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Alex S.

Alex S.

San Diego, CA

Alex S.'s Bio

I prefer to be outside and in the mountains but deserts and beaches are cool too. Been a climber for 30 years. Skier , mountain biker, fisher, surfer...but climbing rocks is my passion for sure.

Alex S.

Alex S.wrote a review of on January 21, 2020

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

This is definitely a skinny rope and not for everyone nor every situation. I would absolutely not recommend this rope for beginners or even intermediate climbers/belayers and definitely not for top roping. The skinny diameter and super smooth handling characteristics demands expert belaying skills. For its weight and diameter, in my opinion, it is one of the most durable ropes out there. I have been climbing for about 35 years and I have owned hundreds of ropes and I climb four days a week outside on long traditional multi pitch routes with rappelling and single pitch sport on different types of rock and angles. I also would not recommend this rope for ascending with mechanical devices or heavily working steep overhanging cave routes… It’s just too skinny to grab well/easily. Hands-down, the best things about this rope is its light weight, ease of belaying and clipping and awesome sheath design...stiff enough to make it very durable. My most important advice is to be very careful when you very first unravel the rope. It comes off of a spool so you need to make sure that you unravel it as if it’s coming off that same spool. This will prevent any initial twists. Then do yourself another favor and run it through your belay device of choice a few times on the ground before you climb and always pull it through the anchor on single pitch routes to keep it from getting twisted/kinked. Out of the bag it is super cable-like stiff but it does soften up to be very manageable.
I bought the 60m in Afterburner color.
Also a shout out to my Backcountry gearhead, Emily Jenson!

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Alex S.

Alex S.wrote a review of on July 8, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 0"
Weight: 170 lbs
Size Purchased: 32

I am never buying another pair of Prana Mojo shorts! The Rab Crank Short is a WAY better product! First off, I've noticed a lot of inconsistencies with Prana quality in manufacturing and definitely in their sizing. These Rab shorts are spot on! I like the cotton better than Prana's nylon fabric, both for durability and breathability. The fit is similar but the Rab Crank seems to fit just a little better. I am almost always a 32 or Medium in all shorts, pants, etc. I am a 30 or Small in Prana...32 in Rab (I am normally a medium). I was a little concerned at first with the Rab Crank Short fit in the thigh...it was a little tight but because they are cotton, they now fit perfectly only after one day wearing them. I am fully SOLD!!! I got these primarily for climbing and wearing a harness and the fit did not let me down. The way that the crotch is gusseted fits very well with a harness on. Awesome waistband!

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Alex S.

Alex S.wrote a review of on June 1, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Height: 6'
Weight: 170 lbs
Size Purchased: 42.5

This is an awesome new shoe! It sort of looks like the Katana shape...but with a "better", lower volume and a tad narrower fit. The Kataki is apparently built on the same PD75 last as the Miura line and it does feel like a bit of a hybrid, especially in the precision at the tip of the toe. The Kataki also feels different than the "velcro-version" Otaki, which has a noticeably roomier/ higher volume fit.

I say the Kataki fits "better" because it fits ME better. I have medium width, low-volume feet and long toes and I prefer a snug fit. I have primarily worn La Sportiva for years; my favorite recent models being Muira VS (the lace-up is too asymmetric for how high volume it is) and the TC Pro (fit tight). The Katana just doesn't fit me as well as the Kataki, which is also proving to be a much more precise front-pointing shoe. Compared to the Miura VS the Kataki is more comfortable and better in thin cracks. I still might prefer a Miura VS for super sustained thin pocket limestone climbing, but the jury's not out yet (I definitely prefer the Kataki on granite, sandstone and basalt "tech-9" face/edge/smearing/thin jamming, etc). I really can't compare the Kataki to TC Pro since they're for totally different applications (TC's are still better for long granite crack routes and friction/steep slab).

The heel... La Sportiva nailed it with the new heel design. It fits me perfectly and so far does not deform or slip and heel-hooks extremely well.

The laces... Once again, La Sportiva nailed it! The lacing design is tweaked a little better over the Katana and the lace material seems quite durable.

I wear all my climbing shoes on the tighter side (knuckled toes). The Kataki has suede in the upper and I have noticed a little stretch, which for me is perfect. I wear most street shoes in US 11.5 (La Sportiva approach shoes in 45). I wear Kataki, Miura VS and TC Pro all in 42.5, but if I wanted a Kataki for a specialized Indian Creek fit I'd probably opt for a full size larger...

Lastly, I think the Kataki is well made, durable and a solid design. When you pull it out of the box it looks flawless in construction with zero waviness around the edges where the sole and rand meets. My pair is perfect!

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Alex S.

Alex S.wrote a review of on April 12, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: Runs small

These shoes rock! I would know, I'm an avid rock climber and I do a lot of hiking up and down and sometimes on super loose and steep approaches/descents to and from climbs - from 15 minute boulder pile scrambles in Joshua Tree to 3+ hour alpine approaches, I do it all. Most of the time I'll be wearing my backpack full of water, clothes, a rack and a rope...so I need a pair of shoes that are supportive, wont slip over gnarly terrain or wet slabs - these dawgs do it all! Definitely supportive enough also to kick steps in late spring/summer snow.

The Boulder X's have a killer tread with sticky rubber and an adequate "edging" platform. They're so sticky, you can climb pretty hard slabs and wide cracks in them (of course you would suffer a little on long hikes if you size them tighter, to climb harder). I would recommend to most to size em comfy enough with a good sock. That way they are also excellent for technical terrain and wont crush your toes on the hike - think big days in the Sierra like getting to The Incredible Hulk, or on a technical ridge traverse when you really don't want to have to bring a climbing shoe but you also need to go big on the mileage - these shoes are perfect for that sorta stuff too! I have a medium width, med to low volume foot and normally wear an 11.5 US street shoe - I found my ideal size in this shoe to be a 46 EU.

When you first wear it outside, the shoe may feel a little clunky. I find that it needs to break in a bit (maybe only a couple days) before it will feel super good...then it feels like a pair on monster trucks with traction control for your feet. Total stompers!!!

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