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David's Passions

Camping

David's Bio

dnr

dnr wrote a review of on April 24, 2007

3 5

I wanted to like this pack, but it's not working out for me.
It's just not as comfortable as I hoped. There's lots of padding, but something about the shape of my back and the shape of the pack just doesn't work. I found the panel-loading to be a bit of a challenge: the pack has no structure when it's empty, which makes it hard to start loading. A stuff-sack-based approach to packing might work better. The inner straps were more annoying than helpful. I had some trouble strapping items like a sleeping pad to the outside. The small is an inch too short to fit a platypus big zip along the frame without folding over the top.
On the other hand, you can fit an impressive amount of stuff in here.
The floating lid is roomy and worked well, and is easy to detach and
take into your tent.

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dnr

dnr wrote a review of on April 24, 2007

4 5

It doesn't have all that much room, so you have to be careful in how you
pack, but if you can fit all your gear in here, it's a great choice.
Good: Very very comfortable. Reverse-pull hip buckle. You can fit a 2L water bladder in the empty space between the frame and the mesh back
panel. Plenty of straps to hold a sleeping pad, ice axe..., and places
to attach extra straps for attaching even more. Nifty drawstring closure
that's easy to open and tighten. One main compartment, two tall outer
compartments, and a lid, for keeping stuff organized. Two hip-belt
compartments for quick-access items. Elastic loops on the shoulder
straps for keeping a tube in place.
Bad: The hip belt isn't very beefy. The lots-of-compartments thing may annoy some. It may be difficult or impossible to fit a bear canister (haven't tried yet).

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dnr

dnr wrote a review of on April 24, 2007

5 5

I got these after soaking a pair of "waterproof" gloves in a day of
skiing in wet snow. These are the real thing: a simple gore-tex mitten
shell, seam-sealed, with a cinch around the wrist and forearm. The shell
will definitely keep rain and snow out. Under the shell, you can wear
whatever you want, depending on the conditions, including nothing at all
if it's warm enough. The palms have some sort of grippy coating, and
I've been impressed by how much dexterity I have without taking the
shells off.
These do come with inner gloves, but I found the included gloves a
little lacking in insulation, and not the most comfortable, so I usually
wear a pair of plain fleece gloves under the shells.

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dnr

dnr wrote a review of on April 24, 2007

5 5

This is probably the piece of gear that makes me the happiest to use. So
light, so warm, so versatile. Keep it in a pocket and throw it on over a
shell when you stop moving, or wear it under a wind layer to really keep
the heat in. Roll it into a ball and use as a pillow (wrap it in some
other fabric first, though). And it's synthetic, so you don't have to
worry too much about getting it wet. Go up a size so it's easy to fit
over a few other layers.
My only complaint is that the built-in stuff sack is too hard to stuff
it in, and doesn't make a useful pocket when it's unstuffed (stuff falls
out). Also, a zipper might be easier to adjust than the snaps.
Note: this review is for the pullover vest, which weighs 6 oz.

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dnr

dnr wrote a review of on April 24, 2007

5 5

I never go hiking without these. Adjustable height over a wide range,
comfortable grips, relatively light, and very strong. Yes, you can get
lighter poles, but will you trust them with your weight plus your pack's
weight, in tricky positions, getting stuck among rocks?
Note: this review is for the version _without_ the anti-shock. I'd
recommend those instead: I prefer the solid feel and slight weight
savings.

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dnr

dnr wrote a review of on April 24, 2007

3 5

Essentially this is a giant polyester sock. It feels quite thin (you can
see through it if you hold it up to light). I don't know about 15
degrees, but it did add a noticeable amount of warmth to my 30 degree
bag on a cold night. The drawstring comes out on the left by default but
with a little effort I moved it to the right. I didn't feel like it
inhibited motion in my sleeping bag, and it was relatively easy to get
in and out of.
It may be a little heavy (and expensive) for what it does. After all, it
won't be as efficient as down for its weight. If you bring it and don't
need it, at least it makes a decent pillow.

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dnr

dnr wrote a review of on April 24, 2007

5 5

My favorite jacket. I've used it for over a year downhill skiing, spring
hiking, biking, and around town.
Things I like: It's soft and comfortable and breaths well. It's
close-fitting, but not too close that I can't fit a base layer and a
thick fleece under it. The outer fabric is amazing: it never gets dirty
or scratched up. It's completely windproof. It's warm compared to other
soft-shells, but not too warm for heavy activity. And when I put a
fleece under it, the combination is very warm. It keeps some rain out.
The cuffs are nice and tight without elastic. All the pockets are usable
with a pack on. The only thing that might make this jacket better would
be pit zips, but they're only rarely necessary.
I usually wear a small, but got a medium, which turned out to be the
right choice.

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