Courtney Dean

Courtney Dean

Salt Lake City

Courtney Dean's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Biking
Running
Yoga
Paddling
Skiing
Climbing

Courtney Dean's Bio

I like to Ski, but I can get distracted with Ice and Alpine climbing. Especially in the Northeast where scratchy snow skiing can get a little uninspired during the frost/freeze cycles. I'll do just about anything fun in the summer, but always try to find an opportunity to climb and camp. Gear is expensive and even more so when it doesn't get used.

Courtney Dean

Courtney Deanwrote a review of on August 3, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

After a difficult night in Bryce Canyon, I decided I should not abuse my toddler anymore and get a proper sleeping bag. Blankets just don't do it for a squirmy little baby. But last I checked, they don't make bags for children under 3ft. So I went with a youth bag thinking i could fold the excess. Well, I never got to try. Grandpa showed up with an RV and mommy elected to sleep the baby in there instead of the tent with the grizzlies in Yellowstone.
But, a failed heater in Uncle's (this was an extended family trip) pop-up left a cousin frozen and miserable. So the bag went to him. Four nights in it with on cool nights with lows in the low 40s left no complaints.
So while it didn't keep my kid warm, it did do its job for a 10 year old.
I'd love to get a feather bag so dad doesn't have to hump this thing. It's 3lbs and packs down to the size of my bag, meaning I can't get away with a 50L pack anymore. Still have a few more years before he can hike on his own anyway, so we're car camping for now. I guess it's a fine compromise.

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Courtney Dean

Courtney Deanwrote a review of on August 3, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Why pay 200+ for pedals? These are lightweight and rigid enough to handle trail riding. I've got em on my road bike. I found them to be ver satisfactory and the consistency between road and MTN is pretty nice. I like the Candy platform better than a mallet, and much more secure than an egg beater. I suppose the weight weenies on the roadie side might scoff, but my red pedals are baller on my bike. And I can shave pounds off my love handles if I need an advantage without spending $1000s on carbon and titanium.

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Courtney Dean

Courtney Deanwrote a review of on August 3, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: Runs large
Height: 6' 3"
Weight: 212 lbs
Size Purchased: L/XL

I haven't tried any others, so I don't have a thorough comparison. But the vest works well for my novice purposes. There are boundless pockets. Pockets for leader, pockets for fly box, pockets for tippet, a small smart phone and sunglasses. Unforunately, neither of the inner pockets fit my phone and sunglasses perfectly, but that's fine. I can get them in there good enough.
The mesh is cool and tolerable on a hot day.
The pockets are accessible, even the zippered open with one hand usually.
I don't like the fit. I guess the vest needs to go over waders, but this thing is HUGE! A L/XL seems like it'd fit the biggest boy with room for his man-boobs to breathe.

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Courtney Dean

Courtney Deanwrote a review of on June 3, 2016

5 5

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

yeah, the don't weigh. there's no other way to describe it. at 7 oz. you're only affected by the weight of your skis!
They feel great. Ski like Dynafits. I haven't taken a tumble, so release may be a different experience, but they feel pretty much the same as my TLTs, and Radicals, just a bit closer to the ground with no risers.
Installation is a bear. hire a professional with the jig. Though it can be done at home, it's such a stressful task, i wish it on no one.

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Courtney Dean

Courtney Deanwrote a review of on April 21, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

This is essential for spring touring and variable conditions. Slipping down the skin track is a fast way to embarrassment and frustration.
These crampons slip into the slot with ease and will grab and keep you moving upward.
Just make sure you buy large enough. There is zero flex in these. a 110mm will NOT fit a 110mm ski.
Size up or buy more than one...

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Courtney Dean

Courtney Deanwrote a review of on April 21, 2016

An excellent softshell
4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: Runs large
Height: 6' 3"
Weight: 210 lbs
Size Purchased: Medium

I got them in blue. It's a wild color. But whatever.
These pants have wider leg opening than other light softshells. They don't have a zippered opening. That's something i think the other dawn patrol model offers. But they do stretch to fit over ski boots pretty well. Not that you can tell in the picture... note that i got lazy here and didn't pull them over buckles.
They run very large. I am a big guy and fit the mediums loosely.
The pant legs are plenty long for big boots. But a little short for sneakers. I guess that's best when i consider their use. I'd hate to have a bunch of flopped over cuff catching on a crampon... But i can't roll up to the club in these at apres....
The stretch is great. No impairment of movement.
The thigh pockets are velcro. That's a nice, lightweight, yet secure option. Also, there's a key hook. kind of a nice touch says the guy who is always panicky about where to store his car key.

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Courtney Dean

Courtney Deanwrote a review of on April 21, 2016

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 3"
Weight: 210 lbs
Size Purchased: 34

Rab as a whole is excellent. I will always go to this brand for outdoor clothes.
These pants are an excellent, lightweight softshell. Great for hiking, alpine climbing or skimo. FOur pockets give you room for storage. THe zippers let you keep the stuff secure and the pockets are flat, so no 90's cargo pants look.
I like the belt loops. Critical as they'll stretch a bit and get loose at the waist after a you put them on.
My two complaints:
1. just a hair short for a tall guy. No tall option. That's a bummer.
2. The leg openings are a little tight for most ski boots.

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Courtney Dean

Courtney Deanwrote a review of on January 13, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 3"
Weight: 210 lbs
Size Purchased: L

These mittens are for pretty significant endeavors, Gasherbrum IV, K12, Aconcaugua, New Hampshire. They are not for shoveling snow in downtown Boston (though they aren't that much overkill). Your hands are critical to success and survival in remote and scary places, so treat them well. I bought these not only to climb ugly, cold places like Aconcagua, but also to survive belay stations in the White Mountains. I'm currently recovering from frostbite on seven fingers. I have a fresh layer of healthy pink skin emerging from a peeling epidermis. That is not going to happen ever again. The fault was in my ice climbing gloves, for sure. But the overreaction shopping led me to these.
They're warm and very spacious. I got them in a large, which will allow me to wear a thin glove (e.g., OR Alibi II) underneath. An XL would probably let me wear a thicker glove over the top.
The thumb provides enough room to get in/out with a lot of tugging and pulling. this is important as getting the mitten on/off quickly is key to an effiicient transition at a rest stop or belay station.
I have just enough dexterity to still work two ropes (from one climber) resonably well from a guide belay setup. It's not super fun, but manageable. I consider that a tradeoff to the two weeks of akward typing and difficulties I've suffered lately. I can't say it'll be easy to belay two separate followers in guide mode, but we'll see.
I cannot set up the belay, nor would i expect to. Certain things still need to be done in gloves. But these mittens are now a part of my 3-piece system. light gloves, medium gloves, heavy gloves/mittens. It's a small weight penalty to have adaptability and survivability. Plus, these compress so well, they can be shoved into jacket pockets while i climb.
I got them in blue because they match my eyes.
My only comlaint is that the down is not hydrophobic (as far as i can tell). the shell is, which was a great first step. But Rab has been investing in hydrophobic down for some time. Seems a shame they didn't go the extra step for these mittens.

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Courtney Dean

Courtney Deanwrote a review of on December 23, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 3"
Weight: 210 lbs
Size Purchased: L

I actually own two. I own one with a hood (previous generation, XL) and wifey got me one without for an early xmas gift (L). It's super light and super warm. Perfect for shoving into the last nook in a suitcase or a backpack. I've kept might warm with this jacket under a shell (or over it) on many an outdoor activity from climbing to skiing to backpacking.
it goes everywhere with me.

The zippered pockets are great without adding too much weight. Gives you some peace of mind when putting a valuable in there. The large fits me like a glove in the sleeves, which doesn't leave too much room for layers. But around the torso, there is space for a vest, even a down vest. I can wear a thick sweater under it, but maybe not a base layer, mid layer, and a shell (due to sleeves).
The XL goes over everything with no complaints but isn't too baggy that I look ridiculous when i don't wear multiple layers.

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Courtney Dean

Courtney Deanwrote a review of on December 17, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Bright light! significantly brighter than other tail lights I've used. it's got a really nice 180* visibility ring and various settings for flashes and fixed lights. I got this for my wife to avoid death on Massachusetts Avenue downtown Boston. It's key that she have a ton of visibility so that even the most obnoxious mass**** will take notice and think twice before smashing her with his BMW.
I don't like the USB rechargable battery only because i think it allows for some complacency. The 7 hour run time is great. but my wife cannot be bothered with such things as power. A few spare batteries in her pack seems to work better to keep her illuminated.

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Courtney Dean

Courtney Deanwrote a review of on December 17, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

As long as your helmet has vents, you can rig up a helmet mounted light... or camera, or other device that has a handlebar/pole mount.
It's velcro is long enough to fit a variety of helmet vent shapes and configurations so you can get it centered, positions relatively easily.
The light mount is oblong, which i find kind of nice because it fits well with the rubber strap mounts that most lights come with. The oblong shape kind of reduces the likeliness that the light will shift on your head as you bob and weave in traffic.

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Courtney Dean

Courtney Deanwrote a review of on November 25, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 3"
Weight: 210 lbs
Size Purchased: one size

They keep my toes warm on cold rides with ordinary athletic socks.
THey keep my feet dry in wet, sub downpour conditions.
The neoprene is just thick enough to provide insulation and water resistance . They don't cover your ankles though, so lots of rain do require full covers.
They're super cheap. At $20, you can afford to grab a pair and not worry too much about them getting beat up.
They're super easy to put on and take off. Love that. Love it WAY more than my full booties.
They won't last too many seasons. The sticky, rubber bottoms aren't super durable. But I'm willing to take that in exchange for the ease of use. Plus, a little duct tape will probably help the situation out.

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Courtney Dean

Courtney Deanwrote a review of on November 25, 2015

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

The 500 lumens are awesome. I get a super safe feeling operating with such a high beam on my ride home from wok. That is, when the light works... it's died on me twice on my ride home. THe first time, after three rides (approx 35mins each). So I felt confident it had a 100 minute burn time. The second time it died was after one ride home. That has me concerned.
My wife has been using it for shorter rides and hasn't complained of failure yet. I've swapped hers and mine to make sure she keeps a good charge so I don't think we have a lemon. It could've just been operator error on my part. I may not have charged it as long as needed.

Will keep using it, but just need to be more diligent about keeping a good charge. Excellent light with wide field of view and powerful.

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Courtney Dean

Courtney Deanwrote a review of on November 25, 2015

2 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I got to demo these and was super impressed. But since, I've purchased two boxes and have found them largely unpalatable. Even on a backpacking trip where dirt tastes good, I avoided them on days 1 and 2. They almost always have a pice of unchewable grissle hiding every 1/3 bar or so.
They're dry and mealy. The flavor is good at first, but becomes kind of gross after the 27th chew, yet the bar still isn't ground enough to be swallowed. Probably not going to keep these in my pantry.

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Courtney Dean

Courtney Deanwrote a review of on November 25, 2015

5 5

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

The padded should and the plastic tubing make this a great sling. The tubing adds stucture that helps keep cams distributed a litttle better across the lenght of the sling. The padding is just enough to not dig into your neck, while still allowing mobility.
Holds a full rack. Simple enough for this hack.

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Courtney Dean

Courtney Deanwrote a review of on November 10, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I have an awesome non-carbonated bike. but i love it.
I sprung for some titanium skewers to give it just a bit of ultralight. Grabbed them on sale and they're cool. Zipp makes them aerodynamic so you can point them and go fast.
They're skewers. They are crazy light, but you're not going to podium just becuase you slipped them on. But they look cool.
And now I have one piece of bling on my workhorse.

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Courtney Dean

Courtney Deanwrote a review of on November 10, 2015

3 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

It's primary advantage is the security of the groves. Bike stays in place. But a couple of pieces of wood work to set the right height too. I bought it, now i have to find a space to store it when not in use. Probably sits between the legs of the Kinetic. Still a lot of money for a piece of plastic that is only marginally better than a DIY solution.

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Courtney Dean

Courtney Deanwrote a review of on November 10, 2015

3 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 3"
Weight: 210 lbs
Size Purchased: XL

They are designed to fit like medical gloves, only they don't stretch at the seems. Like others, I expect these to last but one season. I've worn them a dozen times and the seam has split at the base of my thumb. They don't stretch enough to go on without tearing this thread. Once on, they're awesome. Fit "like a glove." But will only be good for one season, i fear.

On the plus side, they aren't advertised as sensor (e.g., touch screen compatible) but they do work. I can use my phone to turn on strava (can't bike without broadcasting to the world, right?) with them on.
The palm has a nice, grippy suede that may degrade over time, but won't matter since the seam will fail long before. THey're reinforced as the photo shows around the thumb and forefinger. this is forward thinking. Just need to make these velcro closure, or something to extend their usefulness.

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