Friday, October 12, 2012

GEAR REVIEW - Mt. Amuyao Gear List



It's been a while since I last packed for a multi-day hiking trip so I was like a newbie scrounging what to bring or not.  I actually did the usual packing disciplines like bringing shirts equal to the number of days I will be travelling + 1, footwear for camp and extra hiking sandals, etc.  These were all housed in my MHW Expedition Duffle since I don't have my hiking pack yet at that time.

It was a good thing I had to repack.  In doing so, I was able to reassess why I spend on quality outdoor stuff.  These were meant to be abused and reused!  What's the point of getting a lightweight pack, leightweight gear, etc. if I won't be utilizing their benefits?

So I streamlined my stuff to less than half of what I'm supposed to bring and survived just fine.  With that, I would like to share the gears I used...

APPAREL/ FOOTWEAR

Photo from mountainhardware.com
- I had this crazy idea to put this shirt to the absolute test...wear it for the whole duration of our trip...although I wore a long sleeved baselayer during the 4th day.
- This tee shirt performed way better than I expected. It was really light, comfortable next to the skin and I see myself dry after my pace slows down or already in the camp site.  There was no odor even when I used it again on our 5th day!
- My only nitpick is with the fit.  It was too loose for my lean frame.  I actually brought and should've worn my MHW Double Wicked Lite Tee but I was too stubborn to replace it.


- As with my MHW tee, I planned to use this for the duration of our trip...I had to give it a rest during the last day though.
Photo from columbia.com
- It took some time for my pants to dry out but this is due mainly to being drench in water due to the terrain and weather.  Left overnight though, it's dry and ready to use.  I'm sure if I'm wearing cottons or those heavy duty nylon's, it won't be as comfortable.
- Sizing is loose due to a US fit.  It is actually quite ok when worn casually but during my hike, once wet and my pack pushing it downwards, I can feel it close to falling off.  It was a major nuisance specially when I had to crouch really low to pass through the fallen logs along the trail
- Durability wise, no complaints.  Scratches/ frays were minimal despite the abuse...and I do mean abuse!  After our trip, my pants can almost stand by itself with all the mud and dirt that covered it.
- The 2012 version of this model actually addressed the fitting issue (if you have a lean figure like me).  Durability wise, it is more susceptible to scratch/ fray due to a thinner albeit more comfortable fabric.  It still has the rip stop construction though.


Photo from mountainhardwear.com
- It didn't really rain that hard for me to comment on DryQ Core's waterproofing but what I can say is it has one of the best "next to skin" feel of a membrane in the market.  Compared to its past WPB membrane that is Conduit which feels sticky and clammy, this one is a vast improvement.
- If you want the best though and have the cash to burn, wait for their EVAP (exclusive to Mountain Hardwear and Columbia Sportwear) line.  I am fortunate to have one and tested it and man...you'll have a whole new appreciation on WPB technology.


- First off, this is a trail running shoe.  While it can double as a hiking shoe, it's not really meant for long walks with heavy loads
Photo from amazon.com
- First day of our hike served as it's break-in period...2nd and 3rd day was when I put it to hell...loose and slippery rocks, eroding soil, ankle deep mud and water, falling in ravines...I was hell bent in breaking it but it came out unscathed
- My feet never felt sore during and after our trip...and only have one dead toe nail to show...which I really wouldn't blame on the shoe.
- This model has been a staple part of Montrail's trail running line-up and an award winner the past 3 years...I didn't really utilize any of its trail running features and will not probably use it again on multi-day hikes like this but for overnighters? No doubt yes.  


EQUIPMENT

- This pack is far from perfect but good enough for me to consider using it in the long run
- Weight is not ultralight but lighter than the typical 50L packs out there
Photo from mountainhardwear.com
- Using it is a breeze...there's a lot going on specially the straps but each has its purpose and proves to be very effective.  It may irritate some though specially if they don't know what it's for.
- As for its suspension, it was a pleasant surprise.  Very comfortable despite my lean frame (not as comfortable as my Granite Gear Vapor Trail though). I didn't have sore shoulders after the trip which is a testament to how effective its loading system works (although I'm only carrying around 20-25 lbs).
- Durability wise, multiple times I scraped it on logs/ branches without a pack cover and just have dirt stains to show for it.  It went through some light rain as well but interior remained dry (as with all DWRs though, expect it to wear off after repeated use)
- What I love is how the bottom compartment can be opened really wide by releasing the side buckles which doubles as a compression strap...really really cool idea and execution.
- My nitpicks are how hard it is to access my water bottle at the side pocket and I can hear some random "squeaking" sound around the shoulder straps when I walk.

- This is one of the staple models in MHW's backpacking tents line and is known to be one of the best and bombproof tents in the market.
Photo from altrec.com
- We experienced some winds at the peak of Mt. Amuyao and this tent didn't budge despite not being staked securely due to the cemented flooring.
- Interior was spacious for 2 and each vestibule provided ample space to store our pack, boots and other stuff that we can't put in the tent.
- Canopy provided a lot of features and one thing I really loved was the removable roof panel.  
- Surprisingly, it wasn't warm at all inside the tent despite closing all the mesh panels of the canopy...there is a pro and con to this but given our weather, I would consider it a pro.
- This is no lightweight tent but will not consider it heavy either given the floor space of both the canopy and the vestibules.
- My only nitpick is the lack of loops inside the tent to create a mini-clothes line to hang our clothes...though this is because of the extra ceiling design.
Photo from outdoorreview.com

- This has been with me for almost 10 years and shows no sign of slowing down.  Hands down one of the best luxuries (if not necessity) sleeping in the outdoors.
- I actually prefer to use my Therm-a-Rest Z-Rest due to its ease of use and easy maintenance but had to donate it to my grand mother.
- This model has been discontinued and is now replaced by the Prolite and Prolite Plus models which are both lighter and more compact than mine.







ACCESSORIES

Photo from cascadedesigns.com
- If you spent on an inflatable mattress, might as well spend on a pillow!
- As with an inflatable sleeping pad, this is one of the luxuries sleeping outdoors...one side is plush fleece while the opposite side is nylon for durability/ water resistance.
- It's compact, but not ultra compact, and expands 3-4x it's collapsed size...be ready for queries on how you managed to fit a pillow of this size in your pack!
- It's really soft so it takes some getting used to if you use an orthopedic pillow.


Photo from princetontec.com
- 5 years ago, this was one of the lightest and best performing headlamps out there.  
- What I really like about it compared to its Petzl and Black Diamond counterparts is the battery indicator.
- I cannot really give praise to its durability as it suffered a crack below the on/ off switch when I stored it inside my luggage.  I still have to give it props though as that crack happened the night I bought it...and after 5 years, is still up and running.


Photo from amazon.com
- This was a pleasant surprise as I completely forgot that I have one!...good thing I decided to look into my old room.
- What can I say...bright, compact, durable and runs on 4 AA batteries...and I think I bought it for less than USD 30.
- My only nitpick, though this is purely my fault, is the rubber tends to get sticky/ flake off if not stored properly (say 3 years!)...but then again, it still works properly so hands off to Coleman for this.
- Option to hang it is a bonus...specially if you're going to use this for cooking as you need to hang it around waist level.




About the Blogger:
I am related to some of the brands I have listed above.  In no means though was I paid nor obligated to write any of these.  This is a personal hands on review and sharing my experience/ knowledge is all there is to this blog.


2 comments:

  1. Hahaha, I remember some of these pa from Mt. Daguldol!

    ReplyDelete