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Toby's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Running

Toby's Bio

tobias

tobias wrote a review of on July 17, 2014

3 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: Runs small

I'm 6'3" & about 205 lbs. I bought the XL in blue. Normally XL-sized Icebreaker fits me very well. This jacket runs small across my shoulders and is very tight down my upper arms. It fits like a fitted t-shirt, no kidding. And I have pretty skinny arms. The rest of it is actually more roomy than I'd like. I just don't get this one, unfortunately. I have many, many pieces of Icebreaker clothing, and this one is just a weird fit.
Material quality is great, though. I like how they're trying new fabric styles.
It would have been great for me if it better.

(1)

 

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tobias

tobias wrote a review of on July 28, 2010

2 5

Bob Loblaw's review has covered the specs. I have some similar comments, and a few extra. Like him, I found areas where I could easily see daylight through the bag but with a bit of shaking I was able to redistribute the down. But luckily I haven't found any panels devoid of down.

Pros:
- Center zip arrangement is neat, makes getting in & out simple.
- Plenty long and roomy enough (I'm 6'3" & 205lbs).
- Hood design is perfect (for me). When cinched down if covers my face just right, leaving a breathing hole over my mouth & nose only. Just right.
- Very light weight, love the 800-fill down!

Cons:
- Center zip concept needs work. Great idea but the zipper ends up right smack dab in my face. The pulls variously poke me in the nose or flop into my mouth, and the zipper is cold and hard against my teeth. It needs a cover of some kind. Desperately. This is verging on complete fail.
- Center zip needs to be a bit longer. It comes to waistband level on me, and this makes getting in & out an exercise in sliding up to the head of the bag. With a side zipper I am able to flop my knees to the side to gain some extra height with short zippers.
- Baffle over main zipper is only just adequate.
- Footbox zipper has a weird no-hem thing happening. It looks clean but I had a hard time getting the zipper to close without binding.
- No draft collar. Seriously? On a $350 bag this should be mandatory, especially for a heat rating at this level. You could say it's omission was in the interests of saving weight, but it's weight worth having. And there should not be corners cut to save cost at this price point.

I too have not taken this outside, but I got up to 98.6° super-quick, so it _feels_ reassuringly insulated. Bring on winter!

I bought this on SAC, and at that price it is worth me keeping it & trying to fabricate a zipper cover of my own. I would be sorely disappointed if I had paid full retail for this item.

(5)

 

tobias

tobias wrote a review of on June 17, 2010

3 5

I have been through several of these now. They were very comfortable for me, and light on the foot. Unfortunately they were not durable at all. After perhaps only 10 miles of light use (walking, and not even on the trail) the sole under the heel area delaminated from the shoe. This allowed air / water to be sucked in, and then squelched back out, with each step. It was like walking on a pair of whoopee cushions.

After this occurred the shoes seemed to not get any worse, but the outside material was also quite flimsy. I tore one of them pretty well scuffing the shoe against a rock. I was pretty surprised about the damage given the size of the hit.

I would still buy these again if there was an improvement / fix for the sole failing.

(1)

 

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tobias

tobias wrote a review of on December 15, 2009

5 5

Yeah, 6 out of 5, that's what it deserves. Awesome!

I have not tried it in the rain (which it is not really intended anyway, but for the same of experiment I will at some point). It is awesome when the temp is below freezing. Nice 'n soft, complete wind-stopping power. The light fleece interior is a welcome break from the hard-shells I have, and did I mention soft? I didn't realise how important that was until I wore it regularly.

I haven't yet tried it at its intended purpose - snow-sports; the season is slow getting going here, but I have no doubt it will be killer.

(2)

 

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tobias

tobias wrote a review of on November 1, 2009

4 5

When you can have this jacket for a fraction of the price? Excellent piece of kit. It's pretty much the same as an Arc'Teryx Alpha SV, but it's not $600 retail. What's not to like?

OK, my only criticism is that the collar of the jacket is a bit rough on the underside of my chin, be it zipped up or not. Somehow it manages to poke me uncomfortably, but it's a small thing, though.

I am 6'3" and 205 lbs, and the XL fits me like a glove. There's a decent amount of room for some layers underneath, but I could not get a down jacket in there.

(1)

 

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tobias

tobias wrote a review of on October 15, 2009

4 5

The fit is more snug & shorter in the leg than the previous version that I have several of, think the new James Bond's swimming trunks. They fixed the waistband issue, too (it would fold over on itself).

There's nothing that beats the comfort of wool underwear, period. I have a bunch of these now, and they are my preferred underwear, summer & winter.

(0)

 

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tobias

tobias wrote an answer about on July 24, 2009

I am 6'3" and about 210-215. I ordered both the L & the XL. Neither fits well. The L is decent if a little snug through the chest & torso, but waaay too small in the shoulders and sleeves.

The XL is sufficiently roomy in the chest/torso to allow good layering, and doesn't hang too wide when worn without layers. But the shoulders in the XL are too narrow -- ok when standing with arms at my side but if I cross them in front of my chest the jacket pulls very tight. And then there are the sleeves. I am no Popeye, believe me, but the sleeves are form-fitting. When I cross my arms in front of me the fabric pulls tight against my biceps and in the crook of my elbows. Absolutely too tight. I feared for tearing the jacket. Sent both back.

Also, the Napoleon pockets are a PITA. Perhaps they're a good design for alpine work & hiking, but I also want to be able to get my hands in there for some shelter & it is impossible.

The hood, though, is the pinnacle example of hoods. Absolutely perfect.

(0)

 

tobias

tobias wrote a review of on May 27, 2009

5 5

I have been wearing my ArcTeryx Gamma MX for about a year (I love the Gamma MX, it's a fantastic piece of kit) and wanted to buy my father something similar. But I wasn't about to drop the same kind of $ on Dad not knowing if he'd like it or even use it, so when the Shift came along on SAC I was all over it. Well, it arrived today and I am very impressed.

The Shift appears to be a very close copy of the Gamma MX. Very close, but with more useful pockets (ArcTeryx must have a policy of putting the bare minimum of pockets in their jackets. Oooo look guys, we saved a quarter of an ounce!).

The materials seems very similar between the two, both have Polartec, and the cut is identical as far as I can tell. I am 6'3" and about 210lbs, and the XL in both jackets fits me very well: big enough to get as much warm clothing on underneath as I may want but without looking like it is a size too large. They have a very tidy, athletic cut.

If you told me the Shift was an ArcTeryx product I'd have no reason to not believe you. Additionally, the Shift is made in Canada, whereas the Gamma MX is now coming from China. I know what I'll replace my Gamma MX with when the times comes.

(2)

 

0 Comments

tobias

tobias wrote a review of on April 20, 2009

5 5

Very good jacket, perfect light-weight and 800-fill down makes this jacket a real prize. The fleece lined collar & pockets are a comfortable touch. I'm 6'4" and 210lbs, the XL fits me like it was made just for me. The jacket sits fairly high, but not as high as a bomber jacket. Haven't worn it much to know how well the down will stay inside the jacket. Highly recommended.

(0)

 

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tobias

tobias wrote an answer about on February 23, 2009

My understanding is that they're basically the same cut, except that the Troll Wall is a lighter (120 denier, if memory serves me correctly) nylon, when the Alpinist is a 240 denier I think.I got this from Marmot this past weekend because I called them with the exact same question. The guy I spoke to there was extremely knowledgeable -- give them a call. I have bought an Alpinist from S&C & was wondering about other possible options....

(0)

 

tobias

tobias wrote a question about on February 13, 2009

I just bought this jacket and really want to love it, but I can't quite understand the cut of it. I'm 6'3", 210, with a 43" chest & 36" waist. Basically tall & slim. I have the "XL", and the arms are quite snug, but the body of the jacket seems to have much more room in it than I can fill out. When I sit down it looks like I'm pregnant. Would the "L" fit me any better? The sleeves on the XL are right about perfect length and I wouldn't really want to sacrifice the 1" stepping down a size...Other than that the features are great! Awesome hood, chin coverage, really long in the body, removable powder-skirt and it looks very durable. The lack of hand-pockets is kinda weird though.

(0)

 

tobias

tobias wrote a review of on October 24, 2008

5 5

OK, so to retort my own critical review ("Grandma's bloomers"), these are the business. Turns out Backcountry must have messed up the sizing chart -- I looked on Icebreaker's website & they had a much more reasonable & normal sizing chart. It says L is my size; no kidding. So I re-order them in L and whaddaya know, they fit like a glove, or, some other thing that also fits closely down there. Yeah, these boxer-briefs are awesome. Get some. You'll understand. Can I give these 6 out of 5?

(0)

 

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tobias

tobias wrote a review of on October 17, 2008

2 5

What is with the sizing? I have a 36-37" waist and normally take like a L in underwear. The guide here says that a 33" waist is a XXL. And that's as big as they go. Say what?!?!

I put them on and the waist is a little snug, but the rest of the brief fits like pantaloons. I feel like a darn pirate. Arrr!

The photos here show the briefs as being snug fitting, well for that to happen, the model / mannequin must be getting cut clean in half by the waist band.

I have a drawer-full of Icebreaker shirts, which are wonderful. What's up with the fit of these things?

(0)

 

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