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Vinny Mauro

Vinny Mauro

Salt Lake City/Park City, Utah

Vinny Mauro's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Biking
Skiing
Surfing

Vinny Mauro's Bio

I work in merchandising here at Backcountry.com. If you have any questions about any of the gear I have reviewed please post them up and I will do my best to respond quickly!

Vinny Mauro

Vinny Maurowrote a review of on September 1, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I've grown very used to having these with me on pretty much any ride, and they are awesome. Very delicious and a solid pick-me-up to keep you going. I'll mix it up with most of the brands that offer these sort of things, my favorites would be these Shot Bloks and the chews from Honey Stinger. Both are awesome, as Jason mentioned I would have to give Clif the nod on packaging though.

My current favorite is Tropical punch, but I have yet to try one I hated.

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Vinny Mauro

Vinny Maurowrote a review of on September 1, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

The price point on this might be a bit painful compared to lesser options, but you really get what you pay for. You spent how many thousands on your new fancy bike? This is an accessory worthy of the finest frames. I got it specifically for my SC Nomad because the side loading works out great with the very cramped bottle cage area on my frame. Overall been very happy with it. Easy to get the bottle in and out and bottle is held very snug and has survived through very rough trails. And the cherry on top would be that it also looks pretty darn good and certainly wont weigh you down.

Even if I get frames with more room for other style cages, I think I'll be sticking to this side loader for the foreseeable future.

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Vinny Mauro

Vinny Maurowrote a review of on August 20, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 0"
Weight: 195 lbs
Size Purchased: EU 48

I knew Fjallraven made badass heavy duty trekking pants, but this was the first pair I tried on that felt appropriate for super hot summer hiking. They are nice and light, durable where they need to be, but SUPER stretchy everywhere else. They used two materials strategically to accomplish this, but since the colors of the two materials match very closely they are also not as bold looking as some of the other Fjallraven pants.

Overall I'm always impressed with the quality of their pants, I'd say the challenge is picking the right pair for what you want to do. I just picked these out recently, but I am excited to use them for warm weather hiking/backpacking and kicking around town in mild weather. I also have a pair of their Vidda Pro pants which I will switch to when the temps drop and/or I need more durability.

Fit is great, slim enough to look good but the fit is loose and comfortable overall. I'm a size 34 waist and the European 48 is perfect.

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Vinny Mauro

Vinny Maurowrote a review of on July 29, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This bike really embodies what mountain biking is to me. It will take you anywhere you want to go. Whether it's exploring local XC trails, shuttling DH trails, cruising flow trails at the resort, or climbing to the top of a mountain. I've had several of the best contenders in the "do-it-all" bike category the past few years. There's a whole lot of fun bikes out there so I don't believe any one bike is the end-all solution, but the Nomad is hard to beat. I'll save myself some time here and just say that the hype you have read about this bike is true, so if it sounds like then bike for you then I highly suggest going for it. I've put a few hundred miles on mine so far and still get excited about riding it every time.

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Vinny Mauro

Vinny Maurowrote a review of on July 27, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I've gone through most of my life thinking chain lubes can't be all that different from each other. I've also endured some fairly unpleasant drive-train issues the past few years, experiencing super annoying grinding and blaming it on the switch the the new 1x setups. I would clean and lube everything, adjust everything perfectly, and my drive-trains (mostly sram X01 and XX1) would still not feel all that smooth after the first hundred miles or so. Finally though I switched to this Rock N Roll lube, and I'll be damned the grinding is gone and my drive-train feels as good as day 1. It is still hard for me to grasp how this lube can be so much better than the other name brand products I have had, but all I can say is the stuff works.

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Vinny Mauro

Vinny Maurowrote a review of on June 12, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

You might count the Ardent out for a lot of uses, especially if you're like me and only had experience with the 2.25 version. I loved the 2.25 for a rear tire for XC/trail riding, but didn't trust it for much more than that and certainly wouldn't consider putting it on the front with those tiny cornering knobs.

Then about a year ago I saw the 2.4 in the flesh and was blown away at how different it was. Not just wider, but MUCH beefier tread. This season I satisfied my curiosity, and rolled the dice on running 2.4 Ardents front and rear. So far I've ridden them in mostly dry conditions semi-packed/semi-loose. No real mud to speak of, but I don't anticipate them being good mud tires. In the dry conditions though they have been great so far! They roll fast and they corner very predictably. They don't necessarily have the bit that the High Roller II and Minion DHF have, but what they lack in bite I feel they make up for in predictability.

I'll chime back in after more riding as I'm still very unsure which I actually prefer between the myriad of awesome all mountain tires Maxxis offers, but these are certainly a contender. If durability is on par with the slightly heavier HR IIs I had last season then I anticipate riding these tires for a while.

If you care, I have them mounted on Reynolds AM carbon wheels on a SC nomad. The other maxxis tires I've ridden have been on comparable bikes.

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Vinny Mauro

Vinny Maurowrote a review of on June 10, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This item is hands down the best way to install a sram 11 speed cassette on your compatible Reynolds hubs. Works so well that I would absolutely buy it again, next time I need to mount a sram 11 speed cassette to a compatible Reynolds hub.

This product has pretty much no other possible applications, but I am still very pleased with my purchase. If you own a compatible Reynolds hub and a sram 11 speed cassette, you'd be crazy to not buy one of these.

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Vinny Mauro

Vinny Maurowrote a review of on June 8, 2015

Essential
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

If you are traveling with surfboards (or other large objects that need securing) these straps are a must-have. They come in a nice carrying case to keep them from sprawling throughout your bag, and have a thoughtful patch of nylon under the buckle to help avoid metal-on-surfboard contact.

I have used these straps for three years now on surf trips to strap 8-12 boards to various rental trucks and they have been awesome.

Sure you can go to walmart and get cheaper cam straps, but these are not made of the paper thin nylon that those are. They are a super burly quality nylon that will last. Yes you can buy similar high quality cam straps elsewhere, but they will be a similar price and will not have the patch under the buckle meant specifically to protect surfboards.

Buy these and be the hero next time you and your buddies are loading up the rental car at the airport.

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Vinny Mauro

Vinny Maurowrote a review of on May 11, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

This is not a very glamorous product and it's not the most fun way to spend $55, but it's money well spent. I would recommend biting the bullet and elevating your camping comfort. Next time you get stuck camping in unsavory weather you'll be glad you did. And while it might be a big chunk of money to spend on a square of fabric, it's a quality product that will last you for years and years so over time it's a great value.

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Vinny Mauro

Vinny Maurowrote a review of on May 4, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 0"
Weight: 195 lbs
Size Purchased: XL

This is a very interesting shirt. It is a bit lighter in person, the acid wash (at least on mine) is a bit more prevalent than the pictures suggest. That said, it's a very cool and unique shirt for summer. The material is nice and light, the acid wash looks cool, and the designs printed on the bottom half make it even more interesting. If you're looking for a new summer shirt to spice things up without sporting crazy colors or flowers, this is a solid choice. They aren't joking about the slim fit either, I'm 6' 195 lbs and the XL is good but definitely slim. I'm saying it runs true to size though since it is advertised as a slim fit.

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Vinny Mauro

Vinny Maurowrote a review of on April 28, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 0"
Weight: 190 lbs
Size Purchased: 34

These shorts are awesome. The material is a pretty classic twill that looks and feels nice, they look much more like a traditional casual short than a hybrid short. However, thanks to the stretch in them they are still super comfortable. Combine that with the convenient drawstring waist and these make a prime go-to summer short!

Sizing is pretty true to size, I'm always a 34 and I got these in 34 and am happy. The length is just above the knee cap for me, I'm 6' 190 lbs.

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Vinny Mauro

Vinny Maurowrote a review of on April 24, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 0"
Weight: 190 lbs
Size Purchased: 34

It's awesome to see such a nice technical board short from a smaller brand. I like rocking cool and unique brands like Roark whenever I can, but when it comes to board shorts I'm a real sucker for the super nice stretchy technical materials found in the bigger brands.

As a result, I was very pumped when I discovered these so I picked up a pair. I was not remotely disappointed when I tried them on, fit is great and true to size and they feel great. No actual experience as far as durability goes yet, but the fit and finish is on par with any high end board short so I don't anticipate any issues.

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Vinny Mauro

Vinny Maurowrote a review of on April 20, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: Runs small
Height: 6' 0"
Weight: 185 lbs
Size Purchased: 12.0

I usually go for the more basic flip flops, but I decided to give these a try and am looking forward to a summer of comfort. They are still nice and simple looking, but have a super comfortable mid sole and decent traction on the outsole to make them quite a bit more comfortable and functional than plain old foam flip flops.

I'd say they run pretty small though. I wear a size 10.5/11 sneaker. Got these in size 11.0 first and my heel was hanging off the back, stepped up to the 12.0 and they are perfect. Can't really comment on the durability of these, but I've had several Reef sandals over the years that have all lasted for multiple summers so I have no doubt this will be up to the task.

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Vinny Mauro

Vinny Maurowrote a review of on April 17, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 0"
Weight: 185 lbs
Size Purchased: Large

Just ordered my second pair, this is my favorite boxer brief by far. I am not a fan of the typical super tight boxer brief style that rides up super easy (for me at least). These have long enough legs and a loose enough fit that they do not ride up and you can't tell they're there. On top of that, the material is super soft and definitely stink-resistant thanks to the merino wool. You pay a premium for the merino, but in my opinion it is well worth it for the all-day comfort you get.

The fit is pretty spot on with the size chart, but probably on the big side. I'm a 34 waist and the Large fits great, but if you were a 33 waist or smaller I would definitely go with Medium. Large should accommodate a 36 waist no problem.

Get these! They are expensive so it's a bit of a commitment, but I definitely do not regret taking the plunge and look forward to adding a pair to my collection here and there as my wallet allows.

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Vinny Mauro

Vinny Maurowrote a review of on April 3, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: True to size

I just picked these up today. Can't comment on longevity or long-distance comfort, but I was so impressed by initial comfort and looks I wanted to put up a quick review. So far, these are an ideal light weight summer shoe. Super squishy midsole, yet a firm enough outsole to make them feel supported like a proper sneaker. The uppers are clean and simple, and the colorful laces add a little accent that makes them interesting and cool looking (subjective of course). I wouldn't grab these to run, trek, or dress up in, but for casual use around town, short hikes, camping, or to a casual workplace these are perfect.

Sizing is pretty true to size, I'm generally a 10.5 or 11.0 and the 11.0 is perfect. I could definitely pull off the 10.5 with no socks. I'm told these shoes actually work great with no socks, but personally that's never been my thing. I do believe it, considering Reef's expertise is in sockless footwear.

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Vinny Mauro

Vinny Maurowrote a review of on January 30, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size

I just posted a similar review on the Beacon Bib pant from Dakine, I got this jacket and those bibs together for my outerwear kit this season.

I was skeptical of Dakine outerwear, just because they have been known for their bags for so long and are fairly new to the outerwear game. I decided to roll the dice and give them a shot since I really liked their combination of super high quality materials and more "cool" styling than most of the competition. Most outerwear of this quality is either super tight fitting or super crazy bright colors/prints. This jacket is a nice loose/long fit, but without the skittle colors. I got the green, which goes great with the black Beacon bibs.

Performance and quality are what you expect from a goretex, great. Combined with the right layers underneath this has kept me comfortable in all sorts of winter weather.

My bottom line, don't count this jacket out just because you are skeptical of the brand's recent entry to the market. This is a serious contender in this price range, and if you dig the style you wont be disappointed.

I'm 6' 185lbs and the XL is a nice baggy fit.

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Vinny Mauro

Vinny Maurowrote a review of on January 30, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size

I've known and trusted Dakine backpacks for years now, but like most people I was pretty skeptical when I saw they were getting into such high end outerwear. After much deliberation though, I decided to give them a shot. The reason being is that they are one of the few companies offering quality goretex materials with a true "snowboard/park" fit. Not a gigantic thug fit, but a little more room to move than most of the technical outerwear out there.

So I gave them a try this season (these bibs and the Airstream jacket) and have been so stoked. The fit is perfect, I'm 6' 195lbs and the XLs are great. I could definitely pull of a large for a more trim look. The thing I really like is that they actually have pretty solid features as well. The pocket layout on the chest of the bib is great, the zips down the sides to open up the bibs are great, the vents are in a great location and zip from both sides which is awesome. Overall, you can tell they put some though into the the design.

The quality is great, but that was actually the least of my worries. Too soon I suppose for a true long term durability test, but so far so good.

If you're in the market for a quality bib to ski or board in, these are a serious contender. Don't let the fact that Dakine is relatively new to outerwear scare you off, they did not mess around. I am pumped to finally have one outerwear kit that performs well enough for touring and powder days, yet looks good enough for park days.

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Vinny Mauro

Vinny Maurowrote a review of on January 19, 2015

5 5

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

I love this jacket to wear around town in the winter. It has a nice tailored cut and looks great with anything from a t-shirt to a dress shirt and tie underneath. The thing that really sets this jacket apart from the vast array of casual jackets, is the combination of sharp looks and super high quality 800 fill down. Since NAU used this super high quality down the jacket is very light and not too puffy, yet is still incredibly warm. And when you're traveling, the 800 fill down also comes in handy as it makes the jacket pack down much smaller than comparable jackets that use 500-600 fill down or synthetic insulation.

Fit is very true to size (but tailored/slim). I'm 6' 190 lbs and a large fits perfect and trim with room for a long sleeve shirt underneath. I actually just ordered myself a second one of these in XL, to use when I want more room to layer and/or don't need a nice trim fit.

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Vinny Mauro

Vinny Maurowrote a review of on January 14, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This is one of my favorite park skis I've had in a while. Skis great out of the park, and can handle any feature your park crew can come up with. Great mix between being a fun playful ski, yet still burly enough for big jumps and heavier guys. Combine that with a 185cm length option and this is a big park guy's dream come true. I also have a smaller buddy who rocks the 178s though, and he loves them as well.

There's a lot of good options out there for park skis nowadays, this is definitely one of them. The Chronic is true to Line's description, so if it sounds like what you are after then pull the trigger and enjoy!

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