Ghost

Ghost

Ghost's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Biking
Running
Climbing

Ghost

Ghost wrote a review of on May 1, 2011

5 5

This harness is great for doing anything you want. I am so glad it was on sale when I went shopping for my first harness because it works great for gym/rock/ice/you name it. There might be more comfortable/lighter/whatever else harnesses out there, but this has more than $60 dollars worth of all those things in my opinion.

The buckles are worth it for safety factor alone, but it really is very convenient, and great when your partner says "doubled back? oh..." and then looks at their own harness sadly. The adjustable leg loops allow lots of warm clothes, and the four gear loops are there in case you need to rack more than just quick draws. The rear straps are quick release, so don't turn down that chili the night before your climb, and the rear haul loop is full strength (12 kN). There's enough padding to hang for a little while, and the quality seems to be what you'd expect from BD. I'll be sure to come back and rant if it falls apart too soon.

The absolute best part of this harness, however, is the crazy camo color it's offered in. It's one of like 3 harness that isn't some neutral, simple color, or black. Good for Black Diamond, I'd probably give it 5 stars for that alone.

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Ghost

Ghost wrote a review of on May 1, 2011

5 5

This pad is great for several reasons. First the bad: people say this pad is stiff, it is. I'm not looking for a bed though; I want something that absorbs force and protects my body. This pad does those things in part because it's so stiff.

The good: This pad is 5 inches thick, so it has a lot of time to absorb force and spread it out. On uneven terrain it really shines because it doesn't deform a great deal on a hard landing. It's $140, as cheap as the thinnest and smallest pads out there, at a respectable size and huge thickness. They don't even skimp on too many features. Sure you can get a pocket, or a funky fold out of another pad, but this pad has the foam where you need it (under you), straps in the right places, durable buckles, and a method to attach it to other pads. That's the last real bonus with this pad, I bet your buddy has one, or his buddy. You can join them easily and securely if the problem calls for it, because it seems like half the people out there already have one of these.

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Ghost

Ghost wrote a review of on May 1, 2011

4 5

I got this to attach myself to a highline with a non-directional and strong piece. It's considerably more substantial in your hand than the Black Diamond 8. The BD 8 is actually quite a bit thinner near the top of the large opening, and only rated to 22 kN, where as this is the same thickness aluminum throughout. I realize the difference between 35 kN and 22 kN strength ratings is pretty academic for a 6 foot fall, but this offers a lot more psychological pro than the BD version. I can't comment on it's intended use, because I likely won't ever use it for that.

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Ghost

Ghost wrote a review of on November 8, 2010

3 5

I own three different thin balaclavas in my quest for the perfect one. I haven't found it, but I do have three balaclavas with pros and cons each. I own this one, the Outdoor Research Sonic and the Smartwool Balaclava, and typically use them for winter bike commuting, but they all pull double duty on the trail. This one excels in how stretchy it is. It easily stretches down below my chin or becomes a neck gaiter. The Smartwool tends to deform after repeated stretching, so I am hesitant to use it as a neck gaiter by stretching it over my huge head. This one always pops right back into place, and doesn't start to sag around the face. It also fits reasonably well as a neck gaiter, which the OR does not because of it's design (nose hood and mouth mesh). This gaiter isn't as warm for standing around as the other two, but the tight smooth knit of the outer face means it works fairly well once you start moving, even in the wind of riding.

The problem with all this stretch is that the face area smooshes my nose so that it becomes uncomfortable after about 30 minutes. While the power stretch wicks sweat away as well as the other two, but the material itself is not breathable enough to allow your breath to pass through easily. This and the shape means most of the exhaled breath exits on either side of my nose, instantly fogging up any eyewear I am using. I avoid this balaclava for hiking or anything else "stop and start" when I'm wearing sunglasses or goggles. If you've got smaller nose than myself, both of these problems I've had might be non issues, but I don't know.

The other problem with the balaclava not breathing well is that after just a couple uses it can start to smell around the face area. The other two do not have this issue. I find I have to wash it every couple of days to keep this from happening.

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Ghost

Ghost wrote a review of on November 8, 2010

4 5

I own three thin balaclavas, this one, a Mountain Hardwear Power Stretch, and the Smartwool Balaclava. They're usually used for bike commuting in the winter, but they all do double duty on the trail. I bought this one to try and prevent my glasses or goggles from fogging up with every breath. It's hard to tell from the photo, but this balaclava has a mesh screen over the mouth like no-see-um mesh, and the nose hood is open at the bottom. This works great to keep moisture from your breath from coming up between the bottom of the opening and your face (fogging up eyewear), and is the real benefit of this balaclava. This keeps the front from icing up or starting to smell after just a few uses, something that happens with the MH.

This feature also creates a problem; the mesh and nose hood do provide some warmth, but unfortunately not as much as the other two thin balaclava's I own.

The WindStopper/Polartec fabrics work as well as you would expect from other garments you may own. Other than the face area the balaclava is very warm. It would probably be the warmest of the three if my lips and bottom of my nose weren't noticeably colder. While the separate ear fabric doesn't give me bionic hearing, I don't notice any more reduction in hearing than with the other balaclava, which is to say it's fine. As noted by another reviewer, it's plenty stretchy to pull the face opening below your chin, but the nose/mouth mesh make this awkward.

The last flaw with this design might be due to the shape of my face. The mouth mesh makes up the bottom of the nose opening, and pushes against the bottom of my nose in a manner that's uncomfortable. I have to either deal with that, or pull the face covering down so that is rests below the bridge of my nose, which then smooshes my nose and makes it hard to breathe. If you've got a nose on the smaller side, it probably wouldn't be an issue.

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Ghost

Ghost wrote a review of on November 8, 2010

4 5

I have three different thin balaclavas, and this is probably my favorite. I typically wear them for winter bike commuting, but they all pull double duty on the trail. One is a stretchy standard polyester Mountain Hardware Power Stretch and the second is an Outdoor Research Sonic with mesh over the mouth and a nose hood. The Smartwool is easily the most comfortable of the three; it's stretchy enough to fit, but doesn't smoosh my nose like the MH. It also breaths a lot better than the MH, which is most noticeable when your glasses or goggles are fogging up. The OR keeps eyewear from fogging up the best, but at the expense of cold lips and being somewhat uncomfortable because of it's design. The Smartwool is also flexible enough to be worn with my face completely uncovered. The MH being less breathable and polyester also starts to smell after just a couple uses around the face, the Smartwool does not. I think it's so breathable and comfortable because it is the thinnest, but it doesn't sacrifice any warmth, because surprisingly it's easily as warm as the other two, even with the wind of riding. For scale, I typically wore this (and the other two) between 35F and 5F actual temp, swapping to something much thicker below 0F.

The one negative is that the Smartwool, by virtue of the fabric, doesn't rebound from being stretched as well as a synthetic fabric. After a couple uses the face area below the "hem" around the opening can get slightly stretched out, especially if I'm pulling it down over my face a lot. A wash restores the shape.

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Ghost

Ghost wrote a question about on October 11, 2010

When I leave water in my 10L dromedary it comes out looking "soapy," with bubbles and a little bit of a strange taste. I know it's not soap because I don't think I've ever washed the thing with soap (or anything other than water), and since I noticed this I've rinsed it out many times. Still, every time I leave water in for a few hours or overnight, it comes out looking soapy.

Has anyone else had a similar problem? Is it normal? It's a couple years old now, maybe the lining is deteriorating? Thanks.

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