alpinejames

alpinejames

alpinejames's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Climbing

alpinejames

alpinejames wrote a review of on June 10, 2008

3 5

What can I say about a crampon bag? This one is pretty basic - no daisy chains or useful lashing loops so good luck strapping it to the outside of your pack if that's your style. Personally, I either use a crampon bag inside my pack, or strap my crampons bare-toothed to the outside of my pack so that doesn't bother me. However... the bag is a little small. Mine measures 10.5 x 5 x 4 inches, so if your crampons are any larger than that, no soap. The mesh is a little stretchy (at the cost of somewhat damaging the mesh) so I've managed 10.5 x 5 x 5 but that is about the max. My old CM 12's and CAMP's fit fine, my alumimum Stubai's barely barely fit (frustratingly tight), and my fixed rail ice crampons don't at all. And the bag weighs 7 oz (almost as much as one of my aluminum crampons) so I mostly only use this while packing my crampons in my luggage. But for that purpose, when crampons fit in it, it's bomber and has protected my gear quite well...

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alpinejames

alpinejames wrote a review of on May 19, 2008

5 5

Basic, lightweight, does its job. What more can I say? I use this ascender caving, and it indeed fits the advertised range (8-13mm) and sticks to muddy, grimy ropes (though not used on icy ropes...yet). Easy to manipulate with gloves, nice that the black plastic opening lever keeps the ascender in an open position when I'm changing over from descending to ascending. One gripe is that using webbing as a chest puller harness tends to rub against thick ropes and makes ascending a little harder. But the croll plus a handled ascender for frog ascending makes fast work of vertical ropes.

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alpinejames

alpinejames wrote a review of on May 19, 2008

5 5

I cringed when I first dropped 2x the cash of a daisy chain on this, but it was worth it. I can clip in short, drop or add loops as I need more or less length, and not have to worry like with a daisy where a few hundred pounds can rip the stitching on the middle loops. It racks pretty easily, and the main longer first loop is great for extending my belay device. Great for working near or over an edge.

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alpinejames

alpinejames wrote a review of on May 16, 2008

5 5

This blanket is very well thought-out. Compared to other blankets with similar purposes, this one is much less crinkly sounding, doesn't de-laminate into uselessness after storing it in my first aid kit for a year before unfolding (like others do, grrrr....), is quite fire-retardant (useful, as bivies and fires sometimes go together), and does what it claims, that is, reflect heat. It does it so well, in fact, that sitting next to a bivy fire I could feel warmth on my face and exposed arm areas, but not in the areas the blanket covered. Weird. The package claims it is re-usable and re-foldable which I agree with, but it never quite stuffs down as compactly as it began (it ends up being about 2x the size versus about 20x the size for other blankets). Well worth the extra $1.50 or whatever it ends up being vs the competition. Would be worth double, or even triple. Nice work, Adventure Medical.

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alpinejames

alpinejames wrote a review of on May 16, 2008

5 5

For its size, this headlamp has great distance. The beam is pretty focused, and the brightest setting can hold its own while moving/hiking in the dark. No other headlamp this size that I have compares in distance. However, despite its waterproof claim, I had it in my pack (which floats, so it was never deeper than a foot or so underwater) for 13 hours in a canyon, and water seeped in to short out the 'on switch' and burn out my batteries. After drying out, it was fine, but a real bummer when I actually needed it to be waterproof. Also, the light beam is not very wide, so combined with its exceptional brightness I tend to be able to see only one area of a trail/campsite and become pretty nightblind to the surroundings. Even when reading in a tent, the light seems almost too bright when on its lowest setting. But who am I to complain about a light that's too bright'? It's small and works great, bottom line.

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alpinejames

alpinejames wrote a review of on July 5, 2007

5 5

Stretchy, waterproof, seam taped, lightweight, durable, breathability on par with a softshell ... and under $100, this jacket is amazing. How does Golite do it?

Be warned, this jacket is simple as simple gets. No wrist cuff closures (though the arms have adequate length and the cuffs mate with gloves well), very basic cord hood adjustment, tiny pockets that don't work under a harness, wimpy zipper pulls.

But all of the essentials are there - storm flap on main zipper, soft protector over where my chin hits the zipper, helmet-friendly hood, and of course fit and function. From 4 straight days of storm on Shasta to super-sweaty climbing in the Sierra, this jacket has done it all. Go Golite.

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alpinejames

alpinejames wrote a review of on May 5, 2006

5 5

I bought this pad to be the 'frame' for a frameless pack. It works great! It weighs much less than a full length ridge/Z-rest and is also more comfortable. The orange soft foam around the torso area makes a huge comfort difference, and it is very warm and insulates well. The one thought for the potential buyer is that the bottom foam, though warm, is not super durable. I prefer to use a ground tarp/Tyvek under it, and when it's not in my pack being protected (i.e. when I need to strap it to the outside) I put it in a stuff sack. But overall, this is the best foam ground pad I've used (out of four others).

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