Kit that broke, kit that didnae, and other stuff before I forget, 3

There was some new stuff, like that Crag shoes which acquitted themselves well, and the Neoair is staying inflated. Seriously, I will be super-upset if this thing goes on its tits, it’s just so damned comfy.
The Golite Jam2 had the most kit in it I’ve tried up to date because I took a full 2 liter Source collapsible bottle in it. All that’s done is make me think again, so it’ll be another fully loaded trip before I write it up. I do like the powder blue colour though…
However, my trusty Optimus Crux Lite stove is starting to get a little quirky. The gas flared unexpectedly as it was sitting burning away and I couldn’t get it turned back down at first. I was almost lifting the pot off and kicking it away from the tent (I was sitting inside) so I deal with it in a safer position. But then again, better a tent burning than the hillside, so I wrestled the throttle of the roaring jet engine as it melted my windshield and eventually got the gas turned down. The stove was bright orange. It’s now very sticky and hard to control.
I’ll give it the once over (hey, it’s my actual job) and if I don’t like the looks of it, it’s off the active duty list. My confidence in it has been shaken anyway, and I never had this trouble from a cheapo Coleman F1, so I think either the F1 or a Markill Peak is coming out next time.
I had the Big Agnes Copper Spur UL1 at 1000m for the first time, and it went rather well. I’ll do a proper write up with photies over the weekend, but I’m impressed in several ways.
I’ve seen a few new and up-coming tents in the last few weeks and you know something, there’s a good chance that the Lasercomp versus Akto battle is going to be as up to date as the Spitfire versus ME109 one.

26 thoughts on “Kit that broke, kit that didnae, and other stuff before I forget, 3

  1. On the subject of the neoair how does it compare to the exped downmat for comfort? Do the differently aligned baffles make a difference to the feel etc.? Also how much more durable do you think the downmat is?

    I appreciated that they are not really comparable products but any thoughts would be gratefully received.

  2. For me it’s much comfier with the baffles going across the way. There’s less internal air movement wich means a more level surface, less heat migration and loss (internally and also along the dips between the long tubes) and I foundfless change of feeling rocks when you lean on it with your elbow or knee.

    Durability, time will tell. The fabric doesn’t feel weak or thin. I’m just hoping is stays together, but I’m not cutting it any slack. I paid for it, but it’s getting the same shoddy treatment as test kit.
    I’ll update regularly, I’m going to try and do a “Kit that Broke…” post after most trips if there’s stuff worth writing.

  3. As ever, many thanks for the rapid responce. I like the idea of the regular update – more food for my inner gear geek ;-)

    From what you say I rather fear I may have to search out a neoair to at least lie on. I just wonder if teaming it with a foam mat for the winter may be the winning combination. The only other question is ‘would the exped chairkit take the neoair?’…

  4. Good grief, did you see some of spelling in my post above? I’ll take the mitts off when I’m typing from now on…

    Trying one is a good idea, just so you know if you can feel the difference or not. It’s alot of money to take a gamble on.
    One thing is the width, on paper it’s narrow but I don’t come off it, even my feet. It’s bloody odd.
    The chair-kit fitting dilemma, now there’s an unknown!

  5. Are they those big yellow Rab down mitts my mate has for winter ;-)

    Interesting what you say about the width etc., it is begining to look more of a possibility that I had thought. Anyway, I’ll see how all the neoairs out there fare over the next few months.

  6. Taking the NeoAir on a test camp next weekend, but obviously I’ve had it out on the bedroom floor. It *is* very comfy for a camping mat, though I’ll have to wait til I’ve spent a night on it for proper comparison with the Downmat and I’m not geeky enough to sleep on a camping mat at home when I’ve got a luxurious double bed in the same room!! Downmat feels tougher, but my first Downmat died after about 3 outings. We’ll see about the NeoAir: it’s a nicer colour…

  7. “better a tent burning than the hillside”

    Err, I think I’d save the tent…. surely a flaming tent would burn the hillside anyway?!! ;O)

  8. Test kit Matt, no financial incentive to save it over the hillside, which while burning would be a greater inconvenience :o)

    Anyway tents just quickly go “Whoommff!!” and leave only poles and a confused occupant covered in black confetti.
    Ah, memories…

  9. Now, I’m surprised no-one has picked you up on the Spitfire/ME109 thingie…

    So, a few questions beg to be asked here…

    First: WHEN will these wonder new tents hit the stalls.

    Second: will they be lighter, roomier and stronger than either the Akto and the LaserComp or only two of those things? (price is not an issue here, clearly!)

    Third: A radical new design? Tunnel, geodesic, what?? Man, you’re killin’ me… And yes, will they be single skin, some magic new fabric that is tear-proof, breathable, waterproof, and does your coffee in the morning.

    Last but not least, will the publicity campaign for the magic new tent feature one of those scantily clad females that occasionally grace these pages?

    There, I’ve said all I had to say.

    Now, I hope you’ll have pity on me and spill some beans…

  10. Kinda “all of the above”.
    The stronger multi-pole designs are getting lighter and with new fabrics and using new materials for the poles we’re going to be having 1kg tents that will take the knocks from the weather and give us more living space very shortly. The US tents are really catching up, and not just the garage brands, the big names too (except TNF who don’t have a clue).
    I’ve got some stuff on test (including stuff that I can’t put on the blog, sorry!) and should have some stuff coming in soon, and it’ sgetting to the p[oint where I’ll carry a heavier tent that the Lasercomp because it’s just so much better, which the Akto isn’t.

    And yes, there will be more disrobed wummin to celebrate the future :o)

  11. It’s an evolution thing. I’ve got some stuff here that might never see production and that includes clothing and packs as well as tents.
    But, the trend seems to lighter without compromising functionality in a lot of cases.
    It’s a good time for gear I think.

  12. Now, going back to your original remark at the end of your piece, it looks like the next tent duel won’t be between LaserComp and Akto but between TN Solar Lite and Big Agnes Fly Creek… Both around 912/930g, spacious and with a hub. Still wonder what the mesh is like when summit camping but the Fly Creek looks tempting. We just need your BA lucky charm to end and hear what it was like in a hoolie after all…

    Exciting times indeed.

  13. Mesh inners are noticable colder, after the first time I was fine!
    Big Agnes haven’t claimed the Copper Spur back yet, so I’m hopeful of getting it oot again in something a little more taxing.

    I do think the US is ahead in tentworld, for now anyway.

  14. Are you getting the Fly Creek on test any time soon?

    Another thing I’m also wondering about is the pole hub. It looks as if it might take a fair bit of extra-space and I think you grumbled a bit about it somewhere in your reviews?

    The great thing about the LaserComp is that it packs down to nothing at all.

    That was the most liberating thing about moving from the Akto to the Comp.

    And with the help of some PHD stuff and the NeoAir, my overnight pack this year is down to an Osprey Talon 22, which is a bit shy of 25L, I think. The Comp poles fit nicely in the outside side pocket, along with the pegs and, if need be, a walking pole. I doubt the hubby Big Agnes hubs would fit in there…

  15. Aye, hubbed poles are huge. There’s a photie in the review I think.
    I can see the hubs getting smaller, instead of machined blocks we’ll get wee alloy/carbon parts that’ll be flatter and lighter.
    I really do like these designs, we just have to wait for the refinements.

    Fly Creek I dunno, I’ll have the give the Copper Spur back first :o)

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