I absolutely love my Variant helmet but it is at the end of its safely usable life. How does this remodel compare to that one in terms of size, fit, vents, etc?
I was looking for a knife for everyday use so I didn't have to carry my Leatherman around all the time and finally decided on this one. This is a very sturdy little knife that has proven very useful. I bought the Tanto blade because that's what I found a deal on, but I could easily see myself picking up one of the other blade options in the near future. The opening assist is pretty well dialed, too. I never have an issue opening the knife with gloves on or cold/numb hands. While the notched handle seems like a great idea for line cutting, I have yet to really need to use it so I wouldn't call it a reason to buy this knife over one of the other fine SOG offerings.
Bottom line though is that this is a solid knife that you will find a use for on a daily basis.
This shovel combines several features that I find key when looking for a backcountry shovel:
-Small, light blade
-Removable shaft that easily slides into the blade
-Telescoping shaft with T-handle
Overall really, really like this shovel and because of those features I find it perfect for backcountry skiing. It easily fits in my pack and assembles very quickly. The shaft is small when collapsed but extends so that the user is not constantly bending over, and I prefer the T over a full handle. The blade is strong enough to make snow shelters or dig out plowed-in cars, whichever one floats your boat.
The single reason why it is not rated 5 stars is because the button that holds the shaft into the blade has a bad habit of rotating inside the shaft and disappearing when the shaft is shoved into the blade too quickly. This renders the shovel useless as the shovel won't stay together anymore. It is a relatively quick fix but is annoying and prevents it from being flawless. As long as the user is gentle the problem should be easily avoided.
The Lord might work better, but the DIN range for it is lower (5-14).
This isn't a question but rather a statement I wanted to share but I didn't want to skew the rating.
After seeing the SIA release of these bindings I was curious if they would be tech sole friendly (like the Marker Lord) so I emailed 4FRNT in the spring. The response was that "The Attack binding will not accommodate a tech sole," but upon my reply of disappointment I was told that "They would fit, but you can't be guaranteed that it will release." I interpret that as basically saying the binding will work, but 4FRNT isn't willing to be liable for it releasing consistently when using a tech toe in the binder. So if you're like me and want to use your tech soles for daily skiing but don't want to shell out an extra $180 for the Lords (not to mention avoid screwing a pair of Marker bindings to your skis) than this COULD work.
Has Salomon done anything to fix the problem of the rails/frame snapping right behind the toe? 2 out of 3 of my friends that skied these last year had that happen to them so I'm curious if anything has been done.
If you're careful, you should be able to bend 110 brakes to work. I have done this to gain ~10mm out of brakes instead of spending more money for wider ones. I also agree with Carver Shaw above about looking at the Guardian 13 too.
The pack would definitely work for a snowmobiler. I suggest looking at the Float 22 though, which has a version optimized for snowmobiling. It has the same airbag technology but you might not need the extra space since you'd be on a sled.
This is good climbing tape and I do have a roll with the rest of my climbing gear, but I really like this tape for anything athletic-related. I use a lot of it in my med kit, particularly for covering blister bandaging or holding down gauze. I gave it 4 stars because, well, it's just tape.
I did some looking around online and it seems like $3-5 for 10 yds of athletic tape is a pretty standard price. So you're not paying too much for it and it works pretty darn well. Even better, the tape is made in USA like most of Metolius' products are.
I haven't had a problem finding a place to fill mine. It has the paintball fill port (as mentioned already), and most dive shops carry the correct adaptor as well. I also have my own adaptor for the cylinder to be filled directly from a SCUBA tank, though, in case the shop doesn't have an adaptor for the compressor.
I purchased this pack prior to last season and used it every day I went. I wouldn't quite say it's been through the wringer, but I have definitely become comfortable using it.
The size is perfect for me and worked for every day I went, from hot laps with almost no extra gear to overnights in a lift shack. I would not use it for true winter camping tours, but it's the best I've used for day trips.
-The pocket layout is well thought out. The 'wet' pocket is great for avi gear (when needed) and skins, while the main pouch can hold layers, water, med kit, and anything else one would need.
-Going from an older pack to this one with an external helmet net is also extremely convenient. The helmet always takes up too much space inside the pack and can be awkward if it dangles on the outside.
-The removable airbag and engine is the best feature on the pack. I live in Vermont, where avalanche conditions are essentially nonexistent. Therefore, I don't need to carry the extra weight around for the days that I ski in Vermont, and can just install the system back in for trips to avalanche terrain. This is a versatile pack.
-The clasp for the waist strap is ingenious and I love it, but it does take some getting used to.
-The adjustment straps feel like they gradually loosen over each day, but I have no specific evidence to support this.
-The hose routing for a bladder is a pain. I don't use a bladder for water, but my friend had some trouble setting his up.
-The cost is a deterrent ($550 + 100-175 for cylinder).
The bottom line is that this pack works and is the best backcountry skiing pack I have used.
The current model is compatible with the PX series of binders, but the older one is not. Good choice on skis.
The probe is exactly what I wanted. It's light, clearly marked, and the deploy/lock mechanism is the easiest and simplest that I have seen (better than the BD, Ortovox, and Pieps probes I've used). Nothing needs to be screwed, tightened, or tensioned. I agree that the probe practically assembles itself before hitting the ground.
Fortunately, I have yet to use it to locate somebody. I didn't ski much avalanche terrain this season, but I usually carry it on backcountry days in VT to check snowpack depth and loading in different spots. It's a must-have in avalanche terrain, but it's light enough that I don't mind carrying it otherwise just for a few tests.
My hands sweat a lot, especially trying bouldering problems in the gym. This chalk consistently keeps my hands dry, so I keep using it and buying more when I run out. It is my favorite chalk. Recently, I switched to buying the blocks instead of the bags because I like larger chunks in my chalk bag. It's just a personal preference and the chalk is still awesome.
I owned these pants for several years before the seams on the cuffs finally blew apart and compromised the pants. While I had them:
Durable: 4 seasons of 40-60 days
Comfortable: baggy if needed, but not in the way
Colorful: I had bright green!
Had these neat things that pulled the cuffs out of the mud for walking around with regular shoes on instead of ski boots.
The big vents did help to dump heat on spring days.
Not very waterproof: your bum will get wet if you sit in snow on the lift
Not breathable: insulated
Not ideal for anything outside of lift serve skiing: would not recommend for backcountry
Since I replaced these with the Trew Eagle pants, I will now say that these pants were good at the job they were intended for, but not much else.This isn't a technical pant at all. In addition, Recco isn't really a tool for avalanche safety, so it's not really a useful feature.
I bought this as a slightly longer draw to the ones I already own. It's not the lightest thing but it definitely does the trick. It's a good addition to an existing rack. I have noticed that the dog bone is easily twisted, so I always have to double check it to make sure I'm not back-clipped.
The shoes are almost perfect. I have the GTX (gore tex lined version) and they were exactly what I wanted (waterproof shoe for VT winter/spring/running).I found just one flaw: the soles started coming apart from the shoe about a month into owning them. I have ignored it but now the entire heel portion is coming off. I'm not sure how Vasque's warranty works but it's a completely great shoe otherwise. I ended up fixing them with the FiveTen resole kit and they lasted a couple months longer before the waterproof-ness finally gave way. They lasted me for about a year of daily use.
I'm sure most everything has been said about the Gri Gri already, but I had to add my experience as well. I lead rock trips for UVM Outing Club and this is makes quite a few things easier, whether it be setting up an anchor on an instructor's line or belaying a slow but determined clImber up the wall.
I didn't used to be a fan of the device, but it's value has definitely become apparent to me. I am still learning to be comfortable using it for lead belaying at this time, but other people I climb with definitely like it for that.
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