Rick's Passions

Hiking & Camping

rick_samon2373308 wrote an answer about on October 6, 2012

I have owned the Dynafit ZZero 4 C-TF for a couple of years, and they are allegedly the widest last Dynafit offers. I also have a wide foot, but it is low volume and my heel is small-to-average. I find that some boots that have a wider last (i.e. Black Diamond , Scarpa) also have too much volume, but the bigger problem is that the heel pocket is also enlarged so I get lots of heel raise. My Dynafit ZZero 4 C-TF fit great. I did have to get a couple of very minor holes punched, and added some addition padding to the achiles to lock the heel in more, but they really were great even to begin with for my foot shape.




rick_samon2373308 wrote an answer about on March 19, 2012

I researched Ruffwear's website and could not find a single rating on this harness so I personally would not trust it for this use. I would instead recommend the Ruffwear DoubleBack which is rated to 8.9kn (2,000 lb). Just make sure if you go this route that you i) actually doubleback the straps per the instructions and ii) tie your rope to a load-rated loop on the harness.





rick_samon2373308 wrote a review of on August 22, 2011

5 5

My primary use for my Neoair All-Season is alpine climbing. I wanted something light, warm, and comfortable. I was using a foam Ridgerest for a while, but at almost the same weight as a Neoair but less warm and less comfy, I decided to upgrade.

I bought a Neoair and the first time I used it, camping on a glacier, I woke up to a completely deflated pad. Should have tested it out at home first. I couldn't find a leak so I assume it was a valve issue; I probably just had a bad apple so I exchanged it for another Neoair. I used this Neoair a few times, including as my only pad on snow and glaciers, and it was actually sufficiently warm and certainly far warmer than a standard foam pad with the same r-value. I think Thermarest is being conservative with their r-value. I wouldn't want to use the pad alone in the winter, but for summer alpine climbing, it was surprisingly good on snow - not great, but definitely good. A couple weekends ago, I went on a very relaxed overnight trip where camping was on dirt. I blew up the Neoair to find out there was a hole in it from who knows what. The material used is just not that strong and not trustworthy.

I decided enough was enough and returned it, getting instead the Neoair All-Season. I had a chance to use the All-Season this past weekend and it worked great. Slightly heavier (5 ounces), but the material is the same thicker type used on the Thermarest Trekker pads. I was camped on dirt so I can't comment on how warm it will be on snow for now, but it kept me plenty warm on the dirt. It is also less 'crinkly' than the standard Neoair. Comfort is identical. The All-Season is slightly larger when rolled up, but it's not notably different at all.

This all said, I have a few climbing partners how have the standard Neoair and have not had issues with leaks, etc. and sleep just fine on snow with it, but for me, an extra 5 oz of weight is worth the added warmth and durability.

On a side note, the 'stuff sack pump' the Neoair All-Season comes with is worthless. I tried it this weekend and it would take ages to pump the pad with it. Like Thermarest says though, it might be handy in winter when blowing so much hurts the lungs. But for normal use, leave the 2 oz stuff sack at home and put your the pad in a ziplock bag or lighter stuff sack, and blow it up by mouth.

Hope this helps!





rick_samon2373308 wrote an answer about on August 21, 2011

They do not. The standard Neoair (the yellow one) has a very thin material, whereas the Neoair All-Season uses the same material as the Trekker --- a thicker and more durable material. Having owned the Neoair (returned it), the Neoair All-Season, and a Prolite (my first air mattress), I'd say that both the Neoair and Neoair All-Season are less "slippy." I also own a cushy Exped and that might be the least slippy, but it's heavy and bulky and I never use it on climbs. BTW, the reason I got rid of my Neoair and got the Neoair All-Season is because the thin material on my Neoair somehow managed to puncture on who knows what -- it's just not that durable.




rick_samon2373308 wrote an answer about on October 30, 2010

Not really Brennan. It Primaloft with some thin nylon on the outside, and not form fitting at all. Wearing just the liners would be sloppy, likely move around, almost certain to get snow in by the wrist, and the thin nylon shell could get soaked and into the Primaloft. They really didn't design these gloves with that application in mind.

Often on a technical mountain climb (i.e. an alpine ice climb), I'll often bring some thin fleece gloves, my OR ExtraVert leather gloves, and just the shell of the BD Guides (leave the liner at home). On warm, non-technical approaches, I can wear the thin fleece gloves. I climb with the ORs when I need dexterity (i.e. setting/removing screws on steep ice) and put the BD Guide shells on (it's nice that they fit over fairly thick gloves like the ExtraVerts) when on lower grade terrain and my hands are on the ice/snow a lot and susceptible to getting wet - for example, if I am low/high daggering a lot. And I don't leave home without my mitts.

If it's a less technical climb, like a glacial slog, I'll maybe bring my thin fleece gloves, the entire BD Guide glove (liner and shell), and my mitts. When warm, I'll use just the thin fleece. When colder, will use the fleece + the BD Guide shells. When much colder, will remove the fleece liner and use the entire BD Guide gloves, and when super cold, will switch to mitts.

Maybe more info than you needed and certainly lots based on my own preference, but I hope it helps nonetheless. :)




rick_samon2373308 wrote an answer about on August 6, 2009

Hey there,

I had the Helium for several months and ultimately exchanged if for the Helium EQ and I am happier. The Helium EQ is about 5 degrees warmer than the Helium believe it or not (check Marmot's website for the specs). I had some issues with condensation getting the Helium wet, although it was a great bag. The regular Helium pack does pack down noticeably smaller than the Helium EQ. I think the ripstop nylon is far more compressible. I havent had breathability issues with the Helium EQ -- so far it rocks.