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Brent's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Climbing

Brent's Bio

19Lives

19Lives wrote a review of on August 24, 2012

5 5

A great trail running shoe. I went with my usual Asics size 10 and all was well. Now I just hope Backcountry gets more in stock so I can replace them! The lugs did wear out a little fast, my only small gripe. They seem to be glued on, and a few fell off. Avoid running on pavement at all, e.g. at the start and end of trail runs, and I think they will last longer.

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19Lives

19Lives wrote a question about on June 28, 2012

Anyone know how to get the Ambit to display more precision than just seconds? Tenths/hundredths of a second would be nice, like most stopwatches. Thanks! Not a big deal if you can't, most activities this watch is designed for take way too long for it to matter, but it would be nice to have.

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19Lives

19Lives wrote an answer about on June 23, 2012

They can't price match on Suunto products but I decided to buy it here anyway because Backcountry has the best customer service out there. They also had the watch in stock, unlike the places pricing it at $550. So, I'm getting it right away, and if it turns out to be defective I can return it with no hassle. Win.

(2)

 

19Lives

19Lives wrote a review of on November 17, 2011

My best warm softshells, skiing on San Gorgonio
5 5

These have been my tried and true softshells for over a year now. The value is absolutely fantastic, since they have functioned as well if not better than Mammut and Arcteryx pants I've tried. They are warm, with a healthy fleece liner, but breathe so well that they don't overheat easily. The DWR on the fabric has been very effective. I haven't had any trouble with the pockets... no snow buildup or anything like that. I'm 6'0'' 170lbs and size M is right on. They fit with or without layering underneath. They do need a belt though, and they have nice beefy belt loops. Great pants!

(0)

 

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19Lives

19Lives wrote a review of on November 10, 2011

2 5

This isn't going to pass the living room test phase for me, and I'm sad to say so because it has a lot of potential. I have 3 other Mountain Hardwear packs from 2009-2010 (Dihedral, Direttissima, South Col) and I think they are the best packs I have ever used in their respective size ranges, so I had high hopes for this one.

Good stuff:

-The materials and construction are first rate, typical for M.H.

-The S/M size fits me ok (I'm 6'0'', 170lbs). A true M would be better.

-There are a good assortment of loops, attachments, pockets, etc. The rear-panel zip is especially nice for skiing.

So here are the deal-breaker issues for me:

-There is no hard structure to the pack, no stays, so it sags when loaded. It fails to transfer weight to the hip belt. A 30L pack is big enough to load up, and it all goes to your shoulders. Granted I don't want lots of weight in my ski packs, but I prefer at least some vertical rigidity in packs of this size.

-For a pack designed for skiing, it fails to A-frame carry skis effectively. This is due to the buckle choice and location on the upper side compression straps. The buckles do not lock, and they fall directly on the ski/binding when skis are attached. This allows the ski to pull slack through the buckle, and you end up with your skis flopping around. This happened immediately while simply walking around my living room with K2 Backlash skis attached (92mm). This gets the 2 star rating, sadly, because the primary purpose of this pack is to ski.

-The 2010 vintage packs from M.H. had the side compression straps isolated from the cargo lashing straps by a locking buckle piece. This pack doesn't have this feature, so when you cinch your skis down (temporarily, see above) it squeezes the cargo lashing straps as well.

A locking or relocated buckle on the ski attachment compression strap, a stiffener in the back panel, and 2010 style straps across the front, would make this pack a real winner. If any of these observations are user-error, someone please let me know.

(1)

 

19Lives

19Lives wrote an answer about on May 16, 2011

I've used both brands and it seems that the K2 skins do not come with a DWR treatment and this leads to major soaking of water and then icing. They are also difficult to pull apart and don't seem to last very long. I've been much happier with the BDs, both mohair mix and full nylon ascensions. The K2 tip/tail attachment looks neat but doesn't save any time removing/attaching skins like Dynafit's system does.

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19Lives

19Lives wrote a question about on April 9, 2010

I'm getting a wicked hard spot/pressure point where the Achilles meets the heel when walking uphill in these boots. It feels like a screwdriver jamming into my skin back there. Anyone got any boot tricks to help with this? Will it go away with break in? They are great boots in every other respect, maybe they just don't fit my heel properly and that's that.

(1)

 

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