Things I learnt last tour:
Rainforest is called rainforest for a reason
When the wind is gusting up to 90km/h you hope your tent pegs hold in the rocky ground
Helmets! Bells! Rego!
Ron, given the very high normal retail price of the nicer Macpac stuff, I figured out that it would be much cheaper to sell the bag on eBay (mate's rates if anyone here wants it, BTW - just google it) and buy another one altogether, in my case, a Western Mountaineering Apache MF (from a regular on the Bushwalk forums). Heck, even if I can't sell the bag for a fraction of what I brought it for, I'm still likely to end up ahead. Not quite sure what to do about my GF's bag, given that she cooks in it - we'll probably hold on to it and buy another if she feels the need.
Still, a vote for Macpac on the service point - even if I'm not to avail myself of it this time around.
The Apache should be much warmer than I'll need, but with all the features I need for versatility - namely, a decent hood, a full length side zipper and separate footbox zipper, and the ability to undo it altogether as a quilt for warmer weather. It uses 850+ goose down, has a water resistant fabric for its entire length, is long enough and wide enough in the chest by my measurements, and weighs less than a kilogram.
Warren, your photographs are amazing. Do you have a website or blog showcasing more of them?
I've no experience with this brand, but it seems to have all the attributes of a quality bag. Hope you are comfortable in this one.
I did my research this time - the Western Mountaineering bags seem to be extremely highly regarded, but they are rare here (being American made) and very expensive. I would not be able to afford to buy one new, at least not one so warm.
My only concern now is the opposite - that I'll end up with a bag that is too warm! (This is a 15 degree bag - which is around -10 celsius)...
Still, I want only one bag. I already have too much stuff. I'm pretty sure I can just unzip the bag or use it as a quilt in warmer weather, or use the liner only in summer. There's no other advantage to keeping the Macpac, since it weighs 600 grams more than the far warmer WM.
Also, I fitted the 22T ring to the GF's Kona Sutra. It works a treat. Next thing is to take an angle grinder to that stupid front rack...
Yes, I've heard good about Western Mountaineering bags too.
As previously mentioned, I'm a warm sleeper, and find my -9C bag too warm. At least, it's too warm for me unless the temp is actually sub-zero, but I used it as a duvet at warmer temps. This bag cost me around $800 as I recall - it was bought before the GFC when the $AUD was worth much less than it is even now. The bag I'm using now I bought at the height of the $AUD which made it much better value.
It's quite amazing that when you go up in the quality of the down how much the weight and bulk go down and the warmth goes up (and the price unfortunately).
She (and you) will no doubt be very happy to have the low gears. Is the rack really worth messing with. You could get a bulletproof Tubus Tara or Duo from Wiggle for just $84 with free shipping.
I agree that a decent steel rack would be the ticket, and I will get around to replacing it shortly. But for now the alu rack will do, and it's a pretty minor modification to make - a file should do it in fifteen minutes. If it were major surgery I wouldn't bother.
Buying a very warm bag has one additional benefit, being that I can dispose of my S2S Thermolite Extreme Reactor liner. I never ended up using it, but was hoping it would help keep me warmer in the last bag. Problem is that it's heavy - a bit over 400g with stuff sack, compared to about 150g for silk. That brings the total weight saving to 850 grams, which is coincidentally almost the exact weight of the Helinox chair...
Haha. See - now you've got your thinking straight
SP, thanks for waiting for my reply and thank you for your appreciation of the images.
I've a few wet tours posted on crazyguyonabike, since becoming a member of the BNA Cycling Forum. I haven't posted my last wet trip from June along the BNT on crazyguy yet ... https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/my/?o=1
Also, my general cycling photos (something like 2000+ images), from the SE of Oz and along the BNT, including half a dozen new shots from the last few days ... http://s225.photobucket.com/user/WildWa ... t=3&page=1
... and some of my favourite thinned out images (373 images) posted in my DA Gallery ... http://wildwassa.deviantart.com/
PS, Canberra's new Centenary Trail will open on the 24th October, if all goes well. It is a most spectacular addition to this region's cycling trails. Consider adding this 120+ kilometre multi-use (for horses, walkers and cyclists) trail to your touring calendar, when visiting this region. Shot from Isaac Ridge.
"But on steep descending...Larson TT have bad effect on the mind of a rider" - MadRider from Suji, Korea 2001.
"Paved roads ... another fine example of wasteful government spending." - a bumper sticker.
Beware, once the Helinox Chair One is on hand, the Table is beckoning
Riding bikes in traffic - what seems dangerous is usually safe; what seems safe is often more dangerous.
Check your disk brake pads carefully before you leave home .... 1,000 km odd kilometres is enough to wear them out;
One should carry brake fluid for hydraulic disk brakes if they are fitted;
Mechanical disk brakes mean less maintenance hopefully easier to fix on the road
Riding in the south-west of WA in winter means it will bucket down.
If the ride is going really well in the morning ... the bloody hills are going to be huge in the afternoon
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