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Review: Exped SynMat UL 9
By William Hanson (live2hunt), Rokslide Moderator

Your rest is your recovery and few places is this more important than when you are expending enormous amounts of energy in pursuit of your quarry in the backcountry. Most have used less than spectacular sleeping pads in the past and suffered through the poor night's sleep and shoddy performance as a result. In my quest for better sleep, I decided to give Exped's SynMat UL 9 a try. Exped is based in Zurich, Switzerland, a hub for mountaineering and therefore good mountaineering gear. After a few seasons of use, here are my findings: (If reading just ain't your style, then click here for a video review on the Exped UL 9)

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Enlightened Equipment's Convert Quilt Review

by Travis Bertrand, Rokslide Moderator

You flip through the pages of your favorite backpacking magazine or scroll through the Rokslide forums and you keep seeing all this talk about quilts. What are they? What is all the hype about? You're intrigued but scared to take the plunge. If this sounds familiar, then you will like what I have to say about the Convert from Enlightened Equipment.

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Hilleberg Anjan 2 GT

By Josh Boyd, Guest Contributor

With the stifling and overwhelming power of the sun pounding down, a steady drip of sweat from my brow, and a few creative explicative words, I crammed the tent into my backpack. I frowned at my hunting partner and proclaimed with dismay that my backcountry base weight is increasing with each new piece of gear, including this new tent I had just stuffed into my pack. But the extended forecast showed a cold and wet weather system heading our way, replacing the dry and hot temperatures within a few days. I grudgingly shouldered my pack and we started up the low-angled creek bottom.

Over the years my ideal backcountry shelter had morphed from double wall tents to single wall tents to floorless mids to asymmetrical cuben fiber tarps; now I was back to a double wall tent and was very reluctant to pack it for this ten-day adventure. However within a few days I would be grateful to have this Hilleberg along.

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Hangin' with Enlightened Equipment's Synthetic Quilts

By Matt Cashell, Rokslide Prostaff

My lungs were starting to burn.  Jared and I had climbed about 1000 feet after trudging for miles through gloomy fog clinging to tan and gray slopes of scattered sagebrush.  The ponderosas had been quiet under that gray blanket and we hadn't said much to each other the whole way in.  Now we pushed through the ceiling and we were looking out across miles of wild country with peaks jutting out of the fog lit like fiery beacons in the evening alpenglow. 

Part of the reason for a silence was concern.  It had been raining on and off the whole way in but now the sky was clearing and we were losing nature's insulation for our overnight stay.  The forecast was for cold and it was supposed to spit rain on and off all night to boot.  We weren't in the best spot to deal with that weather: a lone peak overlooking a broad basin with a wet bottom and scattered timber all around, but it was a great spot to sit behind a spotter for opening morning.

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Read more: Hangin' with Enlightened Equipment's Synthetic Quilts