Drew

Drew

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Drew

Drew wrote a review of on February 12, 2012

5 5

I have this and the Mountain Hardwear Nitrous Hooded Jacket. They're both real nice, but I'm not super big on the fennel color. It's really bright! A couple things this has over the MH Nitrous tho- it makes a much better pillow when crammed into a stuff sack. I attribute this to the wind proofness of the jacket. The Patagonia is also shorter than the nitrous and fits under my rain gear a bit better. Both have draw strings at the waist to cinch the waste in a position about the bottom if the rain jacket, but it is nice not having to cinch much. Also, there's much more room in the shoulders. I Wear an XL in the MH Nitrous and a Large in the Patagonia. This actually works well for me because I can layer them when it gets really, really cold. Both jackets are real warm, lightweight, handsome, etc. But if you go the MH alone you're sacrificing wind proofness, if you go with the Patagonia, you're sacrificing breathability. I say why bother? You can find amazing deals on both right now if you look in the right spots. I got both half off, I figure I can afford to carry around both jackets.

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Drew

Drew wrote a review of on February 12, 2012

5 5

I have both the hooded version of this one and the non hooded of the Patagonia Down sweater. I wear a large in the Down Sweater, but the large in the MH was much too tight in the arm pits. I'm 6'1 and 215 and I have pretty broad shoulders. I would up going with this with the hood in an XL and it fits and looks great. the Patagonia one is great too, but I think this one is a pinch handsomer. (My girlfriend likes the Patagonia one best tho.)

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Drew

Drew wrote a review of on February 12, 2012

5 5

I really like this jacket. I'm 6'1 and 215lbs and the XL fits good, but a little baggy. Since it's an athletic cut though, it doesn't look bad at all. The Jungle color is a little darker than pictured and very handsome. I've got a lot of compliments on this jacket!

I also have the Patagonia Down Sweater in Fennel, and I like this jacket because A, the color is less obtrusive. B, the jacket is more breathable. And C, having the hood really helps to keep your neck warmer (VS having the Patagonia and Just a hat). The Patagonia Down Sweater does make a better pillow when stuffed into a stuff sack though. I'll attribute this to the wind proofness. I wear a large in the Patagonia and usually bring both jackets with me if I have any concerns about cold. The MH in XL fits over the Patagonia in L very well (this is also why I have the MH with the hood option and the Patagonia without.). This also gives me the option of stuffing both into a stuff sack at night to make the best pillow ever, or wearing one if it gets really cold inside my sleeping bag and still having one as a pillow. The nice thing about these jackets is that their weight is so minimal that it's no bother at all caring the second jacket as a precaution.

However, around town I usually just wear the Nitrous. Mostly because the color is less obtrusive.

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Drew

Drew wrote a review of on February 12, 2012

4 5

I don't like reviewing boots when I haven't worn them much, but I have to put out there, for my fellow wide toed hikers out there, but these boots might not work for you. I special ordered a pair in 15W and although the quality of the boot is very apparent, my two smallest toes smash up something fierce against the side. I've walked a few very unobtrusive miles in them, not enough to show any signs of wear(enough to accidentally step in dog poo tho), but the narrowness of the toe box is too much of an issue to keep them. It's to bad too because they really are a handsome boot.

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Drew

Drew wrote a review of on February 12, 2012

4 5

So, I got this in a size 15(50) Wide. Even in a wide, it was still pretty narrow in the toe box, but I hoped that, being an all leather boot, the leather would stretch to fit my boot. I was wrong. I took them on one 40 mile backpacking trip (after hiking 50 miles in them to break them in) and they wound up tearing my feet up. I blame myself for this tho, and not the boot. The boots themselves are badassed. The Vibram soles are super stiff and great for the jagged granite rocks you'd find in the Sierras. They don't get very hot, and are extremely water proof (see the picture I posted). I hiked with a 50lb pack over some pretty gnarly terrain and the balls of my feet never once felt even the sharpest rock. BUt like I said, the boots didn't fit right. They were much too narrow in the toes and (I don't know if that caused this) my heels pushed into the back of the boots unmercifully on even the slightest incline. I wound up getting blisters all over my feet. Once again tho, that's my own damned fault. I knew the boots didn't fit the best, but I didn't have enough time to break in another pair of boots before the trip, and I didn't want to call off the trip, so I went anyways. (It's hard to find a last minute 15 Wide.)

I've used the Asolo Powermatic 200, the Lowa Banff and Trekker, and the Danner ML2, and out of all of them, this is the heaviest and stiffest. That's great of you plan on using crampons though, and honestly, after they're broken in, you hardly notice the weight. I wind up returning them just because I found the made-in-Germany Lowas fit my wide toes much better, but in terms of quality, I'd say these are on par with Asolos and Lowas, thought they're definitely beefier than the two (The Danner ML2, though, is better used as a paperweight.)

If your looking for a solid pair of boots and your feet are narrower, you def won't go wrong with these bad boys. They're def one of the best and good from anywhere between backpacking and snowshoeing, to things that require crampons. (that's what the little green dot on the sole means- stiff enough to use with crampons).

Hope that helps.

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Drew

Drew wrote a review of on February 12, 2012

5 5

I really wasn't expecting much from these boots. I bought them for wicked cheap, along with Asolo's Powermatic, The Lowa Trekker, the Scarpa SL M3, and the Danner Mountain Light 2. I bought them all through site's with good return policy's so I could really get a feel for them and return them if need be. All except the Danner Mountain Light 2 were really good boots (I personally think the DML2 is an dysfunctional paperweight and a waste of money). I have to admit, the Banff at the get go was the most uncomfortable boot of the lot. However they quickly broke in and became my favorites. I wound up keeping the Lowa Banffs and Trekkers, and getting rid of the rest. The Asolos and Scarpas were great, but even in a wide size they were still too narrow for me in the toe box. However, the Lowas (the one's made in Germany, not the ones made in Slovakia) have a huge, super comfortable toe box. The leather lining in them is also ridiculously comfortable. I've had a problem with blisters on my heels in fabric lined boots like the Asolos and Scarpas, but I haven't had any problems with blisters in the slightest when it comes to the leather lining. I waterproofed them with Nikwax Nubuk water proofer and I haven't had any problems in mud or downpoors. I haven't fully submerged them and there's no way I'm going to. I wouldn't with a Gortex boot either tho. Getting wet on the trail is something that you always wind up doing by accident. You don't just go and looking for that kind of trouble to happen. It might eventually- who knows? But in the mean time, the Nikwax seems to be holding up pretty well.

Lowa is phasing these boots out right now because they're basically the same as the Baffin Pro. This means you can get an awesome pair of backpacking boots for wicked cheap. If you have a wide set of toes like yours truly, give these a chance. They're going to be uncomfortable for a couple miles, but once the leather softens up a bit they will be one comfy pair of boots. Word to the wise tho- huck the insoles and get yourself some Superfeet.

Hope that all helps.

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Drew

Drew wrote a review of on November 30, 2011

4 5

These boots really surprised me- They're super light! When I got the box with them in it in the mail, I thought at first that they must have forgot one of the boots. I put them on and was running all over the house like a nut ball- jumping over furniture and doing karate kicks. I really just couldn't get over how light they were.

The Skywalk soles are super grippy and the boot is very comfortable. Mine ran way big, so I took them back and got a size down. That fit perfectly. I also noticed they're a bit wider than most backpacking boots like my Scarpa SL M3's or Danner ML2's which both run on the narrow side. I like that the vasques are wider, because I like to spread out my toes when I hike.

One last thing- the boots are really handsome!They don't look it from the pictures so much, but they really are.

I subtracted one star because they create a bit of pressure on the ankle. However, not enough for me not to use them. I only bought these originally because I got a real good Black Friday deal on them. I was expecting to try them on, stick them in a box and return them. Actually, that's what I did, but it was only to get the correct size.

These are going to become my main hiking boot from now on (barring any unlikely quality control issues).

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Drew

Drew wrote an answer about on November 28, 2011

Oh, I don't mean a Summit in wide vs the TPS520 in wide. They don't make the Summit in wide in my size (15) but the Asolo does (though it's rare.) I mean a Summit in a reg D width VS the TPS in a EE width. They don't make the Wasatch in a 15 at all. Thanks though!

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Drew

Drew wrote an answer about on October 13, 2011

Scarpa recommends Nikiwax Aqueous leather proofing system. A Scarpa rep told me NOT to use Snowseal. Here is a direct quote: "The only thing I would not recommend using is SnoSeal, as it is silicon based and prevents you from resoling the boot later if needed."

The leather is waterproof right out of the box because it's super thick and impregnated with silicone, but that won't last forever (neither will Gortex), so it should be treated.

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Drew

Drew wrote an answer about on September 10, 2011

These packs are actually very different. First, the suspension on the Aether is much beefier. The suspension on the Atmos is much lighter weight but is also tends to loose it's form with anything over 25lbs pushing against it. This makes for a very uncomfortable pack for anyone but the ultralightest ultralighter. Second, the Atmos has no stabilizer straps on the hip belt. Instead it relies on the hip belt, which is sewn into the back of the pack instead of extending from the sides of the pack, to cup around the wearer and provide stability that way. I've noticed this actually only works on people who are absolute bean-poles (also, the only people I've found who find the pack comfortable). The Aether, on the other hand, has duel stabilizers on each side of the hip bels, which make it a very comfortable pack for people with up to size 37 inch waists (any bigger, and the frame tends to poke into the wearer). Third, the nylon material making up the Aether 60 is a bit tougher, where as the Atmos, being an ultralight pack, has a bit thinner nylon. This means the Aether tends to hold up to wear and tear a bit better than the Atmos. Bottom line, I wouldn't recommend the Atmos for most people. I think the Aether is great, though I'd recommend getting the 70. It holds a bit more stuff and costs and weighs about the same. However, don't take my word for it- go down to your local outfitter and have them load one of these bad boys up with 35 lbs or so, walk around the store with that on for 15 minutes, and see which pack feels like the better pack to you.

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