Application - Montbell Hugger - Ed Morse
Please accept my application to test the Montbell U.L. Super Stretch
Hugger #1. I have read and agree to comply with the newly revised
Backpackgeartest bylaws, v. 0609. I will pay careful attention to
Chapters 4, 5 and 6 and the new test format. I have been notified
that my tester agreement is on file.
If selected I would need a size Regular. Since I am not at all
fashion conscious the color does not really matter. There are times
when it is good to have something in bright orange color.
Name: Edwin Morse
Height: 5' 8" (173 cm)
Weight: 143 lb (65 kg)
Email address: ed dot morse at charter dot net
City, State, Country: Grawn, Michigan, U.S.
Date: January 31, 2007
I started backpacking in 1979 with two weeks in northern Michigan,
along the shore of Lake Superior. Gear was cheap, heavy and painful.
Starting pack weight was just over 70 lb (32 Kg), with food but no
water. Since the first trip I have backpacked in Michigan, Maine, New
Hampshire and Pennsylvania. After about 12 years I started slowly
reducing my pack weight. The last trip in New Hampshire my pack,
including food and water was 35 lb (16 Kg ) for a week. Amazing what
a change of attitude does. Very slowly obtaining lighter gear. I keep
trying new things to see what really works.
I expect my total pack weight to be under 30 lb (4 kg) to start this
spring. I will be carrying a few items just for fun and testing:
G.P.S. for daily mileage, camera for pictures, and a thermometer to
record daily (and nightly) temperatures. Since I'm retired I can be
out almost whenever I get the urge to go. Most short trips will be
planned the day before I go.
Within 50 mi (81 Km) of where I live are the Manistee National
Forest, the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, 3 State Parks and
3 State Forests. Most have trails for hiking and skiing and many
acres of dunes and forests for off trail snowshoe travel. Backpacking
is available in the Sleeping Bear Dunes, The Manistee National Forest
and the Pere Marquette State Forest.
A day's drive gets me to trails in the Upper Peninsula and a boat to
Average low temperatures for Traverse City, Michigan:
February 13 F (-11 C), March 21 F (-6 C), April 32 F (0 C), May 41 F
(5 C), June 52 F (11 C)
Averages of any kind can be deceptive, I think average temperatures
are almost meaningless. Last winter in this area temperatures were
much below normal except for the first week in January. This winter
temperatures here have been 10 to 20 F (6 to 11 C) above normal until
last week when they dropped back to (and below) normal levels.
Usage will depend somewhat on delivery time. In mid March or early
April I will be backpacking again, after six years of only day hikes.
I have several pieces of new gear that really need some trail
experience. Early trips will be in the nearby Manistee National
Forest, generally two nights each time to make sure the gear all
works. The Manistee National Forest is in north central lower
Michigan. I will also do at least two overnights in the Sleeping
Bear National Lakeshore along the shore of Lake Michigan usually up
in the dunes. A five day walk is planned for the first week in May.
This will be on the North Country Trail ending at Wilderness State
Park. I am also planning a two week walk around Isle Royale in
western Lake Superior for late June.
I sleep cold even at home. It is a real challenge for me to keep my
feet and legs warm when I'm not active. This is a change since I was
last backpacking so it is something I need to learn how to handle.
Of course the first question is - will the #1 Sleeping Bag keep me
warm? Sure, it is rated for 16 F (-9 C) but my first sleeping bag was
rated for 20 F (-7 C) and I was often cold at 30 F (-1 C).
Immediately following that will it keep me too warm in expected
temperatures? I will be carrying a thermometer so I can frequently
check and record temperatures.
Is there a full length zipper so ventilation is possible?
Is the zipper "2 way" so I can ventilate my feet if necessary?
Can the bag be completely opened and used as a quilt for warmer
Is the 15D Ballistic Airtight nylon material water resistant? The
Northeast part of the country is often very humid.
Will water dripping off the inside of the tent quickly soak through
to the down insulation?
There are other questions that will come up during dark nights in the
Will the nylon material have a tendency to slide on my sleeping pad?
Will the zipper have a tendency to snag on the material?
Is the zipper easy to work from inside the bag at night?
Is there a draw cord to tighten the hood?
If so, how difficult is it to use at night?
Will the seams and zipper still be functioning after several months
I am looking forward to answering these questions, and any others I
can think of, during the test process if I am accepted to test the
Montbell U.L. Super Stretch Hugger #1.
Thank you for considering my application.
Previously written reports: No gear tests series yet completed. I
have written two Owner Reviews, Zamberlan hiking boots and Asolo
Items currently testing: OR Snowline Mitts (newbie limit does not
apply) and OR Marvel Windshirt. These are my first two test series
and should be completed in early March, just in time to test other