goingglacialwrote a question about Hestra Czone Mountain 3-Finger Glove on December 20, 2012
Why isn't Backcountry ordering more of these for the 2012-2013 ski season? Mid-December seems like an early time to sell out!
On my walk home under pristinely starry skies and through a welcoming cluster of snow-covered spruce trees, I started thinking about the passion that fuels our adventure in the first place, the in-the-moment experiences that keep the flame alive, the thoughts and emotions that we take with us at the conclusion of adventure, and the itch to venture forth, yet again, that develops soon thereafter. For me, the constant in this wild and wonderful constellation is an urgent sense of connectedness to and appreciation for the natural world. The knowledge that mountains, rivers, valleys, fjords, glaciers, and even beaches (yes, I like to unwind with some mindless lounging occasionally) await my light and respectful footprints whets my appetite for more every single day.
Read on at goingglacial.com...
Why isn't Backcountry ordering more of these for the 2012-2013 ski season? Mid-December seems like an early time to sell out!
Huge thanks to POC for yet another amazing piece of protection for rugged riding on single-track. As I built my chops on the mountain bike over the course of this past summer, I decided to complement my POC Trabec Race Helmet with these knee pads for added protection. While I was initially hesitant about wearing knee pads (for fear that they would prove needlessly hot and cause irritation or chafing), I was pleasantly surprised to find, after more than a few long-haul rides, that these pads are perfectly comfortable and ergonomic. I have pretty small knees and calves, but the Visco-Elastic Polymer Dough is malleable and form-fitting...regardless of your form!
After making my way through a series of women's jerseys, I figured that I would venture into the terrain of men's wear to check out the options. I purchased the DAKINE Tour Jersey to satisfy my dream of a 3/4-length top for the bike, and I absolutely love this jersey. I don't have any complaints. It's certainly on the warmer side (I wouldn't wear it for a midday ascent in the sun), but it is loose-fitting, sweat-wicking, and 100% comfortable. Definitely a great addition to the mountain biking wardrobe!
The bottom line: this is a fantastic helmet from POC, confidence-inspiring in its construction, durabibility, venting system, and adjustment system. I own both the Trabec and the Trabec Race, and I like the added noggin coverage provided by the Race version. I'm relatively new to single-track ripping, and have certainly taken my fair share of rugged crashes in the past few months. I feel particularly safe wearing this helmets as I endure various trials and tribulations in the process of building my chops in the sport. This past summer in the Wasatch proved a scorcher, and the well-designed venting system kept me cool and happy on many a sizzling climb. Thanks, POC, for keeping me safe out there!
Shakespeare once wrote that "brevity is the soul of wit," and his wisdom proves useful in concisely describing these bibs. Again: best.bibs.ever. Bar none. I ski between 70-150 days a season, and will only wear bibs, whether I'm skiing the resort or touring in the backcountry. I love faceshots as much as the next guy or gal, but I simply don't want the fluffy stuff up in MY stuff. I skied last season in the fancy schmancy Norrona Lofoten Pro-Shell Bib, and while I loved them for their style, comfort, and functionality, those bibs ultimately didn't stand their short test of time. Multiple tears in the cuffs, as well as one in the rear end, in the past few weeks eventually prompted me to trade in the Norrona bibs for the Arc'teryx Sentinel...and I haven't looked back. Alongside the obvious steeze factor (critical, of course), the Arc'teryx Sentinel is super comfortable, 100% weather-proof (windproof, waterproof, powder-proof, you name it), and, shockingly, LIGHTWEIGHT. These bibs weigh in at less than 2 pounds, a shocking feat for an item with this sort of construction and resultant durability. The pants aren't insulated, but the flannel-like fabric lining the inside provides extra comfort for a bell-to-bell day in the resort or in the backcountry. While cuffs and gaiters on ski pants or bibs are usually apt to tear (whether from boot buckles or binding brakes), the inner cuffs on the Sentinel seem particularly tough (and my experience with durable Arc'teryx bibs in the past provides sufficient confidence that the cuffs will survive many rugged days on the hill). The price tag is certainly hefty, but I simply cannot speak highly enough of the Arc'teryx Sentinel. These bibs are completely and utterly fantastic.
I've been skiing in the Hestra Heli Glove for a few seasons now, and decided to upgrade to this model for added warmth--and to more comfortably survive the current cold snap that is gracing the Wasatch. After a few close calls with frostbite in the past two weeks, I ordered the 3-Finger Glove in the hopes that it would maintain the dexterity that I know and love in Hestra products and would serve as a more utilitarian version of a mitten. Mission accomplished! I skied Alta in the glove today with subzero temperatures and a -15 degree wind chill, and was 100% satisfied with the added warmth provided by the burly structure and the 3-finger design. The goat leather on the palm and fingers is durable as ever, and provided plenty of grip and dexterity. I look forward to putting these gloves through the wringer this winter!
Fantastic jersey from Fox! This jersey has served me well on tons of rides this summer, from Park City, to Bend, OR, to Jackson, WY. I'm usually a size large in jerseys, and that was the case in this one. Fits long for maximum comfort while riding, with a "sticky" band around the bottom to ensure that it won't ride up and get tangled up with your hydration pack. Super comfy and attractive!
The bottom line: lightweight, durable, versatile, the PERFECT layer to stash in your backpack (or even your purse) as an emergency layer for rain, wind, snow, hail
you name it.
The story: Jackets of this style have long been a source of contagious laughter in my adventurous family of five. My dad purchased tragically unfashionable forest green "windbreakers" from Mountain Hardwear for all five of us almost ten years. Whenever the wind swept up or a minor chill crept into the air, whether on Washington's Wonderland Trail or on the Baldface Mountains on the Maine/New Hampshire border, my dad would don his green jacket. While the rest of remained hesitant (or probably stubborn, to be more precise), my dad extolled the jacket for its lightweight comfort and protective powers. The jacket thus became the "versatile green layer" and the laughing stock of our goofy family. During the summer of 2009, as we battled wintry elements on the Dolomites' Alta Via 1, my dad took the "plunge" and purchased a new lightweight wind-breaking layer this one baby blue. But the jokes have continued, and my dad's stylish, Italian-made windbreaker is affectionately referred to as his "versatile green layer."
In preparation for my 1,000-mile-long thru-hike across the Alps this summer, I decided to indulge myself by replacing my versatile green layer well-aware that the replacement would likely fall outside the realm of green. While I initially ordered the women's Norrona Bitihorn (a comparable layer), I stumbled upon the Houdini en route to check-out. (Thanks, Backcountry). In addition to its windbreaking capacities, this jacket boasts the Patagonia Deluge DWR treatment--certainly not a replacement for a water-resistant rain shell with sealed zippers, but adequate for braving a light sprinkle or a quick jaunt in the rain. I was enjoying some May turns at Snowbird a few weeks ago when spring skiing turned precipitously to rain skiing. While I certainly would have preferred a full-fledged rain shell, my Houdini kept me adequately dry and comfortable for my remaining runs. The jacket features a fantastic hood, which isn't a guarantee on lightweight windbreakers. Note: the jacket can be folded up and placed inside its own side pocket, rendering it extremely compact and a no-brainer for any sort of outdoor adventure.
Stoked for some elusive spring 2011 corn on Little Superior...!
The bottom line: Another trustworthy, well-built, and, of course, water-resistant shell from Arc'teryx, the obvious choice if you are seeking a featherweight PacLite shell, nice styling features for the female form
The story: I purchased this shell a few months ago based on the durability and superiority of my Arc'teryx jacket and bibs that I have skied in for more than five seasons at Alta. I treat my Arc'teryx well, and it treats me even better. I started my search for a PacLite shell as I assembled my gear inventory for an 1,000-mile-long thru-hike across the Alps from Italy to Monaco this summer. "Light" is the buzzword, and Arc'teryx is my brand of choice, so purchasing this particular shell was a no-brainer. In addition to its featherweight specs, sealed zippers, and "high" pockets for easy access when wearing a pack with a belt, this shell features a longer, hip-length cut for taller ladies. I was organizing my pack for a jaunt up Little Superior a few weeks ago, and decided to cut as much unnecessary weight as usual. (My body was already protesting the slog up to Cardiff and beyond after ample physical activity during the previous few days, and I figured that a lighter-than-usual pack would certainly help my cause.) As I was running out the door, I threw the PacLite into my backpack and was so glad to have it atop Little Superior when my beads of sweat started to dry. The jacket served me quite well on the ski descent, and I should note that the hood can be tightened for use during hiking, etc. or loosened for compatibility with a ski helmet. I have worn the jacket on multiple adventures in Little Cottonwood Canyon snow and rain since, and I am confident that this jacket will serve me quite well in the Alps.
The bottom line: superior comfort and durability, the PERFECT boot for short, long, and/or thru-hikes, ideal for narrow feet and ankles
The story: The Asolo Stynger has accompanied me with superior comfort and sturdiness on adventures in the Wasatch, the Pacific Northwest, New England, Tanzania, Italy, Peru, Bhutan, and beyond over the past ten years. I am a complete Asolo devotee; I have at least four pairs of well-worn and well-loved Stynger's, and a few fresh pairs in the closet for future use. The fact that Asolo has continued to produce this boot year-after-year with minimal changes to its structure is, in itself, a testament to the Stynger's superiority. I am complete honest in saying that over the course of 1,000+ miles in the Stynger, I have probably racked up all of four or five blisters. A few notes: these boots are definitely (!) on the narrower side for both foot and ankle. The boots are also true to size, so select your "normal" shoe size. The factory waterproofing job is quite good, and will likely cover you for a few weeks of use. (The boots proved resistant against four or five weeks of Alta snow before I decided to apply a new waterproofing coat.)
Stated simply, the Neo-Air is a remarkable advancement for Therm-A-Rest and for outdoors mattresses. My Prolite has accompanied me on adventures in Italy, Peru, Bhutan, Nepal, and beyond over the past ten years, but I have never actually found the mattress to be particularly practical or comfortable--between its bulkiness and the fact that I often find myself sleeping against the ground through the mattress. (And to be clear, I'm of a healthy, athletic physique.) Anyway, I discovered the Neo-Air in an aggressive search for HYPERlight, practical gear, which I will soon use on an 1,000-mile-long thru-hike across the Alps from Trieste, Italy, to Monaco from June through September. I had originally decided against bringing a sleeping pad, but the Neo-Air provides an easy, lightweight, compact, and comfortable fix. Get yours now!
I recently purchased this pair of softshell pants for a 1,000-mile-long thru-hike across the Alps from Italy to Monaco this summer. I have been recreating in the Wasatch in advance of my Alps adventure, and I continue to be impressed by the quality of construction (I wouldn't expect anything less from Arc'teryx) and the tapered female fit. Based on previous experience, softshell pants tend to be bulky and uncomfortable in action. The pants kept me toasty warm a few days ago when I woke up to howling winds at 12:30 a.m. in a parking lot on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon to begin a 32-mile, 12-hour-long hiking adventure. I would definitely recommend sizing up a bit so that you can wear something like thermal underwear for added warmth. I am 5'9", 150 pounds, and the size large fits like a perfect glove with tights underneath.
Short and sweet: I am completely in love with this hat. Warm for late-evening adventures in the winter wonderland of Little Cottonwood Canyon, comfortable (with a micro-fleece lining around the ears), and, of course, cute.