Guaranteed Delivery by Christmas with FREE 2-Day on Orders Over $50* | See all Christmas Ordering Cutoffs
Banning Lyon

Banning Lyon

Yosemite, King Canyon/Inyo, the Sierra

Banning Lyon's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Climbing

Banning Lyon's Bio

I work as a backcountry backpacking guide in Yosemite. If I review a piece of gear you can count on my having done my best to beat it to death.

0 Comments

0 Comments

0 Comments

0 Comments

0 Comments

Banning Lyon

Banning Lyon wrote a review of on November 22, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size

For ages I've prided myself on absolutely beating up my gear before reviewing it, so when I received this duffel and eagerly tore open the box I heard myself groan in despair and say to myself, 'There's no way I can bring myself to abuse such a beautiful duffel bag.'

I promised myself, and my girlfriend, that I would overcome my hesitation, and that I'd ultimately find it in the darkness of my heart to turn a blind eye to it's craftsmanship... and kick it around some dusty, snarly crag... making it hold my rack, harness, and redolent TC Pros... like using Rolls-Royce to tow a crappy old fishing boat.

Upon uttering this condemnation, and watching the beautiful duffel shudder in fear, my girlfriend said, as if I were about to kick the dog, 'If you're going to do that give it to me and let me use it. It deserves better.'

So, over the last couple weeks we've treated it kindly. She's hauled around books and clothes, and I used it to haul stuff from my old place into my our residence.

It's a duffel. There's not much to add there. However, as duffel bags go... this is the Bentley of bags. The nutmeg color is awesome, and the brass hardware is beautiful. I tend to not like leather to be used in frivolous ways, so I was a little surprised to see high quality, hefty leather straps on the bag... but, in all honesty, and I'm very much in favor of animal advocacy, if there was ever a duffel that deserved leather straps (and I say that with a moderate amount of guilt) this duffel is that one. I'm not sure that I can be emphatic enough regarding the quality of this bag. From the soft, soul-soothing blue flannel interior, to the waxed canvas body and warm brass hardware, to the burly stitching and embossed logo... every square inch of this bag oozes class.

If you're looking to buy a crag bag, or are looking for a duffel to simply beat up, please do the universe a favor and buy another duffel bag. This bag is so beautiful and so well-made, that it deserves to be treated well.

(2)

 

0 Comments

0 Comments

0 Comments

Banning Lyon

Banning Lyon wrote a review of on September 26, 2013

5 5

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

After spending a couple years being sold on Smartwool and Icebreaker, and some of the Stoic merino shirts, I was happily surprised to see Patagonia manufacturing merino shirts. I love the brand, their commitment to the enviroment, and the ideals behind their design philosophy.

The merino wool is supremely soft... not coarse at all. Its fairly durable compared to a few of my others that have developed holes from leaning back against logs or granite. The blue color is absolutely awesome and looks great. Won't smell after a week in the backcountry... thanks to merino's antibacterial properties.

All in all... the best looking, most comfortable, and most durable of all my merino shirts. The only downside is Patagonia's insistence on printing their logo in ink directly on the inside back of the shirt... which leads to a fairly noticeable black smear between your shoulders blades. Not a big deal in the grand scheme of things.

I'm 6'2" and 160 lbs and have long arms... and the large fits me very well.

(1)

 

0 Comments

Banning Lyon

Banning Lyon wrote a review of on September 26, 2013

5 5

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

Out of all the merino shirts that I own (and I have around ten from various manufacturers) this is my favorite.

The merino wool is supremely soft... not coarse at all. Its fairly durable compared to a few of my others that have developed holes from leaning back against logs or granite. The blue color is absolutely awesome and looks great. The zip collar isn't irritating in the least and doesn't pull out chest hair and leave me screaming like a four year old on the floor of the cereal aisle. Won't smell after a week in the backcountry... thanks to merino's antibacterial properties.

All in all... the best looking, most comfortable, and most durable of all my merino shirts. The only downside is Patagonia's insistence on printing their logo in ink directly on the inside back of the shirt... which leads to a fairly noticeable black smear between your shoulders blades. Not a big deal in the grand scheme of things.

I'm 6'2" and 160 lbs and have long arms... and the large fits me very well.

(1)

 

0 Comments

0 Comments

0 Comments

Banning Lyon

Banning Lyon wrote a review of on September 21, 2013

5 5

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

I beat most of my merino shirts to death. I love my Smartwools, Icebreakers, and Stoics... but this Patagonia is my favorite.

My only compaint is the ink used to print the logo inside the shirt bleeds entirely through the back for a nice mirror-image smear between your shoulder blades. It washed out a bit, but its still obvious. Its a little bit of a drag on such a nice looking shirt.

Great base layer, very high quality wool, surprisingly durable. Merino is naturally antibacterial... and this shirt doesn't fail in that regard. The zip neck is also very comfortable, and doesn't irritate... even with chest hair. And you get Patagonia's great set of ethics behind any product they manufacture.

(0)

 

0 Comments

0 Comments

0 Comments

Banning Lyon

Banning Lyon wrote a review of on September 21, 2013

3 5

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

Great fit, very comfortable, scratch a little easily. The hard plastic tends to get brittle after several months of use in direct sun. Sunscreen also causes the surface plastic to flake and disintegrate.

Great for the car or casual use, a little pricey for constant outdoor adventuring.

(0)

 

0 Comments

0 Comments

0 Comments

Banning Lyon

Banning Lyon wrote a review of on September 21, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I've had these poles for three years. The flick lock system is second to none. It cranks down with plenty of force on the pole, and doesn't take bloody fingers or pliers to lock or unlock.

Lock tension is easily adjusted using a knife, spork, stick, rock, or even fingernail.

However, of all recommendations I can add... it would be the time I was heading up toward Thunderbolt Pass in Kings and was walking from one talus boulder to the next. I slipped slightly, my pack caught me off guard, and I began an awkward recovery so I wouldn't fall off the talus. I quickly caught myself on my trusty Leki poles, and watched as one slipped between two boulders and proceeded to bend nearly ten degree as it caught my weight. I pushed my weight on to the pole and regained balance. The pole still looks brand new. From that moment forward I was committed to Leki.

Best poles around. Period.

(0)

 

0 Comments

0 Comments