Sunday, September 20, 2009

Shameless eBay self-promotion

I'm selling two of my original backpacking items on eBay: REI Morningstar 65L internal frame backpack; and REI Halfdome 2 (two person tent) with footprint. Thanks for viewing.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Blasphemy! Moving away from Smartwools

I received two pairs of Darn Tough socks for my birthday. Finally, I have moved away from Smartwools socks and tried something else.

Darn Tough makes some high claims. They are, as the name suggests, tough. Ryan Jordan was tempted to take a single pair on the Arctic 1000, but took two full-cushion models (the spare was for mittens) instead.

My primary socks (five pairs) are Smartwool Adrenaline microcrews. The cushioning is still there, but the Achilles' area has been rubbed down to the lycra. That said, they are still excellent socks and have not died yet.

But when they do die, maybe I'll go to Darn Tough for good.

Montbell U.L. Inner down parka update

Montbell just released specs for their updated U.L. Inner down parka, my current go-to 3-season insulation layer.

In short, the parka looks much improved. The down content is ramped up, the fit is tapered and and drawcord has been added to the hood - all good things. The cost is an additional 1.6 oz, but for more warmth, a tighter fit and desirable features (the lack of a hood drawcord on my model is a major objection), the weight is worth it.

However, Will Rietveld's objection to the parka still stands. Compared to the WM Flash jacket (3 oz down fill) and the Nunatak Skaha Plus (5 oz down fill), MB's 2.5 oz of fill (men's medium) looks puny.