Free 2-Day Shipping on all orders over $50*
Illimani94

Illimani94

Illimani94's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Biking
Climbing

Illimani94

Illimani94 wrote a review of on January 31, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

A question was raised about the Xenon compared to the Arc'Teryx Atom SV. As noted, this is a lighter jacket, closer to the Atom LT or Patagonia's Nano Puff Hoody. Weightless (my XL is 13 oz on my scale), packs down to nothing. Sleeves are long, the hood is small - won't fit over a helmet but is a good head fit. I got it for warmth on backpacking or rock climbing trips, so small hood is OK. And it takes up little space in a cycling pack. Pertex Quantum shell is amazing. The stuff is so light it's almost translucent, yet it shrugs off wind, snow, sleet, some rain... More pockets than I expected, given the light weight - 2 handwarmers and a Napoleon chest pocket. I would have liked an interior pocket, but no mind. Easily-worked bottom hem drawcord.

I like this jacket a lot. I've been wearing it for the cold days we've had this winter, and will be taking it on spring backpacking trips in a couple months.

(0)

 

0 Comments

Illimani94

Illimani94 wrote a review of on January 27, 2013

4 5

Familiarity: I gave it as a gift

I got this for my wife as a Christmas gift. She wanted a warm and compressible insulation layer for backpacking, rest stops on snowshoe outings, down time on bike trips, etc. She liked the fit of this jacket, and thought the pockets and hood were well thought out. However, she wanted synthetic insulation and chose the gift behind door #2 - a Rab Xenon (Primaloft). If you can work with down the Ultralight is light and compressible, looks like a good choice.

(0)

 

0 Comments

Illimani94

Illimani94 wrote a review of on January 27, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I gave it as a gift

My wife wanted a light synthetic insulation layer for backpacking, breaks on spring/fall cycling trips, days out on snowshoes, etc. I got this one for her Christmas gift, and it's proved to be a smash hit. She's 5'3", maybe 130 lb, and size Med is perfect - a reasonably slim cut that has room for a couple underlayers. The Pertex shell material is amazing - so light it's nearly translucent, yet it's surprisingly windproof, sheds snow and at least light rain, and so far has suffered no damage. Great pocket placement - 2 handwarmers and a chest pocket. The hood doesn't fit over a helmet, but it does cradle her head perfectly. The entire package is lighter than a fleece jacket (listed weight is 10 oz) and way warmer. I don't think she's looked at her old Primaloft sweater since she got this one.

In action, this is the first thing she pulls out at rest stops, the warm and wind-shedding layer that keeps her from cooling off while refueling or enjoying the view. She's also worn this as a midlayer, under a shell, for really cold conditions. Seems to work well for her, and I've gotten lots of "Thank You" comments from her on this one. I think she likes it.

(0)

 

0 Comments

Illimani94

Illimani94 wrote a review of on December 28, 2012

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I bought these to be my new winter utility gloves.I got them to replace an old pair of BD Dry Tool gloves that I lost on a trip last year. Looking for warmth on the move, reasonable ability to do fine hand work, easy on and off, snow-shedding outer, warmth when the insulation is damp, and reasonably quick drying. The Extraverts are a bit bulkier, but so far have hit most of my wants. I've only used these on day trips so far, so I don't know how dry the linings stay, or how quickly they dry again. I have some concerns because the lining is part wool - which should wear well, but may hold more moisture. The leather palm/fingers seem sturdier than the leather on my old Vert gloves - a good thing because those showed a lot of wear after the first season. Also, the Vert leather seemed to get soaked quickly in use, where the Extraverts have, so far, showed quite a bit of water resistance. The leather is pretty slippery though. These ARE new gloves still, so that may get better in use. I'm not wild about the velcro closures, but I could make those disappear if necessary. I'm guardedly optimistic that these are a workable replacement for my late, much-loved Dry Tools.

(0)

 

0 Comments

Illimani94

Illimani94 wrote a review of on December 28, 2012

3 5

Familiarity: I returned this product before using it

I had to send these back. The fit was just "off" enough that I couldn't do small tasks with the gloves on. If they fit you they would seem to have really good dexterity. The material is very wind-resistant and looks like it would shed snow easily. Lots of leather to keep them from wearing out. I like the zippered cuff, which makes it easy to put on/take off, yet limits cold (and presumably snow) from finding a way in.

(0)

 

0 Comments

Illimani94

Illimani94 wrote a review of on February 3, 2012

4 5

I so wanted to like these. They seem well-made, light weight, sturdy, good tread. Unfortunately they don't quite fit my problem feet. I have low-volume, narrow feet and these just didn't work. My heels were getting chewed up, and my toes ended up forced into the toe box on downhills. Not even the to-the-toe lacing was able to control it. I was bummed, and still am. If they fit you they should work well as lightweight hikers or approach shoes.

(0)

 

0 Comments

Illimani94

Illimani94 wrote a review of on February 3, 2012

4 5

I'm a trouble case for fit - narrow, low-volume, Morton's Toe, etc. Since New Balance stopped making trail runners in narrow I've been looking for trail running shoes that even sort of fit. These are the ones. A good low-volume fit, relatively little lift at the heel so the foot position is neutral. They're new, so don't know yet about the durability. The soles have incredible traction on rock, and the low-profile tread pattern gives good grip in loose surfaces while not catching on stuff like deep treads sometimes can. I hope they never stop making these.

(0)

 

0 Comments

0 Comments

Illimani94

Illimani94 wrote a review of on January 14, 2012

5 5

I've used probably every generation of the Exped Glove. The current generation is one of the best, if not THE best. By themselves they supply needed warmth in milder conditions. Under mittens they supply added warmth, plus in serious cold they put a layer of protection between your hands and the brutal outside world when you have to do the fiddly stuff. I also wear these under shell gloves for ice climbing. Swap in a fresh dry pair each pitch of climbing, dry them in my clothes when at the belay.

Negatives. They tend to wear out quickly, usually one or both index fingers. For a light glove like this, used for handling rough objects, I suppose that's not surprising. Also, I find that for my glove size Patagonia's idea of finger length is a bit shorter than my actual finger lengths. Not a huge issue, but check the fit on your hands. Otherwise, designed an made with Patagonia's characteristic attention to detail.

(0)

 

0 Comments

Illimani94

Illimani94 wrote a review of on January 14, 2012

4 5

These are remarkably comfortable, and have remained so over time (my oldest pair are from 2006). The Cap 2 moves moisture quickly; even in coastal Ecuador the sweat just kept moving outward. The fit is supportive but not too clingy. These dry fast when washed in a sink and hung on a clothesline to dry. I have a 36" waist, and the size L is a good fit, so true to size. They even have a fly, a fly that actually works well. Small point, but done poorly so often.

The only negative I can think of is that the legs will lose some of their shape as the garment gets older, so they do start to ride up at times. That's the 5 yr old ones, so perhaps it's inevitable. To this point not a real problem, but I can see it reaching a point where I will retire them. A fabric with some Lycra would keep shape better, but also hold more moisture. On balance these are the best "action" underwear I've had, and the ones I keep buying.

(0)

 

0 Comments

Illimani94

Illimani94 wrote a review of on September 11, 2011

4 5

I've been climbing ice in these gloves for the past 2 seasons. Durable, reasonably warm, and enough dexterity to actually work with gear, tie knots, etc. Leather palm/fingers is solid but fairly flexible. Knuckle padding has saved my fingers more than once. In colder temps I find I have to switch into belay mitts to avoid cold hands, but using them just for lead or follow I've gotten down to about 10F with reasonably comfortable fingers. Have not really tested the waterproof membrane yet, so don't know about water resistance.

(1)

 

0 Comments

Illimani94

Illimani94 wrote a review of on January 22, 2011

5 5

Gloves in the modern style of "climb light and swap to belay mitts if it's frigid". I've used these down to about 10F in reasonable comfort. The fit is superb, and the combination of softshell outer and light fleece insulation makes for gloves in which I can handle gear, tie knots, use my fingers. The leather, fabric, stitching have held up well so far. I'd like to say that I don't need the "ice armor" on the backs, but more than once the foam has saved me from bruised to a hand or finger.

Negatives... They're not especially waterproof, but then what glove is out in the snow. They stay dry enough over the course of a day out on the ice. The fleece liner packs down quickly. I have yet to wash these, so the liners may refluff when I do. And the fixed liner makes the gloves slow to dry, which is problematic when living out of a tent instead of a lodge or hut. The real solution to points 2 and 3 is a modular glove with replaceable liner gloves. These seem to be out of favor these days, so BD is in the mainstream with this glove. Oh well...

Overall I like very much. Compared to the BD Specialist the Punishers have much better feel and dexterity, yet the Punishers seem fairly tough and reasonably warm. If you climb in the light-glove style these are a great choice.

(0)

 

0 Comments

Illimani94

Illimani94 wrote a review of on May 9, 2010

nice shelter
4 5

I like the Betamid as a shelter for conditions where I don't expect continuous rain. If you seal the seams it's plenty waterproof, and a decent pitch will keep the splashes at bay. We tend to use ours for early-season trips, so insects have not been an issue. Condensation can be an issue if the 'mid is pitched close to the ground, as you might do if the weather is cold and/or blustery. The alternative is a fair amount of breeze leaking under the bottom if it's pitched higher. I"ve learned to take a warmer bag or a silnylon bag cover if we're using the Betamid. The shelter itself is surprisingly wind-shedding, even without adding extra guylines, if you face one end into the wind. For added peace of mind, attach a guyline to the loop at the top of the upwind pole, and set an extra guypoint upwind. Rock solid.

I should note that ours is not a stock Betamid. My wife has sewed 3 useful modifications to the shelter: a 10" skirt of bug netting around the perimeter, a pull-out loop at the bottom of the back panel, and a tunnel vent in the peak opposite the door. The netting will probably help with insects, though we've seen few on our trips so far. The extra guy point helps to stabilize the rear panel if it's facing into the wind. And the tunnel vent is supposed to help with condensation. It may have worked - we had no condensation last trip - but we also had rather breezy nights so it's hard to know. On a $99 shelter you don't feel bad about experimenting in ways you might decline on an expensive tent.

As for the negatives listed by others, I wouldn't argue with any of them. I will point out that this is a shelter, a shaped tarp really. Comparing it to a tent that costs a lot more and is likely heavier as well isn't entirely fair. Also, I have run into both condensation and wind issues with tents as well. Air movement is key to condensation avoidance; without that both tents and shelters are going to condense. And many of the light, mesh-bodied tents aren't any better at keeping the wind out; wind comes in under the fly and through the mesh. Actually you can get clever and pitch the Betamid with the back into the wind and close to the ground, but extend the down-wind pole a little higher to get the downwind part up off the ground a little. As for slow to dry, no different from a wet rainfly. Hosing the outside with a DWR (we use the Nikwax stuff, but I've heard good things about Revivex too) will minimize the wetting. Finally, comparing the weight to Silnylon shelters like the Nighthaven isn't a fair comparison. Spend the extra $80 on a Beta Light and then make the weight comparison.

Not that I don't find the Betamid annoying at times. It's basically an A-frame, with a peak-and-valley skyline to boot, so headroom is a bit hard to come by if you're used to arch-pole shelters. The supporting poles are inside the tent with you, so maneuvering is a bit of a pain. But these are inherent in the form. We've found the Betamid to be a versatile shelter, better than I expected actually. Small in the pack, reasonably light, and uses poles you might well be carrying anyway (your trekking poles). Weight, even with the bathtub floor, is competitive with tents of the same space. Seems to handle the weather just fine. You can go lighter, but for this price you'll be hard put to find a better shelter.

(2)

 

0 Comments

0 Comments

Illimani94

Illimani94 wrote a review of on May 9, 2010

4 5

If you're looking for trail runners, just keep walking. If you want a low-cut hiking boot, with serious support and massive tread, you've arrived. I've only used them for trail hiking and rock scrambling with light loads. However, the midsole feels supportive enough to tolerate carrying a backpacking load.

The Sandstones are sturdy and seem pretty tough. Soles are grippy on rock and the deepish tread grabs well on loose surfaces. Somehow the lugs also seem to clear themselves of accumulated debris as well, a nice touch. Haven't walked anything wetter than damp undergrowth, so I have no idea whether the Gore-Tex really keeps water out. Alll I can tell you is that my feet didn't overheat, often a complaint with Gore-Tex liners for boots. The protective rubber patches on the toes caught most of the scrapes. I replaced the stock footbeds with some custom ones that support my X-long arches. I imagine Superfeet would work well for most people. The stock beds are pretty lame, but whose aren't?

These boots run narrow, so if your feet are on the wide side I don't think you'll be happy. My narrow feet got a decent fit except for a couple rub spots. I expect those will dissappear as the boots wear in. Yes, surprising for a low-cut, but these boots really need a break-in period. If you're taking these on a long trip make sure you get in some short hikes to work out the kinds.

For me these are a great choice for day hikes, approaching climbs, even some backpacking.

(0)

 

0 Comments

Illimani94

Illimani94 wrote a review of on September 13, 2009

3 5

The 2005 version of the Spoonbill is my all-time favorite ball cap. Close and adjustable fit, a nylon fabric that dries quickly, sheds both rain and snow, keeps the sun off. The long bill that keeps the sun out of your eyes. Can get a bit sweaty when I'm active in hot weather, and has the stains along the crown to prove it. But overall a nice outdoors hat: a simple piece, nicely rendered.

The '09 version of the Spoonbill, now the Vented Spoonbill, replaces the nylon in the sides of the hat with some sort of mesh. This is chillier in cooler weather, but does ventilate better when it's hot. The mesh is fine enough that you won't sunburn through the mesh, and it seems pretty sturdy.

My main gripe about this version of the Spoonbill is that the fit has changed. The cut seems to favor those with rounder heads, whereas my longer front-to-back head seems to constantly be distorting the hat slightly. In a breeze the fit has to be really snug to keep the hat from flying off, to the point that it leaves an impression in my forehead. Not pleasant.

So, an OK hat, biased toward warmer weather use, but not (my opinion) as good as the earlier version of the hat. I'll be interested to see what the next version of the Spoonbill looks like.

(0)

 

0 Comments

Illimani94

Illimani94 wrote a review of on September 13, 2009

4 5

This shirt slots into the same category as Patagonia's Capilene 2 - loose fabric that moves moisture really well, dries quickly, but seems less sturdy than whatever Patagonia uses for the Cap 1 line.

As to the shirt itself, I like the fit, the fabric feels comfortable against my skin. Like Cap 2 this shirt has the feeling that wearing it it is literally drier than bare skin. This shirt, with its aerated weave, is less protective against the sun than is Capilene 1, and as the air cools down any breeze gets right to you. But for those warm days where getting the sweat off your body is paramount this shirt is great.

(0)

 

0 Comments

Illimani94

Illimani94 wrote a review of on March 16, 2009

4 5

These are brilliant ice climbing gloves - the fit is snug, well-placed foam armor, waterproof-breathable insert, removable warm liners, sturdy softshell outer with good leather on palms and fingers, and excellent precurve to the fingers. I wanted to like them so much! I've been looking for an ice glove with a removable liner for a while now; these seem to be perfect. Unfortunately they're just too bulky for me to handle gear in them. But if you CAN these are great ice gloves.

(1)

 

0 Comments

Illimani94

Illimani94 wrote a review of on March 16, 2009

4 5

Used these for snowshoe outings, ice climbing, and bashing in to ice climbs. Reasonably warm, stay pretty dry, good leather palm and fingers. The outer shell is not softshell, so dexterity is not what it could be, but that keeps them lighter and makes snow slide off. Grip is excellent. They don't dry especially fast, but not bad. I'd prefer to have a removable inner glove for faster drying. No foam armor, so I dinged fingers while ice climbing. BD don't bill these as ice gloves so I knew the risk. Overall a very usable glove for all sorts of winter activities.

(0)

 

0 Comments

Illimani94

Illimani94 wrote a review of on March 16, 2009

2 5

Design is simple and clean. Shell material is snow-shedding and at least a little stretchy. No insulation, just a light wicking lining. Used for bust-ass skiing or snowshoeing, spring skiing, summer mountaineering these are wind-resistant and comfortable. The leather palm and fingers give solid grip, but otherwise is problematic. The leather absorbs water much more readily than other gloves I've used and takes a long time to dry. I treated with Nikwax glove treatment, and found no improvement. Further, the leather hasn't proven especially sturdy, at least not compared to other gloves I've used. Because of this issue I can't recommend them, but they do have their good points. If you find a leather treatment that CAN make the leather water-resistant you might well have a decent utility glove.

(0)

 

0 Comments