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Bill Porreca

Bill Porreca

Wasatch, UT

Bill Porreca's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Skiing
Snowshoeing
Climbing
Running
Biking

Bill Porreca's Bio

Backcountry.com’s Gearheads are your instant connection to gear knowledge. They’re passionate outdoor experts hell-bent on helping you find the right ski, saddle, or pro. Follow their adventures and exploits.

Let me know if you have any questions you can always give me a call 1800-409-4502 my extension is 4181 and I work Monday-Friday 9am-5pm. Follow me to learn about the gear I use or articles I have written. If the phone is not your thing feel free to email me at bporreca@backcountry.com.

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Bill Porreca

Bill Porrecawrote a review of on July 1, 2015

Awesome but, you pay for it.
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

When I got my commuter, the first thing I said is I am going to spend some $$ on lights. I ride at night, and I dont want to be hit by a car. Not always in your control but, because of these lights, I am putting the odds in my favor.

They are really bright. The rear one pulses and thats perfect. I think its less distracting than blinking but, more noticeable than a straight red light. Battery time far exceeds the front light, which is expected.

The front light's battery dies a lot quicker. I had to start using a lower setting but, to be honest you dont need the highest setting. I use the low setting when I am cruising around, bump up to the high setting if I am moving fast and need to see far ahead of me to stay safe.

My front light died within 15 days of use. Light & Motion had a brand new one on my door within 2 days. Things break, thats just a fact. Light & Motion helping me out without questions speaks a lot to their company, super happy with them.

The side lights are awesome, definitely make you more visible side to side.

Water proof as far as I can tell. It was raining pretty hard the night of this picture.

Feel free to hit me up at bporreca@backcountry.com or 801-736-6398.

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Bill Porreca

Bill Porrecawrote a review of on July 1, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I drink a lot of coffee. I want it before I go ski touring, during (though its too heavy for me to carry), and after. Lets deal with the before and after though.

In the wee hours of the morning, my normal coffee mug is usually my go to even in the car. TJ Burke drank coffee out of an open mug in his van so I figured give it try. Guess they didnt show the part in Aspen Extreme where he had all the coffee stains on his pants. Got a bottle like this but, only with a wide mouth lid. Less coffee stains but, still had some stains. More importantly I lost precious oz's of the black elixir of life.

The lid MAKES this bottle in my eyes. The wide opening makes it easy to pour the coffee straight from the carafe. Then the small opening allows you to drink it without the spilling, genius. Usually its one or the other, or you have to BUY another lid to accommodate drinking it.

As far as the insulation goes. Its on par with other insulated mugs Ive owned. I didnt notice any glaring differences. On a very cold day the coffee left over after my drive to the trail head was still luke warm. That's more than I can ask for. I know it says keeps warm for 8 hours, Hydro Flask says 6 but, in reality when you are drinking the coffee, I dont screw the top on every time, so there is a huge hole and heat leakage due to my actions not that of the bottle. The triple insulation which incorporates copper is an awesome detail that only Eco Vessel is doing, definitely spreads the temperature around better. That is the one thing I noticed that was better than most competitors on the market.

Also a great home for stickers, and gift for any occasion!

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Bill Porreca

Bill Porrecawrote a review of on July 1, 2015

Can Wear Almost Anywhere
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: Runs large
Height: 5' 8"
Weight: 200 lbs
Size Purchased: 9

Started to commute to work a few months back, looking for an SPD shoe that I can wear in the office, around town and out to dinner, found them!

As far as fit, I am anywhere from a 9-10, these definitely run a bit large so I went with a 9, still roomy and some room in my toe but, the 8.5 was too small. I lock the laces down and my heel doesnt lift out of them.

They are STIFF! 200 mi on them and I still havent really broken them in. Getting better but, be prepared for some pins and needles in the feet during the break in period.

They are heavy but, can take a beating. Because I am not the best cyclist, sometimes I definitely skid them out. Most other shoes would break down and I expect that these will not due to the details and time put into the construction.

Super happy with them! Pair them with some of the new http://www.backcountry.com/parker-dusseau collection and its pretty much business casual.

Feel free to hit me up at bporreca@backcountry.com or 801-736-6398.

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Bill Porreca

Bill Porrecawrote a review of on June 23, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 8"
Weight: 200 lbs
Size Purchased: Large

When I first got into layering I thought wool was the rage, boy was I wrong. Wool certainly has its time and place and I would never part with my Patagonia pieces for multi-day hut trips or expeditions to ward off the stink but man, synthetic under layers are incredible especially when made by Arc'teryx.

The amazing thing about the Arc'teryx Phase SV is the sheer versatility. For touring, this piece works great for climbing under extreme physical exertion. The zipper is crucial, simply un-zip the chest to dump heat and continue on your way. Once at the top let the piece breathe and you'll dry out from your sweat in no time. The merino however will leave you soaked and chilly while your partners transition. Is it 12deg F and windy on an almost flat ascent? Throw on a shell, zip up, and keep moving. Did your buddy comp you a ticket to the local resort? Perfect, get your Phase SV on with your choice of a pro-shell and forget the forecast.

What are the limitations of this piece? Definitely 40deg F+ and sunny at the resort was beginning to push my comfort zone, however leaving the pit zips open with the Phase SV chest unzipped left me relatively comfortable. Anything below 10deg F (resort) or 0deg F and windy (touring) I typically throw a synthetic mid-layer on to add to the versatility of the Arc'teryx Phase SV such as the Patagonia Nano Air or Arc'teryx Atom LT. Fit wise, great, next to skin athletic fit just as you would expect from Arc'teryx.

Pro tip, put a cup of white vinegar (cheapest you can find by the gallon) into your wash cycle, it kills the bacteria that causes the stink with synthetics.

Feel free to hit me up at bporreca@backcountry.com or 801-736-6398. I can talk with you more about the versatility of layering with this amazing under layer to help you with whatever pursuits you might contrive.

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Bill Porreca

Bill Porrecawrote a review of on June 19, 2015

Found my New Shorts
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 8"
Weight: 200 lbs
Size Purchased: Large

I loved the Stoic Thrive's been looking for something similar. Well I found something better! These stretch so they are super durable, and water resistant makes them a huge plus. Great swim trunk to use on the water. Also intend to hike, climb, and bike in them as well. They are just an all purpose pair of shorts to use. I will even wear them out to eat unless the coffee stains become too much!

34" waist and the size large is perfect. Draw string allows them to stay up just fine.

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Bill Porreca

Bill Porrecawrote a review of on June 17, 2015

I cant believe I am seeing 40% Off
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

At 40% off these are a steal.

They make some lighter ones out there sure but, these are my go to. I am no 5.12 sport climber so weight isnt a huge issue. That isnt to say these are heavy by any means definitely lighter than my first Black DIamond set of QD's that I got on sale at Steep and Cheap.

I cant believe how light they are and how durable they feel. I figured the dog bone would have to be thinner or they would have to use a different material. Not the case. Camp USA continues their quest to make lightweight AND functional gear.

The clipping action of these is the best Ive ever used. Again using my BD's most of the time I was missing clips. Definitely human error but, I felt more confident clipping their bent gate rope end than I ever had.

I didnt know much about CAMP USA, becoming a huge fan with every piece of their gear I happen to get my hands on.

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Bill Porreca

Bill Porrecawrote a review of on June 17, 2015

Awesome Mid-Range QD
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

They make some lighter ones out there sure but, these are my go to. I am no 5.12 sport climber so weight isnt a huge issue. That isnt to say these are heavy by any means definitely lighter than my first Black DIamond set of QD's that I got on sale at Steep and Cheap.

I cant believe how light they are and how durable they feel. I figured the dog bone would have to be thinner or they would have to use a different material. Not the case. Camp USA continues their quest to make lightweight AND functional gear.

The clipping action of these is the best Ive ever used. Again using my BD's most of the time I was missing clips. Definitely human error but, I felt more confident clipping their bent gate rope end than I ever had.

I didnt know much about CAMP USA, becoming a huge fan with every piece of their gear I happen to get my hands on.

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Bill Porreca

Bill Porrecawrote a review of on June 17, 2015

Good Bye Raven
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Same idea as their Nano Tech crampons, beef them up at the wear points but, dont make it heavier. They used their special steel right where I would want it, at the bottom of the shaft and at the tip of the pick.<br ></article><br />The slight curved shaft makes climbing steeper terrain feel more secure. Also its a little easier to hook rocks and tree branches should your adventures take you to them. The minimal grip at the bottom beats the ski strap I have been using for years on my Raven.<br /><br />Between this and the Nanotech crampons Ive dropped a total of 1.5 lbs from my ski mountaineering set up. Not a huge deal on a 1-3 hour tour but, over the course of 8-12 hours it makes a difference. A huge difference if you are at altitude!

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Bill Porreca

Bill Porrecawrote a review of on June 17, 2015

Reinforcement Where You Need It
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

These are an awesome lightweight crampon. I use them for general ski mountaineering. I used to have just aluminum but, I wanted something with some extra reinforcement in the front points. Sometimes adventures will bring you to rock and you want to keep the crampons on, its important you dont have to worry about the front points. They might get dull but I am confident they will not shear. The Nano Tech steel they use is not only light but, extremely strong. <br ></article><br />They are so light in fact, you could just bring two pairs of these versus one pair of steel. This means even if you are worried about them breaking (which could happen in extremely cold environment or tromping around on rocks bending them) its lighter to bring 2 sets as opposed to one steel pair. This also means that when you put them on your feet you are cutting your weight on your feet by about a lb. Definitely worth it in my book.

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Bill Porreca

Bill Porrecawrote a review of on June 17, 2015

Great Comfortable Trad Shoe
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 8"
Weight: 200 lbs

Ive been using the Mythos for years, it was my first shoe and this was the second one I have ever tried. It is slightly more aggressive but, by no means an aggressive shoe just a little more down turned.

It gave me incredible confidence on slab. Could be cause they are new but, I think it was just the rubber to be honest. Used them crack climbing, same thing, felt great and stable in there.

The upper part has some padding which makes them very comfortable for cracks. Once you get them on you can feel this extra cushion which is just awesome.

I am a 43.0 in their mountaineering boots, got these in a 42. Hurt at first but, will stretch to fit appropriately.

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Bill Porreca

Bill Porrecawrote a review of on June 17, 2015

Fit Great Out of Box
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 8"
Weight: 200 lbs
Size Purchased: 43

Ive never used Scarpa's mountaineering boots, always had La Sportiva. The fit was actually very similar, Scarpa had some more room in the toes I felt. I broke them in on a 6 mi hike all on dirt. Gotta say my feet hurt but, what can you expect? These boots crave snow and ice not a hiking trail in the lower elevations.

We got one day of ice climbing in them and I was thoroughly impressed. Super stable! They fit my Camp USA Blade Runner crampon perfect and ice climbing was super comfortable.

After the vertical climbing was over we did some general mountaineering with crampons. Really light, and really easy to walk in. Could have worn them longer!

We were in really wet heavy snow as it was June in CO. This meant that they did eventually soak through but, that was expected. Rubber boots are waterproof, these will eventually get wet and soak through, like I said this is expected.

On my first day I got one small blister, also somewhat expected. After that though, when using them in Colorado, even with a wet sock no blisters what so ever, that was the most impressive part.

I am anywhere from a 9-10 and I got these in a 43.0, perfect fit.

As far as warmth goes. I get really cold feet so in the dead of winter, I would have to bump up to the Phantom Guide but, for Spring Assaults they were perfect!

Thank you Andy Wickstrom for the sweet picture!

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Bill Porreca

Bill Porrecawrote a review of on June 17, 2015

They Take the Guess Work Out
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

A few years ago when I bought my trad rack I made a mistake. I bought 20 of the same carabiners, same color same size. Then I got a few of these bad boys. The 60 cm sling is my work horse I use them the most. What is special about them is the different color biners and size. So you have the little biner to clip the gear which is silver and then the bigger biner which is orange to clip the rope through. This means you always know that silver goes to metal and never on your rope. Can become a safety issue if you nick the biner and some metal is hanging out and then you clip that biner on to your rope. The orange biner also being slightly bigger makes it easier to clip the rope. The bigger gate just makes it easier for most people. Wish I bought 10 of these instead of what I did. <br /><br />In the picture I am using the Mach as a Prussik, another great application to have in the alpine.<br /><br />Thank you Andy Wickstrom for the sick picture!

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Bill Porreca

Bill Porrecawrote a review of on June 17, 2015

Great all around harness
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

The Harness is light and thats one of the main reasons why I like it. It also breathes really well so I dont get the sweaty back that normally the Arcteryx Ice harness provides me. I will say that when at long hanging belays its not the most comfortable but, thats because they dont use a ton of padding. You could get their big wall harness and it would surely be way more comfortable.

The gear loops are pretty standard. I am 34" waist so right in the middle of sizes and that puts the right gear loops closer to my center and left farther away. Hated it at first but, it actually ends up working out better. Its actually a lot easier to grab stuff on my left side with my right hand behind the back!

Overall just a great harness that works for almost any application. Be sure to check out the price tag versus some of their competitors, dollar for dollar this harness crushes the competition.

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Bill Porreca

Bill Porrecawrote a review of on June 15, 2015

Saved my Arse this weekend
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Last climb of the weekend and a poorly placed cam made me extremely thankful I was wearing this helmet. Its hard to speculate what would have happened without it but, I am pretty confident I wouldnt have walked away. Picture is of the cam that didnt make it through the incident. It was my 2nd piece of pro, 30 ft up, the first .4 held but, I still bounced on the ground even with a good belayer. Slapped the back of my head hard, totally worth the money for a helmet. Stuff happens, wear a helmet, your mother will be proud.

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Bill Porreca

Bill Porrecawrote a review of on June 12, 2015

Worth the $$
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

This is probably one of the only pieces of gear Camp USA will tell you that "Will make you a better ice climber". The way the front points were designed instill confidence with every kick. I have been using BD's for a few years and tried out the Blade Runners, I was floored with their performance.

When you get the crampon you will notice a few things nobody else is doing. The rear part of this crampon has a section that locks the boot into place. The front part has been changed to accommodate the rocker of today's modern mountaineering boots.

The way the secondary dual points are engaged really take some fatigue off your calves. The main front point was also developed to be used on thin ice and not fracture ice like competitors. Id be lying if I told you I knew all about the engineering of this product because its complex, I just know it works. The picture is of Ian Osteyee and Jesse Mattner, look up their climbing resumes, they both helped develop this crampon.

Feel free to hit me up at bporreca@backcountry.com or 801-736-6398.

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Bill Porreca

Bill Porrecawrote a review of on June 12, 2015

Does it All Pack
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Camp USA makes this pack in a 20L,30L and this one is the 40L. I got to try them all out and there are some slight differences between them all but, Ill stick to the M4.

My favorite part of the bag has got to be the way you can store rope over the top and the easy buckle system. At first I thought the red tab was chincy and dumb. Then I tried to get the buckles undone with gloves on, what a breeze, i know its a small detail but, a really cool feature to say the least.

I went away from back door entry a few years ago thought it was pointless. The way Camp does it makes some more sense. Instead of the entire pack opening up, its just a small center portion of the back that zips open. This means you can choose what to put there so you can easily access it, makes a lot of sense to me to have my water right there. Doesnt freeze cause its on my back and easy to get access too. The zipper catches a bit but, oh well.

I own the Patagonia Ascenionist as well. I had to pull out the back stay to lighten it up and this one is a little heavier than the Patagonia version but, way more comfortable to wear! I imagine a bit more durable as well, fabric seems thicker but, I havent ripped my Patagucci bag yet so I cant say better or worse. Camp USA prides itself on not only having really lightweight gear but, functional gear as well.

Feel free to hit me up at bporreca@backcountry.com or 801-736-6398.

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Bill Porreca

Bill Porrecawrote a review of on May 20, 2015

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 8"
Weight: 200 lbs
Size Purchased: 34 waist 30 inseam

I finally got a hold of a pair of these pants. I havent had a chance to use them a ton but, will share some initial impressions.

The Fit: I am 34 waist 30 inseam. I never thought the 34 waist would truly fit because they are a "skinny" jean. They fit my waist perfectly, not loose by any means but, not extremely tight. The 30 inseam comes right to the end of my ankle which is right where I want a bike commuter pant to end.

Construction: These are beautifully constructed. Reinforced in the crotch and inside lower pant leg. No more worrying about ripping the pant leg on the crank mostly because of how tight they fit on my leg but, if I do catch them the reinforcements will hold them up. The reinforcements also have some style to them. Its not just a extra piece of fabric over the high wear areas, there was more thought put into them than that. They definitely feel durable and I presume it will take me a few rides to break them in.

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