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hero snow

hero snow

craig's Bio

hero snow

hero snow wrote a review of on March 8, 2011

3 5

My wife just gave me this (rather expensive) very generous gift of a Suunto Elementum Terra Altimiter watch with the "Steel / Negative Face". I'm a fan of Suunto, and have been wearing a different model now for something like 3 years. She bought the Terra for me because of my past enjoyment of the other Suunto watch, and because I once told her about the new Elementum Suunto watches.

With all that said, it was very clear from the moment I powered up this watch that the display was unusually dim. I spent the first 15min with it attempting to see if there was some brightness adjustment (there is not), and then I spent the next 30min trying to determine if the batteries were low (they're fine). Through talking to bc.com folks and further reviewing marketing materials, it just seems like this is it. Do you see the picture above from bc.com of the "Steel / Negative Face Front"? Do you see anything on the face? No? Nor can I. If you change the angle of the face and get it under the correct lighting, you can eventually see the face digits. And, of course, there is a back light. The back-light button is shared by other functions and is time dependent though, so if you don't press and hold the button just right it won't light and will change the watch into another mode.

Because I like Suunto and I don't want to be so negative, I will say that their "Elementum" line has a nice appearance, that I'm sure the electronics are similar in accuracy and functionality compared to their other models, and that they are probably somewhat rare (they have priced them to be "exclusive", I'm guessing). The band is seemingly sturdy. I did not spend enough time operating it to get to know how user-friendly it was. Digital watches have a tendency to be somewhat non-intuitive. At first glance, this did not seem exceptionally intuitive either, but time would maybe tell differently.

In summary, this watch is way to expensive to only be so-so. If I got it for $200-$400, I might think it's OK, but would still not wear it much because of it's dim digits. I suppose there is a reason you never see these watches in stores; if you were to see it in person before taking it home, you wouldn't buy it.

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hero snow

hero snow wrote a review of on January 12, 2011

3 5

I'm a fan of Backcountry.com, a fan of the Stoic jackets, and really wanted to like these gloves. As some other people have mentioned however, the sizing is a bit strange (for me, they are oddly tight around my knuckles when I make a fist). I'm hoping that they will pack-out over time. I think they have started to already.

I normally wear size L gloves, but at other reviewers urging I tried XL. XL was too big. Again, sort of odd, but the XL's were about the same fit around the knuckles (tight when I made a fist), but the fingers were extra long. I ended up going with my normal size (Large).

Apparently I hadn't read the description or the reviews much, because when I received them, I was pretty surprised at the "Talon" design. Kudos for trying something new, but all that extra material really makes them hardly more articulate than mittens (rule out zipping zippers, using house keys, adjusting straps, etc. without taking your gloves off first).

Another comment: zip-on style gloves like this can't be adjusted very well. These seem to fit around my wrists right at the same place where the cuff of my jackets lie, which means my jacket will not go under the glove (preferred), or over it. That is to say, there's a gap where you're bare wrists are exposed to the cold world (unless you put your jacket on over your gloves, which is weird). That gap is no good on a powder day. I don't know how, but most of my other gloves have this problem licked.

I fear these gloves are going to sort themselves to the bottom of the drawer, only to be found in a few years when making the Goodwill pile.

Sorry Stoic. I tried.

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hero snow

hero snow wrote a review of on January 13, 2009

5 5

Since there aren't many reviews here, I'll write one, but please note that my experience with these boots at this point are limited. I'll retract my review when more people start to write in. (Experience so far: two resort days). I'm an ex-alpine ski racer, started to tele ~15yrs ago. This is relevant because I'm used to stiff alpine boots. These boots are buttery compared to alpine race boots, so I was a skeptic when I heard how "stiff" they were. I still concur there; they're not as "extreme" in the stiffness range as people will have you believe. Also, in the store (BD in SLC) I tried the Customs & the Pushes on back and forth a bunch of times and didn't see a ton of flex difference (note: hard to really tell without being locked into a tele binding, and boots were at room temperature).
Existing setup: old T1's (like 3rd gen), G3 bindings, tried multiple pairs of skis.
Skiing: What I did notice right away was that this boot is far more laterally stiff than my old boot. That apparently makes a huge difference, as I was in far more control over the ski edge than I ever have been on teles before. It felt awesome to be able to carve so easily, where it was such a difficult rarity with my old setup.
The bad-news/good-news for me: getting these boots was like mixing single malt with Sunny D, or putting catchup on a prime fillet. They make you quickly realize that you need a much stiffer binding (like the BD 01 or the Hammerhead) to get the benefit out of them. With my G3's, I can lift the heel maybe 2" before I notice the binding providing any resistance. So reader beware, these expensive boots will make you want (or you could say, they require) new bindings and of course some new stiff skis to really reap their benefit.
I'm in line to follow through with the above plan, so when I do (and when I have enough on/off-piste days under my belt), I'll let you know more.

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