Lawfarm

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Dean's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Biking
Paddling
Skiing
Climbing
Lawfarm

Lawfarm wrote a review of on March 6, 2013

2 5

I washed them.

Followed directions to a T.

Bad results ensued. The inner liner became irretrivably twisted. I've tried to fix them, my wife has tried...I've even tried to employ the tiny fingers of my daughter. No dice. You cannot get the index finger liner back to where it shoudl be...which renders them useless.

It was a good run while it lasted, but if you can't wash them according to directions, they're not so useful now, are they?

(2)

 

Lawfarm

Lawfarm wrote a review of on March 6, 2013

5 5

I've always been frustrated by the paucity of products like this.
I wear comfy, great-performing jackets for casual wear, but when I have to wear a suit to work, I have to put on a trenchcoat or overcoat that hasn't had a design update in a century. WHY?

Arcteryx finally answered that question. No more.

The Diplomat performs and fits like a technical jacket...but looks like a dresscoat. I'm 6' and 150#. A medium fits me like a glove. (Like a jacket?) It's trim--I can just fit a suit or sportcoat underneath...but it's a good compromise between sizes. If it was larger it would more comfortably accommodate a sportcoat underneath, but would be too large for wearing without a jacket underneath. As-is, it works great with a sweater or just a shirt, and works acceptably well with a sportcoat.

I'm amazed by how water resistant and windproof it is. For how thin the wool is, it is amazingly warm. It's just what I've always wanted...gear that lets me discretely enjoy the benefits of performance fabrics, when I'm walking into the office or shuttling between buildings on a cold, snowy December day.

And the hood--the hood is perfect. It won't accommodate a helmet (duh), but is perfect for keeping your coif...well-coifed.

Also, it has nice little wrist cuffs that keep your arms warm and dry, without having big elastic at the end of the sleeves. I wear mine with leather dress gloves. From a distance, all you see is a well-cut, fancy looking dress overcoat. From inside, you get the benefits of Arcteryx quality, and perfect fit.

(1)

 

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Lawfarm

Lawfarm wrote a review of on March 6, 2013

5 5

Are you conflicted? You want the lightness of carbon bars, but you're worried about them snapping and leaving you with a massive dental bill?

Look no further.

These bars perform like carbon bars with good vibration dampening and amazing lightness, but they're built to be bombproof. Note that ENVE calls them downhill bars because they're 800mm wide. They're marked for cutoffs, so you can make them whatever you want, with a few minutes, some masking tape, and a hacksaw. 750mm seems to be a sweet spot on my 29ers. Add in a short stem, grip it and rip it.

(2)

 

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Lawfarm

Lawfarm wrote a review of on March 6, 2013

5 5

Simply the best. This seatpost is lighter than a comparable Thomson (note that the Masterpiece doesn't come in a length nearly this long), and offers a better ride (more vibration dampening). It comes with ENVE's name and warranty. It looks hawt. It performs perfectly. There is nothing to compare to. To paraphrase Ferris, if you have the means, I highly recommend it.

(1)

 

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Lawfarm

Lawfarm wrote a review of on March 6, 2013

5 5

If you're looking at jackets of this ilk, you're probably comparing this to North Face/Patagonia/etc. Or, if you're a sucker for Arcteryx, you're comparing it to the Hyllus. What's the difference?
The Hyllus is more water resistant than the Atom. Also, because the Atom has side breath panels, the Hyllus is more wind resistant. If you're wearing it under another jacket, the Atom is more flexible and softer--and thus easier to use. By itself in wet or windy weather, however, the Hyllus is the way to go.

How good is this jacket? So good that my wife wanted one, once she saw how much I loved it (just like my Hyllus).

Having the Atom and the Hyllus, here's how I pick:
1) Wearing it under a shell? Atom is softer and more flexible. And warmer (when under a shell).
2) Wearing it by itself in rainy or very windy weather? Hyllus is more water and wind resistant (because the Atom has vented side panels).
3) Wearing it in the cold when rain and wind aren't an issue? Atom is warmer than Hyllus.

It's a great jacket--and if you're worried about hood or no hood, get the hood. It folds down to nothing, and is never in the way.

(1)

 

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Lawfarm

Lawfarm wrote a review of on March 6, 2013

5 5

If you're looking at jackets of this ilk, you're probably comparing this to North Face/Patagonia/etc. Or, if you're a sucker for Arcteryx, you're comparing it to the Atom. What's the difference?
The Hyllus is more water resistant than the Atom. Also, because the Atom has side breath panels, the Hyllus is more wind resistant. If you're wearing it under another jacket, the Atom is more flexible and softer--and thus easier to use. By itself in wet or windy weather, however, the Hyllus is the way to go.

Compared to other brands (NF, Pata, etc.), the quality is exceptional. I've had softshells for years, from many brands. I've become an Arcteryx snob. Every seam is perfect, the zipper is perfection on a pull, the interior is softer than Cookie Monster after conditioner.

How good is this jacket? So good that my wife wanted one, once she saw how much I loved it.

(0)

 

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Lawfarm

Lawfarm wrote a review of on March 6, 2013

5 5

The Alpha SV is simply the best goretex shell on the market, bar none. The NEW goretex pro shell is soft and flexible in ways that previous generations lacked, and yet it is waterproof beyond compare. The jacket is durable enough to get dragged up a mountain, rubbed on a rope-tow, or skidded down the pavement should you fall off your fatbike. I know; I've tried; it survived without incident. If you're looking for hand pockets, this isn't the jacket--but that makes it more compatible with backpacks and climbing harnesses. The hood is the BEST hood I've ever used--easily accommodates a helmet, without becoming a sail to pull you around in high wind. More interestingly, the softness of the Pro shell lets the hood turn with you, when you turn your head. If I could give 6 stars to this shell, I would do so. There is nothing--literally nothing--that I would change about it. I'm 6' and ~150#; a medium is perfect for me. Perfect. PERFECT. I can't imagine ever replacing this...except with another one.

(0)

 

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Lawfarm

Lawfarm wrote a review of on March 6, 2013

5 5

No plastic-ky taste. No nonsense. Just a good, simple, durable way to transport water. I fill 'em and throw them in the bottom of a pannier on my bike to have water for cooking, drinking or other domestic purposes when I'm going bike-camping in areas without potable water. They're light, and when they're empty, they fold flat to nothingness.

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Lawfarm

Lawfarm wrote a review of on October 9, 2012

Water and Wind Resistant, Warm Gloves
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I've had these for a few months and have started using them regularly. I have Reynaud's syndrome and suffer from very cold hands. The Sugoi gloves have done a good job of managing moisture and keeping my hands warm when cycling. I've used them with drop bars and flat bars on the bike, and they've been great. They are NOT waterproof, but do a good job of keeping you dry in light rain and wet conditions. I've used them down to high 20s in comfort. Much colder than that, and I think they'd start to get a bit TOO cold for road biking, but they might be ok for more physical mountain biking. At and above 40 or 45, they're too warm! The 3 finger design permits easy brake/shifter access, which is GREAT!

(2)

 

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Lawfarm

Lawfarm wrote a review of on September 13, 2012

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Bar none. It's that good. It's expensive, yes. But it's perfect.

I'm 6' and 150#. A medium is perfect on me (room for layering underneath) and a large is HUUUUUGE on me. Throw an Atom or Hyllus underneath, and you're ready for anything.

Or wear it without a liner, and the ventilation and great Pro Goretex will keep you dry and comfy. The shell feels softer than other pro-shell gear I have, which is a nice feature. But it has also been incredibly durable. I have 0 concerns about durability or how it will last. I've got a few years in mine now, and it looks brand new.

At first, I really didn't like two features: 1) I felt it was too short; and, 2) I missed low hand pockets for skiing use. Let's be clear...this isn't designed as a skiing jacket. The length has grown on me...particularly if you rock some bibs with it (like the Theta SV bibs). Even without bibs, it's long enough to cover your rear.

The missing hand pockets? Well, that's a design feature to accommodate backpack hip straps. When I'm wearing a backpack, it makes perfect sense. When I'm not, I miss my hand pockets. That said, I wouldn't take a different jacket if you paid me. I've had Patagonia, REI, Norrona, North Face, you name it. The Alpha SV is the real deal. Drop the coin on one now, use it forever.

(1)

 

Lawfarm

Lawfarm wrote a review of on September 13, 2012

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I'd run out of superlatives if I tried to say everything good about these. They are the most durable technical pants I've ever had--I wouldn't hesitate to use them for any winter pursuits. I've biked in them, and the pins on my aggressive platform pedals bounced right off the finish on the pants.

Perfect cut for aggressive skiing, and the built-in inner-liner/gaiter works great (and stays sealed shut) for those deep powder days.

A ton of adjustability in the sizing. I'm 6' tall and 150#, with a 32" waist and a 32-33" inseam. I ordered the medium regular, and they're perfect with ski boots or hiking boots. The waist does have some stretch to it, so don't be afraid to order on the small side of the sizing chart. Leg length is great as well.

Waterproof? To a fault. I've never, NEVER, never had any problems with ventilation, water infiltration, or other moisture concerns.

The bib design is comfortable, and the bib+belt holds them in place during the most aggressive activities.

Expensive? Yes. But this is a "order once and use for a decade" piece of gear. Maybe longer than a decade, if you can keep fitting into them.

They're simply the best bib pants available.

(0)

 

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Lawfarm

Lawfarm wrote a review of on September 13, 2012

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Blunt edge so you don't go popping your inflatable.

Sharp, serrated blade so you can cut through a rope in a jiffy, should an emergency arise.

Useful bottle opener for adult beverages to be enjoyed.

Super-convenient carrying clip, with easy, single-handed pop-out deployment.

Useful shape for prying, digging, or chiseling.

Works well, and I'm glad to know it's there if I need it.

(1)

 

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Lawfarm

Lawfarm wrote a review of on September 13, 2012

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I frequently have to load a 14' canoe by myself, on top of our SUV. Before the Waterslide, I had to worry and exert and wimper about the potential for dragging the canoe on the rear edge of the roof, scratching the roof.

After one challenging riverside loading session that did in fact generate a scratch, I went looking for solutions. This is THE solution.

It's easy to use, easy to store, and functions perfectly. Unless it's windy, I don't bother to use the velcro straps...the sticky rubber side holds it in place very effectively.

When it is windy, the velcro is very easy to use, and hooks onto your rack to hold the Waterslide in place while you load.

With the Waterslide, canoe loading is much less stressful...I don't have to worry about the canoe hitting the roof, because even if it does, it just slides along the Waterslide as intended.

(0)

 

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Lawfarm

Lawfarm wrote a review of on September 13, 2012

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I have Reynaud's, which means my fingers loose circulation when it's cold out, and go numb. It's painful and irritating. So I'm always looking for warm gloves.

If my fingers get wet when it's cold out, it's goodnight feeling. So my gloves have to be warm AND waterproof.

The AltiMitten does the trick. With the removable liner, you have adjustment options to accommodate a wide array of weather conditions. The Goretex outer shell is waterproof--and I mean WATERPROOF. IT's great. Truly great. The inner glove is roasty-toasty warm.

I would not recommend using the inner liner by itself...it is not built heavily enough to use solo. But as a combination, or with the outer shell alone, they're great.

After some hard days skiing and hiking, they've held up incredibly well--no signs of wear or tear. And my fingers are thankful for the warmth. Sizing is true to the listing above...measure twice, buy once.

Also of note...the mittens are open inside...there are no finger dividers. I strongly prefer the open design, as it helps my fingers stay together and stay warmer.

(4)

 

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