Joshua Dormont

Joshua Dormont

Catskills, NY State parks, wherever there's a view

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Joshua Dormont

Joshua Dormont wrote a review of on March 16, 2013

4 5

It's toasty, sometimes too toasty which is a good thing because it bundles down to a miniscule ball. I paired this with a mid-weight fleece, a base layer, and a hard shell for a summit at Kilimanjaro and it was perfect. Even had to take it off once the sun came up and we headed down. Great to stash in your pack as an easy way to add warmth.

As others have noted, is a little bit too bulky in the mid section. Other brands have got that nailed down better. This is often on sale, so don't settle for retail.

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Joshua Dormont

Joshua Dormont wrote a review of on March 16, 2013

3 5

Other reviewers have nailed the waterproof, rugged, and relative comfort of these hiking shoes. My main grip is the sole. I've taken these up and down muddy slopes and over wet rocks in creeks and I still never feel 100%. I've slipped a few times, and while that's probably not the shoe's fault, in similar conditions with my full hiking boots I always get better traction (larger and thicker treds). Maybe it's an unfair comparison, but these have left me sliding a bit too much to recommend straight up.

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Joshua Dormont

Joshua Dormont wrote a review of on March 16, 2013

4 5

I've used these pants for almost 8 years in everything from jungle conditions to the desert and up to the peaks. These are super durable, light weight, and dry quickly. The colors and fit make them easy to take into town. The attached belt makes packing even lighter. Only issue is that you have to find just the right size. When I'm hiking up mountains and need extra stretch, these aren't super forgiving. I had to up a size, but would prefer a bit of stretch.

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Joshua Dormont

Joshua Dormont wrote a review of on August 9, 2012

3 5

I wanted to like this - light, super packable, nice fit, good colors. But as others have noted, the Pertex coating creates ridiculous humidity issues. While it might be a good option for the price, you're better off looking for some more breathable fabrics on sale (I'm quickly becoming an eVent convert). Had to return after a few months of use because it just didn't qualify for a fall/spring jacket when you're actually doing some exercise.

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Joshua Dormont

Joshua Dormont wrote a review of on August 9, 2012

3 5

I wanted to like this - light, super packable, nice fit, good colors. But as others have noted, the Pertex coating creates ridiculous humidity issues. While it might be a good option for the price, you're better off looking for some more breathable fabrics on sale (I'm quickly becoming an eVent convert). Had to return after a few months of use because it just didn't qualify for a fall/spring jacket when you're actually doing some exercise.

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Joshua Dormont

Joshua Dormont wrote a review of on August 9, 2012

3 5

This jacket tries to do too much. For the sale price that BC is currently offering (about 150) it was appealing enough for me to dip in and buy it. But trying to take this truly winter-coat for anything but some serious climbing and winter activities just doesn't do the chore. For the original price, you're better off looking at some eVent fabrics or even going up a scale and going all GT Pro. Sometimes the hybrid just doesn't really excel at anything.

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Joshua Dormont

Joshua Dormont wrote an answer about on June 3, 2012

The biggest difference is the wind resistance. Patagonia is built more for keeping the warmth in, North Face is built more for keeping the wind out. Depending on what kind of conditions you're headed into, "better" will vary. Although I don't have the Patagonia, I do have a different insulated vest, and I find I go to this one a lot more often

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Joshua Dormont

Joshua Dormont wrote a review of on February 12, 2012

5 5

Super comfortable, not too hot but still warming, tough, stretchy, and nicely weather resistant. Not only is there nothing not to like about these pants, there are plenty of things to REALLY like about them. I own a pair of Marmot Scree soft-shell pants and bust these out when temps drop below 30.

One of my favorite parts about them are the suspenders. They come up higher than traditional pants (warmth maybe?) but the suspenders make them feel almost weightless and so comfortable.

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Joshua Dormont

Joshua Dormont wrote a review of on February 11, 2012

4 5

I had pretty low expectations when I got this jacket - no reviews here, only a few on Patagonia's own site, and recycled insulation. From the pictures here it also looked pretty clunky. Then I tried it on.

This is without a doubt the most versatile jacket I own, and I've never been a huge fan of 3-1 systems because of their propensity to break (zipper issues) or not really serve any purpose very well. What you get with this jacket, however is a perfect hybrid that works equally well in each of the 3 stages and then some.

Shell alone - very sturdy feel, truly waterproof, does a nice job keeping out the wind, and can layer over anything from a button down, to a sweater, to a blazer. Although it doesn't seem purposefully built for the city, it doesn't get a lot better in terms of a commuting jacket across seasons.

Insulation alone - it's not great looking, but is a perfect layer under something a little more technical - a shell or base layer. I tried pairing it up with my Hyllus (fit just right) and was very toasty.

Combo - great for temperature range from about 30 - 40. Below 30 and you'll probably want some more layering, and above 40 and you'll probably want to pull out the insulation.

Considering it does all of the above, getting this on sale is easily one of the best decisions I've made all winter. I couldn't give it 5 stars because a) would love to see Patagonia with other zip-in options (maybe down?) for when it gets colder, and b) the neck (while nice and high and comfy) has trouble closing sometimes.

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Joshua Dormont

Joshua Dormont wrote a review of on February 11, 2012

Made great boots even better
5 5

Couldn't agree more with the rest of the reviewers here - these inserts were a huge boost to my already great boots. A few tips I've heard:
- like regular soles, always separate boot and sole after you work up a sweat (it will help both dry faster and avoid squeaking and other issues)
- probably better to buy a size up and cut down if you're close. I didn't have to trim mine but they just fit the Euro 42 boot.
- these need breaking in just like anything else, so Backcountry is a perfect place to buy it (e.g. you've got some time to figure out if you like them or not)

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Joshua Dormont

Joshua Dormont wrote an answer about on January 15, 2012

The R3 might be a bit warm. 2 suggestions - 1) if you're on the move, you won't need something under the SV besides a nice baselayer (wool or capilene). Other than than, any 200-weight fleece would do just fine in my opinion. I typically use the hyllus with a wool baselayer and a OR light shell. Only ever use the 3 together when we've stopped and its windy and cold (sub 30). Around the city I find I can just toss the hyllus over a flannel and be fine to right about 35. Still works fine below 35, but if it's windy you'll feel a decent chill

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Joshua Dormont

Joshua Dormont wrote a review of on January 11, 2012

3 5

The pack is a very spacious 2000 cu - it easily holds my light synthethic down jacket + fleece + shell and a few more goodies. Hydration pack works nicely and straps and pack are all comfortable.

The flip side is that when it comes to features that could make this a stellar overnighter bag on the trail, it just doesn't cut it. Not many places to latch things on the outside (poles?!), awkward access to water bottle holders (they're too high), and oversized main compartment with top access only means that it's hard to get at some of the goods crammed in without taking everything out.

For a sub $100 bag it's pretty good, but I'd recommend checking out some of the new Marmot, Osprey, or Gregory bags in the same price range that handle your backcountry needs a little better.

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Joshua Dormont

Joshua Dormont wrote a review of on January 10, 2012

3 5

If you're looking for something to throw on as you walk around a cold city, or sit by your tent then the R4 will definitely keep you warm. I had to return mine, however, when I stepped up the exertion (or even when the temps hit the 40s). It's barely breathable and fits like a box (I'm 5'11", 195). I even tried going down to a medium, which was closer, but just wasn't right. As others have commented, at least for the 2011 model they still don't have the cinch on the bottom or arms.

With the extra heat, the poor fit, and lack of technical features, it just wasn't for me.

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Joshua Dormont

Joshua Dormont wrote a review of on January 10, 2012

4 5

I picked these up on sale at EMS and recently took them out for a hike up Mt. Wittenberg in the Catskills. No baselayer, and they were perfect in 20-30 degree weather with constant action. Spent a fair amount of the icy decent on my cheeks, so was really glad to see how sturdy the material held up. Fuzzy pockets, good breathability, but still warm. Not the most technical pair (I personally love the MHW Sarpa details and fit), but a great lightweight pair for your next trip.

With so many softshell pants on the market, I'd keep your eyes open for something on sale.

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