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Drewmon

Drewmon

Southeastern US with the random trip to Rainier or Philmont

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Drew's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Biking
Paddling
Climbing

Drew's Bio

Roaming with a camera in hand to enjoy the outdoors whenever I can.

Drewmon

Drewmon wrote a review of on August 9, 2014

Good value & performance for a synthetic
4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size

Grabbed two of these on sale last year and they quickly became a standard staple during the winter.

Bought one in XL to layer under, and one in L to layer over depending on the conditions and activity.

Found myself relying on the L size under my Arc`teryx Beta AR as a perfect combination to fend off the slop and chill while hiking down into single digits and wind. Decent combo for wearing around town too as the Micro Puff has nominal bulk.

Took the XL size running with a light layer underneath. Proved a good bit too warm down into the 20F range without pit zips for venting. Pared down the layers next time around and found the Micro Puff was still a good option for bumping down the pavement. Very wind proof by itself.

Allows me to let the down parka hang in the closet and stay in better shape for more demanding conditions.

Hard to beat for the performance and value.

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Drewmon

Drewmon wrote a review of on February 15, 2014

Decent lightweight option
4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I've owned several pairs of these over the years and have kind of an "meh" experience with them.

The good?
- Excellent fit across fingers/hand
- Grippy palm with the leather
- Tactile feel is great when worn alone
- Decent as an around town or moderately cold weather on the trail option

The bad?
- The fabric pills like mad and starts to break down quickly if worn as either a liner or independently
- Wrist cuff is relatively tight with nominal give going on/off
- Not totally windproof (but, in their defense they are supposed to be liners...)
- A bit thick as liners, if you plan on using as such be sure to try on your choice of outer gloves to ensure the outers can fit over these without sizing up.

Kind of an odd "betweener" use pair of gloves.

Not quite substantial enough to use independently beyond late fall/early winter days on the trail and a bit thick to use as liners on the mountain or in colder temps. I find myself switching to my SmartWool liners more readily when temps fall instead of trying to use these.

Good value on sale (only way I've bought them), maybe not so much at retail given how they wear.

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Drewmon

Drewmon wrote a review of on July 24, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size

Scored a pair on the cheap via SAC (last year's color?), a phenomenal buy. Stupid cheap...

Anyway, size seems pretty true, I normally wear a 45.5 in Scarpa's Italian built boots as they seem to reliably run a tad small. In these Romanian built boots, a 45 would fit fine (which is my normal shoe size) with a lighter summer sock. Toe box seems wider than the Italian built boots too, very roomy by comparison. Extremely comfortable right out of the box and required zero break in miles. Just laced & went with no troubles. Insoles are not the greatest, but a bit improved over previously encountered ones from Scarpa - will slide some Superfeet inserts in there soon.

Sole is not as grippy as my old Scarpa Mustangs for scrambling around on the trails I frequent, but they do clear mud nicely. Lacing is the usual easy Scarpa goodness, works great and ties off with ease. Laces seem okay, not as stretchy as previous boots - held their tension without fuss.

All that said, the boots seem very comfy & capable just like the numerous reviews I read about this particular boot.

I dig 'em and hope they wear as well as my Mustangs did over the years.

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Drewmon

Drewmon wrote a review of on April 28, 2013

4 5

I put in about 100 miles with this pack as the daily carry satchel through multi-season use with trail maintenance and general hiking.

My thoughts?

The good:
- Comfortable fit (I'm 6' 210#, suits me fine)
- Lots of attachment points & pockets
- Snake zipper is handy to access internals as needed without much fuss
- Unique look (easy to pick out in a pile of packs)
- Decent internal storage pockets and bladder access points (I actually use the hose outlets to run my radio hand mic out to the main straps)
- Love the dual carrying handles, entirely useful
- Pretty decent build quality with good stitching and finishing
- Pretty durable so far, no early signs of wear or fatigue
- Doesn't seem to rub out my jackets or shirts, so it rides easy on your other gear

The bad:
- Noisy. OMG noisy. I have what may be an early model with the lighter colored straps (newer pics show darker grey straps) so there may be a revision to the materials. One can only hope that is the case, as my example farts & groans constantly regardless of adjustment or load. Particularly the shoulder straps and the "rib" that runs thru them. Annoying after the first few miles. Psychotic thereafter...
- Heavy for what it is. Comparable packs (in volume/function) can be up to a pound lighter. Likely due in part to all the attachment points, zippers, and buckles on the Salute
- Not exactly sure what all of the attachment points do and no instructions given
- At 34 liters, it seems incredibly small even when fully expanded
- Gets pretty warm on my back, so if you are using in a hot climate or sensitive to getting warm you might look for a bag that offers better airflow.
- Pricey unless you find one on sale

All in all, one could do a lot worse than buying this bag. But you could do better. I would be apt to look at a lighter and equally useful Millet or Black Diamond for the money involved.

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Drewmon

Drewmon wrote an answer about on November 14, 2012

0 C or 0 F?

Overall, this is a great boot and a popular choice for many folks desiring to do some trail time in addition to their summit attempts. Not a clue about snowshoe use, but remember - this is a mountaineering boot, so it has a shank that is not designed to flex much and as such the boot may not be the most comfortable option for hammering out miles on trails.

Temperature concerns vary according to your sensitivity, but in general these are a good option, for an average person, for use well down into the sub 32F range. Paired with a good mountaineering sock, the Gore Tex Duratherm lining in this boot provides a nice insulation setup.

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Drewmon

Drewmon wrote a review of on July 23, 2012

4 5

At 2lb, 12oz, this thing is all but invisible on your back. Construction seems good and materials are decent.

Carrying a load into the 40lb range remains pretty comfortable and doesn't seem to stress the pack. Didn't stress my back either. Remained tolerable in near 100F temps with load on board. Overall capacity is near perfect. At 50L the main body is a great size for your general dash into the thick of it, having the drift of another ~20L to temporarily stash your bag or similar on your way to a base is fantastic. Drift material is pretty thin though, suspect it will wear easier than many packs (but repairs should be pretty easily accomplished).

I guess the most unusual thing is the waist belt is obviously higher then usual and runs right across one's stomach. Aside from feeling a bit odd if you are used to a "normal" hip belt, it actually works very nice. A hip belt is undeniably great for supporting load, but it can also compromise mobility/flexibility. Moving the belt up provides a good way of keeping the bag secure while retaining mobility. So for those heading up something requiring serious bends or twists, this bag is a good solution.

Initial observations on areas to improve?

The frame is a single metal bar (upside down U in the back) that you can remove. The flap going over top of this is not lined and that means miles of listening to your bag making farting noises if it decides to do so. Seems like a whimsical thing at first, but it gets annoying after several miles or if you are trying to be stealthy around wildlife. Adding a softer lining to the flap would eliminate the trouble.

Chest strap is tad short. At full extension it barely fits a 46" chest.

Not many options for external mounting of anything aside from the ice axe & poles. Trying to lash on crampons or similar can take some creativity...

A rain cover option would be a great thing too.

Hoping the materials stand the test of time as the overall pack design is quite nice.

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Drewmon

Drewmon wrote an answer about on August 30, 2011

@Gould, re: "I am signing up for Rainier next year in Sept but will will be using the previous model being the Scarpa Summits. Anyone know if this is sufficient or better to use a double boot on Rainier?"

The Summit should work fine on Rainier in September. I wore Summits while slopping around Rainier in August and had no troubles at all from the boots.

A similar use boot overall to the Mont Blanc, albeit the older design of the Summit has a "fatter" collar above the ankle. I like the fit of the Mont Blanc GTX better as I find it is easier to snug up and keep a good fit/tension. Temperature wise, they are just about equal. I'm normally on the warm side and have had the Summits easily remain comfortable, for me, down into the 15F range. Love the Vibram soles on the Summit, had no trouble with them clogging up with slush or snow when the crampons were off.

Definitely take some time to put some miles on the Summits if you haven't already to make sure you know if/where you get hotspots. I cracked off ~75 miles in mine before they felt really good and got past hotspots on my heels.

I also recommend getting better insoles (Scarpa's insoles are pretty "meh") and less stretchy laces to aid in keeping the Summits properly tensioned to prevent slip in the heel.

Overall Scarpa Summits are a great boot, especially if you scored a pair at a reasonable price on closeout. Hard to beat for overall comfort, usability, and toughness.

Double boot setup is usually overkill on Rainier IMO (especially in the warmer months), but definitely a safe option for those without much experience in that environment.

Hope this helps...

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Drewmon

Drewmon wrote a review of on July 26, 2011

5 5

As a brand Sherpa is relatively unknown to the masses, so I was a bit hesitant to pick one of these up when I saw it on sale at SAC. But the value equation was good enough to get it and see about saving wear on my Marmot GoreTex Pro shell (save that for the harsh/extreme stuff on peak or in the deep woods) when I just step out for hikes and biking near my home. The Lungta is now truly my everyday wear shell during the winter/spring months.

Very good structure/construction, very windproof, good waterproofing, and excellent value. Fit is good (at 6' and 210 lbs (46 chest) the XL is a perfect for me) - slender but allows layering underneath.

Worn for over a year now with virtually no complaints at all except the Velcro cuff adjuster on the sleeve is softening the fabric and in turn reducing its water resistance. However, Sherpa support says not a problem to repair under their lifetime warranty if the product fails prematurely. Can't beat that... Pit zips are easily confused with actual pockets - so that can be annoying. Just pay attention and make sure you are actually placing whatever in your pocket and not dropping out to the ground.

I can also say I've never owned a jacket that garners as many compliments as this one does. People really like it and the color (Subji Green) is pretty distinctive.

Liked it enough to buy another one (actually - two more, bought one for my wife and a spare for me). Bought all of them via SAC and at that price this jacket is phenomenal. A great piece of gear.

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Drewmon

Drewmon wrote a review of on February 1, 2011

4 5

Bought to get a warmer & drier glove than the Cloudveil gloves I was using that were on the road to fail (then I lost one anyway).

Warm and still offer a good amount of grip/feel.

Fit is pretty decent, but on my pair the cut on the pinky finger doesn't go deep enough. So they feel a bit weird, but seemed to get a bit better with break in.

Haven't really tested them to the rated temps yet, but they are keeping my digits toasty down into the 20-25F range so I suspect they can live up to their 15F rating.

I'd do 'em again...

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Drewmon

Drewmon wrote a review of on March 7, 2010

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Maybe a bit more suburban then woods oriented, but good for quick run or bike ride on the trails and to keep in the car for 3 season wear in a pinch.

Very wind proof and decent water resistance. Temps getting near 40F mandate a thin layer to provide insulation as the jacket effectively has none.

Cut is slim, sleeves are typical Marmot long (great for reaching the handle bars without exposing your wrists). Tail of jacket with a slight angle cut is also perfect length to cover your backside when riding. Pocket on the sleeve is actually nice for tucking credentials & phone while riding. Fabric seems fairly tough and not prone to pulling from snagging on trees while riding.

I am 6', 205# (husky I guess) and wear a 46R suit jacket.

Size L was snug fitting but doable, but in my case the XL allows for layering with most fleece jackets/vests without bunching or binding. I kept the XL, returned the L.

Overall, a good value if you are looking for a nicely built jacket to wear on easy hikes or rides that often wind up in your favorite bistro/caffeination spot.

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Drewmon

Drewmon wrote a review of on March 3, 2010

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: Runs large

Since many inquire about the sizing I thought I would post up my observations...

I am right at 6' tall, 205 pounds (not in great shape yet, so I am a touch thick in the middle). My typical shirt size:

neck = 16.5"
arms = 34"
chest = 45"

Bought the XL and the fit is just a bit larger than average.

Sleeves are long enough to work well without allowing slack, I can layer under the jacket but it is not too loose, and nothing binds movement. It is definitely more of a mountaineering/hiking shell than a ski jacket since it is fairly form fitting and clearly designed for upper body mobility. However, it is a bit heavy since it does have the powder skirt option... Very nice build quality and durability.

Performs well, used countless times in the worst of rain/snow conditions across the southeast and Seattle/Rainier with nary any trouble. Any trouble with getting wet stems from Goretex not breathing well enough in the southern humidity or from end of fabric soaking (i.e., water running down sleeves and saturating the cuffs to allow soaking up into the arms themselves).

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