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APPLICATION TO TEST: Ground Repel Shell - Mike Lipay

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  • hiking@westernpa.us
    APPLICATION TO TEST: Ground Repel Shell Please consider my application to test the Ground Repel Shell, I have read, and will comply, with the rules in revision
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 31, 2005
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      APPLICATION TO TEST: Ground Repel Shell

      Please consider my application to test the Ground Repel Shell, I have
      read, and will comply, with the rules in revision #1202 of the BGT
      Survival Guide, and the new 4-month test plan.

      My tester agreement is on file.

      Name: Mike Lipay
      Age: 50
      Gender: Male
      Height: 5 ft 8 in (173 cm)
      Weight: 190 lbs (86 kg)
      Email: hikingATwesternpaDOTus
      City, State: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

      I've been camping, hiking, and backpacking since the '60s, mostly with the
      Boy Scouts though I've put on quite a few miles solo, and with my
      kids.Throughout the year I act as a trail guide for a local outdoor group,
      taking groups and individuals on day and weekend treks in the Allegheny
      Mountains. I am, by no means, an ultralight backpacker (my pack weighs in
      at 29-33 lbs - 13-15 kgs). I prefer an external frame pack because I like
      to have places to attach "things". I prefer a hiking staff to trekking
      poles, compass to GPS, film to digital, fire to fuel. My backpacking is
      pretty much limited to weekends, and one full-week per year (usually in
      the summer), with a long weekend canoe trip tossed in. I pretty much stick
      to the Allegheny Mountains (Pennsylvania and West Virginia); temps here
      range from a winter average of 20 F (-7 C) to a summer average of 75 F (25
      C); elevation runs from sea level to 3,213 FT (979 M); rains are heavy
      from late March through early June averaging 14 inches (35.5 cm) during
      that period.

      I would like the opportunity to test the Ground Repel Shell, I have been
      using the layering system for over 5 years now, and my old shell has
      reached the end of it’s useable lifespan. I have been hunting for a
      replacement; in my search I have tried the Red Ledge and Sierra Designs.
      To-date I have yet to find a truly waterproof/breathable jacket that is
      comfortable to wear, sheds internal moisture, and allows free air
      movement, while wearing a backpack. Most of the vent holes seem to fall
      right where the pack straps ride, and the breast strap seems to cinch the
      openings in such a way as to prevent air flow.

      My main camping season is fall through spring, and it is my intention to
      test the Ground Repel Shell throughout this time period. With the fall
      rains we get up here, there will be ample opportunity to test the
      waterproofing, and as we move into the fall/winter months I will see how
      well it works with the rest of my layering system to block wind and
      provide warmth, whil still allowing moisture to be wicked and shed.

      I am planning to lead 4 all-day hikes during this period, as well as two
      over-night trips in the Laurel Ridge. The Ridge is a constant terrain
      change, with elevations going from 800-1600 ft (244-488 m); this continual
      up-down-up type of hike results in heating-up and cooling-down periods,
      and requires a good breathable shell to allow air in and moisture out.
      Should the testing period move into January I will see how well this
      jacket works with cold-weather layers, allowing moisture to escape without
      compromising heat retention.

      I will be paying particular attention to several features:

      - QUALITY: materials used; how well seams are sealed smoothness of the
      zipper operation; how well the draw strings are retained (past jackets
      allowed the string to become lost in the shell); how well the inner lining
      is attached to the outer shell.

      - COMFORT - fit is primary - is the jacket too loose by itself, is it too
      tight over a liner? Does the hood adjust and stay in winds, or does it
      easily fall off? When rolled, is the hood out of the way, or it is
      uncomfortable with a backpack on? Are the cuffs snug, yet comfortable on
      the wrists, or will they lead to chafing? Do the vents allow easy movement
      of air? Will the vents be blocked by the backpack straps? How comfortable
      is the chin guard? I have a beard, and chin guards can be quite
      uncomfortable as the beard brushes.

      - ENDURANCE: Long-term testing isn’t really possible, but over the
      short-term: will the zippers continue to work smoothly? If there is any
      Velcro, will it continue to open and close, while retaining it’s ability
      to remain attached with pulls and tugs? Will the shoulders hold up to the
      movement of pack straps, or will they begin to show wear?

      PERSONAL DATA: I would require a large mens, and would prefer the
      Army/Thunder color combination.


      NOTE: I have just the LTR for one of the products that I was testing,
      which will remove me from the “newbie” status before testing of the
      hammock begins.
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