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

Jason Livingston

Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Wyoming

Jason Livingston's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Snowboarding
Running
Biking
Snowshoeing
Climbing

Jason Livingston's Bio

I rep for Cascade Designs, Princeton Tec, Yakima, Granite Gear, and Stanley/PMI. My territory is the Rocky Mtn region where I labor to promote the best gear on the planet. I'm also an avid mtn biker, backpacker, mountaineer, and outdoor enthusiast.

My goal on this site is simply to answer questions the best I know how with the information I've been given pertaining to the gear I rep for, period. I will sometimes interject my own gear bias, but for the most part I try to be as impartial as possible.

Jason Livingston

Jason Livingston wrote a review of on October 3, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size

As I prepared for a trip to the Wind River Mtns this September, the one thing I needed was a good pair of durable, comfortable convertible pants. I decided to go with the Outdoor Research Ferrosi Pants even though the review wasn't that favorable. I was super happy that these were the pants I chose. I couldn't be happier with how they performed, how quick they dried, how comfortable they were, and that they show zero signs of wear even though I bushwhacked for 30 miles.

The two things I had questions about was the placement of the zipper (which also determines the length of the shorts) and that these pants don't have a 'boot' zipper to allow easy removal of the lower legs when zipped off for shorts. In my experience both of these are non-issues. I really liked the length of the short (a bit longer than others I tried) and I never experienced any discomfort after hiking 30+ miles in some seriously difficult terrain from the zipper rubbing against my knee. The zipped off portion of the pant were easy to remove due to the stretchy nature of the material.

My overall impressions is very good! They pants are much more durable than the average taslin nylon backpacking pants, the stretch allows for much more freedom of movement, and I even liked the front pockets which, in my opinion, were designed to be easily accessible while wearing a hip belt. I liked the side pocket's vertical zipper as I used this to access my iPhone for pictures along the way. I would highly recommend these for desert (durable, breathable, and incredibly comfortable), mountain, and just hanging around camp.

(0)

 

0 Comments

Jason Livingston

Jason Livingston wrote a review of on May 10, 2014

One Of My Favorite Pieces of Gear!
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I recently returned from a 7-day, 65 mile backpack trip in to the Maze District in Canyonlands National Park and felt I had to write a review on these amazing poles! As anyone who has ventured into the canyon country will attest to the fact that there is very little flat ground anywhere to be found. Seldom are you hiking on an 'easy' trail. More often than not you are either climbing out of a steep canyon or descending into another one for mile after mile. It is rugged and can wreak havoc on the knees.

There are several things I loved about these poles. One of the things I was initially concerned about was their weight. What I noticed was not the weight of the poles, but the SWING weight was very similar to much lighter weight carbon poles I typically carried.

The other thing I noticed was how sturdy they were. I was never concerned about collapsing or bending them. They seemed much more capable of taking abuse than the lighter weight poles I've used in the past.

The best feature though is how adjustable they are, and this is where they really shined in the unforgiving terrain of the Maze! I was able to adjust IN STRIDE as I approached a ledge or steep step and, on the other hand, was able to lengthen the poles IN STRIDE has I headed to a steep downhill section. Often this meant the difference in me having the most control of my balance and easing my weary body up and down the trail. They worked flawlessly!

They do have a bit of a rattle, but I was surprised that this didn't bother me at all. With a friction based pole, there is no movement, but due to the 'pin' engagement of these poles, it is very difficult to create the same movement-free characteristic found in friction based poles. Having said that, the tiny bit of rattle was almost non-existent. MSR did an incredible job minimizing this in these poles.

The straps also proved easy to use and very comfortable.

If you need the most secure, dependable and easy-to-adjust pole available, you've found it!

(1)

 

0 Comments

Jason Livingston

Jason Livingston wrote a review of on May 10, 2014

Best Solo Tent Available...
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I've used this tent on many backpacking trips including 7-day, 80 miler in the backcountry in Escalante National Park, 7-days, 70 miler in the Weminuche Wilderness Area, and most recently on a 7-day, 65 miler backpacking trip in Canyonlands Maze District. These kinds of conditions really test the durability, weatherproofness, and wind resistance of an ultralight tent.

My experience has been terrific with the Hubba NX Tent! I can't say enough about the livability, durability, and lightweight/packability! I believe this tent incorporates all three of these categories better than any tent I've researched and used. The current state of the market shows that many tents are singularly faceted, meaning they sacrifice everything for lightweight. In other words their coatings aren't as robust, the materials (especially the floor) has been reduced to tissue paper, and livability isn't even taken into consideration. Some of the ultra lightweight tents also compromise on breathability due to their single wall configuration. It's obvious to me the Hubba NX was designed with all three categories mutually considered. I can't think of a better tent for the money!

(1)

 

0 Comments

Jason Livingston

Jason Livingston wrote a review of on May 9, 2014

Absolutely works!
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

My most recent use of the Powermonkey Extreme was on a 7 day backpacking trip into the Weminuche Wilderness near Durango, CO. I know that many go backpacking to leave stuff that represents work, especially their phone, behind. I get it. But when I explain why I take it, that I turn off the phone feature on my iPhone 5s, it stops being a 'phone' and turns into my music player (love music on the trail and in my tent at night), my star chart, my books (I can put 1000 books on my phone...why choose?), gps with satellite images and topo mapping, video camera, fitness tracker, games (guilty pleasure especially during a 4 hour downpour), alarm clock for early morning summit attempts, and so on. You get the picture...

I also love my Suunto watch that helps track my mileage and where my next campsite is. I have a set of bluetooth headphones that I take to keep the wires at bay. In the past, my headphone wires always got tangled in the straps of my pack. Frustrating.

All these need power! The best unit I've found for backcountry power is the Powermonkey Extreme. It is super rugged, waterproof (is rated for submersion in 1 meter of water for 30 minutes), is super efficient in creating power from sunlight and transferring that power to the battery, and uses the latest in battery technology. I think the best part is it's ruggedness. I consider this as essential a piece of gear as my stove, mattress, and trekking poles. It is designed for the backcountry!

I've used many solar and battery products, and none have been as reliable and dependable nor as easy to use as the Powermonkey Extreme. If you need power, I wouldn't look anywhere else! Now if I could only plug it into my legs...

(1)

 

Jason Livingston

Jason Livingston wrote a review of on May 17, 2012

The Real Scoop...
5 5

It seems there are many confused on exactly what you're getting with the 2012 Carbon Reflex 2 Tent. For starters, this is the 2012 version which has two doors and two vestibules, similar to the MSR Hubba Hubba. This is the lightest weight 2-man tent MSR currently sells. The 2011 version has 1 door and 1 vestibule and is a few ounces lighter.

The other point of confusion has to do with the brand new carbon fiber poles designed with Easton and that are exclusive to MSR. Anyone who thinks these can't take the abuse of wind, rain, and even a bit of snow has no idea what they are talking about. I find it comical that someone would deem them susceptible to breakage just by setting the tent up in their back yard, or worse, by simply pulling them out of the bag. I can assure you that both MSR and Easton has tested these poles way beyond what most people would put them through. There is no way MSR would include a pole section that would 'break over time'. It's not going to happen. These poles are significantly stronger than their aluminum pole equivalents and you can be assured that they will work as promised.

The materials are absolutely the best available! The fly is comprised of a 20 denier, 330 threadcount nylon. It has tremendous tensile strength for a super taught pitch (the tighter the pitch the more wind and weather resistant it is) and all of the guyout points are reinforced with a laminated patch of nylon. The fly can be pitched separately when you use the Carbon Reflex 2 footprint. The floor is a 40 denier, 3,000mm DuraShield polyurethane coated floor, substantial when compared to other sub 3lb tents on the market. The DuraShield coating is superior to any other tent coatings available. If properly stored, this coating will last for many years without any concern of delimitation no matter whether it's stuffed in or folded (the tent must be stored dry). The main body is a 20 denier no-see-um black mesh that disappears when it gets dark. It really feels like you're sleeping under the stars, but with complete bug protection. The details are also worth mentioning. You simply get the best stakes available in any tent. They are MSR Mini Groundhog stakes made from extruded aluminum, super lite (10 grams per stake), Y-shaped, and red anodized. They are nearly indestructible and retail for $3 per stake. The tent, pole, and stake bags are also finished complete with taped seams to keep them from fraying. MSR has included NiteEyz cord locks on each of these bags to insure they don't slip, thus the stake, pole, and the tent bags don't lose their contents. The details are an example of the quality and attention MSR puts into everything they do.

This is intended for those who want livability in a sub 3 lb tent and demand the best quality available. Are there lighter tents? Of course, but not in a double wall tent that includes 2 doors and 2 vestibules, and with the amount of room that the Carbon Reflex 2 has! This is a true 2-man tent (the way MSR determines this is if it can fit two regular size Thermarest mattresses (20in wide X 72in long) side by side with out overlapping the other). It also has enough room for at least 2 people to sit in without touching the walls. You can actually change your clothes in it!

I've included the dimensions and specs.

(4)

 

0 Comments

Jason Livingston

Jason Livingston wrote a review of on May 17, 2012

The Real Scoop...
5 5

It seems there are many confused on exactly what you're getting with the 2011 Carbon Reflex 2 Tent. For starters, this is the 2011 version which has one door and one vestibule, along with a small area in the back of the tent for gear storage. This was initially intended to keep the tent as light as possible. This is the lightest weight 2-man tent MSR has ever produced to date. The 2012 version has 2 doors and 2 vestibules and is a few ounces heavier.

The other point of confusion has to do with the carbon fiber poles. Anyone who thinks these can't take the abuse of wind, rain, and even a bit of snow has no idea what they are talking about. I find it comical that someone would deem them susceptible to breakage just by setting the tent up in their back yard, or worse, by simply pulling them out of the bag. I can assure you that both MSR and Easton has tested these poles way beyond what most people would put them through. There is no way MSR would include a pole section that would 'break over time'. It's not going to happen. These poles are significantly stronger than their aluminum pole equivalents and you can be assured that they will work as promised.

The materials are absolutely the best available! The fly is comprised of a 20 denier, 330 threadcount nylon. It has tremendous tensile strength for a super taught pitch (the tighter the pitch the more wind and weather resistant it is) and all of the guyout points are reinforced with a laminated patch of nylon. The fly can be pitched separately when you use the Carbon Reflex 2 footprint. The floor is a 40 denier, 3,000mm polyurethane coated floor, substantial when compared to other sub 3lb tents on the market. The main body is a 20 denier no-see-um black mesh that disappears when it gets dark. It really feels like you're sleeping under the stars, but with complete bug protection. The details are also worth mentioning. You simply get the best stakes available in any tent. They are a red anodized hi-strength aluminum stake and are nearly unbendable. The tent, pole, and stake bags are also finished complete with taped seams to keep them from fraying. The details are an example of the quality and attention MSR puts into everything they do.

This is intended for those who want livability in a sub 3 lb tent and demand the best quality available. Are there lighter tents? Of course, but not in a double wall tent with the amount of room that the Carbon Reflex 2 has! This is a true 2-man tent (the way MSR determines this is if it can fit two regular size Thermarest mattresses (20in wide X 72in long) side by side with out overlapping the other). It also has enough room for at least 2 people to sit in without touching the walls. You can actually change your clothes in it!

I've included the dimensions.

(1)

 

0 Comments

Jason Livingston

Jason Livingston wrote a review of on February 20, 2012

5 5

This is a radical idea for a sleeping bag, no doubt. It comes sans zipper and has a big, oval hole surrounded with elastic. If this isn't known before purchase, I would encourage you to do some homework. It does take some getting used to, but if used properly, with the right pad, it's very comfortable. I've personally slept in it down to 30 degrees F and been very comfortable (I'm a moderate sleeper). It is European rated, the only standard currently for down bags, down to 20 degrees F while using the Prolite Plus pad. If you use any other pad, including the rectangle NeoAir mattresses (it will work with the new tapered NeoAir Xlite down to 20 degrees F), you will probably not get the 20 degree rating. I will tell you that, once you understand the bag and how to get in and out, it is much easier than one with a zipper. At 1lb 6oz for regular and rated at 20 degrees, especially for $240, it's worth considering...

(1)

 

0 Comments

0 Comments

0 Comments

0 Comments

0 Comments

0 Comments

Jason Livingston

Jason Livingston wrote a review of on June 3, 2011

Awesome Hydration Pack
5 5

I've had the opportunity to use the Platypus Pack for several mountain bike trips and have been very pleased. One of the best features is that the main compartment is waterproof. I've been on a couple of rides where I got into a small microburst and all of the contents in my pack (including my iPhone) was perfectly dry. I also really like that when I fill my reservoir I don't worry about it being wet and getting everything else in my pack wet. This is due to the fully waterproofed-taped main pocket. I also love that it doesn't become a round tube when I fill the reservoir full (often happened with Camelbak). It sits fully flat on my back and is super comfortable. I haven't experienced any wear issues up to this point. It has been a solid pack and looks great as well.

I also really love that I don't taste any plastic when drinking from the reservoir. This has been a major complaint from all of my Brand X toting friends, even those with their latest reservoir. It is the only one that I've found that doesn't have that plastic taste.

All in all a very nice, well-thoughtout pack. I highly recommend it...

(1)

 

0 Comments

Jason Livingston

Jason Livingston wrote a review of on June 3, 2011

Awesome Hydration Pack
5 5

I've had the opportunity to use the Platypus Pack for several mountain bike trips and have been very pleased. One of the best features is that the main compartment is waterproof. I've been on a couple of rides where I got into a small microburst and all of the contents in my pack (including my iPhone) was perfectly dry. I also really like that when I fill my reservoir I don't worry about it being wet and getting everything else in my pack wet. This is due to the fully waterproofed-taped main pocket. I also love that it doesn't become a round tube when I fill the reservoir full (often happened with Camelbak). It sits fully flat on my back and is super comfortable. I haven't experienced any wear issues up to this point. It has been a solid pack and looks great as well.

I also really love that I don't taste any plastic when drinking from the reservoir. This has been a major complaint from all of my Brand X toting friends, even those with their latest reservoir. It is the only one that I've found that doesn't have that plastic taste.

All in all a very nice, well-thoughtout pack. I highly recommend it...

(0)

 

0 Comments

Jason Livingston

Jason Livingston wrote a review of on June 3, 2011

Awesome Hydration Pack
5 5

I've had the opportunity to use the Platypus Pack for several mountain bike trips and have been very pleased. One of the best features is that the main compartment is waterproof. I've been on a couple of rides where I got into a small microburst and all of the contents in my pack (including my iPhone) was perfectly dry. I also really like that when I fill my reservoir I don't worry about it being wet and getting everything else in my pack wet. This is due to the fully waterproofed-taped main pocket. I also love that it doesn't become a round tube when I fill the reservoir full (often happened with Camelbak). It sits fully flat on my back and is super comfortable. I haven't experienced any wear issues up to this point. It has been a solid pack and looks great as well.

I also really love that I don't taste any plastic when drinking from the reservoir. This has been a major complaint from all of my Brand X toting friends, even those with their latest reservoir. It is the only one that I've found that doesn't have that plastic taste.

All in all a very nice, well-thoughtout pack. I highly recommend it...

(0)

 

0 Comments

Jason Livingston

Jason Livingston wrote a review of on June 3, 2011

Awesome Hydration Pack
5 5

I've had the opportunity to use the Platypus Pack for several mountain bike trips and have been very pleased. One of the best features is that the main compartment is waterproof. I've been on a couple of rides where I got into a small microburst and all of the contents in my pack (including my iPhone) was perfectly dry. I also really like that when I fill my reservoir I don't worry about it being wet and getting everything else in my pack wet. This is due to the fully waterproofed-taped main pocket. I also love that it doesn't become a round tube when I fill the reservoir full (often happened with Camelbak). It sits fully flat on my back and is super comfortable. I haven't experienced any wear issues up to this point. It has been a solid pack and looks great as well.

I also really love that I don't taste any plastic when drinking from the reservoir. This has been a major complaint from all of my Brand X toting friends, even those with their latest reservoir. It is the only one that I've found that doesn't have that plastic taste.

All in all a very nice, well-thoughtout pack. I highly recommend it...

(0)

 

0 Comments

Jason Livingston

Jason Livingston wrote a review of on June 3, 2011

Awesome Pack!
5 5

I've had the opportunity to use the Platypus Pack for several mountain bike trips and have been very pleased. One of the best features is that the main compartment is waterproof. I've been on a couple of rides where I got into a small microburst and all of the contents in my pack (including my iPhone) was perfectly dry. I also really like that when I fill my reservoir I don't worry about it being wet and getting everything else in my pack wet. This is due to the fully waterproofed-taped main pocket. I also love that it doesn't become a round tube when I fill the reservoir full (often happened with Camelbak). It sits fully flat on my back and is super comfortable. I haven't experienced any wear issues up to this point. It has been a solid pack and looks great as well.

I also really love that I don't taste any plastic when drinking from the reservoir. This has been a major complaint from all of my Brand X toting friends, even those with their latest reservoir. It is the only one that I've found that doesn't have that plastic taste.

All in all a very nice, well-thoughtout pack. I highly recommend it...

(0)

 

0 Comments

0 Comments

0 Comments

review flagged as spam. Click here to view.