I have an Osprey Stratos 36 I purchased this summer for hiking so I know how comfortable Osprey packs feel. So I purchased the Kode 38 for snowboarding and hiking into the backcountry to replace my BCA Stash BC and Stash Rider (both purchased from Backcountry.com in years past). I could not be happier. The Kode 38 did not disappoint on my recent 4 day snowboard trip to Madarao Kogen, Niigata Japan. It carried all the water, Cliff bars, energy gel packs, and avalanche gear that I could stuff into it. I have not used my Kode 38 to carry my snowboard yet, but I will soon and will make another report at that time on how it performs. Other than that, it is perfect. You don't even know that you are wearing a backpack as is the case with all Osprey backpacks. I would recommend this to any serious backcountry rider. Some reviews complain about the cost, but you definitely get what you pay for with Osprey..in my opinion. I bought my friend a large Osprey Kode 38 (I have the medium) and he is just as pleased. The attached photo is of my friend on our recent trip to Madarao Kogen.
I ordered a pair (medium) for my son and a pair for myself (extra large) in the black and blue color in late January 2011. They are a bit large on most all of the fingers except the middle index finger. However, one size down would have cramped the middle index finger and made the rest a better fit. I'll take a bit oversized. From my wrist to my index finger is 20.5 cm and my son is 19.5 cm. We recently used these on two separate trips and on the second trip, they were so warm with the liners (outside temps just below freezing with no wind and sunny skies) that we had to forgo the liners. They kept our hands extremely warm and dry. Have not had any issues with the quality, but we only used them a total of four days so far. The colors match almost identically with my son's Ride Insano Double Boa snowboard boots.
Short video on how to use flow bindings. Taken with gopro hero helmet camera, also purchased here at backcountry.com. See my review above for details on this binding.
Best Flow binding I've ever owned. Very stiff and responsive. Not too much heavier than the other Flow bindings I own either. And they look awesome on my 2011 NS Heritage-X. I incurred only one issue with them so far. The highback cable tensioner system is a little different than on my other Flow bindings. There is not enough tension on the adjustment dial used to adjust the tension on the highback cable and it tends to loosen after just one or two runs. I found I had to readjust frequently. I contacted Flow Warranty to see if mine were defective, but it is just the way they are manufactured. I resolved the issue by simply putting blue Loctite on the threads of the adjustable hammer that pushes up on the cable and they stay in place now after a whole day of aggressive boarding. A small spring added to the threaded shaft might add enough tension to keep the adjustment dial from loosening on its own. I currently have 2008 M9's on my Arbor Coda board, 2009 M9's on my Flow Merc Board and now I have these on my 2011 NS Heritage-X board. I bought a pair of used M11's from my friend and threw them on an old K2 board for my teenage son to use as he is just beginning snowboarding. I have never had any other issues with Flow bindings and would never switch to any other brand. I've read many of the negative comments posted at BC and other sites about Flow bindings and I can't understand most of them. Just like any other finely tuned machine, a little maintenance now and then to make sure all of the bolts and screws are tight before venturing out into the BC resolves most issues. As for those that find it difficult to get into them on steep hills, just face the mountain on your toe edge, lean forward and shove your foot in and lock and load. Ya, your gloves might be in the snow for a mere 5 seconds, but it beats sitting down and ratcheting in like 95% of the other boarders, when I am boarding 10 seconds after getting off the lift while everyone else is still fixing there bindings. All of my friends use Flow bindings and we are huge advocates of Flow bindings here in Japan.
This is not a dual bronze and nylon bristle brush. I thought maybe the white side pictured was some sort of cap covering the bronze bristles so you could use the nylon bristles without smashing/bending the bronze bristles. Not the case. It does have the nylon bristles, but the other side is basically a heavy duty felt glued to the top. If you want a bronze brush, order the Swix bronze brush like I will now have to do.
I was disappointed when this arrived as it is only 6 7/8 inches long (17.5 cm). It may be great for ski's, but it definitely does not qualify as a snowboard scraper for me. I'll use it on my son's skis and continue to use the Dakine 10 inch scraper that I have.
Extremely comfortable boot. Purchased one full size larger than shoe size. Kicked the heel, locked down the lower Boa and my foot never moved. First time out they fit perfectly. Experienced no heel-lift. Had to tighten them up after the first run as the liner began to form fit to my foot, but they held tight after that. Experienced no loosening at all and I am a very aggressive rider. Liner with inner foot support is a bit difficult to get in and out for drying, but it's manageable. Only complaint is the internal speed lacing system is very fragile. The one on my left boot doesnt release properly and if I pull too hard on it, the plastic release piece pops out (but it pops back in easily). Overall comfort, Boa Focus lacing system and added stiffness (over my K2 Raider Boas) make this boot a very smart choice.
I had Flow Flite 3 bindings, but the inferior clip design allowed the clip post on one highback to break off. The Flow Flite 3's were replaced under warranty with M9's due to the others were out of stock. I am extremely pleased with the design quality of these and the highback clip design. I have only been able to use them twice since I received them, but they have performed flawlessly. While they may take a few more minutes to adjust (the lean angle), for the money, they are awesome and they look radical on my board too.
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