Locus Gear Khufu CTF-B

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I recently got a new shelter from Locus Gear of Japan. It’s a one person shelter with a semi solid inner covering half the foot print. In this way I will get good protection from cold drafts and also a vestibule for storing wet gear and cooking in foul weather.

First impressions are very good. Craftsmanship live up to the hype. This is the Khufu CTF-B, that means that the whole tent is taped together. Only seams are along the zipper, and these are then bonded with cuben tape. Compared to the UltaMid I have been using the last two years this is at least of the same quality.

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The inner attaches easy on the inside but as always its hard to get a good stretch on it. Regarding the clearance there is no problem what so ever, at least 10 cm all around.

The tent weighs in at 330 g with pack bag and the inner is 300g. Together with 8 pegs it sums up to almost exactly 700g. Very nice for shelter this size that will hold up good against weather and wind.

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Material in the inner looks very nice, the red color is really strong. White walls are very easy to see through so if you plan stay at camps and want som privacy I would recommend something darker. The silnylon is super slippery so I will have to add some seam sealing to the floor to avoid ice skating night time.

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Quick update

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10.9 kg excl. water

Some changes to the trip. Jon is unfortunately ill and can’t make the trip.

Therefore I’ve done some changes to my kit, added the cook set and inner tent. But instead of going with my Bearpawwd Pyranet that’s quite big for just one person I borrowed Jons Six Moon Designs Serenity NetTent.

Right now my pack weighs in at about 10.9kg. That’s almost 500g lighter than my packing list. So either something in there’s not weighed correctly or I’m missing something vital, haha. I guess it’s the former one as I’ve dropped a few things in my first aid- and repair kit and haven’t checked their weight afterwards, lazy, yes…

I’ve been looking for a smaller inner for my HMG Ultamid 2 and this is a sweet combo so far. Might be a good buy for me. I’ll get back to how the two performed together after the trip.

So without further ado, Hyperlite Mountain Gear meets Six Moon Designs Serenity NetTent!

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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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Is Fjällräven feeling the lightweight competition?

In the latest number of Fjällrävens spring and summer edition the first pages are seriously pointing out that lightweight materials and lightweight gear isn’t a must to have a great time in the outdoors.

“Lightweight” isn’t lightweight anymore…

“To chase experiences and not grams”

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Even though there’s some truth to this I can’t instantly start thinking that Fjällräven and simliar “heavy weight” material brand are starting to feel some pressure of the lightweight community. All this boils down to that they want to point out that their gear is super durable but still “lightweight enough” to not make you feel cumbersome on your trip. Sustainability is their leading word. I don’t blame them at all. I love that Fjällräven are one of the leading companies towards environmental sustainability just like Patagonia. That is one big factor for me when buying new gear. They must be durable enough to last for years but yet lightweight. On that last point Fjällräven fails but not according to them.

“But lightweight isn’t everything”

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On the next text filled page in the latest number they’re pointing out that it’s well know for Fjällrävens items to be passed along from generation to generation. I still feel that many of my lighter weight items would still be able to do just that.

Fredrik Hyltén-Cavallius, product developer,”For us lightweight isn’t everything, really, and we think that the products of the future will separate on this point. Our focus has always been on simple light and functional tents.”

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Well yeah. I can’t argue with that but that’s just saying that, all of our stuff will outlive everyone and everything. Sustainability again. I dig that stuff but lighter items be it a tent, a pair of pants or a jacket will still last for a very long time if you care about it. A “heavy duty item” will surely suffer the effect of time if not properly cared for.

I personally own two Fjällräven jackets, a heavy duty sweater, pants, a backpack, duffle and have previously owned a tent (my kids have a small Kånken each) and I can still say that my Patagonia items and similar brand feels just as durable as the Fjällrävens ones even though they’re much lighter and more often have smarter features. Right now, writing this, I even wear my Fjällräven Sörmland Roundneck Sweater, but I would never bring it on a backpacking trip.

What I’m going for with this is that you can be outdoors with both traditional, heavier, items or more lightweight stuff. But from my personal experience I prefer the lightweight option as I feel more comfortable and get to experience more with it as it’s less cumbersome. I do hope that these traditional brand takes a serious look at the cottage manufactures and changes their direction towards lighter but still durable items. I’d love a super lightweight Fjällräven jacket/pant on one of my future trips. But right now I can’t see that happening.

So, I chase the experience with grams. Even though it takes me some more time preparing before going on a trip rather than just visit the local outdoor shop and buy everything they have on the shelf to feel safe and secure.

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Lightweight isn’t less durable, if you’re not setting of to go to war with those items which I guess is not the case for most.

 

 

All the quotes in this article are freely translated. 

 

Solo hiking Västanåleden – A first try at SUL Hiking

The majority of my hikes are shorter weekend trips on any of the trails close to my hometown. It’s only during my summer holidays that I have time for week long journeys to places like Norway and northern Sweden. With this in mind I have started to work on a lighter kit custom tailored for the needs I have on my shorter trips in the woods around Jönköping. So after spending the spring purchasing new equipment it was now time for a first trip trying to go SUL – Super Ultra Light that is 🙂 

In this post i will do a short trip report and also try to sum up the experience of my new kit and talk through some of the new items i used.

Hiking Västanåleden

Västanåleden is a short round trip hike in the beech forest south of Gränna. The trail shares tracks with John Bauerleden that connects all the way down to Jönköping. Both of these trails are familiar to me and just last year me and André took a short overnight trip at this trail. I decided to walk the southern part of the trail as these are the ones I like most. As this would be a rather short route I would also have time for some detours along any of the other trails crossing my path.

I started out just outside the small village of Röttle and decided to take a short walk down to the harbour. On my way I passed the waterfalls and the remains of the old Jerusalem mill. Down by the harbour I took a small pause and then headed back up to the trail.

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Röttle river waterfalls and the remains of Jerusalem Mill


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New sleeping system – Cumulus Quilt 250

Recently I’ve sold all my sleeping bags besides one that I’ve kept for the time being and now that the primary backpacking season is starting up again I had to get something else or otherwise I’d just have to sleep on the ground wrapped in a survival blanket…

I’ve been interested in quilts before but I’ve never taken the step from the conventional sleeping bags over to one of those. Even now before I ordered I wasn’t sure if I was to get one or not. The ones I ended up choosing between was the Cumulus Quilt 250 and Western Mountaineering Highlite sleeping bag. Both of them are about the same weight and has basically the same comfort temperature rating.

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I ended up choosing the Cumulus Quilt 250 as the price tag was more interesting and I like the idea of having a quilt rather than a sleeping bag as I normally sleep quite warm and I think it’s a nice feature to have the possibility to quickly get some cool air into the bag or just keep it open without having to fiddle with a zipper.

Before I say anything else I just want to give a shout out to Cumulus customer service which is just completely awesome! I had some trouble ordering and they sorted everything out very quickly and made sure the quilt arrived on time. It was a really good experience buying from them, highly recommended.

My first impressions of the quilt is that it’s lightweight, very well made, high quality stuff – no down leakage etc. It looks like a really good choice.The only thing I can complain about is the stuff sack, it’s a little small and I had a hard time compressing the quilt into it and closing it properly. It’s made out of the same material as the quilt, Pertex Quantum fabric so it’s really lightweight but not waterproof in any way. I’ll swap this for a stuff sack or a dry bag from Zpacks. I haven’t really decided what to get. I need something that’s light and waterproof as I stack my tent on-top of the sleeping bag and from past experience you’ll sleep in a wet/damp sleeping bag if you do that if the stuff sack is not waterproof…

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On Cumulus shop they claim that the bag weighs 480g and by the looks of it they’re correct, everything is in order 🙂

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It also comes with some extra bungee cords and a storage bag.

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Fjällräven Keb Loft Jacket

Fjällräven Keb Loft Jacket appeared on the market in August 2014 and looks to have hade some nice feedback since then. It’s a good looking jacket but the color choices are slim as it only comes in autumn leaf (below), black, tarmac and the classic, uncle blue.

According to Fjällräven this is a light and convienient reinforcement jacket with warm synthetic padding. It has got a two-way zipper, hand pockets and mesh pockets inside.

Material

  • Fabrics: 100% polyester ,G-1000.
  • Lite: 65% polyester, 35% cotton
  • Lining: 100% polyester
  • Fill: 100% polyester
  • Weight: 350 g in size M

Features

  • Lightweight insulation jacket, perfectly worn under a shell or by itself.
  • Filled with 60 g/sqm G-LOFT Supreme.
  • Reinforcement details in G-1000. Lite.
  • Two-way front zip with buttoned placket.
  • Two interior storage pockets.
  • Adjustable at bottom hem with draw cord.
  • Elastic binding at sleeve cuffs.
  • Regular fit.
  • Leather details on the zipper pulls.

If I compare this jacket to my Patagonia Nano Puff jacket I’d say that they’re very similar in both functionality and specs. My Nano Puff weighs in at about 345 grams in size small so the Fjällräven jacket should be a little lighter than the Nano Puff as the weight in the specifications above is for a size medium.

I’m not really looking to replace my Nano Puff even though I’ve had it since 2011 and used it on a daily basis and for many trips it looks very good and has held up really well. I’ve only gotten a rip or two in it, one happened when I accidentally managed to get the fabric stuck in my front zipper and pulled on it, which was a bit odd. But if I were to replace it in the future I guess this jacket from Fjällräven would be a good option. Fjällräven garments are really good and made out of supreme materials to keep them lasting for many, many years.

So if you’re in the market for a lightweight non-down-jacket this might be a good option for you.

G-Loft Supreme is Fjällräven’s new synthetic padding which should perform very good even in wet conditions. The material was developed exclusively for Fjällräven.

I’m not sponsored in any way by Fjällräven nor have I gotten a compensation to put this on my blog.