Brian G. Sweeney

Brian G. Sweeney

New England

Brian G. Sweeney's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Paddling
Skiing

Brian G. Sweeney's Bio

5.5 years studying Computer Science and all I really want to do is hang around in the woods - camping hiking skiing kayaking canoeing - you name it.

Backcountry Stoke:
1water1coffee1beer.com

And, giving back to the community:
https://market.android.com/details?id=com.briangerardsweeney.odat

Brian G. Sweeney

Brian G. Sweeney wrote a review of on April 30, 2013

5 5

I basically love this pack, but have observed two serious problems that seem easy to fix for future revisions:

1: My ski bindings tore a hole in the fabric while I was carrying the skis diagonally. Something tougher probably needs to go there.

2: The bungee cord used to secure the ice ax at the top is too flimsy. I recently took a long fall and my ice ax nearly put my eye out after it came unhooked on the way down. Maybe a velcro strap? Check out BD Predator, that thing has a great ice ax carry system.

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Brian G. Sweeney

Brian G. Sweeney wrote a review of on December 9, 2012

Daily Driver
5 5

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

These are going to be my new 50/50, / daily driver, and less than epic conditions touring ski. I had a pair of Black Diamond Havocs in the 185cm which I had been using to fill this roll, but they finally succumbed to the wear and tear of being a daily driver, so I took the excuse to buy something with a modern geometry. I went with the 181cm as a compromise for tree skiing and touring weight. You should note that the radius increases to 25m at 192. Were it not for the weight savings, I think I'd have preferred the big radius.

(Full review here: http://www.briangerardsweeney.com/2012/12/winter-readiness-daily-driver.html)

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Brian G. Sweeney

Brian G. Sweeney wrote a review of on December 9, 2012

Skip the adapter kits...
1 5

You can just belt sand some of the extra material off the bottom of the plastic nuts and it will give you enough extra room to use the included hardware. I've done this successfully with my Xterra factory crossbars and an old Mountaineer. See details here: http://www.briangerardsweeney.com/2012/12/winter-readiness-thule-mountaineer-on.html

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Brian G. Sweeney

Brian G. Sweeney wrote a question about on September 15, 2012

To any industry gurus out there: when are we getting a Patrol 34 ABS? The Patrol 24 ABS looks great. but I really like the 34 for a long day in the backcountry, especially for us non-pro athletes who don't have helicopters and snowmobiles following us with all our extra gear.

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Brian G. Sweeney

Brian G. Sweeney wrote a review of on May 19, 2012

2 5

I got these for a pair of Voile Drifters and the tip loop tore out of the skin on mile 1.5 of a 5 day hut trip. I have know idea what I managed to screw up but the 3 screws tore straight out of the material. BD has covered under warranty all of the random parts I've broke over the years so ill probably just email them and see what they say.

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Brian G. Sweeney

Brian G. Sweeney wrote a review of on April 4, 2012

5 5

These literally do everything!

For context:
I'm 6'1", 180lbs. I got the 192s and mounted them with DynaDuke swap plates right on the line and have skied them with Dynafit FT12s and Marker Dukes. For boots I've used BD Factor 130s with a World Cup Booster Strap. I left the factory tune (whatever it is) - its decent, but i might put a 1 degree base / 2 degree side edge next year.

They totally dominate east coast hardpack. They don't really pop out of a turn as much as a race ski, but they have excellent edge hold. You can really get some good angles and hold an edge through huge fast turns. The 192 sometimes feels a bit unwieldy in east coast woods, but it's definitely manageable. I'v found I can ski pretty much all but the hardest of bumps with these skis. The large radius really lets you get after it in the steeps. This is the longest turning ski I've ridden and I'm totally sold on this shape. They're burly enough to plow through wet, heavy snow and bust through rain and sun crusts and damp enough to just blast straight over crud and chop. I have not skied any real blower powder on these yet. I did ski some high density fresh and they did really well. I'm really thinking that these will be my go-to skis for basically everything except deep powder days and early season / pre-season. Basically if you ski them with confidence, they'll do whatever you want.

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Brian G. Sweeney

Brian G. Sweeney wrote a review of on February 9, 2012

4 5

I've taken this out on a number of backcountry day trips so far. I know I've said this about a few other things, but this pack is just about perfect. Let's get the bad out of the way first. The bombastic material on the shovel pocket ripped on day one. I'm thinking of just ignoring it until it gets worse (it hasn't so far so i'm guessing this was an isolated incident). I have no idea how this happened; we were on a 3 mile hike and I had my skis with dynafit bindings strapped on the whole time, so i'm guessing the toe wings just dug through the fabric. Like I said, the whole hasn't worsened and the shovel isn't going to fall out of it, so maybe it's no big deal. Were it not for this, i'd have given it 5 stars. On to the good stuff. 1) The Hinch 2.0 is a vast improvement over the straps and buckles used in last year's models of these packs. It's easier to get on and off, the the straps are more limp making it easier to adjust their length, and finally they don't tend to fall off when you're just walking around without the skis lashed down. 2) The diagonal ski carry on this year's model is slanted at a slightly more up-and-down angle, given you greater balance and helping to the skis from getting tangled on every tree to the left of you. 3) This pack carries better than any pack I've ever owned. I think this is mostly due to the very slim profile they managed to get out of it and the elongated torso. The weight just rides really close to your body and distributes well. 4) The crampon pouch is the perfect size for my BD Sabretooth crampons; I store the crampons in the BD mesh case and then slide the whole thing into the crampon pouch. Have not used it for skins thus far. 5) The interal storage capacity is perfect for a long day trip. Apart from avy tools, I store MH Compressor Pants, MH Compressor Jacket or 800 Fill Down Jacket depending on the weather, extra gloves, water, snacks, my shell jacket and extra layers when not in use. There is a small mesh pocket toward the top for sundries (car keys, wallet, whatever). Nice to have. 6) The goggle pocket has been moved from the front panel to the lid which makes much more sense to me. It's a great place for anything delicate (GoPro accessories etc...). I typically store my goggles on my helmet, in turn strapped to the helmet lash loops on the top-front. This system works just fine. 7) The right hip belt has a pocket just big enough for a point-and-shoot camera, though if it's cold out you'll want that on your body somewhere. 8) The left hip belt has a loop for any kind of rock or ice rack you may be carrying. I use it for an altimeter which has a carabiner loop on it.

Bottom line - this is the one. I'm selling my Off Chute 26, switching to this for virtually all backcountry, and getting a Chugach 12 for resort / sidecountry.

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Brian G. Sweeney

Brian G. Sweeney wrote a review of on March 22, 2011

5 5

Double ejected off a roller and cartwheeled down the front side (hard-pack) of A-Basin yesterday. I'm now at work writing software, so it seems no serious brain damage was incurred. Guess it worked. I was originally not too hyped about the velcro on the visor, but it allowed the visor to displace during the crash. I think it would have broken other wise.

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