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Explorations

Explorations

Explorations's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Climbing

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Explorations

Explorations wrote a review of on February 3, 2012

2 5

While the screw itself seems to be performing just fine I have found the sling attachment quite disappointing, mostly because of how the black plastic ring is rather tightly fitting the screw tube. This causes two issues:

First, the crank arm is freely wiggling on the screw tube, not staying strictly perpendicular, so it tends to catch on the bulge where the sling is attached to the ring. (You can even see this happening on Grivel's own promotion video clip.) If the ring was loose then this would not be happening nearly as much.

The other problem is that if the sling is either completely unweighted or the direction of any pulling force is not perpendicular to the screw tube then the ring tends to lock up on the screw tube. (This is easy to demonstrate by trying to turn the screw while pulling mildly on the sling at 45-60 degrees away from the screw.)

Both issues cause the ring to turn with the screw, as opposed to spinning freely, ultimately winding the sling (and the carabiner, and the rope) onto the screw tube like a winch. A frustrating experience.

You can skip the main touted benefit of the integrated sling and treat Speedy like a regular screw by not having the rope attached when placing or removing it, which means that the sling with the carabiner are now "just" rotating around, without any winding effect. The only remaining value of Speedy is then the weight saving over a traditional quickdraw setup, which I am not sure is worth the extra cost.

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Explorations

Explorations wrote a review of on April 12, 2011

3 5

Pros:
* Good, general purpose pack
* Adjustable back
* Plenty of pockets, including three substantial outside pockets
* Plenty of straps
* Removable hip belt

Cons:
* The pack itself is not waterproof. The provided rain cover could take care of stormy weather but it is not practical for snow climbs.
* The mesh padding on the back is way too soft. If you carry a loaded pack the padding will flatten out substantially, sealing off the ventilation channels. (Compare with Gregory or Lowe packs.)
* I have not found the advertised "helmet compartment". The large front pocket does not expand out enough to be it. With some effort I have managed to squeeze a climbing helmet into it but the pocket expanded inward into the pack as much as outward so if the pack was full the pocket would be too small.
* Feeble spiral zipper on the sleeping bag compartment.
* Removable lid does not have a built-in waist belt.
* Just one ice axe loop.


P.S. The blue color is much lighter than the web image suggests.

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Explorations

Explorations wrote a review of on March 6, 2011

2 5

I was looking for a lightweight daypack of about 25 liters that could be stowed easily in a larger backpack and I had high hopes for the scramber. Its high-level characteristics were right but the execution not as much.

Removing the frame sheet to compress or lighten up the pack is not practical: The removal slit is half way up the back of the pack, not on the top, so the sheet needs to be essentially folded over to insert both its ends first, which is cumbersome and it makes me question its longevity. Do not even think of removing the sheet temporarily to sit on it without emptying the whole pack first. Further downside is that the pack outside material between the frame sheet and someone's back is just a mesh so without the frame sheet the pack back is no longer water resistant. The water will run through the mesh and then through the internal sheet removal slit straight into the middle of the pack.

The main hexagonal clasp is another problem: On the pack I had in my hand the upper webbing loop for the clasp was made so tight that it was difficult to get the clasp through. Trying it with cold, numb fingers would be a challenge.

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Explorations

Explorations wrote a review of on December 26, 2010

4 5

I use it mainly as a top-rope anchor and I am very happy with its performance. When placed in spring snow it feels like it sits in concrete. No movement whatsoever after the initial tug. It is a little bulky to pack, especially because of the steel cable.

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Explorations

Explorations wrote a review of on July 10, 2010

5 5

This is one valuable multi-purpose jacket for high-elevation trekking (14K+ ft.): The outer shell provides good rain/snow protection during the day and the liner comes handy after the sunset, when the temperature plummets, or the early mornings, when the body does not want to trade the sleeping bag. For the last two seasons it also served well as my summitting jacket in the Andes. The hood will accommodate a climbing helmet.
I use a lighter, less bulky/warm combo for summer backpacking in the Rockies.

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Explorations

Explorations wrote a review of on July 7, 2010

5 5

I have been using these crampons (with the hybrid binding) for four seasons and they are still in great shape. I have really appreciated some of the details: (1) The heel points are a little flat, rather than pointed, so they brake better. (2) The heel lever adjustment is on the inside so there is less of a chance to damage it when wallowing in snow-covered rock. (3) The strap buckle openings are round, not rectangular, which helps with loosening when partially frozen. (4) The buckle has a Hypalon tab so it is easier to loosen it with gloves on. (5) The antibott plates flex so they are more effective than rigid ones.

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Explorations

Explorations wrote a review of on July 7, 2010

4 5

This easy-to-adjust helmet is very comfortable, despite being slightly on the heavier side, and it offers decent ventilation. Two minor issues: The internal soft padding tends to peel off after while (but it can be glued back on easily) and the headlamp bungee cords are not as secure as the traditional flat catches on Petzl helmets.

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Explorations

Explorations wrote a review of on July 7, 2010

1 5

I have purchased a pair to replace my aging Salewa guards. The material appears to be superior to the Salewa's soft rubber but unfortunately there is a related design flaw in the guard: The material is stiff so the connecting spring is prone to fatigue where it joins the inflexible adze section. Of the two guards purchased, one broke on its own after a few days on an axe (the sustained spring tension was enough to tear it apart) and the second one broke soon after that in the same spot. Later I have seen a few still in a store and they already developed cracks, again in the same spot.

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Explorations

Explorations wrote a review of on November 18, 2008

4 5

This tool works really well on alpine ice. It is much lighter than traditional ice tools yet plenty durable and the X-Monster pick excels. Due to the straight lower shaft it can be also used for plunging into the snow but here it does not perform as well as a traditional ice axe: The shaft bend is substantial so the tool tends to rotate around its shaft axis when pulled on. (In contrast, Air Tech Evo does not do it.) Also, the pick is very tall so it is harder to grip if you have smaller hands. Of course none of these matter much if you plan to use it mostly as an ice tool.

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Explorations

Explorations wrote a review of on November 3, 2008

4 5

This backpack is really loaded with great features. Way too many to name here so just read the PDF flyer on Grivel web site. Before I get into the negatives let me emphasize that I have looked high and low and did not find a mountaineering backpack with better features. Now about the issues: (1) A major problem for me is that it does not fit my long torso. When positioned properly on my shoulders the hip belt ends up at my waist and there is no way to adjust that. In comparison, Deuter Guide fits well. (2) The tool carry sleeve on the back is too wide to accommodate axes with pronounced shaft bend (think Grivel Matrix and to some degree Grivel Air Tech Evo). The sleeve will force the picks to be pretty much horizontal so the tool shafts are in turn leaning towards each other (instead of standing upright), which precludes using the loops to tie down the shafts. The sleeve would work well with straight shafts. (3) For some reason the lid is cut slightly narrower than the back frame so it cannot easily cover the entire top of the backpack. The fabric of the extender tends to "leak" from under the lid. (4) The yellow fabric of the extender is very light and not waterproof and this fact, when combined with the previous bullet, is partially reducing the advantages of the great fabric used on the main body. Again, the review might come across as if I am slamming the pack but that is not the intent. If it fit my long torso I would still go for it.

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