Hiking in Finland

Climbing, bikepacking, skiing & packrafting in the north

Klättermusen Loke Review

UL Jedis wear thick, puffy pullovers and jackets to boost the warmth rating of their quilts, because that's multiple use of items and allows us to go lighter. The Klättermusen Loke is enhancing our warmth force field and allows us to look dangerous and sexy at the same time, and hence is the ideal UL Jedi puffy pullover.

Adventure, danger, safety = ingredients of a UL Jedi's life.

A year ago I gave you a first, teasing look at the Klättermusen Loke. It has seen plenty of action in the forests and hills of Finland, Sweden and Russia since, and thus it is time to shed more light on this garment. *Takes out his scale* 421 g for my Size S, after cutting off the useless adjusting strings on the hood. Klättermusen says its 370 g in a Medium, as mine is a Prototype model it is possible that they tweaked it a bit further to reduce the weight. Down weight is 95 g of finest 800+ goose down.

It has a Boxwall construction without penetrating seams, which means it is warmer than sewn-through garments which get cold spots at the seam. The arms are fairly long and I can hide my hands comfortably in them, and the elastic hem and cuffs keep the warmth in and the cold drafts out. It is made of environmentally friendly, lightweight ripstop nylon and has the shoulders and hood reinforced with stretch polyamide. It also has a good DWR coating (PFOA free) which kept the drizzle off, very nice if you just need to go for a quick pee at night and don't want to get dressed with your hardshell.

The front can be opened well and allows for good ventilation.

So, what is so good about this puffy pullover, you ask? Well, I really, really, like the retro look of it, aka the slanted button front. Yeah yeah, function over style, for sure, but if you get both then that rocks, right? That's the reason not more people wear Dri Ducks, for example ;) Anyway. The hood is excellent, and the front closes nice high which allows you to just peek out with your eyes, the rest is protected from the cold. I like the kangaroo pocket very much, a good place to store gloves, buff, puukko, spoon and other stuff when you need your hands free. It lofts so good, it is unbelievable - even after sweating well into it, after it was left to dry it lofts again as it did on day one. Excellent. It also loses very little down, always a concern with down garments.

Bushwhacking, on the few occasions that I did that with this garment, it faired well and took no damage. The Loke packs very small and lofts quickly after unpacking, and has kept me warm in the evenings at the campfire and at night under my quilt. The hood was the main reason for me to get it, as I needed something to keep my head warm at night in my quilt. The Loke's hood does that very well, the fit is perfect and I can close the front fairly small, practical for those cold winter nights. Finally, I of course love that it is made of recycled materials and can be recycled at the end of its life - and you even get money for that! Way to go, I'd say, we need more of such initiatives.

Shoulders and hood have a more durable material, allowing you to wear it while carrying your pack and not damaging it.

The Dark Side? Well, for me things can always be lighter and have more down =) Also, that inside store-away pocket is useless and will be removed by me in the future. I just don't use it for anything, and it actually bothers me when sleeping on my belly, so it goes. The elastics on the hood went already, as they bothered me when sleeping as it pushed uncomfortably into my head and their function also was not good.

UL Master Jedi uses "The Hooded Stare™". Mind the slanted front button closure.

The pimped hood from behind.

Improvements. Well, as you can see from the not-so-good paragraph, get rid of the inside pocket, the hood elastics, and add a bit more down instead (its plenty warm, but more down is always good!). I also imagine that smaller zippers would do the job just as well as the big ones they have now - I rarely use them so you might even consider taking them out completely and putting elastics in instead.

Closer look at the kangaroo pocket zip. Also, Swedes love to put their flag on things, Klättermusen is no different there.

Bottom line? At 291€ (includes 25% Swedish VAT!) it isn't cheap. But considering that it is made of top-notch, environmentally friendly materials which are build to last (but can be recycled at the end-of-life!) I think it is worth the money. It packs small, is incredibly warm and looks as good around the campfire as in a hip bar on a Saturday night. If you think so too, click here to find a retailer near you.

End of life? Recycle me and get money!

The Week in Review

Peak bagging in Scottish winter?

Hiking in Finland, now with SEARCH. Use the SEARCH box on the right, above the Archive, to find past articles, comments, links and whatever else Google will find. You asked for it, you got it. Now go and play.

There, where Ed lives, winter has arrived.

Mark walked around the Mississippi and did a Social Hiking test.

The Fastpacking the PCT V & VI videos are online. Go see them.

Alberto De Giuli went on a climbing trip to the USA. Awesome, is what I say.

The Bearded Git spent a couple of days in Buttermere, and has some stunning photos of his first day trip up.

Terry went wildcamping at the Bamford Moor Stone Circle.

Mike was fishing in the autumn. Epic photos, go see them.

Keith went on a wee jaunt along the coast. Sweet photos.

sbrt was in a nice country for old men and plans to start a retirement home for us backpackers there.

Yeti went on a late fall ride on that awesome bike of his.

Over here I did a a Hyperlite Mountain Gear ECHO I Shelter System Review, as well as a review of Kupilka gear. You're well advised to read these most brilliant articles. Go.

Mark reviews bits and pieces of gear he used on his last trip. Nice, me like-y.

Don Karlo gives us his final OMM Kit list.

James details his first impressions of the Tarptent Scarp 1 in this superb post.

Dave did a nice comparison of non-inflatable sleeping mats which includes a few exotic pads, a good read.

Carsten tells us about two new headlamps from Mammut.

Phil did a video of the Gram-Counter Gear LiteHouse Solo tent.

Rio blogs about small and practical bags to store away all kind of gear.

Mark has a first look at the Paramo 3rd Element.

Helen ponders about tarps and worships the Caldera Cone.

Roger also reflects on some recently used gear.

Dennis reviews the Dri Ducks, UL rain gear for under 30€.

velohobo reviews the FireSteel.com GobSpark Armageddon.

Finally, Zed has a first look at the MLD Spirit quilt.


Gossamer Gear relaunched their website, and it looks mighty fine. Of course I am biased as Joe and me are the first European GG Trail Ambassadors ;)

Philip asks "Why are stuff sacks round?".

UL backpacking is for wimps and losers. Here are eight advantages of UH backpacking. Anyone have a 5+ kg external frame backpack for me?

Zenhabits tells us about "Travelling lightly through life".

Jörgen from Fjäderlätt interviews Chris Townsend about his PNT trip. Recommended Read.

Andy Howell writes about dealing with data when planning a trip.

Benjamin tells us about natural flavours for sweet couscous. I'm getting hungry.

Jonas made invisible shoes.

Ross looks at the Tool Kit of Otzi the Iceman.

Kupilka Review

Ah, how nice is it to not use titanium cups and bowls, let me tell you. This is the story of Kupilka dishes and cutlery, so to start of I recommend you get yourself a fine cup of coffee and put your mind on eating and drinking in style!

Happy family moments.

First off, Kupilka is a Finnish company, which already gives them Rockstar status. There's simply nothing bad coming out of this country, we got a rocking education and social welfare system, we won the Eurovision Song Contest with a metal band (Hard Rock Hallelujah) and the Moomins are at home here. Point made, superiority of Finland acknowledged.

So we can move on to the business of eating and drinking out of Kupilka vessels and bowls with Kupilka cutlery. The important part on a blog of ultralight trips and gear is obviously the weight, so the cast for this episode is:

Kupilka 5 as "The Shot Glass": 26 g
Kupilka 21 as "The Kuksa": 87 g
Kupilka 55 as "The Bowl": 180 g
Kupilka Cutlery Set as themselves: 54 g for the fantastic four (Knife & Fork á 15 g, Spoon at 18 g and the Teaspoon at 6 g)

The Kupilka 5 shot glass I use daily for my Sea-Buckthorn berries shot to stay healthy, it has the right size and is nice to look at - as we say in Germany, "Das Auge isst mit". I yet have to consume alcoholic beverages out of it, but with the holiday season looming large I reckon it is just a question of time till it is baptized with the likes of Minttu and Vodka and it sure will make a good figure with it. Having a long reindeer leather cord is handy in case you consume too much alcohol, just hang it around your neck and you can't lose it!

An ice cold shot with the Kupilka 5.

Having your own bowl and cutlery comes in so handy when living with seven other people in a flat, I can't stress that enough. The Kupilka 55 bowl is my multiuse item of choice for the likes of breakfast müsli, lunch soup and bread as well as dinner pasta, couscous & stews, and anything in between. It has the right size (which is 5,5 dl) for my size of meals, and if you have group meals as we do here in the course, having a bowl like this is highly recommended. On our snowmobile/ skiing trip this bowl will likely serve as my eating bowl of choice, as we cook community meals. I love the handle, how often do you need to hold a steaming hot dish to grab something else, and how often did you burn your fingers? Outdoor dishes should come with a handle for holding it, mandatory. It also is my dish of choice when hiking with my partner, she gets the pretty bowl & cutlery, I eat from the pot. I thus find it mandatory for hiking with my partner, because a happy partner means more trips together!

I won't lose much words on the cutlery, except that it does what it is intended to do very well. For my use at the lad pad it is excellent, I love to have my own cutlery, and it is, as the rest of the dishes, easy to clean and pleasing to the eyes.

A tasty stew served in the Kupilka 55 bowl.

The Kupilka 21 has replaced my wooden kuksa on recent trips. I added a bright yellow piece of cord, as it has a rather camouflage colour and might be forgotten otherwise. Well, why would I replace my wooden kuksa, you ask? Weight, design and wetness are my answers. The Kupilka is lighter and has a superior handle, and it is completely immune to wetness. My wooden kuksa gets little cracks in the bottom when in a moist/ wet environment, nothing major just yet, but a concern nevertheless. It also is a bit bigger which is positive, I like a big cup of coffee in the morning and a big hot chocolate at night.

Kupilka 21 kuksa = a good cup of coffee!

On the material, because I can see that question form in your mind with my UL Jedi Master force. It is a composite material made of 50% pine wood and 50% plastic. What I like about this is that it is recyclable at the end of its life, as it can be grinded down and made into something new. That's completely awesome. What is less awesome is that, in comparison to 100% wood, the composite does not isolate as well. I'm not speaking about losing heat quickly, I haven't done a scientific study on it, but what I mean is that I can hold my wooden kuksa with a boiling hot coffee in my palm, with the Kupilka kuksa that leads to a test in enduring pain. But thanks to the handles on the kuksa and bowl that is less of a concern, though something to point out. Other advantages of the Kupilka material is that doesn't absorb smells and is insensitive to wetness, has a higher durability than wood & plastic on their own and finally, they're are very easy to clean - one could say the material is almost non-stick. You can even put them in a dishwasher, if you carry one with you.

As I know that you're now hugely excited and asking yourself "Where can I get them?" you could just click that link, I'm that good, you see. Alternatively you can practice yourself in patience and wait till next week when there will be a raffle for three Kupilka 21 kuksas. Young UL Jedi, patience practice you shall.

Edit: For orders, dealer inquiries, and blog/media inquries please contact Michael at Kupilka directly!
E-Mail: [email protected]
Facebook: http://facebook.com/kupilka
Phone: +358 (0)400 851 071