David Clucas

David Clucas

David's Passions

Hiking & Camping
David Clucas

David Clucas wrote a review of on December 29, 2008

5 5

No matter how active I am snowboarding, my hands are always cold if the temps are below freezing.

After I got these mitts, that wasn't a problem any more. Last week, the temp below 0 plus windchill and my hands were perfectly warm with these on.

Great mitt for the price you're paying. Some similar mitts I looked at were above $100.

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David Clucas

David Clucas wrote a review of on May 19, 2008

5 5

There is probably a different "best" pack for every person depending on your build, etc., but for me (6ft, thin build) this the best pack I have ever used. The suspension features a flat back, but great padding on the straps and belt. When cinched down, the pack stays slim and in place. The swivel on the hip belt is a nice touch, especially if you are moving around a lot. The material is tough and took a week of rock scraping in Utah with no problems. I love the rolldown top and the fact that this bag can become a dry sack. There's a good pocket for your bladder (something the Needle lacked). Only one complaint, and maybe someone has an idea to solve it: the plastic buckles on the top shoulder straps -- when fully tightened -- squeaked during my hike. Slightly annoying. I loosened them and the squeaking stopped, but would prefer to have them tight and not squeak.

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David Clucas

David Clucas wrote a review of on May 19, 2008

4 5

I bought this tent on sale, and it's worked great. A little snug for three people, but not bad to save weight in the backcountry. Very breathable and I haven't had any condensation problems with the rainfly on. Haven't had the chance to test it in the rain yet, but it seems pretty solid. Easy to setup. Only complaints: The zipper kept getting stuck on the flap, and the sacks (for the tent, poles and stakes) are a bit cheap. Buy a compressor stuff sack to get this tent down to a smaller size in your pack.

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David Clucas

David Clucas wrote a review of on August 16, 2006

5 5

I have the fortune of living in Boulder, CO where Montbell has their U.S. retail store and I can go in and explore.
I had never heard of them before, but now I know they make the BEST lightweight sleeping bags.
The stretch system is a cool feature for someone like me that moves around a lot at night. It's also cool when you want to sit indian-style in your bag.
The #2 also has three drawcords that are helpful to control temps. There's one for the hood, one where your neck is (to cinch a layer of extra padding and keep the heat in) and one at your feet.
These bags are very light and keep the heat in well. However, I would say that Montbell ratings are a little off. The #2 says 25 degrees, but I would say it's more of a 30-degree bag. Still not bad, considering its so light and I don't mind wearing an extra layer to bed if it gets chilly.

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David Clucas

David Clucas wrote a review of on August 16, 2006

5 5

I've used this jacket in all seasons and it works great to keep me dry or block the wind.
It's light and soft, yet durable... perfect to keep in the bag during summer hiking and pretty fashionable to use as a general rain jacket.
Breathability is great and the fit is nice with the stretchy material.
I also use this jacket while snowboarding in Colorado. As long as I have the proper underlayers for insulation, this is a great top layer. It allows every other layer beneath to breath properly.
A great buy.

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David Clucas

David Clucas wrote a review of on August 16, 2006

4 5

For awhile I've been looking for a happy median between a lightweight pack and something that provides adequate support. The Needle 65 (or the 55) does that pretty well for the right price. I have a tall and thin build, so I struggled with many lightweight backs not offering enough padding on the shoulders and hips. The Needle provides the support and padding, and has a taller and slimmer construction to fit my body well. The back support is simple (making it lighter than most), yet tranfers the weight to my lower body well.
The bag also cinches down well, giving it good versatility depending on how much stuff you bring.
I'm a little confused by the inside back pocket on the bag... it would seem to be a pocket for your water bladder, but it's an extremely tight fit. There is a hole for your hose to go out the bag.
There's also a side access zipper to the main bag and a front pocket with side access zipper. The latter is roomy but you have to uncinch the bag to get to it. The top pocket more functional, although I wish Arc'teryx would have implemented its cool roll-down top design as on the Needle 45.
Great pack for price if you are tall and thin and looking effectively transfer more weight to your lower body.

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David Clucas

David Clucas wrote a review of on August 16, 2006

5 5

This bag so unbelievely warm for its light weight and size.
When stuffed it's smaller than a football and barely weighs a thing.
I use it for mostly for summer camping in the mountains at altitude in Colroado, so the nights can be cool, but this bag has kept me confortable anywhere from 65 to 35 degrees.
Montbell says the rating is 38, but I'll admit that you have to put on some layers on to make it that effective. But once you do that, the heat stays in. It's all worth it, considering how light and small this bag is.
The stretch system also is a cool feature for someone like me that moves around a lot at night. It's also cool when you want to sit indian-style in your bag.
If you're consistently going to be in cooler nights, try Montbell's #3 or #2, but they will be a little larger and heavier.
The #4 is the best lightweight summer (early fall, late spring) bag you'll find.

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