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Ryan Gibbs

Ryan Gibbs

ME / NH

Ryan Gibbs's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Biking
Running
Skiing

Ryan Gibbs's Bio

Mechanical Engineer and Guide.

Skiing, Mountaineering, Hiking, Biking, Running and anything outdoors in my free time.

http://instagram.com/powdergibbs

Ryan Gibbs

Ryan Gibbswrote a review of on July 27, 2015

5 5

Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 8"
Weight: 135 lbs

Wow. I started making the switch to merino a few seasons ago and have slowly replaced most of my stinky poly tech shirts that I seem to hold onto year after year. The only problem I found is that while merino doesn't retain funk and will keep you warm when wet, it just stays wet far too long. This is particularly troublesome on windy days in cold weather. This shirt has all of the great qualities of merino, maintaining its odor resistance after multiple days of use in the sweltering summer heat, but much to my surprise dried out in less than a half hour.

The fabric feel is just slightly different than a typical merino. It does have a slight stretchy feel to it, but is still very light and feels comfortable against the skin.

The fit I prefer much more than Ibex. Its slightly fitted and a bit longer, so it fits a slim athletic build really well.

I'm impressed enough by the product I will be purchasing a second.

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Ryan Gibbs

Ryan Gibbswrote a review of on July 27, 2015

3 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 8"
Weight: 135 lbs
Size Purchased: Small

The cushion on these is classified as light, but feels on the thicker side. They have a nice soft feel and have anatomical markings for right and left. Over the years I've shifted away from the no-show socks for hiking since over time they seem to ride down. These started riding down right out of the package, even though they were properly sized for my foot. Decent socks, but they will only be used as a casual sock for this reason. Love the merino though.

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Ryan Gibbs

Ryan Gibbswrote a review of on July 21, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 8"
Weight: 135 lbs
Size Purchased: Small

These are my go to pair of boxers be it working, hiking, fishing, climbing, you name it. The moisture management is great on the hot days and the odor resistent fabric is welcomed especially on those multi-day trips. After 50+ days in them they are showing no signs of wear or a damaged waistband. Well worth the money. Cotton kills, so give yourself the tech treatment where it matters.

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Ryan Gibbs

Ryan Gibbswrote a review of on July 21, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 8"
Weight: 135 lbs
Size Purchased: Small

Agree with others, seems strange to review boxers, but these are the real deal. They do incredibly well in the backcountry for multiple days in the hot weather. The wick moisture really well and the odor resistent features of them will prove worthly after several back to back 20 mile hikes. They fit true to size and the only reason they are my second favorite pair is because the boxer brief version of these became my favorites. The price is a bit steep, but for the functionality and durability of these its well worth it.

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Ryan Gibbs

Ryan Gibbswrote a review of on June 2, 2015

Still my favorite shoes
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 8"
Weight: 135 lbs
Size Purchased: 7.5

Wore through my backcountry.com exclusives from 2014 in about a year. Still some tread but starting to leak through. They are a high wear shoe, but unparalled comfort and grip in my opinion. Hundreds of miles on them, so one season of use is reasonable.

This time around I opted to bump a half size down which is a very snug performance fit for me and went for the non Gore-Tex version. After several days of use I can tell they are slightly cooler than the Gore-Tex version, but do get slightly wet jumping through puddles etc. Where I miss the water protection, they make up in quicker drying time. These are last years model, but design remains the same.

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Ryan Gibbs

Ryan Gibbswrote a review of on June 2, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 8"
Weight: 135 lbs
Size Purchased: Small

I don't normally review socks, but these are the best socks I've ever owned. The first time I put them on I noticed right away they fit like a glove. Not too tight, not too loose, and with a left and right anatomical fit there's no annoying seam in the way.

Great for running, hiking, casual. There isn't much cushion, but that's what I prefer. No chaffing from movement. They stay perfectly in place and the merino wicks moisture great.

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Ryan Gibbs

Ryan Gibbswrote a review of on April 28, 2015

5 5

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

First and foremost I'm by no means Paleo, but I saw these at my local shop and decided to give it a try. I was definitely skeptical of these at first. Usually if I pack any sort of meat product its Salami coupled with Cheddar.

The bars are fairly small in size so they are highly packable. At 200 calories its a fairly calorie dense food if space is of concern. Having no idea what to expect I ripped one of these open after a big day touring and 5 miles left to bootpack out on melted out fire roads. I expected a beef jerky type taste. How pleasantly surprised I was. There is a lot going on flavor wise with the bar, but I think thats what I liked most. Its soft in texture and the bison coupled with bacon is tender and savory. The cranberries sweeten things up nicely. A really nice departure from the usual. I would buy it again.

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Ryan Gibbs

Ryan Gibbswrote a review of on April 14, 2015

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

After having bad luck with TNF's line of packs last season and wanting some additional spare for guiding clients I landed on this pack.

Storage: Abundant. At 45L this hit the perfect sweet spot for being just a tad on the large side for touring only day trips, perfect size for ski mountaineering day trips, and even just big enough to be able to squeeze in or lash on gear for overnights. The avy tools pocket is the furthest out and has ample space for tools and study equipment. The main compartment is cavernous and has a great side zipper for easy access (as long as the skis are not on the pack). The brain has two pockets, one is on the underside where I keep valuables and the other on top provides quick access to items you use often. The top also extends to fit up to 55L, but beware the brain will be very high on the head if you do this.

On the outside of the pack two ice axes fit very nicely in their appropriate loops and there's even a great spot to throw crampons, poles, or whatever you may need.

Ski Carry: My biggest issue with packs is how well the ski carry holds up. After almost a full season of heavy backcountry use the ski carry system shows no signs of wear. The bottom loops are bomber. My favorite A-Frame carry system yet. Quick, easy, simple, durable.

Fit: The internal frame Alpine Back system in this pack is fantastic. My back is never sore, even when pushing the pack well past the recommended weight limit. It?s also removable in you are looking to drop some weight. The straps are also very expandable to fit different torso sizes.

Pros: Comfortable, Versatile, And Durable

Improvements: In a pack this size it?s a challenge to avoid head interference. When climbing steep couloirs or ice I found the interference with my head (5' 8" for reference) to be an issue. Consequently I have to turn my head to the side and then look up, which can be problematic and why it received 4 out of 5 stars.

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Ryan Gibbs

Ryan Gibbswrote a review of on January 22, 2015

5 5

After many years of use it was time to retire my Bern Helmet. Since I've been using Smith goggles for several years and testing the integration in store this was an obvious choice.

The Good

Fit: The Vantage comes in 4 sizes from 51-67cm and includes the Boa fit system. My Bern had absolutely no adjustability of the liner aside from adding a few pads and never fit completely snugly. This helmet fits like it should and sinks down onto the head like a glove. With a quick twist of the Boa you can dial in that perfect level of snugness. The helmet is nice and low profile, not to mention lightweight.

Ventilation: The biggest problem I had with my Bern aside from a slightly imperfect fit was goggle integration. Medium helmets seemed to integrate poorly with the curvature of my goggles and as a result led to slight gaper gap. I could care less about the slight gap style wise, but hiking in foul weather this is a killer as your goggles tend to fog very quickly.

Smith goggles integrate perfectly with their helmet line ( I have the I/O ) and the Air-Evac helps take dumped heat around the foam at the top of the goggle and bring it overhead and out the top. Even in brutal cold I have no problems with fogging booting up 1200' couloirs. The dual regulator lets you choose front, back, or both for ventilation. I particularly like dual open when hiking, front closed when skiing in slightly warmer weather, and both closed if its downright brutal.

The Bad

Camera Mounting: A great deal of thought was put into the Smith Forefront Bike helmet with a recessed slot for action camera mounting. On the vantage in size medium I've found its impossible to mount a GoPro with the traditional flat or curved 3M mounts, going so far as to use several types of superglues and epoxies to keep the mounts stuck. I did not ding Smith for this because the helmet functions completely as it should as a safety device, but it would be nice to see this detail addition in the future.

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Ryan Gibbs

Ryan Gibbswrote a review of on January 15, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

When they say this harness lasts for years they aren't kidding. I don't climb a ton, but I got this harness 13 years ago and its still kicking with no damage to speak of other than a few scuff marks and chalk stains. There are a lot of more expensive, more comfortable, feature loaded harnesses out there, but if you are just getting into climbing and don't want to break the budget this is an excellent buy that will last. Great for the gym or outdoors. Plenty of adjustment within the size range to fit a variety of shapes and sizes.

If you are going to get serious about Trad and plan on being on rock outdoors often invest in something a little more comfortable.

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Ryan Gibbs

Ryan Gibbswrote a review of on January 13, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I got a tired of my Light My Fire sporks not standing up to the cold condition very well. These are almost double the price, but this ultralight (spork in my case) is extremely sturdy, easy to clean, and one of the lightest camping utensil options on the market. Tiny clip slot is a nice added feature. I'd recommend the long handle for eating right out of a Jetboil.

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Ryan Gibbs

Ryan Gibbswrote a review of on January 13, 2015

5 5

Of all the tools I used last season, I finally pulled the trigger on these. As a ski mountaineer my needs are different than most, but these seem to hold the balance between all aspects extremely well.

Pommel-One of my bigger complaints about some all around tools is a weak fat plastic pommel for plunging on steep snow routes. The pommel on these is very similar to the quark and the X-All and the pick plunges into hard snow very well. While these have a bigger profile than the X-All, the curve of the tools matches better for my needs.

Hand Feel-The tools do feel heavier and slightly less balanced than the quark does. I noticed my wrists tended to get tired more quickly as a result. I have smaller hands and I did not experience any issues with my hand fitting in the grip, but several friends with larger hands did have issues.

Swing- Completely Natural. This is where I was really sold on these tools. In hero ice they stuck incredibly well, but in the cold hard ice they really shined. For me I felt there was a very natural smooth swing with a flick finish without thinking about it, almost a Goldilocks swing (not too hard, not too light, not too deep or shallow. I wasn't getting my tools stuck whatsoever, a big bonus for someone newer)

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Ryan Gibbs

Ryan Gibbswrote a review of on January 13, 2015

3 5

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

Firstly I'm not much of a climber, however I have used an array of tools over the past season for ski mountaineering and these were my 2nd to least favorite out of (Cassin X-All, Grivel Quantum Tech, BD Viper, and BD Venom)

The interchangeability of these axes combined with how light they are make for a fantastic tool. Between a choice of clips, leashes, and weights you can customize these to make them just they way you like them. I personally liked how lightweight they were, with one caveat - how well they stick on harder ice. If you are climbing harder ice I would definitely recommend the weights and I did not get a chance to use these tools with weights. On the hardest ice the tips didn't seem to want to grab they way the BD Viper or Cassin X-All's did.

In the softer ice and steep snow these excelled and I really liked the pinky rest for quick ascents on hard snow.

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Ryan Gibbs

Ryan Gibbswrote a review of on January 13, 2015

4 5

What's not to like about these? The aggressive curve makes it super easy to clear bulges and the feel in hand is great. All the climbing I did with these was low grade (WI3 minus) and no mixed, but the swing was very natural and they stuck really nicely without much effort. My only dislike is they aren't as well balanced for alpine climbing those days you find yourself plunging tools in snow often (and as a ski mountaineer that's what I do most of the time).

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