My birthday is coming up in July, and I have had a few questions about what I want as a gift. It got me thinking about new shiny gear that I’ve been wanting. I figured I would share the list with you guys. The items are listed in no particular order.
Stone Glacier Solo Backpack
The Stone Glacier Solo pack is manufactured by a small company that specializes in ultralight packs. It’s primary purpose is to serve as a hunting pack. What makes it well suited for that task is the fact that while it looks like a regular internal flame pack, it is actually an external frame pack. Stone Glacier uses what they call Krux Frame system. To this frame, which forms the full back of the pack, you can attach different pack, the Solo being one of the configurations. Of course, if you are purchasing the pack, you would need to get it with the frame. This feature allows the pack to be pulled away from the frame, creating a load shelf where you can place a game bag.
The pack and frame together come on the expensive end of the price scale at $559.00. You can get the pack without the flame for just $274.00, but that wouldn’t be much use unless you already have the frame. The pack and frame together weigh only 3.63 lb. While that is not lightweight for a regular pack, it is extremely light for hunting packs.
Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm Sleeping Pad
Quite a mouthful, but the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm is the latest design from Therm-a-Rest. It is an inflatable pad designed for four season backpacking. It offers amazing insulation, at an R-value of 5.7, while at the same time coming in at just 15 oz for the Regular size. The mattress comes in sizes S, M, Regular, and L. I am 6 feet tall, so the Regular size fits me perfectly. The NeoAir XTherm costs about $190.00 for the Regular size, and can be purchased just about anywhere including REI.
Julbo Sniper Goggles
The Julbo Sniper goggles are an attempt to solve the ever present problem of fogging when using goggles in cold temperatures. Julbo has solved the problem by allowing adjustment to the lens so that air can freely circulate, thereby preventing fogging. I have wanted to try them for a while because I’ve gotten so frustrated with other goggles and glasses, that I rarely use them anymore. The Julbo Sniper goggles come in two configurations. One is the more expensive option with what Julbo calls a Zebra lens, which is supposed to adjust brightness according to the amount of sunlight available. They also offer a cheaper model which comes with three interchangeable lenses. I’ve been interested in the cheaper model, as I prefer simplicity. The lower cost model will set you back $120.00 while the top end model will cost $160.00.
Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork Trekking Poles
This past year I have been debating about whether or not to take the plunge into the trekking pole market. I’ve never liked using trekking poles because I like having my hands free, but this past year I have been having a very hard tile with my knee. Many people have recommended trekking poles as a way to solve, or at lease alleviate the problem.
From what I have been able to find the Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork trekking poles are the ones that would probably suit me best. They are relatively light weight at 17.2 oz for the pair, while at the same time being strong enough for serous four season use. They are collapsible and have good locking mechanisms based on what I have read. Additionally, the locking mechanisms seem to allow for the removal of the lower section, which is a feature I plan to utilize for potentially replacing the center pole of my Shangri-La 3 with a combination of the two trekking poles. The Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork cost about $160.00.
So there you have it; Wood Trekker’s gear wish list. All of them are items that I have been eyeing for some time, but have not bought any of them because of the hefty price tags. I’m sure that one by one they will make their way into my gear eventually.