Alan Klackner

Alan Klackner

Los Angeles

Alan Klackner's Passions

Snowboarding
Climbing
Biking
Hiking & Camping

Alan Klackner's Bio

Father, Husband, Climber, Cyclist, Boarder, Opinionated Idiot. :D

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Alan Klackner

Alan Klacknerwrote a review of on September 9, 2015

It's a mixer
3 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

I'd like to open with a thanks to Backcountry and Avex for the continued opportunity to review products I can share with the Backcountry.com community.

Probably a bit above average its exactly what its supposed to be a bottle for mixing workout recovery and other protein shakes.

The bottle does have several stand out features:
Smooth/polished inner wall equals more protein for you less for your sink.
A weighted shaker ball to ensure powders get broken up and well mixed quickly
A very secure top lid and pour spout to prevent protein explosions
Loop on the top for easy grab and go so you can have your shake within 15 mins of completing a workout, when it counts the most.

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Alan Klackner

Alan Klacknerwrote a review of on September 9, 2015

Keep the wet on the inside!
4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I'd like to open with a thanks to Backcountry and Avex for the continued opportunity to review products I can share with the Backcountry.com community.

While using this bottle I came to appreciate a well-designed balance of features, size, and ability to insulate

No leaks and No condensation! Even when holding ice cold fluids

Lock added to AutoSeal mechanism provides even more protection against accidental spills

*Since the bottle seals well pressure can build up so its very important to release steam/pressure by opening the AutoSeal system before placing pour spout near your face to avoid burns

Enough volume to get you going in the morning but not like some vacuum bottles which are so large they are awkward to carry around

Single wall, pour through top does mean a weaker point for insulation but makes up for this with ease of use and prevents temperature loss when a cap has to be fully removed to access bottle contents.

Shape and size of the bottle is nice for the hand, reminiscent of old style milk bottles. The flared top with rubber grip is easy to hold. I found the shape helps guide my index finger to the AutoSeal lock\trigger for easy access

Surprisingly narrow outer diameter and might be a bit loose in some car cup holders or a bike bottle cage but it does make it easy to hold and carry

Molded rubber ring on bottom adds to bottle stability

Rubber coating on bottle top can make threading it on the bottle body a bit fiddly, I found I had to be careful to get it started correctly and still found it would sit very slightly canted to one side fully closed. I think it would help to change to a more pronounced thread and eliminate/align non-sealing contact points between top and body

Top cleans easily with thorough rinse of hot water

Volume and max fill marks inside bottle would be helpful since it can be hard to judge max fill point. This has led to small spills sealing the top

Overall perhaps not as insulating as some other vacuum bottles but I found it more than sufficient; the bottle kept coffee literally too hot to drink for over an hour and warm from around 8am – 3 pm, maybe even a bit longer but that’s as long as I could contain myself from finishing what remained. :)

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Alan Klackner

Alan Klacknerwrote a review of on August 28, 2015

Nice bottle with lot of features
2 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I'd like to open with a thanks to Backcountry and Avex for the continued opportunity to review products I can share with the Backcountry.com community.

I've always tended to use wide mouth nalgene bottles or a hydration system but especially for short outings or workouts I really hate hauling a pack when there's no other need, I've seen way too many wide mouth nalgene caps broken due to carrying by the cap retainer, not to mention unintended showers when trying to drink while in motion. Hydration systems in the end are always a pain to maintain and nearly always end up with tube funk and leaking from somewhere.

Several well thought out and executed features make the Avex Brazos Autoseal 25oz bottle really shine for shorter (due to volume) continuous activity where you don't really plan to stop and take breaks. (Think cycling, power walks, short hikes, even driving)

The AutoSeal system ensures the bottle is only open when you want it to be. It's easy to operate but stiff enough to ensure against accidental opening.

The pour spout is well shaped and allows for control to avoid unintended showers.

The small loop handle folds forward or back and each side can be removed to allow it to be attached to a strap and hung or just for added security when in a bottle pocket. The handle is more than strong enough to support a full bottle's weight but is coated with softer "rubberized" material for comfort on the fingers.

Due to the bottle's comparatively small size (to 1L Nalgene) the body fits well in the hand and it's contoured shape provides many comfortable positions when just keeping it in your hand is the best option.

For cycling the bottle is in the correct range for many bottle cages. If your cage allows for any adjustment you shouldn't have any issues.

A potentially significant feature for cyclists or cycle commuters is the pour spout cover. This prevents road grim/spray on parts which have contact with your mouth. It doesn't stop me but really bothers me when I wash my standard water bottles and I see what I had my mouth on! The cover can quickly be flicked out of the way for fast access.

Overall the bottle seals well (top/body, pour spout, and top air vent) but like all single wall bottles significant difference in content temp. vs. ambient will lead to condensation on exterior of the bottle.

The AutoSeal mechanism in top seemed solid but are something to keep an eye on as springs generally tend to relax over time and may lead to issues with a positive seal.

Finally as with any bottle with a pour through top you'll want to make sure to rinse or clean the top shortly after use (soaking in warm water will help remove any dried remnants).


UPDATE:
Reduced rating to not recommended.
This bottle has leaked terribly on me a few times now. It seems there's a large O-ring that is the primary seal in the cap. On my bottle this O-ring has become loose somehow. I now have to re-seat the o-ring just prior to sealing the bottle as it falls out of place. I don't think relying on a o-ring seal makes much sense here since it will wear, dry/crack, and otherwise fail more frequently. Additionally the placement of the o-ring in the cap leads to an increased potential to fall out of place. If it were at least stretched around the bottle mouth in a seat above the threads it would likely stay in place better. I'd much rather see a design similar to nalgene type bottles where the cap seals direct plastic to plastic. Seems like perhaps an attempt to over engineer against leaks led to an unnecessary failure point.

Finally the clip-on handle turned out to be a bit too flimsy for my wife. She was a little confused how to open the bottle and must have pushed in on the handle then tried to lift it, the handle bent at the weaker attachment point and damaged the firmer plastic core. This also made me realize the dense feature set of the Avex Brazos can be a bit much when you just want some water.




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Alan Klackner

Alan Klacknerwrote a review of on August 25, 2015

Probably best for larger/stiff footwear
3 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

I picked these up specifically for fast and light alpine climbs where I'd be wearing approach shoes and trail pants without internal gaiters. My intent was to prevent scree and snow from entering my shoes minimizing time required to stop empty/adjust shoes.

I wore these with the La Sportiva Ganda Guide, in hindsight this just isn't the best combination. It may partly be due to the sizing of the combination. I tested with 44.5 shoes and L\XL gaiters. When I test fit the Endurance gaiters I was excited that the instep strap seemed very durable but easy to adjust. Closures also seemed
durable and not overly complex. One issue I did note even while test fitting the Ganda\Endurance combination was the instep buckle sat very close to the ground. Additionally the toe hooks seem to mate to the shoes poorly, possibly due to the asymmetric lacing path of the Ganda that curves toward the big toe of each shoe.

During my first climb using this combination I found the gaiters easy and quick to get in place which is pretty huge since early morning fights with stiff clumsy gaiters just start the day wrong. Pretty quickly I noticed the toe hooks wouldn't seem to stay in place and I ended up adjusting multiple times throughout the day, though the gaiters did largely keep scree from entering my shoes I doubt they'd be successful in snow if I can't find a way to keep the toe hooks down.

Partly I think the issue with the toe hooks is the attachment to the gaiter. Each hook is riveted to what appears to be a firm plastic card allowing the hooks to pivot individually, which should help adjust to optimal angle, however, the card itself seems to only be attached to the leading edge of the gaiter (likely to minimize seams) this allows the card itself to angle away from the body of the gaiter and the hooks may rotate far enough to pop off the laces in my case. It may help keep the hooks engaged if the card were either bonded entirely to the gaiter body or the hooks were in some other way directly attached to the leading edge of the gaiter.

The gaiters have been pretty durable. Even with lots of scrambling on rough talus and grinding on scree there were no rips, tears, or even identifiable wearing. The instep strap buckles did scrape frequently due to the location near the bottom of the shoe's sole but held up without issue. I did notice some cracking in the hook and loop material, this is more of a thin plastic vs. traditional Velcro, but I haven't noticed any affect on function or ability to hold closure tabs in place.

Aside from the toe hooks not working well with the Ganda Guide my only other real complaint with the Endurance gaiters is also probably more of an issue with the Ganda Guide shoes. Where the instep strap attaches to the gaiter upper and contacts the shoe upper I ended up with tears on both shoes. This again is more of an issue of the material used for the uppers of the Ganda Guide in that location which pretty unacceptable for a shoe touting durability and use for climbing. Though with new footwear pushing the bounds of materials used for footwear it seems gaiters that might be targeting use with lighter footwear should be careful of potential wearing on contact points.

Overall I'll hold on to the L\XL pair for use with my summer boots and might test fit a S/M pair approach shoes, to see if they mate better, as I ultimately like the design and durability just not the combination with the Sportiva Ganda Guide shoes so far.

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Alan Klackner

Alan Klacknerwrote a review of on August 15, 2015

So light!
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I bought this line for a Thunderbolt - Mt Sill traverse. It served fantastically for alpine climbing. Keeping the weight to a minimum but providing the security of a single rated line!

While stiff at first it quickly became supple in the hand.

Regardless of any concerns of durability the rope handled plenty of terrain belays on rough Sierra granite without issue.

Two full length single strand (+ 6mm tag line) raps into the U-Notch were managed with ATCs in high friction mode but nothing more was required even with loaded packs.

If this rope is in your budget and you're confident with ultra skinny lines this one will make all your partners and pack happy!

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Alan Klackner

Alan Klacknerposted an image about on August 7, 2015

Just received

I just received this in 60m last week (@Bill Porreca thanks for the special order!). Will be using it for a Thunderbolt - Mt. Sill traverse where there is enough technical climbing to want a dynamic rope and opportunity to maximize speed via a couple longer repels but all can be bypassed.

The ratings. listed on BC.com are the official UIAA ratings. The photo I've shared here has the complete rope information direct from Beal including the numbers they feel the rope is capable of, though UIAA ratings are probably better for comparison as they are generated from standardized tests.

The Beal site also includes the following warning:
Used as single rope, this is not a rope to put in all hands, or in all belaying devices: Its thinness makes it a rope which absolutely demands an expert belayer. In effect, traditional belay devices will offer reduced braking, and some automatic belay devices may not work at all.

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photo flagged as dangerously untrue. Click here to view.

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