Benjamin McKinney

Benjamin McKinney

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Benjamin McKinney's Passions

Sport Climbing

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Benjamin McKinney

Benjamin McKinney wrote a review of on November 25, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: Runs small

I bought this 99% for the blaze orange color (I live and ride in national forests with a lot of hunters) and the fact that it was on sale for $25. However, it's also got a really nice set of pockets in the back, which impressed me as well once I put it on. Much more secure than the pockets on some other jerseys I've worn.

One thing--I usually wear a men's medium, and I ordered a large figuring it'd be a bit baggy so I could layer under it (and you need to, if you're riding in sub-70 weather--the fabric is very light, almost meshy). NOT SO. Definitely consider sizing up--the large fits pretty tight; can't imagine what my normal size would have done.

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Benjamin McKinney

Benjamin McKinney wrote a review of on October 15, 2013

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Like everybody says, these are particularly great for clipping into anchors. Softer, less jolty feel than dyneema runners makes cleaning/multi-pitch belaying a bit less nerve-racking. I did get a little burn on one when a rope ran against it, so I worry a bit about longevity. But they're nice for now.

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Benjamin McKinney

Benjamin McKinney wrote a review of on July 26, 2013

5 5

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

I rock these for climbing and light yoga (I'm a total amateur), and they do the job for sure. They're not quite as stretchy as my other (synthetic) Pranas, but the fabric is nice and soft. Very wearable for chilling, and they'll get you up the wall staying out of your way in all but maybe the absolute most acrobatic of scenarios.

Worth noting that if you're less than about 6'3", you'll probably have to hem these up in order to keep the legs from dragging under your heels.

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Benjamin McKinney

Benjamin McKinney wrote a review of on April 11, 2013

2 5

I got these about six months ago; first climb with them I was SO pumped on the combo of solid edging and reasonably aggressive shape with a sole that could still smear. Still love all that, and the fact that they've got rubber basically everywhere, which suits my toe-drag heavy style. But after six months (with several lengthy rest periods) I'm about to blow through one of the straps!

The fit is also a bit weird, although that could just be my super-low-volume bony feet. I do really wish they had a third strap a la current Evolvs--there's a soft spot that pooches weirdly between the straps as is, and I don't get as much snugness through the arch as I'd like.

Maybe having to crank down the straps is why I had issues, but the design is poor--just a piece of rubber with velcro sewn directly onto it, it looks like. I'm looking at a new pair of shoes (or a janky repair) way too soon as a result. Bummed.

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Benjamin McKinney

Benjamin McKinney wrote a review of on December 19, 2012

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Super lightweight, totally get out of the way when you're climbing. I like the waist closure too. And the snap-roll feature is pretty much just right. Not sure how they'll hold up; they pilled a little bit under my harness the first time out but I'm hoping that was just a break-in period. So far, so good.

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Benjamin McKinney

Benjamin McKinney wrote a review of on November 11, 2012

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This is definitely necessary if you're hanging a fingerboard on a typical indoor wall.
You could get a piece of 3/4" plywood for cheaper, but I don't have a saw, nor do I have any use for the other 30 square feet you'd have left over. Plus the edges are sanded for you. That's convenience!

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Benjamin McKinney

Benjamin McKinney wrote a review of on November 11, 2012

3 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Nice low-profile shoes that work fine off the bike too--very comfortable. Dig the single velcro closure--nothing to get caught in the drivetrain. Good rubber.

On the downside, these could definitely stand to be stiffer for serious use, and I'd love a bit deeper tread. They don't hook up perfectly with my pedals (Atomlabs), but they might with a pair that has pointier spikes on them. It's also a little tough to get them really cinched down with the single velcro bit, but they still manage to stay fairly secure, so not a huge deal.

Not disappointed I bought them by any means, but I'd probably go with something more purpose-built if/when I wear these out.

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Benjamin McKinney

Benjamin McKinney wrote a review of on October 26, 2012

4 5

It should definitely be noted, for people looking for a flannel shirt (as I was) that this is actually a button-down, collared, lightweight polyester fleece jacket. I haven't actually taken it out yet (plan to do so this weekend in chilly fall weather at the Red River Gorge) but it feels nice, and I can always use another fall jacket.

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Benjamin McKinney

Benjamin McKinney wrote a review of on July 23, 2012

4 5

Does everything you need it to, except be perfectly oval-shaped. I got a few of these because I don't like running non-loadworthy gear on my harness and needed some extra gear clips and something to hold my chalk bag. It's a little awkward for the chalk due to the shape, but it ultimately works. Other than that: super light and no issues. Love the wire gate.

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Benjamin McKinney

Benjamin McKinney wrote a review of on July 23, 2012

5 5

This is my first real hardcore harness, so all I've got to compare it to is my old BD entry-level job, but I am wildly impressed. The gear loops are awesome, especially with the flat-lying loops in the back that get out of the way when you don't need them. Cool that everything is load-rated, though I obviously hope that will never come in handy. Above all, though, it fits great. The risers in back are a huge improvement over BD's, and everything cinches down and snugs up nice. Combine that with the load-rated (!) rope guides on the hard points and you have the most confidence-inspiring piece of gear I've ever used. That alone is worth the price of admission.

That said, the double-back buckles are a. outdated (although I don't mind them on their own) and b. really, really tightly fitted. The leg loops in particular are brutal to undo when you're pumped out.

Still worth it though. Highly recommended gear.

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