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Blacktocomm

Blacktocomm

Utah, Arizona, Oregon, Idaho

Blacktocomm's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Biking
Running
Snowshoeing
Climbing

Blacktocomm's Bio

MBA student who always dreams of playing outdoors.

Blacktocomm

Blacktocommwrote a review of on April 10, 2015

Will put a smile on your face
4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I was able to do an extended demo of the new HD3 a couple weeks ago. I loved the bike, and every time I rode it I had a huge smile on my face.

The Pros: The bike climbs like a mountain goat. The bike engages almost instantly, you pedal and there is instant power to the bike. The pedaling feels like a road bike with the instant power transfer.

The Bike reacts incredibly fast also. It steers incredibly fast, and it feels like you are floating. It was amazing how easy it was to just make the bike go where you wanted.

The Cons: The steering was so fast it felt a little twitchy. I am sure with more time I could have dialed it in a little better, but the demo bike from the factory was very jumpy.

Another Con is reaching down to switch the rear suspension from lockout to engaged. It was at an awkward angle compared to many other bikes I have ridden. If you are not switching while riding it isn't an issue.

The bike did not feel as much like an all mountain bike as others with the same amount of travel. It is a great XC or race bike, but I did not feel as nimble ripping the corners as I have on other bikes.

Once you get to this level of bike it is impossible to get a bad bike, but I did not end up buying the Ibis after the demo ride of the bike.

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Blacktocomm

Blacktocommwrote a review of on November 17, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I have carried Mules in different variations forever. I have carried it in ultra marathons, bike trips, hiking, and a few times as a weekend pack if I wanted to travel light. When I purchased my most recent mule I had a debate between this Mule or the N.V. Mule. Looking back, it is worth the extra money for the N.V. That said, this is still the Mule in any format is the best hydration pack money can buy. The reason I would have tried the N.V. is that it would probably keep my back more dry during bike rides or hiking, but this version is still a great bag.

The bladder hanging system in the mule is far and away my favorite bladder attachment in any of the packs. The bladder is in its own compartment which is a great improvement compared to other brands I have owned in the past that hung the bladder in the main compartment.

The great thing is that you can fit so much stuff in this pack! There have been multiple times I have stuffed it full of snacks and found them later after I forgot they were in this cavernous pack.

I have been through 2 different iterations of this pack and am onto my third., When I get the itch to buy a new one I will most likely purchase another M.U.L.E.

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Blacktocomm

Blacktocommwrote a review of on November 17, 2014

3 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This is a decent backpack. I purchased it for the laptop sleeve, but that is the only great feature. Everything else is actually pretty normal and boring.

If you carry more than two books and your laptop the backpack gets very tight. It is surprisingly deep for how small it feels in width.

The elastic on the front is pretty weak and basically worthless. You cannot safely store a skateboard with the cord. Another problem with the bag is that the side pockets are a tight fit for large water bottles. Sliding in a Nalgene or a smoothie in a mason jar is a more difficult task than it should be. Small water bottles fit fine, but the large ones outdoor junkies and sorority sisters carry are difficult to slide in.

This is a fine backpack, but there are many different backpacks that have much better features and better methods of storage.

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Blacktocomm

Blacktocommwrote a review of on November 17, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Before you purchase this backpack make sure you know what you want to use a backpack for. If you are a specialized backpacker or hiker this might not be the best pack for you. That said this pack has worked great for me.

Also if you are not backpacking this pack is too much pack with too few features. The lack of a bladder and the size make it a terrible pack for people who just want a large pack for dayhikes. Also, if you are only driving in to a campsite this is too much pack, just get a duffel bag to throw in the tent instead of this bag.

I have carried this pack to the moon and back. Okay, not literally, but it has accompanied me for nearly 50 nights of camping, backpacking, hitch hiking, skiing, and any other adventure I was too cheap to buy a specialized pack for. This is a great do everything pack.

The zipper that accesses the main compartment is great for getting into your stuff without going through the top to mess everything up. The only problem is that it is hard to access if you have other stuff strapped onto your pack.

I have a cheap sleeping bag, which is somewhat large. I also have a large cheap sleeping pad. They are very difficult to strap onto this backpack. If you have nice stuff that packs down tiny you are probably good, but if you carry archaic but still functioning stuff like I do, you could face the same issues.

All in all, I have enjoyed this pack, but with hindsight being 20/20 I would purchase other bags before I purchased this bag.

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Blacktocomm

Blacktocommwrote a review of on November 13, 2014

Lives up to the hype
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

These hammocks are all they claim to be. I initially resisted the hype of buying a hammock, but finally purchased a hammock. After camping over 20 nights in the hammock and setting up the hammock multiple times per week to chill I feel ready to review.

The Good: The hammock offers easy set up at camp. Just find some trees. It is a great seat while not sleeping. The hammock has converted me from a ground sleeper to a hammock man. I cannot emphasize how much I love my hammock.

The hammock is much tougher than I initially believed. I hung it on a dead tree and when the tree fell on me it did not rip the hammock.

The Bad: The hammock can get cold! You are surrounded by air. If it is cold you will get cold. I have a zero degree bag, but in the hammock it does not keep you warm when it is in the 30's. I bring in either a wool blanket or a second bag for more insulation.

The rope they include for hanging the hammock is not great quality. I purchased ratchet straps to anchor my hammock to the tree. They allow for much quicker set up and take down, and are easier to adjust for a novice knot tier.

Mosquitoes can eat you alive if you are not totally covered. Either spray yourself down with repellent before bed, or be prepared to get eaten alive.

All of these are just assumed setbacks to the hammock, but all in all the hammock is totally worth the purchase. If mine was stolen or destroyed I would purchase it again, but I would buy the craziest pattern they have instead of something muted like the hammock I got.

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Blacktocomm

Blacktocommwrote a review of on January 30, 2012

5 5

I love this jacket. I did get 2 defective jackets at first, one with a rip in the down when it arrived, and one where a down panel was missing, and then when I finally got the jacket correct it was the wrong size. :(

On to the good. Now that I have the jacket it is so warm. I am 6'2" and 185 pounds and I am wearing a medium for a tight underlayer fit. I wear it under my shell. I originally got a large, but it was a little too long to wear under a shell because how the back is tapered a little longer than the front. When I wear it under a shell it is a great warm jacket for skiing, in fact it is probably a little too warm, I get way too hot in the jacket. I ski in Utah, and the weather here has been kind of warm, but on days where the wind chill sends the weather below 0 degrees it still holds warmth.

The purple jacket is great. I have received many compliments on the color and the jacket. Like I said once you get a jacket that works it is a great jacket. I believe that nobody else ever experienced the problems like I did, but even with having to get replacements for the defective products I would still buy this again over the Rab I was looking at and the Patagonia micro-down.

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