RockyMtnHigh

RockyMtnHigh

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Michael's Passions

Backpacking
Snowboarding

Michael's Bio

I spend quite a bit of time in the mountains looking for trout to annoy. Hiking, backpacking and floating are often involved.

RockyMtnHigh

RockyMtnHigh wrote a review of on February 29, 2012

5 5

When a product already has so many positive reviews, I usually see little use in jumping on the pile. But this is such a killer product that I can't help myself.

Yes, it is ridiculously light, and packs very small. But it is the perfect combination of warmth with some breathability. Usually, I tend to run on the warm side, so I'm often putting on then taking off layers. But (to give you an example) yesterday, I put it on and left it on all day. In the morning, it was 25 degrees and breezy, and I was fine. Then, the wind picked up and snow started falling, and I was comfortable just by putting a lightweight shell on top of it. When I came inside, I removed the shell, yet didn't overheat. And I then wore it during a long drive and still remained quite comfortable.

Truthfully, with the Nano Puff, I could probably get rid of some of my mid/heavy weight fleece pullovers, and maybe even a softshell or two.

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RockyMtnHigh

RockyMtnHigh wrote an answer about on May 31, 2011

If you are looking for totally waterproof, then you really want a dry bag. For short hikes, one of the SealLine Boundary Dry Packs will work (http://www.backcountry.com/sealline-boundary-dry-pack), but some of them don't have a waist belt and this can be murder on the back. For longer hikes (or if you are hauling lots and lots of stuff) the SealLine Pro Pack 115 is a great dry bag, but still won't be as comfortable as a regular backpack (http://www.backcountry.com/sealline-pro-pack-115-dry-bag).

If you want a very nice, highly water-resistant pack that is just short of a drybag, the Arc'teryx Arrakis 50 (and 65) should be considered (http://www.backcountry.com/arcteryx-arrakis-50-backpack-3057-3661cu-in).

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RockyMtnHigh

RockyMtnHigh wrote an answer about on February 12, 2011

This is a great jacket, but personally, I prefer a hardshell when I am on the slopes. The Gamma MX is water-resistant (but not waterproof) so in prolonged rain or wet snow it won't keep you completely dry. It is on the shorter side, and has no powder skirt. It is more of an athletic cut, so there's not a whole lot of room to layer underneath it. It blocks most (but not all) of the wind, so lift rides can get chilly. It can be used as a layering piece, but I would use it more as a midlayer (particularly if it's wet, windy, or bitterly cold).

But I still love this jacket (even though I don't routinely use it as an outer layer on the slopes). It breathes really well, provides decent warmth on mildly cold days, is well-made, and has a very useful pocket configuration. It's great for most aerobic outdoor activities, and would likely be good for climbing (especially since it is fairly fitted). But if I were going skiing/boarding with it, I would be sure to also have access to my hardshell.

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RockyMtnHigh

RockyMtnHigh wrote an answer about on January 8, 2011

Sure, these would work fine for occasionally playing in the snow. However, they are not waterproof, so if the snow is wet/melting (or they are used for a prolonged period of time), they will soak through. These gloves are OK for overall warmth on a cold day, or for activities (like sledding) that don't involve prolonged contact with the snow. If the gloves will be used for such activities as skiing, frequent snowball fights or building a large snowman I would definitely look at gloves that have some water-resistance.

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RockyMtnHigh

RockyMtnHigh wrote an answer about on January 4, 2011

Actually, Chacos have been made in China for a couple of years now.

The pro sole is a softer, marking sole. This is good if you will be wearing them in and out of water (such as flyfishing or rafting) or need increased traction for scrambling over rocks. However, for everyday use the pro sole will wear down much quicker than their regular Vibram sole.

If you really want the Z2's, they can be ordered from the Chaco website itself (although, like backcountry.com, it appears that they don't have all the sizes in each color in stock).

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RockyMtnHigh

RockyMtnHigh wrote an answer about on January 1, 2011

Technically, it's probably neither waterproof or water resistant. Yes, light rain may roll off of it, but with prolonged exposure to water, the vest will eventually get wet. Like most vests, it is designed as more of a layering piece and not really meant to withstand the elements (except wind).

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RockyMtnHigh

RockyMtnHigh wrote an answer about on January 1, 2011

Well, the small is 47" long, and you are 68". Some people do fine with a pad just under their torso and head (with their feet extending beyond the pad), especially if the pad is being used primarily for comfort and not warmth. Personally, I prefer a pad that is at least as long as I am.

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RockyMtnHigh

RockyMtnHigh wrote an answer about on December 27, 2010

It really depends upon what you mean by insulation. Really, this is just a thin baselayer that will trap just a little bit of heat if something is worn on top of it. It breathes and wicks very well, and works very well under clothing that does provide insulation (such as a fleece midlayer or--on warmer days--even a softshell). By itself, though, it provides little warmth.

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RockyMtnHigh

RockyMtnHigh wrote an answer about on December 9, 2010

The dongle allows you to carry your ice axe upside down. It goes through the hole in the head of the axe, then back up, so you tighten the velcro strap around both the handle of the axe and the dongle (so the axe doesn't slip out the bottom of the strap). But you still have ready access to the axe by just opening the velcro strap.

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RockyMtnHigh

RockyMtnHigh wrote an answer about on November 30, 2010

What I might suggest is that instead of trying to find a way to keep those 8" from inflating that you inflate the pad (to 95%) then fold those 8" back upon itself. With a normal sleeping bag, it would be difficult to keep it folded like this, but with your Big Agnes bag you can hopefully put the folded end into the pad sleeve at your head and use it as a built-in pillow.

If the sleeve is too small to accommodate the folded-over pad, then you can try rolling those 8" up and then place the pad in the bag sleeve, sliding the pad all the way up (so that the rolled up portion is pushed up against the end of the bag sleeve by your head). Hopefully, the bag sleeve will keep that part of the pad from unrolling when you lie down (but it wouldn't surprise me much if the pad slowly works toward your feet--unrolling and therefore deflating--as you sleep).

Let us know what you end up doing (and whether it works).

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