Kyle Hilsabeck

Kyle Hilsabeck

Backpacked in Chugach (AK), Indian Peaks (CO), Pike National Forest (CO), Pinhoti Trail (AL), and many smaller ones here and there

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Kyle's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Biking
Climbing
Kyle Hilsabeck

Kyle Hilsabeck wrote a review of on December 18, 2012

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Much brighter than I anticipated - I have only been using it on the low setting with no problems traveling 25-30 mph on unlit residential city roads. Haven't run out of juice yet, but it worries me especially with the USB charging as the only power option. The yellow side lights were brighter than I thought but I think it kinda gives a cool glow on your hands while you ride. Personally, I would prefer it if the handlebar attachment stayed put and the light would detach from it - but it's easy on/easy off so not too big of a deal. I just get nervous when I am repeatedly stretching rubber straps, especially after time and elements have done some work on it.

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Kyle Hilsabeck

Kyle Hilsabeck wrote a review of on December 18, 2012

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I spent a lot of time searching for a coat that met all of my specs and didn't cost $400+ and was very happy when I found this. I'm 5'9" 175 lb and the L fits great with plenty of room for multiple baselayers including a thick fleece or down vest. It's kept me bone dry and warm on the bike in fairly heavy rain and temps between 25 - 40 (with activity and light baselayer). I don't feel any wind chill while biking. Also, material has a good feel to it and isn't overly stiff or "plastic" like many shells out there. Looks good enough for business casual as well - at least the gray color!

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Kyle Hilsabeck

Kyle Hilsabeck wrote a review of on December 18, 2012

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I like all of the zippered pockets and the fact it has compression straps. Couldn't believe the rain covers were included at no extra cost. I thought when i was ordering "2" I was ordering 2 bags, not 2 pairs - so you do get 2 bags by ordering "1." Extremely easy mounting for quick removal and installation - makes it easy on the fly. Only complaint thus far is the front compression strap/buckle adjustment isn't the smoothest.

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Kyle Hilsabeck

Kyle Hilsabeck wrote a review of on November 13, 2012

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Love everything but the color (a little too hunter orange for my liking - would've preferred something with the brightness toned down a bit). Very lightweight yet warm. Keeps out the wind and moisture but also vented moisture out very well. Most shells I've used leave me feeling wet from sweat but I've not had that problem with this shell. The armpit vents are great. The sleeves are quite long - I'm 5'10" 180 lbs - started with a medium because all of my other tops/shirts are that size - very tight fit but the arms were perfect. Exchanged it for a large which fits great - plenty of room for layers - but the sleeves are about 3 inches too long; however it's an easy fix with the Velcro at the wrist. I had this trailblazing/bushwacking in Alaska through very thick brush and a TON of Devil's Club and it came out without a scratch - So A+ on durability!
I'll also mention that I sledded on my butt down a mountain for about 800 ft and the adjustable elastic strap in the waist kept the snow out just fine.

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Kyle Hilsabeck

Kyle Hilsabeck wrote a review of on November 13, 2012

3 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I had the double version of this but most of my pro's/con's still apply. Loved the light weight, volume, reflective surfaces, low price, and shoulder strap. What I was missing: separate compartments/pockets, zippers (however this one says it has zippers), and sleekness (quite bulky and my heels would occasionally hit it while pedaling). Also, I had about 9 inches of seams come undone after only about 3 months.

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Kyle Hilsabeck

Kyle Hilsabeck wrote a review of on November 13, 2012

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I have the 2 person version of this tent, purchased at $130 - apparently not available anymore (at least not on backcountry) but I imagine the same pro's/con's are there for the 4 person.
Why this tent is awesome: floor space, head space, gear loft, dual vestibules, lots of mesh (ie ventilation), rainfly vents, lightweight, low price, ease of setup/tear down, and I really liked the windows in the rainfly that many tents don't have. It's gotten me through 4+ weeks in the CO rockies, a week in Alaska (July - but still cold, windy, rainy, snowy), and countless nights in Iowa and Wisconsin. I've never had condensation issues or any other moisture problems.
The downside: After the first year the rainfly windows started becoming stiff/brittle and have small holes in them - almost like the plastic is degrading. Also, I woke up one night on a mountain in Colorado with wind gusts over 40 mph - I thought either a person fell on the tent or a bear was attacking me, but it was just the wind collapsing the tent on me. It ripped 5 stakes out of the ground and flung them over 20 feet away and bent one of the tent poles in several spots. What you gain on price, you loose in durability and longevity. That being said, even with bent poles, it held up just fine in strong winds in Alaska. I'm happy with my purchase and it was recommended to me by a Colorado man who's used it on over 20 trips summiting 14ers.

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Kyle Hilsabeck

Kyle Hilsabeck wrote a review of on November 13, 2012

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I have had the hardest time finding a pair of boots that didn't give me gigantic blisters while out on the trail. I have always been skeptical of the heavier leather boots and had been opting instead to use light weight breathable running shoes (Asics always made my feet happy!) and carrying an extra pair just in case. I wondered why you'd ever use anything else until I caught the toe on a rock and tore the mesh allowing gravel and snow to hang out between my toes. I decided Alaska may need tougher shoes. A week through rough Alaskan mountains, terrain, snow, mud, water - dry feet, no blisters, and a very happy hiker. I did get a little rubbing on the back heel but that was after one of the most strenuous hiking days I've ever experienced. I'm normally a 9.5-10 but they were out of that size so I ordered a 9 and they fit perfectly! I did replace the insoles based on other reviewer's comments but the original ones weren't terrible - just not a lot of cushioning. I highly recommend.

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Kyle Hilsabeck

Kyle Hilsabeck wrote a review of on November 13, 2012

Love these!
4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Quite happy with these! I'm 5'10" 180 lbs and purchased the M-32L - a bit long in the legs but can roll them up easily. The material is great - soft, stretchy, and quite durable. I wore them for a week straight bushwacking in Alaska through some of the thickest brush and Devil's Club that I can imagine and there was absolutely no damage to the paints. The photo shows us sledding on our butts down the side of a mountain and again, no damage or moisture issues at all. My only complaint is that in the first couple of days after purchasing them I had some seams "break" (thread is hanging loose but no hole in the pants) on the seam around the thigh - just wearing them around the house. Nonetheless, I wear them all the time! Light, quick drying (I'd say water proof because I never noticed it when they were wet). Also, I wish the pockets all had zippers.

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