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Alec Kasper-Olson

Alec Kasper-Olson

Minnesota

Alec Kasper-Olson's Passions

Biking
Climbing
Hiking & Camping
Snowboarding
Running
Paddling
Snowshoeing

Alec Kasper-Olson

Alec Kasper-Olsonwrote a review of on February 23, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: Runs small
Height: 5' 8"
Weight: 140 lbs

When I first put the boot on, I was ready to return them.

I thought they were too small at first.

I took them off, repackaged them and was ready to send them back. I thought they were too small. But no, they're just a bit on the slim side.

I gave them a second chance, and I still have the same pair.

I'm glad I kept them too, because, damn, what a purchase.

<h3>Why the Sorel Cheyanne II Boots are great</h3>
I'm a fan of Sorel, through and through. I believe they're frickin' indestructible.

I've had my first pair of Caribous for five years now. They're unscathed and perform like new. In fact, I just got back from winter camping in the Boundary Waters, wearing those suckers. At zero degrees, the cold just couldn't bother me in those.

These boots are no different. Only, these are considerably lighter and a much more appealing choice for errands around town and sitting around the office.

The boots are waterproof, no doubt. Sorel claims they're rated for 25 below. I believe them. The upper is durable as all hell and the boots are as comfy as can be.

If you can, snag them while they're on sale. If you can't manage it, just save up. They're easily worth the money.

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Alec Kasper-Olson

Alec Kasper-Olsonwrote a review of on February 23, 2018

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

It's not the worst compression sack.

Is it the best? No, probably not. But it's definitely not the worst.

<h3>Who is this for?</h3>
You're on a budget, right? Me too. Camping stuff can get a bit outlandish at times. This compression sack gets the job done well, and it doesn't break the bank. And, if you're really lucky, this'll last you a few solid years of camping.

<h3>Who is this not for?</h3>
Going into the Boundary Waters during the summer? Olympic National Park? Nope, consider something that's literally waterproof. Spend the extra cash and keep your stuff dry.

<h3>My Experience</h3>
I've had mine for about a year and a half now. It's lasted me two solid camping seasons, during which I've camped in all kinds of weather for varying periods of time.

The compression sack holds my Northface bag, rated at 20 degrees. It's also a tall fit. The compression sack has taken quite a bit of abuse and it's still going strong. The water resistance is true, too. (*Resistant, not proof, though.)

If you're on a budget, go for it. You might not regret it.

If it does, go to Kelty about it. I'm sure they'd help you out (hopefully anyway).

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Alec Kasper-Olson

Alec Kasper-Olsonwrote a review of on February 3, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

When I was just starting out, I didn't have a comparison. I used a standard belay device -- also by Black Diamond -- that didn't have friction to it. The rope moves freely through it and you end up bearing a lot of that weight.

Not with this one.

The biggest advantage with this one is that you feel like you have more control when on the ground, no matter the size of the climber. The friction is like an extra set of hands helping you out.

It can make a world of difference when you're starting out and still feeling unsure of yourself. For not much more, this has been a well-worth-it purchase for me.

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Alec Kasper-Olson

Alec Kasper-Olsonwrote a review of on February 3, 2018

3 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

The fancy chalk bags you see at the gym are cool and all, but maybe not always necessary.

Maybe they are, though? They are pretty cool.

This one is nice enough to have lasted me over a year of weekly use at the gym, with no complaints. Sure, it doesn't have a gnarly color pattern, but it works well and keeps me climbing.

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Alec Kasper-Olson

Alec Kasper-Olsonwrote a review of on February 3, 2018

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 8"
Weight: 140 lbs

If you find these on sale, you won't be sad. At full price, I'm still on the fence about it.

I like them, and here's why:

- They have great traction
- They're light as ever
- Mega comfortable
- Built well; love the toe cap
- Way breathable

The main drawback is that if you run through grass early in the morning, you'll be taking puddles with you the rest of the way. If that's an issue, consider going with a waterproof pair of trail runners.

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Alec Kasper-Olson

Alec Kasper-Olsonwrote a review of on February 3, 2018

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: Runs large
Height: 5' 8"
Weight: 140 lbs
Size Purchased: Small

This is a pretty cool jacket.

Personally, I enjoy it. Although, I wasn't exactly sure what I was getting into with it, which might've swayed my decision had I seen it in person.

The Pros:

- It's solid, built well and durable
- Many pockets with ample space
- Waxed coating for wind and water resistance

The Cons:

- The hood is a bit awkward; cone-like.
- It's a boxier jacket
- It runs big

I'm 5'8", athletic build. The small runs big on me. Plus, I'm a slimmer guy, so the boxy construction makes it look like I'm swimming in it if I'm not layering. But, that's kind of the point of this jacket.

It's just a shell. It's a thin jacket that has great wind and water resistance. How I've used this jacket outdoors is with layers.

In the winter months, I wear a number of layers to match what I'm doing. If I'm out hiking, I've got a sweater, a mid-layer and this thing. It works well to keep me warm enough when the wind comes through, and it's light enough to let me cool down on those sunny days.

Overall, it's a versatile jacket.

But, despite the pros of this jacket, it's not my go-to and it's not what I wear on a daily basis.

Would I buy it again, definitely. But, I likely won't have too. This jacket seems like it's built for a lifetime. That's the reason I ultimately went with it. Fjallraven has that reputation, and so far it's been upheld.

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Alec Kasper-Olson

Alec Kasper-Olsonwrote a review of on February 3, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

They're thicker wool socks that can handle the wringer with ease.

- Mountain treks, check.
-Sopping wet trails, definitely.
-Freezing Minnesota temperatures, on the daily.

I don't travel without these socks. I rarely venture outdoors without these socks. They're kind of life-changing in that sense. (Maybe that's overdoing it.)

But, honestly, the wool make up keeps these socks fresh for long treks, multi-day trips, and for varying temperate ranges. I've worn the same pair in the summer and I've worn them in the winter -- excellent results.

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Alec Kasper-Olson

Alec Kasper-Olsonwrote a review of on February 3, 2018

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I use it nearly every day, seriously.

I'm not sure why I didn't buy one earlier, honestly.

At any rate, though, it's been a fantastic companion to store every little piece of madness that is my toiletry setup.

Here's what I have in it:

- First aid kit: headache relief, fever medicine, the works.
- Travel-sized shampoo, conditioner, and soap
- Tissues
- A comb, of course
- The eye covers for sleeping on the plane
- Toothpaste and brush
- That little mirror that comes with it
- And some other random stuff

The long and the short of it, it's been a great way to organize everything. What's more, it's built in a way that actually makes sense -- not just some open void that has everything doing a free-for-all in. Plus, it has a sewn-in hook that makes it easy to hang it on hotel door handles or tree branches.

Why not 5 stars?

It's a bit flimsy in a way. Nothing that would deter me from using it or anything, but it's kind of awkward. *The upside of not having a harder shell is that it helps save a bit of room in your bag. And, this is a super light toiletry bag.

Well done, Osprey.

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Alec Kasper-Olson

Alec Kasper-Olsonwrote a review of on February 3, 2018

3 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I mean, there's nothing real fancy about it. But, there's nothing wrong with it either. It's a decent chalk bag that gets the job done.

The highlights:

- It holds a fair amount of chalk
- It retains it well, so you're not constantly refilling it
- It's not too big and clunky, but sizable enough.

I've used this chalk bag on a weekly basis for over a year climbing at the gym. It's had a number of refills, it's been grappled and tossed around, and it's survived this far.

Would I buy it again, sure would.

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Alec Kasper-Olson

Alec Kasper-Olsonwrote a review of on April 15, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: Runs large
Height: 5' 8"
Weight: 140 lbs
Size Purchased: 30x32

I've been fortunate enough to have purchased a pair of these on sale. But, at $70, it's well worth the investment.

During the spring in Minnesota, rainy days can be unforgiving at times -- unless you have the right gear on. These are always my go-to when venturing out, and they've served me well so far on numerous outings, both in the backcountry and European cities.

The water resistance is excellent, and somehow they're both warm enough for harsh winter treks as well as sunny and muddy summer hikes. They also have a roomy side pocket that has come in handy on numerous occasions.

If I were to do it over again, though, I'd try to actually get my size.

I bought these at a 30x32, and they're a bit big. Not too bad, but I definitely have room.

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Alec Kasper-Olson

Alec Kasper-Olsonwrote a review of on April 15, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 8"
Weight: 140 lbs
Size Purchased: Small

The main reasons you should buy this: price, packability, performance and look.

You're not breaking the bank with this jacket, and yet, it works wonderfully. I've had it in torrential rain, on international trips and city tours. It's proven successful time and time again, and it's still ready for more.

I love that it packs down without a fight, making it easy to take with you even when the chance of rain is slim.

I wish this jacket had inside pockets, though. Ideally, I'd have two inside pockets parallel to the outside pockets, along with a breast pocket for your phone.

Otherwise, it's a good looking jacket at a decent price that's also built to last. It also fits much better than many others I've tried on.

Would I buy this again? Yep, I sure would. But hopefully I don't have to for a while.

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