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Bob Gabbitas

Bob Gabbitas

Wasatch Range, Central Coast

Bob Gabbitas's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Climbing
Snowshoeing
Biking
Skiing
Fly Fishing

Bob Gabbitas's Bio

I think the best description for myself would be "Adventure Photographer." Undergrad Biology student at the U of U by weekday, skier, freelance photographer and thru-hiker by weekend. My passions are skiing, backpacking and photography, especially during wintertime, and biking during the warmer months.

Bob Gabbitas

Bob Gabbitaswrote a review of on May 9, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 10"
Weight: 145 lbs
Size Purchased: Small

Fantastic jacket. Warm enough on its own to be worn by itself on chilly, dry days, and it's a great insulating layer in harsher conditions.
Super light, it adds very little weight to my layering, but it's also more durable than it feels, it held up to heavy use this last winter.

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Bob Gabbitas

Bob Gabbitaswrote a review of on May 9, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Height: 5' 10"
Weight: 145 lbs

First off, this watch is gorgeous and I love it.
The picture and description are a bit misleading, as I'd hoped, and the face isn't as large as it looks and sounds (42 mm, or just under 2 inches.)
For a watch strap, the leather is surprisingly thick and inflexible. It took a month to get to the point where it isn't a hassle buckling or unbuckling it.
Also, it's a chronometer, so the second hand is one of the three smaller faces, and the full-size second hand is the stopwatch hand, which is a bit confusing at first.

The really big problem though is with the instructions. Jack Mason is paperless, and includes a URL to access the instructions online. But, the URL is a broken link and doesn't even reach the brand's website, or any website at all. I had to google the brand name to find the website, then go back and google instructions for the watch, because navigating the poorly-designed website is nearly impossible.
You wouldn't think instructions would be so big an issue with a watch, but the adjustment dial is far from intuitive. The watch deserves a 5-star rating, because this is a watch people should have, but the Jack Mason brand deserves nothing better than a 3.

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Bob Gabbitas

Bob Gabbitaswrote a review of on May 9, 2017

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 10"
Weight: 145 lbs
Size Purchased: 30x32

Accumulated a few weeks worth of hiking and backpacking in these, they're great for pretty much all conditions. They dry fast after a shower or ford, and breathe when it gets muggy.

Only thing I'm unhappy with, the cuff snaps fell off pretty early on, not even while snapped up, and I was hoping for a bit more durability in that regard. Makes me worry about how they'll hold up in the future.

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Bob Gabbitas

Bob Gabbitaswrote a review of on May 9, 2017

3 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Bought it to fill out the 20 degree spot in my low-budget collection. Great in milder conditions but it hasn't really held up well at temps below 30 though. Pretty much behaves like my MH Lamina (35 F), except bigger when packed.

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Bob Gabbitas

Bob Gabbitaswrote a review of on February 6, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: Runs large
Height: 5' 10"
Weight: 147 lbs
Size Purchased: Small

Taken it on a couple expeditions and a dozen or so more casual outings. I run on the large side of my size, but just putting it on it's pretty obvious it's built for some heavy layering. It definitely leans towards being an alpine coat, or for the kind of situations where layering is hardly optional.
That said, it's also one of the warmest alpine parkas I've owned, which probably says a lot about my trip history. It's a thick coat but it's not too bulky for its warmth, so it doesn't get in the way much. Also, helmet, etc., everything fits.

In all, 10/10 would recommend

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Bob Gabbitas

Bob Gabbitaswrote a review of on January 31, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 147 lbs
Size Purchased: Small

Love this jacket for plenty of reasons, but mostly because the cut is just right; I can wear it by itself in mildly cold conditions, over a few more insulating layers on the colder mornings, and under a larger parka for bone-chilling alpine conditions, no extra bulk or dead space.
Bonus is that it's really lightweight, especially for its capabilities, I barely have to think twice before adding it to my pack.

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Bob Gabbitas

Bob Gabbitaswrote a review of on November 24, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I used this on a few hundred miles of the PCT this summer, it was sturdy, reliable, and best of all comfortable: the waist straps are supportive, and there's plenty of adjustment options for the shoulders and sternum, to fine-tune it to your specific shape.

Everything fit fine, and it was no hassle to reorganize as I pulled my gear out in camp.

With the pockets closed I never had problems with critters, although they ate the bite valve of my Platypus system.

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Bob Gabbitas

Bob Gabbitaswrote a review of on November 23, 2016

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Carried it on the PCT through Washington. Barely added to my pack weight but every night I was glad it was there. Barely needs more than a couple breaths to inflate, holds the air all night.
I'm a back sleeper, especially in the tent, so it was great to hold my head in place, but if you aren't, it's not really a good setup.

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Bob Gabbitas

Bob Gabbitaswrote a review of on November 10, 2016

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I strained my achilles on the PCT and had to call in a heli evac. I spent 30 hours in this tent below Vista Ridge in Washington waiting out a storm for the helicopter, got to know it better than during all the other nights. Here's what I noticed:

- Ventilation is lacking. It's pretty good, but still got a lot of condensation during the storm. Kept the rainwater out fine though

- FAST to set up. If you know what you're doing it takes only a minute or so, and in a Washington thunderstorm that makes a lot of difference.
- Warms up fast, small enough that it doesn't take much. I'd boil the water for food outside and then bring it inside to rehydrate on cold nights. Worked perfectly.
- At about the 20 hour mark, it starts to feel VERY CRAMPED. But, you know, not usually a problem
- Finally, when actually on the trail it's small (hardly noticed it when packing) and light (hardly noticed it on my back)

Overall, *definitely* worth the buy. I'd suggest springing for the footprint as well, the floor feels thin by itself

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Bob Gabbitas

Bob Gabbitaswrote a review of on June 23, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Adjustable light output is surprisingly effective. I use it when I go camping, or when I just need some low light at home. I've walked for miles by its light on a beach on the central coast and done artsy photo shoots on rural highways in Utah.
Only complaint is that the charging cord on the bottom doesn't stay put anymore. Oh well.
The aforementioned complaint that it doesn't turn on well, I only occasionally have that problem. Not often though. It just takes a second to turn on.

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Bob Gabbitas

Bob Gabbitaswrote a review of on June 23, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I think Smith is the only brand that actually looks good on *my* head.

Comfortable and durable. Goggles stay put without trouble, audio system too.

No accidents yet, so I can't add that credence, but it fits perfectly and I doubt there will be much shifting if it does happen.

And, in case you, like me, wondered, I think this is basically the same helmet as the Variance, but without a visor brim and much less expensive.

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Bob Gabbitas

Bob Gabbitaswrote a question about on April 7, 2015

This July I'm planning an East/West traverse of Iceland, then climbing Snaefellsjokull. Some of the glacial tongues I'll be needing to cross during the trek have been described to me as "bulletproof ice" that definitely requires crampons to safely cross. I have a pair of these that I've been using for ice fishing in Northern Utah, if paired with an ice ax would they be sufficient for both the trek and the mountain, or should I invest in a pair of heavier spikes instead?

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Bob Gabbitas

Bob Gabbitaswrote a review of on April 1, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

To really get a feel for its limits I laid my ground cover on a patch of fist-sized sandstone chunks after a week of pleasant nights hiking across Escalante, and I couldn't even feel them underneath me when I slipped into my bag. I was pleasantly satisfied, I'd definitely call this a worthwhile investment.

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Bob Gabbitas

Bob Gabbitaswrote a review of on March 30, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I've used this lamp a good deal of times, and I've been very satisfied. I've often been in a situation where I didn't plan to need a headlamp on the trail, but every situation I've used it I've been glad it's there. I've used it coming off of peaks in Northern Utah's Uintahs, in deep forest in the PNW, and once coming off of Zion NP's East Mesa with a suspected broken knee, and it's never failed me yet.
I do use it all the time in camp though, where the variable brightness really comes in handy. Definitely satisfied with my Storm.

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