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Alan H.

Alan H.

UTAH - WASATCH RANGE

Alan H.'s Passions

Hiking & Camping
Running
Snowshoeing
Skiing
Climbing

Alan H.

Alan H.wrote a review of on February 12, 2012

5 5

I really, really love jackets. Currently rocking the Arc'teryx Alpha SV, Arc'teryx Gamma MX, Arc'teryx Strato Hoody, The North Face Scythe Fleece, MontBell Thermawrap Parka, MontBell Ultralight Thermawrap, and of course - the Arc'teryx Gamma MX Hoody. When it comes to insulated jackets, I have to give MontBell the nod. But when it comes to pretty much everything else, Arc'teryx delivers.

This hoody is by far my favorite jacket. People complain about it letting in too much wind and not being waterproof but that's why you get the Alpha SV jacket. This thing handles any amount of snow and it can handle a good amount of rain (trust me, that's all we have been getting here in Utah this season). As long as you wear a nice long sleeve base layer, this thing pretty much windproof.

I've actually been comfortable down to the 20's with a performance base layer on underneath while doing light activities (walking, shoveling). I'm fine in the 30's wearing a t-shirt just sitting around. But it also has been great for when we reach the 50's and 60's. It really does insulate well in cooler weather and it breathes well in warmer weather. Exactly what you want.

Pockets are big and in the right spots. Cuffs fit great. Hoody adjusts perfectly. Zippers are legit. The fit is superb. And the aesthetics make other jackets in the room just plain jealous.

I'm a bigger dude at 6'4" 250 lbs and the XXL fits great. Leaves enough room for a fleece or insulated jacket on the colder days but is still able to form fit with just a t-shirt. The best jacket I've ever owned - 'nuff said.

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Alan H.

Alan H.wrote a review of on December 25, 2009

5 5

I got this looking to improve my layering system and also hoping to use it as a casual jacket as well. I have to say that I am quite impressed. While hiking in 20 degree weather, this jacket with a performance shirt keeps me really really warm; almost too warm. Even with a good breeze, it holds up well. Judging by the reviews on here, at first I was expecting to be cold in a few situations on some ridges here but I never needed to break out the shell. Sure, in a stiff wind, a shell is definitely needed but that is to be expected seeing as this is a technical piece of gear.

Overall, I'm glad I chose this over the MH Monkey Man jacket. I'm a fan of the Summit Series by NF so I'm glad this is working out perfectly.

BTW, I am 6'4" 240lbs and the XL is a nice slim fit. I tried the large but it was too snug and too short.

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Alan H.

Alan H.wrote a review of on November 26, 2009

5 5

These keep my feet dry and warm through the harshest of conditions. First off though, the size is pretty true. My guess though is that it runs a half size larger to take into account sock room for you.

My uses: snowshoeing / winter hiking / walking the dog; all in lovely Utah.

They fit well into my MSR Denali Classic snowshoes. The reason I went with this shoe over others is the fact that it is sooo light. If you compare this to the popular Sorel Caribou boots, for example, you're looking at the Sorels being over TWICE the weight.But honestly, I stood in freezing water (literally) with these on and could not feel any coldness at all. I was even wearing ankle socks at the time.The only thing I don't like about these is that they look a little like snowboarding boots, which for me being a hardcore skier, can be annoying. But that's really just me...

And, I know some have criticized this boot because the lacing doesn't provide the proper support around the ankles and such. But, I personally have not had any trouble with these boots not being supportive enough or anything while snowshoeing and such. With that being said though, these are not mountaineering boots, that's for sure. I wouldn't recommend these unless you are in snow most the time.

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Alan H.

Alan H.wrote a review of on November 25, 2009

5 5

I'm 6'4" 250 lbs and the XXL is great. I'm really diggin this hoody for sure. I'm not one for getting cotton hoodies because I'm anti-cotton I guess, I like versatile materials and wool/fleece is that. This hoody definitely delivers on the expectation that it will hold up to the elements and that it will also just look good. I'm happy to say that this hoody comes through on both those things.

I got the graphite but I'm about to put in a purchase for the coffee as well, especially with these sales and the hoody being 60% off. Man! Gotta love BC.com and their products! No doubt!

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Alan H.

Alan H.wrote a review of on November 24, 2009

5 5

If I could only have two jackets to survive the harshest of elements, I would grab this sucker and my Arc'teryx Alpha SV shell. This Redpoint jacket, in combination with the hood, is very, very warm. I have used it snowshoeing a lot and I must say that I actually get too warm - that is with temps in the high 20s / low 30s. Single digits and teens should be fine for aerobic activities, especially with the fact that. An added bonus is the fact that the jacket has the dual zipper so it's easier to regulate your body temp.

But man, whether the wind is whipping around me at 60 MPH on a ridge or I'm stompin around in a blizzard, this thing really has allowed me to not worry about getting cold or anything.

I won't ramble too much about this jacket but bottom line is that it performs very well in all winter conditions.

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Alan H.

Alan H.wrote a review of on June 21, 2009

4 5

I wrote a review on the pants so this will be somewhat similar, although I do have one different thing to say. About the length, they are pretty good but they begin to tighten towards the end. By that I mean, its almost like they were meant to fit around your legs. They just feel much different than last years model...

And as an avid hiker, I can say I don't like these as much as the sacred cliff shorts (last years model). These are definitely more designed for climbers now.

The description on here for pockets says, "2 Front, 2 back." That is inaccurate. The pants have three front pockets and ZERO back pockets. Two pockets are where all normal pockets are but then there is this pocket on the right thigh location (picture shows the zipper). Now, this was the difference that bothered me. I am a wallet person, so with this pocket set-up, I really can't walk around comfortably with one. Honestly, that is my only gripe, but it's an important one for me.

A change I do like very much was the change in the draw cord. Last years model was this skinny string that was almost useless. Now, it's a thicker cord that allows you to tighten the waist part and tie it off.
Overall, they are well thought out climbing pants. The material is just what I like because they dry out quickly. I even use this as a swimsuit a lot and it works great.

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Alan H.

Alan H.wrote a review of on June 21, 2009

4 5

Well, as an avid hiker, I can say I don't like these as much as the sacred cliff pants (last years model). These are definitely more designed for climbers now.

The description on here for pockets says, "1 back." That is inaccurate. The pants have three front pockets and ZERO back pockets. Two pockets are where all normal pockets are but then there is this pocket on the right thigh location (picture shows the zipper). Now, this was the difference that bothered me. I am a wallet person, so with this pocket set-up, I really can't walk around comfortably with one. Honestly, that is my only gripe, but it's an important one for me.

A change I do like very much was the change in the draw cord. Last years model was this skinny string that was almost useless. Now, it's a thicker cord that allows you to tighten the waist part and tie it off.

Overall, they are well thought out climbing pants. The material is just what I like because they dry out quickly.

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Alan H.

Alan H.wrote a review of on June 14, 2009

5 5

These are my first trekking poles I have ever purchased and I am glad I bought some. I bought these because of the reviews, really. They are light, compact well, and sturdy enough for my 6'3" 250 lb. body. I hike and snowshoe a lot and have found these to help out a lot (powder baskets are a must in snow).

I actually forgot them for one hike I did recently and was sore the next day! I guess that's a good thing and a bad thing. Good because they help make the hike more comfortable but, bad because my body seems to rely on them now. Oh well...

I do have to say, I didn't collapse the bottom part of the poles for a good 3 or so months and when I needed to collapse that bottom part to stick them on my pack, it actually took some time and hurt my hands to get them to go in. But now they work fine. So, I collapse them all the way at least once a week to keep the parts working well.

Also, when they get really, really wet from rain or sweat, it can be harder to grip them, which doesn't happen too often. And, the adjustable strap comes loose while on long hikes if I apply too much pressure. But they tighten with a quick pull so, again, not a huge deal.

Bottom line: Solid poles that make for a more enjoyable hike.

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Alan H.

Alan H.wrote a review of on June 13, 2009

5 5

TropX's review below is how my experience has been with this pack but I wanted to add a few more things.

First, the water-resistant level of this pack is pretty good for most conditions. But, soon after purchasing the pack, I found myself exposed in a downpour and found my gear to be a little wet. It wasn't serious but I went ahead and applied the Nikwax Tent and Gear spray to make sure things stay dry. And so far they have, even through good size rain storms. I also purchased the Osprey Raincover (small) to use if I know I will be hiking in strong thuderstorms or heavy snow.

Also, as far as the side pockets go with water bottles, the nalgene 1 liter bottles fit fine. I find myself having to take off the pack though to take it out. But if I have a 8 oz. Arrowhead water bottle in there, I can take it out without having to take the pack off. Not a problem to me but I know others asked about that.

As far as size goes, I am 6'3" 250 lbs. and went with the large. It fits great. The straps do touch the neck sometimes but it doesn't effect the comfort in my opinion.

Bottom line: Fits extremely well, making it comfortable and has the right amount of pockets, straps, etc., to make it great for day hikes.

I recommend this pack whenever someone asks for my opinion on a good day hike pack. I also get lots of questions and praise whenever someone takes a look at it. Another solid product for my gear collection.

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Alan H.

Alan H.wrote a review of on June 13, 2009

5 5

I put these through everything here in Utah. Whether it be fluffy snow, slushy snow, water, mud, gravel, cement, wood, anything; they perform well. My only complaint is that they run a little skinny. I am 6'3" 250 lbs and wear a size 13. They do get progressively better but I had to break mine in for a few days. I wasn't expecting that because I purchased these same shoes two years ago and they seem to be wider.

But overall, they perform well. Completely waterproof while snowshoeing/hiking and are durable for long summer hikes on rocks as well. Look great as well!

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Alan H.

Alan H.wrote a review of on June 13, 2009

5 5

Works great in the snow. Honestly, they are a little overkill for most needs but, I am the type that prefers that kind of gear just in case... I have used these with the Salomon B52 winter boots and they fit fine. I mostly use them with my Salomon XA Pro 3D Ultra GTX trail run shoes while hiking/snowshoeing. The XL's fit great and I wear a size 13 shoe and have pretty good size calves.

I actually had on some ankle smartwool socks with my Sali trail run shoes and stuck these on with some North Face pants to hike in 5" of snow without snowshoes and they worked great. No snow ended up in my shoes at all.

Like I said before, they are a bit overkill for most outings but they perform flawlessly. They actually keep my lower legs pretty warm, but, they don't breathe very well, which usually is not an issue though. Another solid product...

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Alan H.

Alan H.wrote a review of on February 17, 2009

4 5

This is some soft stuff that keeps me plenty warm. It also breathes pretty well, too. I am 6'4" 250 lbs and the XXL fits great. There is only one issue which was actually mentioned in a previous review: the stitching. The stitching around where the wrist is has already come undone a little. I hope it doesn't get too much worse or become a problem but I just thought that was weird since I have not had this more than two weeks. I still highly recommend this for sure!

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Alan H.

Alan H.wrote a review of on December 29, 2008

5 5

Like the previous reviews, it's a North Face product, so, it's comfortable and plenty warm. I owned the half dome previously but lost it somewhere so got this for Christmas. There isn't a whole lot of different but this one does seem to be softer overall. The string are also different. The half dome has the rope type string where this has the thiner sqare type string, I don't prefer either one... Overall, another solid NF hoodie.

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Alan H.

Alan H.wrote a review of on December 15, 2008

5 5

I've had this for over 2 years now. I can't remember why I purchased this over other shovels but I've used this to dig my car out a few times with no problems. It condenses well which makes it easy to carry on hikes. Solid shovel. I would recommend it.

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Alan H.

Alan H.wrote a review of on November 10, 2008

5 5

I've used this for the past year in different temperature ranges and have been very impressed. I've sumitted a few peaks with this jacket on while the wind was whipping 50+ MPH with the wind chill being in single digits. And although I only had a thing performance shirt on underneath, I kept totally warm. I've had a chance to use this snowshoeing in storms and again, with nothing more than a long sleeve performance shirt on, I was able to keep plenty warm.

The zipper system allows for you to zip both ways, up and down. So when it gets warm, it's easy to regulate your temperature. The hood allows you to not even need a hat on as well.

Like was said previously, this isn't really a jacket for being in a downpour for extended periods of time. It does fine in a quick shower but does much better in blizzards.

I actually returned the Nuptse jacket for this one and am really glad I did for sure.

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