Karl G.

Karl G.

Upstate NY, Adirondack, Catskill, Pocono Mountains

Karl G.'s Bio

Hiking, Camping, Photography

Karl G.

Karl G. wrote a review of on July 11, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: Runs large

Just a great casual hoodie that has a few technical details like the zippered pockets, sleeve cut and hood cut but it really is just a super comfortable and warm hoodie. It is ridiculously expensive but I was able to nail a "Storm" color on sale. The outside of the fabric has a wonderful "hand" feels great to the touch. Hood adjustment is a little funky and ended up working much better after modification with some plastic B-LOKs. An item this pricey should not need modification.

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Karl G.

Karl G. wrote a review of on August 31, 2013

3 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size

These are being rather harshly rated for what they are not ( hiking, running, long walking, trail running) rather than for what they are ( water sport shoes). As water sport shoes they work very well for their intended purpose with decent grip on slimy rocks and mud, drain so fast there is no residual water inside, keep smaller rocks out ( sand and fine mud can get in though), can be used swimming with ought peril and provide a close enough fit that brief hikes are doable. I have used them fishing and walking stream beds to photograph, kayaking, and as foot protection walking through low flood waters. Previous foot ware was a "T" branded water sandal which these exceed in every way. Except perhaps looks

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Karl G.

Karl G. wrote a review of on August 31, 2013

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size

This is a wonderful shirt with a very soft hand or feel. The cut is excellent for a normal fit without boxy waist. The fabric breathes extremely well. Although the sleeves do not have hold up tabs when pulled up they stay in place. The material dries quickly and holds no body odor. It travels very well with no wrinkles. Unlike most shirts in this genre, it does not look technical when worn on a business or vacation trip. I would rate this more as a travel and fashion piece than a technical shirt but with that being said it has worked well kayaking and also n camping trips where planned stops in towns/cites benefitted from having a piece that did not look like a camping shirt. The only negative? Pricey. One star off for value/price ratio

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Karl G.

Karl G. wrote a review of on August 6, 2013

2 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I have two of the previous versions of MHW Canyon Shirt with the last purchased about one year ago for about 10% less than the 45% off sales price and was expecting another excellent shirt. Wrong! There has been a serious reduction in the quality and features of this shirt in the present version being sold. Some of the serious downgrades include many double stitched seams reduced to single stitched, removal of a zipper to right upper chest pocket, moving button for fold up sleeve from external upper sleeve to internal tab that contacts your skin when the sleeve is down, and serious reduction in the size of the back shoulder venting area and air entrance. The changes saved money for the owner (Columbia) but literally on the backs of it's customers. The top open pocket with no closure (previously a zipper) is suitable for a casual shirt only. The material is not particularly any better (or worse) than any low end outdoor shirt made in Vietnam and found in big name discount department stores. 4 stars is very highly overrated for this shirt which I hesitate to call gear. This product is so clearly inferior to the previous version and does not look compatible for anything but light casual wear, it is being returned.

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Karl G.

Karl G. wrote a review of on February 6, 2013

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This is a good looking and understated jacket to wear if you live in an area where the winter temps can get regularly into the sub freezing zone with substantial winds. The cut is very generous so it is easy to layer including suit coats or sweaters. The finish will easily handle sleet and snow and if it's warm enough to be raining, this probably is overkill. The double zip makes the coat's length manageable if you are vehicle commuting. It would seriously benefit from the addition of a waist draw string, and a bottom draw string. The died pockets are cavernous and divided into inner and outer pocket by a zipper which is covered by a flap. The face fabric works well at blocking wind and shedding light moisture but is noisy. All in all, this warm and durable jacket works well for it's stated purpose of urban wear and is a fair value when on sale.

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Karl G.

Karl G. wrote a review of on July 13, 2012

4 5

Grabbed some of these because of the good reviews and excellent price and was thoroughly impressed. I've used these as dry storage when kayak camping and paddling, as a make shift water carry, a pillow, a compression sack (with some straps), and they are holding up excellently for a season of use. Mine did not come with a repair kit. The strap slots at the bottom take a standard one inch nylon strap and come in handy when you are storing them above deck. On sale, they are a good value. At full cost... Not so much . Get Sum,

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Karl G.

Karl G. wrote a review of on July 12, 2012

4 5

This short has all the goodness of the material and pockets of TNF Paramount but are slightly longer inseam which is much appreciated from us taller dudes with long femurs. It gets old having your 10 inch inseam shorts look like short shorts when you come out of the field and hit a town. A belt does not come with the longer version, if this matters at all to you.

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Karl G.

Karl G. wrote a review of on July 11, 2012

4 5

This is a great boat for long river trips. It is very stable, but maneuverable ( for a 10 footer) and packs great with dry bags. Perfect for a self support trip. It easily handles class 2 and 3. The skeg makes it track open stretches much better than the hull shape and length would suggest although obviously a longer and more directional, narrower hull is a better lake boat if you don't do any river work. For a fun day on a lake to just get out there and enjoy it does fine as long as you aren't trying to get anywhere fast. . I highly recommend this kayak in it's segment of cross over kayaks as the one with the best white water manners and most comfortable seating which LL calls "Bad Ass Outfitting".
Rear compartment ocassionally ships a small amount of water mostly through the rear bulkhead but your gear should be in dry bags anyway.
Don't let the 4 stars throw you in a comparison to similar kayaks like the Jackson Rogue 10. I tested that boat, and although it is good, the XP-10 was the better boat for me in features, comfort, forward bouancy and white water ride. They both are slow paddlers on flat water due to their short length and wide hulls.

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Karl G.

Karl G. wrote a review of on July 7, 2012

2 5

The Denali is one of The North Face Company's best selling pieces and is very popular and you will see it everywhere you go on college students. It is almost a uniform top! As a layering piece, it is very warm and breathes very well, but is very bulky and heavy. Although it has DWR, it's ability to resist moisture and rain is minimal. Although some wind blocking is afforded by the panels across the front, over the shoulders and the elbows, wind whistles through the unprotected parts of the body and sleeves. It is very stylish, but you will be in a crowd of Denali wearers where ever you go. It's best uses are on a day with temps in the 30's, 0 wind, and no rain or as a super bulky wool sweater replacement. Better choices in The North Face line for people looking to have a jacket that can shed some light rain and provide warmth by blocking wind include TNF Apex Bionic, Sentinel or Palmyra , or MHW and Arc'teryx ( on sale) soft shell jackets. All are around the same price as the Denali and more versatile. If you love the styling and want a piece that looks similar so you blend in TNF Wind Pro version of the Denali is far more versatile. You'll thank me the first time you walk outside on a chill day with any wind at all.

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Karl G.

Karl G. wrote a review of on July 5, 2012

4 5

This is a nice solid shirt for outdoor activities in the summer. fit is true to size chart. The material breathes and vents really well. Sun protection is sold. material dries very quickly. Construction is good with decent seam sealing. Mine has taken minor abrasion without problem but thin shirts like this are really not meant to withstand dragging across rocks much. It excels for hiking, kayaking, general travel and packing and doesn't look bad at the end of the day if you find yourself on main street at a bar. With two of these shirts you are set for a summer. Solid.

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Karl G.

Karl G. wrote a review of on July 5, 2012

3 5

Just about everybody makes a shirt like this and what separates the merely adequate from the truly good frequently boils down to the details.

This shirt features a pretty good fabric which breathes well, dries fast, is constructed of rip stop nylon and offers sun shielding and decent wicking ability. Its styling is subdued and nice enough for a business casual wear.

The devil is in the details for this whole class of shirts and two design details make this shirt a casual use only piece. Most of these shirts in this class feature a mesh yoke section across the back covered by a panel for breathability, venting and sun blocking. In other shirts this multi panel design is secured. On this shirt the inner mesh panel is not secured across the bottom. So? So, if you try to just unbutton the neck buttons and go to slip this shirt on over your head about 80 percent of the time your arms will be attempting to slide under the mesh panel and not down the sleeves. Despite numerous tries, you will give up and totally unbutton the shirt and put it on and then rebutton it. Not a big deal in a casual piece but a PITA if you are attempting to take it off quickly, put it back on quickly, doing it in the dark, etc. You know, all the sort of stuff you might want to do using a piece actually day to day in a back country setting.

Detail two that differs on this shirt from competitive offerings is the roll up sleeve holders. On most shirts of this design there is a button on the outside upper sleeve and a strap inside the sleeve with a button hole. You roll up the sleeve, flip up the strap and button in. Quick and easy. This shirt features a tab on the upper outer sleeve. The holding strap inside the sleeve features a button on the inside of the strap and button hole. After you roll up the sleeve you have to pull out the holder slide it through the tab, fold it over and button it to itself. An annoyance and it adds some time but the real problem with this design is when the sleeve is down and the strap on the inside now has a button that hits just about where your arm folds so that anytime you are actually using your arms for climbing, working with tools, walking with poles, etc. that button starts attacking the inside of your elbow joint. Not a problem if you leave he sleeves constantly up ( but then you could just get the short sleeve version) or if you are not really using your arms much with the sleeves down.

In summery, because of the restrictions above this piece is best suited for casual travel, business casual, and spends a fair amount of it's time in my closet. I'll occasionally use it day hiking or kayaking when the sleeves will be up all day or pack it for a family vacation. My go to piece offer none of these draw backs. If you want a pice for technical and casual wear you might want to take a look at comparable pieces from Arc, MHW, TNF and others.

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Karl G.

Karl G. wrote a review of on June 27, 2012

4 5

This short is a simple and nice technical piece that breathes very well for hiking and exertion, dries quickly, and allows a good range of motion. The material is moderately stretchy and comfortable. The two simple, zippered side pockets work smoothly and are mesh lined I haven't popped the front snap moving around, but expect to some day with the snap not secured under the belt. I liked the fit, feel and stretch of the short and decided to keep them and have been enjoying them even with the weird belt. The offset, I guess, allows a front hook waist harness or lower pack belt buckle to not be doubled but honestly this has never really been a problem in the past for me with a conventional front hook belt.

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Karl G.

Karl G. wrote a review of on June 27, 2012

4 5

Fit is on the small side of the range given in the sizing guide in the XL size; I wear a 39 and was expecting a 40-42 XL to be loose but fit was only slightly loose. I think a true 42 would be really struggling and a 40 would just fit. Material is very nice and feels more like a light cotton than a heavy canvas. it is a softer and quieter material than most technical shorts and other MHW models geared to climbing. Great for hiking and just plain general around town wear without looking like short shorts. I'm 6'4" and the hem lands slightly below the top of the knee. The quality of stitching, seams and construction are very good. The pocket description is wrong, this piece has two front pockets with mesh, two back pockets without mesh drain and one side pocket with zipper without mesh drain on each side for a total of 6. The material dries fairly quickly, and lightly beads water, but the comfort waist material dries slower. Actually this is a fair trade off of increased comfort. Over all, this is a very good short for hiking and general use.

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Karl G.

Karl G. wrote a review of on June 24, 2012

5 5

I have an older version of this shell and the newest is improved by the addition of a chest pocket. Oddly enough, it used to have it then it was gone and now it's back. You might want to get one before they take the pocket away again for a few years :)

An outer shell is an essential part of a layering system and this is my go to piece. I wanted a piece that accepted zip ins and TNF has designed this piece well. It works well by itself as a rain jacket and wind shell. It works with numerous other pieces as a shell including everything from a 700 weight down (Nuptse) to a lighter fleece from TNF as zip ins. It even accepts my Mountain Hardware Windstopper Technical Jacket (zips are backward but it does zip in). Good zips, pockets, waterproofing, breathability, venting (pit zips) and a lifetime warranty.

The mountain light jacket works as everything as a rain shell in summer to a three in 1, ( with appropriate zip in fleeces ) ,in the other three seasons. It's a bit old school compared to more modern light weight Gore products but the robustness, reinforcements, and zip in compatibility outweight the minimal gain ( in ounces) and hundreds of dollars more in price you pay. Although I own other shells this one just keeps soldering on doing duty in all 4 seasons in Upstate, NY and the Adirondack region.

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