bri2570352

bri2570352

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Brian's Passions

Hiking & Camping
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bri2570352

bri2570352 wrote a review of on January 23, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Excellent design and fits perfectly in their osprey packs. It's durable and the stiffness makes it really easy fill and clean. I tried to replace the bladder of an old small hydration pack that was meant for Platypus bladders, but was disappointed to see that it didn't fit. Perfect when it fits though.

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bri2570352

bri2570352 wrote a review of on January 23, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This is my most grabbed jacket when i leave the house. It just feels cozy and feels like the perfect jacket for a wide variety of Colorado/Utah temps. It's my favorite mid layer for cold weather. It's the perfect weight mid layer under a shell for skiing and under a soft shell for winter hiking. The fleece side panels really help it breath when you're sweating. The styling is plain enough to double as my every day cubical life jacket which makes it easier to justify the price tag.

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bri2570352

bri2570352 wrote a review of on December 15, 2011

4 5

I've been wearing mine for 2 seasons now and thought I'd give my long term review. I'm quite happy with it and would recommend it to anyone looking for a jacket in this price point.

Pros: the fit, the fabric, perfect amount of insulation, best wrist gaiters ever, good fit for climbing
Cons: Their old color schemes were terrible, the snow skirt was a bummer, hood is pretty snug with a ski helmet.

The fit may be my favorite part. As a thin 5'9" 155 lbs (i wear the M), it's hard to find a jacket with a good athletic fit that's not the $500 Arc'teryx ones. Like most Stoic gear, the fit is good for trim folks and gives really good range of motion, it actually worked well for cool weather climbing as well as skiing since it doesn't limit your motion at all. The trim fit does make it a bit harder to stuff multiple layers underneath. When I'm bundling up for sub 0 degree days, I end up looking like stuffed sausage, but the range of motion is still good comfortable (you just look silly).

The fabric is good. I haven't had it in a bad rainstorm, but it's shed 2 seasons of snow from the Wasatch without a problems and has be fine in 20 minutes bursts of light rain. The fabric is soft and quiet and is way more comfortable fhan one of those traditional Gore-Tex hardshells. It's not stretchy at all, but the cut allows it to move like it is. The durability has been pretty good so far. It's held up with minimal wear after I've spent 2 full seasons riding in it every weekend, but I babied it when I took it climbing and camping (I was terrified what the Moab sand would do to the water-proofness). I got a 1/2" cut from a tree, but the slice has not grown since the incident.

The wrist gaiters are the best of any jacket I've tried on. The thumb hole isn't all the comfortable, but the gaiters wrap perfectly around your wrist and keeps the sleeves in place.

The insulation is great for resorts, but is a bit much for really aerobic activities. I had to shed it every time I'd skin up in the backcountry, but that was fine when layered with a windshirt underneath. For resorts, it's perfect all day when layered with a fleece (i use the Patagonia R2).

The hood is a bit small. I have a relatively standard ski helmet and it's a snug fit with the hood and the body pulls up when you look over your shoulder. Without the helment, the hood is perfect. It fits comfortably over my Petzl Elios climbing hemlet.

The snowskirt isn't so good. It sits a bit high, so does more to pull up my layers to my lower back and gives the snow more bare skin to touch. I now leave it zipped in, but never actually zip the snowskirt up.

Their color schemes have gotten a bit better than mine, I have the old black with lime green trim. I didn't think it'd be too bright, but the all the zippers and the liner is super bright and stands out more than I expected. Great for camping and technical use, but not so good for wearing to work and looking like a professional cubical worker. Being able to wear it to work

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bri2570352

bri2570352 wrote a review of on September 16, 2011

5 5

This is the perfect laptop bag. I got it as a replacement after my work issued laptop bag kept ripping at the seams. My work laptop is a 17" monster that weighs 15 lbs and this was the only bag that could fit it, thought not it laptop sleeve. The padded sleeve fits my 13" macbook with plenty of extra room, and I'd think it'd fit a 15" perfectly.
I really like the zipper acces to the laptop sleeve. It has a couple pockets, but they're all appropiately size and it does a good job of keeping the main compartment as a big and usable as possible. The zippers are all bomb proof and I've been beating this bag up daily for over a year now with no signs of wear. It comes with a detachable cell phone pocket that is pretty worthless, but I wasn't expecting any use out of that anyway.

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bri2570352

bri2570352 wrote a review of on February 16, 2010

5 5

First off, this is really comfy. It's puts my old 1.5" Thermarests to shame (even when sleeping on two of them stacked). As a side sleeper, this was the first pad I could get a comfortably nights sleep on. The light weight and small packdown size were just perks, way smaller than a "self inflating" open cell foam pad. The pad was noisy and "crinkeled" all night for the first few nights, but got quite after a few uses. It seems to take forever to inflate, but I find it well worth my time. One onther limitation is the warmth. When it approaches or gets below freezing, you can feel the cold coming in through the pad. I've taken care of this by bringing along a $5 cheap blue foam pad underneath the Air Core when it gets into the 30's or below. I haven't been cold since. I've been abusing this pad for the last three years it it's held up perfectly, impressive since most of the use is in the sandy southwest desert climate that seems to eat gear. The only maintenance has been washing sand out of the nossel every once in a while.

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bri2570352 wrote a review of on February 14, 2010

1 5

These were not good. The locking system spent the whole day coming undone. One pole worked, one did not. Anytime I'd weight it, it'd collapse. Once collapsed, the snow basket would stick in the snow, so you'd have to go back and pick up the bottom section. It was frustrating. Even without the constant collapsing, I found the little things dissapointing. The grips were slippery, especially with fleece gloves. I took them out for one day of backcountry snowboarding and spent to whole day fighting the urge to chuck them as far as I could.

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bri2570352 wrote a review of on March 5, 2009

5 5

I'm a big fan of this pack. I felt like Osprey put a good design together and every feature has been thought through. The comfort level doesn't really change as your pour the weight on, It carrys like a dream wtih 30-40 lb. The volume limits how much you can carry more than the comfort does. I used it on a handful of weekends in Utah and a two week Argentinian Patagonia trip where it took everything I could throw at it.
I really like the waistbelt more than any other pack I've had or tried on. As a somewhat thin dude with boney hips I have a hard time finding packs that don't leave my hips hurting the next day. For the hip pads they use a thinner and more flexible foam than most other packs. It's designed to hug the hips instead.using a lazy design an just putting a buch of soft foam. The waistbelt also has small zippered pockest that I didn't really find that useful, they're bit enough to fit your keys (maybe a small digital camera would fit, but I was lugging around the SLR).
The back was comfy, it's a corragated closed cell pad. It comformed to my back shape well and rotated torsionally better than most (especially considering the size and load). The back breathed fine for me, but I'm not an overly sweaty guy so I can't really say how much better the Atmos is in that reguard. I didn't really notice the shoulder straps, which I guess means they were pretty comfy and it fit well enough to take most of the load just on the hips. One thing of note, all the foam in the pack is closed cell with mesh convering. The major advanatage of this is that it doesn't absorb your sweat, so you don't get that cold shock of disgustingness when you put your pack back on after a break. I liked this alot.
I thought the trekking pole stow and go system would be more of a gimmick than anything, but was pleasantly suprised to find it quite useful. They included a pack cover, which was nice of them but it immediately went on my gear shelf. Maybe I'll take it if I'm going out knowing I'm walking into a monsoon, but that's about the only use it'll get. It took up too much space for a pack of that volume. Not having to dig inside the pack for the water bladder was nice too, it's behind the back panel but not inside the pack. The the pack was fully loaded and stuffed, the pockets on the side didn't take 32 oz nalgenes too well, but were perfect for drying sweaty socks, trail mix, or the 20 oz target brand nalgene knockoff bottles. The stretchy pocket on the back is adequate for small stuff like a guidebook or some food, maybe a light rain shell. It's covienent, but didn't eat anywhere near the amout of stuff that the Atmos does.
All in all, the cons were very insignificant for me (and probably things good for other people) and the pros were way better than any other pack I could find. Before price is considered, this is a great pack. Realizing that it's cheaper than most high end packs makes it a steal. I should also note that I've used Osprey stuff before and it lasts. I'm still using my 7 year old Vertigo for climbing. The thing has been abused on a weekendly basis and is still going strong and has seen tons of abrasive rock. I look forward to this same quality with the Kestrel as well.

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bri2570352 wrote a review of on February 11, 2009

2 5

These fit me foot very well and they are very comfortably shoes, but I'm not a fan of the eVENT waterproof breathable fabric. Waterproof, yeah - Breathable, not at all. It feels like having a grocery bag stuffed into your shoes. You'll be wetter with these than those without the eVENT, I don't care what conditions you're hiking in.

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