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jamesvince1268777

jamesvince1268777

James's Passions

Running
jamesvince1268777

jamesvince1268777 wrote a review of on May 29, 2014

4 5

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

This bag has a very simple design - a large internal pocket with an elastic band and an outer zip pocket. The material is rugged, stiff and loud, a bit more fabric-y and supple than a dry bag, but not much. That said, it's not designed for a laptop and office supplies, (and for that reason I almost sent it back when I first received it.)

I used it recently however as my medical kit for a recent trip to Haiti, where I served as the team physician. It was really perfect for this purpose. I squeezed my customized Adventure Medical Kits, size Guide I in the main compartment, and my stethoscope in the outer zip pocket. Through dust, rain, orphans, and rides in the bed of a modified 4X4 on dirt roads, my equipment and supplies were clean and protected. On returning home, I wiped the dust and grime off with a Clorox wipe, and it's looking good as new. The bag will now continue to function as my first aid grab-bag on Boy Scout trips and family outings.

My complaint would be to do away with or allow for adjustment of the 1 inch elastic strap inside the bag. As featured, it allows for stabilization only of perhaps a hard-back Tom Clancy novel. The strap does not secure anything thinner, making it worthless I think.

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jamesvince1268777

jamesvince1268777 wrote a review of on January 15, 2014

5 5

Very warm - comfortable by itself to the 30s, and that with a wind. Sheds light precipitation. Packs to nothing into a tiny stuffsack. Layers smoothly. Well constructed hood (non helmet compatible - a plus for me - yet bigger than "scuba" with excellent visibility and coverage). Arm length and cuffs are spot on. Then as a bonus, looks very sharp as well - have worn the heron color proudly around town and to my executive meetings over a button-up shirt. And all for 10 ounces? (That's what my hoodless, gridded, non-wind blocking ultralight fleeces have weighed). Perfect!

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jamesvince1268777

jamesvince1268777 wrote a review of on December 6, 2012

4 5

Familiarity: I returned this product before using it

Beautifully constructed and ultralight. However, I had some troubles with the fit: the cavernous hood could not be cinched tight enough to fit (I suppose without a helmet); and the length felt a bit odd - short in front, long in back, so sent it back.
The Beta FL fixes both of these problems (smaller hood, better length), and along with the hand-friendly pockets and minimal extra weight, for me makes the Beta FL the ultimate hiking and emergency rain shell.

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jamesvince1268777

jamesvince1268777 wrote a review of on July 28, 2012

5 5

I actually do use it for a diaper bag - 3rd kid, doing well in my career - rewarded myself with this bag. Wife hates is - says it's stiff and too small. I love it! Holds just what the baby needs for our outings - two 8 oz pre-made Isomil bottles, a couple of Gerber 2 food selections, a diaper change pack, a couple of outfits and a rain cover for the infant carrier - and all hands free so I can hold little Jack while tending to the needs of the family. Having this bag reminds me of the beauty of Utah snow-shoeing as I'm grinding through my daily activities in Houston - admittedly tool-y - I'm sorry!
So technically speaking, small outer pocket, medium sized main pocket with a hydration bladder pouch organizes all I need very comfortably. Bag drapes over my right shoulder - great for a lefty - then strap and buckle goes from left hip over to the bag. Perfect. Thanks Arc'Teryx for working hard to make a great bag.

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jamesvince1268777

jamesvince1268777 wrote a review of on July 18, 2012

4 5

Excellent durable and well-thought out man bag. Holds my 13 inch laptop in a cool innder sling, a couple books, my rain coat, as well as wallet/keys with no problem. Only complaint is the weird shoulder strap - had to fiddle with it for some time to get it to work on my left shoulder (I'm a lefty) - ended up needing to add my own plastic buckle end to keep the ten-inch strap end from flapping absurdly in the breeze. Now I love it, my favorite of several bags!

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jamesvince1268777

jamesvince1268777 wrote a review of on November 30, 2010

5 5

I truly love this jacket! It has the look and feel of an elite and well-crafted technical piece, for me recapturing the essence of TNF from 15 years ago. I've tried it out on a little hike during a blustery north Texas cold snap (40 degrees, very windy) and I was perfectly comfortable with a t-shirt and the diez under a light shell. I've worn it out and about since then in the 40's and am very comfortable, and it truly packs to nothing in my work bag. It also performed fine in the 17 degree "ICE" exhibit with a t-shirt under the big trenchcoat thing they give you for the exhibit.
That said, I also recently picked up the 800 down Marmot Zeus on sale the other day, and while only slightly heavier (16 oz?), and considerably cheaper, the Zeus immediately warms you up with the familiar down coziness, unlike the diez, I suppose because it is just so thin. The Zeus will likely be my choice if I head out when it's in the 30s, or if I'm going out to watch the parade on a cold day. Also of note, the diez has a pretty intense shininess which isn't quite depicted in the picture, unlike the Zeus, which is more traditional and "matte" appearing.

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jamesvince1268777

jamesvince1268777 wrote a review of on March 25, 2009

5 5

Great jacket! I bought it for my wife and she loves it. She said she is nearly instantly toasty warm, while being lightweight, comfortable and flattering. She likes the adjustable cuff closure and the extra zipper at the bottom. It doesn't really have a hood though - (maybe a prior version of it did?) This should be revised in the specs.

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jamesvince1268777

jamesvince1268777 wrote a review of on August 10, 2008

5 5

Very comfortable! I'm an ER physician and not a hiker much anymore, but still buy TNF products to remind me of the days in college when I could go hiking before children, career... I have high arches and pretty narrow feet; I can wear them comfortably during a 12-hour shift on my feet, an honor priorly only held by my Birkenstocks. I also can do my treadmill runs at the Y and my feet feel great!

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