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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 21, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I use these running and biking and they are great. Stay in my ears just fine. You do hear a little feedback or bouncing sometimes but, thats normal in every pair of headphones Ive tried over the past few years. I can talk on the phone while riding my bike to work no problem, awesome and dependable feature.

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Bill Porreca

Bill Porrecawrote a review of on July 21, 2015

My New Belay Device
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Always used a BD Guide, was what everyone else had. I then had a few friends pick this up, saw that it "locks" or "catches" and was sold. Always liked the idea of a Gri Gri but, its not really functional for multi pitch climbs, you need to bring something to rappel with. This is the answer.

At 200 lbs when I take a whipper my girlfriend gets flung, if she has a small moment of inattentiveness to her belay stance (we all do at some point) there is a small chance the rope could slip, this device considerably lowers that chance. I know that in a perfect world, and with a perfect belayer who is staring at the climber in the ready stance wouldnt need help or an auto catch but, I realize it happens and this gives me a better peace of mind.

Like any new belay device it takes a few routes to get used to feeding rope out to the climber. I think it works best when you put your thumb in the green loop. When the rope gets wet, it gets much harder and the rope will sometimes catch or lock up in there when you dont want it to.

When rappelling, turn the entire belay device around so the ropes dont lock up on you. Little trick I learned from a friend and by watching Edelrid's video.

Huge fan, would recommend to anyone.

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Bill Porreca

Bill Porrecawrote a review of on July 21, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Cool little device for anyone to have stashed in their bag or car. The trigger lock is perfect, I think the coolest part of the entire sprayer. Can be used right or left handed.

I bought the red color to try and make it not look like a real gun. It obviously still looks like a gun.

2 shots then you have to buy another one. Really though, if you have to Pepper Spray people that much in your life, whats going on?

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Bill Porreca

Bill Porrecawrote a review of on July 21, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I wouldnt call this a pad. This is a straight up mattress that compresses down to fit in your car easier and the pack for a hike into a campsite.

I will admit to sleeping on a conventional air mattress for a few months that I purchased at a big box store and this is by far more comfortable than that. Maybe its just because I used this outside, and sleeping outside tends to be more comfortable if the conditions are right.

The pump bag can take a little bit to fill up the mattress but, it definitely works and beats carrying around and relying on something electric.

Insulation is legit, test your comfort zone with what you can use as far as a sleeping bag with this. Found that I can take an old lightweight comforter from the house and just use that on most summer nights.

It is big and heavy compared to other lightweight options. Just be aware, that's what this is meant to be a car camping or a luxurious backpacking (you might have a guide) sleep experience.

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 21, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I gave it as a gift but have feedback to share
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 8"
Weight: 200 lbs

My girlfriend uses these Kayaking. Because they are such a low profile, minimalist shoe they fit perfect inside the boat. Should she go in the water they are also easier for her to swim in because they are so light.

Fit is true to size, Kelly runs from 7.5-8 and went with an 8 in these.

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Bill Porreca

Bill Porrecawrote a review of on July 20, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Used to have a Platypus. Needed to find a way to carry water without the big Nalgene. Platypus is super light, folds. Found that over time it breaks down, first few uses it was alright, then I started to worry. If I lose my water the day is over... Picked up one of these in a 2 L, so much more durable. Definitely my new go to. Plus the cap has a squirt feature which makes sure I dont go ahead and gulp the water too fast, ensuring pacing of the drinking. Awesome addition to my pack.

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Bill Porreca

Bill Porrecawrote a review of on July 20, 2015

Hands Down Favorite Trail Shoe
5 5

Height: 5' 8"
Weight: 200 lbs

Altra did it again! Got a hold of their road shoe, the One. Couldnt believe how comfortable they were, these were no exception. Trail running should not be about losing toe nails or being in pain, the searing pain in the lungs is enough for me.

These fit a little different than other shoes. I got the 43.0 which is technically a 9.5 with Altra. Fits perfect, little space between my big toe and the end of the shoe which makes them feel great on the way down. Thats always the test people tend to forget, how do they feel downhill?

The wider forefoot allows my toes to move freely and not binding anything together. I previously ran in the La Sportiva Vertical K size 43 and my toes were constantly killing me. Different shoe but, indicative of sizing and how these are constructed.

Love the idea of Zero Drop. You are totally using your foot muscles strengthening them and not relying on the drop of the shoe to help you along. I know people that also use these on super long runs so not just a short jog that I tend to do.

The sole is sticky and great for trail running. Might be wary when using them as an approach shoe to climb steeper rock where exposure might be an issue. Havent got to really try them on that yet.

The cushion on these is perfect for me. I think I would go with the Superior (less cushioning) to use as an approach shoe, or for just general hiking. The Olympus has the most cushioning which would be great for someone with some knee issues.

Look forward to putting more miles on these! 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 20, 2015

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Height: 5' 8"
Weight: 200 lbs

Was really interested in this shoe, Ive owned the Mythos for years and want to get something a touch more aggressive. This is it. Edges better than my Mythos but, it really tackles some overhung moves a lot better. A lot stiffer than the Solution so it edges a bit better, still smears like a champ.

Size 43 in all of La Sportiva's mountaineering boots, 41.5 in the Mythos, tried these in a 42 and they were perfect. They were a demo pair so, they were pre stretched out. I would have to break them in a bit if they were new but definitely the 42 would be for me. If I was tackling harder routes the 41.5 might be an option just make sure its a tight fit but, at my climbing level I appreciate a bit more comfort.

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Bill Porreca

Bill Porrecawrote a review of on July 20, 2015

Great Soft Shoe
4 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: Runs small
Height: 5' 8"
Weight: 200 lbs

I dont really use a super aggressive shoe which is what this is. For how down turned the toes are I was impressed with its overall comfort and fit. Fits like a glove, love the single strap system, easy on easy off. Of course a shoe like this tends to cause some pain but, makes climbing overhung routes really easy, especially in conglomerate rock where a lot of the holds are rounded. Probably not my everyday trad shoe but, thats not what it is made for, more of a bouldering/ route projecting shoe.

Use - For how down turned it was, again impressed with its ability to smear. On the route we got to try them on, there is a particularly tricky high step on an overhung edge, shoe worked like a dream, that's where this thing shines.

Fit - Usually a 43 in all of La Sportiva's mountaineering footwear, downsized to a 42 in this. Shoe was a demo pair I tried out so pre stretched if you will. 42 fit perfect, would imagine that if it was brand new would have to take some time to break in.

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Bill Porreca

Bill Porrecawrote a review of on July 16, 2015

Favorite MTB Helmet!
5 5

POC was originally a little known company out of Sweden that set out to do one thing, make the best helmet protection for athletes by questioning the status quo in regards to what is considered a safe helmet. The problem with most modern day helmets is they are good at direct impact injuries. Imagine head butting a tree, that’s a direct impact injury. However, most injuries (especially in the outdoor world) are rotational and not direct. Imagine riding your bike and suddenly your front wheel dives into a massive hole. Your mass in most situations doesn’t hit a wall and stop suddenly, your head may hit but your body in a violent display of physics keeps moving. This is where MIPS comes in.

The Trabec Race MIPS solves the rotational problem by distributing you impact in a rotational injury. How is this accomplished? Surprisingly by a simple plastic lightweight cage that’s intended to imitate your brains way of protecting itself in a rotational injury. Studies show it works and hey, that’s pretty cool in my book to give my most valued asset a fighting chance against my activities.

The helmet itself does not claim to be the most breathable, it does not claim to be the lightest, and it certainly doesn’t claim to be bro’er then thou (I’m looking at you Giro & Smith) but what it does claim to be is the best open face helmet protection money can buy for your bike. POC will stand by this and I will as well with two wrecks. The helmet did as it was suppose to, I only walked away with cracked helmets and no concussions.

Sizing - As far as sizing the M/L will work with most normal sized adult male heads. If you think you have a super small head (note the small looks tiny) or a massive noggin size up or down but for the most part the sizing has a massive range and will accommodate most.

Color - An age old question we get is will the white produce less heat then the black color? Science proves that due to the thickness of protection on most helmets there is no discernible temperature change with a white vs black helmet. Unlike a simple black shirt, a helmet is very thick and will not translate heat directly to your head.

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Bill Porreca

Bill Porrecawrote a review of on July 7, 2015

5 5

Same review of the 10 just this one has 2 phone charges as opposed to one. I usually carry around the 10 just during the work day. For an extended trip I have a few 20's that I use.

Side Note - When the battery runs out of juice (depress the folding USB to see how much battery is left) it will suck the power from whatever it is charged into, ruining the charge of the device. Make sure when the device is done charging, or the battery is dead, you unplug. Dont leave it overnight.

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 7, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I usually pack one of these on every small weekend-week long trip I go on. You get 2 charges on most phones and it also charges things likemy Kindle, ipod, and headlamps/ bike lights.

Side Note - When the battery runs out of juice (use left button next to light bulbs to find out how much is left) it will suck the power from whatever it is charged into, ruining the charge of the device. Make sure when the device is done charging, or the battery is dead, you unplug. Dont leave it overnight.

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 7, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

What an awesome little device. I pretty much carry one everyday in case my phone, or bike light dies. Its super easy to have a few so there are always charged ones around the house, use it everyday pretty much.

Side Note - When the battery runs out of juice (depress the folding USB to see how much battery is left) it will suck the power from whatever it is charged into, ruining the charge of the device. Make sure when the device is done charging, or the battery is dead, you unplug. Dont leave it overnight.

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

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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