Free Shipping on Orders Over $50*
Newts

Newts

London, UK

Newts's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Paddling
Snowshoeing
Climbing

Newts

Newtswrote a review of on March 1, 2015

3 5

Familiarity: I returned this product before using it
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 10"
Weight: 215 lbs
Size Purchased: XL

Can't speak to the durability, but they're Paclite; in my jacket experience, if you want a worry-free shell, go with a 3-layer laminate like Gore Pro, Proshell or 3L eVent. Can speak to the fact that they're weirdly low-rise; if you try to pull these on quickly to the level where most pants sit, you're in for a painful surprise. Zeta AR (which I returned these for) and Beta AR are a more normal cut, in addition to being more durable.

(0)

 

0 Comments

Newts

Newtswrote a review of on February 20, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 10"
Weight: 215 lbs
Size Purchased: XL

So I lost *every single* Icebreaker piece I've ever owned to moths, despite being stored with cedar blocks and prominently displayed signs saying "Please do not eat my wool." Switched to Phase. Haven't looked back. Dries massively faster than merino equivalents, in my experience. The ARs are warm enough for most anything you'd want to do actively even in deep winter; SLs are equally nice and awesome to sleep in. Will stink a tiny bit if worn days on end without washing, but not nearly as bad as other syn baselayers I've tried. I'm sold.

(1)

 

0 Comments

Newts

Newtswrote a review of on February 20, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 10"
Weight: 215 lbs
Size Purchased: XL

Hat tip to BC Gearhead Geoff who suggested this piece. Reliably warm well below freezing with appropriate layers; reasonably breathable; nontechnical enough to go from backcountry to pub. Layered under a Nuclei it can effectively replace a single belay jacket. What makes it a 5-star are the improvements from the previous Atom SV, notably a hood cinch, warmer torso insulation, and a less boxy cut.

Niggles: the hood is not, I repeat not, attractively cut. If someone expresses romantic interest in you while you have the hood up, run, because they have a secret mushroom fetish. And I wish Arc would standardize on the Nuclei-style smaller just-the-bird logo rather than the enormous chest medallion with "PLEASE MUG ME" written below it, but that's a frontcountry concern. In the field this thing rocks.

(1)

 

0 Comments

Newts

Newtswrote a review of on February 20, 2015

3 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 10"
Weight: 215 lbs
Size Purchased: XL

The positive reviews are right: it's a sharp, windproof and waterproof around-town Arc piece. I assume those reviews were written standing up, though, because due to the lack of a double zipper or sufficiently ported tail hem, you can't sit down in this coat when it's zipped, which makes it rather a difficult sell for what I assume is the target market of urban commuters who want to stay dry and look awesome. I really, really hope Arc adds a bottom zipper on the next revision, because it's a very nice coat.

(0)

 

0 Comments

Newts

Newtswrote a review of on February 17, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I gave up on Smith a few years back after a particularly miserably foggy-goggled snowshoe trip using the original I/Os. Took a chance on the Vice -- I don't know what they've done to the build or the coating, but I CAN. NOT. FOG. THEM. UP. Like, wearing a full-face balaclava and breathing pretty much directly into them, cannot fog them up. Nice.

(0)

 

0 Comments

Newts

Newtswrote a review of on February 17, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size

The R1 was my go-to all-seasons-but-summer baselayer for years; it's been replaced by the Cap4 hoody, because the Cap4 hoody is much more flexible. Light, warm, breathable, wicks like nobody's business; layer over 200wt wool or Phase AR in deep winter for R1 equivalent; layer under R1 or Piton Hybrid for deeper winter. Liked it so much I got another in case Pata stops making them; bottoms are equally good.

(0)

 

0 Comments

Newts

Newtswrote a review of on January 20, 2015

3 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size

This could be the windshirt to end all windshirts if it wasn't for BD's very very strange neck & hood design. So much potential: the Schoeller fabric is exceptional in terms of wind resistance and stretch; I've never seen a better factory DWR on a windshell. The cuffs could use a slim velcro closure, but I can live with that. What I can't live with is BD's weird head & neck pattern on their 2013/14 shell pieces. The neck is uncomfortably small, even on an XL where the rest of the piece hangs off me. If they revise the pattern for 2015, I will buy these in bulk; until then it's back to the less breathable Arcteryx Squamish.

(0)

 

0 Comments

Newts

Newtswrote a review of on January 9, 2015

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size

Great cut, very cozy hood, one of the subjectively warmest down pieces in its weight class. Dinged it a star for leaking a lot of feathers relative to the Pata UL Down Hoody. A tad nervous to see how the synthetic bits hold up over repeated stuffing cycles.

(0)

 

0 Comments

Newts

Newtswrote a review of on January 8, 2015

3 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size

Was excited to see if BD's clothing line had matured since introduction; disappointed to find that the 2014 offerings, including the Sharp End, have the same problems with bizarre head/neck patterning as the 2013 kit, with some new functionality issues into the mix. It boggles the mind that a helmet manufacturer makes a climbing-specific jacket without a truly helmet-compatible hood. I understand that the cut is for 'tall, slender people', but the hood appears to have been designed for someone with a 10" neck and no chin; as previously mentioned, you have to unzip the jacket to put on a helmet, after which the chin is uncomfortably tight. Factory DWR is atrocious; chest area wet out within ten minutes in a downpour on first wearing. The Cohaesive bits strike me as a gimmick, and I'll be intrigued to see how the sharp edges on the tabs wear over the life of the garment. I really really want to like this piece -- it would be nice to have one breathable shell that could work in the field as well as around town, with those handwarmer pockets -- but BD's design team needs to keep trying.

(1)

 

0 Comments

Newts

Newtswrote a review of on August 14, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: Runs small

I used to hike 4 seasons in Gamma LTs, which were a bit hot for summer Sierra temps (80 - 90F), so I've spent the past year trying several of Arc's light models. Ramparts: comfortable, true to size, baggy, no pocket zips. Palisades: run small, odd pocket placement. Perimeters: skinny jeans at the top and bellbottoms at the bottom, useless pockets.

I finally tried the Gamma SL Hybrids when the Iron Anvil colorway was released, as it's the first version that hasn't looked preposterous. Man, am I glad I did. Zippable pockets. Breathable. Quick-drying. Protection where you need it. Awesome built-in gaiter hooks. Comfortable at high exertion in mid-80s temps. I think these may have stolen the crown from the LTs as the best all-around 3-season hiking pants Arc makes.

(2)

 

0 Comments

Newts

Newtswrote a review of on November 15, 2013

4 5

Familiarity: I returned this product before using it
Fit: True to size

My beloved Arcteryx Squamish gave up the ghost recently, and I thought I'd try the Bitihorn Aero. .7oz heavier, similar pleasant fabric hand, arguably nicer colors, great adjustable velcro cuffs and hem pull. The hood, however, is GIGANTIC and lacks any brim shaping at all. If you need it to wear with a helmet, highly recommended; if not, the Squamish's hood is unbeatable.

(0)

 

0 Comments

Newts

Newtswrote a review of on November 15, 2013

3 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

So yes, these straps will hold two pads together. Ironically, they work better on pads with horizontal baffles -- with Exped's vertical baffles the pads tend to clamshell shut if unsupervised. The stuffsack is horrendous; the velcro on the straps will tear it up within one trip.

(0)

 

0 Comments

Newts

Newtswrote a review of on August 10, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Started with a Fly Creek UL3: light but too cramped for 2 on a multiday trip. Went to a Jack Rabbit SL3: spacious but too heavy for 2 on a multiday trip, also fly zips are a nightmare, and I don't trust the plastic pole hub. Then BA adds a spreader bar to the formerly meh Seedhouse SL3, and we have a winner. 56oz packed; *more* footprint room than the Jack Rabbit, wonderful headroom. Tight as a drum and perfectly dry when pitched well. If you're attempting to ease an indoorsy friend into lightweight backpacking, this is the tent to do it in.

(1)

 

0 Comments

Newts

Newtswrote a review of on July 18, 2013

2 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Was excited to try the FC2P; after 15 nights in it, I'm less excited. The bathtub bottom is cut so low that in any sort of driving rain, splashback becomes a real issue no matter the pitch. Less specific to this tent, the Fly Creek series wastes a lot of space between the ridgepole and the inner. I ended up returning to a Seedhouse SL2; I can live with the weight penalty for more usable room, properly high sides and materials that inspire more confidence. If you're slightly built and live somewhere relatively dry, the FC2P is a competent 3-season tent, but there are much better options for the price.

(0)

 

0 Comments

0 Comments

Newts

Newtswrote a review of on June 7, 2013

1 5

3 NeoAirs, 3 leaks. 3 field patches, 3 more leaks. Spare yourself the warranty returns and your tentmates the incessant noisy crinkling. Being stuck halfway through a walk across Iceland with all your patches used and no working sleeping pad is unpleasant. Exped SynMat UL7 is a much better choice, from a size, durability and insulation standpoint; Nemo Astro if you want to go heavier.

(0)

 

0 Comments

0 Comments

Newts

Newtswrote a review of on May 25, 2013

4 5

Delightfully warm, amazingly well-fitted jacket. I thought everyone was crazy for raving about the cuffs until I got one; the cuffs really are very well-done. The hood, however, is a big round puffy fishbowl that catches wind and doesn't move with your head, which is a shame, since Arc'x does great hoods elsewhere. If you can live with the hood, this is the lightweight syn piece to beat.

(0)

 

0 Comments

Newts

Newtswrote a review of on May 25, 2013

3 5

Among lighter pillow options, Exped is the one to beat. The dual valves are awesome, and the packability is amazing. I may just have an unusually slippery head, but the material of this pillow is such that unless properly positioned it tends to scoot out from under my head. Body oils will naturally stain and degrade the top surface of this (and most Exped products, I find) over time). Went with a washable Nemo Fillo (11oz, blarg) after a year, kept the Exped as a backup.

(0)

 

0 Comments