DavoColo

DavoColo

Foothills of the Rockies

DavoColo's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Climbing

DavoColo's Bio

What gets me up in the morning? An ancient PalmPilot making an awful racket and telling me to get to work. Aside from that, I'm fond of hiking in our beautiful Colorado foothills, riding my Surly one-speed, and shoveling a foot of heavy, wet snow this afternoon. Okay, I lied about the snow.

DavoColo

DavoColo wrote a review of on June 16, 2011

4 5

I had three straight days of cold rain on the Colorado Trail and was comfortable and dry inside the Silshelter. Because there is an effective "door" that closes (unlike a plain rectangular tarp), even blowing rain doesn't normally get in. There can be some condensation at times -- just pitch it a bit higher off the ground to allow more breeze.

Actually, there was one time I had water in the tent. But after some investigation I found that I had been sitting on my Platy bottle and had squirted out the water myself.

BTW, while this is technically big enough for two, with the sloping walls it's a tight fit when there's condensation. For one, this is a luxurious amount of room -- and still damned light.

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DavoColo

DavoColo wrote a review of on March 16, 2011

4 5

Sure this item is pricey. But it may be -- literally -- the last and only T you need to buy. If so, it doesn't seem so expensive after all.

Use it as your one and only T when out camping. The particularly incredible feature of wool is, of course: It doesn't stink. Ever. (Well, if it gets wet you smell like sheep. But me, personally, having grown up around animals, I like the smell.)

So, just wear it and wear it. Rinse it in a stream to get the salt crystals out of it, if you need to, put it on, and it'll wear dry in an hour. It might pill a little. If that bothers you, get one of those defuzzer thingies.

Icebreaker is the best of the best in wool garments (with Ibix and Smartwool a not-that-close second). I see Backpacker made it their Editor's Choice this year. I only give this item four stars (instead of the five it probably deserves) because of its hard-to-predict sizing. Some Icebreaker lines look to be made for speed-skaters -- skin tight and aerodynamic. Other lines seem more "normal" in cut. When in doubt, go up a size ... mostly, but not always. As I said, hard to predict.

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DavoColo

DavoColo wrote a review of on January 11, 2011

4 5

The Bullet is 16 liters, the Hollowpoint is 20, and this is 25 liters. I sense a progression here -- resulting in a set of packs that can do exactly the job you need at any one time. Granted the first two have fewer technical features than the RPM, but the smaller the load the less technical a pack needs to be. But thanks to BD for giving us the choice to be as minimalist as we want to be.

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DavoColo

DavoColo wrote a review of on April 20, 2009

5 5

I agree this is the sturdiest ultralight bag in its size range, bar none. None of that ultra-light, easily-ripped sil-stuff here, yet it's only 9 oz even so. This is my favorite bag, now that the much bigger GoLite Breeze (and slightly larger Day) are out of production (GoLite -- bring 'em back!). To slightly contradict another reviewer, this one does have a hydration port, right near the haul loop. The 2009 model is the same as the previous model, except the waterproof zipper is gone and replaced with a regular zipper and storm flap. Six of one... It's all good.

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DavoColo

DavoColo wrote a review of on April 20, 2009

5 5

Impeccable construction. Heavy materials. But the bag is small enough that it weighs very little. You can clip this one to a rope and drag it up a wall, or throw it under the seat in front of you in some budget airline. Aside from some dirt, there won't be another sign of use on this bag. It's been a classic for something like 15 years now and it still is. This newest design is one of the best. If I were trying to improve it, I'd bring back the two-layer back panel of 10 or so years ago and increase the size of the zipper on the front outside pocket (it's a little small for my big hands). But those are just quibbles. You need a roughly 1000 ci pack? This is the one. (Though the Arcteryx Cierzo 18 has its moments as well.)

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DavoColo

DavoColo wrote a review of on July 7, 2008

5 5

Along with the Bullet, perhaps the most perfect small day pack every conceived, Black Diamond's other "perfect" pack is the slightly (5L) larger Hollowpoint (2007-2008 design).

Though it goes without saying for a Black Diamond product, the workmanship here is impeccable. I particularly like the well-thought-out dimensions: Though this is a top-loader, you can still reach the bottom of the pack without emptying it first. The body of the bag is wide enough to give you elbowroom when reaching inside, but narrow enough still to give your elbows room to swing -- on the trail, on the ski slope, or racing from one end of an airport to the other.

And on that subject, one place this bag really shines is as a travel pack. The small compartment on the outside fits travel documents and accessories nicely (though by big hands would appreciate a longer zipper). The inner compartment is big enough for a good supply of quick-dry shirts, pants, and shorts -- enough for a month in South Africa (World Cup 2010, anyone?) or Southeast Asia or Hawaii -- basically anywhere you don't need multiple layers of bulky cold-weather clothes. And it fits airline carry-on size regulations easily so you don't have to trust it to the airline baggage manglers.

In sum, it's a comfortable pack. A stylish pack. A tough pack that you could clip onto a rope and drag up a rock face. A well-sized and thoughtfully dimensioned pack. And, yes, the little whistle on the sternum strap is cute, too.

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DavoColo

DavoColo wrote a review of on March 12, 2008

5 5

Imagine incredible Arcteryx quality control applied to something much like the stuff-sack-and-nylon-straps ultralight rigs I've been home-making in my basement for many years. For this one, Arcteryx uses absolutely top-of-the-line materials (especially, a class of siliconized nylon heavier than the usual stuff so you can abuse it a little, and waterproof zippers), puts a first-class daypack harness on it, omits the entirely unnecessary but commonplace top flap in favor of a drawstring (instant access), and puts a very usefully sized front pocket on it. Instant classic. You can leave home without it if you like, but it's so incredibly light and compressible you might as well leave it in the trunk of a spur-of-the-moment outing. The price ain't chump change, but this model has so many top-level touches on it, and uses such expensive materials, it's a pleasure just to look at and a decent value. It's a *little* boxy for my taste (I'm used to something a little longer and closer to the back), and I'm still looking for a more subtle color choice, but I won't argue further with the designers. See one in person and appreciate Arcteryx for trying something against the current grain of backpack design -- for making *one* model lighter, simpler, cleverer.

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