aaalllen

aaalllen

Lake Tahoe, CA

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aaalllen

aaalllen wrote a review of on June 14, 2013

5 5

I had an REI 3.5L mat used for car camping, staying over at a friend's place, extra mat for friends and those ski lease occasions when I didn't get a bed. I didn't like the rolled size and fortunately a friend screwed it up. So I went looking for a replacement =)

I ruled out the NeoAir because of the noisy crinkling and how light of a sleeper I am. I thought long and hard about the 7LW (6-3 230), but I ended up with a Synmat 9LW. The 9LW adds about 2" in diameter to the 7's rolled size. That's still much smaller than my down sleeping bag or the old mat.

The instructions said to lay it out w/ the values open for 24 hours. Afterwards, I inflated it and laid on it. It felt really warm. Inflation seems fine. The air lasted 4 days before I decided to deflate it.

Inflation takes a few minutes of giving it CPR, but the one way valve makes it easy enough to take a break if you really have to. I've seen some negative deflation time comments, but I've been used to the two phase tear-down: accordion folds + sitting on it -> a final roll up. The only complaint I can give is that both inflation and deflation are noisy. Think of deflation like a whoopie cushion.

I have used this in a walk-in Tahoe camping trip. It was in the low 30s at night and my friends told me they were freezing. I was fine in a non-mummy 25 bag. I slept in on the last day and woke up because of the heat... go figure. Also, I couldn't find a flat place to setup camp and noticed the 15-20 degree incline while on the mat. It was fixable by sticking clothes under the shoulder side.

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aaalllen

aaalllen wrote a review of on April 29, 2013

5 5

I can see why other reviewers called this a boxing glove. There's about 4x more padding on top/backhand than on the palm area. That gives enough dexterity and control. I wouldn't see them working w/ ski pole straps at all.

I have long fingers and sometimes XL gloves are too small. The XL fit pretty well into the individual fingered fleece inner glove. I read the reviews and was ok that the mitten wasn't fully open. The fleece is soft and didn't find myself with sweaty hands in a 70*F room after wearing them for 15 minutes.

Comparing this to other gloves, these seems to be missing keeper straps, but the size tag could work as an anchor point to attach them from other gloves. This glove also doesn't have a wrist tightener, but the gauntlet closure got pretty tight. I will probably cut off the hook/d-rings that the designers intended to keep the gloves together for storage/travel.

I agree w/ the flimsy material thoughts other people have. The backhand seems really lightweight. The fingertips and palm get a beefier nylon around a small soft leather patch. I'm not going to be able to dig snow out of my bindings w/ the thin backhand material, but the thumb and finger tip area looks do-able.

Great price on SAC so I had to pull the trigger twice and give this a lot of stars.

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aaalllen

aaalllen wrote an answer about on December 5, 2012

Glad to be of service. As an update, a Marmot Zeus fit under it, but in Tahoe, I'm typically good w/ a fleece insulation layer. As for length, it might run long, but I have long arms and the length hit to around my wrist (which would be good for a suit jacket). The color kind of matches w/ the "Tang" colored bibs from 2010, too.

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aaalllen

aaalllen wrote an answer about on December 4, 2012

Hi... I vote for the XXL. I guess we're similar enough: 6-3, 49" chest if i take a huge breath , 38" waist and 46" hip.

My XXL bombshell non-insulated just arrived today. I'm in a tshirt and light fleece pullover. The jacket looks good on me with the shoulder seam in the right place and the right height proportion (I can do a snowboarder's squat without issue). I have really long arms and the thumb holes might be a problem. I'm hoping it stretches out.

As for extra layering room, with the jacket zipped up, i pulled the chest material in front of me put my palms together. It's about 2-2.5" on each side for a total of about 4.5-5". That starts at the top and continues to around my waist. Then i don't get much spare room in the hip. Then again, the waist gaiter buttoned together wouldn't seal snow out if i don't tighten it.

I have to get home to different layers on, but I'd guess I have enough room w/ even a thick puffy.

Overall, the sizing seems to change from year to year or between products. The bombshell pants from 2 years ago were great at XXL, last year's Luft XXL was pretty baggy on me and this year's merino XL hit the spot. BC's return policy is great minus the self-shipping part. It still beats the tax from my local REI.

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aaalllen

aaalllen wrote a review of on September 22, 2012

5 5

I'll have to compare this against that other brand. Both are listed at 700ml, seem well constructed, can fit a small stove w/ fuel can, an alcohol setup w/ little bottles, easy enough to clean w/ large hands and has a functional lid. This one doesn't have measurements, but it holds a nalgene bottle better (think air wooshing when you separate them).

I can't tell which lid I like better. The other brand can kind of attach to the body when not in use and has holes closer to the edge for easier straining. This one has an interesting handle that can slide around between grooves. One set of grooves is for storgae and it doesn't really lift up. The other groove tilts the handle up and away from the vent holes. These holes have less room for steam to escape.

I would say that this works with the JetBoil coffee press better. With the other brand, you had to move the fins out. Even then, you had to get the right angle to get the seal on a cold pot or it would just fall down. For this one, minimal fiddling with the fins toward straight down makes a perfect seal. If you want to jerry rig something else, a Bodum Chambord press seems to work, too.

I started w/ a GSI Pinnacle Soloist w/ a sea to summit x-mug. I wanted another boiling or campfire option and bit on the sale price. I'm pretty happy w/ this purchase. After fiddling w/ things, my current setup for 2 people seems like a perfect nesting system:

-> hold the Soloist bowl open side up
-> put the bottom of the non-bagged kettle in the bowl
-> foon, alcohol stove, windscreen, some fuel and a lighter
-> kettle lid
-> x-mug downward
-> the upside down Soloist pot over everything
-> flip everything over
-> gsi pot lid & lock the handles

The other way around seems to have the pot lid squishing the x-mug.

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aaalllen

aaalllen wrote a review of on May 10, 2011

5 5

I've camped at Coachella for over 5 years and the description sold me. I will disagree with the people who say they can make a 25 down bag work in any environment and have been looking for a summer/travelling bag (think 90*F by 9am). If I'm car camping, I don't mind having a big tent, a thick pad and a comfy sleeping bag. I'm 6-3 and linebacker sized. This bag is taller than I am by a good few inches so I don't know why they say the max size is 6'. The bag is really wide where I can have both arms at my side with a lot of extra room. Rolling between sides isn't an issue.

The inside is a soft material that almost feels like cotton. Cold weather bags seem to have extra material around the zipper to block drafts. This LACKS that and you can feel the zippers from the inside. The zipper works well from the inside or out. There is a button closure in one corner, but I haven't found a good use for leaving it snapped.

There is no stuff sack. Instead, you get a Marmot branded medium/large sized duffel carrying case with backpack style handles. Unfortunately, there are no pockets. It is possible to compress the bag a little and add a few more things for the road. A BC rep said it would be ok to use my own stuff sack for a short period of time.

50+ nights it's really warm. It dropped to 43 one night. I was fine w/o a hat/extra layers where others thought it cold.

So far, I'd recommend this for Coachella, car camping, overnight at a friend's or for guys my size.

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