Please accept my application to test the REI Shuksan. I have read
the BackpackGearTest.org bylaws v. 0609 including, but not limited to, Chapter
5. I agree to comply with and exceed all requirements.
Name: Raymond Estrella
Height: 6' 3" (193 cm)
Weight: 220 lb (100 kg)
Email address: rayestrella@...
Date: November 1, 2011
I have been backpacking for over 30 years, all over California, and in many of
the western states and Minnesota. I hike year-round, and average 500+ miles
(800+ km) per year. I have made a move to lightweight gear, and smaller volume
packs. I start early and hike hard so as to enjoy the afternoons exploring. I
usually take a freestanding tent and enjoy hot meals at night. If not hiking
solo I am usually with my brother-in-law Dave.
I live in frigid northern Minnesota and spend about six months backpacking in snow. I always bring a winter shell on every trip as it is a critical piece of winter gear. So if chosen to test the coat will see a lot of use backpacking.
The Shuksan is named after a gnarly winter peak and the coat looks like a pretty gnarly winter shell capable of living up to its namesake. It will be very interesting to see if the eVent can breathe well enough to make up for the lack of pit zips. As a hard sweating hiker I will test this well. All of the construction details make this look like it had winter users in mind. The zipper placements, hood shape, and choice of durable 3-ply fabric are tell-tales. I would love to verify this in the field.
Conditions expected. I was just at 19 F while hiking this past weekend and the temps will only go down from here. During the test window I expect low temps to be from 10 F to -20 F, maybe even lower.
We get snow from anytime now (we got a little but it melted back off) until April. I get out at for at least one multi-day trip a month, usually two. I just said that I would go to Voyageurs NP again (Canadian border) in the heart of winter, where we saw -31 F last January.
I will wear the coat for everyday use too as I have to be protected while shoveling snow, shopping, taking out the trash
I have three tests in progress at this time. The drink mix is in LTR stage and the
Spirit X multi tool and TEC pants are in FR stage.
Here is a link to my tester page.
I have no other applications in at this time.
My involvement with BGT includes active duty as Editor, Test
Monitor, and occasionally Mentor.
I have completed a lot of test series.
I have written around 150 Owner Reviews, one last week.
My reports and reviews can be found at:
Thank you for your consideration of me for this test,