Gear Guide: Spring 2012 Backpacking

Granite Gear Crown backpack

Spring is a great time to get out backpacking. It is a great time to get into the backcountry and see the flowers start to bloom. With the snowfall this year, we might even be able to get back into mountains a little earlier. We filled this guide up with gear that will save you weight in your pack and gear that will power your electronics wherever you are. If you know of gear that we left out, let us know and we would love to hear in the comments what other gear we could have included.

Ganite Gear Crown V.C. 60

Did you love the Vapor Trail backpack by Granite Gear or know someone who does? If so, the Crown V.C. 60 is that with a few upgrades. With Vapor Current Suspension technology and weighing less than the Vapor Trail at 2 lbs, 2 oz (1 lb 13 oz with frame removed), the Crown 60 is a top loader with a secure roll-top closure that provides easy access. The simple lidless design can be upgraded with our optional LineLoc lid. The frame itself is removable so the pack can be used for ultralight loads without the frame. The belt and shoulder straps feature dual density padding and new narrow webbing straps. The shoulder strap has a built in stretch mesh pocket, and the belt has the capacity to accept our optional hip belt pockets.


Interchangeable belts

Lineloc compression

Tool loops

Hydration ports & internal hydration sleeve

Large stretch side & front pockets

Extended overflow crossover straps

• Vapor current suspension

Torso Sizes: small | regular | long

Weight: .96 kg | 2lbs 2oz

Capacity: 60 liters | 3660 cubic inches

Suspension: Vapor Current (V.C.) Internal Frame

Load Capacity: 35lbs | 16kg


100D Ripstop

210D Nylon CORDURA®

• MSRP: $199.95

Brooks-Range Foray Tent

Brooks-Range’s new Foray Tent is for the outdoor adventurist who strives to have the best performance gear, but the lightest pack possible. The Foray is a 2-person, 3-season Nylon tent that only weighs 2 lb. 10 oz.!  This freestanding double wall tent features 28 sq. ft of interior space, a front vestibule for gear storage, and a removable fly for optimal ventilation.


28 sq. ft of interior space

8.6 sq ft. vestibule

Materials:  wall - 10d Sil / PU Nylon 1200mm; floor- 15d Sil / PU 1200mm; poles - DAC 8.05mm NSL.

Dimensions: 7’6” x 4’2” x 3’4”

Weight:  2 lb., 10 oz.


MSRP $475.95

L.L.Bean Goose Down Sleeping Bag, Mummy, 20-degrees

The new Goose Down Sleeping Bag, Regular Mummy 20° features the outstanding warmth-to-weight ratio of 650-fill-power goose down, the most durable and long-lasting insulating material available for sleeping bagsThe baffle design keeps more insulation on the top and sides, where you need it most. We've made the fit more roomy and comfortable without adding appreciable weight. A new hood design provides more warmth, allows better range of motion and features improved adjustability. Draft tubes on zipper and hood prevent cold air from seeping in. Both exterior and interior shells of the bag are constructed of a new downproof ripstop nylon that has a soft, silky feel. Water-repellent coating on outer shell resists moisture.


• The most comfortable down bag we've ever made

• Insulated with superdurable 650-fill-power goose down

• Ideal for backpacking, bicycle touring or camping

• Weight 2 lb. 12 oz.

• Length 86".

• Fits to 6'.

• Width 36½".

• MSRP: $219.00

Klymit Static V


The latest in Klymit’s camping pads, the Static V is a full-length pad that inflates in only 10 breaths. The Static V’s engineered “V” chambers limit air movement and heat loss, as well as stabilize the pad and distribute weight for better support and comfort. Elevated side bumpers on the pad help to keep the sleeper from sliding off the pad. An easy-to-use push valve allows for quick inflation and deflation.


Weight: 20 ounces

Size: Inflated: 72 inches long, 23 inches wide, 2.5 inches thick

Perfect for use inside a mummy bag, or below with pad straps

Side Rails

V chamber Design

Super durable fabrics: top: 75 D polyester (click here for demo video)

10 - 12 breaths to inflate

Stuff Sack

Patch Kit

MSRP $59.95

OR_HeliumOutdoor Research Helium II Jacket

Offering complete storm protection in a package that packs down to the size of an energy bar, the fully waterproof 6.4-ounce Helium II Jacket employs a new fabric and membrane – Pertex Shield DS – that makes it six percent lighter, 10 percent more breathable and 30 percent more waterproof than the original Helium. It’s storm insurance you won’t leave behind. Fully seam-taped, details on the Helium include an adjustable hood, zippered chest pocket, stuff pocket with a carabiner loop, elastic cuffs and a drawcord hem. Men’s and women’s specific versions.





Fully seam taped

Adjustable hood

Reflective trim on hood

Water-resistant zippers

7.5”/19 cm internal stormflap

Zippered chest pocket

Stuff pocket w/ webbing loop

Elastic cuffs

Drawcord hem Fabric: 100% Nylon, 2.5-layer 30D Pertex® Shield DS ripstop fabric w/ clear laminate

MSRP: $150

airblaster_ninjasuitAirblaster Ninja Suit

The Ninja Suit is long underwear that might catch you off guard when you first see it, but once you wear it you will love it. The one piece design seals out drafts and snow. It also has a seven-panel stretch hood for temperature regulation. The 4-way stretch fabric is comfy and will wick moisture away from the skin.  It also has a “poop shoot” that is easily opened with a zipper to let you use the restroom without taking the suit all the way off.


Air-Tech 4-way stretch wicking fabric

7-panel ergonomic hood to seal out drafts and snow

Full-length front chest zip

Front fly for easy #1 access

Circumferential waist zip for ultra-easy #2 access

Thumb loops at wrist cuff to seal out snow


scarpa_MANALIScarpa Men’s Himavan GTX and Women’s Manali GTX

Versatile boots for everything from day hiking into backpacking, the Himavan GTX and women’s Manali GTX employ signature SCARPA traits such as high-­‐end suede and nylon construction, bi-­‐directional ankle flex for superb comfort, and Gore-­‐Tex for waterproof security. Lighter and more flexible out of the box than sister boots like the Zanskar and Hunza, the Himavan and Manali employ the SCARPA/Vibram Biometric sole package, memory foam inside the boots for custom fit, no-­‐friction micro-­‐pulley hardware for effective lacing, and a protective toe rand.


Activfit technology

Bi-directional ankle flex

Micro-pulley hardware

Performance Comfort Gore-Tex®

Protective toe rand

Vibram® sole

Upper: Suede/Nylon

Lining: Gore-Tex® – Performance Comfort

Insole: Activ Tech

Midsole: PU

Sole: Vibram® Biometric

Last: BD

Sizes: 40 – 47, 48 (half sizes)

1 lb. 6 ozs. per boot (27 men’s), 1 lb. 3 ozs. per boot (size 38 women’s).

MSRP: $239.00

brunton_restoreBrunton Restore

Do you have a hard time leaving some electronics home when you go backpacking? If so the Restore was built for you. The internal battery keeps extra energy at hand, and twin solar panels keep the battery at peak capacity in less time. Ideal for charging personal devices like iPods® and smart phones. Advanced polycrystaline solar technology gathers maximum energy per inch for maximum efficiency. So you will never be caught without power again.


Water resistant

Durable rubberized shell

Internal rechargeable Lithium Polymer battery

Power gauge and auto shut-off

Solar Panel: Two (2) 100 mA polycrystalline

Battery Storage: 2,200 mAh battery.

Output: 1,000 mA / 5V (USB 2.0 compatible)

Dimensions: 5.5"x3"x1.25"

Weight: 8.6 oz.

Compatible with Brunton Sync Tech™ enabled headlamps and task lights

MSRP: $120.00

Komperdell Carbon Expedition Vario 4


The Carbon Expedition Vario 4 are made of carbon and Titanal to be an ultralight solution for trekking poles. These poles are adjustable from 115 cm to 145 cm and can pack down to only 45 cm to be stashed inside your pack or attached to the outside of it. With an expedition long grip and padded strap these poles are comfortable to use.


Sizes: packed size: 45 cm maximum length: 145 cm

Adjustable from: 115–145 cm

Weight: 219 gram/pole* 7.7 oz

Expedition long grip

Padded strap

Upper section 100% carbon,

Lower section Titanal. HF Rocksleeve

4-section foldable pole

Power Lock II system

Trekking Ice basket

Trekking Ice tip

MSRP: $179.95

princetontec_bytePrinceton Tec Byte headlamp

The Byte might be small but it is ready for any backpacking trip. Although smaller and lighter than its big brothers Fuel and Remix, Byte is capable of packing a powerful punch thanks to a white Maxbright LED. The softer side of Byte comes in the form of a red Ultrabright LED to ensure your night vision will never be compromised. As with the rest of The Family, Byte is equipped with an asymmetrical single arm bracket, easily accessible battery door enclosure, and large push button switch, all at a mere 64 grams.


Power - 35 Lumens

Lamp - White Maxbright LED, Red Ultrabright LED

Burn Time - 146 Hours

Batteries - 2 AAA Alkaline or Lithium

Weight - 64 Grams

MSRP: $19.99

MicroRocketMSR MicroRocket

The MicroRocket carries small but burns big. More compact than the original PocketRocket, it fits easily inside an MSR Insulated Mug, and sheds 12 grams (.4 ounces) of weight. MSR also boosted the stability of the pot supports, while maintaining a robust, wind-resistant flame with WindClip protection. Includes a hand-held Piezo igniter.


Ultra-light: Weighs just 75 grams (2.6 ounces)

Strong: Extra-stout folding pot supports deliver improved stability

Compact: Folding legs pack exceptionally small, fitting into an MSR® Insulated Mug.

Wind-Resistant: Concave burner head with WindClip™ protection pushes a persistent, solid flame.

Fast: Boils 1 liter of water in just 3.5 minutes.

Piezo Ignition: Tubular design offers excellent durability and captures gas for reliable ignition.

MSRP: $59.95

GravityWorks_FilterPlatypus GravityWorks Filter System

Easily replacing any need to ever pump water again, the GravityWorks filter cleans 4.0 liters of water in less than 2.5 minutes and all you have to do is fill up a reservoir and hang it. It weighs less than 12 ounces, you can filter into anything, and back flushing is accomplished by simply raising the Clean reservoir above the Dirty one for four seconds. It also acts as a water storage system, allowing you have a full 8 liters on hand at any time.


Filters 4 liters of water in 2.5 minutes with no pumping.

Streamlined filter housing and zipper-less Clean reservoir saves weight and space

Reinforced handles for hanging and carrying

SlimeGuard antimicrobial treatment for lasting, taste-free performance

Stores 8 liters of water for on-demand use

Back flushes in seconds with no moving parts

MSRP: $109.95

readytoeatBridgford Ready to Eat Sandwich

The Ready to Eat Pocket Sandwich line was originally developed for the United States Military as combat feeding rations for the "Troops On-The-Go". The Bridgford Ready to Eat Sandwiches weighs 3.5-oz 3.1-oz or 2.5-oz depending upon the sandwich variety.  No refrigeration is required and the product has a three year shelf-life from date of manufacturing if maintained at 80 degrees of less. The Ready to Eat Sandwiches are a great food solution for the outdoor enthusiast whether you are camping, hiking, boating, fishing, etc. Bridgford currently offers eleven varieties of which five are BBQ Beef, BBQ Chicken, Italian Style, Pepperoni Stick and Bacon in Cheese Flavored Bread.) The Bridgford Ready to Eat Sandwiches was designed to be eaten straight from the pouch; simply tear the pouch open at the tear notches, remove the sandwich and eat.


Great for Emergency/Disaster Relief Planning

3-Year Shelf Life if Stored at 80º F or less; may be stored at 100º for six months.

Taste Great

No heating required – just tear open and eat.

Great cold or hot.

Approved and used by the U.S. Military.

High in Protein and Carbohydrates

On average, the sandwiches provide 300 calories and 11 grams of protein per serving.


3.5-oz to 2.5-oz per sandwich.

83 to 108 calories- per-ounce.

Inexpensive meal solution

MSRP: $3.99 per sandwich or $15.99 for a 4 Count Box of sandwiches.

benchmade_landslideBenchmade Landslide

The Landslide is the perfect companion for any backpacking trip. It has a N680 stainless steel blade that has been given a stonewashed finish with dual stud openers. The blade locks open and is released with the lock back mechanism. It has a 3D machined textured orange handles and a reversible pocket clip. This products is also made in USA.


Blade Length: 3.50"

Blade Material: N680

Weight: 3.20oz.

Pocket Clip: Tip Up, Silver Split Arrow

Lock Mechanism: Lock-Back

Overall Length: 8.05"

Sheath Material: Sold Separately

Class: Lone Wolf

MSRP: $80.00