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fsz2843099wrote a review of on March 27, 2015

5 5

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

First a disclaimer: For any glove, warmth is subjective to the individual, and highly affected by the activity for which they are being used. Plus, one's level of exertion can affect actual and perceived warmth, and result in alternating periods of comfort, chilling, overheating, sweating, etc. When holding various gear, insulation compression combined with loss of heat through conduction can also have major impacts. Thus many reviews of gloves are biased by unthoughtful impressions of a bad experience where the user did not consider all of the impacting factors.
With that in mind, I recommend these gloves to be a useful component in a well thought out strategy for keeping ones hands warm in cold winter conditions. I live in the Adirondacks in NY state, and get out into the mountains for (sometimes multi-day) winter hiking, ice climbing, and ski-mountaineering, whenever I am not skiing in northern Vermont. The winters here are brutal, some of the coldest in the country, with temperatures often in double digits below zero, not factoring wind chill. With elevation, temps drop further and winds increase dramatically. I was out many times this winter on -40F wind chill summits. Then put an ice tool, ski pole, or cold aluminum ice axe shaft into your hand for a few hours, and you will find any pair of gloves seriously tested.
I've struggled for years to find the right glove combination, but have found a system that works through the variety of harsh conditions in my local ADK playground...and This OR Mt Baker Modular Mitt is an important part of it! Another component in my system is TWO pairs of Black Diamond Mid-Weight Glove Liners. They are made of Polartec Powerstretch fleece, dry fast and go for about $19. The final component is a pair of Hestra Primaloft Extreme Mitt Liners. They're supremely insulating, and can be had for $55 on sale. Final price of the whole system is about $210...pricey, but well worth it, and you will never be wanting in any situation. Thus your last glove purchase, ever. The versatility of this OR mitt is that the insulating glove can be separated out to leave a completely non-insulated seam sealed Gore-tex shell with very durable face fabric. This means that when/if your insulating layer gets sweaty, you can swap it out for a dry layer that gets inserted into a completely dry shell. Too many other shells incorporate their own integrated insulation that remains behind even after the inner layer is removed, meaning that moisture in the outer shell is something you'll have to live with, and also greatly decreases drying time, which can be critical for multi-day winter endeavors.
The insulating red glove in this OR Mt Baker Mitt has a generous amount of Primaloft on the back of the hand, and when stuffed inside of the shell is a very cozy combo for easy walking on an average winter day (-5F to 20F). There is no Primaloft in the palm, so conduction from an axe handle can be an issue. The grip patches on fingertips afford good dexterity to do most manipulations without exposing hands to severe weather.
In my system, I will use just the BD liners for mild conditions, or during heavy exertion. They are surprisingly warm, but the wind goes right through 'em. Solution: throw just the shell over the top to keep the wind out, greatly increasing warmth. Getting colder? Put on just the red OR liner, or red liner plus shell. You get the idea.
Now, when trying these gloves on, I fit comfortably snug in size medium, but I got a large. They're roomy enough to fit the BD liners into the red insulating layer, allowing extra layering combinations, both with and without the outer shell. And also adds a layer of bulk to protect palms from conductive heat loss when holding stuff. But the real beauty is in managing moisture. When one BD liner gets moist from normal skin transpiration I swap it with the second pair, clip to my backpack, 30 min it's dry. The Hestra Mitt inserts are the ULTIMATE insulation, and can be used with the shell and BD liners to -40F

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fsz2843099

fsz2843099wrote a review of on January 29, 2015

3 5

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

Bought the Alp Monster to use as a third tool, or as a thin light "just in case" tool when when encountering surprise ice bulges on BC ski trips. The plastic handle at the lower hand position is comfortable for normal swinging. But the thin metal shaft is not comfortable for gripping at the upper hand position, and the instability of the grip means a tendancy for the tool to flop/twist sideways. I believe Grivel realized this, and that is why they include the Snake Grip with the Alp Monster tool... At least they are supposed to. Even the spec sheet that comes with the product explicitly states, "With the Alp Monster comes the Snake, which can be cut and placed on the shaft to make the handle more comfortable." However, Backcountry never included the Snake grips with my tool. Always have loved backcountry service, but this time they lose two stars for not including the grips that are supposed to come with the product, and for failing to mention that. Sorry guys, but I was expecting those grips, and they would make a big difference in the functionality of this tool.

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fsz2843099wrote a question about on November 17, 2014

I have two questions: 1. )Did Arcteryx change the fit on this jacket from "expedition" to "athletic"? About a year ago I tried on a 2013 Alpha SV, and found I had to choose between sleeves that were too short, or a body that was too baggy (even with extra layers underneath). Would be really excited to learn that they revised the fit to make this jacket better proportioned, and would definitely buy one immediately.
2.) Has anyone seen the new oxblood color? Does it look like more of a dark red, or more of a rusty orange? Sometimes it is hard to tell on the screen. Thanks!

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fsz2843099wrote a question about on November 21, 2013

When I bought my G3 Expedition skins two years ago, they cam with skin savers. I recently heard rumors that G3 was lowering their prices, but eliminating the skin savers on some of their products. I now want to buy these Alpinist skins for my GF, but want to know if they include the skin savers. Can anyone confirm or deny this for sure.

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fsz2843099wrote a review of on October 4, 2013

2 5

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

I purchased the Stoic Welder gauntlet glove last fall. It is basically the same as this glove, but with a full 5 finger design. Also, its liner is fixed, not removable like on this glove. Otherwise, materials and construction are the same. After just one season of backcountry skiing, the welded seams are all beginning to come apart. I mean the gloves are actually just falling apart at every site where fabric was welded together. Perhaps coincidentally, perhaps not, I am having a similar issue with a Stoic welded duffel bag that I bought 2 years ago...the zipper, which was attached to the bag by welding, is just peeling away from the rest of the bag. I no longer trust Stoic's welding technology.

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fsz2843099

fsz2843099wrote a review of on October 4, 2013

3 5

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

First off, I have to say that I do not own this jacket. I want to own it, and would buy one, if it was sized properly for someone my size/shape. I have checked them out, tried them on, coveted one. The design, materials, and construction are perfect. But, at least for me, they struck out on the sizing. I am 5'11" tall, and weigh 145pounds, 38" chest and 30-31" waist, 35" sleeve. I have a lean athletic physique, but am tall for my weight, so I have long arms. In the store, the sleeves of the medium jacket just barely give me adequate coverage, but I can imagine some real-world maneuvers causing some limited wrist exposure. And yet my body swims inside of it. I understand that the idea of the expedition fit is to allow layering, but the amount of extra fabric in this jacket actually creates the risk of it getting caught or snagged on tree branches, etc. . The small jacket is the right girth, but is ridiculously short in the sleeve and at the waist. I would think that many people who actually do the kinds of activities that truly warrant a shell of this caliber might also have a lean athletic shape. I really want to get this jacket, but I'd expect it to fit. I find it so funny, because the company devotes so much marketing effort promoting how much technical design goes into each piece of clothing, and yet it seems to be well beyond their technical capabilities to add a long/tall option to each size offering?

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fsz2843099wrote a question about on February 1, 2012

I am trying to find a perfect helmet for backcountry skiing in mountain terrain, including the occasional need to climb vertical ice, which would also protect me on fast descents through narrow forrested trails. So far my radar has picked up on this helmet and the Camp Pulse. Any opinions comparing these two, or any other recommendations out there?

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