Bill Porreca

Bill Porreca

Gearhead

Wasatch, UT

Bill Porreca's Passions

Climbing
Running
Skiing
Hiking & Camping
Snowshoeing

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.

Bill Porreca

Bill Porrecawrote a review of on August 4, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This set up is not just for the camper, or outdoor enthusiast. Probably wouldnt find this set up in the White House but, if you drink a lot at your house and things tend to get broken this is the ticket!

Its all stainless steel so it has a great look to it and it wont break. The Citrus Reamer is an AWESOME addition to step you your mixed drink game. I used to only do two ingredient drinks, now I definitely get a bit more creative.

Love this package, intend to buy another one to give as a gift, and use mine for many years to come!

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Bill Porreca

Bill Porrecawrote a review of on August 4, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I am not sure what I used before I owned one of these but, without a doubt it was inferior. If you currently use a plastic cup, or your Nalgene to drink out of around the camp site, pick one of these up and give it a shot. It keeps the drinks hotter or colder for longer than any other pint glass I have used.

Definitely a car camping piece for me but, has been an awesome gift as well for those people who camp or spend a lot of time in the outdoors drinking, even those friends who tail gate all the time can benefit from a few of these.

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Bill Porreca

Bill Porrecawrote a review of on August 1, 2016

So Far, So Great
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 8"
Weight: 190 lbs
Size Purchased: Medium

Have not really put the jacket to the test yet but, intend to make it my full time backcountry skiing shell. Have worn it a few times just to really check breath ability and move with it on.

On its first and only outing you can feel the extra fabric compared to the regular Houdini. Means it doesnt breathe as well but, protects much better. Right now in the Wasatch, the upper elevations are around 60 degrees, makes the normal Houdini the perfect option should you need a light shell. I had it in the Teton's where it was more like 40 degrees at the summits and it wasnt enough, this is where the Alpine Fits in my quiver of shells. Below 40 degrees and the verdict is still out on how far I can push it in the cold .

The first thing to notice is the difference in fit. Where the normal Houdini is a tighter, trimmer fit, the Alpine Houdini has extra room for layering. I own the Large in the normal Houdini and sized down to the Medium in the Alpine Houdini. I wouldnt say it runs Large, it fits like my large Westcomb ski jacket. That still has too much fabric to alpine rock climb for me. With the medium Alpine Houdini I still can layer with my go-to cold weather choice, which is: Capilene 1, R1 Hoody, Nano-Air Hoody, and then the Alpine Houdini.

You can really tell the difference in fabric compared to the normal Houdini. The Alpine Houdini is stiffer, thicker, and much less air-permeable. When trying to stuff it into its own pocket it was creating air pockets, never saw that in the normal Houdini.

Picture is comparing the stuff size of the normal Houdini (Blue Large), Alpine Houdini (red, Medium), and a Nalgene Bottle.

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Bill Porreca

Bill Porrecawrote a review of on July 27, 2016

Still Love it
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

After last years fall I had to replace the helmet. Still the same great helmet with one improvement that I really like. Now the helmet has two back head lamp clips not shown in this picture. I had someone run to the warehouse and check our stock, and its the new one!

I know the picture isnt perfect but, I circled the clips in white if you wanted to know where they placed them.

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Bill Porreca

Bill Porrecawrote a review of on July 27, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

It's a great durable saddle bag. I havent really had to chance to beat it up yet. I did have it hit my back tire constantly when my rear shock fully compressed and you could see some scuffing but, it didnt rip or anything. Easily can fit a phone, keys, extra tube.

The velcro is strong and I appreciate the 3 straps so I dont have to worry about it falling off while I am riding.

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Bill Porreca

Bill Porrecawrote a review of on July 27, 2016

Update 1 Year Later
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 8"
Weight: 190 lbs

Shoe is still going strong! I cant believe I dont need a re-sole yet, that is pretty exciting. Will probably get one after this season though.

I do have some updates on fit. Normally I am a size 43 in running shoes, mountaineering boots, etc. I got this shoe in a 42.5 and it felt great. The Scarpa rep goes a full size down to get even more sensitivity. My toes are ever so slightly curled but, the top suede allows it to be pretty comfortable. I wore them climbing the Grand this past weekend and they seriously hurt by the end of the trip. My feet were swollen which is why but, I think if I was going to get another shoe like this I would get a 43. The 43 climbing shoe would fill that void where I cant really get away with climbing in an approach shoe but, dont need a shoe that is as sensitive as the 42.5 is for me which is generally great on more technical climbs.

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Bill Porreca

Bill Porrecawrote a review of on July 27, 2016

Go To in the Alpine
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This harness is unbelievably light, I know we all know that but, its worth mentioning again because it really is insane.

Its really a great harness for ski mountaineering. It does not have actual gear loops so if you only need it for rappelling which is more common in skimo than actually climbing its perfect. You can wear it from the car because you forget its there.

To use it rock climbing you need to make a few adjustments on how you carry your rack. The two small gear loops, aka the little nylon loop on each side cant really hold a full rack, not because of weight but, because its too small. I have been taking a non locking biner and using that as the actual gear loop. Then you also have your two extra non-lockers on the harness should you need them. I still dont put my protection or rack of slings on there. Usually hanging my belay device and anchoring materials. So the big change that was needed is you pretty much have to use a shoulder sling to carry the rack.

I use two shoulder slings, on one all the protection, on the second, I rack my slings. There are some products out there that make this type of racking easier, specifically the Metolius Big Wall Gear Sling which we dont sell yet! Soon though. This way does make transferring the rack a bit easier but, thats just me, everyone has their own way. Just wanted to point out that you wont be putting your alpine rack on this harness.

You could also tie some accessory cord to each loop going around your back to get a loop which is easier to hang gear on. I tried hanging directly on the harness and that didnt work well.

It should be noted that some of the Alp Race competitors are not fully CE and UIAA certified. This harness, though its light, can take a fall just like any other harness out there double, or triple its weight. Is it comfortable to fall or hang in as other harness, no. Its comfortable to hang or rappel in when its layered over a jacket or two but, sometimes I just wear it over a t-shirt and I can feel it but, that's expected.

I've scraped this through sharp rock, and beat the crap out of it just like every other harness I have owned. It shows no more or less wear than anything else which is impressive considering its weight.

Camp USA also came out with a slightly more robust version of this, with actual gear loops. http://www.backcountry.com/camp-usa-flash-harness? . Its double the weight but, you get the four gear loops, normal tie in's and belay loop, plus its a bit more comfortable. The guys over at Camp USA climb in the Flash full time pretty much.

33-34" waist and the XL fits a little too big when I dont have layers under it, I might grab another one and get the large as I will be able to cinch it down when not wearing it over a bunch of jackets.

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Bill Porreca

Bill Porrecawrote a review of on July 27, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Saw a bunch of my friends grab fanny packs, and wanted to give one a shot. If I was going to spend this much on one, I needed it to have dual functionality, running and biking. The famous Dakine pack used by bikers which has a small hydration bladder inside of it was a little too big for me to run with so I jumped on this.

The belt sits really flat, tight, and comfortably on your waist. I do prefer to wear it over my shirt but, if I was travelling its comfortable enough to wear under if you wanted some more security. The adjusting of it is a bit awkward, you have to make sure the velcro doesnt engage when sliding it. Can take a minute so take care of that before you head out.

With the soft flask completely filled I can still easily fit 2 Pro Bar Chew Packets in there. On the smaller pocket which is also zippered I can fit my phone, keys, and usually a small multi tool. I have put a 26" 2.4 MTB tube in the big pouch where the water bottle goes. Doesnt easily fit in there and is bulky but, its possibly. The stretchy material allows it to fit more than you might think in there.

Huge fan, now I bring water on every ride and run. Easily can listen to my music now with a set of wireless headphones and stash other important gear in there.

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Bill Porreca

Bill Porrecawrote a review of on July 27, 2016

Perfect Chalk Bag
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I used to be apart of the crew that didnt really think you could invent or design a chalk bag better than others. Just bigger or smaller. Then I gave the Aperature a shot and it really is different, totally worth the extra $ versus other more generic bags.

The Aperature or twist feature not only eliminates chalk from falling out but, it packs down smaller in the pack. Or it packs down smaller on your waist when you are not using it like when rappelling, not a huge deal but, does help keep it out of the way if you need to grab a biner off the back of your harness.

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Bill Porreca

Bill Porrecawrote a review of on July 27, 2016

Update - Still Love it.
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 8"
Weight: 190 lbs
Size Purchased: Large

Finally got a small tear in the jacket. Was "chimneying" up a rock climb and using my back as a form of friction. Easily fixed it with some Tenacious Tape and were back to no holes and back to totally water/wind resistance. The shape of it when packed into its own pocket really does make a difference when hanging it on a harness. It doesnt get in the way of everything else on the harness like protection and slings. That makes it quicker, and easier to grab that gear while climbing, noticed it a bit at first but, really was thankful for it in the Teton's this past weekend.

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Bill Porreca

Bill Porrecawrote a review of on July 7, 2016

Easy, Durable and Versatile
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I've owned some other tough duffel bags in the past and this one has got to be my favorite. The best part is that the bag easily sits erect while empty. You dont need to push the corners out, or make sure you are using all that space on the side, the walls are a bit more sturdy.

I travel with it, use it as a gym/adventure bag. Picture shown has a full face Bell Helmet to give you a frame of reference.

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Bill Porreca

Bill Porrecawrote a review of on July 5, 2016

Versatile and Super Handy
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

These bags are awesome, find a million different ways/reasons to use them.

I generally use the small one for a personal toiletry bag. Also have used it as a small medical kit.

The medium for snacks, and electronics such as camera and cell phone.

The picture for the large doesnt do it justice. I was able to fit 12 quick draws, and PAS under one mesh side. Harness and chalk bag in the other mesh side, then close it up with my shoes inside. It easily lashes to the outside of my rope bag making storing and travelling with my climbing gear incredibly easy.

My favorite part about having separate sturdy bags like this is you can keep them packed, then just grab and go. The nylon is durable and can repel some light snow or moisture.

Let me know if you have any questions!

Bill Porreca
bporreca@backcountry.c
801-736-6398

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Bill Porreca

Bill Porrecawrote a review of on July 5, 2016

Versatile and Super Handy
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

These bags are awesome, find a million different ways/reasons to use them.

I generally use the small one for a personal toiletry bag. Also have used it as a small medical kit.

The medium for snacks, and electronics such as camera and cell phone.

The picture for the large doesnt do it justice. I was able to fit 12 quick draws, and PAS under one mesh side. Harness and chalk bag in the other mesh side, then close it up with my shoes inside. It easily lashes to the outside of my rope bag making storing and travelling with my climbing gear incredibly easy.

My favorite part about having separate sturdy bags like this is you can keep them packed, then just grab and go. The nylon is durable and can repel some light snow or moisture.

Let me know if you have any questions!

Bill Porreca
bporreca@backcountry.c
801-736-6398

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Bill Porreca

Bill Porrecawrote a review of on July 5, 2016

Versatile and Super Handy
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

These bags are awesome, find a million different ways/reasons to use them.

I generally use the small one for a personal toiletry bag. Also have used it as a small medical kit.

The medium for snacks, and electronics such as camera and cell phone.

The picture for the large doesnt do it justice. I was able to fit 12 quick draws, and PAS under one mesh side. Harness and chalk bag in the other mesh side, then close it up with my shoes inside. It easily lashes to the outside of my rope bag making storing and travelling with my climbing gear incredibly easy.

My favorite part about having separate sturdy bags like this is you can keep them packed, then just grab and go. The nylon is durable and can repel some light snow or moisture.

Let me know if you have any questions!

Bill Porreca
bporreca@backcountry.c
801-736-6398

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Bill Porreca

Bill Porrecawrote a review of on June 15, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This was my first foray into wireless headphones. I was nervous, ha. They work great, easy to connect and disconnect. Sound is awesome, couldnt be happier.

If you have any questions, shoot me an email. I'd love to be your gear consultant!

Bill Porreca
bporreca@backcountry.com
801-736-6398

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Bill Porreca

Bill Porrecawrote a review of on June 15, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I love Pro Bars, still eat them regularly but, its really nice to change things up a bit. Also really fun to cook these together with a group, or your climbing/hiking/whatever partners.

Interesting that many of the recipes are rice based. Scratch Labs informed me that if its oatmeal based your body needs to use water to digest it. With rice, the water is already included, so it doesnt hydrate you but, you dont lose water at least.

If you have any questions, shoot me an email! I'd love to be your gear consultant!

Bill Porreca
801-736-6398
bporreca@backcountry.com

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Bill Porreca

Bill Porrecawrote a review of on June 15, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Perfect cordage for guying out a tent. Relatively light and if you need to cut lengths off or run out of the tension clips easy to tie a Prusik on itself so you can easily tighten them down without it.

If you have any questions, or want to know how to do a Prusik on itself for an easy way to tension, shoot me an email. I'd love to be your gear consultant.

Bill Porreca
bporreca@backcountry.com
801-736-6398

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Bill Porreca

Bill Porrecawrote a review of on June 15, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Bought this for my WM Alpinlite Bag and the medium was perfect. Was able to squeeze in some other things as well like my down jacket I didnt wear that much but, wanted just in case.

I like how you can un-clip two of the straps, makes getting the lid oriented easier as well as getting the bag out of it.

If your curious what size you should get for your gear, let me know, just shoot me an email. I'd be happy to be your gear consultant!

Bill Porreca
bporreca@backcountry.com
801-736-6398

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Bill Porreca

Bill Porrecawrote a review of on June 15, 2016

Finally Found a Perfect Pair of Sunnies
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 8"
Weight: 190 lbs

The lens on these is what makes them in my opinion. I used to use interchangeable lenses but, this is so much easier. This lens has worked for me on the Glacier as well as canyoneering or biking. Biking and ski touring is especially nice as the light is changing as you might move through forest to open areas where the light is constantly changing. If you were going to be on a glacier for a while the Spectron 4 Lens might be a better option but, the Camel Lens does a pretty good job while having the versatility of being used in lower light situations.

I love the included strap on these. Glasses throughout the day will fall down my nose a bit, especially after sweating. Easy to just pull the stopper on the strap and tighten them right up.

The arms are adjustable which is nice. You can match the fit around your ears to the glasses. The removable sun shields hit my cheek bone a bit, I dont really use them, nor feel the need to. Again if I were on a glacier for a while and wanted to use these I would definitely toss them on there and adjust the fit of the glasses so the shield would miss my cheek bone.

The glasses did fog on me. Then I realized every pair of glasses I have owned fog on me. EXCEPT when I wear my buff or a hat to catch the moisture. So its not so much the lens is fogging but, moisture from sweating ends up on the lens. Just wear a buff or some type of hat and you wont have that problem though.

On Shasta the other day I was feeling extremely tired right after sunrise. I tossed on my glasses and instantly felt better. I was pretty amazed at how much I was straining my eyes which was causing me to be tired I suspect. Not sure if this is completely factual, its not scientific but, anecdotal.

If you are in the market for some new sunglasses and have questions or want to compare a few models just shoot me an email! Ive been able to use a lot of what we have on the site and would love to be your personal gear consultant.

Bill Porreca
bporreca@backcountry.com
801-736-6398

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