jbm_13

jbm_13

Love the rockies of Colorado...New Mexico is pretty cool also

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  • #28877of 20641

Joe's Passions

Camping
Mountain Biking

Joe's Bio

I'm a Texan...just throwin that out there. If you are a native Coloradan and work at one of the various ski resorts or nearby brewpubs, you automatically hate me and I understand. You also have to understand that if all Texans were banned from your great state you probably would find yourself out of a job...capische?

Anyway, love skiing fresh powder..suck at boarding so I no longer scoot down the mountain on my butt. Also love hiking/kayaking/trout fishing in the summer. In my own state, I also like to fish and hunt (deer, quail, turkey) even though I'm an urban dweller and drive a Tacoma that sees nothing but pavement most of the year.

jbm_13

jbm_13 wrote a review of on February 8, 2011

4 5

I can't believe everyone giving this a full 5 stars and more than one reviewer saying it's "technical" or has "technical features". First and foremost this thing is for mostly casual wear. Of course it has Scandinavian styling flourishes along with nice metal zipper pulls...but the "thumbloops" (simple fabric thumbcatches on the inside of the cuffs) aren't really a technical feature so much as something that you MUST use if wearing this under another jacket. The reason is that there are no real cuffs..and the material actually flares a bit at the wrists. Overall I have to give it 4 stars just for style, but the fleece material is very thin and only suitable for mildly cool days. Oh, and before I forget...this particular jacket isn't one size too small like many European brands, so feel free to get your normal size.

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jbm_13 wrote an answer about on November 25, 2009

I thought the same thing until I actually bought one, (didn't pay $90 though) and you will understand after trying one out for a while. This is not an ordinary poly shirt...mine is nearly 2 years old and has seen hunting trips, camping trips, tree trimming and other things...and still looks new after several washes. As a challenge..just put the Ether Comp beside a Capilene or any other poly shirt and inspect them closely.

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jbm_13

jbm_13 wrote a review of on October 27, 2009

5 5

First of all, a disclaimer: I have the hooded version which BC doesn't sell or I would have bought it here. Having said that, the jacket I have is essentially the same except for the hood. Say what you will about TNF products, but the fit and finish of this jacket holds up to any of the more expensive brands out there. I have many pieces of outdoor wear in a variety of exotic high-tech fabrics....the "Apex climate block" of the Bionic is similar to the more expensive Polartec Powershield as far as wind resistance, water resistance and breathability. Where it beats Polartec is in looks....Apex Climate block does not wrinkle as badly as Powershield when stuffed in a suitcase or duffle bag. Feature-wise there is nothing remarkable about the Bionic...but sometimes simplicity is better, and it does the job of providing a durable weather resistant medium warmth softshell for outdoor pursuits. My first test was a football game where the temp was in the low 40's and a 5-10mph wind....with just a long sleeve t-shirt underneath I was fine. Next was a bow hunting trip with temps in the upper 30's-low 40's with a 10-15mph wind and again I was fine with an icebreaker baselayer underneath. When a product meets or exceeds expectations...5 stars is a must.

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jbm_13 wrote a review of on May 30, 2009

5 5

Soft, low profile and light weight. I can't stand hats that tower above my head or are stiff...this Patagonia hat is neither of those things. The Khaki color goes with just about anything, and this is one of those hats you can just throw on any time you don't feel like combing your hair.

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jbm_13 wrote a review of on May 14, 2009

4 5

But I really shouldn't be considering the quality of my BC branded Shift Welder hoody. I really had no interest in this since I've owned several Icebreaker and Smartwool merino tops over the years and grown quite loyal to the brands..but this is a nice surprise. It came up at a good price on S&C so I got my mormal size (M) in Abyss color. I'm not crazy about brightly colored shirts (I prefer black, dk brown, grey etc..) but this top fits so closely that it really can't be used for anything other than a baselayer unless you have a worked chest/guns to show off. (mine are so-so most of the year) As others have mentioned, the thumbholes are a little small but no biggie for me since I don't have large hands..at least they are reinforced well and the sleeves are plenty long. Unlike a lot of similar tops, the napolean pocket on the Merino Bliss is actually deep and large enough to be useful for more than a credit card...but it could be moot if you only use this as a baselayer underneath something else. The chest zip is very deep for excellent venting and also makes for easy on/off. The biggest thing about this top is the softness of the Merino...I had to take it off and check the tag to make sure it wasn't spun cotton or poly. Yes, it really is that soft...and softer than some of my more expensive Icebreaker tops. Basically I would have given the Merino Bliss 5 stars except for 3 things...the small thumbholes already mentioned, too close fitting to wear alone, and the lack of colors other than red/grey and navy/grey. If you're looking for a nice Merino baselayer for active pursuits (not cruising the mall) then grab the Merino Bliss...even at the normal price it wouldn't be a ripoff considering the price of Merino wool pieces in general.

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jbm_13 wrote a review of on April 30, 2009

4 5

This was actually my first Arc'teryx piece..I got it a while back as a gift from an ex-girlfriend. First of all, I have a pullover from Eddie Bauer that is similar...so similar in fact that I thought they may have been made at the same factory. I started doing a close inspection of the two pieces and several things stood out in favor of the Arc' pullover. First thing was where they were made...Canada for the Arc and Macau for the EB. Next thing was the inside of the collar on the Arc was lined with a superfine fleece material while the EB wasn't lined at all...and the seams inside the sleeves of the Arc were flat and barely visible while the EB had prominent seams with a few loose threads. My point is that Arc'teryx items are more expensive for a reason...you just have to decide if the reason is worth the extra $$ to you. Personally, all of my Arc'Teryx gear seems like it will last more than one season of outdooring...I can't say that for everything else.

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jbm_13 wrote a review of on April 20, 2009

5 5

The old saying "you get what you pay for" isn't always true, but in this case it is. Sure you can buy a similar jacket for less that will perform the same function...but it likely won't have the same attention to detail (perfect stitching, nice zippers) and unmistakeable style of an Arc jacket. If you get the Gamma AR in your normal size it will be close fitting and have a tailored look which is awesome...if you plan on layering anything more than a base/sweater underneath you should size up. I found size M to be perfect for me (6'1 170) in sleeve length, but borderline short at the waist... it is a climbing jacket after all. If you must stick your hands in your jacket pockets, you should get a different style..the pockets on the Gamma AR are made to be accessible with a pack strap/climbing harness, but they do zip down far enough to be handwarmers as well. (but a little high) Overall, an outstanding jacket for it's intended purpose...my Marmot Maxima (similar style) has now been given to my brother. Just be aware that the colors shown in the pics are off (as usual for BC) and the "Teak" is darker brown than it appears but still very sharp looking.

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jbm_13 wrote an answer about on February 27, 2009

No, there aren't any gold nuggets in the pockets (I looked) and I agree that it isn't worth the full retail price. Having said that, it is very stylish and well made and you can tell that it was designed by people who simply made it the way they wanted to regardless of added cost...not thinking about cutting corners and maximizing profits. Also, 66 Degrees stuff is made in Europe instead of China like 90% of the other outwear for sale here..that accounts for a good chunk of the higher price right there. This jacket is comparable to anything of similar design from the top outerwear makers...and those pieces will still be quite expensive. Monitor SAC....sometimes they put 66 Degrees stuff up there for a much more reasonable price.

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jbm_13

jbm_13 wrote a review of on February 27, 2009

5 5

The Stormur jacket completes my ever growing winter outdoor clothing collection for this year..and what a way to end things! First of all, this is NOT your typical hooded fleece jacket. The smooth face Polartec windpro on the outer surface will do a great job of blocking all but the strongest/coldest wind, while the high loft (similar to the MHW monkey man) on the inside feels absolutely awesome. At first I wasn't sure about the metal snaps on the cuffs in place of velcro..but snapped up it cinches around my wrist just about right and will probably last longer than velcro. The chest pocket is smaller and more shallow than it should be..but I rarely use those things anyway. The style of the jacket is terrific..I usually wear medium but got this in large because of European sizing (I'm 6'0 165lbs) and the L fits great and still allows plenty of room for layers underneath. The hood also is lined with the silky soft high loft and is easy to cinch down around your head without block vision..and has a "brim" that is reinforce with nylon on the back to retain it's shape. If you're looking for a hooded fleece that is different than what everyone else is wearing (66 degrees is hard to find and expensive when you do) then this is it. However, even though quality of materials is high, and styling is second to none..I wouldn't have given it 5 stars if I had paid the normal sale price, but I snagged one on SAC and it is more than comparable to anything else in the same price range. Keep in mind that this is more of standalone, warm outer layer jacket than something you would use for layering...with that in mind the price doesn't seem too bad. Highly recommended if you are looking for a stylish yet functional..and really warm fleece. Another quick note..the "blue gray" shown in the pic is not too far off from what it really looks like. The "green" in the pic doesn't really look green to me...but that's not a bad thing.:)

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jbm_13 wrote an answer about on February 24, 2009

I'd probably go with the XL if I were you. You can definitely use this as you "Go To" ski jacket. I spend 4 1/2 hours in heavy, heavy snow conditions a few days ago and it held up like a champ! To make it just a little better you could treat it with Nikwax and it'd be unstoppable. You'll love it!It has also become my go-to ski jacket. Over 35 days at the bird with it and it still holds up great afterwards at the bar or in town. Unless you have unusually long arms...the large size should fit you nice and snug without being constricting.

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jbm_13

jbm_13 wrote an answer about on February 23, 2009

In terms of weight, I think its just perfect. It breathes well and serves as a great all around shell down to the low 20s. The wrist closures are a must (preferably thumbholes, perhaps where the black fabric is on the wrists). Personally, I dont think a snow skirt is necessary, but perhaps a slightly larger MP3 pocket (maybe even one routing loop near the left hood cinch) to better accommodate an iPhone/iPod and headphone cords. More color options would be great. Like a Red and Black, and then a Red/Black combo like what you did with the Tahoe/Carbon materials. Rocky Mountain Goat: I would love to see velcro wrist closures and maybe another interior pocket. I like the idea of a powder skirt to keep out the cold white stuff when snowboarding but I'm concerned about the weight. This would have been a must buy for me if it had wrist closures. Also, I vote against the thumb loops...its great on mid or base layer items but I hate them for outerwear and shells...more of a pain and limited functionality for outerwear.Zippers that are the same color as the fabric (i.e. NOT white), and more color options for the jacket itself, solid one colorMajor changes to wish for: get rid of the double zipper (or go with one that works) and either provide velcro closures or an inner gaiter for the wrist openings. Minor changes: more color choices (dark navy, dark gray or black would be nice) and embroidered logos. These changes would make this the perfect hooded softie in my opinion.

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jbm_13

jbm_13 wrote a review of on February 23, 2009

4 5

But at least the Shift Welder softshell would be a solid triple. First of all, as mentioned in other reviews..the colors shown in the pics are way off. My monitor rocks an AS-IPS panel (best lcd you can get) and I calibrate it monthly with an Eye-One pro....the "carbon" I received is a lighter shade of gray than the carbon in the pics...and much lighter than the carbon portions shown in the "Tahoe/Carbon" model. This isn't a bad thing however..just something to be aware of.

The look of this hoody is techie and sharp, the welded seams offer a very sleek and streamlined look, yet the polartec material is very smooth, soft and quiet...moreso than any other softshell I own. I had the chance to try out the hood the very next day that it arrived, and I found that it can be adjusted to fit very well and the jacket as a whole does a good job of blocking an icy wind of 10-15mph gusts. The athletic fit means that I will likely never use the bottom hem cinch unless I lose about 10lbs and use it for rock climbing with updrafts. Overall, very impressed with the jackets windblocking and warmth with just a t-shirt and mid-weight longsleeve baselayer underneath in windy 38-45F weather...not made for extremely cold, stormy weather however. Haven't experienced the wet yet...but with welded seams and polartec material it should pass with flying colors in anything short of a white-out or downpour.

Now for the stuff that keeps it from being an out of the park homer and rating 5 stars. I've never owned a jacket with a double zipper and can't think of a good use for it personally. This one just makes it difficult to zip up the first try and I've never successfully unzipped the bottom zipper...maybe mine is defective? Even though I like the no velcro cinch cuffs for casual use (it falls fashionably to the middle of my hands) it could be a drafty problem with gloves that don't have a gauntlet that can be cinched down. The last minor detail is the heat transfer goat logos which may or may not survive for long (especially the one on the back hem) ...maybe on the next version, BC could just use a regular zip and spend the money saved on embroidered logos?

The bottom line is that this high quality jacket deserves to be on the same shortlist with TNF, Arc', Marmot, MHW and other top brands when you are looking for a weather resistant hooded softie. I can't say that it's totally worth the asking price (got mine on S&C) but you can definitely spend more and end up with a less worthy piece. And the best part...since only BC sells this jacket, it is fairly rare and you likely won't see anyone else wearing one ;)

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jbm_13 wrote a review of on February 17, 2009

5 5

Arc'Teryx outerwear has become trendy in recent years, but they haven't gone the way of TNF...what I mean is that all of their clothing that I have owned/tried on is still very technical and high quality and not just for fashion. This shirt is no exception and will work great for the reasons I bought it. (spring/fall biking and hiking) Construction and materials are first rate and the medium fits like it was tailored for me. What you can't really see in the pics is the small zip pocket right above the left side hem...perfect for keys, credit card or anything else small. Since I knew the purpose of this shirt,(it is NOT a jacket or heavyweight pullover)and wasn't disappointed with any of the details.. I have to give this 5 stars. A little pricey for what it is, but this is a piece that will last years.

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jbm_13 wrote a review of on January 9, 2009

4 5

First let me start by saying that softshell jackets aren't made for standing around in a howling snowstorm. Many reviewers miss the point of softshells by saying they "aren't warm enough" even though they are just made to keep you reasonably dry and wind protected and not much more.

The Marmot Maxima is a very close fitting jacket...I'm 6'1 170 and ordered a medium and there isn't much room for layers underneath but I'm ok with that. These kinds of softshells were meant for aerobic activities in mildly cold weather and this one fits the bill perfectly. The fit is snug (beer bellies size up or look elsewhere) without being restricting and breathability seems to be good when I put a few miles on my mountain bike yesterday. I haven't tested the water repellency but I expect it will hold up to brief periods of snow/light rain.

Quality of materials and construction appear to be high. I have products from MHW, TNF, Rossignol and Arc'Teryx and this Marmot either meets or exceeds the quality of those makers. Zippers are tight but work smoothly, the inner microfleece lining doesn't insulate much but feels really good nonetheless. The cinch cord around the hem is pretty much useless since the jacket is snug as-is but may be useful if you get a size up for layering. The cut and styling are really great....the "mahogany" is a little darker and more maroon/brownish that it appears in the pics. I love the color though and have gotten compliments already.

The one con...and the reason I only gave 4 stars, is the lack of pitzips. Maybe they aren't really needed if the shell fabric is breathable enough, but still should have been included considering the asking price.

Bottom line is that this is a great addition to your winter wardrobe even if it isn't an all conditions jacket. It does do it's intended job very well...and looks really sharp doing it.

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jbm_13 wrote a review of on December 29, 2008

5 5

First of all, I love the smooth, almost slick feel of the conduit softshell material that is different from other softshells I've tried. I haven't experienced rain yet but I expect the Synchro to be as close to waterproof as a softshell can get...especially with the taped seams. This jacket has features out the wazoo...plenty of pockets, cinch cords for the waist AND collar...awesome stretchy, fleece covered cuffs inside the outer cuffs. People who complain about softshells not being warm enough are missing the point...they are designed to keep you reasonably protected from wind and water while you decide the level of warmness by layering underneath. Since I live in Texas and only make it skiing 2-3 times a year this will be a great everyday winter jacket for me. The only cons with this jacket are minor...the zippers and pulls on the chest/arm seem to be smaller and less durable that what you normally find on such jackets, and I had to return a large for a medium because of the too long arms. (I'm 6'1 170)

Bottom line is that there are cheaper softshells and more expensive...but this is one of the few that are actually worth the asking price and will give you years of service with style.

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