Mark Berninger

Mark Berninger

I live in Chicago, but travel worldwide regularly

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Mark's Passions

Backpacking
Hiking
Mountain Biking
Paddling
Kayaking

Mark's Bio

I am a biologist by trade and my work has taken me to some crazy places, and my adventurous spirit. I have been canoeing in Amazon jungle, climbed MT. Kilimanjaro, and camped in the Serengetti in Africa. I ski 30+ days the past winters and fish off my sit on top Kayak in Lake MI and in the Northwoods of WI about 30+days a year. Just got into biking, so I'll let you know how that is going. I think I can provide a interesting point of view being an ex-college offensive lineman, I am still a big guy 6'3" and 285lbs, so can let you know if stuff really is as beefy as they say and if that 2xl jacket will really fit.

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Mark Berninger

Mark Berninger wrote a review of on November 5, 2011

2 5

Let me start and say that these are very confortable shoes, and they fit well and look cool. However after wearing them one day in the yard and around the house I went for a brisk hike with a friend, and about 2 miles into a 4 mile hike, i steped on a pile of rocks and slipped down a bit and the BOA lacing wheel up by the tongue just popped right off, leaving me with a few very small parts and no way to tighten my shoe. I had to walk 2 miles with my foot flying around in the shoe, very uncomfortable. I would have expected a trail running shoe to be able to handle the obstacles you might find on a trail. Who knows maybe this is a freak accident , but i do know that my laces wouldnt break the second time i wear the shoes. I am going to return them and find some with some thing a little less technical, sometimes less really is more... Dissappointed to say the least.

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Mark Berninger

Mark Berninger wrote a review of on July 13, 2011

5 5

I have had this hat for 14 years now , and it just finally wore through, this past weekend. It has been to Africa, the Amazon 8 seperate times, and countless other trips, it keeps my face and neck shaded and cool, the mesh on top lets hot air out and lets the cool breeze in. My friends are gear nuts like me and have spend 2 or 3X's on sun hats from different companies, and have replaced them, as i kept this stalwart companion with me for years. I will buy another and hopefully it last another 14 years. Best sun hat out there, period

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Mark Berninger

Mark Berninger wrote a review of on October 13, 2009

5 5

I have always had problems with ski boots, I have size 13 street shoes and wear a 29.5 ski boot, but I have always had problems with fit, or conversly with flex. Being a big guy I need a responsive yet comfy boot, and this is it, after trying several pairs, even ones from Tecnica, I found these jems! they take a bit to break in, but once they do, they are awesome I can wear them all day, and they are forcefull enough to drive my 186 Nordica Hellcats at mach 1 down the slopes but dont beat me up too much on the choppy crud, and bumps. As you can imagine they are not for everyone but I can say that I love them and if you are a hard charger like me and are looking for comfort AND performance look no more friends you found your glass slipper, now just dont turn into a pumpkin....

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Mark Berninger

Mark Berninger wrote a review of on February 25, 2009

4 5

I bought this pack because I was sick and tired of having the airlines telling me that my "boot" bag had to be in the size and shape of a boot, not a small duffle. So this bag is now my carry on. It fits all of my ski gear, helmet, goggles, boots, sunglasses and assorted other electronics. Carries the boots easily and can even be used as a day pack on the slopes (it has a camelback pouch internally). It is a little on the smaller side for bigger people, I have to let the shoulder straps out all the way, but other than that it is awesome, I would highly recommend it for carrying your stuff through airports and around town.

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Mark Berninger

Mark Berninger wrote a review of on February 24, 2009

4 5

I bought these skis to be be my powder skis, and man do they fufill that niche. I am an ex-college FB player (6'3" 285) Skied in 35+ inches of fresh snow at Alta this year, and they kept my big butt floating quite well. They even work well on soft slushy snow, but hardpacked and variable snow conditions are a little sketchy. Obviously not the ski for the frontside of the Mt. but when there is fresh pow, grab these boards and "float on"

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Mark Berninger

Mark Berninger wrote a review of on November 7, 2008

5 5

After I got this jacket I was first of all suprised how warm it is. It is fairly thin and a hoody underneath this can seriously take on just about everything the Chicago winter can throw at you. Windproof at 50mph in a boat fishing in Wisconsin and cozy by the fire afterwards. I love this jacket and it is the first one out of my closet on a windy day 4sure....

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Mark Berninger

Mark Berninger wrote a review of on November 7, 2008

5 5

I out these insoles in my boots before hiking Mt. Kilimanjaro, I convinced my best friend to to the same. We made it up all 19,534 ft, and back down without any feet problems, the same could not be said for the rest of our group, no one else had the insoles, and the toe-bang on the decent caused all of them to lose at least 1 or 2 toenails. I bagged the summit and have all of my pretty toenails to show for it. Highly recomended!!!!

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Mark Berninger

Mark Berninger wrote a review of on November 7, 2008

5 5

This flip in my mind has it all, comfort, durability, and support. Plus it comes with the chaco promise. Chaco might be the best company ever, they will bend over backwards to help and if anything ever, and I mean ever goes wrong they fix it if a product defect, they pay for it. If your puppy chewed up your straps, they fix that too, at a discount.... Awesome, I will never own any other sandal.

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Mark Berninger

Mark Berninger wrote a review of on November 7, 2008

5 5

I have a pair of these shoes and they could not be more comfy, great for just wearing around, but when I want to trail run , or fast hike they are great. I got lost in the Clifty Wilderness in Kentucky, by the time I found my way back to camp I was completely beat up, and scratched, but my feet were fine...Thanks to my pair of XT wings.

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Mark Berninger

Mark Berninger wrote a review of on November 7, 2008

3 5

I have had these shoe for 3 years now and I still wear them, mostly a winter gym shoe the xcr does keep the water out. The problem I had was that the sole started to delaminate (come unglued) around the ball of my foot on the sides of the shoe, it caused it to catch on carpet and would not be glued back into place even with gorillia glue. The shoes durability is not in question they are 3 years old, but the sole has been having problems for at least 2 years, hence they have been relagated from the field into the city/ town as regular sneakers.

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Mark Berninger

Mark Berninger wrote a review of on October 23, 2008

5 5

I feel it is my obligation to tell everyone about this jacket! I am a big dude (ex-college football player, 6'3" 285) I found it very hard to find a technical soft shell jacket that fit me correctly, some to small in the chest, some of the arms were to tight etc. This jacket is AWESOME, it not only fits me great it has everything you could want from a softshell jacket, it breathes well from the underarm ventalation patches and is very warm for it's weight. Water resistant to the max so you can hike back down the mountian with out getting soaked, it is not waterproof, but will keep you dry for short durations in everything but the most heinous downpour. The hood is waterproof, but it mostly gets in the way, I have taken mine out completely and the collar fits way way better without the added bulk of a rolled up hood. Bottom Line you will feel like you can leap tall buildings after you put the jacket on but try and contain yourself...well at least at first ;)

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Mark Berninger

Mark Berninger wrote a review of on October 23, 2008

4 5

Is it going to snow? How much vert have we swallowed up today? Which way is back home? With this watch you can have all the answers, the barometer has a storm alarm feature so you can get out before you get yourself in a whiteout, a super accurate compass will help you find your correct direction, and a altitude log book to show your friends that you really did bag that 13K peak. I have the orange and black CORE, I do not really like the strap (buckle kind of digs into my wrist sometimes, but I am used to wrap around fabric bands. The good thing about the orange band it that a regular band could be interchanged just finding one that is an inch+ is a little hard. Overall, this is an expensive watch, but when you think of the things that it does and its durabilty, you have a solid investment for many many years!

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Mark Berninger

Mark Berninger wrote a review of on October 23, 2008

5 5

Well, in case you were wondering the turbo fan really does work! I am an ex-college o-lineman, so needles to say I work up a real sweat on the Mt. and I had some problems with other goggles fogging up (even ones with vents) so I bought these hoping they would keep the fog at bay, and they most definitly do, even on a 50 degree blubird day at Kirkwood last January, no fog! They are sized to fit bigger faces and work awesome with my helmet.

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