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First Impressions

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

As promised I thought I would post my thoughts on some of the kit I’m using. Where I have included more information, I’ll link to the review pages.

Surly Long Haul Disc Trucker – quite honestly there’s only one word to describe this bike, and that’s Amazing. Click Here for more.

Vaude Hogan Ultralight Argon tent. Easy to put up and feels very solid, I’ve not yet had to use the guy ropes. My only gripe is the inner has to be erected first, then the flysheet over the top. Not a problem when it’s dry, but when raining this is a real pain. Having said that the inner is waterproofed, so you don’t get water inside the tent. The front porch is small, yet allows a good air ventilation flow and I found when opened up this stopped condensation build up inside the main tent. Packs down very small and I think this was a great buy. It is marketed as a 1 – 2 person tent which is rubbish, it’s great for one but definitely would not be useful with two people.

Alpkit Skyehigh 800 4 season sleeping bag. Very warm bag, but with a full length zip which I like. However I keep seeming to catch the zip in the generous baffles and haven’t quite got the hang of it yet, so I’ll do a full review after a few more weeks.

Exped Downmat Ultralite 7 (medium). Great bit of kit, easy to fill with the stuff bag inflation and very comfortable and warm. Not a lot more to say really, another great buy.

Primus Omnifuel Stove. I have only used the stove with a gas canister at this point and it has performed brilliantly. A pan of water is boiled in much less than 3 minutes, yet it can simmer milk for porridge too. Haven’t tried eggs yet, but because of the simmer control I imagine it will be fine. Full review to follow when I’ve used other fuels, but my initial reaction is very positive.

Front Dynamo: Supernova Infinity 8 including Tout Terrain The Plug II Hub Charging Device. Until the last 20 km of Sunday’s ride, I was in love with it. Then I found it’s Achilles heel. Click Here for more.

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