Matt R

Matt R

Southwestern Ohio

Matthew's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Running

Matthew's Bio

I work as a helicopter pilot. When I'm not beating the air into submission, I try to find wide open spaces with the least amount of people.

Matt R

Matt R wrote a review of on August 9, 2013

Well made, but not for summer use.
3 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size

I'll start out by saying that I really wanted to like these socks. I wear SmartWool and Icebreaker socks all winter and love how toasty they keep my feet. I was attracted to the fact that these have extra padding for increased comfort. I figured that since these socks were "light" that I would be ok using these with temps in the low 70s. Wrong. I've used these for trail running and hiking with meshy trail running shoes and my feet still roast. Maybe I need to give the "ultra light" variety a try and understand what temps these socks are designed to be used in. A high quality product, just not for summer use.

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Matt R

Matt R wrote a review of on August 9, 2013

Favorite Icebreaker T-shirt, So far.
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size

Picked this up on SAC for $9.99. At that price, I would buy 10. Assuming you aren't getting it for this cheap I would still recommend buying it. Fit is pretty consistent with similar offerings by Icebreaker and Smart Wool. I usually wear a medium in all of these and this shirt is no different. Unlike most of my other merino shirts this one has some printing on it. I like having a little break from solid colors anyway. The outline of a goat on the sleeve is a nice touch also.

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Matt R

Matt R wrote a review of on August 3, 2013

Excellent Product!
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size

When I was looking for a good general use summer-time shoe, I had three basic requirements. First, they had to look cool. I know this is subjective, but these work really well for me. In fact, I think they look better in person than in the stock photos. Second, they had to breathe extremely well. There is nothing more annoying and uncomfortable than hot feet, especially when hiking or running. These are absolutely wonderful in that department. If there is a strong enough wind, you can feel the air blowing on your feet. I've used these for trail running and hiking and my feet stay nice and cool. Third, they had to have a strong but grippy sole. A nice big piece of rubber on the toe guards against kicking into anything unexpected. The soles are strong, yet provide plenty of shock absorption while running. Nice and cushy.

Trail running shoes should be a perfect combination of a hiking boot and a running shoe and these fit the bill. I generally wear a size 9 (8.5 in Salomons if that helps) and the sizing is true to size. I have used these for trail running and hiking and they work amazingly well. Exactly what I was looking for. I find myself wearing these for casual use quite often. This is my first experience with a La Sportiva product. Based on these shoes I would certainly consider their other offerings.

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Matt R

Matt R wrote a review of on December 3, 2011

4 5

Saw these on SAC for $10 for the two pack. Being merino wool, I decided to give them a try. I can honestly say they are good socks and certainly a good buy at $5 per pair. The quality isn't as good as Smartwool and Icebreaker's offerings, but at 1/3 the price I think I will pick up a few more the next time I see them on sale.

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Matt R

Matt R wrote a review of on November 10, 2011

5 5

This is my first experience with Icebreaker socks and I am highly impressed. I used to think that Smartwool was the only good merino option, but these were on sale so I figured I'd give them a try. The features, quality construction, and attention to detail of these socks is just as good as anything Smartwool makes.

And since I've been comparing these to Smartwool, I think it's important to note the differences between these and the Smartwool midweight hiking socks. I have both, and the Icebreakers are quite a bit lighter. Nothing wrong with that, just be aware of this fact if you are choosing between the two. I bought the silver/red/oil color and was surprised to find out that they are a lot more grey than the backcountry.com picture would indicate.

I'm quite happy with this purchase and will probably be buying more of these in the near future.

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Matt R

Matt R wrote a review of on November 10, 2011

Slipper Heaven!
5 5

I love house slippers. I cannot stand cold feet in the winter. In the past my solution has been to buy cheap $10 pairs. They got the job done, but would completely fall apart after 8-12 months of use. I decided to see what a few extra bucks would get me in slipper quality. I've only had them for about a day but I can already tell they are the best slippers I have ever owned. The fit is great, I usually wear 8.5 - 9 in shoe size. I got the medium and they feel very roomy but not too loose. I don't like super tight house slippers. The sole is flexible but substantial enough to block moisture. I walked outside on a wet driveway to bring the garbage cans inside, and my feet stayed bone dry. The memory foam padding makes you feel like you are almost walking on air. Very squishy and comfortable. And the best part, these things keep your feet toasty warm. They even come with a nicely constructed hanger, for storage in the summer months.

These slippers are a classic case of getting what you pay for. If you are looking for a nice pair of slippers, don't hesitate to spend the extra money. You'll be happy you did.

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Matt R

Matt R wrote a review of on November 4, 2011

5 5

It's really hard to go wrong with any Smartwool product. I own a few different socks of theirs, but this one is my favorite. From the moment you pull these out of the packaging you can tell that these are some seriously well made socks. The attention to detail is very noticeable from the "Feels Good" stitched around the top, to the fleecy lining inside. These socks keep my feet warm and comfortable all winter long. Anyone who questions paying nearly $20 a pair obviously doesn't own any of these. If you like your feet to stay warm in cold temps, these are a very worthwhile investment.

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Matt R

Matt R wrote a review of on November 3, 2011

5 5

This is my first experience with a Salomon product and I must say I'm quite impressed. I wanted something that was comfortable and prevented wet feet if I happened to walk through a puddle or snow. I really like the lacing system, it's very simple and quick. Just pull the cord and they lace up. Awesome, especially in situations where if I was wearing other shoes I'd be too lazy to tie them up properly.

As compared to other shoe brands the sizing seems to be slightly on the small size. I wear a size 9 in most shoes, but the 8.5 fit me perfectly in this case.

I've had these for about a month and they have been exactly what I was looking for. Water has never penetrated the Gore-tex membrane. Wear these with a pair of SmartWool socks and be ready to enjoy shoe heaven. Looking forward to seeing what else Salomon has to offer. Great product!

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Matt R

Matt R wrote a review of on November 3, 2011

5 5

Actually my first experience with this was when Backcountry.com sent me an email telling me that I got $10 off my next order. The email said that it was just $10 off, straight up, no strings attached. The offer expired in a few weeks so I didn't want a free $10 to go to waste. I decided to put the "no strings attached" promise to the test. I was happy to discover that I could indeed use my free $10 towards a $25 gift certificate, locking in this free money for two years. I later used this gift certificate towards the purchase of much needed clothing. Can't think of too many places I'd rather get a gift certificate for.

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Matt R

Matt R wrote a review of on November 3, 2011

5 5

It appears that this item has been discontinued, that's a shame because I really like this piece. I bought this because my fiance was complaining that I only like to wear fleeces. My goal was a pullover that had the comfort of a fleece, but with the looks of a sweater. I got the black in medium. Fits my 5'11, 150lb frame perfectly. The styling is very modern and I have been told it looks like something people would wear on Star Trek. Maybe it was ahead of its time. Hopefully they will bring it back.

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Matt R

Matt R wrote a review of on November 3, 2011

5 5

I shave my head, so when the weather gets cold warm hats are a must. I've been trying to find a good cold weather hat for quite some time and the shadows hat delivers the goods, well... heat that is. I wore this hat all last fall, winter, and spring. After a year of use it is still in great shape. I suspect that its partial wool construction aids in keeping odors at bay. I've only washed it once and only did because I figured it should see a washing machine at least once a year.

It fits my head very well. The elasticity around the base of the hat keeps it snugly on my head. I'm sure those of us who shave our heads can sympathize with how annoying it is when our heads is freshly shaven and the hat has a tendency to ride up past our ears. This is the only hat I've owned that doesn't have this problem. It's not totally windproof (I don't think I would want it to be), but it does block wind pretty well. Good enough for the activities I do. I never feel like my head is getting too cold, or that I need a better hat (like I have with most of my previous hats). If you are looking for a very well made hat you can't go wrong with this one.

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Matt R

Matt R wrote a review of on October 17, 2011

3 5

Got this off SAC for around $30. Even though it was 50% off the retail price it still falls short. I am 5'11 150lbs and got the medium.

The good: The color (I got the red) and graphics look good. It is long enough to be tucked in and won't ride up if you use it for a base layer. It merino wool, so it doesn't smell bad even after soaking up lots of sweat.

The bad: The fit is a little off, and different from other Icebreaker shirts. When I lift my arm up it gets excessively baggy in the shoulders and the sleeves ride up in a weird way. It just flat out feels weird when I move my arms around. The neck is also a bit wide. I have several Smartwool NTS Microweight shirts and they don't have this problem. In fact, this is the only shirt I've ever owned that has been like this. Probably why it ended up on SAC in the first place.

I think that for a $30 plus t-shirt I get the right to be a little picky. I wouldn't buy this one again, get a Smartwool microweight instead.

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Matt R

Matt R wrote a review of on October 17, 2011

4 5

This is my first Icebreaker product, although I've been a fan of merino t-shirts for quite a while now. As compared to Smartwool, the shirt seems a bit more durable and probably less prone to damage in the washing machine. I am 5'11 150lbs and the medium fits me nicely. As you would expect with a merino product, it passes the smell test, even after soaking up sweat for hours.

My only complaint is that it slightly short. I was worried that it wouldn't stay tucked in after a day of moving around. The most annoying thing about using a shirt as a base layer is when it rides up and lets cold air in. To my surprise it stayed put and didn't ride up. It still feels a little short though. I would have given this 5 stars if it had been 3/4 of an inch longer. Glad i picked it up on SAC for 50% off. It's a nice shirt, but probably not worth full price.

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Matt R

Matt R wrote a review of on October 13, 2011

5 5

I look forward to winter because I get to wear these. Like other Smartwool shirts, it is an amazingly versatile and functional piece. Works great on its own when there is a slight chill in the air, or under a fleece and a softshell when it gets colder. This is an essential piece of my cold weather base layer. I own several of these and so should you.

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Matt R

Matt R wrote a review of on October 13, 2011

5 5

I own 4 of these shirts and wear them almost every day in the summer. It doesn't matter how good a synthetic shirt claims to be, how much carbon they attach to the threads etc., they all stink after physical activity. This shirt on the other hand doesn't care how much sweat it soaks up. It never smells bad. And it wicks moisture and evaporates it just a good as a synthetic shirt.

A good anecdotal story I tell people about Smartwool t-shirts is how I helped a buddy of mine during his recent move. I wasn't the guy just standing around telling everyone else where to put stuff. I was lifting furniture up and down several flights of steps, getting really sweaty. I ended up passing out in this t-shirt that night. I woke up the next morning and went jogging for 10 miles, still wearing this shirt. After all that sweating I was amazed how this thing didn't smell bad at all. Of course, I did, but the shirt didn't smell like anything.

Wash these on a gentile cycle as they are slightly delicate and let them hang dry. You won't regret this purchase.

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Matt R

Matt R wrote a review of on October 13, 2011

5 5

I own 4 of these. The variety of temperatures and situations this jacket works in is simply amazing. It's great on its own, or when it gets colder it works awesome with a merino base layer and a softshell. I find myself wearing these all the time, even if I'm just lounging around the house.

I am 5'11 150lbs and a medium fits me nicely. Unlike a lot of cheaper fleeces, I don't have to get the large just so the arms are the right length. I feel like Patagonia custom made this piece just for me. Buy several, you won't regret it.

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