earthtrekblog

Adventures of Life

Gear Review

Welcome to my Gear Review
A work in progress!
I need to start picking apart what I have for gear, how I feel about it and how it holds up to the wear and tear I put on it.

SLEEPING PADS

Therm-a-rest Prolite Regular
I picked up my Therm-a-rest in 2007. I have hiked it through the mountains of NC, camped in back yards and flown it overseas to travel through Europe. I must admit my Therm-a-rest and I have become well acquainted. There have been ups and downs but overall it has been a steady and wonderful relationship.

Therm-a-rest Prolite Regular

Therm-a-rest Prolite Regular

PROS:
– Good packed size
– Reasonable weight (16 oz)
– Holds air
– Quiet
– Has lasted 7 years with no repairs!

CONS:
– Slides on tent floor (this is where the downs come in)
– Not heavily insulated (three season)
– Need to blow up if you want it full

PERSONAL:
– Just barely thick enough
– Air is evenly distributed in pad

WOULD I BUY IT AGAIN: YES

Big Agnes Insulated Air Core
I can’t say much regarding this sleeping pad, our time together was short lived. We had different ideas of what our needs were and we decided it was better we find a match more suited to our needs. I moved Big Agnes along to a hiking buddy who enjoyed many, many more trips together.
I have a history of back trouble and it is very difficult to find something which meets my specific needs.

Big Agnes Insulated Air Core

Big Agnes Insulated Air Core

PROS:
– Reasonable weight (1lbs 8oz)
– Good pack size
– Insulated

CONS:
– Need to inflate it (not fun after a long hike)
– Air pockets run lengthwise

PERSONAL:
– To thick, more than 3″ deep
– Air chambers create channels

WOULD I BUY IT AGAIN: NO
*I am very interested in the new design the Q-Core

 

Therm-a-rest NeoAir All season
I AM in LOVE!!! I purchased this sleeping pad due to a friends incessant pestering about just how great it was. I had heard many different reviews regarding this sleeping pad and the most common complaint was noise. I tested it out in the store prior to buying it and I discovered the padding between your head and the therm-a-rest muffles almost all crinkling coming from the “insulation.” I also had the wonderful learning curve about inflation. DO NOT INFLATE IT ALL THE WAY! Everyone will find they have a different level of firmness which suits them, take the time figure out what you need because it will be worth it.
NeoAir3    330
PROS:
– Light Weight (1 lbs. 3 oz. – regular)
– Insulated
– Rectangular (allowing side sleeping)
– Packs small (4.5″ X 11″)

CONS:
– Need to inflate

PERSONAL:
– So in love
– Enjoyed using fan to inflate

WOULD I BUY IT AGIAN: YES! YES! YES!

 

SLEEPING BAGS

Big Agnes Cross Mountain 40 Long RZ
I’ve owned my bag since 2007. It has been put through it’s paces. Big Agnes designs bags with the idea of reducing weight by removing insulation from the bottom. If you have an insulated air mattress and you use the sleeping pad sleeve this works. If you don’t follow any of the instructions they provide than you can’t judge them to harshly. I love my bag. I use it for all my summer camping. I used it heavily for two summers in NC and found that I flipped it over. I slept on top of the insulated side and used the non-insulated side like a sheet. This bag was great for the heat of the day and lasted into the cooler evening temps.

Big Agnes Cross Mountain 40 Long

Big Agnes Cross Mountain 40 Long

 

PROS:
– Light weight (2lbs 7oz)
– Packs small
– Pillow sleeve
– Sleeping pad sleeve
– No insulation on one side (great for hot weather)

CONS:
– No insulation on one side (not so great for cold weather)
– One season bag

PERSONAL:
– Enjoy the opportunity to flip the bag to meet the temperature needs

WOULD I BUY IT AGAIN: Yes
 

 

TENTS

Nemo Meta 2p
There is much to be said for this tent.  For the past 6 weeks I lived out of it exclusively.  At the moment I am indecisive about whether or not I would want to take this tent on the AT. Overall I appreciated all it had to offer, it kept me dry, warm, and loving nature, but I want to highlight the things which might drive someone crazy in the long run. The single wall causes large amounts of condensation to collect on the interior of the tent. I used a quick dry towel to wipe down the walls to help prevent me from causing a rain shower inside. The condensation also had a habit of building up and running down the inside where it would form small puddles in the corners, this wasn’t a big deal until the puddles got large enough to move and created small streams. Despite the condensation build up this tent held up to extremely heavy downpour, for a week, with only minor leaks (condensation puddles). You need to have solid ground to put the stakes in if you want a solid tent, when the rains came the ground softened and I lost a number of my guylines. I also discovered if you want to create a more spacious tent the guyline running from the center of the tent wall should be tied up rather than to a ground point. I got creative and built stick supports to lift the guylines up raising my tent wall. Without the raised guylines the walls were low enough to brush against my head and feet, and I am only 5′ 10″. Even with the guylines helping to lift the tent and create a little more room I still had issues with my sleeping bag rubbing against the wall and getting damp over the course of the night.
Meta 2P view
Meta 2P guylines

Meta 2P scenic
PROS:
– Light weight (2 lbs. 14 oz.)
– Trekking Pole set up (1 pair)
– Spacious Vestibules

CONS:
– Single wall
– Not free standing
– Sides

PERSONAL:
– Will be fascinated to see how a dog, a pack, and myself fit inside.

WOULD I BUY IT AGAIN: Yes

2 thoughts on “Gear Review

  1. if you don’t have a pack yet for Star, please check out my packs. Godspeed on your hike!!

    • Your packs look awesome. I’m in the middle of figuring it out. Star LOVES her SingleTrack but it really isn’t large enough for the AT and the larger pack we have is just a bit too big… So were are figuring it out still.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s