So I ended up returning these because of the above issue. With how incredibly wide the strap is I don't think that pair was going to conform anytime soon. A shame because the footbed is insanely comfortable, and they are incredibly light for how burly they are.
FWIW, I tried on a pair of "Sole Cork Flips" and that strap setup didn't hurt as much and seemed like it would conform over much better over time to taller feet.
So I just got these, and immediately realized they are for people with low arches, at least out the box. I have a very "tall" foot" and the ramp angle of the top of my foot is severely misaligned from the very flat angle of the strap. As a result only the leading edge contacts my foot, which is quite unpleasant (I've had the same problem with Olukais). Question is, will the top straps stretch and mold over time? If not I need to return. Because they are canvas rather than leather that gives me hope.
The terry loops are like a harsh one-way velvet at first, but after wearing it a bit and washing it twice that went away as it broke in. Seams remain mildly irritating though. Otherwise breathes well and performs well. Not quite as warm as pure merino per weight though. Great for touring though. Also, very stretchy and fits a bit loose.
I use these on 125mm Drifters just fine. There is only a minor difference in base area width between Speeds and the more expensive FT & ST. What you do gain, though, is more riser height which will affect more edge leverage. That's a skier strength vs. snow surface vs. ski use concern though.
The other systems all add brakes though, and you'll need the full $600 FT system to get the required 130mm brakes. Personally, I did not feel the need to pay $200 extra to add unnecessary weight to my skis.
Have the heel riser and other durability issues with the heel been addressed?
What is the weight savings of the new model over the old?
Has the ski brake been fixed and does it have an AFD?
I really like the idea of this binding and it's adjustability for multiple users, especially compared to the 12.5mm range of the new Dynafit Radicals.
If you snag these for 30%-50% off here or SAC they are an incredible deal for the features. At retail I think they are about an even value compared to the rest of the market (although there aren't that many bibs like this). Thin, mostly windproof, good fabric ratings. 6'1" and 160# and medium fit perfect. Pretty light and pretty packable, but nothing compared to Gore-Tex Pro Shell. A little funky to get on because it has a high crotch (good for athleticism) and a short zipper. Bib component just rocks. Pockets are fine, but the back pocket has a funky permanent half flap thing that makes wallets a bit awkward to in/egress. My only real complaint is the internal gaiter isn't quite tight enough around my ski boots, and they're a bit too long so they can stick out below the pants. This may be letting some wind in and I'm worried about postholing so I'm going to put a bar tack in it.
I was getting a little wind in the hip area while sitting on a chairlift getting battered by gale-force gusts. Whether that's the aformentioned boot cuffs or some zippers I don't know....not gonna judge that harshly though because when it's really blowing the wind can find a way in a lot stuff. Wish the blue color was louder like previous years, still has a nice neon accent though.
Conclusion: incredible value at $100-170. Hold their own at $240. If you have $400, get the Oakley Sethmo because it's just like this pant but better in every single way. I don't have $400, and I'm content with these; falling in the pow has never been so snow-free.
Seam sealed center ridge and was able to get it back in the smaller sack. Comes w/ 2 guylines, you really need 4 more.
I've had this jacket for a couple years, so maybe the flaws I've experienced have been fixed. The cinch devices for the hood are crap, and there is not enough veclro on the wrists (although I have skinny wrists).
Those couple negatives aside, this is an awesome jacket for cheap. It is a softshell, but the burliest material I've ever seen on one. You could swan dive into a blackberry bush in this thing; it is definitely workwear appropriate. Repels water decently enough, and the fabric stops wind entirely. Not packable at all, but I do wear it skiing sometimes. Great for jobsites, winter bike riding, and around town. A bargain if you can get it for $90 or less.
I ordered these and the North Face Vindicator GTX Mid at the same time. On paper, they are nearly the same. IRL, they are pretty different. Scarpa usually treats me well because their last is wide in the toe. The last on this is a mid-width however, and caused the aformentioned toe rubbing. Also the sole was quite hard for a light hiker, and the heel cup is a bit flat and narrow (which is somewhat normal for Scarpa). The narrowness and hardness made TNF boot win out (TNF has a very wide last), however if it fits your foot a bit better than me this thing with some aftermarket insoles seems like it would make a killer scrambling boot, as it felt like it would be very good and grippy at technical foot placements. Felt like it would require zero break in.
"Sierra-cement day at Baker"
- around here we call that "Cascade Cement" :)
I have the Overhang and I can attest to what Jwhitehouse said. I climbed Shuksan this summer (literally attached to Baker ski area mentioned above) and my friends had the H/H Odin Guide pants and the Mountain Hardware Navigation Pant (I think...they change names frequently). I had crappier pants and a true shell. The weather turned on us into a traditional North Cascades suckfest and the only time I was better off then them was when it was squalling. The rest of the time in cold light rain and mist they were fine, and got to carry and worry about one less thing. Experience inspired me to buy the Overhang, and although I haven't had the chance to test them for days on end like that, they have held up to light Cascades precip just fine so far, and that's the "summer" weight version.
These boots are amazing but flex in a way that is totally different from a traditional boot. Since they have less "over the top" flex I ending up riding a more neutral position, which is better for the BC anyways. Where they lack is high speed (like, racing speeds) groomer carving, as you can't front flex the ski as aggressively. But that is not the point of this boot. The point is they weigh half as much as a normal alpine boot which allows for faster transitions, more pop in your jump turns, and fantastically light legs on any boot pack uphill.
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