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Chad Schneider

Chad Schneider

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Chad Schneider

Chad Schneider wrote a review of on February 6, 2008

5 5

This bag is awesome. Even with just a flap cover, it's always been completely rain-proof through the most drenching downpours, and I've never waterproofed it. It's got plenty of room, doesn't get road-rash (unlike myself), and dirt seems to wash out pretty well. I use it for for bike commuting, and it's very comfortable and the chest-strap makes it very stable when weaving through city-traffic. It's also easy to access and adjust without taking it off your back. Make sure you get colors you LOVE because it will be around for decades. Mine is 12 years old, and it's almost as good as new. By the way, it's designed for right-handers, and although it's definitely usable for a lefty, adjustment of the main shoulder-strap is difficult/impossible. You can reverse the chest-strap-stabilizer, but Timbuk2 has to reverse the shoulder-strap-latch location, and you'd have to buy a custom bag direct to do that.

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Chad Schneider

Chad Schneider wrote a review of on February 1, 2008

5 5

I've used the WhisperLite International frequently for over a decade (the same stove). Even the plastic pump has held up well over the years (which is something considering it spends its life in gasoline). Recently, it started sputtering, but a quick refurb with the maintenance kit (o-rings, needle, and wick) and it was as good as new. The shaker jet keeps the nozzle nice and clean while you hike, and the steel-braided wick pulls out for a quick field-cleaning of the fuel-line. Even the design is reliable. I never have to wonder if a canister is running low or if it will be too cold to use a canister at all. It is a little tough to learn all the intricacies of getting it started, but once you get the hang of it, it becomes second nature. The only bummer is that it doesn't simmer. It's just not designed for it. You can try double boiling, using a thicker pan, or raising the pot, but that's just inefficient. Just keep stirring.

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Chad Schneider

Chad Schneider wrote a review of on February 1, 2008

4 5

I have the Gerber Multi-plier 600, which is a slight variation of this Freehand model, so I'll limit my review to the general ruggedness of the tool. For three years, I used the MP600 tool in the rough, greasy, and dirty environment of railroad car field-maintenance that ate Leathermans and Swisstools for breakfast. I beat it, leveraged it, and caked it with grime, but it always opened with a flick of the wrist. The locking features for the pliers and fold-out tools are pretty secure and reliable. Now it leads a more civilized life, tagging along when I'm not sure what tools I'll need, like winter backpacking with crampons, snowshoes, trekking poles, etc... Gerber tools are strong, versatile, and reliable, and that's good know when it's all you remembered to bring with you.

(4 stars instead of 5 since I can't review the exact model shown here, but I'd give my MP600 5 stars)

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Chad Schneider

Chad Schneider wrote a review of on January 29, 2008

5 5

This jacket is well-built with an eye toward weight and compressibility. It weighs under a pound and compresses to fit easily in a 4L stuff sack (purchased separately, size Med jacket). It fits well and is nicely cut, and since it's so compressible, it moves easily and never feels bulky. The material feels pretty light, but it seems to stand up well. I just don't think I'd hike through underbrush with it. The only downside I've noticed is that I miss having a chest pocket for little things.

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Chad Schneider

Chad Schneider wrote a review of on January 16, 2008

1 5

I bought another North Face hoping to get the same excellent performance as my old TNF Snowshoe for winter camping. However, the -20F Tundra is WAY overrated. We were camping on about a foot of packed powder and the lows were around 0F. I usually sleep pretty warm, so I had high hopes for the -20 bag, but I was freezing for two nights. I tried wearing all my extra clothes, putting my pack and shell under me, and putting a Space Blanket under the 4-season tent. Not sleeping for two nights takes a lot of the fun out of snowshoeing through fresh powder. North Face needs to reevaluate how they rate a bag. This is one heavy, expensive +20 degree bag!

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Chad Schneider

Chad Schneider wrote a review of on January 16, 2008

5 5

I've had this jacket at least 3 years now, and I use it almost all year round. I've found it so versatile that I can use it on cool summer nights up to 70F or on a windy winter afternoon in the 30s since there is decent room for layers underneath. I can come out of the cold and just leave the jacket on without overheating. As others have posted, it does start off "crinkly", but it gets very comfortable with age.

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