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matty

matty

Grew up in the Mid-Atlantic but have lived and traveled extensively in NE New Mexico, Montana, Idaho, Washington, Colorado, Patagonia, and the Alps.

matty's Passions

Fly Fishing
Biking
Running
Paddling
Skiing
Climbing
Surfing

matty's Bio

I have worked as a fly fishing guide in Patagonia, a manager for an outdoor shop, back country trip leader, trail builder, climbing instructor and now work for the U.S. Military in Western Europe. I am not an expert at any one activity but prefer to learn as many ways to enjoy the outdoors as possible and see as many new places as possible.

matty

matty wrote a review of on November 24, 2014

4 5

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

After blowing out a few ligaments last year, and bending a couple of knee braces I was prescribed a carbon fiber tansformer brace that provides good support but it bulky and slides a lot. I have used other compression sleeves but thought these would have specific features that would help keep that brace in place. I was mistaken. It is a high quality sleeve, but it did not help keep the brace in place. Considering shaving my leg next and using more duct tape.

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matty

matty wrote a review of on September 29, 2014

3 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I purchased a Santa Cruz 5010 a couple months ago which came with the Reverb Stealth, and like everyone told me it has completely changed my riding. That really frustrates me, because this seat post has become a pain. The seat has locked out in the up position multiple times, requiring bleeding the system. At first I thought I was just doing it wrong, but I took it to a great bike shop and they fixed it, only to see the problem a couple weeks later.

Great piece of kit, if you can keep it working.

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matty

matty wrote a review of on September 29, 2014

5 5

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

I took these out of the box one week ago, and have only taken them off to toss them in the wash. The flannel interior feels like I'm wearing PJ's, and they have a perfect fit for me. Also like the pocket on the right leg, which is just big enough to get my phone inside.

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matty

matty wrote a review of on September 29, 2014

4 5

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

I just picked up these shoes, and so far am excited about them. The foam is very soft, and I am looking forward to wearing these for my long, uneven runs.

The one concern I have is with how these conform to the bottom of the foot. Most New Balance shoes feel like a custom fit for me, but when I put these on there seems to be more room between the footbed and my arch. As plush as the foam is, I expect I will probably break into them but it was not the fit I normally get from NB shoes that are similar.

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matty

matty wrote a review of on September 29, 2014

2 5

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

As soon as I pulled these out of the box I knew they were not staying. The shoes are super light, but I did not have confidence in the workmanship. Bad stitching and cheap feeling materail. But the biggest problem was a narrow toe box. Both of my outside toes felt like they were being compressed into the others, so I returned these.

To be honest, I've never had any luck with North Face footwear which is unfortunate because I do like some of their designs.

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matty

matty wrote a review of on September 16, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

I'm really excited about picking up this helmet. Yeah its big, but I'm more concerned about surviving. The interior is plenty plush, and having options for the cheek guards ensured a proper fit.

Only recommendation is that you look at what color you're buying. Ordered Bohrium Red and in the picture it looks like a matte finish, but it is not. My fault, I could have just looked at the video and seen the reflection.

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matty

matty wrote a review of on August 13, 2014

4 5

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

You can read below all the reasons this is a great shoe. I've enjoyed riding it and they are the best I've worn when you need to jump off the bike. Here are the two reasons they aren't 5 star worthy for me.

#1: Toe box fit. The toe box is narrow and puts a good bit of pressure on my outside toes. Over time it got a bit better, but especially so after I forded a river in them.

#2: Don't get them wet. It will help stretch the material and help form to your foot, but it took two days in the sun to get them dry after stepping in a river. Even sweat takes a long drying period.

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matty

matty wrote a review of on August 11, 2014

3 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

I purchased this bag in the last 3 weeks and packed it with my medium Santa Cruz 5010 (27.5) for a trip to Spain. Everything fit in fine, with plenty of extra space for anything else I didn't feel like carrying on the plane. For its size it rolls well, and never felt like too much of a burden.

The only reason I am not giving it 5 stars, is that when the bag arrived back in Germany after my first trip, the exterior fabric in a few places was significantly worn and you could see the padding behind it. I can blame that on the airline, but not a good start to what I am hoping will be a long life.

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matty

matty wrote a review of on April 24, 2014

4 5

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

I ordered these after having had numerous pairs of the stretch zion pant, because they have a very similar or the same material. These pants are much tighter (skinny) than I expected, but since the material stretches so much the fit doesn't restrict movement.

But be careful, I ordered the size 28 Khaki color, assuming that since there was a seperate option for 28x32 that these would come as 28x30. They did not, so I need to get them hemmed.

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matty

matty wrote a review of on March 20, 2014

Low volume, O.K. organization
4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Truth in advertising, the first weekend I had this out I blewout my ACL and PCL, but I don't think it was the bags fault.

As has been stated by numerous people who have returned this pack, it does not have a large capacity. I was using it for lift accessed side country and only carried avy tools and a bit of food & water. For that purpose it has worked very well, however there are two issues that I have.

#1: My probe does not fit well into the tool organizer pocket. I found the only way around this was to pack the probe first and then zip the pocket enough that it was covered, then pack the rest of the gear. That also put a lot of stress on the zipper, and left me concered about how quickly the probe could be retrieved in an emergency. I purchased the pack in S/M, so maybe with the larger torso this will not be an issue.

#2: Minor issue is with the hip pockets. They have a good amount of volume, but that makes it difficult to open or close them one handed. If the material were a bit more rigid the one handed open close might be easier.

I added a photo of everything I would pack for a day trip. Anything more would probably exceed the packs volume.

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matty

matty wrote a review of on March 19, 2014

Super secure
4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

This rack is pretty freakin sweet. It attached to my Subaru Aero bars very easily, enough so that I don't just leave the rack ontop of the car all the time. I'm also a big fan of how easy it is to change the wheel size so I can toss any of my bikes up there in no time and still be really confident its not going anywhere.

Reminder: you'll want two lock cores, one to secure the rack to the car, and one for the cable lock that is already on the rack.

With security comes a price. It takes a minute to secure the bike to the rack using the large red knob. It is a minor issue, but if you're short (5'6") and putting it ontop of a larger vehicle eventually it gets tiring. But again I think the security is worth it, just get some tall friends.

Also, here is the rack pictured ontop of my '14 Subaru XV Crosstrek. There are a couple inches on clearance when the rear door is up. Nice not to have to make any modifications.

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matty

matty wrote a review of on January 28, 2014

4 5

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

I've tried a few liners that were supposed to allow use of a touch screen but I've always been disappointed with the results. These gloves have changed that. When using my phone or Ipod my fingers were just as accurate in the gloves as without which was really surprising. They also wick moisture well and dry very quickly without a weird smell filling the hotel room. They do have a loose knit but I think that makes them able to fit a wider range of hand shapes and sizes. The only downside I've seen is the loose knit does get caught in the velcro of my shells so I have to be careful of that.

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matty

matty wrote a review of on January 8, 2014

5 5

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

I've been running trails seriously for a few years and have just signed up for a 100k in the German Alps. Having run with the 3 pairs of the non-Goretex version of this shoe in 2 years, I decided to grab these for winter training in soggy ole Germany. These fit almost exactly like the non-gore version though they don't wrap and snug around the foot. There are slight modifications to the pull tabs which can get folded onto your achilles if you aren't careful putting them on. Otherwise, the large lugs give great grip in the mud, but the rubber on these sticks well when navigating rocky terrain. The shank is stiff enough to dampen the sharp limestone edges we run over, but still leaves flex in the foot which gives good trail feel. I have put a couple hundred miles on these, and I have been worried from the start about the durability of the zipper, but it has yet to fail.

All in all this is the best trail runner I have used when compared with some Montrail (Hardrock, Masochist) and New Balance (MT 100 (but I dont run minimalist anymore).

These definately seem geared towards a narrower foot.

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matty

matty wrote a review of on December 14, 2013

All Mountain Greatness
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I was looking for a ski around 100mm underfoot but was having a hard time wading through the choices, so I went to the experts for their opinion. Lexi from the Backcountry.com community provided a glowing review of Moment skis she had skied last year, so I thought I would give them a shot.

I cannot assure you that my judgement had not been compromised, but I had some of my best moments on skis in years on these the first day out. That might be because the first morning I got these to Solden, Austria they had just gotten 6" of fresh. It could be the fact that I managed first chair to the upper mountain, or it could be that these things just rock. My first two runs were completely untracked, and these skis kept me smiling the whole way down. But despite the high expectations these left me after my first two runs with them, my stoke didn't fade throughout the rest of the weekend. whether I was carving on the corduroy, slicing through crud, or boot packing to get some fresh lines, I was always impressed by how these skis handled.

Thank you Lexi, and I hope anyone else that picks these up has a similar experience. That would reinforce my theory that they are magic skis.

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matty

matty wrote a review of on December 12, 2013

4 5

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

I have both the R-1 Hoodie and 1/2 zip and tend to live in them. I use them as layering pieces for skiing, alpine climbing, and just about any high output activity in cool conditions. I do like the athletic fit for the most part (I'm 5'6" and 145lbs), but there is one specific activity for which I have discontinued the use of these shirts.
The sleeves on these really hold my forearms tight, which isn't normally a problem, but does bother me some while climbing. The bigger issue is when I roll the sleeves up towards my elbows. I pretty much do that whenever I climb, but the wrist opening is very narrow and does not stretch very much, so when these sleeves are rolled they cut off circulation and cause numbness in my hands. I will use these shirts for just about everything else, but I no longer climb in them.

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matty

matty wrote a review of on December 12, 2013

4 5

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

I've got both the R-1 1/2 Zip and Hoodie and I enjoy both of them. They are very good, low profile layers that you can wear under anything. My only problem is with how slim the fit is. I am a thin guy, (5'6" 145lbs) but I have stopped wearing these when I climb. The forearms are tight on me but when used to layer that is fine. When I climb I often roll or pull the sleeves up towards my elbow, especailly when climbing trad, and the wrist opening is so narrow that it cuts off circulation and causes numbness. Other than that specific use I live in these.

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