Jon Valentine

Jon Valentine

Black Hills, Bighorns

Jon Valentine's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Snowboarding
Yoga
Fly Fishing

Jon Valentine

Jon Valentinewrote a review of on January 21, 2016

3 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 9"
Weight: 180 lbs
Size Purchased: Large

So this is my SECOND pair of 686 Smarty 3 in 1 pants. This time I got the Duck Pincord in Large. I will back up a bit and say I also bought the Army Texture Smarty Cargos in Large from BC 2 seasons ago, which are my all time favorite snow pants of all time, and I have owned quite a few! I purchased these from Backcountry because BC is second to none with fast shipping and customer service. I wanted a second pair to use at work (I work in Powersports) due to the fact I am out in the snow and wet all the time, and didnt want to ruin my Army Texture 686 pants. That being said, here is my 2 cents.......

I did not see these in person. I only went off the BC site and the 686 site. I thought the Duck Pincord would actually be a soft corduroy fabric. It appeared to be in close up pictures on the 686 site. IT IS NOT. My bad. Although it looks like it from a distance, it is actually smooth material like any snow pant. I was disappointed, but not enough to return them. I specifically got the brown in case I rubbed up against something, or got dirty. The Army Texture IS a soft texture fabric, which is really sturdy. 686 if you are listening, bring back the texture!

Now the bigger downsides. My Army pants have two buttons above the zipper fly, along with velcro to hold it securely. Although the 686 pictures for THESE pants show the velcro, the pair I received DID NOT have it! AND, only one button to secure above the fly. I have to wear a belt to feel like the pants wont fall down. Hmmmmmm.

Although I love 686 added cordura hem reinforcement to the back cuff, the inseam on these pants are shorter than my original ones. Both pants are the same exact size, but these do not hang to the bottom of my boot which I like. And they changed the ghetto slit from the inside of the leg to the outside. I liked it better on the inside.

My last gripe is the inside material on the outer shell. On the original it is a beefy thick material. On these it is a chincy thin ripstop. No biggie, but a difference.

So overall, it seems 686 dropped the ball a bit. New versions of clothing should be an improvement over the previous design. I wonder if they were bought out or switched manufacturing processes and/or facilities.

I will say I do like the design of the 686 Smarty Cargo, they look good, these from a short distance or more. They are very warm. They block snow. And I still have yet to get wet. They do their job. So I like them enough to live with the shortcomings. But 686, if you are listening, bring back the ones from 2 seasons ago!

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Jon Valentine

Jon Valentinewrote a review of on September 5, 2015

4 5

I for one have had good luck with my Simms nippers (knock on wood). I have the Simms orange color way. Yes, one edge is sharp, and one is flat. They do their job, and the hook cleaner is in a handy spot. My spring has never failed, and I have no movement side to side. I put some Loctite on the screws just in case. They do their job, and made in the USA, and Simms has one of the best warranties out there on ALL their products. I recommend these. Abel nippers are just too darn expensive.

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Jon Valentine

Jon Valentinewrote a review of on September 4, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size

I have had had a pair of these for about 3 years now. I bought them direct from Wolverine (backcountry just started carrying them). These boots work for me and my day to day work life. They are very comfortable work boots. I got turned onto Wolverine in my early construction days. I have owned three pairs of Wolverines thus far. I bought these with the sole intention (pun intended) of finding a pair of winter boots that were semi professional looking for my job as a internet sales manager, as I am constantly inside and outside throughout the day, regardless of the season. I needed a winter boot providing good grip in the snow, and kept my feet warm and dry. These fit the bill perfectly. If you can spend the coin, go for these. Very comfortable.

The only cons to them which are negligible, is that after three years now, the soles are almost worn out. Also, since they are insulated, if you wear them on 40+ degree days, your feet WILL sweat quite a bit. And lastly, the price on these seems to be going up every year, but in my opinion, it is worth it.

As Swayze put it best - "Wolverines!"

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Jon Valentine

Jon Valentinewrote a review of on December 9, 2013

5 5

Hands down THE best board I have ever ridden (and I am 38 and have been riding every year since I was 19)! First off, the graphics are just plain sick, top and bottom. Our resorts just opened, and I couldn't wait to ride this beast. This board can do it all: float in powder, rail on the groomed, cut through chunder, press. The antivex dampening is really cool, where you usually get chatter, it just plows right through. Ice into powder! I can't wait to ride this board even more and see what it's limits are. I am 5'9", weigh 190, and I got the 159. You won't be disappointed, and will be the envy of your crew.

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Jon Valentine

Jon Valentinewrote a review of on December 9, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

This was my first experience with Union, and I have to say I am impressed. Long story short, bought two new boards this year, and two new bindings: this, and this years Burton Malavita. Mounted the Unions on the Gnu Billy Goat. Holy balls. These bindings impress. Super responsive, and I didn't even have to mess with the forward lean out of the box. And the straps. Super smooth, in and out quick, and they form to my boots perfectly. Even cranked down, I did not notice them, and didn't have to loosen for the lift. Paired with the Gnu Billy Goat, probably the best board/binding combo I have ever ridden (I'm 38 and have been riding ever year since I was 19). I will give a more in depth review once I have a bunch of time on these. Kudos to Union for now!

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Jon Valentine

Jon Valentinewrote a question about on October 13, 2013

I am a avid fly fisherman, and I have decided to keep doing it year round to improve my skills and area knowledge. We just got a helluva winter storm here in South Dakota, and I discovered today it is not easy to get to my "honey holes" with this deep snow. Will these work good for me while wearing wading boots (with cleats) in gnarly backcountry terrain?

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Jon Valentine

Jon Valentinewrote a review of on January 11, 2013

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

These are the best bindings by far I have owned. I consider myself an OG. I'm 37 and have been riding since I was 20. I have owned Drakes, Sims, Bent Metal, Flow, and previous Burtons in the past. These Cartels trump them all. I was running the Burton P1 carbons before these on my current board, and when I switched to these, my board feels SO much lighter! Great flex, great response. Easy to set up. I like the way Burton "hinged" the footpad to make adjustments easier. Comfortable, and easy to get on and off. The feature I am most impressed with is the easy adjustability of forward lean. You just turn a dial. Everything on this binding makes it easy to dial it in for your personal style. Next time I buy a new board, I will get another pair of these.

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Jon Valentine

Jon Valentinewrote a review of on January 11, 2013

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

These are the 5th pair of socks I have from Darn Tough. Love them all. I bought these because I finally put a hole in my favorite snowboard socks. Bought these in the black/blue colorway, and they are super comfy. Combined with my new-ish boots, my feet are sooooo comfy. Four stars only because although they are plenty warm, I wish they were just a scosche thicker. Now I have to try and destroy these to see if they live up to the name! I am going to order more of these as money allows. True to size. Buy with confidence!

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Jon Valentine

Jon Valentinewrote a review of on January 11, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Been wearing this the past few days. Love it. It was about time to upgrade my long underwear. I overdressed snowboarding yesterday in 40 degree weather. Sweated a lot. I never felt wet, and when I took them off they were dry in an hour! Today it is bitterly cold out, and I am toasty warm. I am going to get more of these.

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Jon Valentine

Jon Valentinewrote a review of on January 11, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size

I wore the Talon top and bottom all winter last year. Snowboarding, working, everyday. They still look new after being washed, a lot. Killer long underwear. May be too warm for you in above 30 degrees. Wicks away sweat like a dream.

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Jon Valentine

Jon Valentinewrote a review of on April 29, 2012

Grrr Baby! Very Grrrr!!!
4 5

I have used mine a few times now. Enough time and experience to write a review on it. Bag is rated to 20 degrees F. I would tend to disagree. Almost all the nights I was out in this bag, it was 40 degrees or colder, with the lowest temps dipping into the teens. 40 degrees is pushing it in this bag without wearing long underwear/beanie/& wool socks. Otherwise you are going to be cold. Not like curse the Gods cold, but waking up every few hours cold. Now I do not have a super duper awesome sleeping pad yet (soon to come), but with a mediocre pad this was the case. I will update when I get a good pad. Maybe that will change things. My only other complaint is the zipper. It does stick from time to time. And the velcro at the end of the zipper can scratch you if you don't have it closed right.

On the plus side, this bag is comfy, packs down relatively small, and just plain looks cool. On warmer nights the bag is a dream. Lofts up easy from being compressed. I like it a lot. It didn't loose a star on account of being cold, but more on the zipper and not living up to it's rating. My bag was used/tested by me in the Bighorns of Wyoming, and the Black Hills of South Dakota.

If you are looking for a great summer/mild spring fall bag, buy this. Now. Hurry up. Stop reading and buy. Get out there.

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Jon Valentine

Jon Valentinewrote a review of on April 18, 2012

4 5

I have had these a while now in the Coffee Brown colorway. As a hiking and performance shoe, they have done great thus far. Lots of grip most of the time, except when it's wet stepping on logs or stone (but what shoe doesn't slip under these conditions?). Very comfortable, my feet have never hurt on long hikes. I have hiked 10+ miles in these in one day many times with no discomfort. Relatively waterproof. I have stepped in deep puddles and such hiking, along with extended hikes in the rain, and my feet didn't get wet. I did try and jump over a small creek once and didn't make it. Shoes got wet inside, but dried out very quickly.

Only dislikes about these shoes are I bought them to replace of older style North Face shoes which I loved, but they no longer make. I liked the styling of those older style better (I casn't remember the name). TNF needs to bring those back! Other than that, I wish the color was a lighter brown to coordinate better when wearing jeans. Other than that, like these a lot!

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Jon Valentine

Jon Valentinewrote a review of on February 8, 2012

5 5

I was driving cross country from South Dakota to California to go take care of my dad, who was in the hospital in Newport Beach. It was a two day drive, and I stayed the layover night in Breckenridge, CO at a buddy's house. I vaguely remembered a store in Breck that carried luggage, and found the store, and this bag! My only regret was I was crunched for time, and didn't buy it off of Backcountry.com!

This bag is great! I WAS using my firefighter turnout bag previously when I went on trips. Boy, I didn't know what I was missing with being organized, and being able to find my things quickly! The compartments in this bag are great. They keep things really organized. I was able to fit a weeks worth of clothes in there, along with my toiletry bag, cell phone charger, reciepts from the trip, etc.

I purchased this in the Phantom colorway, and I love it. I like this bag so much, as soon as I got home, I ordered the matching Groomer bag, and plan on buying the matching board bag and bigger suitcase from backcountry.com when I can! You can't go wrong with Dakine products! Buy this! You won't regret it!

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Jon Valentine

Jon Valentinewrote a review of on August 22, 2011

Awesome Tent, Easy Setup
5 5

We just got back from camping in the Bighorns in Wyoming. I ordered this Marmot from Backcountry.com just two weeks ago after doing some research, and the tent lives up to the hype!

This tent is SUPER easy to set up. The included footprint is great, as is the included gearloft. The vestibules are HUGE. You can easily store two loaded medium-large packs on each side of ONE vestibule, along with your shoes. And that leaves you with another empty vestibule to use!

On this trip it was my girlfriend, my son, and I. We had plenty of room inside. Almost too much. You could easily sleep four people if you had to, but with three people it is perfect. The corner storage pockets are handy for your headlamps/glasses/cameras. In the corner I used, I fit my glasses, camera, and headlamp. Very useful.

We didn't run into any weather, but there was a breeze the second night. The tent is very quiet. The first night we left the fly off, and had fun gazing at the stars through the mesh ceiling. Tons of ventilation with the fly off. Tent never got hot in the day sun. It did get a little chilly that early morning with temps dipping to 40 degrees (that's why we have mummy bags, right?). The next day we put the fly on to hold the heat in, and that worked well. I closed one of the fly doors to keep heat in, and left the other open all night for access. It was just about perfect when the temps dipped to just below forty degrees again.

All in all, this is a great tent. Can't wait to use it again. We think we will buy the two man version when we get hardcore enough to start backpacking.

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Jon Valentine

Jon Valentinewrote a review of on December 13, 2010

5 5

Just tried these bad boys out yesterday in waist deep pow, and was dry as a bone. This pant is probably THE best pant I have ever had, and I have been riding 15 years. Stylee fit. Nice and baggy for freedom of movement. Leg venting zips are awesome, and do their job well. Loads of pockets to use, can't beat the piece of mind with the Recco reflector, and of course you will never get wet! The Rice man knows his ish, so I trust his pants will take care of me! I am gonna get a second pair just as soon as I can afford it! Put on your Gnar boots, 'cause it's time to get EXTREME!

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Jon Valentine

Jon Valentinewrote a review of on December 13, 2010

5 5

Just took this puppy out yesterday in waist deep pow, and groomed runs. It is very comfortable, just the right amount of pockets, and the magnet zipper closure is tech. I took a good digger in the pow, and got up and was completely dry with no snow sneaking its way in the jacket. The only improvements I would change are the pit zips are a bit hard to close, and the front zipper is reversed (throws me off every time). It was cold out (8 degrees F) and I was never cold. Overall, I love my new jacket, and Backcountry.com has awesome customer service. That's it, That's all!

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Jon Valentine

Jon Valentinewrote a review of on July 22, 2010

Stand out!
4 5

Have rode these shorts a while now, and I am impressed. I went with the blue/yellow to match my Fox 360 jersey which are the same colors. Together the design looks just plain sick. The shorts are very comfortable, have plenty of pockets for me to stash my iPod or keys in, and I hardly notice I have them on when pedaling. They do not get hung up on my seat when bombing downhill. The only inprovement I would like to see Fox make to em would be the liner. The interface to attach the liner to the short is ridiculous. I dont even bother with it. The waist on the liner seems like it has to much material, and if I pull it up it reaches my bellybutton, so i just fold it over and its fine. The chamois is very good. Perhaps Fox should leave out the chamois so the customer can wear whatever underneath and lower the price point? Anyway, like the short a lot! I will keep wearing Fox gear till I work up the ranks and maybe finally get a kit sponsor. (Anyone listening?) Keep on pedaling!

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Jon Valentine

Jon Valentinewrote a review of on July 22, 2010

Supreme Swagger!
5 5

This jersey is AWESOME. I am 5'9" and weigh about 180. I went with the blue/yellow in Large, and it fits great. I either rock it alone just riding trails, or put on my 661 armour, and still have plenty of room. It wicks sweat well, doesn't weigh down, and let the air through. It also cleans well in the wash. I have had a few Fox jerseys before that some dirt just won't come out. Not with this 360. Still looks new after some abuse! If you like to stand out a bit, this is the jersey for you. Plus, hucknroll.com frickin rocks! Fast shipping, and advise whenever you need it!

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