Matthew Van Wagner

Matthew Van Wagner

NH / VT originally, now SLC

Matthew's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Snowboarding
Snowshoeing

Matthew's Bio

backcountry riding, hiking, loving

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Matthew Van Wagner

Matthew Van Wagner wrote a review of on October 24, 2011

4 5

This is a great all-around hiking shoe. Right out of the box I did a 25 mile trek to Deadhorse Lake in the Uintas, and they felt just fine... only a small blister on my left heel, which I thought was pretty damn good considering they hadn't been worn.

They're far from waterproof, but easy to clean. I've worn them for everything from the two-day trip up Kings Peak to short trail runs. Not the best breathers, but I like their weight and stability.

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Matthew Van Wagner

Matthew Van Wagner wrote a review of on October 21, 2011

5 5

First impressions are good. Just picked up a pair at the backcountry.com warehouse, and from initial try-on and walk around, things feel great. Super comfy and definitely stiffer than the floppy 5 year-old Northwaves I just tossed out the window (R.I.P). Colors are accurate to the photo on this page, if you're that kind of picky, and the Vibram soles are pretty sick.

Can't wait to report on the performance of these beasts... come on La Nina, we're all waiting.

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Matthew Van Wagner

Matthew Van Wagner wrote a review of on June 15, 2011

4 5

Price is right if you can snag it for $99. Love the design / easy up and down, but the metal ring that the pole end pops into busted my first night. Seems minor, but makes me wonder if it'll last more than a year or so in any kind of regular use. Going to exchange for a more durable system.

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Matthew Van Wagner

Matthew Van Wagner wrote an answer about on May 23, 2011

Hey Ben,  <br/>  <br/> I'm a backcountry snowboarder...

Hey Ben,

I'm a backcountry snowboarder and bought the Covert 32L w/ Avalung a couple weeks ago. I needed a pack bigger than the Burton Dayhiker I had been using, and wanted to give the Avalung a shot. The pack is great for carrying a board, although the straps are a little wimpy and might have to be reinforced at some point (in case you're skeptical, the booklet it comes with shows both ski and snowboard set-ups).

Go with the Avalung if you're going to spend the money for a substantial pack!

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Matthew Van Wagner

Matthew Van Wagner wrote a review of on March 21, 2011

Jones me to the moon
5 5

Unfortunately I had to return my first Flagship after gashing the thing open (user error) the third day on it, but I have been riding the second one I got for almost three months now. Love does not do our relationship justice (is it uncommon to sleep with your snowboard after an epic backcountry excursion?). The Flagship is fast in whatever conditions you strap into, and absolutely floats in the pow. It's a little heavy to pack around, but makes up for the slight back pain it causes with beautiful splashes of snow to the face.

I was a little nervous (and intrigued) by the unfinished topsheet, but all my concerns have been put to bed. I've had 30 days or so with the wood stick and I can't imagine my life without it (literally).

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Matthew Van Wagner

Matthew Van Wagner wrote a review of on March 2, 2011

5 5

Unfortunately I had to return my first Flagship after gashing the thing open (user error) the third day on it, but I have been riding the second one I got for about two months by now. Love does not do our relationship justice (is it uncommon to sleep with your snowboard after an epic backcountry excursion?). The Flagship is fast in whatever conditions you strap into, and absolutely floats in the pow. It's a little heavy to pack around, but makes up for the slight back pain it causes in beautiful waves of snow in your face.

I was a little nervous (and intrigued) by the unfinished topsheet, but all my concerns have been put to bed. I'm on my 20th day or so with the wood stick and I can't imagine my life without it (literally).

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Matthew Van Wagner

Matthew Van Wagner wrote a review of on March 2, 2011

5 5

This shovel is the right size and strength... small enough to comfortably stuff in your sack and strong enough to accidentally dig into some not-so-soft boulders. I would definitely recommend the metal blade over any plastics, no matter how "light" or "small." If I need to dig out my bud from the slide he started doing a 270 of a cornice, this is what I want attached to my back!

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