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Daniel A.

Daniel A.

Daniel A.'s Passions

Hiking & Camping
Skiing
Biking

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Daniel A.

Daniel A.wrote a review of on June 4, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

After years of wearing typical bike jerseys, this is a refreshing change. It's simple, easily accommodates base layers, is soft, doesn't stink too horribly after a couple hours of riding. It easily handles big temp variations here in the SF Bay area. And it just looks really nice. Nice enough I'm likely to wear for other non-cycling activities. I've worn this with Patagonia Endless Ride Liner Bib Short and Kitsbow shorts. I typically take a Patagonia medium shirt and this medium fits great, but on the loose side. The black is clearly a medium grey. Somebody please call Patagonia and tell them we need more and better colors.

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Daniel A.

Daniel A.wrote a review of on August 22, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 7"
Weight: 168 lbs
Size Purchased: medium

Well, literally... nice solid blue. I've got a few of these, but last summer was mercilessly teased by older siblings for the funky Patagonia patterns. I've taken their advice to heart. Absolutely love the solid blue color, nice fit, material is on the light side, but still feels like good quality. I wear it stand alone and also works great for layering under a warmer shirt (...yes its cold out here in August)

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Daniel A.

Daniel A.wrote a review of on August 22, 2018

4 5

Well, its certainly convenient. Boil water, add contents of single packet and voila! And yes, it woke me up two consecutive mornings. So it does provide a detectable early morning zing via easy prep. But the taste. I kept looking at the packet to reassure myself that there was actually coffee in this brew. Neither my wife nor I could relate the taste to anything we previously brewed and was believed to be coffee. I think I'll try some of the other variations, but for now it'll do in the backcountry.

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Daniel A.

Daniel A.wrote a review of on February 6, 2018

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

It did not want to mount to my svelte Bianchi Infinito with its curves and oddly shaped frame. I almost gave up before I found there was literally only one position that just barely fit. After the frustrating setup, works like a charm. Paired with the iOS app, very useful and easily accessible info. Using it mostly for indoor training, but also great on the few road rides over the last month and especial for laps at the nearby oval course. A little issue with the app... iPhone battery ran out toward the end of my ride... the whole trip was lost. D'oh!

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Daniel A.

Daniel A.wrote a review of on April 21, 2017

5 5

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

Yup, it’s the perfect watch. I needed something light, moderate size (not too small, not too big), rugged, waterproof, that looks good enough for work, and is readable at night without having to be charged or without micro-tubes of radioactive material. And this watch exceeds all those requirements. The rugged titanium housing is super light. Even with the leather watchband (which is actually quite nice) it is very light. I totally forget I’m wearing a watch. When I switch to my favorite ToxicNato band it will be even lighter. Case is not too thick so it easily fits under my shirt sleeve. I was concerned the face wouldn’t be luminous enough or fade half way through the night. Nope! It really holds a charge. Man does it hold a charge. Even without my glasses its really easy to read at 3am. Be advised the white dial is mostly light greenish, even outside. The sucker is just glowing. The crown on the left isn’t an issue either way for me. The alarm is a nice extra, although I don’t plan to use it much as my iPhone is almost always near by. Setting the date and alarm is a little awkward like patting your head and rubbing your stomach at the same time – a little practice and its no big deal.

I have another Momentum watch and it is quite reliable and their customer service is great. I was tempted to go with the Steelix because of the Outside review and others. But I’m glad I choose this one. And did I mention its luminous? Yup, this one looks like a winner.

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Daniel A.

Daniel A.wrote a review of on January 12, 2016

Light, but tight for two...
4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I had high hopes for this tent and it mostly met those expectations. It is very light and small. Set up is easy and it disappears inside my pack. I have not had any serious problems with condensation, but there is a little. Haven't used it in wet weather, so no feedback on that front. The kicker is it really isn't a two person tent, perhaps two hobbits. Not much headroom, so I would not recommend for someone over 6ft. tall. And it is quite shallow at the end. I use it as a solo tent and it is plenty roomy in that mode. As long as you understand the limitations I'd say thumbs up on this one.

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Daniel A.

Daniel A.wrote a review of on January 11, 2016

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Nicely designed. Handle is very very comfortable. The double loops allow easy attachment for bags and S-biner but leaves lots of room for just holding the leash. Very substantial. We've got the small one but it is solidly constructed. No issues with "sharp" reflective tape woven in. Easy on and off. Only one little downside. The attachment doesn't swivel. That means as your dog twists around so does the leash. But this is our go to leash; we use it multiple times every day. And it goes great with their Front Range harness which we also really like.

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Daniel A.

Daniel A.wrote a review of on January 11, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Was looking at upgrading to a more substantial harness for a while and this one is great. Solid construction, very adjustable. As far as we can tell it is comfy on our little Jack Russell. And the real kicker is it is so easy to put on and take off. Size XS for a 14 pd JRT.

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Daniel A.

Daniel A.wrote a review of on January 9, 2016

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size

For me the gold standard for light weight mid-layer all purpose fleece is Patagonia's R1 pullover. But I lost mine, and within Patagonia there must be a civil war every year between normal sized people and super skinny people. This year the skinny folks won so that means the replacement won't fit me. So off I went looking for a comparable alternative. I settled on this and it's pretty darn good. The fit is perfect, not too slim or too long. Interesting the square pattern is on the outside. It is very light and takes up very little room stuff in my backpack.

First real test was a 10 mile hike out to Tomales Point and back. Started early in the morning. As temps went from cool to hot for a moment I thought about taking it off, but it was actually fine so I just unzipped it and kept cruising along. The forecast was for strong winds later in the day and boy was that a spot on prediction. Cold gusts off the Pacific, up to 50 mph, it was hard to stand at times. Most people passing us had full parkas zipped with hoods synch'd down. I just had this on and never felt like I needed to break out my shell. I was amazed how it functioned as temps must have fluctuated 30-40 degrees during the day.

The only ding is that after a season of use it looks a tad worn. I suspect I'm being a bit fussy but my Arcteryx covert cardigan looks about the same after twelve years of abuse. Anyway, I still highly recommend this fleece.

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Daniel A.

Daniel A.wrote a review of on January 9, 2016

4 5

I needed a hiking/backpacking belt with some teeth. By that I mean light weight, but won't slip. And that describes this puppy. Once its synch'd it will not move, not even a little. The buckle is hollowed out in the back so it is lighter than it looks, but still solid. So why not 5 stars? Well, that grip is achieved via some very very sharp teeth on the buckle. After a season of use the material is fraying slightly. Not a big deal and nothing a match or lighter cannot fix in a second. Also the actual colors don't exactly match the pictures displayed but kudos to BC for trying. Since these aren't intended to go with my Brooks Brothers pinstripe 3 piece suit, not a big deal if the color is off a bit, but it does add a little fun unpredictability to the purchase. And yes I too chopped it down to a 34 waist with an exacto knife and lighter to clean up the edge.

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Daniel A.

Daniel A.wrote a review of on January 9, 2016

2 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Size Purchased: 11

Okay, I'm exaggerating, but just a little. The previous year's version was too narrow. I read somewhere that these were redesigned for 2015 with a wider toebox. Yup, they definitely improved that. They fit my foot now. Salewa also redesigned the tongue and this is where things start to head downhill. They dropped the leather for a mix of mesh and I think synthetic leather. Now the tongue won't stay in place. It keeps sliding down. I tried every scheme but to no avail. And then the top of the tongue digs into to the top of the foot. I kept thinking this is typical new shoe breakin stuff, but it wouldn't go away. I mean it really is uncomfortable. The last straw... I was wearing at the office to break them in and at lunch walking on pavement stepped on an acorn and nearly broke my ankle. They just twisted in a very weird way. Right now I cannot even give them away on eBay. Like a knucklehead pushed the breakin period past BCs generous window. Live and learn. Sent a nastygram off to Salewa, hopefully they'll fix it next year.

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Daniel A.

Daniel A.wrote a review of on January 9, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Size Purchased: 10.5

This season I put several hundred miles on these shoes and they are great. They fit like a glove. I was concerned they would be narrow, but they are spot on. Comfortable from the very first ride. Stiff exactly where they need to be. I've had no issues getting in and out of my SPD pedals, which reminds me it's time for some new pedals, but I digress. I did have a blow out and ended up having to huff it back to the trailhead and these are surprisingly comfortable. Dismounted pushing the bike up some seriously steep inclines, there is plenty of grip. The one side benefit, and I know this might sound silly, but they're quiet. Previous Sidi and Specialized sounded like Dutch wooden clogs. I was worried about no vents or mesh, but after a VERY hot summer these were no problem. Hope they last 'cause these are some sweet cycling shoes. I know early batches had the delamination problem. My resident gearhead assured me these are post that batch and so far they've been solid.

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Daniel A.

Daniel A.wrote a review of on May 19, 2015

So worth the extra weight!
5 5

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

For years I was counting ounces to reduce my load. But with the big 60 looming large, the pendulum is swinging back in the direction of comfort. And so I decided to add these to my kit. And after the first trip, overnight trip to Vincente Flat at Big Sur, I must confess they are great. Half way up we broke them out and had lunch that included panoramic coastal views, spring wildflowers and breaching whales. What a treat. And then we got to camp early so we parked ourselves on these for about 3 hours. They are really really comfortable. And for someone with an iffy lower back they were a real relief. So far the only downside is that they are a little challenging on soft ground. I see that Big Agnes is offering ball feet as an option and Google search will yield some creative solutions. But even with that downside, I still highly recommend.<br /><br />Second trip and I'm loving them even more. Well worth carrying! Kick'n back in the Sierras. These will be like my Travelocity gnomes. I'll photograph them all over the world.

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Daniel A.

Daniel A.wrote a review of on November 4, 2013

5 5

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

Used in southern Utah, temps in the mid-30s and low 40s. Along with the air-core pad this was exceptionally comfortable and I'm a notoriously bad backcountry sleeper. I prefer the extra room and am definitely a fanboy of the integrated pad approach. I got sick of waking up multiple times during the night after rolling off my Thermarest. Packed down nice and small which is always a plus.

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Daniel A.

Daniel A.wrote a review of on November 4, 2013

Sooo comfortable... but be careful.
4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

After a long and careful evaluation I choose the Blaze for my backpacking needs. I picked one up from Backcountry.com a few weeks ago. I did 8 and 10 mile test hikes with about 15 lb. of gear. It was extremely comfortable, I mean extremely. I didn't even remember I was wearing a pack which is probably about the highest endorsement I could give for comfort. This past weekend I headed out to the Needles in southern Utah for 3 days. Nothing too strenuous, 5, 9 and 6 miles each day. Even with a ridiculous amount of water that we needed haul, the bag was still just so comfortable. It swallowed all my gear easily.

I have a Dana Design wet rib which I used on this trip to great effect. It is basically a small pouch and water bottle holder that attaches to the shoulder strap webbing and hangs around the waste. Great access to water, camera, munchies, etc. since the Blaze itself is pretty Spartan.

After unpacking upon my return, I noticed that each stretch area (two sides and back) had small holes. I didn't think I was particularly rough with our packs. It was stored in another duffle for air transit. A few times we needed to remove our packs and toss them up to the next level and then scramble up after them. Also given all the rock walls it was hard not for it to occasionally scrape against the sandstone.

One other note. The top has a tall collar, but it is not all usable. I tried to stack up all the empty water bottles. They fit inside the collar, but the cross cinch straps do not reach when the collar is fully extended.
Comfort - A+
Durability - handle with care.

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Daniel A.

Daniel A.wrote a review of on May 2, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

These really are great. I had a very special need, probably not what the designers of these had in mind. I do a lot of fast walking with my very energetic Jack Russell Terrier on steep trails of either loose gravel or slippery mud. At a mere 14lbs, she is a bundle of energy especially with a squirrel in her cross-hairs. And while I'm trying to balance on a steep down slope and she's tugging away, I need something that really grips. And these really grip. They are extremely comfortable. I did 8 miles and 2k ft of elevation last weekend and they just feel great up and down. Lacing system yields a really snug fit. Salomon does have a reputation for being narrow, but these swallow my orthotics and are just super comfy. I thought about getting the climashield version, but went with these instead. They are a tad warm, but the others would have been much too warm. My only complaint - next time I won't get the baby blue color.

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