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Fifty Sense: Common Sense Ideas for Thriving after 50
Fifty Sense: Common Sense Ideas for Thriving after 50

Enlightened Equipment

Fifty Sense Seal of Approval

When I decided to review quilts, the company so many hikers recommended was Enlightened Equipment. Although is was only started in 2007 by Tim Marshall by him sewing quilts by himself in his basement, his high quality quilts quickly became a household name. Today, they employ over 50 employees creating quilts, clothing, accessories and more in a 50,000 square foot building in Winona, MN.

They not only have high quality products, but excellent service. They have created how to videos that answer most questions, but also are easy to talk to about any concerns. It is not surprising that they have grown so quickly! I love how they encourage custom products so we can get the fabrics and colors that fit our taste.

Quilt - Enigma

I have heard for a while how so many people love quilts instead of sleeping bags so it was time to try one out and I was not disappointed! I spent quite a bit of time discussing my lifestyle, experience in backpacking, and expectations. I chose the Enigma Custom Quilt, 950 down 20 degree short length, regular width with a draft collar. Picking my color was took the longest to decide because there are so many wonderful colors.

The Enigma is the lightest and most minimalist quilt. The completely sewn-closed footbox is perfect for us who always have cold feet. It is exceptionally warm yet offers the body to have so much freedom of movement. There are two straps that can be used to keep the quilt attached to your sleeping pad.

I used this quilt on a warm night and was not hot which was originally one of my concerns. I stayed covered and what a joy to not feel confined to a sleeping bag. All this comfort and weighing under 19 ounces, what a delight!

Men's Torrid Jacket Custom

I have been a huge fan of down liner jackets, yet they are making believers of me with an alternative. The Torrid used APEX insulation that does not require baffling so the insulation is much more consistent across the entirety of the jacket. It leads to the jacket being consistently warmer than many down jackets. This is less than 10 oz, using continuous filament fiber sheets of 2 oz/yd Climashield APEX.

You don’t need to store it in a bag, because it keeps its warmth in rainy weather so you can just toss it into the top of your bag for an easy grab. It offers warmth, wind protection and maintains this warmth and breathability even when damp.

I can see why it’s a favorite of long distance backpackers because of the versatility with the adjustable waistband and elastic cuffs to keep warmth in and out, but the optional hood adjusts with a shock cord and a comfortable zipper at the neck. It is slightly large to fit over layers and the raglan sleeves add a full range of movement.

They have wonderful videos not only about the specifics of the jacket but also to help you get the correct fit. I thought I would want a medium, but I love the small which has a long body and long sleeves. I’m 5’3”, 130 pounds. There is no extra cost to get a custom jacket so you can pick from a wide variety of colors and other options. They really understand that one jacket does not fit everyone’s desires.

Torrid Booties

Finally, a bootie that is light and comfortable! They use their ultralight fabric and CLIMAAASHIELD APEX synthetic insulation. Because they are so small, they will be a mainstay for cool weather camping. I can even wear them as with my Crocs in camp and because they are easy to wash, I don’t worry about dirt, sweat and oil.


...Fiftysense Product Review Panel

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