Category Archives: gear

Rab repair service

In an increasingly throw away world, it’s gratifying that some gear makers have repair services to prolong the life of their gear. Paramo are rightly praised for their after care service and I’ve used them for minor repairs on a couple of my jackets.

When the zip on my Rab Generator Alpine jacket disintegrated, I feared I’d have to junk it. It’s a great jacket that has served me well for over ten years. Much to my delight, I found that Rab offer a repair service. For £30 (including postage) they replaced the zip, albeit with one not quite the same colour. I’m a very happy chappy!

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Mice ate my rucksack!

Oh dear! We had some mice in our loft and they attacked my Tramplite rucksack. I’ve sent it back to Colin who is hopeful he can repair it. They also attacked my Exped Thunder rucksack but that didn’t appear to be as tasty and it only suffered minor damage to the hipbelt. They seem to like foam and ate some loose closed cell foam I had lying around. I don’t think they could’ve been there long as nothing else was damaged. I felt a bit mean calling in the pest control man, but I’m afraid poison is the only way I can be confident of getting rid of them. There appeared to be no activity last night, so I’m hopeful they won’t bother us any more.

Lightwave Ultrahike pocket protectors

The Lightwave Ultrahike is a pretty robust pack. However, the side pockets are made are made from a stretchy mesh which is vulnerable to snagging. To protect the mesh I asked Craig, who helped mend my Mariposa pack, to make a couple of pocket protectors that I could sew on. Yesterday I plucked up courage to sew them on. They were a little tricky to attach, especially the bottom corners. With a little patience, I think they’ve come out well. It’s a shame that Lightwave don’t use more robust mesh or solid material, but at least my pack should last a good deal longer now.

Massdrop Dan Durston X-Mid 1P Tent

I thought readers might be interested in this innovative tent that is currently on offer at Massdrop designed by Dan Durston. I was a bit sceptical at first, but the more I looked at it, the more I liked the design. I’m not a great fan of mesh inners, but I think this might perform better than most as the flysheet goes to the ground all the way round, unlike most tents with mesh inners. At $199.99, it seems good value. It uses silpoly rather than silnylon for the flysheet, which should obviate the normal issue of the flysheet stretching when wet, which is a bit of an irritation with mids that use silnylon. I like the enhanced headroom and vents too. Although I don’t strictly need another tent, it does look good, so I put my name down for one. There are plans for a version with a solid inner and a two person version which might come to fruition next year. The only drawback with Massdrop is that it won’t be delivered until May next year. If you’re interested, here’s a link to the Massdrop page: https://www.massdrop.com/buy/massdrop-x-dan-durston-x-mid-1p-tent

New Tramplite Shelters

Photo courtesy of Colin Ibbotson

Colin has updated his website with two new versions of his DCF shelter http://www.tramplite.com/2018/11/original-tramplite-tarp-discontinued-uk.html. I’ve been very happy with my Tramplite and if you’re in the market for this kind of shelter it’s well worth the wait and the cost for a very high quality product.

Disclaimer: my Tramplite shelter was purchased with my own money and I have no contractual or financial relationship.

Mariposa Rescue

My Gossamer Gear Mariposa has seen a lot of action over the years. This has taken its toll. On last year’s TGO Challenge I ripped the mesh on the front pocket badly. I tried to repair it with a patch of material but wasn’t very happy with the repair. The foam in the shoulder straps was also starting to collapse. I wasn’t sure what to do so I sent out an SOS on the Trek-Lite backpacking forum to see whether anyone could repair it for me. Step forward Craig who offered to replace the front pocket and the shoulder straps. Yesterday I got it back and what a brilliant job he’s done!

After a bit of discussion, I opted to replace the mesh front pocket with a solid one, which should be a lot more robust. Although it’s not stretchy like the original mesh one, it has a similar volume and some shock cord keeps it from billowing. There’s also some shock cord at the opening. Clearly the downside is that gear can’t dry out in the pocket, but on the flip side, it will allow much less water ingress if it’s raining and I’m not using a pack cover. It should also be practically indestructible.

Craig also replaced the shoulder straps. I actually prefer these to the originals. They are a little thicker and a slightly different shape. Joy of joys, they have a proper daisy chain too. While I’ve not tried the pack with a full weight, just stuffed with sleeping bags, it feels very comfortable.

Overall, I reckon the repairs have made the Mariposa into an even better rucksack than when it was new. I’m really happy with it and glad to have it back in service. Hopefully it should last for a good few more years yet. Thanks Craig.