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Mike

Mike

Southern California and Colorado

Mike's Passions

Backpacking
Snowboarding
Mountain Biking
Hiking
Trail Running
Sport Climbing
Bouldering

Mike's Bio

I just love being outside! Avid hiker with aspirations of more serious mountaineering and alpine climbing. Also, like to hunt, fish, snowboard, backpack and mountain bike. And I would love to be a better rock climber.

Mike

Mike wrote a review of on August 9, 2012

4 5

Love these capris. Face it that's what they are. They breathe well, they repel water better than some not as good as others but the fabric is light enoughto dry quick anyway so that's not a problem and they are light and don't hinder movement. I have only used them about town and on a few summits so I have not tested the durability yet.

My only gripes:
First, and this is for ANY pant, I don't mind the integral belts but PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE, start giving me belt loops so I have a choice. I am not a fan of how the integral only cinches from one side and also at some point that plastic buckle may fail. Then what? Like I said I have this gripe from these knickers all the way up to some of my pricey Arc'Teryx Gear.

Secondly, Give me a couple more colors LOL. I have charcoal and Khaki, so my only other option is green. Bummer.

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Mike

Mike wrote a review of on April 10, 2012

4 5

What I really like about this pack is that it has nearly all of the features of an 85L Osprey Pack in a 48L. What that means is that though this was a winter day pack for me, it will be a perfect summer weekender or maybe week long pack. At first I though the trekking pole stow and go straps were silly but now I use them all the time. The bottom bag comparment is cool on this size pack especially since it pulls back to form one large compartment. The gear loops are convenient and the daisy chain on the back gave me a good place to weave some shock cord to create my own jacet stow and go as the top stretch pocket feels a little tight when the pack is stuffed.

A couple things that it got dinged for:
1. The pad/tent straps on the bottom are a litte short and didn't fit around my sleeping pad.

2. Like most other Osprey fixed belt packs, if you are like me where you are right on the edge of the size break you really need to try it on. I personally need a Large torso pack but a S/M hip belt. So on a 20L pack where you don't need to worry about the hips having to take too much weight it's not that big of deal. But in a pack where you may have 30 pounds you will want to know taht you can transfer it firmly on the hips and not snug it up and find it is not tight enough.

Other than that, great pack just like I would Expect from Osprey.

*** I have to say that after a couple uses I had to return this pack. ONce it was loaded I just couldn't quite get it to fit my 6'3" 175 frame. as I mentioned I needed a taller torso with a smaller hib belt and I just couldn't quite get it adjusted properly. Still a nice product with good features.

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Mike

Mike wrote a review of on April 10, 2012

5 5

Okay so when December Twenty-12 gets here this might not be the only thing I want with me but it is definitely going in the "Get the Heck Out of Dodge!" bag. LOL

But seriously, I can't say enough good things about this jacket. It's classy and the fit is very nice. I wear it to the office every day; granted it is a slightly more business casual office and I bought the black, but none the less every day and it fits in nicely.

Out where metal meets the meat, the DWR sheds off light rain with ease. I recently took it up San Gorgonio in mid March where the conditions had the wind too fast to shed the layer and stay warm. But as hard as we were working I was able to leave it on given that the fleece side panels are performed their breathing function exceptionally well. And it fits perfectly under all of my tech shells and heavier layers. It packs down so small and light there is really no reason to ever leave it behind.

Worn casually walking around, this keeps me warm with just a microweight T-shirt easily down into the low 50's.

If I had one complaint it would be the lack of a drawstring in the hood. Without this and the hood is up, your head turns independently of the hood so you end up looking left or right, smack into the inside of your own hood.

But that really is my only gripe. This is trully a fantastic jacket, I pretty much only take it off to wash it. Thankfully the evenings in the mountains stay cool enough to wear it...not sure what I would do if I had to put it away for the whole summer.

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Mike

Mike wrote a review of on March 8, 2012

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

After using this bag more I have upgraded to 5 stars. It has been a great bag. I have had it consistently down to 10* with a good pad and lightweight base layers without even a chill so I am sure it would get to 0*

On a recent pig hunting trip this bag performed exceptionally well. The supplied compression sack cinches it down about to the size of a volley ball, which seems pretty good for a 0* bag with a WP laminate.

The low temps got down to about 23*. I always get cold in my bags so out of habbit I battened down the hatches on the hood and draft collar. As usual I woke up in the middle of the night but this time it was because I was sweating. The only cold spot I could tell was where my weak @$$ sleeping pad was letting the cool ground through.

I don't know if it was by accident, but the black liner is awesome for soaking up as much sun as possible to dry out any night time moisture when you have to break camp early.

A couple of things I noticed; not good or bad just what I noticed;
1. The climate that my body heat created was warm and felt humid in the morning. It was likely that I let myself get too hot. But either way I imagine the Conduit SL must slow the evaporation some.

2. In the morning when I turned it inside out there was condensation inside the dual zipper flaps. Again, likely because I let myself get too hot.

3. Have patience when you are stuffing away, the Conduit membrane makes it fill up like a baloon. Not problem but you look a little ridiculous when packing up.

Also, I am 6'3" 175 lbs. I bought the large and it fits with room to move and keep a couple water bottles near my feet. All N All a really nice bag. If she keeps me warm down to around 0-5* I'll consider it my best outdoor investment to date.

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Mike

Mike wrote a review of on March 8, 2012

4 5

If first impressions are the most important then this would have 5 stars. However, since I expect my gear to last, one outing doesn't get it there.

However, on a weekend Pig Hunting trip, me and a friend decided to hike in and stay the night somwhere around Coalinga, CA. I am new to backpaking and the layering I need to keep warm so my previous trips I have been miserable cold or misserable from carrying half the coat closet. I almost fell into this trap again, I was going to leave this and take about 4 other layers, but at the last minute I took all that out and decided I would make it or break it with this alone.

We were hiking all day in high temps and by the time we got back to camp I was soaked with sweat. Before getting too cold I immediately put on my LS Smartwool shirt and this jacket. It breathes nicely so I was not uncomfortable while it was still 60* but I started getting nervous as the temps were steadily falling and all I had was this jacket and hood (no beanie) and my smartwool base. As it cooled off I was slowly zipping up and then the hood went up then cinched the bottom. It wasn't until my legs started getting cold that I looked at our thermometer and it leveled off at about 25* and I was still comfortable. I was thoroughly impressed that I was still warm. This will be my go to for cold temps without doubt. Sorry I am getting long winded I am just stoked on this jacket.

A couple of quick points:
1. With a Smartwool Base I was warm @ 25* (quick add to note that this was sitting around)
2. The provided carry sack is nice but with the use of a quality stuff sack I got it down to about the size of a cantelope melon.
3. The material that lines the collar and hand warmer pockets is amazinly soft.
4. The mesh liner pockets are ampley sized to keep your mittens and beanie close to your body and warm when they are not needed.

CONS:
The only con that I can think of is that there isn't much of a season for me to need it in Southern California. Actually, I think the only real criticism is the wrist velcro seemed a little weak.

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Mike

Mike wrote an answer about on December 22, 2011

Not sure about the Sabre, but I love this jacket. Like previously mentioned, if you are putting out some work you may be toasty in this alone at 40*; you would probably love it around 25*. I wear this this and a T-shirt when I walk the dog in 45-50* and stay warm. That is a slow, steady pace.

But I would say due to the versatility and and size/weight of this piece I will stuff this and a paclite shell in a stuff sack and take it everywhere I go.

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Mike

Mike wrote a review of on December 22, 2011

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

After two seasons of use I have to say this is probably my absolute favorite piece of kit...ever. I use it for everything. Like my other Arc'Teryx gear it has not disappointed. I am 6'3" 175# and I bougt the large. It has a nice trim fit, sleeve length is spot on and the back length is just below my belt line. I live by the beach in socal and we have been getting down into the low 40 in the morning and up to the 60's and I am comfortable in this jacket throught the whole range. It is probably the same warmth as a mid to heavy fleece but so light and stuffs to a nalgene size. My only criticism would be the hood does not cinch and therfore does not move with your head when you are looking around. Though I would not take it through a briar patch, the lightweight material is a lot sturdier than it looks. Other than than it fits under my technical shells perfectly.

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Mike

Mike wrote a review of on December 22, 2011

5 5

Haven't had these out yet but my initial impression is that these will be great pants. I am 6'3" 175# and the Medium tall feels like it was tailored to fit me. I put them on with a REI polartech heavy base and they were trim but there was no binding. The material is stretchy so I don't think it will be an issue even after the holiday eating season. They feel as though they will be durable enough to not have to be delicate with them. I have since bought a second pair just in case the dissapear.

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