I received my order from Bent Gate Mountaineering today. Shipping was pretty quick since I bought my stuff last Thursday. I was like a kid at Christmas time. I ripped the box open and couldn’t figure out what to play with first, the sandals or the quilt.
So, I played with the quilt first (maybe because it was bigger…)
I purchased and received a GoLite RS 1+ Season quilt. The quilt is rated to 40* F so it should make for a nice late spring / early fall quilt. It came with a cotton storage sack, a waterproof recycled nylon stuff sack, the quilt and 2 grosgrain straps. The quilt came stuffed inside the storage sack with all of the hang tags attached to the drawstring of the sack. I pulled the quilt out of the bag and was immediately amazed at both the weight and the thinness of the quilt. The outside shell of the quilt is a 50-denier ripstop and is a green color, while the inside lining is a gray-colored taffeta. The quilt is made virtually of all recycled materials. The texture of the quilt was very slick and smooth. More than that, it was very soft.
I dug out my Synmat and quickly pumped it up. I laid down on the mat and then pulled the quilt over me and stuck my feet inside the foot box. I pulled the quilt up around my neck, and then I realized how soft the quilt really was. It was very snugly.
The quilt is a long size, so it is plenty long enough to pull completely over my head since I am only 5′ 10″ and it measures 6′ 6″ in length. The reason I went with the long was because the girth was slightly larger on the long. After receiving the quilt I feel that the regular would have done just fine, and would have been slightly smaller (stuffed) and a couple of ounces lighter. Oh well. I did get it at a pretty sweet deal so I am quite happy with it anyway, besides, I would rather have a little extra than not enough!
As far as weight, it is listed a 1 lb 9 oz on the GoLite site. On my scales, the actual quilt weighs 1 lb 10.1 oz, the recycled nylon stuff sack weighs 1 oz, and the grosgrain straps weigh 0.4 oz., giving this set-up a total of 1 lb 11.5 oz. I will probably make a stuff sack from some extra silnylon I have laying around to lessen the weight by fractions of an oz, and at this point thinking of leaving the straps behind which will leave off another 0.4 oz and give me a weight savings of about an ounce. With the temperatures we have I will be simply draping this quilt over me at night so there is no need to secure the quilt around me, however once the temperatures drops a little this fall I will probably carry the straps just to try them out. It is a little tricky using the straps and getting them tightened just right, especially since they will be under the pad I will be laying on, but I will try to get a system down.
The quilt does feature a single snap button at the head end of the quilt so that the quilt can be snapped closed around me. It also has a drawcord at the head end to cinch the bag a little tighter to help keep warm air in on cooler nights. This seems to be a pretty nice feature, and I am looking forward to using it. Also, the stuffed size of this quilt is a tad bit more than the size of Charmin ( as I have read somewhere, can’t remember where though). It is about the diameter of a roll of Charmin, but is about the size of a roll and a half stacked on top of each other. I will get more precise measurements later.
Once I am able to use this quilt a few times I will be sure to write up a more detailed report.
Now, next I tried on my Chaco’s Z/1 Vibram Unaweep sandals. These were the first pair of Chaco’s I have ever owned. I only tried on a pair early last week so I would know what size to order. I am very excited to have these. I have been eyeballing them for the past year or so, and finally have a pair of my own!
I am kind of glad I did not get the ones which had the toe strap. I am afraid that it would chafe the skin between my toes, however, I have no experience with those, so cannot say for sure. These are a little tricky to get used to, having to pull the straps to loosen and tighten. I am still playing with them. I put them on once they arrived and have not pulled them off yet.
Once I put the Chaco’s on I walked to the mailbox and immediately noticed some discomfort on the right foot on the outside ankle. When I got back to the house, I played with them some more and realized that the straps on the back can be adjusted by pulling on them (go figure!). So, I lowered the outside, and in turn raised the inside. This turned out to be just right, so far.
The foot beds are indeed aggressive and slightly rough. They do not look like they would be so, until walking a little ways in them. However, already I have grown accustomed enough to not notice it so much. I think it was just the initial shock, and I was just used to wearing shoes with soft socks. Also, the arch support is a little extreme. Not in a bad way, it actually feels very nice. I have noticed that I pay attention to my gait more so from wearing these sandals, and while I have a pretty neutral gait, it feels a little different wearing these. I imagine it will be something I will grow into though. I do not think that it is necessarily changing my usual gait, as much as I am just noticing it more.
The straps are not too tight across the foot, however, the tightness can be adjusted to your liken by pulling on the straps and cinching down the buckle. All together, it is a pretty impressive set-up. I never knew that sandals could be so technical. These are. Even the Vibram sole is impressive, with it’s deep lugs and its grippy outer sole. I am impressed with them, and as well, once I have worn them for a while, I will write up a more detailed review of them.