Mike Haines

Mike Haines

Ozarks, Wasatch

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Mike's Passions

Trad Climbing
Fly Fishing
Backpacking
Camping
Mountain Biking
Hiking
Road Cycling
Sport Climbing

Mike's Bio

Mike Haines

Mike Haines wrote a review of on July 6, 2014

3 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

It's cheap, light, and waterproof. That's enough to make it worth bringing along as an emergency shelter. If your day hike turns into an unexpected overnight, especially if weather rolls in, this bivy could be a life saver. Make no mistake, though, it's not going to be a fun night. This bivy doesn't breathe, so you'll end up moist. It's also not comfortably warm below about 50 deegrees. But in above-freezing temperatures it's probably good enough to keep you alive until morning, and for the size/weight (maybe compare to a 20 oz coke) it'll have a spot in my day pack for longer hikes.

If I were buying again, I'd consider the newer "Escape" version that's supposed to breathe better. http://www.backcountry.com/adventure-medical-sol-escape-bivvy

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Mike Haines

Mike Haines wrote a review of on June 5, 2014

5 5

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

There's nothing like peeing next to a guy in a matching outfit. Unfortunately, for some of us that's almost inevitable since it seems every dude at Backcountry HQ has caught onto how stylish, versatile, and comfortable this shirt is. So if you're on the team and thinking of joining the party, BACK OFF-- THIS TURF IS CLAIMED!!! If you spend your days elsewhere, have at it (you won't be disappointed) but take my advice, and don't tell anyone where you bought it.

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Mike Haines

Mike Haines wrote a review of on June 5, 2014

3 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

I'm really impressed with how easy it is to get into this pack when it's rotated around to the front of your body -- especially the box-shaped front panel, which sort of opens into a tray that you can use to set gear while you're tying on a new fly in the middle of the stream. My one complaint is the only place I could find to hang a net was an eye at the very top of the pack, which wouldn't be so bad except it hangs high off my left shoulder and sometimes it tries to swing around in front of me. Maybe I'll find a way around this, and if I don't it's not going to keep me from using the pack (it's still super comfortable and light weight) but for some reason I just feel like there should have been a better solution for stashing a net.

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Mike Haines

Mike Haines wrote a review of on June 4, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

These are delicious. But keep in mind that as the title says, they really are meal sized -- not quite right for workout food, unless you are ok with eating half and saving the rest for later. I guess as far as foods go, being so delicious that it's hard to stop eating them isn't really a big problem, but in my mind is the only factor keeping these from these being the perfect trail food.

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Mike Haines

Mike Haines wrote a review of on June 4, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I've tried different types of mixes, and what I've found is that regardless of flavor or brand, drinking more water makes me feel better on a long ride or hike. Nuun helps me do that in because

It doesn't:
--Taste too sweet when you're trying to drink a bottle an hour
--Make your bottles dirty
--Settle down so the top of your bottle is just water while the bottom is syrup

However, It Does:
--Taste really refreshing
--Require almost zero effort to mix
--Have fizz
--Let you eat calories and drink hydration on different schedules without one affecting the other

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Mike Haines

Mike Haines wrote a review of on June 4, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I don't want to get too down on the other master cams. They're great and I love placing all of them. But let's face it -- the tiny ones are always going to be scary and the big ones overlap with C4's, which I already like a lot. But that yellow, that sweet yellow, manages to get placed every single climb and always during a moment of desperation, when nothing else will work . It's kind of like a pink tricam -- hard to say what it is, but it has some special mojo that you'll come to totally love.

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Mike Haines

Mike Haines wrote a review of on June 4, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

The side loader makes it way easy to get bottles into and out of its cage even when totally gassed from hard efforts on the road bike, or when you need to hurry up and get a drink before the next rock garden on the mountain bike. Without the requirement to "thread the needle" with your water bottle, you can just grab it and pull in a natural motion to get your drink.

This cage is for your downtube if you pull the bottle right-handed. If you grab the bottle lefty, or want to pull rightward and need a cage to go vertically on your seat tube, you'll want the OtherSideloader.

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Mike Haines

Mike Haines wrote a review of on November 26, 2012

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

There's plenty of good trail food out there, but this just might be the best. Add boiling water to the bag, let it sit for a few minutes, and you have a perfectly portioned delicious meal. I'll carry a stove & fuel on a day hike just so I can eat this Chili Mac for lunch. For maximum value, bring hot sauce.

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Mike Haines

Mike Haines wrote a review of on November 26, 2012

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

The material of these pants allows a perfect amount of freedom of movement for scrambling, climbing, or hiking. They repel water, but certainly aren't waterproof and I wouldn't want to be stuck on a wet day in the mountains with just these pants. They do use a very durable material that breathes well for as tough as it is.

I'm 5'10", 155 lbs and usually wear a 31" waist. I bought the medium and they're a bit loose at the waist, but fine with a belt (not included). The fit is baggy around the legs, but all the better for high stepping up some low angle slab climbs!

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Mike Haines

Mike Haines wrote a review of on November 26, 2012

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

One of the tastiest backpacking desserts I've tried. That said, this requires you to dirty a pan to cook the cobbler. If you're down with dishes, buy this and plan for a treat! If you're feeling lazy, go for the just-add-water Mountain House Raspberry Crumble.

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Mike Haines

Mike Haines wrote a review of on July 18, 2012

5 5

Simply put, the Edge 500 rocks. You can move it from bike to bike, or even throw it in your pocket for a run or hike, without any fuss over speed sensors or wiring. It's excellent motivation to push it on a ride to reach your goals for speed, distance, or elevation gain (yep, it tracks total elevation gain).

I upload my data to the free Garmin Connect service (see http://connect.garmin.com/features) about once a week. From there you can map your ride, analyze performance mile by mile, and even post it to Facebook so your riding buddies can view it.

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Mike Haines

Mike Haines wrote a review of on July 18, 2012

5 5

I bought a pair during Spring 2011 and they quickly became my go-to short for hard rides in Arkansas's summertime heat. The compression keeps you feeling fresh, the fabric breathes well, and the contoured chamois pays off when rides stretch into the 2-3 hour range.

They're definitely cut for a performance (European style) fit, and the medium gave me just the right amount of compression at the legs without being overtight at the waste (I'm 5'10", 31" waste, 150 lbs). If you're used to wearing an American brand like Pearl Izumi, expect these to be quite a bit more snug and consider sizing up.

My only complaint (and this is entirely my fault) is that I bought the white-paneled ones and they were a bear to keep clean. They do make you feel fast, but be super careful changing a flat because any contact with chain lube or brake grime and they'll never be the same.

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Mike Haines

Mike Haines wrote a review of on May 23, 2012

4 5

They're not the lightest weight option, but are great for for tying in to an anchor or running through a toprope. The wide shape racks a cordalette well, and tying in/adjusting a clove hitch is a snap. They also offer great security for clipping bolted anchors for toprope, and the smooth keylock makes removing them from skinny chain links a breeze.

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Mike Haines

Mike Haines wrote a review of on April 27, 2012

4 5

I bought mine several years ago for use in adventure races (carry it in a pack all day, put it on for one rappel, put it back in the pack). This would be an ideal use, along with mountaineering where you need to rope up but don't expect to fall or weight the rope often. For these types of activities it's perfect as it's light weight, packable, and goes on and off quickly.

For the beginner out there, please keep in mind that this is NOT comfortable to sport climb or toprope, and lots of gyms won't be comfortable with you using it there (they may even have a policy against any harness lacking a belay loop). For a more general purpose inexpensive harness, see Black Diamond Momentum AL.

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Mike Haines

Mike Haines wrote a review of on April 27, 2012

4 5

Nice all-around jacket, I've used it skiing, hiking, climbing, cycling, out to the bar, you name it. It's kept me dry in quick showers, but I haven't really put the waterproofing through hard core testing. Nice big zippered pockets, and as a bonus for layering the Stoic Down Anorak just barely squeezes down small enough to to shove into the pocket-- I've taken advantage of this at ski resorts where I throw on the puffy to ride up the lift, then stick it in the pocket on the way down.

At 5'10 and 150 lbs the medium is a nice athletic fit with room for a layer underneath, but no excess material. At first I thought the sleeves were a little long, but have gotten used to it and appreciated the fact that they won't ride up and expose your wrists to the elements when wearing ski gloves.

If I could change one thing it would be to add some pit zips for better breathability when hiking.

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Mike Haines

Mike Haines wrote a review of on April 27, 2012

4 5

Yep, this gets the job done, and you'll appreciate the palm whack protector (technical term) when you come across a really stubborn nut. Like other reviewers I wish the clip on the leash was 2mm bigger so it was easier to clip to my BD gear loops, but that's more of an aesthetic issue and doesn't really affect performance.

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Mike Haines

Mike Haines wrote a review of on April 27, 2012

4 5

I'd give these shoes 5 stars in cracks, and maybe 4 for slab and 3 for edging. They bend to conform to the rock well, but edging and smearing require full engagement of foot strength to keep pressure on the toes. Not a problem for short pitches, but continuous hard footwork can wear you out in these shoes. That said, I've been using them exclusively for the past 5 months and it's not been a big enough issue for me to buy a different set.

I wear 10.5 street shoes and boots, and am happy with my decision to size down to a 10 in these. They were a chore to get on at first, but these shoes REALLY stretch out over the first couple dozen uses. Now they're nice and easy to get on, but still snug enough to keep the shoe in place.

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Mike Haines

Mike Haines wrote a review of on April 27, 2012

4 5

Have 10 of these bad boys on my rack, and don't have a thing to complain about. Maybe it's a technique issue, but there are some draws out there (BD models come to mind) that will catch my finger when I push the rope through... Not so with Wild-Wires! As a bonus, none of my partners use Wild Country gear, so they have a hard time sneaking off with my draws.

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