SketchAnchor

SketchAnchor

PacNW

    New Feature

    Browse Your Followers or See Who You're Following

  • #1824of 20025

Sean's Passions

Backpacking
Hiking
Alpine Skiing
Mountaineering
Sport Climbing

Sean's Bio

SketchAnchor

SketchAnchor wrote a review of on May 9, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

First, the weight specs on my scale:

Blade: 11.95oz (339g)
Handle: 5.7oz (161g)
Total: 17.65oz (500g)

Compare to B-1, Deploy 3 or 7, and the other top 6061-T6 aluminum shovels and you'll find the same thing. My B-1 weighed 19.5 oz and it's shorter by more than 2 inches, with a much smaller scoop (90 square inches vs the XLM's 135). Next closest competitor is the Deploy 3, with a half inch longer length but a smaller (119 sq inch) scoop, which weighs in at over 20 oz for me. Personal preference but I don't like the handle design on the Deploy 3 or 7 because it takes up an awkward space in your pack.

One more thing to note -- the shovel shaft/handle is closed at the end with a plastic cap so you can't get snow stuck down it. Just thought you should know.

(0)

 

0 Comments

SketchAnchor

SketchAnchor wrote a review of on April 25, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

After trying half a dozen pillows with various designs, I bought the large version of this pillow with a degree of skepticism. After two years of use, I can confidently say that it's the best lightweight pillow I've found for side sleepers. The neck "ridge" on the end is what does it -- it stays in place better than a flat pillow, provides the needed support, and seems to be just high enough to keep my head mostly flat. Sometimes I'll wrap a shirt around it as a pillow case and tuck the extra fabric under the pillow to give it an extra half-inch of height, but the pillow is just about perfect.

The only improvement that I could suggest would be to have a rubberized backing on one side of the pillow, similar to Thermarest's NeoAir pads. I've found that the pillow can slide around a little too much sometimes unless I have something above it (like a water bottle or other in-tent items). But this would add to the weight, so I'm not going to complain too much.

Highly recommend this product for side sleepers if you want to get some sleep in the backcountry!

(1)

 

0 Comments

SketchAnchor

SketchAnchor wrote an answer about on November 1, 2013

I think you're right on the borderline between a small and an extra small. I have both a medium and a large, and have also tried on a small (which I couldn't comfortably zip). Do you have broader shoulders, and what is your arm length? I would probably try a small first. You might not get a good city look, but it will work well for the other reasons: wearing your extra layers could up-size you, and you need unrestricted movement of your arms, which means you want perhaps slightly longer arms. It may be a little big, but that's how belay jackets should fit. If it's too big, take advantage of Backcountry's awesome return policy. :)

(1)

 

SketchAnchor

SketchAnchor wrote an answer about on October 19, 2013

I've asked retailers and Rab itself about this new treatment and they're very tight-lipped about it. My conclusion, based mostly off conjecture and the internets, is that Rab is basically washing the already-available Nikwax Down Proof into their down in large quantities, probably under the supervision of Nikwax to make sure it's applied perfectly.

My reasoning for this is:
1) Rab hasn't marketed their hydrophobic down technology very much, unlike Patagonia with Encapsil, Sierra Designs with DriDown, Brooks Range with DownTek, etc. This tells me it isn't revolutionary, and certainly Nikwax Down Proof wash-in solution isn't really revolutionary or new at all.
2) On Rab's website, they now recommend cleaning jackets with the 1-2 punch of Nikwax Down Wash and then, "to maintain DWR", use Nikwax Down Proof solution.
3) On Rab's website for their new down, they say that their process is "far more effective and durable" than DIY wash-in products. Other down proofing technologies emphasize the permanence of their treatment, not the durability, implying that this treatment will eventually wear off. Especially since in #2 above, Rab recommends using Down Proof when cleaning the jacket.
4) The marketing speak for the new technologies mirrors Nikwax's Down Proof to a T, especially the emphasis on "fluorocarbon free".

TLDR; My conclusion with all of this is that they're using Nikwax Down Proof in an industrial wash-in process, likely meaning higher quality results than DIY wash-in, but ultimately it's little more than a DWR that will wear off over time.

(1)

 

SketchAnchor

SketchAnchor wrote a review of on March 27, 2013

5 5

I love this jacket. It's very warm and very light. It compresses down small and lofts up huge. The down is firm in each baffle; it feels like it's stuffed full, almost squishy. With a base layer in this jacket, you will be warm sitting around camp well into the teens or lower.

Its biggest competitor, the Feathered Friends Hooded Helios, has the same amount of down but weighs 4-5 oz. less. However, for those extra few ounces in this jacket, you get more durable fabric, water resistant zippers, velcro adjustments in the hood and wrists, zippered hand warmer pockets instead of elastic, full waist adjustments with drawcord instead of elastic, drop tail that covers your butt to make you warmer, a fully adjustable hood with wire brim and velcro stays instead of just one adjustment, plus a hood that covers more of your face and provides more insulation. Depending on your application, this makes the Rab Neutrino a more well rounded and fully-featured jacket. And also the reasons why I chose it over the Hooded Helios.

For fit, I'm 5'10" and 200lbs with an athletic frame (33" waist, 44" chest, 35" arms, wide shoulders), and the large fits me perfectly. I have just enough room to put a couple more layers without compressing the down. The jacket also completely covers my butt, which is really nice when you're at a cold belay.

For weight, it's advertised at 22oz, but my size large weighs exactly 21 ounces. The stuff sack it comes with weighs .75 oz., in case you care.

Hard not to recommend this jacket. Great for pretty much anything outside of the greater ranges.

(2)

 

0 Comments

SketchAnchor

SketchAnchor wrote a review of on December 20, 2012

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

First, the nice things: Great fit with many different sizes, warm enough for most days, a long gauntlet that provides extra waterproof protection around your wrist, the "idiot" strap that every glove should have, insulation that extends beyond the wrist to keep the joint warm, and they become very pliable after a few uses.

Unfortunately, the negative: I have been unable to make these gloves waterproof enough for use in the Pacific Northwest. I've heard we have an especially wet type of snow here, and if the degraded performance of this glove is any indicator, it's true.

After the third trip with this glove, it completely soaked through. I was skiing on a foggy day with temps hovering around freezing. As I learned, bad conditions for this glove. The thumb and fingertips wetted out on the leather, meaning my hands eventually got cold and... screaming barfies.

I tried the Hestra balm, which isn't supposed to waterproof them but I crossed my fingers. The next trip, I warmed the gloves and applied Tectron Sno-Seal, which worked for a trip, but then they started wetting out during a climb on Mt. Rainier. Not a good time to have your gloves soak through and make your hands numb, but they did. I have tried multiple waterproofing products but cannot seem to make these gloves waterproof for more than one ski outing or climbing trip.

I love these gloves for the reasons listed at the start of this review, but can't recommend them to people in the Pacific Northwest. In the end, I couldn't justify keeping a glove that cost $125 and wasn't waterproof for most of the conditions it's seen. I hope you have better luck, because these are great gloves when they're waterproof.

(1)

 

0 Comments

SketchAnchor

SketchAnchor wrote an answer about on December 20, 2012

Just saw your response Josh. While I have wanted to love the DAS, the fit hasn't worked for me. If you're 6'2" 190, my guess is that a Medium would be a good fit. It may have slightly short sleeves, however. I'm 5'10" 200 and the Medium is still pretty big for me, with accurately lengthed sleeves but a very large torso. I swim in the jacket, a bit too much in my opinion, making it drafty and meaning I carry too much extra insulation.

FYI, they are updating the DAS for 2013 which should provide a better fit for you. I'd advise waiting until then to see what they produce. However, it will only come in orange and black colors until Summer 2013.

(0)

 

SketchAnchor

SketchAnchor wrote a review of on December 20, 2012

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

In a word, this is a great lightweight puffy. It's as good in the mountains as it is in the city. This jacket is my daily driver, I wear it practically every day and yet my 2011 model hasn't lost much warmth after more than a year of nearly constant use (250+ days) in the mountains and city.

A few notes about sizing for 2012: MontBell increased its sizing for the US market. What that means is that the reviews you see from early this year or late last year regarding "small sizing" are no longer accurate. Case in point, the Large from 2011 of this jacket was a perfect fit for me, but now the 2012 Medium is a perfect fit. They didn't quite size up, but rather about 75% increase in sizing. So if a Large from last season was a bit big, the Medium currently being sold as of December 2012 would probably be a perfect fit with one layer or two underneath.

As a gauge, I'm 200lbs, athletic build with broader shoulders and chest, and 5'10". The 2012 version of this jacket in size Medium is a perfect athletic fit for me with one layer underneath. By "athletic"I mean that it's form-fitting but not tight, and looks almost tailored. If you want this jacket to pull belay jacket duty, I would size up if you have similar dimensions.

If you're debating between this jacket and the Nano Puff by Patagonia, this will be as warm (if not warmer) and more durable. More jacket for the money in my opinion, though it weighs 2oz more on average than the Nano Puff. Some people can fit a helmet under this jacket as well, though I wouldn't say it's designed for that. Don't expect to have much mobility if you throw the hood over your helmet in a belay.

As for warmth, people are different when it comes to how warm something feels, how well they're fed, and how much activity they're doing. I have worn this over a light fleece and been comfortable doing camp chores at around freezing. Your mileage may vary.

Check this one out, I don't think you'll be disappointed!

(0)

 

0 Comments

SketchAnchor

SketchAnchor wrote an answer about on November 9, 2012

The DAS is approximately 60% warmer. DAS uses Primaloft One which is 5% warmer than Coreloft per gram. At 170g in the torso and 133g in the hood and arms, it has an average of 159g of insulation distribution. The Atom SV has 100g of Coreloft, which equates to approximately 95g of PL1, since Coreloft isn't as warm per g. Final math comes out to approximately 60% warmth difference.

That said, they're both great pieces used for different applications, and the above calculations don't factor in fit, draftiness, etc.

(1)

 

SketchAnchor

SketchAnchor wrote a review of on March 22, 2012

5 5

Bought the new Prolite Plus which has a supposed weight of 22oz, at 1.5" thickness and 3.8 R-value. Slept on it, was decent, but it actually weighed 23oz.

Not a big deal until I saw the 40th anniversary edition, which is basically an improved version of the Prolite Plus. Supposed weight of 24oz., at 2" thickness and a 4 R-value.

I was very pleasantly surprised with the 40th anniversary edition version. The extra half-inch is noticeable for side sleepers like me. Additionally, it had a scale weight of exactly 24oz, so only 1 oz more than the Plus. Additional benefits: the same sticky bottom as the new Plus, a glow-in-the-dark nozzle, cool vintage logo on pad and the included stuff sack, bright yellow color, but also a great addition: a free patch kit. The free patch kit really sealed the deal, as the plus didn't come with one.

Very happy with my pad. Rolls up the same size as the Plus, but more comfortable, more warmth, more features at a slightly higher price. If you could already justify buying the Plus at 23oz, you can definitely (and should) justify buying the 40th anniversary edition too.

(2)

 

0 Comments

SketchAnchor

SketchAnchor wrote a review of on January 12, 2012

4 5

For a cadillac nut tool, this is great. But it weighs 3-4 times as much as a similar nut tool that is attached to your harness or a biner with some elastic cord from the fabric store. Because of the weight, I can't recommend it unless you're cleaning lots of pro all day. However, if you're not concerned about weight and want a tool that has it all, get this one.

(0)

 

0 Comments