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Elliott Bates

Elliott Bates

Boulder and anywhere else that is awesome.

Elliott Bates's Passions

Running
Climbing

Elliott Bates's Bio

I was born and raised in Boulder, CO and still reside there. I've been a climber since I was 13, and have shaped my life around the sport and lifestyle. I currently am the Rockies rep for the kickass outdoor brands Millet, Faction Skis, and Native Eyewear. I post reviews based on my personal experience with the products.

Elliott Bates

Elliott Bates wrote a review of on December 18, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Floaty, rippable, light, fun. Pretty much sums it up. Extremely well-designed balsa/flax core ski with XL tip/tail rocker and sandwich construction. The core has carbon sheets above and below, dampening chatter. A true freeskiers ski and designed by the man himself. Just check the vid (older color, but same ski). I ripped these at Silverton for two days in bottomless pow, steep chutes, and tight trees, and had a blast. Feels like they do most of the work for you.

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Elliott Bates

Elliott Bates wrote a review of on December 18, 2014

5 5

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

Neoshell with Polartec alpha insulation... We are not in outerwear Kansas anymore. This jacket is the future of warm and breatheable, seamlessly merged into an extremely lightweight and functional touring/skiing piece.

But what is it? Neoshell. Breathes 3 liters of water vapor per square meter of fabric PER SECOND. If you could ever sweat that much you need to see a doctor. THE MOST BREATHEABLE jacket on the market. Yes, more than any GORE TEX Jacket, even GORE TEX PRO. Waterproof to 10,000mm of water pressure. Fully taped. DWR coated. Soft, supple, and stretchy. Bottom line: You'll stay dry from the inside and out, and you'll be comfortable moving in it.

Polartec Alpha insulation. A synthetic insulation that allows water vapor to pass through it. "Puffy insulation that breathes". Light and warm. Say goodbye to that bulky midlayer under a shell. Just a baselayer and this jacket, even in cold conditions.

The Touring Insulated Neo weighs 1lb, 13oz. And like the name suggests, it's insulated. That is crazy light, and it is perfectly suited for long tours, in cold or warm conditions.

Important to note that it's an "alpine" (European) fitted piece, and men will likely need to size up from their normal US size.

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Elliott Bates

Elliott Bates wrote a review of on November 3, 2014

5 5

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

This is a super light, super warm jacket, that makes for a perfect layer as it is extremely packable. The 700-fill waterproof down is really nice for days when you are wearing it as an outer-layer and it's snowing. The Downtek simply doesn't get wet. Nice use of Pertex quantum ultra light for the face fabric that is windproof and durable for how light is is. Overall, a great piece.

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Elliott Bates

Elliott Bates wrote a review of on October 31, 2014

Killer stick. Ski of the year
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I first skied these on a packed powder day at Copper and hit the groomers, and I couldn't believe the amount of energy they carry through turns. They just...rip! So fast with a ton of edge control thanks to the traditional camber, the overall lightness of the skis, and the STP technology (a wave that is pressed into the top of the ski to give more torsional stiffness and thus control). Then I had a couple days in Jackson, and as the snow was crusty and hard, I left my powder skis in the car and went for the Prodigys. I was impressed with how they busted through the crud, and thanks to the solid amount of tip/tail rocker they released easily on difficult condition turns. Dropped Corbets for the first and 2nd time in these guys, and they helped me make it, so the Prodigys will always have a top spot in my quiver.

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Elliott Bates

Elliott Bates wrote a review of on October 31, 2014

5 5

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

I have the men's version of this and have been wearing it for about a year now. Really comfy with a light fleece fabric on the inside, and merino wool outer. Looks great with jeans, but is a really functional mid-layer for skiing as it breathes well thanks to the grid fabric (polartec) in the underarms. Good price for Merino and Polartec blend, nice and warm for how light it is.

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Elliott Bates

Elliott Bates wrote a review of on October 28, 2014

Hikes, skis, breathes like a champ
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: True to size

I got to test this rig out at Silverton last season. Big hikes, big, steep lines, and deep powder day. I was impressed with the suit in how well it moved for the long steep hikes, and and how well it breathed when I inevitably started sweating. Easy, one-hand heat dump on both the leg vents (huge) and underarm vents (also huge). The fabric is a great blend of GORE, with a more flexible, supple fabric in the legs that is super burly against tree snags, and a more shell like material in the torso. LOVED the suspension system internally, kept it super comfy. Nicely featured with big skin pockets, an internal media pocket, height and depth adjustable hood with a wire brim (helmet compatible). Used the roll-up system later in the day when the sun was really hammering, and liked it, although it wasn't super straight forward to get a nice, flush roll-up. I tested a medium and it was a bit small for me, but that was expected as I'm 6'2. Stoked to get one of these in an L and bust it out on more deep days! For the money, seems like a top buy in this category as its a full GORE suit that's made in Europe.

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Elliott Bates

Elliott Bates wrote a review of on October 28, 2014

5 5

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

I've used a past-season version of this jacket (same fabric and build, just different color) for two years now and I've been extremely impressed by the durability of this fabric. For how light, supple, and stretchy it is, it's highly abrasion-resistant. I've worn the piece for many a windy day of climbing, and it holds up against snags on the rock really well. Stretches like crazy and fits great, and most importantly, is a total barrier against the wind. Holds up against a light rain or snow as well since it's a coated fabric. Last, in high output activities like ast winter hiking/approaching, it breathes really well and does not get clammy at all. Softshell is perfect for dry climates like CO and UT, and this jacket nailed it for me.

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Elliott Bates

Elliott Bates wrote a review of on October 23, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I've been climbing in these boots for 2 seasons now, mostly in Ouray, but also doing some winter mountaineering in RMNP. They fit great (I have a slightly wider foot than most), and I dig the usage of lots of Cordura super fabric for extra-burlyness. They are very light- when they first came out, they were lighter than the Phantom Guide 6k, Batura, and comparable Salewa Boot. Although there are lighter options out now, for the money, these are hard to beat. Primaloft insulated and Italian made, they are warm and extremely well-built. The EVa midsole is huge for the long days in the park (like hiking/climbing Longs peak in winter). My feet weren't completely jacked after 15 miles in/out . Looking forward to another big winter in the Millet Davais.

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Elliott Bates

Elliott Bates wrote a review of on October 23, 2014

5 5

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

Comfy and burly usually don't go together, but in this case they go hand in hand. I've skied in the Gakona GTX Jacket and pants for two seasons and absolutely love this kit. The fabric has a softshell feel to it- supple, not crunchy, lots of flex, but it's completely waterproof and very breathable. There is a light fleece fabric that's bonded to the inner, so you get a light warmth-contribution without over-insulating. Mostly, I love how burly this fabric is. I ski trees poorly and hit a lot of branches. but this piece has no rips or snags and has saved me from any a laceration. Bottom line: comfy, burly, warm but not too warm, and sharp looking. Nicely featured as well (see product description for all the bells and whistles).

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Elliott Bates

Elliott Bates wrote a review of on October 23, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

This jacket is extremely well-designed for alpine climbing and backcountry skiing. Features such as the "pivot sleeve" (it's an added panel in the under-arm) keep the jacket taught on the waist when reaching up to swing an ice axe. Actual drains are at the bottom of the huge skin pockets, so melted snow doesn't build up and wet out the internal pockets. Removable powder skirt, ski/ice helmet compatible hood that has light foam in the brim, a wire, and height and depth adjustment for the perfect fit. Two-way center zip and the main pockets are set high enough to use when wearing a harness or pack. This is one of the pieces that is vetted and used by the Chamonix Alpine Guides. Last, the Price is stellar for European-made Gore Tex Pro. Look at similar styles from Arc or Patagooch and you pay at least $100 more for an Asian-made jacket.

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Elliott Bates

Elliott Bates wrote a review of on October 15, 2014

My Favorite Shell
5 5

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

I've used the Alpinist Stretch GTX for a few seasons now and I'm a huge fan. The fabric is 4-way stretch, supple, and bomber. Breathes super well and has cool features like drains from the huge skin pockets, 2-way center zip, glove gussets, height and depth adjustable hood, oversized pit-zips. Sharp-looking to boot. Also has ceramic reinforcements in the shoulders to help resist wear from packs/ski edges. European made, great attention to detail, and it fits amazing.

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Elliott Bates

Elliott Bates wrote a review of on October 13, 2014

5 5

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

I used this jacket last winter (in what was a very cold and snowy CO winter), and love it. It excels in freezing temps and during snowstorms, as the face-fabric really resists wetting out. If it's really nuking snow, you're still protected with Downtek waterproof down. The jacket is box baffled, so it's not sewn-through and there are no cold spots. I wore it at the Ouray Ice fest over my shell/layers, and stayed warm during long belays. The hood is stuffed with a good bit of down as well, and fits over a ski r climbing helmet easily. Love the bold colors and longer-length as well. As far as sizing goes, I wear a L (am 6'2

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Elliott Bates

Elliott Bates wrote a review of on September 24, 2014

5 5

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

I freakin LOVE this sweater. After a long day on the slopes it's the comfiest thing in the world to throw on. Makes you look all distinguished and such, too. Fits great, it's super warm, and the fleece lining makes it so you don't get itchy. For how much wool and original craftsmanship you are getting, the price is surprisingly low. I'll be buying other L-mat sweaters for sure.

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Elliott Bates

Elliott Bates wrote a review of on September 19, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

The Millet Gakona GTX pants are the by far the most comfortable and burly ski pants I've owned. I put 3 seasons on them in Colorado, from ice-cold below 0 days to warm spring ski hiking days. The "softshell" fabric breathes like crazy, while maintaining serious waterproofness. I liked them most for hiking at Silverton in a snowstorm; a warm, but very wet endeavor. These pants don't make the annoying crunch noise that hardshell pants do, they have some flex, and when it gets really warm you can vent down the thighs. The Sapporo fabric is also stronger than hardshell, and it takes the abuse of tree-skiing like a champ. No rips or snags.

Bottom line: I am getting another pair. Super comfortable, super waterproof, super breathable.

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Elliott Bates

Elliott Bates wrote a review of on January 16, 2014

Love them
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Started skiing the Candide 3.0's this season and they are fantastic. I noticed the lightness immediately as compared to my previous skis from a bigger brand. So much easier to rip and I love how they are constructed with lightweight balsa wood yet have flax stringers to give solid dampening. I skied them at Silverton a few weeks ago and they excelled in the pow on the upper mountain due to the flat camber. When it got crusty or hardpacked, they were easy to turn due to the lightness and held the edge well as there is some noticeable sidecut and the tail rocker gives you easier release/initiation on turns. As compared to my heavier skis I noticed no difference in chattering on groomers or hardpack.

Bottom line- super light, yet really solid feel. So playful and easy to rip. Extremely well designed and built. Love the fact that they are designed by Candide himself and made in Europe by hand.

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Elliott Bates

Elliott Bates wrote a review of on December 17, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: True to size

Neoshell is beyond breathable, it's air permeable. What that means is that the jacket allows a small amount of air between the face fabric and the membrane (the middle layer of a jacket), which helps suck out any excess water vapor. However, air is not allowed between the membrane and interior lining fabric (what touches your skin), so Neoshell is still classified as windproof, as well as waterproof.

Neoshell can breathe 2L of water, per square meter of fabric, per MINUTE. If you can sweat that much there is something seriously wrong with your physiology. Bottom line- you'll NEVER have a jacket that gets clammy when you're going hard in the backcountry.

Millet does an awesome job blending this stellar fabric with an excellent French cut, skin pockets, reflective logo, adjustable hood, cuff and hem, and classy styling.

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