Tuesday, 21 July 2009

"If you're gonna be stupid, you'd better be tough"

The weight slashing continues with a replacement for my PD400, a shiny, stretchy Mountain Equipment Xero 150. No hood, no collar, no pocket for my earplugs and emergency stash of peanut M&Ms. It's only got half a zip too but at almost half the weight and bulk it should be more than enough during the summer and maybe beyond if I wear a hooded synthetic insulation filled jacket.

Just waiting for a break in the weather to give it some test zzzzzzzzzzz's.

12 comments:

Martin Rye said...

Very nice and pushing the limits. The way to go. The less I carry the more uncomplicated a walk seems.

Dave Hanlon said...

Looks funky. will be watching out for the write up.

Hendrik M said...

TEST TEST TEST.

Yes Joe, we need a test. A full blown review, with a video and everything. We're a demanding audience, and we want it now-ish.

Seriously, congratulations on the new sleeping bag. Looks interesting, I don't know if I could do without a hood but your review with the insulated jacket + hood will give us plenty to think about.

Holdfast said...

Martin - it is pushing it I'll admit but I'm confident that with good weather, suitable clothing and the fact that I'll be in a tent that it'll be just fine. I'm happy to sleep in my clothing to augment my bag and would happily use some puffy troos to push it further.

Dave - just waiting for a break in this incessant rain to get out.

Hendrik - I will aim to satiate my audience's thirst for feedback shortly. I'm as interested as you guys are!

I think that if you're already carrying a hood on your insulation piece or a warm hat and hooded windshirt then you may not require one on your bag too (in summer at least!). The more things I find with dual uses, the more weight I'm saving.

Dave Hanlon said...

My good buddy Willem-Maarten (of rondane write up fame) went with a PHD down pulover and half bag combi this time out to test the water. He loaned a rather old heavyweight halfbag for the purpose. The combi worked so well he'll be buying a half bag of his own. I was jealous so slept in my down puly and prentended I have a half bagpushing my cumulus down around my waist. I sleep a bit cold so was glad to have the bag to pull up later in the night. Sure that as long as Ive got head gear a bag without a hood would be fine though.

Holdfast said...

Dave - Half-bags have interested me before. I know Alpkit used to do the PipeDream 200 which would have been worth a punt.

Another option is the Nunatak Arc A.T. half (or 3/4 according to them) bag. At 227g and $200 it is an expensive but very light alternative.

Mac E said...

I think the Xero 150 might be a bit light for me but I'm interested to hear how you get on. The elasticated section should help cut down air movement/drafts. I have a Xero 250 and really like it, the elastic suits me as I'm skinny.

Holdfast said...

Mac E - Thanks for your comment and welcome (I've added your blog by the way and subscribed via Google Reader). No doubt this bag has a limit but I'm keen to learn the techniques required (wearing your clothing to bed, keeping well fed, etc) to enable me to use such a light bag. When I test it I'll try to remember to take my Suunto off (leaving it on your wrist plays havoc with the thermometer) and check the temperatures periodically.

Quite often when camping I find I leave my insulating jacket/vest off when I go to bed, especially in summer. My plan is to simply cut down on the duplicate insulation I carry. If it all goes wrong then you'll all hear about it on here soon enough!

Chris (i-cjw.com) said...

Interesting, interesting! I'm looking forward to hearing the test results. I've been thinking about breaking the baffles in the bottom of my summer bag, so I can pile the down to the top half - I'm a back sleeper, so it seems a waste to carry all that insulation only to crush half of it. We'll see...

Holdfast said...

Chris - for quite a while I've been quilt/top-bag curious! I stopped short again of going down that route when I bought the Xero but it's a step in that direction. On my Hardanger trip I slept in just my merino, pulling my unzipped PD400 over my legs when I got a little chilly in the early hours. I know I had good weather but I still feel there was plenty of scope for reducing the amount of insulation I was carrying. I'm a back sleeper too and it almost seems madness to carry around insulation that you're just going to crush underneath you, hence why I can see the reasoning behind quilt/top-bags. It's only drafts that you have to worry about then...

baz carter said...

It looks like my Mountain equipment Skyline that I own. Great for summer but a bit thin on clear nights. I always take a hat when I use this bag :)

Holdfast said...

Baz - I agree, the warm hat I always carry but never use in summer will suddenly become an important part of my sleep system.