What exactly is the weight of a piece of gear?. How do the manufacturer quoted weights compare to actual weights?. For the weight-conscious backpacker the subject is not as simple as it sounds and can be a source of frustration.
The most well known example is lightweight tents where the manufacturer quotes a minimum weight without pegs and guylines, but that is a different case really, a marketing ploy to get a low headline weight, and is well known. Less well known is that optimistic weights are given for many items even when thay have no separate bits to include or exclude. All manufacturing processes are imperfect and can only operate to certain tolerances, which means that different batches of a product will vary somewhat. The extent of the variation depends on the type of product, some are more prone to it than others.
Another problem is how we weigh them. I suspect many scales of being poorly calibrated, in fact our postal weighing scales consistently give different results to the electronic ones, and although I instinctively trust the former more than the latter, I won’t know until I get a known standard weight to test it. Anyway…
We recently replaced our Thermarest Guidelights with their newer Prolite 4 mattresses and our main website has been updated to include the change. The quoted weight of the Prolite 4 Short is 482g, but this must (presumably) be without the supplied stuffsack. We bought the two Prolite 4s and unfurled them to remove the leaflet and registration card, repacked them in the stuffsacks and weighed them on the postal weighing scales. One of them was 505g and the other was 538g. It may not sound like much, but in the second case the weight actually carried is 11% higher than the headline figure, and when expressed in those terms it certainly raises an eyebrow.
Do you have an item of gear that appears to be considerably heavier than its quoted weight?.