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Keeping it Light with NEMO, Patagonia, and Sea to Summit

Gear gets lighter every year, but rising consumer skepticism seems to be stemming the tide of "stupid light" products that sacrifice comfort and durability in pursuit of the lightest weight possible. Of all the gorgeous, light products I salivated over today, here are a few from NEMO, Patagonia, and Sea to Summit that strike a balance between lightweight performance and comfort.


NEMO Veda 2P
Two trekking poles prop open one door of the NEMO Veda 2P.

The Veda 2P shelter saves weight by relying on two sets of trekking poles for structural integrity. The single layer waterproof/breathable body saves more weight, and a special wicking coating on the "head" end reduces the condensation that can plague one-layer, three-season tents.

Weight: 2 lb 14 oz
Price: $429.95
Available: Spring 2014


Patagonia Alpine Houdini
The Patagonia Alpine Houdini glows from within.

The Patagonia Alpine Houdini is the ultimate jacket for the chronically indecisive. It's as light as a wind shell and stuffs into its own pocket. The Houdini is also fully seam-taped and highly water resistant. The hood even accommodates a helmet!

This combination of light weight and a high degree of protection enables an extraordinary degree of flexibility (and indecision) in trip planning.

Weight: 6.5 oz
Price: $199
Available: Spring 2014

Sea To Summit

Sea to Summit Escapist
Toggles make it easy to swap the Ulta-Mesh tent for the Ultra-Vis Net.

The Sea to Summit Escapist Tarp shelter system handles every permutation of nasty weather with equal aplomb, thanks to interchangeable modular components.

First, a 15 Denier siliconized nylon tarp keeps the rain off, and goes solo in wet conditions without bugs. For wet and buggy conditions, the Ultra-Mesh Bug Tent combines bug netting and a welded floor. For dryer conditions with bugs, the Ulta-Vis Bug Vet provides insect protection with no floor.

15 D Tarp

Weight: 9.5 oz (Medium) 12.3 oz (Large)
Price: $169 (Medium) $199 (Large)
Available: Spring 2014

Ultra-Mesh Bug Tent

Weight: 13.6 oz
Price: $199
Available: Spring 2014

Ultra-Vis Bug Net

Weight: 4.9 oz
Price: $79 
Available: Spring 2014


Why do I get nervous when I hear the phrase 'highly water-resistant'?

Peter1955 said:

Why do I get nervous when I hear the phrase 'highly water-resistant'?

Lol, I guess we share the same fear. It is just another way to say "it might keep ya dry, but then again it might not." ;)

I've noted lately that fewer and fewer products are claiming to be waterproof. That's fine, since I've often questioned how something that is waterproof can also be "breathable."

Seth, do you have a pic of that Sea To Summit Tarp deployed?

Maybe the Alipne Houdini is just made of uber-light SilNylon?...regular Houdinis weigh around 5 oz, and are highly breathable/moderately water ounce of weight for seam tape and a silicone coating would kinda check out...

Hi Goose - here is an official image from Sea to Summit:


I have had a Houdini for a number of years (the Alpine Houdini is a new version). The Alpine has the pocket oriented differently (vertical zipper instead of horizontal). Mine has a really long-lasting DWR, but is quite breathable. It continues to shed a light drizzle quite well, though not a full-on "fire-hose" thunderstorm. Mine measures 4 ounces. I am posting a review of it in the next few days.

Thanks, Seth. Interesting set up.

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