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todd's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Snowboarding
Biking
Paddling

todd's Bio

Aarrggh!

Aarrggh! wrote a review of on March 29, 2014

2 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

If you really like to crank your bindings down on steep runs, steer clear of the new Burton straps with angled ridges (double take buckles featuring insta-click). I had a lot of two I tested, but here is what I found....

...first I bought a pair of Diodes. One of the bindings would crank down solid, the other would crank down 2/3 of the way and then skip. I called Burton and they said that isn't normal. I returned the bindings and bought the Genesis (for other reasons).

These bindings look and feel a lot better than the Diodes both BOTH binding straps skip. It was impossible to tighten them as much as I like. When I am about to head into a steep run I like to really crank down my straps. Crank them down so you can feel the straps pressing against your feet and you know there is a solid connection. I don't ride this locked in all the time, but you know the runs when you need it. The bindings didn't deliver.

I thought my Diodes might be a fluke, but when I found that both of my Genesis ankle straps did this, it must be the design. Which is sad because it looks like all the 2014/2015 Burton bindings have this new ratchet. So pick yourself up some 2013/2014 bindings on close-out with the old straight-up ridges. They're better. ;)

Oh, one more thing....if you ride a lot you have probably had your ratchets go bad after a while. They make them a lot better now, but still every once in a while you will blow a spring and need a new ratchet which are easy to pick up from your local Burton shop. Well, with these new ratchets the ratchet is integrated into the entire strap. I didn't see any way to remove just the ratchet. I suppose the shops will have to stock the entire assembly, for what it's worth.

Too bad, with the exception of the ratchets, I would have kept the bindings! The new forward lean adjustment design on this binding is awesome! The simplest I have seen out there.

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Aarrggh!

Aarrggh! wrote a review of on March 23, 2014

2 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

This binding is cool looking but it doesn't have some of the nice tech of lower end bindings. For example, the forward lean adjustment is impossible to adjust without tools! It has an extremely tight clamp and then you are manually sliding a metal square on raised ridges like you did 10 years ago. Burton has much better adjusters and this isn't one of them.

The ratchets did not work well for me. One of them would only tighten 2/3 of the way and was impossible to crank down. I tried two different ratchet straps with no luck. I'm hoping it was just a fluke but it could be this new technology isn't dialed in yet. So if you really like to crank down your boots on big runs, this may not be the binding for you.

Didn't seem very light. It was very stiff though and it looks cool.

I returned it and got the Genesis instead. (I hope the ratchet works better).

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Aarrggh!

Aarrggh! wrote a review of on January 17, 2013

Sick Precision
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This board is sick. I've ridden CustomX and BaronES boards in the past, then took a break for a couple years and tried a rocker stick. I really missed what camber did for me on the steep runs so this year I came back to camber and love it.

I took the CustomX out to Jackson Hole for a few days and forgot how precise this board is. When you are burning down a steep run, through a mogul field, or doing sidecountry I was reminded how the CustomX takes you wherever you tell it. I never had a moment where you initiate a turn, realize the board won't be coming around exactly as planned, and had to redirect to a slide or lower angle turn instead...everything I did, even when my legs were getting tired, the board just responded.

I'm sure some of that is coming onto a factory fresh board from my old rocker toy that's been beat on for a couple years, but I loved it! When you have to carve on the steeps the board is there for you. No washing out. you have the control needed to swing this around and get yourself out of trouble or into a nice stretch of powder!

I was also impressed that even since I purchased the wide variant, the edge to edge response is very quick.

You can't go wrong with the stainless steel edges either that don't rust up while your board is drying out for the night.

The edges and base took a beating from early season rocks, but everything seemed to hold up well with no core shots or edge dings so the construction seems possibly stronger than prior years or else I'm managing rock hits better. I still wish it had the 45:10 edge to give it a little more beef.

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Aarrggh!

Aarrggh! wrote a review of on January 11, 2013

2 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Wow, sounds great just don't fall down...music stops. Fist bump your friend? Music starts again. Hit a mogul? It stops. Turn your head? Lose one ear. Turn it the other way, lose both ears. Do nothing for 10 minutes...music mysteriously returns, then pauses, then returns, then crackles...

Everything I have ever bought from Skullcandy is crap. They have some crazy marketing machine convincing everyone they produce a quality product, but I have never been impressed.

The volume knob on this is awful. When you adjust it the sound goes in and out and brings static. In some positions it stays that way and you have to readjust.

There is a breakaway connection to the control knob and one to each headset. So, 3 junctures in total. None of them are solid connections. The main one above the control is the worst and needs to be taped up and tucked inside your helmet.

When everything is working, though, the sound quality of music and calls is very good.

I bought this in 2013 from Smith, so it looks slightly different than the one pictured but is the most recent available.

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Aarrggh!

Aarrggh! wrote a review of on January 9, 2013

3 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Performance wise, the jacket does the job and kept me warm with minimal layering underneath and the underarm zips provided more than adequate venting when needed. However...

The skirt is awful. First, it has no adjustabiliy- just one set of snaps that is not snug enough on me. Second, the jacket to pants interface loops are AWFUL. There are 3 loops with weak plastic snaps that come un-done every time you bend over to adjust a boot or binding. There is NO WAY these will keep snow out of your back if you wreck on a powder day. Of the 3 plastic snaps one of them completely tore off on the 2nd day of use. Bad design. A zippered pants2jacket interface is the best, but if anything give me adjustability and better quality.

2nd, all the zippers stick. the main zipper sticks at the bottom on the way up, and at the top on the way down. It is very frustrating as it takes concentration to carefully zip it every time you open or close the main zipper and sometimes it still gets stuck at the top out of sight from you. The small waterproof zippers on pockets and vents are also very difficult to move on the mountain. It is very difficult to do one hand adjustments on slope or lift. You need to hold the material with one hand and adjust the zipper with the other.

There is no place to attach a pass. The pit vents are not mesh lined to keep out snow (and in this 3L jacket you are going to NEED to vent on a powder day when you are working and generating sweat). It would also be nice if they put a little felt inside the pockets like they do on the inside of the collar. Would add comfort on a cold day without adding much weight.

It's still a nice jacket but for $500 I'd expect more features and performance, while still keeping it as a light weight shell. I either got a lemon or nobody field tested this jacket and actually used the features. ?

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Aarrggh!

Aarrggh! wrote a review of on December 10, 2012

4 5

Familiarity: I returned this product before using it

Bought this jacket and returned it, but only because of the color. I was hoping the Larimar Blue was more of a "smurf" blue but its on the teal or aqua-marine side.

The jacket is killer though. It is very well constructed with superior features throughout. It seems to be lightly insulated such that with a base layer and closed vents you'll be fine in the coldest conditions, but in similar jackets with only one layer underneath and vents open, you can ride on a spring day.

All the seams are clean. The pockets are so snug I know a drop of water won't be getting in, and it hangs on you nicely. Some jackets bulk up and bugle but this is very comfortable and looks great (if you like the color teal).
Just a super featured jacket over all.

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Aarrggh!

Aarrggh! wrote a review of on December 10, 2012

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

The only pant I've found that would top this would be the Burton 3L pant, but only if it had the pockets and features of the 2L.

I've had this pant for several years. I currently bought the 2013 and figured I'd compare it to one from a few years ago.

First off, the sizing is different than it used to be. I'm a 36x32 and used to fit into the large very comfortable. The 2013 large for me was too snug with even a mid-weight base layer underneath. If I added pads or full pockets it'd be an uncomfortable day of riding. So I had to move to the XL which was much more roomy, if not a little too much space.

The 2013 Stagger has HUGE mesh lined vents. The one on the side goes from the hip to the knee and there's a big one in the crotch. The only downside of vents this large is when you have them full open they look more like saddle pants. But I'll take it for that much venting! Love the mesh, when we spill in powder, we'll keep the snow out.

The GoreTex material is rougher than prior years thus seems more durable. While it isn't an insulated pant, I have never needed anything other than a mid weight layer in even the coldest conditions.

Nice big cargo pockets on the side so you can load them up with your cameras, cliff bars, tools or whatever. So even if you change coats during the day, you can keep all your important gear with you. The upper front pockets and rear pockets are all zippered so you won't be losing your wallet.

It is really the best featured snowboard pant I have found and I've looked around a lot.

Only thing I miss over prior years is the zipper jacket to pants interface. Burton took it out this year so all you have is three loops that you can use to connect to a powder skirt. It isn't going to keep you bone dry when you go for a long slide like the zipper will, but it's better than nothing.

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Aarrggh!

Aarrggh! wrote a review of on December 10, 2012

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

The jacket has good pocket layout, great build quality, and enough layers inside to have it lightly insulated but not heavy. You could wear it on warm days with only a small base layer and you'd be okay.

I have a 2010 Burton Jacket and the sizing this year is smaller. Where I could fit into a L in the past, with room for comfort, it was a little snug this year (both Stagger pants and jacker) making me move to an XL in both so that I could comfortably put a layer underneath.

Wish it had mesh on the vent so I could open up the vents on warm days and not be afraid of big powder falls filling me up with powder.

Burton has also gone away from the Zipper jacket to pants interface. That's too bad. It was a GREAT feature giving you the powder defense of a one piece with the style and flexibility of a two piece. Seems that everyone except Volcom is going to those 3 little snap tabs this year to connect Jacket to Pants. If you've taken a big butt slide fall down a long slope...you know how well they work! :) (your back will be full of snow)

Bring me back zippers and mesh. Otherwise, size-up and the jacket rocks!

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Aarrggh!

Aarrggh! wrote a review of on December 10, 2012

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

Well constructed with some nice features and good pocket layout. The chest and arm pocket are nice in particular.

It would be nice if the side hand pockets ran a little lower and/or were felt lined. They are not comfortable pockets to rest your hands in when walking outside.

However, on the upside, they are really large inside (run the entire height of the coat) so you can easily have an extra layer or some skins tucked in there.

The inside media pocket is tiny but would fit one phone/MP3 player. I think a small media pocket inside a larger pocket is a much better setup, which this coat doesn't have. There is a slot for headphones but there is not a loop higher up the collar to direct the line.

I'm sure the 3L has something to do with the cost, but at $500 for a jacket, they could have put a few more features in here. The powder skirt could use another set of snaps so skinnier guys could snug it up. Wrist gators would be nice.

Would also prefer if it had some mesh on the underarm zips. For some reason this has become less common on jackets this year. The manufacturers seem to think that we only use the vents when we are hiking or sitting on the lift. On a warm day, we ski/ride with the vents open and when you fall you will fill up your nice dry base-layer with snow! Hook us up with some mesh!

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Aarrggh!

Aarrggh! wrote a review of on December 10, 2012

3 5

Familiarity: I returned this product before using it

No doubt the 3L Gore Tex is top notch and the build quality is as well. I was surprised to find no mesh on the vent zippers. I can see skipping this on the coats (although I still think it is necessary), but pants? We're potentially hiking (or falling) in thigh deep powder. It doesn't matter if you are using the vents when you are hiking up or riding down...snow ingress into the pants is very likely. Hook a brother up with some mesh to keep me from filling up with snow!

The reinforcement on the lower pant is a nice touch and it is more of a charcoal gray then the black it looks like in these photos.

Construction seems solid. No reinforcement or felt underlay behind butt or knees, which is a nice feature on some other shells I've seen.

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Aarrggh!

Aarrggh! wrote a review of on April 23, 2012

4 5

This is great as a windbreaker or shell. I've worn it by itself and layered up with fleece underneath. It does the job and the pockets and pit zips are great. Usual high MH build quality. It is NOT a rain coat, though.

You could take this out in a short duration light rain but don't pack it as your go-to shell in case the rain dumps while you are hiking. The outer fabric will get saturated and then start to seep inside. You will get cold and wet.

If you know it's limits, you'll have a great time in this light piece of gear!

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Aarrggh!

Aarrggh! wrote a review of on September 15, 2011

3 5

Got this in the mail today and at SAC prices it fills the need for a basic back pack that will hopefully stand up to daily use but doesn't require a lot of features. This is VERY basic...a pack, small inside pocket, one outside pocket. I was kind of amused to see the retail price tag on it showing $50. I can't imagine anyone would pick it up and think it would be worth $50....$25 is even a stretch.

Still, I like the brand. Good book bag or extra gear bag.

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Aarrggh!

Aarrggh! wrote a review of on June 1, 2011

5 5

This shirt rocks! Got an XL (6'2", 180lbs) and it fits perfect and didn't shrink up a ton when washed. I usually have to go for XLs for the arm length but then find the shirts are too long or baggy, not so with this Kavu. Arms are plenty long but the shirt length isn't excessive. I'd by other colors/designs if backcountry had them in stock.

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Aarrggh!

Aarrggh! wrote a review of on June 1, 2011

5 5

This shirt rocks! Got an XL (6'2", 180lbs) and it fits perfect and didn't shrink up a ton when washed. I usually have to go for XLs for the arm length but then find the shirts are too long or baggy, not so with this Kavu. Arms are plenty long but the shirt length isn't excessive. I'd by other colors/designs if backcountry had them in stock.

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Aarrggh!

Aarrggh! wrote a review of on April 5, 2011

3 5

I bought the Princeton Tec Amp Series Flashlight 5.0.
It is a pretty good flashlight at the sale price, but I don't think it is worth $45.

It works well and I suspect the battery life will be very long. There is an annoying delay when you press the button before the unit shuts off. I think this is because it is a dual function button. You press it once to switch modes and hold to turn it off. I have accidentally turned it on when in my pocket. I'd rather turn off a light instantly than have to hold the button for 2 seconds.

Like many LED lights, while bright, it doesn't project a spot far if you want to identify something at a distance. It will shine light a good way but it is kind of diffused by then.

It is actually too bright to shine towards people as it is kind of a blinding glare. So, it'd be nicer if it had a dim mode you can use when you're just walking the dog or want to light up the general area around you.

In SUMMARY- very bright, good battery life. Would be nice if it had a dim function, instant turn off, and more focused spot beam.

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Aarrggh!

Aarrggh! wrote a review of on October 24, 2010

4 5

Nice tent. Well constructed. Tall. I'm 6'2" and easily stand in it without hitting the ceiling or the attic storage mesh. I wanted a simple dome tent that was well constructed, ventilated, yet had some privacy. Every other tent I found was either total mesh, had 4-5 poles, or was loaded with gimmicks like welcome mats and skylights that I didn't need. Kelty came through on this with a 2 pole tent that get's the job done. I'd say it will comfortably fit 4 people and their gear. There are 6 pockets inside plus an attic shelf up top. It is a bit heavy and the poles seem to come with some bend in them. I hope that is just a natural memory in the poles from being tested/used. It all seems solid. I'd recommend it for sure.

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