Daniel Belzer

Daniel Belzer

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Daniel Belzer

Daniel Belzer wrote a review of on March 2, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I returned this product before using it
Fit: Runs small

All, the sizing on this jacket is about what you'd expect in the arms and body length. The waist drawcord makes the length quite manageable, and the two-way central zipper is on the European side. I thought the fit and finish on this jacket was every bit the equal of Arcteryx, and the eVent breathes a ton better.

If, on the other hand, you are relatively muscular in the shoulders and have a long (side-to-side) back, you'll be disappointed by the amount of room in the arm pits. The back and chest fit well, the sleeves were true to length so far as i can tell, but the "arms up" cut of the arm pits leaves a lot of fabric remaining to bunch up and chafe with just a t-shirt on. I will size up to XXL despite being 5'8 and 195 with chest dimensions slightly under the recommendations (45" vs. 46"). Based upon how difficult I am to fit, i don't hold it against the manufacturer.

If this doesnt work for you, I'd recommend a serious look at Montane- another english company that fits broader-shouldered men better. Hopefully more of you will try Montane and encourage Backcountry to order more of their shells- if for no other reason than for comparison.

I found the hood on my Montane Superfly XT to be better than this one, but the wire peaks in both were excellent- just be advised that the adjuster cords for the hoods will dangle over your collarbones and the drawcords for the waist zip are inside the handwarmer pockets. The central storm flap was awesome in this jacket, as were the interior pocket details.

If you are a tall, thin, or have the typical wiry build of mountain climbers and endurance athletes, you may have found a winner.

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Daniel Belzer

Daniel Belzer wrote an answer about on October 30, 2010

I've owned both of these, one military, the other I bought. Something of note: The face fabric on the dually is much more wind resistant. Now you're thinking "wait, the DAS is too". You're right, sort of. The DAS can get drafty at the seams because the material is sewn all the way through. Its also noticeably larger circumference in the waist, to accommodate those of us wearing guns around everywhere. The dually is longer- not so long that you can sit on the tail to keep your butt dry, but long enough that in the crouched cooking position, you don't expose any portion of your spine or lower back. A welcome feature. When doing your test between the two, be sure to wear them outside and test the hoods. The hood is where a parka will save your life. Buy the one with the hood that you will actually wear. I greatly liked the Dually because the hood was so good at staying dry, and I found it to be easier to precisely adjust than my DAS.

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Daniel Belzer

Daniel Belzer wrote a review of on November 26, 2008

2 5

Word to the wise: if your feet fail, your mission soon follows.

I had the original version of the enduro soles for a military event in June. Lets just say that they were shot upon its completion, so I bought more of them (LP and the regular) for another similar event in November.

There is a singular, deal-breaking, mind-numbing difference between the old and the new versions. The blue button on the heel was not there in the original versions, which allowed the thermoformable plastic sheet on the bottom to melt slightly into the base board of the boot.

With the addition of the blue cushion, the footbed does not seat firmly, occasionally shifts, and contributes to heel lift while walking under load. In case you are new to this; thats BAD. Heel lift in this case causes blunt force trauma to your heels every time you take a step, because your heel slams into the insole, regardless of how soft it is.

Take a look at other insole reviews I am writing. Hopefully they are of some value.

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Daniel Belzer

Daniel Belzer wrote a review of on November 26, 2008

5 5

I use these insoles almost exclusively now for heavy loads (75lb packs and over). Thermoformable "custom" insoles all have the same problem over time- they start to collapse in the arch, and in the heel cup, based on how you walk and what you walk on. If you look at the underside of the insoles, you'll notice a bunch of small plastic strips. Those individual pieces do a remarkable job of supporting the tendons on the underside of your foot. Any of you who have had plantar fasciitis know how damaging and time consuming an injury like that can be.

The insoles are quite wide upon first inspection, which does take noticeable volume out of the shoe, so size boots and insoles accordingly, paying close attention to the sizes, as these are cut-to-fit.

All in all, great product. Don't be fooled by other systems that feel really soft, or by how immediately hard these feel out of the box. They break in quite nicely, and don't absorb much moisture in the top sheet, even after full submersion.

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Daniel Belzer

Daniel Belzer wrote a review of on November 26, 2008

3 5

I pride myself on being the most demanding of consumers. I think it helps others stay informed in an age where you cant always try things on.

I find the sizing does not fit broad shoulders well, mostly because some of the plastic hardware would rest on my back when I carried the pack.

Aside from that, the mesh panel allows great ventilation, but at a substantial cost in usable volume. The main compartment looks like a crescent shape when viewed from the side, tough for your longer items. Additionally, I shouldn't have to move up to the atmos 65 (which i liked less) in order to get a bottom zipper.

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Daniel Belzer

Daniel Belzer wrote a review of on November 26, 2008

5 5

I have a bad right ankle; which is to say that I have permanent ligament damage. I have hunted for many months to find a sole wide enough to make certain that my ankle does not roll outwards (supinate)

These things fit the bill. Remarkable really, but the wings at the sole are about a third again wider than the base of your heel. This pyramid type of transition effectively rights rolling ankles for you. Very pleased.

Caution: the WP versions do not break in as well as the non-WP, at least not in the upper. Unless you plan to have wet feet from running through frost or dew or snow, I would get the non-WP version, or wait for the S-Lab version (about 100 some grams lighter than the non WP, 200 grams lighter than WP)

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Daniel Belzer

Daniel Belzer wrote a review of on November 26, 2008

3 5

This is certainly the top of the line for polar, no doubt at all about that, but I find the use of the watch extremely cumbersome, even when done on polar performace 5 and then transferred to your watch.

The screen on these is VERY soft. Contemplate hard on going to zagg.com or someplace similar to get scratch protective films made for it when you first buy it. Mine has a pair of huge obnoxious scratches on it from a car door.

The software does require some steep learning curves. You will have to manually delete a lot of heart rate spikes (there is a feature to do this; suffice it to say that a heart rate of 2000 actually does get recorded onto the watch.) Heart rate spikes are much more common than I expected.

The watch did help me in improving my fitness. For me, I will transition to a Suunto T6, and use Peak 2 Peak software instead, which is Mac compatible.

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Daniel Belzer

Daniel Belzer wrote a review of on February 5, 2008

5 5

I am the most picky of all of the gear reviewers that you will probably read. If you spend a lot of time in areas of the earth where it is too cold to snow, or any lengthy period of time in places where you dont have rapid access to something to warm yourself, this is absolutely the best set of gloves I have ever worn, in or out of the Army. Whether you spend weeks in the field at Fort Drum (basically Canada) or at altitude in Afghanistan, this is the best you can get. The glove is insulated to the point that it feels instantly warm inside, even after you leave them inside a cold car overnight. the liner is also insulated. The quality of these mitts is superior to that of the alti-glove, as I bought both to compare- see that review seperately. the glove, while reasonably warm, uses gore vs. ventia as the waterproof material, which means the glove cover is nylon, and has a gore membrane underneath that makes wierd noise. beyond that, palm is nylon, not leather- grip is remarkably good in these mitts. I recommend sizing down with these mitts. my hands measure circumference of a large, and the large was too big. I filled a sink with water and put the mitts in, making fists to attempt to get water into the seams- no fabric failures at all- most pleased with these.

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