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General Gear Discussion The General Gear Discussion forum is for the discussion of traditional and lightweight (ultralight) backpacking gear that is not covered in other Practical Backpacking™ forums. [Please post about Backpacks, Shelters, Sleeping Gear, Backcountry Kitchen (Food, Stoves) in those respective forum areas.]

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Old 07-20-2014, 11:01 AM
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dsuursoo dsuursoo is offline
Practical Backpacking­™ Senior Member
Backpack: Mountainsmith Maverick 65
Sleeping Gear: ALPS +20 mummy
Shelter: Kelty Noah 9x9
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,482
Originally Posted by FirstRWD
Just wanted to clarify, I think dsuursso is talking about Alps Mountaineering. I believe he is also correct. I've read some good reviews about their gear.

Indeed I am. I've got a couple items of theirs and they build some fairly good stuff. Their pads are very comfy and pretty warm and their sleeping bags are solid. The 20 degree bag lives up to its rating and then some. The zipper snags a bit but nothing insurmountable with a little patience.

A word on their gear:it won't perform in other aspects like the high end gear. The bag doesn't pack down like more expensive bags-even other synthetics. The pads are thicker and heavier. The tents weigh a few ounces to a pound more.

But the price point is hard to beat and their gear lasts.
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Old 07-20-2014, 05:16 PM
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Grandpa Grandpa is offline
Practical Backpacking­™ Associate Member
Backpack: GoLite Pinnacle
Sleeping Gear: Moonstone Lucid 800 w/Neo Air pad
Shelter: Tarptent Sublite Tyvek & Tarptent Double Rainbow
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Texas
Posts: 430
I had a GoLite Z30 down bag that had a full zip and I could turn it into a quilt if I wanted to. It was just a little over a pound, packed very small and was rated for 30ºF, however, I comfortably had it down to 17ºF by using a silk mummy liner and wearing thermals. It was a very versatile bag.

Last January, it got a bit wet when we were canoeing on the Rio Grande and I tossed it in the dryer. It's a REALLY good idea to read the care labels. When I opened the dryer, it looked like powder snow inside. I'd destroyed my favorite bag.

The point of this misguided missal isn't that I was an idiot (although that comes through loud and clear) but that a mummy style bag with the appropriate zipper can be used like a quilt. I find the traditional mummy bags too confining and like having a long zipper. As a matter of fact, when I first bought that bag from GoLite, I'd gotten a regular but it felt a little tight and I swapped it out for a long, which had a couple more inches girth in addition to the length.

Last edited by Grandpa : 07-20-2014 at 05:20 PM.
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Old 07-20-2014, 05:57 PM
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dsuursoo dsuursoo is offline
Practical Backpacking­™ Senior Member
Backpack: Mountainsmith Maverick 65
Sleeping Gear: ALPS +20 mummy
Shelter: Kelty Noah 9x9
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,482
A great takeaway point from granpa- mummy bags can feel very confining. I personally am considering making a zipper insert for mine to give it more girth. Those bags are designed for skinny folk. If you're at all stout, give the longer bags consideration as they are also built for larger frames.
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Old 07-21-2014, 06:34 PM
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Ralph Ralph is offline
Practical Backpacking­™ Valued Member
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 503
The "Big Three" are the bulkiest, heaviest and most expensive. These are shelter, sleeping and pack.

Tents: the general rule is get a tent rated for one more person than will be in it. So for a two-man get a three-man. There are some exceptions. The Timberline tents by Eureka! are a bit roomier, for instance.

Another consideration: bugs. If you will be in a buggy area you want good bug-screens. Whatever you get set it up in the backyard to be sure you have everything you need, pegs, poles, guy-lines and know how it goes together. For starters a 9-10' square tarp can be pitched in many ways, but has no bug screen. A simple nylon A-frame with screens can be had for $50 or so. Not fancy, but it works.

There are dozens of types of sleeping bags. Bulk is as important as weight. I have used Slumberjack synthetic fill bags for years, the Super Guide is a favorite. This is a good, 3-season, inexpensive bag that is light and compact.

You will want a pad. Closed-cell foam is inexpensive and light but fairly bulky. Many of us use both a foam pad and an inflatable (for comfort) in colder weather so even if you get a better pad later the foam pad is still useful.

Pillow - you are on your own, I make mine. Get one that's comfortable and isn't going to slip around.

Pack - buy used. There are hundreds available. I favor Mountainsmith but there are many others of good quality, Figure that shelter and sleep gear will fill about half the pack. Get this gear, measure it, calculate the volume and look for a pack of about twice that. Get one with a load-bearing belt.
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Old 07-25-2014, 03:59 PM
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ajhorvat ajhorvat is offline
Practical Backpacking™ New Member
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 3
Update on the gear status!

I have ordered and received the following:

Alps Mountaineering Mystique 2
Thermarest Compressible Pillow
Stansport Redwood Ultra Light sleeping bag
Black Diamond Headlamp
Black Diamond Orbit Lantern

Everything but the tent has checked out nicely! The problem with the tent is a concern though. I just received the item today, so I set it up in the backyard to check for problems. The tent set up nicely. Very easy. Room is nice inside.

Put the rainfly on as well, and it fit snugly. The problem started when I started to spray the tent down with the hose. I wanted to check for leaks, and I found them. I ordered my sister to stay inside the tent while I sprayed it, and within about 10 minutes of spraying she called out and said that the zippers were leaking quite a bit. I opened the tent up myself to check and sure enough, the water was leaking straight through the zipper covers, and then the zippers themselves, and onto the floor of my tent. Granted I was giving the tent a pretty heavy downfall, and I was spraying at different angles (always from a downward angle though).

Any suggestions as to what I should do? I've read about further waterproofing tents, but should I need to do this? Should I try calling Alps and speaking to their customer service to get a replacement rainfly?

Thanks guys!
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Old 08-02-2014, 02:58 PM
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badwolf badwolf is offline
Practical Backpacking™ Junior Member
Backpack: Granite Gear Leopard 58 AC KI or Deuter Aircontact 50L
Sleeping Gear: Thermarest NeoLite XL womens, Big Agnes Roxy Ann
Shelter: Big Agnes Copper Spur UL1
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Ohio
Posts: 45
Congrats on the new gear!

Is the tent leaking along the stitching/seam? Or is it leaking through the teeth of the zipper?

If it's the stitching/seam, then it's possible Seam Seal will work. However, before you take any action I'd recommend you contact the manufacturer. Or, return it.

Another to consider is Big Agnes Lone Spring 2.

The Lone Spring will give you quite a bit more headroom for the same weight. It also has the advantage of being free standing. BA has a very good reputation. I own 3 of their tents and have been very pleased. (I've owned tents by MANY manufacturers).

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Old 08-05-2014, 12:50 AM
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tonto tonto is offline
Practical Backpacking­™ Associate Member
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 471
I own the original Cobra tent when it was made by Peak I
At 3.5 pounds it was a great inexpensive 2 person backpacking tent at $70.
I used that tent just about one weekend every month for 10 years.

At the time I bought it Peak 1 was a first rate independent company.
They made top quality inexpensive mountain gear.
But, they where bought out by Colmen.

Colman redesigned the Cobra to be a heavier bomb proof 5 pound tent.
The Cobra is only available in Europe now.
In the USA the redesigned Cobra is sold under the name "Inyo".
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Old 02-18-2015, 08:29 AM
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tacbear tacbear is offline
Practical Backpacking™ Junior Member
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 17
This is what I am using after 40+ years of trial and error:

TENT: 2013 Big Agnes Seedhouse 1(1 man)3 lbs

SLEEPING: 2012 North Face Orion 20deg bag 2.5 lbs
Klymit Static V Air Mat (insulated) 1.5 lbs
Below 30deg I use the MSS Black bag 4 lbs 9x12" compressed

PACK: Osprey Atmos 65 3 lbs
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