Daniel Hupp posted an image about Marmot Nano Jacket - Men's on May 31, 2013
Lankin Dome, WY
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Lankin Dome, WY
This rain jacket is AWESOME! Bottom line is you wear this, you stay dry. , Thanks to it?s Gore-Tex Paclite shell, it is completely impermeable to water, but it breathes so well. I was blown away by this jacket. It?s a super light shell, so if you need to stay warm you?ll have to layer (it fits fine over any softshell or down jacket), but can rest assured that everything beneath it will stay bone-dry. The nano also serves as a decent wind shirt, keeping you pretty well protected from the wind without suffocating you. To add to this layers greatness, it packs up into a ball smaller than a softball, so it?s hardly takes up any room in your pack.
Maybe this will help you decide which size you'll need. I wear a size 10.5 (european 44) in both the blackwings and shamans. I have found the sizing between these two shoes very closely matched, so if you've found a size that you like in the shaman, I wouldn't change it up too much. Also, in my opinion, the blackwings are a HUGE step up over the shamans. Definitely worth the extra money. You'll only need 1 pair of shoes instead of 2.
Best of luck.
This is the previous model of the blackwing. I highly recommend them for their function, but the material has begun to crack after only two weeks of climbing in them. I think that it's only cosmetic, but I do worry it may lead to early tears on the top of the boot.
The BD Camalots need no introduction. They've been plugged into rock across the globe, solidifying their synonymity with the phrase "Spring-Loaded Camming Device". The dual-axle, four-lobed head of the device allows for fantastic expansion, making it easy to pick the right size every time, even when you're feeling pumped out. The thumb loop really does improve the user-friendlyness of the device, and is a much appreciated feature.
I own camalots and have found no flaws with them. HOWEVER! I wouldn't discourage anyone from checking out DMMs Dragon units. When BD's patent on the single-stem, dual-axle, quad-lobe device ran out, DMM jumped on the bandwagon and produced an equally stellar item. The dragons are lighter than the camalots, they're super durable, and they come with a neat extendable sling. While I've used the extended sling with some success, I often find it frustrating to unclip the carabiner and reclip it through one strand, only to have it extend out as far as a quickdraw would have extended. This aside, the dragons are an extremely attractive substitute for the camalots, and I would strongly encourage checking both products out!
I tend to have my doubts about ropes thinner than 9.8mm. It seems impossible that a rope skinnier than that could be durable enough to put up with repeated use and abuse. The Mammut Infinity however has proven to be as durable as its beefier brothers, and weighs so much less!
This rope is so smooth to belay with, and clipping it is a breeze. Even at the top of a 90ft route, this rope feels light. Gotta love all the bonus features, like the bi-pattern design and the teflon coating. Can't wait to put more miles on this rope.
I've been wearing these shoes pretty much everywhere for the past year and a half, and they are still in fantastic shape, despite my genuine efforts to beat the crap out of them. They've hiked in the Tetons, off-widthed in Wisconsin, and lead 5.10a in East Tennessee. The rubber is awesome for climbers looking at tough approaches and/or easy climbs. They don't offer great ankle support, but if you're somewhere that doesn't require too much off trail hiking, these are perfect. Lightweight, really comfy, and durable as hell. Love 'em.
The MSR Microrocket is the best canister stove I've had the pleasure to use. I primarily use it for boiling water for pre-made dehydrated meals, and it boils two liters typically under 3 minutes. When the temps drop, that time rises, but that's to be expected with a canister stove. I had my doubts about the stability of this stove (anyone who's used the pocketrocket knows what I'm talking about), but I've never had any problems losing meals due to the pot slipping off. If you are looking for ultralight, I would recommend alcohol stoves before this one.
Bottom Line: Miles above the pocketrocket. Love this stove for my lightweight trips.
The ExPed Synmat UL 7 is one of the best sleeping pads I have ever used. The weight of the pad is perhaps the lightest you can go while maintaining the signature comfort of the ExPed brand. The 2.8 in. that the Synmat UL 7 provides is more than enough to keep you off the ground, and the insulation is quite enough to keep you warm all the way down to freezing temperatures.
In comparison to the Therm-o-Rest XLite pad, the ExPed contests weight-wise, without sounding like an opened bag of potato chips. With they SynMat UL 7, you get maximum comfort with minimum weight. Try it. You'll see what I'm talking about.
In short, the ExPed UL 7 is my favorite sleeping pad that I have used, and I am, without a doubt, going to continue to use ExPed products in the future.
Does anyone have a picture of this in auto-block mode? I'm curious to see how that works.
The Boss Hog pad by Metolius is a really good pad, but the price is a bit steep. The Boss Hog has a great closure system that accommodates for all your bouldering gear and keeps it on the inside so you don't have to worry about losing anything. It has a fully carpeted surface to clean your shoes with, which is a fantastic feature that deserves recognition. The quality of the foam is adequate, and the landing is the right balance between stiff and soft. However, beyond these features, the pad is relatively bare-bones. I'm not sure if it's worth the sticker price. I've only been using mine for a few months, but I have heard that it is a long-lasting pad. Let's hope so..
The BD PosiWire quickdraws do exactly what they are designed to do. They are not the lightest nor highest performing draws out there, but they are inexpensive and they do their job. I would definitely recommend them as a great first set for all-purpose climbing.
I've been using the Sama for about six months, and I could not be happier with its performance. I'm primarily a sport climber, and the Sama is the perfect harness for going light without compromising comfort. The Sama's lightweight brother, the Hirundos, is also a great harness, but it lacks some of the Sama's comfort. The gear loops on the Sama are my only complaint. They are a bit too far back and at times are hard to access. Not a huge deal for me, but I can picture it being an issue for trad climbers.
I picked up the #1-#4 dragons back in July, mainly so I could be different than everyone climbing on Camalots. But almost six months later, I am extremely pleased with the gear for reasons other than satisfying my self-righteous hipster-ness. These cams are very lightweight, very durable, and the features are really practical. The extendable sling in a fantastic idea, and it totally has come in handy on some wandering lines. The pommel grip is cool, although I do prefer the loop on the Camalots. The only issue that I have with the dragons is some of the units I purchased have sticky action. It's not terrible, but the Camalots seem to have a more consistently smooth action. One thing that I think makes the dragons stand out above the rest is the attention to detail from DMM. Each cam goes under more scrutiny than any BD cams, and that gives me peace of mind.
Overall, I love these cams, and i will continue to build my rack with DMM gear.
Johnny B. Goode 5.11a
I've been using this rope pretty heavily for the past two years, and it's definitely performed the way a climbing rope should. It's not the best handling rope on the market, but it's quite durable for its diameter.
The way Mammut coils their rope in order to avoid kinking when taken out of the package is a nice feature that I now expect out of other ropes. It's so easy to screw up, so it's nice to have that peace of mind. The middle mark has stayed clearly visible through many, many pitches, which is another plus. The durability of this rope is not in question. It hardly shows signs that it's been in use for a while, besides that dirt it collects.
This rope gets dirty! It will quickly turn a shade of light-brownish yellow, even with one taking good care of it. Even washing it doesn't change this. Just know it will get dirty.
It's also pretty stiff. There's no "breaking in" with the Tusk. It will stay pretty stiff. I prefer a more flexible rope, and that's the main reason I will not be buying this rope again when I need to reinvest.
Personal preference aside, I think that the Tusk is a solid, work-horse rope for a 9.8, and that if you don't mind the stiffness and the dirt it collects, I would recommend it.
The Hirundos harness from Petzl is one of my all-time favorite harnesses (perhaps tied with it's older brother, the Sama). This featherweight, sport harness is the way to go if you're looking to shave some ounces off of your gear. Because of it's low profile design, I hardly notice I'm even wearing a harness when I'm climbing. It's the least intrusive harness I've ever worn.
The only real con I can see is the comfort. It's not uncomfortable, but it's not quite as padded as the Sama. If I'm projecting a route and expect to be hanging for a while, I'll reach for the Sama. If I'm ready for the redpoint, it's the Hirundos all the way.
I haven't had these shoes for long (1 month, maybe), but I can already tell that these are the most powerful shoes I've worn. The asymmetry and gnarly downturn throws all of that power into your toe, allowing you to be spot on with foot placement. The heel is absolutely bomber (hooks and sticks on everything). Performance shoe till the very end.
There aren't very many downsides to this shoe, in my opinion, but it is definitely a painful experience. It takes a decent amount of climbing to break them in, and it hurts all the way through that process. If you can push through the pain, the shoe softens up and doesn't feel quite as painful.
The lace system is also somewhat annoying. After wearing the Miura laceups for two years, the Dragon lace system is a pain to fumble with. The laces themselves are tough to handle, and they don't snug up the shoe around the contours of your foot as well as the Miura does.
Looking past these minor gripes, I can say that the dragons are a super high-performance shoe, and that I am extremely pleased with my purchase.
I really, really love this pack. It’s practical, lightweight, extremely durable, and completely reliable. It’s a 35 liter pack, so it is on the small side for anything longer than overnighters, but it’s perfect for day hikes and climbing excursions. I used this as my go-to day pack during a 20-day climbing trip in Wyoming, and I never was never short on space. I could easily fit in all my gear, layers, food, and water, with plenty of space on top for extras (med-kit, guide books, extra food, etc.). What I really love about this pack is how simple it is. There are no bells or whistles on the Drakon, and that is exactly what you need when you’re climbing with a pack on. There are gear loops for ice axes, full-strength haul loops for big walling, and pretty much every other feature that a climber looks for in a pack. The pack is sturdy, water-proof, and extremely accessible. The vertical zipper makes it easy to get to the bottom without dumping out your pack, and the top zipper makes it easy to get to essentials (maps, headlamp, etc.) In fact, this pack is so versatile that I was able to successfully use it as a rigid splint for a broken leg in an EMT practice scenario. Bottom line: best day pack for climbers. Period.
This was easily the most confusing layer I had with me. It took me a few weeks to figure out whether it was a mid layer, outer layer, or even a base layer, and what I found out was it performs in all of these categories. It is made up of both fleece and synthetic fiber filled material, which makes it very versatile. It kept me very comfortable at night when I needed something warm, and it kept me comfortable when I would go for my morning jog before climbing (which I would wear it for as well). For any high exertion activity, the variant kept me warm, but not hot, and allowed my body to breathe. For any low exertion activity, the variant kept me very well insulated, and I would stay warm without wearing anything too bulky. Once I discovered this layers many uses, it became my go-to layer for practically everything we did in the backcountry. I would not recommend using it as an outer layer during the winter months. It’s a good insulator, but it would serve you better as a mid layer with something else on top.