Jeff Blackston

Jeff Blackston

Green Mountains / Adirondacks

Jeff Blackston's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Paddling
Snowshoeing
Skiing
Climbing

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Jeff Blackston

Jeff Blackston wrote a review of on March 7, 2013

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I run the Madshus Epoch, 3-pin cable and a Fischer bcx 675, which I really like for mostly touring, and rolling hills, etc. If my intent is to go up, then down, I'll use the T4. Fit is nice, warmth is OK, but they really drive the Epochs in choppy and variable snow. Good boot, but not perfect. May look at replacing the liner with an Intuition liner.

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Jeff Blackston

Jeff Blackston wrote a review of on March 6, 2013

3 5

I use this shoe exclusively as an around town,and occasionally wear to work. It is really light, stable, comfortable and weather resistant. The only bad mark I give this shoe is the lack of durability. The top of the achilles arch is beginning to wear through, after 2 months of limited use.

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Jeff Blackston

Jeff Blackston wrote a review of on March 5, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

When I bought these pants, my original intent was to use them as a 3 season softshell pant for hiking/biking. They are so versatile, however, until I find that they are perfect for backcountry skiing, snowshoe mountaineering, and any aerobic activity you can throw yourself into. In cold weather, simply layer with a thicker base, as the pants work well as shedding wind, water and rocks. The pants stretch well and move with you, and the fit is spot on. I'm 6' 185 and wear a 34. I would definitely recommend!

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Jeff Blackston

Jeff Blackston wrote a review of on February 25, 2013

5 5

The Array isn't the lightest out there, but in terms of fit, appearance and price point, it is hard to beat. The silver/lime is a nice color option, too! I would definitely recommend the Array, and plan to buy the same helmet again in the coming months.

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Jeff Blackston

Jeff Blackston wrote a review of on February 15, 2013

Good, really good, not quite perfect.
4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I like this piece alot. Solid, durable and functional. Pros: Breatheability, athletic fit, construction, cut to layer, harness/pack pockets, chest pocket, weatherproofness, wrist hook/loop closure, and the nice micro (really micro) fleece lining.
Cons: Not a huge fan of the elastic drawcord hem, which is accessible thru the pocket (this is common with Summit Series pieces). I find that the range of adjustments is limited. Although, on the plus, the cut is so nice that only minute adjustments are needed. Hood adjustability also seems to be limited when adjusting down to a helmetless head. The elastic drawcords at the neck and back of hood don't run smoothly through their 'tunnels', which seem to limit the adjustments. However the hood is very functional, just not perfect.

For me, the best uses are general mountaineering, winter trekking and ski touring. While I've used ice climbing, it's not the best because of the lack of stretch/articulation in the arms/armpit area - I found the sleeves tend to ride up a bit when I'm reaching for a hold.

Fit - the cut is made for layering, while still nice and athletic. I'm 6' 185lbs and the medium fits very well. I would buy again.

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Jeff Blackston

Jeff Blackston wrote a review of on February 3, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Very surprised at everything this softshell offers: wind resistance, great athletic cut and sleeve/hem length, durability, breathability, construction. I'm able to keep it on during the ascent, and find that it offers much weather protection during the transition or above treeline exposure. I love the stash pockets on the inside - great for thawing your gloves or simply keeping them handy. Really stoked on this jacket! I'm 6' 185 and wear a Large with the ability to layer underneath.

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Jeff Blackston

Jeff Blackston wrote a review of on January 26, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Nice combination of kick and glide, with good downhill control. Paired with a 3 pin binding and a backcountry boot, or light telemark boot, this ski fills a nice niche of exploring rolling terrain with the ability to tackle the downhill stuff, too. Climbs nicely without skins on moderate elevations. Great all around touring/backcountry ski

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Jeff Blackston

Jeff Blackston wrote a review of on January 26, 2013

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I settled on this boot to use with a 3pin binding, and the Madshus Epoch ski. Very nice combination. The boot drives the skis well enough on the downhill, even with my lack of technique. They are very comfy and are pretty warm. On colder days, say less than 15 F, I find that I need to use a chemical type toe warmer, as the insulation around the toe box isn't as thick as other parts of the boot. I wear a size 11.5 US shoe, and use a size 46. The boot is high volume, so even with an aftermarket footbed, and a thick sock, I still have a little extra movement in the boot, which could probably be remedied with another shim in the sole. Dries a little slowly, but seems to be very tough, as it shows little wear after 2 years of use. All in all, a good backcountry ski boot.

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Jeff Blackston

Jeff Blackston wrote a review of on January 17, 2013

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I'm finding that I like this midweight hoodie much better as a mid layer. It's dense and provides nice warmth, so usually find that I'm more comfortable wearing it over a thin short sleeve base. The hood fits nicely, too! Which means you can leave the beanie at home if you're shaving ounces. Slim fitting, durable, easy to care for, and stink free. The only negative for me is that it is fairly heavy, and about an inch longer than I like. Need a heavy base, or thin mid layer - this one has you covered. I use for ice climbing, ski touring, even biking on cold days! 6' 185lbs, Large fits nice, although the medium would work, too, but much more fitted, and probably could only use as a base in a size medium.

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Jeff Blackston

Jeff Blackston wrote a review of on January 16, 2013

4 5

I usually wear on casual occasions because it looks so good! The cut is very slim, and fitted, and is quite long. I occasionally wear it as a mid-layer, under a shell, during outside pursuits, too. For me, the pros are: Fit, odor control (wool), ease of care, ability to layer, warmth, hand pockets and decent durability overall, with the exception of some minor piling around the arm holes. About the only quibbles I have is that it is kinda heavy for what it offers. But, overall, a nice piece to have in your closet! I'm 6' 185 and wear a large - nice fit.

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Jeff Blackston

Jeff Blackston wrote a review of on December 23, 2012

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Super stretchy, sheds dirt, snow and wind and has an awesome fit. Hand pockets are OK .. they aren't very deep, but will hold some small items. The pants are very well put together and are high quality, and I suspect will last many seasons! I'm 6' 185lbs with a 33 inch waist and the size large is perfect, as they are slim fitting. Perfect for climbing ice, ski touring, alpine and snowshoe mountaineering. I would definitely recommend! The grey/pewters are sweet!

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