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DGraham

DGraham

Texas

DGraham's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Running
Yoga
Climbing

DGraham's Bio

born and raised in Dallas, Boyscouts got me camping and I've been addicted to climbing for the past 3 years.

DGraham

DGrahamwrote a review of on February 25, 2016

5 5

Consider going a half euro size down from street shoe. On a brannock device i'm a US size 12 (46). Tried on 46 in these and there was half an inch of dead space in front of my big toe. I was also over cranking on the laces which means the laces were too long. Got at size 45.5 instead (US 11.67 according to scarpa) and its much better. Comfirtable but no excess dead room.

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DGraham

DGrahamwrote a review of on January 27, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I only have good things to say about this harness! Granted I've only used it in the gym a couple times, sport climbing once and trad climbing once. Maybe I'll update this review later.

So breaking it down, pros and cons.
PROS
1) comfort is incredible, I upgraded to this from the old black diamond momentum and the difference is astonishing. I attribute the comfort to the width of the waist belt. The only thing more comfortable would be big wall harness (no experience with those, I live in Texas). Bring on the hanging belays. 4/5 stars for comfort.

2) organization: I was quite content with the black diamond gear loops that stick out to the sides and make clipping/unclipping gear easy. I WAS a little concerned that I wouldn't like the arcteryx gear loop. no concern any longer. once you get a few quick draws/cams/whatever on there they are great. PLUS the 5th gear loop. like a genius, I only put stuff I know I won't use while leading on the 5th rear gear loop (ATC, Prusick, Anchor cordalette) so it's fine. But I will say it's pretty darn hard to get stuff from that loop. Just don't plan on putting your quick draws back there. 5/5 stars for organization.

3) packability: pretty straight forward. It probably saves enough room (compared to old BD momentum) to fit an additional pair of shoe in my back. It compresses down to about the size of both my fist. 5/5 stars for packability

4)Function: This is what people talk about when they say "I forgot I was wearing this harness" It just moves with your body and conforms to your hips like a sweet lover (brown-chicken brown-cow). 5/5 stars for function.

5) style: I think this harness looks pretty boss. The dark green with neon green accents is pimpen. 5/5 stars for style (which is what it's all about right?).

CONS

1) Price: the one and only true downside. One does not simply purchase arcteryx equipment without taking out a second mortgage. the only consolation is I was looking at the BD chaos (which is $125). I HIGHLY recommend spending the extra $20 to get his harness (or just get 2 $60 harness ha).

2) adjustability: not a cons so much as an observation. If you're not used to fixed gear loops, it takes some getting used to. For reference, I normally wear a size 32 jeans and I measure the circumference of my leg was about 22.5 inches around. I got a size medium and it fits great. Enough room that I can layer up, and I wouldn't want leg loops any tighter. currently they're snug but not tight or pinching by any means.

Over all I highly recommend this harness for gear junkies like me who feel they need an expensive harness for some reason. but really, it's a very well designed piece of equipment and I'll probably purchase another arcteryx harness when I have to retire this one!

EDIT: right after I bought this harness, Black Diamond came out with their "solution" harness which appears to be very packable(thin like arcteryx), lightweight, with no 5th gear loop and much smaller gear loops but only half the price (and can probably find on sale sooner or later). While I haven't tried that harness, I can still say this. If you're just sport climbing (don't need a lot of racking space) you might wanna check out that harness. I also have multi pitch trad climbed with BD smaller gear loops and was totally fine.

With that last part being said, I still give this harness 5 stars (maybe 4.5 considering the price) because it functions SOO well.

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DGraham

DGrahamwrote a review of on January 25, 2016

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 1"
Weight: 170 lbs
Size Purchased: medium

I'm 6' 1" and 167 pounds, soooo pretty tall and lean/lanky (whatever you wanna call it). I purchased a Medium from a local shop for $70 and the sleeves are fine. I would have liked them just a half an inch longer but this is fine. I've got about a 34 inch length arm from shoulder to wrist (I believe) and medium is great. This jacket has a nice fit without being too slim to layer under or too baggy that it looks stupid. I layered a thick base layer and another polyester hoody underneath this this weekend.

Function, This past weekend, the day started out a 35 degrees with 15-20 mph winds (with a base layer and fleece hoody underneath) and this jacket did great! it was very windproof and warm. I have another cheap down jacket (real down) that wind just blows straight through. That jacket packs into about half a nalgene. I would say these jacket packs down to about a full nalgene if you really work at it (but it's still jacket so you can stuff it into the corners of your pack where nothing else can go.

Look: This is probably the best part of this jacket, the wool on the back of the sleeves and accents looks good in my opinion. It's lined with fleece on the inside so it's not scratchy, don't worry.

Worries: I'm not sure I have any...

pros: looks good, good outer wind layer, synthetic insulation should stay warm if wet, price.

cons: wool is not water repellant like body (I believe), not the most packable for multi pitch climbing or backpacking.

All in all, I would recommend this to someone looking for a nice city or weekend jacket. One that's nice and warm, with hoodie, but isn't looking to spend $200+ on a jacket.

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DGraham

DGrahamwrote a review of on January 21, 2016

4 5

Familiarity: I returned this product before using it
Fit: Runs large
Height: 6' 1"
Weight: 170 lbs
Size Purchased: medium

I'm a medium to large in everything. I purchased a medium and it's pretty baggy especially for a base layer. This is why it get only 4 stars, that and the green/elm color I ordered was pretty... weird colored.

Just comments on the Fabric, It has a very soft feel against the skin and is incredibly stretchy (another reason to go a size down).

I'm returning/selling this base layer due to size issue but as far as I can tell, It seems to be on the medium to light side of Warmth (it's a base layer, not supposed to be super warm). My other qualm with this shirt is the zipper. for a shirt this light, I don't thin it should have a zipper. It might be nice if you plan on running in it, but for layering it seem like it's more cumbersome than it's worth.

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DGraham

DGrahamwrote a review of on November 11, 2015

5 5

Fit: True to size

on a brannock device I am a size 12 shoe with an AA width (about as narrow as it gets). I recently got myself a size 45 (11.5). I was looking for something comfortable with completely flat toes for crack and all day (multi pitch). My toes were curled in this size. I heard they stretch about 1/4 size but I don't think that would have been enough. I'll be looking for a size 45.5 because these look like great shoes (haven't used them on plastic or rock to keep em new). They're comfy, and have a great shape to them, once broken in I imagine they smear a lot better than the TC pro's as well, but still edge stiff for edging and certain cracks.

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DGraham

DGrahamwrote a review of on October 12, 2015

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: Runs small
Height: 6' 1"
Weight: 170 lbs
Size Purchased: 12.5

I've been using these for roughly 4 month, 1 to 2 times a week in the gym and couple time limestone/granite bouldering (I don't boulder a lot outside). They're great shoes, no doubt! I've also had the solutions so I'll be comparing the 2 shoes.

PROS:
1) Great edging on overhung rock with thick rubber
3) Durable Rubber and design
The soles almost look new, very impressed by durability. Looks like the upper will survive long enough to be resoled a couple times.
4) Comforms but not too much stretch.
At first there was extra space in the heal cause my heal didn't fit all the way, but after breaking them in, it stretched/conformed and now there is zero dead space. The result is rubber sock with a stiff edging platform. (stiff under the toes, soft/flexible under the arches of the foot)

CONS:
1) not sensitive
The thick rubber doesn't seem to offer much feeling you want on those tiny limestone edges. for a bouldering shoe I felt this was a major drawback. (note: the midsole doesn't seem too stiff so I'm sure when these guys are really worn down they'll get more sensitive)
2) Not very sticky rubber (comparatively)
I would put evolv trax rubber on par with vibram XS edge, very durable but not nearly as sticky as Vibram grip2 or stealth C4/HF. Which again seems like a big drawback on a bouldering shoe.
3) uncomfortable: I know it's a performance shoe and it's not supposed to be comfortable by any means (sooo this is kind of a moot point). But usually by the end of an indoor bouldering session, the top of my big toe is crushed. I only say this because the solutions I have in a comparable fit don't cause this much discomfort after I'm done.

SOLUTION COMPARISON:
The Sportiva Solutioins have stickier rubber. The solutions also have a downturned toe but maybe a little less down camber (where as this shoe is crazy 'down cambered' but has a flat toe box [zero 'downturn']. The heels are widely different. The nexxo heel conforms to your foot but the Solution heel is very protective. I think the biggest difference between the nexxo and the solutions is the solutions ability to more comfortably use footholds the closer you get to vertical due to the difference in down camber, even though the solutions are not as stiff. Also I think the toebox on the nexxo is less prone to stretch/molding which means the solutions are actually (marginally) more comfortable.

SIZING:
size 12 street shoes with narrow feet AA (brannock device)
43.5 solutions (aggressive)
a 12.5 Nexxo is an aggressive fit (comparable to 43.5 solutions), I usually have to pop them off and give my toes a break every now and then. Any smaller would have been toe suicide and any larger would create dead space.

IN CONCLUSION
these are great shoe that edge exceptionally. But in my opinion, the not sticky(est) rubber and not the most sensitive sole means boulderers might find other shoe preferable. That being said, FOR PEOPLE LOOKING FOR A TRAINING SHOE, THE DURABILITY OF THE RUBBER AND AGGRESSIVE CHARACTERISTICS MAKE THIS SHOE UNBEATABLE FOR SEVERAL TRAINING HOURS IN THE GYM PER WEEK. those looking for an outdoor bouldering shoe may appreciate the sensitivity of the solutions.

warning, this review may be affected by the simple fact that the solutions in general probably fit my foot better.

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DGraham

DGrahamwrote a review of on October 27, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

So I'll say what you've heard before, The good
-great at cracks
thick leather and toe rubber plus the high top for off width
-supreme edging
really stiff midsole and vibram xs edge save your energy while standing on small things.
-really comfortable
once you break them in, which takes a long time, they are pretty darn comfortable.
and everything else good you've probably already heard.
the bad:
-supreme edging results in loss of sensitivity
which is normal, but this shoe almost takes it too far, you can't feel a thing. But have no fear, you get used to it.
-supreme edging also results in loss of smearing power (or maybe that's cause I got a half size too small)
it may just be me but I found that this shoe is put to shame when it comes to smearing compared to other shoes. which you think would be a priority for a big wall shoe. Smearing gets better with time.
the ugly:
-the price
if you can find em cheap, get em but it's hard to find this shoe for less than $100
-small cracks
I just tried these out this weekend at a smaller finger crack, they did alright. I thought rand smearing in them wasn't bad. as long as you can get something in the crack. But there was definitely a point where i wish i was wearing something with a thinner profile... until the crack thinned out more and i was using edges, then i was glad again.

sizing for me:
I wear a 12 street shoe (on a brannock device) and I got a 44 in these. I don't think i could wear these all day on a big wall but I can hang around wear them for some multipitch. I would go another half size up (44.5/11) for all day comfort. I also wear
miura lace 43.5 - comfortable but performance sport
solutions 43.5 - bouldering tight
43.5 mythos - all day fit and crack
moccasym - 10.5 with some toe curl (not crack)
I THINK IF I HAD GONE UP ANOTHER HALF SIZE THEY WOULD SMEAR BETTER but I have no (real) pain jamming in crack at this size.

conclusion: feel like I should give em 4 stars based on what I just wrote but I like em so much I'll give em 5. No 4, hmmm 4.5? ehh we'll round up.

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DGraham

DGrahamwrote a review of on April 20, 2014

5 5

These are my favorite cams of mine so far (only have master and camalot C4's). I feel so much more confident when I find a place to use these rather than the camalot C4's (weird I know). Although the action may take a little more force to engage, it is smooth and makes it so the lobes pull back evenly every time. I only wish metolius made larger sizes of the master cams because I would buy those in a heartbeat, but for now I'll keep using these for my small cams. I don't know how these stack up against BD camalot X4's which might be a more appropriate comparison though.

UPDATE after a couple years: I have (limited) experience with black diamond X4's, fixe aliens, and have ample experience with master cams and metolius TCU's. I think the best part about these guys are
1: price (especially compared to aliens and X4)
2: durability (I hear X4 are dropping like flies although mine haven't and the alien cam [while awesome] don't seem the most durable)
that's about it. The action on these guys in actually pretty rough. I wouldn't buy any of these bigger than the number 4 (red)

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DGraham

DGrahamwrote a review of on March 23, 2014

3 5

I bought one of these specifically for hanging part of my rack on and i plan on buying more. It's cheap, so leaving one or two behind isn't gonna break the bank. I would call it a little on the heavy side especially if you're carrying a ton of them, but they provide a lot of bang for the buck when it comes to usefulness.

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DGraham

DGrahamwrote a review of on March 23, 2014

3 5

a good tool to have, I personally do not use them outdoors but I use them at my job at a climbing wall when I am setting to adjust where my body is relative to the wall. But I have recently seen another device that did the same job but was adjustable on a cinch able pulley, made the daisy chain look like a dinosaur. Anyways I prefer sling outside to anchor in just cause I don't like the idea of the daisy chain loops snapping and creating a domino effect that snaps all the loops into one large loop, thus creating enormous amounts of extension and possible shock loading the system. Kinda a worst case scenario that I'm not even sure that would happen but yeah, I trust sewn runners/sling outside cuase they're simple though not as easily adjusted.

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DGraham

DGrahamwrote a review of on March 23, 2014

5 5

It's hard for someone to screw up a carabiner, unless of course it doesn't hold the weight it is suppose to, but other than that, the only other things to consider are weight, aesthetics, the action of the gate, and the shape (for different jobs in your system). I picked up a couple of these on sale for my runners and they do a good job, nothing to complain about. I haven't taken a fall on them yet but i'm sure they'll do fine since I can trust the mad rock brand. no reason to be hatin on these biners.

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DGraham

DGrahamwrote a review of on March 23, 2014

4 5

My favorite part about this is how they put the holes on the side so you can tighten loose bolts. I do a lot more sport climbing than trad but I may just start bringing this guy up with me on sport routes to tighten those loose bolts I find almost everywhere. The actual nut tool itself Is pretty good, sturdy material, I do wish it was a little longer so it could A) reach more places and B) get more leverage on the chock, but who am I kidding I do more hitting than I do prying anyways ha.

EDIT: someone dropped my metolius nut tool a few months back and the top part popped off. By the top part I mean that little flat edge that sits above the part you clip to your harness. they dropped it from about 30 feet up.

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DGraham

DGrahamwrote a review of on March 16, 2014

2 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

EDIT: So after using this a couple years I'm changing my review completely. instead of buying this, go get a 1.5" x 4" x 4" Tupperware. it holds more, I can close my spoon in tupperware, and the lid won't curl and become hard to seal. and if it does, tupperware is inexpensive and easily replaceable.

I think it's washing machine that permanently curled the lid.

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DGraham

DGrahamwrote a review of on March 16, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

the ring is bomber, doesnt seem like it is going to come off. Also the fork, spoon and knife also seem to be made of very sturdy material I would expect them to break either. My one complaint is that they're really big and unwieldy and hard to store. I prefer my stuff to be small and packable.

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