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JKC

JKC

California

JKC's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Running
Biking
Paddling
Snowshoeing

JKC's Bio

I'm an avid mountain biker, road cyclist, runner and backpacker. I also enjoy snowshoeing, kayaking, snowboarding, and just about anything outdoors. Backcountry.com is one the first places I check when I need gear. They carry nearly everything, have great service, and fast, free shipping.

JKC

JKCwrote a review of on March 25, 2015

3 5

Familiarity: I returned this product before using it
Fit: Runs large

I ordered these, along with the non-Gore-Tex version. My normal size is 7.5, but I wear size 8 running shoes and sometimes boots, but can also wear a 7 in certain shoes. So I ordered these in a size 7.5. In the non-Gore-Tex version, they were much too big. In the Gore-Tex ones, they were about right with thicker stocks. I might have tried a size 7 in each style, but didn't really like the design, so I'm not going to reorder. The shoes felt firm and supportive, had stiff soles, but I think the outer shoe is odd. It is very stiff and is made out of a plastic-feeling material. The shoe doesn't flex well, and as I walked in it, it did not bend in the natural place in either version of the shoe. They just have a stiff feel to the upper, plus my heel slipped up and down with every step. Overall, I'm disappointed with the design...not at all what I was hoping for.

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JKC

JKCwrote a review of on March 25, 2015

3 5

Familiarity: I returned this product before using it
Fit: Runs large

I was really excited when I heard Arcteryx was coming out with these shoes and ordered them as soon as Backcountry got them in. I wasn't sure what size to order. My normal size is 7.5, but I wear size 8 running shoes and sometimes boots, but can also wear a 7 in certain shoes. So I ordered these in a size 7.5. They were too big. I would've reordered them in a 7, but I didn't really like the design, so I'm not going to reorder. The shoes felt firm and supportive, had stiff soles, but I think the outer shoe is odd. It is very stiff and is made out of a plastic-feeling material. The shoe doesn't flex well, and as I walked in it, it did not bend in the natural place. The fit was better (smaller) in the Gore-Tex version, and worked for me with thicker socks, but it still had the odd, stiff feel to the upper, plus my heel slipped up and down with every step. Overall, I'm disappointed with the design.

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JKC

JKCwrote a review of on January 13, 2015

4 5

Familiarity: I returned this product before using it
Fit: True to size

I ordered this anorak, as well as the jacket version. The jacket version fit me better, so I returned the anorak, but it was a close call. I found the anorak to fit roomy through the shoulders and arms, but slim through the waist and hips. The jacket version fit roomier through the waist and hips, but the shoulders and arms were cut much smaller. I have small shoulders, skinny arms, and slightly larger hips, so the jacket fit best.

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JKC

JKCwrote a review of on November 25, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I returned this product before using it

These are great gloves and exactly what I was looking for. I have small hands. Some of the reviews mentioned they ran small, so I ordered a size small on the off chance they might fit me. Well they didn't. They were too big. I would love to have these gloves. I hope they consider offering sizes for women.

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JKC

JKCwrote a review of on October 28, 2014

2 5

Familiarity: I returned this product before using it
Fit: Runs large

This is a really nice looking jacket, but I found the fit a little odd. It was too big through the shoulders, the sleeves were way too long, and yet it was too small in the hip area. If you have broad shoulders and smaller hips, this might work for you. If you have narrow shoulders and slightly bigger hip measurement than chest, don't bother.

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JKC

JKCwrote a review of on September 15, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I've been working on lightening up my base weight for a while, so it was time to look at downsizing from my 50L pack and saving a little weight. I tried about a dozen light and ultralight packs, but none of them fit properly. Many packs will not cinch down enough to fit my waist, and a lot of packs are designed with wide straps that cut into my neck, since my shoulders are very narrow. I was about to resign myself to the fact that I was stuck with my Osprey Aura, and then decided to try one more pack...this one. Rather than order the women's version, I got this one, because it had slightly larger volume.

Well I was surprised to find that it fit me! The waist adjusts small enough, and the shoulder straps fit just right. The sternum strap fits in the proper location, and the adjustable torso length is a nice feature. I would like just a bit more padding in the hip belt, but it's adequate. The only feature I really don't like is the zipper around the bottom of the pack. For me, it's unnecessary, something that could possibly fail, and adds extra weight, but I decided to keep the pack, despite that one little detraction.

I've now used it on a 2-day trip and a 3-day trip with great results. I was carrying a total load of about 18 lbs. including all food and water. By the way, the Osprey 1.5L hydration bag works great with it. For weekend trips, this bag is more than large enough for me, and should work out just fine for week-long trips. Actually I know some people use it for thru-hiking, so it should be all the pack I need. This ended up being about 1 lb. lighter than my old pack. Now I will admit that I am slightly envious of my husband's Osprey Exos pack, but unfortunately that pack didn't fit me at all, so the Talon works for me.

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JKC

JKCwrote a review of on September 15, 2014

3 5

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

I've had great luck with La Sportiva Raptor shoes, so I thought these would be just the ticket for hiking boots. I was wanting something a little lighter than my Zamberland Vioz boots, yet more sturdy than Keen Targhee's, and these were exactly that. Unfortunately the fit was all wrong for me. They are built on an extremely curved last. Curved lasts have never work for me in running shoes, but I thought what the heck, I'll give these a try. I just went for a walk around the block to try them out. They felt very unusual. Because of the curve, my little toes were mashed against the side of the toebox, while my big toes were swimming with room on the sides. It was clear I was trying to fit a straight foot into a curved shoe. If curved lasts work for you, these are probably really great boots.

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JKC

JKCwrote a review of on July 9, 2014

3 5

Familiarity: I returned this product before using it
Fit: True to size

The vest looked great, until I tried it on. It has an unusual cut. It has a pretty dramatic hourglass shape, and I found that the bottom hem was too big around, although the rest of the vest fit fine. I appreciate the weight savings by having no drawcord, but this vest just wouldn't work for me without one. The second issue was that the front panels are cut on a curve. If you unzip the vest, it is very apparent. The zippers do not lie in a straight line. They curve. What this did for me was cause the front of the vest to pooch out. I guess that wouldn't be so bad, but since I'm small chested, it mainly pooched out towards the bottom, which made me look pregnant. I have another vest made by a different company that has front panels that are not curved, and it does not have this issue. I hope Arcteryx redesigns this vest in the future, because I'd actually like to have one.

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JKC

JKCwrote a review of on December 26, 2013

4 5

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

These are nice gloves. They are similar to other gloves I have, but these are sort of a double-layer, so they are warmer without feeling too bulky. The only thing I'd change is that the wrists are too big around, which allows air to get inside. As long as I tuck them under my jacket cuffs, or put them over a thick enough layer to fill the gap, they work fine.

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JKC

JKCwrote a review of on December 26, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: Runs large

Based on the previous review, I ordered a small. But they were way too big, so I had to exchange them for an XS which fit perfectly. I found the rise to be a mid-rise. These pants have quickly become my favorite zip-off pants. I like the softshell fabric, the pockets, and the velcro tabs at the waist that eliminate the need for a belt. I live where it gets very hot, so I probably won't be using these in July, August, or September that much, but they will get plenty of use the rest of the year and when traveling to cooler climates in the summer. These pants seem very durable so far, after about 4 months of regular use.

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JKC

JKCwrote a review of on December 20, 2013

5 5

Fit: True to size

I ordered this in the Black Coffee color. It is black with teal on the inside of the collar. This top looks so good on, much better than the pic would indicate. My mom was over when it arrived, and she was super impressed with it as well. It looked so nice I could actually wear it to the office if I wanted to. It fit true to size. Unfortunately I am super sensitive to wool, even merino. I've worn a couple of Ibex and other brand merino items before, but I found this a bit scratchy so I had to send it back. And let me tell you, I was super disappointed because I loved this top. I think this will work for almost anyone that's not hypersensitive to wool like me. I am still giving it 5 stars, because I think my experience is the exception.

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JKC

JKCwrote a review of on December 20, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: True to size

I looked at this online many times before I finally ordered it, because I wasn't sure if I would like it or not. I'm happy to report that it worked out great, and it's actually quite unique. The material is different than anything I've ever seen. It actually has a chamois like feel. I would consider it on the light side of "midweight". It fits true to size. It's not a fitted shirt, but more of a classic fit. I got Tasty Red color, which is actually a dark orange as it appears in the picture...just what I wanted. One little detail that the pic doesn't show is that it has a seam down the middle of the back that has contrasting thread (white thread on the Tasty Red). It kind of adds a little style to an outdoorsy top. This doesn't have a real feminine look to it, but the first thing my husband said when I put it on was that he really liked it. Overall I would recommend this.

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JKC

JKCwrote a review of on October 30, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size

I will admit that I am super picky! I tried almost every vest out there trying to get the exact fit I wanted. I tried Patagonia's down sweater vest...too small in XS and too big in small and WAY too short in both. I looked like I was wearing a 12 year old's vest. The North Face Nuptse was decent, but the neck was overstuffed with down, tight, and restrictive. I tried the Rab Microlight vest, but the small was too big and too long. Maybe an XS would have fit, but I wasn't sure I liked the style that well, and I already have a couple of Rab down jackets. Next I tried some brands that Backcountry doesn't sell with no success. Finally I came back to Backcountry and found this vest from Montbell. I ordered a size small. I'm 5'4" and 105lbs. It fits exactly how I wanted. Not formfitting, but not overly loose. Just right with a sweater underneath. It's also just the right length, and it has a drawstring at the bottom so I can keep drafts out. The down lofts nicely, and this is a mid-weight vest and quite warm for it's weight. I also have the Montbell pants, so it's nice to have both pieces now. Great vest, and highly recommended.

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JKC

JKCwrote a review of on June 11, 2013

5 5

Had another brand of sleeping bag. It was a 30 degree bag, and after an extremely miserable night at 40 degrees, I decided it was time for a major upgrade. Enter the Versalite. Actually two. One for me, and one for him. We're both cold sleepers, and the Versalite's have been lifesavers. Been using them for 3 years now, about 40 nights a year, and they still look and perform like new. If we ever need new bags, Western Mountaineering will be our first choice. I am 5'4" and he is 5'8". We both went with the regular length bags. I'm sure I could have gone with the shorter bag, but I just put my jacket down at the foot to take up the extra space, and then the jacket is nice and warm in the morning when I put it on.

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JKC

JKCwrote a review of on June 11, 2013

5 5

Bought this for adventure motorcycle traveling and backpacking. Went with the 3-person version so we'd have more space vs. our old 2-person tent. It's just the right size for 2 people, and I suppose in a pinch we could sleep 3 if needed. It would definitely be cozy though. It's worth the price, because it is well made and very light. The color is a bit drab, but that can be a good thing if you don't want to stand out. It's super easy to setup, and I can do it without help. I haven't actually used it in the rain, so can't comment on that, but for what we bought it for, it is outstanding.

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JKC

JKCwrote a review of on June 11, 2013

3 5

I ordered this in the green, and it is definitely an army olive drab green. The color didn't look good on me at all. The fit wasn't that good on me either. I have somewhat of an hourglass shape, but this seemed a little to exaggerated...too small in the waist and too big in the hips. The shirt was very simple and plain looking. I didn't feel it was worth anywhere near the pricetag. Needless to say I sent it back.

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JKC

JKCwrote a review of on June 11, 2013

5 5

I thought this shirt looked kind of nice in the picture, but when it arrived, I was like "wow!" Really, really nice looking shirt, with lots of little details that just don't show in the pic. I'm 5'4" and 105lbs., and a small fits perfect. I don't like a tight fit, or too loose, and this is just right. It is now my favorite shirt of this type in my closet. The Crocus is a great color, and I'll probably order it in another color shortly. The fabric is slightly thicker than other shirts of this type, but it's really comfortable and drapes nicely.

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JKC

JKCwrote a review of on June 11, 2013

5 5

This jacket is almost lighter than air and so comfortable. I bought it for cool weather and for layering. It looks great, and fits great. The arm holes are slightly on the slim side, so you can't put a super heavy layer under it, but that helps keep the fit trim in the arms, which looks better than most down jackets. This jacket looks and fits much better than the Patagonia version. For cold weather, I'll be using my Rab Infinity jacket, but this is a nice jacket to have available when it's not too cold.

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JKC

JKCwrote a review of on June 11, 2013

5 5

My Patagonia Fitz Roy hooded down jacket totally let me down. It was pretty heavy, but not very warm, and the way the hood fit was terrible. I bought the Rab Infinity with high hopes, and it did not disappoint. It's lighter than the Fitz Roy, but WAY warmer. And the hood and neck fits great. It's super comfortable. I bought it in the spring and figured I'd have to wait til fall to put it to use, but Memorial Day was unusually cold where I camped, and I got to try it out. At 24 degrees I was warm with my Infinity jacket on! I would have been cold with my old Fitz Roy. Overall this is one of the best purchases I've ever made at Backcountry.

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