Park City, Utah
I ski the PB&J a lot: early season, late season, and during dry spells. This ski can do it all, from ripping groomers to bashing bumps and even skiing pow, if you find any around. Unlike other 100mm-wide skis I've had, this one releases easily and stays agile in chop thanks to the tip and tail rocker, making it easier to ski in varying conditions. The camber underfoot has plenty of juice for high-speed carving, even more so in the 188 length than the 182, but I prefer the shorter length. I find the 182 great for casual cruising, where I would have to be more on top of the bigger ski when I'd rather be relaxed. In either length, the PB&J is a solid quiver addition for the West as a groomer-day/spring conditions ski. If I lived back East, I might go with the 188 as my one-ski quiver, because in the longer length it has the float and stability to act like a mini-big-mountain ski.
Oh, you didn't read all the reviews or see the bajillion awards the Deathwish picked up recently? Here's the dirty: it's the best all-around pow ski for people who like a more centered stance and a slashy, forgiving, floaty ski that can still carve groomers. It's the best ski I've ever skied in my life. I'm on the 184 and the only thing I would say in the negative is that I want a little more ski for really pushing it on big days. That's why I am picking up the 190 this year, because after skiing it in Jackson, it's perfect if you want a little more ski without feeling overwhelmed. I'm 5'10 175, so if you're a huge guy or gal or an ex-racer, this isn't your ski. But if you're average sized, above-average ability, and you want to spread a doo-doo-eating grin across your mug every time you click in and shred, PICK THESE UP and NEVER LOOK BACK. What? Only five stars available? Need 69 at least...this thing's broken.
Just spent my first weekend on these in Colorado, touring up Buttermilk and riding lifts at Snowmass. My setup is 184 Exit World, Dynafit Vertical FT 12 w/ 4.5mm B&D shims mounted on the line, Dalbello Sherpa 5/5 boots. First, I was surprised at how light the Exit World was. They may not be a ton lighter than the Bibby, and part of it is definitely the tech binding, but they didn't feel heavy at all for a 115-waist ski. At Buttermilk, we had about 6 inches of superlight pow over a week-old base, and they skied great, farming turns when needed and remaining stable when pushed faster, even over uneven ruts and drainage ditches. Using skins was easy (easier than any other Moments, at least) thanks to the round tips and indented tails; I used Black Diamond Ascensions with no problems at all. On hardpack, they took a little time to get used to, especially with the stiff Dynafit toe making them feel harsher than an alpine setup. After a couple of laps, however, I was able to rail turns with confidence and really push as fast as I wanted without getting any sort of chatter. On crusty refreeze, they were definitely skittish, but I'll put that down to the light setup and non-elastic toe. If I could have whatever I want in life, I'd have a pair of these with alpine or hybrid bindings like Dukes, and a pair with Dynafits. I'm betting they'd be absolutely killer paired up with alpine gear, just like the Bibby was, only a tad lighter. As it stands, I'm pumped to have these for touring regardless and the powder performance is definitely on the money.
Since getting the Swift I have rarely worn anything else outside this fall. I am in the mountains daily and compared to a fleece, there is no comparison. It blocks wind on the downhill and I've yet to get through the DWR and soak the fabric with snow or rain. It breathes well, even in warmer weather, and while it's not a super warm jacket (I need to layer under it in <40F weather) it is versatile enough to use year-round. I live out West, but I would wear it back East for all-around gray weather, barring heavy rain.
At 5ft 10in, 175lbs, and athletic, I'm usually in between a Medium and a Large, but i prefer a regular (not trim) fit. In the Swift I am a definite Medium. It fits more like a sweatshirt than a "technical softshell" and I can layer underneath it easily. Range of motion in the arms and shoulders is excellent. The hand pockets have a comfortable slanted opening and a little lip to keep your stuff inside even with the zippers open. It also looks rad.
If anything, I would ask only for an extra inch in the waist, a tad more room in the "scuba" hood, and for the hood drawcords to be an inch further from my chin when the collar is zipped up. Overall though, those are small issues, and in the end I love the look and function of this jacket.
The Radarlock XL's fit much better than the old Radar XL's (I own both) and the lens swapping feature is excellent. I can remove and replace the lens almost without touching the surface and putting fingerprints all over it, and it doesn't give me a nervous breakdown thinking I'll break the frame like the old design did (for the record, the frame has yet to break on my old Radar XL's and I have swapped lenses plenty of times). As for the photochromic lens, I'm satisfied but not over the moon about it. I mostly wear these mountain biking, and it seems like the brim of my helmet keeps the lens from fully converting to its darkest tint, even in bright Moab sunlight. If Oakley had included a dark tint spare lens, like Black or Red Iridium, these sunglasses would be perfect. My only other complaint is that while the smaller, more rounded lens performs slightly better and looks sportier, it loses a bit of the square Terminator style I love about the Radar XL. Bottom line, I'm still giving these five stars for function and fit.
The word "bombproof" gets thrown around a lot in the ski industry, but these bindings really do deserve it. I have two pairs, one that's a year old and another that's five or six years young. They both work flawlessly and I expect them to last another five or six years.
1. Metal. They last forever.
2. Elastic travel means no pre-release, so you can set them lower than other bindings without worrying.
3. When they do release they don't "pop" out, they just come off.
4. Short mounting platform=free flex, centered weight.
5. Boner heel can be engaged manually, without needing to stomp down (great for powder).
6. Pivot heel design is supposedly easier on your knees. Fingers crossed on that one.
1. Metal. Heavy.
2. High DIN, not for everyone.
3. No adjustability. Get new boots? Better be the same shell size or that's a remount.
4. No interchangeable brakes. If you break them, Rossignol will replace them, but ONLY with the size you purchased. And you have to send them in; they won't ship them to you.
I also don't ski hard enough to actually NEED these bindings. I look at it as $250 or so that I don't have to spend every few seasons replacing sloppy or broken plastic bindings, so in the end they are worth it. For the record, the Pivot 14's are also very nice bindings with a great track record and vertical release. Haven't failed me yet.
No. The toes have a single piece housing that is not adjustable, other than DIN setting. They do have pre-loaded downward pressure, but it is set to within a narrow spec and won't automatically adjust to fit, say, really worn-out shells or touring boots with rockered soles.
If you're gripping anything other than Scott Series 4 aluminum, you're a beater and you need to get off the traverse.
These look damn sweet and they do an adequate job, but if you're expecting 2013 performance from a circa-1995 design, you're going to be let down. The lenses are flexible, so they deliver more-than-average distortion, and the Lexan material scratches easily. They fog up faster than newer goggles, and they let in a lot of air through the vents. I wear them in the spring, when I'm not as concerned about function as I am about looking hella rad on the tram deck.
When these came out I was itching to get on board, because I use Superfeet in all my shoes and I swear by wool's versatility as a technical fabric. I put them in a brand-new pair of GORE-TEX Danner hikers, thinking that while they might be too warm for summer, they'd be perfect for winter. However, I found out during an 8-mile hike in 65-70 degree weather that these footbeds are comfortable in warmer temperatures too, even with leather uppers and thick hiking socks. They are warm, but not too hot, and they never felt damp or sweaty. In fact they feel strangely (but not unpleasantly) neutral, as though they are insulating you from the ground (they are). The felt top is luxurious, softer than I expected it would be, but not too cushy or at all unsupportive. I wouldn't recommend them for low-volume shoes, as they are pretty thick, and I can't say I'd imagine they'd be as comfortable in really hot or humid climates, but so far they appear to be perfect for my uses. Can't wait for the snow to start falling so I can feel how well they perform in the cold.
Yes, there are two side pockets: the one shown above, and a second one exactly like it on the other side, except the zipper is on the seam closest to the back panel, making it more accessible while you are wearing the pack.
Just my opinion, of course. I originally bought the Nomad to use dirt biking, and found it too small to fit all my gear. The Apex, on the other hand, fits my tool kit (about the size of a travel bath kit), spare tube (way bigger than an MTB tube), pump, first aid/emergency kit, 40ft. of 8mm static line, a waterproof shell, a long-sleeve wool baselayer, food, sunglasses and 100oz. of water. If/when I get a GPS or PLB, it'll fit in there too, no problem. The bladder system is great, thanks to the center divider that keeps it flatter than a straight tubular bladder, and I love the quick-disconnect feature for filling up. While the full pack weighs at least 15lbs, I don't find it uncomfortable on 4-5hr. rides. I suppose if I were on some sort of epic long-distance ride, I might use it for mountain biking, but honestly I can't see myself needing this much room for anything day-to-day. Maybe commuting, if you have a small laptop with its own sleeve. Hard to call too much space a negative feature, though, so five stars it is. I am very pleased with this pack so far, and would recommend it if you need a LOT of room for mountain biking.
Bottom line, this helmet should have been called the Flux 2. It has the same great fit and looks even better, it's lighter, with updated padding and more vents. Mine came with the Detox 1 system (same as the Flux), not the Detox 2. Fine by me, but they are advertising Detox 2 so someone needs to check on that. Had to lace the straps through the system as well, so you might have to do that. Overall I am pleased, I've owned a Flux for years and it was time to upgrade. I got the Striker as a gift, so I don't have anything to say on the price difference.
I have the non-TNT version mounted to Stan's Flow rims, front and rear. No problems mounting whatsoever. Great tire for hard, dry conditions, deals with rocks and roots (again, dry) very well, and seems like a reasonably long-lasting compound (few trips to Moab with no need for new tires). Unfortunately, as a rear tire, the Saguaro suffers due to the linked center tread line, which wears down to a solid stripe. While it probably decreases rolling resistance and increases longevity, it definitely hurts traction when climbing. I've been looking for something similar without the linked center tread, and so far been unable to find it...and when I do, it'll probably wear out too quickly. I like this tire overall, and I'd recommend it to anyone as a front tire.
The Flux fits great (on me), looks money, sits lower than Bell and Giro XC-style helmets, and has way bigger vents than most MTB helmets. My only gripes would be that the huge front vents tend to scoop in the occasional bug, and the rear fit system eventually gets tired out after 3 or 4 seasons of heavy (2-3x per week all spring, summer and fall) use. Everything else is top notch. Love this helmet and will definitely buy another if this one takes a bad hit.
If you were a foot tall and headed to Everest, this would be your basecamp duffel. It's the sturdiest bath kit I've ever seen, if you were to use it for that purpose, although sizewise, is a tad smaller a standard Dopp kit. To give you an idea of how sturdy this little container is, I am using it as a tool bag for dirt biking, after seeing the same bag used for the same purpose by the local TNF rep. I ditched the mirror because I didn't see the need, but I suppose if you drilled a hole through the center of it, it'd make a decent signal mirror for emergencies (and now I kind of wish I hadn't ditched it). In the bright yellow, it looks even more like a miniature duffel bag, and it's easy to spot in the bottom of my backpack. It also offers contrast on the inside to help find dark-colored items. I can't imagine I'll ever wear it out.
Bought this bag for dirt biking, not mountain biking, so while it didn't work for me, I am still giving it 4 stars. The pictures make this look almost like a daypack, and since I need room to carry tools, parts, water, food, and layers for longer days (4-6 hours plus), I thought this bag would be great. Unfortunately it is a little small, (it looks in real life the way I think the Drafter looks online) only fitting my tool bag (about the size of a dopp kit), a 3L rain shell and some small stuff, and that was without the bladder filled up, so I am returning it to get the Apex 26L. On the flipside, I think the quality is high and the pockets are pretty well thought out, and the fabrics and zippers seem tough enough for heavy use. Getting to the middle "organizer" pocket (which sits behind the compression straps and outer expanding pocket) is a bit of a hassle, but assuming you're stopped on the trail for a flat, and not in a race, probably not a big deal. I would definitely recommend this to anyone seeking a larger MTB bag, for all-day rides like Porcupine Rim, but more for DH/AM riders than XC riders, as it's pretty burly. The back padding didn't bother me, and I find it a welcome change from standard mesh-over-foam that gets soaked with sweat very quickly. The waist belt is wide and supportive, and the straps aren't overlong (a pet peeve of mine). I didn't use the full-face carrier, but the expanding pocket on the outside would be great for stuffing a shell, assuming you don't care if it gets dirty. I didn't use the bladder, so I can't comment on that. Overall a very nice design; just a little too small for my purposes. Like I said, I will be getting the Apex, if that is a testament to the quality.
These are great slim fit jeans for guys who don't want to look like skaters, but don't want to look like old men either. Slimmer all the way through than a 501, with very little taper in the leg even though the photo looks like they are tapered. Wider in the lower leg than the 511, so they look good with boots, but still fitted from the knee up. If you have big quads I would stay away, but if you have average or skinny legs, these are awesome. FYI, some of the 513's do not have stretch. I have a pair that is stretch and a pair that's not (different colors). I'm willing to bet that the Rumpled Rigid does not have it, but I could be wrong.
Unfortunately, I'll be looking for a new way to cradle the boys. Like another reviewer, I have been buying and wearing these same Patagonia boxer briefs for years. Nine years to be exact. I still have some of the original pairs in rotation. All I can say is that the newer ones have gotten worse. The waist elastic loses its stretch faster, and the crotches blow out like I'm setting off dynamite in my pants. Which I am not, for the record. What this all means is that I have five pairs in a drawer that are now defunct, and I'm too embarrassed to return underwear for the lifetime warranty. Sorry Patagonia...you had a great run, but I'll be seeking junk management somewhere else from now on.
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