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

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.