Dustin Short

Dustin Short

Arizona

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Dustin's Passions

Backpacking
Hiking
Sport Climbing
Bouldering

Dustin's Bio

In an effort to maintain my sanity while finishing school, I spend as much of my time as possible in the deserts and forests of Arizona.

Dustin Short

Dustin Short wrote an answer about on November 2, 2013

Western mountaineering bags are indeed conservatively rated. If you look at a UK site, you'll get the EN ratings (EN is required in europe I believe). Over in the EU the Ultralite is billed as a 16F bag rather than a 20F as in the States. I think they refrain from quoting the EN rating because they have built a decades long brand on their old conservative ratings and want to maintain reliability from year to year over marketing hype (even if it is in their favor).

http://www.elitemountainsupplies.co.uk/product/954_western-mountaineering-ultralite-regular-sleeping-bag.html

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Dustin Short

Dustin Short wrote an answer about on October 26, 2013

Fill is a measure of the quality of down not the total amount. Basically it means how much space a given amount of down will occupy when pressed with a certain weight (simply the number of cubic inches one ounce of dry down occupies). Also europeans test more conservatively than americans, so 750 eu down is often comparable to 850 american down (I know, confusing!).

I'm actually looking for the fill weight, as in how much down is actually stuffed into this thing. Sweater weight jackets (patagonia UL down sweater) often have 3oz or less of down while expedition parkas (rab neutrino plus) will have 9oz or more. I want to know how much so I can roughly gauge the warmth of this jacket. Thanks though!

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Dustin Short

Dustin Short wrote a review of on November 23, 2011

4 5

So I finally snagged this at a discount and absolutely love it. I'm 5'11" 145lbs with a 37ish chest. I went with the small just because I hate wearing potato sacks. The small seems tight but I can wear it over my small Arc'Teryx Gamma softshell or other mid layer and it doesn't restrict 95% of movement. If I cross my arms (think Chris Farley fat man in a little coat style) it does begin to tighten in the back but doesn't stress the seams enough to worry about tearing.

The biggest detriment is that it is short. Not terrible for just a windshirt but I have a short torso for my height and I feel a medium would have suited me better overall (assuming medium doesn't bump up a lot in girth like with many companies). Also no stretch to the fabric means the cuffs are a bit awkward to remove, especially pulling over the widest part of your hand.

The fabric has a small amount of air permeability so it is breathable a bit. I like the hood, snug without being confining and won't blow off. It stows into a pocket (not mentioned anywhere but really should be marketed) and it is true to spec on weight. My Small comes in at 2.1 oz!

Haven't tested DWR in a drizzle yet (mixed blessing of AZ living) but under a faucet it beads well, but I wouldn't trust it for too long in a storm.

For the price and weight, quibbles on sizing aside, it's phenomenal. It's great enough that if I had to buy another windshirt at full market price, I would buy a Stoic Wraith again, probably just in a medium.

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Dustin Short

Dustin Short wrote a review of on July 20, 2011

2 5

I was really looking forward to getting a lightweight windshirt for UL backpacking and was excited about this product (and it's price). However, I have been severely disappointed.

As a windshirt it is functional. It's worked well above treeline and shed water in for an hour or so in a storm where I saw misty rain, hail, snow, and fat drops.

The reason I do not recommend this product though is that the specs are considerably misleading. This WS weighs 6oz in size Medium...a far cry from the 2.82 oz advertised. With so many windshirts available around 3-4 oz WITH hoods I would have been willing to spend the extra money for them. As is I ended up spending $60 on a product that fails to live up to its advertised performance. If I already had a WS I would have returned this immediately, I may still.

I would like to upgrade to the Stoic Wraith or a TNF Verto both of which are lighter and have hoods.

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Dustin Short

Dustin Short wrote a question about on July 20, 2011

Has anyone ordered this and weighed it confirm the specs? I've bought a Norrona windshirt from BC and it was two to three times the specified weight! (not really BCs fault, Norrona continues to claim a weight much lighter than reality). Once bit, twice shy and I just want to make sure that the Wraith really is in the sub 3oz range. It looks to be a great alternative to the NF Verto or CAMP USA Magic Jackets.

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Dustin Short

Dustin Short wrote an answer about on May 24, 2011

The point of 4 season tents is that they can withstand the heavy snowfall and winds often associated with winter and alpine conditions. It has very little to do with comfort and more to do with safety.

So this tent can be used in all four seasons, however in summer it will be miserable due to it's lack of breathability. All single wall tents will suffer this issue (they make up for it by being lighter).

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Dustin Short

Dustin Short wrote a question about on May 20, 2011

Has anyone tried using these D lenses with Max or Regular frames? It seems like the connections are probably the same, just the lens coverage is larger depending on which version. I have Parallel Max frames and would love to be able to put D Max lenses in them for when I'm in the backcountry, regular max frames for day to day life.

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Dustin Short

Dustin Short wrote a review of on May 17, 2011

4 5

I've had this for about a year and a half now and find it perfect as a general use beater harness. It's very comfortable thanks to the abundant padding. I've never had any painful experiences taking falls in it. So far it's shown very little wear and tear. The leg and waist buckles are easy enough to operate, nothing special though.

For the amazing price it's a great value. It works well for all types of climbing so I highly recommend it for any beginner. You won't be disappointed.

Only gripe is that it is bulky and does not pack down small. You never forget you are wearing it even after a full day and it takes up a lot of pack space, but this is a tradeoff for the durable and comfortable construction.

There are several "improvements" that could be made but each of those would make it more of a specialized harness and ruin it's all-around quality. The harness is heavy, but lightening it would sacrifice comfort and make it more applicable to sport or mountaineering. Making it more easily adjustable or fancier technologies would just make it more expensive.

Definitely great as it is for the starting climber.

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Dustin Short

Dustin Short wrote a review of on May 16, 2011

3 5

This biner is big and beefy. It has a noticeable heft to it and feels rock solid. It also has plenty of room and would probably be decent as a main point for big wall climbing (which I don't do, so that's speculation). I bought this after I had an auto-lock belay biner (Omega Pacific Jake) open on me while belaying a partner. Losing faith in auto-locks I feel very confident in the screw-lock version of this carabiner.

The red gate is great for reminding the user to twist the screwlock shut.

My major gripe is just how heavy it is especially since lighter 'biners in this size seem to be rated stronger. The attache is nearly a half oz lighter and big enough for most applications. I see this as maybe excelling in canyoneering, big wall, or rescue work where lots of ropes need to be tied into one spot, but for most it's overkill.

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Dustin Short

Dustin Short wrote a review of on May 16, 2011

2 5

I want to like this 'biner. The offset creates a much larger gate opening which comes in handy. The auto-lock is very simple to operate one-handed and works smoothly, too easy and smooth in fact.

I used this biner as my belay locker for indoor climbs mostly. That was until one day as I went to lower my partner, I noticed the biner had unlocked itself and the grigri (which was on a rapide) had nearly come out of the carabiner. Luckily the rapide caught on the gate hook, had the Jake used a keylock design the grigri would have come completely loose.

I was anchored into a daisy chain, but not the end, a practice I no longer follow due to this incident. What happened was that the excess daisy chain must have caught the locking sleeve and rotated it so that the gate could open. Part of this was my poor technique, but it is also an issue with the auto-lock having no extra resistance to unlock (like a ball lock design or an auto-lock that needs to be pulled up/down before twisted).

After this incident I've switched over to a standard screw-lock design (petzl williams since that's what was at the gym that day) and have had no issues. I would not feel confident ever using this 'biner as a primary locker because I don't trust the auto-lock. I would say it's about halfway between a normal biner and a normal locker. As such, due to it's weight I never use it anymore but in a pinch would use it in a redundant setup with another biner (either locking or not).

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Dustin Short

Dustin Short wrote a review of on May 15, 2011

5 5

I'm 5' 11", 145lbs, 36" chest. The size small fits very close but is not skin tight everywhere on my slim frame.

This shirt is amazingly light and cool. It wicks superbly, enough so that it's entertaining to watch a water spot quickly wick into a huge but slightly damp spot that dries soon after.

As for smell, I have not had any issues with it. Wearing this on overnight backpacking trips where I sweat a lot in the AZ warmth, I'm always surprised how little the shirt smells. When still wet from fresh sweat it will smell, but once the shirt dries it is virtually odorless in comparison.

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Dustin Short

Dustin Short wrote a review of on May 15, 2011

5 5

I absolutely love these pants, enough so that my broke self bought a second pair (one in coffee bean which is really a dark green instead of brown, and carbide which is a khaki).

These pants weigh only 8.61oz in a size 30/32. They do have a small swish sound to them, but it should only be problem if you're sensitive to that specific noise.

Living in Arizona, I constantly encounter catclaw and other thorny pants that seem to shred anything not made of denim. These pants have held up very well over the last year of constant use. I have one TINY pinhole in the cargo pocket which is only noticeable on a blue moon when the stars align just right to shine on it. Otherwise the rest of the material has no signs of wear aside from an occasional stain on the khakis.

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Dustin Short

Dustin Short wrote a review of on May 15, 2011

Sizing
5 5

I ordered this through another retailer and was accidentally sent the wrong size. I had ordered a small and was sent a medium. I'm a 36" chest, 5' 11" and 145lbs for reference. I would have preferred the small for warmer weather and in city, it's cut would just be more trim and athletic. The medium is big and baggy (boxier cut torso) on me, but perfect if I'm wearing insulating layers underneath as in the photo (Arc Gamma MX and a 300wt fleece...it was cold in WY for this AZ native!). If it weren't for the fact that I was able to get the jacket for a steal (less than $300!!) I probably would have returned it for the small anyway.

Also for sizing info, if you have a gamma MX (or have tried one on) Arc'teryx responded to an email about sizing with the following which was incredibly helpful of them:

"The Alpha LT jacket will be approximately 7.5cm/3" wider in the chest, 9cm/3.5" in wider in the waist and 4cm/1.5" wider in the hem as well as 2cm/3/4" longer in sleeve length than a Gamma MX jacket of the same size. There are small 2cm tolerances +/- within each measurement that is why we can't say exactly. However, it should be enough room to layer a 300 weight fleece underneath. Most Gore-tex jackets will be looser fitting even though they state athletic fit on both if you are comparing it to a softshell or fleece jacket.


Arc'teryx Service Team
ARC'TERYX Equipment Inc."

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Dustin Short

Dustin Short wrote an answer about on October 29, 2010

Seeing as it's a fine denier continuous filament insulation with the name 'loft' in it, I would assume it's probably PrimaLoft's Infinity. It's an insulation designed for compressibility. I wouldn't be surprised if Arc'Teryx asked PrimaLoft to come up with somehting, got to rebrand it as their own proprietary material and then PrimaLoft began selling it to other manufacturers under their own brand. Also Arc'Teryx uses primaloft in some of their other garments, so makes sense that they have an existing working relationship with the company.

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