Calvin College Rock Wall, Grand Ledge, Red River Gorge, that young Chaddy, Yosemite, JTree
This jacket weighs close to nothing and stuffs down to the size of a tennis ball. I chose this jacket over the Houdini because it had hood adjustment and velcro on the cuffs. It weighs about 50 grams more than the Houdini but I think the trade off is definitely worth it. One complaint is that the stomach area is a little too sufficient. When I sit down, the jacket folds over itself and a little hill forms on my stomach because of all the excess space. The fabric is water resistant, I've been through light showers with the jacket and it performs perfectly. Overall, this wind breaker is amazing, I just wish the sizing around the stomach area was a bit tighter.
If you want a fast, light and quality rain jacket, this is the one for you. Being a rock climber, I need something that will keep me dry through a flash storm but also very packable and light. This was my solution and I find myself using this jacket almost every day. Not only is it a fantastic rain jacket, it is also a great wind breaker and a layering piece. I throw this jacket over my Atom LT and it keeps me dry and warm throughout my daily commute and when I go on weekend backpacking trips, this jacket stuffs into a water bottle pocket for easy access.
With that said, this jacket is made with Gore-Tex Paclite. At first, it performs well but after heavy use, the face fabric starts to bleed through. This does not affect the water-proofness factor of the jacket, but if the face fabric bleeds, it greatly reduces the breathability of the jacket. I've already treated my jacket with DWR twice in the last 6 months. Paclite is great but if you want a truly bombproof jacket, I would recommend a better fabric, something like the Alpha LT or the SV. These jackets use better face fabric that beads the water better.
After commuting with this jacket everyday and taking it on a week long climbing trip to the Red River Gorge, I am confident when I say this is one of the best compressor's on the market. The fit is great, it keeps you warm and is moderately water resistant. The only reason I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 is because there is no hood or cuff adjustments but it is not a big deal if you have another jacket over such as a wind breaker or rain shell. I couple this jacket with the Alpha Sl Hybrid and it keeps me dry and warm down to the low 40's.
I've used a Jansport backpack since I was in elementary school and have loved the clean, simple look. I upgraded to this pack for two reasons:
1. Jansports don't do well in rain and it gets quite wet in Michigan during winter and spring.
2. Jansports get quite uncomfortable when you start to load heavy textbooks into it.
This bag not only looks good but has a dedicated laptop AND iPad compartment that can also be used to hold a water bladder. It fits my laptop along with a couple textbooks and folders no problem. Also, the secondary pocket has your standard organizational slots for pens, cell phones, etc. The pack is very water resistant and it has two external pockets on either side for water bottles. But the best part of the pack is how comfortable it is when you're wearing it. The difference between a 10 pound Jansport and a 10 pound Hot Shot blew me away. And when you're not busy commuting to school, throw a bladder and your camping gear into the bag for a bomber day pack. Versatile, comfortable and looks great.
Yes, it is on the outside bottom section of the pack
Technically, you can but if the robber was determined, he can just cut the straps that you put the lock onto. There are no metal pull tabs to put a lock on.
I walked into my local sporting goods store and told the sale representative "I want a stove that I can use 50 years from now". Without hesitation, he directed me to this stove. There are many other stoves you can buy that will perform on par with the Dragonfly. BUT, one crucial advantage the DF has over many other stoves is it's ability to SIMMER. This stove has the best simmering function I've seen compared to many other stoves that are just on/off. Simmering is very important when cooking eggs and making coffee via a percolator.
Some complain that this stove is loud but man is it sturdy and efficient. If the loudness really bothers you, consider purchasing a Quietstove (http://store.quietstove.com/) which will make your stove VERY quiet. The downside is that the Quietstove is quite expensive :/
Overall, a solid stove, would recommend to my friends.
I bought this bladder for a week long backpacking trip. It performed well but the water in the tube froze overnight. It would take about a hour or two for the ice to thaw. Also, inserting the bladder into your full pack can be quite a challenge. Osprey makes bladder with a stiff plastic lining that makes it easier to insert the bladder into the pack.
1. Great for Spring, Summer and Fall trips but put the bladder in an insulator for winter.
2. Load the bladder before you pack your bag. This might mean having to repack your bag every time you refill the bladder.
Overall, solid bladder that performs well.
I've been throughly satisfied with this pack for many different reasons.
1. The waist belt rotates, which means it moves with your hips every time you take a step which feels very natural and ergonomic.
2. The pack has an internal metal frame that is very secure and sturdy, providing extra support.
3. The huge access point in the middle is perfect for grabbing something that is in the middle or bottom of your pack.
4. Very well padded. Very comfortable around the waist and the waist belt has two small pockets for a small tube of sunscreen or a couple clif bars. I was able to fit two clif bars into each pocket for easy access.
5. There are two large external pockets on either side of the pack, large enough to hold a 32 oz. Nalgene.
Overall, I'd recommend this pack to anybody who's looking for a solid weekend backpacking trip.
I've hiked with 40 pounds of gear/food in this bag no problem. Just make sure to put all your heavy items in the bottom/back section of the bag.
The coldest weather I've worn this jacket is -10 degrees and it performed perfectly well. Very warm, very comfy and packs down very small.
If you are using this biner with a GriGri, it works very well. My only qualm is that it is cumbersome to the GriGri on and off the biner, which is necessary every time you load the GriGri. Overall, good product.
My climbing partner mentioned that when he climbs with his kids, he always have them belay with the grigri. Not only is it more safe and secure than a regular belay device, it helps him focus more on the climb than whether his kid will drop him or not.
Personally, I use my GriGri mostly in the gym, although I have belayed some friends outdoor while they were lead climbing. It works perfectly and I recommend it to all climbers.
Disclaimer: It is good practice to learn how to belay someone on a regular belay device such as a Petzl Reverso or a BD ATC Guide, since the GriGri is NOT a hands free device!
If you want a minimalistic pack with a clean look, this is the pack for you. The sternum and waist straps are solid and there's plenty of room for all your climbing gear, although fitting a 60 or 70 meter rope into the bag along with your gear might be pushing it. I carry two pair of climbing shoes, my harness, chalk bag and bucket, brush kit, water bottle, and a couple belay devices (ATC Guide, GriGri) with biners, with room to probably fit a helmet on top.
I've used a couple different types of chalk, ranging from brick chalk to liquid chalk to mammut chalk to black diamond chalk. The Metolius Super Chalk definitely performs well as do all the other brands of chalk I've used.
This is the most comfortable and soft fleece I've ever worn in my life. If you throw a windbreaker or a rain jacket over this bad boy, it will keep you very warm in high 30 through 40 degree weather. It feels like unicorns licking you all over. My go to fleece, easily replaced my old North Face fleece (:
These gloves are a bit thinner than the Petzl Cordex but it is durable enough and packs down smaller. Decent for single pitch and small multi pitch climbs but would recommend something a bit burlier for big wall climbing or longer multi pitch climbs.
Perfect for solo hikes, might be a little too small for two people but it works well for one. Oh, did I mention that it was super ultra light?
I use this cord for equalizing anchors and it works fine. It does it's job.
What I was looking for:
- No drawstrings. There's always a small opening in the middle that throws up chalk like a volcano and gets all over your gear in your bag.
- external pockets for a small brush or a place to put a small roll of tape.
- large internal pocket for a lot of chalk (duh)
This chalk bag has provided it all. The roll down design prevents chalk from leaking all over my bag and it holds plenty of chalk to send your next boulder project.
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