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Alan Klackner

Alan Klackner

Alan Klackner

Alan Klacknerwrote a review of on May 28, 2015

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Good looking cage
Reasonably light
Easy to get bottle in/out reducing chance of a drop during transition
Holds bottle securely (if you want a tighter fit just bend the arms in a little, benefit of a metal cage)

Awkward to mount Lezyne's Micro Floor drive pump.

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Alan Klackner

Alan Klacknerwrote a review of on May 28, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 10"
Weight: 185 lbs
Size Purchased: Large

I use this as a mountaineering base-layer and really whenever else I get a chance to wear it, very comfy.

Its been a great active layer.
Great temp range (have taken to 16F with only Arcteryx Atom)
Manages moisture well
Hasn't retained the funk after a hard effort that synthetics do
Sleeve pocket fits my camera (with some effort)
Not itchy like some cheap wool items.


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Alan Klackner

Alan Klacknerwrote a review of on May 28, 2015

Hiking, check. Backpacking, check
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Great carrier, more comfortable when active than our Ergo, for both parties.

Once your LO has perfected neck control you're good to go. We used from 6 mos with our son. He was too short at first for the pillow to work well so we would cushion with a sweater or rig some other make shift pillow down below his face.

Came with a plastic mirror that tucks in the hip belt so you can check on your LO without removing the pack.

Lots of cargo space.

Hydration pouch can be hard to get a full reservoir in/out of and will put a good bit of pressure on the pouch.

Carries LO pretty far back so seems to amplify weight just a little bit when compared to equal weight loaded in my normal backpacks but still the best carry option I've tried for hiking/backpacking.

Bulky to store.

Easy to adjust to my wife or I.

(Pictured: my wife and son @ 9 mos backpacking)

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Alan Klackner

Alan Klacknerwrote a review of on May 28, 2015

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

My wife and I use one of these for quick accessible workouts.

Having to maintain tracking and form really adds to the workout and is a huge benefit over standard rear wheel trainers.

Its quick to layout and can be stored away easily.

The overall quality is less than I'd hoped but functions fine. No issues with stability or the issue mentioned below of the hinge falling out. Provided caps seem to do the trick. (If you lose a hinge cap, a rubber band wrapped tightly on the end would probably work fine, it just needs to keep the end from falling through the frame no weight should be born by retainer cap). I would think threaded ends with washers and lock nuts would make this over all seem a little better designed but there could be some reason for the push on cap design.


Still makes a good bit of noise, even more with resistance unit engaged, though for us we don't really need to engage it, just shift for resistance adjustment.

Good roller size for avid recreational riders. Seems to be endless resistance to be had within my normal gearing range without need to engage the resistance unit.

The Kreitler fork stand is a nice add, once in a while, if you want a thoughtless workout or to stand on pedals.

Since there's no variation in the roller you will feel your rides more in your "seat". It can lead to early fatigue since shifting contact points or standing off the saddle to relieve is challenging.

Rollers have held up just fine to our use and still do the job without any bearing issues.

It can be more difficult to do all out/HII workouts since it becomes much harder to maintain stability as you get to your limits, this could lead to falling or failure to maintain target intensity.

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Alan Klackner

Alan Klacknerwrote a review of on May 28, 2015

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Weight: 23 lbs
Size Purchased: 12 Mos

Use one for our 10 Month old on camping/backpacking trips.

He's clearly much more comfortable in this than nylon shelled insulated buntings.

Super cute all bundled up.

Washes well. (bought a white one on discount. Avocado, strawberry, dirt, etc. This bunting has gone in looking like something from the bottom of a dumpster, comes out of the washer looking new each time so far)

Great freedom of movement.

Nice to have the fold over hands and feet. When he's crawling around in the tent he has full access. When its time to go to bed we fold them closed so his fingers and toes stay warm (and can't move around as easily).


Good for SoCal summer nights even at elevation or on the coast. (He sleeps covered with a sleeping bag with me or my wife, but we feel its plenty for cool [~50-60F] damp mornings/evenings on its own.)

Hood stays on him much better than a hat/beanie would.

Just, very soft, fleece material so not ideal for anything that's going to be wet or windy.

Can't really rate sizing since infants vary so much and he's a big boy, but have the 12 mo. size which fits him well. So I'd guess sizing is probably right on if your LO is in 50% height/weight. The neck did seem a bit small when fully zipped up.

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Alan Klackner

Alan Klacknerwrote a review of on May 28, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 10"
Weight: 185 lbs
Size Purchased: Medium

I have the non-HV version of these bibs and I've really enjoyed them.
First thing you should know is they have a TON of compression (probably about perfect to promote circulation and minimize muscle bounce/fatigue on rough road).

I found the sizing was accurate but they feel much tighter than most bib shorts due to the very high compression. For me, with size medium, the leg band falls about where I'd expect with no issues/interference with my knees. (I'm ~33" waist and wear a 30" length inseam pant).

The only pair of shorts I've tried that doesn't bunch or need adjustment during/after even long rides.

The front is a heavier fabric that would likely help block a bit of a morning chill.

Side panels are almost a mesh that helps with wicking and cooling.

Cold black treatment typically feels cooler than even my light weight (bright colored) jerseys in full sun.

Chamois was a bit smaller than I expected so takes a bit of extra care to ensure its right under my sit bones. Once in place I can forget about it and it makes a great interface with my saddle. Smaller size helps before/after the ride by minimizing the diaper feeling of some large/poorly shaped designs.

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Alan Klackner

Alan Klacknerwrote a review of on May 22, 2015

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

The end up front:
A very, cool stove that may not have a practical purpose. Unless, you need to boil for 3+ people, are comfortable using canister fuel in the temps you intend to operate the stove, and have no interest in alcohol units (last one meaning: you want something you don't have to think about to boil with, need to boil really fast, or you nearly burned your house down playing with matches as a child
Note: total weight with fuel of a well designed/operated alcohol unit will typically be lighter).

The story
I own too many stoves, admitting it is the first step right? :)
I purchased this one as my 2-3 man mountaineering snow melter.
(I know, I know, trust me I know, nothing brings out the hackles like saying you plan to use canister fuel well below freezing. Does so, Does not, Does So, Does not. Now can we move on?)

This setup is quite a bit lighter than my Dragonfly, wind shield, heat reflector, snow stand, 2L MSR alpine pot, lid, pot holder, and fuel bottle.
Admittedly buying a better pot would have yielded about the same weight savings and, arguably, simpler extreme low temp performance required for this job, but what can I say I like to play with new gear.

My thoughts:
I think I like green but you know I'm not...entirely there.
Oh! You were hoping that I'd limit sharing the ones relating to the stove. Here you are then:
It would have boiled several liters of water by the time you read this whole review (you'll read it all won't you? For me?)
Very quiet(silent when compared to the Dragonfly but now my partners want to...talk WTF!)
Works well even in wind
Simpler to hang then stove + liquid fuel bottle (*warning* you should never run a stove in any enclosed space. Now I won't feel guilty if you or your partner(s) wake up dead after burning your stove in a shelter)
Lights and re-lights very easily (more or less any spark will ignite)
Effortless use in 3 season temps and can still be pretty easy to use beyond that.
Very well designed lid, with dedicated steam vent oriented to top when pour spout is down means you, shouldn't (hey, not everyone is smart) get steam burns as you pour.
Lid seals well and is stiff enough to prevent leaks around edges when pouring
Lid hook-seat opposite handle ensures easy single handed pouring, only requiring light thumb pressure on lid to keep lid in place.
Useful, light, incorporated, but removable handle folds and snaps on lid nob to keep kit closed when packed up.
Packs up well with room to store additional small items
Don't expect to simmer. With this bad boy boiling is the game (and it's winning).
In many cases there's little advantage over a well designed alcohol setup run by a knowledgeable individual (Pretty much simplicity and a faster time to boil over weight issue here. Most math shows the weight of canisters and of the total unit negate any efficiency-generated weight savings, *individual comparisons... will vary.)

Ad nauseam:
I have used the pot on a camp fire grate. The pot ended up sooty (it ended up over direct flame when I had to make room for the steaks) but worked great otherwise and still boiled very quickly. Watch the handle / handle mount in this use it seems like it could be sensitive and I'm pretty sure MSR won't warranty if you return a pot with a melted handle mount because you used it with another stove/open flame.

Once you're aware of the temp. considerations of canister fuel stoves there are many tricks to ensure adequate if not peak operation but make sure you're well prepared and practiced, especially if temps are expected to be sustained below 15 deg. F

Recycle your used canisters safely!

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Alan Klackner

Alan Klacknerwrote a review of on May 22, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I lost a friend to exposure when surprise storm prevented return to their tent. Since then I keep one of these with me on trips. Turns out to be super useful.

Very small, so small it fits in my dayhiker first aid kit
Light weight (if you're too UL to add 3.6 oz to your pack you're probably carrying one of these instead of a quilt any way right :) )
Durable enough for re-use and reasonable to fold back down
Makes my wife feel better knowing I have it when I'm on a trip
Quick way to extend temp range for sleeping bag if temps drop
Or slide under your sleeping pad for a quick r boost (You won't notice the extra noise over the noise your partner's neo/x-therm already makes)
Can be used in a number of ways with injuries or to prevent secondary injuries in case of disorientated victim
All upside :D

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Alan Klackner

Alan Klacknerwrote a review of on May 22, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Amazingly fast if you take time to completely clear air from filter (shake filter to help release trapped air) and tube, otherwise more or less average flow. Worth the time to get flowing right if you'll filter several liters of water.

Keep an eye on bottles\containers or you'll end up with water everywhere. I've overfilled many when I underestimate the flow from this filter.

Has pre-filter in bag which strains all but fine particles. To clean pre-filter flip the source bag inside out and swish in source water.

Make sure source bag is full, hang high so tube goes straight down, and leave clean side adapter a little loose to allow air to escape as water fills for best performance. If air can't escape as container is filled air will compress and ultimately slow/stop the flow of water, you shouldn't have a release of air when adapter is removed.

Use included clamp to stop water flow while switching bottles to avoid a big wet mess.

Pack source bag with snow and hang from pack or otherwise place in sun to melt and save some fuel.

Includes screw on cap to protect clean side adapter when not attached to bottle or other clean container

After using this I won't go back to pump filtering.

Always carry a backup option, I keep MSR Aquatabs in my first aid kit.

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Alan Klackner

Alan Klacknerwrote a review of on May 22, 2015

Spendy but great
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I purchased one of these when my son was born. In the infant sling he was clearly much more comfortable than in his infant carrier docked in the travel system stroller. Much smoother rolling than standard strollers, it instantly extended the amount of time/distance we could walk, making a big difference in quality of life. We were even able to take him to some nearby cafes and enjoy a bit of luxury while he slept quietly.

He's now 10 months old and we use it for jogging, cycling, long walks. It's held him securely and safely in all configurations. Great storage, ventilation and shading options. Very stable with excellent, adjustable, suspension. Secure attachment to bikes with QR axle (not sure I'd recommend for use with carbon frame though).

It does take up a lot of space even folded down and requires a few steps to fold but my wife mastered quickly. Picked this model due to lower weight for my wife's ease of use. Seems lighter than the listed 25lbs. Our bike rack (3 bike hitch mount) weighs ~25lbs and my wife won't touch that. :)

Photo from rest stop on overnight camping ride near Ojai, CA.

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Alan Klackner

Alan Klacknerwrote a review of on May 22, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 10"
Weight: 185 lbs
Size Purchased: Large

My absolute favorite hiking/backpacking shirt. In the San Gabriels especially, its frequently best to have full coverage due to brush, sun exposure, pests, etc. Super sad to see MH discontinued. I go for one every time I hike or backpack. I have large shoulders and find many shirts too snug under and through the arms.

These have a looser extremely comfortable fit without having a ton of excess material to snag
Allows full range of motion without binding
Great ventilation
Wicks/drys well and evaporation creates nice cooling when working really hard
Fold up sun-blocking collar (doubles under in rear)
Material is light but has worn well and frequently cuts wind enough for me to skip when others go for a light shell
Sunglasses retainer loop on right chest pocket (just thread an arm through and hang when it gets too dark for the shades)
Buttons are a little odd, soft plastic/rubber but easy to grip and won't slip back out
I've never had any issues with seams rubbing or creating discomfort regardless of how long I wear, even with a backpack

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Alan Klackner

Alan Klacknerwrote a review of on May 20, 2015

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

The Good
I can now pack up for a weekend trip without thinking about the necessary packing sequence before I block trunk access.
Works with hitches Class 1 and above!
No slop or movement of hitch in receiver when mounted on class 1.
Includes adapter for larger receivers.
Includes locking mechanisms for bikes to hitch (cable lock to pin on front of arms, cable lock stows in hitch body when not in use) and hitch to car (releases nob which tightens hitch to receiver so hitch can't be removed\loosened)
Releases to lean away (~45 deg.) from trunk but keeps bikes off the ground (allows additional clearance to trunk and lowers wheels enough to reach with floor pump without having to remove from rack and find a place to stand bikes up.)
Mounts have sway arms (prevents bike bangs on stop and start) and contact points are soft to prevent damage to frames
Includes nylon straps to prevent wheels from spinning and causing rub damage to other frames


The negative
Has a center bolt which tightens the hitch into the receiver collar, this prevents the use of a standard hitch pin. Instead a "safety pin" is provided which only goes through one side. (still seems to be a very solid connection, no slop or movement, with reasonable backup)
Hitch doesn't angle up so creates point of low clearance and can scrape steep driveways, bikes are always high and clear only hitch scrapes.
Bike straps/attachment points not the best I've seen but work well enough, Thule has seemed higher quality here.
Too narrow to fit 3 dropbar road bikes with rear racks (used for cycle camping) might fit 3 flatbar road or mountain bikes without contact.

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Alan Klackner

Alan Klacknerwrote a review of on May 20, 2015

2 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

The positive
Holds water
Has tube and bite valve
Big bite valve is so easy to squeeze my 9 month old was able to work
Large cap allows ice to be added
Easier to dry reservoir out than non-ziptop platypus

The disappointing
New 1/4 turn cap, still fiddly to line up and get to thread in place
Cap stiff to turn due to seal placement
I can't figure out any real purpose for the center baffle or the fold down "dryer arms" the older designs stayed open about the same when hung and the center baffle prevents hand from fitting in the reservoir for cleaning (main reason for out-sized cap)
Reservoir will not attach to most water filters, unless you remove the entire bite valve which increases chance of leaks
Awkward to fill since the reservoir folds over below the cap when held by handle and effectively closes the back of the reservoir against the cap, spilling water as you try to fill. The new center baffle actually seems to make this worse since it keeps the back center pulled toward the front.
Some leaking but it may have been from improperly seated cap not the quicklink
Given the quicklink design expect to replace o-ring seal at least yearly depending on use and exposure to dirt. Clean and keep quicklink o-ring lubricated between replacement to extend life and ensure best seal.
Quicklink makes it difficult to use camelback accessories with other generation camelback or other brands.

I'll buy MSR in future, can still add ice, connects to most if not all water filters, super durable, less issue with filling since smaller cap allows reservoir to fall open instead of fold over, most tube leaks can be fixed by trimming the tube, about as easy to dry out when hung with inner part of bite valve removed.

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Alan Klackner

Alan Klacknerwrote a review of on May 20, 2015

3 5

Familiarity: I gave it as a gift but have feedback to share
Fit: Runs small
Height: 5' 6"
Size Purchased: 7.5 US M

I bought these for my wife. She's a climbing addict but not aggressive, keeping things fun and relatively easy (5.7-5.10). I was looking for something stiff soled to provide a bit more edging support than her mythos but keeping the same flat profile for jamming and long climbing.

Initially ordered a size 7 1/2 US M (~EU 40), her typical (sportiva, scarpa, evolv) size. The shoes came comically small. There was no way we could get them on her feet, without breaking bones first. We exchanged for size 9 US M (~EU42) which fit much better but do have more bulk* above the toe than I think makes sense for a shoe advertised for toe jamming finger cracks. The lacing provides more than enough adjustment to get tight around her foot.

Once we got the right sizing she now loves these shoes. They're sticky and supportive. In the end an excellent shoe for her. They've been a big confidence boost and improvement in her climbing. I've since seen her go right for and even rest on feet which had caused hesitation and pain in her Mythos. She also really likes the color. (They're not brown, more of the maroon/burgundy pictured which complements the color of her Grivel belay hardware nicely). The best part is now she remembers what a big difference a shoe can make and flinches, less, when I say I want to buy yet another pair of shoes for me. ;)

Given the flat profile, marketing for toe jamming, and included 5.10 packaging that warns against cramming (what their shoes had been great for, prior to purchase by Addias?) I really can't understand why their sizing seems to be so much smaller (~2 whole US sizes smaller) than all other manufacturers I've tried.

I also noticed that both pairs we received suffer from the same asymmetric (different right shoe to left shoe) rand issue documented in the review by dzo105750250 though this seemed to have little affect on the fit or feel for my wife.

These are probably best suited for a relaxed climber, beginner, or weekend warrior, who will benefit from additional support and isn't likely to be climbing at a level requiring expert sensitivity at the cost of support. The flat profile means these aren't really ideal for aggressive, overhung type moves but with sticky rubber and attention to foot work/body movement you'd be surprised how far you can take a flat profile shoe. Expect stiffness/support to diminish over time due to heat, moisture, and materials relaxing (try not to leave in a hot trunk or car) though this will likely increase sensitivity and performance on slabby climbs some if the stretch from the leather upper doesn't make them sloppy. Plan to buy from a retailer who will accept return/exchanges so you have the ability to get the right sizing.

@Ivan Mercado thanks for handling the exchange quickly and painlessly.

*(upper seems to belong on a more down-turned shoe where your big toe may be nearly perpendicular to the sole but then mated to a flat bottom, however, the edge of the awkward rand will get in the way if sized this aggressively and would additionally make these useless for jamming)

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Alan Klackner

Alan Klacknerwrote a review of on March 27, 2015

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I have an older, likely heavier version of this crampon case. Like democracy, its one of those imperfect solutions that's still the best I've seen. :D


The bad:
Heavy itself (removing/replacing the internal frame sheet with hdpe would minimize) , holds generally heavy crampons farthest back from body amplifying effect. (better used to extend space & features on a slim 30-45L mountaineering pack then to stack on an already mammoth load hauler.)



The great:
Keeps crampons absolutely secure/out of the way/easily available and keeps your pack dry when you pack crampons after use (I really don't like having to shuffle something so critical around, and risk dropping or forgetting them, each time you get in or out of your pack ).
The pouch attaches easily to nearly any pack with lid/exterior straps or d-ring attachment points.
Adjustable straps create an expanding pocket between the pack where you can quickly secure: a layering piece (without having to pull your pack apart), the trash bag, that well used wag bag so its not swinging around, smacking you, waiting to be caught on a twig and rip open. (makes getting that free beer for grabbing someone else's a bit more tempting)
Adds over 3L additional storage (plus pocket mentioned above) which can be critical when trying to get everything into a minimalist pack.
Can be used as a summit pack (requires straps or webbing you probably used to hold your sleeping pad to your full pack).

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Alan Klackner

Alan Klacknerwrote a review of on November 6, 2014

Flexible,Quality,needs a few details,$$$
4 5

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

Good product for cool weather. Fold over pouch on sleeve to cover hands when desired! :) Washes well. Heavy fleece construction good quality. Lack of zipper barns leaves zippers exposed right near face. No wind-proofing I wouldn't really say resistant either (its just fleece so not really expected).

Used to 50F overnight without issue (in shared tent /w pad). For brief, active periods it should be fine for us to 30F with inner layers. For overnight temps below 50F plan to add a down layer over. I use my Marmot Ama Dablam with the arms stuffed in or wrapped around and the waist pulled closed as a down bag for him.

Inner zipper flaps only in select places and awkward implementation where placed to cover hole at crotch when zipped as legs.

Based on the size guide and his weight we bought the 6M for our 3 month old but he's in 95th % for age. We've used it as a sleeping bag during car and bicycle camping trips. The option to switch between sack and footie was critical for us as our little one demands his freedom.

We found the 6M size was probably the right choice to extend value as much as possible, not overly huge, plenty of room for layers. The hood is large and doesn't have a volume adjustment in the back so the hood isn't very usable for us yet.

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Alan Klackner

Alan Klacknerwrote a question about on December 8, 2012

The tech specs show shimano tiagra crankset but photos show fsa, what are all the actual components that come on the bike? Since the bike is listed online it would also make sense to list details on headset, stem, fork, length of crank arms, handle bar widths, etc. Not sure why anyone would buy a bike sight unseen without basic specs, unless they planned to swap all components any way, but then might as well buy just a frame.

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