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BW

BWwrote a review of on August 22, 2012

2 5

I hate to do it, but I can't give this jacket a good review. I must agree with the other reviews about the lack of performance of this jacket. I am an outdoor guide who uses/tests a ton of gear and am a huge fan of M.H. I took this jacket on a trip around the world (the best field test ever). I thought it would be a good compromise for a one jacket do-all, from alpine climbing to rainforest trekking to city dwelling. And, if/when i thrashed it, I'd only be out a hundo. It has some of the alpine features I wanted, and I also thought it would serve well as a general use rain jacket for trekking and in towns. It is very light, and balled up small for stuffing in my pack (another plus for traveling). I bought my girlfriend the same one as well, and we both had the same problems. As an alpine shell (which i realize is a stretch), it did a great job at blocking wind and retaining heat (with a fleece and a M.H. compressor hoody underneath). The fit is great, trim and athletic (5'10'' 180 size large) but enough room for a light puffy. The quality of the jacket is awesome.. it held up to 6 months of travel in some crazy places. The problem, as others have stated, is in the laminate. During rainy hikes, this jacket would become soaked on the inside. Now, I haven't conducted the science experiment to see if it was soaking through from rain, or if it was condensation, but nonetheless, every time we wore these jackets while recreating in rainy environments, we were both soaked underneath. Yes, we used the underarm zips and were wearing merino underneath most times. If we were at altitude, and it was dry, the jackets worked fine, but the one thing it is designed to do (be waterproof/breathable) it failed at, not on one jacket, but two. That's proof enough for me. Don't get it twisted people, M.H. has put out a "Cohesion" jacket and a "Cohesion Stretch" jacket, so make sure you know which one you're reviewing. I believe both have the same laminate though. Good thing M.H. is investing in this Dry Q, because it is far superior.. but i would go with the Dry Q elite.

(1)

 

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BW

BWwrote a review of on August 22, 2012

4 5

This is a sweet little lantern for 18 bucks. Perfect size to light up a car camping tent (6P, 8P) or for playing cards at the campsite picnic table. Also, its so small, you could easily bring it backpacking (smaller than a can of soda). It does lack a dimmer setting, but again, its 18 bucks for a good amount of light. Not sure about durability yet (only had for a couple of months). Of all the lanterns on the market, this one has the highest average burn time (110 hours) of any I could find, which equals less batteries, which equals more money in my pocket.

(0)

 

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BW

BWwrote a review of on August 22, 2012

4 5

The prophet is a standout climbing/mountaineering pack, no doubt about it. The fabric is durable and light, the features are well thought out, and the frame/suspension is sturdy. I am a die-hard M.H. fan when it comes to mountaineering gear, however I went with this pack over the South Col. (mainly for monetary reasons - I was able to get the Prophet much cheaper). Needless to say, I am bias to the M.H. alpine packs. With that said, here's my two cents; the prophet has a 300 denier fabric throughout the pack, which is the perfect balance of durability and weight. This pack contains 3 side compression straps which can be a bit busy at times, but does add more functionality to the pack. The frame of the pack is ridged enough which makes for good sturdy weight transfer. Nice features include the designated crampon pocket in front, extension skirt, huge side pockets, and piece of mind.. this isn't one of those packs you have to baby. Here's what I don't like; the padding on the backpanel, hip belt, and shoulder straps could be a few more ml's thick. I understand that mountaineering packs typically have streamlined padding because assuming you will have several layers on while climbing, you dont need 5 inches of padding. Nonetheless, this one could use a bit more. The hipbelt is not removable, which is a nice feature when you are pushing for the summit and have a harness/rack on. Lastly, one comparison (if I didn't find the Prophet cheaper) that would've made me lean towards the South Col., the full wrap compression of the South Col. M.H.'s design of the compression straps not only being on the sides, but also on the front is a great feature that I use all the time in my other M.H. alpine packs. You can strap a set of snowshoes to the front of the pack, and still have the compression straps on the side for pads, tent poles, ice pickets, etc. Overall, there are plenty of options out there for a large volume mountaineering pack, but this one is one of the better ones.

(6)

 

BW

BWwrote a review of on September 21, 2011

5 5

These are the paired-down version of the M.H. Nima Pant. The same material is used in the Tanglewoods (thorngard), which is a mid-to-light weight softshell. First, the fit is perfect. For reference, I am 5'10'' 185 and the mediums fit perfect around the waist. Trim through the legs, but not tight, which is perfect for alpine climbing (the best use for this pant). Enough room for a mid-weight base layer, without being skin tight. A couple of zip hand pockets, gusseted ankle zips, and a built in webbing belt are pretty much the features. What sets these pants (and the Nimas) apart from others is the material/construction. The thornguard soft-shell material is a step above other companies. I have soft-shell climbing pants from other companies that show a lot of abrasion from glissading, and self arresting. After a recent 2000 ft. descent sliding on my ass over snow/ice, these pants show little damage. That's proof enough for me. Price could be lower, but we all know that ain't gonna happen..

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BW

BWwrote a review of on September 20, 2011

4 5

Good pack for a good price. Keep in mind, you get what you pay for. This pack is perfect for the beginner not looking to spend a ton of money on backpacking gear. Very simple design, with minimal features (which, in my opinion, is most times a good thing.. less tech, less stuff that can break). The packbag fabric is a reasonable (and light) 210 denier that will stand up to most use. A heavier fabric on the bottom would have been nice, though. Straps and buckles are typical. I really like how the side compression straps can also be used as full wrap compression straps, giving the user more options to carry gear. This pack will perform best with lightweight gear and low base weight. The shoulder straps and waist belt are sufficiently padded and carry comfortably with a moderate load. The frame is light and stable enough (with two vertical pre-curved aluminum stays) to support about 25-35lbs. The recommended max load is 45, however I feel that weight is overzealous. It lacks several of the small features that make more expensive packs that much better, but again.. you get what you pay for. Great for a first pack, or as a back-up. Experienced b-packers/climbers will most likely demand more stability/durability features out of a pack. Nonetheless, a good pack for the price.

(0)

 

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BW

BWwrote a review of on September 7, 2011

4 5

Best Scrambler design yet. M.H. has made 3 versions of this pack. First one was pretty bad.. superlight, but super uncomfortable. The second one improved on the flaws of the first (better shoulder straps, waist belt, "hard-wave" framesheet). The third (this one) is closer to an actual climbing pack than a bare bones frameless summit pack (although, it works damn well as a summit pack). The shoulder straps are pretty close to full size in width, and are sufficiently padded (unlike most "summit packs"). The back panel is made of both a thin foam sheet, and a hardwave plastic sheet that flexes vertically, but stays rigid horizonally (and is removeable for stowing). The pack can be stuffed into the top lid pocket (with framesheet removed). Instead of annoying bungee cord, the newest Scrambler has two compression straps on both sides, so you can realistically attach some gear. The downside to the new Scrambler.. its bulkier than past models, so it takes up more room in your approach pack. But, in my opinion, the extra weight is worth having a well featured, comfortable, stable, durable pack available for summit day, rather than a stuff sac with wimpy shoulder straps. When I climb, I always bring a summit pack, and this one is the cadillac of summit packs. Want a lighter one? TNF Verto 26. Sweet summit pack, packs down much smaller than this one, frameless, durable material, best compromise of weight, comfort, and durability.

(0)

 

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BW

BWwrote a review of on June 30, 2011

4 5

the triumph has got to be one of the lightest fully waterproof hooded shells on the market. After owning it for a few months, i now know why it got so many awards. the design is genius.. so simple, its high tech. only two pieces of fabric, which means WAY less seams than the average shell. originally, i was in the market for an ultralight hooded wind-shell to use as an outer-layer in summer alpine conditions, or as a mid-layer in spring/fall (perhaps under a light fleece to make a makeshift "wind-stopper".. 2 pieces, same weight = more versatility). Wind-shells are a very versatile piece, that can be used in many applications to compliment a layering system. I began looking at several 3 and 4 oz. pieces from montbell, TNF, and marmot. they all seemed great in their own right, but one thing was constant. in most parts of the country, you're probably going to end up packing a fully waterproof rain shell as well. kind of redundant to me. enter the triumph. as light as the average hooded wind-shell (5oz.), but fully taped and waterproof. you've got your apple sized wind-shell (compressed), and your ultralight rain shell in one jacket. of course, with an actual laminate, the triumph wont be as breathable as a wind-shell, but the center zip is deep and will vent a lot of heat. great piece of kit, highly recommended. for reference, i'm 5'10'' 190 and the large fits pretty good (not to tight, not to baggy). the wrist cuffs and bottom hem are elastic bound to keep drafts out.

(0)

 

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BW

BWwrote a review of on June 16, 2011

4 5

Got it for next to nothing, so i had to give it a shot. Turns out, it is a great, cheap, 650 fill bag with some bragging rights. Pertex fabric is awesome in my opinion. I have a few Rab jackets made with Pertex and they wont quit. It comes with a cotton storage sac and a sil-nylon compression sac. In another review, the compressed size is compared to "not much bigger than a nalgene" Welll, not quite. It will compress as short as a nalgene, but a bit fatter. Very simple design with a draft tube and small pocket at the feet for a hot water bottle. The hood cinches in nice and tight for colder nights. Good amount of room inside, not too skinny, not too roomy (I'm 5'10'' 190). The fill and temp rating are accurate to 30, maybe even a bit more. It lofts up nice after being compressed. 650 isn't the best these days, but it will certainly do the job. If you're looking for one bag that can do most, this one isn't bad.

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BW

BWwrote a review of on May 31, 2011

5 5

The best long haul climbing pack on the market, period. Stuff in a couple days worth of gear, and hit the 'tains. This pack has every feature you need in a mountaineering pack; super durable, a million ways to attatch tools, ample space, comfortable stable carry, removeable components (frame, waistbelt, lid), compressible to summit pack size, simple design. Its a little heavy, but whatever man.. it will probably last like 150 years. Load it up and put it on.. it gives you a confidence in your gear that other packs lack. Absolute jackhammer construction. If your trip is gonna be a brut, load the big D. By the way, i got a chance to check out the new version.. still a great pack, but i like my old one better.

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BW

BWwrote a review of on May 28, 2011

4 5

The Mesa pant has been updated for 2011 with some changes. I just got these a few weeks ago to replace my old Mesa's, and they are quite different, but not necessarily in a bad way. First, two big changes; no more cargo pockets on the thighs. The new updated pocket is a vertical zip on the thigh, and there is only one. Second, (and this may be an issue with M.H. production) although the picture and advertisement shows ankle zips, mine did not come equipped. I purchased mine directly from the M.H. website. Not an issue for me, because i would rather not have them, but for anyone making the purchase who wants this feature, i would double check. The two front pockets are placed a bit differently; now, they are cut with horizontal entry (kinda like jeans), as opposed to the "slash" style entry of the old ones. The rear pockets secure with a velcro patch, and are placed slightly outward from the normal placement of back pockets (kind of out towards the upper thigh). Same great fabric which is lightweight and very durable. The legs are a little bit more tailored than the old ones, but not much, and the ankles are slightly more tapered. Overall, i like the updates, because they're still a great lightweight technical hiking pant that no longer screams "lets go hiking!". They can probably pull double duty for travel-casual. I am 5'10'' 190 with a 32-34 waist and the mediums are spot on.

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BW

BWwrote a review of on May 25, 2011

4 5

So, M.H. has the cohesion shell set, and now the "stretch cohesion" shell set. Here's the difference; the new stretch cohesion is made with a 30 denier outer fabric (as opposed to 40D on the regular cohesion), and the stretch cohesion has a slight mechanical stretch to the fabric. Same laminate. In turn, the stretch cohesions are a bit lighter. Here's my opinion; very lightweight, quality built rainpant. I dont think they should be $125 though (you can get a gore-tex stamp on a pair for that much). I bought them for the superlight weight and great fit of M.H. pants (and on sale). Very trim fit (I'm 5'10'' 190 with a 32-34 waist) and the mediums fit a bit slimmer than most rain pants (that are meant to go over hiking pants). I can get them over a light hiking pant, but not much more. You can feel the stretch in the fabric when you make a big move, which is nice compared to other rainpants (hence why they can get away with cutting them slimmer). 3/4 length side zips are nice for on/off and venting, however the zips are not waterproof, so time will tell how well they keep water out (i've been out once in the rain, and no problem). Full function zip fly and belt also good touch. No pockets. Very lightweight, pack down VERY small. Inner laminate does get a bit clammy, but most 2 layer rainpants do in my experience (i also sweat alot). Not sure if i would use them for alpine settings, but general hiking/backpacking is where these will perform well. Good compromise of weight, durability, and function. FYI, if there is "reinforced edge guards", mine didnt come equipped with them. If this is a feature you counting on, double check..

(0)

 

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BW

BWwrote a review of on May 25, 2011

5 5

This company keeps puttin out wicked backpacking gear that gets lighter, stronger, and more user friendly. If you and a pal go light, this is all you need. Two small bowls, two cups (with insulated sleeves and drink lids), two sporks, and a decent sized pot to cook in (with a lid). You're not cooking a pound of pasta in this thing. It is however big enough to boil water for 2-3 freeze dried meals, or making rice, oatmeal, or hot drinks (for 2). Whatever halulite is, it rivals titanium and is way cheaper. If you're looking to go superlight solo, get the GSI Minimalist. For 25 bucks (minimalist), you get a .6L pot, spork, rubber pot gripper, drink lid, and insulated sleeve (to double the pot as a mug), as compared to 50 bucks for just a pot of similar size (titanium). No brainer. I own the Minimalist, the Soloist, and now this one for two person use. Boils water quick and also important, cools to the touch in seconds. Also comes with a welded bag that will hold water. Genius design and function. FYI, a pocket rocket and jetboil 3.5oz canister does not fit perfect in the nesting, the lid will buldge a bit, but the handle will still fold over and lock it into place for transport. I assume smaller canister stoves will fit, but i'm stickin with the ol' faithful rocket.

(0)

 

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BW

BWwrote a review of on May 13, 2011

5 5

Man, these guys can make packs. I know there are several other companies that make just backpacks, but MH puts a simplicity into theirs that no other company can seem to figure out. I own several MH packs (fluid, dihedral, direttessima, trad) and I just picked this one up for a lightweight large volume backpacking pack. Took it for a short test drive and my first impressions are awesome. The key to a pack, in my opinion, is simplicity. I dont want a pack that requires tools to adjust, nor do I want a pack that has more moving parts than my car. The "alpine" suspension/harness is very comfortable and moves with your body without all the "pivot points" or "floating shoulder straps", basically, things that can break. The weight of the pack is transferred by one flat metal rod that goes the length of the pack vertically. On the upper half of the suspension, it has the "hard wave" plastic frame-sheet which is such a simple idea but works great at keeping the pack rigid (horizontally), but also flexing with your back (vertically). The waist belt holds comfy and tight, and is very soft and flexible (removable and replaceable). It is very effective at supporting transferred weight, without being full of techy crap. This pack hugs your back and feels like it becomes a part of you. Pockets; one lid, one big front, and two side stretch. To keep the overall weight of the pack low (3 lbs) the material is light (100D, 315D), and silicon impregnated (repels water awesome), which is sufficient for most alpine/backpacking outings, however probably wont hold up as good as say, 600D packcloth. If I was going on a weeklong bushwhack in the ADK's, I would probably consider a burlier pack. Nonetheless, the 100D Cordura fabric on other packs I own has been through some off trail adventures and is still going strong. The outside straps are lighter and thinner than most normal pack straps, but are still sufficient enough to handle most gear (also to keep weight low). The design of these straps is genius (as with other MH alpine packs). Side compression straps to shrink load or strap gear, and also front compression straps that tuck away into the front pocket when not in use (for a clean look). Bottom straps also can shrink load or strap gear, and tuck away. With all of the straps tucked in, the pack is very streamlined and simple, and with the straps deployed, you can fix a butt load of gear. Great pack, great design, great price. FYI I'm 5'10 and got the medium; great fit.

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BW

BWwrote a review of on May 9, 2011

5 5

Superlight, and as strong as a driveway snow shovel from the local hardware store. I was curious to see just how well it would hold up to hauling huge blocks of snow (making a snow fortress on Shasta) being so light, but it performed flawlessly without a sign of failing. Its long enough to actually move some snow, but also telescopes down compacting the size. I shoveled, and shoveled.. and shoveled with it, and it felt very sturdy the whole time. The shaft is shaped like a triangle for grip and a secure fit between sections. The blade comes off the shaft, and the shaft pieces apart for compact stowing. After I was done shoveling, I used it to help anchor my tent. This is the perfect shovel for mountaineering considering weight, effectiveness, and price. Pick it up.

(0)

 

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BW

BWwrote a review of on May 9, 2011

5 5

Simply for the size and function, it should get 10 stars. This is going to set a new standard in mountaineering/glacier travel protection. For mountaineering, when your harness spends as much time in your pack as on your ass, this will be a welcome addition for any mountaineer trying to keep it light. It packs down to the size of a big apple. As far as function, it works as a harness should, with a couple of little features to make it easy on/off. Straight up design (no padding, webbing waist and leg loops). Contains all the normal features of a climbing harness, with the weight of a bag of trail mix. Would I want to hang from a wall for an hour in it?.. Nope. But when I'm traversing the Cowlitz I barerly know its there, and thats the point.. until I fall in.. Replace your Alpine Bod, get the Coulior. Great superlight harness that is perfect for any endeavor requiring fall protection or short technical sections.

(1)

 

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BW

BWwrote a review of on November 5, 2010

4 5

Great simple piece by the north face. Its main purpose is to be as light as possible, so it lacks some of the technical features other insulated jackets would have. Only one chest pocket (doubles as stuff sac), and no hem cinch or wrist closures. Instead, the hem and wrists are elastic bound to create a seal from the elements (also, back is longer than front). Superlight synthetic insulation is just enough to pair with a base layer and shell to create an ultralight system. Nylon outer fabric is light (and breathable) but substantial enough to take some scrapes. The weight and packability is what sets this jacket apart. Packs down to the size of a baseball (if you really smoosh it) and weighs nothing. So for ten ounces you can pack an insulated jacket for the just in cases. I bring this jacket with me even in summer for when temps drop down a bit at night in the hills. I find myself pulling it out more than i thought i would. One small gripe. The length could be a tad longer. Because the hem is elastic bound, when you raise your arms up, the jacket tends to ride up a little. This is just my personal experience with the jacket, and may not be the case with others. I'm 5'10'' 190 and the large fits perfect. Great piece for many uses.

(0)

 

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BW

BWwrote a review of on October 13, 2010

4 5

Just bought a second one of these. Great shirt, but the sizing is off by one in my opinion. I'm 5'10'' 190 and I like my shirts to fit with a tailored look (trim but not tight). I first tried the large (which i normally am in almost everything) and it was huge by anyones standards. Then read a review from another person with the same opinion, so I sized down to a med. and the fit is spot on. Fit really is everything with a shirt like this. Too big/baggy, and it looks like a tablecloth draped over a lumberjack. But with a better fit, it keeps modern and looks great with jeans and nice boots. Give 2 sizes a try and choose what fit works better for you. The weight of the shirt is very versitile. Not heavy at all, more of a midweight brushed cotton that works with almost anything. Hopefully the Pata name means it will last a long time. It has the timeless style that most likely wont fade out. I spent the 75 on them because I assume I will be wearing them for the next ten years.. hopefully,

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BW

BWwrote a review of on October 1, 2010

5 5

Wow.. how small can a sleeping bag get? Not much smaller than this one. Not only is it small, but all of the Lamina bags come with (what would be the equivalent of) a $20.00 compression stuff sac. This thing compresses TINY. But even more importantly, the bag is comfy and accurate to its rating. I always wear a light base layer when in a bag (to protect from sweat and grease) and this bag kept me warm in an Adirondack fall night (40 degrees). The Lamina cut is mummy but with some wiggle room. The 45 has a small draft tube along the zipper, but no draft collar. The hood will cinch closed if its necessary to conserve heat. It seems very thin, but the slight layer of insulation is enough for summer backpacking. I own several Lamina bags and I swear by them. Great product.

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BW

BWwrote a review of on September 28, 2010

5 5

You can take the "flash" out of the name, but you cant take the "flash" out of the hoody. without a doubt, the best technical fleece layer on the planet. every climbing trip ive ever been on, i see more people with this particular fleece (or past year model) more consistantly than any other piece of gear. it is a staple in the mountaineering world. the fit is trim, so it works awesome with layers and keeps the bulk to a minimum. Im 5'10'' 190 and a large fits great. the length is long so it goes down a little past the hips-great coverage. doesnt matter the activity, if its cold.. bring the R1 with you. a poly t, the R1, primaloft jacket, and a shell.. always on my body or in my pack. i own several fleece layers, but i will take this one over the rest every time. i might grab a different one if i need a fleece to pull double duty as casual and technical. of course they kept the balaclava hood with the 2011, which you will notice other companies are trying to mimic these days.. good luck beating this one..

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BW

BWwrote a review of on September 28, 2010

5 5

I didnt think i would find a better pack for mtn. biking, running, hiking, than the osprey talon series, but i think the fluid series takes it. So well thought out, they didnt miss a beat on these packs. Nice narrow design is out of the way of swinging arms. When loaded with a 3L bladder and the ten essentials, this pack glues itself to your back and sits perfectly with a little adjusting. When loaded with a bladder however, you do lose some interal space. The side "z" compression pulls the pack in nice and tight, whatever the shape of the packs contents. It has every little feature you want without being overkill (little pockets on the waistbelt, sternum strap adj., load lifter straps, hanger clip for bladder, stretch bottle pockets, lined sunglasses pocket, internal organization). The best part about the pack, in my opinion, is the flexible plastic backpanel. This creates just enough support and rigidity so the pack feels stable no matter what the contents. The backpanel flexes exactly how you need it to when running/biking. The material and webbing is light and seems durable. As a daypack, or a fastpack, this will perform well and get the job done.

(1)

 

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