These boots provide great control. I ski the G3 Reverend with Hammerhead bindings. Last year I had Garmont Syner-Gs; I could control the ski, but I had to do more foot steering than I like and thought it was almost more ski than the boot could handle. The Custom drives the ski really easily. The boot has excellent lateral stiffness, and transfers power to the ski beautifully. I was a little concerned that it would be too stiff for me (I'm 5'10", 155lb), but once on the snow, I found the flex to be smooth and easy. This boot is a huge performance upgrade from the Syner-G. The Boa lacing system is easy to use and provides a snug and comfortable fit. The walk mode does a good job relaxing the cuff of the boot, and the ski mode provides aggressive forward lean. I have not yet toured in them, but they are very comfortable at the resort. If you are an aggressive skier looking for a powerful boot, you will be very happy with the Custom.
The Syner-G is a very versatile boot. It's probably between the T1 and the T2 in terms of stiffness. The boot is light enough and comfortable enough that it is a great choice if you're hiking for turns, but stiff enough that you can really enjoy the ride down. I can push a big ski (G3 Reverends) hard with this boot, but I have to work at it. There are two different forward lean settings (plus a more upright walk setting), so you can take a more or less aggressive stance depending on what you are skiing that day. The boots are very comfortable, and the thermo-moldable liner lets you really customize the fit to your foot. I've been skiing them for two years, and they have held up well. I like the boot a lot. If you're only going to have one pair, this is probably a good all around choice.
These shoes are comfortable, in large part due to the very roomy toebox. They are light, but still provide adequate support and protection. In dry conditions, the traction is excellent. However, in wet conditions, I found them to be very slippery. On wet rocks, they totally failed to grip. If your local trail conditions are typically dry, they may work for you; if you have rocky trails that get wet often, look elsewhere.
I've been using the X6HR for a little over a year. The device is easy to use, easy to set up, and for the most part works well. The altimeter (and barometer) and compass are great, and both are essential backcountry navigation tools. The HR monitor is the weakest part of this watch. I use it almost daily for training (running/cycling) and I find that it often displays and records grossly incorrect readings for the first 10-15 minutes of my workouts. For example, it often reads 180+ bpm, or fluctuates between 177 and 127 bpm. I know that these readings are wrong from my perceived effort level and my general awareness of my HR levels during exercise. It usually settles down and starts to read accurately some time into the workout. I live in New York City, and I'm willing to believe that there is a lot of ambient electromagnetic pollution where I run that may interfere with the signal. However, for a device this expensive, I expect better performance on all functions.
I got these with the blue reflex lenses, and they quickly became the glasses I use most. They are dark enough for really bright light (10% light transmission) and they cut glare really well. They are light and comfortable, and they stay in place very well when running or cycling. Two downsides: first, the gray lens base preserves true color, but doesn't enhance contrast they way a brown or copper base would, so I prefer my Kaenons when sailing; second, the Reflex coating seems a bit fragile. Mine are pretty scratched up, but I guess I've been hard on them.
These skis are great all rounders. I have a pair mounted with Hammerheads and ski the Garmont Synergy boot. That's about the lightest boot I'd want on these skis, because they're big and they both encourage and reward aggressive skiing. They handle beautifully in all conditions: bottomless powder, soft bumps, and highly variable (read breakable crust and other challenging conditions) backcountry snow outside of Telluride. For the width underfoot, they're surprisingly quick edge to edge; they have great float; they are powerful enough to punch through crud and slop; and they are very stable at speed. You need to stay on top of them, so if you're just learning to telemark, beware. For more experienced skiers, this is a great quiver of one choice.
I wore this top on several of my long runs while training for an ultramarathon, and then during the race as well. IMO, the support web functions really well. On runs longer than 2 hours, I used to get pain and fatigue in my shoulders and upper back; this top eliminated that by supporting the muscles, reducing bouncing, and improving my posture. It sheds wind and insulates well enough to wear into the low 30s. Any colder, and I would recommend an additional layer
I was amazed to find that CW-X doesn't use a crotch gusset in these. In fact, the big seam running through the crotch in an "X" isn't even flatlocked. So, while I like these shorts for short runs, anything longer than a 10K is asking for chafing.
Kneepads are a crucial part of telemark equipment, and these are a huge upgrade over the old Rollerblade kneepads I used to wear. They are very light and flexible, but give solid protection. The infinitely adjustable straps let you get just the right fit. They stay put without feeling restrictive or getting in the way of your knee flex. Highly recommended.
I wore this the other day in a light rain for about 3.5 hours and stayed totally dry. This is not a rain jacket, but I was very impressed by its water repellence. It also kept me warm during light activity with just a merino t-shirt and fleece hat. This jacket is very well built, like all Arc'teryx products. I recommend as a light weight softshell.
This pack is very well built, as you would expect from Patagonia. It's comfortable and stable. The hydration sleeve and hose exits are well designed. I use a 3L platypus big zip in the pocket and it fits perfectly. With the hydration bladder, there is a lot less room in the body of the pack, but you can still jam in a light shell and midweight layer. The biggest drawback of the pack is access: even with the zippers fully open, the opening is pretty constricted. It's a little difficult both to jam stuff down into the bottom and to rummage around in the bottom finding things. Overall, though, a good pack for warmer months.
I was initially skeptical of a hydration bladder that closed like a plastic baggie, but I got this based on my fondness for platypus water bottles. I'm convinced. The closure is very secure and hasn't leaked on me yet. The bite valve works well, and flow is good. The zip opening allows easy filling/drink mixing/ice cube adding and easy cleanup and drying. The 3L fits perfectly in the hydration sleeve of my Patagonia Endurance pack. This is a great hydration bladder to add to a pack.
I bought this pack for marathon training and have liked it for that purpose. Its best feature is probably the stable ride. I have found it comfortable over long runs, and the side compression straps allow me to keep it stable as the volume decreases (from drinking). It also has plenty of room for keys, a few gels, and a light windbreaker. The tube is adjustable (just cut to length), easy to drink from, and doesn't drip. Overall, this is a good running hydration solution.
I have been wearing this in New York, where we've been having a cold spell. Recent temperatures have been teen and low 20s wind chill reaching single digits. As long as I have a hat on, I can wear this jacket with only a merino t-shirt underneath and be completely comfortable. It's really warm and comfortable, has good adjustability (one handed waist and lower back drawcords), and leaks almost no down. Highly recommended as an ultralight warm jacket.
I do a lot of sailboat racing and these are hands down the best polarized lenses I've ever had. I've used Revo, Maui Jim, Ray-Ban, Smith, Bolle, and others, but the Kaenons cannot be beat for clarity and glare reduction. They really help me see the wind on the water. I use the Copper-28 lenses, which are a very good all around lens. They block enough light for really bright days, but are light enough to use on cloudy or hazy days. If you do watersports, you will be very happy with these glasses.
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