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Niall MacRae

Niall MacRae

Austin, TX / Vancouver, BC

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Niall's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Snowboarding
Biking
Paddling
Climbing

Niall's Bio

La Nina snows :).

Niall MacRae

Niall MacRae wrote an answer about on February 19, 2011

The Stretch Ascent sheds water with the best (the Deluge DWR coating is THE best DWR I've ever seen) but its breathability comes in below Gore Pro-Shell and Event. It does breathe ALMOST that well, though, and there is a good amount of venting to be had with the mesh lined pockets and pit zips. The fabric is good and tough if you are tangling with trees and it packs down small. An event jacket should have the edge in fabric breathability and the waterproofing is about the same, unless you are in a test lab torturing the fabrics. Hope that helps, or at least sheds a little extra light.

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Niall MacRae

Niall MacRae wrote an answer about on February 19, 2011

You might bump one size up from your normal Patagonia size if you want to get an R4 under the Stretch Ascent. It is cut pretty slim, and the R4 is a bulky jacket. At 6'1 and 170 I wear a medium in the Stretch Ascent and start to feel a little claustrophobic with my R2 underneath. I would move to a Large if this were my primary winter months shell. Hope that helps.

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Niall MacRae

Niall MacRae wrote an answer about on February 19, 2011

I'm 6'1 and 170 and I wear a medium, using this primarily as a warmer months rain shell. If you are planning on using it for the winter month over heavier layers, the medium might be a little constricting and you may want to size up to a Large. It is cut pretty slim, which you may find great for your build, depending on your intended use.

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Niall MacRae

Niall MacRae wrote an answer about on November 26, 2010

Pink Iridium is one of the most versatile lenses Oakley makes. Not perfect for storm days with super-flat light or those superbright bluebird days, but handles everything in between with aplomb.

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Niall MacRae

Niall MacRae wrote an answer about on November 26, 2010

The VR28 and Persimmon, Pink Iridium, HI-Intensity Persimmon and VR50 lenses are probably the lenses that would be considered all-round lenses. They cut enough light to hack it on bluebird days, and let enough light to deal with most flat-light days. The VR28 and Persimmon are the bread-and-butter basic lenses without much style. The Pink Iridium and the VR50 Emerald Iridium are probably the steeziest and most high performance of the bunch, but you pay more. Hope that helps.

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Niall MacRae

Niall MacRae wrote an answer about on October 18, 2010

Actually it isn't as slim as Arcteryx's Atheletic Fit, this is really the closest Arcteryx gets to a regular fit in their softshells. It is one of their longest softshells as well, just longer than their standard hip length with a droptail hem and hitting below the belt in the front. Since it is part of their Whiteline/Descent ski and snowboard oriented line, there is room for layering. At 6'2" and 170, I wear a medium, and my Gamma MX jacket is shorter and tighter fitting than my Griffon is.

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Niall MacRae

Niall MacRae wrote an answer about on October 18, 2010

I second the below, but wanted to point out that the Griffon is much warmer as well. The internal fleece is "high loft," (think fuzzy/hairy) and it really does a great job of trapping air as a mid layer while still being breathable. Windstopper jackets are really not good as mid-layers under a shell, because you end up with two separate membranes that you are trying to get air to exchange through, which means actual breathability is really low. I did this *once* and one sauna sesh was enough.

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Niall MacRae

Niall MacRae wrote an answer about on October 18, 2010

Another option might be to move up the the Futura Zero 40 which has an SL option -- the SL is Deuter's designation for a Women's Specific fit. As such , it is designed for women's generally shorter torsos, narrower shoulders and wider hips. Usually, 30 liter packs don't have a women's fit option since fit won't be as important as price point and adjustibility. A 30 liter pack doesn't usually end up carrying much weight so perfect harness fitment isn't as important. Hope that helps!

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Niall MacRae

Niall MacRae wrote an answer about on June 1, 2010

Yeah, I think Hi Yellows are the better overcast, flat light/near-whiteout condition lens. Either Hi Amber or Hi Yellow work under lights, no problem. Hi Ambers cut a bit more light and are a little better when things start to get bright and shiny, but low light/severe conditions = Hi Yellow for my lens of choice.

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Niall MacRae

Niall MacRae wrote an answer about on June 1, 2010

Pink Iridiums don't cut bright sunlight well, as they are basically mirrored persimmon lens. They are as expensive as two pairs of non-polarized, but you might give the Hi-Intensity Amber Polarized lens a good look if you really want to go night-to-day, low-to-bright. It is a contrasty lens, good low-light performance, and the polarization will make bluebird, sunny day glare fairly easy on the eyes. Might be worth a look.

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Niall MacRae

Niall MacRae wrote a review of on May 20, 2010

5 5

Wow, this thing is almost perfect--I've been wearing this jacket almost everyday for a month straight. I freaking love this jacket. It is really lightweight and packs down to next to nothing, almost like a windbreaker, so I always have it on me -- and that is great for the daily rain/wind/sun/clouds/rain/more wind cycle in the Vancouver area. Does a great job shrugging of the wind but breathing really well, so that you don't have to regulate your temperature by taking the jacket on and off. There is no insulation or fleece bonded to the inside so it slips over and under layers with supreme ease--and using it in a layering system is where it excels. Perfect pocket placement means things are at hand in the city and on mountain. Resists light rain pretty well for a short time, shrugs off abrasion in chimneys, tree runs, and grovel patches. I'm 6'2" and 170, and a medium fits just right -- arm length is perfect, not overly fitted or big and boxy. Hits at the hips to conceal t-shirt hems in town and to stay under backpack belts out of bounds. The hood is fitted, so it works and avoids hanging off your neck like a deflated parachute. Only issues? Handwarmer pockets are a little low, so you may not have full access to them with a pack belt on. The offset zipper at the neck works well, but sometimes requires to both hands to zip it all the way up. What is stopping you from using this 300 days out of the year for pretty much anything from canoe trips to ice climbing to adventure racing to ski touring to shopping downtown? Nothing really. It is that good. If you like it half as much as I do, you will still be stoked!

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