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ken johnstone

ken johnstone

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kenneth's Passions

Camping
Road Cycling
Ice Climbing
Alpine Skiing
Sport Climbing

kenneth's Bio

ken johnstone

ken johnstone wrote a review of on January 26, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size

I already have Gandas, and Ganda Guides. I wanted something for hot conditions, mesh/ breathable but still with nice climbing rubber sole. I love the way the full lace system in La Sportiva Gandas work, nice snug fit tht is highly adjustable. The Xplorer's lace system is very similar, and provides a very adjustable fit. They are as light a anything out there, and very comfy right out of box if you like the way typical La Sportiva fits. The sole is more of a hybrid...more aggressive hiking pattern with a climbing toe forward. Its not the dots like the Ganda, so is likely not quite as good a climber, but should be a better all around approach shoe. I wear 44 Gandas, and the 43 1/2 Xplorer fits with just a touch more room. I think 1/2 size down is about right.
I think this will be a great shoe for hot and humid, as well as desert approaches, and is still nice and light for hanging off your harness for the hike off. Its a nice looking shoe on your feet too. Definitely worth a look at under $120!

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ken johnstone

ken johnstone wrote a review of on January 14, 2014

4 5

Just got my pair, and they are sized pretty close to my Heli, and Dexterity gloves. Ergo pre curved fingers look and feel good right out of package. They are not very thick on the backs so if you are looking for a particularly warm glove these may not be them. I think these will end up being my go to ice climbing gloves in the 20 degree plus range. Look really well made as usual for Hestra....and should be based on the price tag. Note they DO NOT have removable liners.

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ken johnstone

ken johnstone wrote a review of on February 17, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Been looking at this jacket since it came out. Have the Mica too, but I really like the pit zips on this one. Minimal added bulk. Used it on a really wet snowday in Ouray, over my soft shell. Worked great. Breathability as expected...fine. Nice hood over helmet, and good adjustability. I'm usually between Med, and Lg in most jackets..medium usually tight in shoulders on non stretch stuff. Fits like I expected. I got the Lg...
I have a hard time thinking about having $300+ goretex jacket stuffed in bottom of pack with screws, cams etc. This jacket is a great compromise. would definitely buy it again

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ken johnstone

ken johnstone wrote a review of on June 9, 2012

Absolutely the best! No close second!
5 5

If you sweat, or are in a humid area, and want a shirt that does not cling AT ALL, is durable, featherweight, gives UV protection, can be washed and wrung out near "wearable dry" then look no further. This is BY FAR my favorite technical tee, and I have tried a bunch. Fabric is bullet proof,holds up in chimneys, and incredibly breathable. THIS is the shirt!!! Get one..really just do it now!

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ken johnstone

ken johnstone wrote a review of on April 20, 2011

5 5

So far so good. I am a big Mammut rope fan, and these are no disappointment. Realize that the sheaths may be a bit thin for someone looking for prolonged durability, or cut resistance. Admit that I have not had the opportunity to fall over a sharp flake, (and hopefully won't in the near future). Know a few trusted guides who say they hold up great though. I comment later when I get more chance to scuff em up a bit.

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ken johnstone

ken johnstone wrote a review of on April 20, 2011

5 5

Really like this pad. VERY comfy, and actually compacts near as small as my Thermarest, with only a bit of added weight. Leave a touch of air out, and sleep tons better though. My GF sleeps really cold, and loves hers. I particularly like the sightly larger outside tubes that keep you from rolling off the pad. I actually agree that you can get away with a lighter bag when using this pad because of the high R-value.

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ken johnstone

ken johnstone wrote a review of on March 6, 2011

5 5

THIS is a great piece of gear. Just thick enough to not get too hot, or get binding at the sleeves ( with thumb loops and are nice and long) under your shell. Nice long zip with cool offset at chin so no chafing, the hood fits perfectly and allows full freedom of motion without binding or limiting vision, and the thin extra long waist stays down under your harness, and tucked in. My only complaint is that Patagonia does not make a women's version for my GF! I am 5'10" , 170# and the medium is just right.
Seriously this is one of Patagonia's best pieces. Skip the regular R1... go R1 Hoody.
Kinda wish they would make a R1 hoody with R .5 sleeves though... maybe for 2012??

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ken johnstone

ken johnstone wrote a review of on January 16, 2011

5 5

If you are looking for a down sweater, then this is not the coat for you. It is a bit more bulky than that, BUT if you are looking for a really warm belay jacket with a nice incredibly soft warm hood then take a good look at this one. A bit longer than hip length. Just used mine in Ouray and Skylight areas in 0-10 degees ,and was toasty!! It may be a bit bulky, and overkill for a fast multi pitch 20's plus climb, but it is perfect for cragging, or when its cold!!

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ken johnstone

ken johnstone wrote a review of on November 21, 2010

5 5

Very stretchy, water resistant, terrific, close cut, and some cool ankle cinches. Scuffed up the leg pocket pretty much on an off width, but I had a bunch of stuff in the pocket, and I'm not the most elegant climber. Otherwise amazingly durable. Pretty sure I would be perfectly happy ice climbing in upper 20's with something like Cap 2 base layer.
Definitely my all around " go to " pants now!

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ken johnstone

ken johnstone wrote a review of on November 18, 2010

5 5

These are everything people say they are. Super comfortable. I was afraid that the ankle hieght would bother me, but it feels great...not too tight , or loose. The thicker forefoot does actually feel nice and positive. The fit iseems about 1/4 size bigger to me than my Katana lace ( I wear 43 1/2 ). Definitely worth a try if you are looking for a great all around shoe.

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ken johnstone

ken johnstone wrote a review of on November 17, 2010

5 5

Love these shoes. The laces allow great adjustment in tension across foot. The unique tongue design (attached medially) is breathable and locks your foot in place. Reminds me of the way a nice wetsuit bootie feels. The shape of the front cradles all my toes,so my big toe is much more comfortable than my previous shoes. Like the vent holes on both sides. Fit in cracks nicely (although I suck at climbing them) Definitely worth putting a pair on!!

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ken johnstone

ken johnstone wrote a review of on November 2, 2010

Nice Pants
5 5

Like the fabric a lot. Have the Rampart shorts too. Arcteryx pants seem fit me really well. The fabric is very light, but nice and tough. Have rock climbed in both long and short version. No zips for the pockets, and no built in belt, or soft inner waistband, like the Palisades ( Ramparts much less expensive). Fit is quite similar, maybe a bit more roomy in legs, look a bit less tech for around town. Great double snap at waist! Take up NO space in pack or suitcase. I am 32/33 waist, and the 32 fit fine. The legs stay rolled up nicely if you need to cool off, or see, your feet, although they have fairly narrow ankle so probably wont get under your shoes anyway climbing.

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ken johnstone

ken johnstone wrote a review of on October 28, 2010

5 5

These pants fit great. Arcteryx is on it with the cut, it seems. An Arterxy Rep recommended these to me. His favorites! Can't agree more. VERY stretchy, lightweight, fabric in a nice athletic fit. Cinches at ankles are cool..work fine!! Looking for a lightweight softshell...... these are them!!! Hiking , Rock ,Ice, Bike, Gym...Prom!

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ken johnstone

ken johnstone wrote a review of on October 28, 2010

5 5

Ok, this is really simple..... order these! Awesome fit, very athletic, and low rise waist. Not too baggy, and great styling. I probably wont climb in them cause I sweat too much, but if you wear cotton these will climb great!! If you have a girlfriend, she will be buying your next pair for you!! If you don't have one...well, maybe your luck will change. Definitely worth the money!!

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ken johnstone

ken johnstone wrote a review of on October 27, 2010

5 5

I really like the slipper like feel of these shoes. Have great support with a stiff sole, and super sticky rubber. Was surprised at the actual ankle support too. Lacing is very adjustable for a perfect fit for the conditions.
Wearing 1/2 size bigger than my Katanas. Toes are a bit tight with socks with dock liner in, but They hike great with good support without liner.
Pricey, but sweet!!!!

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