Walker

Walker

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William D's Passions

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Walker

Walker wrote a review of on May 14, 2009

3 5

I already gave a review on these just from the ones I had tried on at a local retailer, and I said before, they were SOOO comfortable. However, when mine arrived from Backcountry, and I got to really try them out, I found that the toe box on the left shoe was way too tight for my left foot. (I have a big bunion on my left big toe, and don't remember feeling any discomfort while trying out the ones at the store. So I don't know if it was just the particular pair I got, or if I just failed to realize how tight the toe box was at the store. And when I say I tried them out, I mean I walked around the store, jumped, stretched - you know, really tried them out. So I don't know....) I took the new ones I got out for a 1/4 mile walk, and because of my bunion, the toe box on my left shoe really squished my big toe inwards. It was killing me! I mean, I am actually still in some pain this morning after trying them out last night. I've tried other Keens out - the sandals are usually wide, with big toe boxes. Not these! I am sending mine back this morning and exchanging them for my next choice in line - the Keen Voyageurs. Will most probably post a review on them later.

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Walker

Walker wrote a review of on May 9, 2009

5 5

Just ordered a pair of these in Deep Lichen/Jester Red. I was able to try them on at a local retailer before buying them for about $34 less here!

Anyway, in the store I was able to compare these with the Keen Voyageurs, the Merrell Chameleon Hexes, and the Merrell Moab Ventilators. These won out. They were just quite simply THE most comfortable out of the four. (I also tried other shoes, as well as some mid boot versions of a couple of Merrells, but none had the comfort of the soles in these babies) In terms of comfort, the Merrells weren't bad at all, but they had a sort of forwards sloping sole that meant the least amount of padding was at the toes. I found this to be true in both the standard shoe and mid-boot versions. This is good in putting the wearer in a ready-to-run position (angling them forwards), but I was looking for a more comfortable long-distance hiking shoe, and good as the Merrells were, they weren't the ones for me.

The Keen Voyageurs were nice- really nice. Snug fit (not too-tight, but I could tell my foot wasn't going to be moving around in them) thick, padded soles with same/similar levels of padding around the toe area. They were almost what I went with... just one thing I noticed - around 1/4 way up from the heel, there was a slight bump I could feel going all the way across the shoe from left to right. I think it's meant to be a part of the arch support system, but instead of simply running along the arch it actually runs across the width of the foot! And it wasn't necessarily uncomfortable - but it felt like a protrusion. And I didn't want to find out 65 miles of hiking later that I shouldn't have gotten the shoes with the bump 1/4 way up from the back!

It was then that I tried on the Targhee II Mid Hikers. Man! Felt amazing. Simply beautiful. Much more normal feeling sole (no protrusions), but thick and very comfortable - almost like walking around in Tempurpedic slippers. So the soles didn't have that little bump in them like the Voyageurs - they were flatter, and even if they had had the bump, the cushioning on the inner soles felt more comfortable.
Also, they seemed to hug my ankles really well, yet with comfort matching that of the soles. They have eyelets that lock the laces in place before tying them in the final bow. So I found, due to the design, that I had to actually cross the laces across the tongue first, and then lock them in the eyelets before the final tie. It seemed to be a good design for preventing the laces from slowly coming undone over time. Even though it may take an extra second or two lacing up, with the snug fit and the comfort I felt in them the extra lacing time was an easily acceptable tradeoff. I could have said that I found my shoes in the store right there and then, but the store only had them in Walnut (which looks just like brown leather to me) and I really wanted them in Deep Lichen. Plus, Backcountry was selling them for around $90, and the place I was trying them on at was selling them for around $128, so I went home, went online, checked other websites against any possible better price, meanwhile talked to a sales ref through the chat feature to double check on getting the 1/2 size up which was confirmed, and Yes! I bought these freakin' awesome shoes!

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Walker

Walker wrote a question about on April 30, 2009

What insect repellants are safe to use on this tent?
Can I use natural oil/benzoic acid based repellants? or will one or both do damage to either the silicone layer or the nylon fabric?

I would like to use a natural, organic repellant such as Kiss My Face's Swy Flotter.
Most natural repellants use oil (usually Soybean and/or Coconut), and sometimes contain benzoic acid. Also, I'm not wanting to spray the whole tent down, just the zipper entranceway (sil-coated mesh and sil-coated nylon).

Help?

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Walker

Walker wrote a review of on April 27, 2009

5 5

I got one of these after seeing it mentioned on a top 10 backpackers pillow list. It is designed to perfectly fit the head area of a mummy bag, but I use it with my rectangular sleeping bag. It compresses well (fits into a Sea to Summit Thermolite Liner stuff sack) but doesn't go limp or flat easily like most of the other backpacking pillows out there. I tried a bunch of different pillows at an REI outlet, but most of them just went pretty flat once my head was resting on them. "This isn't what a pillow's supposed to act like." I thought. (I use a 4-5 lbs rated, thick memory foam pillow at home)

After getting my first Sleep EZ pillow I tried sleeping with it a couple of times before ordering an additional one to stuff into the pillow case with the first. That's my current setup and I think it's the perfect combination between packability (both stuff into the stuff sack that comes with either one) and height. One pillow alone is good - great if you're sleeping on a thick mattress (that has some give) or perhaps a hammock. But 2 put together make just the right height to sleep comfortably on ones side. I have slightly broad shoulders and with the setup of two of these in the same case together (not stuff sack, as each pillow comes with it's own cover) it creates just the perfect height required for sleeping on ones side.

Buy 1 if you never sleep on your side and just need a really comfortable pillow that compresses to the size of two fists put together.
Buy 2 if you, like me, desparately need the extra (height) support for sleeping on your side.

It took a while to fit the two pillows in the same case, but, like I said, they're compressible, and eventually I got the first one in with the second (after popping a single thread on the pillow case, admittedly) and the result was, to me the perfect backpacking pillow.

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