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Jason

Jason

Live in IA, but travel to UT and CA for adventures.

Jason's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Running
Biking

Jason's Bio

My wife and I have really enjoyed hiking in the Utah/California canyons and deserts, and are both getting into climbing. I race on an adventure racing team, so I tend to spend way too much money on quality gear that will hold up during the races. I generally go for light-weight over bomb-proof, but will do the research before making a purchase.

Jason

Jasonwrote a review of on January 2, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I replaced our Snow Peak sporks with two StS long spoons for a recent backpacking trip. The long versions make stirring and eating out of the taller Snow Peak Ti pots easier. I'm pretty convinced that sporks are unnecessary if you are using freeze-dried food. I thought eating noodles would be a little more difficult, but I just broke them up into smaller pieces before adding water and had no issues.

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Jason

Jasonwrote a review of on August 3, 2012

4 5

These are basically the best shoe available for canyoneering, but have some flaws. They are bulky, and are definitely designed for those with high volume feet. Sizing can be tricky, especially if you plan to not always wear neoprene socks. I recently did a trip through Death Hollow in Utah, going through basically everything except snow (timber, sand, wet and dry canyon, etc.) and only wore the Canyoneers. They are a little heavy if you are doing high miles, but for sticking to wet or dry canyon walls or stream beds, they are perfect. I had to punch new holes in the straps since my feet aren't high volume, but the straps worked well overall.

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Jason

Jasonwrote a review of on August 3, 2012

3 5

This is basically a camp version of the Bialetti Moka pot, so the end product is much the same. Not quite true espresso, but as close as you are going to get on the trail. Its a lot heavier than other coffee making products, but there is some kitchy quality to using one. I agree with the other users, the cup it comes with is not that great, but if taken care of, the maker itself should last a long while. Make sure you don't continue to heat it once the coffee comes out; you can damage the black sleeve and internal gasket. I have long since switched over to the Snow Peak Drip for trail coffee, but still keep this one around.

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Jason

Jasonwrote a review of on August 3, 2012

4 5

I have used the Snow Peak Drip for years at home and on the trail, but thought I would give the MSR product a shot. The filter worked ok, but it quickly became packed with the inevitable fine grinds. It didn't impact the coffee too much, but it was a little harder to clean on the trail than expected. The fact that it is super lightweight is nice, but overall I prefer the Snow Peak Drip.

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Jason

Jasonwrote a review of on August 1, 2012

5 5

I used a MSR Hyperflow for a couple trips, but decided to try new technology after the Hyperflow became difficult to pump midway into a hike. I generally backpack in areas that have clear but microbially suspicious water, so UV seemed like a perfect solution. The Steripen Adventurer worked well on a recent trip in Utah canyon-country, keeping us healthy even after having to drink from stagnant pools that were very questionable looking. Keep in mind that this will not alter the taste of the water (for better or worse) like filters or chemicals will. UV also works best in clear(ish) water, so in areas with a lot of suspended sediment this might need to be coupled with a mechanical filter of some type. Overall an extremely effective and quick way to treat water.

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Jason

Jasonwrote a review of on August 1, 2012

5 5

I wore through a pair of Miuras and bought a pair of Testarossas after reading the great reviews. Couldn't find them locally so I went with the same size (42) as the Miuras. They felt like comfy slippers as soon as I put them on, so I returned them for a pair of 41s and 41.5s. I went with the 41.5s and generally wear a US 10 mens street shoe. So far I have only used them on an Entre-prises "natural" wall, and they performed well. I felt like I could smear much better with the Testarossas, and could stick to tiny edges much more easily. The break-in period has been a little painful, but expected. I can definitely tell that there has been some stretch, but I wouldn't expect a lot of stretch overall. Little expensive, but they look and perform better than cheap shoes.

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Jason

Jasonwrote a review of on April 16, 2011

5 5

This was one of the first headlamps to use the CR123 batteries, which have a great power-to-weight ratio, have a long shelf life, and work better in cold weather. I used this headlamp primarily for adventure racing, where every ounce counts, but at the same time you want as much light as possible for nighttime navigation. The battery compartment is a little difficult to open, but I would rather have it that way instead of a non-watertight casing. Quality construction, bright light, low-weight. Buy the batteries online to save money, you can get them for around $1 apiece. Don't bother with rechargeables unless you only have short trips in mind.

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Jason

Jasonwrote a review of on April 16, 2011

4 5

I really think the fairing is more for aesthetics than anything else. It might cut wind noise a small amount, but I truly doubt the claims of fairings impacting gas mileage to any noticeable degree. However, that being said, I would never have a rack without the fairing as it completes the look. Subarus should come standard with Yakima racks, it makes them more versatile and they look great.

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Jason

Jasonwrote a review of on February 28, 2011

Top-shelf harness
5 5

This is my fourth harness, and by far the most versatile one I have owned. It is comfy and light, but not so pared-down that you feel unsafe. I found this one when looking for an indoor harness with non-adjustable leg-loops, and after trying on similar BD, Petzl, and Camp harnesses, this one fit and felt the best. I own a much lighter harness, the Camp XLH 95, but only use it during races when weight is at a premium. However, I never have felt completely safe in it, and will trade it out in the next race for the 350.
With the non-adjustable leg-loops, sizing might be an issue. I am 140 lbs with a 30" waist, and the small is perfect.

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Jason

Jasonwrote a review of on January 16, 2011

Extremely versatile
5 5

I originally purchased this shirt when I was in the military, but have used it in adventure races, while hiking, biking, etc. It keeps me warm by itself down into the 50s or so, but is amazingly cool enough to wear while active up into the 60s. Great as a base layer, and I have found after wearing it every day on a 6 day hike in Joshua Tree in January that it somehow doesn't hold odors.

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Jason

Jasonwrote a review of on January 16, 2011

Kept my cold wife warm
4 5

I bought this for my wife when preparing for a backcountry trip in Joshua Tree NP in January. With temps predicted near freezing, she needed something warmer than our 32 degree Moonstone down bags (which I used). Temps got down to the mid-20's on two nights, which led to frozen water bottles in the tent and frozen condensation on the tent walls. She stayed warm (enough) with just a silk liner and a base layer on. The bag is really well constructed, quite lofty, and seemed to breath enough to not be wet inside when she sweated on a warm night. I was impressed with the weight, it was a little less than my 650-fill 32 degree Moonstone bag. The only issue is the stuff sack, it really does seem to be a little small for the bag.

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Jason

Jasonwrote a review of on January 16, 2011

Quality gear
5 5

I'm a titanium junkie, and love the Snow Peak line. The only issue with the 900 is the lid. I also have the SP Mini-solo Combo, and love the lid from that set. I can't imagine using the 900's lid as a little pan, but I also am mostly a water boiler. In order to reduce heat transfer, I made a set of pot insulators out of Reflectix insulation. Virtually no weight, and from my one-time test, I reduced heat loss by 40%. In this picture, the 900 and 900 lid is closest, with the Mini-solo and lid in the background (the Mini-Solo nests in the 900, and the 900 nests in the windscreen). Both are in their insulators.

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Jason

Jasonwrote a review of on January 16, 2011

Does its job
3 5

This thing works, but it has one flaw: weight. I use the titanium GigaPower, and would purchase a titanium windscreen in an instant. I know, its not that heavy, but when the rest of the cookset is titanium, the difference is obvious. It also nests the Snow Peak 900 perfectly (the 900 fits "in" the windscreen, it does not fit in the 900), which is nice.

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Jason

Jasonwrote a review of on January 16, 2011

Many uses
4 5

I purchased these initially for a winter rogaine to keep my feet dry in the snow and they worked well for that purpose. I have since used them in a couple adventure races even though they are a little heavier than my short race gaiters. I have also used them when shoveling snow, and wore them every time I wasn't in the tent during a backcountry trip in Joshua Tree. The under-arch strap has shown virtually no sign of wear, which amazes me, but some thorny trees in JT did create a couple small tears. I have used Merrell and Montbell gaiters in the past, but neither compare to the Mountain Hardware pair.

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Jason

Jasonwrote a review of on January 16, 2011

Light and comfy
5 5

I will start with the two things that probably keep most people from buying this pad: cost and noise. There is some sticker shock, but the benefits are worth it. Second, for some reason it sounds like a potato chip bag in the store, but once you are on it outside, the sound isn't bad at all. My wife and I were heading to Joshua Tree in Jan. '11, so I bought a Neo for warmth to replace my short ThermaRest. I slept on it the first night, and my wife slept on our ThermaRest Prolite Plus. I was comfy, the next morning she said her hips hurt. The second night she took the Neo and somehow the Prolite had developed a leak, so I spent the night basically on the ground. My wife loved the Neo, saying that this was the first pad she could sleep on her side comfortably on. When we headed back to the gear shop, instead of the couple dollar patch, I bought a second Neo. Its smaller, lighter, way more comfy than any other pad I have used, and somehow is durable. Great product, you won't go back to other pads.

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Jason

Jasonwrote a review of on January 16, 2011

Can't ask for much more.
5 5

I have to admit, I have the titanium version of this stove, but besides the weight, everything is the same. We are mostly water-boilers, so I generally have the valve fully open, which makes it a blast furnace for its size. You can easily simmer, which I have also found with my Snow Peak WG stove. They both have a similar and great valve design. I'm not sure what additional feature could be added: it's light, works when you need it, and is compact.

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Jason

Jasonwrote a review of on June 16, 2010

Great pants, one zipper.
5 5

I have the last-gen model with only one cargo pocket on the left side. The smalls fit me perfectly, and are comfortable to wear with a pack. The built-in underwear is a pretty-open mesh that reduces the need for additional underwear, and keeps everything nice and cool. They dry quickly but aren't water repellent (which I didn't want). Best of all, you can still get them without the stupid "convertible" option. If I want shorts, I can just roll them up, yeah? No need for an extra zipper. I can imagine that some people will not like the belt, but you can take it off.

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Jason

Jasonwrote a review of on June 16, 2010

Plenty of features.
5 5

I have two of these shirts (one solid, one plaid), and usually take one to wear for extended trips. Tons of useful features like button-up sleeves, openable mesh back-panel, velcro front pockets. I did cut the secondary zip-pocket off to reduce weight as two pockets are enough for me. I recently wore one for 6-days straight, and it looks brand new after washing. The smalls are a little big for me, but I wouldn't want them skin tight in hot weather.

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Jason

Jasonwrote a review of on June 16, 2010

Indestructibly heavy.
3 5

I'm torn. I have the 1.1L and it does its job perfectly, which is namely holding freezedried food as it "cooks". The beast also stores a bowl, two sporks, my Snow Peak white gas stove and line, a lighter, and my Snow Peak Drip coffee maker (broken down). It is however, heavy. Everything is well protected when stowed away in the pack, but I imagine that I could get the same versatility at less weight (but higher price) with some titanium or aluminum. One nice thing is that I don't have to worry about scratching it, so its pretty easy to clean with a scraper and scratchy pad. For now I'm keeping it, but it will eventually be replaced by something lighter.

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