Phil M

Phil M

East coast based but will travel for adventure

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Philip's Passions

Camping
Backpacking
Trail Running
Hiking
Mountain Biking
Road Cycling
Alpine Skiing
Mountaineering
Sport Climbing
Alpine Touring
Swimming
Surfing

Philip's Bio

Graphic Designer, photographer and adventurer. On most days you'll find me either on skis, a mountain or road bike or on my two feet walking down a trail. I love the outdoors, adventure and the gear that goes along with it.

Connect with me on instagram! @pmollenkof

Phil M

Phil M wrote an answer about on June 24, 2014

Hey there, I haven't, but I'm pretty sure I'm going to mount these up with an A/T setup this coming winter. They are just so lightweight that they'd be a breeze on the uphills.

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Phil M

Phil M wrote a review of on June 24, 2014

They don't float :(
5 5

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

Update from my original review:

This past weekend I was about to jump off a high rock into a swimming hole. I took these babies off and set them on the ground next to me. Unfortunately I didn't secure them very well and next thing I saw was the glasses cascading down the rocks into the pool of water, and sinking to the bottom. After about 20 minutes of trying to search the bottom I gave up.

I just bought my second pair because even at this price, they are totally worth it and I can't seem to live without them in the summer.

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Phil M

Phil M wrote a review of on May 14, 2014

PLUSH
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I love this fork. I mounted it on a Yeti sb95 carbon and kept it at the 140mm setting even though Yeti specs this same fork but at a 120mm on the stock sb95. I haven't noticed any penalty so far in terms of climbing or bob, and the fork makes descents just insanely fun. Whether bombing through a rock garden, or taking a few feet drop, it feels incredible smooth and stable.

In my opinion, the CTD function is just enough to be able to control the fork depending on what terrain you're riding, but not so many controls that you'd rather just ride and not change anything. I usually hover between trail and descend, unless I'm on a long fire road climb, where I'll set it on climb.

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Phil M

Phil M wrote a review of on May 14, 2014

Love em
4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I set these up on my Yeti sb95 carbon, and so far have been loving them. For a non carbon wheel, they are pretty lightweight, and have kept my bike weight down to 26lbs, which is pretty awesome for a trail bike 29'er.

These wheels are super easy to mount a tubeless tire on, and also switch between axle sizes really easily by just popping out one part of the hub with your hand (no tools) and adding one of the other sizes that are included with the set.

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Phil M

Phil M wrote a review of on May 13, 2014

Worlds most perfect trail bike?
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I'm seriously in love with this bike. I came from riding a Niner RIP 9, so I had pretty high standards, but this bike just blows everything out of the water I've ever ridden. It's incredibly responsive and stiff- it just goes the second you push the pedals down, and you feel like everything you put into it while climbing gets transferred so well. It seriously flies up hills.

The slightly slacker head angle is something I wasn't sure how I'd like, but it makes for super fun descents. I feel very confident tackling all sorts of terrain on this thing. I'm running a 140mm fork, which I think just makes the bike all the more fun.

For me (I'm 5'8"), the shorter top tube and chain stays make the bike super playful, but the slacker head angle also gives the bike a ton of stability and confidence when going down. I'm riding a size medium, and it fits me so much better than the Niner Rip 9 medium, which just always felt a tad too large.

Can't say enough good things about this bike. I wish I could ride it every day for years on end. Way to go, Yeti!

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Phil M

Phil M wrote a review of on April 18, 2014

Integral piece of my wardrobe
5 5

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

This jacket always makes it on a trip with me where I'm going to be doing anything high intensity, winter, fall or spring. It's pretty thin, which I like because it gives me a lot of options for layering. It also breathes incredibly. I've never felt manky or sticky while running or climbing up steep terrain while I have this jacket on. It also blocks the wind beautifully which is so key in the mountains. Finally, it stretches so well that you barely feel like you're wearing anything.

Hugely recommended because of the great fit, breathability and thickness.

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Phil M

Phil M wrote a review of on April 18, 2014

Overall great
4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I've experimented with a number of ways to carry my DSLR into the backcountry, and I've found this is one of the best solutions for having my camera and an extra lens available at short notice. It fits well over my shoulders and actually doesn't feel too bulky when it's on.

I will say that there are a few times it does seem to get in the way- when you have a super heavy backpack on and are naturally leaning forward a bit to compensate, or when you are doing something pretty physically demanding such as steep climbing, etc.

Overall though, one of the best ways to carry your camera long distances while having it close by.

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Phil M

Phil M wrote a review of on April 18, 2014

Fantastic
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I love this boot. First of all, my foot just seems to fit into a Lange very well. I'm right in between a 25.5 and 26.5, and I can do a Lange 25.5 where I feel like my toes aren't hurting in the front.

I've found that the boot stiffens up pretty well in the cold, and that it's not too heavy for a resort boot. I've skinned as well as hiked around rocks on these and love the rubber sole as it's kept my traction well.

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Phil M

Phil M wrote a review of on February 28, 2014

The traveling junk show
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

When my family of four goes on a ski trip, we have a lots of gear and lots of junk. This bag, however, can carry an enormous amount of ski clothing, gear, and of course, skis. This last trip I was able to fit two adult pair of skis, one kid pair, one kid pair of boots, skins, and almost all our ski clothing. I could have fit our boots in there as well, but I'm pretty sure it would have put us over the airlines weight limit.

This bag is big. But the wheels are very sturdy and function well as you navigate through the airport. Zippers are bomber, and everything seems to be made very well.

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Phil M

Phil M wrote an answer about on February 27, 2014

If it helps as well, I'm 5'8" and I ski the 180 with absolutely no problem. These things turn on a dime and are super lightweight. If I were in your shoes I would go for the 188.

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Phil M

Phil M wrote an answer about on February 27, 2014

Hey Mihow, yes, I would try this ski, based on what you are describing. It actually does really well on powder as I just got done skiing days of calf deep pow in Jackson hole, and it was a blast.

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Phil M

Phil M wrote an answer about on February 27, 2014

Hi Carolyn,

these may fit the bill for you. They are super fun, easy to maneuver and wide enough for powder, but also can hold their own on groomers. I would shoot for either the 170 (easier to maneuver) or the 180 (more stable at high speeds).

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Phil M

Phil M wrote a review of on February 27, 2014

Those Canadians....
5 5

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

What can I say, except this is a classic Arcteryx piece of gear. Durable, super well thought out, technical superior, and bomber to have with you in the snow and cold. Keep in mind that these are on the baggy side compared to their other pants. I like this since it makes them super comfortable and keeps options open for layering, but if I was doing something super technical like ski mountaineering I would maybe want something a tad more slim fitting.

If you want a hard working pair of pants that are super comfortable, look great and have amazing craftsmanship, look at these.

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Phil M

Phil M wrote a review of on February 26, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I just got back from a week of skiing this at Jackson Hole/Grand Targhee and wanted to slightly revise my review from before. I still love this ski- on the soft powder days it was super playful, easy to turn and very fun. I had a blast. However, we did have a day or two with slight warmer temps, which made the snow heavier and turned the tracked out sections more into crud. Going through that snow at any speed, the Souls felt unstable and easily knocked around. I think it's mostly because of their light weight (which makes them fun in softer stuff), but I think it's just helpful to know that if you're looking for a hard charger that can handle crud and variable conditions at high speeds with ease, you may want to look elsewhere.

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Phil M

Phil M wrote a review of on February 26, 2014

I'm a fan
5 5

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

I've used this jacket for one season now, and I like it a lot, probably based on just the fit alone.

Fit-wise, the jacket is on the pretty loose/baggy side, which makes it really comfortable, and allows a ton of layers underneath without feeling like the jacket is starting to get tight in the arms and shoulders. I love Arcteryx jackets, but always feel like their jackets are cut a tad slimmer, which can be an issue on a super cold day with lots of layers.

I also love all the pockets on this jacket, especially the two stash pockets in the lower front, which are perfect for energy bars or spare gloves, etc. It's true that they are harder to access if you're wearing a pack with a waist belt, but that doesn't seem like a huge deal to me.

The material has been very durable for me since day one. I did have to replenish the DWR coating after a super soaking wet snow day, but this happens with any jacket.

Is it worth the $699? Maybe not, since I think you could get a comparable jacket for $500 or so, but I bought mine on sale and felt great about the value I got from it.

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Phil M

Phil M wrote a review of on February 26, 2014

Beautifully designed
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Just got back from a weeklong trip in Jackson Hole, where this pack was a mainstay for me. The durability is second to none- the zippers, seams and materials are all bomber. The design of this pack is probably my favorite part. There are a number of smaller pockets which is super helpful for organizing gear (water, energy bars, go pro, trail map, etc). The fact that the main part of the pack can be opened up on the side, while having the pack still on one shoulder, swung around, is huge. I actually was able to carry my DSLR and a larger lens in there (with some fleece for padding), and could just easily swing the pack around to snap a shot.

I also loved this pack while traveling. I could keep a TON of gear in here and even was able to fit my macbook pro 15" inside easily (although keep in mind it would be good to have some padding around it).

An expensive pack, but for me, really is worth the price when you're on the trail or slopes and know exactly where every piece of gear is and have super easy access to it.

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Phil M

Phil M wrote a review of on January 23, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: True to size

First off, this glove is super well made and comfortable. The craftsmanship is amazing and typical of Hestra gloves. However, I was under the impression that it would be a warmer glove. Hand warmth is somewhat subjective based on who you're talking to, but I think these would have only kept my hands warm in about 25 degrees and warmer. There isn't that much insulation in them. Liners could work, but then you are sorta defeating the purpose of such a beautifully fitted glove to your hand.

So, if you're looking for an amazingly well made glove that will last a long time, go for it. If warmth is a big factor for you, I would possibly look elsewhere.

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Phil M

Phil M wrote a review of on January 21, 2014

Nice.
5 5

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

This hat seems to have the perfect thickness for me. It's thick enough to stop a stiff wind on my ears, but also breathes enough so that I don't overheat. It's also on the slightly taller size, so I have a lot of room to play with in terms of wearing it higher or lower on my head. Plus I love the fact that it's really two hats in one with it being reversible.

Nice one, backcountry.

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