Here's a confession- the one item that no dedicated ultralight hiker should be without has not featured in my gear closet. What is it? A set of digital scales. For anyone who is interested in cutting weight in terms of single figure grams, this is a "serious" omission. I owned a set of traditional scales but these only measure in 25 gram increments. To be pefectly honest, I saw no real need for the extra accuracy- I could use the published weights, gamble on my small size (published weights are often for a medium), get a ball park figure using the scales and when I weighed the whole pack it came in pretty much at where I expected it to be. Realistically, if you only buy the lightest possible items and get rid of anything that you don't need then your weight will be cut drastically wheteher published wheights are accurate or not. Unfortunately my calm acceptance of the status quo was thrown into disarray when my brother in law bought me a set of scales for christmas- cue a great deal of christmas period drunken weighing and lamenting over my spread sheets. It was similar to the angst caused by my realising that my equipment weights also needed to include stuff sacks. Hmmm. Actually it was quite good fun weighing my boxer shorts and getting an accurate reading.
So who are the winners and losers? Losers: Rab windshirt-published weight 70g, actual 80g, PHD minim ultra sleeping bag, published 345, actual 389- winners:PHD minim ultra vest, published 150g, actual 138g and that's pretty much it. Why? because the vast majority of my gear actually comes in at the published weight. My theory for this is that the cottage industries where I get most of my gear from make their name based on their sales to a group of weight obsessed fanatics who are very much in contact via the internet and therefore they have to make sure that the gear matches the weight. This may well be the reason that Thermarest, despite having a reputation for innaccurate weights came up with the goods for the neoair (mine is spot on the published weight) Overall winner, however has to be Joe from Zpacks. As far as I am aware (and I am available for correction) mine is one of the a very few packs of this size with these features isn't a standard option and yet it came up exactly on the weights published for the options on the site (125g if you're interested).
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