MEC Duffle Bag

The MEC Duffle Bag is simple, inexpensive, light-weight and very well made.

Compared to suitcases and rolling duffels, these bags are light-weight, and useful for flying if you need to transport a lot of “stuff” (particularly if the stuff is only accompanying you in one direction).  The bags collapse, and can be stuffed away when not needed for storage or transport.

I have used the extra large model for a variety of journeys over a couple of years.  There are handles on top and at the ends for easy grabbing, and a removable shoulder strap is included. The carrying handles are serviceable as backpack straps, if needed.  The zippers are solid (YKK), and haven’t caused me any problems.  Heavy duty nylon and webbing is used for the sides and the straps, and though not waterproof, the materials are highly resistant to tears and pulls… and washable.

In Vancouver, Mountain Equipment Co-op is legendary for high quality, inexpensive outdoor and active gear (see Turtle Light, previous Cool Tool) and they have started expanding across Canada.

-- Christopher Walks  

[Note: If there is an American equivalent for this product let us know and we'll update the post. --OH]

MEC Duffle Bag
$25-$40

Available from and manufactured by MEC



LT4 Trekking Pole

Insanely light trekking pole. The lightness (less than 4 oz) means you can twitch it really fast to catch yourself because the pole doesn’t have a lot of inertia to overcome. It means your arm and hand tire far less in a day of swing-and-place. It means when you lash it to your pack, it adds little to your burden.

This pole has proved its durability for me on a range of hikes from casual to intense, in a variety of terrains. Adjusting the length with an untwist and retwist to lock is easy and reliable. Since they’re usually sold by the pair, you have a spare in reserve. (Trekking with two poles feels like skiing without snow for me; awkward and hand-encumbering. I like to be a three-legged creature in the bush, always able to brace for stability, striding like a pilgrim with staff.)

-- Stewart Brand  

LT4 Trekking Pole (adjustable)
$80/pole
Available from Gossamer Gear

LT4S (adjustable, with strap)
$88/pole
Available from Gossamer Gear

LT3C Fixed poles
$110 per pair
Available from