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Drewry H.

Drewry H.

Drewry H.'s Passions

Fly Fishing
Hiking & Camping
Snowshoeing
Skiing
Surfing

Drewry H.'s Bio

Wild West, and the wider world as well.

Drewry H.

Drewry H.wrote a review of on April 17, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I've skied with this helmet for three seasons and I'm a fan. The flaps on the ears and padding inside keeps you warm (a big thing for me), and all the adjustable features really seal the deal. Having vents on top make it easy to avoid fogging up your goggles, and the adjustable gear at the back means that if you have a smaller head you can make the helmet snug, or adjust the fit up if you have your hair in a braid or different style. The padded chin strap is nice also.
I like the band in the back to lock in the goggles, as at times I find I forget I have them up on my helmet, and they slide off when I am taking my skins on or off, and the mechanism stops me from losing them. I have Anon goggles which fit snugly with the helmet but have a hard time staying on the top without sliding off because of the small lip up front.
I tend to keep it in the bag Smith provides but even throwing around the white color for 3 years, I haven't dented or marked it up yet. At the bottom of the earflaps there are zippers that open easily that you could slide your earbuds into and turn up the volume on your mp3 if you didn't want to buy the integrated sound system, and that would likely work okay.
Happy with the helmet, and feels more secure than the last one I bought and broke in a fall after a jump (note, they are supposed to do that, but it always felt a little loose and sloppy on as I have a smaller head, which this one doesn't).
Recommend.

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Drewry H.

Drewry H.wrote a review of on April 17, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This. Bag. Rocks.
Among my travels, I've taken it on 2 week ramblings in Central Asia and a combined work/vacation trip to Central America (12 days - the check-in lady was like "What? THIS is all you're taking??"), and it hasn't failed me yet. The way it is organized means that you have enough compartments to divide nice and rough travel clothes, equipment, and toiletries and find what you need. The outside pockets I keep raincoats/coats in for easy access when it is snowing where I am leave from and there is tropical rain when I arrive. I'd say with the size if you are taking big hiking boots, plan on wearing them or you'll eat up a lot of space though.
It has held up to a lot of abuse, and being able to easily take out and put away the shoulder straps in line or when I'm busting towards a gate is awesome. Impressively, the plastic clips on the straps haven't failed or broken. I usually just travel with this and a messenger bag.
It also does a pretty good job of repelling water as it has been left in the rain, had all kinds of stuff spilled on it, an the water resistance of the cordura combined with the thickness of the material means I still had dry clothes when I opened it. I've also brought back bottles of wine etc. and checked it, and it is a thick enough bag that if you wrap the bottles in clothes that I am not worried about them breaking in a soft-sided bag, even when it goes through the airports of 4 countries.
Get the bag. Leave your worries behind.

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Drewry H.

Drewry H.wrote a review of on April 17, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Love these boots. Super light but still provide a lot of support. The tongue moves pretty far forward so it is easy to get in and out of them with waders on, and the laces are small enough so hooks from waders and wading socks clip on easily. The felt is absolutely fantastic if you fish versatile waters and encounter slippery rocks - when I fish with friends who don't have felt, well on a lot of our waters out West they are slipping and sliding all over and I can just navigate right through, which is especially nice in faster water.
I am a women's size 10 and wear a 9 in these (I usually wear an 8 in men's shoes but due to the waders you should only size down 1 size). They are also pretty comfortable for hiking in and out - I will usually walk in an hour or more before I start fishing and I don't notice any problems with rubbing or foot fatigue.
Wouldn't change a thing about them.

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Drewry H.

Drewry H.wrote a review of on April 17, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This cooler is tough, and it works! I sit on it, stand on it, rely on it to keep stuff cold for 3+ days without changing the ice, and can still move and carry it in and out of my truck by myself fully loaded (just).
As with most Yeti/competitors, you lose some space inside to get the long-lasting cool temps, but the 65 is a good compromise between the two. I honestly don't use the basket as it doesn't seem to work as well with the space and what I want to do with it - instead of ice which melts (though there is a drain at the bottom which gets out most of the water), I freeze water bottles and use a few Yeti ice packs which gets me through my trips just fine. I don't have to worry about getting a lot of water out and can easily remove them if I need more space. Anything I want to keep dry I put in a zip-lock and dry bag if needed. You could use the basket if you want.
The separate system for locking the corners and attaching it to your truck if you are sleeping inside your vehicle, want more room, or are in bear country and need space (but honestly - don't leave the cooler right by your tent) works well and intuitively. The closures are rubber but tough, and I have no worry about them failing like I do with some other plastic and rubber parts on modern gear. I use the top as a cutting board and for food prep and it works well for that. The white marks up easily but who really cares? The no-slip feet do keep it really steady in the truck, but make it hard to drag out when full. Keep it near a door or the back of the bed.
Good purchase. I've had mine for 3 years and it is still doing great.

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Drewry H.

Drewry H.wrote a review of on April 17, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I need tough boots for my dog when we are skiing, hunting, and camping. These are the first ones I've tried that stand up to the abuse he puts them through. The two things I like are that the material on the bottom isn't simply cordura or nylon - it is a grippy rubber so it protects (and insulates a bit) as well as gives him traction when he is running. The second is that the velcro closures are located high enough on the paw and taper enough that in good weather the velcro strap can wrap around and keep the boot on. Previously, on other booties there was either no taper or they were set too low so boots would fly off when my dog was running. If you measure your dog's paws correctly (and this is super important so that you don't hurt their paws - make sure you follow Ruffwear's directions and have them splay so that you know the space they will need), then you don't have to worry about them being too small or strapping them on snugly up top.
My only real complaint is what other's have mentioned - in the snow the velcro really fails pretty quickly. If your dog is just bopping along on a sidewalk expect to not have many problems. However, if you are heading into the backcountry in the snow and your dog is flying through bushes or your are winter hunting and he's crashing through brush, you'll lose a boot and no amount of brushing off the ice and snow will get it to stick back on there (if you're lucky enough to find it - hooray for my GSP's great nose!). I've learned this the hard way.
The solution (after ordering an extra set so that your buddy doesn't get frost-bite out in the middle of the backcountry) is to order socks (or wrap the paws up above to the hocks with athletic wrap, not tape), but the boots on, and then tape over the velcro closures to the socks or wrap so that they don't come off in the field. Have some extra tape handy, and keep it warm inside your vest or coat so that the sticky side doesn't get so cold that it doesn't adhere well if you have to re-wrap.
So - best boots on the market, could do better in the snow, but with a little time and attention you can fix this issue and you and your bud will be having a great time out there all year round.

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Drewry H.

Drewry H.wrote a review of on April 17, 2018

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I used this pad last summer while camping for work in Central Asia. I wasn't able to test it in extreme cold temps, but on really hard ground it provided great padding, and the no-slip surface was great to have so that my bag didn't slide off all night, which has been a complaint I've had with other pads in the past. It takes a few minutes to blow up manually (bribe your friend to help and it goes easier), but I found that getting it almost but not completely full keeps your hips from hitting the ground but means that you don't slide off it from it being over-full.
My only two complaints with it are these. It is a bit loud (as others have mentioned), which is less of an issue if you are bone-tired, but still if you can't get a good night's sleep when you need one could be an issue. Secondly, for a tall person (I am almost 5'11"), I found that the mummy shape meant it was so hugely tapered that all night whenever I changed position my legs from the hips down would fall off or my upper body would start to drift off at the hips, and I would have to bodily lift myself off to re-position in the middle of the pad, working to get my sleeping bag re-adjusted and in place because of the friction provided by the no-slip surface of the pad. To give you an idea dimensions I was dealing with: I'm 5'10" and 140 lbs so when lying flat I still have space on the pad.
I would say if you don't really move at all in your sleep, or if you are packing into the backcountry and need to really cut down on your weight, this is a great pad to consider. If you are riding/driving, have a sled, or are going by water craft (kayak, canoe, etc), and if you are tall or move when you sleep, I would consider a wider pad.

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Drewry H.

Drewry H.wrote a review of on April 17, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I lived in this tent in Central Asia last summer, and I was really glad I spent the extra money for the new features of the MtnGLO. The tent is designed in a really intuitive way, and the fact that you can just lay it out, pull out the poles and everything just pops together means that assembly is super fast if you arrive at your camp site late or in the rain. I did buy the footprint which fits easily into the bag provided for the tent, and while I didn't hike with the setup, it was really light. I liked having the footprint for some extra protection on the ground as the material is thin and when I didn't have time to clear the ground below it provided some extra cover.
The tent stood up to high winds from the plains and lots of rain, and in fact having the two vestibules was great because I could keep gear under them and zip up the sides, and everything stayed bone dry (and safe from herders' curious yaks and goats). Also the material dries quickly, especially in the sun.
I am 5'10" and had room for extra gear at my feet in the tent (could also fit my dog down there if I was home), which was nice. The lighting system was great, as it had 2 settings for more or less light and made reading or working in the tent at night easy vs. headlamp or hanging lantern which is at times challenging. Batteries lasted well too. Pockets, as others have mentioned worked well, and I didn't feel cramped getting dressed at 5'10" in the tent.
The reflective stripes on the guylines made it easy to find the tent at night when returning with a headlamp (seems silly, but it was nice vs. others wandering aimlessly in and out of trees looking for their green tents). Stakes were good quality.
Felt very secure in the tent, but didn't sacrifice weight to do so. I would feel fine with another person in it and even a small-medium sized dog, though I would be careful with the paws and the floor. Highly recommend.

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Drewry H.

Drewry H.wrote a review of on April 17, 2018

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I love these gaiters - this is my second pair. In terms of what is on the market, these are my go-to. They come high up on the leg to right below my knees (I have a 33" inseam) and are adjustable which is great for different calf sizes. They are in the middle-ground of toughness meaning that I can wear them year-long in snow, mud, and brush and I don't get too hot or too cold and they shrug off most stuff they encounter. If you go up against barbed wire they may tear a bit, but for most things they get the job done.
The hook on the front works to hold them in place better than the TurtleSkins I had (a major complaint), and the shoe under strap is adjustable so they stay in place.
My major complaint is that with this update, they have switched the metal buckle for the strap adjustment to very cheap metal material, and it bends and warps after only a few uses. For OR gaiters constructed for heavy use, that is simply unacceptable. These gaiters should last for quite a while, so trying to send them back simply because the buckle is failing so soon is a bad and disappointing re-design choice.
Still the best gaiters around for varied use and I like the higher ones as they keep out brush and snow, but wish they hadn't cheaped out on this version.
I wear a size 10 women's shoe (size 8 men's) and the Large work well for everything from heavy insulated hunting boots to light hiking boots due to the adjustment capability.

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Drewry H.

Drewry H.wrote a review of on April 13, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: Runs large
Height: 5' 10"
Weight: 145 lbs
Size Purchased: Medium

I have been looking for tough but stylish pants that work for backcountry skiing and fit my long legs for ages. You will have to splurge on these, but they are well worth it. The long zippers on the sides keep you cool during long, steep ascents, and the re-inforced cuffs are great.
I have a 33" inseam and originally ordered a large as that was the size guidance and I often order big to fit my long legs, but they ended up being too big in the waist and butt, and the leg material rubbed when I walked. I down-sized to a medium and they fit great with thermals on underneath and are still long enough. I have good movement when hiking, crawling over boulders to get across streams, and ski. The adjustable velcro straps at the waist allow for adjustments depending on what you wear underneath and your hip size. I love all the pockets, and the suspenders are great to keep them from moving around - they also keep your shirt from riding up when you are hiking. Zippers are easy to manipulate when you transition from hiking to skiing and in gloves, or for quick changes in weather conditions.
They are slim fitting, which is great for me, but for fuller or more athletic builds that could be a bit constricting. Overall I have excellent initial impressions of the pants and plan to buy more Norrona gear - also like the lively blue color.
UPDATE: Second season in, these pants just keep truckin'. Still look great, and all of the pockets are super useful. I really love the length, and how effective the elastic at the pant bottoms are. The one thing I would say is if you have to find a tree (or a stall) a lot during the day, consider something other than a pant with suspenders - it isn't a huge problem for me, but when it's cold in the backcountry, it can be a real pain. Love the pants though.

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