Gear Guy

What's a good tent with two doors?

What's a good tent with two doors?

Oh Great Gear Voice of the Heavens, What's a nice, dry, two-person, three-season tent with two doors and vestibules? My current tent is a Sierra Designs Orion AST. It's a very well built tent and stayed completely dry in a very wet trip to Deer Lake in Olympic National Park. I like being able to use only the rain fly and ground sheet as well as the window in the fly. The problem is that the very slanted door lets stuff collect in the tent entrance and makes zipping and unzipping tough. It also makes the vestibule useless for anything but boots. I hope to get a new tent with two doors that are straight up and down, but don't want to lose the high quality and rain-proofness. I willing to give up a little in weight if I could get a ground sheet that covers the floors of the vestibule as well. Chris Barnes Bremerton, Washington

Is an inflatable sleeping pad more comfortable than fo?

Is an inflatable sleeping pad more comfortable than fo?

Can you help me pick out the best-value sleeping pad? I'm new to backpacking and need my comfort while sleeping. Heck, I'd take my electric blanket along if I could. I want to find a pad that will be worth the money, but will last a long time too. I can't decide between a less expensive closed-cell pad and one of the inflatable ones. Are the inflatable kind that much better to justify the extra cost? Please help this confused backpacking novice! Kendra North Ogden, Utah

Will Nikwax inhibit the breathability of a boot liner?

Will Nikwax inhibit the breathability of a boot liner?

Since my boyfriend is useless regarding backpacking info and only cares to remember such things as hockey stats, I come to you for advice on a pair of Kayland 1700s that I want for extended backpacking in the Canadian Rockies. These boots come with Proof, a factory waterproofing similar to Gore-Tex. Do I need to apply an after-market treatment like Nikwax to the boots, or will that inhibit the ability of the lining to do its job? Jessica Alberta

How can I stop my tent leaking?

How can I stop my tent leaking?

We have a cabin tent that leaks, mostly from the bottom corners and stake-out loops. I have sprayed the tent and sealed the ses, but it still leaks. Is there anything else I can do besides trash this store-brand tent? As for new tents, the Eureka Getaway 9 or Coleman Sasquatch both fit size-wise; I don't want to spend over $250, though. Lastly, why do air mattresses always deflate while you're sleeping? Do they have a low life expectancy? Sarah Granite City, Illinois

Do hydration packs optimize the body's water intake?

Do hydration packs optimize the body's water intake?

I guess this might be more of a biological or physiological question than a straight gear question, but I notice that when I sip water from a CelBak, I have to "go" less than if I take bigger yet less frequent gulps from a water bottle. It seems that even drinking a full 70 ounces from my CelBak, compared to a quart from a bottle, is easier on my bladder. I just imagining this? Does the body better optimize water that's sipped slowly? Bill Bedford, New Hampshire

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