Sam Atkins

Sam Atkins

Colorado, Utah, and SW Montana

Sam Atkins's Bio

Tele alpine and nordic skier, mountain biker, trail runner, hiker, photographer, artist, explorer, adventurer.

Sam Atkins

Sam Atkins wrote a review of on May 22, 2010

5 5

The Peak XC is a truly impressive shoe in its accomplishment of achieving light weight, cushioning, stability, and traction. The framework of the heel box is built around a material called skydex, which is used in military helmets and climbing crash pads, which uses layers of opposed hemispheric high grade polymers(read about it here: www.skydex.com/) to absorb large impacts in small spaces. By using small amounts of this stuff, the shoe makers over at PI were able to produce the same absorbing and cushioning effects of foam with less material, and therefore less weight.
I put around 450-475 miles on trails with this shoe last summer, and I have no complaints about it. I did use a pair of orthotic inserts, but these shoes will promote the growth of stabilizing muscles in your legs (as with any shoe, don't jump right into doing big weeks with this, ease your way in) which will make you a more fluid and efficient runner. My first timed 10k with these shoes dropped me under 38 minutes, and that was on a hilly course.
Two thumbs up.

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Sam Atkins

Sam Atkins wrote a review of on May 22, 2010

5 5

These are great shoes. Had them for about two months now, and they are a lot of fun to wear. I honestly don't use them for trail running, because they are really not that light (the Pearl Izumi peak XC is my benchmark for a lightweight trail shoe, and a size 10 pair weighs ~510g compared to this at 772g) When I am not wearing a pack or running in loose technical rock, this shoe is overkill, but for bagging talus peaks or a multi-night backpack, these shoes do very well, the scarpa tread even hold their own on the rock!
If you are really looking for a lightweight minimalist trail running shoe, I would look at another pair of shoes, but if you want a good shoe that will take you anywhere you want to go in the mountains while retaining reasonable weight and good stability, this would be my top choice.

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Sam Atkins

Sam Atkins wrote a review of on March 4, 2010

5 5

This is certainly not a high flouro world cup race wax, but for advanced skiers looking for good performance or racers on a budget, this is a great wax for mid-low humidity on dry/older snow. It waxes clean and finishes smooth, skis very nice

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Sam Atkins

Sam Atkins wrote a review of on March 4, 2010

4 5

I believe that the negative reviews of this pack are from people who take the pack beyond its design purpose. If you take a light weight pack designed for alpine ascents and back country skiing, how can you expect it to hold up? That is not a fault of the pack.
Carrying loads of 55-60lbs, I have had no problems with the pack fit or comfort. The retention system keeps the pack well balanced and centered without any chaffing or wobbling, even with skis attached. The pack is quite roomy, I have yet to run out of room, even when packed for two nights of snow camping, climbing, and back country skiing. Wonderful for hut trips, long days, or a short alpine climb.
My one drawback of the pack would be the number of bells and whistles. Several hundred grams could easily be lost with a reduction of the daisy chains, zippers, and drawstrings that I have yet to use, even while portaging, and fully loaded with ice gear and skis.

While it is not the cleanest pack out there, it does its job very well and without complaint.

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Sam Atkins

Sam Atkins wrote a review of on March 4, 2010

2 5

I have put in a solid 200+ days of hard teleing on the O2s with rid stiff cartridges, and I would not recommend them to any of my friends. While they are indeed adequately stiff for driving a pair of 186 karhus through any snow I could think of, the flex is very unnatural, and I have broken 5 heel pieces. The flex problem originates from the location of the springs, and results in a very stiff initial flex, followed by a less active low stroke. This basically means that it becomes difficult to initiate a turn that becomes progressively less stable as your stance lowers. A subtle detail, and perhaps a personal peeve, but give these bindings a demo before you purchase.
Also, due to some structural flaw, The heel pieces are exceptionally prone to snapping. Usually they fail right above the clamp, which is more frustrating than anything, but none the less, an obstacle, especially at the beginning of a day, or the top of a hike.
I hate to say it, because I really like BD gear, but there are much better binding options.

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Sam Atkins

Sam Atkins wrote a review of on March 3, 2010

5 5

After 80+ days of skiing in the Sidewinders, I must say these are a durable functional pant. They are light and breathable (especially with the side zips) enough to wear on a warm spring tour with a pair of gym shorts. But they(along with a pair of patagonia R1 pants) kept me warm through a weekend of resort skiing with -15F temps. The gaitered cuff works great, as do all the zippers, and they show little damage around the cuffs from ski edges that would be very noticeable in a comparable pant.

A note on fit. I am 6'2", 160lb, and a 34"inseam. I got the large pants, and I have the belt cinched up just about all the way. They look a bit baggy, but the hem is just above the ankle of my boot, to help avoid getting tangled in crampons, edges, etc.

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