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LTR- Cedar Trees-Packa - Shelley LaClair

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  • zuzismom
    For edit. The file will be uploaded to BGT.org later in the day under the test folder. Thanks! Long-Term Test Locations and Conditions During August, I took
    Message 1 of 4 , Oct 13, 2009
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      For edit. The file will be uploaded to BGT.org later in the day under the test folder. Thanks!

      Long-Term Test Locations and Conditions

      During August, I took two multi-day trips to the lean-to my husband and I adopted in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains, New York State. The trail is about 7.5 miles (12 km) one way. The trail runs through a valley with gradual inclines/declines, with lots of mud, rocks and wet areas to navigate.

      The weather was temperate with daytime temperatures in between 70 F – 74 F. (21 C – 23C). On the first trip in early August, the weather was partly sunny with scattered rain showers. During the second trip, it was mostly sunny with no precipitation.

      I was only able to test the Packa for the long-term report during my early August trip as the weather was just too nice for me to use it on the second trip.

      Performance in the Field

      During the second week in August I was able to test the effectiveness of the Cedar Tree – Packa. Although it did not rain hard, it was drizzling enough to make me wet. I had previously put the Packa on my backpack and I was ready in case of rain. It only took me about 30 - 40 seconds to pull out the jacket from under the pack cover and get it over my shoulders and zipped up.

      I was hiking in an area of the trail where there is a long steady incline. The pit zips were halfway open and the ventilation was fair. I did find that my forearms got wet from sweating. The pit zips did not help alleviate this problem. I opened the cuff area a bit to try to get some ventilation but I was still pretty damp.

      The material is totally waterproof and non-breathable. My torso doesn't really get too wet from sweat because of the pit zips. With this being said, if I am walking in a downpour and cannot open the pit zips I do get damp from my own sweat.

      The material held up fairly well during the entire testing period. The only damage came from sliding down on my behind on some rocky areas. The rock surface put small abrasion holes on the back of the jacket beneath the pack cover portion.

      Summary

      Overall I really like the Packa. I found it convenient to have the pack cover on and the rain jacket portion tucked up underneath the pack cover ready for use. When it rained I did not need to pull off my backpack but handily un-tucked the jacket and slipped it on. It felt pretty good to be the first one in my rain gear while my hiking partners scrambled to pull their pack off, put their rain jacket on, and then put the backpack on. Meanwhile, I waited for them to be ready. This is a rare thing for sure!



      The material that is used is non-breathable but is totally waterproof. The extra large pit zips helps with ventilation but my forearms got wet from the inside due to sweating. The BEST part of the Packa is that my back stayed totally dry during a downpour. No more rain getting the straps and backpack wet. With the Packa there is no separation between the jacket and the backpack so both my pack and I stayed dry.

      I would recommend this to my friends with the caution that they look at the size of their backpack and determine if it will fit inside the pack cover. My husband's larger backpack did not fit the pack cover.

      I would like to see a patch kit included with the Packa to take care of small tears or holes due to harsh use. Finally, I would like to see the jacket in different sizes such as small, medium and large, and maybe different size pack covers for larger capacity backpacks.

      This concludes the test series.

      Thank you again to Cedar Trees and BGT for allowing me to test this great item.
    • Kathy Waters
      You need to send this to Backpackgearters@yahoogroups.com - note the ers for the monitor to see it. Thanks, Kathy ... From: zuzismom To:
      Message 2 of 4 , Oct 13, 2009
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        You need to send this to Backpackgearters@yahoogroups.com - note the "ers" for the monitor to see it.

        Thanks,
        Kathy

        ----- Original Message -----
        From: zuzismom
        To: BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Tuesday, October 13, 2009 11:19 AM
        Subject: [BackpackGearTest] LTR- Cedar Trees-Packa - Shelley LaClair


        For edit. The file will be uploaded to BGT.org later in the day under the test folder. Thanks!

        Long-Term Test Locations and Conditions

        During August, I took two multi-day trips to the lean-to my husband and I adopted in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains, New York State. The trail is about 7.5 miles (12 km) one way. The trail runs through a valley with gradual inclines/declines, with lots of mud, rocks and wet areas to navigate.

        The weather was temperate with daytime temperatures in between 70 F - 74 F. (21 C - 23C). On the first trip in early August, the weather was partly sunny with scattered rain showers. During the second trip, it was mostly sunny with no precipitation.

        I was only able to test the Packa for the long-term report during my early August trip as the weather was just too nice for me to use it on the second trip.

        Performance in the Field

        During the second week in August I was able to test the effectiveness of the Cedar Tree - Packa. Although it did not rain hard, it was drizzling enough to make me wet. I had previously put the Packa on my backpack and I was ready in case of rain. It only took me about 30 - 40 seconds to pull out the jacket from under the pack cover and get it over my shoulders and zipped up.

        I was hiking in an area of the trail where there is a long steady incline. The pit zips were halfway open and the ventilation was fair. I did find that my forearms got wet from sweating. The pit zips did not help alleviate this problem. I opened the cuff area a bit to try to get some ventilation but I was still pretty damp.

        The material is totally waterproof and non-breathable. My torso doesn't really get too wet from sweat because of the pit zips. With this being said, if I am walking in a downpour and cannot open the pit zips I do get damp from my own sweat.

        The material held up fairly well during the entire testing period. The only damage came from sliding down on my behind on some rocky areas. The rock surface put small abrasion holes on the back of the jacket beneath the pack cover portion.

        Summary

        Overall I really like the Packa. I found it convenient to have the pack cover on and the rain jacket portion tucked up underneath the pack cover ready for use. When it rained I did not need to pull off my backpack but handily un-tucked the jacket and slipped it on. It felt pretty good to be the first one in my rain gear while my hiking partners scrambled to pull their pack off, put their rain jacket on, and then put the backpack on. Meanwhile, I waited for them to be ready. This is a rare thing for sure!

        The material that is used is non-breathable but is totally waterproof. The extra large pit zips helps with ventilation but my forearms got wet from the inside due to sweating. The BEST part of the Packa is that my back stayed totally dry during a downpour. No more rain getting the straps and backpack wet. With the Packa there is no separation between the jacket and the backpack so both my pack and I stayed dry.

        I would recommend this to my friends with the caution that they look at the size of their backpack and determine if it will fit inside the pack cover. My husband's larger backpack did not fit the pack cover.

        I would like to see a patch kit included with the Packa to take care of small tears or holes due to harsh use. Finally, I would like to see the jacket in different sizes such as small, medium and large, and maybe different size pack covers for larger capacity backpacks.

        This concludes the test series.

        Thank you again to Cedar Trees and BGT for allowing me to test this great item.





        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • zuzismom
        Thanks. I did submit it to the right forum when I didn t see my message. I guess I clicked on the wrong group. Thanks for the heads up! Shelley
        Message 3 of 4 , Oct 14, 2009
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          Thanks. I did submit it to the right forum when I didn't see my message. I guess I clicked on the wrong group. Thanks for the heads up!

          Shelley

          --- In BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com, "Kathy Waters" <kathy@...> wrote:
          >
          > You need to send this to Backpackgearters@yahoogroups.com - note the "ers" for the monitor to see it.
          >
          > Thanks,
          > Kathy
          >
          > --
        • matt mayfield
          ________________________________ Resubmission:OR Therm-a-Rest Trail Lite Matt Mayfield http://tinyurl.com/yhl5uw6 Therm-a-Rest Trail Lite Owner Review
          Message 4 of 4 , Oct 15, 2009
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            ________________________________
            Resubmission:OR Therm-a-Rest Trail Lite Matt Mayfield

            http://tinyurl.com/yhl5uw6


            Therm-a-Rest Trail Lite
            Owner Review
            September 30, 2009

            TESTER INFORMATION

            Name: Matt Mayfield
            Age: 33
            Sex: Male
            Height: 5 ft 11 in (1.8 m)
            Weight: 170 lb (77 k)
            Email: mattmayfield1 at hotmail dot com
            Kansas City, Missouri
            USA

            I started backpacking around 1994. I started out with 19th century minimalist camping and moved toward more conventional. I backpack anywhere from deep woods, desert, winter lands, caves and river bluffs to urban sprawl, under bridges, abandoned buildings and hobo camps. I also travel a great deal for work as a photographer. Many days spent on the road and air travel, I find most gear and clothing serve that lifestyle as well. I acquire gear over time as I can afford it. My typical pack weight is 30 lb (13.6 k). I've learned through my experiences what gear I need for a lighter pack and a comfortable journey.

            The Product

            Therm-a-Rest Trail Lite
            Size:Large
            Manufacturer: Therm-a-Rest
            manufacturer's website
            http://cascadedesigns.com/Therm-a-Rest

            Listed weight: 2 lb 11oz (1220 g)
            Weight as delivered: 2 lb 11 oz (1220 g)
            Listed size Width: 25 in (63 cm), Length 77 in (196 cm)
            Measured size: 25 in (63 cm), Length 77 in (196 cm)
            Thickness: 1.5 in ( 3.8 cm)
            Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price: US$69.95

            Product Description

            My first encounter with this pad was at a store where they had a bed of river rocks I used to try out the product. I would not have known I had been lying on rock. Convinced, I purchased the product. I soon visited the manufacturer's website and found very helpful information on care, maintenance and such under their FAQ section. I took notice that the light green color matches the color on the manufacturer's website. Upon close inspection, I was impressed with the finish and detail. The whole pad looks seamless and has a texture to it that reminded me of a very fine corrugation. Perhaps as a design to stave off slippage. The valve is plastic and threaded and seems cheap and unstable when opened. The cap remains on the valve so there is no worry about misplacing it. When closed it seems very firm. So far, I have had no problems. The pad did not come with a stuff sack. I had to pay extra money for it. I figured it was worth the investment to protect the
            pad. Also, a repair kit is not included.

            label

            texture

            seam

            valve

            Field Data

            The first time I used the pad was at my grandmother's house. I wanted to forgo the bed to try out my new equipment in order to get acquainted. After unrolling it, I let it inflate on its own with 8-10 of my own breaths. Most likely because of the product's time with storage and shipping.
            My next time was a backyard camp. After unrolling, it took some time to "self-inflate". I eventually had to blow in 5 to 6 breaths. I had previously slept on a military foam type and I found the Therm-a-Rest to be far superior to the former. The temperature dropped to 60 F (15.5 C) that night. I slept in a sleeping bag inside a tent. I slept undisturbed and woke up refreshed. The pad had retained all of its loft. I also found that the size was perfect even with my broad shoulders (I am primarily a back sleeper with some side actions throughout the night). It had convinced me enough to purchase another one so my girlfriend and I could both experience the comfort of this type of pad.

            I had camped in May in very rainy weather with temp drops of 40 F (4.5 C). The ground was harder in a campsite in the Ozark Mountains. This time my girlfriend and I both had the pads. The results were the same as before.
            Striking camp this time is where I finally learned to easily pack up the pad into the sack. Fold almost in half, open valve, slowly roll up, close valve, hold under arm and slide the stuff sack on.

            Early June I was camping on the bank of a river- a very rocky riverbank. Temperature was similar to previous test. I used a footprint for the tent and the pad inside the tent. Once again- Didn't feel the rocks.
            The rest of the camp had set up their tents in another spot away from the river because of this, while the Therm-a-Rest™ provided me with this prime real estate! Once again, the same results- a good nights rest and same loft in the morning.

            The next time out had been a car camping night with my girlfriend. We had a 65 lb (30 kg) dog with us in the two man tent. The dog became a nuisance due to trying to get onto the pads so we told him to scram, gave him the boot and made him sleep with the other dog in the tarp tent I erected for them. That night I had engaged in activities some couples might share. While they are designed for rest only and this may seem unnecessary information, I feel it is worth noting as many readers camp with their love interests and may find themselves in the same situation. The pads in the morning weren't as lofty as before and did disrupt some sleep.

            In the later part of summer, a buddy and I camped in a bluff on hard ground. We slept in open air as we had the shelter of a cliff overhang. I did use the thin military foam pads just to protect the Therm-a-Rest pads. The temperature dropped to 48 F (8.9 C). Unfortunately my buddy had only brought a sheet (what?!). I begrudgingly opened my sleeping bag open so that we could share the warmth. That meant the pads right next to each other and there were probably some rolling back and forth over both pads contending for coverage. However we did sleep fairly well and once again they maintained their loft.

            Over Labor Day weekend I camped out at a drive-in for two nights. I slept on the pad with a ground cloth over hard packed gravel. I slept very well with a Therm-a-Rest Tech Blanket (a lightweight, quilted nylon blanket with a high-loft synthetic fill and soft polyester interior) as the temperature dropped to 50 F (10C ) with heavy fog. I woke up refreshed with the pad as inflated as it was at bedtime. Realizing this made me smile as I leaned over and fired up the stove for a cup of coffee).

            With Autumn approaching I camped out under a tarp on a slight incline. I have a fitted sheet for the pad. This particular time I had skipped the sheet. I woke twice to find I had slipped off the pad. I was relieved to find I had the sheet with me went ahead and placed the sheet on. Slept like a log for the rest of the night.

            under tarp

            In mid October I camped in Weston Bend State Park. Temperature during the day was around 42 F (5.5 C) with a light mist. The temperature dropped to 33 F (0.5 C) that night. I slept in a three season, two person tent with of a 15 F (9.5 C) rated, down insulated sleeping bag. I used an ultralight footprint under the tent and the dedicated sheet with the pad. I slept very well. There was one point in the morning where I noticed I had one foot off of the pad, resting on the floor of the tent. Unlike the rest of my body, my foot was pretty cold even though it was in the sleeping bag, with a sock on it. Goes to show how well the pad does around freezing temperatures.

            pad_with_sheet_n_bag

            Summary:

            The Therm-a-Rest Trail Lite is a good buy. They do their job and that is important as it provides the necessary protection from the ground which pulls body heat away and the comfort that is needed for a good nights rest that will ensure a more enjoyable trip and a sharper mind.

            I found it difficult to get the pad into the stuff sack the first couple times. A few practices remedied this.

            Sliding had been a problem one night on an incline when I did not use the sheet. The problem was solved once I placed the sheet onto the pad.

            I got the pads in April of 2009. As of the writing of this field report I have had a total of 22 nights.

            I do store my pads hanging in the closet as per the manufacturer's recommendation to help the pad to keep memory, thus helping the "self-inflating".




            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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