I am very pleased with this edition of the Paramount pant. Compared with the build from six or seven years ago, the addition of the elastic waist and the excellent built-in belt, today's Paramount surpasses the past versions.
The belt buckle is not prone to undesired opening when bumped or squeezed by a pack's waistbelt. The snap closure is a lot easier to work with than the past large, single button.
The material seems about the same, perhaps a touch heavier, and the DWR is definitely better.
All around, I like the new version, and am buying another pair. I also appreciate that North Face offers a range of inseam lengths, particularly since I take a shorter length.
These pants are the only North Face goods I buy, because I haven't seen anything comparable. I very much like the Exofficio Nio Amphi series for lighter, warm weather use, but the Paramounts definitely belong in the mountains.
Why don't I buy any other North Face goods? Much like Black Diamond, they are so restrictive to their dealers regarding sales, that I have shifted almost completely away from North Face, and totally away from Black Diamond. I like most of the goods from both firms, but they offer very reduced value due to price. I have taken up with Marmot, Exofficio, Metolius, Mammut, Petzl to meet my clothing and climbing gear needs, and I shop hard to find the clearances, end-of-season, overstock, etc., to gain value.
This is my second pair of Nio Amphi trousers. They fit well, although they accommodate slightly larger waist sizes than the sizing chart indicates. In my case, the 34 - 38 Large works for me with a 39 inch waist.I normally wear The North Face Paramount pants for more rugged and nasty outings. But the Nio Amphis use a softer material with a better cut (at least for me) and have superior details in pockets, vents, zipper, gussets, etc.So, when I want outdoor wear, but I'm not planning to tear up my trousers, I step into these. They have served me well, and I'm having trouble wearing them out, given the durable material used. They ignore water, and I only need to carry a light DWR top layer to be relatively resistant to a short-term shower or drizzle.They also breath extremely well, making it possible for me to remain comfortable in long pants rather than shorts in places where brambles and poison ivy make shorts a liability.
Also, they include *ALL* the pockets you might expect: both front, both back and both cargo pockets. I'm personally aggravated by trousers that skimp on a pocket to save a buck (or whatever the motive might be).Some pants, especially from OR and Marmot, have been great except that they left off one or two pockets which greatly diminishes their value to me, and I won't be buying them again.
I am absolutely delighted with this pack. I bought it for use as a minimal summit pack for climbs less than a day. But it has also proven super for afternoon hikes and non-technical uses.
The minimalist waist belt buckles fairly high on the hips, facilitating use with a harness. It also holds a 100 oz (!!) Camelback or MSR hydration system, and has hydration ports exiting the top of the pack for both left and right-hand usage.
I can fit 3 liters of water, a first aid kit, a stuff sack of essentials, a weather layer and a lunch. Just what I need, and nothing more.
This is one of the few Black Diamond items that doesn't carry a rather prohibitive price. I was able to buy it on sale, and can strongly recommend it to others looking for a tough, minimalistic pack that can be toted in a larger pack for use on summit, or it can serve as the supply pack for an afternoon outing.
For multi-pitch trad, this is my choice for a master point biner. It has a broad, flat basket that doesn't crowd the collection of biners that tend to accrue to the master point. I like it a lot.
I'm disappointed today that the screw lock is not available. I don't use the self-lockers since I use these for rock in summer and ice / snow in winter. I needed to pick up another one for a trip in two weeks.
I use sealed stuff sacks for sensitive materials, including sleeping bags, when rain is the threat and it works out just fine. Same in the winter, when *everything* gets wet from freeze / thaw and use in a tent. However, if there is a chance of immersion, like a fall during a water crossing, I'd want something more secure, like one of Summits dry sacks. Then, *nothing* will touch your contents.
After buying dozens of stuff sacks from OR over the years, I've grown tired of the price increases, taking the daisychains off several models, taking the dust flaps off, ... just generally cheapening the product, while increasing the price. So, I wanted to try some Summit sacks.It's a win!! Good, straight sacks, very well made, and I think they're great.So, that's two traditional suppliers I've avoided this year (Black Diamond was the other, due to their anti-sale, anti-discounting practices.).I will stick with this product! Thanks!!
I use this because it doesn't damage the skin as badly as alcohol-based disinfectants. And in weight-saving terms, it can serve as an emergency disinfectant for cuts and scrapes!
Yes! You can verify it in the ice tool instruction manual on the Black Diamond web site. Picks, hammers and adzes are interchangable among all the two-screw heads.
I've used both the Triact and the Screwgate versions of this carabiner.
After a lot of analysis of top-rope safety issues, I've adopted a practice of using a pair of Triact Williams for TR master points. Too many times, beiners get flipped around on top-rope, especially when climbers are topping out. With the Triact William, I don't have to worry about gate direction and the issue of it unscrewing over time. It's a virtual impossibility to hit the right combination of scrapes and loads to permit the gate to open. It's the safest master point I can come up with using standard gear.
For trad, I use the Screwgate Williams for my main anchor masterpoints. The extra clipping space is very welcome, and the key nose is a great feature because I never have to fight with the biner snagging a cordelette or a wire.
The fit and finish is also impressive ... it's a first rate piece of gear.
This is a non-alcohol disinfectant that won't add to the misery of "mountain fingers" by further drying the skin like purell-type hand sanitizers. Also, it's effective for use in first aid against germs and fungus, so it serves a double purpose! But caution ... of the four I bought at different times, all of them had loose caps, and one drained out completely during shipment. Check the lid when it arrives.
When I bought this in the winter of 2007/2008, the product descriptions advertised a zippered hood. Apparently the information applied to earlier versions, and I had problems coping with the snap-on hood, fall off hood. It kept blowing part way off in the zero degree gusts, and I wound up tying stay cords at every snap to keep it in place. Now, I have a slightly leaky fixed hood because of the gaps between the snaps, instead of a solidly zippered removable hood. Had I noticed before I roughed up the parka, I would have returned it. But I was in the backcountry when it really counted, and discovered the hood was not reliably attached. Now, I'm stuck, because there is no way to remedy this circumstance. I don't have budget for a "spare" heavy down parka, and I'm going to have to live with it. I've purchased little from MH since then, because I can't trust their gear any more. It's warm overall, but the hood is a critical disappointment.
I just bought another one for use in the wilderness. Just about any helmet that passes UIAA or CE can stop one small rock or a head-bang. But the lighter helmets can only take ONE hit reliably. If your not in a position to retire the helmet and break out a new one, you are in deep issues. So, if you can drive up to the crag, you can use any approved helmet successfully, but if you're in the mountains or wilderness, you want something with much greater survivability. In my opinion, that's an Ecrin.
I have used this series for several years, and planned all my larger outings with it. If you are willing to fight through the 1980's style installation, the user interface, which is neither windows nor unix in nature, and "fiddle" with it as necessary, you can achieve very acceptable, custom results. You can also use plasticized paper to create ruggedized maps. And in any format (under about 24 x 28) that you want. The road overlays don't precisely match the road in the topo, but they probably had the digitizing done overseas ... what do you expect? Despite all its warts, it is a unique and effective product, just not easy to install, to use or to get the prints you want on the first try.
These insoles have relatively high volume, which is what I need with my low-volume feet. They are fairly comparable to the Ed Viesters in terms of rigidity and shape. The surface fabric is somewhat prone to wrinkling during forming, but they can be reheated and reformed to reduce the wrinkles. They feel very good in terms of keeping the foot immobilized in the boot.
I really wanted to succeed with these Pitons. My "standard" shoe is the women's Mythos. I have very narrow feet, and so far, the Mythos achieved the best fit I've known. But the Mythos were very painful for trad crack climbing, in part due to the superb, long lacing system. It put laces over my foot way down at the "business end" where the thinner leather and the laces became hurtful during thin jams.
So, after checking around and looking, the Pitons appeared to be a marvelous shoe for trad cracks, with extremely thick rubber encasing the toebox area. I tried a number of sizes to identify the smallest size I could stand for break-in, in order to achieve the narrowest insole.
Despite these efforts, there just wasn't any way I would be able to climb with them, not because of the shoe's build, but because my foot could not adequately fill the shoe. With the best size match, I still had about a centimeter of space between my lesser toes and the perimeter of the shoe.
I admire the build and style of these shoes, and every user I spoke to had glowing praise for them. Unfortunately, a person with an A/B foot will not be able to obtain a fit permitting safe climbing.
I'm back in the Sportiva line, trying some Barracudas, that may fit acceptably, but they will never provide the heavy coverage and protection that the Pitons would have. Those with D/E feet who want some maximum grip, grab and coverage in the toebox should be delighted with Pitons.
Great parka. I had to exchange it for a larger size after following the guidance of another review. The review that says this jacket is "great for fat people" and has enough room to zip it over his bent legs is spoofing us. This is an "over everything" parka, and it needs some space, but it's just right in line with the Marmot size guides. Don't order it to "skin size" because you will not have room to move. I especially like the inside pockets!
I bought the women's Mythos because my foot is quite narrow, and the women's shoe has a narrower insole than the equivalent men's size. I would normally wear about a euro 45 or so, but I opted for the size 41. This was based on a lot of forum articles and reviews that stressed the large amount of stretch that occurs in the unlined Mythos model. So initially, my toes were fully knuckled up, and it was an extremely painful break-in for perhaps 40 - 50 hours of climbing and walking. The overall stretch gave me a perfect match with my toes just touching with light force, and the insole falling directly under the sides of my feet. My ability to edge jumped by a factor of two or three, and has remained so as when I've taken the trouble to clean the soles after getting them dirty or chalky, depending on the climbing venue. My only reservation is whether I'll ever be willing to go through that pain again when I need another pair of shoes.