(4.7 lbs)

. Kirby
(Kirby805) - F
RE: What's your big four weigh/cost? Me- 2 lbs 8.4 oz/$773 on 01/21/2014 09:06:20 MST Print View

REI Flash 65 (trimmed down to 38oz) - $85
Thermarest Prolite+ (24oz) - $85
MH Phantom 45 (19oz) - $140
TT Rainbow with stakes (38oz) - $125

7.44lbs for $435

I got all 4 of these at great prices thanks to posts on Gear Deals or Gear Swap. So thanks yall.

Seth R
(Lerxst) - F

Locale: Northeast
Mine on 01/21/2014 09:19:17 MST Print View

5.875 lbs/$630

Tarptent Notch 31oz with everything and seam sealed. $259
Exped UL 7 16 oz $100
GoLite 1+ season quilt. 21oz $100
Gossamer Gear Gorilla 26oz $170

Matt Macaulay
(mmacaulay1) - F

Locale: Texas
Big 4 on 01/21/2014 13:01:16 MST Print View

Love this thread. Would have been very helpful when I was starting out just to see what folks out there actually use. I do most of my hiking in Texas. East Texas = hammock. West Texas = tent.

The Air (preferred): 85oz/5.3lbs $1,045

Warbonnet Blackbird hammock w webbing and buckles: 24oz $140 on sale
Zpacks hammock tarp w lines: 8oz $250
EE RevX 30 degree wide: 22oz $200 approx.
Te-wa 3/4 underquilt 20 degree custom: 14oz $160 discounted
Zpacks Arc Blast: 17oz $295

The Ground: 68oz/4.25lbs $925

Zpacks Hexamid Twin w lines, stakes, and groundsheet: 20oz $360 gear swap
EE Rev X 30 degree wide: 22oz $200 approx.
TR Neo Air Short: 9oz $70 on sale
Zpacks Arc Blast: 17oz $295

Jeffs Eleven
(WoodenWizard) - F

Locale: Greater Mt Tabor
Re: Big 4 on 01/21/2014 16:30:22 MST Print View

for avg trip i.e. 3 season with wife

Scarp2 shell --- 42oz $365 (Incl inner)
LG and reg Xlites --- 28oz $200
Zpacks twin quilt --- 24oz $575 (technically free- Thanks, Pops!!)
Zimmerbuilt --- 32oz $200 (incl aftermkt hipbelt)
REI Flash 45 --- 32oz $160

=158oz $1500

Prices and weights are approximate

Again: list is for two people

Unless I camp "Wizard Style", then its:
Find a TaunTaun to cut open and sleep in. its my tent, pad, and insulation 0oz and $0
and I don't need a pack cause I enslave children to carry my other gear 0oz and $0

Game over

Edited by WoodenWizard on 01/21/2014 16:47:07 MST.

rick .
(overheadview) - F

Locale: NYC
5lbs / $500 on 01/21/2014 16:50:03 MST Print View

SMD Swift - 18.5oz (with belt) $100 (40% off sale)
Tarptent Contrail 29oz, 32oz fully outfitted with groundsheet stakes etc. $200
Thermarest Z-lite small 10oz $25
EMS Velocity 35, 29oz on deep sale, I forget $125?
(replacing this with a MYOG down quilt, 90% sewn, ~18-20oz, $160).

89.5oz / 5.6 lbs (5.0lbs when the quilt is done). $450.

Rick Sutton
(rickcsutton) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re Big 4 weigh / cost on 01/24/2014 22:33:49 MST Print View

Zpacks Zero - 8.6 oz / $ 210 (New)
GG Nightlite (Modified) - 4.2 oz / $ 20 (New - Sale)
Zpacks 30 degree, long, wide w/down hat - 18.3 oz / $ 445 (Bargain Bin Bag, New Hat)
MLD Patrol & Serenity Shelters, lines & stakes - 15.4 oz / $ 600 New

TOTALS = 46.5 oz (2.9 pounds) / $ 1,275

Jonathan Chin
(JonRC) - MLife

Locale: Northwoods
Big 4 cost & weight on 01/29/2014 10:33:23 MST Print View

Gossamer Gear Gorilla 23oz $50 used on Gear Swap
EE RevX 20 (850 fill) 22oz $220 new
NeoAir XLite 12oz $85 used on eBay
SMD Gatewood Cape 11oz $85 used on Gear Swap

Total: 68oz, $440

Weights are approximate, as listed. Add ~1.5oz for polycryo ground cloth. Also, the Gatewood Cape saves ~12oz by doubling as rain coat & pack cover.

Phillip Asby
(PGAsby) - M

Locale: North Carolina
Ouch on 01/29/2014 11:54:47 MST Print View

Let's see... currently

Big Agnes Seedhouse SL1/footprint - 2 lb 12 ounces
Golite Feather 20 - 1 lb 15 oz
Exped Synmat 7 UL M - 16.2 oz
REI Flash 65 M - 3 lb 2 oz

so 8.825 lbs total... heavy by standards around here.

All were bought used or clearance so... around $475 I believe.

Josh Thomas
(JtPeso) - M

Locale: Louisville, Ky
Big Four on 01/29/2014 12:09:46 MST Print View

Depending on season, but here's the mainstays ...

Pack: ULA Circuit, 34 oz, $225
Pad: Exped Synmat UL 7, 15 oz, $150
Bag: MB UL Spiral #3, 20 oz, $259
Tent: BSI Revo 1P, 34 oz, $329

For a grand total of 103 oz (6.4 lbs) and $963.

Barry P
(BarryP) - F

Locale: Eastern Idaho (moved from Midwest)
Re: What's your big four weigh/cost? Me- 2 lbs 8.4 oz/$773 on 01/29/2014 16:15:50 MST Print View

Murmer w/ backpad 9 $100
Hexamid + line + stakes + ground cloth 13 $275
Zpack proto 20F quilt 17 $275
neoair small 9 $80
Total = 48oz (3lbs) $730

John Almond
(FLRider) - F

Locale: The Southeast
DIY... on 01/30/2014 07:43:53 MST Print View

If I don't include prototyping, the costs and weights are as follows:

DIY Molly Mac Pack: 40 oz, ~$75.00
DIY Gathered-End Hammock: 13.5 oz, including suspension, ~$30.00
DIY Tarp: 8.75 oz, ~$40.00
Poncho Liner Top Quilt: 24 oz, $20.00

20º to 40º F:
DIY Underquilt: 16 oz, $140.00
Supplementary Clothing: 24 oz, ~$60.00

40º to 50º F:
DIY Underquilt: 16 oz, $140.00

Above 50º F:
Poncho/Undercover: 8 oz, $35.00
Space Blanket: 0.5 oz, $7.00


20º to 40º: 126.25 oz/7 lbs, 14.25 oz, $365.00
40º to 50º: 102.25 oz/6 lbs, 6.25 oz, $305.00
50º+: 94.75 oz/5 lbs, 14.75 oz, $207.00

I'm pretty happy with that. I do intend upon switching to a different (probably lighter) pack this year, but that's a ways off. I also intend upon doing a down top quilt some time this year, but...again...yeah...

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Um.... on 01/30/2014 07:50:56 MST Print View

Denial is my friend..............
And it ain't just a river in Egypt.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: DIY... on 01/30/2014 07:56:54 MST Print View

"If I don't include prototyping, the costs and weights are as follows:"

Ha, ha, ha,... that's a good one : ) I guess the costs of prototypes are entertainment.

prolite pad - 16 ounces - $100
frameless MYOG pack - 16 ounces - $50?
MYOG hybrid down quilt/bivy - 24 ounces - $100?
MYOG "half pyramid" tarp - 21 ounces including stakes and pole (which is also part of my pack) - $100?

5 pounds total

Above 32 F I use synthetic vest that weighs 7 ounces, below 32 F down to about 20 F I use down vest that weighs 8.5 ounces. I also add balaclava that weighs 3 ounces and booties that weigh 4 ounces so I only add 8.5 ounces for very cold weather.

Dean F.
(acrosome) - MLife

Locale: Back in the Front Range
Wow. I've spent more than I thought... on 01/30/2014 08:32:24 MST Print View

I assume that you are inquiring about "typical 3-season kit?"

WM Megalite
$400? 23oz

MLD Duomid
$215 20oz

MLD Superlight bivy with cuben floor
$245? 5.7oz

MLD Burn pack
$175 11oz

GG Thinlight pad (x2)
$16 2.5oz each



64.7oz = 4.04 lbs


I got the Megalite on sale for significantly less than $400, but I don't remember what it was exactly. Likewise, I got a deal on the Superlight (it had been sitting on their shelves) but I don't remember it exactly.

The MLD Burn is my usual 3-season weekend pack, but for longer trips I tend to use an Osprey Exos 58. One of these days I'll get a larger MLD pack and sell the Exos.

I have a stack of Thinlight and similar pads and I just take as many as I need. Usually this is two- one outside the bivy and one inside.

Edited by acrosome on 01/30/2014 08:36:19 MST.

Phillip Asby
(PGAsby) - M

Locale: North Carolina
Interesting on 01/30/2014 08:37:42 MST Print View

I've gone back through some but still not all this thread.

I'm on the heavy side but not as skewed as I thought.

Truly I'm not sure with the big 4 I can get much lighter given that I just can't sleep on a small torso foam pad at 46 and a side sleeper - and that anything fully enclosed isn't much lighter than my Seedhouse SL1...

I could go with a frameless pack but given food/water and some other things I take due to backpacking with scouts mostly (so I have a slightly larger FAK for example and, yes, generally have a little extra food for scouts who've planned poorly - but only share after a good hard lesson in planning better) I am not sure my base weights would be comfortable without a frame...

As it is one assistant scoutmaster expressed concern on our last trip about whether I had everything I needed since I was packed in my Flash 65 with absolutely nothing dangling or strapped to the outside... (his pack was pretty tidy but it was an 80L pack... the rest of the troop looked like Grand Canyon mules...)

Ben Crocker
(alexdrewreed) - M

Locale: Kentucky
What's your big four weigh/cost? Me- 2 lbs 8.4 oz/$773 on 01/30/2014 09:12:55 MST Print View

My typical big 4:

Pack is a Zpacks Zero @ 5 oz. $90
Pad is a wide Xlite @ 16 oz. $125
+ GG thinlight @ 2.5 oz $16
Quilt EE Rev long/wide @ 20 oz $250(approx.)
Shelter is cuben trailstar @12 oz $350

Total is 55.5 oz - just under 3.5 pounds Cost = $831

Comment: The Zpacks Zero is big enough for most trips. If not, I add about 3-5 ounces for my old cuben blast. I should probably add my stakes. I typically don't take a bivy because the trailstar is so big. The trailstar is often shelter for 2 so could count as shared gear.

Dave Myers
(PatientWolf) - F

Locale: South Western Oklahoma
Re: Re: Big four on 01/30/2014 09:16:41 MST Print View

Lightheart Gear Solo 28oz/$245
SMD Swift 17.6oz/$110
POE Ether Elite 6 16oz/$100
WM Summerlite 19oz/$250

Total: 80.6oz (5 lbs) / $705

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: What's your big four weigh/cost? Me- 2 lbs 8.4 oz/$773 on 01/30/2014 10:04:35 MST Print View

Kelty D4 External Frame Pack = 58 ounces @ $45
Chouinard Pyramid Shelter = 40 ounces @ $99
Blue Puma 35F sleeping bag = 30 ounces @ $200
Blue Foam Pad = 8 ounces @ $2.00

Total Weight 8 lbs, 8 ounces
Total Cost = $346

Cost per year = $11.08

Marty Cochran
(mcochran77) - F

Locale: Southern Oregon
Big 4 Total 70 oz, $790 on 01/30/2014 10:29:01 MST Print View

Pack: SMD Swift + pockets 19.6oz, $95 used
Pad: Exped Synmat UL 7 short, 15 oz, $110 sale
Bag: Zpacks 20 long 19.2oz, $355 retail
Tent: Zpacks Screened Hexamid+GC+stakes 15.9oz, $230 used

Total 70 oz, $790

John Klinepeter
(johnzotk) - MLife

Locale: Northern Rockies, USA
September Gear on 01/30/2014 12:18:51 MST Print View

Here is my list of items used last year in early September in the Wind River Mtns and in mid September in the local mtns at 6000 feet. Depending on weather conditions the sleeping bag used varies from about 17 oz.(WM Highlite) to 25 oz.(Katabatic Sawatch). The pack varies from about 9 oz.(MLD Newt) to 25 oz.(ULA Ohm).

SHELTER: MLD Solomid, spinntex with bug netting option 13.4 oz. Add 1.5 oz. for seam sealing, guylines, stakes, stuff sack. Add another 1.5 oz. for set of two hiking pole jacks.
Weight 16.4 oz.
Cost approx. $210 (?)

PACK: ULA CDT with bottle holders and foam back pad
Weight 20.0 oz.
Cost $115

SLEEPING PAD: T'rest Xlite, women's factory irregular 11.8 oz. plus GG 1/8 inch CCF 2.1 oz.
Weight 13.9 oz.
Cost approx. $110 for both pieces

SLEEPING BAG: EE Rev (not X) 30 degree with one extra ounce of down, 18.4 oz., with stretchy straps add 0.8 oz.
Weight 19.2 oz.
Cost $265

Total Weight 69.5 oz. or 4.34 lb.
Total Cost $700

Note that costs do not include shipping charges.

Edit for spelling.

Edited by johnzotk on 01/30/2014 12:24:04 MST.

brian H
(B14) - M

Locale: Siskiyou Mtns
3lb 9oz 400 bones on 01/30/2014 21:57:50 MST Print View

All gear obtained here on GSwap, thanx people.

19oz ULA CDT trimmed...90 bones
23oz WM Caribou...200 bones
15oz TAR Prolite reg...60 bones
16oz flat tarp ensemble, 50 bones

3lb 9oz...$400

and to think my old Osprey Silhouette pack, circa 1993
is 7 lbs and $250

Brian Crain
(brcrain) - F

Locale: So Cal
heavy on 01/31/2014 18:33:52 MST Print View

Pack: GG Mariposa @ 28oz ~$180
Tent: TT Contrail @ 25oz ~$160
Pad: TaR NeoAir Trekker @ 23oz ~$140
Bag: MH Extralamina 20 @ ... 51oz ~$125

127 oz or about 8 lbs for ~$605

That bag has got to go and my next purchase will be replacing that - still wrestling with quilt or bag though and I'm not in that big of a hurry since I've shaved over 8 lbs off those big 4 in the last few months already ;)

Edited by brcrain on 01/31/2014 18:35:48 MST.

Stephen Parks
(sdparks) - F

Locale: Southwest
Big 4 cost vs. weight on 01/31/2014 18:34:43 MST Print View

I guess this was bound to happen:

Big 4 cost vs. weight graph

I didn't expect big trends, and mostly it is just a big cluster - lots of enivronmental conditions mixed in there. If I squint hard I can imagine that I see a trend toward heavy and cheap in the lower right, but there is no trend for expensive and very light in the upper left corner. The lower left outlier is critter-style and the upper right outlier is for two people with shared shelter. An interesting third dimension would be "comfort", or perhaps "temperature-range".

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
4 on 01/31/2014 19:04:14 MST Print View


3.2 pounds


Daniel Pittman
(pitsy) - M

Locale: Central Texas
Re: Big 4 cost vs. weight on 01/31/2014 20:59:12 MST Print View

I see the most density between 4 and 5 pounds, and between $800 and $1000, which makes sense for buying 3-season gear new. Interesting to note that no one claims under 4 pounds at less than $400, and no one admits to spending over $600 on a big four over 8 lbs.

. Kirby
(Kirby805) - F
RE: Big 4 cost vs. weight on 02/01/2014 15:12:09 MST Print View

Wow, cool scatter plot. Thanks for putting that together.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Big 4 cost vs. weight on 02/01/2014 15:27:48 MST Print View

One confounding variable is new vs used prices, but that is a real factor, well practiced by gear buyers.

Bob Bankhead
(wandering_bob) - MLife

Locale: Oregon, USA
Re: Re: Big 4 cost vs. weight on 02/01/2014 16:15:45 MST Print View


Interesting graph. Alas, there is too much noise and too little signal displayed in the 64 data points.

Statistically speaking, there is no apparent correlation between the two variables and while one could do linear estimation on the data, the result would be virtually meaningless as a predictor.

Still, a nice try and yes, there is some clustering as has already been pointed out.


Black = 2 known outliers = 3% of the total 64 points

Blue = 7 (11%) who appear to have bought high quality, brand new gear, one or more items are probably cuben

Red = 13 (20%) close to the norm - $750 to $1100 for 3.75 to 5 pounds

Green = 6 (9%) either very smart shoppers or they bought virtually all used gear or they bought their gear a LONG time ago at far cheaper prices than can be had today.

Orange = 1 (1.5%) a rich SUL gear geek; about 2.75 pounds of expensive SUL gear for about $1250? There's one in every crowd. Statistically, another outlier. Wish this were me!

Purple = 1 (1.5%) another SUL gear geek, obviously from Scotland; a very thrifty and crafty fellow. $550 for 1.75 pounds. Definite outlier. Will freeze to death on first trip into the Sierra.

That's 46% of the total data. The rest of us hiker trash fall in the remaining 54% - the YMMV/HYOH category. Logic suggests we all need to buy new gear. After all, he who dies with the most gear, irregardless of total weight, wins!

Edited by wandering_bob on 02/01/2014 16:53:42 MST.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Sleeping bag weight on 02/01/2014 16:16:48 MST Print View

"That bag has got to go and my next purchase will be replacing that - still wrestling with quilt or bag though and I'm not in that big of a hurry since I've shaved over 8 lbs off those big 4 in the last few months already"

That's my challenge. Good UL insulation is an expensive part of a system. If you get "kinda light" it takes a healthy investment to get a real reduction in weight.

My conclusion is to use it a lot and wear it out so you have an excuse to buy a lighter version :) More hiking is always a better option!

Mark Ries
(mtmnmark) - M

Locale: IOWAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!
Re: Big 4 cost vs. weight on 02/02/2014 12:08:50 MST Print View

Maybe that's what you see but if I squint real hard I see a teddy bear, try it again

Amy Lauterbach
(drongobird) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Big 4 for 2 people: Total 11.1 pounds, $1200 on 02/02/2014 16:29:42 MST Print View

I'm late to the thread, but here's my contribution. For TWO people:

Shelter: REI QuarterDome with stakes = 61.0 oz, $151
Pads: Full Length Thermarest NeoAir = 12.6x2 = 25.2 oz, $256
Jim's pack: ULA Ohm2 with minor mods = 25.1 oz, $214
Amy's pack: GG Mariposa = 31.0 oz, (bought used), $175
Quilt: MYOG 25 degree double quilt, 35.7 0z, $400 + ~50 hours

TOTAL, for TWO people.
178 oz = 11.125 pounds
$1196 + ~50 hours of sewing time

Edited by drongobird on 02/02/2014 16:31:43 MST.

Larry De La Briandais
(Hitech) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
Re: Re: Re: Big 4 cost vs. weight on 02/02/2014 16:40:48 MST Print View

"Green = 6 (9%) either very smart shoppers or they bought virtually all used gear or they bought their gear a LONG time ago at far cheaper prices than can be had today."

I'm in that group, the tent was a gift, the sleeping pad is just cheaper and slightly older cause it's heavy, the quilt is a DIY and the pack was a gear swap (used) purchase.

Heavier gear is cheaper.


I'm the one at 10 lbs and $200. If you use retail costs that would add $200 and put me at $400. I'd still be in the green circle.

Edited by Hitech on 02/03/2014 11:24:58 MST.

Anthony Weston
(anthonyweston) - MLife

Locale: Southern CA
big four on 02/02/2014 17:28:15 MST Print View

Zpacks solplex 15 oz $475
Nano Vireo 18 oz $270
Zpacks Blast 13 oz $130
Neoair large
cut 12 oz $75

Total 58 oz, 3.625 lbs

Edited by anthonyweston on 02/02/2014 17:33:50 MST.

rick .
(overheadview) - F

Locale: NYC
Re: Re: Re: Big 4 cost vs. weight on 02/02/2014 17:41:34 MST Print View

This has been an interesting thread and that is a cool graph, thanks for putting it together.

Bob, I know your post was at least 95% tongue and cheek, but why are the green circled items smart shoppers? Shouldn't the points left of that (same price/less weight) be smart shoppers?

I wonder if 4 separate graphs would tease out any kind of predictors/ trends (this is a graph of 4 sets of data randomly combined by each user).

I was really surprised there wasn't a cluster in the 2-3lb >$1000 range, and that the over $1000 range was more 4-6lbs.

Mike Stromsoe
(phstudio) - F

Locale: So. Cal.
Big 4/ 5 with bivy on 02/02/2014 18:04:33 MST Print View

Geared for extended 3+ season alpine.

82.1 oz - 5.13 lbs / $1324.95

HMG 2400 Windrider pack - 28.2 oz / $260
HMG Echo 2 tarp without the inner and beak - 9.6 oz / $295
Katabatic Gear Sawatch 15° quilt 5’6” - 22.6 oz / $450
Katabatic Gear Bristlecone Bivy 5’6” - 7.6 oz / $140
Therm-A-Rest X-Therm medium - 14.1 oz / $179.95

Sharon J.
(squark) - F

Locale: SF Bay area
lifetime big-4 cost on 02/02/2014 20:43:13 MST Print View

I bet an even more interesting graph would show the cumulative cost to get to current big-4 weight.

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: Re: Re: Big 4 cost vs. weight on 02/02/2014 21:48:57 MST Print View

Yes, I am happy!

I just need a lighter pack.


Edited by awsorensen on 02/02/2014 21:51:01 MST.

Brian Crain
(brcrain) - F

Locale: So Cal
re: on 02/03/2014 10:17:04 MST Print View

I think the "noise" is created by the random cost data. Similar or even the same item with retail cost and then the gift/gear swap cost drives the noise to a point where the data is irrelevant. If you take the same big 4 weight data but use the retail cost you'd be able to discern the cost:weight trending, currently I think that the only conclusion you can come to is that there is little, if any, relation of to cost:weight. Add in the 3rd data point as retail cost vs. cost paid and that adds the "thrifty buyer" dimension to the data.

Joe Lynch
(rushfan) - MLife

Locale: Northern California
7 lbs, $780 on 02/03/2014 17:50:15 MST Print View

Montbell Super Spiral 3 800-22 oz, $300
Granite Gear White Lightnin' 10x12 tarp plus stakes-26 oz, $150
ULA Catalyst, 48 oz, $250
Thermarest Neoair Xlite, 16 oz, $80 on sale

7 lbs, $780.

I see getting a smaller, lighter tarp and maybe a smaller pack, but for most of my trips, I'm good with this setup.

Before last year, my base weight was over 15 lbs. Heading in the right direction.

Mark Jones
(hibisk55) - M

Locale: The Back of Beyond
BIG 4 on 02/10/2014 10:42:14 MST Print View

MLD CF Duomid 17.5 oz. $415.00
TR Neoair short 9.0 oz. $90.00
ZPacks CF solo ground sheet 3.2 oz. $95.00
WM Summerlight 21.0 oz. $300.00
MLD Exodus 18.0 oz. 185.00
TOTAL 68.7 oz./4.29 lb./4 lb.,4.7 oz. $1,060.00

For long trail hikes with shelters I substitute a Zpacks Pocket tarp for the Duomid. 5.8 oz. 185.00.

Weights are measured on my scale. Shelters include guy lines, stakes and stuff sack. Four decades ago, my first real pack, a Kelty Tioga, weighed 7 pounds and cost a whopping $75.00. My first real tent was a Sierra Designs Alpine tent that weighed 7 pounds plus. I don't recall the cost. In those times, the big 4 was a big load. We have come a long way. Hike the AT, LT or any National Park and you will frequently see kits and loads that make you ask WHY?

Steven Diogenes
(stevenn) - F
Re: What's your big four weigh/cost? Me- 2 lbs 8.4 oz/$773 on 02/10/2014 11:45:15 MST Print View

SMD Swift with hipbelt, trimmed
18oz $150 new

Marmot Arroyo
28oz $137 used

RidgeRest short
9oz $30

BA Seedhouse SL1
38oz $150

Total: 5lbs 13oz for $467

For a setup with a hooded sleeping bag and a double wall freestanding shelter, both of which I prefer, it's pretty good weight. I could shed 1lb by getting the Summerlite and Fly Creek Platinum but I'm good.