Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite inflatable mattress

  • August 13, 2018
  • by Inga

The Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite inflatable mattress is a marvel of warmth in a small package. I was still using the very first NeoAir model, which was revolutionary when it came out but only had an R-Value of 2. The NeoAir XLite has an R-Value of 3.2. It doesn’t sound like much but it was noticeably …

Sierra Designs Women’s Nitro 800, 0 degree sleeping bag

  • August 12, 2018
  • by Inga

I’ve been testing the Sierra Designs Nitro 800 sleeping bag all summer and can report that it’s a very warm bag that is lightweight and comfortable. I love my other bag, the zipperless Sierra Designs Backcountry Bed, but when the temps dip down into the teens and 20s, I prefer the added warmth of a mummy …

Gossamer Gear 60 Mariposa Pack Review

  • April 21, 2018
  • by Inga

For a lightweight pack, the Gossamer Gear Mariposa feels beefy. The shoulder straps and hip belts are thick and sturdy. You can feel the slim metal frame that provides support when you grasp the top of the pack. A foam pad provides additional structure and support to the back and doubles as a removable sit …

Gossamer Gear Lightrek 4 (LT4S) Trekking Poles

  • February 11, 2018
  • by Inga

I never knew I needed ultralight trekking poles until I had the Gossamer Gear LT4S Trekking Poles. Not only are they feather light but they have a substantial cork-like grip that is exceedingly comfortable. Once you start weighing gear, it’s hard to go back. I’ve been trying to lighten my load, but I’m mostly focused …

Wild Planet tuna packets for backpacking

  • November 13, 2017
  • by Inga

Tuna packets are a popular foundation for backpacker lunches, providing needed calories and protein. The Mylar packages are relatively convenient in the backcountry, being single serve and shelf stable. I’ve regarded them as a treat due to their weight but as I’ve tired of other lunch options they have become a more important component for …

Powdered Cusa Tea is refreshing and easy to use on the trail

  • October 03, 2017
  • by Inga

  Cusa Tea is a premium instant tea that makes tea drinking as easy as those ubiquitous skinny packets that coffee drinkers use. Several tea flavors come in the same kind of stick packaging, making it easy to use and transport. The tea packets contain nothing but pure tea with no sweeteners, additives or preservatives. …

Tailwind Nutrition Endurance Fuel is easily digestible and has a clean taste

  • August 20, 2017
  • by Inga

Hydration mixes such as Tailwind Nutrition drink powders are a lifesaver for me. I often lose my appetite when I’m at altitude and exerting myself strenuously. Early in my backpacking career, before I figured out what was happening, I’d frequently bonk in the afternoon. I’d often reach a state of exhaustion that was difficult to …

HydraPak SoftFlask Collapsible Bottles

  • June 30, 2017
  • by Inga

HydraPak SoftFlask bottles come in small sizes to accommodate energy gels or liquids. Made of soft thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), the collapsible, flexible material is remarkably strong and resistant to abrasion, even when abused on the backpacking trail. The company states that if used for gels, the 150 ml flask can hold five servings and the …

Oboz Sawtooth Low Women’s Hiking Boots are sturdy and waterproof

  • June 02, 2017
  • by Inga

The Oboz Sawtooth hiking boot is a beefy hiking boot in a compact package. I’ve been testing the boots all winter and there are a number of features that I like. They are rock solid on slippery, wet surfaces. They have a substantial rubber bumper around the heel and toe. They are waterproof, which came …

Soft Kora Shola yak wool leggings keep legs toasty

  • May 15, 2017
  • by Inga

Kora’s Shola leggings are an ideal winter base layer under ski pants or on their own for winter walks, yoga or snowshoeing. Made from super soft yak wool, they are warm, stretchy, breathable and naturally endowed with odor resistance.   Kora yak wool is a versatile textile that offers advantages over popular merino wool that …

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