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Chris Colney

Chris Colney

Everywhere

Chris's Passions

Backpacking
Hiking
Mountain Biking
Paddling
Bouldering

Chris's Bio

Chris Colney

Chris Colney wrote a review of on March 13, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Holy. Crap. This thing is bright. From shoveling out the driveway at ten at night to working the night shift on the fireline to late walks with the dog, this light gives you the ability to see and to be seen. After retiring (breaking) my old PT triple LED headlamp from 2008, the step up is incredible. This light offers excellent battery life which is metered so you do not experience the slow tapering of illumination, it stays bright, then dims rapidly. Personally, I like this. Especially since there is a blinking battery indicator that lets you know when you're at >40%, <40%, and <5% so it's easy to keep an eye on your power level. The brightness settings differ enough in their illumination powers to actually encourage you to utilize this function. The two buttons for switching between the maxbright LED and the ultrabright LEDs takes a little time to learn, but it's easy enough to figure out. You can then go from high to low setting in either light source. The light and battery pack are a little on the heavy side but for the light output, it's a small price.

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Chris Colney

Chris Colney wrote a review of on March 13, 2014

4 5

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

Okay, so I haven't been able to get this thing out on the trail yet but I thought I'd give you all a little feedback on the Kelty SB20. Full disclosure, I was VERY skeptical about this bag as I've had not-so-good experience with Kelty in the past. However, it seems that they has turned things around with their Trailogic Series. So here's the good and the bad.

Good: This is a 20 degree, 800-fill Dridown (duck down)bag for $300.00. You can't really beat that.

Good: The waterproof materials at the head and foot of the bag will prove themselves time and time again on soggy mornings in cramped tents. The material itself isn't any thicker than the rest of the bag's shell, it's just a different texture.

Good: As you would expect, the insulation lofts like no other.

Bad: Since the bag's baffle are sewn in, there are some definite thin spots (you can see light along the sewn areas of the bag from the inside).

Good: The included compression bag is made out of the same lightweight material as the shell of the bag with high-quality buckles and nylon webbing lines.

Bad: This material, while light, may not be the best for a compression sack as it will go through quite a bit of stress each time you crank it down.

Bad: The draft collar is not shaped in any way. It's not a huge deal, but having the collar contoured around your neck helps keep drafts out without bunching or choking.

Conclusion: When all is said and done, this bag seems to be a pretty solid buy even though some aspects could be improved upon. I'll update this review after I get some trail time with the bag. Until then, it seems like Kelty is on the right track to improving their reputation and I, surprisingly, am tempted to pick up some more components of the Trailogic series.

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Chris Colney

Chris Colney wrote a review of on December 28, 2010

5 5

The MSR Pocket Rocket is the ultimate simple to use, ultralight canister stove. Simply screw the stove on top of the fuel canister, turn the valve, light and you're cookin'. This little guy will boil water faster than expected yet simmer sauces delicately. I've used the stove mainly while bagging 14ers or on quick overnight bike tours and it has never failed me. While self contained cooking systems (JetBoil) offer quicker boil times, they cannot compare with the Pocket Rocket in terms of application. The flame adjust and light weight of an entire system makes this a tough act to beat.

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Chris Colney

Chris Colney wrote a review of on December 28, 2010

5 5

I can't begin to tell you how many times this stove has saved my trips. I've never run into any problems with this little guy. It burns hot, quiet, and on anything that's flammable. I've run white gas, aviation fuel, jet fuel, and standard 87-octane through my stove and it performs flawlessly. Burn time and BTU output vary with the different fuels, but knowing that you can boil water, cook a meal, or warm frozen digits makes this a moot point. The shaker jet cleaning needle is straightforward and efficient. My only complaint is that the flame control leaves something to be desired; it's either off or on. No in-betweens. If you're looking for a stove that's easy to use, efficient, and will last, do yourself a favor and pick this bad-boy up.

(1)

 

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Chris Colney

Chris Colney wrote a review of on December 28, 2010

5 5

Kick. Ass. These gloves are a godsend. Warm, dexterous, and most of all, incredibly durable. My 3-fingers are going on their second season with little-to-no special care and they are still in perfect condition. The gauntlet is great for keeping snow out and cinches down well and I have yet to have snow get through to my wrists. I like the five finger liner and don't notice any difference in warmth retention versus a standard mitt. The glove comes with leashes that are soft, wide, and comfortable. I love being able to take the mitt off on the lift without worrying about dropping them. All in all, a great glove that will stand up to years of abuse.

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Chris Colney

Chris Colney wrote a review of on December 28, 2010

4 5

Let me start this out be stating: I love the Wrapp bindings. They are easy on, easy off, and hold your foot solid. I've been hiking roughly 5 miles a day through rolling southern Wisconsin hills and the Atlas 9's have never slipped, twisted on my foot, or made me feel like I was going to fall. If you're looking for a good, entry level snowshoe and you're not tackling any ridiculously steep terrain, the Atlas 9's are great. If you're looking for something that can handle a little more gnarly, go for the 10's or higher.

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Chris Colney

Chris Colney wrote a review of on December 26, 2010

5 5

I've been using upright mounts for my Lefty equipped 29er for a year now and never really felt comfortable with them. I would find myself checking the bike every time I stopped, re-tightening the straps, jaw, etc. and it was more stressful than necessary. Enter the Fork Adapter. This little piece of miracle metal has increased my abilities to rack my bike on friend's cars, given more stability to my current setup, and delivered me the peace of mind to get where I'm going without constantly re-evaluating my rig. It takes me about a 1 minute 15 seconds to take the adapter off, bolt on the wheel and adjust the brake. It may not be the 15 seconds that a double stanchion fork typically needs, but then again, it's a Lefty.

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Chris Colney

Chris Colney wrote a review of on October 31, 2010

5 5

Oh my little juice, what would I do without you? This knife as been with me for years. It goes with me no matter what. I've actually checked luggage just so I know that I'll have the knife with me...that may be a little crazy, but once you buy it, you'll understand. It's hard to say what my favorite feature is, but if I had to choose, the size. The knife easily fits in the coin pocket of all of my pants, weighs next to nothing, and yet, it still packs a great selection of tools. My only complaint with this knife is that the blade doesn't hold an edge worth a damn. But a quick run over a whetstone and you're good to go.

(1)

 

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Chris Colney

Chris Colney wrote a review of on October 31, 2010

4 5

First off, this knife will last. I've used the Flash II for a long time now and this year's model has raised the bar. A few changes include: Molded handle with more rough areas which increase grip even when wet/bloodied up; the newly revamped ergonomic safety release is easier to actuate than previous models and the non-serated blade comes sharp enough to shave with. Unfortunately, this sharpness only lasts a few weeks with regular use and upkeep. The AUS-8 stainless looks and feels good, it just doesn't keep its edge as well as I would like. All in all, it's a great knife with a good feel, good looks, and it's easily carried, just expect to sharpen the blade weekly.

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Chris Colney

Chris Colney wrote a review of on November 20, 2009

5 5

I've had these boots for 3 years now and have not been let down. These boots have taken me from the tops of over 10 14ers to hiking in Utah, Florida, Wisconsin, Minnesota and the menial task of getting me to class in the snow. They are crazy comfortable and I wouldn't think of getting any other boots. I'm definately a believer in the Sundowner. Chinese production didn't ruin my trail mojo and it shouldn't yours.

Overall: Buy them.

(8)

 

Chris Colney

Chris Colney wrote a review of on November 20, 2009

4 5

I've used this helmet for a number of years to protect myself on the rock and on the ice. As many reviews have stated, the Half Dome fits well over a thick hat or just by itself. Headstrap adjustability is ridiculously quick for those times when friends forget their lid. I've had a couple chunks of ice fall on it from +25 feet and it did its job. My only complaint is that the chin strap is slightly difficult to adjust. I recommend this helmet to anyone getting into the vertical world.

(6)

 

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Chris Colney

Chris Colney wrote a review of on November 19, 2009

5 5

This bag has taken me through some pretty epic adventures ranging from Northern Minnesota fall night to high mountain tours. I can't say enough about the ergonomics that make this bag ideal. For starters, the hood and draft collar work extremely well and cinching the drawstring is a breeze (as well as releasing it in a mid-night evacuation), the taper of the bag is spot-on and the angled footbox makes me wondered how I ever got along without it. The welded seams and insulation provide even heat retention and absolutely no pilling. I wish I would have gone with the ultralamina but I went on the cheap and this bag is still my first choice for spring and fall treks.Overall: Sweet dreams for chilly nights.

(3)

 

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Chris Colney

Chris Colney wrote a review of on November 19, 2009

4 5

I got The North Face Alliance to protect my lighter down coats on a January trip to the Boundary Waters and it performed exceptionally. The jacket kept me slightly warmer as it blocked the wind flawlessly and it saved me a couple hundred bucks in replacement gear when I found myself crawling through the thick pine forests. I now use the jacket for all snow sports and I cannot compliment TNF enough for creating an afforable shell with zip-in capabilities that performs as well as the alliance does. My only gripe is about the crinkling sound the jacket never seems to loses.

Overall: Protection on the cheap.

(3)

 

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Chris Colney

Chris Colney wrote a review of on November 19, 2009

5 5

I bought two of these shirts for late fall day hiking/summer evening bug beater and TNF's Syncline Shirt does both with style. I wear my synclines to class, work, and woods and I'm never dissapointed. There are some other reviews of these shirts falling apart but after two years, both of mine are still in great condition. I really like the sleeve tabs that keep the shirt out of your way whether you're filleting a fish or sitting at a desk. After the hike, I don't need to worry about changing to hit up happy hour. They remain odor-free and dry quickly. I'm about to order a few more to round out my collection. I'm usually a perfect fit in small, but these do run slightly baggy. It's not that much of a difference, but something to keep in mind.

Overall: You'll look good no matter where your day finds you.

(3)

 

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Chris Colney

Chris Colney wrote a review of on November 19, 2009

5 5

What can I say, these pants kick so much a$$ you're never going to want to change out of them and as far as I can tell, you'll never need to. Over the years I've beat the crap out of them and my carhartts keep coming back for more. Whether it's at work, in the field, in class or at the bars, I never take them off. I buy two pairs of these babies a year and I have no need for anything else. The double front adds a little weight but another year or so of durability. The pockets are big enough for keys, phone, knife, wallet, or whatever else you may need to get the job done. I'm sold.

Overall: Buy these once; they'll outlast you.

(3)

 

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Chris Colney

Chris Colney wrote a review of on November 16, 2009

4 5

I've had these socks for a couple of long trips through the backcountry and I'm pleased with their performance. I have not had to deal with any bunching blisters. They wick moisture well and keep my toes warm even after pouncing through cold water (not by choice). the stitching and craftsmanship seem to be above par and I'm thinking I may have to get some more of these bad-boys sometime soon!

(3)

 

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