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dfop478919wrote a review of on August 22, 2013

4 5

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

I really liked this jacket. It was very comfortable and fairly warm. It's not warm enough to just put over a shirt if it's ~30 degrees F outside, but it kept me warm in ~45 degrees F. I guess a hood would be nice, but I had a warm beanie hat, so that was sufficient. I got the methyl blue, and I absolutely loved the color and got loads of compliments on it.

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dfop478919

dfop478919wrote a review of on August 22, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This was one of the few pieces of gear I got for my Pacific Crest Trail hike that I have no doubt I would buy again if I were re-purchasing all my gear. It was incredible. Cooks super quickly (though the 3-minute boil time might be on the highest setting, which I never used). It's so light and cheap and easy, and the adjustable flame is awesome.

The fuel does have a few problems--you have to punch a hole in the canisters to recycle them, which I never had the tools to do, so I would always just throw them out which is technically hazardous (I'm not sure how hazardous). It's also very frustrating that you can't transfer fuel from half full canisters, so a lot of it goes to waste if you're doing something like a thru hike where you're trying not to carry any extra space or weight. If you have a half full canister but need a full one, you'll end up just throwing out a few oz of fuel and getting a whole new one. Overall, though, I absolutely love it, and it was the perfect stove for me. I would 100% recommend this to anyone, just wanted to mention the fuel issues since those may be more important to someone else.

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dfop478919wrote a review of on August 22, 2013

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I was surprised to see a review saying it was the brightest headlamp someone has ever seen. I've definitely seen much brighter ones. And the batteries die so quickly if you keep it on the brightest setting. That said, it does have a dimmer, which is nice. It also has a red light so you don't blind your friends, a strobe light to signal for help, and a locking function which would have been awesome if I hadn't kept forgetting to use it! :P It's light and super comfortable, which were my main reasons for getting it. And it's priced competitively. I imagine there might be something better out there, but not that I know of, so I'd recommend it.

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dfop478919wrote a review of on August 22, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

The Sawyer Squeeze is the best filter out there, with one MASSIVE but incredibly fixable problem. I'll get to that later.

First, the bags. Don't bother with them. Seriously. Just throw them away. They will spring a leak, and you will be pissed. I didn't even bother bringing them on the Pacific Crest Trail because I knew that in advance, but many other people did, and I don't know a single person whose bags did not spring a leak. Just trust me. Use bottles or find another bladder that threads (although I'm not positive there are other bladders that thread to the Sawyer).

The actual filter is WONDERFUL. It filters well and quickly, weighs almost nothing, and is super cheap. It's great to be able to drink right from the filter, too. The one problem, and it is a BIG one, is that the white rubber stopper that creates the suction in the bottom of the filter will come out if you tighten the filter too hard. This is hard to avoid, since you need to tighten the filter enough so that it doesn't leak. Once the stopper comes out, you can force it back in, but eventually it will come out again and your bottle will leak dirty water into the clean water. However, as I said, there is a very simple solution. My friend gave me this red stopper that he said you can get for like a buck at any hardware store. It's just a ring around the outside with a large circular hole, rather than a circle with a small circular hole (if that didn't make sense, what I mean is that the circular hole in the white rubber stopper it comes with is significantly smaller than the circular hole in the red rubber stopper I am describing). Anyway, replace the stopper with that, and you're good to go. I haven't had any problems with my Sawyer since I got the new stopper, and I absolutely love it. Before then, I was about ready to trade it in for the Platypus Gravity Filter.

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dfop478919

dfop478919wrote a review of on August 22, 2013

5 5

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

I wore these boxers every single day for 111 days while on the Pacific Crest Trail. They dry out very quickly and didn't cause any chafe. They were also super comfortable. Not sure how much more you could ask from boxers. I was incredibly satisfied. They also don't have any wear and tear on them which is impressive.

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dfop478919

dfop478919wrote a review of on August 22, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I absolutely loved these gloves for hiking while on the PCT. They're thin enough that I could still use my hands, very comfortable, grip well, and provided warmth without being too hot. I loved throwing these and my beanie hat on for night hiking, and I wouldn't have to put on any warmer clothes.

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dfop478919wrote a review of on August 22, 2013

3 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I hiked 1,400 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail with these poles. I'm not sure when the metal tips filed off, but at some point around 700 miles in, I looked down and noticed the tips were just completely gone. At mile 900, the poles both broke, in the exact same way, but fortunately I was able to get them replaced for free by Black Diamond.

It's nice that they fold up, although I found that since I used them every step while hiking, I basically never took advantage of that. It was still nice for the times when I had to get in a car, though.

A few other things: I bought these poles because they were so lightweight. But I never ended up carrying them in my pack. If I were buying new poles, I wouldn't really consider weight as much of a factor. Also, whatever material from the handle would always melt into my sweaty hands and turn them black. I didn't much care since I was already so dirty but I could see that bothering some people.

All that said, for the most part, they did the job, and I put a crazy number of miles on them. The replacement poles have done great through 400 miles.

And if you're curious about sizing, I'm 5'5" and I used 110 cm poles. They were perfectly sized.

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