Drop the Weight of the World

Fair-Weather Freedom

Apr 1, 2002
Outside Magazine

INTEGRAL DESIGNS APPALACHIAN SERIES XPD-00 SLEEPING BAG After a century of trying, man still hasn't successfully mimicked the warmth-to-weight genius of down. (It took Mother Nature several million years of prototyping.) The XPD-00—another premier product from Integral Designs, a small equipment company run by a clan of fanatical, ounce-counting Canucks—is your home-away-from-home when traveling light. Stuffed with 750-plus-fill European goose down, and featuring trapezoidal baffles, a fat collar, and an ergonomic hood and foot section, the XPD-00 will keep you locked in sweet dreams right down to 20 degrees. (2 lb., 7 oz.; $340; 403-640-1445, www.integraldesigns.com)

HELLY HANSEN MOTIVE Forget the padded four-pound snowboard jacket, the articulated-everything three-pound ice-climbing jacket, even the zippers-everywhere two-pound Gore-Tex shell. For fastpacking in fair weather, you need nothing more than the Motive, the lightest windbreaker you'll find. Built from wind-stopping, dew-sloughing, superlightweight ripstop polyester, with a ventilating front zip and panels of stretch tricot at the elbows, armpits, and waist, this windbreaker stuffs down to the size of a baseball. And if the rains come? Well, you get wet. (5.2 oz.; $80; 800-435-5901, www.hellyhanson.com)
INTERGRAL DESIGNS SILSHELTER If a serious storm is unlikely, leave your tent in the closet and bring a Silshelter, the lightest two-person tarp-cum-tent on the planet. This floorless, zipperless shelter snaps up into an A-frame or lean-to with any old four-foot stick and six stakes. A pole cap keeps the stick from puncturing the silicon-impregnated 30 denier ripstop nylon, and 21 webbing loops make it easy to lash down in any terrain. Merely four by eight inches when stuffed, it's the perfect backup shelter. If skies are clear, use it as a blanket; should it start to pour at four in the morn, pop it up and go back to sleep. (12 oz.; $150)

ULTIMATE DIRECTIONS SPEEDEMON To go light, you must pack small. To pack small, you need the discipline of a small pack: no room for more junk. As its name implies, the SpeeDemon is built for swift, unencumbered travel, and with just 2,070 cubic inches of cargo room, all of it easily accessible via a horseshoe zipper, you can't overpack. Just in case everything doesn't fit, however, there's a "QuickStash" floating compressible panel on the outside, as well as compression straps to secure a foam pad. The SpeeDemon also sports a built-in compartment for its 128-ounce rolltop hydration system, a water source so capacious it would make a camel envious. (33 oz.; $120; 800-426-7229, www.ultimate direction.com)

Leave the heavy fleece at home and bring alongthe Marmot Flash Sweater ($150; 707-544-4590, www.marmot.com), a feathery, one-pound jacket made of ultralight ripstop nylon and insulated with Polarguard 3D. It's like a sleeping bag for your torso.

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