Barry Blalock

Barry Blalock

Colorado.

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Barry's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Biking
Running
Climbing

Barry's Bio

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Barry Blalock

Barry Blalock wrote a review of on October 11, 2010

5 5

This is the best jacket I have ever owned. Seriously.

It breathes harder than Carl Lewis sprinting the 100M dash and the cut looks as sexy as Marissa Miller rolling around in a two piece on the beach. Marmot got nasty with this thing. Put it this way, if Arc'Teryx had this jacket, it'd be priced at around $374 instead of $174. Don't think, just add it to your cart and put it on when it gets to your house. Then run around for a long time. You won't need to take it off, ever. The introduction went like this. New Skin, this is Body. Body, New Skin.

(3)

 

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Barry Blalock

Barry Blalock wrote a review of on October 11, 2010

5 5

So this thing is light. It packs down not much smaller than the stuff sack it comes with, but if you're using a 50L+ backpack, it fits nicely at the bottom of your pack, laying horizontally. Now on to the warmth factor: It's very. I sleep cold and was almost sweating in 15 degree cold and wind. I had to sleep with this thing unzipped. When zipped all the way up, you can cinch everything down to where only your mouth is exposed so this thing could withstand cold well below 0 if needed. The Euro Rating System has ranked this bag at -27 to keep you alive, so a 0 rating is ultra conservative.

The baffling, workmanship, and down are all top quality. I've used the Grizzly GWS 0 degree Western Mountaineering bag and I prefer the Phantom bc it's just as warm and has a much better hood. The WM hoods are bush.

Get this bag! It will keep you hot when it is Sub Zero and will last you at least 7 seasons with very regular usage. Lastly, it doesn't leak down like everyone says. Mine has been awesome! And YES, there is a zipper pull inside the bag for you to open and close with ease. This is the best 0 Degree bag out there.

(1)

 

Barry Blalock

Barry Blalock wrote an answer about on September 20, 2010

To answer your question of why this isn't with other 'Rain Jackets', it's because this is categorized as an Ultralight Hardshell. The reason behind this categorization is because of the material Gore-Tex Pro Shell being used at the top of the jacket where your shoulders and arms fit. Pro Shell is lightweight but very durable and even more breathable than the Paclite. Pro Shell will protect you at the top of craggy peaks where nary are 'rain jackets'.

(0)

 

Barry Blalock

Barry Blalock wrote a review of on September 20, 2010

5 5

This jacket is custom fit for me. I wear a light long sleeve wicking baselayer with this when its 50 degrees or under and I'm good to go. Oozes quality. Definitely durable. Works very well under a hardshell and dries ultra quickly. I think it's a crucial piece of insulating gear when you're going to be covering long distances in the cold. It moves with your body and the drawcord at the waist, the fleecey hand and chest pockets, as well as fleecey chinguard all make this a very nice addition to your layering setup.

(0)

 

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Barry Blalock

Barry Blalock wrote a review of on April 2, 2010

5 5

Firstly, the price of this piece is just right if you understand the sweat equity Arc'teryx invests in every piece of their gear line. This piece is no different; a perfect mixture of Gore-Tex Pro Shell reinforced in the high abrasion areas of the garment, the neck, the shoulders, and the arms and the ultra lightweight and durable Gore-Tex Paclite throughout the body. The stitch count is easily 25 per inch and the jacket is completely seam sealed. Most times, having a zip away hood, this one is helmet compatible by the way, makes you look like you're wearing a neck brace. Not so with this one, very reasonably sized stowed away and very easy to unzip and throw over your head.

The concept is great between Pro Shell and Paclite and here is why; heat rises, and while Pro Shell is a more durable fabric, it breathes better than the Paclite, so as you are pushing yourself the heat is rising up through your shoulders, neck, and arms and is able to breathe easier because the Pro Shell is in all of those places.

This is a very bombproof jacket, best of it's kind for how light it is (13.1 oz in Medium!) and the nice part is it covers your bum for the nastiest of storms, but it isn't cut as long as it's cousin the Theta AR. It has one handed pull drawcords around the waist, velcro tapered cuffs for your wrists, and a fully adjustable and stowable hood that can cinch down tight and block out the windiest snow/rainstorms.

The best part about this jacket for me is that it is only 2 ounces heavier than their Beta SL but can withstand FAR more abuse in the mountains. It packs down to 1/2 the size of a 1L Nalgene, basically a softball in size Large which is what I wear. I am 5'10" 205 and it fits snugly over my Montbell Permafrost Light Down Jacket if the mercury really drops. Ideally, a baselayer and midlayer will be perfect and you'll have just enough room.

I have several Arc'teryx jackets and I can truly say that they are the best jackets out there for their specific activities. Few come close, but if you want the best, Arc'teryx is the answer.

(3)

 

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Barry Blalock

Barry Blalock wrote an answer about on March 29, 2010

Arcteryx Beta SL if you're going for ultra lightweight, not the Alpha SL as it's a couple of ounces heavier because of the added pit-zips. The Beta SL is about 11 ounces and will be far superior to this Marmot Nano insofar as durability and craftsmanship are concerned. Also, it's the same price, $250.

(0)

 

Barry Blalock

Barry Blalock wrote an answer about on March 29, 2010

I'm not sure if The North Face has a video like this, and if they do, I can't find it. This link is a bit of PR by Arc'teryx, for Arc'teryx, and after trying out nearly all of the top line Hard Shells, few can come close to the overall quality and durability that exists within an Arc'teryx garment.

Enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uxIwwOEknmE

(1)

 

Barry Blalock

Barry Blalock wrote an answer about on December 11, 2009

This thing is dope money. But so is the...

This thing is dope money. But so is the MontBell Permafrost Light...

Look at two things here: Weight and warmth.

Which do you think is better?

The Phantom is 15oz and has a 15 denier fabric which will be very, very susceptible to tears and snags. Also it won't be as weather resistant as a thicker fabric would be...

Enter the Permafrost. 30 denier fabric, 800 fill just like the Phantom, weight is 14 ounces but here is the catch: Permafrost has Gore WindStopper, the well known, long proven windproof and fairly waterproof lightweight and stretchy Gore laminate.

Our results: Permafrost has WindStopper, 800 fill, Ballistic 30 denier fabric, and comes in lighter and more packable than the Phantom. Plus, when the Phantom isn't on sale, both jackets cost the same.

I've used both because I am an avid Mountan Hardwear guy, but the MontBell Permafrost Light takes the cake when comparing the two.

Check it out, here on Backcountry.com.

(2)

 

Barry Blalock

Barry Blalock wrote a review of on November 30, 2009

5 5

For the money, this is the one you need. I've done winter rappelling and felt like I was sitting in a La-Z-Boy recliner. Seriously, the worst part of climbing for me now is getting back on the wall from the comfortable sitting position. It's tough, adjustable, tough, comfortable, tough, well-made, and tough!

I really like this harness.


It's tough.

(4)

 

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Barry Blalock

Barry Blalock wrote a review of on November 30, 2009

5 5

This thing is a beast. It gives me too much friction on the high friction mode. I could lead belay a fat, fat, nasty with this thing and not even feel them come off for a world class whipper. I think I just need to take off the first layer of finish so my 10.2mm rope slides easier through it. At any rate, this thing is world class and will last me a long, long time with very regular usage.

Muchas gracias, BD.

(0)

 

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Barry Blalock

Barry Blalock wrote a review of on November 30, 2009

5 5

I've chewed this thing up climbing on granite and it's proven itself to me time and time again. Does a very decent job blocking wind, sheds hours of moisture very well, but the thing I'm taken aback by is the toughness. I grind this thing against sharp rocks that rip my paws to shreds, bushwack through brambles, and play backyard tackle football with it on. Breathes well and stands the test of time. For the value, this might be the best cheap jacket on the market.

Thank you, North Face...thank you.

(5)

 

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Barry Blalock

Barry Blalock wrote a review of on November 26, 2009

5 5

This jacket is tough and completely windproof. I live along the Front Range in Colorado and the winters here are super windy, avg. wind speed is 55mph. This jacket blocks the wind and keeps you super toasty warm on single digit days. I've belayed in this jacket with great aplomb, I never felt the 25 degree morning air.

Also, it is super light, like alien light. I think MontBell has their flagship puffy with this jacket. The shell is super strong, light, and very weatherproof, almost like a softshell. The insulation is amazingly warm, even with a long sleeve capilene 1-2 on I could be stationary for a while before I felt the cold. Nice weatherproof zippers to keep out moisture.

The fit is athletic, I feel like. I am 5'10", 195 and the Large is so friggin money on me. Enough room to fit on a medium baselayer, and if it's super cold, a midweight insulation layer like polartec power stretch.

Do NOT try and hike in this thing. You'll over heat immediately and be miserable. This is a stationary jacket due to it's warmth. Use it wisely and take it with you everywhere. It stuffs down to the size of a 1L Nalgene bottle with further possible compression available. Be sure, says the tag, to deflate slowly, due to the welded baffles and WindStopper fabric air takes longer to compress outwards, go fast and you'll blow out a baffle. No bueno.

I like this more than my old favorite MHW Sub Zero Down jacket. It's just as warm but weighs literally ounces and is far more packable. Plus the Brick Red is like a salsa color, super dope.

Enjoy!

(0)

 

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