Tuesday, November 21, 2017

High Route Gear RectangleLight Food Bag – Review

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Today Luke is reviewing the High Route Gear RectangleLight Food Bag which is an excellent way to carry food and can be used as a bear bag as well!


Link : https://www.highroutegear.com/collections/ultralight-storage-systems/products/weekender-food-bag-black

Price : $30

Weight : 2.9oz

Colors :  Gray, Black and Blue

The RectangleLight Food Bag is perfect for a 2-3 day trip or a simple over-nighter. The simple design allows for easy access to your food and other consumables.

Xpac is a great fabric. While we are familiar with Dyneema Composite Fabrics (DCF) aka Cuben Fiber, we felt that the fabric lacked long term durability. DCF is a great material but while Xpac weighs slightly more it is FAR more durable. We wanted a storage/food bag that could be ultralight but still be scraped on rocks and dropped from trees. Xpac’s laminated and reinforced construction allows for that level of durability.

·              Made with durable X-Pac VX21 Fabric
·              Water-Resistant
·              YYK weather resistant, inverted zipper.
·              Weight: 2.9 ounces
·              Dimensions: 12 inches x 6 inches x 6 inches
·              Volume: 432 cubic inches (7 Liters)
·              MADE IN THE USA

Pros :

Excellent quality.

Looks to be handmade

Well thought-out and designed.

High quality materials-name brand zippers

It is weather resistant,

Easy to use as a bear bag

I keep a large thick plastic bag inside for trash along with lots of line and a carabineer for bear bag usage

Cons :

There is no logo or label on the bag and I have on multiple occasions who made it.  On a gear testing trip a week ago I was having lunch along side of the trail and had a hiker pass, we talked and he asked about my food bag…unfortunately I couldn’t tell him who made it as there isn’t a logo or label and I couldn’t remember it.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Simple! - Mountain Laurel Designs Titanium Mug - Review

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Today Luke is reviewing the ultralight and simplistic Mountain Laurel Designs Titanium Mug.

 Solar Eclipse Bushcraft Overnight Adventure : https://youtu.be/WWYIxqseAh0

Link :  https://mountainlaureldesigns.com/product/titanium-mug/

Cost : $30

Weight : 1.4oz

at 475 ml, the MLD Titanium Mug makes the perfect UL drinking cup or cook pot for overnights and quick trips where you only plan to rehydrate a meal or two! Go Super Minimalist: Carry no stove and use a tiny twig fire to heat it up quick!

Small + Light + Strong

• Thanks to our custom thin-walled design, MLD Titanium pots and mugs are the lightest Ti cookware available
• Great for fast solo overnights when you only plan to rehydrate a meal or two
• Just the right size for “Dip-Zap-Slurp-Go” with a SteriPen UV purifier.
• Individual cup for drinks from the communal boil pot
• Beefy rolled rim for easy finger grip and setting securely on a mini caldera cone. Aluminum Foil makes a great lid if needed.
• Emergency back up boiling cup to purify water. Just the right size to store a “Ten Essentials” kit inside.
• We just love its small size – PERFECT for kids to have their own mug. We carry one for each little one and heat the hot chocolate in the big pot before serving all around.
• Stores in the MLD Titanium Pot – and most pots larger than 500 ml.

HEIGHT: 3.5 in | 90 mm

WIDTH: 3.2 in | 82 mm

Pros :


Perfect size for coffee or hot chocolate.

Extremely light weight

Strong. – it has seen a lot of use and abuse without any issues.

Can be used for boiling where not all titanium products can be.

Cheaper and lighter weight than the MSR Titan Cup…but the Titan cup does hand butterfly handles.

Fits inside of other cups and pots; those over 500ml so you an additional titanium pot, you can have a full light weight cookkit; pot and cup.

Cons :


MLD seems to be a bit confused as to what the weight of this product is as they state on the listing page two different figures; 1.2oz and 1.3oz.  According to my scale, neither are correct as it is 1.4oz.

This is small; 475ml but that is filled to the brim so you will be boiling less if you decide to boil in the cup.  The small size isn’t con really because this is a cup, not a pot.

Pricey! – At $30 it is roughly $8 more expensive than many comparable products….but most comparable products are twice as heavy.  Something to think about.


Review :

I love this cup and it makes for a perfect addition to my backpacking kit.  I use it with a 750ml pot and I have all of my needs covered.  It is pricey but the weight savings are important to me.  Now with that being said, they may not be that important to everyone.  To a thruhiker, it will be.  To the average short distance backpacker, the weight won’t likely be that important.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Will It Leak? - ALPS Mountaineering Zephyr 1 Person Tent - Test Night

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It is time for another episode of Test Night!

Join Luke in the backcountry as he puts the ALPS Mountaineering Zephyr 1 Person Tent to the test.

Will it Leak?

A special thank you goes out to CampingSurvival.com for making this video and review possible.

Link : https://www.campingsurvival.com/zephyr1al.html

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

For The Right Price - Aqua Quest West Coast Combo - Review

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Today Luke is reviewing the Aqua Quest West Coast Combo!

Tarp + Bivy/Tent;

It's all about the price....


Aqua Quest West Coast Combo

Link :  https://www.aquaquestwaterproof.com/product/west-coast-combo/

Price : $300 for the combo but can be purchased as each individual components if desired. ($160 on amazon)

The Bivy : $160. ($80 on amazon)

The Tarp 13’ x 10’ King Defender : $170 retail.  $100 on Amazon

Weight : Total weight around 5lbs (4lbs 14oz)

Just in case you don’t know, Aqua Quest is known for making some of the best Tarps on the planet; very strong and feature rich.

 With this setup here, it is called the West Coast Combo for a reason; namely that it is perfect for west coast conditions; namely hot arid climates.

For serious storms and tons of rain; there are better options out there.


•       Capacity: 1-2 Person
•       Weight: 2.33 lbs / 1060 g
•       Set-Up: 87 x 35 x 39 in / 200 x 90 x 100 cm
•       Width at Shoulders: 35 in / 90 cm
•       Height at Shoulders: 24 in / 60 cm
•       Width at Feet: 25 in / 65 cm
•       Height at Feet: 8 in / 20 cm

Packed: 17 x 6 x 5 in / 44 x 15 x 12 cm


•       3 walls of ‘No-See-Um’ insect proof mesh
•       Batwing stiffeners keep the foot section elevated
•       Waterproof floor (double coated nylon with heat taped seams)
•       2 internal mesh pockets
•       Overhead loop for hanging a light
External loops for rolling up the mesh door or hanging small items

LG Guide Sil Tarp

•       20,000 mm hydrostatic resistance
•       Weight: 1.9 lbs / 860 g
•       Packed Size: 12 x 6 x 2 in / 30 x 15 x 5 cm
•       Total Area: 12.6 x 9.8 ft ( ca. 130 sq. ft) / 3.91 x 2.95 m (ca. 12 sq. m)


•       40D RipStop fabric
•       Non-toxic dual Silicone & PU coating
•       Reinforced stitching
•       Heat taped seams
•       16 reinforced webbing loops around the perimeter

1 top center loop