stwennik1475377

stwennik1475377

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STEFAN's Passions

Running

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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 an answer about on February 14, 2014

Probably... It's quite warm, but perhaps not warm enough for the arctic/coldest/worst weather you might run into (worst-case-scenario). But on the other hand, the amount of synthetic insulation it provides would be good for the much-more-likely standard wet/cold weather you most often run into up there. It's pretty light, not too bulky, is cut well enough to actually climb in (as well as wear around camp).

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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 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 an answer about on April 10, 2013

no. no fleece lining. the description is wrong. the fabric is a mid-weight stretch nylon. the interior might be 'brushed' a bit to soften it to the touch , but there is no barrier bonded to the fabric, and no fleece lining. That said, I love the fabric. It's perfect for spring and fall, ok for winter if you're working hard, and not too hot for summer nights. Sheds light precip but not fully waterproof. Very breathable. Great pants!

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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 an answer about on February 17, 2013

I'm 5' 10" 180 lbs and the Men's L fits...

I'm 5' 10" 180 lbs and the Men's L fits me very well. Fit is much less roomy than the DAS parka. the DAS parka is cut very generously so you can put it on over your climbing clothing. The Apastron is cut more traditionally. It is warmer than my DAS parka. The only thing I don't like about the Apastron is the hood. The whole neck/face area is too loose. It doesn't form a tight seal on your neck/chin. Cold winds just pour in. It does not cover enough of the side or front of the face. Unless the cold wind is coming from behind you, your cheeks, face etc are quite exposed. Tightening the adjustment strings doesn't help.

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stwennik1475377

stwennik1475377 wrote an answer about on January 14, 2013

?!? really...!? it's a wonder that I survived 20+ years of ascents & descents in the Northeast White mountain, the Rockies, and the Alps with my pathetic nylon garments. More durable? That I can get on board with. Even 'ripstop' nylon tears with alarming ease when it comes into accidental contact with ice tools, etc. So if this new fabric is more durable, then great. But please let's not get overly caught up in a manufacturer's claims about something like wind-proofness. Traditional insulated nylon/poly jackets (like the DAS parka) offer all the 'windproofness' we'll ever need. One last question on this jacket: Why no separating bottom zipper (for belaying etc)?

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