Samuel J.

Samuel J.

Samuel J.'s Passions

Hiking & Camping

Samuel J.

Samuel J.wrote a review of on May 19, 2016

3 5

I bought a #4 to see what these cams were all about--the weight savings are amazing (given the size of the cam). I would recommend these for larger sizes if you really want to save weight for expedition-type climbing. The core is no longer metal so the life of the cam is severely decreased opposed to a standard c4. The weight savings are definitely great for larger size cams #3/4 but I can't see a necessity for smaller cams unless you REALLY need to cut weight. The weight savings helped me stay under 50 lbs for my duffel with my trad rack, camera, tripod and rope which was very useful to save $$$ checking another bag. The cost is also fairly steep for said weight savings so I will echo that getting these over standard c4s is only if you really need them. So in short you are getting a lighter cam with a shorter lifespan for more money.

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Samuel J.

Samuel J.wrote a review of on February 9, 2016

2 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I wanted to like this jacket. It was warmer than the nano puff in bad days, has much better internal pockets than other belay jackets and is quite stylish. The jacket does have several pitfalls though... Poor zippers that get stuck often, forcing you to remove your gloves and unstick them. The sleeves are much narrower than the torso so the arms fit like a glove while the body of the jacket has a tin of extra space-I haven't had a problem with this with other mammut layers so I figured I'd put it hear since it seems jacket-specific. My last and biggest complaint is the depth of the outer pockets--I can barely fit my gloved hands in them and I am not a large dude 5'10" with average hands size. I've gotten the barfies in this jacket and it was a nightmare trying to warm my hands up when I could barely fit them in my belay jacket for extra warmth. All in all- I think there are better synthetic jackets on the market for the worst weather-arcteryx cerium or some of the rab offerings come to mind.

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Samuel J.

Samuel J.wrote a review of on January 26, 2016

3 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size

I bought these boots after having the wildfire pro and really liking the Y lacing system for stiff ankle support. I was, however, a bit upset with how shallow the back dips in the boot to accomodate you putting your foot in--I think it undermines their Y-lacing system stiffness. Within the first month of buying these boots, the laces broke off on both shoes which is obnoxious--sell me boots with strong laces built to last. I am buying a quality boot and laces, not just a quality boot that will need aftermarket replacements after a few multiday hikes. I have since replaced this and had no problems with the new laces I got from EMS. I also found the 'wear resistant upper' of this shoe to not be wear resistant at all--in fact, it wore much faster than other merrel mid-height boots I have owned and I am a bit disappointed with the craftsmenship of a boot I was expecting to get a long life out of--the uppers and their sidewalls are falling apart after a couple hundred miles of hiking. I do have some nice things to say--the waterproofing and antimicrobial in this boot is fantastic--never had an issue with smell or water. The boots breathe horribly but that is to be expected with such a heavy plastic coating on them. Although GoreTex is supposed to breathe, these do not--be aware of that on hot summer days--your feet are going to be saunas. I would stick to other models by salewa--I have tried a friend's mountain trainer mid and think that boot makes up for all the firetail's shortcomings--more breathable (albeit a little less water resistant), better ankle support by simply not tapering the back of the boot down!!, and better stock laces (or at least they haven't broken in the year he has owned them)

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Samuel J.

Samuel J.wrote a review of on January 23, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

First, I want to preface this with my anger that the microspikes didnt come with a carrying bag standard. Is it essential? No, I've used a carabiner on the outside of my pack to hold the spikes just fine. Is it worth it? I'd say so. When you are exhausted after a long day and don't want to listen to the incessant jingling of the spikes or want to get to them quickly on the outside of your pack in this bag, the benefits of this thing really shines through. Without this, storing spikes has to be outside of the pack as you'll inevitably puncture your fancy backpack with the spikes. The bag is well designed and built of sturdy materials. I would give this thing way fewer stars but that is just due to the complaint that you don't give the tote that is fairly essential to everyone who buys your product. Merchandising...

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Samuel J.

Samuel J.wrote a review of on January 23, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: Runs large
Height: 5' 10"
Weight: 180 lbs
Size Purchased: Medium

I dont know why people are claiming these pants run long--i would agree they run large on the waist but I downsized to a Medium and they fit around ski boots/mountaineering boots perfectly (including an ankle zip to get around ski boots. I have not had issues with length as others have stated and did not find these too bulky. As for warmth--the fabric is fairly thick and I've climbed in them from temperatures ranging from 40 to 5 below. The pants do resist some wind due to the thickness of the materials but you will definitely feel the wind skiing or on a blustery day climbing. I also found the zippers to be great--nice and large for gloved hands. The two way zipper on the fly also changed my outdoor restroom life--I wish every manufacturer did this. The pocket on the thigh is nice for pick covers and ice screw caps so when you top out, you can quickly cap your screws and tools and begin the descent. I used these all last winter and this season as well--the tough fabric on the inside of the ankle has saved me from a few footwork mistakes with crampons. I have a 32" waist in addition to the below specifications but I don't think there is a better substitute to trying the clothes on and finding a manufacturer that fits to your body type consistently.

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Samuel J.

Samuel J.wrote a review of on January 20, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I have put 10+ days on these tools this season on WI3-WI4+ ice and I must say, I really love these tools. The hammer is much better than any other tool i've used for setting bulldogs or pins (only set 2-3 but like it much more than my cobra's mini-hammers). I have tapped the uppers since the shaft isn't great for gripping in thick gloves but then again, most shafts are not. As for the tool--the top is very heavy which unbalances the tool (unlike cobras and nomics which seem very weight balanced through). I find this is great for wrist flick in the swing since the weight does most of the work--my girlfriend loves this a lot and has been hording the tools when we get out together. The shaft is modeled like the quantum techs which I have tried a few times but those tools have a much lighter head and are far more balanced. I think what you want in a tool has to be determined on ice--go demo these tools if you are interested and compare them to a tool that has an equal weight distribution. I am a firm believer grivel makes the most functional spikes for approaches but they aren't great for breaking off brittle ice. Grivel's picks are also some of the best on the market.

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Samuel J.

Samuel J.wrote a review of on March 17, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Like other reviewers have stated, these gloves are great for ice climbing. I, however, have used these at very low temperatures as they provide pretty good insulation during high exertion. If you are quick to pop on some mittens when you are belaying, these gloves work wonders on ice routes even on the lower temperature spectrum. The dexterity and water proofing are spectacular. The first time I used these gloves on lead was like the first time I tried monopoints--instant love. Do yourself a favor--buy these and go climb some ice.

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Samuel J.

Samuel J.wrote a review of on January 8, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

These pants are unbelievable. I have been climbing some really wet WI3/WI4 ice in them that I thought I was going to get absolutely drenched in but I came out completely dry. The fabric on the knee and heel has saved me from more than a few crampon rips. These pants also have a really nice snow skirt.

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Samuel J.

Samuel J.wrote a review of on January 8, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I don't know what the reviewer below me is talking about--this thing is very good at stopping wind. I commute by bike in this thing all the time around Boston and am very warm and it withstands strong gusts off the Charles/in the center city. I also have used this extensively on very cold days climbing in smugglers notch/Frankenstein/huntingtons ravine areas on WI3/WI4 ice with high winds and exposure. It works like a charm as a midlayer under my softshell. I can't praise this thing enough. It's so light you can barely feel it.

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Samuel J.

Samuel J.wrote a review of on April 8, 2012

5 5

I live in Boston and use this on my cold bike commute ever day in the winter. Great coverage of the neck/face. The sizing is excellent and the material/make is unmatched. I love this thing. I took it on a winter hike up washington and it kept my face warm despite the cold winds.

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