Big Bend Conservancy
2019 BigBendChat Calendar on sale now!
The Kiva holds 10 liters of gear and packs down into its little pocket, ending up about the size of an easter egg. I used it on the plane, dayhiking from Glacier Point, exploring Glen Aulin, and climbing Half Dome. It held a water bag with hydration sipper, wind shirt, sunscreen, snacks, and, when needed, camera gear. It is not intended for heavy-duty use, so care must be taken putting it on and taking it off when it's any weight in it (like a 2-liter bag of water). I had to repair it once in the field. The straps are held by very cheap, flimsy plastic clips that slowly lose their grip and have to be adjusted. It also transfered sweat from my back directly to the contents in the bag, so expect stuff to get wet.The Kiva replaced, for this trip, an REI Desert Rat pack, which weighs 11 ounces and holds about 16 liters of gear. Ideally, my backpack's lid would convert, easily, into a daypack. Alas, it does not, easily or otherwise. My Reality's lid converts into a makeshift daypack, but it's hard to get it back in place, so I've only used it as a daypack only once. The cost (around $9) and weight savings (around 9 ounces) compensate for its less-than-durable performance. It's hard to find any substitute piece of gear which scores $1 per ounce dropped.
Just got the REI sale flyer yesterday and the REI Sub-Kilo +20, 2 lbs 1.5 oz / 949g ($239), is on sale for $165. This is an incredible price on one of the lighter 20 degree down bags around. If you are in the market for a new bag and/or are trying to reduce pack weight this is much cheaper than the other light 20 degree sleeping bags which are in the $300-400 range. Not as light weight or level of detail as say a Western Mountaineering Ultralite bag but still very good.Jeff they have the Steripen on sale too just in case you wanted to get another one to keep the others permanently on the shelf company
Great Trip Report Jeff. I'm way behind on my BBC reading. So, where to next?
And then there's Alaska.
That is a good price for the bag. It's not the top of the line but the weight compares favorably to many other bags out there (many of which are also on sale at backcountry.com):ALPS Mountaineering Navajo +20 down, 2 lbs 11 oz / 1,219g ($147)Big Agnes Zirkel SL +20 down, 1 lb 14 oz / 850g ($306) -- almost double the price for 99g of weight reductionExped Woodpecker +20 down, 2 lbs 6 oz / 1,100 g ($290)GoLite Adrenaline +20 down, 1 lb 13 oz / 850g ($250)GoLite Venture +20 down, 2 lbs 1 oz / 960g ($225)Kelty Luxor +20 down, 5 lbs 1 oz / 2,300g ($162)Marmot Massif +20 down, 3 lbs 8 oz / 1,588g ($142)MontBell Super Stretch Hugger #2 +25 down, 1 lb 12 oz / 749g ($283) -- about 5 oz lighter than the Sub-Kilo for $120 moreMountain Hardware Piute +20 down, 2 lbs 10 oz / 1,190g ($133)The North Face Blue Kazoo +15 down, 3 lbs / 1,361g ($239)Western Mountaineering UltraLight +20 down, 1 lb 9 oz / ~710g ($360) -- now that's light, and just $195 more than the Sub-Kilo ($23.13 per ounce)Weight is obviously not the only consideration, but it's an important one. There is no amount of lightweight gear swapping one can do if you carry a heavy bag, pack, and shelter. So I always encourage folks who are upgrading to plunk down the cash on these "Big 3" items first.While I like the Sub-Kilo a lot, it is not without its issues. My biggest complaint with it is the zipper is a bit testy, which is true of every bag I've ever used from REI. I also dislike the cinch cords around the head and find the bag to be drafty in really cold weather. I usually solve this by placing a scarf or some fleece in the opening, but that solution may not appeal to everyone.
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