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isap652128

isap652128

isap652128

isap652128 wrote a review of on October 16, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: Runs large

Hi, I've owned a few hikers over the last decade, and bought these as my first truly rough terrain boot. Had not gone the full grain leather route before. It was finally down to the Wilderness boot or a pair of Asolos. I went with the Merrells because I preferred the look, wanted a resolable boot, and had heard that if they fit you right, you'd be hard put to find something better.
The pair I just bought from Backcountry is my second pair, which I grabbed simply to have in case production ceases, or if they quit making them in Italy. That's how much I love these. Comfortable on the trail, and while on a particularly wet hike I had to get through a ton of standing water and the boots let nothing in. Perfect.
Break-in should really be done off the trail at first. It took a few weeks of casual use and then a hefty overnight trail trip to really get them broken in. When they were there however, the excellent leather had really molded to my feet, and the boot had actually come to be way more adjustable and comfortable.
Lastly, I find Merrill's sizing to be slightly in the large side. I'm a textbook size 12 normally, but because of the large toebox on the Wilderness, I found that 11.5 made for a near perfect fit. It took me a while to realize this, so I have a pair in 12, and one in 11.5. Both fit well, the 12's just have to be laced perfectly so that they are snug. The 11.5 pair still has ample toe room appropriate to a hiker, but not too much, and the boot wraps itself around my foot with minimal lift in the heel, and no forward slip when in walking down steep hills etc. When you are trying these on initially, if they feel too roomy, DO NOT hesitate to go down at least half a size. Chances are the boot will feel better.
Other than that, this is an amazing piece to hear to have for your feet. I feel that I see a lot of reviews from folks who don't let them break in or who don't take care of the leather. These boots will last forever if you treat them well.

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isap652128

isap652128 wrote a review of on August 10, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

So far it's the best pack I've ever owned. Really comfortable, and it is one of the best made ever. At just barely five pounds it's pretty light for what it is.

I'm sure most folks know about the features offered in this pack, so rather than listing them, I'll offer an opinion on some of the more discussed aspects of this packs design. At just under half a grand, this is one of the more expensive packs on the market. Unless you're thinking of a custom job, this is about as pricey as the high quality backpacks come. In my opinion, it's worth every penny. Time will tell (I've had mine for about a week) obviously, but from everything ranging from weekend trips to hard core thru-hiking, this pack will deliver for years under hard conditions. The craftsmanship is outstanding. Comfort and solid construction are what really appeal most to me when looking at packs and this thing is built from BOMBER nylon, with really tight seams, nice zippers, and strong adjustment straps. All stitching is impeccable. It's not completely waterproof by any official standard, which seems to be a big topic with this pack, but I would never expect any pack to be. Buy a raincover (which you should get with any pack that will see any real use) and you'll be fine. A+ for build quality is what I'm saying here. It does beat out packs by Gregory and Osprey in this category, in that it's slightly better assembled, more usable, and lighter (lighter than the Gregory packs of the similar size, at least)

The biggest con that I heard about this pack was regarding its (ingenious) attachments for the shoulder straps and the load transfer disc in the waistbelt of the pack. I have not had this thing squeak on me yet, which supposedly is a huge problem, in both the waist belt and the shoulders. I would go for it if you're passionate about laying hands on one. This 2013 model really seems to have hashed out the older problems with the previous model. Again, this pack rules the land of backpacking.

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