Gear Upgrades - Quilt, Shelter & Pack
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Christopher Gilmore
(chrisjgilmore) - F - MLife

Locale: New Almaden
Gear Upgrades - Quilt, Shelter & Pack on 02/23/2014 15:01:07 MST Print View

Folks,
Given my recent trip and my trips last year I'm soliciting some advice. I have three pieces of gear I'm looking at for upgrades.I have three backpackers in my family although I do appreciate the solo trip from time to time so I am also looking for at a small SUL tarp suggestion and full bug net/bivy combo for a 10 oz or less solution as well as the three pieces below.

Family make up (Qty. 2 5'9" adults and Qty. 1 4'5" 8 yr old)

Backpack- So far I'm using a jam pack from Golite at 31oz
GG Murmur - http://gossamergear.com/packs/backpacks/murmur-hyperlight-backpack.html
MLD Prophet - http://www.mountainlaureldesigns.com/shop/product_info.php?cPath=25&products_id=106
MLD Burn - http://www.mountainlaureldesigns.com/shop/product_info.php?cPath=25&products_id=140

Quilt/Bags- 30 degrees Currently using a Golite 15 degree quilt 23 oz
http://www.zpacks.com/quilts/sleepingbag.shtml - Preferred due to weight
http://www.enlightenedequipment.com/?product=enigma-850dt
http://www.hammockgear.com/burrow-20/

Tent/Tarp- 3 folks - Currently Tent TT Rainshadow 46 oz
http://zpacks.com/shelter/triplex.shtml
http://www.mountainlaureldesigns.com/shop/product_info.php?cPath=47&products_id=105

Thanks
CG

Edited by chrisjgilmore on 02/23/2014 15:46:35 MST.

Travis Higdon
(life-goes-on) - M

Locale: PNW
Can't comment on everything, but... on 02/23/2014 21:51:53 MST Print View

Here are a couple of thoughts. The link you posted is to the MLD Duomid. I don't think that you'd be happy with three people in that mid, even if one of them is a child. If you want to go that route, I would look at the supermid or the Ultamid 4 for 3 people plus gear.

As for the sub 10 oz tarp/bug bivy combo, that's pretty light. You could do it with a cuben 6x9' 0.51 oz/sqyd (the one from Zpacks is 4.7 oz without lines or stakes) or a MLD Cuben Fiber Poncho (4.6 oz) and a MLD Superlight Bivy (cuben medium is 5.2 oz). With a tarp this small I'd probably go the bivy route for the extra splatter protection. That's 9.9 oz plus lines and stakes/rocks. I would also consider a MLD Patrol Shelter (7 oz in cuben). This would push you over 10 oz unless you went with just a ground sheet and a bug net over the top of your bag. The Patrol Shelter and Bug Bivy (5 oz in cuben) or Serenity Shelter (6.2 oz in cuben) are much more livable options when you have to spend a significant amount of time in your shelter.

Christopher Gilmore
(chrisjgilmore) - F - MLife

Locale: New Almaden
Gear Upgrades - Quilt, Shelter & Pack on 02/23/2014 23:34:40 MST Print View

Travis,
For a tarp and Bug Bivy Combo it looks like I can get in between 11-14 oz pretty easily or I can just go with a SMD Wild Oasis at 13 oz $195. I was looking at a combo of a ZPacks Hexamid Pocket Tarp $185 or a 6 X 9 rectangle $190 and a SMD Bug Bivy $125 plus pole and stakes.

thoughts?

Thanks
CG

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Cost vs. Benefit on 02/24/2014 08:37:33 MST Print View

I think you should consider how often you'll go solo and how often you'll go as a family.


Pack - Before you buy a SUL pack are you sure your Jam can handle a bear canister and heavy loads on family trips? You might want something with a frame first. Depending on where you hike in CA you may be carrying bear canisters a lot. A pack like the HMG Windrunner is basically the same weight as the Jam but IMHO much more comfortable. Frames are great for bear canisters and "hero dad" loads on family trips.

Shelter - You won't break speed records on family trips so get something that is adequately light but not super expensive. If you like the rainshadow I'd keep it.

For solo trips I have nothing to add except that I would buy the SUL shelter last since you'll only use it on some trips.

Quilt - I'd buy this one before the tarp/bivy because it will lighten the load on both family trips and solo trips.

Dean F.
(acrosome) - MLife

Locale: Back in the Front Range
DuoMid not for three on 02/24/2014 09:11:34 MST Print View

Wow. Three people in a DuoMid? No. Don't do that.

OTOH my wife, my daughter, and I easily fit in a SuperMid with room left over for use as a vestibule.

OTGH the DuoMid makes a palace of a solo shelter. It's what I use.

Edited by acrosome on 02/24/2014 09:13:17 MST.

Christopher Gilmore
(chrisjgilmore) - F - MLife

Locale: New Almaden
Gear Upgrades - Quilt, Shelter & Pack on 02/24/2014 10:25:13 MST Print View

Luke,
I don't do HERO loads each member of my family contributes and carries their own gear the exception being cooking gear and food.I do have additional packs for heavy hauling if i need to i have an old Gregory 65 liter pack and it sin great shape since i only used it a few time before finding ul backpacking and switching out most of my gear. As for Bear canisters we don't frequent too many spots where a canister is needed so far but plan to do more trips in the Yosemite and Kings area. As far as i can tell as long as I don't use sacks for everything a canister is still capable in one of these very light packs you just pack everything around it.

Dean,
Thanks for the comment son the Duomid i will have to keep that in mind.

My only hesitance with the Triplex by Zpacks is there is no "exhaust" and I suspect we will have some serious condensation issues just like we do today with the Rainshadow although with the triplex will allow significantly more headroom and no sagging.

Any thoughts?

CG

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Packs on 02/24/2014 15:03:43 MST Print View

I think the Burn is too small to fit a cannister inside. What some people do is strap it to the outside. Doesn't sound great to me, I'd probably just us the Gregory for that. The Prophet should fit the canister but I doubt the Murmur would. I carried a bear canister inside a Jam2 for a weekend trip once (old version of the Jam 50 that was more like the current MLD Prophet). It was okay, for longer trips I'd use the Gregory or get something with a frame.

Travis Higdon
(life-goes-on) - M

Locale: PNW
Re: Gear Upgrades - Quilt, Shelter & Pack on 02/24/2014 22:13:46 MST Print View

The value of saving or spending a few extra ounces on a solo shelter is really a personal choice. I chose to spend a few ounces on a 8.5' x 8.5' flat tarp (HMG) due my desire for size and durability. I pair it with a MLD superlight cuben bivy for a 15 oz combo. On trips where I'm in continuous rain (in the PNW) I will gladly carry the few extra oz for enough shelter area to comfortably fit me and all of my gear. Maybe I'd feel differently if I spent more time in places with little rain or thunderstorms of finite length where I knew I would be able to dry out soon.

From any of the manufacturers you listed you really can't go wrong with their ultralight solo shelter options. Some handle bugs better, some handle rain better, some are more flexible in pitching options, some are modular and allow you to bring only what you need. Once you prioritize your needs, pick the one that handles your top needs best. Or succumb to Gear Acquisition Syndrome and buy one of each.

Christopher Gilmore
(chrisjgilmore) - F - MLife

Locale: New Almaden
Gear Upgrades - Quilt, Shelter & Pack on 02/27/2014 00:02:55 MST Print View

So where this got interesting was the search for a single person shelter. "I am also looking for at a small SUL tarp suggestion and full bug net/bivy combo for a 10 oz or less solution as well as the three pieces below." So far the suggestions made DON'T lead me to a clear winner but one thing that is clear is I not only need a tarp of some sort but also a bug net and I have found a few. If you have specific combos i should look at I'm definitely interested in feedback. Tonight I looked at a couple by Bearpaw Wilderness but they are a tad heavy for what I'm shooting for.

Tarps-
Zpacks 8.5x10 rectangle 6.7 oz
Zpacks hexamid pocket tarp 5.6 oz - ground cloth
Bearpaw 8x10 tarp 8.5 oz
Wild Oasis 13oz +

Bug Bivy-
Minimalist Bivy 7.5 oz
MLD Bug Bivy 5 oz

Ok so given the feedback in the other areas I'm looking at the following.

Backpack-
MLD Prophet - http://www.mountainlaureldesigns.com/shop/product_info.php?cPath=25&products_id=106

Quilt/Bags-
http://www.zpacks.com/quilts/sleepingbag.shtml - Preferred due to weight

I haven't really gotten much feedback on the multi-person tent yet except a few PMs to tell me Joe is a real stand up guy and if I have any questions about the zpacks shelters I should call him. I'm really interested in a vent on the triplex to help reduce condensation.....

Tent/Tarp-
http://zpacks.com/shelter/triplex.shtml

Any additional thoughts?

Thanks
CG

Edited by chrisjgilmore on 02/27/2014 00:04:12 MST.

William Chilton
(WilliamC3) - MLife

Locale: Antakya
Re: Gear Upgrades - Quilt, Shelter & Pack on 02/27/2014 04:35:47 MST Print View

Chris, I thought about suggesting that you ask about getting a vent on the Triplex, but with the overlapping door design, I'm not sure that it would be possible.
I got a vent put on the Hexamid Twin (Joe did a great job of a closeable vent held open by a carbon fibre rod) and I really don't think it makes any difference. The size of any vent is going to be much smaller than the amount of ventilation you'll be getting from the doors unless you've had to close them all against 360 degree winds, a very rare occurrence IME but it may be different where you hike.
I've found the ZPacks tents to be great at avoiding condensation except in those conditions where any tent will suffer from it, vents or not.

Christopher Gilmore
(chrisjgilmore) - F - MLife

Locale: New Almaden
Gear Upgrades - Quilt, Shelter & Pack on 03/02/2014 21:44:17 MST Print View

Ok, so I pulled the trigger on the Zpacks Triplex and the sleeping bag. I'm waiting to hear back for my email inquiry to MLD to pickup my new pack a Prophet.

Thanks for the input.

CG

L. T.
(Guinness1759) - F
Tri-plex Love? on 07/09/2014 09:30:48 MDT Print View

Hey Chris,
Apologies for bringing up an old thread but have you used your Triplex? How are the overlapping doors? Was finding a spot for set up a problem due to the larger footprint? Any info is appreciated.
Cheers!