John Abela

Posts Tagged ‘Mountain Laurel Designs

Mountain Laurel Designs – FKT Quilt

with 6 comments


The MLD FKT Quilt does away with velcro at the footbox, and opts for snap buttons to save weight.

Greetings Adventurers!

The Mountain Laurel Designs “FKT Quilt” is a synthetic quilt that is uniquely designed to help fill a niche in the quilt market, with a double layer of insulation on the lower half, and a single layer of insulation on the top half, thereby allowing you to leave at home your insulated leggings and insulated booties, for those colder nights.

I have been using the FKT Quilt since it was released. The idea and concept appealed to me so when it was time to acquire another quilt, something able to be used in warmer weather than the MLD Spirit 28 I have and reviewed, I just had to get one and give it a try. So has the idea/concept worked out for me? What are my thoughts on it?

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by John B. Abela

May 4, 2016 at 5:45 am

Mountain Laurel Designs, 2-Layer Rain Mitts (CF + eVENT)

with 8 comments

I posted this over on my facebook page, but I have been getting a lot of people saying they refuse to use facebook and are thus not able to see everything I post, so I will likely be posting more short/brief posts here at hikelighter.com to correspond with posts over on facebook.

Early last week Mountain Laurel Designs posted a very brief message (on facebook) that they had released a new 2-layer CF + eVENT version of their crazy popular, and much loved, Rain Mitts.

They have just sent me to share with all of you.

I have been using my MLD Rain Mitts for many years and are one of the absolutely must-have items in my backpack.

I have used them at least a dozen times so far this month.

The new CF+eVENT version of the Rain Mitts are half the weight of the 100% eVENT mitts.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by John B. Abela

November 23, 2015 at 8:23 am

Mountain Laurel Designs, “Spirit Quilt” 28°

with 34 comments

MLD Spirit Quilt, in fully open mode. Offering an at-home style of sleeping!

MLD Spirit Quilt, in quilt mode, or fully open mode, is an exceptional synthetic sleep quilt.

The Mountain Laurel Designs “Spirit 28° Quilt“, my first synthetic sleeping quilt, has proven to be an exceptional piece of hiking gear. The quality of build, the attention to details, the type of fabric used, and of course the ClimaShield APEX, all make the Spirit quilt my quilt of choice.

Last year when I decided to make the move away from using goose/duck down products I knew that the selection of synthetic quilts to pick from was going to be small. I also knew that I would not even bother looking. The amount of hikers I truly respect that have given the MLD Spirit quilt the highest praise that can be given, just made the decision for me. I was not disappointed. Exceptional, truly exceptional.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by John B. Abela

August 29, 2015 at 4:19 am

Mountain Laurel Designs LittleStar

with 4 comments

It Has Arrived! The Mountain Laurel Designs LittleStar - the solo version of the TrailStar!

The Mountain Laurel Designs LittleStar!!
The solo version of the MLD TrailStar!

Greetings All,

Here is something a lot of us have been waiting for… the Mountain Laurel Designs LittleStar – the solo version of the crazy popular MLD TrailStar!!

I know I am not alone when I say I am very excited to see shelter hit the market.

The Mountain Laurel Designs TrailStar has been one of, if not the, most desired and awarded cottage made shelter over the last few years. Its ability to handle horrific wind conditions has proven to hikers around the world that it is a shelter to be contended with.

For some of us though, we felt the original TrailStar just had to big of a footprint. I know I am not alone in that. Every time I have seen a TrailStar setup I just went “wow, that sucker is huge”. Those of us who have felt that way have been long waiting for MLD to release a smaller version of the shelter, and now they have done so.

Mountain Laurel Designs is stating that the LittleStar has a 15% smaller footprint.

They have also indicated that it “will handle wind as well or better than the larger TrailStar“, which of course makes sense as there is less material for the wind to sit and pound against, due to its 15% smaller size.

Read the rest of this entry »

Mountain Laurel Designs, eVENT Rain Mitts

with 6 comments

Mountain Laurel Designs, eVENT Rain Mitts

Mountain Laurel Designs, eVENT Rain Mitts

Greetings Hikers,

In the world of hiking rain mitts, there are very few that really stand out to me. Without a doubt the one at the very top of my list is the Mountain Laurel Designs, eVENT Rain Mitts.

I have been using these rain mitts from Mountain Laurel Designs for a few years and absolutely love them.

There are actually very few rain mittss on the list of UL/SUL rain mits these days. The ones off the top of my head are the Mountain Laurel Designs, eVENT Rain Mitts, the Black Rock Gear Overmitts, and the ZPacks WPBCF Rain Mitts. The Black Rock Gear ones are the lightest ones out there (13.6 grams) but also the ones most prone to suffering damage because of their use of 0.34 cuben fiber and they are also the least breathable ones. The ZPacks WPBCF Rain Mitts are mid-weight (23 grams), and are 100% made from WPB CF so their breathablity is better than the ones from Black Rock Gear, but nowhere near as good as the (36 gram) eVENT ones from Mountain Laurel Designs.

As I have written so many times over the last few years, it is always my goal to go as light as possible, yet also strike a balance between weight and usability. This is one of those times when the additional 10-20 grams of weight are put aside for the fact of usability – specifically breathablity.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by John B. Abela

February 26, 2013 at 10:05 am

Sawyer Squeeze – Updated 2013 Version

with 31 comments

Greetings Hikers,

2013 Sawyer Squeeze

2013 Sawyer Squeeze

A few days ago, on January 15, Ron Bell from Mountain Laurel Designs announced on their facebook page that a new 2013 version of the Sawyer Squeeze had been released. (read my review of the original 2012 product)

The announcement included the fact that (a) Sawyer has redesigned the water bladder material, (b) they have reduced the included bags from three bags to a single bag, and (c) they have reduced the price a few dollars.

Ron Bell, like a few of us in the hiking industry, have been in contact with Sawyer since the release of the Squeeze filter, about trying to resolve the high failure rate issues with the original Squeeze bag. Thankfully Ron has a larger voice than some of us and has actually been able to get some direct input on these new bags.

I, and others, have been huge supporters of the Sawyer Squeeze filter. But we have not been able to support the bags that Sawyer produced. The Squeeze filter itself is the absolute best filter presently in the hiking world on a performance to weight ratio. As I try to make a key point of within my review of the Sawyer Sqeeuze it is the only filter out there that provides us with an Absolute One Micron filter – and that word “absolute” is a big issue. Do a search for the word “absolute” on the CDC page concerning water filtration if you do not believe me. If you do not want to believe both the CDC and myself, just do a google search for “absolute vs nominal micron” and research it yourself. Simply put, as a backcountry hiker, what I want in my backpack is an Absolute One Micron filter, and the Sawyer Squeeze is the one filter out there that provides me that level of filtration – and does so at only 93.64 grams (3.303 ounces) Read the rest of this entry »

Written by John B. Abela

January 20, 2013 at 2:37 pm

Black Rock Gear Undermitts

with 7 comments

Black Rock Gear

Greetings Hikers,

In the world of hiking keeping your hands and your feet warm are a vital key in the quest to having a successful hike. While your hands and feet, arms and legs, are not as vital as keeping your core temperature under control – a situation the vast majority of sul/xul hikers rarely face – the necessity of keeping ones hands and feet warm goes a long way towards the overall well-being, pleasure, and adventure, of being outdoors.

The Black Rock Gear Undermitts are perfecting for helping you keep your hands warm throughout most of the climates and conditions that most of us, all but those who go into the most extreme environments, face each and every time we go out.

For many years a lot of people have been using gear made by Black Rock Gear to keep their core temperatures as stable as possible. They have been the manufacture of the highly popular – and always in demand –  Black Rock Hat which has been used pretty much around the world by those going out for a day hike to those hiking the highest mountains in the world. The Black Rock Hat gram for gram (19-25 grams / 0.67 – 0.88 ounces) is very likely the best down hat on the market and one or two of them are almost always in my backpack.

undermitt-cobalt-pair-600My Glove Layering System:

As a hiker in the Northern regions of California I encounter cold ocean wind, rain forest rain, and high mountain snow over the course of a year hiking. Having a good hand layering system has proven to be important to me.

The Black Rock Gear Undermitts provide the perfect mid-layer glove for the colder temperatures, both while hiking and while sleeping. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by John B. Abela

January 6, 2013 at 4:56 pm