Adam Wattswrote a question about Marmot Guides Hooded Down Jacket - Men's on July 27, 2016
Anyone know what the fill weight is?
I'm a outdoor gear enthusiast who is working on his Plastic and Composite Engineering Degree with a broader focus on applications of Material Science in outdoor gear. I love to hike, climb, ski, backpack, trail run.
For for information about the gear I love, please visit my blog: http://www.sunrisegear.blogspot.com/
Anyone know what the fill weight is?
The Marmot Thermo Kinetic Fleece Jacket is one expensive fleece/mid-layer but it's one of a kind. I Love this fleece as a mid-layer as its extremely warm yet highly breathable due the different Polartec fabrics that the jacket combines. It makes for a fantastic skiing mid-layer as it fits under any ski shell without bunching up.
The length of the arms and the articulation of the shoulders are fantastic because I have a lanky climber build and the jacket is cut extremely well. The Center chest is made from Polartec Power Shield High Loft which creates an almost windproof front. This is fantastic when paring with a softshell on top. Extremely warm but highly breathable combination. Only wish the PNW had more of a winter to truly use this one of a kind high end fleece!
Arc'teryx decked out the Sabre Bibs with 80 denier Gore-Tex with a low-loft fleece backer for a soft touch that provides additional warmth. The Gore-Tex that Arc'teryx uses for the Sabre bibs is the older version of the Gore-Tex Pro. Here are their exact words, "Please note that Gore-tex (Standard) is a just the re-named Gore-tex Pro-Shell. When Gore-tex came out with the new membrane for their Pro fabric, they re-named the Pro Shell to just Gore-tex and many people have begun referring to this as Standard"
One of the questions that should be asked is how come Arc'teryx didn't use Gore-Tex Pro which is a more breathable membrane? Arc'teryx's response is," The Pro does offer added breath-ability as it has a different membrane, but with the addition of the fleece like backer, the breath-ability given with the Pro would be lost and thus is not used." I don't entirely follow their logic as the lo-loft backer would reduce the breathability of either membrane, might as well put it on the most breathable to begin with! I think my answer hits the nail on the head, that the Sabre bibs were designed as a powder orientated on piste and side-country bibs. The additional price to make a low-loft backer for the Pro shell membrane would be unnecessary because the Sabre Bibs weren't designed as a high cardio output garment.
One of my pet peeves in the ski industry is the lack of insulated ski bibs. Even a little synthetic insulation in the butt makes a huge difference in the over all comfort of an on-piste bibs or pants. Considering the retail price on the Sabre bibs, I think a little insulation in the bibs would have been a nice touch.
The Sabre Bibs comes with 2 deep thigh pockets, one on each leg. These are pretty spacious pockets, allowing for a large smart phone, wallet, liner gloves, etc... On the chest portion of the bibs, there are 2 more pockets, one large horizontal zipper and a small 45 degree angled zipper. The large horizontal zipper is about a smart phone x smart phone size. The smaller 45 degree angled zipper is best used for smaller items like keys, chapstick, RFID ski pass, etc...
How it Fits:
The Sabre Bibs are cut to a "Relaxed Fit", which I found out to be extremely baggy. I'm 5'10", 160lbs, 33" waist and the Mediums were absolutely huge. I tried the smalls one and the they fit extremely well, not euro-fit snug but a very comfortable "athletic fit". I've never sized down from anything form Arc'teryx but the Sabre Bibs and pants, I had to size down. For comparison sake, I own Arc'teryx's Sawatch ski pants and the Mediums fit perfectly. If you like your pants looking like sails, then get your standard size. If you want your bibs to be practical, size down. Other than sizing down, the Sabre bibs fit extremely well. The bibs are articulated well in the legs for skinning or boot-packing and the adjustable crossback suspenders are easy to adjust and stay adjusted.
The price point may be high, but the Sabre bibs are beautifully crafted and come decked out with a plethora of features. Snow-sports enthusiasts willing to spend a little extra will find the Sabre bibs to be exceptional for on piste powder or side-country riding. Cold blooded riders unfortunately will find the low-loft backer on the bibs not sufficient enough to replace synthetic insulation.
Beautiful fabric and design
Leg vents dump massive heat
Low-loft backer adds just the right amount of warmth for PNW environments
Pockets, pockets, and more pockets
Waterproof, windproof, and bomb Proof 80D Gore-Tex
Huge Instep patches for scuff protection
Relaxed fit is more like enormous fit
Not warm enough for cold-blooded riders or cooler climates
For More details: http://sunrisegear.blogspot.com/2015/02/arcteryx-sabre-bib-review.html
The Hyper Lite jacket is a very slim fit jacket needing very little use of the waist hem draw strings to keep it close to the body. For reference sake, I'm 5'10" 160lbs with 33" waist and own the jacket in Medium and have also tried it on in size Large. The Medium size is cut very well around the waist and most parts along the body like sleeve length.
My biggest issue with some of the Marmot hardshells (Super Mica included, but not their Alpinist) are how boxy they are cut compared to other brands like Arc'teryx or Mammut. With the Medium size I can only fit a heavy 260gm wool baselayer underneath it without the jacket pinching underneath the arms. I don't have massive lats/back muscles! I'm just your standard slim, lanky climber, skier, backpacker.You can get away with a midlayer like an Arc'tery Atom LT if open the pit zips which provide some extra room under the arms.
The large size definitely has proper room under the arms but looses it's athletic cut due to having excess fabric around the waist.I recommend trying 2 sizes so that you can fit a mid layer under it. If you're going to use it as a fast and light jacket with an emphasis on breathability, the pit-zip strategy works fine if you want to keep the slim fit nature of the jacket.
The Marmot Hyper Lite Jacket is a fully decked out slim fit hardshell meant for going fast in sub-marginal weather while needing maximum breath-ability, protection, and maximum functionality. All the small features on the Hyper Lite Jacket improve the breathability of jacket making it one of the most breathable jackets I've used. The biggest drawback on the Hyper Lite is the lack of room under the arms for any midlayers due to the slim rectangle pattern cut of the jacket.
Complete review at: http://sunrisegear.blogspot.com/2015/01/marmot-hyper-lite-jacket-review.html
The majority of the Centrifuge jacket (under the arms and armpit down to the waist, and most of the back) is comprised of OR's Radiant LT fleece fabric. The Radiant LT fleece is like a thicker version Polartec's Power Dry High efficiency material but not quite as warm or as breathable. I have noticed that the fleece does pile on the outside of the jacket which is probably exasperated by using it as an outer-layer against a backpack.
The front facing body, arms, shoulders and scuba hood (except near the mouth), is comprised of a tightly woven soft shell fabric. This softshell fabric is more wind resistant then most I've used and also water resistant.
The Outdoor Research Centrifuge Jacket is my favorite layering piece for high output activities in cold conditions. The front and shoulder softshell material provides protection from the wind and light moisture while the rear fleece material provides warmth and ventilation while you're working hard. This hybrid design makes the jacket ideal for: back-country/XC skiers, alpine climbers, mountaineers, or snow-shoers. The centrifuge jacket is best used as an outer-layer on the ascent when you need chest and face weather protection and maximum breathability, but then can also be used a mid-layer piece on the descent due to the fleece components.
Balaclava scuba hood provides instant shelter and warmth
Front facing softshell provides excellent water and wind resistance
Jacket is cut well to provide maximum uper-body articulation
Hybrid design fleece provides warmth and ventilation
Hand pockets are big enough to store gloves and napoleon pocket for a smartphone
Outer Fleece fabric piles easily
Zippers are way to small to operate even with thin gloves
More detailed review at:
One of the most important things about buying a flannel is the material of the flannel. Prana goes with 100% Organic Cotton which they call heavyweight but compared to other flannels I've owned, it's more of a mid weight. The cotton that Prana used is definitely one of the softest and most comfortable I've touched. It's so soft that my wife likes to rub up against it and use my shoulder as a pillow.
Nothing fancy about the flannel: two main buttoned front chest pockets, two cuff adjustments for narrow to wide wrists, and one button on the forearm so you can roll up the sleeves. The Lybeck Flannel uses a microfiber interior at the collar making for an extremely comfortable against bare skin.
How it Fits:
The Lybeck flannel has a standard cut with the Medium size fitting me (5'10", 165lb, 40" chest, 33" waist) pretty much spot on. Prana in general is more slim/athletic fit so if you're a little hefty you probably want to size up. I don't have any issues being tight around the shoulders or under the arms which many mediums are guilty of being.
I've used both the Blue/Black and the Dark ginger flannels for a few months and both show little wear while being extremely comfortable. The mid-weight flannel provides enough warmth with a simple baselayer underneath for the typical dark, rainy days of the PNW winters. I liked the flannel so much that I bought it in two colors. The stylish colors give enough youth to the flannel while not detracting from those who have more conservative taste.
The Prana Lybeck flannel is one of the most comfortable and good looking flannels available to buy with a respectable price. If you're looking at buying your first flannel or a flannel connoisseur looking to replace one, the Prana Lybeck flannel is the flannel.
100% organic Cotton is soft as anything
Modern colors so you don't feel dated wearing a flannel
Plush microfiber interior around the collar.
Prana's great warranty
Huge shout out to Backcountry.com and Xsories for selecting me to review XSories XS Sneaker Power Bank for the benefit of the backcountry.com community!
If you have been like me, 2 hours into the backcountry and you find your phone low on battery because you didn't put it on airplane mode. Not any more with this awesome XS Sneaker Power Bank because you can plug in any USB device like a smartphone, GoPro, or GPS and instant power.
Super easy to charge and use. Simply plug it in to a USB port or wall converter and watch until all the lights light up. Use the same charging cable to charge your smartphone or Ipod. The XS Sneaker Power Bank uses a wide fat "fettucini" style cable so it doesn't knot up. I've even used this guy to power my GPS because sometimes the conditions require a little help from our satellite overlords.
Huge thanks and shout out to XSories and Backcountry for sending this Silicone Cover for me to test for the backcountry community.
The Silicone Cover is super grippy and fits very tight over my GoPro 3. I will say that it is surprisingly difficult to get on, almost felt like I was going to rip it. Once you get it on, the case does a great job of allowing you to access all the mounting points and buttons. I think for most people though, this case is redundant to the original case because it doesn't add much functionality or protection. If you were going scuba diving or needed to find your GoPro in low light settings, or plan on dropping it, then a vibrant color case would make finding it a whole lot easier. The silicone case works great, nothing wrong with it, but I think it has limited uses for most people.
A big thank you to Backcountry.com and Xsories for picking me to review the Small Capxule Soft Case for the backcountry community!
This is not a good case, this is a really good case! I never thought about having a case to hold all my GoPro accessories until I received it. The first thing I noticed on the soft case was how well the foam inn-lay was cut to hold the gopro and other accessories like the U-shot. Even in the worst pot-hole rid road, nothing is going to get tossed around in it!
Capxule Soft Case fits has enough room for pretty much all your accessories and then some. Super plush outer-fabric and a water resistant zipper, this case was made to travel. It's not the lightest case for backcountry trips but for traveling, it's a life saver.
Real question is, where are you going to take it?
A big thank you Backcountry.com and Xsories for picking me to review the U-Shot for the backcountry community!
The U-shot is a pretty cool device that is able to attache a GoPro or smartphone to it. It's super usefull if you want to take a decent selfie or extend your field of view. Super easy to use, Turn left once or twice depending on how far you want to extend the pole. Turn right to lock it in place and you're there. I like the aluminum build as its light weight and you wont notice it in your pack but has enough heft that you won't feel like you're going to break it.
The only minor annoyance is the ball join because the locking mechanism doesn't always keep it locked. Other then that, the U-shot is perfect to capture the sunny days and even the soggy days in the PNW.
Fighting off zero degree(f) windchill on a snow-less November day on PCT,Washington State.
I want to make a big shout out by saying, thank you Backcountry.com and The North Face for hand-selecting me to review this piece of gear for the benefit of the backcountry.com community!
For a jacket that was designed from an origami construction standpoint, I was very skeptical on how the jacket would fit. The Fuse Uno jacket is actually one of the best fitting jackets I've used, much better than my Marmot Hyper lite jacket. The fit is very similar to an Arc'teryx Beta AR jacket.
I took the North Face Fuse Uno jacket to Washington Pass in the North Cascades to climb South Early Winter Spires via the South Arete. Upon reaching the base of the climb, the wind hit us with a cold October breeze that felt more like winter than autumn.
The North Face jacket kept me comfortable by blocking out all the wind but still breathed well enough to lead easy fifth class without overheating. Throughout the climb I brushed the jacket against abrasive North Cascades granite, especially in the chimneys, and the jacket came away with not even a scratch. I'm really impressed by the burly face fabric but the pockets are too low that a harness blocks them, they need to be moved higher up.
While The North face advertises the Fuse Uno as an Alpine specific jacket, I feel that it's more suited for non-technical adventures (hiking, backcountry skiing,etc...) due to the hand pockets being too low. On the other hand, The North Face has come up with cleaver ways to make the Fuse Uno jacket stand out among other jackets by using an origami and FuseForm construction which creates a very durable but light weight jacket. While the North Face Fuse Uno Jacket isn't perfect, there are a lot of things to love about it which makes the Fuse Uno a very versatile jacket.
Bomber Construction/materials, Superb fit, Light weight
Hyvent Alpha can't quite compete against Pro/Active shell, Pockets aren't very harness compatible, small napoleon pocket
Fantastic jacket for a wall climb in the North Cascades on South Early Winter Spires
Complete in-depth review at: http://sunrisegear.blogspot.com/2014/10/the-north-face-fuse-uno-jacket.html
Testing the Marmot Kompressor Verve 32 on a scramble of Mt. Daniel's SE ridge.
With the weather being so nice in September It's been hard trying to test North Face's Fuse Uno Jacket. Fall's first rain brought me out to Lake Valhalla in Steven's Pass in Washington state. The entire day was warm misty rain and drizzle but the jacket kept me dry and comfortable. Jacket is cut very well to hike with a baselayer or adding a mid-layer puffy for eating lunch at the lake. Got a few more trips planned with this jacket from the North Cascades to Rainier skiing! Will report back soon how the jacket performed!
How it Fits:
Considering I ordered this pack online without every trying it on, I got extremely lucky! The Kompressor Verve 32 happens to be one of the best fitting packs I've tried on. For size reference, I'm 5'10" 160lbs, 33 waist, and 19 1/2 torso length. What I really like the most about the Kompressor Verve 32 is the lower back support. I feel a lot of packs neglect or put not enough support in that area. The lumbar support becomes even more important when you stuff this minimalist 2lb pack full for an overnight trip. I also really dig the hip belt because not only is the foam super comfortable but the foam is flexible and wraps around your iliac crest, making it very form fitting along the waist.
The Marmot Kompressor Verve 32 is an outstanding backpack that brims with limitless possibilities: everything from easy day hikes, fast overnighters, and long peak-bagging days in the mountains. Marmot has put together one of the most comfortable and sleek looking extended day packs I have ever used. The real question is what color do you want and where is the larger version for fast multi-day backpacking?
Incredibly light weight backpack
Suspension Frame and lumbar support is unbelievably comfortable and breathable
Decked out with features: hip pockets on belt, UL Tool/Trekking Pole attachments.
Huge Zipper opening allowing easy access and packing
Stretchy External stash pocket for easy layering
Tinny hydration port for hoses
Price is a little steep at $149
Inside of the pack scratches easily (my eyes are on you pokey freeze dried meals)
Complete Review at:
I have used the Adventurer Opti all summer long and just had the battery run out on my last trip. I typically use the Adventurer Opti 1 to 2 days a week filtering about 2 liters per day. I would say if you're an avid outdoor junkie who gets out every week than you would only need to replace the battery in the Opti every 2 months. I've used the SteriPEN Classic for about 5 years and the battery life is roughly twice as long when using high quality lithium AA's. SteriPEN has a comparison chart with number of treatments per charge (.5L) but I always do 1L increments due to using a 1L Nalgene. Even in .5L increments the chart does show the Classic having twice the treatment cycles per charge, confirming my real world experience. It shouldn't be a surprise that the Classic has twice as many cycles per charge because the Classic uses 4 AA batteries while the Opti uses only 2 small CR123 batteries.
Durability and Use:
I've used the Classic for 5 years and haven't had a single issue and have only used the Opti for 3 months now. The biggest difference comes in at length and weight. Opti is about 6 1/4 inches long with 4.5oz trail weight (batteries and case). Spare batteries only weigh 1.1 oz because the Opti uses CR123's. The classic comes in at 7 3/4 inches long and 6.6 oz trail weight. Spare batteries weigh 2 oz due to the 4AA's. While the Opti is a little less convienient to use in the field, the weight savings and much smaller design has made me keep coming back to the Opti.
***The extra 20$ for the SteriPEN Adventurer Opti is worth the cost as it retains most of the great features of the classic but in a lighter, more compact design. ***
Complete comparison of the Opti and classic at:
The Arc'teryx Gamma LT Hoody is one of the most versatile softshells on the market by perfecting what is required for a softshell. The Gamma LT Hoody was meant for the alpine and has all the features you need and nothing you don't. "A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away." - Antoine de Saint-Exupery. The Gamma LT Hoody will be my main layering piece on any volcano climbs in the PNW during the summer.I'm 5'10" and roughly 165lbs with 33" waist and the Gamma LT Hoody is sized to accommodate a midlayer comfortably like a Atom LT hoody or a mid-weight down sweater.
Fantastic fit with options for layering underneath
Highly wind resistant but breathes incredibly
Great water-resistance and dries quickly
Hood accommodates over sized helmets
Velcro-less cuff makes layering easy
A little pricey
More In-depth review at: http://sunrisegear.blogspot.com/2014/08/arcteryx-gamma-lt-hoody.html
How it Fits:
I'm 5'10" 165lbs with a 33" waist. I wear a Medium in both styles from Icebreaker, The Everday Boxers are a little more snug around the waist while the Anatomica Relaxed Boxers are a little bit more relaxed. The Everyday Boxers are also more snug around the quads and thighs but never tight. For those coming from Exofficio's underwear like the Give-N-Go, the Anatomica Relaxed Boxers are the closest in fit. Fit wise, I prefer the Anatomica Relaxed Boxers over the Everyday Boxers because the Anatomica's slim fit but relaxed style makes you forget that you are even wearing underwear.
The 150gm fabric weight on the Anatomica Relaxed Boxers is perfect for summer hiking or climbing while being the ideal weight for everyday use. I wore the Anatomica Relaxed Boxers on a one day attempt to climb Mt. Daniel in the Cascades; 15+ miles, 5500 elevation gain. The weather for the eastern Snoqualmie valley that day was high's around the mid 90's making the long hike in and out pretty long. Once we hit the snow and higher elevation on Mt Daniel, the temperatures finally got more comfortable. While being stopped just shy of the summit, 1/3 mile and 400 feet elevation left, the Anatomica Relaxed Boxers kept me cool on the long approach and kept me comfortable and dry on the snow even after a few slushy glissades. Most amazingly, the underwear didn't smell at the end of the day!
If you're looking for an alternative to smelly synthetic underwear, Icebreaker's Anatomica Relaxed boxers and Everyday Boxers are some of the most comfortable ways to go!
Merino Wool is soft and stink free!y
Anatomica Relaxed Boxers are pricey at $44.99
More detailed Review at: http://sunrisegear.blogspot.com/2014/07/icebreaker-boxers.html
I'm 5'10" 165lbs with a 33" waist. I wear a Medium in all styles from Icebreaker. The Everyday Boxers are snug around the quads and thighs but never tight
The Everyday Boxers uses a fabric weight of 200gm making them a true year round base layer bottom while still being breathable enough for summer use. While I prefer the 150gm weight for summer use, the 200gm weight was surprisingly fine for a hot day hike to Lake Ingalls, 2500 gain and 9 miles. I originally thought I was going to roast in the 200 weight boxers on this hike, but I decided to wear them anyways, and was truly happy that the boxers proved me wrong.
If you're looking for an alternative to smelly synthetic underwear, Icebreaker'd Everyday Boxers are one of the most comfortable ways to go!
More Reviews at: http://sunrisegear.blogspot.com/