Over the holidays I got Kirk, Ford and Baby Walker (well me really I suppose) new gear for the upcoming year. Nothing too far in detail but new fun toys include:
Ford got a new REI Trail 25 pack. It was picked to replace his REI Jet UL pack which we were never fully happy with – a good pack but it had no real support for gear inside and flopped. The Trail 25 is similar to the REI Lookout and as well the old Traverse pack. Ford doesn’t need a huge 40L daypack but he also wanted a pack that had better organizing features (the Jet was a large hole inside, no organizing in it!) He liked my daypack and had worn it periodically this past summer (mine was a bargain, I picked it up at a mega clearance sale a couple years at REI for under $40 in a gender neutral gray/reddish color). All of Ford’s gear fits in perfectly with room to spare. It doesn’t have the beefy hip belt that mine has but with it carrying a smaller load and him being young it works (it has a simple webbing only hip belt). He is very skinny and thick hip belts get in his way. The outer mesh pockets are big enough for quart water bottles and it does have a full pouch for a hydration bladder (which instead is where Ford’s Therm-a-Rest Z Seat sits, folded in half). The front pocket has plenty of storage for tucking away gloves, pack cover, headlamp, etc and the inside is roomy but easy to get into due to the full zipper (I have a love affair with panel loaders over top loaders. You can see what is in your pack!). So we shall see how it fares this coming year! And hey, Ford liked it being black. Cool and all, no?
Nalgene’s Everyday Bottles in quart size…yeah, yeah…I know: they are heavy. But they work. I remember being a new backpacker and how I proudly bought 2 of the old school grey ones with the blue caps. Everyone had them. You were so not a real backpacker without them. And then you immediately went and wrapped duct tape around them, cause that made you even more cool. Hehheh. And then I moved onto hydration bladders and then onto recycled Gatoraid and Snapple quart bottles. Finally I realized back in late 2008 that I was willing to suck it up and carry the extra weight (6.2 ounces per bottle empty) because I DID like the bottles. I have received never ending crud from hiking partners over this, even to telling me I have lost my UL edge 😉 Ah well. I can live with loosing my UL crown of being Queen Wanker of the Hikers…. So when Nalgene brought out the new line I snapped up 2 vivid blue ones for me, myself and I. No sharing. Finally this year I realized I was being a pig and maybe I should spread the love, no? So I picked up Ford 2 red and black ones:
And for Kirk I got him Orange with white caps. Snazzy, colorful and just as good as the old days, just more fashionable. Just don’t do what I did back a near 2 years ago and lose your new bottle down a steep snow filled ravine……
For Kirk I picked him up a pair of Kahtoola Microspikes in black.
Ford and I have been using them for a couple years now – I have to get Ford new ones this year as well, he blew through his this past summer and now needs “L”. My friend Jared ended up inheriting Ford’s pair that no longer fit. Lucky him to have the right size feet. Microspikes have time and time shined for us and Kirk had been thinking about it, so I snuck a pair under the tree for him!
For Walker and I, I picked up an Ergo Performance carrier.
In my quest to reclaim my UL leanings I decided to give the Ergo a try. It is very comfortable and yes, it weighs 1/3 less than the original versions so it is “light”. I have tried Walker in a number of backpack style carriers and he is not happy in them. He isn’t tiny either, at 9 months he is 30″ tall (93% percentile!) but he isn’t a fat baby so gets ‘lost’ in the big backpacks. Add in that those backpacks weigh 5 to 8 lbs and dig into ones back…well, I will take a soft, comfy and UL front carrier instead as long as he is willing. He loves when we hike and he can see Kirk and I. We shall see how this carrier fares for us, it supposedly will carry up to 40 lbs and Walker is around 21 lbs so we have plenty of time!
Off to watch the rain fall (as usual) and plan/plot adventures with the new gear 😉