Having looked at my gear cupboard (ahem….room!), I have now come to the conclusion that I want a few more items than I previously thought….
I currently have an Exped down mat which is incredibly warm for winter camping but is a bit overkill for summer and certainly one of the heaviest bits of kit I own. Come to think of it, the mat weighs more than the Laser Competition! Bearing this in mind, I have been toying for ages about whether to get the Neo Air mat even though reviews have been mixed (re. robustness)
Still, I have been looking around and there does seem to be an alternative that lies somewhere in between the exped and the neoair for weight/warmth. The Pacific Outdoor Equipment Ether Thermo 6. It weighs in at 623g which admitedly is way heavier than the Neoair but 300-400 grams lighter than the exped 7. Best of all is rather cheap coming in at around £40. I just wonder if anyone else has used one of these and can report back to me. I will still probably have a punt on it but am curious as to how it performs and for that matter how the Neoair performs as well by comparison.
Secondly, I currently have a pair of Integral Designs shortie gaiters which i have used and abused for over 2 years now and are quite brilliant for a simple bit of kit. What I am looking ahead to is the winter and being able to yomp up and down snow-covered hills in my approach shoes (+kahtoola lightweight crampons) but with a full length lightweight gaiter. Cant remember who posted about them in their blog but the Mountain Laurel Designs Event gaiter looks just the job. I have bought piles of kit from MLD in the past and what they supply is always first rate. I know its early in the year to be thinking of such things but there is a possibility of a trip to the Cairngorms in October and last year at that time, there was snow………
Ron Bell really does make some fabulous kit and the above gaiters are approx 50grammes a pair! Speaking of which I am trying desperately not to look at the Serenity Shelter made by Ron. It would fit very nicely under my tarp but I fear that once the wallet is opened on the MLD website it may be a slippery slide to ruin! Its a really nice website by the way 🙂