Thomas E Campbell

Thomas E Campbell

Gunks, Dacks, Cats, JTree, etc.

Thomas E Campbell's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Skiing
Climbing

Thomas E Campbell's Bio

survived myself long enough to have a happy young family, outta know better but still need to get out as much as work and family demands allow.

Thomas E Campbell

Thomas E Campbell wrote a review of on November 3, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size

This is an exceptional boot. It did for my mountaineering/ice climbing needs what the TLT 5 did for my AT ski needs. It is comfortable, light, performs well, fits a slightly wider foot (mine is very flat, so I use an insole from Sole). I was actually talked into this as a hiking boot by my buddy Rich Gottleib from Rock and Snow in New Paltz, and gave him the benefit of the doubt because he's such a charmer, and he knows my need for nice ice. But they do work for hiking, and are a great ice boot. I like them with the euro rubber bail on a Petzl Lynx, vs the bail with the Phantom for a bit more precision. The rubber bail and the Rebel walk great, but still climb very well up to my technical limits (NIE 4/5, M3ish), but if I could climb better I think these could do. They are warm enough for most conditions in New England and upstate NY, but if I were to hang out at a belay I'd take the Phantoms. And the laces work just fine...

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Thomas E Campbell

Thomas E Campbell wrote a review of on February 20, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size

This is my favorite of many shells. It's not a hardshell, and in a downpour, you would need to use a hard shell over it, but it's never required that even in some rain. I use it mostly for climbing and xc/at skiing in heavier weather (cold or snowy). It generally goes over a old arc'teryx set of softshell polartech bibs. I wish they made a bib version in a lighter Windstopper configuration - mine are old and they do not make them anymore. NW Alpine makes a nice looking version I've not yet tried.
I'm 6'2", 185, fit their large in almost everything, and this too. The fit is very good, and I can layer base, mid and even insulated under it. Because the Windstopper is very 'catchy' it's better not to wear an equally 'catchy' item under it. I like the Atom LT under it, or the Atom SV over it. I usually have long underwear and/or something like a R1 or Piton hoody. The Piton slides better, and the nylon shells of the Atoms are best, but you can use anything. I just find when my layers move better I do too.
The tail on this is nice and long, fits very well under a harness. The zips are stiff but workable . The hood is great with any helmet, but as a result large. The pockets are climbing pockets - fine if you like Napoleon, not if you don't. The cuffs are good, but that seems a design area where even Arc'teryx could improve. The velcro is starting to go on mine. I love the Atom cuffs, but they too start to stretch over time and lose shape and seal.
I really like this for XC skiing in poor weather. For AT skiing I often go for one of the Gammas, since they breath better. Probably just means I'm lazy when I XC ski, but I'm generally out with a 6 year old so it helps to stay warm and wind free.
All in all one of the best of a lot of Arc'teryx pieces I've owned, especially for ice climbing. Four stars because there is always something better coming, right?

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Thomas E Campbell

Thomas E Campbell wrote a review of on March 26, 2011

5 5

This is a great alpine pack where the priority is comfortable carrying and features for your mountain tools. All the tool attachments are perfect: ski slots, leashless or leashed axes, space to add crampon straps. It is not a light pack, and is a bit too stiff to be an ideal leader pack (although I've not tried removing the internal frame which might do the trick), but it is ideal for cragging, backcountry skiing, ultralight overnights, ice climbing, and will last many seasons of all of that. Side zip may be excessive in a 35 L pack, but you use it when it's there. Pack is slim in the woods or couloirs and overall a pleasure to carry with excellent lumbar weight transfer and Deuter's signature well ventilated back padding. I've had or used most top rated alpine day packs in the past decades and 'love' many others, especially Cold Cold World and CiloGear, as well as Black Diamond. I prefer those for leading or use while climbing almost exclusively, but use this more due to the comfortable carrying it offers.

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Thomas E Campbell

Thomas E Campbell wrote a review of on March 22, 2011

5 5

When these arrived at my local ski shop, the employees were all stunned. I think the comment was 'sorry they're so wet, we've all been drooling all over them.' The more meaningful indication of their quality was that the 2 skis measured exactly the same in grams: basically unheard of. These are a tremendous ski for the weight, and even without that consideration they are an excellent item.

I used it out of bounds in UT, at Solitude, and in the backwoods of the Adirondacks. Therefor they had a chance to play in 1+ foot power, and on rain hardened ice, and everything in between. They did just dandy on all of that. I went relatively short - I'm 6'2", ski these with a 25-45 lb pack and am 180+ - and the 178 was great. I am not a super aggressive skier, and at higher speeds on groomers there was very little chatter - although the light weight was notable. An excellent item and if on sale a great value.

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Thomas E Campbell

Thomas E Campbell wrote a review of on February 4, 2011

4 5

I will admit I was suckered into these by Andrew's post about their magic qualities, but they are unfortunately all they're cracked up to be. I've used them for all day ice climbing in the Northeast and didn't touch the other pairs of gloves one invariably brings. They have decent dexterity (can place screws & clip), they are warm, they stay dry, and the wrist closure is the best I've used (one hand can open or close). I've also skied and scraped my car down with them, and they work well for those tasks too. Tapered fingers might improve dexterity, but it's pretty good given how warm they are.

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Thomas E Campbell

Thomas E Campbell wrote a review of on August 10, 2010

5 5

Apologies for cross postings, I seem to have been commenting before, not reviewing. Editors - feel free to delete these 2 sentences and the earlier comment.

These are an outstanding match for a light ski, fat or thin. I have them on Trabs, but the more serious backwoods crew I take tips from in the Adirondacks likes them on some heavier BD wide skis. There are a few things I noted in terms of differences when skiing on them with a nameless but incredibly hospitable Park City guru: they do not have the little channels on the pins which allow the other Dynafit binding pins to clear ice from your toe insets if you step in slightly and then run your foot forward and back (a useful thing to have, as ice often builds in there and we don't all carry roofing nails with us); and (obviously) they do not have ski brakes, so you need to wear straps on piste and/or not lose track of your skis on steep or deep ground. Otherwise they are everything you might need, just less of it. A very light and elegant package.

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