Drop the Weight of the World

Rainy-Day Ready

Apr 1, 2002
Outside Magazine

KELTY HAIKU 3000 The all-purpose, medium-size, no doodads, indestructible backpack. That's the only pack most of us will ever need, and that's the Kelty Haiku. It's like a Honda Civic or an iMac, so simple and functional it's almost an appliance. Built in a single-sack design from the sturdiest of materials (Cordura and Spectra gridstop cloth), with the standard double-pocketed top flap and wide, thickly padded hipbelt, there's virtually nothing that can go wrong. Load it, shoulder it, adjust it, and lift up thine eyes to the hills, brother. (3 lb., 9 oz.; $160; 800-423-2320, www.kelty.com)

BIBLER TEMPEST If it's likely to storm, you need a tent. Period. No matter what people say, tarps and bivy sacks are lunacy in a thunderstorm or whiteout. But that doesn't mean you need something sprawling, and hence heavy. On the contrary, a small, low-profile tent is lighter, warmer, and less likely to be flattened by big bad blow. Like all Bibler tents, the Tempest is a single- wall domicile built from Todd-Tex (Bibler's high-end waterproof/breathable fabric). Four poles stretch this mountain tent tight as a drum, and two entrances, each with its own vestibule, help stave off cabin fever when two people share the 49 square feet of living space. All it lacks is a fireplace. (6 lb., 2 oz.; $498; 801-278-5533, www.bibler tents.com)

LIGHT-IS-RIGHT CLOTHING Mountain Hardwear's EXtend long underwear (zip T, $60; tights, $45; 800-330-6800, www.mountain hardwear.com) is made from Polartec Power Dry and treated with X-Static, a silver coating that actually devours your locker-room-rank body odors.

THE NORTH FACE AMA DABLAM To move swiftly through inclement conditions and still stay comfortable, you need a waterproof/breathable jacket. Think of the Ama Dablam as mountain armor. Jackets in this category used to be heavy and bulky, but although the Ama Dablam is built with Gore-Tex in a tough, three-layer construction, it is nonetheless lightweight and simple. But not too simple: The hood is big enough for a helmet, two chest pockets double as ventilators (and close with water-resistant zippers), and two internal chest pockets stash sunglasses and keys. (1 lb., 3 oz.; $390; 800-447-2333, www.thenorthface.com)

If the weather is threatening, pull the mountain hardwear Canyon pants ($90) over your shorts; the lightweight nylon dries much faster than denim.

GOLITE FORCE The blow-dried TV meteorologist astutely advises that it will be warm in the valley but cold in the mountains. So your first night it'll be in the fifties, the second night in the thirties, and the third night in single digits. Wouldn't it be great if somebody made a sleeping bag that worked in all conditions? Ask and ye shall receive. The Force is an ingenious, exceptionally versatile down bag with an extra zip-on Polarguard 3D top. Use the down alone on warm nights, and both layers for that unplanned bivy below the summit in a freezing drizzle. (3 lb., 10 oz.; $420; 888-546-5483, www.golite.com)

More at Outside

Elsewhere on the Web

Not Now

Need a Gear Fix?

Open email. Get latest gear. Repeat.

Thank you!