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Archive for March, 2009

Last week I took Friday off with the intention of taking the Laser Competition tent and Alpkit Pipedream 600 sleeping bag out for a trial run. Sadly despite a lot of searching I couldnt find an interesting enough campsite open and although I packed and even left to travel to North Norfolk I only managed a mile before realising my heart wasnt in it enough to drive for 3 hours just to spend a night in a bog standard site.

I still wanted to give my new sleeping combo a run-out so instead I braved the wilderness of the backgarden, and whilst it wasnt a cold night I was still impressed with the sleeping bag and found it to be less constrictive than I thought it was going to be and had a decent nights sleep, despite the efforts of foxes or whatever biggish animals were clattering around late at night.  (Definitely thought they were bears). I even managed to pack the bag into the small bag supplied by Alpkit (it comes with one large cotton sack, a compression bag and a third very small nylon bag), and boy did it take some wrestling but I finally managed to squeeze it in. On reflection the slightly smaller size wasnt worth the effort and for backpacking Ill settle for the less extreme compression sack.

 

Terra Nova Laser Competition

Terra Nova Laser Competition

It was also the first time I slept on the Alpkit Slim Airic and it was more comfortable than I expected, although somewhat less than my Fat Airic unsurprisingly! My only issue with my slim version is it doesnt seem to self inflate with any level of reliability. When I bought it I found it didnt inflate but after speaking to the very helpful people at Alpkit I was advised that the mat is packed so tightly in the factory it needs manual assistance for the first inflation. However whilst this worked and it self inflated ok on testing each time Ive unpacked it Ive needed to manually inflate, maybe Im packing it too well ? 

As for the tent, its getting better each time I pitch with less flappiness, I managed to get it tighter shortly after taking the picture above and had no mid-night flappage, although there was little to no wind. Ill have to see how it bears up when the winds blow!

Now to plan a camping trip outside of my garden boundaries…

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Been waiting a few months now to get a new sleeping bag, this time my first Down bag rather than synthetic. Id love to get a very small and light one but Im a cold sleeper and wanted to get one that I could use 3 season at very least. I originally planned to go for the Alpkit Pipedream 400 but thought Id take the cautious option and get the warmer  PD 600. Id rather be too warm in summer and able to open the bag than too cold later on…

Unfortunately the sleeping bags have been sold out a long time (a good sign!) but finally Alpkit got a new batch in this week from China and luckily I was on their “2nd” priority list and ordered a Pipedream 600 on Thursday and it arrived on Saturday. Less than 48 hours delivered and to be honest this is slow for Alpkit, always a great company to buy from!

 

Alpkit Pipedream 600

Alpkit Pipedream 600

The bag came packed in a compression sack and I was a little surprised at the size, it being a little bigger than I anticipated.  Then it is rated to -10 degrees and still smaller than my synthetic bag, and about 45% of the weight ! Packing my OMM Villain Rucksack may be more of a challenge than previously thought though.

 

Alpkit Pipedream 600

Alpkit Pipedream 600

 

Features

  • Neck and zip baffle
  • Hood cowl
  • Box construction
  • Full length left or right two-way YKK zip
  • Cotton storage bag, compression sack, lwt stuff bag
  • Hang loops for airing
  • Internal pocket

Specification

  • Fill: 95/5 goosedown (750+ fill power EU)
  • Fabric Outer: Toray 29gm/m2
  • Fabric Inner: Toray 29gm/m2
  • Fill Weight: 600 grams
  • Bag Weight*: 950 grams
  • Compression Bag Weight: 120 grams
  • Compressed Size: 23 x 21 or 26 x 18cm
  • AK Comfort Rating: -10*
  • Length/Width: 210 / 70cm
  • Max user height: 6ft 1

*Based on the average weight of 5 regular length bags

*The Alpkit comfort rating is a guideline figure. It is the minimum temperature at which we think a fit and healthy user can have a comfortable night’s sleep. This is based on practical experience and BS4745 testing by the boffins at Leeds University.

www.alpkit.com 

Snug as a bug...

Snug as a bug...

Plenty of legroom...

Plenty of legroom...

 

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