The jacket is stunning in appearance, and although I did not wear it outside I have another GT active shell garment and I can say that it definitely breathes better than Pro Shell. The helmet issue is a problem, but for me the half-zip is a more serious problem. Of course I knew it when I purchased it, but half-zip jackets for full-on mountaineering do present problems in terms of taking them on and off, but more importantly, they do not vent as well as full zips. It is a very well constructed jacket, and if you are not using a hood, and are comfortable with a half-zip, then this is otherwise an excellent product.
The plastic ANT belts are really problematic- they only last a few months. Wait until the new fabric belt to comes out- should be soon.
Overall excellent construction, support, and fit. I have wide toebox and although it doesn't look liek espcially wide toe-box shoe, it fits well- very comfortable. Good for temps down to about 15 F, at least for me. Need "New-matic" style crampon.
The concept is great- the shoes are a joy to tie and untie- but you should have moderately narrow forefoot. Reason: If you try to tie down the top to reduce motion in the ankle area, then you end up tightening up the front. So they are well built, great mountaineering boots- if they fit!
The cold start takes a while- especially if you're doing it in a new location- maybe 5 minutes. But once it's locked on it keeps it well. It is worth looking on the various Suunto and forums like Yahoo's Wristop Computers for advice, since there is a lot to know about how to use it. On flat land it seems very accurate- the problem is with mileage in the 3rd dimension- it is not so obvious how one would calibrate it since GPS systems don't really do the vertical dimension well. But if you are running/biking on flat ground calibration is easy. Finally, one of Suunto's strongest points is that when the watch locks on to the pod (or HR belt) it does so positively- Polar products seem more intermittent. Once you've learned to use it, for flat land (outside) it might be one of the better distance/speed units out there.
I was not impressed by the construction of this garment- nothing actually broke down- I didn't wear it outside, but compared to its Cloudveil namesake, it does not appear as well thought out and constructed.
Carries very well. Lightweight for its volume. Best feature is accessibility. Worse is that there are no pockets- a problem for the organizationally challenged. (There is a lid pocket of sorts- but not accessible without opening the pack.)
Nice lightweight jacket- breathable and good features.
Here's what's great about it: the connection to the software- from a USB cable- is solid. The watch is ligher and less clunky and smaller than previous wristop HRM/altimeters. It is very easy to operate. The software gives pretty good information about some physiological parameters not found in other software. What's bad: I wish you could see rate of ascent/descent, altitude, and HR, all on the same screen- something that some other Suunto and Polar watches have. Also, the first version of the software seems better, less clunky, than the second version. I downloaded the second version from the Suunto site but it is buggy (as of 7/17/06). For training it is excellent- for mountaineering or other outdoor applications it is good, but for both (flatlander training and mountain use) it is not as good as the Polar XN500. The problem with the XN500 is that the IR connection to the computer is clunky, whereas the Suunto connection is rock solid.
First rate workmanship, waterproof, and innovative concept. Don't let the "50" fool youit unfolds to what seems 1.5 times a 50-liter volume. Combined with short sleeping bag, insulation and an outer shell, could be used as part of a bivy. Bulletproof. Expense is my only complaint.
Very comfortable for all-day use. Excellent friction on wet rock.
This tent is perfect for a trip up Emmons route on Rainier. One warning howeveralthough it could take winds of 25mph or so without guylines at 9500 ft. I had to get up in the middle of the night to add the guylines, which I didn't need below treeline. Incredibly lightweight, a tiny bit tight for two, but it's worth it. Get a footprint, I poked a small hole in the bottom of my tent on a rock.
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