Best Birthday EVER!!

So my birthday was this week and I got some amazing gifts. From my In-Laws, I got a gift card to REI and my mom sent me some money and between that and my REI Dividends and the Coupon I was able to get some really cool stuff!

With my mom’s money I was able to update all my line to Zpacks Zline and some Micro Line Locks!  I got 50ft of 1.25mm Z-line spectra cord in bright yellow for my shelter.  I cut a continuous ridgeline and guyline for my new Wilderness Logics Tadpole Tarp (review coming) and added the Micro Locks to it all for a great weight savings of 4oz off the basic line from REI!!  I also got 50ft of the Z-Line Slick Dyneema Cord in Orange for my bear bag which saved me 2.8oz.  I specifically got the Spectra for my tarp because it is stiffer and has a lot of grip and the Slick Dyneema for my bear bag because it’s slick and that’s better for going over trees.

The other purchase I made was with my REI money and though the weight to cost savings wasn’t as fantastic as the Zline but it was probably the most fun thing.  With my 20% coupon, dividends, gift card, and what was left over from what my mom sent, I had just enough to replace my old Sierra Designs Micro Wind Jacket with a new North Face Women’s Verto Jacket!!  I’m really excited to add this piece to my gear kit because as some may remember I found this jacket last July and posted an article on it back then, so to finally get my hands on one of my own is really awesome and at 2.6oz for a Women’s Large it saved me 6.2oz over my old Sierra Designs jacket.  I can’t wait to get some use out of this and get a real review up.

So after changing all my line and swapping out my old jacket for my new one, I’ve saved 13oz.  That’s what I’d call a pretty successful Ultralight Backpacking Birthday!!


About Joslyn

My name is Joslyn and I primarily hike with my husband Richard. We live in Northern Arizona with our dog, Jäger and love camping and hiking. We are continuing our adventure in backpacking inn this our second year and as always, striving towards going Ultra Light.

Posted on 08/04/2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Happy belated birthday! Nice gifts there! I can’t wait for you to do reviews on these items, especially the North Face Women’s Verto Jacket. I’ve been looking to replace my rain jacket (that weighs 13.3 oz) and the lightest option I had found was AntiGravity Gear’s rain jacket at 4.6 oz.. A jacket at 2.4 oz sounds awesome! I’m just wondering how breathable it is. I wish every company gave you water resistance and breathability specs like Montbell does. Until then, we’ll have to depend on you to give us a review on it 🙂 I’m also looking into buying z-line cord. Hope you enjoy your birthday gifts!

    • Thanks! The Verto is very breathable and water resistant but is better left for summers if used as the sole rain gear since it isn’t waterproof, which is my plan.

      The AGG Jacket is nice but not breathable which works in some situations but if you’re looking for a truly Waterproof Breathable Jacket you should check out the Waterproof Breathable Cuben Fiber Jacket Zpacks has. John over at did a great review on it!

  2. Happy belated!

    Sounds like you scored some nice accessories as well as a wind jacket! I have the same Spectra cord on my Hexamid tent and even use the same slick cord for my bear line. I really like the Spectra and wouldn’t mind changing the cords on my tarp with some…although I have been waiting to either make or buy a cuben tarp and once I do so I am not so sure I will keep my OES sil tarp… Just curious, do you leave your cord attached to your tarp, or do you remove it when packing it up? Also, since the tarp is sil, have you thought about adding the self-tensioning guy lines?

    That slick cord is great for bear lines. On the last hike I ended up hanging 4 peoples food from my line, so it is some tough stuff. But be careful, if it gets away from you it will slice your hands good. Typically when I heave the bag up I wind the cord around my right hand a few times and then grab a little farther up with my left. Then I simply walk backwards until the food bags are where I want them. Hasn’t failed me yet!

    As well, i have the mens version of the Verto. I was a bit hesitant to carry a wind shell since I already carried my rain (hard) shell. But I am glad that I did cause I love it! It is somewhat breathable but in warm temps it can still be quite muggy inside when pushing up a mountain. And of course it is not made to be water proof. The material is somewhat waterproof, but the jacket will leak at the seams, as is to be expected. However, in windy temps below 50 F it is great to have. Blocks the wind and creates a comfortable little system beneath it.

    I am planning to use the Verto as my “rain shell” this summer, but this will be in temps over 100 F during the day and not too much lower at night so if I get a little wet that will be ok. The rest of the time I am carrying my AGG sil rain jacket. I would like to check out Joes wp/b rain shell, but am reluctant after trying on his cuben rain shell. The cuben one was a very close fit on me, although he told me that the wp/b jacket is cut a little bigger, plus he now offers 2 different sizes! Sweet…

    Anyway, enjoy your new gear!


    • I currently am leaving my line on my tarp, mostly because it makes setting up with a hammock much easier and I am looking into turning my tie outs into the self-tensioning kind DIY style.

      I tend to like the PCT method for hanging but I go back and forth. The Z line is definitely interesting with the PCT method though!

      I had originally bought a Sierra Designs wind jacket for cheap on clearance just to try it and I became convinced of it’s value especially since as a woman I am colder blooded than a lot of the guys. After having seen the Verto in REI and seeing what quality and superiority it was to the Sierra Designs jacket, it was well worth using my dividend on! With what little cold weather we have had left I have gotten a test or two out of it and I really think that I’ll only need my fleece pullover, vest and my Verto for down to 32 degrees easy. I think I agree with the summer rain use. I mean I don’t really need a whole lot in summer but I don’t want to be dumb and not take anything and if nothing else and it gets cool I have something that didn’t weigh down my pack like a fleece. I do have my eye on the WPB Cuben Jacket but I keep debating on whether I even need something like that. I keep thinking a winter shell and a poncho should be all I need for all four seasons here in Georgia…

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