Josh Rhea

Josh Rhea

Salt Lake City, UT and Columbus, OH

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Josh's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Biking
Skiing

Josh's Bio

I am a skier, first and foremost. Give me cliff-strewn, powder-choked, tree-free steeps, a la Snowbird, and I am one happy camper. Downhill and freeride mountain biking is a close second.

I've been with Backcountry.com since February 2003, and love the roller coaster ride my job has been since day 1, back when we had a mere 35 employees.

Josh Rhea

Josh Rhea wrote a review of on June 8, 2009

3 5

These are super comfortable pads - great for pedaling and the knee coverage is excellent - they don't slide off the knee like other knee/shin pads I've owned.

However the clip fasteners on either side of the knee are prone to popping off. It can be just an annoyance - hit your top tube with your knee and your inside knee fastener pops off, making you stop.

Or, it can be devastating in say, a race. Had a race crash where both sides popped off, I had to dismount the bike and reattach my pad in the middle of my race run - cost me a good 30 seconds. NOT cool! I'm selling these pads and trying something else.

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Josh Rhea

Josh Rhea wrote a review of on September 12, 2008

1 5

I really like Sombrio shorts and jerseys, so I had high hopes for this jacket as a riding-specific jacket. It is a good jacket with great waterproofing, but a couple things could be better thought-out:

The armpit vents follow the contour of your pit, so that unless you are reaching above your head the vents remain largely closed. However when riding they should open up enough to be useful.

The interior fabric feels a bit clammy compared with some of the 'dry touch' stuff out there in winter outerwear. Otherwise, nice piece - great zips with tight tolerances, etc.

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Josh Rhea

Josh Rhea wrote a review of on July 22, 2008

4 5

Hands-down the most comfortable pads I've ever worn. I don't even notice them when wearing them. I've put a knee down a few times and they've stayed in place and done their job, although no super high speed crashes (yet). The stitching however ripped right out as soon as the pad hit dirt. Not sure what to do about that, I left it and they are holding together, for now. Kinda disappointing that a $110 pad should start falling apart on the first impact.

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Josh Rhea

Josh Rhea wrote a review of on November 6, 2006

5 5

Just a quick follow up to my earlier review. I agree with another reviewer who said it'd be nice to have some sort of pour spout; it tends to dribble down the sides when pouring.
Also, it is really easy to forget the plastic covering on the bottom of the pot that protects the heat ring. I melted the plastic once, and even after that almost forgot two more times. Just beware, otherwise this thing is great and after more use I really can see the speed advantage.

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Josh Rhea

Josh Rhea wrote a review of on October 19, 2006

5 5

I pretty much don't like backpacking, but have gotten car camping to an art. I'm all about the base camp for mountain biking/hiking/climbing/whatever. Anyway, this thing is pretty sweet - love the easy click start and the flame is contained and not really a flame. Seems to cook pretty fast, although not blindingly faster than a normal stove. I'm sure the real difference is in windy environments, etc. But yeah - great little stove when you don't want to break out the full-on double burner, etc.

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Josh Rhea

Josh Rhea wrote a review of on October 3, 2006

5 5

Please note that the 184 and shorter lengths are totally different skis than the 189 and 194cm. The shorter lengths are great, versatile, do-all western skis with a moderate flex. The 189 (which I own) and 194 are big mountain monsters. They are super stiff and will kick your ass if you are not on the ball. But in the right conditions, and with the right pilot, these are the best big mountain rippers I've ever been on. Absolutely sick.

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Josh Rhea

Josh Rhea wrote a review of on October 3, 2006

4 5

One of the more comfortable lids I've worn over the years. I'm a long-time helmet user when skiing (8+ years). The audio is great; I can get the volume to where I can comfortably hear it in the tram or on the chair, but once I'm skiing the wind drowns it out and I can hear what's going on around me. I wish they still made helmets with hard ear covers though, these tend to smash my ears and cause some discomfort. Otherwise great helmet.

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Josh Rhea

Josh Rhea wrote a review of on October 3, 2006

5 5

When I got this pack I was worried it'd be too big. After a couple years of owning it though it has become my daily go-to mountain bike pack. The internal organization is superb - way better than CamelBak or The North Face hydration packs I've tried. Bladder and hose are great, don't kink, don't stink. I use the armor carry features all the time and they work great. Five stars.

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Josh Rhea

Josh Rhea wrote a review of on October 3, 2006

5 5

I've got a narrow, oval face and these are one of the few large-lensed glasses that actually fit my face and don't look ridiculous. I bought them for style but their light weight and polycarb lenses have made them perfect for biking and other sport uses.

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Josh Rhea

Josh Rhea wrote a review of on October 3, 2006

5 5

I actually have a pair of Chongs, the predecessor of the Zong. Have had them over 3 years now and they just won't die. Bomber sandals...and still one of my favorites. The only time I have issues with sliding out the back is if its a bit wet, etc. I almost lost them in knee-deep mud hiking a slot canyon recently, which is a situation it would've been nice to have the backs on, but I honestly prefer the ease and comfort of the backless sandals. Five stars.

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Josh Rhea

Josh Rhea wrote a review of on October 3, 2006

5 5

I've got last year's model, which is the same as this year's - but I like the black topsheet this year better. It's not the biggest gun in my quiver, but this thing can handle 99% of what I want to do on the mountain. Moderately softish flex, such that it can handle speed but also turn easily through the trees and tighter spots. Basically this is an incredibly versatile, easy-to-ski ride in something as fat and long as its dimensions. Fischer doesn't market their equipment well and this is definitely one of the least-known ripping skis out there - if it had the marketing backing of say Rossi or K2, you'd see these all over the hill guaranteed.

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Josh Rhea

Josh Rhea wrote a review of on October 3, 2006

5 5

I keep one of these in my day pack all the time, as a 'just-in-case' jacket. I live in Utah so I'd only used it a handful of times in light showers, where it was fine. This summer I took it to Portland and got poured on while hiking a trail. It helped, but I still got soaked. Don't expect this thing to protect you from a downpour - it's more of a rain resistant light piece. Great for what it is, just don't but it as your only rain jacket.

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