Gear comments for Bilsdale Circuit Trip

A couple of weeks ago, I took a trip to the North York Moors with a wild camp. See report here.

Here are my observations on some of the gear used that deserves a mention.

Go-lite Pinnacle backpack.

I have had this pack for around a year now. It can really swallow up a lot of gear if you wish, with its 70 litre capacity.  It is important to be disciplined and not succumb to the temptation of  carrying all those “just in case items”.

My typically weight carried without food and water for this sort of trip is 8kg.  I still find even with practice you have to pack carefully to ensure a comfortable carry as it does not have an internal frame system, so items can stick in your back. It is a lot of backpack for 935g (2lbs) and I still wonder whether I would be better off with a pack like the Lightwave Ultrahike 60, slightly heavier but may be more comfortable.

Montane Litespeed Windshirt

Montane Lite Speed Wind Shirt

I have had this 2 years and it is brilliant. Lightweight, windproof, breathable and will keep you dry in drizzle.  The jacket pocket is big enough to take an OS map and has a hood as well. All of these features but it only weighs 165g (5.8oz).  This wind shirt is always in my pack and is probably the best bit of kit I own.

Exped Synmat UL7 sleeping mat

Exped Synmat 7UL sleeping mat

This replaced my POE Peak Elite AC mat, which I had deflation issues with.   I  have slept on this 6 nights now and it is comfortable and easy to inflate and deflate, thanks to the excellent system that Exped use. Packs up small, but is roughly 100g more than the POE mat.

Rohan Ultra Silver T

I purchased one of these after some good comments on it from Robin at blogpackinglight.  Extremely light at 60g in weight and is very comfortable.  Silver is incorporated into the T shirt’s material which helps combat odours and so far has remained “stink-free”.  A link to the product details is here

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15 Responses to Gear comments for Bilsdale Circuit Trip

  1. -maria- says:

    A nice report, Mark!
    I have a problem with my backpack, Deuter Aircontact Pro 55+15 SL. At ~3 kg it is extremely heavy – on the other hand, the weight does not feel like that much. It is really easy to carry all that weight in this backpack. I’m just wondering whether it would feel lighter in some other, more lightweight backpack? I don’t really know. So far, I’ve been happy with my Deuter.

    The Montane Windshirt looks nice. I’m totally fed up with Gore-tex etc. It’s going to be a windshirt + some very lightweight waterproofs OR something like Paramo for me. How do you like your Paramo, by the way?

    • I like Paramo a lot – it is too warm for summer, but maybe OK for you as women do feel the cold a bit more than men. Not meant to be a sexist comment :)
      I read that women need a sleeping bag rated at least 5-10C warmer than men. Anyway back to Paramo. I have not had any condensation build up in this jacket and it is the only waterproof that did not leak in a test at Leeds University’s rain room. Bit heavy to carry so will restrict to Oct/Nov – end of April usage when I can wear all day.
      I am getting Neil at Cioch to tailor make me some trousers in the same fabric for the winter. Costs more than off the peg Paramo Cascada trousers which I hear have far too much fabric flapping around. Worth it I hope, to get a good fit. The good thing about wearing these trousers will be the fact that I will not have to carry over trousers or mess about taking them on and off.

  2. -maria- says:

    Thanks for your comments, Mark. No offence taken – I’m the one who wears woollen socks all year long when sleeping (well, maybe not when it’s over +25 C). Really, I feel cold easily.

    It sounds like the Paramo would be a good alternative except for the warmest summer weather. I think I will be ordering it from Cioch as well. I’ve read some comments that the seaming at Paramo has not been first class lately, and I also like to support a small business. I rather pay a little more on something I like than waste money on something I am not so sure about.

    • Maria, I understand that Cioch use the Nikwax Analogy fabric from Paramo and a similar fabric from a Swedish company. I understand that the wait is around 4 weeks at the moment as they are quite busy at present ( which I like to see for a small UK company !).

  3. Robin says:

    Ultra T is a good bit of kit.

    I’ve found the POE Peak Elite AC a bit cold. The Synmat looks tempting but I’m waiting for the new lightweight Downmat :)

  4. Robin, thanks for putting me onto the Ultra T. Regarding the Exped mat, yes that lightweight down mat looks good. Would I be accuse of buying too much kit and not using it enough if I was to buy it ! :)

  5. +1 for the lightspeed here, has been a mainstay of my pack now since picking it up in the spring. Love it.

  6. charles says:

    Mark , Did you consider the Paramo Velez trousers ?. They are apparently much lighter than the
    Cascada ones , and a better cut. Supposed to do the same job. Reviews seem positive . Am going down to London to their ‘ flagship ‘ shop in Covent Garden to try a pair. Only an hour or so away so
    easily done ,rather then try via online and hassel of returning if not the bees knees.
    Like you, loath overtrousers. Tried an experiment with my Terra pants recently. Sprayed with Nikwax to see if would make waterproof. Ok for very light rain for a while, but still ended up with wet
    legs. Disappointing ! I didn’t use the washin first though,just the spray
    Re the Lightwave. Have now received it. First impressions very positive. Well made and extremely
    comfortable. Excellent hip belt. Early days yet.- will post my thourghts on your Pinnacle thread in due course . Pinnacle 935 gr. Lightwave 1200 (large ) Not a lot in it for the extra comfort.

    • Charles, I am waiting for a made to measure pair of trousers in Paramo material from Cioch. I went with these because, I read that Cascada have a lot of material flapping about and that the Velez are not as hard wearing as the standard Paramo material. I would be interested in your thoughts after you have visited the Covent Garden store as well as comments about the Lightwave pack. Charles, I don’t think you have a blog, but if you wanted at any time to put something on my blog as a guest post, just email the text and any photos and I will gladly put it on for you.

      • charles says:

        Thanks Mark for comments about guest post . Considering the Valez ones as hoping they maybe ok for Summer use ,but will see after having a good look at both type of trousers.
        The Plantar Fasciitis continues to delay things , but had some SuperFeet insoles fitted on
        Friday , so will see if they help. mentioned the Lightwave as we have exchanged some thourghts on rucksacks previously . I believe Robin uses one , and speaks well of it.

  7. terrybnd says:

    Well, what do you reckon to the Exped Synmat UL7 mate? Good eh? Note the condensation you can see inside? Shows why not to get the down version in my opinion. Well, for regular heavy use at least. Still my favourite mattress yet that one.

  8. terrybnd says:

    First thing you notice when inflating the UL with your own lungs mate – is how much moisture condenses within, such is how transparent the mats fabric is. You may change your mind with the down ;)

    Saying that, that’s why I bought the Exped Pump Pillow – works a bloody treat mate and is really comfy, too. Owt to extend the products shelf life, as you can gather ;)

    • I understand what you mean now. I have the Exped pump as well so I won’t cause condensation in the UL mat. The Exped Down mat I have has a built in pump, so there should be no moisture in the down.

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