Latest acquisitions – MLD Rain Kilt

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Note the great sunburn from my latest trip.

Just in today from Mountain Laurel Designs, their rain kilt in Silnylon. Will have me look very smart and sexy on the trip to Iceland and in the future. I hope I made the right choice selling my Patagonia rain pants…

The future will tell!

This little item weighs in at 76 grams and packs away very small. It’s very much a one-size fits all and even two. I guess if you strap it around your neck it would cover your upper body and your pack with room to spare or if you’re attached by the hip with another person you’ll be ok too.

I got mine in size Large and that’s not really depending on your waist but rather the length of the kilt.

Bearpawwd PyraNet 2 inner – First impression

About a year ago I bought a inner for my Hyperlite Mountain Gear (HMG) UltaMid 2 tent. The first inner I received had the wrong specifications and the door opened inwards to the side so I had to return it to Bearpawwd, there were some miscommunication via e-mail. Anyhow I returned the first inner and received the right model for my tent, the Bearpawwd PyraNet 2 “Ultramid 2 modification”.

After I received the right one I actually never picked it up out of the pouch that it came in… It has been stored in one of my gear boxes ever since. Now about a year later Jon and I decided that it might be good to bring it and test it out on our trip to Skåne and I’m glad we did because it was a really good inner!

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Staking out the UltaMid as the sun sets over Bjärehalvön.

At the time when I was looking for a inner for my UltaMid 2 the market weren’t that big. There were a few different manufacturers but basically the only inner that had good specifications to fit the UltaMid without having too much dead space inside the tent was the PyraNet 2, “Ultramid-mod” (will refer only as PyraNet 2 in the text). Now a year later HMG has released their own inner for the UltaMids which are a little lighter than the PyraNet that I’ve got.

Specifications

  • Silnylon bathtub floor
  • Water-sealed drawstring peak/floor seal for the center pole
  • No-see-um mesh
  • Double zipper opening
  • 730 grams
Bearpawwd PyraNet 2 inside my HMG UltaMid 2 tent.

Bearpawwd PyraNet 2 inside my HMG UltaMid 2 tent.

The PyraNet 2 weighs in at about 730 grams compared to HMG’s equivalent at 595 grams. The HMG comes with a cuben fiber bathtub floor and I got the PyraNet 2 with a silnylon floor. If you want to be 135 grams lighter your wallet will also be 240 USD lighter excluding shipping. For me if I were to buy the inner now with both options available I think I’d still go for the Bearpawwd because I won’t be using the inner for every overnighter I do. Well maybe I’d get it with a cuben fiber floor instead, it would still be cheaper, and lighter.

Regarding the silnylon floor… With our Therm-a-rest NeoAir X-Lite sleeping pads it’s like sleeping in an ice skating rink. Slipping and sliding all over the place! It can get cozy really fast if the ground isn’t level.

I opted for the version with double zipper opening. Now in retrospect I could have gone with the standard full-right/left-opening with only one zipper. That would have shaved off a few grams.

The inner packs away nicely in a small silnylon stuff sack. It also comes with a few meters of red paracord so that you can attach the inner directly to the tent without using any extra tent pegs. For this first test we used tent pegs, one in each corner, but in the future we’ll most likely only use the paracord as it’s more convenient and you can adjust the position of the inner more easily.

One small modification will have to be done to the tent. If you look closely at the picture above you can see that the inner wall is a little saggy which steals a few centimeters of head room. The solution to this would be to tape a small cord to the inner wall of the tent so that you can attach the inner to just like any double wall tent from say Fjällräven or Hilleberg. The inner actually has a small attachment buckle on the inner wall just for this purpose so no modification will have to be done there. *Updated 2015-07-12 – There was no real need for this modification after the supplied cords were attached with a little finness, see pictures below.

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One drawback with using a inner is that you can’t use the loops inside the tent to make a makeshift clothes line for drying your socks overnight as we’ve done so many times before.

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Tower of doom.

All in all I’m very happy with my purchase and so far so good. It fits perfectly with the UltaMid 2 so I can only recommend it if you’re in the market for a two person inner. I’ve heard rumors that HMG will be making a single person inner for their UltaMid-series so if you’re hiking alone that would be something to keep an eye out for.

Happy hiking!

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Solo hiking Västanåleden – A first try at SUL Hiking

The majority of my hikes are shorter weekend trips on any of the trails close to my hometown. It’s only during my summer holidays that I have time for week long journeys to places like Norway and northern Sweden. With this in mind I have started to work on a lighter kit custom tailored for the needs I have on my shorter trips in the woods around Jönköping. So after spending the spring purchasing new equipment it was now time for a first trip trying to go SUL – Super Ultra Light that is 🙂 

In this post i will do a short trip report and also try to sum up the experience of my new kit and talk through some of the new items i used.

Hiking Västanåleden

Västanåleden is a short round trip hike in the beech forest south of Gränna. The trail shares tracks with John Bauerleden that connects all the way down to Jönköping. Both of these trails are familiar to me and just last year me and André took a short overnight trip at this trail. I decided to walk the southern part of the trail as these are the ones I like most. As this would be a rather short route I would also have time for some detours along any of the other trails crossing my path.

I started out just outside the small village of Röttle and decided to take a short walk down to the harbour. On my way I passed the waterfalls and the remains of the old Jerusalem mill. Down by the harbour I took a small pause and then headed back up to the trail.

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Röttle river waterfalls and the remains of Jerusalem Mill


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Patagonia Alpine Houdini jacket

A while ago I apparently lost/misplaced my Patagonia Torrentshell rain jacket somewhere, I can’t find it. If you know where it is please let me know 🙂

Fortunately for me when I realized this the Patagonia Alpine Houdini jacket was on sale, 50% off so I instantly grabbed it. As you might know I already own the Patagonia Houdini jacket and it’s a jacket that I like a lot. The difference between the two is that the Houdini is a windbreaker and the Alpine Houdini is a “lightweight emergency rain shell”. Emergency rain shell really translates into that the jacket will (probably – not yet tested) withstand a heavy downpour but not prolonged sessions of rain unlike the Torrentshell that will take everything you throw at it (10,000mm- vs 20,000mm water column – waterproof rating).

As with every rain jacket out there you’ll eventually get wet anyway so for me this is not really an issue. Compared to the Torrentshell the Alpine Houdini is also much lighter which is nice, saving me about 160g of weight (345g vs 184g).

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Size Medium

PatagoniaAlpineHoudini (3) The only thing that I’m a little disappointed about is that they went “stupid light” with the front zipper. This is only a normal YKK-zipper with no extra taped seams or anything just a storm flap on the inside. When I read reviews of the jacket this is where most people complain that it’ll leak through for the most part, no big surprise there. But since I haven’t tested it myself I can’t comment on this.

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Zipper storm flap and membrane. On the right you can see the only pocket on the jacket that doubles as a stuff sack.

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Size medium, Classic Navy. I’m 176cm, 65kg.

Specifications

  • Highly water-resistant woven nylon shell, with laminate membrane and DWR (durable water repellent) finish holds a 10,000mm water column
  • Taped seams throughout entire garment
  • Full-zip hooded jacket has minimal interior storm flap and single-pull adjustable, helmet-compatible hood that rolls down and stows
  • Zippered, interior left chest pocket doubles as self-stuff pouch with streamlined shape and carabiner clip-in loop
  • Elasticized cuffs and a minimal single-pull adjustable drawcord hem seal out weather
  • 1.5-oz 20-denier 100% nylon ripstop shell, with a waterproof/breathable membrane and a DWR (durable water repellent) finish
  • 187 g (6.6 oz)

New sleeping system – Cumulus Quilt 250

Recently I’ve sold all my sleeping bags besides one that I’ve kept for the time being and now that the primary backpacking season is starting up again I had to get something else or otherwise I’d just have to sleep on the ground wrapped in a survival blanket…

I’ve been interested in quilts before but I’ve never taken the step from the conventional sleeping bags over to one of those. Even now before I ordered I wasn’t sure if I was to get one or not. The ones I ended up choosing between was the Cumulus Quilt 250 and Western Mountaineering Highlite sleeping bag. Both of them are about the same weight and has basically the same comfort temperature rating.

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I ended up choosing the Cumulus Quilt 250 as the price tag was more interesting and I like the idea of having a quilt rather than a sleeping bag as I normally sleep quite warm and I think it’s a nice feature to have the possibility to quickly get some cool air into the bag or just keep it open without having to fiddle with a zipper.

Before I say anything else I just want to give a shout out to Cumulus customer service which is just completely awesome! I had some trouble ordering and they sorted everything out very quickly and made sure the quilt arrived on time. It was a really good experience buying from them, highly recommended.

My first impressions of the quilt is that it’s lightweight, very well made, high quality stuff – no down leakage etc. It looks like a really good choice.The only thing I can complain about is the stuff sack, it’s a little small and I had a hard time compressing the quilt into it and closing it properly. It’s made out of the same material as the quilt, Pertex Quantum fabric so it’s really lightweight but not waterproof in any way. I’ll swap this for a stuff sack or a dry bag from Zpacks. I haven’t really decided what to get. I need something that’s light and waterproof as I stack my tent on-top of the sleeping bag and from past experience you’ll sleep in a wet/damp sleeping bag if you do that if the stuff sack is not waterproof…

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On Cumulus shop they claim that the bag weighs 480g and by the looks of it they’re correct, everything is in order 🙂

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It also comes with some extra bungee cords and a storage bag.

Cumulus_Quilt_250_2015-05-02_12-08-01_DSC00607 Cumulus_Quilt_250_2015-05-02_12-08-27_DSC00608I can’t wait to go out and test this bag! I’m very excited!

First impressions – KS Ultralight gear Imo Pack

KS-Ultralight-Gear-IMO-Pack_2015-04-17_17-03-43_DSC00365 The Japanese post service sure knows how to haul stuff! Received my Imo Pack today, Friday after a five day transport from Japan to Sweden.

I’ll try to sum up my first impressions of the KS Ultralight gear Imo Pack here. Later on I will have to follow up with some reflections after taking the pack to the trail.

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KS Ultralight Gear

This is my first guest post here on Andrés blog. André and I have been hiking together for years now and it’s about time that i contribute with some material here.  /Jon

One of the things about UL-hiking I really like is all the Cottage Manufacturers making excellent equipment for us hikers. I like the oportunity to support a small scale industry with design and manufacturing in house. But a large bonus is also the possibility to customize the equipment you want to purchase. As a Design Engineer this is kind of a kids dream coming true, I can get equipment exactly the way i want it!

Last week I found the small (Even by these standards) Japanese/French manufacturer KS Ultralight Gear. They make various versions of ultralight backpacks in interesting material choises as X-pac, Silnylon and in some cases Cuben. 

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Imo Pack in red X-pac fabric. Front pocket in 70D Nylon, note the mesh bottom for water drainage – Photo by Laurent Barikosky

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