Sunday, February 19, 2012

Nemo delays: In the wake of disaster

Almost six months ago I took some photos of 2012 Nemo Tents for our blog; that was a few days before Irene. One of the great insights I've gotten from living through a natural disaster is that the recovery far outlasts the media coverage. Best guesses around Waterbury now seem to suggest that it will be 2013 --if ever--before most of the 1500 + Vermont State Employees return to the Waterbury Office Complex. While our store sits a good bit higher than the Winooski River on the other side of the railroad tracks and wasn't flooded, 2012's natural disasters continue to impact our work.

For example, we're still waiting to fill orders of the Nemo Gogo Elite tent. It turns out the fabric used by Nemo comes from a Toyota factory in Japan where they're still behind on orders in the wake of last spring's tsunami. These fabric delays lead to a whole slew of 2012 Nemo tent delays where we're not expecting to see exciting new product until the middle of May. Let's all hope we come out stronger from undergoing 2012's adversity.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Sleeping in the Cloud

Huh?!? Did I hear that correctly? 1 lb 12 oz?  Yep, but I had to get in it to believe it!  The new Sierra Designs Cloud 15 Sleeping Bag is the lightest, comfy-est sleeping bag in the 15 degree temperature range and it weighs only 1 lb. 12 oz.  With 900 fill down the Cloud really does feel barely feel that you have a layer wrapped around you at all.  Super soft, you'll get a great night sleep especially because you carried fewer ounces in your pack all day.  The regular length bag (rated for up to 6 ft) is perfect if you're 5' 11" or less, unless you're like me and need to trim a few inches of girth from around the mid-section.   A few of the ounces saved come in the taper of the bag which leaves you with only a 40 inch footbox.  Remember you're paying to stay warm, save space and shed weight, not to enjoy the opportunity to stretch out in luxury.

Your spouse might question your thinking--if you bother to bring her (or him) in the loop on this $499 decision--but just point out that this is an investment that will last.  If you don't believe it check out this Portland Hikers forumpost on an old Sierra Designs Cloud Series sleeping bag for a 30 year old SD bag selling for $50!  

Our first Sierra Designs Cloud bags arrive in the store next week.  But if $499 is a bit much then maybe another bag from our selection of Sierra Designs sleeping bags is just right.

Darn Tough Winter

It's been a tough winter across the country for those in the outdoor industry.  This has meant tough times for those of us depending on snow.  Locally I'd hoped to take the Camel's Hump Challenge this weekend but yet again it has been postponed due to lack of snow.  Down the road a few miles, Bolton Valley Resort opened their Timberline quad for the first time this season yesterday.  But fortunately conditions high up in the backcountry are decent, even if there is a lack of powder out there.   So tomorrow's day off promises a great traverse of the Bolton-Trapps section of the Catamount Trail

If you're on-line reading this you probably could care less that I'm inside today working  But you might care that all week we've been loading up our Clearance Page with great deals.  Given how firm--i.e. icy--many trails have been this year, now may be the best time to get a grip with the 360 degrees of traction offered by MSR snowshoesMSR's Lightning Ascent snowshoes are now at the LOWEST PRICE we've ever offered them for.  From my personal experience I can't speak highly enough of how well these perform going through the woods and up and down steep mountainsides.  Despite our darn tough winter, I still wish I was outside now!