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greg

greg

Pacific Northwest

greg 's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Biking
Paddling
Snowshoeing
Skiing
Climbing

greg 's Bio

I like outdoor gear. Maybe too much?

I usually work too much during the year and don't leave myself enough time to go explore the outdoors like I would like to.

I am a total smart ass. I also play the part and most likely I really am the 'village idiot' when out doing stuff if I am in any sort of group. I can't handle uncomfortable situations when people are uncomfortable just hanging out. I am usually the first person out on the limb doing and saying things to lighten the mood and hopefully it invites others to do the same. It seems to work but it has a tendency to offend certain people.

What are you gonna do? Oh well, Life is too short.

Make sure you have some fun.

greg

greg wrote a review of on March 12, 2016

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

It is an awesome kettle. I use it for making hot water for tea and for the Japanese noodle bowls I get for lunch.

It has survived a few years getting tossed around in the back of my work truck. That actually says a lot.

The only fault in the pot is how hot the handle gets. I use the paper wrapper from chopsticks folded up to make a tiny little insulated handle grabber. It barely cuts it.

I really like it but the handle gets extremely hot.

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greg

greg wrote a review of on February 19, 2016

Impressed with the quality.
5 5

Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 7"
Weight: 190 lbs
Size Purchased: 44.5

I know it doesn't look like it, but I have been on the fence with boots from La Sportiva.

The Batura's were the first of the new generation of boots I got from them, now followed by the G2 SM's and these Trango Ice Cubes, which have pushed the boundaries of the Trango Cubes even further.

I was using the Evo's as an all around boot, but was just getting tired of their weight. Throwing those things on the pack and humping them up to the snow line during the summer. It sucked. The Batura's seemed like too dainty of a princess to be slopping through the scree and non existent snow conditions of last year. Then, low and behold, La Sportiva comes out with the G2 SM and the new Trango Ice Cube. Yeah, I wanted to have them.
While I feel that I could get rid of a few of the previous purchases, I won't.
Each boot serves a purpose for the different conditions.

These new Trango's are impressive. There was some minimal glue ick around the sole connection to the boot, but all and all, they are one of the best boots I have seen for quality and construction. They make the Salomon X alps look and feel like complete Chinese garbage.

My first impressions of the Ice Cube was the stiffness and the lack of toe rocker. The stiffness is broadcast because of the lack of rocker. You start to walk and you are heel to tippy toe almost like a ski boot. Trying on the other boots while still keeping the Ice Cube on my right foot was interesting.. The Batura is a stiff boot and it has a similar feel of stiffness when walking in it. The Evo just initiates walking in it with it's rocker, as does the X Alp with even more rocker. You wouldn't think it would be a big deal until you start to stub the toe in your first few steps or going up any stairs. That extra 1/2" or so does make a bit of difference until your brain makes the correction.

I was on the fence with getting the Trango, I called La Sportiva in Boulder and had a chance to speak with a Rep who has been in them this winter. The biggest concern we spoke about was the temps you could get away with wearing them in. He mentioned being stuck belaying and any standing around if there was any traffic jams on the mountain. Both great points he made. I asked him about warmth compared to the Nepal Evo's and he said they should be slightly warmer than the Evo's, though, La Sportiva doesn't have a temperature chart way to scale their boots to one another. That was really all I needed to hear.

We also spoke about adding a -40 Below overboot with them, he thought that would be a great option to get more usability out of them throughout the year.
When I called -40 Below I had a chance to speak with the owner there. He suggested either the Penguin or the K2 overboot. I am going to go with the K2, I will just use them as my gaiter and have extra warmth if things get cold and the snow deepens.

The only things I can come up with that could be construed as a negative about the boots.. The lack of a pull loop on the heel for assisting in getting your foot into the boot and the lack of any toe rocker. The later, might not be an issue at all.

The boot itself is seamless. The quality is amazing and the weight is going to be heaven climbing in.

It is really making me think about getting a pair of Trango Cubes when the Salomon X Alps bite it.

From what I have written above.. Is it the boot that someone should get over purchasing a Nepal Evo? My feet haven't gotten cold on Rainer in the Evo's. If these are comparably as warm and you add an overboot if needed.. The only downside I can think of is that they aren't the tank of a boot that the Evo's are, which take a beating and just keep going. Calling the Evo's a tank of a boot also seems funny. A few years ago they were the lighter option for mountaineering during the summer over using the heavy plastic boots.

Times are a changing and these lighter boots are super cool options to be able to choose from.

I never thought I would have a quiver of boots to choose from.

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greg

greg wrote a review of on January 25, 2016

4 5

Height: 5' 7"
Weight: 190 lbs
Size Purchased: Large

That is becoming my new mantra.

This thing is really light. I will call it an in between from the weight of my Alpha SV shell and the Stretch Typhoon rain jacket from MHW I own. The later I would never think about bringing on the mountain during winter.

How many times do you wear your shell? Me.. Not much at all. I haul that SOB up and down the mountain and it doesn't really see much action. That is why I wanted to get a lighter shell than the bombproof Alpha SV. I also believe that this jacket will breath better than the heavy turd I have been hauling around.

It's not that I can't haul weight and that I haven't in the past. I am just starting to see how much more enjoyable climbing is with lighter and better thought out gear choices. It adds up quick and does make a difference.

If I don't think I am going to use it, I am starting to leave certain things behind. A shell is just a smart thing to always bring in the PNW. Might as well have it weigh next to nothing if it is going to come with you.

The jacket is very nice and it really does feel more like a lightweight rain jacket than a standard Goretex shell jacket.

The two front pockets are nice, along with their placement. The hood is very nice and is one I find I would use. Most really suck on most jackets but this one really fits and moves nicely.

My only gripe and it isn't really a gripe.. It is an athletic cut and not a shell jacket you could put over all your other layers to keep them dry. This one you could get over almost everything except a decent sized puffy down. The hem cinch is very clumsy and the zippers on the pockets go down nicely but really don't like zipping back up. They feel forced while zipping up.

I do believe that I will start to use a shell more often with this jacket. Having what feels like a tent in the Alpha SV jacket really hampers me wanting to throw it on.

If you are looking to lighten up your gear and still want a shell that can handle the elements, I think this is a good choice.

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greg

greg wrote a review of on January 25, 2016

5 5

Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 7"
Weight: 190 lbs
Size Purchased: medium

You should. They fit great.

Finding a great soft shell pant can be a very daunting task. I am just a few inches taller than what would be considered a midget. There are so many companies with 32" and 34" inseams on their regular mediums. No way in hell that is going to work for the vertically challenged people like myself. These pants are 30.5" in their regular length. Works for me.

I have gone through researching so many pants from so many different companies only to find they are too long. And until Willy Wonka starts making Oompa Lumpa climbing pants for the masses, me and my brethren are up Shit Creek without a paddle. Or at least with no pants on.

So, these pants fit great. The material is very stretchy and very comfortable. I was initially worried about them not having a reinforced instep from the pictures I was seeing. They do. It has been put on the inside of the pant leg. Awesome.

The waist band snap and stretchy hook connector is very nice as well. With gloves on, forget it.

The zip at the bottom to expand the cuff is very nice and just beckons to shove a ski boot in there. Which is even more adjustable with a snap to customize even further.

I also like the tabs on the cuffs so you can add a cord to keep the pants down if you are venturing into the snow.

Comfortable pockets and a fairly large thigh pocket on the right leg .

I would say for an athletic cut soft shell pant that can do duty as a hiking, climbing and ski pant. This thing has got you covered as a great do everything pant.

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greg

greg wrote a review of on December 27, 2015

4 5

Height: 5' 7"
Weight: 190 lbs

I was.

Was being the key word.

I just got the La Sportiva G2 SM's and I am so happy I did. For $40 bucks more and having a lighter, warmer and an easily adjustable boot made all the sense in the world over the Spantiks.

Why am I telling people this? Some may know the G2's are out there and that they have become available. Check out La Sportiva's website. For those who don't know there is a new boot on the market for only a few dollars more. I guess this 'review' is for you.

The Spantiks are a great boot, there is just another option out there from La Sportiva worth checking out.

And while throwing food for thought out there. Scarpa's new phantom boots are totally amazing looking too.

This 2016 season is going to have a bunch of other options put out to the climbing community.

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greg

greg wrote a review of on December 27, 2015

5 5

"I have the power!!" And you don't have to have a dorky haircut, or wear tights, or ride a tiger to get it. Though, riding a tiger would be pretty bad ass.

My wife was so impressed with borrowing my Kodiak bricks that she asked for her own.

I purchased the Kodiak Plus for her instead. I really like it.

It is much skinnier than the Kodiaks and a bit taller or longer.

The two ports allowing you to charge two devices at once is also a really cool feature.

My wife had other Reps asking her what the Kodiak was and then wanting to borrow a charge from her while they are in their booths at shows and vendor fairs.

At least with the Kodiak plus she can charge her ear piece and phone at the same time or two phones at once. Not to mention charging her tablet.

I would highly recommend these Kodiak power bricks in either the Kodiak or Kodiak Plus.

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review flagged as rude. There's absolutely no need for something this transphobic on a climbing harness review. . Click here to view.

review flagged as Sexist, regionalist, and demeaning. Click here to view.

greg

greg wrote a review of on December 21, 2015

5 5

Wow..

These things are ridiculous. Sharp as hell.

I tried to figure out how to make the flexlock flex. I read the instructions.. No help at all. So I went online and looked them up at Petzl.

To make them flex you unscrew the front two screws that hold the anti balling plates. You pull the bar that lengthens the fit and let it come to the back end of the front crampon. You will see it pivots once it is in that position. Then, put the screws back in.

The only drawback when in the flex mode is that the crampons won't collapse to be shorter when you pack them up. Plus, I now understand where people rip their gear to shreds with crampons.

They fit perfect with the Salomon S lab X alp carbon boots.

These are way sharper than any of the Black Diamond crampons I have.

Yeah, I would recommend these.

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greg

greg wrote a review of on December 11, 2015

Narrower than Salomon speedcross shoes.
3 5

Fit: Runs small
Height: 5' 7"
Weight: 190 lbs

I purchased a 10.5 which is the same size as the Salomon Speeedcross running shoes I have.

I slid them on and something was off. I checked the size to make sure they were 10.5's. They are. So I pulled the insoles out and compared them to the same Ortholite insoles that are in the Speedcross shoes. The boots are 3/16" narrower than their trail runners in the forefoot.

The good.. They are really light. They are a great boot/shoe for hiking and training getting ready for larger climbs. I want to climb Rainier in them this summer. I matched them up with Petzl Vasak Flexlock crampons and they pair up really well.

The Bad.. The speed lacing system in the cinch part is temperamental and the overall quality is kinda lacking. Compared to the quality of other boots like La Sportiva.. Not even in the same league of build quality.
These are not cheap boots cost wise, but they are on the cheaper side of quality compared to the price you pay. The Trango Cubes are just a few dollars more and are a work of art in comparison of quality.

Overall.. They are comfortable out of the box and their waterproofness is very nice as well. For hiking when you will run into a variety of wet and snowy conditions.. Yeah, super awesome. I just wish they would have a little better attention to detail and have a little better overall quality and craftsmanship put into them. They are made In China and it shows.

I would give them a close, but not perfect overall rating. I will be using them in Europe while in Chamonix, also using them this spring and summer on Mt Adams, Mt St Helens and Rainier training hikes.

The concept of this shoe/boot is awesome. If Salomon took a little more pride in the craftsmanship of their goods and where they are produced. They would be hitting it out of the park with these boot/shoes. They aren't, so it just is what it is.

* I called the people at Salomon and spoke to one of their customer service reps about the loosening issues in the speed laces.
I saw online that if you are having issues with your speed lacing system that Salomon will send you a new pair of laces. I checked the difference between the Speedcross Shoes I have and these boot/shoes. The guy online was totally correct that these are thinner than normal and the cord is not what Salomon sells and has on their other shoes. Salomon is aware of the problem in these things, but will Salomon take care of their problem? Nope, not really the case. The rep said there is a checkout code to get the laces for $1 instead of $10, but that is all he could do.

DOLLARLACES2015.

If you are having trouble with your laces just go to their website and create an account. Pick a color of laces and use the code at checkout. Free shipping and charging your credit card $1.10.

Salomon can kinda go suck a giant d*ck. I guess it is better than nothing, but they should just take care of their customers and send out a new set of laces to replace the defective ones the idiot Chinese put in them.

Once these wear out.. I am done with Salomon. Which is too bad, because they have an awesome concept here and a boot/shoe that most people would really enjoy wearing. Either step up your game or lessen the price to match the throw away quality.

I wish Scarpa or La Sportiva would come up with something similar. Those I bet would be phenomenal and a boot/shoe that would last and last.

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greg

greg wrote a review of on November 25, 2015

4 5

I have one of the older ones that turned on and off. It was also more of a purplish color than white.

The new white one showed up and it is definitely a white light. What I don't really care for is the seizure inducing blinking mode.

It goes from its brightest solid, to dimmed solid, then to the seizure blink mode and lastly the slow blink mode.

I guess if you want to have a dance party in your tent they got you covered.

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greg

greg wrote a review of on November 5, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

The touch screen feature works really well. I was surprised how well it works.

The sizing... I had to jam my hand into a medium and felt like I was going to tear the gloves opening. The medium was kinda tight once on. Not terrible though.

I tried on a large thinking it was going to be huge and long in the fingers. Nope, the large is perfect. I wear mediums in every other OR glove and mitten I have. These just run small.

I would tell people to size up but I also have what I would call a thick medium hand.

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