R.J. Gardner

R.J. Gardner

South Lake Tahoe, Salt Lake City

R.J. Gardner's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Snowboarding
Skiing

R.J. Gardner's Bio

Backcountry.com's Gearheads are your instant connection to gear knowledge. They're passionate outdoor experts passionate on helping you find the right ski, saddle, or slope. Follow adventures and exploits.

I grew up in Lake Tahoe. Live in Salt Lake City. I travel often to follow my passion for skiing. FOLLOW ME for stories about the places I go, the people I go with, and the things I do. For anything from gear to use on a trip to the best place to go around town to grab a cheap beer I’m around to help get you what you need for your next adventure whenever I’m not on one myself.

Sun-Thurs 1.30-10pm (mst)
Ask for R.J. on chat.
Call 1.800.409.4502 ext 4563
Email rgardner@backcountry.com

R.J. Gardner

R.J. Gardner wrote a review of on May 27, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

The sound quality on these is really nice. Great passive noise cancelling you get from the snug fit, allows for movement without having to re-adjust at all. With the snug fit did come some minor discomfort for me after multiple hours of use, but like Matthew I have a pretty large head so that was expected. The inline controls on the cable work as they should, answering calls, everything you would expect, and the microphone in there was great for call quality as well.

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R.J. Gardner

R.J. Gardner wrote a review of on May 27, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Overall this speaker is a great option. The sound quality is great in it's "indoor" mode. I would say that's the environment that this speaker excels in. Took it camping and used it in the "outdoor" mode. With that the sound quality went down a bit, but the volume level was great. Would make for a great speaker for bbq's out back, hanging out in the summer on the porch, things like that. In the camping environment I was a little nervous taking it out. It performed great but doesn't seem to have the high durability and weatherproofing features you find in other speaker options in this category (the Outdoor Technology Turtle shell, or the Skullcandy Air Raid).

When it comes down to it this is a speaker I would highly recommend if your looking for high quality sound out of a speaker that you would use around the house, or outdoor parties in less than extreme environments. Gives higher priced options like the Bose soundlink a run for it's money, at a lower price.

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R.J. Gardner

R.J. Gardner wrote a review of on May 12, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I've had these boots for a couple seasons now, and I'd be hard pressed to say another would have done the job. First off this boot is stiff, not something for a beginner, but a very versatile boot for an aggressive or bigger skier. This is essentially the Cochise without a walk mode, making it feel stiffer and giving it a consistent flex feel. You can still swap out the soles between an alpine and tech sole block. I wouldn't recommend it for someone looking to do a lot of touring it, but the fact that you can swap those out is helpful for someone doing the occasional tour. I travel a lot so most of the time bringing more than one boot isn't an option. The lack of a walk mode doesn't make this the ideal choice for touring, but I use this boot for shorter hikes and unbuckle the upper to give some freedom of movement there. Any hikes longer than a couple hours and you'll see some blistering issues, but it's not really what this boot was built for anyway. As a daily driver it's the perfect boot. Stiff flex, supportive, and great energy transfer to the ski.

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R.J. Gardner

R.J. Gardner posted an article on May 1, 2014

An Interview with Olympic Gold Medalist Maddie Bowman

If there has been a clear frontrunner in the past three years in women’s ski halfpipe, it’s been Maddie Bowman. She has taken four X Game medals in addition to several World Cup, Grand Prix, and Noram wins and podium spots on her ever-more-impressive resume. With the addition of her Olympic gold to her trophy shelf, she’s more motivated than ever to keep progressing personally and to move the sport forward. Maddie came from a ski racing background originally, skiing out of Sierra-at-Tahoe on the California side of South Lake Tahoe. She now lives in Salt Lake City, taking classes [...]

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R.J. Gardner

R.J. Gardner wrote a review of on February 3, 2014

5 5

I loved that the liner didnt pull out with my hand when I took the gloves off. I hate cheap gloves that dont hold on to the liners. My hands were never cold, even after working out in the snow for a few hrs. They were great gloves and would definitely run them as my primary pair.

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R.J. Gardner

R.J. Gardner wrote a review of on January 6, 2014

3 5

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

The thing that I like most and least about these boxer breifs are the weight. The super light weight material is very comfortable, and feels great when you first put them on. The only issues I've run into specific to that weight is the fact that they do run more than other options I've tried. Maybe it's just my big legs, but annoying anyway. Number two is that they didn't last super long. The thinner material is great for comfort, but not as great on the durability side of things. They lasted long enough for me to think that I got good use out of them, just nothing I would consider great longevity.

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R.J. Gardner

R.J. Gardner wrote a review of on January 6, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

With the simplicity of the end product, I was happily surprised with the performance and fit. In the past I have always gotten over the ear options for a headphone that I needed when traveling on planes, or just working in the office. Some work great, but most get uncomfortable after long periods of use like that. With these Navigator's you get none of that. They are by far the most comfortable headphone, especially for extended use, that I've ever worn. With the over the ear setup, and more of a compactly designed model I was worried that the drivers wouldn't pack enough punch to really give me the sound quality I wanted, but I was mistaken to doubt them. The driver and acoustics these have is great, and just what anyone needs for long days of work, plane rides, whatever you need.

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R.J. Gardner

R.J. Gardner wrote a review of on January 6, 2014

5 5

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

Great fit to them, and the material is awesome as well. Very soft and light weight feeling. As Chris said, they do run up a little at times, but with the longer cut to them it really isn't that bad compared to others I've used. Overall they are a great, comfortable boxer brief with all the benefits of merino wool.

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R.J. Gardner

R.J. Gardner wrote a review of on January 6, 2014

5 5

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

As far as my flannels go, this is one of the thicker ones. It's great to use under a jacket for layering, but I find myself wearing it on it's own a lot as well. The outer material has great water resistance, and adding a bit of nikwax makes it great to ride in on spring days, or just around town. Overall a great flannel, and daily driver.

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R.J. Gardner

R.J. Gardner wrote a review of on January 6, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

As far as poles go these are really a great option. Easy to use and adjust straps, and a thinner grip than most of my other poles which I really like. The basket system is great that they use as well. The standard basket is great for most groomer days, and they come with a click on pow basket that is great for the days when it's softer out. Overall a great pole that I got multiples of just in case.

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R.J. Gardner

R.J. Gardner wrote a review of on December 26, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Although the price tag is hefty, you get what you pay for. The quality is top notch, they are super comfortable, and of course the lenses are as good as it gets. Incredible clarity for a non-glass lens and the tint on the hcl bronze is great for a variety of conditions. The vintage style is one of a kind, however, these are more "lifestyle" than "active" style glasses so be careful wearing these during strenuous physical activities without a pair of chums. Bottom line.... pull the trigger.

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R.J. Gardner

R.J. Gardner wrote a review of on December 26, 2013

Awesome Goggles
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Only used them for a couple weeks and couldn't be more impressed so far. If you've read the description you should already know that they have great quality spherical lenses, the quickest and easiest to change lens tech ever, and they are goggles so you get all the other benefits you get with goggles.
My main concerns checking these out were:
The lens would be too easy to come out if you fell, they aren't.
For the price you can get a polarized lens, you shouldn't.
The fit wouldn't be as wide as other frameless option, they are.
Basically I couldn't as for more in a goggle, they vent very well so I didn't fog up even in conditions I expected they would and they fit great. It's not the sort of thing that they will only fit those of us with super wide faces, it's really a true mid to wide face fit that's really versatile. Plus, if you ever have some down time it's fun to try to throw them into the frame which is a fun game, just don't do it on the chairlift.

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R.J. Gardner

R.J. Gardner posted an image about on December 2, 2013

multiple years and endless uses.

Not much needs to be said about chucks. Everyone knows they are great and timeless. As they get years on them they wear out and you grab a new pair because they have always been your go to. Even when they are beyond the point where you can wear them out in public, grab some duct tape and re-purpose them as water shoes, or whatever your deed of the day requires. needless to say you can never run out of a use for them.

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R.J. Gardner

R.J. Gardner wrote a review of on October 16, 2013

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Figured I'd shoot out a quick update on usage for this knife. I still hold to my original assessment that it's a great knife for the price. This past weekend I took it along as my secondary knife for an elk hunt and actually ended up loosing my primary day one so this knife ended up doing a ton of work over the course of the trip.
The 440 steel is a bit finicky, it dulls pretty quick, but it's also quick to sharpen up again. Bring along steel for sharpening with this knife wherever you go. A dull knife is a useless knife, but if you keep it sharp this is a great piece. Ended up using this to gut/skin two elk, with better steel it would have been quicker for sure (ended up needing to sharpen this every 15 minutes or so), but this got the job done for sure.
Overall I would say that yes, there are better knives you can get, but this one will get the job done as long as you keep it sharp, which can be said for any knife you buy.

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R.J. Gardner

R.J. Gardner wrote a review of on October 16, 2013

5 5

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

Got this boot mainly for a warmer boot to sit through Utah football games in the cold and wet, but ended up using them for much more.
First off, they are nice and warm, for me personally they aren't too warm for sitting inside by the fire, but also not too cold for sitting outside sub freezing, basically the folklore equivalent to goldilocks hanging back in baby bears seat eating the kids porridge. Definitely not the boot I was choosing to go on long hikes or anything like that, more just around town with a bit of mountain style.
I ended up needing them for an elk hunt last weekend and they outperformed my expectations. A very versatile boot that were able to handle just about anything I needed to do with them. For those who have never been elk hunting it's sorta all over the place, riding in trucks or ATV's for a couple hours, then hiking for a couple more tracking stuff down over whatever hills or rocks you need to get over. Basically you need the most versatile and tough gear to handle everything. These had the grip, durability, and waterproofing (it was raining all weekend) I needed to get the job done.
My only complaint is the insole, not very supportive at all. Most insoles that come in boots won't be though, I grabbed some custom insoles I had for my ski boots and threw them in there, but if you don't have custom ones I'd grab some nice supportive insoles to throw in these so your arches aren't screaming at the end of the day.

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