I posted a blog recently about some backpacking gear I was going to test. You can find links to the companies in the first blog Testing times!. What follows are my conclusions so far.
Luxe Hex Peak
As I wrote earlier, this tent has a huge living space. In practice the headroom is excellent in the centre but the walls do slope quite steeply which does impact a little on the sitting area. However it is still pretty good.
The nest is spacious with plenty of room for a full length NeoAir and pillow lengthways plus more than enough space for clothes at the side. There is an excellent pocket that can swallowed my spectacles, headlamp and digital radio with ease. The incline of the tent means the inner walls are a few inches above face and feet but there is no feeling of claustrophobia or contact with the tent outer. The inner pitches by clipping the apex to the roof of the tent and using the guying pegs to hold it in place. I found this to be quite fiddly and difficult to get a taught inner. For the future I will use some extra pegs and not use the external guying points.
The inner tent has high nylon walls topped by noseeum mesh. This makes the Hex Peak a nice draught-free and warm tent while the outer tent fended off the moderately strong wind and rain very effectively. There are more guying points halfway up the walls of the tent and, although I didn’t use them, I believe that if they were used the tent could withstand a major blow.
The supplied pegs are very light and highly visible but they bend easily. I will change those for future use.
Overall, I’m very pleased with the tent although 1.25kg is a tad heavy. Worth considering for single backpackers. Change the nest for a double one and its a worthy option for two.
Enlightened Equipment Draft Dodger Quilt
This was my first time using a quilt in cooler weather so I took along my Woobie as a backup. I needn’t have bothered! I was very comfortably warm when the outside temp hit 3C according to my thermometer. It was a sheer delight to slip into bed without fighting with a sleeping bag or its zip. And, as someone who is wriggler while sleeping it was wonderful to be able to turn easily. Thoroughly recommended.
A minor drawback was the straps holding the quilt slipped occasionally but a simple overhand knot solved that.
The 99p shop Secondary Window Insulation is polycro. It is very light and tough. No complaints as a waterproof groundsheet. My error was to attach webbing straps to it using duct tape- they soon pulled out! I punched holes through the duct tape and put the pegs through. It worked really well so I’m pleased with that. With care, the groundsheet should last at least a season.