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Blake's Passions

Snowboarding
Mountain Biking

Blake's Bio

big red

big red wrote a review of on March 7, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I am very new to the Shred line of products, and I admit that I returned these goggles the first time I purchased them. But, after some serious regret I purchased these again in the S-Duper and I am so glad that I did.

So many companies today are touting a "quick lens change" technology. I would put these up against anything from Smith, Oakley, Scott and the like. If you can't swap out these lenses in 15 seconds or less you must me on the short bus. The only goggle that is easier to change is the Anon M2.

The field of view from these goggles cannot be beat. They are a bit of an oversize fit, so you would definitely want to try these on with a helmet if you wear one. Backcountry.com did not sell any replacement lenses this year - a real bummer - but I was able to pick of a few from shredoptics.com

My only gripe is I wish the goggle strap were just a tad longer.

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big red

big red wrote a review of on January 12, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size

I picked this up when my compound pants blew a snap and I needed something to integrate with my Magnum BC pants. So far this has been a bombproof soft shell. Hard to believe it is rated at 20K and breathes this good.

The fabric has a nice amount of stretch, and moves well whether you are skinning up or riding the lifts. Since it does not have a powder skirt, windy days can be a little chilly if you don't cinch down the drawcord at the hem.

Like all Flylow jackets, the collar is lined nicely with a fleece like material that does not freeze up on those freezing deep powder days. There is also a nice pass through from the front chest pocket to the inside so that you can run your music, or Outdoor Technology Adapt remote.

I do wish the Flylow Lab Coat fit as well as this does through the sleeves.

I realize that the hand pockets are mesh on the inside to allow for better venting, but they do tend to collect snow on the deep days.

I am 6 1" 190 lbs and a large works great with a base layer plus insulation layer.

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big red

big red wrote a review of on January 12, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: Runs small

Added this to the collection at the beginning of this season. Pairs great with the Marmot isotherm or Alpha Pro jackets to create a really warm, but extremely breathable set up.

The fabric has performed really well against strong winds, heavy wet snow, mild 35 degree plus temps, and even sub zero days. The pockets and vents are all really well laid out and work very easily.

One thing I do love about this jacket, is the soft but strong feel to the fabric. I don't feel like I am wearing a stiff Arc' teryx piece that could stand up by itself. The jacket really moves with you, but even after several run ins with tree branches there is not even a scratch.

Inside the jacket are what Flylow calls "Truck" pockets. Great for stashing your climbing skins, spare goggle lens, or even a 6 pack.

This combines seamlessly with the Compound pant to make a very stylish and new version of the old "onesie". The hood easily fits over my helmet - Giro/Shred - and locks out the cold wind and snow when needed.

One thing of note, the way the arm holes are cut in relation to the the sleeve length might require you to size up. I originally tried a medium, but when I moved my arms the sleeves came up to mid forearm.

I am 6 1" 190 lbs and the large works great with a base layer plus an insulation layer.

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big red

big red wrote a review of on January 12, 2014

So close....
4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size

Picked these up at the beginning of the season for side country, back country, and days at the resort. So far the material has held up great to the elements.

The full length zippers on the sides make these pants very easy to put on/off, vent, or adjust your gear underneath. One feature that I really liked - initially - was the snap in feature with the Flylow Lab Coat.

Under each belt loop is a snap that matches up perfectly to corresponding snap on the jacket's powder skirt. Unfortunately one has already come apart, and now I guess I get to see first hand how good Flylow is at handling warranty issues.

My only other improvement would be to make the thigh pocket a litter deeper.

Polartec guarantees the NeoShell fabric to be waterproof - I hope they are right given it also only rates at 10K. Maybe they will be willing to take them back if I get wet? But so far it is all good.

I am 6 1", 190 lbs and the medium works good for me.

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big red

big red wrote a review of on January 12, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size

These pants have worked out really well for me. I especially like the pocket on the left thigh - perfect size for an 8 oz flask. The material does stretch somewhat, breathes really well, and make for a very comfortable day of riding.

The side zippers and closure at the bottom of the pant make for easy adjustments to your boots or base layers when they tend to move around.

So far absolutely no issues with the pants "wetting out" or other signs of wear. I am 6 1" 190 lbs and the medium fit great - out seam is a perfect length.

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big red

big red wrote a review of on December 19, 2013

Nice follow up to the Montane
4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

The Edit is definitely Giro's best helmet to date. Extremely light weight and yet it still offers built in fit adjustment and vents that you can adjust on the fly. The back of the helmet also fits more snug than compared to any Smith helmet - probably due to the way the ear pads are separate from the roc lok system. This creates a warmer fit for those windy days riding the lifts.

Using the GoPro mount is simple and secure and leaves a very clean look for the days you don't need the camera.

The chin strap does tend to loosen during the course of a day's riding - making for a cool day ripping down the hill, and finding a way to stash the wire connecting your CHIPS or other audio speakers is always a challenge.

For some reason Giro helmets do not sit very deep on your head - more like they rest just on top. This affects the overall appearance a little bit and can make the helmet seem bigger than it actually is.

Definitely worth a look if you are in the market for a helmet

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big red

big red wrote a review of on December 19, 2013

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size

I have been using this under my FlyLow Lab Coat as an insulating layer this year for temps down into the single digits. Using just this and a lightweight wool base layer I have stayed very warm and comfortable.

The cinch at the neck is a great feature for locking out the drafts, and the combination of materials seems to do the job. The sleeves are fairly tight, so you may not be able to wear a heavy long sleeve layer underneath.

The double zipper adds a nice touch if you need to adjust a harness or get at anything below the waist.

Polartec Alpha insulation breathes well and prevents that clammy feeling while still offering some wind resistance if used as an outer layer.

(1)

 

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big red

big red wrote a review of on December 19, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size

I have been using the Ultra Light ski socks from Smart Wool for years, and just switched to these from FITS. After reading about these in one of the early season buyer's guide I thought I should give them a try.

Really light weight, no padding, warm, and they stay put. These socks are really comfortable all day long , don't bunch up or shift around at all. Nice to finally have a pair of socks that do not fall down.

I would highly recommend these.

(0)

 

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big red

big red wrote a review of on November 19, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Nothing like having some great music pulsing through your helmet while you are on the hill. For a few years now I have had the SkullCandy TuneUps in various helmets of mine, and I must say that these CHIPS are without equal.

The large button design makes these very easy to use whether you are wearing gloves or mittens, the sound is far superior to anything put out by my TuneUps, and the totally enclosed design ensures you won't look like one of those big city Oompa Loompas.

The only thing that takes some getting use to is the multi functionality of each earpiece. Once you are familiar with what the right and left are responsible for, these make for some pretty care free riding.

I have been able to pair these with my iPod Nano and iPhone. Definitely nice to be able to make and receive calls via the chips, or even have your text messages read to you via SIRI when you are trying to meet up with friends.

Battery life is just as advertised - did I mention they are even slimmer than the Tune Ups with better sound....

(2)

 

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big red

big red wrote a review of on December 21, 2012

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I have been pairing these up with the Giro Montane helmet this year. The lenses are really crisp and clear, any condensation is quickly cleared, and the view is un real.

I have tried the oversized goggles like the EG2's, IOX, and others, but they all seem to have drawbacks either in fit or upward/downward vision.

Giro has found a way to make a great goggle that has excellent peripheral along with upward and downward vision. You definitely forget you are wearing these goggles.

Once you master changing the lenses it takes about as much time as a pair of Smith IO's. Replacement lenses are now available and easier to come by. The Loden Green is a great everyday lens, followed by the Perssimon Boost for storm days.

The only drawback is in the packaging. I have had 2 pairs of the Amber Scarlet lenses now, and both times the lens protector leaves a permanent mark once removed.

(1)

 

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big red

big red wrote a review of on December 21, 2012

3 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Purchased these at the beginning of the season, and at first wear they really seemed great. The lens quality is top notch, but finding replacement lenses is nearly impossible.

I have been waiting for a "storm" lens for over 2 months now and even Salomon can't remember which lenses they imported from France.

The frame fits better than any other goggle on the market and does provide great upward and downward vision. Unfortunately the "side air scoops" detract considerably from your peripheral vision. There are times when you get that "tunnel vision" feeling while skiing in these goggles.

Salomon would have a major player here if they can find a way to improve the peripheral vision and make replacement lenses easier to pick up.

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big red

big red wrote a review of on December 21, 2012

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

After skiing in a Smith Vantage for the past couple of years I decided to try this new Giro Montane helmet. Giro definitely makes their helmets a little more oval in shape, and if you have a more round head shape this probably is not the helmet for you. With that said, this is one great helmet.

Weighing it a only 2 ounces more than a Smith Maze helmet, Giro has incorporated vents that you can adjust on the fly without having to take off your helmet, a rotating dial fit adjustment, and best of all - vertical adjustment to the helmet.

With all the different style goggles out there, getting them to fit properly with your helmet is a key. The vertical fit on this helmet means you can alter the fit of the helmet to allow your goggles to sit either lower or higher on your face - all the while eliminating any gapper gap. Unlike their old style of vertical adjustment where you had to "unsnap" the rear padding, this new design simply slides up and down between 3 preset points - much easier to use, even on the chairlift.

So far I have worn this helmet in 30+ degree days all the way down to single digits. The vents work great on the warm days and yet it is very warm on the cold ones.

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big red

big red wrote a review of on December 16, 2011

Very surprised
5 5

These goggles are the hidden sleeper. I have tried Smith IO's, Smith IOS, Oakley Airbrake, Smith Phenom, and some many others. I really cannot believe how great the vision is out of these goggles. I certainly do not have the widest face, and with all the goggles mentioned above there is always a little air gap between the foam and the sides of my eyes. The eg2.5's have better peripheral vision than my Smith IO's and the Airbrake's while still fitting a more narrow face.

Great 3 layer foam that doesn't leave goggle marks once you take them off. Very little air penetrates the goggles unless you are maching down a groomer and even then it is no big deal. These worked great with a beanie and they would work with my Smith Vantage helmet as well.

Give these a try. You will be amazed at how little restriction there is on your vision. The lenses can be swapped in and out in a matter of seconds. If only they had a photochromic lens....

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big red

big red wrote a review of on December 11, 2011

Good thing these are renewable
3 5

I really wanted to like these poles. For the first 4 times out, I truly believed they had a winner. Unfortunately on the 5th the pole snapped as I was knocking the snow off my boots.

The swing weight and feel of these poles is really great. I am just not sure I want to be bothered with swapping these out for new ones ever week and a half after they break.

UPDATE 01/25/12.....Just went throught my second set. This time they splintered right below the grip. Luckily backcountry.com has such a good exchange program or I would be out $200.

UPDATE 03/27/12....3 for 3. Third pair just broke.

(1)

 

big red

big red wrote a review of on November 30, 2011

4 5

Like most products, these goggles will fit differently for each individual. I had the chance today to take these out for a spin and compare them head to head with my Smith IO's. I wore both with my Smith Vantage Helmet. Here are some pros and cons....

Pros....
1. These have the easiest lens change technology of anything on the market
2. The optical clarity appears to be better than those on my Smith lenses.
3. These goggles do not place any pressure on your nose what so ever

Cons....
1. The low light lens does not show as much contrast as that of my Smith
2. With the helmet, there is still a little gap on the sides of the goggles
3. The top vents really move a lot of air, and under a helmet makes you feel like you have a gaper gap.

If I were just wearing a beanie or had a little wider face these would be a great choice.

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big red

big red wrote an answer about on December 19, 2010

All the new Smith helmets have a simple zipper on the bottom of the stock earpads. Simply unzip to access and slide in the tuneups of your choice. Either the Giro drop ins or the Smith skullcandy tune ups will work.

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big red

big red wrote a review of on November 17, 2010

4 5

Picked up a pair of these towards the end of the ski season last year. Very comfortable and initially appeared to work great. The only problem I have is they tend to ride up to above my knees leaving a gap between my socks and my baselayer. I do like the material and these are warm - they just need to have some stronger elastic to keep them from riding up.

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big red

big red wrote a review of on November 17, 2010

4 5

These work great for everyday driving around. Lenses are easy to change in and out - definitely a plus if you are prone to scratches like I am. The tortoise color appears darker in person than they do here on the website. Fit is great and I never have to worry about them falling off regardless of the activity.

(0)

 

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