jleephoto

jleephoto

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James J.'s Bio

International Photojournalist and visual storyteller. My equipment gets a lot of travel testing.

jleephoto

jleephoto wrote a review of on December 2, 2012

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I love these boots for what they are, an excellent everyday boot. They are good on the medium trails with fairly lightweight loads, and around town. I'm an outdoor photographer and these have been my go to boots for years. They form to your feet well and have good lateral flexibility. Like just about every shoe/boot I need better insoles, so add the price of Superfeet. What they are NOT are heavy duty backpacking boots for the most gnarly terrain. For that look at the Banffs or Tibets. The only problem is that they are priced high for what they are. Still, I buy 'em because I've yet to find anything more comfortable.

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jleephoto

jleephoto wrote a review of on November 20, 2012

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

As most people have mentioned, this is an excellent base layer for ourdoor pursuits, but rarely mentioned is what a great everyday sweater. I'm warm natured and have trouble wearing true sweaters because I sweat inside when out to dinner, etc., but with it's self regulating properties and understated styling, it makes for a great mid-layer if you size up. I'm 6' 215lbs. with a 46" chest. I normally wear a L or XL in shirts, but this is cut as a skin tight base layer, so I size up to an XXL to serve double duty as a mid. Last one lasted me 4 years and I'm only buying a second because I have small holes in the hem from opening beer bottles, guess that's why I need the XXL.

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jleephoto

jleephoto wrote a review of on July 12, 2012

Great Kayak Fishing
5 5

Great fishing glasses. Super light, excellent polarization. I forget I have them on. Only negatives I can think of (and I'm digging deep) is they sometimes briefly fog on muggy summer mornings. Since these are plastic lenses, they do scratch relatively easily compared to glass, but replacement lenses are readily available if you look for the sales and you can easily interchange the D-Max and the Max versions.

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jleephoto

jleephoto wrote a review of on March 19, 2012

Warm Weather Comfort
5 5

I just did a three day hike on the AT with this shirt with 50F nights and 80F days and found it very comfortable throughout. When soaked in sweat it cooled me without giving me the chills that I sometimes get with synthetics. It dried faster than cotton but probably a little slower than poly. Best yet, when I got home my wife let me get close enough to kiss her without exclaiming about the poly stink.
It's a bit of an athletic cut which means its broad through the shoulders and narrows near the hips. I'm 6ft 200lbs. with broad shoulders and the XL fits perfect. Jury is still out on how well it will hold up, but I'm here to buy another.

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jleephoto

jleephoto wrote a review of on May 7, 2010

Near Perfect, They keep going!
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Got mine in 2002 after much debate. Seemed like a lot for a pair of sandals. But, they've been much more than that. They've traveled all over the US with me and to 14 different countries: Haiti, Panama, Kenya, Iraq, Thailand.... Anytime I might be around water or in a warm area, these have been my go to shoes and they've been excellent. Finally wore out the soles this year and they're in the spa now for resoling. I'm missing them so much I considered buying a second pair. Over time they mold to your feet and the straps lock into they're position. Only a few downsides: On rocky rivers they let gravel in & the straps stay wet a long time. Dirty embedded into the straps will irritate feet. Got some serious blisters wading a salt marsh all day once from the embedded mud/sand. Keep those issues in mind, and you'll have happy feet with these sandals.
EDIT: Mine or the Z1s, not the Z2s but should have the same qualities.
2013 Edit: Finally retiring my Z1s. The sole has separated again and I'm finally calling them. They've been my favorite footware for over 10 years and countless adventures.

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jleephoto

jleephoto wrote a review of on March 25, 2009

5 5

These are the best fitting shades I've ever had and I've owned a lot! I'm on my third pair of these after loosing one, and having my dog eat another set. Tried replacing with Smith & Native hoping to get some variety, but I keep coming back to the half jacket XLJ polarized because of the all day comfort. I prefer some of different lens shades and think BC should carry a better variety. Only negative is these lenses are plastic so will scratch and replacement lenses are very expensive.

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jleephoto

jleephoto wrote a review of on March 5, 2009

5 5

I just was looking at pads, thinking it might be time for a new one, but my Prolite 3 has been, almost literally, a security blanket during worldwide travel over the past 3 years. From the desert sands of Iraq to rain forest huts in Panama, and lots of other rough places, I've always slept well on this and it has often served as a chair or soft place to kneel while doing camp tasks. Never had a leak and packs relatively small. Have considered something a little thicker since I often end up on my side, but not sure I could trade it for the bulk/weight of a bigger pad. There are always trade offs, but overall, this has been one of my best ever outdoor purchases.

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jleephoto

jleephoto wrote a review of on March 5, 2008

5 5

This is one piece of gear I couldn't do without. Worn every night on 3 trips around bases in Iraq and at least a few times at home to keep from waking wife in the bedroom. Comfortable, red lens flips down easily, AAA batteries seem to last forever, easily adjustable for best angle. I literally don't leave home without it. There may be some newer cooler headlamps out there these days but you can't go wrong with this one.

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jleephoto

jleephoto wrote a review of on March 5, 2008

4 5

I've worn these since they were released through three trips to Iraq. I lost the firest pair and after trying several other brands, returned them and bought these old faithfuls. Excellent frames that don't slip down a sweaty nose. Comfortable for hours on end. Only negatives are the Polarized Iridium lenses scratch easily so I've gone through a few of them and, the glasses, because they fit close, may be a little more prone to fogging especially when I have my morning coffee.

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jleephoto

jleephoto wrote a review of on March 5, 2008

4 5

I really like these pants enough that I bought a second pair. Wish they had real belt loops. The front cargo pockets ride above the deep regular pockets and I'd rather have them on the side. Finally, these pants run a bit long (luckily mine shrank to fit with the first washing.) All that said, I'm an outdoor photographer and have worn these all over the world in all temp ranges. They are exceedingly comfortable, dry quickly and are the toughest nylon pants I've used. So, not perfect but I've tried a lot of multipurpose pants and haven't found any better.

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jleephoto

jleephoto wrote a review of on March 5, 2008

4 5

I've had this watch (pre-HR green version) for 3 years and worn it in the roughest environments. It's taken a real beating but continues to function better than any of my others. It's comfortable, allows you to read two time zones on the same page, estremely customizable and has an intuitive layout. The ABC (I mainly use compass) functions well. It's also a bit smaller than most Suuntos.Only downside is that it's not solar powered as I burned out a a bettery about onece a year.

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