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Charlie Proctor

Charlie Proctor

White Mountains

Charlie Proctor's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Running
Biking
Paddling
Skiing
Climbing

Charlie Proctor

Charlie Proctorwrote a review of on June 19, 2019

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

For a recent three-person trip to Denali, we did something radical and used only canister fuel stoves. I will NEVER use a liquid fuel stove again if I don't have to! We used an MSR reactor for snowmelting and the windburner group system for all our cooking. Our fuel use was 4-5 oz/pp per day with snowmelting and extensive cooking. The frying pan worked great for frying veggies, making tasty quesadillas, and making perfect golden-brown pancakes. The simmer on this stove is absolutely amazing with great control. It's also significantly quieter than a whisperlite. I have a few minor complaints:
1: Custom Cookware - You can only use the stove with certain cookware. The only advantage of this is that the pot is more stable on the stove. The included cookware is perfect for cooking for 3-4 people, but it would be nice to use other pots/pans for larger groups. MSR should sell a product that adds a pot support to the top of the stove.
2: Heat Spreading - Because the included pan is so thin, the heat is very concentrated in the center. This is easy to compensate for in your cooking (eg, move your quesadilla around so it cooks evenly), but it would be great if the heat spread more evenly. Again, it would be great if you could use this with your cast iron from home while car camping.
3: Lid Lock - The lid lock on the pan seems great, but I had it fail while draining pasta once. You just need to hold the lid on with some force as to not rely on it completely.

All-in-all, this is the best stove system for those wanting to do actual cooking. It’s amazing how much better it is to not have to deal with priming and depressurizing a liquid fuel stove!

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Charlie Proctor

Charlie Proctorwrote a review of on November 14, 2018

Good boot, somewhat fragile sole
3 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 3"
Weight: 160 lbs
Size Purchased: 44.5

Boot fit is everything and these fit my foot perfectly. They are decently warm, definitely warmer than a single leather boot but not nearly as warm as a true high altitude double boot.
Unfortunately the sole is about as fragile as everyone says. The soft orange stuff in the middle is fine, as ice boots don't wear much there even with trail use. Unfortunately, the black rubber doesn't appear to be the normal vibram sole as it likes to crack and break off in big chunks with just a little bit of trail or rock scrambling use. Clearly the more foamy black rubber is to save weight, but the sacrifice in durability isn't worth it. I'd highly suggest that scarpa use a harder, more durable rubber, especially right at the toe. The attached photo shows the toe of the boot after 8 miles total of dry ground use and all other use on ice/snow. I'm adding shoe goo to the toe after every use to desperately make these last as long as possible.

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Charlie Proctor

Charlie Proctorwrote a review of on April 4, 2018

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 3"
Weight: 160 lbs
Size Purchased: Large

Just rode my bike for 2 hours in the pouring rain and 39 degrees and this jacket kept me totally dry. Outer fabric wet out as expected, but membrane stayed totally watertight. My rain pants are from a popular Canadian brand and also labeled as gore tex pro but they leaked like crazy. My only complaint is the neck is super narrow and collar isn't very tall so you feel like you're getting strangled when you zip the jacket all the way up. I've found this problem with a few BD jackets and I really hope they fix it because otherwise they fit great.

Fabric - A+ for when you need something totally waterproof and are willing to sacrifice breathability
Fit - C- neck is really annoying

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Charlie Proctor

Charlie Proctorwrote a review of on March 13, 2018

2 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

My main complaint with this boot is the bottom buckle pinched the top of my foot in a very bad spot resulting in terrible pain. Additionally, it did a terrible job actually holding the heel down in walk mode. I have a hard time believing anyones foot would be held in a good spot with the location of the buckle. To add to all that, I found the thin liner to not have nearly enough insulation and my toes froze off nearly every time I used them.
In addition to the fit issues, I found the buckles and tongue to be very finicky to work with. It generally made transitions annoying. I found the boot to be quite stiff in ski mode with the tongue in, almost to the point of being too stiff.
I ended up with a pair of tlt7s which are much comfier, ski better, and don't require fiddling with a tongue.

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Charlie Proctor

Charlie Proctorwrote a review of on March 13, 2018

2 5

Familiarity: I returned this product before using it

I found this helmet surprisingly heavy and not well vented. Generally, it didn't seem like a helmet I would wear while going uphill which seems to defeat the purpose.. My downhill helmet, an old giro, is better vented with a similar weight.
The main reason I didn't like it is it fit my small head terribly. It felt more like yarmulke sitting on top of my head than a full helmet with actual side coverage. I'd definitely stay away if you have a small, round head.

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Charlie Proctor

Charlie Proctorwrote a review of on December 7, 2016

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 3"
Weight: 160 lbs
Size Purchased: 11

This is an awesome shoe and can be used for a variety of purposes depending on how you size it. The combination of a moderate downturn and lots of stiffness works really well. They stretch just a little each session after you sweat and get them warm but tend to shrink right back to the original size after they dry out. The inner lining and tongue are super comfy. I was worried about the stink from the synthetic material but they don't smell any worse than my leather shoes. I wear a size 11 street shoe, size 10.5 guide tennie and bought these in a size 11. They fit quite tight but are bearable enough for a pitch or two.

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Charlie Proctor

Charlie Proctorwrote a review of on August 2, 2016

4 5

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

I've gotten a few of my first leads in with the set and it's pretty great.
The nut tool is really crappy and uncomfortable to use but it works. They really should have included the neutrino rackpack instead of the hotwire since the hotwires are unnecessarily large for a racking caribiner. The meat and potatoes (nuts and cams) of the set work great though and it's awesome that they sell as a kit so you can apply one discount to everything.

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Charlie Proctor

Charlie Proctorwrote a review of on April 14, 2016

3 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I had the previous version of this headlamp for years and still love it but I got this to have another light lying around. Below are the pros and cons over the older version.
Pros:
-At max light power, the spot LED and the proximity LED both turn on.
-The red LED and proximity LED are both perfectly diffused. I've actually started reading with the red LED instead of my normal light since it's so even.
-It's waterproof!

Cons
-The center of gravity is further from the support area on your head so it likes to bob up and down while your running.
-I've had some issues with the batteries coming loose in the compartment. BD sent me a second light since I thought it was mine specifically but it also has this issue but not as bad. Basically the light sometimes stops working when the light is dropped from about 4' and takes some fiddling to get it started again. I NEVER had any reliability issues with the older version.

All in all some great upgrades but because of the reliability issues I'm still gonna use the older version as my everyday light.

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Charlie Proctor

Charlie Proctorwrote a review of on January 18, 2016

4 5

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

The short turning radius and light weight make this ski super turny, poppy and playful. So far they've been perfect for east coast skiing which involves far more bumps and trees rather than wide open faces.
So far I've used them on corduroy, packed powder, and knee deep powder and they've been fun and easy to ski in all these conditions.
I paired these with dynafit speed turns for a light setup that makes the uptrack more than bearable.

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Charlie Proctor

Charlie Proctorwrote a review of on June 11, 2015

3 5

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

I previously owned last years model of these poles but I hiked them into the ground over 700 miles of backpacking.
BD tried to "improve" the grips and the wrist straps over last years version by adding aggressive ridges on the grips and a very light mesh and the wrist straps. The ridges on the grips are a little more abrasive on the hands but they haven't caused me any blisters yet. The wrist straps on the other hand are very rough on the hands. I will likely cut them off but I did the same with last years version, for what it's worth.
Overall, I would trade these for last years model if I could.
They still are solid, ultralight poles that don't break the bank.

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Charlie Proctor

Charlie Proctorwrote a review of on June 11, 2015

3 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

When I first started using this chalk nothing came out but after working it a little over the course of a day of climbing it starting giving out a good amount of chalk. Next time I'll probably get the refillable kind or probably just use loose chalk.

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Charlie Proctor

Charlie Proctorwrote a review of on June 10, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size

For years, I put off buying new boots because I have some significant heal spurs and tight calves which often cause nasty blisters on my heals while walking up steep slopes. These boots have a nicely shaped and slightly padded heel cup that didn't give me any blisters even without any break in. They also stayed completely dry through spring backpacking in mushy white mountain snow.
If you're looking for a light boot with great support these really can't be beat!
In terms of fit, I'd say I have a narrow heal and slightly wide forefoot and these fit me perfectly in my normal running shoe size with room to spare for a warm sock.

Update: After not using these all summer I went to lace them up at the trailhead and the rivet attaching one of the lace loops ripped out. This is after a total of about 20 miles on the boots. On another note, I was baffled by the Solomon website and cannot find warranty info. Backcountry replaced them quickly after a short email exchange.

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Charlie Proctor

Charlie Proctorwrote a review of on January 10, 2015

2 5

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

My old go to baselayer was getting a little worn so I decided to splurge and go for merino (everyone says it's the best). In all, I was quite disappointed by the performance of this as it holds significantly more moisture than even the cheapest synthetic and makes you too warm when you're working hard but cold afterwards due to the sweat it absorbs. All in all, it performs the opposite of how you want your baselayer to perform.
In addition, it is so thin that it shows significant wear after six months of use including small holes.
The one advantage is that it really does a great job of keeping the skunk away, I used it off and on for a month of hiking on the AT without washing and it still didn't smell - it definitely scores five stars in that category.
This might be a satisfactory layer for simple traveling but it really isn't up to snuff for real outdoor use. This is the only piece of patagonia clothing that I have been dissatisfied with.

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Charlie Proctor

Charlie Proctorwrote a review of on December 15, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Amazing all purpose light for trail running, hiking, biking etc. `My favorite feature is the battery indicator. While hiking the Appalachian trail, I would always replace the batteries when the indicator started reading orange which would usually be every three weeks (this was June so I wasn't using it much).

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