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Wally Phillips

Wally Phillips

Gearhead

Salt lake City, Utah and ANYWHERE there is snow

Wally Phillips's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Skiing
Running
Biking

Wally Phillips's Bio


Backcountry.com’s Gearheads are your instant connection to gear knowledge. They’re passionate outdoor experts hell-bent on helping you find the right ski, saddle, or pro. Follow their adventures and exploits.


As a Pittsburghian at birth, I began my outdoor foray on skis at age 2 1/2. Since then, the pursuit of the best turns has consumed me. I am willing to go the extra mile to get to places people only shake their head at (Utah provides many). I also bike, run and have as much fun as I can in this short life.


I’d love to answer your gear related questions. Here is how you can contact me:
Phone: 1-800-409-4502 ext 6112
Email: wphillips@backcountry.com

Wally Phillips

Wally Phillipswrote a review of on January 18, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I've been a Swix guy wax wise for a long time and I've also been using the Swix Base Prep Wax for almost the same amount of time. Since the temperature range is so accompanying to most snow conditions I find myself using this to either prep my groom running skis with some initial wax layers or use it as my primary wax for my all mountain-big mountain basher skis. It melts/scrapes easy enough and provides a great initial running glide over the snow surface. The only folks I wouldn't recommend this for are

-using it to hot scrape, a cheaper warmer wax works better for this as I feel this could be a bit wasteful
-SUPER wet conditions, this wax has no flourocarbons so it is a good start for a wet snow environment but it shouldn't be your only layer

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Wally Phillips

Wally Phillipswrote a review of on January 18, 2017

4 5

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

I just got my 2 1/4 year old girl on the hill and was impressed by how this ski was to set up and perform. When it comes to Kid's/Toddler's skis, the setup and application should be brainless and Elan got that down here with a binding system setup that is super easy to mount (do not need certification for this one), helps to accompany a wide range of sizes and the shape of the dimensions and profile help my little one to concentrate more on how she feels instead of what the hill is throwing at her. Just make sure to note that this is more of an all-mountain ski and those daring enough to get their kid's in over their heads may have them finding a more backward balance point than usual in deep pow.

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Wally Phillips

Wally Phillipswrote a review of on January 18, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 180 lbs
Size Purchased: Large

I definitely get a little OCD with my ski socks as I run my boots super small (damn racing background..) and needs something that will be thin warm and comfortable and the Darn Tough Merino Wool True Seamless Over-The-Calf Padded Ultra-Light Ski Socks ticks all those marks so far.

The 64% merino wool, 33% nylon, 4% Lycra spandex weave allows the sock to balance warmth and comfort with stretchy fit and (with proper wash/drying) maintains shape while not being too firm. The thickness of the sock is just good enough for anyone who wants to run boots smaller than usual and I haven't had any rub points as of yet. I run a size 11 and the L fits me pretty well albeit a little bit narrow and the very top of the foot (damn bulbous big-toes).

If you are looking for a great all around lightweight ski sock, give this a shot for sure.

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Wally Phillips

Wally Phillipswrote a review of on October 30, 2016

3 5

Familiarity: I gave it as a gift but have feedback to share
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 6"
Weight: 150 lbs
Size Purchased: 10

The Arc'teryx Traverse Parapet Short, women’s size 10 in black. These shorts have nice detail on the front pocket; a zip pocket on a regular pocket, 5 pockets in all. The fabric & fit are great as expected, true to size, comfortable, the fabric light and quick-dry. Be aware the leg length is short, excellent for activities where you don’t need more coverage.

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Wally Phillips

Wally Phillipswrote a review of on October 30, 2016

4 5

Familiarity: I gave it as a gift but have feedback to share
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 6"
Weight: 150 lbs
Size Purchased: 10

The Women’s KÜHL Mutiny River 9in Board Short is a great choice for active water sports. The fabric is sturdy enough to hold up & provide rash protection but still feels light & comfortable. The longer length was great for added sun protection on a long rafting day. I ordered a size 10, the fit was good, overall true to size. These do have a fixed snap waistband and a tie.

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Wally Phillips

Wally Phillipswrote a review of on October 30, 2016

4 5

Familiarity: I gave it as a gift but have feedback to share
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 6"
Weight: 150 lbs
Size Purchased: Medium

The /29 Lightweight women’s shorts by Norrona for a recent week long river trip. Love these shorts! The fabric is light, quick-drying, nice zip pockets with a mid-thigh length. The fit is great, comfortable, relaxed but still gives a slim profile. I ordered women’s size large which seems true to size and the zipper with Velcro waistband provides an easy fit (I am 5’-6” 145-150 lbs. average build.) I selected the cool black, which is really a very nice darker grey with blue trim.

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Wally Phillips

Wally Phillipswrote a review of on October 30, 2016

4 5

Familiarity: I gave it as a gift but have feedback to share
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 10"
Weight: 180 lbs
Size Purchased: 9

The Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 33 Running Shoe has been very comfortable for both everyday casual and distance running. The lighter weight than usual is very present and gives a more efficient feel to everything that I do. The size is pretty true on length and a tiny bit wide in the width.

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Wally Phillips

Wally Phillipswrote a review of on October 30, 2016

4 5

Familiarity: I gave it as a gift but have feedback to share
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 6"
Weight: 140 lbs
Size Purchased: Medium

The And I Must Go shirt has a nice deep color that is pleasing with most outfits. The size is close enough to true with enough room in the length to breathe. The feel is nice and soft as well

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Wally Phillips

Wally Phillipswrote a review of on October 30, 2016

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 180 lbs
Size Purchased: 34

Toad and Co. have been around in the BC.com catalog for a while now and I actually hadn't jumped on anything from them until the Rover Short which is an enjoyable casual/traveling option. The Polyester outer used is seemingly durable along with having a bit of stretchability which is nice as I feel like I can use it outside of the most rugged conditions and still have it comfy. The fit is pretty close on waist, right above the knee on inseam and a moderate leg opening. It's a god fit for me though since my legs are a bit bigger the opening is almost to small. The pockets give good functionality with a closable back pocket and the hidden pocket behind the left side is a nice touch for smaller items. Pretty good short overall.

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Wally Phillips

Wally Phillipswrote a review of on August 31, 2016

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 180 lbs
Size Purchased: L/XL

I've had a lot of Sockguy socks in my day and the wool weave on these has me a bit more hooked than usual. The Sriracha logo has a good look as well but the wool is comfy and the fit is a bit less thin than usual with Sockguy. It is a bit more bulky but not annoyingly so. A great look as well as a comfy fit, just be careful on washing as these shrink under heat like normal wool garments.

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Wally Phillips

Wally Phillipswrote a review of on August 31, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 180 lbs
Size Purchased: 34

Not blowing smoke here, I'm really impressed at all that the TLD Skyline Shorts encompass. The outer material is stretchy enough without being too much so and still feels durable. The fit is a bit more enduro than trail though folks who go between (and dabble in DH) will be stoked on how easy it moves with you and how easy knee pads fit underneath. Easily one of the best MTB shorts I've ever used and would recommend to anyone outside of XC riders.

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Wally Phillips

Wally Phillipswrote a review of on August 31, 2016

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: Runs small
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 180 lbs
Size Purchased: Large

Had to make the reference. The SOCKGUY SGX6 THREE AMIGOS SOCKS are sockguy by the numbers. Has a poly feel which is great for hotter weather but not the most comfy and fits a bit thin in the width but stretches out after wear. The prints, as usual, are fantastic and always entertaining.

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Wally Phillips

Wally Phillipswrote a review of on August 31, 2016

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 180 lbs
Size Purchased: Medium

I personally like a bib short a bit better for trail rides for comfort and the Air Bib Liner surprised me a bit coming from TLD. The chamois is decent to good depending on who you are and the material is pretty comfortable but not the most bombproof. I also found the fit to be slightly small but the material has enough give to where it rests better than expected. The pocket helps for smaller and softer stuff but I wouldn't put anything firm in case I fall on my back directly.

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Wally Phillips

Wally Phillipswrote a review of on August 31, 2016

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 180 lbs
Size Purchased: Large

Honestly this shirt was a surprise as the blend of cottons was way more comfy than expected, almost like a part polyester but not plasticky. The fit is a bit smaller but not to the point where it is bothersome and the print badge stands out without being annoying. Always like skiing local? Let peeps know.

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Wally Phillips

Wally Phillipswrote a review of on August 31, 2016

4 5

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

Drake Powder Skis (DPS) has garnered quite the cult following over the last recent years. The unmistakeable yellow of the Wailer 112 has been known to grace the softer conditions and backcountry areas though the price made it feel unattainable due to the wonderful but expensive carbon layup. DPS noticed how popular their skis had become and decided to help rachet down the cost while keeping the quality but adding fiberglass, bamboo and poplar to the mix and man, does it work.
The Wailer 106 Foundation was just way more brainless than I expected it to be. You keep yourself a bit ahead of the skis and use a bit of a style where you drive them smoothly and you are rewarded with a pair of skis that will do most anything you tell them to. Any turn radius, speed or conditions, outside of super uneven hard chop, becomes easier than ever.
Does it float as well as its wider bretheren? Of course not, but it floats more than well for a mid-100 waist daily driver. The only other downside is that the strongest skiers or skiers with abrupt movements in ultra firm conditions will not unlock the full potential.
The Wailer 108 Foundation is a great every day driver for any intermediate to advanced semi-finesse skier who gets into more versatile softer conditions.

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Wally Phillips

Wally Phillipswrote a review of on August 31, 2016

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 3' 1"
Weight: 25 lbs
Size Purchased: 3

The message on the front for my little girl was too good to pass by. The Roxy Girl S'more Friends T-Shirt has a good middle of the road comfy weave though some of the pure organic cottons are best on comfort. The fit is nice and middle of the road as well which is better and the coverage is good to keep the sun off while staying cool during the hottest days. A nice piece overall.

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Wally Phillips

Wally Phillipswrote a review of on August 31, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 180 lbs
Size Purchased: Large

Yeah yeah, the wordplay of the title was low hanging fruit, but it rings true here. I've been rocking Merino socks for a while and mostly go with Smartwool, Icebreaker and Darn Tough. I've ejoyed Smartwool for more active times like running but have found that the they wear after heavy use the fastest. Icebreaker is good for versatile use but shrink a bit easier over time. Darn Tough socks don't have this issue as much which makes them the merino sock that has the least amount of downsides. The merino weave is comfy but durable feeling while the size continues to be the same with multiple washes. If you are looking for the one merino sock out of them all that works well on a casual and hiking level then this is it.

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