I just received my Toughsack (size #1) along with an assortment of Sea to Summit Seam Sealed stuff sacks. I was expecting to like the Sea to Summit ones better, so I got more of them and only one of these. And, well, I was right. The Sea to Summit stuff sacks are better designed, waterproof, and they seem just as tough. And they're practically the same price. So, although the Granite Gear sack is fine for a simple stuff sack, why not get a lot more for your money with the Sea to Summit ones?
I recently ordered one of every size from XS-L. I wanted to get enough that I'd be covered in most situations. The small and medium ones will work great for jackets and food and stuff, and the bigger ones will fit all the clothes I can pack plus my sleeping bag, which has its own compression sack but it's not waterproof. These bags are surprisingly tough and light and they seem very waterproof. I like how the cinches for the drawstring are incorporated into the collar of the bag (if you look at it in the pictures you can see what I mean), how there's that flap at the top to act as a lid and help to keep water out, and I like the webbing strap on the bottom and the little tab on the top that you can thread the drawstring through to make it extra-secure or you can use it to hang the bag while you're digging around inside it for a pair of socks or something, though I'm not sure how much weight that little tab can hold. If it's hypalon, which it seems to be to me, then it's probably pretty strong.
So, I'm looking forward to these things keeping my gear dry and organized and making packing a lot easier. Can't wait to take them on adventures with me!
I didn't expect this thing to pack up so small. I got the medium to go with my size medium Gregory Triconi 60L pack, and it's a great combo. Nice sturdy coverage and enough room to fit it over the pack when I have my tent poles and sleeping pad lashed to the outside of the pack. The quality is great and it's a well thought out design. I'm not into the bright blue color so much, I like more natural/muted colors, but for safety purposes and stuff I can't really complain. Plus, as mentioned below, it looks better than a trash bag ;)
This thing is sweet. Very soft, warm, stylish, and good fit. Yes, wind cuts right through it. But that's alright with me, I got it to wear under a shell, and for that purpose it can't be beat. It works fine on its own, don't get me wrong. Just beware of wind, unless you're actually moving around while wearing it to build up some body heat, which it will trap and use to keep you warm in a most efficient way indeed. Seriously, this thing is good at keeping you warm, within its limits. And the fit is great for me, I'm 6'2", 165lbs, pretty long arms, and a medium fits perfectly, with plenty of arm length to spare actually...perhaps that has something to do with the "Monkey Man" name. Keep in mind though that I bought it as a layering garment, so I didn't want anything too baggy or long in the hem. This falls just below my waist and the fit is athletic enough that it won't be annoying under a shell but it also doesn't constrict my movements at all. So yeah, overall a great jacket/layer. If it was windproof, it would've gotten 5 stars.
This tarp works great for keeping the rain off of you or keeping you cool in the shade. I've used it as a rain fly for my hammock when I use that for camping, and I've used it to create a sheltered area for cooking and stuff other times. I have the 9-foot version, and it's a pretty useful thing to have, that's for sure...very light, packs down small (it only takes up half the space in the included stuff sack), and has a good area of coverage. You just have to remember to flip it around depending on if you want sun protection or rain protection. And sometimes it's hard to get the tarp nice and taught if you don't set it up in the "V" shape like in the picture but instead try to have it flat. But it has lots of tie-on points, both around the exterior and sewn onto the tarp face, so it's very easy to "dial in" the right tightness and get the right angle. All in all, a very useful piece of gear, great to use as a main rain/sun protection or to add on to your campsite.
I did all kinds of research this spring when I was looking into buying a warm-weather rain jacket, and I came to several conclusions; eVent waterproof membrane is the best (better than gore-tex in every category), Westcomb is amazing (they were formed by ex-Arc'teryx people, so the two brands are pretty similar in fit and features, but Westcomb uses eVent instead of Gore-tex and they're also better priced I think, but still made in Canada), and I look great in the russet/redrock color combo :)
I didn't get this particular jacket, I found the Cruiser LT on a different website and that jacket suited my needs better, but it's quite similar to this one, with two different fabrics for waterproofness and durability, similar styling, pit zips, front and napoleon pockets, high collar, same hood (which is the best hood ever!), and amazing construction quality and attention to detail. The Cruiser LT is lighter and cheaper though, and doesn't have the powder skirt, so it's better suited to warm weather use.
Overall, I'm crazy happy with my Westcomb jacket, and if BC.com offered the Cruiser LT, I would've bought it from here and written a review of it then. That being said, I'm gonna go ahead and rate this one anyway because they're very similar. I've never given something 5 stars before! Especially something I didn't actually own... (this may upset some people, but think of this rating as more of a rating of eVent and Westcomb than of this particular jacket).
I have the Crusier LT in size medium and it fits me so perfectly. I'm 6'1" with a 32" waist, 165lbs, and the jacket has the perfect length and sleeve length. I can fit a 100g North Face Heatseeker liner jacket underneath just fine.
I have the Kaos II with velcro, but it's still pretty much the same shoe. The XT-5 rubber is quite good, I've only used these a few times so far but they are a huge step up above my old Evolv Defy shoes. I do wish I had gotten the lace-ups, but I found the velcro ones on sale somewhere. I'm a size 11/11.5 street shoe, and since my style of climbing isn't too agressive or anything, I just ordered a pair in 10.5. Which is when I discovered that my left foot is a tad larger than my right foot...
Still, great shoes, they hold their own against much more expensive shoes, and they look pretty nice too I think.
This is a cheap, warm, well thought-out sleeping bag that gets the job done and done well. It has the features of much more pricey bags, like baffles along the zipper and neck, offset layering/stitching, two different draw cords that you can differentiate between just by touch (so when it's dark out you can tell which cord will tighten the hood and which will tighten the chin), hanging loops, sleeping pad loops, and a nifty foot box with a vent which forms a nice little area for your feet to be comfortable and keep your toes from getting smooshed, and also lets you dump excess heat in warmer weather so you don't overheat (which is just as uncomfortable as being cold). And let's not forget that the insulation is top-notch too...ClimaShield XP; warm, very compressible, very lofty. Obviously not as warm, compressible, or lofty as down would be, but it's like a third as expensive as a down bag, and if it gets wet you don't have to worry, unlike down. Plus, it's country of origin is listed as Andorra. Nuff said!
Lightweight, tiny, bright, easy to use, inexpensive, seems durable, looks cool, and it says the country of origin is Aruba. What else could you want from a light?
It's a grizzly jacket. It's real warm, this was a 30-degree day and the jacket was way too warm with the liner in it, so I just layered under the shell. Some people (my mom...) can't understand spending $300 on a jacket, so I'll tell you guys what I tell her; it's a mid weight waterproof/windproof shell, a light weight but warm liner, and when zipped together, it's a stormproof furnace. When I went ice skating with my mom I wore this jacket (with liner) and a t-shirt. I had to unzip the jacket and take off my gloves to prevent overheating. She wore a large down jacket, long sleeve thermal, undershirt, mittens, scarf, hat... I think she might understand now. And none of her stuff was waterproof or windproof :)
This jacket is pretty awesome. The shell is water and windproof and is surprisingly warm. The liner is pretty nice by itself, in calm dry conditions it'll be good down to the 30's probably. Together, they make quite an impenetrable barrier. The hood is pretty nice too, it's detachable for those days when you don't need a hood, but when it's attached it does a good job of keeping your head warm and dry, and it's pretty adjustable and has room for a cap to be worn under it. The handwarmer pockets are kinda hard to get into due to a flap that keeps water from getting into the pocket and their being positioned slightly farther back than on other jackets. The pockets themselves are nice and big, but the entrance is kinda tight. They'll stay dry on the insides though.
As far as quality goes, this jacket is pretty top-notch. The attention to detail is very high and the materials are high quality. The shell is very waterproof, the water just beads on it and rolls off, but the shell fabric isn't too thick or stiff or anything, it's just perfect. The zippers are very nice and easy to work and don't catch on anything. And there are enough pockets on the jacket to be useful but not...overbearing I guess. Some jackets have way too many pockets.
Overall, I love this jacket. In short; versatile, durable, warm, waterproof, high quality, and stylin.
Note: I'm 6'1", 155lbs, 32" waist, and the medium fits me perfectly, just enough room to add a medium-weight base layer or something, and the length and sleeves are perfect.