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ZenMasterD

ZenMasterD

Dzuy's Passions

Trad Climbing
Backpacking
Hiking
Mountain Biking
Snowshoeing
Mountaineering
Sport Climbing
Bouldering

Dzuy's Bio

ZenMasterD

ZenMasterD wrote a review of on December 30, 2008

2 5

Pros: Well made, super light and almost perfect for weight concious high altitude ascents. Zippers are water proof quality. Adequate gear straps.

Cons: Price, single point of access to bag, zero back support, one ice axe/tools velcro strap

For $100, this is an expensive luxury to have as your secondary pack. This was made as a pack with climbers in mind. Though falling short. As a weight concious gearhead, no one would complain about the benefits of an side access zipper. The pack is light enough to allow that much. The shoulder straps are light, well made and comfortable enough and have gear loops for extra crabs, QDs etc. Though it falls short of expelling exess sweat and moisture.

My biggest gripe though is the part of the pack that comes in contact with the back. The pack itself is flimsy and sags due to the lack of back support. A piece of foam is all you get. The foam's effect is actually negated and doesn't come in contact with the back at all if you're sporting a water bladder. Once the bladder is inserted, the only thing between you and the bladder is the nylon material which the pack is made from. The bladder should be on the opposite side of the foam but isn't. If you're starting in the early morning, this leads to starting your climb/hike with your h20 bladder uncomfortably cold (sometimes frozen) and uncontoured to your spine. The hip straps could use some padding.

Despite the quality construction and intentions you could tell that this was a prototyped rushed into production and poorly executed. Where were the testers who objected to the lack of back design ?

Better luck next time. Hopefully the price won't go up.

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ZenMasterD

ZenMasterD wrote a review of on December 3, 2007

2 5

I bought this down coat last year and used it for a variety of activites. From hiking 14ers to a very cold winter in (0 C)Beijing, China - and Ulan Batuur, Mongolia. Positives: Lightweight and packs small and very compact. This coat will keep your body core warm enough for -56 C weather (Mongolia), lounging around a campfire and just extreme cold. If you were to be caught out in the cold and had to emergency bivy, you could do it with this jacket. I've gone in serious cold with this jacket and it has never failed to keep me warm. Negatives: I received this jacket with the pockets lined only on one side of each of the pockets. Both the the cuffs on the sleeve were sewn twisted and therefore makes it an awkward feel. Factory reject? This coat is so warm, it requires pit zips but does not have any. A big downer for anyone requiring the warmth and ventialtion at the same time. When it comes to wind, this coat is thick enough to stop the wind in most places. The wind stopping flap that's supposed to stop the wind wrinkled up, exposing the zipper permanently and rendering it's windstopping abilities almost as soon as i got it. As of date 2 out of the 4 zippers have broken including the main zipper, disabling the complete use of it. Since the first days of receiving this coat, down has continued to puff out of the coat itself. It comes out everywhere and taints my clothing. The thin outer shell is nowhere near to being waterproof and any water/snow soaked this through. Down feathers easily poke through and come out. Being wet makes the downing useless. On a good note, my g/f got a similar mountain hardwear coat with a thicker shell, so maybe they got their act together. I've gone through some detrimental conditions with this coat and the only thing it does well is keep me warm. If you require technical use beyond hitting the city streets get something with better venting.

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ZenMasterD

ZenMasterD wrote a review of on December 3, 2007

4 5

I used this bag quite extensively in the Colorado Rockies and in China. First, this bag packs to a phenomenal size and great weight. This bag will definitely keep you warm when you need it, just stay cozy. It saves a great deal of space when packing your gear. Some dislikes are that the down comes out occasionally. The shell is thin, so don't get it wet. Due to its lightweight, it doesn't insulate against the cold ground too well. Make sure you use some kind of sleeping pad to insulate well. SIze, I'm 5'11 and got a regular size. No problem there.

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