Lakes gear review

And for my 1001st post, a gear review. Now there’s a surprise!

New stuff: the only new things I took were a Rab Vapour-rise Lite jacket and a Rohan Core Silver T. I have mixed feelings about the Vapour-rise. I like it as a lightweight jacket. The outer is an attractive matt finish and wind proof. Venting is by two large chest pockets. The inner is a lightweight tricot material, pleasant to the touch and not fluffy like fleece. The arms are quite long. However, I didn’t like the cuffs, which are secured by velcro and elastic. They are quite narrow and not wide enough to roll up. I’m coming to the conclusion that nothing beats the Paramo Velez Adventure Light as an all-purpose outer layer. The venting is second to none. I love being able to push the sleeves up beyond my elbows. It’s also waterproof, although on long trips I would still take a hard shell as Paramo can get overwhelmed and I’d rather have a hard shell for persistent driving rain. On this trip, it was sunny and most of the time I was wearing a shirt, so the Vapour-rise was only used for a couple of hours. The Core Silver T didn’t get much use because I wore a shirt, but it’s an interesting T. It has a smooth outer and a mesh pattern inside. It should be fast drying and feels very comfortable. I’ll have to give it a proper test another time. Arcteryx Phase AR tights. I bought these as a replacement for my Lowe Alpine Dryflo tights and was very pleased with them. I wore them once at night and around camp in the evening.

Other clothes: most of the time I was wearing a Mountain Hardwear Canyon Shirt, which was ideal for the sunny conditions. The mesh side panels certainly help ventilation and the shirt dries quickly. I like the extendable collar, which protects the neck from the sun. I have an old style one. The newer ones have a slightly softer material. The Montane Terra Pants were superb (yawn!). I wish they would do the standard ones in one colour rather than the black patches. The Rab Generator Jacket has become my “go to” insulation layer. It has a perfect fit for me and has just the right amount of warmth. Golite Wildwood Longsleeve. This is good for around camp and for sleeping in. It’s like silk and nice to change into at the end of the day. However, it’s not very robust and one thread has already pulled.

MLD Duomid. I’m really growing fond of this tent. I love the space in the porch. The OookWorks inner has made all the difference. Pitching takes a little practice, but now I can do it quite quickly. Not sure what else I can say. I must mention the backpackinglight pole extender tube, which is brilliant. Like all the best ideas, simplicity is the key. The ability to be able to turn walking poles into a tent pole is a stroke of genius. Well done Bob (and Rose)!

Sleeping: Western Mountaineering HighLite sleeping bag. Ideal for summer. Surprisingly warm, given the weight (and I’m a cold sleeper). However, the home made zip baffle and neck collar are essential in my view. Neoair Short and MYOG fleece cover. This is becoming my favourite combination. A short mat is much easier to manage in the tent and the fleece cover makes the mat very cozy. I use a thin foam mat underneath the Neoair as well, which helps insulation.

Cooking: My Evernew pan/MSR cup/Snow Peak stove setup is ideal for me. Having used all bar one of my Real Turmat meals, I took three Fuizion Foods meals: Kung Po Chicken, Beef and Ale Stew and Minced Lamb with Potatoes. These are superb and taste like real food. The Kung Po Chicken and Beef and Ale Stew were out of this world. The Lamb was slightly disappointing, only because the other two were so good. My two criticisms are that the pouches are tall and thin and the P&P charges are high. I may decant the meals into Soup ‘n, Sauce bags next time.

Base weight was just under 8.5kg. Total weight including consumables was 10.5kg. Details on Google Docs. If you have any questions, just post in comments.


9 thoughts on “Lakes gear review”

  1. Always an interesting read.

    Have you seen the down bag that acts as a duvet with an elasticated rim that slips over the air matress? Wondered if they were any good? Almost half the pack size and weight?

    I like the Rab Generator however the XL is a tad too tight and the XXL is too baggy. I’m somewhere inbetween!

    I bought a nano puff hoody recently however I’m not too sure on how warm it might be as a back up layer? The stitching is supposed to eliminate cold spots?

    Looking into Primaloft and it seems that there’s a few different qualities available. Primaloft 1, sport, synergy, ecco, infinity. ‘1’ being the most warmth efficient, supposedly being the best.

    I’d like to find a chart that indicates the performances, measuring from ‘P1′, of all the other synthetics on the market, i.e, Haglofs themalite microlite, loftech, berghaus fill, Rohan’ fill (aparently it is P1?), paramo torres and any other leading synthetics on the market. Having said this I understand this to not only be on weight but in the lofting itself!

    How did the Rab Vr lite perform?

    You have quite a collection going on now? Driclime, Krypton etc…

  2. Robin, I have the Rohan Ultra Silver T after reading about it on one of your posts. Wore it for 3 days and 3 nights over the weekend. Really comfortable and didn’t smell at all. I guess the silver works in it. Thanks for the recommendation.

  3. Hi Robin,
    I completely agree with you on the fuizion bags. On our trip we used pouch cozies to keep the food warm while it was re-hydrating, then cut off the top of the bag to eat it.
    I have to say that I found the fuizion meals very tasty, more so than the real turmat meals, however I found that they didn’t re-hydrate as well (we still had “crispy” lumps despite letting it sit for longer and stirring several times).

    1. I cut the top off the pouches as well. Conversely I found the Fuizion meals hydrated better than Real Turmat, which I put down to the coarse size of the pieces. I always leave them for 12 minutes to rehydrate.

  4. That’s really interesting! Do you add more water than recommended and do you measure the water? On our first day with RT I did it by eye and got one soggy and one gloopy, so after that I measured the water to the recommendation on the pack. Let me tell you, crunchy sausages in an all-day-breakfast is not necessarily the most delicious thing in the morning. 😉

    Another thing I found strange was that in all the dishes with rice, the rice felt a bit too firm.

    I wonder how consistent the production process is as we’re getting such different results…

    1. I usually add about 350ml rather than the 310ml and give it a good stir. I agree with you on crunchy food. I’ve not had the all day breakfast.

  5. Hi Robin,
    I have been buying gear for my trip to New Zealand come end of Dec. I bought a couple of Rohan Ultra silver T’s along with the undies. Unfortunately i started to wear them on a daily basis and i must say they are great. Extremely light and comfy and don’t smell.
    I am probably going to have to buy some more.

    I am with you on the Fuizion foods they do hydrate better than Real Turmat generally but like Tor i have found some that have struggled to rehydrate.
    I would put Fuizion just slightly ahead of Turmat.

    The one thing missing on the fantastic Terra pants is a wallet pocket. I don’t know about you but i like my wallet in my back pocket where i can feel it and when it’s not there things can be a bit frantic. I wish they would put one in. Also the belt is crap and that was changed within the first week. I have had Terra’s for quite a while now but i think i will buy a pair of Rohan’s for NZ.
    The sale was good, i am on the mailing list for them.
    Sorry for the long comment.

    1. The ultra T is really good and very comfortable. I’m thinking that it might be my standard base layer. Rohan trousers are ideal for travel as they have good pockets.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.