Nick Gaines

Nick Gaines

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Nick Gaines

Nick Gaines wrote a review of on December 19, 2011

5 5

You simply can't go wrong with the SmartWool PHD ski socks. I've probably got about 10 pairs of ski socks total from all different brands, a few are as good as the PHDs, most aren't, but none are better. I've got both the medium and the light-weight. My feet typically stay pretty warm and get sweaty no matter what. So I only wear the medium-weight on the coldest of days. The moisture wicking is a huge deal for me and these puppies perform wonderfully. Also, the strategically-placed extra padding and stretchy pieces are a real asset and do a great job of keeping the sock in place.

I liked them so much that I bought my girlfriend a couple pairs of the women's version and bought PHD hiking and dress socks for myself.

You could probably save a few bucks with something else, but may not be as happy. Just buy these and forget about it!

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Nick Gaines

Nick Gaines wrote a review of on December 19, 2011

4 5

I got the Dakine FOUNDATION 3/4 pant last year after finally figuring out that the years of debilitating shin pain I was having wasn't from my ski boots, it was from the damn elastic band on my thermals getting clamped into my shin by my boots. So if you're still tucking your long underwear inside your boot cuff and you have any sort of uncomfortableness in that area at all--STOP! Get you some 3/4 length thermals immediately.

As far as these particular ones, like I said, I have the Foundation model--so not exactly what's listed here. But from the looks and description, I can't tell the difference.

Mine are definitely a midweight. They probably wouldn't be warm enough for most people on really cold days or if your ski pants didn't have some sort of liner. I'm 6'1, 210lbs, with an athletic build (thick hips, thighs and upper legs). The Large fit me perfect. Not too tight, not too loose. The only downside to these is that after a half day or so of wear, the cuffs get pretty loose, which on a really cold day can let some air creep up your leg.

Overall, as with most Dakine stuff, awesome value for your money. And with the antibacterial treatment they don't get stinky even after a couple days use. If I was shopping in this price range, I would definitely buy again or recommend to a friend. With that being said, now that I'm a 3/4 length convert, my next pair of thermals will probably be a more premium pair such a the Smartwool NTS or Patagonia. However, I'll still take these along for multi-day trips.

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Nick Gaines

Nick Gaines wrote a review of on December 19, 2011

5 5

Every adventure/outdoor athlete should have at least a few of these. Put them in you car, in you backpack, in you ski jacket pocket, in you toolbox, in your mountain bike kit, etc... They not only make great ski straps for traveling or holding together your A-Frame on you ski pack, they have about 1,000 other uses.

For example, when the front tire ratchet strap on my roof-mount bike rack broke I simply cinched it down with one of these and didn't think twice about hitting the interstate home.

One of the most amazing characteristics of these little straps is that no matter how cold it gets (at least to about -20 in my experience), the rubber stays pliable and flexible.

Buy some, you need 'em!

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Nick Gaines

Nick Gaines wrote a review of on December 19, 2011

5 5

I deliberated long and hard over purchasing this bag. I'm a side-sleeper and flip back and forth from side-to-side about every hour through the night. I hadn't had a lot of luck being warm and comfortable through the night in most traditional down mummy bags. They were either to narrow for me to move comfortably in without waking up completely, or too wide to prevent air pockets and thus cold sleeping.

This bag was the perfect solution. I'm 6'1" 210lbs with broad shoulders and an athletic build. I went with the long. No regrets whatsoever. So far I've only used it on a kayaking/backpacking trip here in the Midwest this fall. It was about 40 degree nights but a cool breeze in my hammock. In just boxer shorts I was perfectly comfortable. I'm interested to try it out closer to freezing temps in a backpacking tent. I'm a little concerned that it may not be warm enough, but it probably will be with my insulated pad and some wool long johns.

Overall this is a well-designed bag that meets my needs perfectly. If you're a narrow person that sleeps straight up mummy-style throughout the night there are probably better traditional style bags out there for you. But if you toss and turn, sleep on your side, and are broader than the average 165-pound backpacker, this bag may be your ticket.

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Nick Gaines

Nick Gaines wrote a review of on December 19, 2011

5 5

I got this saw for a multi-day kayaking/backpacking trip and it worked wonderfully. I compared it to some more expensive, folding-style saws and came to the conclusion that for the price and light weight this one was as strong, if not stronger, that the competitors. It was useful for sawing dead wood up to the width of my forearm. Probably wouldn't be suitable for anything bigger than that, but that isn't its purpose. It also did a real nice job as a "bushwhacker" to clear some fairly thick weeds and brush out of my hammock area.

Would definitely buy again.

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