Marius

Marius

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MARIUS's Passions

Mountain Biking
Hiking
Road Cycling
Bouldering

MARIUS's Bio

Marius

Marius wrote a review of on May 24, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I returned this product before using it
Fit: True to size

This is from Norrona's /29 line which is their casual, everyday clothes, but usually with a bit of a technical outdoor clothing twist to the design. The design is unique and cool.

The fabric was impressive and seems really rugged. I liked all the design details. The silly zipper that goes all the way to the top of the hood, the pockets and zippers, all of which are of metal if I remember correctly.

I had some issues with the main zipper. It was a bit tricky to zip up, partly because it's metal and partly because it's a parka and you have to reach quite far down.

The jacket is very heavy but it will presumably keep you warm.

I really wanted to keep it, but I do not live in an area where it gets cold enough where I could use this often. Winters here are short. If I did live in a place with a long cold winter I probably would've kept it.

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Marius

Marius wrote a review of on May 24, 2014

3 5

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

Pretty average cap. I got cinder (gray) one. I like that there is just the Marmot symbol rather than the text in the front and that it's also gray, making it all a bit understated.

I'm not a big fan of buckle adjustments on caps but it does the job.

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Marius

Marius wrote a review of on May 24, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: True to size

I have never owned anything from La Sportiva before, but the design of this short caught my attention, especially the light grey one.

A nice feature is the hidden mesh ventilation behind the curved panel on the back. There are no rear pockets which is fine. I don't find them practical on hiking apparel. There is a zippered pocket with a molded YKK zipper (which seems overkill but adds to the design). The fly zipper is a regular coil zipper.

There is an unzippered pocket on the other leg.

The material feels a little like a soft shell type of material, but it is very thin and because of the 15% spandex, it's very stretchy. In fact, it's so stretchy that even in a medium and my 33/34 waist these will not really stay on without a belt. I frequently use a belt anyway but I feel this is the weakest part of the shorts. I'm not confident that the material would hold up with a lot of abrasion and abuse but I have not tried.

Time will tell of this is another weakness, but there are two buttons to secure the fly, but unfortunately they are mostly plastic.

I've only used them once, on a 11 mile, fast hike with about 2000 feet of elevation change. They never felt clammy and given the stretchy material I never felt constrained. They do give a little bit of a "swish" sound when you move but not excessively so.

Given the stretchiness of the material pretty much require you to wear a belt, the plastic fly buttons, and the high price I feel this is short warrants no more than 4 stars.

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Marius

Marius wrote a review of on May 19, 2014

5 5

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

I use this for cool weather running in the morning/evening.

While there are probably better, more "technical" apparel with ventilating meshes and such (this one does not have this) I absolutely love the look of the Ice Blue version so any minor disadvantage there may be here I can easily overlook :-)

The shirt performs great. The arms are snug which is fine. The rest seems to fit as I would expect.

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Marius

Marius wrote a review of on May 19, 2014

5 5

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

I tried these pants for the first time while hiking in Lake Tahoe in early May. The temperature was above freezing and it was ranging from chilly in the morning to somewhat cool during the day. Being in the mountains there would often be cold wind and these pants were perfect for the task.

They have a slim fit but they are stretchy as well. Every pocket has a zipper (there is one zippered back pocket too and a small, vertical zippered pocket on left leg, neither mentioned in the description, which adds up to 5 pockets).

Love the design and contrasting colors on the zippers.

The size is a bit odd. I have mine in medium, the only thing that'll fit my 33/34 waist and 30 inseam. However the waist adjustments have to pretty much extended all the way.

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Marius

Marius wrote a review of on May 19, 2014

5 5

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

I've been using a Patagonia R1 jacket as my mid-layer for a while when I need that type of insulation for cool weather, often strenuous hikes. While the R1 is a great jacket I've often wished that there were a thinner, more ventilating fabric on at least part of the arms. My arms tend to get hot and clammy, especially under a shell.

Enter the Norrona Falketind Warm1. If you look closely on the picture of the back of the jacket you'll notice that there's a different fabric on the insides of the arms and along the sides of the torso. This is the Polartec Powerstretch material and it goes all the way to the cuffs. This is a much thinner material than the rest of the jacket which uses Polartec Thermal Pro. It's also really stretchy. This gives the jacket more breathability in these areas.

I love the hidden side pockets which disappear in the seam.

There are thumbholes in the cuffs.

One small disadvantage is the Polartec Thermal Pro material as used here. I used this jacket with an older Gregory Z30 backpack with a mesh back. Well, the mesh back acted like a cheese grater on the Polartec Thermal Pro and after a long hike the entire mesh was filled with green fabric from the jacket (I have the bamboo green jacket). I was worried that this had removed a bunch of loft and insulation from the jacket but I cannot tell any difference. The Patagonia R1 does not have this problem as it has a "hard" surface, not a fluffy one like the Norrona.

Still, I prefer this jacket over the Patagonia R1 now. I might have to get another one in a different color...

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Marius

Marius wrote a review of on May 15, 2014

3 5

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

A very popular jacket, obviously, given all the reviews here. I've used this jacket quite a bit recently, but only for hiking and not climbing with a helmet. I've found the size of the hood to be very irritating, to the point that I will replace this as soon as I can find something better. Maybe it'll be the next version of this jacket or a different brand altogether.

I'd also like for Arc'teryx to tone down the branding. The logo on the chest is almost comically large. The Aphix hoody that Arc'teryx makes seems to have gotten it right but currently it does not have hood adjustments either.

It really quite baffling that Arc'teryx could not see this would be an issue so I question their testing procedures.

The jacket is good, although not particularly special. It's pretty basic which is kind of what I'm looking for, but I need the basics to be correct.

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Marius

Marius wrote a review of on May 14, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: True to size

Norrona grades their fleeces according to their weight with the terms Warm1 to Warm4 in the product name, Warm4 being the warmest.

This is Warm3 and it is seriously warm. The fleece weight is, as the tech specs show, 300. This is going to be too warm in many situations. In fact, I'm taking advantage of winter clothing going on sale right now and haven't yet had a chance to test it fully. But the quality is usual Norrona. The fit is great, nice and firm (athletic), love the deep purple color (quite unusual) and the contrast stitching. The Polartec Thermal Pro material is not the smoothest of materials but it does the job. Nice hidden hand pockets with zippers, and a napoleon pocket. The thumb holes in the sleeves are well done. Pocket zippers are coil zippers, the main zipper is metal. There's a chin guard as well.

Overall a great piece, just know that it's for cold weather. It's going to be too warm to wear inside.

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Marius

Marius wrote a review of on April 23, 2014

3 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: Runs small

As far as I know, this jacket is from Black Diamond's first endeavor into apparel. They launched many different pieces and this is one of them. I applaud Black Diamond for aiming high. There's no need for more mediocre products. However I think they priced themselves out of the market and they don't have the reputation yet for making quality apparel. At full price this jacket is too expensive, however at the current outlet price of 55% off it's a pretty good deal. I ended up getting both the jacket and the hoodie.

The fit is fine on me. I usually wear a large and a large in this jacket fits me pretty good. It is an athletic fit but that's good for layering. I'd prefer this type of fit for such a jacket.

I think the Polartec Powerstretch material is good. It serves great as a middle layer or on its own for hikes in cool weather. I also like the almost hard-fleece like exterior with the "waffle knit". This makes it glide better inside a shell and shouldn't pill like the "fluffy" fleeces. The "waffle knit" presumably makes it a little bit more breathable. There are no pit zips or different material under the arms on this one.

Like Ian S. wrote, all the pockets have a mesh in them. I like that because they can act as small vents this way. I rarely care anything of substantial weight in my pockets.

Also, like Ian S. wrote, the zippers are great. The main- and napoleon pocket zippers are molded (YKK Vislon) zippers with a big metal handle. These zippers should take a lot of abuse. Molded zippers are in general more reliable than coil zippers. The side pockets use coil zippers.

Unlike Ian S. however I doubt you'll find a better Columbia jacket but I could be wrong. I don't have a lot of experience with that brand.

The arms may be a little bit long but that's common for apparel design for climbing. I don't find them to be too long for general use however.

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Marius

Marius wrote a review of on March 24, 2014

5 5

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

I estimate I've put around 60 miles in these boots, of that about 25 miles in rain.

I really, really like them. I also have a pair of Lowa Renegade's but I wanted a stiffer boot for carrying more load. These certainly are a lot stiffer than the Renegade's but in backpacking boot terms they are still perhaps considered to be fairly flexible.

So far they have kept my feet completely dry, even during an 8 hour wet hike, most of it in rain.

Traction is really good.

I do have to tighten them properly or I will have some slippage in the heel, but in no ways too tight. So far I have no developed any blisters. I've carried loads up to 37 pounds so far in these boots and they've held up fine.

I use a custom insole (SOLE I think the brand is).

For me they did need a little bit of break-in. I probably around 10 miles on easy walks around the neighborhood before I took them on a hike.

It's a good looking boot too. I don't think the pictures do them justice.

Hanwag makes these in both leather-lined and Gore-Tex versions. I have the Gore-Tex model. They do get, predictably, get warm in, eh, warm weather. I've tried them multiple times in 5 hours hikes around 80 degrees. They've been warm but not uncomfortably hot.

You may not have heard of Hanwag. It's a German brand with a long boot making history. Together with Lowa (also German), these are some of the best made boots you can buy. Both manufacture their boots in Europe, some of the models are made in Germany. As such, the price is thereafter, but you do get what you pay for.

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Marius

Marius wrote a review of on March 15, 2014

5 5

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

This shirt is pretty much as simple as it gets. There are no ventilation holes anywhere. There is one chest pocket, without a button, Velcro, or zipper. Don't let that fool you though, this is a great performing backpacking and hiking shirt.

I have numerous synthetic, button-down hiking shirts. Marmot really nailed the fabric with this one. It's light, the fabric has a smooth feeling to it, there is almost a slight sheen to it. It's cool to the touch.

I tried the shirt on a 12 mile, strenuous hike in warm weather with a 37 pound backpack (for training). The shirt performed excellent. I have ordered another.

Most hiking shirts seems to have a regular fit. I'm 5.9", 189 pounds, I typically wear large shirts, but for hiking shirts, this one included, medium fits me best.

I'd prefer a button on the chest pocket (things fall out when you bend over), and at full price it's a little too expensive.

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Marius

Marius wrote a review of on March 5, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I returned this product before using it

If you're in the market for a 24-25 liter backpack with a suspended, ventilated mesh back, you'll probably come down to this brand new model from Deuter, the Lowe Alpine Airzone 25, and the brand new Gregory Z 25. I'm sure Osprey has something too, but Osprey is not my personal preference.

I have a Deuter AC Lite 18 which is a fantastic little daypack. I use it all the time, however 18 liter is sometimes too small, especially if you need to carry multiple layers. A 30 liter is in my opinion a bit too much for most day hikes, so the 25 liter packs neatly fills in this niche.

Given my great experience with Deuter I had big hopes for the new AC Aera, and make no mistake, this is a great pack. Its main, unique feature is the bottom zipper that lets you access the contents at the bottom of your pack without having to empty everything from the top.

But, I decided to return the Deuter in favor of the (also quite new) Lowe Alpine Airzone 25. Because of this I have not actually used the AC Aera, so this review is based on me comparing the two at home.

The AC Aera is almost a pound heavier than the Airzone. And, if you compare it to the Gregory Z 25 it's almost two pounds heavier. Comparatively then, the Deuter is quite heavy.

The back mesh design on the Deuter is one large, continuous mesh, while on the Airzone it's actually more like two strips of mesh, which should make the Airzone even more breathable. That being said, and this is something that is not easy to tell from the pictures, the AC Area has a much larger curvature of the opening in the back. It also goes all the way down to the very bottom of the pack which makes it ventilate even around the hip area. The Airzone has a smaller curvature and the hip area does not have an open space behind it for airflow. However, due to the large curvature of the AC Area, the storage compartment is quite noticeable curved as well, while on the Airzone it's much more straight down. This makes the Airzone easier to pack.

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Marius

Marius wrote a review of on February 17, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: True to size

A lot of reviews for these pants, most has probably been said.

The fabric is very nice. It has a soft, silk-like feel to it, with quite a sheen. I got mine in Anvil Grey. Their wind resistance makes them great for windy and a little cool conditions. Not cold without a base layer, as there is no insulation here. The pants are great for the conditions they were designed for. Depending on where you live that may a bit constrained.

Fit is good, the integrated belt makes the pants stay in place. Note that there are no back pockets.

One very small design flaw for me is the direction of the zipper on the leg pocket. When closed the zipper is towards the inner of your leg. This makes my hand sweep across it every now and then and after a while I find my leg pocket being half unzipped. This is a very, very minor point, but the Norrona pants have the zipper go in the opposite direction.

Note that the care instructions says not to tumble dry and hang dry instead. When these are soaked it takes a while to dry them out.

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Marius

Marius wrote a review of on February 13, 2014

5 5

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

The Polartec Power Dry fabric is great. Feels nice to the skin and breathes really well. I have both the short and long sleeve version of this shirt.

The fit is listed as trim but that must be a mistake. These run very large. I usually wear a large in everything but for this shirt a medium might have fit me better.

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Marius

Marius wrote a review of on February 4, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: True to size

I just tried this out for the first time. I used it in a strenuous, rainy and windy hike. Under the hood of the rain jacket, it was perfect in keeping me warm but not hot. I never felt the need to take it off unlike what I often experience with a thicker Icebreaker beanie.

Unless you're working out really hard I don't see this beanie being warm enough for cold weather though, but that's very subjective.

Like all Arc'teryx product, it is expensive. I'm not sure I would pay full price for this.

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Marius

Marius wrote a review of on January 30, 2014

4 5

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

I've tried to buy Norr?na pants before and had to return them every time because of fit. My jeans are either 33 or 34 in the waist depending on the brand and always 30 in length. That's on the short side when it comes to length in technical outdoor pants like this.

The size chart is listed as the waist being 34.6 - 36.6in for Medium, which is what I ordered. Even with waist Velcro snaps all the way out this feels a little snug. So with 33/34 jeans the supposedly 36.6 waist on these pants is borderline tight for me. Sure these pants sit a little higher than jeans but still.

I would've preferred the legs to be every so slightly shorter but this will do.

Craftsmanship seems top notch, as expected. I agree with Bill's review below on the general fit of these pants. They are closer to athletic than regular. The thighs are quite narrow, while the legs quite wide. This is useful for having them outside of boots and then tightening the Velcro at the leg openings. Once that's done the legs don't feel so wide.

If you fit within their size chart I don't think you can go wrong with these pants.

UPDATE:
While I've only used them once so far, I came out very impressed. The mesh lining does add weight and bulk, but it makes it very comfortable to wear the pants with only underwear. I remained completely dry. The pants were very comfortable to wear. I was hiking in steep uphill/downhill terrain. The little hooks at the bottom of the legs never let go from the laces of my boots giving a secure fit.

This is a 5 star product if the sizes fit you.

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