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Matt Deen

Matt Deen

San Diego, California

Matt Deen's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Biking
Paddling
Snowshoeing

Matt Deen's Bio

Avid hiker, backpacker, camper and gear connoisseur who loves to get out of the office and be outside.

Check out my blog at www.weekendroad.com

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Matt Deen

Matt Deen wrote a review of on October 9, 2013

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I have a Wilderness Systems Tarpon 16 fishing kayak. I got this carrier because I thought it would make it easier to load by myself. The Roll Model works pretty well. It only gets 4 stars because the roller is not as useful as it could be with just a few design tweaks. Like almost all vehicles, the back window of my '08 Jeep Grand Cherokee is angled. When I bring the bow of my yak up to load it on the carrier, it hits the top of my Jeep and not the roller. If the roller extended, it would catch the bow of the yak at the outset and would avoid using the top of the car to lever the yak up onto the roller. Once the yak reaches the roller, it works great. The other components of the system work perfectly. It was great that Thule included all the straps and tie downs that you need. Those work great as well. My kayak is super secure and doesn't budge.

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Matt Deen

Matt Deen wrote a review of on November 9, 2012

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I've owned this bag for about 2 years now and it's holding up pretty well. I take my Canon T2i everywhere I go outdoors from backpacking in Denali to fishing in the Sierras. This bag has served me well with my basic storage needs for my camera, kit lens, spare battery, spare storage cards, remote, polarized lens, lens brush and cloth. I found the rain cover useful on many occasions, which stows at the bottom of the bag in its own little pocket. The zipper is water resistant and works well considering the rectangular design of the lid. All in all it was a good purchase for my basis needs and has protected my camera from my semi-rad adventures.

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Matt Deen

Matt Deen wrote a review of on October 20, 2012

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I've been a loyal Capilene baselayer kind of guy for years. When I considered merino, I read about the benefit being reduced funk/stink and the disadvantage being the cost and the itchiness. I finally took the plunge last year when Patagonia.com had a big web special. The Medium is a great fit for my 5'10" 170 lbs frame. Yes, the sleeve are a bit longer, but I like it that way for good range of motion overhead and to cover the backs of my hands when cold. This is a great piece made by a great company. I still have my Capilene systems, but I rarely use them now that I have gone to merino. It is a better insulating material, dries quicker and doesn't smell like a sour raccoon at the end of a long weekend.

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Matt Deen

Matt Deen wrote a review of on August 15, 2012

3 5

I've been searching for the past month or so for a pair of hard shell pants for backpacking and general mountaineering. I checked out the Patagonia Triolet, Mammut Convey, Outdoor Research Paladin and the MH Quasar. I ultimately decided on the Outdoor Research Paladin. I felt like they have the best combination of features, durability and weight.

I liked how lightweight the Quasar were, but I thought the inner gaiter was worthless. No pockets didn't seem practical. The 15D material did not inspire confidence with respect to durability. Most importantly to me, the fact that you can't vent the pants using the full side zips (without them falling down), seemed like a bad design to save 1 or 2 ounces of weight. Perhaps, the DryQ material is so breathable that you don't even need to vent, but I didn't have a chance to test.

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Matt Deen

Matt Deen wrote a question about on July 25, 2012

Triolet or MH's Quasar Pants?

I'm trying to decided between these Triolets or MH's Quasar Pants. I probably won't be using either for skiing. Instead, I need a good waterproof alpine pant for general mountaineering that can also do double duty for backpacking and other outdoor activities. The Quasars are lighter but I'm concerned about durability too. Does anyone have any experience comparing the two?

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Matt Deen

Matt Deen wrote a question about on July 24, 2012

Question about using the inner gaiter for mountaineering

How do you use the inner gaiter and a regular gaiter together? Let's assume that I start off in the dry morning wearing only my soft shell pants with gaiters over. Later, it gets windy and wet so I decided to put on my Triolet pants. Do I take off my gaiters, then put these pants on and then put the gaiters back on over everything? Or do I just stash the gaiters in my pack? Any help would be appreciated!

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Matt Deen

Matt Deen wrote a question about on March 21, 2012

I'm new to mountaineering and after months of research and trying on different models and sizes, I ended up with the Nepal's. My next question is what type of crampons and model crampons does everyone recommended for these boots? I have several recommendations from guides, but I'd love to know everyone's opinion. Thanks for your help.

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Matt Deen

Matt Deen wrote a question about on November 1, 2011

Question from aspiring mountaineer...

I'm looking to start doing some winter camping and mountaineering. In all likelihood, I'll do very little ice climbing. I plan to mostly climb California 14er's, Colorado 14er's, Rainier, Mexican Volcanoes, and Cotapoxi. If I can handle the altitude and cold well, I would love to someday climb Aconcagua and Denali. I know that I'll need a double plastic boot like the Scarpa Inverno on Aconcagua and Denali, but which boot would be a better as an all around mountaineering boot on the mountains mentioned above and all of the training in between? La Sportiva Nepal EVO GTX or the Scarpa Mont Blanc GTX? Something else? Assuming the fit works, I'm leaning towards Nepals since I see them recommended by numerous reputable guide companies. Thoughts?

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Matt Deen

Matt Deen wrote a question about on November 1, 2011

Question from aspiring mountaineer...

I'm looking to start doing some winter camping and mountaineering. In all likelihood, I'll do very little ice climbing. I plan to mostly climb California 14er's, Colorado 14er's, Rainier, Mexican Volcanoes, and Cotapoxi. If I can handle the altitude and cold well, I would love to someday climb Aconcagua and Denali. I know that I'll need a double plastic boot like the Scarpa Inverno on Aconcagua and Denali, but which boot would be a better as an all around mountaineering boot on the mountains mentioned above and all of the training in between? La Sportiva Nepal EVO GTX or the Scarpa Mont Blanc GTX? Something else? Assuming the fit works, I'm leaning towards Nepals since I see them recommended by numerous reputable guide companies. Thoughts?

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Matt Deen

Matt Deen wrote a review of on September 18, 2011

4 5

I'll admit...this shirt is my first piece of merino. Historically, I've just worn synthetic material t-shirts due to the high cost of merino. However, I saw this shirt on sale and decided to take the plunge. For my initial test, I wore it for 3 straight days backpacking in Alaska. I was worried that it would be itchy against my skin, but I never noticed it was on, which I thought was a big compliment. I found it to be super comfortable and not itchy. It layered perfectly under my Patagonia Capilene 3 zip-neck baselayer, which also has an athletic cut. Other t-shirts tend to bunch underneath the Cap 3, but this one was perfectly smooth underneath. Beware...the fit is very athletic so it's not super flattering for those of us with beer guts. Notwithstanding, I'm looking forward to buying more merino from Stoic.

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Matt Deen

Matt Deen wrote a review of on June 20, 2011

5 5

I've had my Pinnacle for about 4 months now and have had the chance to use it about 6 times already. I haven't had a chance to test the EN rating of 10 degrees, but I've been super toasty in temps down to mid-20's up in the Eastern Sierras. The bag does has done pretty good job at breathing in temps of 30-40 degrees zipped up about 3/4. The smooth dual zipper helps excess heat escape from the foot box when opened up. Packs down into a small eVent Compression Sack. I love the fact that I have shed over 1 lb. and several cubic inches off vs. my 9 year old TNF Cat's Meow.

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Matt Deen

Matt Deen wrote a review of on June 17, 2011

5 5

I picked up the 115L version prior to my recent Boundary Waters Trip and loved it. We had some gnarly portages that were a breeze due to my comfortable pack. Since there is no structure to the pack bag, I slipped a folded crazy creek chair to my a flat surface where my back hit the bag. This worked out great. The shoulder straps were surprisingly comfortable and the load lifters were a big help. The hip belt has no padding but this wasn't an issue because portages aren't generally really that long. The hip belt was helpful to reduce the bag's ability to slide side to side.

I found packing the 115L version to be kind of tricky for the first few times because it was so big and had no structure. Stacking and organizing took some trial and error, but by the end it was pretty easy. I highly recommend this pack. It can fit 2 people's gear for 3-4 days pretty easily assuming you've got the right gear (i.e. gear made for backpacking not car camping).

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