Junkit

Junkit

Junkit

Junkit wrote a review of on December 25, 2012

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

I got a pair of these through a GORE-TEX product testing program about two weeks ago. I've worn them in-bounds skiing a couple times since then and have been impressed with them.
The Sabre pants definitely have a freeride style cut - wider legs and more-than generous boot cuffs (my feet almost disappear) and a slightly lower sitting waist. While loose-and-baggy usually isn't my style, the fit is comfortable and matches that latest trends in ski style. I consider these to be my steezy pants, a linguistic choice I think is backed by the bright color options (I went with the Cypress, which actually ended up being a pretty dark and nice shade of green).
I would say that the pants fit slightly larger than normal - I'm a small according to Arc'teryx's fit chart (30 inch waist) and an extra small would probably fit me better. The built-in belt does an adequate job of holding the pants up, but I did supplement with an additional belt.
So far the pants have been very waterproof, and, based on my other experiences with Arc'teryx gear I would expect them to remain so for a long time. One of the days i used them was in wetter snow and I stayed dry the entire time.
While there isn't true insulation, the shells are thick enough to offer a bit of protection against cold chairs, wind and snow (something that my Theta SV bibs don't) and feels like it's thick enough to be durable. The oversized boot cuffs patches feel very tough and haven't shown any scratches yet. Despite this, the pants still avoid being too heavy to hike in. I haven't had to use the side zips yet, but they seem large enough to be effective.
I love the large thigh pockets - they're easy to access when sitting or with a shell on and comfortably fit plenty of stuff.
Overall, these pants feel very solid and are comfortable. They probably won't be the best for hiking, but I'm planning on doing at least some touring in them and will be rocking them as my every-day resort pant.

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Junkit

Junkit wrote a review of on December 10, 2012

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I am a member of a GORE-TEX product testing team and received this hat a sample while working at a gear store about 5 years ago.
That said, these hats are great. They last forever (mine doesn't show any wear and tear and my father has had one for at least 10 years) and are very functional.
I will readily admit that they aren't the most stylish thing out there, but whether you're venturing out in the rain, wind or sun, this hat does a great job of protecting you from the elements. The brim keeps rain off the face and back of you neck and shades you from the sun. The velcro patches make it easy to hold the sides up and the chin cord ensures that your hat won't run away from you.
I use mine primarily in the rain and on river trips - they are warm enough that I don't love using it in the middle of the summer when it's hot and sunny out (although I have used it for that purpose on occasion).
The Sombrero's light and packs down enough that it will easily disappear in a back pack.
All in all, a great hat if you pick function over form.

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Junkit

Junkit wrote a review of on December 10, 2012

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I received a pair of these bibs a few seasons ago as part of a GORE-TEX product testing program. Since then, I've put them through the ringer, primarily skiing but also using them for occasional rainy day hikes and even a few cold-weather river trips.
Overall, I've been pleased with these pants. I like the bibs for skiing, and the built-in waist band makes it easy to drop the bib part down if I'm skinning or don't need them (I usually drop the bibs when I'm hiking).
Durability has been good, although I did develop a few small tears in the knees (probably from kneepads and telemarking). The bottom cuff reinforcements have kept ski edges from damaging the material at all. No other signs of wear and tear after 3ish years of regular use.
These pants offer great storm protection - I've stayed dry in water and wind, even when friends up getting soaked. All the zippers seal well and the bibs offer a bit of extra protection from water dripping down your back. Even the coldest, gustiest winds don't stand a chance.
The weight (or lack thereof) and lack of insulation makes these great for touring, although there are some extra cold days at the resort that I wouldn't mind a thicker/warmer shell. It's not really an issue as long as I plan ahead and layer well.
These are definitely a pair of swishy pants, and people will hear you coming.
I don't love the two pockets - they're a little small for anything large than keys, a phone and maybe a snack bar, and they can be difficult to get at when you have a jacket and pack on.
Fit is slimmer, like much of Arcteryx's line. Great for skiing, skinning and other activities that require a lot of moving around.
All in all, great pants. Like all of Arcteryx gear, you'll pay more but you'll get more.

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Junkit

Junkit wrote a review of on December 8, 2012

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I have to confess - my girlfriend often can't find her Evolution gloves and it's often because I've stolen them.
These gloves are ideal for running, biking and hiking in fall and spring weather (anything down to 25ish degrees out) and for skinning in warmer winter conditions. They cut the wind and provide enough protection against rain to keep fingers and hands warm.They're still small and light enough to easily stuff into a pocket. After a few years of use they're starting to show a little wear, but I anticipate them lasting for at least another year or two.
All in all, great lightweight gloves.
Although I'm part of a GORE product testing program, I did not get these gloves as part of it.

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Junkit

Junkit wrote a review of on December 6, 2012

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

About 5 years ago I bought Mammut's Comfort jacket - one of the prequels to the Alyeska. Five years later, I'm still excited every time I put it on.
The GORE soft shell material keeps water out and is more comfortable and softer than a traditional hard shell, and the cuffs, high-cut neck and zipper all help make this jacket great for nasty weather. It breathes well enough that I've done a little bit of skinning in it when the weather gets real nasty (windy and sideways snow), but it's still heavy enough that I almost always keep it in my pack until I'm pulling my skins.
The large breast pockets are easy to access with a pack on, and the internal ones hold goggles and snack without letting them fall or bounce out.
I love that the hood is large enough to fit over a helmet.
Despite heavy use in all sorts of weather the jacket still looks great, in addition to being waterproof (I've only retreated once, and only after a couple years of heavy use). The color (bright green) has only faded slightly, and dirt and grime washes off. The only stains are a few drops of black grease (might have come off a lift tower).
Overall fit is great - I'm pretty thin, and the jacket (unlike many) doesn't feel boxy or bulky. Arms and hood move with me, and the cut is low enough to keep snow out and wear with a harness without looking like a park rat.
Full disclosure - I am part of a GORE testing program, although I purchased and loved this jacket long before I joined the program.

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Junkit

Junkit wrote a review of on December 6, 2012

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I received a pair of these shoes through a Gore-Tex testing program and have been very happy with them. After moving to Oregon from the high desert, I quickly realized I didn't have appropriate footwear for the near-constant rain. I've used the Drifter's for everything from my bike commute to backpacking trips and even spent a day hiking around in the snow. I have yet to pull them off and find wet socks - all the outside water is kept out and they still breathe well enough that my feet don't feel claustrophobic and stuffy (my largest initial concern with a Gore-Tex shoe).
While these are not light enough to use as a runner, they do fill a niche as a nice light hiker that is still supportive enough for backpacking. I did do a small amount (2-3 miles) of light trail jogging with a ~30lb pack on once and they felt fine.
Fit was true to Patagonia's sizing (I ordered them based on another pair of Patagonia shoes I own). So far they've held up very well with about 10 months of use, and if the other pair of Patagonia shoes I own is any indication they should continue to wear very well into the future.
My only two complaints (and minor ones) are that the right shoe seemed to have a slight rise under the hell. It's only noticeable when I rock back and forth from toe to heel and hasn't affected performance. The soles are also pretty slick on damp or wet man-made surfaces - tile, linoleum, anything metal and even some sidewalks and asphalt.
Overall, I've been really pleased with these. Definitely recommend them,

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Junkit

Junkit wrote a review of on December 6, 2012

3 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I bought these my first year of patrolling, hoping to get a warm glove (my hands and feet tend to get pretty cold pretty quickly) that wouldn't interfere too much with dexterous tasks like tying knots. I talked to someone at a shop and he recommended these as being a very warm glove.
While the gloves were comfortable and seemed to allow decent hand and finger movement, I was disappointed both at the warmth and durability. I don't think that the gloves made it past the end of February before seams were splitting and palm was peeling off. While they kept my hands dry, they also didn't provide that much warmth.
When I talked to Black Diamond, they quickly sent me a new pair of gloves - I've been more careful about using these (I don't patrol in them) and they've lasted a few seasons. I often pair the warm and removable liners with a heavier mitten shell on cold days.
I think that a pair of Kinko's, especially sizing up and wearing a liner glove inside, provides about the same amount of warmth and more dexterity. That's my everyday, go-to glove now.

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