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Born in the swamplands of Southern Louisiana, moved about the entirety of the Western hemisphere ranging from Alaska to Panama. Country-boy turned City-boy turned wanna-be adventurer. Once out of the military I was reacquainted with my love and passion of the outdoors. My hobbies/passions are diverse and ranging, which keeps me from becoming pro at any one venue.. Haha! I'm just your average jack of all trades kind of adventure seeker.
Don't you hate those moments when someone snaps a pic and you get caught with awkward facial expressions?!
I'm in LOVE with this pack! I picked it up based on reviews I've read and time and time again this is the pack that gets pulled out of the closet when I'm headed out. When shopping or evaluating other packs I measure them up to this pack. It's feature set is so well thought out making this the definition of a Multi-Use pack. Climbing - check, Overnighter - check, Ultralight weekend - check. In short, you can do just about anything with this thing. If the 38L size isn't sufficient, Osprey offers these in various sizes to suite just about any size load you'll need to carry.
I find the 38L to be the perfect go-to for overnight peak bagging assaults or ultralight 2-3 day backpacking trips. Works great for getting me too and from the crags with my ropes and rack.
Absolutely feature packed design! I'm most impressed with the external hydration sleeve. I wish more packs had this feature. One of my other packs has the traditional internal sleeve which just annoys me..
This pack is sure to please. At the price point you simply won't find a better pack - PERIOD. The Osprey warranty, quality materials, feature packed design, and refined layout make this a winner in all categories.
If I had one complaint, it would be that optional sized shoulder straps and waist belts are not offered (minor gripe). I'm a stocky built guy and while the fit is sufficient for the load this pack is capable of, having the option to size the straps would be the icing on the cake even if it meant a small weight/price penalty. Beyond that, this pack is flawless!
My first soft-shell. Good for around town or walking the dog on cool breezy days. I would not use this in the backcountry. Zero breathability - So if you're putting out some heat, you're going to quickly over heat and soak your base layers. This thing gets quite clammy when on the move. Not the warmest jacket, but good enough to keep you warm on your travels from the car to building.
As long as you're not buying this for backcountry use, you should be pleased. Fit is true to sizing chart, so make sure you reference that.
OR did a great job with these gaiters. I'd agree with other reviewers stating these make a great 3-Season gaiter if you're fortunate enough to be blessed with sizable amounts of snowfall. Otherwise if you're not dealing with gratuitous snowfall these are easily 4-Season capable. They're 'virtually' waterproof, so if you're wearing a "waterproof" boot, you're not going to have any issues as long as you're not fording the Mississippi River. They do a good job at keeping the trail debris and muck off your footwear and out of your socks. They lightweight enough for trail-running, and I've found both the material durable as well as the instep strap to be quite durable as well.
Very quickly and easily put on or removed. They remain in place and secure - as you'd expect.
I'm quite pleased with these! I can't say I'd change much about them!
I bought the Gamma MX thinking it was going to be a do-all soft-shell as it didn't have some laminated membrane reducing breathability as so many do these days. I'm a stocky guy and put out a lot of heat when in the mountains, so breathability is more of a priority with me than some of you more fit/trim guys.
First off, the Gamma MX is definitely Arc'teryx in terms of quality/finish. The materials are top notch, and the workmanship is everything you'd expect from them. The fit is perfect for what I believe to be the intended use of the jacket. Nice true athletic fit with very little excess bulk. The hood easily fits a helmet of your choice and has enough adjustment to fit your bald head just as effectively as a helmet. Pockets galore on this thing! (2 hand warmer, 2 chest, and a sleeve pocket)
This jacket as many others have commented/reviewed simply have difficulty finding a place for this jacket. I can see how that is, as even with my emphasis on breathability this jacket still leaves a bit on the table I believe. I've held off reviewing this jacket until I expanded my soft-shell inventory so I'd have a better idea of where this jacket fits into the picture and I'd offer the following:
This jacket is for those of you *ON THE MOVE* in colder conditions. The air permeability helps regulate your temps, and the fleece lining will keep the bitter chill off you during map checks/equipment adjustment/ect. This is not your "do it all" soft-shell. But the very things that keep it from being that, means it excels at what I believe it was designed to do.
I find it most useful with a lightweight/mid-weight wool base layer underneath, and a insulation layer & hardshell (if things are suspected to get burly) in the pack. I typically stuff a Patagonia Nano Puff and Alpha SV in the pack to augment this shell.
Per my review below, I had my 551's blade replaced with one from the 550HG. This blade is what's known as a modified sheepsfoot.
*Disclaimer* - I was issued this knife while serving in the Armed Forces.
After 2 years of faithful service I had broken the tip off of my Griptilian's blade while conducting military operations in Iraq. Still fully functional it remained my go-to folder. I quite literally put this thing through hell..
Upon returning home, one of the first things I did was send my knife back to Benchmade to have them install a replacement blade. I had requested to have the knife converted to the modified sheepsfoot blade of the 550HG. I supplied my billing information on the RMA form, as the reason for failure was not a failure on Benchmade. Needless to say within a week, the knife was returned to me free of charge! They didn't even charge me return shipping!! Benchmade cleaned and lubed the knife and replaced the blade with the one requested. This level of customer service and dedication to customer satisfaction has made me a customer for life.
Top tier product and service (should you need it)!
Like you're probably already aware, or as I'm sure you've read in other reviews. The Easton Haven Carbon is one of the best bars you can fit to your ride for trail use. Just the right width for a "stubby" stem (70mm) and a gentle sweep that keeps your wrists and palms happy. Steers wonderfully too! My favorite part about using this bar besides the geometry being right for my needs, is just how much these bars reduce the resonance felt when using aluminum bars. I'll never go back to aluminum!
Strong and durable, has stood up to some sizable drops, and more spills than I care to admit too..
Fitted to a 2012 Trek Fuel EX 8 along w/ Easton Haven stem.
65lb GSD Female, Size Medium - Fits perfectly.
This is a tough bag that stands up to quite a thrashing. My dog peakbags with me in some pretty remote areas. The face fabric is pretty durable and stands up to rock/brush abrasions acceptably well, since dogs aren't really aware of their increased girth and drag/rub the pack sides on just about everything. After two years of moderate use, the pack shows some wear spots, but is still completely functional and I see it serving me and my dog for at least another year or so.
The pack is large enough to hold a rather large load (volume wise), and has the support needed to distribute even a moderately heavy load across the shoulders and back of the dog. I've been able to pack enough food/supplies/supplemental water for a 3-4 day trip. The cut of the bags will push the weight over the shoulders (where it should be) if the cargo isn't stuffing the bags to the brim. Nice feature. The bags aren't "waterproof" but do well at keeping water out as long as your pooch isn't going for a swim. I'd suggest bagging or some other means to protect anything that might be sensitive to getting wet/moisture.
Quality fastening/buckles secure the load to the dog well, so the cargo isn't flopping about. A little tricky to get the pack on and off at first, but with a few uses it takes seconds.
Only real downside I've found is the exterior loops are pretty useless if your dog is active/bushwacking.
Summit of Wheeler Peak, NM (State Highpoint)
These babies simply are the best. Ultra-light, durable, adjustable, and comfortable.
Cork handles are comfortable and don't induce sweaty palms. Should your hands or poles be damp, the cork still provides positive grip keeping your hands on the poles where needed. Carbon shafts are strong and durable enough to put some serious weight on should you need too. The locking adjusters are positive in locking, meaning they stay put despite leverage being placed upon them. Black Diamond really did a good job with the locking mechanism. This is what initially drew me to these poles and I haven't been let down.
Steel tip is durable, but to minimize environmental impact I'm often using the rubber tips unless I'm on ice. Optional snow skirts are nice as well and increase versatility.
Lots of miles on these and other than some scrapes/scratches they're as dependable as they were on day 1.
This product obviously has some pretty raving reviews here, so I'll keep this one short.. It's good enough to deserve another 5 star rating though!
This thing virtually weighs nothing and takes up hardly any space in your pack. About 3/4 the space a Nalgene would, fitting the small fuel canister and stove inside the large pot along with a camp towel and camp soap should you need/want.
Saved a ton of room/weight over my old REI aluminum set. Cools super quick allowing you to get back on the trail in a hurry should you need too. Graduated markings on the mug are a nice addition. Only gripe would be the small triangle on the lid makes it difficult to grab when water's boiling. Minimal nuisance however..
These served as my introduction to clipless pedals. The offer a great range of adjustment for release pressure that accommodates all skill levels. So if you're looking to get into a clipless pedal and are worried about not being able to "escape" have no fears. Dial down the tension and you'll have no problems bailing.
The bearings are durable, taking the beating from my first two bikes. Not as smooth or silky as some of the high end XTR stuff, but thats to be expected.
I beat them up pretty good and I keep them around even with the new XT Trail pedals I put on the bike. The only reason these were even replaced was I was looking for something with a bit of a platform for when I'm pedaling around campus in regular shoes. Otherwise they're pretty much flawless for a quality pedal at a reasonable price.