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Maciej 's Passions

Trail Running

Maciej 's Bio

pel4942930

pel4942930 wrote a review of on February 4, 2012

5 5

These skis carve groomers with authority, slash powder like nobody's business, and have enough pop to bounce down the mountain from feature to feature.

Rather than stiff, I'd describe these skis as agile and aggressive in the best way. Also, I had no problem making short or long radius turns despite the 40m radius sidecut.

I have mine mounted with Dynafits, and I can't wait for the avy risk to come down so I can rip some backcountry lines on 'em!!

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pel4942930

pel4942930 wrote an answer about on November 8, 2011

If you're doing a lot of resort skiing, you may choose a Marker AT binding, but they tour poorly (and are prone to icing, and you have to take your skis off to switch to ski mode, and you can easily break one with a knee fall touring) and are REALLY heavy. While I'm also on BD Factors, I'm putting Dynafit Vertical FT 12's on mine.

To anyone who claims that Dynafit's can't hang if you ski hard, I'd say watch an Eric Hjorleifson video (like this one http://www.earlyups.com/featured/eric-hjorleifson-pov/)

Dynafits don't have the same elasticity in the toe release as an alpine binding, and don't do well in backwards falls. Otherwise, they work REALLY well driving skis hard.

For "slackcountry" or mixed resort-bc bindings, Markers are a reasonable compromise. For (even really agressive) backcountry use, nothing works as well as a Dynafit.

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pel4942930

pel4942930 wrote a review of on October 27, 2011

5 5

The Good:
These guys are well built, super comfortable, and repariable once the outsoles and/or webbing wears out.

The Bad:
PU is WAY more durable than EVA foam, but a little heavier.
Stock models made in China, not the U.S.

Conclusion:
Contrary to what some reviewers have said about diminished quality, Asian made Chacos are identical to U.S. made ones. Interestingly, since Chinese labor isn't the deal it used to be, a lot of companies (incl. Chaco) are looking at relocating back to the U.S. If you really want a pair of U.S. made Chacos, you can get any sole/outsole/webbing you want made in their U.S. facility for $135 (you'd have to go through a local dealer, not Backcounry though). That's how much more it costs to build stuff here.

Aside from the whole country of origin thing, I think these sandals are the best money can buy. They're supportive enough for serious hiking or backpacking, impervious to water, and super comfortable once the straps are set up properly.

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pel4942930

pel4942930 wrote a review of on October 27, 2011

5 5

The Good:
These guys are well built, super comfortable, and repariable once the outsoles and/or webbing wears out.

The Bad:
PU is WAY more durable than EVA foam, but a little heavier.
Stock models made in China, not the U.S.

Conclusion:
Contrary to what some reviewers have said about diminished quality, Asian made Chacos are identical to U.S. made ones. Interestingly, since Chinese labor isn't the deal it used to be, a lot of companies (incl. Chaco) are looking at relocating back to the U.S. If you really want a pair of U.S. made Chacos, you can get any sole/outsole/webbing you want made in their U.S. facility for $135 (you'd have to go through a local dealer, not Backcounry though). That's how much more it costs to build stuff here.

Aside from the whole country of origin thing, I think these sandals are the best money can buy. They're supportive enough for serious hiking or backpacking, impervious to water, and super comfortable once the straps are set up properly.

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pel4942930

pel4942930 wrote a review of on October 25, 2011

5 5

I've run a few marathons, and have backed off on road running the past year or two. A longtime Brooks fan, I tried these on just to see what the hype was about and bought a pair instead of another pair of (traditional)Brooks running shoes. These fit my fairly wide (C-D width) feet to a T and are very comfortable and nicely finished inside (I wear 'em with D-Feet cycling socks).

I run on rocky terrain, and these provide very good traction and just enough protection to keep a rock from punching through. Since I have a smooth, low impact stride and sturdy feet, knees, etc. I've adjusted to these without any problems or reduction in mileage (15-20 miles a week).

An added (and unexpected) bonus is that since these shoes bring your feet closer to the ground, trail running is also more stable-I feel like I'm MUCH less likely to turn an ankle wearing these shoes.

I know that these shoes won't fit some people, and others might not be able to run in a "barefoot" style shoe. For the rest of you, these shoes are the ticket to developing a smoother, more powerful stride.

A final note: These are roomy enough I went DOWN half a size to get a precise fit.

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pel4942930

pel4942930 wrote a review of on September 30, 2011

5 5

..could use these.

The Good:
Easy to use.
Proven track record.
LEDs not temperature sensitive like LCD displays.
Excellent customer service from BCA.

The Bad:
Not as light as some newer offerings.
Not as cool when you're showing off your gear.

Conclusion:
This avy beacon is still the benchmark for good reason. They're simple and intuitive to operate. I go out every fall a few times and practice using this puppy with friends, and even multiple burials are easy to pinpoint without a fancy mode to flag each beacon. A buddy had a software glitch with his a couple of years ago, sent his Tracker to BCA, and got a new one within a week (didn't miss a day of skiing).

A final thought. In extremely cold temps, LCD screens (which all the other fancier beacons use) freeze up and stop working. While you SHOULD always have your beacon on your body where it'd stay warm, in a situation where an LCD screen beacon is exposed to low temps (say, a multiple burial search)the more basic robust display of the Tracker will still work.

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pel4942930

pel4942930 wrote a review of on September 30, 2011

5 5

The Good:
Almost as light as the fancy carbon poles that cost twice as much.
Easy, reliable length adjustment.
Durable.
If you break a lower section, they're cheap and easy to replace.

The Bad:
If you bend the lowers on these guys, they can't be bent back-they snap.
You'll confuse your poles with your touring buddies.

Conclusion:
These poles are a near-perfect b/c product, and work really well as a resort pole as well. Their higher resistance to bending comes from using higher strength aluminum than cheaper poles. This means they are MUCH less likely to bend, but can't be bent back if they get tweaked. However, new lower sections are about $12 apiece, so no big deal. There are other decent poles out there, but these set the standard for ease of use, durability and serviceability. Unless you have a carbon fetish and lots of cash to burn, these are the poles to get.

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pel4942930

pel4942930 wrote a review of on September 30, 2011

5 5

The Good:
These things are totally wind/waterproof and breathable.
Long gauntlets are really nice.
Generous snot wipes on both thumbs.
Enough dexterity to handle ski buckles, folding climbing skins, etc.

The bad:
Not insulated enough for colder resort days.

Conclusion:
Getting the transition right in the backcountry helps make for more comfortable, efficient touring. These gloves breathe well enough to work on the skin up and are warm enough to leave on for the ride down. Their ability to keep my hands warm and dry without taking them off on a tour is truly amazing.

That said, on really cold days or riding chairs these are a little thin. However, they are the closest to a glove "quiver of one" for backcountry skiing I've tried.

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pel4942930

pel4942930 wrote a review of on September 30, 2011

5 5

...but no more. These are perfect for skate skiing, shoulder season cycling, and warmer weather b/c skiing. They are very lightweight, and have virtually no insulation, which allows better breathability and dexterity. The rubberized palm is grippy and durable.

If you want a pair of gloves to keep the wind and water off your paws but no more, these are the best gloves you can buy.

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pel4942930

pel4942930 wrote a review of on September 30, 2011

5 5

The Good:
Vents easy to open/close with gloves on.
Good (and very adjustable) fit.
Vented enough to tour on colder days.

The Bad:
Kinda heavy.

Conclusion:
This helmet is perfect for in-bounds skiing. Since I'm mostly a b/c guy, I wish it was a little lighter weight. Other than that, this thing is as good as it gets. I didn't bother with the brim because you're just paying a little extra for a fashion feature.

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pel4942930

pel4942930 wrote a review of on September 29, 2011

4 5

...the liners are still Meh. As in I took a pair of hard-foam Garmont liners I had laying around and put them in right away. That said, the fit of the shells is awesome. The heel cup is narrow enough to provide meaningful hold, and the forefoot accommodates my C-D width feet without needing to be punched out.
Aside from the liners (and I doubt the new ones are any better), the only other beef I have is with the flex rating. My "90 Flex" Tecnica Diablo's are stiffer than these "130 Flex" boots. That said, these are still plenty stiff to drive any ski in the backcountry, and have a nice, progressive flex.
One final note-the liners in these suck, but the insoles are really nice...Superfeet nice. If BD put Intuition liners in these puppies, they'd be a 5 star product.

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pel4942930

pel4942930 wrote a review of on September 29, 2011

4 5

I'm an aggressive backcountry skier, 5'9" and about 155 lbs. I've demoed these in the 177 length and own the 184's. The shorter pair was more nimble, but a touch twitchy. Consequently, I'm on 184's.

The Good:
They rip in any condition.
Rockered tip and flat tail make touring easier.
Durable as expected for a ski with burly edges and bases.
Damp, smooth ride.

The Bad:
You have to ski them hard-they demand that you drive them in a forward stance, all the time and in all snow conditions.
Extra beef=extra mass.
Stiff flat tails are unforgiving of lazy landings-if you don't get out of the backseat ASAP when you land these things, they'll throw you.

Summary:
As with most rockered skis, I suggest going up a size if you aren't sure. If you bring your A-game, these skis will reward you, big time. If not, go for a softer ski.

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