Category: Gear reviews

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Video: Hyperlite mountain gear Ultamid 4 – Review

Ok, it was cold, shitty and hardly any snow – in other words a typical winter day in Stockholm. Stockholm is known for it’s absolutely horrific and pointless winters. With that said, it’s a good enough place to test different gear for upcoming winter trips in the mountains. So I went out to test some gear including the hyperlite mountain gear Ultamid 4, The soto muka multifuel stove, my winter quilt system and a few other pieces of equipment that I plan on using on a winter trip in Jämtland in a few weeks.

If you haven’t seen it already I posted a video of the Soto muka stove that you can watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKt7adKB9rg&t=3s

What is the Ultamid 4

The HMG Ultamid 4 is a massive 4 man pyramid tent from Hyperlite mountain gear. Here is Hyperlite mountain gears description of the Ultamid 4:

Providing maximum coverage at a minimum weight, the UltaMid 4 pyramid tent is stripped down and dialed in to meet the exacting requirements of passionate, goal-oriented adventurers. This ultralight four-person tent takes harsh conditions in stride all four seasons of the year. It handles, wind, rain, snow, sleet and hail better than traditional tents with much smaller footprints.

Weight: 

A tent this big surely must weight a ton you say.. no. The Ultamid 4 weighs just 618grams – without all the guylines, so around 700 with. The pack size is not too bad either, about two liters in total volume.

Size:

The Ultamid 4 is massive – in the video I show myself more or less standing up in the tent, slightly bent of course, but still. It’s easily a four man tent. Most four man tents might fit two, and two man tents are excellent one man tents. The Ultamid 4 however is a four man tent, and an excellent two man, and a palace for one.

actual dimensions are

  • Width: 111” (281.9cm)
  • Length: 111” (281.9cm)
  • Height: 75” (190.5cm)

Overall conclusion:

I have been a fan of pyramid tents for years and have used them all over the world in various conditions. The Ultamid 4 is by far the largest of all the pyramid tents that I have and would bring with me. I like the sturdiness of the Ultamid series in general – as both the Ultamid 2 and Ultamid 4 have a ton of tie outs and are built to be used and abused. Easily all around, year round tents. If you are looking for that one tent that can be used everything and have cash to burn, then you can’t go wrong with either the Ultamid 2 or Ultamid 4.

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Soto Muka stove review – a video

I’m back! again.. with yet another gear review.. again. Out in the wilds, again.. It’s what I do! This time around I was out sleeping in tyresta again here in Stockholm, Sweden. Middle of winter so temperatures got down to around -10 celcius, which means it’s time for me to drag out my Soto muka multifuel stove. Yes, yes I know that a true “ultralighter” brings a gas canister and sleeps with it to keep it warm, what can I say? I cheat – I like to keep things simple, so white gas it is. No need to keep the fuel warm, no need to think about different insulations for the gas canisters.. just pump, light up and boil.

 

What is the Soto muka multifuel stove

The Muka Stove has revolutionized common understanding of a gasoline stove’s characteristics such as becoming dirty with soot, cumbersome preheating, and maintenance before and after use. This gas stove combines a reliable, powerful output and ease of care. Muka is not a simple gasoline stove but the next generation of stove. Includes hose, pump, maintenance tool and a carrying case. Wide mouth Fuel Bottle sold separately.

Weight:

160 g without pump 320 g including pump

Specs:

  • Vikt: 160 gram (320 gram inklusive pump)
  • Mått: 8,0 x 6,5 x 8,0 cm (13,5 x 13,5 x 8,0 cm utfälld)
  • Brinntid: ca 56 min med 480 ml bilbränsle
  • Effekt: 4000 kcal/h / 4650w / 15800 BTU

Now just take a look again here at the BTU – yes 15800 BTU! that is insane. For reference a Jetboil has a 4500BTU, the Svea 123 has 2800BTU. This, this monster has 15800 BTU! this is melt your TI pot kind of heat.. so be careful. Now there is a good explanation for that kind of heat – the Soto Muka is a non-soot producing stove, even when burning unleaded gasoline. The heat needs to be high inorder burn gasoline cleanly, in other words, the high BTU output is the reason there is no soot.

A quick rundown: 

Out of all the available multifuel stoves available, nothing quite compares to the Muka Stove. The lightest of the bunch, non-priming and extremely high output. If you need a multi-fuel stove, this is the one to buy.

The old Svea 123 is a gas stove that I have used for years – and love it. It doesn’t require much other than a bit of priming; which is the process of pouring a little white gas on the primer plate under the burner, on top of the brass gas tank. The fire balls are awesome on the Svea 123, the thrill and excitement of wondering if this was the last moments of my life every time I light it. The Soto in comparison requires pumping, and while there is still a fireball, it doesn’t seem as life threatening – so the that’s a bonus, I guess. The weight is about the same as the all brass Svea 123, complete weight with fuel bottle is about 530grams. Heavy, but still one of the lightest mutifuel stoves on the market.

Watch the video for full review!

 

The stove can be purchased here: https://backpackinglight.dk/stoves-and-kitchen/multi-fuel-stoves/soto-muka-multifuel-stove

 

Eller i sverige: https://backpackinglight.se/friluftskok/multifuelkok/soto-muka-bensin-kok

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Cumulus Teneqa 850 winter down bag review – demonstration

 

Ok, so this weekend starts the ISPO Munich 2018 convention – worlds largest convention for outdoor and sports gear.. I going to Amsterdam instead. Maybe I will make Munich next year 🙂 With that said, I have been busy going through a bunch of new and old gear, trying to put together more videos and so on for ULcomfort.com as well as backpackinglight.dk. I have also moved all the inventory over to a new fulfillment center that will improve shipping times, minimize mistakes and make shipping cheaper for Backpackinglight.dk customers. So, for me, Amsterdam seems like an awesome weekend getaway.

With that said, I put together a quick video of the Cumulus Teneqa 850 winter down sleeping bag. It’s rare that I would chose a single bag option in the winter over a layered system, for example a down quilt, with a synthetic quilt on top. I just find a layered system to be good enough and cheap enough solution to solve my winter needs. However when I got the Teneqa 850 in the mail for a customer I decided to buy one for myself and give it a good testing throughout the winter season. I haven’t gone on any long winter artic expeditions or anything like that, but a few cold nights at around -5 to -17 and the bag has held up very well. Honestly, I am rethinking my winter layering system, as a single, fully enclosed mummy bag is certainly warmer for harsh winter conditions than something like a layered quilt system. I sleep snug as a bug in the Teneqa 850, and props to Cumulus for making such a high quality down bag at this price point (400 euros)

What is the Cumulus Teneqa 850:

It’s probably our biggest star, which we are extremely proud of, although it’s only 3 years old. This sleeping bag is filled with 850 g of the highest quality 850 cuin Polish down. When laid out, it is really impressive – it may even be said to be beautiful. A revolutionary, advanced winter sleeping bag, weighing only 1330 g. Made of Pertex Quantum fabric weighing 35 g/m², equipped with advanced V-chambers, which gives it a big advantage over the competition. The Teneqa 850 is a combination of Japanese technology, Polish down and Polish innovation which has led to the creation of a great product.

Specs:

  • Total weight: 1330 g
  • Down weight: 850 g
  • Weight of unfilled sleeping bag: 480 g
  • Comfort temperature: -14 ˚C
  • Limit temperature: -22 ˚C
  • Extreme temperature: -44 ˚C
  • Maximum user height: 190 cm
  • Length: 210 cm
  • Width (top/bottom): 85/59 cm
  • Stuffsack’s dimensions (height/diameter): 32/21 cm
  • Stuffsack’s volume: 11,1 l
  • Number of down chambers: 37

Size – My view: 

If there is one issue I have with Cumulus bags, and sleeping bags in general, it’s that they are made smaller than rated. For example, the Panyam 600 is rated at a user height of 190cm. I am 190cm and I would say the bag is rated for someone at 186cm. It’s just too small for me. It squeezes around my shoulders, my feet are crunched at the end and I can’t fit the mummy hood over my head and tighten around my shoulder – I just doensn’t fit. So I resolved myself into buying a bigger Panyam. With that said, the Cumulus Teneqa 850 standard size is perfect for me. Good room around my shoulders, I can toss and turn all-night without the entire bag following me everywhere, My toes just barely touch the footbox, which is exactly how I like it. It’s just a great fitting bag. In really cold nights I could easily fit inside with a few extra layers of clothing if I would need to. Again, cudos to Cumulus for making a great fitting bag.

 

Warmth and comfort:

To me, a warm bag is not always a comfortable one to use. Especially winter bags that have a tendency to get a little too warm if it’s not freezing outside. I find the Teneqa 850 to be a good balance between warmth, weight and comfort. At -15 rating I’m not going to be sweating my ass off when the temp is hovering around 0 – I just open up the footbox a little. Also, if the cold drops to -30 I can fit in with a few extra layers of clothing. It performs very nicely at around -10 to -20. For reference I am a very cold sleeper.

Overall feeling: 

Overall I like the Cumulus Teneqa 850 – warm, light, cheap-ish, excellent form and fit. If there is anything I would like to see improved for later version it would be a plastic zipper flap like the Western mountaineering bags – such light materials like those used on the Cumulus bags, easily get snagged in the zipper without the flap. Of course WM bags are twice as expensive, but I wouldn’t say they are twice as good. In fact, as far as make, fit and quality I would say Cumulus give WM a run for their money.

Will it replace my panyam 600 and as tucas sestrals poncho winter layering system? Probably not for my longer winter trips where I will be out for a week or soon in the Arctic, but certainly for trips up to 4-5 days I could see myself bringing the Teneqa 850. Perhaps, I could see myself replacing the Panyam 600 with the Teneqa, and then layer with the As Tucas. – Warmer and a little more flexible – however, heavier of course.

Where to buy:

https://backpackinglight.dk/sleeping/sleeping-bags/winter/cumulus-teneqa-850

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Gear Review: Black Diamond Firstlight tent

Ok, the black diamond is not the worst tent available, it’s bad but not the worst. For alpine conditions: Dry, windy and lots of snow – it’s perfect. For anything else it’s terrible. I have been using the Firstlight and sibling Hilight for about 5 years in varying instances. This video is a rundown of the tent and my review of the Firstlight.

 

What is it:
The Black diamond firstlight is a freestanding two man alpine tent. As per Black diamonds website (spelling errors and all… come on Black Diamond, spell check does exist… contructed? what the hell is contructed?):

A compact two-person, four-season tent built for weight-conscious climbers, the Black Diamond Firstlight is based on the I-Tent’s expedition-specific design with steep walls and a simple floor shape to optimize living space and increase headroom. For durability, all seams are double sewn and the stress points are reinforced. With two equal length DAC Featherlite poles that fit inside the tent with hook-and-loop wraps, it’s easy to set up—even from inside. For cross ventilation, both the small rear window and the door are covered with no-see-um mesh. The canopy is contructed with water resistant, breathable NanoShield fabric. For interior organization, the Firstlight has two interior mesh pockets.

Weight:
at 1,5kilos the Black diamond is light for a two man winter alpine tent. A bit heavier as a single man winter alpine tent and completely pointless for any other purposes.

Size: 
The Black diamond firstlight is marketed as a two man alpine tent. It’s not. It’s a one man alpine tent, and more to the point, it’s a one-short man (woman or kid) alpine tent. The actual dimensions are: 208 x 123 x 123 x 107 cm (82 x 48 x 48 x 42 in) – 208 is the length. My 196 sleeping pad stretches out the floor of the tent. My head and feet both push out the sides of the tent. I get wet from my bag squishing against the side.  For me, the firstlight is a one man tent.

To the point:
Watch the video for a full review. The firstlight is a tent I both love and hate. For the intended conditions it’s a “good enough” tent. It’s freestanding, light-ish, and I definitely have confidence in it even under the most brutal winter conditions. For everything else, it sucks.

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Nemo Hornet 2 – gear demonstration

Okej, very excited here as a finally got home the Nemo hornet 2 as well as the Apollo 3. Two ultralight tents. To be honest, I was mainly looking forward to the nemo hornet 2 as I have been longing for an easy to setup tent with a large net innertent – that can easily be used separately from the fly. In this video I demo the Hornet 2, set it up, play in it and show it’s size the best I can.

 

About the Nemo hornet 2:

The Hornet is Nemos lightweight tent series designed for trails like the APT or CDT in the Usa. Basically long walks in varying climates. The tent can easily be setup semi-free standing. You can make it work with rocks if needed.

Weight:

The Nemo Hornet 2 weighs just 910 grams complete with tent pegs, seam sealed and tent pole. In otherwise, a fairly light tent for one person, and superlight for two.

Use: 

I would use this for just about any trip I would like to go on. I will debate bringing it along on the TGO Challenge. It’s large for one person, big vestibules, double entry and exits as well as removable fly make this an excellent choice.

 

Don’t forget to subscribe to my youtube channel

 

This tent can be bought in europe: at https://backpackinglight.dk/tents/2-person-tents/nemo-hornet-2p-ultralight-backpacking-tent

Or in Sweden: https://backpackinglight.se/talt/2-personstalt/nemo-hornet-2p-ultralight-backpacking-tent

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DJI Spark – A video review of the ultimate backpacking drone

don’t be that guy, you know the one I’m talking about.. The ass that sits at his computer and bitches about drones. Don’t do it, drones exist, except it, have fun and enjoy life! With that said, don’t be the ass that flies drones over peoples heads, or chases bikini clad girls on the beach. Be respectful.

Now, with that out of the way, here is my review of the DJI Spark drone. I bought this drone in earlier in the year when it was first released here in Sweden. Stupid as I am I couldn’t wait for the fly more package and instead bought everything separate – what is now around 500usd, cost me roughly 1000usd or more.

 

Weight: 302 grams for drone and battery

Total weight for complete kit: 903grams for drone, two extra batteries, case and controller

Flight time: 12-13 minutes (actual flight time)

Camera: 1080p HD

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Gear review: Cumulus panyam 600 sleeping bag video review

Make a lovely trip out during the weekend and made time to finally review the Cumulus panyam 600 sleeping bag. In this video I discuss the panyam make, size and weight as well as my ideal uses for the bag.

 

 

About the Cumulus Panyam 600 sleeping bag:

The Panyam series bags from Cumulus are lightweight, high quality bags that start the Cumulus winter series bags. The Panyam 600 is 850 down quality, -6 bag that weighs in at under 1kilo. These bags are built to the highest standard and the baffles are sewn with trapezoid style baffles.

Trapezoid Construction:

The use of the trapezoid design in the Panyam means that with a comparable weight of down, the trapezoid is a more advanced design than the box structure, because there is less likelihood of “cold spots” than with “H” chambers.

Weight and temperature ratings:

The Cumulus Panyam 600 weighs in at just 1kilo for the standard size. This is good enough for users up to 190cm according to Cumulus. I would say however that the standard size might be a big short for a 190cm user – I am 190 and find my feet hit the end of the bag and the shoulder draw cord doesn’t completely close around my shoulders. Simply put, I am too tall for this bag. I would say a more proper sizing would be 188cm or less for the standard bag.

The Panyam 600 is rated with a comfort temp of -6 celcius and a limit of -13. This is a fairly accurate rating in my tests, and I would even say it’s a bit on the safe side. I found it to be considerably warmer than the rating lets on.

Quality:

My overall take on the Panyam 600 and all cumulus bags are that they are high quality bags selling at a low quality price. Which of course is awesome for most shoppers, however, many people still base “quality” on price and “brand”. But as many more small local cottage companies come along, I think this stereotype is starting to vanish. The panyam 600 and the panyam 450 are some of the best quality bags available at the 850 down range, and definitely the cheapest at that quality.

Winter layering:

An ancient indian technique (talking out my ass here) for maximizing warmth in the winter is to layer bags. The Cumulus panyam 600 is a great first layer for deep winter, and layered with a synthetic quilt on top, say an As tucas sestrals blanket apex 167, could easily push your winter kit to -30 celcius. At minimal weight.

Conclusion: 

Watch the video.. But in all seriousness, if you are looking for a high quality winter down sleeping bag that packs down tightly and has minimal weight and cost; You don’t need to look any further than the Cumulus panyam 600.

 

Where to buy:

In Sweden: https://backpackinglight.se/sova/sovsack/vinter/cumulus-panjam-600

Throughout Europe: https://backpackinglight.dk/sleeping/sleeping-bags/winter/cumulus-panjam-600

 

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Gear review: Hyperlite mountain gear Windrider 4400 backpack

I bought this pack about a year or so ago with the intention of replacing my Zpacks arc-blast. I wanted a larger backpack capable of carrying heavier loads, yet still light enough to use on my shorter trips. There are a few backpacks that meet this criteria, but none quite fit the bill as well as the Windrider did. The arc-blast is a 55 liter backpack, and while this worked for me on a lot of my trips – I found the liter and carrying capabilities limiting for winter hikes, hikes longer than 5-7 days, family hikes and so on. I am an avid believer in Cuben textiles for backpacks because it’s waterproof, or atleast doesn’t absorb water, lighter than traditional materials and a heck of a lot stronger.

DSC06882The Hyperlite mountain gear Windrider 4400 is absolutely beautiful in it’s simplicity.

With that said, I bought my Windrider form the states, and even with the winter discount HMG was running, I ended up paying about 500usd to get the pack to Sweden after import fees and shipping. Though the initial price tag was appealing! Now of course I would just buy from one of the many European retailers such as backpackinglight.dk (my own webshop).

I have been using the Windrider for all my trips since I got it last year. This includes 10 days across the wilds of Sarek national park in northern Sweden, a winter trip through Jämtland mountains, a few smaller week trips along Sörmlandsleden and many weekend trips with the family. So it’s been put through it’s paces for it’s intended purpose (or the purpose I intended to use it in)

Who is Hyperlite Mountain Gear?

HYPERLITE MOUNTAIN GEAR IS NOT ABOUT BELLS AND WHISTLES. NONESSENTIAL FEATURES. OR THE LATEST TRENDING COLORS. WHAT WE’RE ABOUT IS STRIPPED DOWN, HIGH PERFORMANCE GEAR THAT’S BEEN DIALED IN TO MEET, IN AS MINIMALIST A MANNER AS POSSIBLE, THE EXACTING REQUIREMENTS OF THE PEOPLE WHO USE IT.

Hyperlite mountain gear produce all their own gear in Maine, USA.

What is the Windrider 4400

The 4400 is a 70 liter backpack made from Dyneema (fd cuben fibre) material. The material itself is 100% waterproof, while the backpacks are not 100% waterproof, they are certainly much closer to that watermark than anything else on the market. The Windrider much like Hyperlite mountain gears other backpacks is a stripped down, essentials only backpack. I love and prefer a roll top on my bags, no zippers or anything else that will undoubtedly breakdown over time. As it goes, I also like mesh pockets on the outside, though the Southwest 4400’s solid pockets, certainly keep things aesthetically cleaner. I prefer the mesh pockets though as I like to see what I have in those pockets.

The Windrider also uses aluminum backpack stays, which are removable, and foam padding to increase the overall comfort of the packs. On top of this the packs are seam sealed, have hydro ports, ice axe loops and so on.

Another key point here is that the hip belt is not removable, I actually prefer the simplicity of this. They have just four sizes to choose from and the hip belts are meant to fit all sizes: Small, Medium, Large and Tall. Sometimes when buying gear the choice can get fairly ridiculous. Small hip belt, with medium large backpack, nano size hip belt pockets, sternum or no sternum straps so on and so forth. So points for simplicity here.

DSC06837

Weight:

My windrider 4400 white pack weighs 988 grams. Not the lightest on the market, but light enough for most uses and most applications.

Who’s it for?

As it’s a 70Liter pack, the Windrider 4400 is probably best for trekkers who carry either a lot of gear, winter gear, longer unsupported trips or family gear. For me it has become my all in one pack that I can use on everything from my two days hikes to several weeks. It’s my go to bag for just about any trip I make, anywhere I plan to go. It’s certainly large at 70Liters, but it can easily be compressed down with the roll top and side compression straps.

Here in Sweden the HMG windrider is actually starting to be used by most “professional” hikers, lightweight or otherwise. At least when they get to choose. The HMG packs have also made a big mark on the Packraft and kayakers gear lists, as they are lightweight, waterproof and can carry a lot of weight.

If most of your hikes are summer time hikes of under a week or so, then this bag is probably a bit much, and I would suggest looking at their smaller bags such as the 3400 and 2400 which are 55Liter and 45 Liter packs.

Will it hold?

Dyneema is the strongest, lightest material being produced right now, and the HMG series backpacks are built to last. You’re probably not going to find a more robust backpack on the market – anywhere by any producer. In all seriousness, this pack will probably last as long as you do.

Ventilation

I’m not going to do a side by side comparison to other backpacks here with regards to ventilation on my back. When the aluminum stays are in the HMG and I stand with proper posture, the backpack doesn’t press at all against my back – regardless of how much weight I have in it. This of course allows for good ventilation and except for my shoulder blades and lower back, no part of my body is being touched by the backpack. Just how I like it.

My own experience

On my trip through Sarek it rained constantly for about 2 days as well as waist high wading daily – I don’t use rain covers or anything like that so I have to trust my backpack that it will do it’s just in keeping things dry. Now of course you’re thinking “what an idiot”. You’d be right in thinking so. In actuality I pack everything in watertight stuff sacks, I prefer the Pack pods from HMG and the Stuff sack pillow, and I use a giant trash bag as a pack liner on the inside to keep as much water as possible out. I find this combination of watertight-ish backpack with only one entry point (the roll top), a giant trash bag liner, and everything packed in watertight stuff sacks, keeps everything perfectly dry no matter the rain or wading, and this proved the case even in Sarek on the wettest of terrain, my gear was kept perfectly dry.

I also find that for my longer trips the HMG windrider holds up without any problems, at most I have had around 17 kilos in my pack and while the pack can certainly handle the wait, my body can’t. So it’s hard for me to say anything about carrying capabilities in the 17+kilo range as I think it sucks no matter what backpack I have on.

DSC06368Me in northern Sweden with the windrider 4400. This was packed for a 9 day hike and around 13 kilos. 

Some people have reservations about mesh pockets on the outside of a pack – they can “tip the balance”, they can easily tear in forestry and so on. Personally I don’t really have this problem. The mesh pockets I use mainly for my tenkara fishing rod, a water bottle and trash. Balance is not an issue. As far as the mesh pockets tearing, this as it were, has not shown itself to be an issue either, and I have certainly trounced through a lot of unkept forestry.

Conclusion:

Lets face it, plunking out 500USD for a backpack is expensive. (In the USA the packs cost 375usd). Though, they are not the most expensive packs by a long shot. Many of the “big brands” have 4-500USD packs that come nowhere near the quality or robustness of the HMG backpacks. If you need one backpack for most everything, you can’t go wrong with a Hyperlite mountain gear Windrider 4400, or any of the 4400 packs. While it’s not the only bag I use, it’s certainly the one I prefer over anything else I have.

Plus:

  • Big 70L pack
  • Simple, effective design.
  • Lightweight
  • Great carrying capabilities
  • 95% watertight
  • Robust, durable fabric and mesh
  • Compressible
  • Removable stays
  • Excellent construction and quality
  • No zippers or do-dads. Just what is needed
  • Small, Medium, Large and Tall. That’s what you get to choose from. Perfect. I hate too many choices as I’m always afraid of getting it wrong.

Minus:

  • Small hip belt pockets
  • Hydropocket not easily removed – razor blade needed
  • Not the lightest 70 liter pack on the market

 

Where to buy:

In The usa: Hyperlite mountain gear

In Europe: Backpackinglight store

Direct link to the Windrider 4400

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Gear review: Fizan compact trekking poles

A few weeks ago I was contacted by a representative from Massdrop on writing a review for one of their upcoming massdrops. For those of you not familiar with massdrop it’s a community or social shopping network that sets up different products for ridiculously cheap prices. For example right now they have an 800 down Enlightened Equipment high quality quilt on sale for 189usd. So the prices are fantastic and the products on offer are often of the highest quality.

Being the kind of guy I am, I have no problems exchanging my time for products and doing a review as long as I can fit it into my schedule. Also it’s not unusual for me to get request to do reviews for products and companies in the USA as a lot of my visitors to this site come from the USA. (Not so strange considering I write in English and come from the USA myself).

With that said, I have known about Fizan as a company for some time as they make trekking poles that are known throughout Europe as a high quality brand. I’m not sure if the products exist in the USA, but in Italy and Europe they have been around since the 1950’s and still being made in Italy.

The timing for Debbie over at Massdrop couldn’t have been better as I was in the market for a new pair of trekking poles as I’m not completely happy with the ones I have. I was in the market for highly adjustable, lightweight, aluminum poles. (I keep breaking my Carbon fiber poles). Feeling I would be more than happy to sacrifice some weight for the added strength of Aluminum.

Weight:

Anyway, I got my Fizan compact trekking poles in the mail a few days ago and I was immediately surprised by the writing on the poles ”worlds lightest trekking poles 158grams”. I thought – bull… But to be honest they are the lightest adjustable poles on the market which is pretty awesome. (Correct me if I’m wrong here). My current carbon fibre adjustable poles weigh in at 184 grams each. These with the straps and baskets weigh 175grams. Take off the straps and baskets (which I normally do) and were down to 158grams each. Light.

R0260522
175 grams with the basket and strap on. Hard to find Carbon fiber adjustable poles at this weight.

Quality

As I stated I haven’t had a whole lot of time to test these out, I have been out a few nights and walked a total of about 65 kilometers with varying weight on my backpack and with two different tents. (The MLD Duomid and the MLD Trailstar). The poles have held up well (holding the tents up) even in some really heavy wind and rain on one of my nights out.

The Fizan compacts use a three part proprietary interlocking system, that they have been using for years in their compact system without problems. I find no reason to doubt this interlocking system.

To be honest, I have no real issues with the quality here, as I said before, Fizan is a well known brand and I have had their poles once upon a time a few years back, they never let me down. I don’t feel like this will be issue with these poles either.

R0260489

Looks and feel

I think these poles look good, as good as trekking poles can look that is. They are still old people sticks (joke from my book), but do what they are suppose to do. I have seen much uglier poles. They do however feel fantastic. Weight and balance and even the tiniest of attention to details really stand out. I like the feel of the straps and how small the poles pack down to due to the three part adjustable system.

The color on the Massdrop sale for these pole swill be blue and not the red that is seen in these pictures.

Size

My Fizan compacts are adjustable from 58 centimeters (23 inches) to about 132 centimeters (52 inches) maxed out. In other words perfect from any toddler sized human to about my size 190cm (6’3”).

 

R0260515
The Fizan sticks holding up an MLD Duomid + Innertent

Specs:

Weight with straps and basket: 178grams each

Height: 58cm (23 inches) – 132 centimenters (52 inches)

Material: 7001 Lightweight Aluminum

Locking: Proprietary Flexy internal locking system

Grips: Ergonomic EVA foam grip with rounded plastic top

3 sets of removable baskets: 35, 50, and 95 mm

Suggested price: $59.99

Massdrop start date: Monday, June 5 at 6 a.m. PST.

Address for the massdrop site and sticks:

https://www.massdrop.com/buy/massdrop-fizan-compact?utm_source=Iterable&iterableCampaignId=122529&iterableTemplateId=178324&utm_campaign=massdrop_x_fizan_compact_trekking_poles&mode=guest_open&referer=C9BLKJ&utm_medium=email

 

PROS:

Lightweight adjustable poles

Aluminum

Extra baskets

Cheap (to be honest, I’m surprised by the price on these.. This is cheap)

Great brand

Made in Italy

 

CONS:

Aluminum (You can get lighter with non-adjustable carbon fiber)

The tips on these are wider than standard trekking poles which means the pole extender on the MLD Duomid won’t work. That’s why in the picture above I use PVC piping instead of the carbon fiber pole extender.

Perhaps shouldn’t be used as ski poles…. . .


The Fizan compact poles are an excellent compliment to the MLD Trailstar as they are highly adjustable.

 

TO read more about these poles check out this excellent, detailed review:

https://www.massdrop.com/talk/1797/upcoming-massdrop-x-fizan-collaboration?utm_placement=3&referer=PYEQYA&mode=guest_open&utm_campaign=Automated%20Daily%20Promotional%202017-05-26&utm_source=SparkPost&utm_medium=email&utm_term=Daily%20Promotional&utm_content=1495797900732.028910651407058611965059

 

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Gear review: Hilleberg Enan

A few years back my first gear review I ever did on this site was a review of the Hilleberg Akto. I liked the tent but found it had too many faults to really consider it a keeper. I even wrote in that review that if Hilleberg were to fix the sagging innertent and lighten the tent to around 800grams that I would be more than happy to purchase the upgrade. A few years later and as I so humbly like to take credit for (though they probably have no clue who I am.. still), Hilleberg did upgrade their Akto with the Enan. While not 800grams, it is 1100grams complete in stuff sack with pegs. They did fix the sagging innertent and as an extra bonus even gave it a lot more ventilation allowing for better  air circulation and much less condensation.

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The Hilleberg Enan has a small footprint, allowing setup in tight areas

I will start by saying that I love the Enan, I think it is an excellent tent, fun to use, fast and easy to setup that even a monkey could make it work. The enan is by far the easiest tent I have ever had the pleasure of setting up, even beating out the Mountain laurel designs Duomid in simplicity. A small tent pole and theoretically two pegs and your done. It really is that easy.

You might think that being a lighter tent, the Hilleberg Enan loses out on space, or “ruggedness” compared to the Akto. I beg to differ, this tent is made for the mountains, and all the weather than entails. I can gladly say that even in the heaviest of winds, worst of downpours and even light snow the Enan has held up really well.

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Two large vents on eachside of the Enan allow for great air circulation

 

What is it:

The Hilleberg Enan is a single man, tunnel, coffin style, double walled tent and Hillebergs lightest tent in their line-up. People like to describe these tents as bomber, but honestly I hate the term, so I will stick with rugged, mountain tent for 3 season use. Though, for many people, the Enan would work just as well as a 4 season tent.

Weight:

The Hilleberg enan 2016 variation that I have weighs 1200grams complete with all guylines, tent pegs and stuff sack. The 2016 variation uses Kerlon fabric 1000 which is a little heavier than the 2015 variation that uses Kerlon 600. Not the lightest single man tent on the market, but definitely not the heaviest either

Size:

Where the Akto lost me in a sagging innertent, weight and bad ventilation along with being a tight fit. The Enan fixes atleast most of these issues and because of no sagging innertent, the Enan even seems roomier. While I love the Enan experience, I don’t really want to be stuck in it for longer than just an overnight sleep. I find the coffin style one man tent to be just a little tight for my liking.

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One tent to rule them all?

I think for most casual backpackers looking for just a single tent that they can have for 30 years in any weather conditions, the Hilleberg Enan, much like a lot of Hilleberg tents, is just that tent. It’s light enough for most backpackers, and robust enough to last a lifetime. On top of that it is extremely fast and easy to use. For taller people like myself at 6’3″ (190cm) I would suggest looking elsewhere as it may be a little to tight a fit for the long haul. If you are looking for an ultralight tent, then I would also suggest looking elsewhere as the enan is on the heavy side when compared to many competing tarp-tents. Though to be fair, most backpackers carry more than just a tarp, they usually have trekking poles (250grams minimum, inner-tent of some kind, 250 gram minimum, ground floor… so on and so forth)

However where Enan wins, and Hilleberg in general, is in quality. Your not going to find a better made tent anywhere. The attention to detail, the fabrics, the quality of the sew, there’s nothing quite like a Hilleberg, which is why I’m always willing to give Hilleberg a chance. There’s nothing quite like the look and feel of a Hilleberg and the Enan is no exception.

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The Hilleberg Enan really is simplistic perfection. An excellent one man tent

 

Conclusion:

As I stated in the beginning, I love the Hilleberg Enan. Maybe it’s the quality of the product, the ease of use, or perhaps it’s just the brand Hilleberg. Whatever it is it’s hard for me to part with this tent. If your somebody who wants a simple to setup, one solution for all conditions and don’t use trekking poles, then the Enan is hard to beat. However for me the Hilleberg Enan is a tent that is too small for my use. But it’s just so damn good.

 

Pros:

  • Lightweight single man tent
  • Fast and easy to setup and use
  • Excellent build quality
  • Hilleberg
  • Great ventilation = lower condensation

 

Cons:

  • Expensive when compare to most chinese manufactured competitors
  • Heavy for the size and living area

 

You can buy the Enan in Sweden at: https://backpackinglight.se/varumarken/hilleberg/

or Europe: https://backpackinglight.dk/brands/hilleberg