Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Best of Both Worlds - Enlightened Equipment Convert Sleeping Bag & Quilt...

This is a sleep system which can CONVERT into what you need for it to be; a sleeping bag for colder conditions and a quilt for warmer nights.

In this review of the Enlightened Equipment Convert Sleeping Bag & Quilt, Luke is going over the pros and cons of this Ultralight product.

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Enlightened Equipment Convert :
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Price : Starting Price : $350 - With the options that I selected, $480 (cost will vary greatly depending on what you are needing)

Lengths Available : Xshort, Short, Regular, Long, Xlong - Widths Available : Slim, Regular, Wide, X Wide - Temp Ranges Available : 50F, 40F, 30F, 20F, 10F, 0F, 10F Down Types Available : 850 and 950 Draft Collar is Available
Full-length zipper and shock cord footbox allow for use as a quilt or sleeping bag Double draft-blocking tubes along the zipper keep you covered, with reinforced zipper backing for durability

Pad attachment system included for quilt use: when the Convert is open, use elastic straps and clips on each side to keep it secure on your sleeping pad and lock out drafts

Snap and drawcord neck closure lets you fine-tune draft control
Tapered full-length vertical baffles

Ethically sourced Down from an RDS certified supplier

Ultralight nylon fabric has a DWR finish and has been customized for comfort

Quilts available in 3 fabric options: 7D, 10D, and 20D. Read more about the differences in our Fabrics.

Selecting the custom option of "draft collar" adds draft collars to the head and foot of your Convert quilt. 2 draft collars total.

Handmade in Winona, Minnesota. Included:

Silnylon Stuff Sack (.3oz-1oz)

100% Organic Cotton Storage Bag made by Freeset

Elastic Straps x2 (0.4oz each - One Straight, One Loop)

Review Pros

Excellent handmade quality
Price is very fair considering this is a handmade, high quality price of kit. When compared to other cottage companies and their offerings, the prices are very much on level with those.

Excellent warmth to weight ratio!

Very compressible
Ability to use it is as sleeping bag, blanket and quilt is awesome.
Versatile - because it can be used in so many ways means you can u use this product in a wider range of temp ranges.

The DWR treatment that has been done for this bag is absolutely incredible. I experienced a leaky tent and had a pool of water in the center of my bag; extremely impressive! The entire bag was covered in water and I saw no evidence of the down being wet. I wiped the bag off and it dried very quickly. Customization means that you can have a product made for you that you specifically need to your specs.

Full length zipper - Easy to get into and out of.
Foot box can be opened or closed

Can be cinched to your sleeping pad when using it as a quilt

Draft collars work very well and do a great job of hold heat in at the top and bottom

Review Cons :

Because this is a hybrid bag, it isn’t the best sleeping bag due to the fact that there isn’t a hood and also, it is a bit roomer than a sleeping bag which can allow for more air inside of the bag that your body needs to warm. A mummy bag would fit closer and be a slight bit warmer.

Warmer than a quilt, not as warm as a sleeping bag.

Pricey : No matter how you swing it, this is pricey.

Summary :
Throughout the fall and the winter, this bag has proven itself to be an excellent sleeping bag. I love the versatility, the low weight and the overall warmth. I have used this inside of tents, under tarps, inside of Bivy in a wide range of conditions and it has excelled everywhere.
The quality is top notch, it’s American made, can be used in many different ways including in a hammock and I easily can recommend it for those who want a hybrid bag that they can use in a variety of conditions and seasons and for those who have the money.


Monday, February 22, 2021

LiteFighter Responds - LiteFighter Catamount 2 Tent Update (Recall)

Since the catastrophic failure of the Catamount 2 Tent I have been in touch with LiteFighter and I am here today to share with you all that I have learned.
LiteFighter has gone All-Hands-On-Deck and I am more than impressed!
This is an episode of Companies Respond!
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Friday, February 19, 2021

I Didn’t Expect This - Litefighter Catamount 2 Tent - Test Night

In this episode of Test Night, Luke is putting the Litefighter Catamount 2 Tent up against an ice storm, some snow and some rain....

This is not what I expected to happen and is the very reason why The Outdoor Gear Review has the Test Night Series.

The Catamount 2 Tent failed....not just a little but in major ways and thanks to this video a recall is under way now. More on that soon.


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Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Reinforce Down Jacket? - Outdoor Research Helium Hooded Jacket Review

In this episode of The Outdoor Gear Review, Luke is passing on his review on a new type of Down Jacket, one that is stronger and more durable than most. Warmer too!

This is the Outdoor Research Helium Hooded Jacket Agenda Free Review!
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Price : Retail is $280 but at the time of filming can be found for less than $200.

Weight : 14.6oz for the medium size

Materials :
Pertex Shield Diamond Fuse (2.5-layer), [face fabric] Pertex Diamond Fuse (100% nylon ripstop), [lining] 100% nylon 20D ripstop YKK Zippers 800+ fill goose down, RDS-certified

Sizes : Small - X Large

Colors : Madder red, Black, yellow and black and so on.


A lightweight down jacket for active pursuits in alpine conditions

Durable face fabric reinforced at key points with waterproof fabric

High-loft down delivers impressively packable warmth-to-weight ratio Elastic cuffs and drawcord hem keep out chilly weather and trap heat

Left hand pocket doubles as a stuff sack, includes carabiner loop

Brushed tricot lining inside hand pockets offers a soft touch

Chest pocket equipped with media details

Pros :
Excellent quality jacket

Very well made - no issues with stitching

No issues with down loss

Excellent wind resistance

Warmer than the average middle weight down jacket

It can be stored inside its own pocket

Waterproof fabric along the shoulders and hood

Sizing is on the bulkier side which I like; plenty of room to move and for layer which expands the use of this jacket.

Reenforced sections

Excellent zippers, very smooth

Windblock behind the zipper

Chin guard materials is present if you have zipped all the way up.

Lifetime warranty

Good hood; adjustable and warm

Very large internal pockets

Good value for the money; when taking into account the warmth, the features, the weight, compressibility and the robustness of the materials, the value for the money is there and the price is comparable to other available options.

Fairly lightweight

Fairly compressible 

Cons :
Not the lightest down jacket but it is tougher; so the question is, what do you need? Weight wise, completely acceptable but there are lighter jackets on the market.

The same can be said for compressibility - not the most compressible - within acceptable ranges though.

Reenforcement areas could be expanded to the cuffs where a majority of down jacket punctures take place at - pushing through brush, climbing over a rock, that is where the reenforcements are truly needed.

Hand pockets are only half lined with hand warming material; I would like to see that material on both sides

Summary :

The Outdoor Research Helium Down Hood is a bit different when it comes to being a down jacket. It stronger, slightly more waterproof, wind resistant, warmer, and heavier and is made for taking a bit more abuse.

With that being said, while more waterproof and stronger than your average down jacket, you still need to be careful with the materials and with the weather. This isn’t made to be in bushwhacked in or to be in full on rain.

In the end, do I recommend this jacket?

I do, it is a top notch performer and while there are less expensive down jackets out there, check out my reviews, this one does punch above its weight class in many ways.

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