Monday, 23 June 2014
TGO 2014 - some very good gear was used
On this year's TGO I used a few new pieces of gear.
Here are my comments on a few that proved to be very good.
First there was my new As Tucas Cabietos Hoody.
I wanted this hooded base layer because I've found that wearing a hat, especially under a
waterproof, is too hot. This fitted me very well and the arms were plenty long enough for me
even though I'm 188cms tall. The arms easily pulled up when it was too warm. It was
extremely comfortable. When it was windy I just pulled the hood over my head - no faffing
around for a buff or my OMM beanie. I wasn't sure how much I would use the hood. I ended
up using it quite a few times. I wore it every day and night and, when I found my PHD down
hat too warm at night, I just pulled up the hood.
As Tucas offer a developing range of innovative gear as well as being able to custom make
gear to meet specific requirements. Marco offers a first class service and kept me well
informed on progress before the Cabietos was delivered.
My new Thermorest Xlite saw me break my "it has to be foolproof and unbreakable"
approach to gear. I had read very good reviews and decided to go for it. It was a wise
decision. Unlike the original Neoair, the Xlite stayed inflated all night (and all day on
subsequent trips where I was pitched for a couple of days). I bought the regular length and
found it to be very comfortable. The reviews were right and my old cut down Ridgerest is
retired to the gear cupboard.
I've already praised the Rab Boreas Hoody and on the few times I did use it, this year, it
worked really well. It proved to be a fairly warm, dry, TGO this year and it did spend more
time in the pack than out.
Then there was the Hi-Tec Zuuks. These were heralded as being better than Crocs for
carrying and using on river crossings. I wore my La Sportiva Raptors for walking and
crossing any wet bits. But, the Hi-Tec Zuuks were ideal around camp or in B&Bs etc. They
did scrunch down to fit in my pack and they were exreamely comfortable - especially for
my poorly feet (that I mistreated and paid the penalty for doing so).
All the other gear worked well as expected.
Anyone who reads this Blog will know that I'm passionate about PHD gear. My Alpamayo
Smock worked well as usual, although there was less rain than on previous TGOs.
My MLD Trailstar was outstanding, as usual. Over the four years since I bought it, it has
proved to be ace for backpacking in all weathers. I used my new Borah Gear Side Zip bivy
and this proved to be much better than my old Ti-Goat Ptarmigan bivy.
I'd love to have a lightweight inner for the Trailstar, but, I'm just too tall to fit one comfortably.
Then, of course the weight of the Trailstar and inner nudges up the scales.
There will be a change to this situation around the New Year and my Trailstar could well be
looking for a new home.
More on this at the time.