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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 8, 2016

I Now Hav a Big Purple Mashmallow
4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: Runs large
Height: 2' 6"
Weight: 19 lbs
Size Purchased: 18m

.......that is warm and happy. The Patagonia Hi-Loft Down Sweater Bunting is a really nice outer layer garment for those cold to really cold days. I put a baselayer and s light fleece layer under it on a 10-20 degree day and my little girl was happy. The material is a bit more durable than expected for having down underneath but I can tell that we can't be too hard on it. Also, the fit is a tiny bit big, but that's good as she'll grow into it a bit.

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Wally Phillips

Wally Phillipswrote a review of on January 8, 2016

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 2' 6"
Weight: 19 lbs
Size Purchased: 18m

What makes a good baselayer for an infant/toddler? Fit, comfort and warmth. The Patagonia Capilene Midweight Set does all three pretty well as it helped keep my girl warm during a colder X-Mas day in Salt Lake and the material is very comfy as her skin is a bit problematic with other materials, but not this one. The fit was a bit on the larger side but still fit pretty well with my girl being a bit of a tall string bean for her age. Definitely recommended.

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Wally Phillips

Wally Phillipswrote a review of on December 14, 2015

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 2' 6"
Weight: 19 lbs
Size Purchased: 3.0

I'll get a photo soon but these mocs were pretty close to dynamite for my little girl. She's a bit tall and skinny and got daddy's longer feet but the size 3 fit really well during her 12th through 14th months. She loved the color and did really well with developing her walking with the traction. I feel that they got marked up kind of quickly in the gold color but I guess that is how it goes in the life of a toddler. Definitely recommend.

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Wally Phillips

Wally Phillipswrote a review of on December 14, 2015

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

So, everyone knows how Thule ski racks are by now if you've had a bit of work with any of them. This one ups the game by having a great amount of width (6 ski and 4 boards are legit) and being able to slide the holder over for easy working of putting the skis/boards in. This feature actually works pretty well by using a lever next to the rack lock mechanism makes things pretty easy to use and once more....THE WIDTH IS AWESOME!
A few issues though. While the strap mechanism to attach the rack to the crossbars is interestingly usable and keeps from marking up the bars, the locks are too low to where you actually need to center the rack or else the bulky key will hit the side of the rack before locking. Also, if you have a tall car with a short garage you might want to look elsewhere.
The most technological ski rack out there does pretty well and would recommend to most people espescially with shorter vehicles.

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Wally Phillips

Wally Phillipswrote a review of on December 14, 2015

4 5

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

If you own an Osprey pack/hydration bladder and use it in the winter, you need this attachment. The insulated hose just attaches to the reservoir itself and feeds through the particular Osprey pack that you use. The fact that the drinking valve is coverred by a zipper is a nice call.
The usability is a bit interesting with certain packs as this one is a bit tough to figure out with the upper strap of the Kode packs and the insulation is nice like a NASA grade invention is nice but it feels bulky at times and I tried to be careful with it during install.
Overall, a necessary addition to any Osprey pack during the winter.

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Wally Phillips

Wally Phillipswrote a review of on December 14, 2015

3 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 183 lbs
Size Purchased: 34

Full disclosure, I ended up returning these pants but wanted to give some impressions. I did find that the material did very well with the Reserve Chino pant and the colors are a good array. The leg opening ended up being a bit thin for me in the upper leg but the rest of the fit seemed about right.

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Wally Phillips

Wally Phillipswrote a review of on November 17, 2015

3 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

If I could give these a 2 and a half stars, I would. Here's why. How's the sound? Great. No, really. I do enjoy the supreme sound from Skullcandy as I like my music a little bass heavy but it has the treble come through just enough to balance out and not sound drowned (maybe a bad pun).

The quality of the materials is also great as the jack is gold instead of the traditional silver which has a longer life span and better sound. The cord is also high impact rubber which has sustained a few over-pulls due to phone falling out of pocket, etc. and sound is still good.

The problem comes with the Mic3. Don't get me wrong, if you use the Mic3 in a non-active enviornment it works super well and has good stiffnes when it comes to the button apparatus.

In an active situation however, the Mic3 falls well short. The second that too much sweat or water gets in to that Mic3 and it is done, as in non funtional. Get more in there and it starts shorting out the wires leading towards the buds and there goes your sound or the sound goes start and stop on you.

Bottom Line: If you are looking for a set of casual buds that won't fall out easy and have a Mic control, these are one of the better. Just keep them out of activity or get the non Mic3 version for that. ((NOTE: if you can find the foam tips, please use them as it helps the buds stick in your ears and are still comfy))

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Wally Phillips

Wally Phillipswrote a review of on November 17, 2015

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 182 lbs

Not Google Vision, Goggle Vision. I'm referencing the up and down field of vision that the 100% SpeedCraft Sport Sunglasses has which is its greatest quality. How I can get into a lower position and still see through the very top of my field of vision has minimized my reaction time on descents. The side to side vision is great as well and the lenses remain relatively anit-fog while giving you both a grey and clear that will match most conditions.

There are a few gripes though. I've tried both nosepieces and as a contact lens wearer the wind does come up in certain way to dry them out really quickly (I know I know, I need to get lasik). Also, when it comes to the look, it is fantastic with a helmet on but looks a bit clunky at the apres pub after the helmet is off.

A really great option if you are in for a high performance, ride only sunglass and don't have finicky contact lenses.

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Wally Phillips

Wally Phillipswrote a review of on July 24, 2015

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I ended up switching up vehicles to a Land Rover about 6 months ago and being the avid skier that I am I learned long ago that stowing skis inside while easy can wreck your interior quickly. I'm a bit partial to Thule so have the Aeroblade Edge a shot as it was one of the only options for said vehicle brand and it does the job pretty well so far.

The noise drowning performance is pretty solid within reason. Most calm days at up to highway speeds almost give no noise at all. Put a bit of wind in there (esp. headwinds) and that changes a bit, but it isn't bad unless the speed is gale force.

Adding extras on there is pretty much a cinch, but the new attachment system with Thule products where it's more of a hinge/jaw design helps to keep the bars in good shape. The old school two plastic pieces cinched together at both ends with allen screws tends to mark them up a bit. Also, installation is usually easy with this sort of thing and it was with the bars, but the fit kit (which I'll go over at item number THU0400) was a bit vague.

Overall a sleek addition to a vehicle if you really don't want the wind screeching at you when you go above 30mph.

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Wally Phillips

Wally Phillipswrote a review of on July 23, 2015

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 182 lbs
Size Purchased: Large

No show socks tend to be a weird anomaly for me. I only wear them during the summer and I like my socks to be merino with a bit more thickness on the bottom than the top. Luckily enough, the Icebreaker Multisport Cushion Micro Sock definitely fits the bill as the coverage just below the ankle is enough to not have your skin rub against your low-cut shoes yet doesn't show very much. There's more cushion on the sole of the sock than on the upper foot so it feels a bit more comfy and absorbs more shock. I'm leaving one star out for the moment as I haven't washed them multiple times as of yet and I've had certain Icebreaker socks fail on me a bit after multiple washes. I'll update after I go through them a bit more but great so far.

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Wally Phillips

Wally Phillipswrote a review of on July 23, 2015

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 182 lbs
Size Purchased: Large

Not sure why I gravitated towards the adidas Gonz Shmoo To The Wind T-Shirt. I guess I thought the print design was clever and it actually ended up looking pretty good (wife approved).

The fit is pretty standard: normal in the shoulders, chest and arm length but ran a bit long in the overall length. It'll definitely appeal to some people in that manner while others will want to stay away for shorter lengths.

The cotton blend is a bit heavier than normal and with the darker color could be more of a cooler weather shirt for those people who run a bit warm. Overall a pretty cool shirt for someone who likes a different play on an old standard.

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Wally Phillips

Wally Phillipswrote a review of on July 16, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

It's funny what a little piece of plastic will do for you. BB heights nowadays are getting lower and lower to keep a bike nimble so that means that crank arms will be that much closer to the ground. With that much of a higher chance of rock hits on the pedal/crank arm, these boots do wonders for protection when it does happen. A must for carbon crank arms.

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Wally Phillips

Wally Phillipswrote a review of on July 8, 2015

3 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 182 lbs
Size Purchased: Large

Pretty simple design of a t-shirt for sure. The cotton weave is decent as it is a bit more firm than normal. I do like the sizing as it is a tiny bit larger than true-to-size without the need for sizing down.

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Wally Phillips

Wally Phillipswrote a review of on July 8, 2015

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 182 lbs
Size Purchased: Large

I went with the greenish color initially with the Woolrich Timberline Shirt and I'm just now noticing that it is named "fern." Weird enough, but other than that the rest of the shirt is awesome. The cotton blend is really soft and not as rough as certain flannel looks can have and it breathes very well so it'll work great in the summer or spring/fall with an undershirt. The sizing is pretty close to true, if not a shade large.

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Wally Phillips

Wally Phillipswrote a review of on July 8, 2015

4 5

Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 182 lbs
Size Purchased: 11.5

Surprising that a pair of denim shoes would get noticed as much as I do. I usually use the New Balance 501s as a daily shoe as it has good style but is just durable enough for casual Spring-Fall use. I marked that it is true to size though I'll put in a disclaimer where the length is slightly long and the width is a bit wide, but both aspects add to the comfort of the shoe. Definitely not for someone who wants a ton of cushion though.

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Wally Phillips

Wally Phillipswrote a review of on July 8, 2015

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 182 lbs
Size Purchased: Large

The Discrete Spicy Hot T-Shirt shows love to one of the most popular hot-sauces out there with the print so it's hard to knock the style. The sizing is pretty much true if not slightly big, but no need to size down. The cotton is of good quality but it is definitely more breatheable than firm so its a better warm weather shirt and watch out for snags.

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Wally Phillips

Wally Phillipswrote a review of on July 7, 2015

3 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 2' 2"
Weight: 19 lbs
Size Purchased: 6/24

The Sunday Afternoons Play Hat does a really good job of blocking out UV with coverage from a really wide brim. 6/24 fits my 9 month old pretty well though a admit the wife isn't the biggest fan of the look so we pull this out when we know the sun isn't kidding around

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