William Swanson

William Swanson

SW Montana

William's Passions

Biking
Skiing

William's Bio

Neophyte skier, volunteer DJ, over-enthusiastic bike commuter and mountain cyclist. I don't really respect people who can't be bothered to ride (or ski) up the hill, too.

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William Swanson

William Swanson wrote a review of on February 5, 2011

4 5

I've used this touring in warm wet spring conditions in MT and skinning in the rain in Valdez. I've used it with several different sets of skins and have never had glopping problems, so long as I remember to apply the wax before the tour. As far as I'm concerned skin wax is essential for touring in warmer weather. That said, I'm not convinced that there's anything special about THIS wax. I'd hypothesize that a block of normal ski wax or regular old paraffin would work as well. I'm still on my first block after three seasons, however, and haven't needed to test the theory. Bottom line: Wax is good & this wax works as advertised

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William Swanson

William Swanson wrote a review of on January 21, 2011

Goes well with hot sauce
5 5

This jacket lives in the top of my pack while ski touring, and I pull it out anytime I stop to wait for buddies, dig a pit, drink some coffee or make a burrito. It's pretty warm and crazy light.

I'm 5'8 130 lbs and got a medium. This size is something of a miracle - it layers perfectly both underneath and on top of my hardshell, which is a size small. Don't ask me how it works, ask the clever folks who designed this jacket.

Durability-wise, I've been impressed. Given its weight, this is obviously not a burly jacket, and you should take care moving through brush. That said, I've snagged it a hundred times and grimaced, thinking I'd have a torn jacket, but still haven't noticed any rips or tears.

Buy this jacket but keep your eye on your sneaky roommates, 'cause they'll definitely try to steal it from you.

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William Swanson

William Swanson wrote a review of on April 3, 2009

5 5

The synchro fabric is perfect for backcountry skiing. It breathes well enough (there are huge vents if necessary) and is as waterproof as anything I've used. Water beads off - end of story. Durability seems pretty good and you can't deny that the exterior taping looks sharp. I'm 5'8, 140 lbs, usually a 30-31" waist. I got the small and it's slim but not skin-tight, just the fit I was looking for. All things considered I highly recommend these pants (bibs) and can't think of a single complaint. Just remember to zip up the vents at the top - waterproof/breathable fabric doesn't mean much when snow is pouring in the side of the pants.

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William Swanson

William Swanson wrote a review of on February 2, 2009

2 5

This is an addition to my previous review entitled "exactly what I was looking for". While I still feel that these provide and awesome amount of insulation for their low weight and bulk, I'm extremely disappointed with the durability. I have had to stitch up holes in almost all of the fingers, and I've been wearing these for only a couple of months. Good warmth and fit, poor longevity. When it's time to replace these (after I can no longer stitch the fingers) I will not buy Arc'teryx. For reference I am using these strictly as a liner underneath an insulated leather ski glove, not as a contact glove.

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William Swanson

William Swanson wrote an answer about on January 3, 2009

Most modern plastic telemark boots should be warm enough with a pair of good wool ski socks. The important factor is fit: you should be able to wiggle your toes when the ski boots are tightened (for good circulation), but the boots should not be so loose as to compromise performance on the downhill. I find that Scarpa boots fit my narrow feet best, and have heard that Garmont and Crispi boots tend to fit wider feet better. For mostly touring, check out boots like Garmont's Syner-G or Scarpa's T2X. If you're more focused on gnarly lines and steep terrain or plan on skiing fatter, stiffer skis look into bigger boots like Scarpa's T1 or Garmont's Ener-G.

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William Swanson

William Swanson wrote a review of on December 15, 2008

5 5

This is a great liner glove. Merino wool is the future, tell your friends. It's warm, it breathes, and its soft on the skin. These liners are very thin, they fit under my outer gloves perfectly, but they provide an astonishing amount of insulation. For comparison, these are about as thick as an Icebreaker 190 weight shirt. Highly recommended.

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William Swanson

William Swanson wrote a review of on December 3, 2008

5 5

My brother broke my glass press, and I replaced it with this one because I figured he'd be hard pressed to do the same with titanium. I combine this with a small hand grinder for incredible fresh coffee anywhere. It's durable, light, and fairly packable. Great for cabins, camping, backpacking, traveling, or just at home. The fact that I can boil water in the press is a huge bonus, it makes for one less container to carry. It's a little pricey, but high quality and so far seems to be indestructable. Recommended.

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William Swanson

William Swanson wrote a review of on November 21, 2008

5 5

First off, GORE-TEX PRO is the bee-knees. Water beads off, sweat escapes, and the material holds up to a lot of abuse. This jacket has some exceptional features that make it stand out among the other GORE-TEX offerings: The two-way side zips that go from the bottom of the jacket all the way to about halfway down the bicep provide incredible ventilation and versatility. There are plenty of pockets, including two chest pockets big enough for huge mittens, skins, or just hands. Two inside pockets provide more storage space and a napoleon pocket is a good place for sunglasses or whatever you want handy. The hood is huge, which is nice because I can fit any helmet underneath it, and also has side and back cinches to make it work even if I'm not wearing anything on my head. The waist cinch works well, and the cuffs are well designed. I'm about 5'8 and 140lbs, and I ordered the medium. It's a little big on me, but the sleeves are long enough to cover the cuffs of my gloves even when I'm stretching out in drop bars on my bike, and the tail is long but the two-way side and front zippers allow some articulation at the waist without exposing anything to the elements. My brother is about the same size as me and wears an OR shell in Small, for a much more athletic fit. All in all OR makes well thought out products and I'd recommend them. Even at full price this jacket is cheaper than most other companies' comparable offerings, and on sale it's a steal.

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