YAMA Mountain Gear Stuff Sacks – First Look
A few months ago I got a wonderful email from YAMA Mountain Gear informing me that I won a prize of stuff sacks just for being an email subscriber and they needed my information to sen them to me. If you don’t know about YAMA Mountain Gear you need to check them out. They have some really awesome things in Shelters, my favorite being their Cirriform Tarp, and they have a lot available for DIY’ers as well. The folks at YAMA have been mum on advertising this and I had no idea they did a giveaway. Well I sent my info off and a few days later I get a package in the mail with my stuff sack inside it. Imagine my surprise when I opened it up to find a full set of four cuben fiber stuff sacks!! It’s enough that I may never need to buy another stuff sack again!
The product I received is called the Cuben Fiber Stuff Sack Assortment pack and it includes: a Mini sack, sized 5″ x 6″ and weighing 2.9 grams; a Small sack, sized 6″ x 8″ and weighing 4 grams; a Medium sack, sized 8″ x 10″ and weighing 5.5 grams; and a Large sack, sized 10″ x 14″ and weighing 7.6 grams. The whole kit weighs 20 grams or .7 ounces. The sacks are taped and not sewn all around, the drawstring is the light and thin Spectra Cord which is very durable as are the tiny cord locks. Just very straightforward bags. I love that these are taped instead of sewn. I can be a little rough on stuff sacks, always trying to stuff too much in them and the taping looks to be a bit more durable than my CF sewn bags in that regards. The four sizes I got are very versatile. I am currently using the mini as a cover for my little esbit folding stove, but it could be used for many little things, like a small ditty sack. My small sack is perfect for very small cook kits much like ones UL backpackers carry. If I’ve measured correctly I think it should fit perfectly around a new 450-550 ml pot, but for now it fits all my accessories like gloves, and hats. One could also use it for a larger ditty sack. The medium sack is probably going to get a lot of use in my pack as it is perfect for my base layer that I use for clean nightwear as well as my sleeping socks. The biggest one is great for a small quilt or a winter jacket and some extras. It won’t fit my big synthetic full bag, but it is the perfect size for my summer quilt and underquilt and will probably also fit my 3 season quilts, once I replace my bag. I’ve got a few of the Zpacks stuff sacks as well and I have found that Yama’s sacks are slightly different sizes which make them useful for different things than my Zpacks sacks.
I have never gotten anything from YAMA before, so I’m really happy to see such good quality in even their smallest product. The changes I’ve seen in this little company over the last six months is really impressive and I’m really excited to see what comes out of this store in the future. For anyone who doesn’t know about them yet, I’ll give a little bit of what they offer and why bloggers like Stick and Hendrik have been talking about these guys! First thing that you notice when you get to their page is their mYAMAdventure program. They are offering help and mentor-ship for backpackers on their first big adventure in backpacking. Currently they are focusing on folks that want to hike the PCT and the money that is raised goes to fund the PCTA! This is a really fantastic program and I’m excited to see how well it works since it could become a major way to donate to your favorite trails while also helping out fellow backpackers get started in long distance hiking. As for their shelters, these guys are not skimping out. They have a line of really cool shelters that let you have as much or as little protection as you want or need, everything from just a shaped tarp to a single wall tent. Now as if all this wasn’t impressive enough you need to check out their DIY pages, which are a wealth of information, help and kits to get a beginner started making their own gear. Several other stores have pages like this and I love it because it shows a real attitude of generosity and community. To me it says, “these folks are in this for more than their own bottom line.” They are putting things up that will build and edify the whole community, not just make them a profit and it’s one of the coolest things about the UL community to me. This little store is definitely on my short list of go-to gear stores these days!
UPDATE: Something I forgot to mention before, the YAMA Mountain Gear stuff sacks are made from the CT2K.08 Cuben Fiber instead of the CT1K.08 that is normally used in most stuff sacks. I don’t think it makes a big difference in performance and very little in weight.