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Mr. Sweet

Mr. Sweet

Christopher's Bio

Mr. Sweet

Mr. Sweet wrote an answer about on May 21, 2013

There are a few subtle tweaks to this model from the 2012. The hip belt has pockets, the side mesh was reshaped to make side reach storage possible (without taking off the pack to get at whats in there - I keep my knife sticking out of the hole). There is a small change to the configuration of the shoulder straps and the chest strap that make it MUCH more comfortable to wear for 8+ hours. Aside from being a bit on the heavy side, I love this pack!! Its heavy, but you can beat the crap out of it...

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Mr. Sweet

Mr. Sweet wrote a review of on May 21, 2013

5 5

I've been training for running races and putting down some decent distance in this shirt and I have to say, I highly recommend it.

The material feels extremely comfortable on your skin and there is zero chafe on your sensitive bits. I ran a half marathon in this and it pulled the sweat away decently and kept me from getting swampy. The vented back is probably the coolest aspect of this shirt (especially if you dump alot of sweat on your back).

If you like to run, this is a killer shirt to sport while doing it.

-Sweet

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Mr. Sweet

Mr. Sweet wrote a review of on March 25, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Initial impression; these are tough, comfortable shoes that can sustain a good beating while not beating up your feet!!

Tread/Traction:

I was skeptical about these when I was looking at them because of the little oval nubs, but I saw a variety of conditions on the trail this weekend in the Old Rag mountain area of the Shennendoah Valley and they performed VERY well.

These things saw dry trail, pavement, mud, slush, snow, streams, rivers, ice and some technical scrambling (the top of Old Rag). Bottom line, these are FANTASTIC all-around. Great in the mud and snow, they didn't accumulate crap easily and the grip was very sure-footed. For rock, I would use a shoe with a bit more 'teeth' and there wasn't much grip on ice, but what grips on ice?

Sizing:

These are a bit big, but Merrell's typically are a half-size up from normal shoes. I usually wear 10's, but I am consistently a 9.5 in Merrells.

Performance:

GREAT 3-season hiking shoe. I put these through the ringer this weekend and they performed well. They were a bit cold when it got down in the 20's around the campfire, but warm the rest of the time. These were VERY comfortable and didn't hurt my feet at all. I was weighted down with 35 lbs. for this 'test' hike and my feet are fine after two days and 20 miles.

Waterproofing:

Foot in stream and dry foot... nuff said.

Tips/CAUTIONS:

Be VERY careful when switching to a minimalist shoe. Make sure that you acclimate your body to these slowly. I have been wearing minimalist shoes for almost a year and have run over 200 miles in Merrell Barefoot Access 2's and my achilles and calves were still a bit sore after this 20 mile weekend.

Bottom Line:

These are going to become my go-to hikers I think!!

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Mr. Sweet

Mr. Sweet wrote a review of on March 25, 2013

5 5

I've only done one night in this thing, so I will update with notes on durability.

This thing is VERY roomy inside (especially for me, 5'8" :) I think that even much taller people would be just fine in this thing (< 6'5") I spent a night in 20 degree weather in this and it was surprisingly warm inside compared to the outside temp.

It was super easy to setup. The intuitive design is a cinch to stand up and I had my tent up, pad, liner bag and sleeping bag setup before my brother finished setting up his Sprite I.

Nice sized vestibule was big enough for my Osprey Aether 70 and my shoes with enough room for me to get in and out.

Gripes:

- Made in China

Bottom line: great, spacious tent, light weight for backpacking and easy to use. Buy the footprint!!!

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Mr. Sweet

Mr. Sweet wrote a review of on March 18, 2013

5 5

I know that this thing has a bit of a hefty price tag, point of fact it cost more than my Movado... but its worth EVERY PENNY!!

If you are serious about your training and want a tool that can provide you with an immense amount of data, this is it.

Suunto keeps updating the software, you can make your own custom apps, it uses scientifically proven metrics to help you ensure that you are not over-training and it tracks all your activities on a very easy to use web interface (movescount.com).

Bottom line: I LOVE this watch and its been extremely helpful in my training and my adventuring.

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Mr. Sweet

Mr. Sweet wrote a review of on December 31, 2012

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

These things are just fantastic. SUPER light, zero drop, good padding with insanely good fit. They have a very wide toe box which allows your toes to go as wide as they need to.

I just started running seriously and I am on my 3rd week of training for a half-marathon. These shoes make running on the pavement bearable. I tried running on the paved road with my trail gloves and the texture of the Vibram soles wreaks havoc on my knees and ankles when I start to get beyond 4 miles.

Advice; size DOWN half a size from your typical street shoe size. For example, I wear size 10 in Adidas shoes, I wear a 9.5 in Merrell's.

Good work Merrell!

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Mr. Sweet

Mr. Sweet wrote a review of on April 19, 2012

5 5

I use this every time I see the sky darken, which in DC, is quite frequently.

This is the best rain jacket I have EVER had. The waterproofing is fantastic and I dont get that feeling of being wrapped in saran wrap that you get with a lot of wet gear. The breathability is great and you dont get the sauna effect, even when you are in a warm day downpour.

I pair these with Sierra Designs Hurricane pants, SD gaiters and my Mammut backpacking boots and I can hike endlessly in the rain without the worry of getting even slightly wet.

Don't be a fair weather outdoorsman, get some good wet gear and own all weather conditions.

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Mr. Sweet

Mr. Sweet wrote a review of on April 19, 2012

5 5

Sweet pants indeed!

Versatile! I wear these things climbing (at least) twice a week. I pull the lower leg pieces off to jog for my warm up and then put em back on to climb. Love that...

The mobility on these is fantastic too! I do not feel impeded what so ever when I am climbing. I get full range of motion when I am working a tough route or problem. Being distracted in anyway by your gear is a bad thing when you are working up a rock face.

I have also hiked a couple hundred miles in these (I bought 2 pair). They both still look brand new! I bushwack on the regular and these things hold up well to thorns, rocks and resting my keister on abrasive surfaces.

The gripes I read seem to be related to older incarnations of these pants. Whatever they were in the past, these things are legit now!

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Mr. Sweet

Mr. Sweet wrote a review of on April 19, 2012

5 5

Exp. level - Beginner to Intermediate

I bought an inexpensive Mammut harness off steepandcheap to start out and that thing pinched my legs and my 'boys' somethin' fierce when hanging (or holding a hanging climber on belay), no matter what adustments I made to it.

I am absolutely hooked on climbing, so I looked at buying a better harness. I researched like crazy and this is the one I ended up going with. When I shop, I sort by reviews, not price - this thing came highly recommended and with good reason. After 4 months of use twice a week at the gym... here's what I have:

Favorite things about this:

- LIGHT
- Comfy! I forget that I am wearing it most days and end up walking out of the gym with it on
- No leg pinch - long hangs or belays, does not bind or pinch
- Good room for your meat and two veg
- Quick... slip on and go, no adjusting this that and the other
- DURABLE - this thing is indestructable

Bad...?

- Nothing so far... its a beast!

**One piece of advice, if you have tree trunks for legs, buy a different harness. This is made for people with average to smaller/skinnier legs. If your thighs are like Captain America, probably wanna go with something that adjusts to give you more room.**

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Mr. Sweet

Mr. Sweet wrote a review of on April 19, 2012

4 5

This design is as simple and easy to use as it gets.

Thin ropes, thick ropes, frayed ropes - this thing handles em all pretty well. This is my first belay device and like I said, its easy to use. Rope feeds through easily wen you want it to and pulls solid friction on falls.

I will probably upgrade to a Petzl Grigri 2 soon, now that I am progressing as a climber and am starting to do more outdoor stuff.

This baby will still probably see use for indoor climbing at the gym. Either that, it will get used by friends who use my loaner harness; I'll know that if they are belaying me, that solid device is holding me up!

Only beef: the beaner is a bit big for belay I think - I upgraded to the BD locking pear shaped one - doesnt move around as much. The beaner that came with this set moved over to my outdoor stuff, its solid.

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Mr. Sweet

Mr. Sweet wrote a review of on April 19, 2012

5 5

There is nothing quite like a hot meal at the end of a 20+ mile day on the AT. This thing makes cooking fast and easy.

It's pretty light, I hate carrying too much crap when I am trying to cover a lot of trail. It uses fuel rather efficiently, so you don't need to lug a big bottle of gas with you either.

Even though I usually make a fire at my camps when I am backpacking, I ALWAYS bring this with. I usually opt to use the MSR for cooking rather than fumble with cooking on the campfire.

Boiling water for coffee in the morning is also crucial (for me at least); lighting a fire is wasted time when you are trying to roll up your gear and head out.

Can't go wrong with this, bottom line.

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Mr. Sweet

Mr. Sweet wrote a review of on April 19, 2012

5 5

Light, durable and easy to setup, what else can you ask for? Oh yeah, how about CHEAP! Even more awesome...

I have used this for two years now and it has been fantastic in all conditions (never used it in snow). It sets up SUPER fast, especially after you have set it up a few times.

Suggestions for those looking to buy this:

- Get a good waterproofing spray, this is a rule for ALL tents
- Might be a good idea to get a sun guard spray too
- Buy some lightweight stakes, the ones that come with it arent great
- Buy the footprint for this thing so you protect the floor of the tent (I had to buy mine on Amazon since BC doesnt stock it! C'mon BC!)
- Buy a Drysack for it, last thing you want is a wet tent
- DO NOT fold this or any other tent - the last thing you want are folded seams that could become tears down the road; just stuff this puppy in the sack

**NOT recommended for people 6'+ - I am 5'9" and this thing is perfect, my 6'2" brother was cramped**

I would buy this tent again, without a doubt.

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Mr. Sweet

Mr. Sweet wrote a review of on April 19, 2012

5 5

GREAT for day hikes or a two day jaunt on the trail. The straps and anchors are very versatile for strapping a sleeping bag and a tent to the exterior (although I will say that I had to make a couple paracord caterpillar sinnets for this purpose).

Favorite aspects of this pack:

- Hydration sleeve - I bought the Osprey 3 liter, fits like a glove and you cant even tell it's right on your back
- LIGHT and STRONG! Feather-light but extremely durable
- Adjustability: I can cinch this puppy down to the point where I can run with it fully loaded it doesn't bob back and forth like a metronome
- Easy care; submerge in the bathtub or a big sink, scrub with a little bit of laundry detergent and then let it dry with a fan running on it for a few hours **TREAT it with waterproofer and sun repellent after it dries to make this thing last forever!!**

Beefs:

- When you are bushwhacking (bending down alot etc) it tends to pull my shirt up a bit, not a big deal by any means
- Not a lot of pocket options; this is almost irrelevant for me since I keep all my gear in drysacks typically, but others may not like this
- The waist-strap pockets take two hands to open/close; the design needs to be refined - bugs me when I am reaching for my energy gel on the trail :)

Overall, I LOVE this pack and would buy again! Osprey is my favorite pack maker!

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