Dianoda

Dianoda

Based in Chi-town, IL.

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Joseph's Bio

Most of my outdoor pursuits are driven by my hobby as a photographer with great enthusiasm for wildlife and nature. I currently shoot Canon - my go to gear includes a 7D body with 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II, 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS lenses. I romp around nature parks and forest preserves year-round looking for that next great shot. Backcountry has the non-photo gear I need/want for my pursuits.

Dianoda

Dianoda wrote an answer about on January 7, 2013

Last season's edition had 2.3oz for the anorak (hood), 2.0oz for the cardigan (no hood). As far as I can tell, the only change this season compared to last was the color, so those weights should still be applicable. Backcountry customer service should be able to confirm these specs if you contact them.

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Dianoda

Dianoda wrote a review of on July 20, 2012

5 5

It doesn't get much lighter than this, and these bars are pretty darn stiff, too. Admittedly, the Ergosum LTD does have maybe a bit more flex in it at the very tips compared to the 7000 series aluminum bar that came stock on my Fuji, but I can forgive that because it weighs about 120g less. And I can't really notice any difference in stiffness in the drops, which is where I spend most of my time anyways. Being carbon, it does ride noticeably smoother.

If I was doing it all over again, I'd probably opt for the team edition over the LTD - weight is about 25g more, but you gain the option of mounting clip-ons (ie, tri-bars, etc.), and the price is slightly more reasonable.

All in all, there really isn't anything wrong with the ergosum LTD, and I love the shape of the drop - fairly shallow, but ergonomic. It's a great bar if you typically ride in an aggressive position and want weight as low as possible. But the trade off for not being about to mount tri-bars is a small mark against it IMO, as is the normally sky high asking price (on that note, thanks, bonktown/chainlove!). It looks great, too - I almost feel bad about covering that glossy carbon finish with bar tape.

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Dianoda

Dianoda wrote a review of on July 12, 2012

5 5

These could not be any better for their intended purpose - hiking/walking anywhere a lightweight breathable pant is desired.

In all honesty, these are pretty much flawless in design and execution and leave me with nothing to be desired. They are remarkably durable for the weight (which is minimal - my 30x32's weigh 9.2oz), and the material is thin enough to roll up into shorts without looking goofy (not that I care about what I look like in the backcountry) or compromising breathability (ie, they still vent well at the leg openings). The thinner fabric means they retain very little moisture and dry quickly when they do get wet, and being tight-woven nylon, they are rather water resistant to begin with. The pockets are numerous, well-placed and functional. They look great, fit great, move well.

I'd buy these again in a heartbeat.

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Dianoda

Dianoda wrote an answer about on May 9, 2012

Hi Meg,
The Rab Infinity is easily warmer - it has better lofting down (850fp vs. 800fp) and more of it (7.4oz/210g for the Rab vs. 4.3oz in the Mont-Bell ALDP). So yeah, the Rab is in a different class of warmth, not quite expedition weight, but darn close to it (although both it and the Mont-Bell lack the baffled construction you would see in a true deep winter/high altitude down jacket).

As for other features, the Rab is a minimalist piece and does not have the large internal pockets my Mont-Bell had (these are useful for storing water bottles to prevent it from freezing). The handwarmer pockets of each jacket are similarly sized and function well. The face fabric of the Rab is much lighter, but durable for the weight (although reportedly not as resistant to abrasion as heavier fabrics, such as the comparatively burly outer fabric of the Mont-Bell). The hood of the Rab is non-adjustable, but moves well and vision is good so it doesn't really need to be adjustable. I can't say the same for the Mont-Bell, but then again it's hood is adjustable, and once adjusted works just fine.

The Rab is great for fast and light in the mountains where you need all the warmth and none of the weight (also a great choice as an ice-climbing belay jacket). The Mont-Bell is sturdier and perhaps a little more subdued in its ambitions. Both are excellent jackets, I don't think you could go wrong with either one.

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Dianoda

Dianoda wrote a review of on March 27, 2012

5 5

Takes the mystery out of tightening down your fancy bike bits and the included 4/5/6mm hex heads should be all you need to take care of 90% of the screws on most bikes. As soon as I got it out of the package I re-tensioned all the relevant fancy bits of my bike and the cleats to my carbon-soled road shoes. The wrench works like a charm, fits nicely in hand, and was a great deal off bonktown.

One caveat - I did manage to destroy a set of supposedly 7000 series aluminum screws with this wrench while installing a CF bottle cage. Given the nature of the failure - the heads of each screw simultaneously popped off while I was tightening one down at or near the 5NM limit - I think it has a lot more to do with cheap screws and less with this wrench - so go nuts, just try not to lose sight of common sense (for example, bottle cages don't need to be crazy tight).

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Dianoda

Dianoda wrote an answer about on January 31, 2012

Had mine for a year plus, with minimal down leakage to date. Maybe a feather or three have poked through the course of my ownership, but easy enough to pull them back in.

Crud, I kept writing so I might as well make this a full blown review while I'm at it: The shell is quite durable, no snags, tears, or other visible wear so far. For me, with a 260 weight merino baselayer the parka is good enough for -10F temps if I'm are on the move (and possibly lower), and to around 15F in camp. Drawcords in all the right places - hood, hem - although both are a bit of a pain to adjust with gloves. I've had better hoods (Rab's Infinity down and Xenon jackets come to mind - they move better), but the Montbell's is adequate and warm. The elastic cuffs get the job done as well. The inner pockets are huge, and will easily hold 1L nalgenes each (assuming you have room for them, maybe not if you're rocking a gut). There are also 2 handwarmer pockets at the sides that are basically hidden other than the zip pulls - they might be hard to see in pics but you'll be glad you've got them around town/in camp.

Overall a good to great balance between cost, warmth, function, weight, and durability - it's built for the backcountry and is great for spring/fall alpine conditions (as long as you keep it dry: down = not so great when wet). The only thing I'd love to change about my jacket is the size - it fit well enough when I bought it, then I made the mistake of losing weight (20+lbs and counting)...

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Dianoda

Dianoda wrote a review of on February 1, 2011

5 5

Overall a great shell. I found a sweetheart deal on the spring '10 version (or possibly fall '09?) in Cinder and took the plunge. Materials and finish are top-notch, the design has great attention to detail. Through 9 or so months of ownership I've had zero issues with regards to durability, it still looks and performs like new (Westcomb does note you will want to wash it from time to time to renew waterproof/breathable properties). That said, I haven't been particularly hard on it - relatively light loads so far, less than 30#'s, with few chances to test abrasion resistance.

Regarding fit, I'm 5'8" and 175lbs, 32 sleeve/44 chest and large is my size of choice. The jacket is tall enough to cover 6-6.5 inches past my waist in front (the back of the jacket extends about 3 inches further) and has internal pulls on either side to tighten things down. The hood is also very adjustable, with plenty of room for a helmet underneath (I've used it without issue with a bike helmet). Sleeve length is plenty more than I need, but given the Velcro/elastic cuffs I can't see how they could ever get in the way.

As an FYI: In addition to the 3 external pockets (1 chest, 2 on either side), there is also a small internal chest pocket with headphone pass-through behind the external chest pocket.

After putting this shell through poor rain/humidity conditions multiple times, I've become a belieVer. eVent fabric is just eerily breathable. The worse case conditions I've had are probably the following: 50-55 degree temps, light to medium rain and 95%+ humidity @ medium activity level for 4.5-5 hours. The jacket did not and has never wet out on me, it is amazing as to what it can take without getting swampy.

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