Mark Travers

Mark Travers

Park City

Mark Travers's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Biking
Paddling
Skiing
Climbing

Mark Travers'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

Mark Travers

Mark Traverswrote a review of on September 1, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

These give a nice bit of grip and peace of mind on icy skin tracks. I wouldn't recommend putting these on and going straight up an ice sheet but they can be really helpful is the skin track is starting to get a bit greasy, especially on extended traverses or side hills. I have the 110mm size for my Dynastar Cham 107s and they have plenty of clearance. These are easy enough to install as long as you do it before you get solidly onto slick terrain. They can be a little bulky in the pack but they aren't so sharp that I'd worry about damaging other gear by shoving them in a tight pack. Of course you can always clip them on the outside of your pack but then you're just asking for cowbell jokes for the rest of your tour.

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Mark Travers

Mark Traverswrote a review of on September 1, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

My wife and I love our Poco and this raincover is a great addition to it. The cover packs up pretty small and has a separate stuff sack so you can leave it at home if the weather isn't threatening. It sets up easily and has plenty of coverage to keep the little one warm and dry. Much easier than trying to jerry rig something after it has already started getting nasty. Not much more we could ask for out of a rain cover

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Mark Travers

Mark Traverswrote a review of on September 1, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

....before Caddys became the official state car of Florida at least...

My wife and I have one of these packs and several of our friends have this (or the other versions of the Poco) as well. One of the best things that this pack has going for it is the wide range of adjustability, both for the kiddo and for the person carrying the pack. The entire suspension system adjusts for a wide range of sizes and shapes of adult - the shoulder straps have an easy ladder strap adjustment inside the back panel and the hip belt can be lengthened or shortened to fit any size hips. Additionally, the baby seat adjusts up and down and has a secure set of shoulder straps to keep the little one safe, secure, and comfy. Most of the pads that are at risk for slobber or spitup can be removed for easy cleaning. Additionally, the included sun shade and optional rain cover add on mean that you won't be scrambling to jerry-rig something should the weather stop cooperating.

In addition to all of the adjustability, this pack also has plenty of storage space for everything you may need for a day outside. I've even seen people on the trail with some light overnight gear strapped on to the back of one of these (really helps to have a partner willing to carry the bulk of the group gear). With a full aluminum frame, this isn't quite as light or compact as a typical backpacking bag, but it does fold up quite small and includes a couple of straps that help to keep it bundled up small for traveling or storage.

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Mark Travers

Mark Traverswrote a review of on September 1, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I'm on my second Seam helmet after having my first one for a solid four seasons. Between its age and the number of impacts I've gone through with it, I decided it was time for a refresh (remember, you probably don't want to wear a helmet until it disintegrates from old age....). My first Seam served me really well and I have absolutely no complaints about the durability or longevity that I had in my old helmet. I did some shopping around to see if I liked anything else better and ultimately came back to the Seam for another round.

The helmet is light and comfy and has a good set of vents. Probably not the absolute highest airflow out there, but I like the positioning of the vents and the ability to close them easily with the push of a slider on the top of the helmet. The front vent is also nice in that it helps vent hot air off your goggles and keeps them from fogging up.

I have these paired with Oakley Airbrake googles and it's a great fit. Almost looks like the helmet and goggles were designed for each other.

Ultimately the biggest deciding factor for me was fit. I've come to realize that I generally have a "Giro-shaped" head and helmets from Smith and POC (among others) generally just don't fit me as well. I've found that, as a general rule, Giro helmets seem to have a longer / more oval fit whereas Smith and POC both have a rounder shape that isn't as comfortable or secure on me. Fortunately, Giro helmets usually fit me like a glove.

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Mark Travers

Mark Traverswrote a review of on September 1, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I have this on all of my skis for summer storage in order to keep the bases from drying out. It's good for that purpose - one of the cheaper options available and sold in large bricks for a whole quiver waxing session. Melts easily and scrapes well. As makes for a good prep/cleaning wax if your skis need a little extra love part way through the season

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Mark Travers

Mark Traverswrote a review of on September 1, 2015

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I have both the 2-person and 3-person copper spur tents from BA and have one of these footprints for each tent. Since the Copper Spur is an ultralight tent, having some sort of footprint / ground sheet is really a necessary - the floor fabric on the tents is pretty thin and I'd rather have issues with a ground sheet than the tent floor itself.

I've found that both the 2-person and 3-person footprints fit pretty well - maybe a little on the loose side, but not so much that they extend beyond the rainfly.

You can do a simple ground sheet cheaper with clear plastic sheeting, but it's nice having the option to travel with just the ground sheet and rainfly when bugs aren't a concern.

I've had the 3-person tent for about 3 years and it's seen the most use. The footprint is holding up just fine and doesn't hold a ton of dirt. I rinse it out in the bathtub if it gets really nasty after a while, but generally a quick shake to get the big pieces of dirt & leaves off is the only "maintenance" this needs

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Mark Travers

Mark Traverswrote a review of on September 1, 2015

3 5

Familiarity: I returned this product before using it
Fit: Runs small
Height: 6' 1"
Weight: 220 lbs
Size Purchased: X Large

I love the idea of this shirt and the stuff that Ten Tree puts out in general. Unfortunately, the fit on their t shirts is just too slim for me. I'm typically either a large or an XL in t shirts, but the slim fit on this shirt meant that it was almost skin tight on me, even in an XL. If you're solidly on the skinny spectrum I highly recommend it, but if you're a bigger guy this shirt isn't all that comfortable

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Mark Travers

Mark Traverswrote a review of on September 1, 2015

3 5

Familiarity: I returned this product before using it

I got this and played around with it a bit before ultimately returning it and going for a Garmin 510 instead. It seemed to be a good computer with all of the basic features, but I'm happy that I ultimately chose to upgrade to a Garmin. The display on this unit is ok - not my favorite as it seems rather small and has limited customization options but it covers the basics. The instructions walked through the install and set up in pretty good detail as well.

I ultimately chose to go for a GPS unit for a couple of key reasons:
- Garmin accessories (HRM, cadence, power meter, etc) are pretty easy to find and offer a wide range of upgrade options
- Having a unit that syncs to app / online training programs seamlessly is really really nice
- Running a GPS unit means no wheel magnets or sensors cluttering up your bike (the speed / cadence sensor in this kit is pretty bulky and didn't fit on my bike's chain stay very well)
- Having a GPS unit gives you a certain degree of multi-sport functionality (hiking, running, etc)

If you're looking for a low-frills computer that covers the basics (speed, cadence, HRM (w/ add on strap)) this computer is a pretty good choice. That being said, there are a lot of nice features that Garmin and other GPS computers provide that aren't available at this level

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Mark Travers

Mark Traverswrote a review of on September 1, 2015

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Great option for skiing and mountain biking shots. The video is much less choppy than being on your helmet. That being said, you tend to get less of the surroundings in your shot and more of just what's straight ahead. The straps are easy to adjust and very secure once you sinch them down a bit. Comfy over a ski jacket, although it can feel a bit bulky if you've got several layers on underneath

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Mark Travers

Mark Traverswrote a review of on September 1, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

The compressed air (Mammut / Snowpulse and BCA) systems are great for air travel, especially in North America. As long as the cylinder is empty you can take it on the plane in any piece of baggage you want. It helps to have the head removed so if you do get stopped by TSA they can clearly see that the cylinder is empty. My wife and I flew up to Alaska in the spring an had a pair of these in our carry on. We left them packed in our bags through security and didn't get any questions on them from TSA in either airport. Getting these refilled was easy enough - we found a dive shop in Anchorage that refilled them in about 10 minutes for $10 each.

If you are planning on traveling with these and refilling them at your destination, make sure you have a rearming kit as well. When you fire this off, there is a small copper disc and washer that get punctured and need to be replaced. In my experience, most places that have the fitting for refilling Mammut cylinders tend to also keep a couple rearming kits in stock - just make sure you confirm with your shop of choice

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Mark Travers

Mark Traverswrote a review of on September 1, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

The compressed air (BCA and Mammut / Snowpulse) systems are great for air travel, especially in North America. As long as the cylinder is empty you can take it on the plane in any piece of baggage you want. It helps to have the head removed so if you do get stopped by TSA they can clearly see that the cylinder is empty. The BCA canisters are nice in that you can unscrew the entire head of the cylinder by hand (just make sure it's empty first). My wife and I flew up to Alaska in the spring an had a pair of these in our carry on. We left them packed in our bags through security and didn't get any questions on them from TSA in either airport. Getting these refilled was easy enough - we found a dive shop in Anchorage that refilled them in about 10 minutes for $10 each.

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Mark Travers

Mark Traverswrote a review of on September 1, 2015

3 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

As with any airbag pack, this provides a nice bit of peace of mind that you're odds of a full burial are reduced. As always, remember that no airbag pack can guarantee that you won't be buried and really don't do a whole lot to protect you from cliffs, trees, and other hard objects that you might encounter on the big white ride. In terms of the airbag functionality, this pack is really easy to use, deploy, and re-arm. The air canister connects with an air hose a screw-in trigger cable. It's easy to access and arm/disarm for traveling. Another nice touch is that the trigger can be set up in either the left or right shoulder strap with a couple minutes of effort. I'm also a big fan of the compressed air systems - I took this pack up to Alaska last winter and it was very easy to pack the empty air cylinder on the plane and get it filled at a dive shop in Anchorage.

As far as the actual backpack is concerned, this pack could use some love. For starters, the frame and shape of the pack is very long and the harness makes the pack ride pretty high on your back. This would definitely be an awkward fit for people with shorter torsos because the top of the pack would end up at or above your shoulders. The interior pockets and organization are ok but not great. There is no back panel access and not much in the main pocket to keep smaller items from getting lost in the abyss. The ski carry system work ok but again not great. The straps seem a little undersized for carrying skis without fraying or cutting through.

My last major gripe is that the leg strap kind of sucks. Most other packs have one end of the strap sewn into the bottom of the pack with a loop in the free end to connect to the hip belt. This pack comes with a loose strap with loops on both ends - you can run it under a leg and loop both ends through the hip belt, but it's pretty awkward and makes it easy to lose the strap when you take the pack off. Seems like a minor point, but the leg strap plays a key roll in keeping the pack from riding up when deployed in an avalanche.

Overall, I think this is a decent pack and if money is a big issue then this is a good way to get an extra piece of safety gear in your kit without totally blowing the bank. That being said, the $$ tradeoff is for pack features and comfort. If you're going to make the investment in an airbag pack I think there are better options on the market for comfotr and features (particularly the Mammut and ABS packs) for not that much more money.

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Mark Travers

Mark Traverswrote a review of on September 1, 2015

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

As most other reviewers have mentioned, the upgrade to a dropper post is AWESOME. Definitely the best upgrade I've ever made to a bike. This post is easy to install and you probably won't have to re-bleed the hydraulic line as part of the install as long as you're careful. I'm about a 4/10 in terms of mechanical savvy when it comes to my bike and I was able to install this in about 15 minutes with no hiccups. One thing to watch out for is the torque spec on the seat collar. If you over tighten the collar you can cause the dropper post to jam up a bit and get choppy on the rebound. Backing off the torque on the seat collar a little bit clears up the issue.

As far as the function of the post is concerned, I've been pretty happy. I've had the post on my bike all summer and I haven't had any major issues. The rebound speed is easy to adjust and the post still locks in solid without any up/down or rotational play. The one thing that I have noticed is that if I leave my bike sitting for a while between rides, the dropper can get somewhat stuck in the 'full up' position. I've never had it totally stuck, but have had to push extra hard the first time to make sure the post drops correctly and smoothly. Not a deal breaker yet, but does give me a little bit of pause about how long it will be before I need to get it serviced.

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Mark Travers

Mark Traverswrote a review of on September 1, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This collar works well and is super low profile so you won't even notice it once you've got it installed. I have a dropper post on my Bronson so no need for a quick release collar once I got my post height dialed in.

One word of caution - if you're using this with a dropper post make sure you find the torque spec for the dropper post and don't over-tighten the collar.

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Mark Travers

Mark Traverswrote a review of on September 1, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: Runs small
Height: 6' 1"
Weight: 220 lbs
Size Purchased: X Large

I've got a couple of these for mountain biking and they're very comfortable. The fabric is soft on the inside and tough enough on the outside that I don't worry about bashing through tree branches or low brush. I've been surprised with how breathable the fabric is and how quickly it dries when I get sweaty. The sizing is pretty true to size for t-shirts, so you may want to jump up a size for a looser fit, especially if you ride with any sort of padding or armor. I usually wear either a large or XL in t shirts and went with an XL for this jersey. That being said, I don't ride with any kind of pads or armor and I would be hard pressed to fit a chest or back protector under this.

There is a small pocket on the left seam just above the hip that is ok for a credit card and car key, but starts to tug a bit if you load it up with something heavy or bulky. No pockets across the back, so don't plan on carrying all your tools, snacks, etc in this jersey.

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Mark Travers

Mark Traverswrote a review of on September 1, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I have two of these and use them on both my road and mountain bikes. The valve is easy to use - just give the bottle a good squeeze and you've got water. The squeeze valve also does a pretty good job of shedding dirt if you're riding in wet/muddy conditions. You don't actually have to put the valve in your mouth (as long as your aim doesn't suck) so I haven't had issues with sucking down dirt. The valve also locks up pretty securely so you don't have to worry about spills in the car. The insulation won't keep things cold all day unless you have a ton of ice in your bottle, but it is plenty to keep things cool for a couple hours on a hot day. The bottles are easy to clean and I've never had any issues with plastic or rubber taste, even after leaving the bottle filled for a couple days by accident.

I pair these with the Elite Cannibal Water Bottle Cage and it makes for a very secure fit. I haven't had any issues with the bottle popping out, even on rowdier mountain rides. The bottle is compact enough to easily fit on my mountain bike (Santa Cruz Bronson, large frame). I've found that the 21oz size is perfect for an hour or so on a hot day. I take two with me if I'm taking my road bike out for a longer trip.

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Mark Travers

Mark Traverswrote a review of on September 1, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I had the unfortunate joy of putting this to the test on my road bike a couple of weeks ago. The inflator worked really well and was easy to use - screwing the C02 cartridge into the head pierces the seal, but C02 doesn't start flowing until you put this on the valve and press down. The grip itself is pretty small so it helps to have something to wrap around the C02 cylinder to keep your fingers from freezing.

This head is compact enough to easily fit in a small saddle bag with a tube and a couple of cylinders. It's ergonomic enough to make attaching to a valve stem easy without losing half of your C02 along the way

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Mark Travers

Mark Traverswrote a review of on September 1, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 1"
Weight: 220 lbs
Size Purchased: Large

The fabric on this shirt is really comfy - soft without feeling like it's going to start to pill or shrink after a couple washes. The fit is good - ever so slightly on the large end of the true to size spectrum. I'm usually either or a large or an xl in t-shirts and went with a large here. "Regular" fit is spot on - not slim by any means but not super boxy either

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Mark Travers

Mark Traverswrote a review of on September 1, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 1"
Weight: 220 lbs
Size Purchased: X Large

The fabric on this shirt is really comfy - soft without feeling like it's going to start to pill or shrink after a couple washes. The fit is good - ever so slightly on the small end of the true to size spectrum. I'm usually either or a large or an xl in t-shirts and went with an xl here. The fit is spot on - a little on the slim side without being really tight across the chest

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Mark Travers

Mark Traverswrote a review of on September 1, 2015

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I've been using this for most of the summer and I'm really happy with it. The computer allows you to set up multiple profiles so you can keep mountain vs. road rides separate. You can customize the profiles as well so if you want to track training vs. racing vs. casual riding separately it's easy to do. I've paired this with Garmin HR monitor straps, a cadence sensor, and my iPhone. The cadence and HR sensors pair easily. I often get pretty wonky/unreliable data from the HRM, but I suspect that it's a bad sensor rather than a problem with the computer itself. Pairing with my iPhone (via Bluetooth) is easy enough, although it occasionally takes a little fenageling to get the Garmin Connect app to update and sync.

The computer itself is really nice for riding - each data screen is very customizable and there are tons of data points to choose from. While not as smooth as playing around with an iPhone, the touch screen on this computer makes it easy enough to switch between screens while riding.

Overall I'm very happy with the computer itself. The only issues that I've had are with the accessories and iPhone app, but these don't really impact the functionality while I'm riding.

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