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Wally Phillips

Wally Phillips

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 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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Wally Phillips

Wally Phillipswrote a review of on July 7, 2015

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 182 lbs
Size Purchased: Large

I definitely started out with buying this shirt for the look alone as it gives an earthy feel to a somewhat aggressive print. The cotton weave is pretty good as it is a bit more comfy than normal run-of-the-mill weaves. The sizing is a tiny bit small, especially in the shoulders, but it shouldn't need sizing up. Just some stretching needed every now and again.

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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: Runs small
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 182 lbs
Size Purchased: Large

I love the look of the Hurley Ellis Shirt from a color perspective as you can choose a color to chill (black) or stand out (horizon). I chose to chill if interested. The material is decent at comfort but feels a bit firm in comparison to other cotton weaves leaving it a bit stiff. The sizing is also on a slimmer format so size up if in-between.

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Wally Phillips

Wally Phillipswrote a review of on July 7, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 182 lbs
Size Purchased: Medium

It feels weird reviewing underwear...... What can I say except these suckers are worth the money for sure. The fit is a bit boxy in width and length but that's what most people look for in a boxer so it works out great. The material is outstanding as it somehow keeps a well maintained balance of breathe-ability when warm and slightly insulating when cooler. And, it pains me to say this, but I've worn them a couple of days straight and haven't really needed to wash them. The only downside is the cost, but with this much benefit why not go for it? Boxers are something you wear everyday after all, might as well wear the best.

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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: Runs small
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 182 lbs
Size Purchased: Large

I had my doubts about the look initially but it has grown on me in the Summer months. I guess I didn't like the way it look with jeans but did with shorts. The fit is a little bit small overall but the cotton weave is of pretty good quality as it is softer than normal but still decently durable.

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Wally Phillips

Wally Phillipswrote a review of on July 7, 2015

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Snagged the RockShox Pike RCT3 - 27.5in 160mm MaxleLite15 Solo Air for my Yeti SB5c build and it has been awesome so far. The Pike gives that stiff but supple feeling throughout the travel and doesn't seem to falter. I've dialed the rebound back a bit as it feels a bit too springy on the more squarish hits. I'm also going to replace the 160mm air spring with the 150mm to balance the climb/descend performance of the SB5c build out a bit. Will report back when I've made the transition.

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Wally Phillips

Wally Phillipswrote a review of on April 21, 2015

3 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: Runs large
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 182 lbs
Size Purchased: 11.5

I recently gave the Altra Olympus a test spin over a mild April weekend over some road and light trail conditions and here are my thoughts:

Fit: As can be seen from a bird's eye view shape of the upper, the Olympus has a much more anatomical design which gives a wider feel and a little bit of a larger than true length. Not quite enough to size down, but do that if you are in between sizes. The toes are roomy while the forefoot/arch is decently locked and the heel is semi snug. I interestingly felt a bit more dropoff between the ball of the foot and the toes than normal. The feet that will like these the best are ones with a bit more girth or a running style that promotes a more comfy/relaxed foot.

Tread: Handled road and light trail pretty well, but got a little slippy when the conditions really got rocky and loose. Also has decent rock grip but a difference can be felt in the type of rubber used between this and an actual approach shoe. Best conditions are road and light trail.

Stride Feel: When pounding pavement or flat terrain, the weight of the shoe seemed to bear down a bit and while the dual layer EVA gives A TON of cushion it wasn't an springy here as it should be. Uphill felt similar but more understandable due to incline. The downhill is where this shoe shines as much natural stride brought out a ton of spring. The Olympus seems to be best utilized on hills where the downhill performance rewards you for the uphill grind.

Summary: A roomier and very cushioned road training/light trail shoe with an affinity for hill running.

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Wally Phillips

Wally Phillipswrote a review of on February 18, 2015

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

This is my first foray into bluetooth earbuds as I was digging on Skullcandy's buds but got sick of the wires. Overall things are going well so far.

The design is pretty intuitive as there are the earbuds connected with one cord where the right side has a charger under the logo and an LED light that indicates certain functions under the right side ear pads. The controls work decently well though I felt that they could be a bit easier to use out of the box, definitely takes some practice. The range of sound is accurate at 30 feet, but I feel that it lacks slightly to Skullcandy buds as far as sound quality and volume. Attaching to a device is accurate and easy though. The rubber ear pads are a bit of a turn off for me as the foam pads are tried and true for my ear shape. Thankfully I can retrofit Skullcandy's foam tips on there and that makes the fit EXTREMELY good.

Durability is very good as well as I'll update this going forward while using these on my workouts. A very good bluetooth bud option if anyone is constantly looking for music during activity and hates wires.

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Wally Phillips

Wally Phillipswrote a review of on February 18, 2015

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

So, yeah. I like waffles. Who doesn't? I've been going on the Honey Stinger waffles that most cyclists originally turned me on to, but a few of my homies got me on these interestingly named natural waffles and I have to admit that I'm pretty impressed.

The initial wrapping is a little tough to open in a pinch, but once you get there things get pretty blissful. The waffle itself is pretty stable and doesn't break apart terribly easily. In breaking the waffle in two, there was a bit of a soft center like those crazy good energy waffles from MT but on a smaller scale. The taste is a good balance between cocoa and coffee while not being overly sugary and I did dip it in coffee with pretty good results.

I wish it left me slightly more filling at times and as an energy snack it does well in regular intervals but doesn't quite supply enough kapow taste and weight for those really hard days when you want to find a reason to keep going. The packaging has a nice color design though. I would definitely recommend this waffle to anyone looking for a bit more than the standard offers.

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Wally Phillips

Wally Phillipswrote a review of on January 24, 2015

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I LOVE the Flylow Tough Guys gloves. Love them so much that when I saw a lighter counterpart in the John Henry for the warmer or higher activity days I immediately jumped on a Large version. I was immediately happy with the toughness of the outer construction as I felt that it could withstand more of a beating than even the Tough Guy.

There is also relatively no insulation to this glove so it is great on warmer days or when the activity level is high, but be careful as I've found that the pigskin leather does run a bit colder than I thought it would. The wrist pull is a good idea as well for easy on/off and the John Henry has one of the better finger articulations on the market.

The fit is a little on the small size. I went with the Large where my wrist to end of middle finger is 8", four finger circumference is 9" and circumference of the largest part of my hand is just under 10". I would've probably went one size up for more warmth and maybe to get a glove liner under it for the really cold mornings, but the larges do work. It is just interesting as the Large in the Tough Guy fits me perfectly.

I'd definitely recommend this to anyone looking for bomber spring or high workload glove, but tell them to be sure of the sizing and that they don't have any circulation issues.

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