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Bernie

Bernie

Bernie

Berniewrote a review of on February 16, 2015

4 5

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

This jacket fills the chasm between lighter down sweaters and warmer, but way more expensive baffled parkas. I got it as both an everyday, around town jacket, and to throw on during stops while ski touring. It's kept me warm in -15F temps. It is not 100% windproof, but if you throw it on over a windproof soft/hardshell it doesn't matter.

I'm 6'1" 175lbs, and got Large. It's roomy enough to be an outer warmup layer, but also fits under a shell if you really need waterproof action.

My only gripes are the lack of large interior mesh pockets, and no draft collar (the wind can blow down your back if the hood is up), but since I mainly use is as a quick over layer for staying warm, not as an all-day piece, the weight savings and packability win out.

One more plus is that the handwarmer pockets are HUGE, so you can keep your gloves on to reach into them, and still accessible with a pack on.

I found this jacket on sale for <$200, but would definitely pay full price to replace it if I ever had to. It packs down to not much bigger than a Nalgene, so there's really no excuse for not taking it on any cold weather outing.

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Bernie

Berniewrote a review of on February 16, 2015

5 5

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

I got these to replace an old pair of Patagonia Primo pants. It's been tough to find good hardshell pants with suspenders (not a belt) to keep the freedom of movement for both backcountry and resort skiing. What an upgrade these are. I'm 6'1", 175 lbs and got a Large. The fit is loose, but by no means baggy. Plenty of room to get full leg bends and not feel like you're going to bust a seam, but not enough fabric that it flaps around when you're ripping down the trails. The waist stretches plenty, and the bib has some room to spare for layering underneath. I have a 34" inseam and had no trouble with the length.

They seem durable so far, having survived a fair amount of New England tree skiing without a scratch. I was worried the fabric wouldn't be breathable enough for touring, but I've yet to use the thigh vents up to about 30F. The loose fit helps a lot with air circulation on the way up.

The bib pockets are the perfect size for a phone and wallet when riding lifts, though they sit under the waist belt of my day pack, which is a bit of a pain for touring. I don't put much other than a facemask in the thigh pockets, but they're plenty big enough to keep a map or pair of gloves. The two-way front zipper is also handy for relieving yourself.

I haven't had them in a full-on storm yet, so I can't comment on the wetting out issue people seem to be having. All-in-all awesome pants. Get them while they're on sale!

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Bernie

Berniewrote a review of on December 11, 2014

4 5

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

I bought these as a lightweight ski touring glove that could still take a beating. While they are the right weight for day tours, they tend to wet out with sweat and precipitation (even after SnoSeal treatment). The wetness isn't a problem when I'm moving and warm, but they do get cold quickly if I stop. On a day tour, the wetness is also not a problem as I just switch to my thicker Hestras for the run back down, and dry these at home. The problem is that the basic work gloves take almost an entire day to dry out near the heater in my house, which is fine at home, but would become an issue on a multi-day trip.

Summary: They're great, durable gloves for around town or day tours, and fit nicely in a pocket, but don't dry quickly enough for multi-day trip use.

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Bernie

Berniewrote a review of on December 11, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I got this for sidecountry/short backcountry trips to carry avy gear and an extra layer, as well as day hiking in the summer. It's been awesome! The frame makes the pack super stable even with skis and boots A-frame style for a muddy hike into Tuckerman's ravine. My friends with smaller frameless packs were jealous.

I got an osprey hydration system as well, which fits perfectly in the pack, and is held close to your back. The hose tube is "insulated", but it will freeze up in anything below about 25 degrees.

Helmet carry system is handy for keeping snow out of your helmet on the way up, but you can't access the avy tools pocket or the goggle storage pocket while your helmet is attached. Also, depending on the size of your helmet, you may not be able to strap the tips together to A-frame because the pack is quite narrow.

Hip belt pockets are great for storing a knife for quick access if needed, or small snacks. They also hold the extra foot of webbing strap for you skinny guys.

The goggle pocket on top holds a DSLR with a 35mm or small zoom perfectly, and I don't need to put a lens cap on because of the soft fabric. I'm still searching for the best way to carry a DSLR outside of the pack for quick-access shots...

My one major gripe is the cut of the avy tools pocket. There is no actual volume built into the pocket itself, so if you pack the main area full of gear, clothes, etc. it is nearly impossible to put anything in the avy pocket.

All-in-all a great product. I just hiked up Mad River Glen in a driving snowstorm that caked about an inch of ice on every surface of my body and pack, but the pack fabric kept any moisture from getting into my gear. I managed to fit a sleeping bag and tie a pad to the outside of the pack for the quick overnight, but wouldn't recommend this pack for regular overnight use.

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Bernie

Berniewrote a review of on July 6, 2011

4 5

I've had a pair of stretch chameleons for almost 8 years now (they might be the original, it's not labeled) and they've been awesome. Sadly, I don't know if they're Gore-Tex or not because I received them as a gift and they don't have the small metal "Gore-Tex" label on the side. Either way, they're almost 100% waterproof as I've used them as my go-to winter shoe when I don't want to wear clunky boots. They've kept my feet dry through countless traipses through northern New England snow and slush, muddy hikes, total downpours in the mountains of northern Spain, and general city travel through Europe and South America. The only time my feet got wet seemed to be when I stayed submerged too long and water leaked through the seam between the sole and the upper. I'm looking for a new pair of Merrell's now (maybe the chameleon 4 GTX or the refuge pro waterproof) but only because the inside fabric of the heel has worn through to the plastic support on my old chameleon's. These don't disappoint.

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