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 August 17, 2016

4 5

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

The Howler Bros Horizon Hybrid Short is my second foray into what Howler Bros can do as I've already picked up and mostly gushed on them already. The study but light and airy nylon ripstop construction is still there as the short even feels a bit more waterproof than most. The pocket outlay is amazing as well as you get the standard side pockets with a zipper AND button pocket in the back in case you don't want to lose anything. Single button to fly design also feels closed without constriction. Fit wise, the waist is about right as I went with a 34 and that's what it was but the inseam feels a bit smaller as I run around a 33" inseam at 5'11" so it is more like a mid-leg length on me. Still a really good short for sun, surf and fishing.

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Wally Phillips

Wally Phillipswrote a review of on August 17, 2016

4 5

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

I took a chance on Howler Bros as we started carrying them not too long ago and I did like the style for hot summer days. It did not disappoint as you could tell a lot of time and care went into the making of the Aransas Shirt .
Immediately apparent is how well crafted the shirt is. It feels bomber, though soft enough to not realize it until you take a closer look. The cotton, polyester weave though a tiny bit heavy still gives some natural air flow for those super hot days and the lightning bolt style has gotten me an average of 1.35 compliments per day.
Only issue is fit. I found the large to fit rather large on me which is surprising as I'm 5'11" with the shoulders of a 6'3" person and a shorter torso than inseam. I could've pulled off a medium, particularly in the length.
Regardless, Howler Bros have shown that they can make a massively dependable product and should not be ignored.

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Wally Phillips

Wally Phillipswrote a review of on August 17, 2016

4 5

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

I've worn Icebreaker socks for some years now and the Multisport Cushion Mini Sock feels like a more refined design for the better. The sock itself feels overal more streamlined from the slightly more sthletic fit to how it fits into shoes. The cushion is apparent though not as obvious as previous iterations. This can be a good/bad thing as folks wanting heavier cushion and to fill out a shoe fit more should look else where. The color design feels sleek as well as I also found the durability to be a bit better through washing though I may need to update after another couple of months. Another god merino sock option from Icebreaker!

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Wally Phillips

Wally Phillipswrote a review of on August 17, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

The Strider 12 Classic Balance Bike is flat out amazing as a big use bike from the four wheeled infant bikes to possibly not even using training wheels on a kids' bike. The design is almost flawless when it come to growing the bike while the child grows so that the bike lasts from 18 months to 5 years old. The possible attachments and the sizing adjustment is eaesy througha one-size allen wrench and the colors, while a bit dull at times, are easy on the eyes. Only word of caution is that the fringe ages can come to size the bike weirdly for the little one so really take the time to size right for maximum enjoyment.

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Wally Phillips

Wally Phillipswrote a review of on August 17, 2016

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 3' 1"
Weight: 23 lbs
Size Purchased: 4

I'm just getting my little one into running around lakes and streams and the Native Shoes Verona Shoes really helped as far as helping her get in and out of the water while keeping her feet protected. The drain system is amazing as she never noticed that her feet were wet while ouyt of the water and the synthetic outer material used is very durable and waterproof. The tread is also surprisingly decent for a water shoe though I wouldn't take my little one scrambling in them. Also, while the outer material has its ups, don't leave it too long in the sun as it can get a bit warm and it can be a bit abrasive to sensitive skin at first. A good semi-casual water shoe option overall.

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Wally Phillips

Wally Phillipswrote a review of on August 17, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Pack-it cubes are pretty brainless when it comes to use and overall function as these from EAgle Creek are super solid. The only thing I ever worry about is the zipper strength and these hasve some of the better out there. The mesh window helps to organize and disseminate what the hell you actually put in there and as long as you do the over-folding or roll-up technique with your stuff you can fit a lot in. A great option and all those who travel a lot should have at least 2-3.

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Wally Phillips

Wally Phillipswrote a review of on August 17, 2016

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Most of us athletes/outdoor enthusiasts are starting to go the way of the duffel for its packability and the durable/waterproof materials that can go into it while keeping the outer shell still malleable. Behold the Osprey Packs Transporter 95 which, like most duffels, has a HUGE main compartment but Osprey was able to throw some extra pockets in there on the front and side along with some great features like multiple carry options (backpack straps, side carry strap and main carry strap). The durability is pretty strong with the 900D nylon outer and the duffel has a good look to it as well with some different though muted colors.

Downsides? There are a few duffels out there that are a bit waterproof so don't go thinking you can throw this around in a deluge. Also, the side and front pockets do VERY well in not getting in the way of stuffing the main compartment though there is some planning needed as if you stuff one too much you limit the stuffability of the other and vice-versa. Finally, the world isn't perfect as this is right inbetween a carry on and check size bag for flights which could be a good thing for the one-duffel person but you aren't using it as a carry on.

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Wally Phillips

Wally Phillipswrote a review of on July 26, 2016

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: Runs large
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 178 lbs
Size Purchased: 11.0

I've had so, so many of my fellow outdoor cohorts push on me that Chaco was their go to sandal for their pursuits that when I had a Western Colorado trip come up I decided to pull the trigger. I come back ten days later sporting a new Chaco foot tan and a new perspective.

The Chaco Z/2 Classic Sandal is the closest thing to a do-it-all sandal that I could ever dream up. It's webbing/strap system ensured that the sandal stays on and the ChacoGrip rubber was really versatile with how durable and grippy it is. The LuvSeat footbed is a nice touch as well as it is one of the only sandals that provides any arch support (medium arch for a guy and it fit me well).

Is it perfect? No, but I'll definitely be nit-picking here. The sole/midsole combo while it takes care of most terrain you can think of runs a bit on the heavy side.

Fit runs a bit large so if you are in-between size down (I'm 11.5 and the 11.0 fits great) and the break in wasn't bad but I had to leave the buckle closure completely open the first few days for my foot to get used to things.

-I'll update this after further use for long-term durability.

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Wally Phillips

Wally Phillipswrote a review of on June 1, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I gave it as a gift but have feedback to share
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 8"
Weight: 140 lbs
Size Purchased: One Size

The Sol Cool Bandana definitely lives up to it's product description! Hiking in hot temps in Southern Utah, I experienced an immediate & long lasting cooling effect using this product, especially when dampened/wet. This is by far the best product of this type I have tried - highly recommend this one.

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Wally Phillips

Wally Phillipswrote a review of on June 1, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I gave it as a gift but have feedback to share

The stemless wine glasses & the soft sided wine carafe by GSI Outdoors are a great hiking/camping combo! The wine carafe is easy to fill, lightweight, & preserves the original taste. The stemless wine glasses travel well & the weighted bottoms keep the sipping side up on uneven surfaces. A perfect addition to a perfect outdoor day.

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Wally Phillips

Wally Phillipswrote a review of on May 30, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I gave it as a gift but have feedback to share
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 8"
Weight: 180 lbs
Size Purchased: 8

Got these for my wife. She has extremely high arches so most flip flops are a no go for her because they are too flat. She loves these. Wears them for hours on the weekends and reports they are really cofortable. Somehow they made the soles soft but really supportive on the foot. She now wants them in other colors. So maybe they are too good.

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Wally Phillips

Wally Phillipswrote a review of on May 30, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I gave it as a gift but have feedback to share
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 8"
Weight: 180 lbs
Size Purchased: XL

Got this for my wife. She perfers performance skirts when we go out in the summer because we usually are chasing a toddler or crusing the neighborhood. This skirt looks awesome, is really well made and washes easily. The UPF rating makes it great for summer and the fabric has a little sheen that makes it easy to brush off, whether your sitting in the sand on the beach or in a box with your kid.

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Wally Phillips

Wally Phillipswrote a review of on May 30, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I gave it as a gift but have feedback to share
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 8"
Weight: 180 lbs
Size Purchased: XL

Got this for my wife to take on a trip to California for a girls weekend. She reports that it was great for early morning walks on the boardwalk, warm because it's a heavier fabric but light because of the backless design that lets in a little breeze. Fits really well, and has a unique pattern. She says this is her first "backless" active wear and she felt really comfortable in it with just a sports bra underneath.

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Wally Phillips

Wally Phillipswrote a review of on May 30, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I gave it as a gift but have feedback to share
Fit: Runs large
Height: 5' 8"
Weight: 180 lbs
Size Purchased: XL

I got this for my wife and she loves it. She reports that it's super lightweight but still feels really sturdy and well made. The side slits make it breezy to keep cool in the hot sun and allow a great fit without being too restrictive. Seems to run a little larger than most Prana stuff she's owned.

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Wally Phillips

Wally Phillipswrote a review of on May 30, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I gave it as a gift but have feedback to share
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 8"
Weight: 180 lbs
Size Purchased: 8.0

I got these for my wife who has a hard time finding flats that fit her high arches, wider forefoot and skinny ankles. This shoe is like a magic fit for her. She wears them all weekend and they are comfortable and look great. She also reports that people compliment her all the time on them, even strangers, so they might even draw a crowd.

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Wally Phillips

Wally Phillipswrote a review of on May 30, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: True to size
Height: 2' 11"
Weight: 24 lbs
Size Purchased: 2T

Got this for my little girl. She is tall and most shirts ride up when she is squatted down checking out the dirt/grass/carpet snacks, etc. This shirt is great because it has a longer back than most so she stays covered. It looks really cute but is also really functional. Lightweight fabric with long sleeves to keep her her warm on the playground and protect her a bit from the sun while she tries to walk up the slide again and again.

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Wally Phillips

Wally Phillipswrote a review of on May 30, 2016

4 5

Height: 5' 8"
Weight: 180 lbs
Size Purchased: 8.0

Got these for my wife. It's hard to call a flip flop "classy" but these are really well made sandals that look really good. Nice enough to wear out to dinner but comfortable enough for everyday use (according to her report). She said they were a little tight in the toe when she first tried them on but they loosed up really quickly and painlessly.

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Wally Phillips

Wally Phillipswrote a review of on May 29, 2016

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 8"
Weight: 180 lbs
Size Purchased: XL

Got this as a gift for my wife. She reports that it is lightweight, well made and confortable. She is pretty active running after our toddler so she perfers performance skirts for casual events. The fabric is sleek, which means it's kid friendly and easy to wear. She loves the deep pockets that are hidden in the side steams. She felt it ran larger than most mountain hardware skirts she's had in the past. so probably stick true to size or size down on this one. I think a size down would've fit me better.

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Wally Phillips

Wally Phillipswrote a review of on May 29, 2016

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: Runs large
Height: 2' 11"
Weight: 22 lbs
Size Purchased: 2T

Bought this dress for my super active little 20 month old girl. She is really tall for her age so the 2T fits with some room to grow. It runs a little large compared to traditional retail brands. Really well made and strudy to keep her looking cute while she tears up the playground.

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Wally Phillips

Wally Phillipswrote a review of on May 29, 2016

4 5

Familiarity: I gave it as a gift but have feedback to share
Fit: Runs small
Height: 5' 8"
Weight: 140 lbs
Size Purchased: X-Large

I am very happy with my new ladies Prana top. It’s a flattering but loose comfortable fit & the fabric is incredibly soft. I selected muted grays and find it perfect with jeans or dressed up with a skirt or accessories. Although it says tumble-dry I hung to dry which worked great. I feel like sizes run a bit on the small side as the x-large was a perfect loose fit for me.

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