Packing for Vålådalen

It’s starting to get closer to this years trip into the wilderness. We’ve been test-packing and checking our gear today in the sun and then went for a supply run to stock up on food and snacks. Everything looks like it’s in order.

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I’ve bought some new stuff for this trip. Some items were just too worn out to bring and I also got something new as an complement, down vs synthetic.

New items:

  • Inov-8 Terraclaw 220 shoes (replacement)
  • 2 pairs of socks (replacement)
  • Patagonia Ultralight Down Hoodie (complement)
  • Patagonia Houdini Jacket (replacement)
  • Arc’Teryx Venta Gloves (replacement)

My gear list can be found here, it’s a work in progress. Haven’t weighed and repacked the food just yet but everything is bought. Besides that everything should be there.

Jons list gear list also more or less completed.

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Patagonia Alpine Houdini jacket

A while ago I apparently lost/misplaced my Patagonia Torrentshell rain jacket somewhere, I can’t find it. If you know where it is please let me know 🙂

Fortunately for me when I realized this the Patagonia Alpine Houdini jacket was on sale, 50% off so I instantly grabbed it. As you might know I already own the Patagonia Houdini jacket and it’s a jacket that I like a lot. The difference between the two is that the Houdini is a windbreaker and the Alpine Houdini is a “lightweight emergency rain shell”. Emergency rain shell really translates into that the jacket will (probably – not yet tested) withstand a heavy downpour but not prolonged sessions of rain unlike the Torrentshell that will take everything you throw at it (10,000mm- vs 20,000mm water column – waterproof rating).

As with every rain jacket out there you’ll eventually get wet anyway so for me this is not really an issue. Compared to the Torrentshell the Alpine Houdini is also much lighter which is nice, saving me about 160g of weight (345g vs 184g).

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Size Medium

PatagoniaAlpineHoudini (3) The only thing that I’m a little disappointed about is that they went “stupid light” with the front zipper. This is only a normal YKK-zipper with no extra taped seams or anything just a storm flap on the inside. When I read reviews of the jacket this is where most people complain that it’ll leak through for the most part, no big surprise there. But since I haven’t tested it myself I can’t comment on this.

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Zipper storm flap and membrane. On the right you can see the only pocket on the jacket that doubles as a stuff sack.

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Size medium, Classic Navy. I’m 176cm, 65kg.

Specifications

  • Highly water-resistant woven nylon shell, with laminate membrane and DWR (durable water repellent) finish holds a 10,000mm water column
  • Taped seams throughout entire garment
  • Full-zip hooded jacket has minimal interior storm flap and single-pull adjustable, helmet-compatible hood that rolls down and stows
  • Zippered, interior left chest pocket doubles as self-stuff pouch with streamlined shape and carabiner clip-in loop
  • Elasticized cuffs and a minimal single-pull adjustable drawcord hem seal out weather
  • 1.5-oz 20-denier 100% nylon ripstop shell, with a waterproof/breathable membrane and a DWR (durable water repellent) finish
  • 187 g (6.6 oz)

Arc’Teryx DRAC Jacket & Tactician AR Glove in the rain

Was out walking with my kids yesterday and when I left home I had a good feeling it would start to rain but we went anyways. Planed time for the walk, 1 hour. I didn’t bring any rain gear for me or my older son and as for my daughter she’s got all the rain protection she need sleeping in the stroller. I did this because I wanted to try how much rain my Arc’Teryx clothes and gloves would take before getting soaked and the same for my sons soft-shell jacket.

I was wearing a Arc’Teryx DRAC Jacket and a pair of Arc’Teryx Tactician AR Gloves. Under this I had my trustworthy Patagonia Nano Puff Down Jacket and a Helly Hansen base layer. Waist down, TAD Gear Force 10 Cargo Pants and a pair of Haglöfs Vertigo shoes.

After like 10 minutes it started to drizzle and I put the rain cover over the stroller. Another 10 minutes passes by and the rain starts to intensify, nothing much by now. The Arc’Teryx jacket looks good, filled with water drops that stays on top of fabric of the jacket. If you pull the fabric all the drops will fall of the fabric – all good! The Tactician AR Gloves are starting to get a little dark around the knuckles.

15 minutes later the sky really opens up, it’s now poring down. The jacket is still doing it’s job after 20 minutes into this heavy rain, no dark spots on the fabric telling me that I’m not gonna get wet anytime soon. The gloves however is now really dark on the back of my hands and I can feel that the tips of my fingers are getting a little damp from holding the stroller. My TAD Gear pants are now soaked on the front of my thighs and on the back of my calfs.

Another 5 minutes later my gloves are getting damp all over but I’m not wet. The jacket shows some dark spots on the most exposed parts, the shoulders. Pants are still soaked… I should have treated them with some of that special fabric stuff that you put in the washing machine, lesson learned.

Coming up on the hour after pausing in a small bus shelter when the rain was the most intense I finally arrives at the store where my fiancé is picking us up. The gloves are damp on the top of my hand, the palm shows nothing but the leather is still darkened. The tips of my fingers are now wet. The jacket is now darker on the shoulders and on the arms but no worries here. The inside of the jacket is a little moist/damp but nothing of this shows on my Patagonia down jacket which normally shows if it’s the slightest of rain outside buy getting darker quite fast.

Here are a few pictures that I took when arriving at the store.

All in all I’m once again very impressed with the quality of the Arc’Teryx DRAC Jacket. I’ve had it now for over a year wearing it out in the woods whole weekends in the cold winter and in the summer etc. It’s a very versatile jacket and it has replaced my cold weather issued GoreTex jacket (US Army) as it has proven it’s weather resistance time and time again and a important fact, it’s much smaller than your standard cold weather jacket. The soft-shell really closes out the elements and at the same time you have good ventilations through the front pockets with mesh inside and pit sips.

The Tactician AR Gloves I bought primarily as a part of my cold weather kit but I must say that they are more at home than with me. I often carry them to/from work in the colder months, driving my car. I had hope them to be warmer but when it starts getting close to 0 degrees Celsius they aren’t really up for the task (Note, I always get my hands cold when I’m out and about and I’ve struggled to find good gloves). But in the fall/spring they’re great. I would just like to get a tip what to treat them with to get better weather resistance.

So if you’re in the market for a new soft-shell jacket the Arc’Teryx DRAC Jacket is definitely the way to go!

Fjällräven Gaiter Trousers No.1

Fjällräven Gaiter Trousers No.1 is a pair of pants that I’d really want, but they are juuuust a little over my budget for a pair of pants so to say.

Advanced trekking trousers in G-1000 Eco and G-1000 HD for demanding outdoor activities any season of the year. Innovative zip-off solution with built-in gaiter.

Gaiter Trousers No. 1 are advanced trekking trousers for long adventures in the outdoors, any time of the year. An innovative gaiter function makes it possible to adapt the trousers to different types of weather and terrain. In warm weather the lower section of the leg can be taken off to turn the trousers into shorts, just like a normal pair of zip-off trousers. The removed section has a drawcord adjustment at the calf that together with


What I really like about them are the cargo pockets that sits on the front of the pants instead of on the side like on a normal pair of cargo pants. More like a pair of pilot g-suit pants with map pockets strapped to the front. This way they’re easier to access with maps, papers, phones etc. I use those pockets on my Triple Aught Design Force 10 Cargo pants all the time, even though they’re smaller they’re very useful! Perfect for quick and easy access like I said.

These pants retails for about 3 000 SEK.

Here you’ll find more information about Fjällräven Numbers Series.

New Winter Jacket

This jacket will soon arrive to keep me warm… The winter has really hit Sweden hard and fast so this is what I got to help me get through it, Fjällräven Greenland Winter Jacket in Dark Navy.

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More pictures @ Bonobos.com

I got mine at Naturkompaniet in Sweden.