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MaxDilthey

MaxDilthey

Western Massachusetts

MaxDilthey's Passions

Camping
Backpacking
Trail Running
Hiking
Mountain Biking
Road Cycling
Mountaineering
Sport Climbing
Bouldering

MaxDilthey's Bio

Writer, camper, backpacker, and bike tourist.

MaxDilthey

MaxDilthey wrote a review of on March 25, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This pillow is pretty comfy. I have the small size, and there's juuuust enough feathers to let me lay on something that isn't the hard ground. It's not quite enough to absorb things like the windowsill of an Amtrak train, though.

I'm always glad I brought it, but if you're a picky sleeper, opt for the largest size for more down.

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MaxDilthey

MaxDilthey wrote a review of on March 6, 2014

1 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I just couldn't get into this bag. All the strap webbing material is really poor quality, and some of the straps like on the helmet pocket just aren't long enough. It's kind of a poorly thought-out pack.

There's a million more organizational pockets than you need. Usually I'm all for that, but there's probably 10 on this pack and it's a little overwhelming.

The backpanel is a sheet of plastic covered in cordura, which feels cheap. The pads feel a little bit like they're glued-on to this sheet with no ergonomics thought of at all, and are not comfortable at all.

Overall, I don't recommend this and I was glad Backcountry let me return it.

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MaxDilthey

MaxDilthey wrote a review of on March 6, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: Runs small

The sizing on these is a little tricky, since they don't stretch. This also makes them difficult to get on, so size up if you're not sure. otherwise, you might not be able to pull them over your heel and ankle.

Assuming you size it right, these work great. My feet stay warm and dry on winter cycling rides down to the 30's, and the wool socks I wear underneath stay dry because they're plenty breathable. A great addition to my cycling shoe and my hiking boots.

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MaxDilthey

MaxDilthey wrote a review of on March 3, 2014

1 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: Runs small

Cycling pants? Hardly. No stretch in the crotch means getting a leg up on the saddle is a wrestling match. What's more, the fabric tightened when I did put my leg up over the saddle. Two months of occasional use, and I had put a hole in either leg at the upper inside corner of the cargo pocket because the non-stretch of the fabric was pulling tight there every time I put a leg up.

Two months of use, and the pants exploded with a 1-foot tear at that weak point. I rode home with my underwear blowing in the breeze.

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MaxDilthey

MaxDilthey wrote a review of on February 22, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

A Prolite is more than enough R-rating for most winter camping I've done. I use a torso Prolite and a foam Z-Lite in deep winter and I sleep great, with absolutely no cold spots.

If you're a picky sleeper, you might want the comfort of an inflatable Neo-Air, but if you're pretty hardy like me and can sleep anywhere (or learn how to), you can save a lot of weight with a simple Prolite instead.

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MaxDilthey

MaxDilthey wrote a review of on January 11, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: Runs small

I tried to pare my life down to the bare essentials, and this is my only sweater. I wear it on dates, out to the bar, on backpacking trips, on bike tours, and to sleep in the winter. It's a beautiful sweater, looks very sharp, and is showing zero wear after near-constant use for a little while. I am very enamored.

Sizing was close-fitting, but I am wearing a Large and i'm 6'1" and 170lbs. I can fit a dress shirt underneath with a baselayer. It is a tight-fitting garment, though, no question.

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MaxDilthey

MaxDilthey wrote a review of on December 12, 2013

1 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size

These look awesome, and the fit is great. They were my new favorite pant... but the action of climbing on and off the bike tore holes in both legs right where the cargo pockets come to a corner. The gusseted crotch wasn't wide enough, so the pants pulled tight on my thighs whenever I put a leg over the saddle.

This stretched them tight and eventually tore the holes. Not cyclist approved. I'm in great shape so it wasn't me.

Oh well. Too bad I didn't buy them from Backcountry- I could have returned them!

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MaxDilthey

MaxDilthey wrote a review of on September 3, 2013

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I used this standalone for a 30-day bike tour, sleeping outside every night. I was cold once, when it got to 40� at the top of Mt. Hurricane in the White Mountains in August. I wasn't that cold- I still slept. It performed admirably in all other temperatures including 45�.

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MaxDilthey

MaxDilthey wrote a review of on September 1, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

After many nights in many conditions, it's still going strong. I'm 6'2", 160lbs, and I sleep on my back and side with a sleeping mat in the hammock. I sleep like a baby and I trust the workmanship and material on long hikes and long bike trips.

I am not that gentle with it. I aggressively grab the sides to get in, and I place my weight in rather quickly when I'm tired, but it still holds up just fine.

Great product!

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MaxDilthey

MaxDilthey wrote a review of on June 28, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I'm beating the daylights out of this bottle. It's been dropped, dented, abused, frozen, covered in stickers, stripped of a lot of it's paint, scratched, and jammed into metal bicycle cages. It's still holding just fine, no serious signs of wear, and it still keeps things delightfully cold.

I look forward to running this bottle into the grave. Cheers!

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MaxDilthey

MaxDilthey wrote a review of on June 26, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

This pack is great. The pockets are intuitive,and the materials are the best I've ever seen in a pack of this type. The nylon ripstop looks very strong and is showing no wear, and the nylon belt is extremely smooth and comfortable, much more than most nylon straps. Much more.

The buckle is great, and being able to keep this on me all the time has proven very useful when biking.

However, the price is a bit steep. I got it for $27 and that seems more fair. But you get what you pay for, I guess.

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MaxDilthey

MaxDilthey wrote a review of on June 20, 2013

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I bought a Gregory Baltoro, the Cadillac of packs, and used it for a trip or two. It was very good, but the heat buildup was still there like almost any internal frame. I sent it back and decided, with the free returns, I ought to try this inexpensive little guy before going to the other top of the line brands. I fell in love.

Ventilation, organization, comfort, all get five stars. my only critique is the lack of hipbelt pockets, but I sacrifice that gladly for all the benefits. Great pack.

My college's outdoors club is now totally outfitted in these.

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MaxDilthey

MaxDilthey wrote a review of on April 15, 2013

2 5

Why two stars? The fit: There's a helluva lot of neck gaiter, but it fits tight. If I wear it just around my neck, it looks like a clown collar. Lifting it anywhere else feels restrictive on my average-large sized head. I didn't like it.

Also, the dark olive was the lightest dark olive I've ever seen. I expected army green like in the picture and got a kelly. Looked bad with everything (Not that that matters in the woods).

I thought it could serve as a pot cozy... and it melted on contact the first time. Not a critique of the product, but this won't fulfill the same roles as a basic cotton bandanna, not entirely.


Bottom line, not useful to me. Your mileage may vary.

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MaxDilthey

MaxDilthey wrote a review of on March 28, 2013

5 5

This jacket is supremely high quality. I don't call the lack of a stowable pocket a detriment at all because the whole package rolls up neatly inside the hood. It's extremely warm, definitely a midwinter jacket, but no replacement for a down parka if you go far below 0�. However, my personal experience and knowledge make me confident in using this with a light fleece, a Paclite shell, and a wool baselayer down to about -10� with wind.

I am very satisfied with this jacket, I would buy it again, and I like it a lot more than down. Based on the quality of materials here, I will likely pick up the Atom LT Pants for a full winter kit.

I should note that I have had no problems with the zipper.

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MaxDilthey

MaxDilthey wrote a review of on March 25, 2013

5 5

I took this pack out of the box and immediately noticed that "Electric Yellow" had a very slight greenish tinge to it, and wasn't the thermonuclear yellow depicted in the pictures. I can't say whether I was disappointed or not, but the color has grown on me so I am satisfied.

I loaded it up with a 45� sleeping bag. my 20� fit, but barely. I then added two changes of clothes, full rain gear, a hammock tent, a bevy of camping supplies like a stove, water filter, headlamp, hat, gloves, etc, and it all fit. my first aid and inflatable sleeping pad fit as well, and I put another foam sleeping pad on the outside. I filled a large 48oz Nalgene (the tall one) and stuck it in the bottle holder. It didn't fit, per say, but the bungee cord easily looped across the cap and the whole operation stayed put.

Once it was loaded, I added a DSLR camera and a pair of big headphones, and a spare pair of shoes, and headed to NYC for two days. I walked about 10 miles around the city with the Baltoro on my back over a wool shirt and a fleece. it was about 40-50� and I never got too warm or sweaty.

In fact, I never exerted myself. The dynamic hipbelt and shoulders were a dream! The pack stayed balanced, and I felt like I was carrying the load directly over my center of gravity. It was extremely comfortable for 35lbs. I was sold!

I will update this when I take it into the backcountry next month.

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