Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2010: Day 2 Blog Tasty Treats

The daily perspective: I wish that everyone could truly understand just how much brilliance and passion go into the outdoor products we buy and use.

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by Brad Groves | 2010-08-05 00:00:00-06

The people behind these products have the inquisitive minds and depth of knowledge that professionals in any industry should have, but frequently seem to lack. I'd just like to send out a much deserved shout out to the people who make our toys happen: Thank you for an amazing amount of work and dedication!

Big Sky International

ORSM2010 Day 2 Tasty Treats - 1
Big Sky has some big news, in the form of an all-new Mirage 2P (Will mentioned it in his Kickoff Article. Bob won an Outdoor Industry Award for Design at the Friedrichshafen show for the new Mirage, and I have some more details. What's so cool? How about a two-person hybrid (vestibules are double wall, ceiling is single wall) free standing tent that weighs 1 pound 15 ounces? Or how about this: a waterproof breathable Cubic Tech fabric on the ceiling of the tent (the gray fabric in the photo)! Will is going to test one of these beauties and let you all know what field trials are like. In the meantime, save up your pennies. MSRP is $999.95. The tents will be made to order and will be available with other (less expensive) options. If you ditch the Cuben floor and go for SuprSil you could save yourself a few hundred dollars.

Exped

ORSM2010 Day 2 Tasty Treats - 2
I'm all about a comfortable night of sleep, and Exped continues to deliver. They're introducing the Synmat UL 7, a 2.5-inch thick pad with a layer of insulation attached to the underside of the top fabric, with an R-value of 4 that weighs in at a mere 16 ounces. The pad will be available in two sizes, a 21 x 64 inch (15.5 oz) and a 21 x 72 inch (16.5 oz) model. Inflation is by mouth, but they will have several accessory pump options. MSRP will be $145 and $155, respectively.

ORSM2010 Day 2 Tasty Treats - 3
It seems like I keep hearing requests for a combination stuff sack/day pack, and Exped is going to deliver. They're launching the dry sack Cloudburst in 15 and 25 liter sizes. They even put a transparent back panel window on the pack to help find things. The sacks have a criss-crossing compression system and some pretty comfy looking shoulder straps. The Cloudbursts aren't exactly light, though: the 15L is 9.9 ounces, the 25L is 10.6 ounces. They're no stripped-down sil sack with straps, but I think they're worthy of consideration since it's still light for a daypack, and they are completely waterproof. MSRP will be $49 for the 15L and $59 for the 25L.

Vargo Outdoors

ORSM2010 Day 2 Tasty Treats - 4
Titanium, sweet titanium. What else can tickle a backpacker's fancy so much? Perhaps gazing into the embers of a fire? Vargo introduces their new titanium Hexagon Wood Stove, a fold-flat 4.1-ounce wood burner that is quite nicely engineered. Each panel is hinged, and the bottom is connected to the sides so no fear about losing parts. For the $59.95 asking price, I can see this jumping into a number of gear closets.

Integral Designs

ORSM2010 Day 2 Tasty Treats - 5
If you haven't heard, Integral Designs and Rab got married not so long ago. Initial impressions are that it's a great match! One thing that caught my fancy was the new ID Bothy, an emergency shelter with great protection and no need for set up. The Bothy is available in a number of sizes: 2-person, 4- to 6-person, and 8- to 10-person. It's made of a waterproof polyester and has windows and vents. You could use trekking poles to set up, but the design has side walls that wrap under and no floor. All you've gotta do is pull it over yourself and sit on the fabric edge. The two-person model weighs 11 ounces; if you want to count ounces, they also have a SilBothy, minus the windows and vents, that weighs 8 ounces. We'll be doing a full review of the Bothy in the future.

ORSM2010 Day 2 Tasty Treats - 6
Another nice touch from Integral Designs (that you might recognize from Rab) is the eVent Rain Pullover. Pertinent facts: It's a stream-lined 10-ounce eVent anorak. Just about perfect in my book. The only thing that drives me a little batty is the zippered chest pocket. For such a clean and minimalist design, the pocket just doesn't belong. I don't think that can stop me from wanting this shell, though.

Lowe Alpine

ORSM2010 Day 2 Tasty Treats - 7
Lowe Alpine?! Betcha didn't think you'd see them on our pages. But they have a pretty exciting line of lightweight to (arguably) ultralight packs. Most noteworthy for us: The Zepton 50, a simple packbag with minimalist compression and Dyneema fabric. The Zepton is framed with a wire hoop in a plastic framesheet, and with the hoop and top lid removed, the pack weighs 2 pounds. Keeping the lid and hoop in place gets the weight to 2 pounds 8 ounces. Your intrepid BPL staff will be testing this pack in the near future and will bring you our typical beautifully detailed report. MSRP is $190.

Big Agnes

ORSM2010 Day 2 Tasty Treats - 8
I've gotta hand it to Big Agnes: they've been hard at work! What's particularly interesting to me is that all of their new tents fit perfectly into an existing line or fill a hole in their existing lines. On one hand, beefing up a line makes good sense and seems straightforward. On the other hand, getting the new patterns dialed in isn't such a simple thing. At any rate, one tent I wanted to highlight is the upcoming Jack Rabbit SL series. What makes it special? It's basically a Copper Spur that weighs 7 ounces more and costs $120 less. In rough terms, they redid the Copper Spur ULs with Seedhouse SL materials. All in all, the Jack Rabbit SL2 will weigh in at 3 pounds 13 ounces and have a MSRP of $279.95.

Another new option from Big Agnes is a 48-inch Insulated Air Core. C'mon now, you know the IACs. What's to say? 20 x 48 x 2.5, R-value of 4.1, weight of 16 ounces. If you compared the stats to the new Synmat ULs, Exped would win. But the 48-inch IAC is half the cost, coming in at $69.95.

Brunton

ORSM2010 Day 2 Tasty Treats - 9
I'm not sure if it's new, or if I just didn't see it before. But Brunton has a Braille compass! The model 16B weighs 2.3 ounces and costs $100.

Deuter

ORSM2010 Day 2 Tasty Treats - 10
Ooooh. More and more big pack manufacturers are getting the idea: More light packs, please! And Deuter is delivering. Enter the new ACT Zero 50 + 15, a 3-pound 5-ounce framed pack designed to be used without the top lid. Strip that lid and you could save 6 or 7 ounces on the weight; it leaves you with a roll-top closure on the pack body. This pack looks pretty well dialed for the thru-hiker crowd, with a "properly" sized main pack bag and a pretty massive extension sleeve for resupplies. We'll be testing this one for you and doing a full review. MSRP will be $169.

Primus

ORSM2010 Day 2 Tasty Treats - 11
Those of you active in the forums know I'm a big fan of white gas stoves for winter. But as we've discussed, lightweight options are... thin. The only option readily available to the consumer has been the 8.5-ounce Simmerlite. But Primus has answered the call of UL white gas fans! They're introducing the new ExpressLander, a 6.2-ounce liquid fuel stove. However, I was a tad suspicious and returned with a scale. The stove itself is 6.2 ounces, but add the pump and add 4 ounces more. MSRP is $96. Not quite too good to be true, but there's potential, and if I were a betting man, I'd say you'll be hearing more about this one.

Industry Standards

Confused? Nah, this isn't some new company. I just wanted to let you know that manufacturers (and BPL!) are concerned about testing and specification standardization in the industry. There are a lot of industry working-group meetings during OR; one of particular interest was about standardizing testing and reporting methods for R-value or temperature ratings on sleeping bags and pads. The stuff isn't for the faint of heart: we're talking about size of hot plates, air flow in the testing room, calibration of testing equipment, 3D thermal considerations, mannequin surface area, mass, temperature... and so on. In terms of tents, some companies are interested in adopting the publication of overall tent volume; if you were to consider a Fly Creek 2 and Copper Spur 2, they're essentially the same floor area. But the reality is that the Copper Spur has nearly double the internal living space. Including tent volume on spec sheets would give consumers a better overall picture of the tent. Other tent standardization considerations include making floor area measurements equivalent between companies. The point is, industry pros know and understand consumer frustrations... and they're probably even more frustrated by reporting inconsistencies than consumers! But instead of just futzing about it, they're working toward solutions.


Citation

"Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2010: Day 2 Blog Tasty Treats," by Brad Groves. BackpackingLight.com (ISSN 1537-0364).
http://backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/orsm2010_day_2_tasty_treats.html, 2010-08-05 00:00:00-06.

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Forum Index » Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2010 » Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2010: Day 2 Blog Tasty Treats


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Addie Bedford
(addiebedford) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2010: Day 2 Blog Tasty Treats on 08/05/2010 13:55:14 MDT Print View

Companion forum thread to:

Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2010: Day 2 Blog Tasty Treats

Daniel Goldenberg
(dag4643) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwet
Re: Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2010: Day 2 Blog Tasty Treats on 08/05/2010 16:10:51 MDT Print View

Boy, that new exped synmat UL7 sure looks good.

john chong
(johnch) - F
industry standards on 08/05/2010 23:55:48 MDT Print View

The industry standards part was my favorite section in this entire article. Very encouraging.

Dan Durston
(dandydan)

Locale: Cascadia
Big Sky on 08/06/2010 00:39:54 MDT Print View

I don't really understand that $999 tent from Big Sky that uses breathable cuben for parts of the fly. If the breathable cuben really works well, then why not make it a single wall tent and save more weight? And if it doesn't breathe that well then why bother using it? With a double wall tent you could likely get a lot more 'breathing' through 1 or 2 simple vents. A double wall tent fly doesn't seem like a very good application for breathable fabric.

Edited by dandydan on 08/06/2010 00:41:03 MDT.

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Big Sky on 08/06/2010 00:52:13 MDT Print View

If I remember correctly, it's a hybrid tent. The breathable cuben is used on the single wall sections. The nonbreathable cuben is used to create a vestibule and allow for a mesh section that'll be very nice in hot weather, especially if it's made with dual vestibules/doors. I can't imagine any waterproof breathable fabric ever flowing as much air as mesh. I think it has the potential to be one of the nicest lightweight 2-person shelters around.

As far as the vents go, they can let in undesirable things like fine sand.

Dan Durston
(dandydan)

Locale: Cascadia
Big Sky on 08/06/2010 01:02:41 MDT Print View

I see....that makes more sense.

Interestingly, this cuben Mirage is only 3g lighter (907g vs. 910g) than Easton's new Kilo tent which is a true double wall and costs $600 less. The cuben Mirage does have advantages though like a larger size, dual doors and dual vestibules.

Edited by dandydan on 08/06/2010 01:03:50 MDT.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Big Sky on 08/06/2010 07:19:44 MDT Print View

Yes but that Big Sky will be a true 2 person tent. I believe the Kilo will prove functionally too small for two at only 26 sq ft and a sloping back wall.

Jeff Hollis
(hyperslug) - MLife
Brail Compass, Bag & Tent Standards on 08/06/2010 07:40:00 MDT Print View

That brail compass has been around 20 years or more.

The fight for standards in sleeping bags has been going on for decades and still no standards. The tent volume is an interesting ideal but nothing will ever match just hopping in the tent and checking it out. Doesn't matter how much head volume you have if it isn't in the right place.

Michael Davis
(mad777) - F

Locale: South Florida
Vargo ti wood burner on 08/06/2010 09:57:20 MDT Print View

That Vargo ti wood burning stove could just be the item that converts me to wood. I'd love to see BPL do a comparison to the Bushbuddy.

Dan Durston
(dandydan)

Locale: Cascadia
Vargo Wood on 08/06/2010 10:56:45 MDT Print View

I imagine the Bush Buddy would win easily over the Vargo wood stove because the Vargo stove is just a single wall design so you don't get any gasification to increase the efficiency of the burn. It really is just a container to put wood in.

Brad Groves
(4quietwoods) - MLife

Locale: Michigan
Re: Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2010: Day 2 Blog Tasty Treats on 08/06/2010 12:04:24 MDT Print View

You guys are on the ball. The mirage is indeed a hybrid tent. Something about a work day that runs 7am to 1 or 2 am. Hard to stay razor sharp. Sorry about that!

In terms of volume, kilo & mirage seem to compare pretty favorably. Actually, the kilo had a very livable amount of space. I think it's a standardization of floor area discrepancy. It's great if you can actually set up and crawl around in every tent you're interested in, but I think the reality is that it's frequently not possible.

Matthew Perry
(bigfoot2) - F

Locale: Oregon
Re: Lowe Alpine Pack on 08/06/2010 13:57:39 MDT Print View

That Lowe pack looks like an instant classic! I bet it won't be around long, though...like the Mountainsmith Ghost :(

Dan Durston
(dandydan)

Locale: Cascadia
Re: Big Sky on 08/06/2010 18:59:11 MDT Print View

"Yes but that Big Sky will be a true 2 person tent. I believe the Kilo will prove functionally too small for two at only 26 sq ft and a sloping back wall."

If the Kilo's specs are accurate (57" max width, 44" height, 91" inner length), then I think it will be adequately livable for two. 26 sq ft is bigger than than Carbon Reflex 2 for example (23 sq ft). 26 sq ft is about what I'm using now. The Mirage is only claimed at 29.75 sq ft which isn't much bigger.

Compared to the Big Sky cuben Mirage, the Kilo has a considerably lighter pole set at 150g versus 200-250g (my estimate). The Kilo also only has one door and one vestibule so a lot of weight is saved there. I would say the Kilo saves 4-5oz over the cuben Mirage by it's pole structure and use of 1 door and 1 vestibule. When you compare the weight of cuben (0.75oz likely) to the PU coated 20 denier nylon Easton is using (1.3oz/yd???) you can see that it is possible for the Kilo to be a similar total weight as the cuben Mirage without needing to be considerably smaller or use cuben. To make up 4-5oz of weight using cuben instead of 20d nylon, you'd need about 8-10 yds of cuben and I would estimate the cuben Mirage is only using 8-11 yds of cuben.

I realize I'm getting way ahead of things here and indulging in a generous amount of speculation and 'what ifs', but I do think the Kilo has a chance of being reasonably sized for two. Brad's words about the Kilo having a 'very livable amount of space' are encouraging.

Edited by dandydan on 08/06/2010 20:58:40 MDT.

Brad Groves
(4quietwoods) - MLife

Locale: Michigan
Re: Re: Big Sky on 08/06/2010 23:38:46 MDT Print View

Dan, curious about where you got the floor area of the CR 2. MSR specs are 29 square feet. Perhaps you crawled around in it with a tape measure to determine actual square footage? If so, realize that most companies specs are pretty much overstated. They measure area from pole tip to pole tip, or if floor fabric wraps up the side wall they include it as part of the floor. Some companies provide legit area measurements. Just as an easy example from memory, I love the Copper Spur 3, and it's quite a spacious-feeling tent. However, I got in one pitched tautly and measured. Recollection is that the tent was actually 5 feet wide by 7 feet long... 35 square feet, not 44. All this junk is why I'm glad to see manufacturers working together to standardize specifications. If the specs aren't accurate and consistent between companies, they don't really mean anything.

I think the Big Sky carbon pole set is ~8.7 ounces, and the Easton set is ~5.3 ounces, FWIW.

Fun stuff to consider, eh?

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: Vargo Wood on 08/07/2010 10:06:27 MDT Print View

on the Vargo website, there is a video showing how to set up the stove. There is a door to control air intake. I think it is a pretty darn good design. Considering buying one myself!

Dan Durston
(dandydan)

Locale: Cascadia
Re: Re: Re: Big Sky on 08/07/2010 11:01:43 MDT Print View

"Dan, curious about where you got the floor area of the CR 2. MSR specs are 29 square feet. Perhaps you crawled around in it with a tape measure to determine actual square footage?"

I got the 23 sq ft spec from the BPL review of the CR2 by Will. I did own a CR2 last summer and found it slightly bigger than Will measured but significantly smaller than MSR's claims. Had I calculated the sq footage of mine, it would have probably been 24-25. I was fine with the floor area of the CR2. If the Kilo has an honest 26 sq ft (big 'if') then it should be good for two people. The main reasons I moved on from the CR2 was because there were lighter options and to a lesser extent, because the single side entry and non freestanding design was a bit annoying.

Edited by dandydan on 08/07/2010 11:08:11 MDT.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Big Sky on 08/07/2010 11:45:08 MDT Print View

I find anything less than 18sq feet cramped for me - I just fit. Maybe I could fit me and one of my little ones in 26sq feet.

Lowe Alpine
(lowealpine) - F
Re: Re: Lowe Alpine Pack on 08/10/2010 09:56:40 MDT Print View

@bigfoot2 - Thanks for your keen eye and comment! This collection of packs is truly great and aptly balances comfort, durability, "weight-friendliness", and features (or minimalist if you choose the Zepton.) In addition, be assured that these packs will not only be part of our collection for years to come, but those who pony up for one will find themselves enjoying many years of comfort and durability. Lowe Alpine - Where FIT Happens!

Chad Lorenz
(ChadL) - MLife

Locale: Teton Valley, Wydaho
Re: Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2010: Day 2 Blog Tasty Treats on 10/01/2010 05:57:14 MDT Print View

Brad (or others),

Any idea on when the ID eVent pullover will be on shelves? I've been looking around and can't even seem to find it online, other than in it's RAB iteration... Thanks!

Chad

Matthew Perry
(bigfoot2) - F

Locale: Oregon
Re: Re: Re: Lowe Alpine Pack on 11/04/2010 07:32:09 MDT Print View

"@bigfoot2 - Thanks for your keen eye and comment! This collection of packs is truly great and aptly balances comfort, durability, "weight-friendliness", and features (or minimalist if you choose the Zepton.) In addition, be assured that these packs will not only be part of our collection for years to come, but those who pony up for one will find themselves enjoying many years of comfort and durability. Lowe Alpine - Where FIT Happens!"

Great...give me a free pack and i'll let you know how i like it :)

BF