2014 Gear Testing

ZPacks Duplex in Mt. Rainier National ParkI have acquired some gear over the past year that I would like to report on but haven't had enough field testing time. Check back at the end of this season to get a more comprehensive review of the following items:

ZPacks Hexamid Duplex tent: a promising design that may shape up to be one of the best backpacking tents out there. It will be put through its paces in the Pasayten Wilderness and Mt. Rainier this season.

Suluk46 TiCa ice tool: I have not found any reviews on this specialty tool, weighing in at about 5 ounces. I plan on using this for a Mt. Rainier trip where I will be making forays high onto some of the divides, cleavers and ridges. I ordered mine in a 60 cm length.

Enlightened Equipment 50 degree Enigma Pro Quilt: The colors, sizing and options have changed quite a bit on the EE website since I ordered my quilt. I anticipated using this quilt exclusively throughout this season.

Beyond Clothing base layers and clothing: They promise me that the Brokk pant will be available before a planned trip this month. I was able to try these on at the Seattle store but they have not been released for retail yet. The aether base layers are sweet, very light with a weave that allows for trapping of air. Since there is a lot of schwacking in my plans for this summer, I want the pants for anticipated durability and breathability. We shall see if these hold up to close scrutiny.

ZPacks Arc Slim pack: so far I have used this pack on a number of trips but would like some more trail time before rendering a final opinion

ZPacks Pertex Quantum bivy: More usage required, so far I am not thrilled with the design of the netting and may have to modify this. However, the breathability of the top material has proven to be excellent.

These major items will play the key role in my trips for this summer. As always, I hope that each purchase I make stands up but from experience know that only through real world usage can I write a review that can cover both the pros and the cons.