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JP Rambo

JP Rambo

Pine Junction, Colorado

JP Rambo's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Running
Biking
Climbing
Skiing

JP Rambo's Bio

Serving in the military for 6 years I had the opportunity to travel the world. I have stepped foot on all but one continent and have trail ran on some of the most incredible mountain ranges in the world. Now I live in the Front Range and I am using my landscape for epic backcountry accents, and finding bigger and bigger lines to charge. I am always looking for the best possible equipment to get the job done more efficiently and safely. With this in mind, I hope my insight and knowledge will help my community in making better decisions and help drive the industry to develop the absolute best possible products.

JP Rambo

JP Rambowrote a review of on January 17, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

If your a fan of not replacing poles more than once every 5-10 years then maybe you should check these out. I love to ski trees and variable terrain, but in years past I would always pole plant while carving through the trees and as I would continue to go forward, my pole would plant into a root and invariably bend until the point of no return. After a couple of seasons replacing multiple poles I said *&$* it. So I shopped around and found this newer line by soul poles. I had tried their originals and wasn't impressed because the weight was HEAVY as hell. I hated the swing on them. Then I tried their new line and they are not the lightest poles but significantly lighter than the originals. The grips are more ergonomic and they swing a lot smoother than their predecessor. These poles are just as strong as the originals according to SP. The baskets that come with them are a lot more durable than the original baskets too. They don't break off and splinter like the previous version. With all that said I also get compliments all the time and I don't even have to fish for them. Now I must admit, I don't normally use poles anymore unless its a powder day or I am riding steeps where pole planting and cat tracking is essential. I have already set my personal record and have gone almost 4 months without breaking a pole. So if your looking for a more durable pole, or just a fashionable ski accessory, then this may be the pole for you.

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JP Rambo

JP Rambowrote a review of on January 14, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 9"
Weight: 170 lbs
Size Purchased: one size

I tried this out on account of B-Rabs advice (thanks Ben). Having been frustrated finding a face mask that would maintain its mold and not stretch when cold and wet, this mask was hopefully the answer. What I like about the design is it is sleek and fits under a helmet without the bulk. The face portion is versatile in that you can pull it down when your hot and don't need the face protection, and then throw it back up when you need it. It covers the bridge of the nose and the upper cheeks quite well and even tucks under goggles without all the extra bulk that reduces ability for a great seal. The only minute complaint I have is when I am huffing and puffing the material around the mouth just doesn't allow for the oxygen/gas exchange I need to catch my breath. Now this isn't really BS fault at all, because I pretty much have this problem with all face masks and balaclavas. Unfortunately it is what it is. This design also keeps my neck toasty even when I am sweating my &*% off! Colors; well you have your pick of the litter. There are dozens of color options that range from dope to extremely eccentric. There is pretty much a color pattern for all people, but as BRab pointed out to me, there are way more options on Backstraps direct site if you don't see what you like on BC.com. Lastly: Price point is on point. You can't complain about a face layer under 30. Like many of the other reviews would highly recommend this to you if in the market for some added face protection.

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JP Rambo

JP Rambowrote a review of on January 10, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Oakley has been developing this technology for roughly 15 years. The same tech that goes into the prizm is also used in helmets designed for pilots in our armed services. These goggles will offer the user a more defined view of the mountain as it optimizes lights in colors that our eyes cannot naturally filter. By doing so it allows us to see definition in the snow and terrain giving us the ability to see more of the mountain. I love the fit on the flight deck, they seal against my helmet reducing drafts. The goggles don't fog up unless there is excess moisture. I have 2 pairs to rotate every other day so they can dry out appropriately. The other nice feature of these is the silicone inner band on the strap. This allows them to get a superior grip on your helmet keeping them in place for hours of skiing. The foam outlay is soft and plush and does not abrade against the skin of your face. This particular goggle is best for larger framed faces however, I have a pretty narrow face and make it work just fine. Long story short, if your looking for greater vision on the mountain, than this is going to be the answer for you for most if not all of your snow needs.

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JP Rambo

JP Rambowrote a review of on January 9, 2017

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I have been using the POC 2.0 hip protectors for a few years now and decided I needed to get another protective layer to rotate out with so I thought I would give these a try. I am 5'9 and about 170, so I tried these out in a medium. The Mediums fit me perfect. I really like the fit on these because they are really like a 2 in 1. They are long enough they come down to just above my knees, so I get an extra layer out of them for those colder days, and still get the padded protection. As far as the pads go, when I have these on for about 20 minutes, my body heat molds the pads to my body. The pads are relatively thin unlike the POC pads, so I honestly don't even think about them once they are on, which is a little different than the POC protectors. I have rode everything from deep pow to trees to the terrain park and love the mobility I still have in these. I don't have any decreased range of motion when I am spinning and rotating in the air. In short these protectors don't limit my ability to perform in the air. I must admit though I have worn these a dozen times, I haven't had any yard sales to report the effectiveness of the pads, but have slid in them a few times with no bruising or damage to report. The lycra material is pretty lite so I am not sure how long these are going to last, but for the time being I have washed them 3x in cold water and air dried them with no breakdown in materials. Aside from that, these are a pretty solid protective layer, and I appreciate how low profile they are. I guess time will tell if the materials will last and sooner or later I am going to get destroyed on a big kicker so I will keep you all updated.

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JP Rambo

JP Rambowrote a review of on January 9, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 9"
Weight: 170 lbs
Size Purchased: 10.5

I just purchased these in a size 10.5 in bourbon. When opening the package, the boots come in a heavy duty, contemporary shoe box that wreaks of elegance. The Boots are separated with your standard tissue, and the boots are packed with airpads to prevent distortion. When handling the Grafton the first thing you notice off the back is the attention to detail. The soles are a carbon outsole with 2 layers of leather providing a unique layering in the sole that is unlike any boot out there. The leather uppers on these are extremely soft and has a malleable flex that you know if going to conform to your foot. The lacing system is guided by heavy duty D-rings that resemble classic mountaineering boots, but allow you to speed lace. Now this is the first pair of 8" boots I have ever purchased for casual or trail use. The tops on the posterior boast a felt that is soft on the neck, but is just for aesthetic. The tongue like the uppers is just as soft and when pulling these on, your foot molds to the inside like your throwing an intuition liner on your foot for the first time. The insole has a leather sock on the inside to reduce seams and pressure points. The insole works well for me (I have a 100% neutral arch). The boots design has a little rocker to it so when your walking the boot promotes a softer heal strike and fluid rolling in your step through. I was worried the boots might be too tall, but because the leather is so soft on the uppers, the neck feels more like an extension of my calf. As far as tread goes, I have just worn them around my place and have not taken them on any ice or other types of varying terrain, however the carbon outsoles seem to be soft in the cold and provides plenty of grip on my wet patio. Like I said in the beginning I purchased a 10.5 and I usually buy a 10.5 in most footwear. These fit me perfect. I should mention I do have a narrow foot and feel this boot and other by HRC are on the more narrow side, so wide footed people beware. Other than that, these are a great piece of footwear and I am very pleased to have added them to my collection of kicks. I will keep you updated on wear and tear, so fingers crossed the craftsmanship holds up to the price point.

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JP Rambo

JP Rambowrote a review of on May 21, 2016

3 5

It seems like no one has had stitching issues like I have on here, which has got me wondering if I got a bad apple. The stitching as can be seen is completely coming undone after a 13 miler peak out on mount Evans this am. My feet felt cozy as they do in most wide toe box trail runners and no blisters is a bonus. The material is light but I had excellent rock protection from the sole plate/rock guard. I also felt like I had ample toe protection from toe kick. Other than that these like many have said are a great trail runner and can be used for fast packing and hiking on all terrains with aggressive tread on the outsoles. Like I said above, the stitching is coming out on the top inside borders of the shoes. Other than that solid shoe. Let's hope for a good 1x1 exchange and a more positive experience in the future.

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JP Rambo

JP Rambowrote a review of on April 4, 2016

2 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 10"
Weight: 165 lbs
Size Purchased: medium

I got a few pairs of these last fall and like the fit and the material, but unfortunately the material does not last. Within 3 months they started getting holes in the rear area and unfortunately just don't last. The one thing I demand from undergarments is that they last a year. Rotating underwear from day to day you should not have a problem with this, but considering my cheaper boxer briefs made from cotton have lasted more than 3x as long, I just can't endorse paying this price tag for these. Other than that if you need something to last less than 6 months and want something that breathes great these are comfy and breath well.

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JP Rambo

JP Rambowrote a review of on January 17, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This was my new airbag pack for this season. I purchased this in a size M/L and am 5'10" 165 lbs. I admit, I purchased one over the summer and used it as a party trick many times. I messed up though and did not disarm the pack off time and did not read the whole manual. Evidently when you don't disarm it; it will drain the battery to beyond rechargeability. Fortunately/unfortunately Black diamond did warranty the item and replaced it no questions asked. The flip side is it cost almost 50 dollars to ship via UPS with 1450 dollars of insurance. I guess that is a small price to pay for a 1450 dollar pack. Need less to say BD warranties department is AWESOME, but slow (3.5 weeks turnaround).

On to the pros and cons... Well first of all, this pack is built with the craftsmanship and quality I have come to expect from BD products. This pack in praticular has a brilliantly stable horizontal carry system for skis. I never once have felt unstable while harnessed to this pack skis and all. It took it up some steep ascents and the pack frame aligns and conforms well with the contours of the back. This pack does an outstanding job of distributing weight equally. Next the back to the pack is soooo comfortable, especially on the longer hikes and tours. The packs security strap system is incredible, with the optional leg straps for extra security. There are additional tow straps that afford the ability to creatively attach extra equipment to the outside of the pack, such as axes, poles, helmet and etc... depending on how crafty you may be.

For my load I could pack a highly compressible down underlayer, Jacket shell, extra beanie, extra socks food (16oz kleen container and snacks), nalgene, Avy equipment, skins, ski crampons, first aid kit, Helmet, goggles and of course a camera. Once in a while I would squeeze in a pocket stove and a cup for coffee and foot too.

So a few things that I do not like about the pack is #1: The weight. My north face patrol was lighter than this pack. Though this is a new technology, I believe the next evolution is to microsize the tech and create insanely light packages. The next issue is why on earth is there a goggle pocket without a scratch proof liner. Now I can't fault BD for not lightening this pack (that will take time) with as well built and attentive to detail as BD is I can't believe this goggle pocket is not lined with a soft microfleece or something consistent with that. Last but not least, and this has nothing to do with the make/quality/functionality at all, but I have the black pack, and hate that the inside is red. I don't know why, it just bothers me and at times makes me apoplectic. Other than these minut details, I love the pack.

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JP Rambo

JP Rambowrote a review of on January 15, 2016

5 5

Would not let me add this all to my first review so here it is...

Day 2
First Tour:
As I mentioned I would follow up after some on the mountain experience in these.

Ascent:
I hiked and skinned to the top of Mt. Rosalie today on the south side of the Mt. Evans wilderness area and dropped into a couple of big lines, so I think it is fair of me at this moment to drop some insights. First off, I should mention, I have attempted to use dynafit Vulcans for the last year, they just did not work with my right foot. That said these boots are a comparable weight to those according to my scale (give or take a few ounces) and keeping in mind I put some intuition liners in these. The flex is really incredible in the salomon mtn explore. In walk mode I can flex these to about a 40 degree anterior angle. They lack a little on the posterior flex, not near as good as the Vulcans, but the forward flex is sooo much better. That makes sense considering the Vulcans are a 120-130 flex depending on 2 factors; whether you have the tounges in and the source of the information. With the intuition liners in, I felt like I had a 103 last boot on (just like my Full Tilt descendent 8s.) The boots hiked strong on a 3.5 mile hike/skin. I only had a 1 hot spot, however that is a liner molding modification issue, not a boot issue. On the flats the hiking was like I had a pair of soft hiking boots on (incredibly comfortable) The outsole tread grips snow great, and on icy sections I was incredibly impressed by the stability. Hiking steeps on front points, I felt incredibly stable and of course again was impressed with the outsoles. For a ski and binding setup I had these paired with Armada JJ's 2.0 185 length and Dynafit beasts. They adapted to the beasts beautifully when clipped in. I skinned about 1.5 mile

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JP Rambo

JP Rambowrote a review of on January 14, 2016

5 5

My initial impressions are premature being that I just received these today, however I thought it would be good to discuss fit. First of all, these boots are suppose to have a last width of 98. I have narrow feet, but a bunion/spurs on the ball of my right foot prevent me from wearing narrow footwear (so my left foot is always looser inside shoes and boots). Because of this I can't tolerate anything but a wide boot even with intuition low volume liners. Considering this, I tried the stock linters on and wore them for about 1 hour, while sitting on my couch and occasionally ambulating. In this time I felt 3 points of pressure out of the box. The first 2 points being at the very top of the foot (metatarsals) before the point where the ankle flexes. The last point was the ball of my big toe. Keep in mind this was the stock liner without thermo-molding them. I then took the insoles out of the liner and wore them without for about 2 hours. After wearing them for a total of 4 hours, the liners did not conform and I decided that the stock liners were just too rigid for me and that the heat molding process would probably not be adequate. At this point, I threw in some older Intuition liners I had from my previous touring boots, and ECSTACY! They were soooo much softer than the stock liners and the volume did not crowd my feet at all. I want to add that I used a medium volume pro tour intuition liner and kept them on for about 2 hours.

In summation; the boots are considerably wider than described above and by the manufacturer. The stock liner has several pieces afixed and sewed into the liner that makes it them very rigid. Though touring boots are softer than alpine, the liners are traditionally more rigid. The stock liner may work for some but not me. I had 3 points of contact that created an uncomfortable pressure. With my experience with boots and liners I decided that there was no way heat molding would be the fix considering the volume issues. I am going to take these out for a tour in the morning and will update/review my experiences from there. I want to thank MR. Ben Rabinowitz (Geared) for our conversation and the suggestion, the signs are good so far!

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JP Rambo

JP Rambowrote a review of on January 13, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 9"
Weight: 165 lbs
Size Purchased: Large

I picked this jacket up around the beginning of December and now I can't stop wearing it. As a shell, it is super simplistic and trimmed down from last years Sherwin Jacket. They got rid of some excess pockets and now only have a card pocket on the left forearm, 2 zippered hand pockets, 1 napoleon pocket on the left breast that can run headphones through a tiny hole on the inside of the jacket, and an inside breast pocket. The Napoleon pocket is handy because you can access your phone or music with ease on the outside without having to unzip. There is a guid loop on the inside of the jacket that holds headphone cables to the inside of the jacket. This basically keeps your headphones or cable from falling all the way down your jacket while you aren't using them. Small but very handy. The flaps over the hand pockets are actually fake, and have no purpose other than aesthetics. The wrists have hand gaiters made of lycra, so really soft. There are huge vents in the pits. The 2 features of the jacket I like the most is when the jacket is zipped all the way up, the neck has tons of room so you can actually wear the coat zipped all the way up, pretty rad stuff. The other feature that I like the most is the length on this jacket. Definitely longer, but I love the extra length and room in this jacket. Whether I am hitting the large step-ups in the park at Breck/Key or if I am hitting some large natural features in the backcountry, I have plenty of room to rotate my arms and compress on impact without fear of ripping anywhere. Of course this jacket is 3L Gor-Tex (9 billion pores/ sq inch) so it is going to breathe. There is no insulation, just a thin Gor-Tex shell. But whether on the groomers or in the backcountry this jacket will be more than enough to get the job done.

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JP Rambo

JP Rambowrote a review of on December 29, 2015

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 10"
Weight: 165 lbs
Size Purchased: Large

I know what your thinking, those of you who own this jacket, but with the multiple layers of material and the soft flee backing in most of the inside layer, this jacket acts as an insulated jacket. The air gets trapped in between the two layers and really holds a lot of heat. Being that it is a GorTex 2L shell it sheds moisture and maintains the warmth. I have this in the bluegrass and love the colors and the pockets are pretty much the standard pockets they have available in all of their shells with the two outside breast pockets (the left chest with a goggle cloth), two hand pockets and a radio/pass pocket on the left shoulder. When Skiing on the Epic pass my card has a hard time being read by the RIF readers at VAIL resorts, so if epic mix is your Jam, this jacket may not allow the card to read all the time. The inside boasts two more accessory/media pockets, but unfortunately none of them are media cable ready. Another standard feature is the spray skirt and the hood and waist adjustments. This jacket will work with any of the Lofoten, Lyngen and Roldal series. No on to some things I don't like... The flaps over the zippers get in the way of zipping the jacket and pockets up. The flaps are suppose to hide the zippers but cause more nuisance than they are worth. The zippers on this jacket constantly catch material and jamb. The hood of the jacket when zipped all the way up with a helmet DOES NOT provide room for your face, so you are left to push it all the way down below your chin, or forget about it all together. Other than that the material is superb and the jacket is crafted well. Just a few design flaws that don't work great for me. I am 5'10 165 and this jacket fits me well in the size Large. I like to layer underneath so I like a little more room for extra layers and swinging my arms when jumping off things. This jacket has a freestyle feel to it so it is a little baggier than the lofoten jackets and or the Roldal. keep that in mind when sizing.

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