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dwatson24

dwatson24

Front Range/Denver

Derek's Passions

Camping

Derek's Bio

dwatson24

dwatson24 wrote a review of on October 29, 2009

4 5

This is a great jacket with a great cut (6'0, 180 lbs, I got a large). It has room for a heavy layer fleece underneath but still remains fairly streamlined looking. The length is perfect for me. There are large interior mesh pockets integrated into the exterior pockets and an audio port for a headphone cord that allows access to the interior in one pocket. Well thought out and perfectly minimal. I love the hood! It has a simple rear velcro flap that allows adjustment for heavier rain but is fine as is for lighter rain. GoLite has the market on simple, effective, pragmatic design with the pinch point cinch for the elastic hood cord that runs the perimeter of the face. Rubber tabs and velcro allow wrist adjustments and look gnarly.

The day I got this jacket was perfect, stormy and down pouring. Excellent initial test conditions. I walked around outside and stayed in the rain for about 20-30 mins and stayed dry. Though to my surprise the shoulders look as if they had begun to soak (hence four stars), it looked darker and splotchy. The interior was dry, but for how much longer? Not sure if this should be the sole rain jacket for going out in knowingly stormy conditions.

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dwatson24

dwatson24 wrote a review of on October 22, 2009

5 5

I love everything about this shirt. I've used it by itself for running in the 50's more than anything else and it has excelled in every aspect. It feels grrrreat NTS. I can dump heat if it builds up with the zipper and usually I zip it right back up (and it stays wherever I want it to). The neck may be a little confining zipped all the way up for thicker necked dudes. It breathes exceptionally, of course, so I stay cool while staying warm and comfortable. I can't say that I stay totally dry but the sweat build up is noticeably less compared to a MH Polartec Powerstretch I sometimes use alone. The sweat only stays where the wool isn't in direct contact with my skin, i.e.- between pecs, along spine on lower back. I am 6'0" 180lbs and the medium works great for me. Sleeves are long enough and the length is well enough below belt line. I got it on SAC but could definitely justify the price. I intend to get more Smartwool products!

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dwatson24

dwatson24 wrote a review of on October 21, 2009

5 5

This product is my first experience with the French press coffee style and it is by no means a stripped-down-for-the-backcountry version. It makes FANTASTIC coffee and has turned me on to the world of the French press. I even use it at home and have turned other people on to the method with it. I ground my own beans before and even with a filter its the only way I do coffee, but with this I found I needed to use a coarser grind. I usually do a 15 second grind for a standard coffee maker, with this I do a 10 second grind (before leaving for the field) and the grounds are coarse enough to not slip around the strainer, granted you push the press slow enough (you're in the backcountry, what's the rush?). Silt sized particles slip through but that's acceptable and adds to the French press experience and mouth-feel. A caveat, the whole system fits in the PCS, but be sure to pack in such way as to keep the lid on the mug or you'll be hunting for the two rods in the bottom of your pack.

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dwatson24

dwatson24 wrote a review of on October 20, 2009

Had to return it... even at SAC price.
3 5

Oh man how I wanted to love it. As per the sizing recommendations I went with a medium (I am 6' with an 18" torso, 180 lbs.) and was never truly comfortable. I never felt that the shoulder strap attachment points were high enough to even give the hip pads a proper go at weight dispersion. I did a few overnighters (essentially car camping) and five miles with base summer gear and 2L of water (~15lbs) to get a feel for it and while I wasn't in pain, the upper part of the aluminum frame would rub my shoulders causing discomfort. I'm skeptical about the torso sizing too, I always thought the hip pads sat too high on my hips (it looked that way too).On the plus side, you can pack the crap out of this thing and not worry about the zippers bursting, you just have to be creative with your packing. I use compression bags and that worked well. Two medium sized compression sacks (fart-sack, clothes), a Hennessy UL explorer, a XS Sea-to-summit mesh sack and a Jet Boil fit with room to spare (for food most likely). A TR trail-lite pad strapped to the outside bag straps. The Airspeed mesh definitely made an obvious difference with sweat, while not totally keeping me dry the middle of my back was bone dry. The pack really hugs your body and as minimal as the straps and pads are they are pretty comfortable, light loads granted. Very breathable. Just not for me.

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dwatson24

dwatson24 wrote a review of on October 4, 2009

Big 'ol spiders agree: the Trekker chair is comfy!
5 5

What a great piece of gear. At 10.5 oz it's so light I can't even consider it non-essential. Just don't put too much pressure leaning back testing it or anything. I tested it and the seams on one of the nylon webs started to rip. That being said, with a tear in the support system it's still strong and I have no worries (hopefully I'm not proven wrong). I use it with a Trail LIte TR regular pad and it fits in the pad-specific stuff sack just fine either on the pad or rolled up in it. It has a little space left for a longer pad which kind of makes it a little bit of an odd fit but it's negligible. It's obvious what it looks like so here's a more interesting photo.

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dwatson24

dwatson24 wrote a review of on October 3, 2009

Review Title
5 5

Fantastic!! I love these things. If there is a meal that can be eaten with them, I do. I wish the caps were screw on so I'd worry less about losing them but I'm always very cognizant when I pull these out anyways. They really make you use proper technique too. Not sure how long the wood will last but when it gives out I'll definitely buy more. If you know anyone who loves sushi or eats a lot of noodles this is their sexy new utensil. Here's a pic of beef stroganoff in an Orikaso bowl with the Snow Peak Chopsticks.

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dwatson24

dwatson24 wrote a review of on September 14, 2009

Review Title
5 5

I actually have the 32oz. wide mouth so I can vouch neither for the quantity size or the mouth shape, I can say, however, that this plastic rocks! It is the toughest sh*t I have come across. The ultimate test: I accidentally backed over mine at work with my truck. It was about 1/2 full with water and it survived with little more battle scar than a warping. It didn't lose one drop of water as far as I could tell. It had some dents but I left it in my truck and by the time I got back to it the next day the summer heat had vaporized and expanded the water that was left and it automatically popped out dents. Scratched, but good as new. I've been carrying it around with a biner attached to the lid retainer and have never feared that it may come off. Well made! Here's a pic strung from the ridge line of my Hennessy hammock.

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dwatson24

dwatson24 wrote a review of on June 19, 2009

4 5

... and I didn't know just how warm it could get until a few miles in to a trail run. If I had a pair of synth socks I would have changed into them. You would think by way of these being ankle socks that they were geared towards warmer weather. They're not. At least not running in the upper 70's/lower 80's. Other than the fact that I'm using them out of season, and there will be a perfect season for these, which is a cooler one, I love the socks. They feel GREAT on the feet, maintaining that new sock feel (podia-gasmic) with each wear. They are odorless other than the smell of elastic, i wore them three sweaty runs before washing them and no stench whatsoever. Wool rocks for that. The lip at the back of the ankle on the top of the sock does lend a ledge for dirt, twigs, etc, to land on but unless I wear gaiters I get stuff in my socks no matter what, so it's not that big of a deal. I recently bought a pair of Ultimax X-static (silver embedded stuff) and have been extremely pleased with the results for warm weather. They are light, cool and RESIST odor JUST as well as wool (yes, a synthetic, not just making claims like Cocona). Check 'em out. I love Smartwool socks but these will probably relegated to much lighter wear and cooler weather.

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