While looking for gear, we came across a common theme: Birds.
Birds, are awesome.
1) Arc’teryx (www.arcteryx.com)
This is a Canadian brand, and the stuff they make is probably the best reviewed gear I read about, and not to mention the best fitting/looks. We couldn’t resist ourselves and bought into the hype. After wearing the gear for a bit, it’s definitely a combination of form, fit, and function into one beautifully crafted piece!
Every zipper, every pocket has been well though out and the craftsmanship is excellent. I definitely won’t mind living in these for a year….
2) Feathered Friends (www.featheredfriends.com)
Looking into our sleeping “system”, we wanted an ultra light, ultra packable and reasonable warm sleeping bag for those climbs up in Nepal. At first, we settled ourselves on a Marmot after seeing some positive reviews and actually looking at one in the store. We were AMAZED at how small it packed, how detailed the features were (down pillow, crazy fabric, ultra-lofting down)….but that was until we bumped into FF bags. This is a small outfit coming out of Seattle, where they still hand-produce each and every bag.
These were no nonsense ultra light, ultra packable bags, and people used these to do some crazy things (just google image feathered friends!) with these. I’m sure it’d be good enough for our meager climb up to EBC + Annapurna.
We had to order ours, and production took about 4 weeks. You get your own choice of sizes for optimal fit and comfort, and we got awesome colours to choose from! I told him my wife wanted tangerine, and I would go with the azure blue, but unfortunately what was available in the factory was the inverse of what we wanted! So in the end, I got tangerine, while my wife got the azure blue, both with left zips. When we got our bags, we were very excited but also slightly surprised.
HOW COME OUR BAGS HAVE ALTERNATE COLOURS?
HOW COME A BAG HAS A RIGHT ZIP? (right handed people should use left zips, as it is easier to use with your dominant hand)
I believe when I placed the order, the salesperson knew that we were a couple and purposely ‘matched’ our colours to make it unique. Also, the right/left zips have a functional reason as now we can ‘mate’ our sleeping bags together and turn it into one big mattress! AMAZING! I never even mentioned any of this (nor did the sales person to me), but I’m copacetic with how it turned out.