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Backpacker Mag gear guide is out!

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  • Backpacker Mag gear guide is out!

    Mine is already dogeared! Some interesting new products, anyone see some items that they can't live without? The MontBell spiral down bag looks interesting.
    My Ahnu hikers were rated a "killer deal" which sounds good to me but I havn't worn them yet because my Solomon trail runners are so comfortable and breath so well I can't seem to resist wearing them every day.

    Thermarest has a new pad which it appears is going after the B/A aircore line pretty hare. They may miss the mark though for the masses as the set the MSRP at between 120 for a small pad up to 170 for a large long!! That is over double the cost of a B/A pad!!

    Osprey has come out with a REAL pack for kids. It is a full featured product just like Mom or Dad only smaller. The testers reported that the kids were actually asking to help hauo more weight. The pack actually has enough room to carry the kids sleeping bag and other essentials.

    Sierra designs has come out with a real sleeping bag for kids (both 20* and 40* versions) as well. With an actual draft tube and features that us adults would consider standard requirements. It sounds as if there is some fluff in the design but from the description it is nothing a set of fiskars coupdn't fix!

    I was dissapointed that they seemed to ignore bivi shelters in the reviews.

    One of the editors choice winners is a tent that may well be in the running for a bomber base camp tent. Heck right around 7lbs it may even be a general purpose backcountry tent! The Sierra Designes Lightning XT 4 was tested in driving sleet and rain w/ 40 mile plus gusts and passed w/ flying colors. It is a true 4 person tent as well that a human sized human can sit up in. The specs are 92x95 for the floor plan. That is almost 8'x8', did I mention that it is only 7lbs?! I am not going to trade in my Hille for it but at only $400 it costs less than 1/2 as much!

    Anyone else see something worth noting?

  • #2
    the thermarest pad is interesting. barney's had a demo (not for sale yet). it looks really thick, is all air filled (no foam, no primaloft, etc), but seems to be made with heat reflective material inside (?mylar?) so it reflects your heat back at you, since air filled mattresses are the poorest insulators. price does seem very high though. $90-110 or so would've been a better price.


    • #3
      That new lightweight Thermarest? I am skeptical. But at 300 lbs, I should be. I don't see how they can make a pad that light/thin that will be durable. If successful, they can stop making all the other pads soon. This thing is tiny. I am curious to hear some field reports on the new model myself. Too pricey for this fat guy to pop
      The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.


      • #4
        SD Lightning XT4...

        looks like quite a tent; light, roomy, good geometry, from reputable manufacturer. 2-doors, roomy vestibules...

        Next question (Mike asked elsewhere), "how'd they make it so light?"
        No habitat, no hunter.


        • #5
          The thermarest pad has been tested down to 20F and kept our preproduction testers warm. No way a BA Air Core could do that (I own a BA Pad, and have a Therm-a-Rest Neo Air on the way) Production Initial Reviews are posted on

          Jason B


          • #6

            I've had my BA IAC in my crappy slumberjack -20 bag down to -17 degrees and was just fine. Not sure why it wouldn't keep you warm at 20 degrees.


            • #7
              You are using your INSULATED Air Core... not the standard Air Core, is that correct? The lightest Insulated Air Core is 18 oz, the heaviest Neo Air is 19 oz. The Large Neo Air is 1lb 3oz, the same size BA Insulated Air Core is 2lb 4oz... I do think a pound makes a difference in a pack... In -17 temps, I would use a down mat... thats too cold to chance it IMO.

              Jason B

              PS Check out the testers list in the boot section...


              • #8
                Ohok gotcha. Yeah my BA IAC pad weighs in at 21 oz. Yeah the a pound does make a difference. Well wasn't planning on -17 overnight lows. It was 45 degrees to the good in mid-april overnight lows were only getting 0 to 10 degrees, right up until that night. Had I known it was gonna be that cold I wouldn't have selected a different sleeping setup.

                What is in the boot section and where is it?



                • #9
                  Wow.. yeah I would say that is a cold snap... They break down the guide into sections - tents, jackets, boots....


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