Favourite Kit

Following on from my musings below about what kit I want to get in the near future I thought it was about time to reflect on my favourite bits of kit that I do currently have and use.

First up is the Laser Competition. Still my tent of choice after 2 years use. I just cant go back to heavier tents as it feels wrong and the fact that its an outer pitch tent just nails it for me. The only other shelter I use currently is my cuben fibre tarp which even with poles, guys and pegs weighs in at 250g. Now that is seriously light! Will wait with interest to see what this new Terra Nova Solar Elite tent looks like when its launched next year. Supposedly Laser Comp weight but free-standing…..

The Terra Nova Laser Competition

The Terra Nova Laser Competition

Secondly a quick look at my rucksack collection indicates that I have several favourites here. I use the OMM Running Light 20L sack for quick and dirty overnighters, the OMM classic 32L sack for more conventional overnighters and summer weekends and then the Gossamer Gear Mariposa or Golite Jam2 for longer journeys and winter trips. Hard to choose the most favourite although I certainly use the OMM 32L sack most of the time.

OMM classic 32L rucksack

OMM classic 32L rucksack

My Golite Ultra 20 sleeping bag/quilt has been a revelation. I have been using this for about 18months and since I bought mine, I have seen quite a few other people buy one as well. Its really light, versatile, warm beyond comparison for its weight (500g) and with the exped downmat has served me through the winter as well.

Golite Ultra 20 sleeping Bag/Quilt

Golite Ultra 20 sleeping Bag/Quilt

Favourite shoes are my current (2nd pair) Montrail CTCs. They are light, breathable, grippy in most situations and a joy to wear with a comfort factor of 9. I will be trying out the Streaks soon though as enough people have convinced me recently that they are a good bet as well.

Montrail CTC approach shoes

Montrail CTC approach shoes

My Montane Atomic DT jacket just keeps doing it for me. I have had this for 18months now too. Never had to wash it or reproof it and it is still beading and keeping the rain out magnificently. Its also a damn fine fit and uber light to boot. Not showing any great signs or wear and tear either. Great bit of kit.

Montane Atomic DT Jacket

Montane Atomic DT Jacket

For a warm jacket to stand around in camp I have found none better than the Montane Antifreeze. Its light at around 400g, water resistant, packed full of uber warm down and fits me really well. And this is the main point for me…..I am blessed with short arms, big chest and torso, medium waist but short legs. Montane sizing seems to work for me spot on. I have tried lots and lots of other manufacturers but they just dont fit, normally either very long flappy legs or long flappy arms…….. Thats why I mainly wear Montane and craghopper, they fit me!

The Montane Antifreeze Jacket

The Montane Antifreeze Jacket

Other bits and bobs that still make me smile with pleasure are my MSR pocket rocket, my opinel knife, my Paramo Cambia baselayer, the Exped downmat for winter camping and funnily enough my Nokia N95 (GPS, MP3 player, video player, 5MP camera, internet access, oh and a phone)

Nokia N95

Nokia N95

Ok, no great shakes. What works for one may not for another but I have spent the past 5 years building up my kit to a point where just about everything I use is a favourite of mine. And thats the point I think. If you really like AND enjoy using your own personal kit everytime you go walking and camping it just makes the exprience all the better for it


About Saddlebags and Backpacks - a brewer's outdoor adventures

I am a keen hiker, camper, cyclist and general all round gear addict..... I also manage to be a professional brewer in my non-spare time :->
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8 Responses to Favourite Kit

  1. Richard says:

    Nice kit there,

    I’ve been toying with the idea of Tarps/Quilts, I’ll have to look at the Golite site. I had looked at their sleeping bags and had added the Adrenaline 0′ to my list of Winter possibilities.

  2. backpackbrewer says:

    Hi Richard,

    Golite do a nice range of sleeping bags/quilts, tarps and lightweight tents in general.

    The adrenaline looks a good bet and the centre zip appeals to me. However, I have the ultra 20 and that is pretty much all the bag/quilt I need for now. Its really versatile being able to use it as a bag or a quilt. The only downside for me is the strap system underneath could be a little bit better but that is something I am going to correct myself soon


  3. Richard says:

    Funny you should mention the center zip Dave, thats what appealed to me.

  4. backpackbrewer says:

    If you think about it for a second, it makes complete sense. It means that the old right hand / left hand zip quandry depending on your tent design goes away. Also in the summer, if you are feeling a tad hot, you can peel yourself like a banana 🙂

  5. I whole heartedly agree with the Laser Comp being 1st and the OMM packs second but I’d have to switch it to the Adventure light 20 and I would’ve said the Villain but I’m fast changing that to the Jirishanca.

    Sleep systems? I’m still lugging alpkit bags about,it’s maybe an area I have to look at this year.

  6. backpackbrewer says:

    the OMM pack range is superb in my opinion. i have not gone for the Villain or the Jiri as I already have packs in that size . The villain looks a nice pack certainly but for now I will stick with what I have got

    The alpkit bags are great. i also have 2 down bags by them, the 400 and the 500. If its really taters then i can ditch the Golite and turn to the 500 for a really cosy night

  7. Hendrik M says:

    Nice blog and good choices in kit. I am looking at the Montane and OMM gear and am wondering if it would be fitting for me – we don’t get it here in the shops and I am a bit hesitant to buy a backpack and jacket online. Ah well, we’ll see =)

  8. backpackbrewer says:

    Hi Hendrik,

    nice of you to drop in and leave the kind comments.

    Re the fitting, always a difficult one if you have no access other than by post to the items…..

    I quite often order more than one type of jacket or trousers etc at a time and then return what doesnt fit me.

    Dont know if it helps but Montane top sizing is medium = 40inch chest and arm length is reasonable not really long. Re the rucksacks, they only do one size! It’s spot on for me and I am a 20inch back length.

    Anyway, both are great kit good manufacturers and you could do a lot worse


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