Raul Martinezwrote a question about ALPS Mountaineering Cascade Backpack - 5200cu in on June 29, 2016
Any idea on the rating of the thickness of the material? thanks.
I'm not a pro at any one thing. Just like to do a little of a lot. I love the outdoors and am into sport/trad rock climbing, all-mountain snowboarding, x-country mountain biking, and 3-season camping with friends. My other hobbies include working out, rocking out, and getting thrown out of apartments!
Any idea on the rating of the thickness of the material? thanks.
I was looking for something to replace my old Mountain Hardwear Phantom (zipper broke) that I loved but wasn't impressed with MH's new model. This one fit the bill with the 2 internal drop pockets, water resistant treated down, and style. The internal fleece lined face area extends all the way around the neck, adjustable helmet hood, durable exterior, and internal pockets sold me as soon as I put it on. The zipper is lined with a windscreen the entire length and the sleeves have soft cuffs.
Style - I picked up the captain (dark blue) color over the black, not something I had planned but it's a pretty sweet midnight blue tux color that still looked good with jeans and separates you from the rest of the herd.
Fit is a true athletic cut, great for me at 6'2", 175 lbs, 42 chest, 35 arms. The length of the arms and chest width was perfect in a medium for someone who likes a tighter fit.
It probably won't be as warm as the Phantom at 850 vs 750 down, it doesn't pack into its own stow pocket, and it doesn't have a 2way zipper for belaying. If the jacket would've had those details on top of their other ones, I would've given it 5 stars.
I do have to say that Mountain Hardwears customer service was great in helping to try to replace their jacket. Hopefully Black Diamond is on par with their service if I ever need it.
Previous reviews mentioned they ran big, so I tried both sizes on. My forearms are 11" at the widest point with 14.5" biceps. The L/XL guards have a top opening of 8-14", bottom of 3-5". Youth (I imagine the S/M?) is 6-8 "and 2-4". The L/XL fit great and didn't end up slipping after initial use due to an interior rubber lining at the top opening. Nylon sleeve is much more comfortable than straps. My concern is durability of the product. Shells are ~2mm thick. The stitching of the shells to the nylon is not reinforced and looks like a continuous stitch so I'm worried a branch or rock will eventually cut a stitch and unravel it. However, TLD seems to have a decent warranty on their products so that wasn't enough of an issue to pass up on this best bang for the buck, IMO.
You can tell the mp3 pocket was made with the ipod/iphone in mind. awesome.
So I've been able to ride the Flow M9's and now these rear-entry bindings and I have to say these are the better bindings if you're into all-mtn vs park, otherwise, the Flow's have more flex and quicker adjustments. I've been a fan of rear entry bindings ever since I tried the M9's but I was looking for something with quicker response and more stability. The Cinch delivered with a heel cup versus n/a on the M9 and fixed last year's issue of not having an adjustable toe strap. However, it sill lacks tool-less forward lean, unlike the Flow's, which I kind of miss every now and then. They do have a lighter base, better shock absorbers, and they're much easier to strap in traditionally than the Flow's. Honestly, the best thing to do with bindings is to try them and with BC's awesome return policy, you only lose out on shipping even after using them on the mtn. Keep up the great work, guys!
Pros: V-strap is solid, will not break or snap, lightest binding ever, one ratchet is fast to get in/out. Going off kickers is solid.
Cons: Pressure point from where the V-strap comes over the top of the boot. These were the first bindings I had to make it a habit to release the tension once I was down the hill cause I couldn't feel my freakin' Big Toe. Sometimes my boot won't stay in place. I know the 09/10 model has a higher lateral piece to fix that issue.
Tust me, I've owned 4 pairs of bindings within the past 3 seasons, so I know how to dial them in. This one does take a little more time to get them just right but thats not important. Unfortunately, they don't offer a ton of support since they're made for freestyling but the range of motion is great for the park. The landlite footbed does a great job of cushioning. They are not compatible with bigger boots. I wear a size 10 Rome Libertine and bought the Large 9-11 binding. I had to maximize the binding to properly fit my boot and the V-strap is still offset to the side a little. I have no idea how they could fit a size 11.
Overall, I would recommend these only for park and not for all-mtn riding. I actually liked them pretty well and I know that Ride fixed a lot of the small issues for next years model, including a higher lateral piece to keep your foot in place and a longer v-strap to accommodate bigger boots, plus footbed wedgie tech.
I got the drunk edition of this boot and its 10 times better than my first pair of Burton Moto's. no pressure points, the liner is heat moldable, and it comes with 2 pairs of J-bars in case you have skinny ankles or heel lift. The ankle brace is solid and not uncomfortable. I had pressure points on the top of my foot with the Burtons, but not with these. soft-med flex, but didnt notice anything bad with my all-mtn freeriding. I bet they're even comfier once i get them heat molded.
They also fit perfectly with my Flow M9 bindings, the burtons were slightly bigger. The only downside is that they're traditonal lacing, which is good for tightening/slacking an area as opposed to the speed zones or boa's that tighten overall. I've never had to tie them back up while riding either, so the laces work great. Love the Drunk Banana, they look like big skater shoes! It was a toss up between these and the K2 T1's for me. the T1's have an inner boa ankle + trad lacing system that's sick, but these have style! so if you're thinking about buying any other boots...Don't Do It!
These are my third pair of bindings I've had so I can compare them to the Burton Mission's and Rome Targa's.
Pros: Highback rotation, great heelside response, rear entry is quick in and out, design and colors are cool, powerstrap works nice and is comfortable.
Cons: the rear entry can get caught in the back of your boot and potentially damage it, cheap paint started chipping away even before I finished mounting it! fortunately its black underneath for the black/white model, Wont work on really big/bulk boots (barely got in my '08 Burton Moto's), base heavy.
Overall, the rear entry setup is nice but it needs some work. If you're just riding down the mtn for fun then you can keep the strap loose and just step in and go but most of the time I have to stop to tighten down the straps anyways. If I tighten them down too much then I cant slide my boot out. This might be an issue with my boot compatibility more than the design tho. I think Im gonna rock them for a little while longer but will probably end up trading them in for some K2 Cinches instead. I've heard those actually push your boot forward into the strap which would solve the biggest issue I have with these bindings. I do like the powerstrap, even though it doesn't have much toe support. They're definitely freeride bindings. Only one foot cushion on the top of the binding. its nowhere near the cushioning and adjustability that the Rome Targa's provide. My final ranking for bindings I've owned so far would go to the Targas 1st, and these are tied with the Missions for 2nd.
Got a shrunken head? then this is the helmet for you! I have a hard time finding helmets, hats, and even beanies that look good on me. My face is kind of long oval-shaped and I have a small head circumference, about 53 cm. The HFS system solved that dilemma right away. Tried on my size, adjusted the HFS in the back and my head finally knew what it was like to cuddle. I loved it. Extremely lightweight, comfortable padding, cool looking, and they fit perfectly with my POC lobe goggles! A little more expensive than most, but worth it. get last years model on sale if you can.