By my standards I’ve been rolling gear this year. Some of it has been/is really good, if not especially compelling. Below are some review notes, updates, and MYOG stuff. Feel free to ask for details.
Astral Nova PFD: On its way back to REI. After the Middle Fork trip I found it on sale and thought it might be better in some undefined way than the simple modified Stolquist I’ve been using. Nope, it rides up like mad in the packraft, and the stiff foam is hard to pack. Fail.
Haglofs Ozo Anorak: Still my favorite rain coat ever. The hood and thumb loops rule, and it’s been durable and bombproof. The only flaw is the too short flap over the pocket zip, in sustained rain the pocket collects water. So I cut the pocket off. Now it’s exactly 7 oz.
Thermarest Prolite XS: I’ve been a ridgerest fan for years, but those designated campsites in Glacier are really hard. I’m not fan of bouncy pads like the Neoair or Big Agnes, but this little guy works great, inflated to max pressure. Fits under a packraft seat perfectly. Very tough, I’ve used it straight on the ground more often than not, and no issues.
MYOG .7 oz spinnaker tarp: 80″ by 90″, bonded reinforcements on all corners, midpoints, and two along the ridgeline. Inside hang points under the ridgeline tieouts. Some very ugly sewing was involved, but it turned out nicely anyway. 10 oz seam sealed, with lots of guylines, and in the stuffsack I made.
22 gram Baladeo knife: Perfect for everyday carry and backpacking. Big enough to clean a big fish, sharp enough to do most anything. I have not verified the weight, but it’s darn light.
Thorofare shirt: Bought a medium in nice brown from the BPL forums. Nice detailing and cut, makes other quick dry fabrics seem like cotton.
BPL Firelite 900 pot (2011): Best pot ever for 1 person.
The Space Jam: It’s nice to have a pack which fits perfectly. Lengthening the torso made all the difference in the world with this one. I noticed the hipbelt didn’t wrap so well, and took about 3/4″ out of the top of each side. Much better now.
Old Avid brake levers: Wonderful brake levers, great feel. Broken through no fault of their own in a wreck this weekend. Yes they were loose enough to move, sideways/up force was no match. Doubly sad as they were a gift from Brendan, and thus had extra special mojo. The monkey now has nice blue lever on the left/front, mundane FR5 on the right/rear. Works fine.
Alpacka stock seat: Fail. Got a hole in it on Sunday, which was not a design fail (gravel in boat), though the bottom fabric could be burlier. Fail is that my butt is not shaped like a horseshoe, and my legs fall asleep. I want another ~inch of height, less backrest, and a solid seat area.
MYOG frame bag: Simple, single compartment left zip. VX-21 sides, ballistics cordura edges, yoga mat sewn to pad downtube and seattube sections. Gap at back of TT is for ease of portaging bike and fitting a ulock. Simple, effective. Get one.
Rampage and Purgatory tires (shown above): New mtb tires are exciting. The Ramp has been the go-to for the past two years, the Purg is new, but seems to be very good. Now that I don’t care about going fast anymore I just want traction, and lots of it. These deliver in the wet or dry.
Paul Thumbie mount: Indexing sucks! I’ve been using this Shimano barcon on a crappy DIY mount for years. The Paul is so much better, smoooth easy shifting. Shoulda got it years ago.
Werner Shuna: Holy shit. Best gear of the year. I no longer use energy paddling the paddle, only for paddling the water. Enhances boating fun significantly.
MYOG bivvy: I cut the top section off my Montbell and replaced that panel with some Pertex Quantum. Only used is once, and had lots of moisture on the top of my quilt inside it. Jury still out.
That’s it. Anyone with a better idea for a packraft seat, share it!