James Foulks

James Foulks

On a snowy mountain or on some singletrack

James Foulks's Passions

Biking
Skiing

James Foulks's Bio

If I'm not outdoors,I'm loosin' my mind

James Foulks

James Foulks wrote a review of on June 29, 2010

5 5

As the title implies, I did not want to love these....yet bought one pole to see what the deal was. I'm now considering buying a second pole since the 1st works so good for what it is intended to do...and more. Simply put: The use of the whippet was very intuititive and I found myself using it the first day out on a booter up a steep pitch.

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James Foulks

James Foulks wrote a review of on March 6, 2010

5 5

I've skied on these bindings for the past three seasons and am firmly now in love. I was skeptical at first as to the durability, safety and performance of the dynafit system as most are, but took the leap of faith based mostly on the significant weight savings. Not only are these things feather-weight light, I've had no issues with the durability or performance of the binding. It took some getting used to them to be able to operate the heel riser properly, but once I practiced a few times, I've not had any problems getting them adjusted. The same goes for getting into the bindings.....takes a little practice in the living room, but afterwords, I found them to be almost as easy to get into as traditional bindings. I definitely recommend these to anyone who is looking to save some weight.....thus saving more energy for the down!

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James Foulks

James Foulks wrote a review of on January 29, 2009

5 5

This was the first softshell jacket I have owned, opting instead for a light hardshell and a windstopper micro-fleece layer underneath. I did this in the past because I wanted complete wind-proof layers, but the option of breathability on the way up a long skin-track. Last weekends trip in this jacket was the first true test of what this jacket can do. I was out for 8 hours in this jacket, with sustained winds at 40 mph, gusting even higher. Riming conditions were encountered for the 1st half of the day, followed by calmer conditions in the second half. At no time did I feel this jacket was letting the wind in, and remarkably; never felt it was not breathing either. I've also taken it out in calmer, sunnier weather where I would have been clammy underneath on the skin-track/slog up slope....this jacket lived up to it's billing as a breathable, but windproof layer. I am a complete convert to the softshell jacket. My only 2 complaints are as follows: the pit zips seem a little small for my tastes, however I have yet to be in a situation where I would need more ventilation....if I were, I suppose that I would not need the jacket in the first place. The second complaint is that the velcro cuffs are built a bit large such that when I cinch them down, I'm almost running out of velcro. I will be modifying this area with more velcro to accommodate this problem. Bottom line, none of these gripes warrants demoting this to a 4-star.....Top notch all around.

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James Foulks

James Foulks wrote a review of on January 29, 2009

4 5

For starters, if you are looking for a primary softshell jacket as a replacement for a hard-shell, this would probably not rate as a 4 star rating. This is a lightweight softshell and given that caveat, it rates as 4 stars in my book. It would gain that 5th star if it had two additional items: Pit zips and more water shedding properties. With that being said, I would guess that if one finds themselves outside only needing a lightweight softshell, the need for water repellency is perhaps moot. I've taken this cycling, skiing on bluebird days and also used as a light overcoat for everyday. The fit is close and trim, but it has excellent reach in the arms and lower back....so no bunching/stretched fabric in the pits when hunched over the handlebars or annoying drafts in the small of my back. Given that I have broad shoulders, I am surprised at the range of movement I have in this jacket where others would leave my arms feeling constricted given the close fit. Lastly, the breathability is 1st rate in this jacket during high-aerobic activities while blocking all but the strongest winds.

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James Foulks

James Foulks wrote a review of on December 8, 2008

3 5

-Dexterity: 1 turn. Very rigid

-Removable liner: 4 turn. Best of breed - truly 3 gloves in one. I would pay money to have just the liner (windstopper Goretex fleece with very usable tacky grip - great for skinning.

-Wrist fit: 3 turns. 2nd best wrist strap of them all.

-Palm material: 0 turns.

-Overall Construction: 3 turns. Great glove even without the liner, very usable as a stand alone - I just could not see the palm material working out as planned.

-Verdict: 2 turns. I had high hopes as I was looking to replace my older Marmot Ultimate Ski gloves with a glove with a liner....the new palm material on this glove is very stiff and not lending itself to dexterity.

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James Foulks

James Foulks wrote a review of on December 8, 2008

4 5

-Dexterity: 4 turns. Best tested, very easy on and off.

-Removable liner: 0 turns. It's a work glove, so may not be fair criteria.

-Wrist fit: 1 turn. Questionable baffle wrist sleeve may not keep out snow or drafts. I would love to get some feedback on this glove from someone with a season in them.

-Palm material: 3 turns. Great soft leather.

-Overall Construction: 3 turns. Would be 4 if not for the questionable wrist baffle - still intrigued to try these though.

-Verdict: 2.2 turns. I would have picked these gambling that the wrist baffle worked as intended thus increasing it's score. If I was a two glove kind of guy, this would be #2.

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James Foulks

James Foulks wrote a review of on December 8, 2008

3 5

-Dexterity: 3 turns. Very soft leather construction, easily manipulated.

-Removable liner: 0 turns. No liner

-Wrist fit: 4 turns. Great wrist strap, found on underside of glove instead of on top, wider material. Best in class

-Palm material: 3 turns. Great leather construction

-Overall Construction: 3 turns. great idiot strap similar to the Cloudveil a model to follow.

-Verdict: 2.6 turns. Minus points for lack of a liner.

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James Foulks

James Foulks wrote a review of on December 8, 2008

4 5

-Dexterity: 3 turns. A true work glove.

-Removable liner: 0 turns. It's a work glove - that's what you get, not neceserrily a bad thing, just not what I need.

-Wrist fit: 3 turns. Great tight fit with elastic, I was surprised by a drawcord strap for a small gauntlet on this glove.

-Palm material: 3 turns. Typical BD burly construction, nicest leather of them all.

-Overall Construction: 3 turns.

-Verdict: 2.4 turns. This comes in 2nd place in the work glove category...granted, I only sampled 2 in this category, the other being the Cloudveil Tram Line.

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James Foulks

James Foulks wrote a review of on December 8, 2008

2 5

-Dexterity: 1 turn. Very rigid, in part because of weird treated leather on palm and fingers.

-Removable liner: 0 turns, no liner

-Wrist fit: 3 turns. 2nd best wrist strap of them all with tacky grip for tightening with the other glove on

-Palm material: 0 turns. Weird, rigid, hard feeling, not tacky grip material

-Overall Construction: 2 turns.

-Verdict: 1.2 turns. Kudos for great wrist strap - glove tested only came with one idiot strap on left glove....guess there is an extra strap without a glove somewhere in China. Overall, I was surprised by the changes Marmot made in the Ultimate Ski Glove the past few years. I bought this to replace my previous Marmot Ultimate Ski's which I loved....this new version fell short of those expectations

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James Foulks

James Foulks wrote a review of on December 8, 2008

3 5

-Dexterity: 1 turn. This should not be construed as being a "bad rating". Given that this was the warmest glove with the most insulation within the class, dexterity should not be a factor when requiring something this warm. Given skiing in the 4 corners region, it is overkill and warrants the low rating for me.

-Removable liner: 2 turns. The liner is basic, but not really usable outside the shell.

-Wrist fit: 3 turns. Elastic, no wrist strap, but firm and tight.

-Palm material: 3 turns. Heavy duty leather, great doubling of leather in key areas, tacky and soft.

-Overall Construction: 3 turns. Well designed and fits great, but lacks idiot strap which I would add as a modification.

-Verdict: 2.4 turns. If I were looking for a very warm/hot glove, the dexterity and removable liner points would have been higher, rendering this the overall winner. Minus points only for this reason. Great glove and decent dexterity for amount of insulation material to include wool.

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James Foulks

James Foulks wrote a review of on December 8, 2008

4 5

-Dexterity: 3 turns. Not as dexterous as work gloves, as good as it gets for a gauntlet glove.

-Removable liner: 2 turns. Not very usable outside of glove, the same as the other BD glove reviewed.

-Wrist fit: 3 turns. Great fit at wrist, elastic, no strap.

-Palm material: 4 turns. Heavy duty leather, great doubling of leather in key areas, tacky and soft. Same construction as other BD glove reviewed.

-Overall Construction: 4 turns. Nice balance of warmth, dexterity and burly construction. No idiot strap, but an easy mod.

-Verdict: 3.2 turns. BD makes some burly gloves overall. This is my winner for skiing the SW. I would have picked the BD Guide if I needed a much colder weather glove, but I already have a pair of these which don't get much use. I will be making my own idiot strap for these based after the Hestra design (below).

(2)

 

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James Foulks

James Foulks wrote a review of on December 8, 2008

1 5

-Dexterity: 0 turns. Very stiff, somewhat uncomfortable

-Removable liner: 2 turns. Very thick and warm liner with grippy palm could be used separately

-Wrist fit: 2 turns. A little on the loose side

-Palm material: 1 turns. Not too tacky and very stiff.

-Overall Construction: 1 turn. Not XTR fabric on outside which in my humble opinion not only gives you the benefits of GoreTex, but holds up well to abrasion which is a big issue for any skier trying to find weeks old powder in the thickest of forests. I felt like this glove would rip upon first contact with any stray branch I should try try to shield my face from.

-Verdict: 1.2 turns. Lowest rating, yet it had one of the best idiot straps I've ever seen; eliminating the cinching piece of plastic and opting instead for an easy on, easy off elastic cuff. It also had a zipper pouch for a heat chem pack if you're into that sort of thing.

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James Foulks

James Foulks wrote a review of on August 25, 2008

3 5

I love that the glue is not as strong as the BD's which makes for easy on and off, however getting them to line up the same every time because of the slight variability in alignment due to the tip clips is somewhat aggravating and even was a bit of a pain when first cutting them.

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James Foulks

James Foulks wrote a review of on August 25, 2008

5 5

I've had this pack for a year now and I have no complaints. I've used it to haul my skis as well as on extended MTB trips. Everything this pack claims to do it does well. Holds gear close in for my frame (very broad shoulders, 5'7", 145lbs). Zippers hold up well considering I do not take care of them (pulling and yanking, side-loading, etc). The fluids have not frozen up on me, however I always blow some air back into the tube prior to sealing as a precaution. All straps are holding up nicely as well as the fabric. All in all, a tough pack which I would buy again in a heartbeat.

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