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Icerider

Icerider

Pacific Northwest

Icerider's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Skiing

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

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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