Free 2-Day Shipping on Orders Over $50* – Limited Time Only
VolkmasterFlex

VolkmasterFlex

Pac NW

VolkmasterFlex's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Running
Snowshoeing
Skiing
Climbing

VolkmasterFlex

VolkmasterFlexwrote a review of on February 28, 2016

3 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

I have always enjoyed Patagonia's hats but this one is a little short in crown height for my 7-3/8 size noggin' . If you are a fan of the traditional Patagonia Trucker Hat you may find that it fits a little better than this hat which runs a little shallow in the crown. I've passed this on to my wife who has a slightly smaller head and it seems to fit her a little better.

(0)

 

0 Comments

VolkmasterFlex

VolkmasterFlexwrote a review of on February 28, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Here in the PNW we get cool snow in the shade and warm snow in the sun during spring and it often starts to stick to your skins as you ascend between our different snow varietals. BD's skin wax does a great job of keeping your skin fibers in line so that you get maximum glide without carrying an extra 6 lbs. of our glorious cascade cement. I've subbed regular ski wax for BD's wax in the past and it doesn't seem to rub on as easy or work as efficiently. It must be something in their purple wax that makes it work so well.....OHHHH YEAH! (Purple Kool-aide?)

(0)

 

0 Comments

VolkmasterFlex

VolkmasterFlexwrote a review of on November 4, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 10"
Weight: 165 lbs
Size Purchased: 10

I bought these as a trail shoe for approaches to climbs and ski objectives. I used it 4-5 times this summer and by their second use they were well broken in and very comfortable. I'm always excited to get back to where I've left these to put something more comfortable on my feet after a climb. I think the tread on this shoe is great for rocky trails and they seem to be holding up to abraision well so far. No concerning wear areas or parts of the shoe that i have concern about failing in the future. One comment on the stride, this shoe definitely has a neutral ramp, not much of a raised heel, which I think is perfect for approaches and general wear. Vibram soles are very grippy as anticipated, glad to see Dynafit partner with them on this shoe. I'd recommend this shoe to friends who do some trail running here and there but also want a lighter hiking option for approaches but don't want to sacrifice comfort. Kudos to the snow lion!

(0)

 

0 Comments

0 Comments

0 Comments

VolkmasterFlex

VolkmasterFlexwrote a review of on November 1, 2015

Ski. Town. Repeat.
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 10"
Weight: 165 lbs
Size Purchased: Medium

First, I would like to thank backcountry.com and Eider for selecting me to test out this jacket for the community!

While I haven't had a chance to get this jacket on snow here in Washington State just yet, I can provide a few updates on fit/features of the jacket while I wait for the cool arctic air to turn our rain to snow in the mountains!

This is the first jacket from Eider I have tried out. I'€™ve been aware of the brand for some time but haven'€™t had the opportunity to have a closer look at their gear by trying it on or using it in the field. They've been a well-known European ski brand for several decades and with this jacket I can tell why.

Fit:
I went with a size Medium and I think this was the right size for me. I am 5ft €™10in x 165 lbs. and the medium has a slightly looser fit but would allow for layering under the jacket and a more relaxed style for both the lifts and the streets.

Features:
The Night Shadow Blue is a great lighter navy color and is pretty true to the manufacturer'€™s pictures on backcountry’s site. The material of the jacket has a really great "€˜rugged"€™ look to it that is stylish and makes it a great crossover jacket for skiing and wearing around town. The look of the jacket with its contrasting zippers and button cuffs makes it perfect for wearing with a pair of jeans around town but also makes it pair perfectly with the matching Kanda pants. The jacket features a nice "medium-weight"€ blend of Synthetic and Duck Down insulation throughout the body and arms. But don'€™t be fooled by this jacket's relaxed look, inside its filled with tons of great ski oriented features that will make it perfect for laying down train tracks at the resort. My favorite features include the HUGE side vents that zip open effortlessly to dump heat and feature a mesh backing to block snow from getting in the jacket, the perfectly executed hand warmer cuffs, and the removable powder skirt for non-skiing days.

One thing I am noticing with this jacket out of the box is the attention to fit and finish details. From the placement of the multiple pockets to the stitching throughout the jacket, and the strategically placed insulation, this jacket is well made and looks and feels great when you have it on. I think this jacket is going to be a great piece for blasting around the resort this winter, but it’ll also be great to wear around town to grab a beer with buddies!

(1)

 

0 Comments

VolkmasterFlex

VolkmasterFlexwrote a review of on November 1, 2015

Kanda Pant Out of Box Fit & Features
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 10"
Weight: 165 lbs
Size Purchased: Medium

First, I'd like to thank backcountry.com and Eider for selecting me to test out these pants for the community!

I haven't had a chance to get these pants on snow yet, but can comment on the fit and features of the pants after trying them on with my ski gear.

This is the first pair of Eider ski pants I have tried out and you can clearly see their heritage of well-tailored clothing in these pants. While they'€™ll definitely keep you warm and dry on the slopes, they're also going to sit well on your frame and make you look like a better skier than you really are;)

Fit:
I went with a size Medium and I think this was the right size for me. I am 5ft 10in x 165 lbs. and the medium has a slightly looser fit that will be very comfortable for skiing without making you look like one of those "over-steezed" 16-year-old park rats;)

Features:
I really like the Bronze color I have! It'€™s a nice "€œhoney-brown" color that would work well with just about any color jacket. Personally, I like the look of these pants with the Navy Blue Kanda jacket from Eider. The elastic snow gaiters fit easily over ski boots and have material on the inside of the elastic to keep them locked on your boots for powder days. The pants feature well placed pockets to store snacks and whatever else you need. Insulation is what I would call “light-weight” which is perfect for your legs in my opinion. They'€™ll keep you warm and allow for additional layering on the coldest days, but they’ll also easily dump heat on warmer days with the mesh-backed vents on the inside of the pant leg. My favorite feature so far is the rugged looking suspenders that will look great with a heavy flannel when I've got my jacket off enjoying a cold beverage in between laps.

Out of the box fit and styling is great, I look forward to mowing some white stuff with these to see how these perform in action!

(1)

 

0 Comments

0 Comments

0 Comments

VolkmasterFlex

VolkmasterFlexwrote a review of on November 1, 2015

Trilogy Fit & Features
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 10"
Weight: 165 lbs
Size Purchased: Medium

First, I'd like to thank backcountry.com and Millet for selecting me to test out this Jacket for the community!

I haven'€™t had a chance to get this jacket on snow yet, but can comment on the fit and features after trying it on with my ski gear.

This is the first Millet jacket I have used but I have noticed their climbing and mountaineering gear here in the Cascades for many years. Their gear always looks sharp, on-point and high-end, and now I can say I know why after trying this jacket and spending some time examining the features. I have to admit, as I opened the package I was stoked, the colors on the jacket, the feel of the face fabric and the overall look of the jacket are just awesome!

Fit:
I went with a size Medium, which was spot on for me at 5ft 10in€ x 165 lbs. I would call the overall fit of the jacket average to slightly trim. I could probably get away with a small but additional layering wouldn'€™t be as easy. The length of this jacket is perfect for skiing as it comes at least 4-5 inches below my waist line which should be the perfect length for keeping heat in and snow out. Another great part of this jacket’s fit comes from the higher neck tube, which will surely provide bomber protection from the elements when skiing or climbing. An easy to adjust helmet-gobbling hood rounds out this jacket’s stellar fit.

Features:
This jacket is truly a €œfully featured cold weather-shedding beast, while remaining relatively lightweight for a waterproof insulated jacket. Besides the great fit of this jacket, the low weight is probably my favorite feature. Low-weight is achieved with a lightweight Gore-Tex Membrane, Primaloft Insulation, and strictly functional feature set. Zippers are waterproof and run up and down easily. Large mesh backed pit-zips will make for great heat dumps when pumping hard on the hill. Inside the jacket there is a removable powder skirt with integrated clips for tying into loops on matching pants. Pockets are in good supply on this jacket, making it perfect for skiing in bounds or keeping your gear close out of bounds. An internal stretchy goggle pocket should be great for storing your specs, back-up gloves, or climbing skins. The Saphir color I have is a nice mid-navy blue and the pictures on the website are pretty accurate. The contrasting red and light blue zippers accent the jacket really well and will make this a classy looking piece of kit on the hill.

This jacket blurs the lines between a ski and mountaineering jacket. With its mid-weight insulation, it is definitely for colder weather objectives, but it will provide bomber protection and a fair amount of flexibility to dump heat or "€œbatten down the hatches" when things get really nasty on the hill. I can€'t wait to get this piece outside this winter and test out its features for durability and compatibility in my skiing and climbing kits!

(2)

 

0 Comments

VolkmasterFlex

VolkmasterFlexwrote a review of on August 26, 2015

Most frequently used in my helmet quiver
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Of my 3 helmets this one seems to find its way into my pack most frequently. It is very lightweight, my Petzl Sirocco is lighter, but I like how this one sits on my head and I think it can take a more sustained beating. This has been my go to option for ski touring with a beanie underneath and has also been a great option for summer mountaineering. Headlamp clip works great and I've never had my BD Storm headlamp pop off. Chin strap is very comfortable and has never cut into or irritated my neck. Sure a hard shell helmet is more durable overtime but this piece is holding up well after getting tossed around in and out of my pack and being hit by small rocks and ice chunks and it saves precious ounces in a pack!

(1)

 

0 Comments

VolkmasterFlex

VolkmasterFlexwrote a review of on August 26, 2015

If you haven't already heard...
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 10"
Weight: 165 lbs
Size Purchased: Small

This is pretty much just piling on at this point, but this jacket truly does rock! This piece has been my partner on so many adventures I couldn't even count. Truly a bomb proof jacket that seems to find its way in to my pack every time I head out for a bigger adventure.

The fit on the jacket is one of the best features. I'm 5'10" x 165 lbs. (slightly trim build) and have a size small. This leaves me more than enough room to get a couple of layers underneath the jacket and still have full ROM when raising my arms or turning my head. I wouldn't say the cut of the jacket is generous but it does have some room which seems to sit nicely on the body with or without layers. Lots of comments on the massive and perfectly adjustable hood, and for good reason. The hood on this thing is so nice! It can cinch down in 3 different areas to really customize the fit based on your activity. Pockets on the jacket are unique and take some getting used to, but once you start using them you realize it is so easy to reach across your chest to grab things out of the cavernous pockets. Do I miss hand warmer pockets, yeah, sometimes when skiing, but for the most part, you quickly forget them because of the usefulness of the chest pockets. My only tiny complaint is on length of the jacket in front...currently the jacket tapers from just below your belt in the front to the bottom of your butt in the rear. I'd love like another 1-1.5" in the front to make the jacket work slightly better for skiing. I know skiing is not the intended purpose of the jacket, but a little more coverage should still be ok for tucking the front of the jacket under your harness for the technical ice climbers out there and make it work better for skiers as I'm sure many customers cross this jacket over like myself.

Materials are 1st class GoreTex Pro and seem like they'll last forever. Another big improvement is the handle of the material which is now much less noisy and easy to stuff in your pack.

In the last 5 years this jacket went from being great to amazing. It became less noisy and pack weight went down. I use the jacket for mountaineering, bc skiing, and a myriad of other outdoor activities. If you're looking for a do it all jacket that you'll have for years to come this is the best option IMO.

(3)

 

0 Comments

VolkmasterFlex

VolkmasterFlexwrote a review of on August 24, 2015

Always in my kit
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This thing is with me on every single trip i take skiing. Whether its backcountry or in bounds this thing is just a nice lightweight option to keep your face warm. I think most skiers know, that you can't have anything over your nose and avoid fogging goggles, but with this thing you can at least tuck it up to the bottom of your lip and it keeps your neck and lower face warm. Fit is fairly tight around the head but doesn't move around much when you turn you head. I highly recommend this for any skiers kit.

(2)

 

VolkmasterFlex

VolkmasterFlexwrote a review of on August 24, 2015

3 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

Hmm, i hate to criticize but this just isn't my favorite helmet. I had high hopes because I really like the Mammut Rock Rider Climbing Helmet but this as a ski touring helmet just doesn't really help me out much. I thought this option would help keep goggle straps out of the way like my alpine helmet but still be as light as my climbing helmet and allow me a dedicated ski touring helmet....but in reality it just was kind of a headache trying to keep my ski goggle strap attached. The concept is there, but refinement is needed. For skiing in the PNW I end up wearing my Mammut Rock Rider or Petal Sirocco with a beanie underneath. and goggles under the helmet. That combo seems to work better than fooling around with this option.

I like the idea of this helmet but it's just a little too finicky for me.

(0)

 

0 Comments

VolkmasterFlex

VolkmasterFlexwrote a review of on August 24, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 10"
Weight: 165 lbs
Size Purchased: Small

I don't know if OR is bringing this jacket back next year, but form what i can see it sells out every year, does that tell us anything? What it tells me from my experience is that this is a favorite Synthetic Jacket of many people who have owned it. I personally have taken this jacket as my heavy insulation place on multiple Rainier climbs and ski tours in the cascades. I love how lightweight down jackets are but this one really isn't all that heavy and it does so well when its in wet conditions like we have. I hope OR brings it back and I encourage folks to give it a try as this is a great jacket!

(0)

 

0 Comments

VolkmasterFlex

VolkmasterFlexwrote a review of on August 24, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I've been using these this spring and summer and am very happy with them! I like the softer foam areas on the grip which extend down the pole and are great for using while doing traverses on skis. I was a little worries about the plastic flip locks on the poles but they seem to be pretty burly and my fears have subsided. My last set of BD poles have lasted over 5 years and are in fact still in service so i would imagine I'll have these for years to come.

(0)

 

0 Comments

VolkmasterFlex

VolkmasterFlexwrote a review of on August 24, 2015

So light and strong!
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This is my go to touring binding for more technical missions here in the PNW. If you're doing lots of miles and technical descents this is a great option. I have never had a pre-release issue or any other wear related issues and have skied these a fair amount in the backcountry with lots of skinning. My version has the anti-rotation solve from dynafit which IMO 100% solved the problem of the binding accidentally rotating while skinning. The toe is super easy to step into, some people are a little scared the first time to go brakeless but once you do and lose the extra 2-300 grams you'll never look back. My only complaint with this binding is that the ramp angle you get out of the box is too steep for me. This is the same toe unit as the dynafit ST but doesn't have the plastic base plate that would help lessen this ramp angle. I went and bought the ST plastic base plate and had this mounted underneath my toe pieces and this significantly helped reduce the ramp angle and make the bindings have more of a traditional alpine binding angle which is more comfortable for me to ski. Just make sure you also get longer screws for your toe piece if you plan to do this mod.

Overall, very impressed with this binding. If you're going to be doing long tours and need a reliable binding that is time-tested and issue free, give this guy a shot. Since it is an option that has been around for a few years you can often find deep sales on this option, so very economical. I have the binding on K2 Waybacks and Black Diamond Currents.

(0)

 

0 Comments

VolkmasterFlex

VolkmasterFlexwrote a review of on August 24, 2015

An all time great!
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Let me start by saying this is my favorite ski in my quiver. I have had 3 pairs of Rocker2's now since they first came out. I'm still the biggest fan of my original pair in the attached picture. The white and black top sheet was classic! I have skied this ski since the day it came out and each year I pray they don't change it and fortunate for the ski world, Salomon has pretty much left this alone with the exception of the top-sheet which they keep fresh each year with cool new graphics, but IMO nothing will beat the original white and black and then year 2's purple and white.

So yeah, we get it, they look cool, but how do they ski? SO FUN! Truly one of the most playful and forgiving skis on the market while still having that touch of side-cut and camber to make it rail when you dump it on edge on the groomers. The rocker in the tip and tail make the ski easy to snake through any terrain but also keep the ski fairly mellow and damp in more challenging and variable snowpacks. This is my powder chaser, but has also been my inbounds daily driver here in the PNW. Sometime a wide ski can be less fun on a day of groomers, but IMO this thing just keeps having fun everywhere because it is so easy to pivot and pop airs off of anything you run across. The Rocker 2's are kind of heavy to tour on but I do have a pair of Marker Barons on a pair for side country laps which works pretty well. The honeycomb tip and tail help with weight a bit, but it is still a heavier inbounds oriented ski. I'm not 100% sure, but I do think the honeycomb does help to quiet some chatter in the tips, and it definitely saves weight vs. full wood core through the entire ski. All in all, this is just a great ski to have in the quiver. You name the snow type and this thing skis it well. It's most at home in the fresh and corn but it'll rip on anything. I recommend this ski 100% and send mad kudos to Salomon as this ski has been my partner on some of my most amazing days on snow and biggest lines I've skied!

I'm 5'10" x 165 lbs and ski the 184's but could easily handle the 192's because of the large rocker profile. However, 184 is plenty big to get perfect float and have a super pivoty ski.

(0)

 

0 Comments

VolkmasterFlex

VolkmasterFlexwrote a review of on August 23, 2015

Great Multi-use Tent
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I'm a big fan of this as my 3 season back packing tent option. It also serves as a great car camping option because of its durability and venting systems. Set-up is quick and easy, I have yet to see anyone struggle with it. Features of the tent are on the higher end of this price point. Tent fly is fully seam taped and seems to be of high quality construction. Body has experienced no issues after general wear and tear from ground abrasion. Vestibules on both sides of the door are large enough to get a pack under during a rainstorm, but not large enough to be using expedition style as a camp kitchen. IMO, this tent is a great option for those looking for a fairly lightweight do it all 3 season tent. I would highly recommend.

(1)

 

0 Comments