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tscheezy241627

tscheezy241627 wrote a review of on June 29, 2013

5 5

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

I love these things. I have worn these caps extensively for over two years. They wick nicely, have a super light and soft fabric, and offer an adjustable fit in back with a good head band inside. The fact that you can fold the brim in half (it is 'hinged' down the middle) makes sticking it in a pocket super easy. Overall an excellent product.

The only issue I have found relates to the hinged brim. The plastic stiffener in the two halves of the brim tend to eat though the light covering fabric at the ends of the hinge after many folds/unfolds. It took me a year of wear for the plastic to break through the material and edge piping, but it still did result in holes. It would be nice if they could add a small patch of reinforcing material to the ends of the brim halves to prevent this. A dab of aquaseal could armor the area up. I may do that next.

Again, love these hats.

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tscheezy241627

tscheezy241627 wrote a review of on June 29, 2013

3 5

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

I have another Arcteryx mesh cap that I like very much so I picked up 2 of these Poco caps hoping for similar results. It was not to be.

These are simply fitted caps with no adjustments or inner hat band. The material just sits right against your head. If they fit perfectly out of the box, you may do fine. If not, you don't have any recourse. I ordered 2 in the same size, but while one fit pretty well, the other was too loose. While strolling around the smaller fitting one was fine, but when you start to really work and sweat into the hat the material relaxes and gets looser. It ends up feeling like a soggy thing oozing down your head. An elastic band inside would have helped, or at least some sort of adjustment on the back would let you take up the slack as the material wets out.

The brim is sort of rubbery and tends to deform and even get pressed against your face when you are out in a stiff breeze. It regains it's shape well after being stuffed in a pocket which is nice, but it is a bit too soft for breezy alpine use. If you wear it under a hood, the hood also tends to deform the brim and make the view of the world vignetted.

The hat is soft and wicks well, but the fit and overly soft brim limits my enthusiasm for it.

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tscheezy241627

tscheezy241627 wrote a review of on June 22, 2013

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I've done about 150 miles of Alaska summer trekking in these pants now.

The good: a great summer-weight pant for mid- or high-latitude climates. Actually, they are made from lighter weight materials than I was expecting. These are great for summer hiking in Alaska and maybe shoulder season trips in warmer areas. The various fabric panels work well together and offer a form-fitting, athletic cut, and offer no restriction to movement. I was really skeptical about the elastic drawcord waist, but even when carrying a 30 pound pack over long days off trail, they don't ride down. The sizing seems right on. They look super, and are a pleasure to wear.

The not-so-good: the kevlar-reinforced weave on the knees and inside the legs is actually really abrasive to the opposing pant leg. Basically, I have already worn through areas of the material the inside of the ankle on both pant legs after only those 150 miles of hiking. It's not like I suddenly am walking differently, or that I am going through different terrain/vegetation. The aramid/kevlar fibers just act like sand paper to the material making up the material on the inside of the other leg. The kevlar strands are in great shape, but the backing material they are woven into is getting destroyed by the friction from the opposite pant leg. Totally weird. I have never had the instep of a pair of pants shred like this, even after many (many!) more miles of use unless I caught my crampons on them (not the case here). I will probably sew or glue another layer of material to the ankle area of both legs to reinforce this area. Also, the lower leg zippers tend to unzip and don't stay down over your boots. I wish companies would use those rubber-coated water-resistant zippers that don't slide so easily so the zippers would have some friction and stay put.

These are probably the lightest and among the most comfortable hiking pants I own. Aside from some real durability concerns, they are great

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tscheezy241627

tscheezy241627 wrote a review of on June 3, 2013

Fits like a dream
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I have been hiking in the previous generation Scarpa Charmoz for a couple of years now. Really like those boots. Maybe a little narrow. They are looking pretty fuzzy in the woven material panels, so I started to shop for new boots. I tried the new (current) model Charmoz and was really disappointed that they totally made the ankle floppy and soft. Wider forefoot, yes, but ruined the ankle support. Lame. Tried the La Sportiva Trango S, but those also had super soft ankle uppers. Bleh. Fine for hiking the flats, but terrible on long, steep, grassy traverses here in coastal AK for alpine approaches. I tried the Salewa Repace GTX boots, but those are like light hikers. Too low and funky fit. I tried the new TNF S4K and those were too awful to even mention as they tried to chop my foot in half with their lame upper flex profile. Total fail. Somewhere in there I got a pair of the Salewa Ravens and WOW, in love again...

The Ravens have a reasonably wide forefoot so no pinching. A 3/4 shank and just enough flex ahead of the metatarsals for decent walking but still enough support for climbing steep stuff. I don't really care for the Vibram Mulaz soles, but all boots in this category seem to sport that tread. Oh well. Plenty of lacing hardware so you can cinch them down nice and even with no lace pressure and enough tongue padding for lots of happy miles. Durable uppers and great ankle support for odd and steep terrain where you can't always see your feet. I have about 100 miles on them now and they just fit better on every outing. I got my standard size (11.5) and they seem to be right on target size-wise. The performance is very similar to my old Charmoz boots but with a slighly wider toe box and mid-to-forefoot. Nice. A little heavier though, but not much. Overall a great off-trail trekking and light alpine boot. Stoked on the fit and finish so far.

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tscheezy241627

tscheezy241627 wrote a review of on May 27, 2013

4 5

These boots are a bit heavy (heavier than Scarpa Charmoz, Salewa Ravens, La Sportiva Trango S, etc), but also offer better support than most of those. The shank seems to run all the way to the toe and the sole flexes when front pointing less than those other boots. There is still some flex, but most of those other boots offer 3/4 shanks while the Mammuts are pretty stiff right to the toe. However, you can still walk nicely in these. It's not like being in plastic boots. The ankle is also a bit more supportive than the (new) Charmoz and the Trango S boots. The Mammuts are similar to the old Charmoz boots and the current Salewa Ravens. I like supportive uppers so I dislike what they have done to the new model Charmoz and never liked the Trango Ss much. Most of those boots now offer reasonably wide lasts, and this boot does too. The lacing can be fine tuned pretty easily on these Mammuts, though the tongue is sort of thin and lacking in padding. I can feel the laces and lace hardware somewhat so I cut up some thick felt insoles to make second interior tongues, and that has fixed the issue for me. I appreciate the fact that they don't have the Vibram Mulaz sole like all the other light alpine boots nowadays since I don't think it grips well on much other than rock. If they could knock the weight of the Mammuts down a little that would be nice though. Not sure why they are sort of porky other than the beefier sole rubber and the longer shank.

A solid, supportive boot. I am going to subtract one star for the weight and thin tongue.

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tscheezy241627

tscheezy241627 wrote a review of on May 20, 2013

1 5

I have used both the original Hero and the Hero2 for many years and have shot hundreds of hours of video and many thousands of stills with those cameras. I held off on getting a Hero3 for a while to let GoPro work the very well-documented bugs out before getting one, but finally took the plunge about 2 months ago. After many hours of use of the Hero3, my synopsis: these things freaking SUCK!

I started with a Hero3 Black, but after shooting photo test targets, it became painfully clear that the optics of the Black were totally subpar, as was the white balance (compared to the Hero3 Silver, and the Hero2). That, and it spontaneously erased my memory card on multiple occasions. I am using the same memory cards GoPro sells on their website and keep my cameras up to date with firmware. Furthermore, the camera froze, requiring pulling the battery, and along with deleting all my images at random intervals the optics and white balance were terrible. Goodbye...

So I picked up a Hero3 Silver hoping for better days. Yet again, on three separate occasions, my Silver has deleted all the images and videos off my memory card with absolutely no input from me. Just POOF, gone. Can you think of a less desirable behavior from a camera?? The new Hero3 cameras have a strong red color cast to videos and stills, strongly underexpose many scenes (especially snow), and while not as egregious as the Black, the Silver has this issue too. This can be fixed in post, but why have to? The color fidelity of the Hero2 was inarguably better.

GoPro basically screwed the pooch with these units. Yes, WiFi is now built in, which is great. But anyone who actually shoots side-by-side scenes using both Hero2 and Hero3 cameras will conclude the Hero2 was a superior product in the main areas that count: sharpness, exposure, and color fidelity. It was also dead reliable. If you have a Hero2, keep it. The new 3's simply suck.

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tscheezy241627

tscheezy241627 wrote a review of on April 23, 2013

Ouch... ouch... OUCH!
2 5

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

I have about 10 miles on these boots now, and that may be all they get. Out of the box everything looks great. Good materials, nice design, solid construction. The fit was even very comfy out of the box. Supportive, good heel hold, decent width overall for medium/wide feet. I would put the fit somewhere between my Scarpa Charmoz Pro GTX boots and my La Sportiva Trango S EVO boots. The Charmoz have a stiffer shank that runs nearly to the toe for better front pointing, and a much more supportive cuff. LOVE those boots. Tons of miles. They are a little narrow though. The S4K boots are more like the Trango boots in the forefoot fit: medium wide. They S4K also have a softer sole flex than the Charmoz, so more like the Trangos. Nice for walking on flats, BUT, all the sole flex happens right behind the metatarsal area (behind the ball of your foot), and it causes the uppers to fold at one specific point and basically try to chop your foot in half. Yuck. It feels like someone standing on your foot with a hockey skate when you flex the boot hard, like when front pointing straight up a steep slope. The Charmoz and Trango all flex around your toes, where a shoe is supposed to flex. I do notice the problem a lot more in the left S4K boot than the right, so they are breaking in a little differently. Add to that the fact that the left S4K has a chunk of plastic inside the heel cup (part of the 'exoskeleton' plastic) that gave me a pinpoint blister on the second hike, and I'm ready to return these things.

In a nutshell:terrible design, or at least defective construction on one (left) boot. Odd sole flex pattern located too far back, with uppers not designed around this detail. Support is more like a backpacking boot than a true light alpine climbing boot. Shows potential, but needs work.

Bottom line: Sometimes late is not better than never.

See pic for guillotine flex point:

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tscheezy241627

tscheezy241627 wrote a review of on February 11, 2013

Here is the Hero3 Silver
1 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

This is an update to my previous review below...

This image is of the Hero3 Silver for comparison. Note the less-red-hue color shift and the much less soft focus. The two test images are only cropped, not color corrected or otherwise processed (not sure how the upload to BC.com will affect them). The two images were taken a few minutes apart with the same natural light on a solid surface.

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tscheezy241627

tscheezy241627 wrote a review of on February 11, 2013

Defective product
1 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I have shot hundreds of hours of vid and taken thousands of stills with my old Gopro Hero2. Awesome camera! WiFi worked great, good battery life, RELIABLE.

The new Hero3 Black is total junk by comparison. It spontaneously has erased my memory card, deleting all my day's images with no input from me. It occasionally locks up and requires a hard restart by pulling the battery. The battery sometimes gets really hot as it discharges in an uncontrolled way. This is with all the newest firmware installed (as of mid-February, 2013).

The worst part is that the image quality is abhorrent. Strong color shift accentuating reds and greens in certain situations makes color correction a total pain. I spend way more time trying to fix the images I shoot with my Hero3 Black compared to my old Hero2. I also got a Hero3 Silver for comparison and it takes much better pics than the Black model. The Black shows a red hue color cast and very soft image quality in my examples attached. The Silver is more neutral in hue and MUCH sharper.

I have no idea what GoPro was thinking with the new Black, but it sucks big time. Get a Silver, or even better, keep your Hero2.

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tscheezy241627

tscheezy241627 wrote a review of on January 8, 2013

2 5

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

Meh.

I have about 15 trail miles on this pack carrying ~33 pounds. I'm not that impressed.

The main problem is the weird hip belt. As the other reviewer says, the belt straps are oddly short, though I could close the snap over my 34 inch waist. The concept behind the belt shape sounds good, but the execution is lacking. The iliac crest hip pad sits far higher than the lumbar pad on the back panel. So either you have the hip belt on your iliac crest (hips) and the lumbar pad ends up way down over your coccyx (butt), or you put the lumbar pad where it belongs and the hip belt squeezes you in the middle of your stomach. The lumbar pad also sits on the trampoline panel so it just flexes away from your back. The result is that the pack weight seems to rest on one narrow ridge at the bottom of the lumbar pad. Since the trampoline does not follow the contour of your back the only other contact point is at your shoulder blades. A normal hip belt and some contour to the trampoline would fix these issues. There are some neat ideas worked into the suspension but the execution needs some refinement. This thing feels beta.

The pack body is held away from the trampoline excessively so the load is like 4 inches behind your back and pulls away from you too much. Many trampoline packs experience this but the Ghost more than most. The zipper on the main pocket is also anemic and has already closed with the zipper teeth not aligning correctly a few times when pulled over lumpy contents, which leads to a blown zipper and your stuff spilled all over the hillside. The 'pockets' on the hip belt are too tiny to be of use. You will maybe get a chapstick in one and a powerbar folded in half in the other.

There are a lot of packs on the market. I'm not sure how this one will be able to compete.

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tscheezy241627

tscheezy241627 wrote a review of on December 20, 2012

Awesome spring gloves
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I got a pair of these and decided to put the 'waterproof' claim to the test. I filled one of the gloves 3/4 full of water and hung it up for an hour. Not a hint of moisture appeared on the shell. I have worn these for a good 20 days of soupy spring corn BC snowboarding and always had dry hands no matter how much knuckle dragging I did. The cuff is short so you need to tuck them under the sleeve of your jacket to keep snow from getting in. The wrist does not have any adjustment. The insulation is very minimal, so this is a spring glove, and as the previous reviewer pointed out, the leather does not dry fast (but what leather does??). Anyway, my fave spring glove that really is waterproof. Awesome.

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