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Nick Mitchell

Nick Mitchell

Catskills, Upper Delaware River valley

Nick Mitchell's Passions

Hiking & Camping

Nick Mitchell

Nick Mitchell wrote a review of on December 1, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size

I'm 6'5" 180 pounds with 36" arms. This jacket, in Large, fits just about perfectly. It has maybe a bit too much material around the torso, but I suspect this is by design, for layering. It's pretty close to good enough, for me. Arms nice and long, body, too.

In comparison, the Acteryx Alpha FL fits... a bit better, in my opinion, with a slimmer profile in the middle.

The zippers on this Rab? Pretty good, though not as smooth as the Arcteryx Alpha FL. I also dislike the double zipper on the Rab. In fact, my first try at this jacket had a misalignment in the double zipper --- i could not zip it up. The second try seems to be holding up.

Breathability: great. No pit zips, but I haven't missed them yet, and I'm a pretty vigorous hiker. It breathes astoundingly well. The Alpha FL has a lighter material (that jacket is unbelievably light), but (also without pit zips)... does not breathe quite as well as this Rab, despite the Rab's thicker material.

I don't have a lot of datapoints, yet, on rain protection.

Noise level? The Rab has a moderate swish to it, as does the Arcteryx Alpha FL. Neither is as nice, in this respect, as a good softshell jacket (I have a Norrona Windstopper jacket); windstopper is silent, with a sweater-like feel... but it isn't useable for me above 40 degrees F (though, below that, the windstopper is pretty awesome).

The look is nice, with the contrasting zips. I use this one quite a bit.

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Nick Mitchell

Nick Mitchell wrote a review of on December 1, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size

Ok, finally a Fjallraven shirt that fits me. I'm 6'5 180 pounds, 36" arms. This Large shirt fits well! It's not a tailored fit, by any means, but it has plenty of length in the arms and torso, which are my main complaints with other shirts. For example, I have less kind words for most of the rest of the Fjallraven line, in terms of these two aspects of fit.

Re: looks, I got the Deep Red. It's... a bit goofy looking, quite loud. For my tastes, I need to layer this under something else.

The material is nice, though not as soft and pliant as the Sarek flannel (but the Sarek flannel is horribly small). The material actually feels a bit like it has polyester in it, c.f. the Arcteryx Cavus shirts (which, by the way, have a great fit for me).

I'm giving this 4/5, due to the funky colors. This one is not a go-to shirt that goes with everything.

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Nick Mitchell

Nick Mitchell wrote a review of on December 1, 2014

3 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: Runs small

I like this shirt, it looks pretty good, and has a nice fit in the torso. The material is soft. The flannel pattern is nice. The fit (and this seems to be endemic to the Sarek line) is a bit on the small side. I'm 6'5" 180 pounds, and the Large could use another inch or two on the arms and body length. In contrast, the Ovik flannel shirt in Large fits me very well. Whereas the Fjallraven jackets, in Large, are way too big around the body. The Sarek non-flannel shirt (which backcountry does not currently sell, I guess), is *ridiculously* small. So I suspect that this is an issue with the Sarek line.

All told, I'm a bit put off by the Fjallraven brand. The sizing is all over the place. I have two lines of sweaters from them. One fits well (Koster), and the other (the Sarek knit, surprise surprise) is a bit on the small side, though at least this one is manageable. I'd be OK if the variation was merely in the girth, as this would accommodate different levels of layering, etc. But the arm and torso lengths are ALL OVER THE MAP! Even within one line (e.g. Sarek, which is always small, but ...).

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Nick Mitchell

Nick Mitchell wrote a review of on November 19, 2014

2 5

Familiarity: I returned this product before using it
Fit: Runs large

i'm 6'5" and 180 pounds. i ordered a large. the jacket looks cool, the torso and arm lengths are fine (though the arms could use another inch, for my 36" arms).

the body fits way too big. i have probably a foot of extra material around the circumference of my hips. the jacket has only a small bit of flexibility to tighten this up -- there are two "levels" of snaps, but this helps only a small bit (it takes off an inch or so of the foot of extra material). the arms are also pretty loose, but the snaps here offer more of a solution.

i ordered one of the heavyweight flannels from fjallraven, and that has a great fit around the torso, so it's not just the brand. (though, there, too, the arms could use another inch, for me).

finally, the zipper was incredibly difficult to align. this isn't just a euro left vs american right thing -- i have a handle on that. rather, it appears that the double zippers just aren't aligned very well. it was a monumental struggle to get the jacket to zip properly.

two stars for looks... i guess?

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Nick Mitchell

Nick Mitchell wrote a review of on October 14, 2010

3 5

argh! i really want to like these boots. i also have the kayland convert, which is a very good boot, and the kayland apex trek, which is an awesome boot. this boot (the contact) is also very nice, but doesn't have enough toe box room. kayland's web site led me to believe that the contact and convert shared the same asymmetric last. but, in contrast an absolutely huge toe box of the convert, the contact is quite a bit tighter up front. otherwise, this boot is actually very nice. it's a nicer hiker than the convert, except that my toes get smooshed after they warm up and expand.

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Nick Mitchell

Nick Mitchell wrote a review of on July 21, 2010

4 5

this shoe is pretty good. i use it for my smaller (<10 mile) walks and also have used it on a couple of less rocky hikes. i have a narrow heel and wide toe box, and it fits very well! i prefer the vasque blur to this shoe by a good margin, though this is still a good shoe (it's far better than the north face boa, though the north face looks nicer, in my opinion). the vasque, in comparison, has a better footfall, with more stability. I'm tall and narrow and have always been somewhat unstable (knees, and biking accident) on my feet. the montrail has an edge in toebox room, though the vasque has a goodly sized toebox, too.

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Nick Mitchell

Nick Mitchell wrote a review of on July 21, 2010

4 5

wow, this is a great shirt. i'm tall (2m) with kinda long arms, and a long but narrow torso. this shirt fits perfect, it's kinda uncanny how well it fits. the arms are longer than the non-merino version of this, and so is the body (good for me!). the cut is very nice, and the weight of wool feels just about right. it, like wool in general, holds off stinky (unlike the stinky non-merino version, which stinks like crazy!!). the zipper goes way down, much further than most "quarter zip" shirts, which is surprisingly nice.

compared to a smartwool NTS microweight that i got at the same time? the smartwool seems to be of higher quality; it just looks better, and feels nicer against the skin. the smartwool also has a long body, though somewhat shorter arms (a bit shorter still than the non-merino version of the stoic long-sleeve).

the thumb loops are kinda gimmicky, but i have chronic cold hands, so it is nice. since the arms are so long, the loops actually work for me. with the non-merino version, with it's somewhat shorter arms (still long, though), the loops aren't as helpful.

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Nick Mitchell

Nick Mitchell wrote a review of on December 25, 2009

3 5

i bought three pairs of these shoes over a few years. i was pretty happy with them, as they support my narrow heel/wide toe box combo; they have a incredibly spacious toe box, it's great!! they look pretty good, at least until the webbing starts to deteriorate. on the trail, they are fine shoes, but i found that their comfort does not last very long. so i've switched to other shoes that might not be quite as initially comfortable and fun (so light!), but that hold up better, both in terms of looks and in terms of comfort.

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Nick Mitchell

Nick Mitchell wrote a review of on December 25, 2009

3 5

This shirt is pretty good. In the hierarchy of shirtdom, for hard core hikers, i place the patagonia capilene stuff at the top, then the smartwool stuff, and then this. they are all nice! but capilene breaths so much better than this or the smartwool woolies. the woolies are better for really keeping you warm in the absence of lots of exertion. and heroically fend of sweat stench much better than the capilene stuff. however, i've found that a thin silk base layer teamed with a capilene 3 matches the wools, in the heat regard, and far exceeds the breathability.

i prefer the smartwool shirts over this, by a slight margin. the smartwool shirts have a less technical look, and, since i don't use wools much for strenuous hiking, i might as well have a wool shirt that looks less nerdo.

this shirt has a pretty trim fit. i got a medium, and it is nice and skin hugging, but not muscle mapping. it has decent arm length, though not as good as my arcteryx gamma mx jacket, in this regard. i have longish arms (6'5") and the medium just barely meets the arm length criteria, for me. note that the Rho LT model is much different in this regard. the Rho LT medium is far too small for me, but the LTW fits pretty well.

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