SpriteMV

SpriteMV

Iowa City, IA

Jesse's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Biking
Snowshoeing
Skiing
Climbing
SpriteMV

SpriteMV wrote a review of on November 18, 2008

5 5

I own many styles of smartwool socks, but I have to say these are my favorite. I generally prefer the low cut socks in the first place, but in the past I couldn't wear them with my hiking shoes as they would either fall down or the back of the shoe would rub on my Achilles. The little pad on the back of these socks keeps them up and prevents the rubbing. Plus, with the perfect distribution of stretch and support, you can't find a better sock. If you like short socks, I highly recommend these!

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SpriteMV

SpriteMV wrote a review of on November 18, 2008

5 5

This is turning into one of my favorite long-sleeved shirts. I wear it around town all the time, but because it is merino, it is great at regulating temperature and moisture without retaining odors. This shirt is not as form fitting as my Icebreaker Oasis shirts but still has the extra length, which I love. I still ended up sizing up one size - I'm 6'2, 190 lbs and a size XL fits perfectly.

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SpriteMV

SpriteMV wrote a review of on November 18, 2008

4 5

I have a handful of Icebreaker tops and love them all so I decided to pick up a pair of bottoms as well. I find the Icebreaker generally runs a bit small, even when I size up they are fairly skin tight. Unfortunately, I thought I'd try my recommended size with these guys and they ended up tighter than I would prefer. On the plus side, the merino wool is very soft and has exceptional breathability. Bottom line: If you don't have skinny twig legs, or don't want your baselayer to fit like spandex, think about sizing up!

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SpriteMV

SpriteMV wrote a review of on November 18, 2008

5 5

I have 2 of these shirts and absolutely love them! They are very thin and soft, yet regulate temperature and moisture very well. They have a slim fit, yet run a bit long (which is perfect for me). Depending on how you want them to fit, consider sizing up. At 6'2, 190 lbs, I usually wear size large, but the large tops fit like spandex. I ended buying XL's which are still form fit and tight, but at least have a little breathing room (good if you are intending to wear the shirt on its own).

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SpriteMV

SpriteMV wrote a review of on November 18, 2008

3 5

I really love the fit, softness, and quality of the shirt but I don't wear it much due to the awkward turtle neck. It seems too long to zip all the way up, looks odd if you roll it half way down, and if you leave it unzipped, it does not have the rigidity to stand up on its own but also doesn't lie like it should if you fold it down. I love the shirt, but I wish I could get more use out of the thing. It's also my only shirt with thumb holes which is a plus.

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SpriteMV

SpriteMV wrote a review of on May 5, 2008

4 5

These sandals are fashionable and the orientation of the straps results in a very secure fit. I prefer the Z/1 over the Z/2 as the lack of a toe loop allows one to wear them with a pair of cozy socks after crawling out of the tent on a cool morning. The footbed has ergonomic curves which will keep your feet happy and also keep your foot from sliding around. The back of the sole has a ridge on both sides which keeps your heel in place, but feels strange if you are used to relatively flat-soled sandals. While fit and style makes these sandals great for wearing on less technical ventures, I cannot recommend them for longer treks, especially if you are an ounce counter like myself. A size 12 sandal weighs 16.4 oz - that's 32.8 oz per pair! You can actually find light hiking shoes that weigh less than this. Bottom line: If you are in to fashion and looking for a cool pair of outdoorsy sandals, Chacos offer supreme fit and durability. However, if you are a weight-conscious hiker, you can find a much lighter sandal and may want to look around a bit more.

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SpriteMV

SpriteMV wrote a review of on May 1, 2008

3 5

There's no other way to put it, I'm addicted to my narrow-mouthed Nalgene. There are few things worse than trying to drink from a wide-mouthed Nalgene while driving or walking when a wave of water splashes all over your face and shirt. With the narrow-mouthed Nalgene, this can be a thing of the past. However, recent research has me questioning whether it's time to retire my old faithful. Bisphenol A, anybody?

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SpriteMV

SpriteMV wrote a review of on May 1, 2008

4 5

I've had my Marmot Oracle for a few years now, and it has kept me dry more times than I can count. I wear it while commuting by bike in heavy rain (on trips no more than 10 minutes long) and during short rainfalls while canoing and backpacking. I love how light and packable it is - I can throw it in my backpack or messenger bag when it isn't needed and completely forget about it. I wish it could stuff into one of its own pockets, but I've ended up using a separate stuff sack and have had no problems. I will finally be upgrading from the Oracle due to an unpleasant experience I had last summer. While backpacking in the Smokies, the heavens opened up and we faced a complete downpour during an 8-mile exit hike. This is the only time the Oracle failed to keep me dry, but was by far the longest I had tested it in heavy rain. I think for my next jacket I will look for something with a Gore-Tex membrane to keep me dry. If you are on a somewhat restricted budget and aren't planning on being in rainstorms for hours on end, this jacket will treat you well. However, if you are like me, and prefer a bit more protection, I'd recommend spending a little more dough and hopping on the Gore-Tex bandwagon.

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SpriteMV

SpriteMV wrote a review of on May 1, 2008

5 5

I use this bag every day when commuting on my bike. My absolute favorite thing about it is something I have seen in no other messenger bags - the strap has a quick release cinch allowing you to hike the bag way up on your back while riding, and let it back down to your waist when you arrive so you don't look like a wannabe hipster. The ballistic nylon is ultra-durable. I don't think it will EVER wear out. Additionally, the bag has a completely waterproof lining allowing you to wear it in absolute downpours while keeping the contents dry (which I have on many occasions) as long as the cover flap is situated appropriately. I like the organizer pockets on the inside and the brightly colored key ring is a bonus. The only thing that gets a little annoying is that the Velcro fastener that fastens the top closed is a bit excessive. Don't expect to discretely open your bag if you sneak into lecture late... RRRIIIIIIIP!! However, it's no longer a problem for me - there's nothing a little duct tape can't fix.

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SpriteMV

SpriteMV wrote a review of on May 1, 2008

3 5

I really like the looks of this beanie, although the "reversible" side is just a plain color and I doubt I will ever wear it facing out. Like most woven hats, the Thermal Reversible Beanie is not windproof. However, due to its moderate thickness, it is still adequately warm for most temps. BEWARE, this thing fits small. I am a male with a medium sized head and even after stretching it as much as I can, it barely covers my ears. Best to try one on in person if you are unsure or you may find you have just purchased a hip new prAna Yarmulke.

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SpriteMV

SpriteMV wrote a review of on May 1, 2008

4 5

Every time I pull this stove out of my backpack, it amazes those who haven't seen it. It is so light and small, it is almost unbelievable how hot it gets. While you do have some control over the flame intensity, I've found it's difficult to achieve lower temperatures with the GigaPower stove. Also, its small footprint offers plenty of stability for my smaller cooksets, but I have tried larger frying pans on it while making fish and pancakes and things get a little wobbly.

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SpriteMV

SpriteMV wrote a review of on May 1, 2008

4 5

After being a loyal fan of both Reef and Teva Mush flip flops, I found a pair of Chaco Flip on sale and decided to give them a shot. Overall, I've concluded that while the Chaco Flip is not as comfortable as the Reefs and Tevas, they are much more durable.

I'll start with the soles. In the past I've easily worn through at least one pair of Tevas/Reefs each summer. The Chacos, on the other hand, sport Vibram soles and are very durable. They seem as though they will last for many years. Unfortunately, this durability comes at the expense of comfort and weight. In contrast to the the soft, squishy, light (3.4 oz) foam sandals I have worn in the past, the Chaco soles have a rough, hard, heavy (10.4 oz) design. At 3 times the weight of my old sandals, I am still adjusting to them. In addition to the durability of the soles, they have a better ergonomic fit and become grippier when wet which is a plus if you plan on wearing them in wet conditions. I've found that foam sandals get very slick when wet and provide little or no support. The strap is not as soft as the strap on Reefs and Tevas, but it is well made and fits well. I found no need to size up or down. Lastly, the sandals are more expensive than the foam variety, but this is warranted as they are likely to last much longer. All in all, these are very stylish and well-made sandals. If you are used to heavier shoes you will have no problem with them and will love the legendary Chaco durability and quality. However, if you like the squishy, soft feeling of lightweight foam flip flops (ala Teva Mush), I would suggest trying them on before pulling out your credit card.

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SpriteMV

SpriteMV wrote a review of on May 1, 2008

5 5

The Katadyn Hiker Microfilter is a godsend in the backcountry. No more packing in water - drink ice-cold mountain water to your heart's content with this gadget. I've used this microfilter to pull water from sources ranging from crystal clear mountain streams to muddy-brown rivers and have had nothing but good results. The water coming out of the Hiker tastes better than my tap water at home, and the Nalgene/Camelbak hose adapters make pumping water a 1-man chore. The replacement filters are expensive, so I'd recommend hand-rinsing your filter in the sink after each trip.

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SpriteMV

SpriteMV wrote a review of on May 1, 2008

5 5

The ProLite series is the creme of the crop when it comes to compact sleeping pads. What's not to love about an ultra-light, super-packable sleeping pad that self-inflates and has a lifetime warranty? It's the size of a Nalgene when rolled up. If your are obsessed with packing as small as possible, I'd recommend getting the stuff sack for the short length ProLite 3 rather than the regular length as Therm-a-Rest's stuff sacks tend to run a bit large. It is a tight fit, but with careful rolling it works great to keep the pad rolled as tightly as possible. I should also mention that while this pad is the ultimate for those of us who are weight and size conscious, it may not be thick enough for individuals who sleep on their side, set up camp on particularly hard ground, or just plain prefer luxurious sleeping conditions. Spend the money on this pad - as a 1-time purchase, you won't be sorry!

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