Steve Chapman

Steve Chapman

North, South, East, & West

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Steve's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Running
Paddling
Skiing
Climbing

Steve's Bio

I live in Atlanta, work all over the Southeast and play in all four corners. I'm an avid cyclist and average 3000 miles a year. Other favorites include trail running, backpacking, any kind of paddling, alpine climbing and skiing. Favorite mountains are Squaw and Steamboat. Any day in the Back Country is a great day!

Steve Chapman

Steve Chapman wrote a review of on November 15, 2012

As Advertised
4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I just got this jacket and so far ... so good. Haven't run in anything below 45 degree's but it was sprinkling on that run and this jacket worked as advertised. It seems to hold heat well while warming up and then bleeds it off after you come up to mid work out temp. The pic I attached is with the hand warmer / gloves tucked in but these are a very cool feature. One less thing to carry. The breast pocket is big enough for a Nano, credit card and car key. There's a pocket on the inside but it's directly underneath the outside pocket. If you were to put anything in both, it would get a little bulky.

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Steve Chapman

Steve Chapman wrote a review of on April 22, 2012

5 5

Backpacker Magazine just gave the Atmos 65 their Editors Choice Award for "Best All Arounder" and I can see why. First of all, it's an Osprey, so build quality and attention to detail are second to none. Osprey specializes in backpacks. As a result they do it REALLY right. You can tell that everything has been beta tested to death before it gets out of R&D. The Atmos 65 is no exception. This backpack, as with all Osprey products, is perfectly over engineered so this pack will carry 40+ pounds like it was 20. The "AirSpeed" suspension is not just some gimmick. It works. There are plenty of creature comforts on the Atmos. Organizational pockets everywhere. I'm a fan of the stretchy stuff it pocket on the front and the hip belt pockets are a must on a pack of this size. There are plenty of compression straps and loops for anything you want or need to carry. To me, the 65 is the perfect weekender size. It forces you to be smart about your packing.

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Steve Chapman

Steve Chapman wrote a review of on April 21, 2012

5 5

I can't find anything about this pack that I don't like and appreciate. I have backpacks by Marmot, Mountain Hardware and Millet. In Osprey I have an Argon 85, Atmos 65 and this Kestrel 48. One thing I've grown to appreciate about Osprey is the build quality and attention to detail. The Kestrel 48 is the perfect over night pack, although you'll be pushing space limits if you're overnight is in the winter. I don't like to strap a bunch of gear to the outside of my pack so to me, this is a 3 season overnighter. The Kestrel is really versatile and would even do ok as a technical pack. There are two side pockets that would handle crampons and skins and there are proper straps for hauling your boards in an a frame or straight up. There's no dedicated space for avalanche gear or helmet but that's a small price to pay in a pack that is loaded with so many creature comforts and organizational pockets for straight up back packing. The external hydration sleeve is very nice. No more rummaging through your gear to access the H2O. Plenty of compression straps on the side make it easy to secure smaller loads. The sleeping bag compartment is nice as is the rain cover. A 48 liter pack is a versatile size that will get lots of use and this is the perfect example. Flawless.

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Steve Chapman

Steve Chapman wrote a review of on April 17, 2012

4 5

I love this thing!! Feature rich and well constructed, this MH pack is just what the doctor ordered. I'm 6'1" with broad shoulders and chest and this pack still fits me well. Daypacks are used in so many different situations ... from a day on the beach to a hike in the mountains and everything in between. With this in mind, a good daypack needs to have plenty of organizational features built into it and this one does. Plenty of pockets, including two small ones on the hip belt. I especially like that the H2O sleeve is on the outside of the pack, providing easy access to your water without having to rummage through your gear. Awesome feature!! Also, this has a great suspension for such a small pack, allowing you to load it up with some weight. Bottom line ... while the Fluid cannot be considered a technical pack, it does everything else really well, which makes it the perfect daypack in my book.

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Steve Chapman

Steve Chapman wrote a review of on April 13, 2012

4 5

I have the Justo Trek which I'm told was replaced by the Wicked Light Double. In any case, all of these performance shirts by MH are quality pieces and perform as advertised. I got mine primarily for summer time backpacking. I live in the southeast and tripping around the AT in the summer, with 40 pounds on your back can be a sweaty endeavor. This shirt is just what the doctor ordered and does the trick. It's very light weight, breaths like it's not even there and dries REALLY fast. I stop to take a quick break, drop my backpack and by the time I get going again this thing is dry. What more can you ask for?

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Steve Chapman

Steve Chapman wrote an answer about on April 12, 2012

It's 650 fill but DO NOT expect this bag to perform as advertised. I don't know how they can even put a temp rating on a bag that has no insulation in the bottom. Read the other reviews here. I used this bag with the recommended Big Agnes Insulated Air Core pad and like the other reviewers .... was VERY cold and uncomfortable. Like all Big Agnes products, it's of very high quality but the temp rating is totally inaccurate.

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Steve Chapman

Steve Chapman wrote a review of on April 12, 2012

5 5

I read the review of this pad in Back Packer magazines Gear Guide and it just came out this spring. Based on that review I bought one of these sight unseen. I was using the Big Agnes insulated Air Core. I bought the long / wide version of the insulated Q Core. After using it ... I can agree with Backpacker. THE most comfortable pad I've ever slept on. I've never slept very well on skinny backpacking air pads but there were no other options ... until now. For the first time in along time ... I get a full nights sleep. Yes it's expensive and a little heavier than the ultra lights but how do you put a price on rest while out on the trail?

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Steve Chapman

Steve Chapman wrote an answer about on April 11, 2012

I've owned a few pairs of Asolo's and I can tell you that the soles have proven to be more durable than the Zamberlin's I've owned. The sole of the Moran seems to be a little more "sticky" to me than the 520's which were made to hold up under considerable weight. The Moran in general is a more versatile boot, performing well in all kinds of terrain. Unless you're strapping 50 pounds and hitting the trail I think the Moran is a really good option.

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Steve Chapman

Steve Chapman wrote a review of on April 10, 2012

4 5

Funny thing Trekking poles ... one minute you're asking yourself why you bother bringing them and the next you can't imagine hitting the trail without them. I've had plenty of time on endless trails to debate this earth shattering question and my conclusion is that I wouldn't hit the trail with out them. The times I've really appreciated having them are on up hills with some weight on my back and in the flats when trying to maintain a fast tempo. Downhill I don't use them much but I can see where they could relieve aching knees. Buy collapsable for sure and if you're going to get some ... spend some money and get good ones.

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Steve Chapman

Steve Chapman wrote a review of on April 9, 2012

4 5

I've been using a Mammut Licido which did the job ok but the Black Diamond Spot seems to be twice as good for the same money! Bright, white light tossed out into the abyss in a tight pattern ... and with the low beam and red LED options, this may be the perfect light. When it comes to cycling, I'll spend a lot more, but that's justified when you're traveling 30 mph on a bike. At $40 ... this is a great option for the trail.

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Steve Chapman

Steve Chapman wrote an answer about on April 2, 2012

Bottom line ... if you're looking for a "long term" pack as you say ... first ... find one that fits and then find the model in that manufacturer's lineup that suits your needs. One thing I've learned about back packing is if the pack doesn't fit your body type, the trip becomes a nightmare. You're schlepping all this weight and every step is a chore. Back packs are like boots in this regard. DO NOT buy a back pack with out loading it up with some weight and trying it on.

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Steve Chapman

Steve Chapman wrote an answer about on April 2, 2012

Save up and get a 50 to 65 liter for your weekenders. I've tried to make a large pack work for short trips and it's a losing cause. Over time I've assembled a quiver of back packs that include an 85, 65, 48, 35 and a 26. They're all at the higher end of the range and I bought every one of them on sale. Take your time, buy on sale. Learn to pack light. Having the right tool for the job improves the experience.

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