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John N.

John N.

Just Re-Located to Utah from NYC

John N.'s Passions

Hiking & Camping
Biking
Skiing
Climbing

John N.'s Bio

The Mountains drive me.

John N.

John N.wrote a review of on August 31, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

When I started climbing steeper ice and mixed alpine routes I felt my Quarks were good but I wanted a more specific tool. I had tested the Nomic's before (first generation without metal teeth at the end) and was blown away at the ease of the throw and ability to stick on the steeps. Almost to good in the beginning as I was throwing a little to hard and getting very deep sticks. I just needed to adjust my throw and flick my wrist a little later than my Quarks. So without saying I picked up a set. Things I love about these tools are: You can adjust the handle to hand size/glove size. On technical routes where i wear thinner gloves I can adjust the grip smaller and for cold -10F days in NH I can adjust them larger to accommodate larger gloves. The spike bottom handle is more useful than I originally thought. When scrambling through rock gardens or ice covered rock traverses they proved to be much appreciated. The trigger rest is bomber and is the perfect size with perfect placement on the axe. I have never smashed my knuckles on odd angled ice. The grip tape is helpful and was happy its already on the axe vs buying it separately. It remains its grip when cold or wet, it is also helpful when doing steep snow approaches at keeping your hands a little warmer as you are not on metal. I have done a couple of long mixed routes and this axes are awesome on rock! I have placed this things in some tight cracks and probably torqued them a little more than I would have liked but never had a concern with the picks breaking or the tool itself not being able to handle it. The hole at the end and top of the axe are the perfect size and can fit locker biners easy. On a sketchy top out of a route where the ice was too aerated for a screw i plunged both of these tools in and belayed the follower up. At no point did i think these were not strong enough to hold. These are hands down the best tools on the market. I find myself using these on alpine routes more often than my new Quarks.

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John N.

John N.wrote a review of on August 28, 2014

4 5

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

I mean can your really put a price on safety? Yes, when there are other cheaper and equal quality options. I have used these before when leading with my buddies rack. They do the job and give me a sense of security on sketchy ice screw placements or odd angles. I like the rubber grommet for keeping the biner straight when clipping in. Not sure its worth the extra money though. On my rack i use yates screamers which do the same job at about $15 less. No rubber grommet but I can deal just fine without them. Yates screamers are hard to come by so if you need a screamer these would be next. However I think everyone who leads on thin or sketchy climbs should have 2 screamers in there rack, no matter the price. 4 stars only because of price.

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John N.

John N.wrote a review of on August 28, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I had the old Quarks for 5 years and they were my go to for all of my alpine adventures. The only things i would ever change on the old ones was to add a hole on the spike to fit a carabiner and a smaller adze. Both were solved with the new one and then some. The lighter weight is a plus however I do prefer a little extra weight on the top of tool for my swinging style. I just added some weights and that was solved. I use these tools for all of my Alpine climbing and most of my mountaineering as I prefer a shorter axe. The picks get the job done and take a little getting used to from the old quarks which used the cascade pick. These are a little less durable and require more sharpening, but nothing that would deter me from buying. I have not had any problems or concerns with the picks breaking, like BD picks. I have only ever seen people break BD picks. Nothing against them just what I have seen. I like the new angle of shaft as it allows for easier throws and sticks better on steeper ice. Be prepared however for the pommel to break. My friend broke both pommels in on a super cold outing to Hyalite Canyon that can't be blamed on his technique (He is AMGA cert Alpine guide) rather the plastic and -10F temps. In the end it comes down to personal preference when choosing an axe in terms of feel and throw. However these are at the top in terms of features, weight and overall reliability. I would call these tools the best do it all tool and are the best one quiver tools on the market. I am giving 4 stars only because of pommel problems, not that i use mine because I use my Nomics for technical climbs where a pommel is handy. But if its your one tool quiver it could be an issue/annoyance for some.

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John N.

John N.wrote a review of on January 31, 2013

5 5

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

This shirt fits great and is very good quality that I would have never expected from Quicksilver. The quality is that of a 120's ply luxury shirt and the fit is not to slim and not to democratic. I am 5'9" 180lbs (fit and slim) and the medium fits perfect. At this price the shirt is a steal. Shirts with this quality go for about $200+. I would not wash this and send it to the dry cleaners. The material is to sensitive for a standard washing machine and dryer.

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John N.

John N.wrote a review of on January 24, 2013

Almost perfect.
4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I have used these Ice climbing 5 times already and they are awesome. I am 5'9" 180lbs and bought a size medium. The baffled chest area works great! By far the best feature on here. All other bibs i have owned always gave a lot of resistance when leaning forwards. The baffles allow for stretch and increased volume so you do not get the bunched up restriction feeling. the quality is great and I like the adjustable gaiters. The articulated knees make for a great fit. My only complaint is that they are about 1-2 inches short. The sizing chart says they are a 31-33 inseam for size medium. They are a 30 inseam at best. I typically wear a 32 inseam. A could get away with a size large but I have skinny legs so I went with a medium. In the pic you can see my bottom right cuff is really high.

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John N.

John N.wrote a review of on January 24, 2013

Best Hard shell I have had yet!
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I am 5'9" 180lbs and ordered a size medium. The cut is slightly athletic but I still had plenty of room for a baselayer, R1 fleece and nano puff pullover. The bellowed chest pockets are great and work as intended. Especially since I always keep a spare set of gloves in my jacket and it doesn't pull the front up out of my harness with the added volume. The bellows expand and take up the added volume. I wasn't completely sold on the sleeve gasket until I pulled my ice tool out and water came rushing out. The gasket was over my glove and not water got in. the length is just right so when i extend my arms it does not pull out of my harness (I have a very short torso and long arms). One thing i noticed is that the hood is tight when on over a helmet. I just cinched it down to make sure it doesn't slide back. Overall this is a great jacket!

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John N.

John N.wrote a review of on January 9, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I own over 8 pairs of gloves and these are my go-to for Touring, Skiing and Winter Belaying. Very good quality and the closure system is great and easy to use. They lasted about 2 uses before they started to absorb some water. I solved that by applying leather waterproof lotion. They are not the warmest gloves, but on cold days if you keep moving they are warm enough.

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John N.

John N.wrote a review of on October 31, 2012

Best Walking stick he has ever owned
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I bought these as a gift for my father since his old twist locks were acting up and would not compact small enough. He has been using trekking poles for 20+ years for lots of hiking, however these days he needs them for everyday walking. The flicklock system is unmatched, tried and true. The grips are soft yet to not absorb sweat and the added lower grip is great on going up stairs without having to adjust. The shock absorption is new to him and loves it. He tells me every week how much he likes them and sends me pictures of them in use. The latest use was in Venice, Italy.

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John N.

John N.wrote a review of on August 2, 2012

5 5

Everyone I know swear by these glasses and how great they are. I was holding out for awhile but after seeing and hearing about them all the time I picked up a pair. They have lived up to the hype and more. I use them for road biking and will use them for mountain biking, ice climbing and pretty much anything outdoors. They fit really well, stay on my face and head with great grippers instead of tension (no headaches). Changing the lenses are a snap, literally.

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John N.

John N.wrote a review of on July 13, 2012

5 5

Ever since I heard about these boots last year I have been eagerly waiting for their arrival. I own a pair of Nepal Evo's and Spantik’s and love them both. However I needed something in between that could kill it on the vertical, keep me warm above 14k but be lighter and less bulky then a double boot. Boom! La Sportiva has made all the upgrades in the Batura 2.0 GTX that the Batura needed. Super happy I held out. Although the plan was to test them on the Liberty Ridge route of Mt. Rainier a week ago, I had the unfortunate luck of separating my shoulder 2 weeks before I was to go. However I can give you a fit, feel and quality review until I am able to really test them. As for fit they are a little bit more narrow in the heal and arch then the Nepal Evo but I think that is due to more padding and insulation. The toe box I feel is a better shape than the Nepal Evo and more like the Spantiks. These boots are super light! Thanks to shedding weight in the sole with a Carbon honeycomb midsole this boot is ahead of the competition. I tested the sole stiffness and these are by far stiffer than the Nepal Evo’s. The new lacing system is bomber and you can really get your heal locked in. Zipper and gaiter are simple and easy to use even with mittens on. One thing I would note is it has a very low cuff compared to the Spantik’s and Nepal Evo’s. I mean really low. I had my concerns with this, that I would not get the stiffness and heel lock needed for the vertical stuff. However with the lacing system and stiffness of the sole I did not get any heel lift when walking up stairs on the toes. The flex in the ankle is comparable to the Evo’s. I know this is not a proper test, but it did put my mind at ease. I am confident that these will perform for what I need them for. I will update my review once I heal up and get at it. Also a good review can be found on the prototype model here http://coldthistle.blogspot.com/search?q=batura+2.0

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