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Drew Hecht

Drew Hecht

Josh, Sierra, anywhere...

DREW's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Biking
Skiing
Climbing

DREW's Bio

I love being outside. It rarely matters where just as long as I'm outside. My favorite place is the East Side of the Sierra. I'm an Architect by profession and I love design. Perhaps I should clarify that I love GOOD design. That implies more to me than just aesthetic appeal. It means it functions at a high level for it's intended use, has a high degree of attention to detail (what we refer to as "craft") and is durable. I'm also a minimalist who hates gimmicks and BS accessories. I generally spend a lot of time comparing, studying, and researching gear before I buy it. If my ratings seem inordinatly high it's because of the time I spend researching. Trust me, I'm not that charitable and probably too critical. Feel free to ask me questions about the gear I review.

Drew Hecht

Drew Hecht wrote a review of on September 19, 2011

4 5

...a lot. I purchased this pack to replace an aging climbing pack and wanted something more technical with out breaking the bank. This fits the bill pretty nicely. It doesn't have too many gimmicks and the ones it has I can live with. The pack carries nicely even when over stuffed. The compression straps can reduce it down quite a bit and I like that you can break it down by taking the top lid off and the hip belt if you want to use it as a smaller summit pack. I haven't carried skis in it yet but I'll fill you in when I do. I've already got a small hole in mine (don't know how) so I'm holding off on five-stars. Read "First Trip Feedback" below for more.

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Drew Hecht

Drew Hecht wrote a review of on September 19, 2011

5 5

I got this tent from The North Face when I sent in my 17 year old "West-Wind" because the floor was starting to leak. Despite my "Westy" being well used, TNF sent me this tent for 50% off which I thought was extremely generous. Right off the bat I was impressed. This tent is extremely well thought out. The tent sets up with relative ease. Having set up other expedition type tents I thought it was rather intuitive. Remember this is a virtual bomb shelter so it's not going to go up as fast as tents that are engineered for lesser conditions. That said, it has numerous tie-downs for heavy winds and the fly attaches to the tent with ease. Inside the tent is roomy and two people can spend extended periods inside with relative comfort. There is a ton of storage everywhere on the sides and overhead for your gloves, headlamps, books, whiskey or to dry your socks. The vestibule is also roomy and the window is a nice touch to let you see out without opening the door and letting all the heat out of your tent. It's not light. But its not that heavy either. This thing is light-years more advanced then my Westy which was, and still would be, a kick-ass tent. I like the use of the whitish gray panels because personally I get sick of sitting under a solid yellow glow all the time. The white breaks it up. Now I know that TNF got a lot of bad press when it was bought out by Vanity Fair but I don't think it deserves it one iota. TNF makes great gear. I started climbing back in the early 90's and The North Face was one of the only games in town, (literally right down the freeway) so I bought a lot of it. I still have most of it and the new stuff I have has not disappointed me one bit. If you're looking for a two-person tent that will take a beating - this is it.

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Drew Hecht

Drew Hecht wrote an answer about on September 16, 2011

Jared, I honestly haven't had much moisture in mine. Certainly not enough to draw heat from my feet. That would certainly be a bummer. Perhaps you know of this trick already but have you tried the Nalgene water bottle in the bag trick? If not, this is what you do. Pour not quite boiling water in a Nalgene bottle and throw it in the foot of your bag about an hour before turning in. It works great! I know the thought of a leaky water bottle sounds a bit risky and when my backcountry skiing buddy promised me it would work I tried it. Amazing thing is - the bottle is still warm when you wake up. This hasn't failed me yet and I've done it about 1/2 dozen times when I was cold enough. Screw on the lid tight and test it and you should be fine. Maybe if your feet are just "super juicy" it will still ward off the suck-i-ness of cold feet and the misery of losing badly needed sleep.

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Drew Hecht

Drew Hecht wrote an answer about on September 16, 2011

In further response to your question about packability, I have recently begun to remove the delrin rod (hoop)and it does pack down quite a bit smaller. I just put the rod in my wand pocket on the side of my pack and carry it that way. This has two benifits. As I said, it allows you to pack it smaller but also helps keep the Delrin from retaining too much of a undesirable shape. It has been my experience that by packing the bag in the same fashion my rods arch flattens and is more difficult to bend back into a desirable shape when you're cold and tired and just don't want to mess with it. Delrin is a plastic that has memory so you can bend it, hold in that position and it stays. You can also straighten it which is how I like my rod so when I put it back in I get the desired arch and the fabric is kept off my face even with an improvised pillow.

Also, I just experienced my first bit of condensation on a recent Sierra trip but I had closed the zipper about 3/4 shut to keep out a cold blowing wind at around 13,000 feet. But, to me, the level of moisture was negligable (not appreciably wetting my down bag) Hope this helps.

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Drew Hecht

Drew Hecht wrote a review of on September 3, 2011

5 5

I got hooked on silk boxers back in the 90's when my wife bought me a pair for my birthday. The problem was "silk" boxers don't last long. Enter the Patagonia Capiline Boxers. These are amazingly comfortable and like the other reviewer stated, they are quite literally like being naked. They are soft and actually wick moisture away. Since I started wearing these my wife keeps buying me these at various holidays. Now I have about 7 pair and they are all I wear. I wear them under my climbing pants and under business suits. And after years of wear - I can't wear these things out. The elastic is still bomber and the fabric is still soft and supple. It's almost ridiculous how well these things hold up.

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Drew Hecht

Drew Hecht wrote a review of on September 3, 2011

5 5

This pullover is perfect. The craftmanship is typical Patagonia - extreme attention to detail and well designed. The fit is mildly body-hugging and the fabric very soft. This facilates wicking persperation away from the body and thus keeps you dryer and comfortable. I wear this to ski in, climb in, bag peaks in or when I'm just kicking it around the house on a crisp fall day. Like many of the other reviewers have stated - this is always in my pack. I've found that this with the option of a light-weight shell is the ideal combination in most conditions. And in typical Patagonia quality you will probably give these to your grandchildren. (And no, they don't stink)

Like my wife always says "When you find something that just fits perfectly, performs perfectly and just happens to have a flattering fit to boot - buy two." I did.

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Drew Hecht

Drew Hecht wrote an answer about on August 28, 2010

It would be difficult to get this more compressable. The hoop in the hood is not a factor. I've had two of these. I will buy a third if I have to although I doubt it as it's pretty durable. (My brother took my first one.) To answer your first question it's not the easiest to get in and out of - it's not the hardest either. With a little practice the middle of the night wiz isn't any worse than getting out of a warm tent. The hoop keeps the fabric off your face and I like that. And it creates a vent - which I really like. I've never used any tarp to cover the head area as it's un-necessary - to me. I've actually sat in this and ate dinner. (The hoop helped that) I got the long to store my shizzle in when it rains or starts blow'n. I've logged WAAAAAY more time in this than my tent in the past ten years which is a testiment to the ease and weight of this bag. I've used this for winter alpine ascents, back-packing, climbing and even quite a few car camps. I love this thing. Oh, and I've not had a drop of moisture from the inside or out.

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Drew Hecht

Drew Hecht wrote a review of on August 28, 2009

1 5

I've bought a ton of kids climbing shoes. When I found these I thought I had found the holy grail. Unfortunatly the holy grail turned out to be made of tin. Almost immediatly the uppers on the toes started wearing out in a weird way. Wierd as in disolving. It's too bad. I like the idea of the adjustable strap at the heel for growing feet. They just don't last long enough for them to grow through. I've since tried Mini Mocs which have proved to be very well thought out and even have the toe protected for those who drag their young feet. Both my kids are in the 5.10's now.

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