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Posts Tagged ‘Thermarest NeoAir’

Best of 2013: Women’s Backpacking Gear Guide On Active Junky

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

“When most people think female-specific outdoor gear, they’re bound to think of pink mummy bags and water bottles with flowers plastered on them. Now, while a few flowers never hurt anyone, we think gals deserve a little more thought than that.”

womens backpacking gear guide

The 2013 Women’s Backpacking Gear Guide features some of the best female-specific backpacking and camping gear on the market, plus other gear (for any sex) that female testers just happened to rank very high this year. From lightweight camping stoves boasting record boil times to backpacks and sleeping pads designed especially for women’s bodies, Active Junky picked the best of the best and put them all in one place, along with detailed product reviews and ratings, to simplify your shopping experience. But that’s not all. When you shop through Active Junky you get cash back on your purchases. This is ideal if you a) shop for gear online, and b) like saving money. We teamed up with Active Junky to put on the 2013 Women’s Backpacking Gear Guide and help you save on outdoor gear. Here are a few of this year’s featured products that we recommend for women who can’t help but adventure outdoors and demand high-quality gear to accommodate.


Here’s how it looks:

MSR Reactor tahoe




Campsite Cooking

MSR Reactormsr reactor packed
At 14.7 ounces, this stove is incredibly light. It also boils a liter of water in 3.5 minutes. Plus, fuel efficient would be an understatement; the MSR Reactor 1 Liter stove milks an 8-ounce canister of camp fuel for almost an hour-and-a-half of burn-time. Cooking under wind gusts on an exposed ridgeline? No problem. This MSR stove gets the job done in the worst weather, and is ideal as a winter camping stove. Let’s do the math: a camp stove (and 1-liter pot!) that weighs less than a pound and efficiently boils water really, really fast, even in crummy weather. That’s a winner in anyone’s book!





Hauling Outdoor Gear

Deuter Futura Pro 34 SLfutura pro 34 sl
This lightweight women’s specific backpack is perfect for a big day on trail or an overnight getaway with minimal gear. When you load the Deuter Futura Pro 34 SL to the max it remains comfortable on your back, thanks to Deuter‘s AirComfort ‘trampoline-style’ back system that keeps weight off your back to increase breathability and maximize comfort. The hip belt moves with you to keep the pack vertical and stable, even when you’re hiking across a steep slope, and the padding is especially comfortable on a woman’s wider, cone-shaped and generally bonier hips. Dual vertical side pockets offer plenty of storage and dual hip belt pockets keep your camera, snacks and other on-the-fly items within easy reach.





Replenishing Thirst

Sipping beverages made from clean, refreshing mountain spring water and glacier melt is mandatory in the backcountry. You’ll love these innovative ways to both filter and carry your fluids:

Platypus GravityWorks Water Filterplatypus gravityworks 4 liter
Talk about easy-peasy water filtration! This may seem too good to be true, but you literally just fill up the bag with non-potable water, hang it from a tree, tent, rock or the top of your pack, and kick back and relax while up to four liters filter themselves! The water moves down a tube from the “dirty” bag, through the Platypus carbon filter, and into the “clean” bag. That’s all it takes! Kill two birds by washing your dishes or cleaning up camp while your water filters on its own; it doesn’t take more than a few minutes to fill the entire Platypus GravityWorks 4-liter bag with 99.9999% bacteria and protozoa -free water! At less than 11 ounces and small enough to roll up and tuck away in a pocket, it’s no wonder this quick and convenient water filter was Editor’s Choice this year.




Thermarest NeoAir Review, and Nemo Astro too

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

The Thermarest NeoAir has had a lot of attention and awards since it came out, and for good reason. Simultaneously one of the lightest and most comfortable backpacking sleeping pads available, it’s been a huge hit.

This year, Thermarest came out with the NeoAir Trekker. But what’s the difference in the NeoAir vs. NeoAir Trekker? Our Thermarest Rep explains here:

Essentially, the NeoAir Trekker comes in at a lower price and has a more durable, less “crinkly” fabric, whereas the original NeoAir is lighter and has the metallic insulating liner to make it warmer.

What makes both of these pads so comfortable, besides the obvious 2.5 inches of soft cushioning, is the simple change to baffles that run from side to side, instead of head to foot, like so many other sleeping pads. This new design makes the pad feel wider and more even, not like sleeping on a pool toy.

But did you know, Nemo pads came up with the same idea at about the same time? Known for their inflatable tents, sleeping pads were a natural progression for this innovative company.

For campers and backpackers, the Nemo Astro sports 2.5 inches of air cushioning, a durable outer fabric, and a raised, pillow-like section at the head for extra comfort.

The Nemo Astro Insulated takes a more traditional approach to keeping you warm when compared to the NeoAir, using synthetic insulation inside the air chambers.

Don’t just take our word for it, the Nemo Astro Insulated was Backpacker Magazine’s Editors’ Choice this year:

“This is the only sleeping pad I’ll ever need—for my ounce-counting backpacking trips and my weight-be-damned, luxe car camps,” says one tester. That’s because the Astro combo is a pad system that allows you to strip it down or amp it up, depending on the trip. At its heart is a 2.5-inch, full-length mattress that’s insulated with open-cell foam and packs down to about eight by four inches. Alone, it’s as comfortable and warm (down to at least 15°F) as any pad we’ve tried, with a rugged, 75-denier polyester shell that fended off abrasion even on sandpapery slickrock. 

The Astro takes some lung power—and three to four minutes—to inflate, but the handy push/pull valve let’s you easily cap it for a breather. (You can also opt for the foot-powered Disco Pad Pump, which weighs 2.2 ounces and costs $40.) For trailhead throw-downs, basecamps, and drive-up campgrounds, slide the Astro into its Pillowtop sleeve. Made of open-cell polyurethane foam, it adds a pound and a half, a few inches of girth when packed, and an entirely new level of comfort.

The combo is like a portable mattress, a full 3.25 inches thick. “It turned our lumpy, rock-strewn trailhead campsite in Capitol Reef into a featherbed,” says one tester. And the price? It looks high, but consider this: If you were to buy a lightweight backpacking pad and a decadent car-camping mattress, you could easily spend more and not sleep as well.

For the ultimate in base camping or car camping luxury, Nemo has a Pillowtop cover to throw on your Astro pad, adding an inch of cushy foam and a soft jersey-finish microfiber top to your pad for a combination that can’t be beat for comfort. You can even throw it on a NeoAir or similarly dimensioned pad (20″x 72″).

So if you’re looking to get a great night sleep in the backcountry, no matter how rough, rocky or cold the ground, check out one of these great new backpacking sleeping pads at Tahoe Mountain Sports.

Gear Review: Nemo, Neo and Platypus

Friday, July 16th, 2010

When my initial plans for a recent weekend were thrown out the window, I immediately began calling friends to see who was available for an overnighter in Tahoe National Forest. After getting a couple on the trip roster, I began asking Dave (TMS owner) for demo gear. “Toys, I need all the toys you’ve got!” I ended up taking four pieces of gear (Nemo Losi tent, Therm-a-Rest Neo Air sleeping pad, Platypus Cleanstream Gravity Water Filter and Deuter ACT Lite 65+10 backpack) out to one of my favorite lakes, Downey Lake near Emigrant Gap, to get the lowdown on how they worked, take some photos and have some fun. All tasks accomplished:

NEMO LOSI: The staff at Nemo Equipment must have been thinking of me when they came up with the Losi. This tent has won acclaim from Backpacker, Outside and Men’s Journal. As soon as you unroll the storage sack, you are going to think, “oh, I like this already.” I know I did. Finally someone did something innovative about the traditional tent storage sacks; Nemo decided to create a roll-up sack — not unlike a roll-up climbing gear bag — with pockets for the poles, stakes, tent and fly. Unroll it and it keeps the parts out of the mud and sand…


Granite Chief Wildnerness Trip

Saturday, October 10th, 2009

I recently went on a short overnight backpacking trip into the Granite Chief wilderness. The weather was as good as it gets in september with clead skies and daytime highs in the 70’s. We hiked about 7 miles each way to a beautiful and secluded secret campsite. The campsite was up at an alpine lake a little over 8,000ft so we went prepared for overnight temps in the 30’s or lower and were pleasantly surprised. I diddn’t have a thermometer, but I never even had to zip up my Lafuma Warm’N Light 1000 sleeping bag! I used quite a bit of gear from TMS on this trip and I’m going take the time to review some of it and let the pictures of the trip speak for themselves.

Deuter ACT Lite 65+10 Backpack: There is a reason that this has been our best selling pack for two years running. It has the best combination of weight, capacity, and price on the market. The adjustable AirComfort back system also makes it fit a very wide variey of people.

Nemo Losi 2 Person Tent: While the Losi 3 person was the hot seller this summer, the Losi 2 is an equally awesome tent. It is very roomy for a 2 person tent and is easy to set up. The quality is top notch, typical for Nemo. At 4.9lbs it features two doors, two vestibules and bomber construction that is designed to last. It also offers the option of pitching the tent with just the rainfly and footprint for those looking to go ultralight.

Lafuma Warm’N Light 1000 Sleeping Bag: Probably the best combination of warmth, weight and price of any sleeping bag we carry. Only 2lb 3oz and compresses down 16×6 inches. Was warm enough that I never even fully zipped it up on this trip.

Snow Peak GigaPower Stove: Everyone I’ve shown it to is amazed at how small, light, and powerful this stove is. It weighs less than 4 oz and a watched pot certainly boils very quickly with this thing, and I was not using full power. The best thing about it, price, $39.95.

Thermarest NeoAir Sleeping Pad: I can’t say enough good things about this pad. Its lighter, packs smaller, and is more comfortable than any other pad I’ve tried. While we didn’t encounter any very cold weather on this trip it also has a surprising insulation R value of 2.5 for an air pad.

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