Hayes

Hayes

Mt. Baker WA

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O Hayes 's Passions

Fly Fishing
Camping
Backpacking
Trail Running
Hiking
Yoga
Snowshoeing
Mountaineering
Swimming
Kayaking

O Hayes 's Bio

When I was growing up my interests were hiking and science. I started backpacking in the 1950s using an WWII surplus backpack (5$). College and then becoming a chemistry professor limited my hiking somewhat from lack of time, but it never stopped. Since I retired in 2004 I have more time to spend exploring the beautiful Pacific Northwest. My wife and I hike together, and sometimes I do some mountaineering with a guide.

Hayes

Hayes wrote a review of on July 26, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

If you purchased a BMG OutDry backpack in 2013 or 2014 and it does not fit right, it might be that you got one of a shipment of these backpacks that has the stays reversed. See photo and comment under the South Col 70 backpack. This is easy to correct by simply taking out the stays and reversing them (actually one stay bent in the shape of a U). Mountain Hardwear corrected this but there may be some backpacks still in use with the stays reversed (My new BMG arrived with the stays reversed). If you are curious about how waterproof the OutDry fabric is, see the results of home tests under the South Col OutDry. The construction of the two backpacks is very similar and both were tested. The results are quite positive. Note: my rating is of the OutDry fabric (you cannot post here without giving a rating). I will wait until I have had more opportunity to test the BMG backpack before rating it. So far so good.

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Hayes

Hayes wrote a question about on June 29, 2014

Question on fitting the South Col or BMG...

Question on fitting the South Col or BMG 105 OutDry backpacks: One important aspect of fitting a new backpack is to make sure the stays conform with the lumbar region of the hiker so that the load will be transferred to his/her hips, not the shoulders. The photo below shows a side view of the stays (actually one continuous metal stay bent into a U) of my new South Col OutDry backpack right out of the box. The plastic sheet (visible near the top) goes between the metal rod and the hikers back. The hiker would be on the right. Also in this photo is my template stay that has been bent to shape my lumbar region. Note that the curvatures are opposite. My initial thought is: Has someone at Mountain Hardwear assembled these stays backwards? The BMG 105 OutDry backpack stay came with the same orientation as the South Col. This is easy to correct by unzipping the Velcro strips holding it in place and flipping the stay around before adjusting (bending) it to fit. However, if I attempted to use either of these packs as they were delivered from Backcountry.com, the bottom of the U-shaped stay would dig into the top of my lower lumbar, sacrum and coccyx and make for a very painful hike or climb. Am I overlooking something here? Thank you.

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Hayes

Hayes wrote a review of on June 27, 2014

HOW MUCH OF AN IMPROVEMENT IS OUTDRY?
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

One way to answer this question is to do an "OOPS, I FELL IN THE CREEK" TEST. To simulate this dunking, I filled a laundry tub with six inches of water and placed a 25 pound lead brick in the pack and lowered it into the water. Parts of the pack were submerged to about 8 to 12 inches well above the bottom seams. Each pack was left partially submerged in water for 10 minutes and then removed.
a. Results of dunking my older, and well-used Mountain Hardwear South Col backpack (my favorite backpack, but not OutDry): After 10 minutes of partial submersion, this older South Col backpack had a pool of water inside. It took up 700 gm of water, enough to fill a 1 liter Nalgene water bottle 2/3 full.
b. Results of dunking the new OutDry backpacks: There was no visible pool of water inside the South Col OutDry backpack but it felt damp. To measure how much moisture seeped in, several sheets of dry paper towels were weighed and then used to swab the inside of the pack. The paper towels gained about 4 gm, so they had absorbed 4 ml of water. The BMG 105 OutDry backpack is much larger and thus had much more fabric and seams exposed to the dunking. Again no pool of water accumulated in the new BMG 105 OutDry pack. The paper towels used to wipe the inside of this big pack gained 20 g. Conclusion: The OutDry construction is a big improvement, reducing the water uptake by over a factor of 100 in this test (700 ml/4 ml= 175). This is not a perfect test because I do not have an older South Col in new condition to compare with the new OutDry version, although I have treated my old South Col with waterproofing sprays in the past. No backpack is completely waterproof under all weather and exposure conditions. I plan to continue packing my sleeping bag and spare clothing in dry bags.
I give the OutDry fabric/treatment 5 stars. I am impressed with the new features on both backpacks but reserve a rating of the packs until I have had more experience with them.

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Hayes

Hayes wrote a review of on November 4, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

The BD Distance (Z-pole) trekking poles are ideal for people like me who travel with no checked bags. I took my folded up poles in my small backpack, showed them to TSA at the airport, and they waved me through. I chose aluminum over carbon for strength but either would probably be OK and the carbon might be even less of a problem if security gets tighter. Two suggestions: First, measure which poles you need before purchase. These are not adjustable. I was sloppy and guessed wrong: 120 CM. Backcountry was great about exchanging them for the longer 130 CM poles but I felt foolish and fumbled at getting the 120 CM poles back in the original packaging for shipment. Thank you Backcountry! You have made me a very loyal customer. The second suggestion: Buy the BD tip protectors. I did. When going through airport security, with tip protectors on, the poles look more benign (no sharp points). And when I was in Inca ruins at Machu Picchu, Peru, the officials will not allow poles with sharp points. My use so far has been light and I am counting on the durability mentioned by the reviewer who said he used one set of these poles to trek the entire Pacific Coast Trail!

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Hayes

Hayes wrote a review of on March 20, 2013

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I recently purchased a pair of La Sportiva #160 BK Wildcat trail running shoes European size 47 from Backcountry.com
Right out of the box, within an hour of wearing them, I saw that the top grommet had come apart. The shiny metal part that was on the inside just dangled on the shoe lace. I kept the shoes because I do not like to return/waste a good pair of shoes for a small defect. However, having to use Shoe Goo to try and repair the grommet on a new pair of La Sportiva shoes was not fun. I recommend these shoes, but please inspect them carefully. I have several other La Sportiva shoes and boots (mountaineering, rock climbing, indoor wall climbing, but this is the first defect I have noticed). La Sportiva means quality that the buyer can depend on.

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Hayes

Hayes wrote a question about on February 17, 2010

Perhaps the Tech Specs need updating? e.g. "Ice axe loops: 1, Gear loops: none, Ski Carry: No" I have one of these packs and there are 2 ice axe loops (as seen in the Backcountry.com photo). Also, I asked two experienced mountaineers what the two shallow pockets and bands were for (white and gray in the photo), one on either side of the back of the pack. The answer: Carrying skis, A frame style, or pickets, or tent poles or wands or crevasse probe poles. Besides the gear loops for the two ice axes there is a loop at the end of the yellow orange stout webbing going down the back. What is that for? One guess is that it is a gear loop for an additional tool, such as a shovel that could be attached as one would an ice axe. I wish that Mountain Hardwear provided the answers on its web site. There is a link to a manual, but this pack is not mentioned in the manual. I am planning on several climbs with this pack and will rate it later. It looks good so far.

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Hayes

Hayes wrote a question about on April 19, 2009

The BD Bod harness has a belay loop but the Alpine Bod does not. (The older Bod design did not have a belay loop either). Anything wrong with removing the belay loop for alpine use? It would make calls to nature easier. I realize that dropping the connections in the front by moving the main carabineer tied to the rope would only be useful under certain conditions: When you “had to go” and the environment was semi-secure so that it would be safe to just be connected to the swami for a few minutes. This would not be safe in many climbing situations. My BD bod harness is very comfortable and I can put it on and take it off standing in snow with crampons on by releasing and opening up the leg loops in the front, but I cannot drop the back even when the front is clipped into place. If I am missing something, please help me out. Thank you!

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Hayes

Hayes wrote a review of on April 6, 2009

5 5

This is a well made backpack, as one would expect from Black Diamond. I bought it for ice climbing in the Andes, and this size was perfect as a carry on. When we reached Argentina, the airline made me check the bag, but again it was small enough to fit into my large duffel checked bag. I hiked 25 Km and carried the gear we needed for a day’s ice climbing. For a multiday backpack, I may get the larger size of the Quantum backpack. Or, I may strip this one down as a summit pack and stuff it in my large Gregory Palisade backpack, which I would then leave in a base camp.

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