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19Lives

19Lives

19Lives's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Climbing

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 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!

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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.

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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.

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19Lives

19Lives wrote a review of on February 3, 2010

4 5

This is the best shovel I have used so far (including deploy 7 and some more trad models). The 90 degree position moves a lot of snow quickly, and the folded position packs well. The button mechanism in the handle seems to always work, even after its been well covered/clogged with snow. Its also quite lightweight. The only little issue I have experienced is some accumulation and subsequent icing on the grippy part of the shaft. You gotta keep this area clear of worked snow or you get a layer of ice that's pretty hard to remove.

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19Lives

19Lives wrote a review of on January 14, 2010

5 5

This is a pre-use review. I just received these and they seem to be the ideal general-purpose crampon. I also have the cyborgs for climbing water ice but the sabretooth will be my go-to rig for glacier travel, general mountaineering and ski mountaineering. The pro (automatic) binding works perfectly on my mountaineering and AT ski boots. More info to come after they get used a bunch. The photo on this page is outdated, these are the new stainless steel models.

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19Lives

19Lives wrote a review of on December 17, 2009

5 5

Not sure why the stats on this page say Ski Carry: No... this pack has an excellent A-frame carry ability and with the full wrap compression system, you could probably rig all kinds of vertical and diagonal situations as well. The pictures shows one of the straps on the back of the pack (above the ice axe attachments gizmos), but there are two and they are huge. You could strap a keg of beer to the back of this pack.

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19Lives

19Lives wrote a review of on December 17, 2009

5 5

This is the best diagonal ski carry system on the market. I can secure my skis to the pack and remove them again without taking the pack off. Nice size for day trips and its very comfortable while skiing. Build quality is excellent. The only nitpick I have is it doesn't have an obvious place to secure a helmet. Awesome ski pack for sure!

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19Lives

19Lives wrote a review of on November 17, 2009

5 5

Like most people, I love this jacket. The medium fits me perfectly, with room to layer and excellent freedom of movement (6', 170lbs, 40 chest). The harness thingies actually work. It is definitely tough and waterproof... mine stood up to a 7 day trek to the summit of Kilimanjaro and many high sierra climbing trips and still looks new. Mine is made in Canada and its a new Candy Apple Red model. The craftsmanship and quality of materials on this piece makes everything else look sad. I use the Alpha LT when backing up a softshell and this one as a primary when the weather means business.

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19Lives

19Lives wrote a review of on November 17, 2009

Great concept, some issues
3 5

This pack just arrived today, long story short: I love the concept but it doesn't quite work for me. This was intended to replace a similarly sized Dynafit pack with diagonal carry.

Pros: Avalung, high quality build, lots of features, well organized pockets, seems comfortable, diagonal ski carry is my personal favorite method, securely carries any width ski (I tested with Megawatts and RT-86s), rides low on the shoulders so it doesn't interfere with head range of motion while wearing a helmet. Basically all the strengths of my old pack + avalung.

And now for the critique:

1. The angle on the diagonal ski carry vs. vertical is too large (see photo), so much so that I'd hate to hike through trees while carrying my skis, or boot-packing anything that requires good balance. Even an A-frame carry has a narrower profile, and the whole point of diagonal (imho) is to just have one long thing waving around instead of two, or three in my case ;) but I digress.

2. The skis ride very high while attached to the pack, which makes problem 1 worse and makes you feel lopsided. My bindings are mounted in standard, boot-center position. If you mount your bindings ski-center then this isn't a problem. You can lower them by not cinching up the attachment but then the skis flop around.

3. Sizing... what's with the sizing on all BD packs now? They used to fit me perfectly. I'm 6' 170lbs, climber build, with a 19ish inch torso, why is the M/L way too tall for me? The small is too short as well, but a better fit than the M/L. The S&M thing is funny, but I humbly suggest to BD that the sizes be re-labeled S and L and that you should make a medium size or make your packs adjustable in terms of torso length or both.

In summary, if the carry issues aren't important to you and you fit the narrow torso range of the two sizes, this could really be an awesome pack for you. If you are looking for diagonal ski carry for ski mountaineering or serious backcountry, take a look at Dynafit's packs. If BD changes the carry angle and makes a size M, I'll buy two of them.

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19Lives

19Lives wrote a review of on May 11, 2009

5 5

I love the pinks, and the Anasazi VCS classic, both in size 8.5 (I'm a size 10 in my running shoes). The new design has a different heel that does "fit better" with less empty space in the heel cup, but the side effect is that the slingshot effect of the heel rand is less aggressive. So much so that I need to move down a half size to 8 to get the same ridiculous edging ability as before. It seems to me that they are using a thicker C4 sole on the new models as well, putting a little too much rubber under the big toe edge. Nothing a good belt sander can't fix. The forefoot still fits my me like a dream and I prefer C4 to Onyx. I still give them 5 stars, but the pinks would get 6 stars.

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