B-Ville

B-Ville

Craig's Passions

Climbing

0 Answers

B-Ville

B-Ville wrote a review of on December 3, 2010

5 5

I just picked up one of these and, although I haven't yet put it through its full paces, I'm pretty happy with it after one field test. I think it's going to be perfect for what I bought it for: to minimize discomfort on committing alpine-style ascents without significantly adding to the volume or weight I'm carrying.

I didn't buy it for fashion. I didn't buy it to keep toasty around a campfire on a chilly night, although it would do that fairly well too. And, I didn't buy it to ward off hypothermia when tent-bound at high altitude. I bought it so I'd have something clipped to my harness that I could put on to at least keep from visibly shivering while belaying.

This isn't the kind of down jacket that's going to immediately wrap you in warmth if you've been sitting around and have already hit that point of coldness that's hard to return from without a warm shower. It'd help but, for that, you (or, I, at least) need something that's more along the lines of a Mountain Hardwear Sub-Zero.

But, if your core is warm from a strenuous hike or climb, the down will quickly capture that heat and keep it while you're waiting for your 2nd to make his or her way up the climb. I intend to use it atop 2 or 3 layers including a soft shell. In that set up, I'd say it's temperature rating ranges from -10 to 30 degrees Fahrenheit. My metabolism is on the higher end and I run fairly warm so people who get cold easily may push the temp rating up 10 or so degrees.

It's weight and packability are great. If you're doing climbs that really require something lighter or smaller, you probably shouldn't be paying for your gear anyway.

I was really happy with the fit too. Often times, and frequently with European manufacturers, I have a hard time getting something that is long enough without having to size up. I'm 6'1"/175 lbs with a slightly long reach (35-ish inch arms). And, it fits great.

As far as the material goes, it is crazy light. It's hard to believe how warm it is when you're holding it in your hand. I can't yet speak to durability but it is a ripstop fabric. I'd agree with what someone else said about the appearance of the sheen and the silk screen logos. It looks too techy to wear out, IMO. But, given that choices must be made, I'll sacrifice appearance for performance.

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B-Ville

B-Ville wrote an answer about on December 3, 2010

as a general rule, i wouldn't recommend a down jacket as a mid-layer to be worn under a shell. the last time I did that, i learned how truly worthless down is once it gets wet. mine got drenched from sweat. and, that was a mountain hardwear jacked with conduit fabric.

this outer material of this jacket is designed to be light, not breathable. the DWR finish may keep the rain out but i doubt this or any other ultra-light down jacket will stay dry if you're working hard and it's underneath a shell.

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B-Ville

B-Ville wrote a review of on March 31, 2010

4 5

Love my laser and agree with all the positive comments about the fabric. The fit is something to consider if you're slightly tall for your weight with long arms.

I'm 6'1", 175, w/a 40" chest. The 'body' of large fits perfectly as far as the circumference goes. It's a tad shorter than I'd like but it works and stays put under a harness. However, if you have a slightly positive ape index (I usually wear a 34/35" dress shirt), the sleeves may be too short to use the gaiters. I tried using them when climbing and the thumb loop was tight enough in between my thumb and index finger that it cut off circulation and caused those two digits to go numb. That's not cool when you're gripped, trying to place an ice screw. And, if you don't use them, it's surprising how much wind comes in through that little thumb hole.

So, if you're in between two sizes and have long arms, you may want to consider sizing up.

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B-Ville

B-Ville wrote an answer about on December 28, 2009

I'm 6'1" w/slightly long arms. I have a large Laser softshell. A medium would have fit in the chest and shoulders but the torso wasn't quite long enough.

The sleeves are long enough for me unless I want to actually use the gaitors. They're a bit too short for that and the seam that sits b/t the thumb and index finger can become uncomfortable. But, the because of the way it's designed, not using the gaitor means having a hole in the wrist of your jacket that is exposed unless you're wearing full-gauntlet gloves. Seems like a little thing but there have been a few times when I've noticed the cold air (and/or water) flowing in through my sleeve when ice climbing or skiing. And, getting the gaitors over any glove bigger than a liner is pretty difficult.

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B-Ville

B-Ville wrote a review of on December 9, 2009

2 5

I've used these skiing, when climbing Pico de Orizaba, and just now walking my dog in -10F temps. They're ok but I am not all that impressed considering what they cost. The dexterity of the gloves really isn't that great. They worked well when plunging an alpine axe in the snow but I wouldn't recommend them for ice or mixed climbing. They just don't have the dexterity that would be needed to place gear (ice screws or rock pro).

And, they are NOT warm enough to justify the cost. After walking my dog for 15 minutes in -10 temps, my finger tips were painfully frozen. I wouldn't expect them to handle temps that low for a long period of time but they should at least keep your fingers from becoming painfully numb for a quick dog walk. I pulled out the liners and found that the tips of the fingers were packed down to nearly nothing and I've only had them for one season.

Bottom line: good ski gloves but not worth the price.

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B-Ville

B-Ville wrote a question about on August 14, 2009

based on the size chart, i would wear a small (30" waist). But, at 6'1" i'm on the slightly tall side for that waist size and, when going strictly on waist size with other boxers, i have found the inseam to be too short. does anyone have a recommendation as to whether i should order small or medium?

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B-Ville

B-Ville wrote a question about on May 15, 2009

I haven't seen many reviews for Patagonia's approach shoes that comment on their quality as an approach shoe. I've seen a couple but, for the most part, the comments are about their comfort as a hiking shoe.

Does anyone have any experience using the Finn's, Huckleberry's, or Karakoram's on class 4/low-grade 5 approaches? I'm trying to get a sense for how sticky the rubber is and how good the toe design is for edging.

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B-Ville

B-Ville wrote a question about on May 15, 2009

I haven't seen many reviews for Patagonia's approach shoes that comment on their quality as an approach shoe. I've seen a couple but, for the most part, the comments are about their comfort as a hiking shoe.

Does anyone have any experience using the Finn's, Huckleberry's, or Karakoram's on class 4/low-grade 5 approaches? I'm trying to get a sense for how sticky the rubber is and how good the toe design is for edging.

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B-Ville

B-Ville wrote a question about on March 31, 2009

A few questions:

1) Other than the ventilation, what is the difference between the ventilator tights, the performX tights, and the stabilyx tights?
2) I'm 6'1", 175 lbs...typically too tall for medium and too skinny for large. Is medium the right size?
3) Do these tights provide sufficient support higher up the thighs or is it necessary to wear a pair of briefs under them?

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B-Ville

B-Ville wrote a question about on February 25, 2009

can anyone provide some input on how these compare to the vipers? is there a significant difference? or, are they very close to being the same shoe? also, would those of you who've used them recommend them for steep sport climbing only. or, are they primarily a bouldering shoe that can be used for steep sport?

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B-Ville

B-Ville wrote an answer about on February 24, 2009

be aware that the avalung components are plastic and BD warns against crushing or otherwise damaging the plastic as it may render the avalung useless. so, while you can zip away the mouth piece, I've opted to use mine only when i might need the avalung to minimize the risk of gear doing damage to it when it isn't needed.

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