Friday, 8 May 2009

New kit - Golite Quest, Big Agnes bivi and Therm-A-Rest NeoAir

I've had a spending spree....again....all in the name of trying to lower my pack weight. That's it now - I'm done!

I've bought a new pack - a Golite Quest. Weighing 1355 grams it's about 1200 grams lighter than my Gregory Diva. the padding on the hip belt isn't nearly as thick as the Gregory pack, but I've now learned (thanks to comments from my "followers") to keep weight down more, so hopefully I won't miss the extra padding - which can be a tad warm on a hot day.

On first inspection this pack seems fab - some really useful features, like the zipped bellow pockets on the hip wings, and a good pocket either side that's slanted so you can reach the contents / water bottles on the move. It seems to fit perfectly which is great as I bought it online which can be a gamble. The only oddity is the lack of a separate bottom compartment for the tent, but the side compression straps rather nattily can be extended across the back of the pack and fastened to the opposite compression strap which allows the possibility of lashing the tent on the back. My tent (Laser competition) can be a bit tricky to pack if I leave the small side poles in it makes for a longer package, but these can easily be left in place if I stick it on the back of the pack.

I've also gone for the Big Agnes bivi bag, which I bought for a very good price from good old eBay. It hasn't arrived yet but I can't wait to get my hands on it. It's statistics are very good weight and size wise. My thoughts are to use the tent for the first part of the hike where I'll appreciate the shelter from midges, plus a porch where I can cook a meal as it will initially be around 8 days before I can re-stock or find anywhere to eat. Once I get to Kilsyth I meet up with my hubby (John) for the day and plan to collect the bivi bag from him and leave the tent and stove. I'll be able to buy food along the way more easily from then on so I can live without the stove.

The NeoAir hasn't arrived yet - I'm looking forward to this one as although my Big Agnes insulated aircore mat is really comfortable, it isn't the lightest mat. The NeoAir will save me around 200 grams.

Its been pointed out to me that I've turned into a weight freak - and I think they are right!

I'm itching to get going now....3 weeks to go. My friend Sue is incredibly stressed this weekend after taking on my work, bless her. I'm hoping to get out for some backpacking days this week if I can and try out the new kit - time is getting short.

Come on warmer weather.....


Peter said...

Sophie,I recently bought a GoLite Jam, best pack I've ever owned, I'm sure you'll be just as happy with your Quest. Good luck on your walk, getting close now!!!

Sophie Easterbrook said...

Thanks for that - that's good to hear!

Yep, getting close...loads to sort still - especially as I've just made a last minute change to the first part of the route!

Good to hear from you.