Hiking in Finland

Climbing, bikepacking, skiing & packrafting in the north

Kupilka 21 Raffle

Shown patience you have, young UL Padawan. Time to reward thee and see if the force is with with you.

Three Kupilka 21 wait to enhance the life of UL Masters and Padawans in this galaxy. To earn the right to carry this Nordic status symbol, thou shalt show that you are worthy to carry it.

Leave a comment under this post, indicating your interest. To compete, thou shalt name the non-alcoholic beverage you want to drink from it, and as we all are able to control the force thou also shalt name the alcoholic beverage you want to consume from it.

On the 7th of November (this coming Sunday) at noon the competition closes, and the Force™ shall help to decide who are the worthy ones. They shall be announced in that same Sunday's The Week In Review.

*You want to become a Follower and come back on next Sunday to see if you won.*

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.