NuwYohk. Catskills, Daks, Whites.
I love this little tent. Don't get me wrong: Tall people, this is not for you. The floorplan alone should tell you that. Also, anyone looking for a 2-person backpacking tent for your random smelly pal, you might want to think twice. This tent is for intimate companions only. So far, I've been using it as a solo car-camping tent, but wouldn't hesitate to take it backpacking. While it might seem heavy for solo ventures; the space, the quality of the materials, the durability of the design and the options available make this one of the most interesting tents (and tent companies) on the market. The interchangeable doors on the rainfly is a stroke of genius. While the additional cost of the trekking pole vestibule takes this tent into the fairly retarded zone of pricing, the weather-protected space it gives you is amazing. You could easily cook in there, (door open of course) and the amount of room you have for removing wet raingear and storage is worth every penny. Seriously, most of the superlight tents at this size and weight class (OK, minus 1 lb) out there cost just as much as both the tent + add-on vestibule and don't have anywhere near the liveable room. While the standard vestibule does have some faults (mentioned in the reviews for the Espri 3 person-the angle of the design lets in the rain), these are pretty easy to work around. The zipper location makes for super-fast entry/exit and the trekking pole vestibule eliminates this problem entirely. I have sat in this tent for 6-hour torrential downpours on multiple occasions and the ventilation and quality of design and workmanship are outstanding.
If these pants fit you (skinny-ish), then they are utterly fantastic. I've practically been living in them all winter in the east. Great for lowland touring and winter hiking (even sitting on your ass in a weakly-heated apartment). The fabric is rad. Durable, super-stretchy, breathable and windproof enough for most below-treeline conditions. A bit fleecy on the inside, which is great for insulation but makes them a bit sticky with certain types of underlayers. Haven't had them on the slopes yet, but they are awesome for lots of motion. The cuff just barely fits a snowboarding boot, and forms a pretty good seal on the instep.The issue with the pockets... meh. Kind of a nuisance, but the fit sort of negates the whole issue, as they are tight enough through the thighs that you don't really want anything in there. Sure, zippers would be great, mostly to keep the snow out. But the open pockets make them a bit more casual and not quite so "ski-panty". Other than that, the design details are well though-out. Shaped edge patches, nice big thigh pocket, bulldog stitching and construction.I think these will be a kickass mountaineering pant, with an added shell for ridgelines or exposed routes. Really good flexibility and warmth, while still very easy to wear them for two weeks straight and never even notice. Perfect for mid-summer in the Cascades or even spring tours in the Sierra.Lastly, I snagged these on SAC late one night, but would definitely be willing to pony up full retailoverall, superb job by Stoic at this price point.
Amazingly, a super-light shell that cuts wind and the chilling fog we get here in the Bay area, but still breathes well enough to not turn into a sauna on punishing trail runs. Shell material is surprisingly quiet for nylon and seems pretty durablethe back panel, less so. But cut really well for cycling or running both, with a nice looong back hem that covers your kidnesy when down on the drops. Sizing and cut are spot on, juuust enough room to fit a mid-weight baselayer, but not baggy at all on the runs. Best of all? NO JANGLY-ASS ZIPPER. The chest pocket is on the inside and secures with velcro, which also eliminates the bouncing key problem. I use this backpacking almost constantly and the breathable back panel is actually pretty nice against the packalthough I question its durability in the long term (also, not thick enough to stop the skeeters). But that's what the iron-clad guarantee is for, right?
What more can I say? Its reediculous tiny. Flame control is astonishingly subtle. Remarkable quality and durability. Quite simply a masterpiece of backpacking equipment. Expect years of use and abuse out of it. I have used this thing above 12,000 feet in the Sierras and the only difficulties it had were due to the canister depressurizing rather than the stove itself. For the same reason, (as with most canister stoves that require an upright can), not sure I would recommend it in a winter situation.
DEFINITELY buy the windscreen. Its cheap and it adds enormously to the efficiency of the burner, especially above timberline. I also recommend narrow bottom pots, rather than the broad base type. The footprint of the burner and supports is quite small and wide 2-qt pots are a bit squirrelly.
China, USA, whatever. Of course I would prefer non-child, non-slave-wage labor, but the bottom line of purchases like this are 1. Does it perform, and 2. Is it durable. And on both of these questions, this jacket delivers. This is an odd-bird in the softshell world. Its cut much larger than most of them that I have tried (most of which are either designed for only the thinnest of insulation underneath, or are so thick that anything short of arctic temperatures renders them sweat lodges once the work commences).
In my opinion, this is the perfect sweatshirt. But when I say "sweatshirt", I mean "a single jacket that can do duty as both outer shell over insulation and under a heavier shell in the winter, double as a kicka** boarding shell in the spring, and by itself is the perfect weight for foggy, damp evenings the rest of the year (in NorCal)". Couldn't be happier with the quality, fit, durability. My only complaint (and this is more of an Arc'Teryx issue) is you best shave often, as the center zipper has no chin softener, and the coils can grab your beard hairs in a right painful manner. Other than that, this thing is fabu.
Although it lacks snow flaps, when paired with the floor this is a great spring touring shelter. Pretty easy to set up with trekking poles (stake out the floor first and then set it up from inside), and very light. With enough tension its pretty storm-worthy. I have sat through a heavy sierra spring storm and some decent wind (not above timberline, mind you) and it stood up pretty well. However, I was very careful in how and where I pitched it. I've used it backpacking and had good results, but I definitely recommend you invest in some sort of cup for the tips of the trekking poles. The canopy fabric is not used to carbide tips under high tension. My only complaint is that it is not all that romantic with the poles in between the campers and there is no vestibule for shoes and wet gear. But then again, the whole thing is a vestibule without the floor...
I have been using Patagonia equipment and clothing for many, many years. This shirt is yet another in a long line of excellent garments from this fantastic company. I have used it for cool trail runs, my bike commute, and whatever else comes my way and it has been impressive in its quick drying action as well as the amazing ability NOT to smell. Highly recommend the extra cost.
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