Tuesday, October 31

Monday Night Gear Review

Possumwool Knit Hat
This hat is my favorite cold weather hat. I can wear it under my helmet or on it's own. It stays warm when wet and is nice and light. Plus it's knitted by Mom!

Smartwool Zip-T
These are great. I've got two now thanks to SAC.com. The lightweight wool is good for all but the warmest weather. I have not tried Smartwool's microweight yet. I find them very slightly itchy if I'm sitting around thinking about it but not when I'm active. They are durable so far and show no real signs of wear. With a couple pockets in the back these could replace my bike jerseys.

Smartwool crew bottoms
These are a new score from Veloswap. Marni stole the men's small I have the men's medium. So warm and comfortable. They are also the same lightweight wool as the zip-t's. It would have to be pretty cold to wear them when riding but around the house or fall/winter hiking they are very nice.

Marmot Driclime Windshirt
I got one of these a couple weeks ago when my red long sleeve jersey began to lose it's zipper. I've been wearing it everyday on my commute. With only my work shirt underneath, work pants and my hat/headband combo I'm plenty warm riding to work down to freezing so far in just this. It's got a nylon outer face with a DWR finish. The DWR is good but not as good as the patagonia stuff. The inside is meant to replace a base layer and is comfortable again the skin. Plus it has handwarmer pockets which are so nice. Total weight is 13 ounces for a men's medium and there is room to layer underneath.

REI Flash UL Pack
These things rule. For $25 (or less on sale) you get a pack that's bigger and lighter than every Camelback out there. They're my essential supported race pack. I've crashed in one of them and it didn't shred to bits although it does have some tiny holes. They're not waterproof but very water resistant.

DQ Spoon
Free with any tasty DQ treat. Weighs 3.5 grams and has a nice long handle for freezer bag meals when camping. My staple camping utensil.

Smartwool Spectrum Hoody
Marni and I fight over this one. Lightweight Smartwool wool hoody, thumbholes, zip collar. It's the woman's version (medium) that we scored for $30 but it fits us both. So comfortable and warm with the hood. No I'm not gay Scott :p

Patagonia Micropuff Pullover
These pullovers have been our cold weather staple to this point. From standing around in the rain in Moab to camping with no sleeping bag, this pullover has never failed to keep me warm. Less than 11 ounces and packs down smaller than a naglene bottle. They can tolerate getting wet and still keep us warm plus they have a great DWR coating and the fabric rarely wets out.

Golite Vapor Barrier Booties
I've only got to wear these once so far. They were a present from Dave that he picked up on clearance from OWE in Denver. Thanks! These are made from silnylon and keep your feet warm and reasonably dry in really cold weather. You wear them sandwiched between your insulation and a liner sock. This keeps your insulation sock dry and doesn't let your foot lose heat due to sweating. For winter riding they are going to totally rule.

Pacific Outdoor Equipment ├╝ber-lite
An 8 ounce inflateable sleeping pad? Yes there is such a thing! I got one of these used from the backpacking light forum although you couldn't tell it was used. This pad really does weigh 8 ounces due to it's 17x37x1" size. It's small but it's still bigger than my standard 2.29 oz blue foam pad. It feels quite luxurious to me compared to the closed cell foam and I think I'll bring it on the next few trips to give it a proper test. It supposedly has a higher R value than my blue foam too but it's strength will have to be comfort as the blue foam is lighter insulation than anything else for the weight if you double or triple it up.

Marmot Ion Windshirt
3.35 ounce hooded fullzip windshirt. They're on sale all over the place if the remaining sizes will fit you. I've never been so protected from the wind or rain by something so light. It eventually will wet out but it takes 10x longer than my blue Pearl Izumi windjacket. In nice weather it's the only rain jacket I need and in bad weather or colder conditions it's an ultralight extra layer. The Pertex Quantum fabric breathes really well but it's not magic. In warm or hot conditions I can still build up condensation inside if I'm working hard even with it fully unzipped.

Patagonia Vest
Just like the Patagonia pullover except in vest form. Weighs less than 6 ounces and can be found for under $50 when on sale. For such a small and light item it always finds it's way into my pack. Just enough insulation to wear when starting to ride on those bitter cold mornings without instantly overheating. Also warm enough to add additional range to summer sleeping bags, dramatically so when combined with the pullover.

The North Face DIAD Jacket
Waterproof and breathable for only 6.1 ounces? It's true. This jacket passed the shower test and has pit zips to boot. It's lighter than both the Patagonia Spector and Marmot Essence without sacrificing a full zipper, pit zips or a stiffened real hood. Mine has minor modifications to lose 1 ounce (cordlocks and elastic made smaller). Can it replace my hooded windshirt? I'm not sure but I'll do some testing and find out. It's going to be a great lightweight snowshoing and snowbiking hardshell plus a summer rainy weather necessity. Now I need to find good lightweight WP/B pants to match. Mine is a Men's medium as the small is definitely not long enough. There is plenty of room to layer an insulating jacket underneath.


Scott DL said...

Ha ha, the pic in the shower, now I've seen it all! :)

bill said...

great. the pic in the shower is going to give me nightmares.

Marni said...

Don't bash the shower pics until you know what was on the bottom :) :) :) Good gear review, glad you are reasonably happy with your purchases lately. I'm waiting for one you think is terrible :)

Anonymous said...

Awsome gear post!

I'll have to do some more of that when i get another camera...

Very cool... I'll have to check that pad out

Anonymous said...

I like the REI pack. Do you use a camelback bladder in it, or just for gear?

Chris said...

Camelback or platypus bladder in them for water. For regular rides it's pretty empty but it expands well for the trips.

Greta said...

Thanks for sharing this gear list!! I like flash UL pack and would browse REI for the same.