Mark Travers

Mark Travers

Park City

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Mark's Passions

Alpine Touring
Backpacking
Mountain Biking
Sport Climbing
Kayaking

Mark's Bio

Grew up outside of Boston, hiking and skiing in the White Mtns and sailing and kayaking on the Cape and the coast of Maine. Did a stint in central Virginia (where I picked up whitewater paddling) before moving to Utah in the spring of 2012. Moved for the skiing, but love getting out on my bike or backpacking in the mountains when it isn't so white and fluffy

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Mark Travers

Mark Travers wrote a review of on January 29, 2014

5 5

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

I've had a pair of these for three years and counting and I love them. I wear these just about everyday from fall through spring. After three years they are showing a little bit of scuff and wear, but they are still in great shape, especially after a fresh coat of nikwax leather conditioner. With a coat of waterproofing, these stand up well to rain, snow, slush, salt, etc. The soles are pretty worn after 3 years of daily use, but they've still got a decent bit of life left in them

In terms of sizing, these run a little large, and the pig skin leather tends to stretch a little bit when it breaks in. I went down a full size - they fit pretty tight at first but stretched to fit my feet perfectly.

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Mark Travers

Mark Travers wrote a review of on January 29, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

These things are really tasty, but I think the texture/ weight is the best part. A lot of other 'meal bars' are way too heavy and dense for me to actually enjoy. That and I'm afraid they'll break all of my teeth if they're frozen in my pack. These tram bars are pretty light for being a high cal bar and don't turn into bricks when they're cold. Think Quaker granola bar instead of softened hockey puck. Best combo of tasty and a texture I can actually enjoy that I've found!

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Mark Travers

Mark Travers wrote a review of on January 29, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I picked up these boots this season hoping that they would be a great boot for doing it all here in the Wasatch. I split my time about equally between touring and skiing the resorts. Prior to these boots, I've been skiing in a pair of 97mm lasted Lange RS 130s - awesome performance boot, but pretty miserable for anything away from the lifts. These Chocises are not on the same level of stiffness and performance of my Langes, but the performance is enough to keep me happy after being used to the Langes, which I think says a lot. These are certainly stiff enough to drive big skis in garbage snow (we've got a lot of that this year...)

In terms of touring, the ski/hike switch is super easy to use, even with bulky gloves on. The range of motion is pretty good and the stride is pretty natural, even on longer tours. These aren't the lightest AT boots on the market, but they are significantly lighter and better for skinning/ hiking than a lot of the 'alpine boots with a walk mode' that have been popping up recently.

My only gripe about these boots is that the liners seem pretty light/ thin for a 120 flex boot. Their light weight is great for touring, and the liners have a softer flex zone around the heel that makes them a breeze for hiking. However, when I'm skiing the resorts it would be nice to have a heavier/ stiffer liner to beef the boot up a bit. I don't hate these liners and I certainly don't think they need to be chucked, but it would be nice if they split the difference between a super light touring liner and a beefier alpine liner a little more evenly. For now I'm hanging onto the stock liners from my Langes for resort duty - it's the best of both worlds for me but obviously not a universal option.

Bottom line: my hope was to have a boot that I am equally happy skiing in bounds and touring on the relatively short skin tracks here in the Wasatch, and I think this boot is as close to a slam dunk as I've found on the market right now.

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Mark Travers

Mark Travers wrote a review of on September 25, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This case is great at keeping things dry and safe from drops and impacts. I got this for a dSLR camera for river trips - the 1200 size fits a Canon t1i with standard 18-55mm lens and a 55-250mm telephoto lens. It's a snug fit, but the perforated foam liner makes it really easy to get just the right shape for your gear. As others have said, this case is completely waterproof and gives great crush/ impact protection. The latches are really tight and it takes a bit of finger strength to open and close them, but that's par for the course with this kind of dry box

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Mark Travers

Mark Travers wrote a review of on July 31, 2013

5 5

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

I've got a couple of these shirts for hiking, biking, climbing, etc and they are super comfy. The fabric is a little bit heavier than something like Capilene 1 - it wears more like a cotton t shirt than a super thin synthetic shirt but still wicks and dries out like a champ. The shirt is normal enough that I have no problem wearing it around town - doesn't have that weird 'why are you on Main Street and not on the trail' fit/ look. The fit is pretty slim (Patagonia's 'slim fit'), so I went up one size. There isn't a ton of stretch in the fabric, but the cut is great so I don't have any issues climbing or biking in this shirt.

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Mark Travers

Mark Travers wrote a review of on July 31, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

These have recently beat out Honey Stingers as my favorite chew thingies. Great flavors, good texture, not too heavy in your stomach. These are heavier/ denser than Honey Stingers, but they don't feel heavy in your stomach (although I have a pretty tame stomach). Raspberry and Berry Blast (blueberry?) have caffeine in them (Strawberry and Orange do not), but I haven't found the caffeine content to be over the top. I'm really sensitive to caffeine and rarely have it (turns me into a hummingbird...), but I don't really notice it when I have the caffeinated flavors. Certainly not caffeinated like a cup of coffee. All in all a great set of chews. Hardest part is not eating them all at the office...

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Mark Travers

Mark Travers wrote a review of on July 18, 2013

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

These things have been around forever.. for a reason. Bomber construction and pretty much your only option for liquid fueled MSR stoves. I have one of each size which gives a lot of versatility. Being in Utah, I tend to be backpacking over 10,000' pretty frequently - I've found that the small bottle lasts 2 nights x 2 people and the medium lasts 3+ nights x 4 people. This is for cooking home-dehydrated meals - I'm sure you'd get more mileage if only boiling water. The large size is great for larger groups/ longer trips to carry fuel. I don't tend to run a stove off the large bottle if I can avoid it - it takes a lot more pumping to keep the bottle pressurized if it's half empty with a huge airspace inside the bottle, especially at higher elevations.

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Mark Travers

Mark Travers wrote a review of on July 18, 2013

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I picked up 50' of 4mm cord for bear bags, tarps, etc when backpacking. If you have a smaller group or a shorter trip, 4mm cord is a bit overkill and you can get away with a lighter option, but 4mm is a great size for bear hangs with lots of food (group of 4 out for 5+ days). It's not quite as brutal on the hands as a 2.5 or 3mm cord would be. I wouldn't use the 4mm size for any climbing applications - make sure you pay attention to the strength ratings for each diameter.

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Mark Travers

Mark Travers wrote a review of on July 18, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

My wife and I each have one of these and have been using them heavily for over a year. We haven't had any issues with either reservoir - no leaks, no trouble with the cap, etc. The quick link is a nice feature, and I haven't had any issues with it jamming or leaking. The hose size fits perfectly with the outlet on our water filter (MSR) so you can refill the reservoir without having to pull it out of your pack. No issues with plastic taste or residual taste (although we usually only put water in them). The large cap makes cleaning and drying a snap

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Mark Travers

Mark Travers wrote a review of on July 18, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I picked up this cookset to get a bit more flexibility in terms of group size and I've been really happy with it. When I head out backpacking, it tends to be 50/50 just my wife and myself or a group of 4+. I was looking for something that would give us a large enough pot for 4 people, but without the weight and bulk penalty of a larger 4-person system. Having a 3L pot gives us the flexibility to cook for a larger group, and we can just take the 2L pot when it's just two of us. If you pare down the set to the 2L pot, two bowls, and two mugs it's really comparable in weight to the MSR 2-person systems, so you don't necessarily have a bulkier/ heavier set for two people here. Taking the full kit is also a great weight and size for everything you get.

In terms of the quality and functionality, I've been happy. The pot grabber works well and the nonstick coating on the 2L pot is truly nonstick and I haven't had any issues with scratching, etc. The pans can get some hot spots when using a backpacking stove, but that's the price you pay for lightweight cookware - keep stirring your food every couple minutes and you'll be just fine. The mugs and bowls are kind of weird shapes from what I'm used to, but they're very functional and nest into the pots very nicely.

If you're looking for a cook set that will let you cook for a larger group or pare it down for a 2-person trip, this is a great choice.

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Mark Travers

Mark Travers wrote a review of on June 21, 2013

3 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I picked this up for mountain biking, and it's a great size and fit for the task. Good amount of space for a full day out - water, extra layer, snacks, tools, etc. I think the 20L size is really a sweet spot for me in that it has enough room to carry a few extras if the weather is dicey without going overkill. Also, the suspension is great - the back panel is curved outwards slightly, so it leaves plenty of space for air to pass through. My gripe with this pack is that there are so many pockets that it can be hard to figure out where your stuff is. There is a large main compartment with water bladder sleeve, small sunglasses/ cellphone pocket, and two accessory pockets with mesh organizers for all your tools and smaller parts. The problem is that all of the pockets are stacked right on top of each other, with all of the zippers right next to each other. I find that I almost always end up opening 2+ pockets before I find what I'm looking for, just because everything is so close together.

All in all this is a great pack for its size - nice features and really comfortable for riding, I just wish they simplified the design and the zippers.

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Mark Travers

Mark Travers wrote a review of on June 5, 2013

5 5

This is a pretty comprehensive kit with room to customize the contents as needed. The kit consists of two zip-lock type bags of supplies inside the yellow pouch. Each bag has space for a couple small items, and there's also plenty of space in the yellow bag to add a couple of things. Everyone has their own minor preferences for what's in their kit, but this is a great size for day trips to short overnights, and has a great selection of supplies to get you started

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Mark Travers

Mark Travers wrote a review of on June 5, 2013

5 5

This is an awesome choice if you're looking for a versatile day pack. The compression straps are designed really well, so the pack is very comfortable with both small and large loads - no more issues with gear sloshing around if your pack is only half full. I've used this pack with little more than the hydration bladder and stuffed to the brim and it's always comfy. If you're debating between sizes, I wouldn't hesitate to go for this pack again - you get the added versatility of more storage space for the shoulder seasons/ longer days while still being able to cinch things down when you have an empty pack.

This pack is a great size for mountain biking since it isn't so tall that it will hit you in the back of the head/ neck. The suspension/ back panel is great for hot summer days as the body of the pack curves outwards from your back leaving an open space for air flow. Even with the pack fully loaded, there is still plenty of air in the back panel to keep things cool.

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Mark Travers

Mark Travers wrote a review of on June 5, 2013

4 5

Nice glove for summer riding - mesh back keeps things cool and the palms aren't too heavy and have good grip/ feel. The finger tips are thin enough that I can use my iPhone without taking them off. These aren't really padded at all, which I prefer for XC riding. So far they've been pretty durable. The velcro closure is a little wider and beefier than older Fox gloves that I've had - in the past I've had trouble with thinner velcro closures blowing out by the end of the season, but it seems like these gloves will hold up better on that front

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Mark Travers

Mark Travers wrote a review of on February 13, 2013

3 5

Familiarity: I returned this product before using it

I picked this up as it looks to be one of the burlier ski/ board locks out there right now. It certainly is burly, but that comes at a price. This is a little large to comfortably fit in a jacket pocket, and seemed to be hard to use with gloves.

If you regularly ski with a backpack or have lots of pocket space and don't mind the extra bulk and weight in exchange for added security, then this is a great option. I decided to return this and go with the Dakine Cool Lock instead since it is small enough to always have in my pocket. Not much point in owning a lock if it isn't small enough to live in your pocket

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Mark Travers

Mark Travers wrote a review of on February 13, 2013

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

This lock is easy to use and small enough to go in a pocket unnoticed (roughly the size of an iPhone). The cable is a good length for one pair of skis, and can lock up two pairs in a pinch. The locking mechanism is easy enough to use with gloves, and resetting the combo is pretty straightforward. The cable isn't super thick, so it wouldn't ward off that guy who skis with bolt cutters in his jacket, but it should be enough to make someone pass over your skis in the rack

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Mark Travers

Mark Travers wrote a review of on February 13, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

My wife has these on her skins for Nordica La Nina's, which have a completely rounded off tail. These are perfect for the tail attachement and haven't popped off once mid-skin. Having two hooks keeps these anchored onto the tails even with a little side to side sliding. I was a little concerned that they would be harder to put on than the traditional tail hook attachment, but we haven't had any issues with the on/ off.

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Mark Travers

Mark Travers wrote a review of on February 13, 2013

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Great layering piece - midweight warmth with a smooth exterior that won't get stuck or bunch up in layers or under pack straps. The pockets are set a little bit higher so they won't get buried if you're wearing a pack or harness with this as your outer layer.

This is sized as Patagonia's 'Alpine/ Slim Fit,' which I find to run a bit small. The sleeves are a good length, but the torso is pretty tight and a tad shorter than what I'm used to (for reference, I'm almost always a large for shirts/ jackets, Patagonia included). I'm right in between Large and XL in this shirt, but the fabric is stretchy enough that being between sizes isn't a deal breaker

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