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Backpacker Magazine – August 2008

Field Notes: North Face Propel Sleeping Bag, Asolo Power Matic Boot, Lanterns, and Vargo Titanium Sierra Pot

The latest word from our testers

by: Kelly Bastone, Berne Broudy, Kristin Hostetter, Dennis Lewon, Steven Roy, Charlie Wood

PAGE 1 2 3 4
The North Face Propel (Courtesy Photo)
The North Face Propel (Courtesy Photo)
Asolo Power Matic 500 gv (Courtesy Photo)
Asolo Power Matic 500 gv (Courtesy Photo)
Black Diamond Apollo Lantern (Courtesy Photo)
Black Diamond Apollo Lantern (Courtesy Photo)
Vargo Titanium Sierra 750 (Courtesy Photo)
Vargo Titanium Sierra 750 (Courtesy Photo)

Sleeping Bag
The North Face Propel
This lightweight synthetic 40°F bag is the choice for no-nonsense hikers who want a summer sack that's compact and versatile. The Propel's Climashield Neo fill compresses almost as well as down–stuffed, it's the size of a volleyball–but dries quickly. For that reason, our tester chose the Propel for a sea-kayaking trip in Baja, when an unplanned dunking was a daily possibility. Features are spare but smart: A shortie zipper saves weight and bulk; the minimalist hood closes with scratch-free hook-and-loop patches; and a zipper at the foot allows you to vent the lower bag on warm nights. The wispy 15-denier nylon shell is light, showed no wear, and sheds condensation. The cut is roomy across the shoulders, which is great for roll-around comfort and big guys, but our 150-pound, 5' 10" tester found it made the Propel a few degrees shy of its temp rating. Consider it a 50°F bag if you're a cold sleeper. $209; 1 lb. 10 oz. (regular); 2 sizes. (866) 715-3223; Reader service #107
PAGE 1 2 3 4

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Rob Davidson
Sep 07, 2008

Vargo's designers missed what made the Sierra Cup so versatile. The steel handle was a piece of wire forned into a finger loop that ran around the rim of the cup, that acted as a heat sink. The heat was directed away from the rim. You could safely drink hot liquids, unlike nearly any of the available single wall titanium cups on the market currently.
I carried a SC cup into the 1980's but gave them up for the truck stop 12 once Alladin insulated cup with one piece lid. Cut the handle off and thread a cord tying lid and cup together. My current one is a give-away goodie from


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