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busotti

busotti wrote a review of on April 6, 2009

5 5

First, don't buy this unless you are truly going light. I'd say 20 pounds. This will certainly hold more, but not as comfortably and the weight will not transfer to you hips as well as a pack with a frame (even noting that this has a hipbelt). If you are very experienced you can play around with the center of gravity and the manner in which you pack, but most folks find this easier to talk about than realistically achieve.

The fabric, nylon with dyneema reinforced grid, is fairly robust and water resistant. Great for lightweight 2-3 day trips, climbs or peak bagging. Longer stuff I would recommend an internal frame pack that will carry and transfer weight much better. If you are strong enough that you don't mind carrying extra load on your shoulders (instead of the hips), then you are probably strong enough to not have to worry about every ounce of pack weight. The GoLite Pinnacle model is a bigger version of this, but makes no sense to me. If you are going to carry that much stuff then you will want a frame. Don't make the mistake of fussing about every ounce of weight and then feeling sore all over, kinda defeats the whole purpose of enjoying the trip.

(3)

 

busotti

busotti wrote a review of on April 6, 2009

4 5

If you are looking into this canister you may be scratching your head about the different options. This is my favorite of Sierra Nevada approved canisters because it is clear and you can see where stuff is inside it. Also you don't need a coin to open it up. It makes for a handy chair to sit on, as well. The Bearikade is a little lighter, but ridiculously expensive (and a little too long to fit sideways into many packs).

With some of the older models you would have to be careful to screw it back on just right or else you could leave a small gap to let claws in to pry it open. No problems with the current version.

Research what is required for your trip. The Sierras want canisters and I used mine for the entire John Muir Trail. In 2007 Grand Teton NP didn't want canisters and requested backpackers hang their food.

(0)

 

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busotti

busotti wrote an answer about on September 22, 2008

Depending on how much you want to carry, this would be a great pack. 4500 cubic inches is plenty of room for a weekend trip. I've done a week long trip in packs with 5000 cu in. Check out the GoLite Jam 2 Pack as well...I've done 2 night trips in that pack with room to spare (granted I carry as little as possible). The Pinnacle Pack would be great for a weekend or a longer trip... it's very light, comfortable, and can hold quite a bit!I would suggest strongly considering an internal frame backpack for those new to backpacking. This pack is huge, and filling it up will likely be an uncomfortable load to haul without a frame.

(0)

 

busotti

busotti wrote a review of on July 1, 2008

5 5

First, don't buy this unless you are truly going light. I'd say 20 pounds. This will certainly hold more, but not as comfortably and the weight will not transfer to you hips as well as a pack with a frame (even noting that this has a hipbelt). If you are very experienced you can play around with the center of gravity and the manner in which you pack, but most folks find this easier to talk about than realistically achieve.

The fabric, nylon with dyneema reinforced grid, is fairly robust and water resistant. Great for lightweight 2-3 day trips, climbs or peak bagging. Longer stuff I would recommend an internal frame pack that will carry and transfer weight much better. If you are strong enough that you don't mind carrying extra load on your shoulders (instead of the hips), then you are probably strong enough to not have to worry about every ounce of pack weight. The GoLite Pinnacle model is a bigger version of this, but makes no sense to me. If you are going to carry that much stuff then you will want a frame. Don't make the mistake of fussing about every ounce of weight and then feeling sore all over, kinda defeats the whole purpose of enjoying the trip.

(0)

 

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busotti

busotti wrote a review of on March 25, 2008

4 5

An attractive and warm winter jacket. Very warm, waterproof, and 4 pockets on the outside. Two ways to adjust the hood. This jacket is very warm for its weight (2 lbs), including gore-tex shell. While obviously there are warmer full down coats out there (Feathered Friends), the synthetic insulation here keeps it from being too puffy, the best feature to me. It can be too warm, especially the arms (no pit zips), when the temps hit the 40s or you are being pretty active.
Cons: No pit zips, no second zipper to unzip up from the bottom, hood is non-detachable/stowable.
It is a bit of an indulgence, and for those who don't want to be bothered with wearing layers, whether for sport or non-sport. Aside from its functionality, it looks very good and you can wear it to occasions where no one arrives in layers. A bunch of folks apparently criticized the reviewer who enjoyed it as a city jacket. (Apparently there are still "true believers" who see this brand as some sort of holy grail for technical gear - apparently nothing was accomplished in the outdoors prior to this brand's innovations - read on, I love giving idealists their first dose of cynicism). I don't see why, because for serious backcountry use, one still can't beat the versatility of a three layer system (baselayer, insulation, shell with pit zips), where one can mix and match depending on the conditions. If you are on a budget get a traditional 3 piece system first, and get a hard shell before you get a softshell (over hyped). And if you are going to spend the serious bucks on this thing, make sure you're getting one made in Canada. Arcteryx (now owned by Salomon) has moved much of their production to China. Though their costs have gone down, the price has not dropped on their apparel. It seems that Goretex-XCR models were made in Canada, but since late 2007 most of the jackets are Asian product. And now, unsurprisingly, scores of fake Chinese Arcteryx jackets can be found on ebay. If you want some serious gear that is still painstakingly assembled by hand, then also take look at Hilleberg and Dan McHale.

(0)

 

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busotti

busotti wrote a review of on March 24, 2008

4 5

Arcteryx has a slavishly devoted flock that allows them to charge ridiculous prices for some of their pieces... and I myself am vulnerable. I bought a used one and am happy with the deal, but no way for list price. I have other jackets by Mountain Hardware, Montbell, and Marmot, and there is no way that this is 2-3 times better than those (whereas the price is 2-3x more).

I have the XCR model (made in Canada). The differences with the new pro-shells are: laminated rather than stitched seams, slightly more vertical front pockets, got rid of the bulky plastic tabs attached to zipper cords to save weight. The whole breathability of Gore-Tex like fabrics is overrated. Yes they do breath more, but if you really want to have a big effect on breathability, partially unzip the jacket and open the pit zips! The thickness of the fabric is a little more durable than other Arcteryx models for durability.

Arcterxy looks fashionable for gear, which is nice. The front pockets are nice and tend to work better when wearing a pack than side pockets. But for the cost of replacing this, I have to think twice about glissading in it. Also, sincle late 2007, Arcteryx has moved most of their production to China. The MBAs have figured a way to increase profits without dropping the price. Don't even try to explain it as offsetting the high price of gas!

(4)

 

busotti

busotti wrote a review of on February 29, 2008

5 5

I have the zip-T version of this shirt and it seems I hardly take it off. I wore it for a 40 mile backpacking trip, washing it in streams, I wear it around town, and it is a great night shirt worn to bed. Though it is a synthetic fabric it feels more like wool and has that fuzziness feel to it.

Overpriced like a lot of "technical" stuff, but this is the kind of thing you pick up on sale. I've never been let down by anything made by Marmot, and I hardly understand why this brand isn't ballyhooed about more often.

(0)

 

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busotti

busotti wrote a review of on January 7, 2008

4 5

A nice looking boot that won't kill your budget. I was told that North Face boots tend to run small, but found these true to size, possibly a little big. Definitely don't lock the heel in the way my "nice" boots do. I don't think these are a great choice for serious backpacking/ mountaineering, but decent for around town in inclement weather. Would be nicer if they had a little more leather.

(0)

 

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busotti

busotti wrote a review of on January 3, 2007

4 5

This is a decent windshirt/light jacket, but I'd caution those who'd infer from the reviews that this will replace your heavy fleece. This functions as a great windbreaker for the spring and fall, maybe as some extra insulation during colder times. Though this blocks wind better than a traditional fleece, your fleece is best used as an insulation layer under your wind/rain shell. A nice jacket but a little overpriced for what you get.

(0)

 

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busotti

busotti wrote a review of on March 27, 2006

5 5

A nice hybrid between a hardshell and softshell. Definitely not "crunchy" like hardshells, yet sheds water, is windproof and pretty tough fabric. I'm pretty comfy in the 30's with this, a Patagonia R5 and some gloves. Huge pitzips, lots of pockets, and a second bottom zipper to unzip up from the bottom.

I don't give the "breathable" fabric claims of any of these manufacturers much credibility. Having pitzips is most important for temperature control. It's definitely more utilitarian than fashionable. Far from ultralight, so it may be left behind on multi-day treks.

(0)

 

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busotti

busotti wrote a review of on February 22, 2006

5 5

The indigo blue jacket is darker blue color than the web photo would suggest (i.e. it's not as dainty a color as in the photo, a plus).

Pros:
A) Very warm, spacious, and waterproof.

B) A lot of pockets (two spacious zip in front), 2 hand warmer pockets, glove storage pocket, inside mesh pocket, small sleeve pocket.

C) Zipper cover keeps drafts from coming through. Has a second zipper to unzip from the bottom up to increase ventilation/leg motion around the waist.

D) Hood is very warm and adjustable. It can also totally unzip and be removed if you like

E) Wrist tighteners keep out drafts

Cons:
A) It’s a little on the puffy/bulky end of the spectrum, so I'm a little skeptical for its use in skiing. I love it for hiking, occasional bike rides, or general outside use.

B) The price is steep for this jacket.

(0)

 

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busotti

busotti wrote a review of on February 13, 2006

5 5

The sturdiest filter out there and it really doesn't weigh that much more than the better filters that cost $70-80. It is rated to 13,000 gallons- much, much more than its competition. By the time you've replaced a filter once or twice on the competition you could have bought this beauty. Search around the internet, you'll find lots of stories about the problems of other filters, even the plastic breaking. Tips to prolong the life of these things: 1) Use a rubber band to secure a coffee filter around the intake filter (to remove large sediment); 2) Use running water from streams/rivers when possible; 3) Using the floatation device, withdraw water from near the top rather than the river/lakebed, where a lot of sediment is stirred up.

(2)

 

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