I have a number of items of gear from Alpkit on this trip and they are all getting well-used. In summary, I am very impressed. Especially when you consider the value.
Hunka Bivvy XL
I’ve got the extra-large size to accommodate my huge −40C rated winter sleeping bag and it is just the right size for that. There’s a pull cord around the hood so you can tie it up tight to keep your hot air inside.
It’s also working great on this Asia trip. My sleeping system is a 0C rated sleeping bag and silk liner with a thermarest. This all goes inside the Hunka bivy, which keeps the rest clean and dry (especially useful on this particularly wet and muddy trip with a tent that now leaks a bit at the corners). Best of all, I simply deflate the thermarest and roll up everything all together and slide it straight into the bike bar bag when I pack up. Then when it’s time to camp, simply unroll and I’m good to sleep!
Of course it’s had a fair bit of use as a bivvy as it’s meant to be used – lightweight trips without the tent – and yeah, I love it.
Possibly my favourite bit of kit.
And with Microadventures being the new ‘in’ thing for us outdoorsy types in the UK, it’s a must-have!
So light and perfectly sized for a hungry cyclists one-pot dinner. The handle is attached and folds around the pot for storage so there’s never a chance of losing it (like I did with my MSR one). The lid has a similar folding handle, which works as a frying pan and makes a good ‘saucer’ for my full to the brim cups of morning coffee that regularly overspill in my tent. What more could you want from a pan?
The pan conveniently holds a fuel canister, or mutli-fuel stove or a mug and MSR Pocket Rocket gas stove, so the cooking gear packs away very compactly.
If I had to find a fault with it, it is that the lid does not fit exactly over the pan, because the material, in saving weight, is on the thin side and so has flexed a little and the lid is no longer perfectly circular. If I was that bothered, I could probably mould it back into shape, but frankly, it really doesn’t matter. If you’re someone who prefers to polish and shine their camping gear and keep it pristine in storage, it might not sit well with your OCD tendencies. For everyone else, it’s perfect!
I was sceptical about trying this headtorch as I have a perfectly good (and expensive) one already that is smaller and operates on a single AA battery. Now although this larger (similar in size to a Petzl Tikka) it is still very lightweight. It uses 3 AAA batteries, which in the past I have found less convenient to replace in far-flung corners of the world. But, the efficiency of this torch is such that it is only now, after 4 months of travelling that the light is dimming and the batteries will need replacing soon. Admittedly I haven’t needed to use the torch for long periods (it is light until late in the evenings). Even so, I’m happy.
The best things about it, however, is that in addition to the main light, it also has coloured LEDs – blue, red and green. They are less bright and great for reading in the tent and when stealth camping and you don’t want to attract so much attention of the bright light.
I like this lantern/torch, but it doesn’t get much use wild camping. What it would be perfect for is campsite-camping where you can sit outside and enjoy the evening without worrying about being seen. It would be perfect to keep if your car for emergencies too.
Essentially is it works like a regular torch with a good strong bright light. But the handle extends to give a clear tube which diffuses the light and gives a nice glow to gently illuminate the area.
It has retractable ‘feet’ so it is stable to stand on end like a lantern, or the metal loop at the top can be used to hang it.
A nifty little piece of gear.