Geoffrey Buck

Geoffrey Buck

Lower Mainland BC, Wyoming, Colorado

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Geoffrey's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Skiing
Climbing

Geoffrey's Bio

You say you have mountains? Then I want to be on the top.

Geoffrey Buck

Geoffrey Buck wrote an answer about on April 23, 2010

Depends on the bag. Bags meant for colder conditions have more insulation and are therefore bigger and bulkier. Looks like EMS lists the... "stuff size" on their website (under technical specs) if you can find your bag there. I'm not sure if that corresponds to the dimensions of stuff sacks listed here (I'm used to manufacturers listing the volume), but it's a good bet that it will give you an indication of what size to get.

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Geoffrey Buck

Geoffrey Buck wrote an answer about on April 16, 2010

Depends on the volume of the sleeping bag when it's compressed down. The 20 L (next size larger) sack should probably fit your bag along with maybe some other items (spare clothes perhaps). I pity you for having to haul around that massive sleeping bag.

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Geoffrey Buck

Geoffrey Buck wrote an answer about on April 16, 2010

In my opinion, it's worth it to get sized correctly by someone who knows what they're doing and to try on a pack for comfort before using it. Especially in a situation where you're going to be hauling it extensively over the course of a few weeks or months without the opportunity to replace it. There are few things worse than an uncomfortable pack.

Different packs can fit quite a bit differently, even across the same brand (to accommodate different body types, etc). I encourage you to find this pack at a local retailer, load it up, try it on, adjust the fit, and walk around for a bit. Barring that, backcountry has a great return policy, so you can always try it before committing to it. Just keep in mind your travel schedule if you end up having to ship it back for a replacement.

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Geoffrey Buck

Geoffrey Buck wrote an answer about on April 16, 2010

Well, the difference is really the hood and the weight. At nearly half the weight of the Gamma, the Zeta is probably less warm. Some of the weight difference is accounted for in the hood, but that feature will serve to keep you considerably warmer also.

Since they're made out of the same material (and neither of them have pit zips) they probably breathe about the same. In my experience (with a different jacket) power shield breathes nicely as long as I don't get too warm.

Seems to me like the Gamma is built for worse weather and the Zeta is more of a multi-use garment.

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Geoffrey Buck

Geoffrey Buck wrote an answer about on April 15, 2010

I have a jacket made out of the same material (power shield) and it's pretty windproof. Not completely, but it's about as good as the wind stopper material that the Venta is made from. In my experience power shield tends to be a bit colder in wind than wind stopper, but it's not a dramatic difference. Wind stopper is also quite a bit stretchier, from what I've seen.

The weather-proofing is mostly a matter of how good the DWR applied to the outside of the jacket is. That's something that's really up to you once the initial DWR wears off.

Arc'teryx tends to use a fairly slim cut for most of their clothes and the fit on the jackets is pretty similar from model to model.

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Geoffrey Buck

Geoffrey Buck wrote an answer about on April 14, 2010

The difference is that the King Solomon uses down insulation while the Cain Creek uses synthetic. This accounts for the weight difference, but down is also a better insulator (when kept dry). When kept in good condition down insulated bags can last a very long time, while synthetic insulation tends to eventually wear out. The trade off for down is that it's more expensive and isn't warm when wet (like synthetics). That means synthetics tend to be better for damp environments.

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Geoffrey Buck

Geoffrey Buck wrote an answer about on April 13, 2010

The collars on the alpha and sidewinder come up to a similar height about the chin. The difference is that the alpha has a closer fitting hood. It's attached to the top of the collar instead of the bottom (near the shoulders) with the sidewinder.

As for sizing, I'd go with the XXL if I was you. It might be a bit long and baggy around the waist, but at least you'll have enough room in the shoulders.

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Geoffrey Buck

Geoffrey Buck wrote a review of on April 7, 2010

4 5

I found the sizing a bit weird and doesn't match up to the sizing chart that well. I've got a 32 waist and 34 inseam which the sizing chart indicates is in the range of a medium-long, but I found the large-regular to fit in length better. The integral belt makes the difference in the waist much less of an issue, so a plus there.

The cargo pockets are a nice feature you don't see often enough on nylon hiking pants. The drawcord around the ankles is sewn into a clever little pocket on the inside of the outer leg seam, keeping them out of view and out of the way when I'm putting them on.

Great range of motion and attention to detail I've come to expect from Mountain Hardware. Bonus: the MH logo is only in two spots and fairly subdued. I appreciate not being turned into a walking ad.

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Geoffrey Buck

Geoffrey Buck wrote an answer about on February 16, 2010

First let me offer that 5000 ft isn't an especially high elevation, despite the local relief. That's a little lower than the elevation of Denver and a lot of the surrounding flat region. Most canister stoves shouldn't have trouble with that altitude.

How cold do you want to use your stove? Performance will vary a little with the fuel you use, but a good rule of thumb is that the stove should be fine above 32 degrees F. For colder temperatures you will want a lower mix of n-butate and more propane.

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Geoffrey Buck

Geoffrey Buck wrote an answer about on January 28, 2010

These are just a little bigger than the Nomads. They should be great for high altitude and glacier conditions. The lens provide some features you don't necessarily need for your applications (like water repellency and polarization), so you might find better value with some other lenses, but these will certainly do you for everything you mentioned plus more.

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Geoffrey Buck

Geoffrey Buck wrote an answer about on January 24, 2010

Polarized lenses alone don't really block enough light to be comfortable or protective on a glacier in bright conditions. They still transmit around 50% of the light. You want around 15-5% transmission for glacier glasses.

If you get these glasses, replace the lenses with something better (and make sure it's completely UV proof).

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