Icerider

Icerider

Pacific Northwest

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Johan's Passions

Alpine Touring
Camping
Alpine Skiing

Johan's Bio

Icerider

Icerider wrote a review of on April 24, 2009

3 5

If you only (or mostly) consider the downhill aspect, the Duke (and I'm assuming the Baron as well) easily beats the Fritschi Freerides. I swapped out my Freerides with Dukes on a pair of skis and the improvement in control and power transmission was huge.

However, if taking into account the touring part, things get more mixed. In addition to having to take off your skis when going from touring to skiing (and back), the Duke's risers are much more limited and finicky to adjust vs. Freedrides. Also, as others have mentioned, there's a tendency for ice to build up in the Dukes making it hard to convert from touring to ski mode. I once accidentally bent the (somewhat wimpy) metal piece that slides the binding between settings. Got a warranty replacement but now I always use my poletip (or some other tool) to scrape out any snow/ice that hinders free movement.

Also, I can second that you'll need to increase your DIN by 1 or 2. Don't know why but these bindings release easier than standard alpine bindings.

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Icerider

Icerider wrote a review of on March 17, 2009

4 5

The Mithril is just an awesome softshell jacket. I've worn it in snow storms on Mt Baker to pouring rain in San Francisco and it's provided great wind and wetness protection every time. The material does soak up h2o a bit when things get really wet, but it stays dry and toasty on the inside. The sleeves are a bit shorter than you might see on many hardshells but that's probably b/c it would suck to have the thick (as compared to a hardshell) material bunching up too much. Hood could be made a little larger - although it will squeeze over a skihelmet. OR could consider adding pitzips (which would add weight) but it vents through the chest pockets if open. Must be one of the best deals out there...

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Icerider

Icerider wrote a review of on March 17, 2009

3 5

Overall this is a nice jacket, however there are some issues to be aware of. As mentioned by others, this jacket has an slim "athletic" cut. I'm 5'11'', 190lbs with a boxy upper body - broad shoulders, wide lats and traps etc (but by no means "pumped up") and got a size Medium (which is what I wear in just about everything). Although the sleeves are perfect in length and the fit is generally good across the body (again, athletic), the sleeves ride up into my armpits. There's just doesn't seem to be enough fabric across the upper back area and/or the part of the sleeve that attaches to the body of jacket just isn't large enough (unlike for example the "angel-wing" design on some Marmot jackets). As a result I find myself constantly wanting to pull the jacket down - especially with some layers underneath. I have tried on a size Large, but the sleeves and body were craaazy long.

In terms of design and feature, it's good. The hood is great and fits easily over an egg-head ski helmet - although a wire to shape the brim would be nice. Pockets are of decent size and have good placement but, again probably due to the athletic design, they are quite "flat" so even the chest pockets will not hold very much with out bulging (a Snickers bar in the pocket during one day of skiing came out looking like a stepped-on dog turd). The pit-zip zippers are a bit small and finicky. The jacket is very packable and light however.

I got a good deal on mine so I'll definitely keep it. I've had nothing but good experiences with OR in terms of the performance and quality (and if something does go wrong, OR fixes/replaces no problem). I recommend the jacket, but if you are the built or broad-shouldered type I'd try one on first. There are plenty of great $400 Gore-Tex Pro jackets, such as the Marmot Exum, out there.

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Icerider

Icerider wrote an answer about on March 10, 2009

The Atomic website says wood. As I understand it, the Snoop was totally revamped from prior years, moving from the Densolite w/ Beta Cap to a more traditional sandwich construction w/ slanted side walls.

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Icerider

Icerider wrote a review of on March 6, 2009

2 5

My 2-star grade is based on the, in my opinion, poor product description.

These pants are a 2-layer GoreTex construction and have fleece-like lining material (can the pant still be called a shell?). This may be well and good if it's cold and you mostly ski resort & park where there's a lot of standing around and/or sitting in lifts. However, if you do a lot of back/sidecountry touring or boot packing these pants will likely roast you. The fleece will make them very warm and the thigh vents will not be enough.

On the positive side, they have a baggy fit (which I like). I'm 5'11", 195lbs and straddle the medium/large divide in most cases, but with these the medium fit great. Pockets are plentyful and well placed. The scuff protection at hems is a good idea as well.

Can't speak to the quality and actual performance as they went back the next day. Based on the description I was expecting something more lightweight.

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Icerider

Icerider wrote a review of on December 19, 2006

4 5

I found the Mt Baker to be a ski that I can take pretty much anywhere. Floats in powder, busts through crud, slices through windpack and carves a surprisingly strong GS turn on hardpack. Only negative is that it is a bit slippy on ice - due to its width I guess. Not a ski for slow cruising, but with some speed and aggressiveness you are riding a winner.

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