Fast and Light Part 1- Megalight and Jetboil reviewed

I could write 10 pages on how mountain travellers can benefit from moving fast and light, but chances are, if you’ve found your was to a Skimo race blog, you already know.

I recently got my hands on some geeky go-fast gear, that weighs in at half the weight of comparable products and I got the chance to play around with it last weekend.

The Megalight

 

The Megamid is something I’ve been looking at for a while, basically it’s what you get when you strip everything away from a tent that isn’t nescesary.  It has a pyramid shape that needs to be pegged out tight, has no floor and you use a skipole, stick or the fancy carbon fiber pole that comes with it to keep it held up in the middle.  The regular ‘Mid is made with urathane coated nylon while the Megalight that yours truly has uses Silicone impregnated nylon to tip the scales at 2 lbs 5oz.  Loops at all corners accomodate either pegs or skis in the winter.

While the ‘Mid does have obvious weather limitations ie. strong winds and heavy snowfall, I was impressed with how it stood up to the steady downflow winds and rainy mornings.  Because it’s essentially a single wall tent, expect considerable condensation to form along the walls and as such keep sleeping bags from touching them during the night.

For 4 season use pair it with a bivy sack and some creative shovelling and suddenly the shelter space grows exponentially, and you could have enough room for sleeping and cooking for 6. 

The Jetboil

I bought this little guy in Chamonix as we were heading out to do the Haute route to increase our safety margin in case of poor weather, route finding mishaps or lack of water. 

A canister stove and pot with cozy all in one, the idea is that it comes apart and fits inside the 1 litre pot for a perfect little mountaineers kit.  I found boil time is quite fast as it has a built-in heat exchanger and neoprene cozy with handle. Bonus is that the cozy will slip off and you’re good to chuck’er in the dishwasher to let it blast at the crusted oatmeal you thought, “gee, I’ll just pack it up dirty and wash it at home”.

Like all canister stoves, even the “4 season mix” will show decreased performance when the temps dip below zero.  And as such I wouldn’t count on one for extended winter expeditions.  One tip though, before use in cooler weather, throw the canister in your down jacket to warm it first.

Check out the website

I’m looking forward to putting these little toys through the ringer this winter and already have a few trips in mind that’ll put them to the test.  Stay tuned.

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