... However less breathable than you might expect. Pros: lightweight wind block; easy to stuff anyplace; big zipper allows a range of venting. Cons: expensive, when running in this I find myself with more on-skin moisture than I would expect. Neutral: mostly translucent.
My Ultimate Direction AK vest came with larger water bottles (which I found hard to use because of the bite valve). I replaced them with these 10oz bottles and prefer this configuration. The valve is low tech, but isn't leaking even after several cycles through the dishwasher.
A further advantage of the 10oz size is the lighter weight on the chest of the race vest (obviously the lower capacity is the inescapably associated disadvantage).
I like the Kriti. It is cut long in the body -- from neck seam to hem it measures 29 inches (size M). This compares to the Patagonia Piton at 28 inches (size M) and the Arc't Accelero at 27 inches (size M). It also seems to have a pretty narrow/tight forearm, and the elbow is well articulated.
The fabric is a rough softshell -- very stretchy -- reminding me of the Cloudveil jackets from the early-mid 2000s. I like it.
In addition to the pockets listed above, there are two drop pockets on the inside -- no closure of any kind, but deep.
I wear this shoe in an 11 for the length, and perhaps (at least some of) the shortcomings I found are a results of a too-wide-for-me toe box in that size. I found this shoe to be sloppy. I didn't feel that it stayed planted through a running stride. My second issue, however is less about fit. The soft foam of this shoe was problematic. It added to an insecure squishiness and the feeling that the shoe was moving under me (when it was supposed to be in place). Despite that thick squish of sole, the soft foam didn't protect well against rocks. I felt them more clearly (ie uncomfortably) than in any of the other shoes I run in. So for me, the foam was too thick to provide good response and connection to the ground, but not stiff enough to protect against terrain.
On the other hand, it is a very lightweight shoe.
Note the seamlessness.
The Ganda climbs very well for an approach shoe. Viewed over a short time horizon, it may well be the best crossover shoe (between hiking and climbing) out there. The rubber is climbing-shoe sticky and, for me, the fit was completely acceptable during long access hikes. (The shoe doesn't have the supportive, scree-busting sole of the Salewa Mountain Trainer for example, but it was fine for back-to-back full day hikes on varied terrain and certainly is of a totally superior character as a climbing shoe.) However, after only about 15 hours of use, there is already notable, problematic peeling of the rubber off of the midsole. My three-star rating is: 2 stars for durability, 5 stars for in-the-moment performance.
This shoe occupies a nice niche among my running shoes. It is a true zero drop, but has much more cushion than say a Vibram or a New Balance MT10. As such, I like it for longer runs. The sole is certainly designed for road rather than trail - but you have a lot of rubber on the road with the shallow tread. Finally, the toebox is notably wider than most of my shoes (reminds me of my Dalbello touring boots) -- and I felt the difference as reduced friction between my toes. (Photo compares the profiles of the NB MT 10, Altra Instinct, Inov8 Trailroc 235, PI EM Trail N2, PI EM Road M3, and PI Peak II.)
I'm early on with this shoe, but provisionally, I like it as much as I like the road PI that I use (the EM road M3). As with the road shoe, I am sizing up about a full size to an 11. In the attached photo you can see the profile of a couple of shoes I rotate. From left to right they are New Balance MT 10, Altra Instinct, Inov-8 TrialRoc 235, PI EM Trail N2, PI EM Road M3, and PI Peak II.
I'm really pleased with this shoe, right out of the box. (Be forewarned, it runs small. I'm usually a 9.5 or 10 and the right fit for me in this shoe is size 11.) For me, once I had the right size, I was good to go. I bought this on a Saturday, ran 3 miles that afternoon, and then ran 26 the next day with no fear. The 'seamless upper' is comfy. The offset is (according to PI) "Dynamic Offset: 4mm at initial contact to 7.5mm at mid-stance," which is a little different than the text in the Backcountry description. I run in this shoe coming out of a zero drop ALTRA, as a long time midfoot striker, and felt like this shoe was built for my stride. Also, it is billed by PI as having some motion control. Unlike other motion control shoes I've run in the past (eg Saucony) this didn't feel notably hard on the inside of the foot. (Photo shows NB MT 10, Altra Instinct, Inov8 Trailroc 235, PI EM Trail N2, PI EM Road M3 and PI Peak II.)
Full disclosure, I adore almost everything I've tried from Ibex. They make much of their stuff in the USA (including this piece); they use great wool; and the style is ... stylie. The Indie works as a mid layer -- cut is full, not too tailored or tapered -- but it is lightweight, so even under a snug outer layer, it doesn't feel bunched. On the other hand, when this is the outer layer, there is plenty of freedom of motion / it doesn't bind. I've used mine for a season+ and it is holding up well.
This is my go-to synthetic running shirt. I like the zip neck, and I like the fit. (I'm a little skeptical of the gladiator claim to reduce odor -- I seem to get smelly in this shirt at the same rate as ordinary polyester t-shirts.) I'm a US jacket size 41, and wear a medium. The fit is spot on.
Made in Vietnam. Recyclable via Patagonia's common threads initiative.
(Photo shows the "brown smoke" color.) These are very light, the ear pieces hug nicely -- very stable without my medium sized head getting pinched -- and the lenses are polarized. Among Oakley models, these seem on the small end of the mix. I like 'em for running.
See table for comparative stats.
The NoZone 55 is a minimalist, light weight pack from Arcteryx's Ascent alpine climbing line of packs. It is light, yet the fabric seems tough. Banning Lyon's review, below, takes issue with the waist belts pod-pads. I found them to be a little bit of a bother -- each time I put the pack on, I had to slide them along the waist belt, so that they were aligned on my hips. But, once there, they were sufficient. (Full disclaimer, I've only carried light loads so far.) The compression straps work well, and it was easy to cinch it down for smaller loads.
The stripped down pack has ample attachment points: two daisy chains, two buckled for ice tools, compression straps work for A-frame carries. The main compartment is closed via two drawstring cinches (with large release tabs that make it easy to open with gloves on) -- one for the main compartment and one for the expansion sleeve. The pack lid is removable. (Also, "Tech Specs" says there are two pockets on the top lid. Others should check me on this, but I only see one.)
This hat has great venting, while still offering a reasonable amount of sun protection on the crown. It is mesh across the top and sides.
Unlike the Verticals, the Radical assumes you'll bend down and twist. I don't find this to be much of an issue, but it is different. (Also different from the Verticals, the heel lifter is engaged not by rotating the heel piece, but by flipping the lifter forward. That is easy to do with a ski pole.) Also, check out Lou Dawson's wildsnow.com for everything you could ever want to know about Dynafits.
This hat is opaque on the crown, so offers more sun protection than the Patagonia Air Flow. It also has less mesh than the OR Swift Cap, which is basically a mesh cap with a strip of fabric loosely affixed and running across the middle third of the crown. Nice hat; good buy at the price.
I took these for a couple of springtime tours in the San Juans and was really pleased. The early rise tip made it an easy turner and more importantly gave it some good float. (I also ski these 10cm shorter than all-round alpine skis with the view that the weight savings was worth it.) We skied breakable crust -- and these were burly enough, though clearly then don't plow through like a ski with some metal would -- we skied 6 inches of mid-winter quality powder -- and there was plenty of float -- we skied lots of sunny aspects with chunky-monkey spring chop -- and they were easy to unweight and swing. (No in bounds yet on these, so can't comment on groomers/bumps.)
Usually ski 185-190 cm for an all-rounder, 155 lbs + 15 lb pack, skied these 176 and was pleased.
These are nice poles. I have low standards in ski poles, but one thing that is really key, in my view, is that they don't collapse when weighted. While I've only skied with these for a few days, they were rock solid on jump turns (set at 125cm) and stream crossings (set at 140cm) both. The adjustment is easy, the length markings are clear.
I like these glasses well enough. I agree with the 'tech specs' comment that it fits a medium to large face -- I'm medium in most everything in life and felt like these were just a bit too big. On that point, I would have appreciated some way to increase the tension of the ear pieces around my head. The temple pieces bend (and don't seem inclined to break) but they don't particularly change shape. The eye coverage is good, and I had only minimal fogging during very high output.
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