Category: Gear reviews

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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”).

 

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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.

DSCF4251
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.

screen_shot_2015-05-01_at_3.59.41_pm

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.

DSCF4328
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

 

 

 

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Gear review: Jetboil TI Sol

I have owned the Jetboil TI Sol for almost 3 years now, so this has to be the slowest gear review in the history of gear blogging. I’m not sure if I can add anything to discussion, but what the heck. The Jetboil TI Sol is the titanium version of the Jetboil solo stove. A complete cooking system in a light package. It’s main purpose is to boil water, and it’s damn good at boiling water.

If  your like me and just about any other backpacker on the planet, your main need is to boil water to rehydrate your packaged foods and boil for coffee.. then the Jetboil should suite your needs just fine.

What you get

The Jetboil TI Sol is a self contained unit with everything thats needed in a simple little package. It has a pezo lighter built in, an adjustable pressure regulator, insulated pot sleeve, Plastic lid with strainer, a plastic cup and last but not least the actual pot itself that is .8 liters.

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A gas canister easily fits in the pot along with with the regulator. I usually leave everything at home except for the pot, lid and gas regulator. Though I’m certain that the rest of equipment serves a purpose….

DSCF4429

 

In use

I am a sucker for simplicity and I’m not sure it’s possible to make an more simplistic stove. Just screw on the gas can, put the pot on and press the ignitor. (this of course can be said for any jetboil or these style of stoves). Having used this stove on and off for over three years it has only failed me once, in Iceland, pouring rain the ignitor didn’t take. With that one exception this stove has been very trustworthy. There is a lot to be said about these kinds of stoves and there is a very good reason they have become so popular during the last decade or so.

With that said the Jetboil TI Sol has one function and one function only: Boil water as quickly and effeciently as possible. There is no simmer (officially there is, but don’t bother). This one function it has and serves perfectly. Boil time on my kitchen stove (which by the way is the most useless metric in backpacking is a staggering 3 minutes and 47 seconds with .5 liters of water) Fuel consumption is around 5grams of fuel. In the wild depending on the wind and chill factor (colder air means slower boil time), boiling is around 3.5 – 5 minutes. I usually try to calculate for my trips 8 grams of fuel per boil.

However this gives kind of an unrealistic picture of the jetboil and how I use it. I rarely boil water in the wild and most the time I run water through my filter and get the water to “warm enough” – which is around 2.5 minutes and 4 grams of fuel. Meaning one tiny can at 229 grams will last me a very long time along a trail.

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Eating

This probably goes without saying but I will write anyway. I eat directly from the pot, because the pot is rather tall I find that regular length spoons are a pain, so I use a long length spoon to dig deep in the pot. Also, though the cozy I’m sure serves a purpose, it atleast let’s holding a freshly heated meal possible.

 

Conclusion

A lot of new stove system have been introduced on the market since the Jetboil TI SOl has been released. The weight differences today are perhaps not as wide as they once were. Aluminum systems that weigh 100 grams more can be bought for a 100usd less. There are also simple pot and stove solutions that weigh 150 grams total (evernew pot and BSR 1000 titanium stove). However, I still find the Jetboil ti sol to be a viable solution if your looking for this style stove. They can now be purchased at competitive prices on ebay and amazon. This system is still to my knowledge the lightest fast boil system available (correct me if I’m wrong)

After three years this system is still going strong for me and while it might not be my first choice, it is by far my simplist choice.

 

The good:

Complete cooking system

Fast boil

Self contained unit that fits nicely in my backpack

Relatively light at 242 grams for the trimmed down system that I bring (just the pot, lid and regulator)

 

The bad:

Like hot water? That’s all your going to get with this. Don’t bother bringing anything else

Not sure what purpose the pot cozy has.

Heavy compared to some of the ultralight kits available. (Trail designs, BSR1000, any alcohol stove and so on)

Uses gas – I am terrible at determining how much gas I need to have with me, thus I always bring way too much.

No wind shield.. Always looking for a hole to dig this down in as each breeze increases boil time significantly.

Gear reviewsRunning

Gear Review: Merrell all out terra trail shoes

After my Iceland trip last year I realized it was time to buy new shoes as I had started using tape to keep my Haglöfs together. I’m not a big buyer of shoes so I had no idea what was being made at the time. I did however have a plan in my head of designing my own pair of hiking shoes. My ideal pair that I would design would be as light as the Haglöfs LIM low but offer superior grip, would have better toe and heel protection and if possible would even have a built in gaiter to keep rocks out. This to me would be the perfect trail hiking shoe.

So in my new found inspiration in life, and absolutely certain I had invented in my head the next great shoe; I decided to make my way to the local gear shop here in Stockholm and get more inspiration for how my new shoes might look. Little did I know how far shoe development had come in the time since I last bought a new pair of trail shoes. While a lot of the shoes I was looking at was close to what I had in my head none of them checked all the boxes… Until I ran across a pair of Merrell All out terra trail shoes. They had the same lightness (almost) as my beloved Haglöfs, they had much better grip with the vibram sole, toe and heel protection and as an added bonus they even had a built in gaiter.

It didn’t take me long to do the math in my head: Either buy these shoes for 100usd or invest thousands of dollars, design a pair, spend countless hours making different prototypes and in the end make simply a competing shoe that probably wouldn’t be as good as these shoes. So I purchased the shoes and a year later I’m not disappointed. For one my toes aren’t black and bruised anymore from stomping on rocks, I’m not sliding down the side of a cliff because of bad grip and I no longer have to bring gaiters with me.

Features:

DSCF3807

These shoes have excellent grip for most surfaces besides ice. I have done trail runs, backpacking and regular road races in these shoes and I am not at all concerned about the grip. You can’t go wrong with Vibram soles and the Merrell all out terra trail shoes make the best of it.

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Mesh all around no goretex to be seen anywhere means these babies get wet fast and dry just as fast. Perfect! Even the tongue and insides are mesh. This shoe is perfect for the trail.

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No more black and bruised toes. This nice solid rubber toe guard protects my toes from any rocks or branches the trail happens to throw at me. I still stumble on my ass, but atleast I’m not sitting for 10 minutes holding my toes.

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The Merrell allout terra trail shoes have excellent heel protect, side protection and a built in gaiter. Whats not to like about these near perfect trail shoes?

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The Merrell allout terra trail shoe fits like a glove around the feet. I am truly impressed by these shoes and even after about 500 kilometers they are still holding strong.

Weight:

The allout terra trail shoes are light, not as light as some trail shoes on the market, but I will take the extra weight for the total protection and gaiters anyday. These shoes weigh in at 333 grams each or 666 for both.

DSCF3815

Comfort:

The Merrell allout terra trail shoes fit my foot very well. I love the gaiter wrap and the missing tongue. These shoes just sit tight regardless of the terrain. The only real negative here is that I usually need a pair of Superfeet in my shoes, on the Allout terra trail shoes a pair of superfeet make the shoes lose their form a little. Or perhaps I need to buy a smaller pair. Not really sure, but they don’t pass inside the shoe as well as on some other shoes. But that’s not the worst thing in the world to deal with as the shoes are comfortable without superfeet insoles.

Conclusion:

As I stated in the introduction of this review, I had gone into the shop looking for ideas to the shoes I had already designed in my head. I was thinking of either starting my own company with my own shoe design or going Haglöfs with the design idea and see if they would license it. I left the shoe store with pair of Allout terra shoes and never looked backed. These are exactly the shoes I had in my head. Truly worth the investment. I see no reason not to buy these shoes if your looking for an excellent pair of outdoor trail shoes. I can’t really judge them as trail running shoes as I have only run a few runs in them totaling about 100kilometers. However I do have closer to 600kilometers walking in them.

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Enlightened equipment revelation pro Quilt: Gear review

Some pieces of equipment become such an engrained part of your gear closet, a standard set piece in all your backpacking trips that they become easy to forget about. For me, the Enlightened equipment revelation pro Quilt is exactly that piece of equipment. I bought this quilt several years ago directly from Enlightened equipments website and haven’t thought about it since. It’s just always with me, summer, winter or fall this quilt is the base of my sleep system. It always works, always keeps me warm and is at the perfect weight to warmth ratio for me. On top of this it’s one of the lower priced high quality quilts on the market. Read More

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Mission Workshop The Vandal backpack review

Ok, I admit, this review has nothing to do with ultralight backpacking – I won’t even bother weighing the Vandal as I can say it’s heavy.. I’m talking almost Kajka heavy (well not really.. 2 kilos to be exact). My motivation for buying the Mission workshop Vandal backpack? I wanted an everyday backpack to replace my 5 different bags that I already had. I wanted the one backpack to “rule them all” sort of speak. I had a different bag and backpack for different occasions:

  1. for everyday walking around – usually messenger bag that was limited in size, my shoulders would get pretty tired carrying around the weight on one arm
  2. Gym bag – for that off chance that I might someday start going to the gym again. I this was a duffel bag
  3. A job bag – for when I want to bring my work computer home
  4. My travel suitcase – a samsonite carry-on that no matter how long i was gone for this was all I ever had
  5. Several “beach bags” – for those days when I wanted to head out to the beach, or some other spontaneous activity.

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Sony RX100 – The ultimate ultralight backpacking camera?

A while ago I was able to purchase a very used original Sony RX100 for about $130 – I really wanted a lightweight, or ultralight backpacking camera that would be “good enough”. While I don’t mind bringing my Fujifilm X-T1 and zoom lens (816 grams with battery), I wanted to try an even lighter camera and I read that the Sony RX 100 series is one of the best weight to quality cameras available. This one is of course the first version in (now version 4 is available) So, this review is rather dated, but what the hell 🙂 I still use an analogue camera, so a 4 year old camera is fairly new by my standards. In anycase, I have learned that the camera rarely makes a good photograph: Subject, framing and lighting are the essentials, it’s just important to have a sensor that can capture those three key ingredients. So with that said, the Sony Rx 100 fits the bill. Read More