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Marius

Marius

Marius's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Biking
Climbing

Marius

Mariuswrote a review of on May 7, 2016

4 5

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

My aging Deuter AC Lite 18 backpack was not feeling all that good. It was too short and narrow for my back so it would rub against my back and make it sore.

It was looking for a new pack and went for this new Gregory pack. I was tempted by the new FreeSpan back.

Even though the Deuter and the Gregory are both 18 liter packs, the Gregory feels bigger thanks to significantly flatter back as opposed to the significant curvature of the Deuter. This also makes it easier to pack and to get things in and out. I'm not sure if it would be noticeable but having the weight closer to your back should feel lighter as well.

The ventilating back works well.

There are a couple of small, but nice features: there is a hook on one of the shoulder straps that you can fit the reservoir tube in. This makes the drinking tube hug the strap rather than flapping about.

There's a little loop on the other strap where you can hang sunglasses.

A few cons:
- There is no integrated pack cover. This doesn't bother me but something you may want to take into consideration.
- There is a pocket with soft fleece lining where you can store sunglasses. It is surprisingly large, but it also has no rigidity so there's no protection against impact.
- The main compartment hides the zipper under a flap for some weather resistance, however the coil zipper for the sunglasses is exposed. I suspect water would seep in there quickly.
- The trekkingpole holder is lackluster. It's just a loop with a too flimsy elastic strap.
- The Gregory logo is too big in my opinion.

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Marius

Mariuswrote a review of on May 7, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 9"
Weight: 193 lbs
Size Purchased: 34

The Palisade short and pants were revised this year. I have a pair of the previous style and this is definitely an improvement all around:

- There is now one back pocket.
- All five pockets have zippers. The hand pockets were not zippered before.
- The hand pockets and the new back pocket now have meshes in them. I suppose this would help slightly with ventilation.
- The integrated belt metal buckle is new and it works much better than the old plastic one.
- The thigh pockets are now sown with a fold in the fabric which gives them room to expand.
- The fabric somehow feels a little smoother than before even though the label seems to indicate nothing has changed.

In short, a highly refined, technical, hiking short. They perform excellent.

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Marius

Mariuswrote a review of on April 24, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 9"
Weight: 193 lbs
Size Purchased: 34

My go-to shorts for hiking has been the Arc'teryx Ramparts for a long time. I also use the Ramparts pants.

The new Lefroy short uses a different fabric than the Ramparts. They both feel cool and light, however the Lefroy are quite stretchy.

They are both comfortable shorts but the added stretch gives the Lefroy a bit of an edge. The integrated belt is also nice. Having a zippered pocket is also nice. The Ramparts do not have that.

I do wonder what type of UPF rating these shorts offer. The Palisade and Ramparts have UPF 50.

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Marius

Mariuswrote a review of on April 24, 2016

4 5

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

I've only used these once so far on a 10 mile hilly hike.

The poles are light. I never really noticed they're weight which is a good sign.

I was skeptical to the Groove Lock system but they worked really well. No slippage whatsoever. At first I was a little confused on how to operate them. Unlike similar locks, at least visually, you operate these by twisting the pole segments themselves, not the plastic part around the end of the segments.

The grips are OK. It's the usual hard plastic "foam".

A bonus is the shock absorber feature. There's a spring in the top lock with a fraction of an inch of travel. Not sure if it really makes any difference.

All of this is looking great, but there is one significant oversight with these poles: the straps. They are cheap and uncomfortable. It's little more than a bit of nylon webbing with some thin padding on the inside. The problem is the padding does not go around the edges of the strap and as such they really rub against your hands and wrists. Maybe they will soften up with use but I expected much more than this.

In comparison, I also have a pair of Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork poles with Flick Locks. The straps on those are very good, so are the grips and the low weight, however the Flick Locks do not work all that well. They both slip and aren't great to operate.

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Marius

Mariuswrote a review of on February 25, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I returned this product before using it
Fit: Runs small
Height: 5' 9"
Weight: 190 lbs
Size Purchased: Medium

Be warned, this runs small. I'm a 33 or 34 waist and ordered the medium as I always do with pants and shorts. Even with the adjustable waists it was too small. Returned for a large. I have yet to receive the large, but feeling the fabric and looking at the design I think I'll love it.

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Marius

Mariuswrote a review of on February 15, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 9"
Weight: 190 lbs
Size Purchased: Medium

It's certainly expensive but it is also a nicely made belt. It's thicker and more robust than my other nylon webbing belts, it has the additional detail of the horizontal grooves, the end of the belt is more than just melted nylon and the anodized aluminium buckle is perfect. I got the admiral blue which works great with jeans as well.

My waist size is between 33 and 34 and medium fits perfectly.

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Marius

Mariuswrote a review of on February 15, 2016

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 9"
Weight: 190 lbs
Size Purchased: Large

As you would expect from Arc'teryx (and this high price), it has a nice cut (note that a relaxed fit in Arc'teryx terms is still somewhat trim), great seems (several of which are nicely hidden) which gives a very clean look. I appreciate that they didn't put a big logo on it other than a fairly discreet Arc'teryx bird in the middle of the back. The fabric is soft and smooth.

I like to wear shirts like this untucked and I feel for that, the shirt is a bit long. The length and the price are the only reasons I'm knocking one star off.

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Marius

Mariuswrote a review of on January 6, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

This is the first ski goggle I bought. I got a POC helmet so I figured I'd go with goggles I know will fit properly.

I'm really happy with them and someone did complement on them as well :-)

I did have condensation issues the first day I used them and I just learned my lesson that I need to wipe that off or it will eventually freeze. After that I just wipe them down on the lift once in a while and I've had no problems.

I got the Blunck Ed-Hydrogen White Iodine Green/Persimmon/Green Mirror version. In very bright sunshine I could probably use a darker lens and in really overcast, heavy snow scenarios a lighter one but it seems to me to be a decent compromise unless you go for an interchangeable lens goggle.

I do love the goggles however I do occasionally notice a little pressure on the bridge of the nose that was quite annoying when my nose was congested. Once that was over I've had no issues.

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Marius

Mariuswrote a review of on January 6, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

This is my first ski helmet so I have nothing to compare to. I measured my head and just gambled on ordering online. It fits perfectly as far as I can tell. It's comfortable, even when tightened. It keeps me plenty warm, so much that I have used the vents and they help cool noticeably.

I also got the POC Fovea goggles to make sure I got a good fit between the helmet and the goggles. Obviously they fit perfectly.

I got the white helmet and it is glossy, not matte despite what the picture give an indication of.

As I said I have nothing to compare it to but I have no complaints about anything so far. I've only used it for a week.

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Marius

Mariuswrote a review of on October 18, 2015

4 5

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

I wanted a simple, small backpack with clean lines. This one does the trick. It's Arc'teryx so it's expensive, but also well made. All seams are taped. The AC2 fabric feels very durable. It has a rip-stop weave and appears to be coated for water resistance. There is a stormflap over the main zipper, however the main zipper is not an YKK Aquaguard zipper like the vertical one in the front. Nevertheless it should withstand a fair amount of rain.

The pack is extremely simple. There is no "structure" to it so other than the foam back it's basically all soft. There is not even one pocket inside, which I miss. I'd like to have something to put phone and wallet in. There is a strap to attach keys to in the front pocket.

If there had been one pocket inside it would be perfect.

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Marius

Mariuswrote a review of on May 17, 2015

5 5

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

I've had this hat for years and it goes with me everywhere. I'm bald but the UPF 50 rating has never let me down and I've been in many sunny places for extended hikes and stays. It's been thoroughly used and abused. When I come home, I just untie the neck strap and throw it in the washer. It still looks pretty much new.

The brim does not have a wire in it so you can just squish it into a backpack and it'll recover fine.

I do feel the "OR" logo in the front is about too much. It's large and very visible on the sand color I have. I'd prefer something more subtle.

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Marius

Mariuswrote a review of on April 27, 2015

3 5

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

I have used this pack once so far on a full day, strenuous hike. The pack was comfortable to wear all day. I also wrote a review on the 24L version of this pack but that was just based on what I saw since I ended up picking a different pack. Now I have gotten the 30L version of this pack.


This is a 30L pack which is enough for a long, full day hike in a climate where multiple layers are necessary to bring along. In warmer temperature I would personally use a smaller pack like a 25L.


In my opinion it is a good looking backpack. It is also solidly constructed. For example, the highest wear area of the hip belt has additional reinforcement to reduce wear. This shows attention to detail. Perhaps the pack's biggest and most unique feature for a pack this size is the front panel access. This gives you easy access to the bottom of the bag.


It's a pity then that the bag falls short in a number of other ways.


The shoulder straps are excessively padded. I have a Gregory 65L pack and it has thinner and perfectly sufficient shoulder straps. For a 30L pack this type of padding is just unnecessary. The weight should be carried on the hips.


The hip belt has no pockets (nor are there any the shoulder straps). For a pack designed for full day hikes this is inconvenient. In addition, the hip belt has its tightening straps coming out of the buckle in the middle rather than from the attachments on the side of the pack. This seems logical but it's actually much harder to tighten the hip belt this way. You have more muscle pulling forward from the sides than from the middle of the belly outwards to the sides. In practice this means that both left and right side of the hip belt needs to be tightened using both hands.


The curvature between the mesh and the back of the backpack is excessive. This creates a strongly curved compartment making it harder to get things in and out of the pack, however the front panel access does help with this.


The trekking pole holder is unnecessarily hard to use in my opinion. The top holder does not open up so the stretchy string has to be pulled out to get the trekking poles through.


A map pocket on the outside would have been a nice feature.


Lastly the pack is quite heavy.

In summary, this has certainly been a comfortable pack but it's not quite has convenient as I would like.

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Marius

Mariuswrote a review of on January 25, 2015

3 5

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

I just got this jacket. I've only used it briefly but I figured I'd give my initial thoughts.

I'm 5.9", 185. I am sometimes between a medium and a large although most of my jackets are large.

Firstly, the fit for this jacket is listed as trim but I found the large to be very large on me. I think a medium might have worked better although I'll keep the large so that I can layer more underneath. This is not a thick puffy. Others say this runs small so clearly your mileage may vary, but I have a couple of OR base layer shirts and those too run really large. I've found their button-down shirts to be the same.

Secondly, the fabric is Pertex Shield+. I suspected that would mean a very shiny jacket and it is. I got mine in Hydro/Abyss (blue) and from many pictures you see online it doesn't look shiny at all. I'm OK with it, just FYI.

Thirdly, the Pertex fabric is a little "crinkly". Not as loud as some Gore-Tex jackets but definitely not silent like a Patagonia Down Sweater. It's not a big deal.

The key feature of this jacket is that it's waterproof (as the industry calls it) by having the Pertex Shield fabric and NOT puncturing it. There are no stitches through the fabric for the baffles.

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Marius

Mariuswrote 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

Mariuswrote 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

Mariuswrote 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

Mariuswrote 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

Mariuswrote 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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