As we said before lightweight packs with durable fabrics and a reductions of unnecessary features are all over the pack section and it make sense. The gear that goes in your pack keeps getting lighter and more compressible so you don’t need all that extra space and those bells and whistles (you can choose just one bear bells or sternum strap whistle).
Extremely breathable shells are everywhere
It almost seems impossible to sweat out the current generation of WPB fabrics – be it Event, Paclite, Neoshell or some proprietary fabric. If you are still rocking a Goretex shell complete with waterbottle holder, mesh lining, zipper flaps over everything then you are missing the lightweight shells bandwagon. Even the heavies in this year crop are still around 16oz. Versatility is a rising trend, who doesn’t want to save cash by buying one jacket: Patagonia Super Cell, Columbia Compounder, Westcomb Switch LT Hoodie, Northface Alpine Project.
Tents (or shelters whatever you want to call them)
Mountain Laurel Designs – nice to see some crafted in America companies included in the reviews but is 6 oz of savings worth $200? Depends on how you look at it – is a 46% reduction in weight worth it. If you buy their Cricket shelter you have the choice. Damn Cuben fiber is crazy light, strong and expensive. REI and LL Bean seems to be competing for the same value play and that can only be good for the consumer. Most be nice to be Easton and have an ample supply of carbon fiber poles for all your tents but as BP points out a 4 season tent with mesh walls still needs some refinement.
Mountain Laurel Designs Cricket
Inspirations (and Needs)
Sawyer squeeze water filter. I’ve always had issues with water filters MSR, Katadyn… It doesn’t really seems to matter. UV based systems seem nice but this system looks like the right balance of minimal mechanical parts and is not dependent on electronics.
Really small women’s specific section this year but at least the industry seems to be grasping that ladies don’t want just pinks and pastels – just in time, my wife was about ready to lose it.
I’ve always had great respect for the innovation coming out of Nemo. Modular and flexible products and probably some of the freshest ideas of the industry. Tent poles made from aluminum, air and bamboo.
Not sure when but I need a pacraft – Alpacka’s Denali Llama at just over 5 lbs, I’ve carried hip waders that almost weigh that much. Sweet logo!
From the ads near the back is Rogue Wallet. I rock a front wallet and I’m in need of a replacement. Made Maine from my choice of materials, designed for the front pocket. Sign me up, actually just visit www.rougewallet.com. As an extra bonus it looks like many of their wallet come with or can have a RFID-blocking lining added to them.