I bought this helmet to replace my Edelrid Ultralight. The first day that I wore this to the crag I seriously forgot that I was wearing it. I got in my car and my belay partner asked why I was still wearing my helmet. This thing is lighter than my super expensive road bike helmet and it never gives me the hot-itchy-head feeling. I am sure this is because with the inner air channels not too much of the foam actually touches the head. The outer shell does feel very fragile but only time will tell if it can hold up. If this helmet handles the small bumps and scrapes I will be repurchasing it when I retire my current one.
I was lucky enough to find this thing at my local crag lying in some tall grass. My original belay device (Wild Country VC Pro) is a lot less bulky and a lot more easy to push my rope (10.2) into. However I did notice that the ATC-XP doesn't get nearly as hot on long rappels. I gave this to my lady so she can catch my falls easier and she enjoys it much more than the VC Pro. I would personally go for the cheaper one.
I LOVE this shoe. It took me about 8 to 10 hours of climbing to break them in. These are my bouldering and overhang-sport-climb shoes. I brought them along for a day of top roping on some easier long routes and my feet were in lots of pain by the end of the day so they are, of course, specialized for technical climbing. They grab the smallest holds and heel hooks feel great. Highly recommended!
The only reason why I did not give this jacket 5 stars is because the pockets do not work well with a hipbelt. If a company makes a jacket for climbers and backpackers I expect that the extra weight used for the pockets would be useable. I cant store anything in them and I cant even use them as extra vents because the pocket material is waterproof and seam sealed. Other then that the jacket fits great with room for layers and room for my climbing helmet (I am 6'3" and 180 lbs and the large fit great length-wise but does not have the athletic fit I was looking for). This does not "breath" like Goretex or Event but it has not failed to keep me dry. I use it as my winter shell and it is small enough to ball up and hang off my harness in the summer. I would not pay retail for this jacket again but if you can find it on sale I would recomend it.
I love these things. They are light but the thing I like most is the clutter on my harness that no longer exists. These are now the only draws I use for sport climbing. When I climb at my local gym their quickdraws feel unnecessarily enormous. Using regular sized quickdraws for sport climbing is like buying a shark tank for a goldfish. These are all that I use. I own a 10.2 rope and I have no troubles what so ever with clips.
I definitely have trouble feeding thicker ropes through this at my local indoor climbing gym. I am not considering this a negative feature though because I was aware of this before I bought it. Other than that it does everything that a belay device should do.
Wow do I love this spork. The things that I like: It is very light, it is longer than any other backpacking utensil that I have owned, it folds up to fit into my cooking pot, the locking mechanism is bomber and holds tightly. The things that I don't like: nothing, I have no idea how they could make this spork better. The price is great too, I highly recommend it.
I bought this backpack to replace my old Vaude Rock Ultralight 25. I only have two complaints. #1 - The opening is annoyingly small. #2 - The foam back panel is removable and its pocket on the inside of the pack has no Velcro or button closure so it is constantly open and getting in the way when I try to load the pack. I ended up sewing it shut which solved the problem. Other than those two complaints I love the pack.
I mainly use it for my climbing gear and for when I go to work. I can fit two pairs of climbing shoes, a harness, a nalgene, a fleece, and a sandwich or two in the main compartment. The harness pockets are huge! I carry a wind jacket in one side and a headlamp/knife/paracord in the other. There is also a small pocket on the lid where I usually throw a few power bars and an expandable front pocket that I use for my dirty gym clothes. The compression straps work wonderfully and keep all of the gear in place. The material is thick and durable with a waterproof coating on the inside. The pack rides awesome on the back and I just love this thing. It is a killer backpack and I have no doubt that it will last me a long time.
I will pretend that there is NOT a $30 difference between these two tents since $30 is relatively a small price. So in my opinion:
CRITERIA = WINNING TENT
Living space = SL1 (by far)
Weather Proofness = SL1 (better guy points and lower fly)
Weight = SL1
Material Durability = Eos
Ease of Setup = Eos
Vestibule = SL1
Ease of Entry = Eos
Color = Eos! (who wants a grey tent?)
What tent would I choose? Big Agnes SL1 and I am sure that few would argue with me but I have seen the Eos on some smashing sales which is why I bought it over the SL1.
Inside of the pack.
Hipbelt and shoulder straps of the pack.
Back of the pack.
The best part about this shovel is that it feels great in the hand. Seriously, the handle/shaft feel so comfortable when digging. Also, for a telescoping shovel it has a solid feel. My only concern is the "anti-slip strapping" because it is like sandpaper or griptape and having this material vibrate against a backpack could quickly rub a whole in a pack. I give the shovel a five out of five because it is comfortable, it performs well, and it looks cool.
I emailed Gore and they confirmed that Gore Windstopper uses the same memberane as Gore-Tex. Direct quote from their website: "Virtually all of Gore's thousands of products are based on just one material, a versatile polymer called ePTFE, which the company engineers to perform a wide variety of functions." In other words, the material is completely waterproof but the untaped seams make the garment only water resistant. These won't "breath" much better than a pair of Gore-Tex pants so you might as well go with Gore-Tex if you don't want a wet butt.
8° morning on the SHT in Northern Minnesota. This is a picture looking towards the head of the tent which gives an idea of the tent width.
When Dakka said "Drops down a bit" he meant that the back drops down no more than an inch further than the front.
I wish all climbers and backpackers had the guts to wield the Mistral jacket. There are so many gear guru's that are obsessed with waterproof/breathable membranes like Goretex and Event but not I! Let me explain:
I wear this jacket with a midweight grid pattern microfleece base layer (such as the Patagonia R1, Under Armour 3.0, or my personal favorite the Lowe Alpine Ninja Hoody) and this combination gets me through EVERYTHING. Everything means anywhere from high output trail running in 40 degree temperatures with sleet and wind to lower output backpacking in snowy single digit temperatures. This jacket works so wonderfully because it allows me to keep a thin layer of warmth close to my body without the wind stealing it from me while at the same time letting my sweat wick through the ultra thin nylon. I can drastically control my body's temperature by opening the pockets, the front zipper, and my baselayer zipper to vent and cooldown OR cinch the waist, pull the hood over my stocking hat, and zip everything shut to keep out the wind. And trust me, it does a fricken good job at keeping out the wind because the arm length is very generous, the waist cinches tight, and the high collar comes way up to my chin to seal out the drafts from my neck (If the tail dropped an extra 2 or 3 inches I would consider this jacket perfect). This jacket is not waterproof and this is what makes it so awesome. Example, if I go trail running in a waterproof/breathable jacket during a snowy 10 degree morning there is no way in hell that the membrane will "breathe" good enough to dump the massive amounts of sweat that I produce and I end up freezing my butt off from my own sweat. The Mistral on the other hand is not completely waterproof which means that the warm moisture (from both my body and the snow) can easily escape the jacket and I stay dry (and more importantly, warm!).Craftsmanship: Initially I wondered why Montbell used a thicker material around the neck but I soon realized that they did this because the EXTREMELY thin main material simply isnt rigid enough to stay up around the neck when the hood is down. The thicker material also has a small amount of stretch and I am pleased to say that my range of motion is not hindered in any direction because of the combined use of the two materials. The pockets do vent really well but I like them mostly because I can access them with a hip belt on. I am 62 175 lbs and bought a Large.
This jacket is my shield against the world's nastiest weather! Because of the Montbell Mistral jacket, I will never again own a Goretex jacket. 5 stars!
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