The parka is average for warmth. Where it really lacks is the hood, The North Face dropped the ball big time on it. It's like they've never designed a hood for use in the wind or to just wear and be able to see out of. The draw strings for the hood are terribly hard to find and adjust with any gloves or mitts on and it lacks a very important pull on the back to adjust to the size of your melon. It's hangs way over your face. It'd be nice if the extra fur at the bottom would draw up around the bottom of your face and form an anti wind tunnel for protection from the freezing wind.
I gave it 3 stars since the parka itself is average, but without a good hood, a parka isn't very useful out in full on winter conditions.
These come as close to everything you could want in a back country pant as possible. They block wind, repel water, they're warm, they stretch and they wear like iron. The only drawback to these pants is the price tag. Luckily Patagonia and BackCountry stand behind them and it should be a one time purchase, making them worth the price for a lifetime pant that has this many attributes.
I normally wear a 33 waist and 32 length and went with the medium. They fit well with room to layer underneath.
Nothing stands out in this gaiter, it works well for what it's supposed to do. I still wish they'd turn the toe hook right side up, it would make for easier manipulation.
There is very good insulation in the sleeves and maybe more in the torso. Overall it is a heavy weight softshell that can be worn in 30 degree temps and 30mph winds with just a midweight shirt underneath. It is bulkier and heavier than a light weight softshell.
The jacket is very nice and insulated well. I'd rate the comfort zone from 25 to 45 degrees. However, I returned it for 3 reasons. 1. It's insulated a lot more than what I read here and is bulkier and heavier than expected. 2. All the grey material is windbreaker nylon type material and is somewhat noisy and krinkly when it's colder out. 3. The hood has less than adequate coverage. Though not one of my reasons I've got to wonder how long those tiny pull cords at the bottom and on the hood will hold out. Someone stated that material doesn't determine what makes a softshell, so to believe that would be to say that anything can be a softshell and I find that a little disingenuous. Overall it is a nice and warm jacket that cuts the wind, just warmer and more of jacket than what I had read here compared to what I needed. I returned it a couple days after I received it and it cost me $9.91 to return it with the return label that came with it. That sucked a little.
All of the grey material (underarms, sides, lower sleeves) on the jacket is a nylon windbreaker material (think krinkly wind pant type material). The rest of the material is of a softshell material.
All of the grey material on the jacket (lower sleeves and underarms and sides) are a windbreaker material. If you don't mind the "swish swish" as your arms swing back and forth and the krinkly sound form the windbreaker nylon when its colder out, then this would be a very nice and warm jacket for you.
If you need long distance lighting, then this is your toy. This lamp is as bright as the sun and you can arc weld with it too (just kidding). The four lower wattage LED's on the side are about everything you'll need, thanks to the 3 different settings. But when you need to get on route after dark, switch to the 3 watt lamp and blaze on. I've seen other lights this bright, but they're twice the money. This light is truck.
I can't see if you have parts missing or not, so I'll tell you how if you've got everything. Once you've got the AC plugin adapter set to your correct country style outlet, plug the other end into the battery pack on the headlamp that's located underneath the headlamp strap where the cord from the front light connects to the battery compartment. Look for the little grey plastic plug there, lift the grey plug out and connect the charger in there. Hopes this helps.
For the price you can buy an awful lot of batteries for it. It is rather nice to have the ability to just plug it in the night before and be ready to go with out having to keep a stock of AA's around. It's pretty much a personal call, but I'm glad I went ahead and purchased it. We'll have to see in the long haul how much it comes out ahead.
Yes, it does.
If you've already have the recharging kit that came along with the battery pack, than this is an over priced nonessential piece you can live without. It takes 8-9 hours to recharge, Buy yourself a cheap inverter and plug your AC charger into that if you must be able to charge from your car.
Lithium ion batteries put out a higher voltage for a longer time which will create more sustained heat and can harm any unit that doesn't have a voltage regulator built into the system. Unless the manufacturer specifically says you can use lithium-ion batteries, don't.
Directly from BD's PDF about the Apollo;
Apollo functions with either 4 AA
alkaline batteries or the Black Diamond
NRG Rechargeable Battery Kit (sold
You can bet there is a specific reason they aren't suggesting using lithium batteries as an option.
Since there seems to also be confusion about length of burn time, this is from BD's website;
HI 15 hours
LO 60 hours
The Wallnuts are bomb proof. If fallen on, they can be a little tougher than other nuts to clean, but the piece of mind climbing above them are worth it. As with all the DMM products I've used, their quality is top of the line.
I got the 1liter, while it doesn't truly hold a complete full liter, it's close enough. That being said, this water tote is bomber. I really like how after some water is removed, you can cap it with the air out of it and save space in your pack. Even when full it will fit into more places than a regular hard plastic bottle. I wish they would have had the 2liter when I got this, but maybe next order.
I'd be a little skeptical using lithium batteries on any headlamp that doesn't have a voltage regulator. Lithium batteries put out a higher voltage for a longer time than regular batteries and in doing so increases the resistance in the circuitry which creates more heat and can damage the unit. Warm batteries on the back have nothing to do with the circuitry in the front housing. The only thing the manufacturer says is to use alkaline batteries or to use the NRG Battery Kit that includes rechargeable NiMH batteries.
Hexes are something we can argue back and forth about. For the money and the area I climb in, their well worth it, especially in the larger sizes.
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