Tag Archives: ultralight backpacking gear reviews

Gear Review: Princeton Tec Sync Headlamp

September 4, 2015  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , , ,   |   1 Comment
Princeton Tec Sync

Princeton Tec Sync

Ultralight Headlamp
Princeton Tec Sync
$30, 3 oz. (including three AAA batteries)
princetontec.com

Hiking down the steep, rocky, frequently slippery trails of Mount Washington in the dark for the final 90 minutes of a 17-mile, 6,000-vertical-foot dayhike over the four summits of New Hampshire’s Northern Presidential Range, the last thing I needed was a headlamp that wasn’t bright enough or lost power. With the Sync, those issues weren’t a problem. In fact, its brightest setting threw a broad beam that illuminated the lower Tuckerman Ravine Trail well enough that two teenagers in our party who had forgotten their headlamps could see. Considering also that the Sync is one of the lightest, cheapest, and simplest headlamps on the market today, and it’s hard to find fault with it. Continue reading →

Gear Review: Sierra Designs Tensegrity 2 FL Tent

August 21, 2015  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment
Sierra Designs Tensegrity 2 FL

Sierra Designs Tensegrity 2 FL

Ultralight Tent
Sierra Designs Tensegrity 2 FL
$390, 2 lbs. 10 oz. (without the included stuff sack and nine sturdy stakes, which are needed to pitch the tent)
sierradesigns.com

When I first saw this tent displayed at the Outdoor Retailer trade show a year ago, I wanted to test it in the backcountry. The whole concept behind SD’s new Tensegrity line intriguingly throws out the playbook on what backpacking tents are supposed to look like: Gone are the inward sloping walls, traditional vestibules, and poles, all with the goal of making a shelter that’s not just lighter but more functional. I took the Tensegrity 2 FL on a six-day rafting trip down Idaho’s Middle Fork of the Salmon River—and mostly liked what I saw in this unusual shelter. Continue reading →

Gear Review: Polaroid Cube Camera

August 14, 2015  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment
Polaroid Cube

Polaroid Cube

Ultralight Point-and-Shoot Camera
Polaroid Cube
$100, 2 oz.
polaroidcube.com/shop/polaroid-cube.html

Anyone who’s lamented the weight and bulk of photography equipment in the backcountry—but wants to bring pictures back from every trip—can’t help but be curious about a point-and-shoot camera that weighs two ounces, is the size of an ultralight headlamp, cost just 100 bucks, and shoots 6-megapixel photos and high-definition 1080p video. That it comes from Polaroid, the company that changed consumer photography with instant cameras, only heightens the interest. So I picked up a Polaroid Cube for a six-day rafting trip down Idaho’s Middle Fork of the Salmon River to see what kind of pictures and video it could produce. Continue reading →

Gear Review: Arc’teryx Acrux2 FL GTX and Acrux FL Hiking Shoes

June 19, 2015  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment
Arc’teryx Acrux2 FL GTX Approach Shoe

Arc’teryx Acrux2 FL GTX Approach Shoe

Hiking/Approach Shoes
Arc’teryx Acrux2 FL GTX Approach Shoe
$270, 2 lbs. 3 oz. (men’s 9)
Sizes: men’s 7-14, women’s (Acrux FL GTX, $220) 5-12

Arc’teryx Acrux FL
$190, 1 lb. 14 oz. (men’s 9)
Sizes: men’s 7-14, women’s 5-12
arcteryx.com

Is it possible for a shoe to be everything you need in backcountry footwear—and if so, what’s that worth? Those are the questions raised by Arc’teryx’s new Acrux2 FL GTX Approach Shoe and Acrux FL—both very “Arc’teryx” in their shoot-for-the-moon design and price. In pursuit of answers to those questions, I took both out on hikes intended to put the claims about these shoes to the test: ultralight backpacking the very rugged Royal Arch Loop in the Grand Canyon in the Acrux2 FL GTX, and dayhiking 17 miles through New Hampshire’s Northern Presidential Range, and Zion’s steep and scrambly Angels Landing, in the Acrux FL. Continue reading →

June 16, 2015 Trail 785 to Image Lake, Glacier Peak Wilderness, Washington.

Ask Me: Can You Suggest a Backpacking Gear Checklist?

In Ask Me, Backpacking, Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment

Hi Michael,

Can you provide a good, basic gear list for three-season backpacking? Thanks.

Jody
Cibolo, TX Continue reading →

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