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Matt Collins

Matt Collins

Lake Tahoe

Matt Collins's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Snowboarding
Biking
Climbing

Matt Collins's Bio

I like to climb things and play in the pow.

Matt Collins

Matt Collinswrote a review of on October 6, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I picked up a little Jambox a few years ago and it used to be good enough. But after a few drops and heavy use it just wasn't cutting it. Then I managed to snag one of these on sale here at BC.

This thing can really pump out of the volume and has an impressive bass for only two speakers and being so small. I'm also a fan of the resistance to the elements and dropping. Both of which were always a concern for me with the jambox.

ODT knocked it out of the park with this one. I want to see what the big one would be like now.

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Matt Collins

Matt Collinswrote a review of on October 6, 2015

Scrambling King
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 9"
Weight: 140 lbs
Size Purchased: 7.5

For the longest time I would use my Merrell Moabs or Salomon XAs for approaches and eventually got sick of them and started to look at approach shoes. Initially I looked at the 5.10 Guide Tennies or Sportiva Boulder Xs. I wasn't a fan of the dot rubber on the 5.10s and came across the Cruxs on sale online and decided to give them a shot.

For their maiden voyage I took them out in to Desolation Wilderness in Tahoe for some scrambling/easy 5th. As everyone has said they are incredibly sticky and smear like mad. The edging leaves some to be desired, but I'm sure you could size down a half size or just pick up a pair of Gandas if it is that much of an issue. Going up 4th and easy 5th with some cracks stuck here and there was a breeze, the down climb over 3rd and 4th wasn't an issue either.

As far as fit goes, I had a few hot spots starting to spring up on the scramble down some scree and slabs. Surprisingly they were more in the ball of the foot as opposed to the heel area, which is what I had read on other reviews to be a common issue. I think if I were to toss in my Superfeet that may relieve any issues, that or just a break in period.

Overall I would recommend these to anyone looking for a reasonably priced and well performing approach shoe. Well done Scarpa!

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Matt Collins

Matt Collinswrote a review of on February 21, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

It's a shame that the Stoic brand is no more. Hopefully backcountry will continue with more than just apparel under the Backcountry.com brand.

After almost 4 years, my bag has seen at least 150 nights and probably more like 200. After 3 summers in Alaska as well as camping everywhere from the desert to the Sierra this bag comes with me anywhere I go. I will often reach for this over my Marmot Sawtooth 15 even if I know it will be on the cold side at night. The loft is slowly dropping, but not nearly as much as I would have expected after as much use I've put it through and the price I paid.

I still use the stock stuff sack as it will compress down to almost nothing., which is surprising for a 650 fill bag. I hope this bag keeps on kicking for years to come. I keep wanting to pick up either a Western Mountaineering or a Feathered Friends bag as a replacement, but have hard time doing so since this bag just won't die.

If Backcountry is listening, please expand the Backcountry.com line to more than apparel!!

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Matt Collins

Matt Collinswrote a review of on February 21, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I can't believe it has taken me this long to pick up a pair of pads. While I don't have any other pads to compare them to, I wouldn't regret getting these again.

The S fits me perfectly (~140#, 5'9", 30" waist) with room for a base layer . Like Theo said in the other review, the thigh hard pads are noticeable, but not annoying. The tailbone protector just disappears until you need it. I am a fan of the D3O material. I took a pretty hard fall on my tailbone one day fooling around off a rock on to fairly firm snow and it felt like I fell on powder. I was able to get up and keep going like nothing happened. Where if I wasn't wearing the pad I would have been hurting bad.

The overall profile is on the slim side. I have a pair of S Norrona pants that are slim fitting and the pads take up just the right amount of room. I just have to undo the elastic fasteners on the waist and I am set.

While it isn't cheap, I like the peace of mind of not having a sore bum and being uncomfortable sitting down after taking an unplanned fall on the tailbone. Highly recommended!

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Matt Collins

Matt Collinswrote a question about on February 21, 2015

I picked up last seasons model and put in a fair amount of days between this season and last. I'm starting to notice more moisture being absorbed by the leather, but not getting wet fingers due to the OutDry membrane I imagine. I was wondering if it was worthwhile trying to treat the leather parts like you would on all leather gloves?

Thanks!

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Matt Collins

Matt Collinswrote a review of on May 16, 2013

3 5

I picked these up for a new bike and thought I'd give Time a shot as opposed to the Shimano 105 or Ultegra which I was looking at.

They are incredibly light, I was amazing when I pulled them out of the package. I am a fan of the "mouse trap" style click in, great float and adjustment.

The weight comes at a cost, a composite is used all the way around which leads me to worry about durability. The cleats leave a lot to be desired. I have done minimal walking, mostly just setting a foot down at a light, and the cleats are showing heavy wear after just a month.

I will see how long these last and then move on to either a Look or Shimano cleat.

For the sale price they are worth a shot, but at full retail I would stay away.

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Matt Collins

Matt Collinswrote a review of on December 4, 2011

5 5

I upgraded to the new 2011 EXs from an old pair of cheap Drakes (forget the model name). I have noticed a huge difference. The wedgie technology relieves stress on my legs and the bindings are just all around more sturdy than my previous pair. There is just enough stiffness to do a little bit of everything. Great choice for the price and with the aluminum chassis they will last a long time.

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Matt Collins

Matt Collinswrote a review of on July 7, 2011

5 5

I decided to pick a couple up to replace my BD Rocklocks in my anchor set up and I am loving them so far. I prefer the D 'biner for the rope side of the anchor and then I will use some pear shaped 'biners for the rock side of my anchor system and it works great for me. These are extremely strong, you can't go wrong. Also on the screw lock the "red you're dead" marking is very nice for a visual check to make sure it is locked down.

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Matt Collins

Matt Collinswrote a review of on July 7, 2011

5 5

I just love this helmet. I made the switch from the BD Half Dome and I noticed a huge improvement. The fit felt much better for my head shape, MUCH better ventilation for those hot days. However they will protect your head the same when it comes to it. It is up to you if you want to be comfortable while wearing your helmet for potentially hours. Pick one up and try it for yourself!

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Matt Collins

Matt Collinswrote a review of on June 19, 2011

1 5

My previous review stated my overall dissatisfaction with this biner, but a recent experience has made things worse.

I let a friend borrow my PAS, which had the element attached to it, for cleaning a route. While at the top and in the process of cleaning the top rope anchor the screwlock on the element biner over tightened itself on the rock somehow, and tightened over the threads making it impossible to unscrew. When he tried explaining this to me from the top of the route I thought he was just pumped and couldn't unscrew it, but this wasn't the case. I ended up having to climb up there, cut him out of a loop of my PAS, and he rappeled down.

This wasn't the best way to end a day of climbing. Although this may be a rare case I won't be buying an element again no matter how cheap.

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Matt Collins

Matt Collinswrote a review of on May 17, 2011

5 5

These are top notch for setting up top ropes, anchoring in, or belaying in. They are on the large side of lockers and that is a good thing. They accommodate lots of ropes/slings in the basket. With their large size they are easy to manipulate one handed and gloved. They are cheap enough there is no reason to not have them as part of your rack. Try them out, you won't be disappointed!

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Matt Collins

Matt Collinswrote a review of on May 14, 2011

2 5

At first I loved these socks and now after three months I am starting to have second thoughts. I am not sure if I just got a lemon or what but on my socks the white line fabric that runs along the foot has started to fail. There are holes popping up everywhere. While I did get a good deal on the socks I am starting to think I should have put the money towards Bridgedale, Smartwool, or Darn Tough.

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