Kit that broke, kit that didnae, and other stuff before I forget, XII

At the weekend I took an old pal, the red Lasercomp that’s been seen on this blog so much. I just couldn’t face something else new and it made a real difference to my happiness.
I swear to you it’s huge after the F10 Helium and the Photon I’ve been using. I can sit up, move, dress easily, store my gear, cook and get in and out without an issue. It’s reinforced my view that the ‘comp is at the sweetspot of lightweight tent design.

I used both sets of Hillsound crampons on my Keen Oregons and the news is good. There was just enough good snow about for me to get a feel for them and the Trail Crampons are secure, grippy and easy to put on. The Pro’s binding was a delight of simplicity to fit and remove, they’re stiffer than a steel Kahtoola, but the front points are more horizontal, so do think they’re more G10 anyway. Everyone was impressed by both sets from a spec and a weight point of view.

The pack above is the Karrimor X-Lite 45+10 which proved to delight as much as it confounded. I like the zipped bottom compartment as I discovered on the last overnighter with the Haglöfs Matrix, the harness started to soften to my shape and I like it’s low profile, fit and stability. The pack is a good size and shape for mountain use although the lid is a little closer to the back of my head than I expected.
What does annoy is the complete lack of external storage, no hipbelt or wand pockets, no crampon webbing on the lid, no mesh stuff-pockets, not even a bungee to strap a wet tent onto.
X-Lite says to me weight conscious, on-the-move-accessibility, performance and adaptability. The X-Lite 45+10 comes so close but falls short because it’s really more of a traditional backpacking sack made from lighter materials.
There’s so many genius touches on it too, the back-length adjustment, the snow-lock closure which is bias-shaped to pull away from the front of the pack when it’s tightened to minimise the chance of weather getting in and the harness attachment which is old-school but gives free movement without sacrificing stability when on steep or rough ground.
I’m going to attach a pocket or two and some bungees and take it out again. The basics are good and I hope with a couple of tweaks I can make it more usable, I did similar to the Gregory Z35r and was quite happy.

I’m grinning out of a Golite Adrenaline 3 down bag which got it’s first real test on Saturday night.
Now, this is a slim bag, the slimmest I’ve got I think. I can’t comfortably get in it with anything more than baselayers on, but once in there with my shoulders inside there’s no feeling of constriction at all. The central zip works well for camp living and ventilation, and the bag is warm. It was below zero in the night and I slept warm and sound.
I don’t like sleeping in clothes anymore, not when there’s sleeping bags light enough and warm enough for me not to have to, so I think me and the Adrenaline 3 will be good pals.

I had the Jetboil, wore discontinued Haglöfs Iguana pants (bring them back) and Chocolate Fish Taranaki base layers, I used the CAMP Corsa for the first time this winter and even got to grips with the Garmin Oregon 450 after some help from Phil.
The NeoAir continues its faultless run and most other stuff was standard issue. The Czech camo boonie hat made a welcome return though, that made me very happy indeed.

8 thoughts on “Kit that broke, kit that didnae, and other stuff before I forget, XII”

  1. Now that’s a well pitched Comp! You do see some sagging shockers sometimes.

    I tried on the X-lite 35 when I was buying the Hotrock 40 – being a scrambling purchase I liked the clean lines of the X-Lite but it just didn’t fit right on my hips and seemed to be right behind my head as well, certainly sitting a lot higher than most sacks I own. I had a cursory glance at the other Karrimor sacks but the X-Lite and Hotrock ranges seem to be in a class of their own in comparison.

    I had set my heart on some Katoolas to compliment the G10s next winter… now you,ve got me thinking!

  2. That ‘comp came out of it’s stuffsack for the first time is six months at that campsite and the fly was as tight as a drum! I’m sure most of the moaning about the Lasers is because folk can’t pitch it.

    The hipbelt on the X-lite 35 does let it down, apart from that it’s a great wee pack, I like that external stretch pocket. I haven’t seen the new Hot Rock, I do have 15 year old one which is vert good though :o)

    Kahtoola versus Hillsound? I’ll try and get a bit more testing if I can, but it does look like there’s proper competition there!

  3. How are you finding that Jetboil BTW? I guess not much comment means it’s doing what it should? I noticed in the camp photie you still take a mug with you, so you’re obviously not using the Jetboil as anything other than a heater… does the packed size not annoy you a little then?
    I love mine, had it a while now, never needed to use a lighter but I do drink out of mine generally.
    Off to the Brecon for a wild camp over the bank hols, so I’ve decided to use the F1, a windshield and a mug, just to see how I go but I think I’ll be straight back to the Jet.

  4. I like the Jetboil. It just a heater just now, but its tall shape is perfect for melting snow, so while I’m enjoying a cuppa it’s melting away the next batch for my water bottle.
    That cup goes with me everywhere! There’s no extra volume either, it’s either full of coffee and soup sachets or porridge bars, so it’s hassle-free.
    I did spend a couple of years with just a Titan kettle, but I started to get annoyed with that and went back to mug+pot.

    You’ll be fine with the F1, great wee stove… I need to go and put the kettle on now!

  5. Aye – kettle on sounds good! Just in the process of doing my accounts, gotta get them to the accountant :-( so maybe a coffee will help.

    Enjoy the drink!

  6. Seeing that red lasercomp has got me thinking that I must get mine back out onto a hill!

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