Steve Chapman

Steve Chapman

North, South, East, & West

Steve Chapman's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Running
Paddling
Skiing
Climbing

Steve Chapman'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 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 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 a review of on March 31, 2012

4 5

I have this jacket in Khaki. It's got a nice rugged qualty ot it and the articulated sleeves are a nice touch. Helps stop binding of whatever you're wearing underneath. I own a bunch of Kuhl products. Pants, shirts and jackets. Sure ... they have one of the coolest names ever but you also get the bitchin sticker with every Kuhl order. Seriously ... Kuhl products are built with quality to last. From the zippers to the stitching. Everything is cut in clean, classic lines but most important of all is they live up to their tag line "Born in the Mountains." You can see this in the detail and features of all their clothing.

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Steve Chapman

Steve Chapman wrote a review of on March 30, 2012

4 5

This is probably one of the best boots ever made if it fits your foot. The only complaint I have is no stone guards on the toe. The leather tears up quick and your boots are going to look trashed almost immediately. I don't really care about that but they seem to be the only high end boot that doesn't use a rubber stone guard. Plan on a looonnngggg break in period after which you'll be VERY happy with your purchase. I bought mine with this in mind and before my other boots needed to be replaced. That way I could take my time and break them in over the course of one summer.

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Steve Chapman

Steve Chapman wrote a review of on March 29, 2012

4 5

I live in Atlanta and was looking for a 3 season bag for trips up onto the AT. The Lamina has been a pleasant surprise. It's my first synthetic bag and I wasn't sure how I'd like it. As it turns out ... I love it!. Packs very small ... I put it in a 10 liter compression dry sack. It's temp rating seems to be pretty accurate. Material is soft and seemingly durable enough and contrary to other reviews, I don't find the zipper to be a problem. Last but not least ... this bag doesn't bust the bank. The only fault I can find is that I bought the long and at 6'1" , I barely fit in it. For taller guys, it's not exactly roomy but I use it more as a blanket so ... no worries.

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Steve Chapman

Steve Chapman wrote a review of on March 28, 2012

5 5

Awesome jacket!! Love the fit which is "athletic" through the arms and chest. If you consider yourself burly, barrel chested, rotund, or just F'n BIG ... the Foray is definitely not cut for you. I'm 6'1", 188 with broad shoulders. I wear a 42R in a sport coat and the large fit me pretty well leaving just enough room for a couple of close fitting layers. The jacket is well ventilated with the pit zips going to the hem. It's Gore Pac Light so it breaths pretty well and packs down and inside of it's own pocket. Pockets are placed high enough to clear a harness or hip belt. Clearly it's not as durable as Gore Tex Pro Shell but unless you're rolling around in the scree, it should serve most people well. I'm new to OR after buying a bunch of MH. I saw this on sale and bought it but I would be happy to own it at full price too.

Update ... did a 12.5 mile loop on the AT on Good Friday. Temps were mid 60's and rainy. Moving hard and fast, I built up a lot of condensation inside this jacket. Thankfully the pit zips run to the hem and you can open this up but Gore Pac Light is not the most breathable so you have to manage this otherwise you'll end up soaked anyway ... from sweat not rain. I rolled the sleeves up and opened the zips all the way and it worked fine but if it's above 70 degrees and you're moving fast ... plan on being wet one way or the other.

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Steve Chapman

Steve Chapman wrote a review of on March 14, 2012

5 5

I've put my Palisades 80 on the shelf and replaced it with the Argon 85. I haven't put it through it's paces yet but after loading 30 pounds in each and doing some laps ... the Argon is the overwhelming winner!! It all comes down to fit and this one fits me the best.
The Argon is wider and therefore the weight rides lower. The unique, back hugging shape of the Argon suspension also keeps the weight tighter. You just don't seem to notice the pounds with this thing. Can't wait to load it up and hit the trail!!

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