Gear Guy

Should I drop for a sleep

Should I drop for a sleep "system," or just get a separate sleeping bag and pad?

I've been looking at some Big Agnes sleeping bags and interested in adding one of their REM sleep pads. Seems like a great idea (the pad inserts into a sleeve in the base of the bag), but I was wondering if this would be a mistake because the sleeping bag sacrifices insulation on its base. Should I go for the "system," or just drop for standalone sleeping bag and sleeping pad? Brad Durango, Colorado

Why invest in a Nalgene bottle when cheap plastic works just as well?

Why invest in a Nalgene bottle when cheap plastic works just as well?

It seems that hard plastic Nalgene containers are something of a standard in the backpacking arena these days. However, what's to prevent me from simply refilling empty plastic water bottles? They are considerably lighter, less expensive, and really very durable. They can even be crushed when empty to preserve space, and later be un-crushed for refilling. Is there some other reason why I should pitch the five-cent CRV and invest in a $6 Nalgene bottle? Brian Glendale, California

Why are nearly all backpacks internal-fre?

Why are nearly all backpacks internal-fre?

Dear G-squared: Why are 90 percent of backpacks internal- as opposed to external-fre? Is their comfort and performance really that much superior to justify the price difference (yes, I cheap, but I try not to be stupid)? My son and I will be carrying about 50 pounds for ten days in the New Mexico mountains. Also, can you get a good fit on a pack you buy on the Internet, or is it better to deal with a local shop? W.B. Nako Cincinnati, Ohio

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