Babak Sakaki

Babak Sakaki

Salt Lake City, Utah

Babak Sakaki's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Biking
Skiing
Climbing

Babak Sakaki's Bio

Naturally, I get all my gear from Backcountry.com

Babak Sakaki

Babak Sakaki wrote a review of on July 6, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size

Simple: one of the most versatile synthetic pieces you can buy.

Competitors: BD Access Hybrid/LT, Patagonia Nano Puff, OR Halogen Hoody

The Fall 2014 Atom LT includes a new hood, that uses the 'ballcap' adjuster behind the head- identical to the one used in the Cerium LT hoody.

It moves with your head, offering unparalleled peripheral vision.

It's less warm than the Nano puff, but more versatile. Awesome mid layer for skiing the cold days, or on it's own in the spring. Used it backpacking, walking around town, and on a bike. The fleece lined pockets are a greatly appreciated bonus.

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Babak Sakaki

Babak Sakaki wrote a review of on December 9, 2013

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: Runs small

TNF's popular Catalyst jacket got a makeover in 2012 with smaller baffles, and in 2013 gets a further update with FlashDry inserts in the armpits (for better temperature regulation/venting).

The hood works great with a beanie and layers great under a shell. This jacket was designed to be a mid layer in COLD, DRY environments (lift accessed skiing) but works as an outer layer in cool conditions.

It's a slim fit. 6'1" and 190lbs, the large fits like a mid layer.

With a long sleeve T, I can wear it down to about freezing.

Pros:
- compressible (packs into it's own pocket)
- slim fit
- ProDown

Cons:
- for it's weight, there are much warmer jackets
- not as warm as other jackets that lack the venting inserts in the armpits
- lots of loose threads for $300 jacket.

It fits a lot like the Atom LT, but is A LOT warmer and packs into itself.

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Babak Sakaki

Babak Sakaki wrote a review of on December 1, 2013

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size

TNF really hit it out of the park with their Thermoball collaboration with Primaloft.

PROS:
- SUPER compressible
- WARM for it's weight, even when WET
- Great color selection
- "Cozier" than other synthetics

CONS:
- Several loose threads
- only two hand pockets (an inner one would have been perfect)
- Boxy fit

I've been using the Thermoball jacket for the past few months in temperatures as low as 25 degrees. With just a T shirt, it is warm to roughly 35 degrees- anything below that requires different layering.

My favorite part about this piece is how the Thermoball insulation allows the jacket to be more compressible and 'cozier' than other synthetic jackets.

I am 6'1", 190bs with LONG arms and the a large in this jacket is short in the sleeves and roomy in the torso. ( Arcteryx L fits me perfect, for reference).

All in all, this jacket is a great alternative to the Patagonia Nano Puff that it directly competes with, being warmer, more comfortable but with a poorer fit.

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Babak Sakaki

Babak Sakaki wrote a review of on April 27, 2012

5 5

I should start that I generally dislike The North Face and have not purchased one of their products in years. Most of their stuff is pretty sub-par, IMO, especially for the stuff.

But some of the things TNF makes, are absolutely stellar pieces of gear that will last you years, even under abuse. I'm talking about "proven" pieces like the Redpoint Optimus, Basecamp Duffle, Cat's Meow sleeping bag, and the Big Fat Frog tent. Count Snake Eyes in on that list.

For the past 3 months, I've lived in this thing. From climbing, commuting on my bike, to evenings on the town (goes well with collared shirts). I find it better suited for warmer climates than the Patagonia R1. The Snake Eyes uses a thinner and more spaced "waffle pattern" which optimizes drying and wicking. Great by itself on cool nights, and awesome under a shell: truly a 4 season jacket.

+1 for the chest pocket, the R1 jacket lacks that.

I am 6"1 and 190lbs and wear the L. if you want something baggier size up.

Pros:
- Exceptionally breathable and compressible
- zippered handwarmer pockets and chest pocket
- Layers well

Cons:
- Branding. Seriously, TNF. Stop putting your logo over everything….

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Babak Sakaki

Babak Sakaki wrote a review of on February 19, 2012

5 5

Like Patagonia's "Down Sweater" the Atom LT Hoody is redefining the role of a midlayer. As a lightweight, SYNTHETIC insulation piece, it competes directly with Patagonia's Nano Puff Hoody, Marmot Barffin Hoody, TNF Zephyrus and other sub-100g (fill) insulation pieces.

Fit:

I'm 6'2 and 190lbs, size 36 waist, very long arms and rather broad shoulders. The Xl fits me perfectly all around, just covering my butt. If I was a bit more svelte, the Large would have been the way to go. The articulated arms and elbows don't cause my jacket to ride up when I lift my arms, which is great. The Large fits like a Medium Patagonia Nano puff, but with longer arms.

Construction:

The single internal (left-side) pocket is awesome for storing your phone, mp3 player or other essentials. The micro-fleece lined pockets are a welcomed surprise (nano puff lacks this). The hood, although lacking adjustment, provides the perfect amount of protection. The lack of adjustment allows it to layer under a shell better than most pieces.

The underarm Polartec Power Stretch panels give a very "fleece-like" range of motion.

Overall:

I've used it in single digits (under a shell skiing or by itself when very active) to well in the 50s, and believe that this is without a doubt the most versatile jacket on my the market. It's warmer, more packable and weather resistant than a fleece. My R2 Fleece and Down Sweater have yet to get any use since I've added the Atom LT Hoody to my gear closet.

Pros:

- Fleece panels provide fantastic breathability
- Exceptionally durable for being super lightweight
- Simple, minimalistic, smart design (fleece lined hand pockets)
- Awesome price point ($199)

Cons:

- Build quality not up to par with other Arcteryx models, Some loose threads in the pocket and hood
- Non-adjustable hood might be a deal breaker for some

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Babak Sakaki

Babak Sakaki wrote a review of on October 30, 2011

5 5

The R2 is an incredibly warm, durable and versatile fleece that takes "fleece" to an entirely new level. This isn't really the best thing to wear as outerwear in cold, windy conditions, unless you are doing some extremely high exertion activities (touring, running, XC skiing).This is an incredibly breathable mid layer that provides a perfect amount of warmth under a shell while skiing. With a lightweight long sleeve, R2 and shell, I can ski comfortable in most conditions the Rockies dish out. Below zero, you are going to want some form of down or synthetic insulation.

In terms of breathability compared to other products I've used, it would be :

Pat. Down Hoody< Pat. Nano Puff

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Babak Sakaki

Babak Sakaki wrote a review of on October 30, 2011

5 5

I have literally waited years to find a shoe that fits like this. I've had these for over a year now and have literally hundreds of miles on them and the sole still has tread on them.

I have the non-eVent Forge, and I must say that I wish I had the extra waterproofing of the eVent. I took these backpacking in West Virginia, and found them easily soaked at stream crossings. However, after a few miles, they will dry. Love the "shock pad" in the heel. Great for backpacking hiking, running, MTB, approach (awesome approach shoe).

My favorite pair of shoes I have ever owned, hands down, by far. Note: I wear a 12-13, and have 13s. They work great.

Pros:

- incredible comfort, shock pad works great.
- phenomenal sole
- Very breathable
- Good ankle support

Cons:

- Ugly. Yeah, I said it. This shoe is damn ugly. Mine are this "freshman-eque" green/black and dear lord, I feel like I am gearing up to play Magic the Gathering every time I put them on. Teva, you make a great shoe, but my god is it ugly.

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Babak Sakaki

Babak Sakaki wrote a review of on October 30, 2011

4 5

Had this jacket for 3 weeks until a baffle ripped while putting it on before going out in a storm.

The jacket is incredible warm, easily good down to sub zero temperatures. Very loft, like being in a cloud. Great cut, long and covers your ass. Hood is HUGE and can impede your peripheral vision if cinched up.

I have last year's model, and truthfully, the zippers are whack. Marmot kindly installed a zipper stiffener and it works beautifully.
Cuffs are great, pockets are damn brilliant (really, props to the designer). I imagine this is a perfect static activity jacket in cold climates.

As a belay jacket, it is very packable however it is very delicate. As a casual jacket, it is absurdly warm yet not waterproof. Perfect for SUPER cold and dry environments.

It will be warmer than a MHW Sub Zero SL, TNF Nuptse, Patagonia Fitz Roy and other jackets in the similar price range. (Check out the Mammut Ambler Hoody)

Pros:

- SUPER warm, really. This thing is a furnace.
- Very lofty and packable.
- Hood goes over most helmets
- Great pockets

Cons:

- Very delicate material. Don't get near sharp objects or fire with this thing.

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Babak Sakaki

Babak Sakaki wrote a review of on October 30, 2011

5 5

The Patagonia Down Sweater has set the standard for "down sweaters", a new niche in outerwear. Lightweight, supremely packable (into the inner mesh pocket), it can keep you warm down to the 30s.

It is, however, somewhat delicate. I prefer the hooded version, personally as it is much warmer a bargain at $50 more.

Great 4 season piece, especially if you live in dry, cold climates. I see lots of people on the East coast wearing these nowadays, although I snicker when they wear it in DC rain. For folks in wetter climates, get something synthetic. Patagonia makes a Nano puff or the Micro Puff

Perfect for layering, yet the fit is somewhat boxy and can accommodate a few layers. Works well under a shell in very cold conditions.

It seems that Patagonia has created the "down sweater" market, but other companies make products worth taking a look at: MHW Phantom, MHW Nitrous, any Montbell piece (although Montbell's are more delicate), TNF Thunder, TNF Diez.

Pros:

- Very warm for it's weight
- Packs into it's own inner pocket

Cons:

- No hood
- Delicate materials

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Babak Sakaki

Babak Sakaki wrote a review of on October 30, 2011

4 5

The MHW Phantom is really a remarkable piece of gear. At a pound, it packs down to the size of a Nalgene water bottle, taking up minimal space. It also has an interior pocket, which the description does not mention. The pockets are fleece lined, which are very nice. With just a T shirt, you can wear this well into the teens and is noticeably warmer than the Patagonia Down Sweater. However, without a hood, it get's cold in the single digits.

Mine had lost a lot of feathers over the course of 3 years and got rid of it in favor of the Patagonia Hooded Down Sweater.

Suggestion to MHW: Please make a hooded, baffled, version of this jacket, sell it for $280-$300 to compete against the Patagonia Fitz Roy and ditch the Kelvinator.

Pros:

-Super packable, exceptionally warm for it's weight.
-Fleece lined pockets are nice

Cons:
-Lack of hood
-Super-lightweight materials are delicate and could tear easily.

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Babak Sakaki

Babak Sakaki posted a video about on September 15, 2010

Brandon Carlile of Arcteryx showcases arguably the most impressive shell ever made, the Alpha LT.

Goretex pro shell, brilliant hood, exceptional construction and only 13 ounces make it truly the only shell you will ever need. Ever.

Check out thedopeststuff.com for a more in-depth review about this and other gear.

Copyright 2010 thedopeststuff.com

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