Backpackers Tokyo

Podcast Episode October 26, 2021

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In this episode of the Backpacking Light Podcast, Ryan and Andrew chat with Backpacking Light author and materials tester Stephen Seeber about layering, waterproof-breathable fabrics, and new GORE-TEX technology. Also in this episode, we discuss a new pack from Arc’teryx, updates to the popular NEMO Tensor line of sleeping pads, and a follow-up conversation about water-resistant down.

four outdoor jackets against a white background A few of the jackets Stephen Seeber has tested recently. Photo: Stephen Seeber.


  • catching up
  • wildlife encounters
  • Arc’teryx Aerios 45 backpack
  • Red Paw Packs Flatiron Pack 28L also has the full-length zipper
  • a new version of the NEMO Tensor sleeping pad is hitting the market in 2022
  • Stephen Seeber interview introduction
  • visit Stephen’s author profile see his Backpacking Light articles
  • expectation management and understanding clothing limits
  • how your body releases moisture into layers
  • hiking in high humidity
  • moisture vapor transmission (MVTR) rate vs. air permeability
  • how Stephen’s air permeability test works
  • why you should stop and change your layers
  • what is a high MVTR number, and what are some of the numbers Stephen has measured?
  • permeation kettles and measuring MVTR
  • test methodology and effective correlations
  • how numbers translate to field performance
  • Marmot PreCip Eco jacket
  • Stephen lists some of the jackets he’s tested with the highest MVTR ratings
  • how face fabrics affect vapor transmission
  • tight fabric weaves and durable water repellant treatments (DWR)
  • new GORE-TEX membrane chemistry
  • Ret value (sweating guarded hotplate)
  • Mountain Hardware Quasar Lite
  • Stephen weighs in on two different moisture management scenarios
  • takeaways from the Stephen Seeber Interview
  • Buffalo Systems Teclite Shirt
  • follow-up on the IDFL podcast
  • what’s new at BPL? The Rain Mitt Gear Guide
  • Ryan’s favorite for incidental use – Enlightened Equipment Visp Rain Mitts
  • Ryan’s favorite overall rain mitt – REI Co-op Minimalist GTX Mittens 2.0
  • Ryan’s favorite for durability and scrambling – Outdoor Research Revel Shell Mitt
  • The new Backpacking Light Member QA live stream sessions (link to all) or watch the recorded versions of Layering Systems Member QA and Shelter Systems Member QA
  • wrapping up

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  • Backpacking Light - Executive Producer
  • Ryan Jordan - Director and Co-Host
  • Andrew Marshall - Producer and Co-Host
  • Look for Me in the Mountains - Music
    • Written by:  Chris Cunningham and Ryan Jordan
    • Performed by: Chris Cunningham (acoustic guitar, lead and harmony vocals, harmonica),  Chad Langford (upright bass), and  Tom Murphy (mandolin).
    • Produced by: Basecamp Studios in Bozeman, Montana


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