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stwennik1475377

stwennik1475377

stwennik1475377's Passions

Running

stwennik1475377

stwennik1475377 wrote a review of on November 19, 2014

5 5

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

Really nice, basic, simple, synth insulated jacket. Very light yet very warm. Kind of minimalist but that works really well in the backcountry. Fit: i'm 5'10" 175lbs and the size L fits well. Loose enough to wear some layers underneath on really cold days; but not too loose -- it works very well as a liner under a hard shell. Nice cuffs. Nice Hood (I've run into a lot of crappy hoods from other brands lately). Hand-warmer pockets will actually keep your hands warm (I've run into a lot of un-insulated hand-warmer pockets from other brands lately). Things I would suggest as improvements: one, add a reach-across chest pocket. Two, perhaps add a touch more insulation, perhaps 100 grams instead of 80? 80 is ok for a lot of conditions, and the jacket packs down to a nice small size. But, 100 would be better I think for really cold conditions, and I doubt the pack-down size would be too badly increased. Just my two cents. But I really like this jacket a lot. I've tried a lot of other synth jackets over the last few winters and I'm now sold on Montbell. They really do a great job with thoughtful features/design and execution. Highly recommended.

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stwennik1475377

stwennik1475377 wrote a review of on June 15, 2014

5 5

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

I've tried lots of different sunglasses from lots of different brands. But I keep coming back to Kaenons. I love the quality of the optics. These aviator style models are incredibly light and for the most part are quite comfortable. The only complaint I have on that score is that the arms are spring-tensioned. This keeps the glasses in place well, but over the course of several hours of wear, they can start to pinch a bit. Back to the optics... these are terrific. So clear and sharp. Again, only one complaint, I wish they were a bit darker. The 'G12' lens is ok for general use on a sunny day, but they can get a bit overwhelmed by direct, bright sunlight.

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stwennik1475377

stwennik1475377 wrote a review of on May 2, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

... the sound quality is simply terrific. Just the right amount of bass, excellent mids and highs. Very nice. That's the most important thing, right? But a few other comments: I wish the cord were longer. I wish the ear cups were a bit larger so that they more fully encompassed my ears. The head tension is pretty good. It stays securely on my head during normal use. After about an hour of wearing though I start to feel a bit sore.

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stwennik1475377

stwennik1475377 wrote a review of on February 14, 2014

5 5

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

super warm, excellent cut/fit, excellent collar/chin/hood, excellent pockets. I've tried a bunch of other highly-rated high-warmth synthetic fill jackets over the past several winters, and this is by far the best. I'm 5 10", 175 lbs and ordered size L. It's just a bit generously sized, allowing for layers underneath; but not massively over-sized like some other 'belay' parkas on the market. Favorite feature is probably the tall stand-up collar and zip-on/zip-off hood arrangement. I use the jacket probably 80% of the time with the hood zipped off. I find this style of tall stand-up collar a lot warmer and more comfortable than most hoody jackets (hood permanently attached) whose collar/chin areas never give me a comfortable seal when the hood is down. This jacket is almost (not quite) as warm as a Patagonia DAS Parka, but it fits better, has better features and is less bulky. Highly recommended.

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stwennik1475377

stwennik1475377 wrote a review of on January 4, 2014

2 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

The cut/fit is atrocious. I can't imagine who these were designed for. Can't pedal in these at all. They bind horribly. The fit in the waist is fine, although they are a bit short in back (plumber's crack... just a bit). Way too tight in the thighs, which is the main problem. Too loose down at the ankles. There are some elastic panels, but not nearly enough to allow comfortable pedaling. I was constantly having to fiddle/fidget with these, tug up on them here/there; then I could pedal for a bit. then they'd shift a bit and they would bind again. They are warm. But they are not very breathable at all. Clammy/wet on inside from sweat. I'm actually pretty shocked at how bad these are. These are my first pair of long MTB pants. Perhaps their main customers are DH riders that don't have to pedal at all. But for more general riding in cold/wet weather I would suggest looking elsewhere.

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stwennik1475377

stwennik1475377 wrote a review of on December 15, 2013

4 5

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

This is a very nicely thought out and executed jacket. Really nicely constructed! Overall, very warm! Pretty thick layer of 800 down, baffled construction. Windstopper shell fabric. All the elements are there for serious warmth in the winter. I love the tall stand-up collar; perfect height to protect the chin and lower face all the way around. Great selection of pockets. The body is very nicely cut, it moves well. I find it to be the perfect length to provide coverage (down past the waist) but not too long so that it gets in the way. The (removable) hood is ok; but not a complete success. It is not quite large enough to come around front and fully cover the face. A bad design decision in a jacket intended for frigid/windy conditions. Other than that, my only concern is the sizing. I had heard in the past that Montbell ran a bit small; but that more recently they had re-sized their products to be more in line with North American bodies. And I have recently purchased a Thermawrap BC in size Large and it fits me well. So, I ordered this jacket in size L and it's not quite right. The body is ok, if perhaps just a tiny bit snug. But the arms are a bit too tight for me. Because of the tightness of the fit in the arms, I'm experiencing some minor cold spots around the upper arms/elbows. I don't have huge guns :-), so that's not the problem. I debated exchanging it for an XL, but I like the fit of the rest of the jacket the way it is. So I guess I'll just put up with it. So, my recommendation is that if you are normally a size L, and you want a close fit, stick with a L. If you would want to wear this jacket over other layers, you would probably do better to go up to an XL. But aside from the sizing (a personal issue for me), and the not-quite-full-coverage-hood, I think this is a superior quality parka.

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stwennik1475377

stwennik1475377 wrote a review of on December 11, 2013

2 5

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

Warm, but not as warm as i'd hoped. It reportedly has 200g of synthetic insulation, but unless I wear thick layers underneath this jacket I'm cold in 20-deg temps. Fabric has a crinkly loudness to it that is mildly annoying. Hood is not full-coverage enough. It really p$sses me off that companies are delivering products for cold weather applications that have hoods that do not come far forward enough to cover the front of the face. What is up with this? I've run into this from other vendors as well (patagonia). It's ridiculous. General fit is a bit baggy, which is ok for a belay-parka because theoretically you would throw this on over your climbing clothes; but, the sleeve length is a bit short. Overall, this jacket is barely serviceable as a winter parka for belaying and general wear; but I can't really recommend it fully. The not-full-coverage hood especially disqualifies it for me. Standing around belaying a slow leader on an ice cliff on a frigid day with my face freezing off is not a situation that can be accepted. It frankly amazes me that this kind of hood design would get through a company's testing process.

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stwennik1475377

stwennik1475377 wrote a review of on December 6, 2013

nice, but a couple of serious flaws
2 5

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

100 g primaloft, windstopper shell fabric. Nice! However... there are a couple of things that really p*ss me off about this product. The 'hand warmer' pockets are not insulated. The velcro wrist cuff straps are way too long (minor quibble). The inside chest zip pocket is a bit hard to use with one hand (minor quibble).
But the main problem is the hood. It is possibly the worst design for a cold weather hood that I've ever encountered. It's awful. The whole front of the face/head is totally exposed to the elements. It's too wide open, too low, and the various adjustment strings that you can pull on do nothing to fix it. You can never get this hood to really close in and envelope your face in warmth. Pulling on the two front string/tabs only pulls the top of the hood down over your eyes. The bottom area around the chin is too low and too wide. Cold air just streams down into your neck area. It's a cruel joke really... I think they might have been trying to provide better peripheral vision or something, but they completely over-compensated for that and delivered a hood that totally over-exposes the wearer to the elements.

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stwennik1475377

stwennik1475377 wrote a question about on September 22, 2013

I have a marmot zeus jacket. is this ama dablam parka similar in terms of warmth; but with a hood? why don't manufacturers provide better details? sewn-through or baffled/boxed? 800 fill down - great. What's the fill weight though? overall garment weight is really not that helpful.

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stwennik1475377

stwennik1475377 wrote a review of on August 19, 2013

4 5

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

I just spent a week in these boots in the Wind Rivers. Mix of days with a heavy pack on trails, and days of steep scrambles up peaks with a light pack. I expected these boots to do well on the scrambles (which they did) but they also did just fine while laboring under that heavy pig of a pack. Nimble, great traction. Mostly very comfortable. My only problem was the bottoms of my feet. In these boots (worse than others I've worn) the bottoms of my feet felt like they were burning up. Hot Feet! Especially on long descents.

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stwennik1475377

stwennik1475377 wrote a review of on April 10, 2013

5 5

These have become my favorites. I have two pairs now. The weight of the fabric is perfect in my opinion. Mid weight, not flimsy, not too heavy. No laminate, no fleece lining contrary to the description above. Works for me for all seasons, but best for spring and fall. Nice stretch. Nice pockets. My jeans size is 33x30. So I ordered size M and had them tailored a bit. They were a bit too long so I had them hemmed up to inseam 30. And I also had them tapered at the bottom so the opening was a bit narrower. For climbing, etc, I like to have a minimum of extra fabric flapping around down there catching on things and hiding my feet from view, etc. So, with these changes in place, I think I've found the perfect pants.

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stwennik1475377

stwennik1475377 wrote a review of on February 19, 2013

3 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

100g of primaloft is a nice thing to have.Fit is poor though. Too tight in the shoulders, too loose around the mid-section. Too tight in the forearms. Uncomfortable/awkward fit around the neck/chin. Third pocket fits a smart phone, but it's internal and it's a pain to have to open the jacket to get at your phone. Despite description above, it is not a hook/loop wrist cuff. Patagonia used to impress me with their garment design choices; now not so much.

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stwennik1475377

stwennik1475377 wrote a review of on September 24, 2012

2 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

these have changed a bit over the years, and I might not have the very latest model; but I believe mine are pretty recent. Apologies if these issues have been dealt with in this year's model. These are very warm gloves, very well constructed using top-quality materials. I would thoroughly recommend these except for two fatal flaws in my view. First, while the hand-area of these gloves are richly insulated, the gauntlet is not. I get bad cold spots at the juncture of the uninsulated gauntlet area and the end of my jacket-wrist cuff. Second, the cut of the thumb is too short. This is a personal issue and it might not be a problem for others, but the fingers are cut kind of long for the size, but the thumb is cut pretty short. As a result, the tips of my thumbs are crammed into the end of the thumb pocket, compressing the insulation there and therefore... another bad cold spot at the end of my thumbs.

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stwennik1475377

stwennik1475377 wrote a review of on February 3, 2012

3 5

very comfortable, and they have held up well (durable).

likes:
light, well ventilated, good fit

dislikes:
cable-lacing system works, but is gimicky and doesn't really provide much of a benefit over traditional laces. sole/lug pattern is very shallow and provides only mediocre traction. under heel the shoe is padded and protected from below. but under forefoot and front foot the shoe is very thin and offers almost no protection from objects you might step on. Why just the heel?

I've relegated these to around-town and now use Montrail Mountain Masochists for real trail running

and I'm experimenting with Vibram KSO Trek Sports. If you are going to give up on protection from below, you might as well go all the way.

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