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ratherbe

ratherbe

The Cascades Washington and BC Coast

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David's Passions

Camping
Hiking
Mountain Biking
Snowshoeing
Kayaking

David's Bio

ratherbe

ratherbe wrote an answer about on June 1, 2013

Unlike Pat P. I have used Alps tents, although not this particular model . The material and build quality seems good in my experience. While they are not up to the quality and technical sophistication of the bigger name brands (Mt. Hardwear, MSR, etc.) in my experience they provide an excellent bang for your buck. This particular tent appears to be very well reviewed,on one site being picked as the best budget alternative to a Hilleberg jannu (which is saying a lot), and fairly light for a 4 season 2 person tent. One caution i have is that there only appear to be a few guy points on the fly, so I would be hesitant to take this out in the worst (windiest, heaviest snow load) conditions. Hence I would not perhaps pick this for a serious mountaineering tent, but I'm pretty sure it would do well for everything else.

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ratherbe

ratherbe wrote an answer about on March 20, 2012

A bit late for this response but I have used both and agree in part with Ian that the Argon bag will hold more volume and has lots of features, however I think the Bora is in a different league in terms of load hauling comfort. The Argon IMHO is great for carrying loads which are large volume but low to moderate in weight, while the Bora can carry just about anything in comfort.

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ratherbe

ratherbe wrote an answer about on March 20, 2012

Hello

I used the original Bora 95 for almost a decade and the Denali Pro for several years.
For backpacking I would say the Bora is noticeably superior. I found it more comfortable and could haul more weight. I also liked the bag features and yet simplicity. Simple but very comfortable hip belt and back panel. The latter is a little sweaty in hot weather given its construction however.

On the plus side for the Gregory is that it uses more durable bag materials than the current Bora model, is more adaptable for mountaineering use with more lash points, is slightly bigger (although in practice the Bora 95 Tall can hold almost as much volume, and more weight in my opinion) and can be cinched down nicely for a summit pack use. I found my Gregory developed a slight frame squeek after several trips. Also a bit difficult to get a winter bag in the Denali unless you load from the top.

In short, for me the Bora was a more successful choice than the Denali (at least for backpacking), but you may find the opposite. I would load up both if you can and see how they carry for you. If you find the Denali as comfortable with the heavier weights you may want to consider it since its design is a bit more suited to mountaneering. If not I would go for the Bora.

As an aside I retired the Bora after about a decade of extensive use (mainly backpacking in the mountains rather than mountaneering). In contrast I sold the Denali after several years and am presently using a Gregory Robson Pro I picked up used and cheap and which is no longer produced. It's essentailly a slightly smaller version of the Denali, although I prefer its bag design. I plan to buy another Bora 95 at some stage however.

Good luck
David

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ratherbe

ratherbe wrote an answer about on September 4, 2011

Hi Garrett. I have both the Vertigo High and the Kayland Contact, which is the earlier version of the Rev. The lasts are different with the Contact being broader and rounder. The heel cup seems similar on both however. The Contact is slightly heavier, but also a bit more supportive. I use the Vertigo High for rough hikes, scrambling and light backpacking, and the Contact for stuff thats a bit rougher and when I'm carrying a heavier load. The tread on the Contact is only a little bit different from the Vertigo High; I can't speak to the Rev in this respect. If I had to pick between the two I slightly prefer the Vertigo High as it's good for a greater variety of uses. The VH would be a better choice if you like to go more fast and light (but don't want to use trail shoes, etc), while the Contact is more oriented to traditional backpacking, although it's only a little bit heavier than the VH. Both are comfortable right away if they fit. I hope that's of some use.

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ratherbe

ratherbe wrote a review of on August 14, 2011

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Great tent, especially for the price. I would comfortably compare this with big-name tents costing a good deal more. I use this as as a solo, for which it's not the lightest, but very sturdy and packs fairly small. About the best venting I've seen in any sturdy tent (better than most 3-4 convertibles) allows it to be comfortably used in almost any weather. I might not pick this as my first choice for a Denali summit attempt or summer on the Sahara, but it should work for pretty much anything else. The set up is unusual, but easy enough once you've done it once. The only downsides I can think of are that it has only one door/vestibule and is a little compact for two large people. 4.5 stars

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ratherbe

ratherbe wrote a review of on January 22, 2011

3 5

These boots are built tough and high quality,with thick supportive leather uppers.However, break-in can be a bit unpleasant, like leather boots from the past, so much so that I decided to trade them in (and up I would say in most ways) for a pair of La Sportiva Karakorum.Also, the Asolo is a heavy boot for these days and the sole doesn't match the tank-like tops, in that the tread is quite shallow, and in my view not for the sort of more extreme terrain the uppers would suggest.However, if you don't mind the weight and the tread is okay for the terrain you have in mind, then these are beautiful boots that should provide long service.

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ratherbe

ratherbe wrote a review of on October 11, 2010

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I bought this pack the second year they came out in Canada and just retired it last year.I have used most brands of large packs made (with the exception of Dana Designs) and have never seen its equal. The old model was very sturdy, while the newer ones are lighter material, so possibly not as durable. I tried a new model on recently and the fit is the same.Can carry anything you could need or want for a week or more. Enough options in size that almost anyone can dial in a great fit. Load transfer to a very supportive hip belt is amazing. The belt is so simple but comfy that I have even used in on other packs from different makers. The back panel is very comfortable but a bit sweaty in warmer climates given its material (molded foam) and structure.

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ratherbe

ratherbe wrote a review of on October 10, 2010

5 5

As with all Norrona products I have tried the fit is slim, however this jacket allows you to size up without issue due to the wrist velcro. Excellent breathability; good water resistance and very lightweight. I have not had any doubts about durability yet. In my opinion Norrona products are hard to beat for quality of build and are also well thought out in terms of design.This makes a great cycling jacket as well as for hiking/backpacking, climbing. Best hood with wire brim I have seen in a softshell.

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ratherbe

ratherbe wrote a review of on October 3, 2010

5 5

First off, the comfort is instant if the shape works for you. A little slim in the forefoot for some; you may have to go up a half size. I have the previous year's model which seems pretty similar.
Seems w/p and pretty durable. The sole is very grippy on rock; with the trim profile these boots make great mountain scramblers.
Underfoot cushioning is okay, ankle support likewise. in my opinion these excel at scrambling and light-weight backpacking, and not so much for rough, heavy loads where you may want a little more support and perhaps cushioning..

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ratherbe

ratherbe wrote an answer about on October 3, 2010

The Karakorum upper feels more sturdy than the Glacier, although the cutouts allow great fore ankle flexing for walking uphill. The Karakorum also has a slightly more pronounced rocker making it a better boot for heavy backpacking in my opinion. It also has a quite trim forefoot making it good for scrambling and climbing, although perhaps not quite as good for snow and crampon use. I tried on both boots and bought the Karokorum with no regrets. Excellent quality. I have heard reports that the Glacier upper softens a lot after use, in fact too much, although can't speak to that first hand.

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ratherbe

ratherbe wrote an answer about on October 2, 2010

Warm, comfortable, essentially waterproof, and built to last. Arguably the most bang for your buck you can find in a softshell. However, it does not have pit-zips and the Ventia fabric does not vent as well as Powershield or similar. It is made for what it says: activities in cold, wet weather. I would take this cold weather backpacking, particularly in the mountains.

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ratherbe

ratherbe wrote an answer about on May 22, 2010

I'm almost the same size as you, and have tried both L and XL in Norrona. They are European fit, so if your legs are slim L might work. XL may be somewhat big in the waist, but perhaps a better fit elsewhere. I wasn't able to keep the Norrona pants since I am right betweeen L and XL. I did keep a Norrona softshell, and went for an XL; I would never have been be able to get the L on. Great products otherwise.

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ratherbe

ratherbe wrote a review of on February 19, 2010

5 5

Lightweight shell with a very trim fit. You will likely need to size up, but if it fits you this is a nice piece of work. Not for the most extreme conditions perhaps as the material is very thin. Breathes well, and seems durable. Some great design features, like the hood which is easy to adjust and has a stiff brim-very cool, and the pit-zips which are the easiest to operate of any jacket of any type I have ever owned. Note the BC description noting no core venting is incorrect. I bought it on sale and am very happy with it at the price I paid. I might be a little reluctant to pay full price perhaps. I am using it mostly for hiking and backpacking, although the intended use is climbing etc.

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ratherbe

ratherbe wrote a review of on January 9, 2010

4 5

I tried both the L and the XL and ended up feeling like Goldilocks. A slightly odd fit in an otherwise very nice pair of zip-offs. Stretchy, shorts are knee-long and comfortable. However for me the thighs were tight on the L and the waist way too big if I sized up.Definitely would have been keepers but for the sizing issue.

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ratherbe

ratherbe wrote an answer about on October 14, 2009

Hi Jesse

Although I haven't used the Lowe you mention I have used the Gregory Denali Pro. While it is a solid pack which can carry a lot, I am not sure it is necessarily the best big load pack around. For example, I have used the Arcteryx Bora 95 (which in Tall is as big as the Denali) and think that is a more comfortable carry. Another little point, the sleeping bag access is small, particularly if you're trying to get a winter bag in (not a deal breaker since you can load this from the top if necessary, but mildly annoying).
Another small thing is they have a reputation for being a bit noisy (mine developed a squeek after a couple of trips). Well built however with some good attributes and should last well.

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ratherbe

ratherbe wrote a review of on July 7, 2008

5 5

Finally someone has made a useful lantern small and light enough to take backpacking. After years of candle lanterns, fragile globes and mantles, and feeble light something that is easy to use, durable and which provides ample light for reading or any camp activity. Light quality is excellent: both strong and diffused equally. I am so thrilled with this thing I dare not offer any criticism (okay, maybe someday they can make it a touch smaller with improvements in battery technology).

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0 Comments

ratherbe

ratherbe wrote a review of on December 18, 2007

4 5

These things are made to last: both the sole and uppers may outlive you.
These make good casual or work use boots, but I don't like them as much for hiking or similar activities as they are a touch "clunky" and it's difficult to get a snug fit as the boot is fairly high volume. A different lacing system might help snug them down better as well.
As someone mentioned there is not a great deal of arch support in these, but this can be improved with a replacement insole, which can also help you fine-tune the fit.

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