Brock

Brock

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Brock

Brock wrote a review of on February 14, 2012

5 5

Unbelievably light and packs down to the size of a grapefruit in a compression sack. Fantastic as a layering piece for some serious warmth under a hardshell. Also great on its own. Warm with only a T-shirt underneath to about 30 degrees or so, which is amazing for how light this thing is. The fit is athletic, which is nice compared to Patagonia's boxy fit on the down sweater. I had one of those and sent it back because the fit was so terrible. The hood is an excellent addition, and adds quite a bit of warmth. When not in use, you can tighten the drawstring and it acts almost like a scarf, sealing out drafts around the neck. I tried the Patagonia down sweater and Rab microlight alpine jacket, and the fit is definitely the best on the Montbell Ultralight. Perhaps not quite as warm on its own, but you can't beat it as a midlayer or jacket for the shoulder seasons. Very satisfied.

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Brock

Brock wrote an answer about on July 25, 2011

Oteyj, you're right about leather's stretch compared to synthetic, leather usually stretches a lot more. In my experience, these shoes stretch somewhere between a half and a full Euro size. I feel they've stretched more than my pair of testarossas, but I can't compare to the cobras or solutions as I've never worn them. My rule of thumb for leather shoes has always been, figure out the size in the store that feels the way you'd like them to feel *after* break-in, then go half a size down from that. This strategy worked out well for me in the Pythons. Hopefully this helps give you an idea of how they'll break in.

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Brock

Brock wrote a review of on July 8, 2011

5 5

I've climbed in these shoes for about three months now, and I have to say I'm loving them. I think the fit is just a hair looser than the Testarossas. I got them in the exact same size as my Testarossas and they are much friendlier in long doses, while still being super tight (I went 4 full sizes down from my street shoe size). The heel is incredible. When I first got them, it was actually difficult to get my heel *out* of the shoes. They were basically suction cups for my foot.

There's a significant downturn, though the midsole is definitely more flexible than the testarossas so you can still use them on stuff that's not super steep. They technically don't have the P3, but they do have the same type of slingshot rand that the Solutions have, which helps eliminate dead space in the midfoot and helps a bit to keep them downturned. They're definitely a low-volume shoe, and they might also have the most asymmetrical toebox I've ever crammed my foot into; it's basically a triangle. This pushes my second toe into the roof of the shoe and immediately caused blisters when I first got them. But now the blisters have turned to callouses, so no more worries. They're also unlined, so they really conform to your feet like gloves after some break-in. Overall, they've probably stretched about a half size more than the Testarossas and now they're *way* more comfortable. I can actually leave them on for about a half hour at a time despite how tight they fit.

Anyway, I'd say they're fantastic for anything from dead vertical to severely overhanging. I'm sure they'd do alright on slab, but that probably depends more on how you size them. Heel hooks are bomber, perhaps even surpassing the heel hooking power of the Testarossas (which I wouldn't have thought was possible) and the toe can edge on absolutely ridiculous holds. I just got back from a sport climbing trip at the limestone paradise that is Ten Sleep Canyon, WY, and they were incredible in the pockets. You can stick that asymmetrical toe in almost anything!

Overall, I think this is my favorite shoe I've ever owned, and I find myself going for the Pythons on tough projects when I used to reach for my Testarossas. They're easier to put on and off, more comfortable, and in my experience, provide the same if not better performance, especially with regard to the heel. Makes them winners in my book: new favorite shoe for sure!

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Brock

Brock wrote a review of on October 30, 2009

5 5

I got the Alpine Light Down Parka last year and just broke it out for the first time this year (15 inches of snow in October...how I love CO), and it reminded me that I should share my joy with others. This jacket is one of my favorite pieces of gear. It is unbelievably warm for its size/weight, and when the mercury really drops the hood is a godsend. I've been toasty at the bus stop in 10 degree pre-dawn weather with just a long-sleeve T-shirt on underneath. The outer ripstop nylon blocks wind quite well and has been durable enough to withstand several camping trips and a full season riding my bike to work, though if I were breaking trail through the woods I'd want a hard shell over it for additional protection. Besides the warmth though, I think my favorite thing about this jacket is how small it packs inside the included stuff sack--literally the size of a grapefruit! It's so small and light that I throw it in my pack any time I'm in the backcountry. It's just nice to know it's there in case you have to spend an unexpected night outside. Lastly, the fit on this jacket it athletic and is quite un-bulky, so you can wear it around town in moderately cold temps and not have your friends ask you who you're gonna be belaying for.... Super warm, light, and functional => great all-around jacket. Five stars.

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Brock

Brock wrote a review of on August 23, 2009

Great in the Backcountry
5 5

Just got back from my first official test of the Overhang pant: Crestone Peak, CO. These pants were great in the backcountry. They're very light weight, super breathable, and quite a bit more durable than I suspected at first. Coming down from the summit, there was a lot of scraping my @$$ on the rock of the class 3 gully, but the pants show no signs of wear at all. The material is thin and stretches quite a bit, and they breathed enough for me to stay comfortable on the trip in temps ranging from the mid 40's to the low 80's. The pocket on the right leg was great for easy access to my camera too. Haven't had a chance to see how they shed water yet, but I've been impressed by their dry functionality. I usually wear 32x32 jeans (fitted casually - I'm 5'11, 160 lbs.) and the medium fit great, with just a little bit of wiggle room in the waist. Solid product BC, keep it up.

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