Saturday, 6 February 2010
New Gear, Montbell UL Down Pant & Titanium Goat Ptarmigan Bivvy Bag
Titanium Goat Ptarmigan Bivvy
I got 2 new pieces of gear this week, one bought new from the USA and one used from Canada.
The used gear was a Titanium Goat Ptarmigan Bivvy Bag with full mesh hood option. I'd mentioned on Outdoors Magic about trying to make a lightweight bivvy bag, lighter at least than my Trekmates one which is about 300g but had a private message from 'Mike fae Dundee' telling me about a Titanium Goat Ptarmigan for sale on the BPL.com forums. I'd looked at the Ptarmigan bivvy in the past but the cost at $110 (including full mesh hood)plus shipping had delayed purchasing. I contacted the seller and we agreed a price, $80 including shipping.
PHD Minim 500 + Ptarmigan Bivvy
The bivvy bag arrived within a few days and even in the padded envelope felt seriously light. It's in almost perfect condition with only the small tab used to lift the mesh missing which I was aware of anyway. It's big enough for my PHD Minim 500 both length/width, the full mesh hood is in addition to the main hood and closes with a one way zipper, the main hood can be folded back under the top of the bag to keep it out of the way. The main hood has a 2 way zipper and the bag can be sealed up if required. I really only intend to use it as a sleeping bag cover under the flysheet of my Phreeranger but the mesh hood should make it possible to use the flysheet without a bug nest. It packs really small and with an Alpkit Apollo 2 A6 stuffsack weighs 205g.
Full Mesh Hood with 1-Way Zipper, Fabric Hood Folded Underneath
Fabric Hood with 2-Way Zipper
The 2nd item is a pair of Mont-Bell UL Down Pants (trousers). I had to make a choice whether to get a warmer winter bag or try to upgrade my Minim 500 but after looking at the options which included an Alpkit PD800 I opted for down trousers as they offered more versatility with no real weight penalty.
Mont-Bell UL Down Pant
The choice then came down to either the PHD Minim trousers or the Mont-Bell UL ones. The PHD ones wouldn't have fitted off the shelf and would have cost £175 inc shipping to have them made in Small with a longer leg, what clinched it was the waiting time of over a month. The Mont-Bell UL's were ordered from Oregon Mountain Community and including shipping, VAT and service charges came to £142. I suspect that the PHD ones would be warmer as they have 800EU fill power down rather than 725US but I'm pretty confidant that the Mont-Bell's will be warm enough.
Elasticated Waist, Stud and Zip Fly
Ankle Cuff Elastic
The Mont-Bells came in at 180g although they don't have pockets like the PHD ones. They have a zip fly, stud fastening waist and slightly elasticated waist drawcord, there's also a elastic drawcord at the ankle. As expected they pack down very small and should take up very little space in the Roll-Top drybag along with my sleeping bag.
They Pack Down Much Smaller.
I haven't had a chance to try either of the items yet but should hopefully be able to try them out soon.