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Julian B.

Julian B.

Seattle, WA

Julian B.'s Passions

Climbing
Hiking & Camping
Biking

Julian B.

Julian B.wrote a review of on August 28, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 2"
Weight: 165 lbs
Size Purchased: Medium

This thing is crazy lightweight and packs down to fist size! I recently bought this for an alpine trip to Tuolomne and the Sierras and ended up getting caught in a torrential rain/hail/lightning storm while climbing an easy multipitch in Tuolomne. We had to bail off some gear (we got it back the next morning). I was already drenched and getting pummeled by hail in a tshirt and popped this jacket on and immediately started to feel warm again (wet but warmer). It offered little protection against the bullet-fire hail, and the rain was too much for it to keep me dry BUT it did keep me warm...er than I would have been without it, and for a lightweight alpine shell that's what I was looking for.

I then used it as a windbreaker the next day (nice and sunny) and it performed better than expected. It breathes decently but does build up some inside moisture if mildly humid / or if you're sweating.

This is going with me on every trip from now on.

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Julian B.

Julian B.wrote a review of on August 9, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I've been using this bladder for awhile now and absolutely love it. It imparts absolutely no plastic taste (I had issues with an MSR bladder that constantly tasted like plastic even after 12 months of use). It doesn't seem to funk up as quickly as a Nalgene (I basically just rinse it after every use), it's pretty damn durable and actually stands upright too. When it's empty it rolls up and takes up almost no space in your pack/pocket. Love this thing so much I bought the 3L as well.

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Julian B.

Julian B.wrote a review of on September 8, 2013

1 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I've gone through several bags in my lifetime, but this one is definitely the most uncomfortable. It's too bad - I was stoked to receive this. The big lower back "pad/knob" that is the centerpiece of their "ergoactiv" system is horribly uncomfortable. It just digs into your lower back, and rubs around constantly causing a lot of discomfort, soreness and chaffing. After about 30 mins of hiking it just feels like a hard knot. The shoulder straps are also very thin and barely padded. Honestly, it's a horrible design - one that I believe is providing a solution to a problem that never existed. Traditional non waist rotating backpacks are WAY more comfortable than this. I've put 30lb in this pack and taken it a total of 18 miles since I got it, and I wouldn't go another mile with this thing. In fact, I just bought (for $99 on sale locally) a Deuter Guide Lite 32+ to replace this and it is incredibly comfortable. Deuter knows comfort. Black Diamond could learn a thing or two from them. I'm sending this back this week. Do yourself a favor and avoid this bag and go with Deuter - they are unbeatable in terms of function and comfort.

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Julian B.

Julian B.wrote a review of on September 8, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This thing is sturdy, easy to open, easy to fill, and easy to drink from. It can also be tossed around and dropped and take some serious abuse. I also like the ability to clip it to your bag with a biner, and save room INSIDE your pack for other necessities (not that water isn't one) because of the plastic lid strap. I love this thing! Probably won't be my last.

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Julian B.

Julian B.wrote a review of on August 21, 2013

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I got the 38" one for my 06' Impreza (per Thule's recommendation/configuration tool). It's a little short on both ends and leaves about a 1-2" gap on the driver/passenger side but it has no bearing on it's effectiveness. I just thought it would reach to the ends so it's flush with the crossbar mounts. That said, it works perfectly and cuts down on the wind noise from the crossbars. Assembly and installation was fairly easy, but it does feel kinda flimsy overall. Nevertheless, once it's installed you don't need to ever touch it and it really reduces/eliminates wind noise.

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