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Ben Kuhns

Ben Kuhns

Employee

Salt Lake City, UT

Ben Kuhns's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Biking

Ben Kuhns's Bio

My time as an overweight, happy baby was spent in Lincoln, NE. At the age of five I packed my prized set of Legos and made my way to Logan, UT, family in tow, where I would spend most of my childhood. It was with entirely too much red hair on my head that I graduated high school and moved to Salt Lake City to study graphic design at the University of Utah.

Sadly we didn't work out and she left me when she realized my first love was the camera. Nate King and I started our descent into pixel making together in the bowels of dirty, abandoned industry. Years later I find myself photographing high-end piles of carbon tubing and their requisite accoutrements.

Ben Kuhns

Ben Kuhnswrote a review of on March 6, 2017

4 5

Familiarity: I gave it as a gift but have feedback to share
Height: 6' 3"
Weight: 220 lbs

This lightweight, packable pant from Marmot earns the minimalist title without sacrificing on performance. If you're looking to stay dry, these pants will deliver on that time and time again.

The Pac-Lite also means they don't take up much space, so you'll be more likely to bring them along for those times when Mother Nature sneaks up on you.

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Ben Kuhns

Ben Kuhnswrote a review of on March 6, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 3"
Weight: 220 lbs

If it is even moderately cold outside, you'll have a hard time prying me out of one my Fjord flannels (yes, I bought more than one).

The organic cotton is soft and comfortable right out the package. Construction is typical of Patagonia quality, no stray threads and seams and buttons are solid. The minimal branding and solid color options are particularly nice when you don't feel like being a walking advertisement.

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Ben Kuhns

Ben Kuhnswrote a review of on March 6, 2017

4 5

Familiarity: I gave it as a gift but have feedback to share
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 3"
Weight: 220 lbs

Bought this for my girlfriend so she didn't feel left out at office meetings where everyone compares their Fitbits.

This is one of the more attractive styles currently offered by Fitbit. The option to change out the band means you can dress this up or down depending on your mood.

As a fitness tracker it does consistently well for the things it is designed to do. Steps count accurately and the hourly reminders to move are a great feature. The lack of HR may prove limiting depending on your activity of choice, so take the into account before you buy.

Integration with a smartphone and the Fitbit app was easy and hasn't presented any issues after several months of use. The ability to receive notification of texts/incoming calls on the Alta display is a great feature for when you don't want to pull out your phone. My girlfriend also appreciates the raise to wake feature, simply lift your wrist and the display lights up.

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Ben Kuhns

Ben Kuhnswrote a review of on March 6, 2017

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

With a few tours under my belt with these I'm happy to report this is a solid boot. They are not the lightest boot on the market, but I haven't found it to be an issue.

The boot offers plenty of adjustment to get the desired fit on your foot. Boot is also easy to change between walk/ski modes and both work well for me.

However, I'm on my second pair of Radical CR's due to a poor quality boot liner. On my first pair the tongue on the right boot liner tore out while I was putting my foot in. With less than a month of moderate use this was pretty clearly a defective liner. A quick return and a new pair of boots and things appear to be back on track.

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Ben Kuhns

Ben Kuhnswrote a review of on March 6, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I gave it as a gift but have feedback to share

As everyone below has said time and time again, these bindings just work. Anytime you come across receiving nearly universal community feedback, take notice.

Build quality is evident the moment you take them out of the box. Straps and hardware feel robust and should last through some hard use.

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Ben Kuhns

Ben Kuhnswrote a review of on March 6, 2017

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 3"
Weight: 220 lbs

Bought these to replace another aging pair of Saga pants. This time around I wanted to go bib style with a higher waterproof rating.

Enter the Monarch 3L Bib into my life. Based on my initial use I suspect I will enjoy many a fine day in Wasatch with these. Fit is good, far more restrained than some of the offerings Saga made a name for themselves with.

Plenty of pockets, boot gaiters, and thigh vents are all very welcome features. The 20k waterproof rating is excellent compared to my previous pants which only clocked in at 10k.

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Ben Kuhns

Ben Kuhnswrote a review of on March 6, 2017

4 5

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

No doubt there are higher end options out there, but if you're looking to get into touring you will find little to criticize about this BCA kit.

The beacon is legendary for a reason: it is simple and intuitive - major selling points should you ever need to actually use it. The included beacon harness isn't pictured, but works great and is a welcome addition.

Probe and shovel do exactly what you would expect: probe and shovel. Build quality again feels very solid and I expect to get many seasons out of them.

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Ben Kuhns

Ben Kuhnswrote a review of on March 6, 2017

4 5

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

I've used these on a couple of moderate tours now and I'm very happy with the performance of the skins. Setup was easy, just mount the skins and use the included trimming tool. Process was about as easy as it gets.

The skins climb well, plenty of grip up the skin track. But to echo other reviewers, there is no meaningful saver included with these skins. That flimsy thing you threw away when you bought them, apparently that is the saver. Buy a real saver separately and you should enjoy these skins for a long time.

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Ben Kuhns

Ben Kuhnswrote a review of on November 7, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

While Ultegra 6800 is very much the sum of its parts, this crankset ends up playing a notable role in the overall performance.

While it may lack the shiny Dura-Ace looks and packs a few more grams, this is really is a top-tier crank. Construction delivers the level of polish you expect from anything carrying the Shimano name.

Paired with the Di2 front derailleur I have found the shifts to be fast and reliable no matter the situation. The shift up to the big ring is particularly impressive and at times so immediate I question whether the shift happened at all.

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Ben Kuhns

Ben Kuhnswrote a review of on November 7, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Like the rest of the Ultegra name, the 6800 calipers are a fantastic option for the price. Brake performance is good enough to shave seconds off those Strava times as you take descents faster with increased confidence in your brakes.

The looks are nothing to scoff at either; something sure to appeal to vain cyclist in everyone.

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Ben Kuhns

Ben Kuhnswrote a review of on November 7, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

It's hard to talk about one piece of an electronic drivetrain independent of the rest, but I shall endeavor to do so.

Ultegra is sweet spot for price and performance and the Di2 version is really no exception. The looks are polished if somewhat utilitarian - none of that Campy flair here. But the real concern here is shift quality and that's where this derailleur really shines.

Simply put, this system does not mis-shift. Ever. Even those tough jumps up to the big ring are handled quickly and efficiently. The responsiveness is confidence inspiring to say the least.

When Ultegra can be this good why bother with Dura-Ace?

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Ben Kuhns

Ben Kuhnswrote a review of on November 7, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

In the world of shift levers, Shimano is doing some of the finest work around. The Di2 version of their venerable Ultegra groupset is no exception and retains their near bulletproof reliability and top-notch ergonomics.

The hood and lever design just straight up feels great in the hands in a variety of positions. Levers are easy to reach from the drops and the hoods are a solid touch point when you need to get out of the saddle.

Shifts are precise and fast when you engage the controls. The buttons are maybe a touch hard to feel if you have thick gloves on, but this is nitpicking at most.

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Ben Kuhns

Ben Kuhnswrote a review of on November 7, 2016

4 5

Familiarity: I gave it as a gift but have feedback to share
Fit: True to size

There is no truly adequate way to say thanks to your mother for a lifetime of support and love, but the Sophie purse sure doesn't hurt.

Typical of Frye, the construction and aesthetics are on point. The leather/suede combo makes for a lovely two tone look while maintaining subtlety. It isn't a giant purse, so if your daily carry is giving you back problems this may not be what you're looking for.

One star deducted for the price point. This is a great bag, but a full price of $350 for what is ultimately a pretty basic purse is a little tough to stomach.

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Ben Kuhns

Ben Kuhnswrote a review of on November 7, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

For clean water in the backcountry the Base Camp Pro could not be a better solution.

Operation is as easy as dipping the bag in the water and rolling the top closed. Pop on the hose and take a drink, fill bottles, hydrate the dogs, etc.

The unit works well enough to keep a fairly large group well supplied with water. The clear portion of the bag make it easy to know when you're getting close to needing a refill.

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Ben Kuhns

Ben Kuhnswrote a review of on November 7, 2016

3 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 3"
Weight: 220 lbs

If you're looking for a casual piece to let you wear your brand-loyalty on your chest the Half Dome pullover is a solid addition to your wardrobe. No fancy features, just a sensible jacket for the days when your technical pieces need a break.

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Ben Kuhns

Ben Kuhnswrote a review of on November 7, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 3"
Weight: 220 lbs

The packable, synthetic insulated jacket is a staple of the outdoor wardrobe for a reason: it works. The Nano Puff is no exception and it comes with Patagonia's typically great fit, construction, and warranty.

On milder days this is a great top layer. Warm but no bulky, and water resistant enough for odd raindrop or snowflake. If things progress, throw a shell over the top and let the Primaloft get to work on your core temperature.

The versatility really is the best part of this jacket. If you're traveling, the ability to stow the entire jacket inside its own pocket is a real plus.

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review flagged as Lord and saviour? Offensive. Click here to view.

Ben Kuhns

Ben Kuhnswrote a review of on November 7, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I gave it as a gift but have feedback to share
Fit: True to size

Leave it to Sorel to build a women's boot that delivers performance and looks it one great package.

I upgraded my lady from her decade old hot pink pair of Sorels to something a little more adult looking (at her request). She was extremely pleased with the fit and warmth out of the box.

We gave the boots a solid break-in on a weeklong trip to Iceland where they were her daily boot. Uneven terrain, sand, water - the Caribou's took all comers with ease.

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Ben Kuhns

Ben Kuhnswrote a review of on November 7, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I gave it as a gift but have feedback to share
Fit: True to size

I picked this up for my girlfriend to wear as her primary baselayer during a trip to Iceland. It quickly became her new favorite layer for travel.

The benefits of merino are well documented and I'm happy to say they apply 100% to this piece from Icebreaker. Not once did my girlfriend complain about her regulating her core temperature while wearing this layer. And after a week of unexpectedly heavy use, she was impressed at the relative lack of odor.

Truth be told, this piece is almost good enough looking to wear on its own.

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Ben Kuhns

Ben Kuhnswrote a review of on November 7, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: Runs small
Height: 6' 3"
Weight: 220 lbs
Size Purchased: 38-39

I bought these in anticipation of a weeklong trip to Iceland. Being my first Fjallraven product I wasn't sure if I would end up loving them or not.

Fast forward to the end of that trip and I am 100% sold on these as my new go-to pant for the outdoors. Looking back on that trip I easily could have left all my other pants at home, the Vidda Pro was simply all I wanted to wear.

The day I bought them I immediately treated them with Fjallraven's Greenland Wax and I definitely recommend you do the same. The wax is easy to apply and adds water-resistance AND makes your pants look awesome.

The cut of the pants is perfect for long days in the field. Being a photographer I also appreciate the ample pocket space and the adjustable cinches at the cuff.

I did find that I had to size up from what I normally order in other brands to get a waistband that fit right. But once I got the size right I could not have been happier with the product and its performance.

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