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Jan 26, 2023
Doctor Rosenrosen All-American
It's amazing how much lighter (and better) backpacking gear is than when I first
got into it during my college summer breaks 30 years ago (and that stuff was still way better than what I hiked with in my teens).

I just purchased my third generation of backpacking gear. I felt somewhat conflicted about this because my existing, second generation gear (purchased in 2007) is still in fairly good shape. But, as I continue to age (I'm now in my 50s), the more weight I can cut (without sacrificing comfort), the better.

I can now finally claim a base weight of my 4 heaviest items (backpack, tent, sleeping bag, and ground pad) of under 10 pounds. By comparison, the base weight of my second generation gear was about 3 pounds above this and my first generation gear (purchased in the early to mid 1990s) was rougly 10 pounds (or approximately 2X) heavier.

I'm also going to start wearing much lighter footwear (instead of heavy hiking boots, which I've always worn in the past).

For those of you who are interested, my new gear is as follows:
Pack: Osprey Atmos AG 65 (replacing a 2007 Osprey Aether 85)
Tent: Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL2 (replacing a 2007 Big Agnes Seedhouse SL2)
Sleeping bag: Feathered Friends Hummingbird UL 20 degree (replacing a 2007 Marmot Helium 15 degree)
Ground pad: Therm-a-rest NeoAir Xlite NXT (replacing a 2007 Therm-a-rest Pro Lite plus)

Notably, my new pack is 20 liters smaller in volume than my old one so I'm going to have to be more disciplined about packing it (gear selection/organization) on longer trips. But it has more pockets, which should make it easier to stay organized. And the suspension system seems more comfortable (although the old one was pretty good as Osprey has been making awesome packs for years).

Just like my old tent, my new tent is marketed for two people but it's really only big enough for two if one of them is a child or small woman (even though I usually sleep solo when backpacking, I find one person backpacking tents to be too confining). But in addition to being almost a pound lighter than my old tent, it also has doors and vestibules on each side (instead of just one door and vestibule at the head end).

My new ground pad marks the first time I've ever owned a fully inflatable backpacking pad (my old was was semi-inflatable). I got the new version that just came out (which is supposed to be much less noisy). I'm a bit uneasy about it because it looks so fragile (any small puncture in the field that I'm not able to find and repair will render it utterly useless whereas my old one still provides some insulation/padding in an uninflated state). But people have apparently hiked the entire AT or PCT with these things.

It's almost like there's a race between advancement in backpacking gear and my aging body. And despite working out regularly, my body is having a hard time keeping up (it's too bad I can't hike with today's gear and my 20 year old body).
This message has been modified
Originally posted on Jan 26, 2023 at 9:40:53am
Message modified by Doctor Rosenrosen on Jan 26, 2023 at 9:54:47am
Doctor Rosenrosen
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Doctor Rosenrosen
Oct 31, 2003
Last login
Mar 21, 2023
Total posts
7,560 (624 FO)

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