James Ray

James Ray

Victoria, Australia

James Ray's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Paddling
Climbing

James Ray's Bio

Paddler & Outdoor Educator

James Ray

James Ray wrote a review of on May 29, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I have two of these kicking around. They are fantastic! When I was learning to paddle and swimming (very regularly) these made recovering and emptying my boat so much easier, this in turn meant I spent less time freezing on the bank and more time warm in a boat.

Now I lend them to all and sundry makes days on the river with novices much easier.

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James Ray

James Ray wrote a review of on May 29, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I wear a Kokatat Ronin Pro as my white water vest, I have had it for about 4 years and I love it. However, it was the only PFD I owned. I didnt want to wear it out when I was Flat-water touring, sea kayaking or playboating. So as I do more playing then anything else I was looking at something like a NRS Ninja. I saw a Astral Sea Wolf on sale in a local store, I went in, tried it on and loved it. The clamshell pocket has heaps of room with out getting in the way. The hand warmer is a nice touch, the pockets in the side are really good as well. This is now my go to PFD for everything unless I need to be wearing a rescue vest. I didn't think I would find something more comfortable than my Ronin Pro but I have. When my Ronin needs replacing I will be seriously looking at the greenvest now.

Bottom line, if you need a PFD for just about any type of paddling, buy this PFD! Unless you need a rescue PFD.

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James Ray

James Ray wrote a review of on August 7, 2013

4 5

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

I only just got mine if fits really well, like all the NRS gear I have owned its true to size. It feels nice and solid so hopefully will stand up will over time. It's has kept me feeling cool and not sunburnt.

I'll re write this review when I have had a chance to hammer it over the Aussie summer.

But it looks good at the moment.

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James Ray

James Ray wrote a review of on August 7, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

If you don't know already Kokatat makes some of the best dry wear on the market. When I was at uni studying outdoor education, myself and all my white water class mates all invested in some kind of dry wear. After three years all but the Kokatat and one Sweet Protection dry tops leaked. So if you want a dry top get a Kokatat Rouge or a Sweet Prophecy. However as the Prophecy only comes in red and doesn't have a lifetime warranty, get the Kokatat Rogue.

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James Ray

James Ray wrote a review of on August 5, 2013

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This has been the compass I use for the last 4 years. I would love to say I have never got lost using it, but that would be lying. However, my getting lost is not the fault of the compass. It has lasted the distance being used in all conditions.

The Clinometer is a nice touch too.

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James Ray

James Ray wrote a review of on August 5, 2013

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

For me this has become like my Gortex jacket, if I'm going hiking its in my pack ready to go. For the little bit of extra weight it is, it saves your pack from becoming wet and more importantly heavy. I made the decision to by mine whiles walking behind a mate with one on the Victorian high county when it was raining heavily. It's never failed me. Obviously it'd not going to keep,your pack dry on a river crossing but it sure does keep the rain off.

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James Ray

James Ray wrote a review of on August 5, 2013

4 5

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

I got one of these thinking what a great idea! However in reality, I have found that the trips that I'm likely to use it on, typically journey biased stuff, my rubbish is very minimal as I have minimal packaging and an empty peanut butter jar is my rubbish pot, normally lasts for 3 weeks. I can't say I can recommend it, but that's because of how I operate in the field. The few times I have used it, it have done exactly what it claims to be able to do.

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James Ray

James Ray wrote a review of on August 5, 2013

3 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

If you need a dry bag for paddling, look at something else. However, if you want something to go inside your pack will not really be immersed this is what you want. My pack has a large pack liner and a heap of these dry sacs. Using them this way I have never had a problem. Like I said before, I wouldn't use them anytime gear was going to be immersed,

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James Ray

James Ray wrote a review of on August 5, 2013

2 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I have used 3 of these in the last 3 year (people keep giving them too me as gifts...) The concept for them is good, and the size and weight are great. However, the rest of it is crap! Shakey handle, too small a blade and breaks too easy. This trowel has left me needing to play poo golf too many times because of its ineffectiveness. I don't like playing poo golf. In all honestly got by a $3 trowel from your local Hardwear store, it won't be a short but it won't fail you when it counts.

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James Ray

James Ray wrote a review of on August 4, 2013

4 5

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

I used a few of these to set a pig rig and haul raft 20 up a cliff on the franklin river. They were small and light yet ver sturdy. At the end of the day they made the portage shorter by probably an hour or so, very happy boy.

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James Ray

James Ray wrote a review of on August 3, 2013

There when you need it... Mostly...
4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

This is the best throw bag I have ever seen, it's small and compact and it sits comfortably on my back. Throwing my bag is a dream, I normally have to spend sometime getting used to throwing a particular throw bag, however this bag I could hit my mark easily from the first it I threw it.As has been said earlier the quick release has a habit of undoing itself and I have had to chase mine down river a few times.also the belt is very long. I have trimmed the belt and replaced the quick release with a conventional buckle from a pack. With these little improvements I'm very happy with it.

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James Ray

James Ray wrote a review of on August 3, 2013

3 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I own a few of these in differing sizes. Like any dry bag of this design they are not 100% water tight. This is evident when you get all the air out of one and a few minutes later, it has somewhat re-inflated. Having said that it is a good bag of this design. I still use them when sea kayaking, in my pack when walking or for things that can afford to get a little damp when white water paddling.. If you want a bag that will keep anything dry, even when immersed, go check out the bags Watershed make. All in all these bags are quite good for what they are.

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James Ray

James Ray wrote a review of on August 3, 2013

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

As the title says, it's Watershed, so it's good. I gave one of these a solid test on the Franklin river in Tasmania, Australia.It stood up fairly well. My gear was dry the whole time. I was quite impress as my bag spent most of its time on the bottom of the raft frame. However one on the shoulder straps ripped off and the other was not far behind. This did make the bag a complete pain when doing high portages. Watershed was amazing with the exchange, I sent them an email and they replied by telling me to go to the closest distributor as they had sorted it all with them to swap it over. The new bag I got had some reinforcing were the straps come into the bag. It hasn't even looked like failing since.

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