I recently took my own advice and purchased a camping starter pack for my wife. Then I stole her gear and field tested it on myself. Her are the results:
Madera head lamp
Surprisingly bright. I love the fact that it has 2 white light settings, high and low, a red light setting, and an emergency setting. (Red flashing light). I cant over state how important the red light is when you're off trail at night and want to save your eyes. With 150 Lumens, I will say that it offers more than enough light. The over and around the head strap keeps it in place on your forehead, but still allows for placement around your neck to provide light without shining in other people's eyes. For the price with the combo pack, you can't beat it.
Madera inflatable sleeping pad
I purchased this item with high hopes. I was not let down. This inflatable pad is so thick, and packs up so small, that it would be foolish to carry anything else. With it's one way valve built in, inflation is a cinch. Most sleeping pads end up being bulky or cumbersome, but this packs neatly and provides ample support to lay on rocks and bumpy ground and not compromise a moment of that precious through hike sleep. Another item more than worth its price with the combo pack.
DON'T FORGET TO USE CODE MADERA40 FOR 40% OFF AT CHECKOUT!!!
Madera inflatable pillow
I always viewed pillows as a luxury. They took up way too much space, and didn't offer enough, in terms of comfort, to sacrifice the space in my pack. That view changed once I used the Madera inflatable pillow. It packs down to a size smaller than my first, and fits easily in the same bag as the sleeping pad. The material is comfortable on your face while sleeping (can also be covered with a t shirt to make it extra cozy) and offers variable support to maximize your comfort. I won't be travelling without this pillow on any of my upcoming adventures.
LL Bean 23 degree primaloft sleeping bag
Primaloft material is relatively new, and I was introduced to it in the army. Its packability and warmth is unparalleled. I'm a supporter of sleeping in as little clothes as possible, especially when its above freezing, and this bag did an excellent job of regulating my body temperature through the night. I look forward to using it in conjunction. With the Sea to Summit sleeping bag liner I recently purchased from REI when the temps get lower.
For gear recommendations and up to date reviews of all products we use on our excursions at BK2BC, check out www.bk2bc.com and join our mailing list.