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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)

Boots
Asolo Power Matic 500 gv
Go ahead and shoulder the heaviest pack on the roughest terrain: These boots can handle it. The Power Matic is one of the burliest hikers we've tested, with soles that are so protective and stiff you could walk on a bed of roofing nails and not feel a thing. Underfoot, Asolo uses three layers of polyurethane: a full-length bed for protection, an underheel cup to absorb shock, and a two-thirds-length shank to support the arch. After a big-load trek on Vermont's Long Trail, our tester said, "These full-grain leather hikers provided more ankle support and sole stiffness than I've ever experienced in a hiking-specific boot." Soft leather between the upper and lower tongue panels and at the ankle laces enhances forward flex, and the high ankle cuff is made from a supple leather that never chafes. Pulley-style laces cinch tightly, a Gore-Tex liner kept out all moisture, and the Vibram sole gripped well in wet and dry terrain. High rubber toe and heel rands protect the leather from off-trail bashing. These bomber boots take time to break in–give them at least a week of dayhikes–but after that you'll be set for years. Best for hikers who weigh more than 200 pounds and who have medium-volume to medium-width feet. $280; 4 lbs. (pair of men's 8.5); men's sizes 7-12, 13, 14. (877) 888-8533; asolo.com. Reader service #108
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READERS COMMENTS

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 LNT.org

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