cloudhiking - maps and adventure guides

Site Links


Contact Us









Friends' Links

Appalachia & Beyond

Family Wilds


Marking My Territory

Outcast Hikers


462 Summer Gear 2011-08-26

camping at site 1, Longs Peak

For six weeks this summer we were in Colorado camping and hiking in the mountains. We mainly stayed in Rocky Mountain National Park; but made a side trip to climb Mt Evans by the Chicago Lakes Trail, Torreys Peak via Kelso Ridge, and the famous Barr Trail of Pikes Peak.

During our stay we used the gear that we had previously reviewed on the site. Most of the gear performed as expected; but there were a few under-achievers and a few over-achievers. Oh, sorry but we couldn't cover all the gear that we have reviewed - if the gear is not mentioned, then we did not bring it, use it, or it was just ho-hum.

Here's what we thought ...

Neo Air - We used the small, lightweight pad when going backcountry. The pads offer a lot of cushioning for the weight. Overall the pads seemed to perform better than normal, because we bought a new sleeping (bag/quilt) system. (We will review it soon.) The sleeping system included a sleeve to prevent the pads from slipping out from under us.

Nano Puff Pullover - I guess I wore mine everyday - in the mornings and evenings. It is still the best; but might get some competition from the full zippered jacket version.

Osprey Talon - Four of use carried the Talon packs and the others wished they did! It is a great lightweight pack. We used ours as backcountry backpacks, as well as day packs.

Bibler Eldorado - (pictured above) An expensive but almost perfect two man tent when used in the arid mountains. The Gore-tex like fabric shed all water. The only leaks we had were from leaving doors or flaps open. Another nice factor of the Eldorado is that the fabric does not stretch like like nylon when it gets wet.

Noah Tarp - Well, the one I actually brought was the brother of Noah, the Car Tarp which comes with poles. The wind from a big storm re-shaped the poles, which had to be replaced. In general, the tarp served well as protection from the sun and rain.

Black Diamond Spot (headlamp) - I used it every night in the tent to read by and for a couple of morning hikes (as a general rule, I try not to hike before daybreak). The headlamp still has the same batteries that I installed last year!

MSR Titan Mugs - We love our little mugs. We even talked about leaving our traveling mugs behind next year! We will see.

ThermaRest Dreamtime - The Dreamtime is the most comfortable pad (period). It is heavy and big even when compressed; but for a good nights sleep while car camping, it can't be beat. Dave and Jenny did bring a set of thick REI pads that they said were also very comfortable.

REI Stowaway Chair - The chair is lightweight and folds small; but it is hardly durable. We already returned one chair and to be honest, both our chairs should be returned. The foam on the arms of both chairs have rips and the sewing on parts of the chairs seems to be unraveling. We have friends that have newer models of the chair and they do not seem to be having the same trouble as ours have.

Mega Light - The tarp is another Black Diamond product. It is one of the most versatile pieces of gear we own. We used it for many purposes. During the rainy first couple of weeks, we used the Mega Light as a refuge from the weather. Later in the trip it became a changing room and personal washing and cleaning room.

Action Packer - Our camp kitchen stays in the Action Packer. It also serves as a table.

Primus Yellowstone Classic Stove - The stove burned well and fast; but it did not work well with our one pot, the Jet Boil Group Pot. The stove's flame was too wide and burned the neoprene cozy on the pot.

SmartWool PhD Light Crew Socks - These were great midweight socks. They advertised them as "Light"; but I thought they were more like a medium thickness sock. The bottom line is that the Phd's wore well, caused no blisters, dried quickly , and didn't stink after a couple of days use - not bad!

JetBoil Sol Ti Stove - This little stove worked better than we could have ever expected. In the gear review I posted some amazing boiling times, that made us excited about the stove. In actual use the stove was more versatile than expected. The only problem we had was learning how to light the stove. It really helps to have the pot in place and to barely turn the gas knob. Once lit, it boils water fast. We liked the stove so well we might re-review it! It was truly one of the best pieces of gear we had with us.

Happy gear trails


Name (required):

Comment (required):

Please Introduce Secure Code: