Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Sleep tight and go light

With summer coming along quickly now, thoughts turn to backpacking and the gear that helps us do it right. For those lightweight summer trips we suggest you take a close look at a couple of Exped items that lighten the load and keep it as compact as possible in the pack.

The Dreamwalker 250 is a very light and compact down sleeping bag that doubles as a warm poncho in camp. So not only is it light in its construction but it does double duty around camp, allowing you to leave the extra for-camp-only clothing at home. For extra warm nights the bag zips open into a blanket. Average weight in size M is 16.2 ounces/460g and temperature rating is 45F/7C.

The SynMat UL 7 sleeping mat is, at right about 1 lb., an extremely light yet still very warm mat. Because it is filled with microfiber insulation it will be warm even on snow and it's 20 denier shell gets the weight and bulk way, way down. This mat also hits that magic sleep comfort thickness of 7cm (2.8"), which ensures that even side sleepers won't contact the ground at the hips and shoulders. Average weight in size M is 25 ounces/710g.

The combined weight of these two is 41 ounces/1162g or 2 lbs 9 ounces for your sleep system. Combine that with the wearable feature of the bag (and the fleece jacket you left at home) and you have a very light, comfortable, warm and compact set-up for warmer summer trips.

As soon as the snow melts in the mountains around the Seattle area, we'll be packing these two and headed out for some backpacking trips. Until then we might just have to get a few more spring ski days under our belts...everything at the proper time, eh?