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Patrick McMurtry

Patrick McMurtry

Wasatch Mountains, Central Oregon Cascades

Patrick McMurtry's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Running
Paddling
Skiing

Patrick McMurtry's Bio

I spent the first half of my life playing basketball. When the body slowed down and the young folks started blowing by me, I limped off the court and wandered outdoors where I started trail running, kayaking, and ski touring - with a few other outdoor activities thrown in. Getting older has been good - it has gotten me out of the gym and into the mountains.

Patrick McMurtry

Patrick McMurtrywrote a review of on February 6, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

So these are called snowboard socks? That made me want to get them to just show I am a rebel skier! Anyhow, I really dig these. They have all sorts of bells and whistle that I thought I would not care about. Specifically, they have great support. I actually love the band around the instep. It seemed weird when I first put the sock on, but it feels, oh, so good. And true to advertising, the sock never bunches up. I also love to ski in a sock that comes over my calf. This does that and never slips down. Honestly, I think the left-right sock thing is stupid, but if I don't put it on right it freaks me out. The only problem with Stance socks it that they have super cool designs, but no one can see them. So be sure to walk around in the house with these without shoes on - and preferably in shorts. I think I might run in them this spring and show some style.

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Patrick McMurtry

Patrick McMurtrywrote a review of on February 6, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Retainers are retainers, right? There are several brands on the market so just get the cheapest, eh? Here's some reason to go with these chums:
1) You can tighten them right up so no matter how extreme your head movement is (e.g., dancing to Daft Punk around the campfire), your glasses will stay on.
2) They come in lots of colors. And if you don't care about color and fashion, do your friends a favor - get some color.
3) I can't honestly say why, but I've tried several other brands and have come back to chums for good.
That's about all I have to say about that.

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Patrick McMurtry

Patrick McMurtrywrote a review of on February 6, 2015

5 5

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

Smart wool makes so many socks with so many names who can begin to keep track of 'em. IMO, their "Trekking Heavy" is about their heaviest sock - at least that I have tried. Normally I would NEVER want a sock this heavy. However, this serves the PERFECT purpose for me. I have an old, used to the max pair of backcountry ski boots with trashed liners. While I buy the latest and greatest jackets and pants, I'm too cheap, or at least don't see the point, to invest in new boot liners. Hey, nobody sees them so why invest good $$? Anyhow, these socks provide a great extra cushioning and fill for old liners. They can extend the life for, well, in my case, years. And on top of that they are just rad socks in that at the end of the day your feet feel great and there is no totally obnoxious stick. If you like to hike around in warm, heavy socks, get these. Or if you are like me and want to keep from spending mucho $$ on new liners, get these. In either case you will be pleased.

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Patrick McMurtry

Patrick McMurtrywrote a review of on February 6, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I gave it as a gift but have feedback to share
Fit: True to size

I bought these socks for my dad. The dude is 80 years old and when I looked though his sock drawer he had, like 8 pairs of nasty, trashed socks. So I bought him a stash of socks. Holy crap, man, he loves these! And in 83 years, I'm guessing he has worn a lot more pair of socks than most people reading this review. Here's what he had to say. "These socks are so comfortable. I love the fact that they breath so well. The material over the top of the foot really breaths well. They hug my foot in a way that was only matched by that little lady who comforted me in the depths of the Korean war!" Listen to your elders. I even got excited about the sock. In my opinion its a bit heavy, even for a "medium weight" and I prefer socks that go just above the ankle. But listen to my dad, in hindsight his advice has been spot on. Oh yeah, and he wears a size 14 shoe and the XL was perfect.

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Patrick McMurtry

Patrick McMurtrywrote a review of on February 6, 2015

5 5

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

Since I am the first to review this jacket, I have to believe it is the most under-rated jacket on the market. Patagonia, NorthFace, Marmot,.. get lots of love but for the purpose I am looking for, everything about this jacket is great! The down is contained in small quilted squares (don't know how else to describe it) so it is always very uniform. The 800-fill is great quality for insulating power. It is SUPER light - the shell may not hold up to a bullet (but I haven't experienced that), but I WANT LIGHT! For these reasons, this is the jacket that goes on all my backpacking trips, is always stowed in my ski pack, and is with me on just about every outdoor adventure. The only time I don't take this is when I expect to be in arctic conditions. If you like lots of pockets, forget it. This has two hand warmers without zips and that's it. But I carry nothing in my jackets anyway so that's no issue for me. It isn't a real heavy jacket and doesn't have the insulation to hold up to zero and below temps and doesn't have a hood. For me, this is a standalone jacket when a beanie is sufficient or as a layer under a shell when I'm waiting for friends on the top of a freezing windy ridge. I tried on about 15 jackets at BC.com's West Valley outlet, and for its weight and insulation, this one spoke to me way more than any other. I'm not a big build (6'3", 175) and this was perfect in a size L. If you are serious about trying out jackets to get the best one for you, you should definitely give this one a try. It's great around town too, but since I have a jacket fetish, I've got a different one for that!

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Patrick McMurtry

Patrick McMurtrywrote a review of on September 19, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Every person needs at least 6 jackets: down parka, heavy duty ski shell, ultralight windbreaker, a nice synthetic for cool mornings and around town, a cool soft-shell just because, and a great light windproof, breathable, waterproof jacket for all-weather running and other all-weather aerobic activities.
The bitihorn Dri1 is just about the perfect lightweight all weather jacket for running. At 7.5 oz it may not be considered an "ultra-light" but it is very light, takes up little space, and gives the protection you need in a massive downpour or running all day in a snowstorm. It's great for running and the perfect shell for backpacking. It's just substantial enough to make you feel like you have something that will hold up to good use in nasty conditions. I've have experience in all conditions and this jacket gets it right! The hood tightens with an elastic drawstring from the back. I find it works best with a brimmed hat underneath. It has two massive pit zips to dump extra heat - very nice. I find this material better breathing and more water resistant than gore tex. There's no science behind that, just my gut feel after experience with both. This was the first Norrona product I ever bought, and started my love affair with this brand. 5 stars for being a waterproof, windproof, breathable jacket that rocks the trails.

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Patrick McMurtry

Patrick McMurtrywrote a review of on August 27, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I live to run/hike mountains. I don't NEED poles, but when you are out all day on steep loose stuff, these are poles are the BEST! Why? They are super light weight - when transitioning from hiking to running they are so light you don't even notice carrying them in your hands. They deploy and collapse in fractions of a second. They easily stow in your pack. They are always at the length you want (plenty of options in lengths). And if you like a different length for uphill and down hill, the grip allows you at least 4 inches of variability. Well, they will splinter if you plant them between rocks and go flying forward - which I can testify to - but a metal pole will bend and lose all structural integrity in that same situation. I can't imagine using anything else.

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Patrick McMurtry

Patrick McMurtrywrote a review of on August 21, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This fun watch is a conversation starter with great colors and designs. The face itself is pretty large - the outside diameter is 1 5/8". It is also water resistant to 5 ATM (about 150 ft.). Five stars for price, style, and functionality. I dug my truck out of the mud with my bare hands wearing this watch and except for a few scratches on the lens (hey, it's NOT an expensive watch), it was no worse for the wear. It does absolutely nothing else except keep time. Perfect.

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Patrick McMurtry

Patrick McMurtrywrote a review of on August 19, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This shirt is great for several reasons: The L is a great fit for 6'3", 175 lbs. The material is comfortable against the skin and dries fast. The colors are super bright. And the antimicrobial treatment really does work. I took this on a boating trip and it was fine for several days. Finally, I know I run faster, hike longer, and boat better when I am wearing this.

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Patrick McMurtry

Patrick McMurtrywrote a review of on August 19, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This shirt is great for cool weather running - or just a great long sleeve T to hang out in on cool days. It cuts the wind well and dries fast. The smooth material feels good against the skin. And it's cool looking. I hope it comes back in stock so I can get more colors. For most Norrona tops I wear a L (6'3, 175lb) but in this I feel I need a bit more room and went with the XL which seems about right.

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Patrick McMurtry

Patrick McMurtrywrote a review of on August 17, 2014

3 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: Runs large

I love Neff products so when I needed a new wallet I went with this. I was looking for something simple and basic and this seemed appropriate. It has plenty of space for credit cards and such stuff, has a zippered change pocket, and the bill compartment is zippered too (but not necessary IMO). It's a soft flexible material (good), and has a goofy graphic design (very good). For me, the problem is that it is too big, and maybe has few to many places to hold/hide stuff. I just don't carry that much stuff around. This is a trifold, and I should have gone for a bifold. But even with the trifold, each dimension could be cut down quite a bit and it would still hold everything you need. So I'll keep it, but I can't wait till I wear it out so I can look for something else a little more compact. It is pretty well built so that, unfortunately (depending on how you look at it) may be a while. If you like carrying around a bigger wad in your pocket, you'll love this. But for me, it just gets the job done and I'm too cheap to buy something else until I wear this out.

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Patrick McMurtry

Patrick McMurtrywrote a review of on August 17, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: Runs small

Great trail runner. Its not nearly as beefy as the Raptor and the sole will wear out faster, but this is an awesome shoe. So comfortable. The material drains and drys VERY fast. My favorite all around running and scrambling shoe. I've raced in it, gone down canyons, and slogged up rivers. If I am on my feet all day in nasty rocky terrain I don't feel this gives me quite what I need for underfoot protection, but I'm on my 3rd pair, so clearly it fits most of my needs. Feels light on the feet. There are a lot of good/fun shoes out there. I love the fact that the experience is different for each type of shoe I chose to run in on any day. But on most days I go for the helios! Also, I agree with other reviewers: This shoe runs a bit smaller - about a half size smaller than the Raptor.

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Patrick McMurtry

Patrick McMurtrywrote a review of on August 17, 2014

5 5

This chair is bomber! I bought it for my dad who has a lot of trouble getting in and out of chairs. This chair is really strong and stable. You don't sink down low, and you can put all your weight on the arm rests and the thing won't budge. It isn't the lights thing out there but not bad for 10 lbs. This is really comfortable to sit in. You sit upright and don't slink down and get all slumped up like a lot of folding chairs. My dad has it set up in the living room when we aren't on an outing because it is as comfortable and easy to get in and out of as any chair in the house. And for you out there, after a few beers following a hard day in the mountains, that's a good thing.

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Patrick McMurtry

Patrick McMurtrywrote a review of on August 17, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

150 five star reviews can't be wrong - and they aren't. I just bought my second. No, the first one did not die on me, but I use these so much I just need one to have in my car at all times. Just recognize this is really a one (or two) person stove and not meant to be used for serving up group meals. The stove itself is awesome - compact and gives a hot flame that quickly boils a couple of cups of water. I use it everywhere. It will serve all your purposes on a minimal gear trip. On bigger trips where gear is not a problem, its great for the early riser to have a pocket rocket to whip up a quick cup of tea or coffee before the gang gets up. I think it is the most convenient stove out there. the simple design makes it essentially maintenance free, IMO. On top of that it's really cool! The only thing I don't like is the use of non-refillable gas cartridges. But the convenience outweighs that.

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Patrick McMurtry

Patrick McMurtrywrote a review of on August 17, 2014

5 5

I don't like drinking electrolyte enhanced sports drinks of any type so these are a must for me on hot days. I generally take one, sometimes 2 with about every 20 oz of water. That, along with whatever I get from what I eat seems to keep the spirits up and the nausea at bay. I can't recall cramping u[p once since I started using these several years ago. They really can save the day. It's easy to keep the caps in a tiny plastic zip-lock and just grab out of your pocket when you need them.

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Patrick McMurtry

Patrick McMurtrywrote a review of on June 18, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I've got 300 miles on this shoe. I totally dig it. My feet are never tired after a run. With the combination of a thicker midsole of a softer material, high level of stability, the even wear, large toe box, and zero drop, Altra came up with a great shoe. This shoe shines in really rocky terrain.
The good: 1) Big toe box. My feet feel very natural in these shoes. My toes can spread out in a natural manner. The fit around the heel and top of the foot is good, no slipping or dead toenails. 2) Overall stability. This shoe is very stable. It has a pretty high degree of cushioning and compared to other shoes with a high level of cushioning, this is so much more stable. It wears very evenly, compared, say to Hokas , were the sole breaks down very quickly and unevenly (IMO). 3) Level of cushioning. This shoe has a thick, fairly soft midsole that provides a smooth ride. But I don't feel like I'm running in mush. The balls of my feet feel very protected. Although the material is fairly soft and amazingly comfortable, it shows very little compression after 300 miles - and any compression there is is evenly distributed. 4) Durability. After 300 miles, there is still a ton of life left in this shoe. The outer sole is made of a thin layer of denser material that wears well. 5) Zero drop. There are lots of claims out there about how zero drop is more natural, improves running mechanics, and lessens chance of injuries. I don't know enough to get involved in that discussion. But I do feel more nimble when I run barefoot. Zero drop provides me a better running experience 6) Gator trap. This shoe comes with a built in Velcro strap with an attached protective cover for use with standard trail gators. Awesome feature!
The bad: The material were the inner liner meets the outer upper material below the ankle is falling apart. There is either a material or manufacturing issue here - or both. I love the shoe but must fix that to get the 5th star.

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Patrick McMurtry

Patrick McMurtrywrote a review of on June 11, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I wrote a review two days ago, that I have since deleted, where I trashed this food flask because I felt it did a poor job of keeping things warm compared to my 18 oz hydroflask that I use as my commuter mug - which I absolutely love. Upon further thought, something didn't seem right to me. They appear to be similarly manufactured and the food flask has a lower surface to volume ratio than my 18 oz flask, so it should actually insulate BETTER. What gives? So I did an experiment. After preheating both the 17 oz food flask and my 18 oz hydroflask, I filled them with boiling water, put on the lid, and ran up a mountain and meditated. 5 hours later I came down and measured the temperature. Lo and behold, the food flask registered a HIGHER temperature than my beloved hydroflask mug. So what's the deal? I can only figure that I don't heat my left over beef stew to the same high and uniform temperature as my pipin' hot coffee. I just had to believe the science and accept the fact that my original poor impression was based on ignorance. So now my revised review:
This is a good product if you want a warm lunch, whether it be half way through an epic ski tour or on a boring drive across the southern part of some un-mentioned state. But make sure you heat that potential lunch thoroughly and to a good temp. The flask is also really sturdy and will hold up to most abuse you can give it in the course of an awesome day. I doubt it is bullet proof or bomb proof, but if you send me a free sample I will joyfully perform another experiment.

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