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Chris K

Chris K

Chris K's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Climbing
Fly Fishing
Running
Biking

Chris K

Chris Kwrote a review of on June 15, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 9"
Weight: 145 lbs
Size Purchased: Medium

This has become my goto jacket for 80% of the year. Thanks OR for such a quality design! I've worn this jacket skiing, climbing, backpacking, and around town. It just holds up. At first I was hesistant that the 20D Pertex softshell outer fabric would rip pretty quickly with the abuse I was throwing at it but it still has lasted for almost two years now. It works great in temperatures all the way down to 30F with a midlayer and the softshell exterior sheds water. Even if the fabric soaks in, the fleece lining maintains your warmth. Additionally, using the Ascendant as a midlayer under a hardshell skiiing in mild temps just breathes excellently. The only issues I have are the thump loops which don't work very well (however the elastic cuffs are more than adequate), and the front hand warmer pockets are unzippered. This jacket is meant to be used as a midlayer and as a light softshell, there is a key loop in the left pocket, and it can stuff itself into the hood.

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Chris K

Chris Kwrote a review of on June 15, 2019

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

DWR coating on your down jacket or sleeping bag wearing off? Does your down not loft as much as it used to? do you now suddenly shiver in your bag? Perhaps you should purchase this Downproof. I found that my down quilt wasn't keeping me warm anymore in low-mild humidity. Got some of this and washed my bag in a front loading machine and poof, suddenly much warmer. You can wash 2 sleeping bags and 2 jackets with this bottle.

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Chris K

Chris Kwrote a review of on June 15, 2019

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I really wish I had decided to pull the trigger and purchase this rope bag/tarp sooner. I was put off at first by the weight, but the ease of which you just dump the rope on the tarp and can either burrito wrap the rope or just use it as a chute is amazing. The strap is as comfortable as it gets and carries much nicer than a double strapped backpack style rope bag. The "triangle" of the chute isn't as severe has I thought and the tarp is plenty large enough for any endeavor. Highly recommend.

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Chris K

Chris Kwrote a review of on February 13, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 9"
Weight: 145 lbs
Size Purchased: Medium

I own several different brands of wool underwear and it took some time and finally a sale to convince me to try the Smartwool 150 Boxer Briefs. Man...what I have been doing all this time? Stretching over the life time is much less compared to say, Stoic. Stitching is impeccable and the waistband really adds another level of comfort, whether I'm out climbing, skiing, or stuck in fishing waders all day.

Definitely try them out if you haven't.

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Chris K

Chris Kwrote a review of on March 22, 2018

5 5

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

I currently have a double rack with dmm wallnuts and I decided that these would be the first branching out into a wider range of protection. Oh my what a wonderful purchase! They compliment the dmm wallnuts perfectly covering flaring finger placements. I was in an area that required both regular nuts and offsets on my first outing with them and saw the benefit immediately. They are able to protect in non-standard placements with outward or downward flares, pinscars, as well as in constrictions containing inward flares (place the nut backwards). One of the biggest pros is their ability to be placed and still allow room for finger jams. Definitely held up when a rainstorm poured down on me and they became my primarily protection over cams.

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Chris K

Chris Kwrote a review of on October 23, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

The first time I put the skwama's on they felt perfect. I've had other la sportiva downturn aggressive climbing shoes but none as comfortable as the skwama's. They perform remarkable well and similar to the solutions but for less money (quite the bonus) The slipper with a velcro security just makes them all the more comfortable. The heel doesn't stick out compared to other brands and fits nicely into heel hooks. The rubber on the toes is nice and wide and just sticky enough for the toe hooks. I've been able to edge on remarkably small chips both at the gym and outside. In addition, they actually smear on slab wall! I was amazed and incredibly happy. For such an aggressive shoe to be nimble enough to smear was a godsend.

sizing: i don't tend to wear tight like most climbers but these seem to take a little bit to break in with a hybrid synthetic and leather lower/upper (respectively). Maybe it's just my preference but my toes feel tight (however they feel tight in all shoes). I wear a size 8.5 (1.0 size down from my street size) and I"m still able to perform well at the gym (beware those developing bunions!).

don't let other people fool you, these are high performance, not moderate. they are ranked (by la sportiva) as been a middle volume shoe (I have a normal arch) designed for aggressive performance a touch less than solutions. I seriously recommend them to anyone who does any technical climbing. I wouldn't recommend them for all day trad or cracks.

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Chris K

Chris Kwrote a review of on July 23, 2017

3 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

First off, let me start by saying that I've used this hammock for almost 6 years now. In the snow, alpine, summer days, around the lake, in the sun, at school, and backpacking. I'm pretty familiar with it.

Pros: The hammock is made of nice strong weight of nylon that is very durable and reliable. The stitching is tight and no threads have come overly loose. Comes with hanging cordage set up in loops to make hanging easier and to spread the load around a tree trunk/branch. Entire system is durable. Unfortunately, that's where I feel that the pros end.

Cons: since I've used this hammock primarily for backpacking, it is not ideal weight, coming in at 22 oz(this was before the GT sub7 were available). Part of this the steel biners. They are overkill and can catch on the rope and pinch, causing premature artificial fraying. There exists a twist in the hammock system that can cause the user to fall out of the hammock or unable to keep a flay hammock lay. I hate to admit it, but I've fallen out quite a few times in the middle of the night. The cordage system used to hang the hammock is not very versatile. The system has a low distance available between trees so you have to find that perfect tree distance, and the cords don't exactly spread the load onto the tree well. I've cut some bark before, unfortunately.

Conclusion: The GT single is a great hammock for the average person. It's durable, comfortable, and well made. It has a couple shortfalls, such as the hanging system. I recommend changing them out with some Metolius mini II biners and also replacing the cord with some climbing webbing. Use a waterknot to make a loop for the carabiners and then use a timber hitch around the tree with at least one wrap on the backside of the tree. I've loved my Grand Trunk ever since I purchased it but nowadays I would probably recommend another option.

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