Wow winter season is fast approaching and it is time for my Favorite Gear of the Year for 2017.
A few of the items are going to be fairly long term gear, having used them for a season or two, or more, yet I still consider them the best-of. Similarly, some of the gear is going to be pretty new pieces for me, things that I just started using this year but that have impressed me enough to highlight them.
This article will not be just about gear. Down towards the bottom I will share some of my favorite videos, website, things I am looking forward to trying next year, and some honorable mentions. Please do not forget to read the disclaimer at the bottom of the article. And a special thank you to those folks who have joined my patron page this year!
Anyway, with all the mumbojumbo out of the way, here are my picks for the 2017 season!
The Enlightened Equipment ‘Enigma APEX‘ quilt is a sewn-closed footbox + Climashield APEX synthetic insulated quilt being made by one of the biggest cottage quilt manufacture in America, Enlightened Equipment.
The ‘Enigma APEX‘ is a quilt that I have been using on and off for the last eight months. As a 100% synthetic hiker(no animal down products) getting the chance to acquire and use this quilt has been really great and it has impressed me in many ways!
Back in February of 2016 I ordered a Mountain Laurel Designs ‘Core 22L’ backpack for use as my primary summer backpack – it was my first backpack from MLD and it will not be my last – quickly fell in love with this backpack!
The MLD Core is offered in two different volumes, a 22L(1300ci) and a 28L(1700ci) volume – I went with the 22L knowing that I could get all of my gear into it and about three days worth of food. YMMV.
One really has to ask themselves what the targeted market is for a backpack as simple as the MLD Core. Let me try to share my thoughts on that.
A few weeks ago, over on my facebook account, I posted a message asking folks to share any insight they had into the lightest weight tripods out on the market.
I had some pretty amazing feedback from the post, including comments from folks that rarely comment on facebook – it turned out to be a product search that more than a few folks seemed to be interested in.
A few comments lead to me search down a few tripods that seemed to meet the requirements I had, but they ended up being discontinued or way to expensive.
While researching one of the ones suggested, I came across a tripod called the ZIPPOD 45 and decided to take the risk of buying one to see how it would work out.
The Solumbra ‘Active Pants‘ are a pair of lightweight, durable, and high sun level protective pants designed for just about anybody for use in just about any outdoor type of activity.
I received mine from Solumbra, a company that has been a sponsor of mine for a few years, when I ordered/bought some other Solumbra garments. The pants got added into the box and I have been really happy that Solumbra tossed them in, as I have now worn the pants for over 400+ days – while out on working on building new hiking trail routes, while hiking throughout California (from the Redwoods to Death Valley), and around town and at home. Solumbra wanted me to give them a go and let them know how they would hold up to the type of long term outdoor testing that I tend to put gear through, much like what I did with the 600+ consecutive days of wear/testing of the Solumbra, Ultra Athlete Shirt and Pants that I bought a number of years ago and wore from 2013 onward until I started wearing these Solumbra ‘Active Pants‘.
Earlier this week (first week of February 2017) I got in the mail the brand new, 2017, backpack from Vargo Outdoors, the “ExoTi 50”
I have done an initial video walk around, much as I did with the SMD Fusion 65, and other backpacks when the first show up. This article is intended to show the features of this new Vargo ExoTi50 and some of the differences between it and the Vargo Ti-Arc backpack.
As of the time of this article being published I am a sponsored hiker of MSR. They sent this stove to me (had no idea it was coming, it just showed up one day) six months before release date so that I could perform pre-release testing & feedback to them (something I do throughout the year for many companies with alpha/beta/prototype products) and with zero expectation of publicly writing about it.