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Gear We Like

Posted by davidrosslevy , 10 April 2017 · 607 views

backpacks tents water filtration water resistant shells gore-tex kelty katadyn seatosummit mountainequioment mpowerd
Everyone is built differently and recreates in their own way, making the 'best gear' truly subjective. Different environments and goals will also determine the right equipment for you and the job.
Though it's our policy not to promote specific outdoor products and brands within trail descriptions, we can share some of our personal favorites here with the ProTrails Forum community:
Kelty Salida 2
The Kelty Salida 2 has proven to be one of the most versatile and easy to use tents we've ever tried. The size - weight - space ratio is fantastic. It's very light for a two-person tent, and solo backpackers won't mind the nominal extra weight over solo tents for all the extra space (it's kind of like getting upgraded to a suite for free).
It's super-easy to assemble, sturdy and free-standing - and don't underestimate how important free-standing is! Once the Salida is set up you can lift it with a single finger and move it around until you find the perfect spot. It's withstood days of incessant rain in the Pacific Northwest, crushing windstorms in western Colorado and hailstorms in southern Utah. Great job Kelty.
Mountain Equipment Firefox Pant
The Mountain Equipment Firefox is a featherweight gore-tex pant made for fast-moving alpine activities. Ambitious day-hikers, multi-day backpackers, spring skiers and minimalists who demand top quality will especially like this product.
Mountain Equipment is a UK company not widely known in the U.S.; search online and you'll find rave reviews. I have to say I love this product, flat out. 
Articulated knees give you full range of motion, and full leg zips provide max breathability. You were concerned a moment ago about 'featherweight' because it implies a lack of durability - don't be. They might show a little fraying and scuffing, but these things hold up like heavyweights. And yes, they're 100% waterproof.
Mountain Equipment fits in the mold of Arcteryx products (which generally favor leaner, angular athletes), so fuller-figures or those with bulky leg muscles may find the Firefox a little snug. 
MPowerd Luci EMRG Light
This compact, inflatable solar-charged light can illuminate your entire tent or immediate surroundings. One of the biggest problems with headlamps is that you can focus intense light on an object, but everything else remains dark (just imagine looking for something in your tent at night - even with a headlamp the dark spots are still dark). 
This product changes all that, turning your tent into an evenly lit snow globe. Multi-day trekkers will love the solar charge - no need to conserve or stress about batteries. The red strobe is useful in an emergency, but hopefully all you ever need it for is a fun night in the mountains. The EMRG is inexpensive too. Give it a try next time you camp - I think you'll like it.
Katadyn BeFree Water Filtration
Where have you been all my life! The BeFree changes so many things: long trail runs, hot weather trail runs and day hike water planning just to name a few. Forget about stopping for 10 minutes to set up and work a pump filter. Just the thought of that process makes you want to skip it and go thirsty.
This lightweight collapsable bottle frees you to carry no / little water and just grab a drink as you go. No pumps or tubes or gravity set ups. Simply fill, squeeze, sip and carry on. It's that fast and easy.
Are you always debating whether to bring that 2nd or 3rd liter of water but concerned about the extra weight? It's not even a question anymore - you don't need it. The Katadyn BeFree allows you to ditch that extra water weight and stay light. 
Perhaps the best thing is the flexibility it gives you when you want to keep going, but running low on water. Keep this in your pack and you'll never have to turn back. Like the Luci light, it's now a fixture in my pack.
Great collaboration between Katadyn and HydraPak on this product.
Sea to Summit Folding Bucket
The folding water bucket allows you to have 10-20 Liters of water at your beck and call. This simple but brilliant product eliminates countless trips to your water source.
Even better, the portability gives you freedom to camp further away from water and set up in more desirable spots. 
The Sea to Summit buckets are very light, compact and easy to stow. If camping with multiple people, bring two so you can have clean and 'gray' water buckets for drinking and general use. Soloists may at first find this product to be a skippable luxury, but the weight - utility ratio is very favorable.
Jetboil Flash
The Jetboil Flash significantly simplifies water boiling and cooking for light and fast backpacking. This smart, compact system takes barely a minute to set up and break back down. The push-button ignitor (when dry) is easy to use and the control knob on the burner works just like your stove at home.
Whether used for boiling water for dried meals or slow cooking sausages in a pan, the Jetboil Flash gives you power and flame control for just about any use case in the backcountry. I find myself taking it on day hikes now because it's light and that easy/fast to set up and use.
Let us know what gear you like and why!

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