jrc

jrc

jrc

jrc wrote a review of on June 30, 2014

3 5

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

The Good: Fabric breathes well for a membrane soft shell, nice and thin so you can layer appropriately for conditions, quite weather resistant as others have noted, good pocket position, minimal design = light weight!
The Bad: Patagonia fit flub. Seriously terrible, terrible design for a supposedly athletic pant. I'm 6', 180# and 33 waist. I have a size M. They are not trim enough for climbing and they're not baggy enough to look good skiing. They are slightly baggier above the knee than below but not even remotely trim enough to be considered an athletic/european/climbing fit. As such, they look absolutely ridiculous. Go try on a few of the euro brands and you will see what true ergo oriented designers can do. Often they still fit over ski boots! All patagonia had to do was take their old alpine (or even backcountry w/o the vents) guide pant design and change up the fabric. They would have had a 5 star product right out of the gate. Too many compromises on this pant and the result is a pair of really really expensive hospital scrubs with suspenders....who wants suspenders!?!? They fall off your shoulders and just create more hassle. These aren't even a true bib that you could say significantly improves resistance to powder snow. Classic patagonia bringing a great idea to its knees with fit. My guess is this material is so expensive they had to give up on the features and design work to make them anywhere near affordable.

So get something else you might say? No, I'm sucking on the crack pipe of power shield pro and I want more. These have been resort skiing, backcountry skiing and alpine climbing in california and france and they're the only pant I can imagine taking on an expedition as my only pant (+ base layer). Plus, at 60% off from the patagonia outlet store, I suppose I get what I paid for in fit. Hopefully I can destroy them by the time a euro brand makes a decent competitor.

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jrc

jrc wrote a review of on May 20, 2014

3 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

This is a boot I was pretty excited to see because I have a typical sportiva foot (narrow, high arch), they're lightweight, and they might actually perform well on the up AND down. In short, I've had to put a fair bit of work into getting them to fit right and they're not really very stiff. They are light weight, the walk mode is really quite nice and they fit my grivel G20's quite nicely. The buckle system is different but fine once you get it dialed in and clean (not an influence on purchase IMO). I've also had finicky performance of the ski/walk mode not working. I'm not thrilled with ski performance or fit. They perform just fine until you get up to speed in the chop and then they just fold over and dont retain my heel very well. I have skied them with my 185 K2 backlash with dynafits and my 196 praxis protest with marker dukes. Same story with both skis. Yes, I want to get a lighter ski. The scarpa mestrale RS fit straight out of the box and would probably have been a lot more head (and foot) ache free. I do think the relative stiffness of those two boots is similar. The TLT6 is WAY stiffer... I had some major pain around my ankle bone and 6th toe area and a little discomfort across the instep. Molding the liner took care of the top of the instep issue for me (many others have required molding or removing shell material). A punch completely took care of the 6th toe problem (wierd because I do have narrow feet and my resort boots are 98mm last whereas these are supposed to be 102.5mm). I have removed a lot of material from the lower shell above the inside of the top of the instep to try and remove the plastic that was causing pain to my inner ankle bone and that's pretty much gone now. It's been a bit labor intensive, but I'm pretty pain free at this point and can spend all day in them without much of a problem. I also added a small heel wedge to try and increase the heel retention and forward lean. So, its been a rocky start but I'm not getting rid of them yet.

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jrc

jrc wrote a review of on October 23, 2013

4 5

Familiarity: I returned this product before using it

This is a nice clean jean with stretch to make it super comfortable. Unfortunately, the waist is a little on the tight side for me. It's definitely more of a true 32 and doesn't really stretch to 33. That likely means the 34 is going to be too big for me and I need to look for something else. Too bad, this is a nice lookin pant.

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jrc

jrc wrote a review of on October 23, 2013

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: True to size

This is an extremely comfortable and functional pant! I love the stretch, subtle stitching detail and smart cut. I would consider this a narrowish regular cut pant. Not super narrow but not baggy. They are not low rise in any way shape or form. There is a lot of fabric between the top of the inseam and the top of the waist. A decent fit for work or travel. With subtle detailing and benign colors, this pant is perfect for travel in more developing countries or a more conservative work environment. It pairs well with anything from a T shirt to a dress shirt that you dont tuck in. The inconspicuous zippered pockets in the back right seat pocket and front left hand pocket are going to be perfect for items you dont want to be at risk of pickpockets or falling out. I suppose I have two gripes: the walnut color is WAY lighter than the picture indicates and I dont think there's any need for the small pocket below the back pocket on the right. It just makes the pant more casual and less professional looking. I'm 6' 185# with a smallish 33" waist and the 32's fit perfectly.

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jrc

jrc wrote a review of on October 23, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Smith Vantage with the I/O goggle is a fantastic combination. The helmet is well shaped, comfortably padded, liberally vented and looks great. The I/O goggle integrates with it seamlessly for a nice clean, good looking fit that performs (blocks wind and vents) flawlessly. I came from a Giro G10MX with Oakley Wisdom/Smith Phenom combo and would never look back. The goggle integration and over all fit and finish is head and shoulders above my previous system. Lesson: Wait till you need to replace both helmet and goggles and get a system that was designed to work together.

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jrc

jrc wrote a review of on October 23, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Smith Vantage with the I/O goggle is a fantastic combination. The helmet is well shaped, comfortably padded, liberally vented and looks great. The I/O goggle integrates with it seamlessly for a nice clean, good looking fit that performs (blocks wind and vents) flawlessly. I came from a Giro G10MX with Oakley Wisdom/Smith Phenom combo and would never look back. The goggle integration and over all fit and finish is head and shoulders above my previous system. Lesson: Wait till you need to replace both helmet and goggles and get a system that was designed to work together.

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jrc

jrc wrote a review of on October 22, 2013

3 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: Runs small

This is a nice lightweight good quality down jacket that fits well and packs up small. The pertex material is a good balance of lightweight and durable (very lightweight, not very durable but better than some of the ultra lightweight options out there). I'm 6' 185# 42" shoulders and fit a size L quite snug. The sizing is definitely smaller than the patagonia down sweater. Similar to Patagonia, the cut is not super tailored so expect more room in the waist if you're big shouldered/small waisted. That said, I chose this over patagonia because it's somewhere between a patagonia large and medium and just fits better. Rab has the annoying habit of making their hoods small and telling you to wear them under your climbing helmet. I never do this and find I can wear it over my climbing helmet although it's a bit snug. You do have to ask yourself, when buying this product "how much am I saving over synthetic?" Honestly, the weight savings on the lighter weight jackets are not as drastic. Primaloft 1 is pretty darn good and the ability to maintain some loft in wet conditions means I dont have to carry a shell for most endeavors. Additionally, synthetic insulation doesn't fly away like down if you tear the face fabric. For a very dry forecast but cold conditions, this is a great choice. Plus it looks good at the apres ski scene!

(4)

 

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jrc

jrc wrote a review of on October 21, 2013

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: True to size

Neoprene shoe covers. They keep my feet warm in the 40's and fit clean and snug over my 46.5 SIDI's in a XXL. I found that folding them almost completely inside out and then rolling them onto my shoes made them go on the easiest.

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jrc

jrc wrote a review of on October 21, 2013

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: True to size

This is the same as the other M 10's just with a more stout upper fabric. Should get the job done just fine if you like this series of shoes. The main advantage these have, I think, is they have very very comfortable patches at the heal and toe and the rest of the fabric is pretty great too. If you run barefoot, I think these are the way to go for this series of minimus shoes. I didn't notice much of a breathability issue with these shoes. Unfortunately, I really need a 12.5 instead of a 13 for that close, barefoot fit, so these had to go back.

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jrc

jrc wrote a review of on October 21, 2013

2 5

Familiarity: I returned this product before using it
Fit: True to size

Toe box is way too narrow. I started getting pain in my pinky toe just walking around my living room. Go for the 232 for a zero drop or the 252 for a 3mm drop. Other than the narrow toe, the construction seems good, good support in the ankle and good stability from the sole.

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jrc

jrc wrote a review of on October 21, 2013

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I agree the highs are a bit muted. Inner ear headphones are great for stability and the passive noise cancelling (physical block). These do suffer from the fact that the part of the headphone that doesn't go in your inner ear is bulkier than other skull candy headphones so it feels like it kind of levers its self out. It also wont go in as far as the smaller headphones because the big block behind the inner ear section is obviously too big to fit in ones ear. That said, I've been running with them several times without much of an issue. I do find myself fiddling with them more than the smaller version, however. I like having the mic and volume and track skipping and phone answering/canceling feature on the cable so I can be on call and adjust music without pulling out my phone. Should be good for skiing solo too...

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jrc

jrc wrote a review of on October 21, 2013

3 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: Runs small

My main gripes: 1. The grey lens is not dark enough for bright sun. 2. The nose is too narrow so they sit up high and dont feel that secure (on me, obviously others feel differently). The real ray bans these are kind of trying to imitate fit me much better. If those classic style ray bans are a little large on you, these will be perfect. I have a feeling that's why there are so many reviews where guys say their girls are taking these away from them. One smaller gripe is the hinges actually dont feel very solid to me. I get too much play when I twist the arms along the long axis. Other than that, it's the classic retro style sun-glass. What else can you say? The photo says it all. True to color.

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jrc

jrc wrote a review of on October 21, 2013

3 5

Familiarity: I returned this product before using it
Fit: True to size

As Plake points out, the Zebra lenses are awesome. They dont seem to get super dark, but Ive used them above 19k' on glacier and they've worked fine. Definitely not as dark as they standard cat 4 lens (Spectron 4) from julbo. As far as the Bivouak goes, it's a great fully featured glacer glass, but the lense wasnt quite tall enough and the nose bridge not quite wide enough for my face. I had too much of a gap between the bottom of the lens and the bottom of my field of view. The julbo RUN is the best fitting julbo FOR ME. Everyone's face is different YMMV.

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jrc

jrc wrote a review of on October 21, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: True to size

Just look around your climbing gym next Tuesday evening. This is a popular pant for a reason. It is a great do it all pant that will go from the town to the crag and once you put them on, you'll be looking for excuses to wear them again. It's not quite a professional's work pant with the buttons on the lower inner leg and the cargo pocket, but they are both so low profile it probably squeeks by on Fridays. It is extremely comfortable due to stretch and anatomical cut. Great Prana stretchy close fit, durable, stain resistant fabric, zippered 2 in 1 cargo pocket is great for keeping things secure during travel. The lower cuff is quite narrow so you dont need to roll them up when climbing but if you want the extra ventilation rolling the cuffs up and snapping them into place works well. All these features together make it a great solution for climbing and equally great for bicycle commuting or general travel. I'm 6', 33" waist, 32" inseam 185# and the M is perfect.

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jrc

jrc wrote a review of on August 9, 2013

3 5

Familiarity: I returned this product before using it
Fit: Runs small

Have a pair of the Thrive shorts and love them. These Thrive SUP shorts are the same awesome material but they are significantly smaller. While the size M in the Thrive fits perfectly if a bit loose, these SUP shorts are uncomfortably and immodestly tight. Bummer. I'm 6", 180lbs, 32 to 33in waist.

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jrc

jrc wrote a review of on August 6, 2013

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

These will protect your fancy pants if you have a nack for nicking your nickers. These are the standard in gaiters for a reason. They are tough, waterproof and have great seal at the boot and just below the knee. The velcro patch to close the gaitor is huge and holds on for years. These are made to last a lifetime unlike most gear these days. I would have to add, however, that I stopped wearing gaitors years ago. I tie a bungee to the built in loops in most of my softshell pant cuffs and use that as a stirrup. it stretches over mountaineering boots, crampons and skiboots just fine and softshell pants breath WAY better than gaitors. I feel this is a better system for keeping my feet dry since I will sweat under gore tex gaitors and then sweat drips into my boots which are also gore tex and then when it gets cold and dark we have a problem...Of course, you have to keep those crampon points away from your $200 pants (get pants that fit!)...and if they're puffy down, it's an even tougher challenge.

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