Free 2-Day Shipping on all orders over $50*
gilipollas

gilipollas

ATL // SLC

gilipollas's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Snowboarding
Climbing

gilipollas

gilipollas wrote a review of on June 5, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I've owned several Tikkas over the past few years, and I have yet to find a reason to buy anything else. The design is spot on as far as functionality, reliability, convenience, and aesthetic. This one is no different. Picked it up on sale, and it's a good buy. I'd been using a Tikka 2 (not the plus), and it was on it's way out (and it was brown, not as cool as red). I decided this would be a good purchase, and for the most part, it is.

First, it's pretty bright. Enough for pretty much anything I use it for. Doing stuff around camp, climbing when it's starting to get a little dark, working on projects at home, etc. It's comfortable, the tilt mechanism works well, and it feels and looks solid. I pretty much only use the brightest setting.

However, the red light isn't that great. At least for me, I can't really see anything with the red light. Perhaps it's just my night vision, which I've never had problems with, but I think if Petzl is going to advertise a red LED, they need to do better than just putting the blinking light from your portable hard drive on here. It's pretty much useless in my opinion.

Overall, I'd love to give this 5 stars, and definitely would if there wasn't a red light, which doesn't really do much. It seems like an after-thought to me. If you really want a red light, go with the Tactikka, that works quite a bit better.

(1)

 

0 Comments

gilipollas

gilipollas wrote a review of on June 3, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: Runs small

I typically don't wear shorts unless at the gym or doing something outdoors, but bicycle commuting to work in Atlanta summers has forced my hand. I looked all over for some slim-fitting shorts, and finally decided to give these a go. I bought a pair in each color.

First, as others have stated, they do fit skinny, both in the waist and leg. I have chicken legs and typically wear 510's, and these fit about like those, but they stretch A LOT. They're kind of a thinner cotton chino material with a lot of stretch, not really denim at all. I like them, and the light weight is nice for the heat.

Sizing...As others have stated, I would size up an inch. I wear a 32 in Levi's usually, sometimes a 33 (which gives me a lot of room), and a 33 in these fits me like a 32 in regular jeans. I've worn 511 shorts before, and these are consistent with 511 shorts--skinny and a little smaller at the waist.

I've never really been super interested in the commuter series, even though I do commute, until recently I got tired of the crotch of all my pants getting shredded. There is a definite difference in quality between normal Levi's and the commuter series. There are more details, better durability, and the fit is better (higher waist in the back is nice not only for commuting, just for covering your crack).

Overall, really nice shorts, and the fit on my skinny legs isn't too tight, but slim enough. I didn't like the look of the reflective tape on the sides, so I just took an Xacto knife and removed the stitching and took it out. It took about 10 mins. The green shorts look almost the exact same color as the picture. Maybe a touch lighter, but really close. I was hoping they'd be a bit lighter, but I guess they'll fade with time.

(1)

 

0 Comments

gilipollas

gilipollas wrote a review of on June 2, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

You know those things you sometimes buy, and you love them so much you wonder if maybe you should buy another one just in case they stop making it? That's about how I feel about this bag. It's so good.

There are plenty of great camera bags out there, especially a few from Lowe that are nice, but after seeing video with Andy Mann explaining the features of this thing, I was sold.

The two main things that make it such a great bag are:
1) Sling style -- allows you to just slide the bag from your back, under your right arm, and it's right there in front of you, ready to go. The bag is designed so this functions fluidly and in a way that it feels connected to your body.
2) Top opening -- after you've slung it around to your chest, you can just leave it there, open from the top, and grab all your stuff. I frequently change lenses, which, before now, meant trying to find somewhere to set lens or cap down while doing it. With this, you have a few nice little slots in the bag where you can just leave the extras while you change, and it's all safely contained. It's really great, and I never worry about dropping anything.

I keep my body and LARGE wideangle zoom on it (Sigma 18-35 for size reference), and two medium sized lenses in other compartments. I could easily fit 2 more lenses in there if you divided it efficiently.

I also keep a card reader and cable, an extra battery, a few filters, an extra card, tripod quick release mount, and a few other odds and ends in it, with room to spare. The main pocket is well designed and deep, the outside organizer is nice for a phone, a pen, a snack, or smaller camera odds and ends.

I have only two minor quibbles:
1) After a long day, my left shoulder starts feeling a bit sore. Just one of side effects of a sling, nothing too major.
2) There's no place to hold a tripod! I have a travel tripod, which is moderately light, and it throws the balance of the bag off, but still, it would be nice to have the option.

(1)

 

gilipollas

gilipollas wrote a review of on May 22, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I own the Q-Core SL long/wide, which I've reviewed on backcountry, and I like it a lot. I recently got married, and it was time to buy a new pad. I went through all the typical options: thermarest, exped, even a second Q-Core SL. The NeoAirs just didn't do it for me and my wife, and the Expeds to me seemed a bit gimmicky, and not quite as comfortable as the Q-Core. I could have bought a second Q-Core SL, but with their narrow pad fiasco, the only one worth buying is the long/wide, which is expensive, and, after trying both of them out, not quite as comfortable as the standard Q-Core. Even though it's a bit heavy for backpacking, it's worth it.

I've since paired it with a lightweight BA sleeping back, the Horse Thief 35, and love the system, really well thought out. In the end, I almost wish I had 2 regular Q-Cores rather than my other SL version, as it's more durable, more comfortable, and cheaper. Oh well, one will do.

(2)

 

0 Comments

gilipollas

gilipollas wrote a review of on April 15, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

These little lights are pricey, but worth it in my opinion, especially on sale (they are currently).

At first, I was taken by the fact that these are small and aluminum. Lots of other lights are huge, plastic, and ugly. I commute on a single speed, and I don't need a huge light with 500 lumens, and I need the lights to be small so I can remove them quickly when I lock my bike and put them in a backpack pocket easily. These did the trick.

They're nice looking, small, and feel really high quality. Operation is a bit tricky, don't throw out the instruction manual, but once you get it, it's easy enough. 6 settings (constant and strobe at 3 different brightness levels), but the middle and low settings are enough for me. The bright one is ridiculous, I can see the reflective layer on street signs a quarter mile down the road when it's on bright.

They're waterproof and shockproof, I've dropped them a few times and they still work. They charge with included USB cables (2) and have mounts for front handlebar and rear seatpost. I purchased the under-the-saddle mount from a seller on ebay as I couldn't find it anywhere in the US, and that's also a nice product (if you care about a lot of things hanging off your bike and cluttering it, like I do).

I would equate these to the iPhone of simple bike lights. They don't offer any incredible functionality over cheaper lights, but they do what they do reliably and in a sexy package made of top-of-the-line materials.

(0)

 

0 Comments

gilipollas

gilipollas wrote a review of on April 15, 2014

5 5

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

I've been wearing 510's the last few years, they just fit me better than anything else out there, and they are relatively cheap, especially on sale. However, there are a few problems with regular 510's. The main problem is that the crotch wears out SO fast, especially if you bike commute, which I do, about 4 miles/day. After 5 or 6 months, you get a hole there, and it's ugly, and ruins an otherwise good pair of jeans. These have the crotch gusset, so they should last twice as long, and they feel pretty burly near the balls, I'm impressed.

On top of that, they are "waterproof." I wore them today in a light drizzle, and water beaded right up and rolled off. Nice feature. I'm sure it won't last long, but it's still pretty cool.

I don't care about the lock holder on the waist, or the reflective accents when you roll the cuffs, those are things that you don't see if you wear jeans without rolling and a belt. So it's cool.

They run true to size for 510's. I normally wear a 33x30, which they don't stock here, but the 32x30 is fine, a little snug, but still comfortable.

Overall, better than regular 510's, at not too much extra cost on sale. Will be purchasing more.

(2)

 

0 Comments

gilipollas

gilipollas wrote a review of on March 25, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I never thought a hammock could be comfortable for your back sleeping all night. I was wrong. I love this thing. So much more comfortable than a sleeping pad, easier to set up, lighter, cheaper, and way more fun.

Just watch your back/butt, they will get cold if you camp in fall or spring, I put some foam under me or wear extra layers of shirts if it's going to be cold.

My dad has one of these as well, and said the carabiner on the end of his bent out of shape while laying in it one afternoon. I've decided to replace both of mine with some real climbing carabiners for peace of mind and it looks cool. Minor bother, but ENO should include something rated to more than the 400 lbs included here.

(1)

 

0 Comments

gilipollas

gilipollas wrote a review of on March 25, 2014

5 5

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

I've had this jacket for several months now, and feel like I can finally offer a review of it. I own this and the Alpha SL Hybrid, which I believe has been discontinued, but I'll compare it anyways.

First, I have both jackets in size medium. I'm about 5'10" 165, they fit me with a little bit of room to layer, but still fit well and look good just over a t shirt. The fit is almost identical, the Alpha SL might be just a tad roomier, but not enough to notice.

Both are incredibly waterproof and windproof, no problems there, and the feel of the fabric is great. For some reason I feel like the Alpha fabric is a bit tougher and the Beta a bit softer, but it could be just the color, in my head, or who knows. Both feel bombproof.

There are a few things I really love about the Beta over the Alpha:
--The hood--it's not massive for a helmet, which I rarely use with this jacket, and fits SO much better on my dome.
--Pockets--on the Alpha, the pockets are a bit too high, they make walking with your hands in them crappy. Beta placement is good, out of the way of a hip belt or harness, and still good for hands in pockets.

What I like about the Alpha over the Beta:
--PIT ZIPS! why are they not on the Beta?
--Vislon zipper rules. Doesn't snag, feels so much nicer.

Overall, if I had to choose one, I'd probably go with the Alpha hybrid, because of the zipper and pit zips. But it's nice to have both for different reasons. I'm sure during summer Atlanta rainstorms, the Alpha SL will win (pit zips!), or if I wear one climbing or anything with a helmet. The Beta is more of a throw-it-on-over-a-hoodie-for-wind-and-rain-protection piece for me, and it excels.

The soapstone color is amazing. It's a great dark great, goes with everything.

(1)

 

0 Comments

gilipollas

gilipollas wrote a review of on March 25, 2014

2 5

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

I picked up two pairs of these for cheap, and if it didn't cost more than they are worth to send them back, I probably would. First, I'll have to admit I didn't plan on using them for hiking. I want taller socks for hiking anyways, these were just to be casual wool socks. I LOVE smartwool PhD running and outdoor socks (light mini and light micro are amazing), but these are thick, hot, and not tightly woven like the PhD. Much much hotter, cause my feet to sweat, even in the cold, and feel like they will pill and snag. The only benefit I see in them is that they are thick and cushioned.

(0)

 

0 Comments

gilipollas

gilipollas wrote a review of on March 25, 2014

3 5

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

I impulse bought this for $3.99 a few weeks ago. Don't get me wrong, it's not that it isn't cool for what is is, and for the price not a bad investment, but the cool factor wears off after you shoot sparks up twice. It will go in an emergency kit, but unless I really think about it, I'll probably just grab a mini lighter the next time I go backpacking. Not too much special to me. Works how it says it should though.

(0)

 

0 Comments

gilipollas

gilipollas wrote a review of on February 13, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

These are basically like "healthy" candy, made from honey rather than processed sugar. They're really good, and, surprisingly, take the edge off hunger really well. I use them as a mid-morning snack at work, or on the trail when I start to feel tired. They really do work. The fruit smoothie ones taste like those vitamin gummies, which are delicious.

The best part about these? They aren't dry, so you don't have to guzzle half your water just to get them down when you're hiking or working out and already thirsty.

Cons: a bit expensive and there aren't a whole lot in each package.

(1)

 

0 Comments

gilipollas

gilipollas wrote a review of on February 13, 2014

4 5

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

Interestingly, these say they are women's socks on the package after I received them. I think the sizing is still consistent with other SmartWool socks, as the mediums fit just like my "men's" socks.

Without getting into colors and intended gender of the sock, I will say that the "spearmint" color is a bit more pastel-ish than the picture seems. Not a bad sock, and they're comfortable and durable, but lightweight, more for spring/summer use. Typical SW quality, feel great, and should be more durable due to the nylon.

(0)

 

0 Comments

0 Comments

gilipollas

gilipollas wrote a review of on February 13, 2014

5 5

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

Fantastic boots. I have a few pairs of Tretorns, including the boots that preceded these (the Walden). They're very similar, but Tretorn has improved them quite a bit in the past few years.

First, they are quality made with great leather, a warm flannel lining, and the insoles and sole are incredibly comfortable. They took a few hours to break in, but after that, they are fantastic. I've worn them nonstop for the past few weeks, and they've been really comfortable and warm.

One problem I had with the Waldens was the lack of durability. After wearing them several times, the sole started to wear through to the midsole, they lost a lot of shape, and just felt floppy. Not so with the Holdyn, they have held up extremely well, the leather is stiff and thick, and the sole is thicker and much more durable.

As most of you have probably seen on the news, the Atlanta winter has been pretty crazy this year. These have been perfect for the cold, ice and snow. First, they are really warm. Not like snow boots, but my toes are nice and toasty in 20 degree weather with a pair of wool socks. Second, they have great grip. I slide all over the place in tennis shoes or Vans, but these grip really well on ice and snow. Very impressed. Last, they are treated with some sort of DWR, and the seams are sealed well apparently, because I haven't had water in them at all when walking in several inches of snow and slush.

Overall, incredibly impressed with these boots, with the only complaint being they run big. Like a whole size big. I like my shoes to fit snug, and these don't. Not a huge deal because they are boots, so bulky is ok, and I wear thick socks, but Tretorn shoes seem to run big as a company, so no surprise, I was just hoping they wouldn't.

(0)

 

0 Comments

gilipollas

gilipollas wrote a review of on January 13, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: Runs large

I got these pretty cheap, like less than half price, and I don't regret it at all. As others have said, it feels like you're walking on nothing, the insole is magic. The canvas is pretty thin, much thinner than a pair of Vans, for example, but they feel pretty well made. There's no support in the fabric of the shoe, it's just kind of floppy, but if you like flip flops, sperrys, etc, it's not really a big deal. I find them incredibly comfortable.

They are a bit long, I typically wear a 7.5 or 8 and like my shoes to run tight, with my toes almost to the end of the toe box. An 8 in these feels a good half size to a size too large, which is consistent with another pair of Tretorns I have. However, it's winter, and wearing them with socks fills them out. Pleased with the fit. I don't find them overly narrow, and I typically find I have a wide foot and low arch. I mean it's definitely more narrow than some shoes, but not enough to feel weird or anything.
Overall, great for the price, not sure I'd pay retail for them though.

(1)

 

0 Comments

0 Comments

gilipollas

gilipollas wrote a review of on December 27, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Living in Atlanta, I don't get many chances to snowboard. So I fly out west. I bought this bag to take all my crap out for a week or two in Utah this year. Very pleased with my purchase.

I have a 155 and 154 length board, and bought the 156 bag. I fit the two boards, one set of bindings, boots, helmet, jacket, pants, gloves, goggles, all my tuning gear including an iron, and some dirty clothes in here. Granted, it was a bit tight, but it fit, and the bag was great.

The lack of wheels on the back can make for a sore shoulder, but not too bad, and the price was right. Love this bag, very durable material, made to last, and will store all my junk back at home over the summer.

(2)

 

0 Comments

gilipollas

gilipollas wrote a review of on December 27, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I bought the c40 a while back, and I have small hands, so it's worked really well, no complaints. I passed on the c80 originally because I thought it would be too big. However, I got a deal on one for $20, and decided to order. Turns out I like the size more. It holds more chalk, cinches up better, and isn't ridiculously large like I thought it would be. The pocket on the back is super nice, and it's typical arcteryx quality. Highly recommended, if you can find it on sale. Probably not worth the $40, but definitely for $20

(2)

 

0 Comments

gilipollas

gilipollas wrote a review of on December 27, 2013

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I expected basically higher quality gatorade mix from these, but it's quite a bit different. First of all, when mixing the packet with the recommended dose of water, the orange flavor tastes about like water with a little bit of skim milk and orange flavoring. But VERY slight, almost unnoticeable flavor. It's pretty good. Sometime gatorade or other mixes can be overwhelming, this definitely isn't, it goes down easy and tastes just enough to be more appetizing than water and avoid those stomach aches that come when pounding plain water.

It's hard to say how it works, it's basically just water with some electrolytes, but it left me satisfied and hydrated. Good product.

(1)

 

0 Comments

0 Comments