Alex L

Alex L

Colorado, Southern Utah

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Alexander's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Skiing
Climbing

Alexander's Bio

Alex L

Alex L wrote a review of on January 23, 2011

4 5

I still use the basic REI pillows if I'm car camping because I think they are more comfortable, but these are awesome for backpacking. There are obviously smaller and lighter air pillows our there, but for me, this is the right blend of weight, size and comfort. If the storage pocket line on the sleeping side bugs you, fold it over to the backside. Maybe I'm dumb, but I didn't think of that for a while...

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Alex L

Alex L wrote a review of on November 1, 2010

4 5

I love these gloves, but they have a limited application. The insulation is only on the backside of the glove (black in the picture). This keeps your hands very warm when they are wrapped around a ski pole. The leather on the palm of the glove is not warm at all and not very water resistant. This makes it a pretty poor multipurpose glove. I would only purchase them if you want a nordic specific glove. This was my reason for purchasing them and they shine in that application. Sizing is pretty standard - I am a medium in most gloves and medium in the swix fit great.

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Alex L

Alex L wrote a review of on May 4, 2010

4 5

This set is well made, light enough, and packs well when you put your fuel canister and stove inside. That being said, I don't find myself using it that often.

When I am car camping, I want a full set of pots to make real food. When I backpack, I usually only need a titanium pot and cup. In the end, this set hasn't proved as useful as I hoped.

The pot is really deep relative to a titanium kettle like the MSR Titan, so if you like to bring pasta or boil food in the backcountry, this will be great. Just assess your needs: if you are going to be lazy and eat Mountain House meals (like me), don't bother with this set. If you actually cook a little bit in when backcountry, this will work well.

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Alex L

Alex L wrote a review of on April 30, 2010

5 5

If all you need to do is boil water or make super simple dishes, this is perfect. Fuel canisters fit neatly inside, but you won't get much else in there. I use it with a MSR Pocket Rocket and it is plenty stable. Lid functions well. Can't beat the weight (7.2 ounces for Pocket Rocket and Titan). I can't comment on whether/how badly food sticks to it - all I do is boil water.

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Alex L

Alex L wrote a review of on April 30, 2010

2 5

They do what they need to. A little short and flexible for my tastes. They just don't provide a nice stable feel in your hand. They stack ok and they don't seem like they will break. Like someone else said below, I wouldn't put them around the stove.

I prefer the Guyot Microbites for only a dollar more. Much stiffer and knife/spatula works remarkably well. Don't think I would repurchase the GSI set.

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Alex L

Alex L wrote a review of on April 29, 2010

4 5

If you need one pad that does everything pretty well, this a great purchase. It's a very pragmatic blend of durability, comfort, weight and warmth. The only thing I dislike is the bulk; when backpacking I prefer carrying an inflatable pad to save some weight and keep things off the outside of my pack. I think the 1.5 inches in this pad is just as comfortable as my 2.5 inch thick Pacific Outdoor Ether Compact 6, and only slightly less comfortable than the Therm-a-rest Basecamp. Great as a first pad because you probably won't find yourself "needing" an upgrade for a long time.

It is totally weak to not include a stuffsack and repair kit. Therm-a-rest is the only company I can think of that doesn't include it standard and it definitely deprives this pad of some value. PO and Big Agnes definitely beat it on this point.

Regardless, an all-around great pad.

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Alex L

Alex L wrote a review of on April 29, 2010

4 5

This is nice, basic headlamp. If you don't need extra features, and just want something simple to do typical chores around camp, this is a great purchase. I have nicer/brighter headlamps, but find myself reaching for this one first almost every time. It's light, compact, and provides sufficient light for most tasks. I rarely find myself ever needing more than the low beam. Excellent value.

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Alex L

Alex L wrote a review of on April 29, 2010

4 5

As Mammut says, not a true autolocker but its awfully close. I hardly have to do anything to hold a climber up. Lowering can for sure be jerky; it takes some practice. Like other reviewers have said - its a niche device, but I still like using this, especially when the climber is hangdogging, way more than using a tube device.

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Alex L

Alex L wrote a review of on April 29, 2010

4 5

This bag is ridiculously spacious, and if you have good sleeping pads, you won't miss your bed. It's a tad bulky; I've taken it backpacking before and it works if comfort is your priority for that trip. I usually use a Gregory Z55 and the bag needs to be stored vertically in the pack instead of stuffing it down horizontally into the sleeping bag spot. That being said, it is probably the only two person bag you could viably take backpacking, which is pretty sweet. It has two pillow pockets - hardly a necessity but the GF loves them. REI basecamp pillows or Medium Therm-a-rest compressible ones fit great.

I do not think it lives up to its temperature rating. Both of us started getting chilly in the mid 30's using Therm-a-rest Traillite and Basecamp pads. The Basecamp pad is pretty thick and warm (R-value 5), so I don't think warmth issues were related to inadequate underside insulation and are instead a shortfall of the bag. I have also used 78 inch inflatable mummy pads inside the bag's pad sleeves - they work fine and just stick out the top a little. Fits perfectly in a large Sea to Summit Event compression sack.

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Alex L

Alex L wrote a review of on February 19, 2010

5 5

I pretty much don't take these off. On my second pair and still loving them. Durability is solid, though after about a year I tore through one of the lacing holds (though there is conveniently a hole in the leather beneath it). My only disappointment is the shoe's ability stick on loose terrain - its does not excel. Traction on smooth surfaces (e.g., sandstone) is adequate but not great. If you want a stickier sole with more traction, look elsewhere. If you want moderate stability and tons of comfort, these are fantastic.

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Alex L

Alex L wrote a review of on February 19, 2010

5 5

I actually have the BD Jetstream which, as far as I can tell, is exactly the same. This will keep your hands surprisingly warm and block the wind well - way warmer than Mountain Hardwear Power Stretch. After 3 months durability seems excellent. Dexterity is medium. Will feel stiff at first but after a breaking in feel perfect. Not sure I would pay $40 - but its a high quality glove.

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