As ZPack’s website claims, the Duplex is the sweet spot when it comes to size, weight, and features. It has ample space for one person plus gear to spread out. I love my space and I’ll be needing while on trail for five-and-a-half months. It has two doors for ultimate flow and ventilation.
I can’t say much about this pack at the moment as I haven’t received it yet. I’ve heard good things about it and I’m sure it will do the job well. I have ordered a couple of brackets from europe which will help secure my Chrome Dome umbrella to the shoulder straps of my backpack for the calmer hot days. If it works out I’ll include the detail here.
Volume: Interior: 4400 cu. in. (70L). External: 600 cu. in. (9.8L).
Fenix HL50 Headlamp
This is my favourite item out of all my gear. So far I have been impressed with this headlamp. It’s super bright for it’s size and a lot lighter than other popular models which require two or three batteries. While this headlamp takes rechargeable batteries, it doesn’t have a USB port to charge them from. I’ll have to charge my batteries in towns. It’s features include:
- Ultralight weight
- 365-Lumen Burst Mode
- 77m Max Beam
- Waterproof to 2m
- Two Battery Options (CR123A or AA Battery)
- Neutral White Output
- Detachable Mini Flashlight
The 3 brightness levels – low, medium, high seem to suit my needs as I won’t be carrying a spare battery. For a backup light source I’ll be using my iPhone. Fenix have also increased the size of their headbands which I am thankful for but I’m still on the maximum circumference. Yes, I have an unusually large head! 🙂 I should also thank my brother for introducing me to this product range. These guys know their lighting.
Katabatic Gear’s Alsec 22ºF (-5ºC)
This bag/Quilt had my name on it the moment I saw it! It’s lightweight, warm enough for the PCT and it’s compact. It’s designed as a versatile quilt. I don’t like my legs being too restricted so the function of a quilt works well for me.
I have chosen 850 Fill Power Water-Resistant Goose Down as opposed to the straight 900 Goose Down. My reason for chosing 850 fill is that it takes a lot less time to dry than the 900 fill. Even though it’s a quicker dry I’m expecting it to take 3hrs to dry at a laundy service. I have also opted for the wider quilt as this allows me to wear a puffy jacket without the bag (the wider option) compressing my jacket’s loft, which as we know when down feathers are compressed they lose their ability to insulate effectively. The thought gone into the design of this bag makes $540 a justifiable cost. It features a patented Cord Clip Attachment System which easily attaches to my sleeping pad but what is equally impressive is it’s “differential cut” around the girth. The differential cut allows for maximum loft as the outer surface fabric is cut wider than the inner membrane of the bag. If I need to draw the bag closer towards me, the outer layers still retain their loft. Being a hot sleeper, the 22ºF rating is just about right for the colder nights. Weight: 25.8 oz | 731g
I almost missed out on this bag as I had researched other quilts and had settled on UGQ’s 20º Renegade* which I feel would have been just as good. The deciding factor between these two quilts was the Cord Clip Attachment System which set the Alsec apart from all the other quilts on the current market. This is my kind of bag and I’m very excited about it. *Regarding the other quilt I mentioned – the guys at UGQ run a highly successful botique style factory and their service is second to none. They answered my emails within hours. Their quilt designs look nicer and they provide more colour and more importantly more fill options. They are worth checking out! http://www.undergroundquilts.com/
I first used this mat in Nepal at Island Peak Base Camp (altitude of 00000ft). It was perfect! This mat is really the lightest I’d want to go without compromising on comfort. Sure, I could go lower in weight but I’d then be losing out on the pros of a good nights sleep. The write-up mentions “The air cells on the sides are thicker and give the mat a cradle shape that prevents you from rolling off the mat.” Well, if I did happen to roll off I’m hardly going to go far.
What I like about this mat most of all is it’s baffles. They are welded between the microfiber filled air chambers which eliminate cold spots and create a thick, comfortable, and stable air cushion. It’s also a very quiet stable mat and I look forward to passing out on it at the end of a long day.
I stand by these shoes! I have hiked a couple of hundred miles in these and they are fantastic. They are catagorised as Ultra Long Distance and they live up to their catagory. I find the tread offers the right amount of cushioning and at the same time they are firm enough to provide stability.
I have included what I feel is a genuine write-up of the shoe – from the website: “The extremely breathable Air-mesh uppers are mounted on a soft EVA graded platform (wider at the toe and lower at the heel) for optimum shock absorption in any condition and reduction of the ramp angle. The integrated lacing system uses a strap sewn to an internal stretch fabric with high frequency reinforcements on the external mesh. This allows greater versatility in boot tension throughout the boot, thereby enhancing comfort levels. Ultra Raptor unites the performance advantages of a snug-fit construction method with those of the comfort derived from the wider shape and sole. The result is a product that can be used for several hours and is the ideal choice for endurance trails and all types of off road trails.”