So much gear, so little time. It’s the ultimate orgy for gear lovers! Again, I did my best to walk around, be slightly social and take some shots of gear I thought was interesting and listened to a few keynote speakers.

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Western mountaineering throwing it’s hat into the quilt game. Unfortunately I have no info on the quilt as the reps had been busy all day. But if it’s western mountaineering than it will probably be light and excellent.

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The Osprey Levity 60. Won the outdoor award for best backpack. Light at 840 grams and rather functional. est. price $240 and release in april 2018. It’s nice to see even the big brands going lighter and lighter.

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Toaks had this little alcohol stove on display. At first I thought it was just a little titanium cup that you fill up with alcohol and burn. However when I looked closer I could see the small holes around the rim – Would love to test this out in the field!

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My wife thinks we need to invest more in our Glamping lifestyle.. she’s not too happy about sleeping on a tiny slippery mat and sharing a quilt with our son. I think this combination from Exped would work wonders. It’s a two man quilt and sleeping mat. Works wonders for family glampers or SUL hiking buddies.. you choose

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Sierra designs had the famous Skurka designed Flex capacitor backpack on display. An excellent looking pack I have to say, something I could certainly see the use in. From tightening down to 40L and if needed can be expanded to 60L.

Unfortunately they didn’t bring the High route tent or any of their other more interesting tents, instead opting for some really horrible, cheap walmart style tents. It was tragic. I’m not sure whats going on over at Sierra designs, but of all the big tent producers on display (vaude, big agnes, nemo, hilleberg and so on). The materials on the sierra designs just seem so cheap. I hope they sort this out soon as theres nothing wrong with the design, but the materials… that’s a different story.

Of course I could be wrong, maybe the ripstop nylon is the best on the market and I have no idea what I’m talking about (I always hope this is the case, and in some instances I have the sneaky suspicion that it is..)

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Mont-Bell. Oh how I wish thee existed in Sweden. I’ve always been a big fan of Mont-bell and I don’t think it’s because I’ve only been an admirer from a distance. I’m certain they make good, lightweight gear and someday I plan on testing my theory.

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Bill from NWApline looking rather happy with himself, as he should. From what I can tell NWAlpine is making some excellent lightweight climbing gear. A cuben rain shirt and an impressive looking cuben tent. NWAlpine is a small cottage manufacturer based out of Oregon.

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My thoughts on cuben: while cuben will give any ultralight backpacker wet dreams, if we really are honest with ourselves, the minimal weight savings just isn’t worth the price. I don’t see how cuben will break into the mainstream, or even stick around for too many more years if they don’t look at the cost structure on it.

Posted by Kenneth Shaw

Blogger, photographer and backpacker. If you like my writing or my site don't be afraid to follow me, like or share my posts here on the site. Thanks and enjoy!

4 Comments

  1. I share your opinion on cubes fibre. And I own the toaks alcohol stove and I love it. It’s very reliable.

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    1. I’m going to try and get my hands on the toaks tomorrow. He had a few samples that he could give out. Looking forward to testing it. They even built a new lightweight windshield designed specifically for the stove

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      1. I use the titanium windshield and a pot holder (picture in this post: https://hikeminded.blog/2016/05/14/serra-de-tramuntana-son-moragues-deia/). Works flawlessly. If you light it up, it starts to whizz (?) some seconds later.

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