Backyard playground- Wisconsin. When I'm guiding my job takes me around the country as a professional sea kayaking guide and backpacker.
Definitely not worth it. I bought this to go with my Royal Flush 3, but it's basically useless. The tent has a lot of pockets as it is, but I thought another large wall loft would be nice for the toiletries. It's not much larger than a foot in length, and maybe 8 inches high. It was a disappointing buy from big agnes..
To help clear some things up- They will fit your bars. I have an 07 Xterra, and they even fit the giant cross bars on that. To set up four (so carrying two boats) you will need 35 inches of cross bar or else they will hit at the top. They attach firmly to the cross bars, so you don't have anything to worry about. The rubber ends are very sticky and hold the boat in position nicely. I was pretty excited that they even came with the tie downs, and rubber coated cam straps, but the tie downs are already fraying in the middle of the webbing. All in all, the bars work great for the job.. but not too happy about the quality of the straps, which surprises me from yakima.
I've used it all year now and finally can leave a comprehensive review. Jacket fits true to size in my opinion. I typically get the large size for shells, and this one fits the bill (6'1ish 175lbs). It's perfect for fitting some extra layers underneath for the wisconsin winters here. In summer when using it as a rain shell it doesn't look like it hangs off you either, especially with the will placed adjustible elastic. The arms are great length, and the velcro cuffs have great spacing to be used with gloves or no gloves, and not look loose. The hood and neck are perfect for the windy/snowy days when you want to tuck your face down out of the weather. Zipped up, it will reach your nose, and the hood can be pulled down to your eyes. With ski googles on, it makes sitting on the lifts a lot more enjoyable than taking the snow on your face and neck. I haven't seen any water make it through the seems, and have put it through the paces in winter and summer. It doubles as a great paddling jacket on the water too. Norrona really knows how to make some great gear, and when you are finally willing to lay down the money, you can rest easily knowing you made a great buy that you will likely use as your go to jacket for years.
Alright, check out the dimensions.. it's small and light. With that, you should know it's not going to be uber-bright. I bought it to use in my small Marmot Eos 2 tent for when I'm playing cards with a buddy at night in the rain. I've used it a few times now, and don't think having it around the fire would really do any good. Inside the vestibule though it works pretty well, it gives off a nice amount of light and I'm not worried about it burning my tent down around me. The DOWN SIDE- it pumps out so much heat that you would almost rather sit in the rain after you use it in your tent for a few minutes than put up with the temperature inside. I can see how in the other three seasons, this will be a fantastic little alternative to burning up batteries in my headlamps.
Quick bottom line- It's a good boat for a starter-intermediate paddler who's going to be tossing it around a lot. I was a guide on lake superior for two years, and this was one of our go-to boats for our clients mainly because of it's stability yet versatility. It's plastic, so you can toss it around, hit it on rocks and it will come out okay. However, be wary that it doesn't have a skeg or rudder when you are on big or open water, that's really a down side of this boat. It's a also a little short for a longer touring boat, so I wouldn't say it's for anyone past an intermediate scale or going out onto big lakes.
It's got the pit zips too, which my 2007 model doesn't have.
I have the previous model jacket, but thought they are similar enough to leave this review. I've used this jacket for two winters now, and live in northern Wisconsin. It's been an insanely great jacket for the cold weather here. It's like wrapping yourself in your favorite sleeping bag. I'm 6'1" and 165 lbs, and have the XL. It's a little large for me, but still insulates well. The primaloft packs down great, but not as good as down. The plus side of it, is it can get wet and still insulate. So those soggy and humid days don't eat right through you. I brought it as my main jacket on a winter camping in the Boundary Waters last winter with a low temp of -30 F without windchill, and was comfortable the entire time. Obviously layers took part in that as well.. It's not the most flattering jacket in my arsenal, but it's my warmest for the lightest.
I've picked up the original snowtrip jacket last summer, and it was my go-to jacket all winter long. Living in northern Wisconsin gets pretty cold, yet with a couple good layers underneath this jacket held up to the coldest days on the hills. The lowest temp I've taken it out in has been -36 F without windchill. It has been waterproof as far as I have taken it, from snow boarding to biking to class in the rain. I am 6'1" and 165, and the cut is perfect with a large but the shoulder width is a bit tight. I only give it a 4/5 because it's not the warmest jacket I own (which goes to the North Face Plasma Thermal), and it's a little heavy if you are going to do anything technical with it. For around town and on the slopes though it's been a great jacket.
Alright, I feel like I had this rack long enough to leave a review. To answer some questions posted on here, here are a few things on the rack. The mounting system is incredibly versatile and fits almost any crossbars. But the rack does not include the cross bars. You will need to check out that manufacturer that you want to go with (Yakima or Thule being the most popular) to check to see what bars and q-clips are recommended for your vehicle. It's a simple online process of just selecting your car and then dishing out the money.. I haven't had any problems with corrosion yet, and it's been in the rain and ice quite a few times. It's pretty sturdy all in all. I haven't had a problem with the bikes swaying while driving around town, or on the interstate. But it seems like the center of gravity is pretty high when you put a 21 inch mountain bike on it, which decreases the sturdiness a bit. The installation is simple but it got the four stars because if you want to take it off, you have to undo the allen screws completely. There is not a quick way to take it off and put it on, which is a downside if you want to switch to your kayak rollers quick before a trip. A more secure locking mechanism to your cross bars would be nice, so you don't have to worry about a tray disappearing off your car at the trail head. All in all, I'm happy with the trays and would recommend them because of how easy they are to get your bike on and off quickly without having to remove the tires.
No, (at least mine didn't) but I bought mine from a local store.. That is a downside of this pack in my opinion. The side access zipper does allow you to unzip the bag far enough to pull out the sleeping bag, but then everything falls down to the bottom of course. It's for the rest of the positive aspects of the bag I just try to look past this as I repack my bag in the morning.
It's advertised as "watertight" in Backpacker magazine and even a hose couldn't sneak any water in... well that's almost true. The fabric is incredibly durable, and water proof as far as I've ever taken it. The hood is completely watertight with a waterproof zipper to top it off. However, there is a long side access zipper down the bag that isn't waterproof.. and lets a lot of water in when it's pouring. Why The North Face would make a waterproof pack, but not include a waterproof zipper for the longest zipper on the bag is beyond me. There is a storm flap that covers it, but it doesn't help much. With that considered, here are the good notes- The frame is the most comfortable internal I've ever used. Although you can't really overload the bag or else the hip belts start to fail, around the 55 lbs and up range. Getting that much weight into a 60 liter bag is pretty tough for and average backpacking trip though. The 30 to 40 pound range is amazing! Rotating hip belt moves with you, great center of gravity, and the ventilation on your back works well. The zipper pulls are wonderful too, no little strings, but rubber finger loops. Great durable pack, that carries loads exceptionally well, but I wish they would have made it with a waterproof zipper. My experience for credibility- Trip guide for the past 4 years leading trips around the U.S..
I have to say that I do love these shoes for a light hiker. I typically wear a 12 or 13, depending on the brand, but the 12's are what fit me the best. With that, if you are on the edge of a shoe size, I would recommend going with the smaller size. These are very comfortable shoes for day hikes and so on. I've tried them out for 9 days in a Utah canyon with a very heavy backpack and they worked ok. It's certainly not what they are made for though, and showed it towards the end. They have always stayed water proof, and the support has been consistent. The reason I rated the shoes as 4 stars is for two reasons. First the tongues on the shoes take a while to get used to when you try to really tighten up the shoe. Second, my pair seems to eat shoe laces, which could be a problem if they fail on trail. I would recommend them to anyone.
This sleeping bag is incredibly comfortable. It has a nice soft liner, and has the most room of any of my other mummy bags. However, the 40 degree rating is pushing it. I was looking for a summer bag for the BWCA in northern Minnesota and the Apostle Islands in nothern Wisconsin. Although it is still early in the summer I've tested out the bag on some of my trips and have been chilled a few times. Last time the temperature was only in the mid 40's at night, and I needed to get out all my long underwear and a fleece. However, it is so light and small that the extra room allows you to carry the extra clothes you will need when the temps drop at night.
Awesome pair of backpacking pants. I used them for 10 days straight in Southern Utah backpacking and they couldn't have been better. The pockets can hold everything you need, energy bars, camera, knife, etc.. and when the weather gets warm you can turn them into shorts in no time. Because they have zippers at the feet you don't need to take off your shoes either. Only problem is that the water repellent wore off in just a few days on constant wear and tear. They took a severe beating, but held up great.
I had these gloves last winter, and now into this winter and I am searching for a way out. They aren't very warm, but they are a huge hassle. If you try to take your hand out, most of the time the inner glove will come out with it. If you want to just wear the shells and you take your hand out, the entire liner will come out with your hand because it's not sewn or even glued in. Once the liner is out, that is basically it. The Gore-Tex liner covers up the finger holes making it almost impossible to get your fingers back into the glove. Average time to get it back in is probably a half hour. My best advice is to throw them away after you've bought them and save yourself the time and pain.
I have only used these boots a few times, but they have been great. They are very comfortable and fairly easy to walk in. The heel fits nice and snug while there is plenty of room in the toe box. I'm between a size 12 and 13 US shoe size and I went with the 12's and they fit great even with a heavy pair of socks. I was expecting these boots to be a little bit warmer than they are. After sitting for only an hour or so my toes were cold, but not freezing. Overall though I like the boots a lot.
Programming this watch is pretty difficult, you do not want to set a certain barometer and also the altimeter. Once you have the correct barometer set then the altimeter is fairly accurate. If you want to watch to remain accurate the barometer has to be updated fairly often, about twice a week. I would recommend updated it right before you head out to use it to be the most accurate. There are a lot of nice features on this watch though, graphs of barometric pressure and change in altitude is really nice. Also an altimeter alarm so you know when you hit certain height with out having to always look at the watch. The thermometer is very accurate also. The watch is water resistant to 50 meters, but anyone who would need a watch like this would love to see it be waterproof. The customer service was great though when I had a question about how to initially set the watch functions.
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