Vantage, Methow River, Tieton River, Alpental, Olympics
I use this pad for everything from couch surfing to fifty milers. A little cold in the winter, but not bad. I have one complaint. Due to its extremely light material, I have gotten leaks in three pads. Even though I have had three of these pads go flat, I always go back, but am sick of waiting for the day when it will lose air. It is not that I am super hard on it, it just gets a lot of use and it eventually happens. I sleep on this more than my bed. I still keep buying it though (if under a year the warranty kicks in). I just now got another companies pad just to see if the durability is different.
This is my go to glove for times when I am sitting in the cold. My last use of these was in a ski clinic where it was 10 degrees and we spent two hours on the bunny hill. Another reviewer commented that the thumbs got cold, so did mine. That is why I am glad it was a mit and I just pulled them into my fist. These are usually my belay gloves and have gone through some abuse because of close contact with granite and metal. They have held up awesome. NF is not my first choice for outerwear, but these gloves are great. I use BD guide gloves when on the move, but these are by far my go to glove for extreme low temps and low activity.
This jacket is bomb proof. I would expect that from a 300+ dollar jacket. I returned it due to the fact that I couldn't zip the front zipper up all the way. The neck was to small and was way to small when layering. It worked great for days where I didn't need to zip it up and the fit was a little baggy but comfortable. Just purchased the beryllium from MH as a substitute. The neck fits better but I am not as confident in the fabric.
When I first unrolled this pad, it was about a few millimeters thick due to vaccum packing. It gets to about three inches thick. I have had three thermarest prolite #3's, but always return them after about a year due to leakage's. I bought this just to try another company, coupled with the fact that it was a SAC purchase and cheap. This pad has baffles on the sides that the company says are for keeping you from rolling off. They really are just baffles filled with air. If you put too much pressure on them, they just squash down. Now I don't mean this to be a deterrent, because the pad its self is very comfy! I just wish they had made it wider rather than put space age air pockets on the side. If you even disperese your body weight it works wonderfuly.
The picture on Backcountry is a little misleading. It makes it seem like a 3/4 sleeping pad, but be assured the pad tapers down farther than the picture depicts. I have only used this on one cold outing, a friends concrete garage floor and my watch told me it was about 28 degrees. I slept well.
To be told this is a great item especially with it's eco-minded construction. I haven't put it through a durability test yet, but for now it seems sturdy. Also it does pack down quite small. About the equivalent of the Prolite 3 but just a tad bigger.
I can't believe this jacket is going for 160$! Had this for six years and can honsetly say I have worn it over 365 days. It has been my go to jacket for everything from frosty mornings before a race to x-country skiing. I think I have three loose threads and they have only pulled out about a millimeter or two. The hand cuffs are starting to get very thin and the two holes from being to close to a welder is the only reason I even where my other softshells. I also get called out for not changing my dress style. Perfect layering. I now want to upgrade to the hoody. I tried out the Arcteryx trident softshell :( Just not as good of a fit. You shouldnt have to think about this decision.
There is a reason why Montbell has only done slight changes to this jacket since it's conception, it is simply unbeatable! I have had this jacket for 5 years and my roomate just got the revamped version. Only difference is a change in material, making it more glossy, and an added bit of stretch to the cuff of the sleeve. The jacket is insanely warm for the low amount of bulkiness and layers much better than a down jacket. If you are in constant -20 degree temps, you might want to upgrade to down, for everything else, this jacket will make you smile. I use this parka for just about everything, from keeping warm while resting on a ski tour or crawling underneath buildings at the ski resort I work at. I have about six small holes from crampons, nails, skis, ice tools and a couple from my dog. The material inside the jacket does not leak out and the outer material does not rip any further than the original tear. I sealed up my first two nicks, but haven't since because there seems to be no need to. I will definitely be buying this jacket again, but my current parka still has a lot of years in it even with the abuse I give it.
Also make sure to serve it with very cold water. I find it makes it go down better. Chugging races with your work out partner helps too.
Used these gloves the past few weeks in pre-season spring conditions followed by 10 degree temps. These gloves rocked in 30 plus degress but have poor ventilation. I used these as my liners on cold days and they felt great. Colors are sweet but i find the fabric on the thumb, stereotypicaly made for nose wiping, to feel slightly uncomfortable against bare skin. Great glove for the price especially since other POW gloves with the same features are upwards of 60 bucks.
This board is about 3 inches away from being a directional down hill machine rather than a twin tip park hound. Used it the past two weekends and found it to be rather stiff which worked well in the spring like crud that was appearing on the slopes. Did well on the one powder day we had and was easy to maneuver around in the air. Have yet to take it to the park but have had much more fun jibbing around the back country than on my powder board. For the price Brociety was asking, I couldn't pass it up. Seems a bit heavy but I was surprised at the amount of burliness this board had after knocking the sidewalls. I ordered a 163 so I could get the width to fit my feet, but i am sure a smaller size would do better in the park.
I actually have two pairs of these due to the loss of one pair in the snow last year, that I miraculously recovered in the spring. I don't even feel bad for having two sets I like them that much (plus I tend to lose shades). As everyone says, you can't beat these glasses and the interlock system is hands down the best unless you have sunglasses that are half jackets. Since most people have already commented on the greatness of these shades, I want to stress that if you are at all wavering over any Smith glasses, their customer service is top notch and so far (for me) has only ever been rivaled by Rudy Project. Also if you break your glasses and they don't carry your style anymore, you will get a credit voucher for the retail price of the out dated pair towards a new set of glasses. Can't say enough good things about Smith. Even their gawdy glasses are awesome.
I, as many other skiing fans out there, had a tight budget and needed a pair of boots that would please me on tour and serve as a moderate resort boot as well. These are not the stiffest boots on the market (the Factor might fit your high pain threshold a little better), but I had no complaints while in the backcountry on the methods. In fact, they were quite comfy and the range of flexibility makes steep climbing bliss. As for the resorts, they did much better than any rental/friends boot and were only noticeably soft when I was pushing them in my fat skis. Now just to make myself clear I bought these with 75% touring in mind and the rest in the resort when I could catch a lift in between shifts. I demoed Garmonts but found they pinched the top of my foot. Overall, this boot has treated me very well in the back country and although it wont be the most impressive skiing you have ever done, they are more than reliable on groomers.
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