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Dylan Alvarez

Dylan Alvarez

, Employee

Salt Lake City

Dylan Alvarez

Dylan Alvarezwrote a review of on January 15, 2020

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 8"
Weight: 140 lbs

These pants are what I've been looking for! I tend to overheat easily so having pants with suspenders, but not bibs, is key for me. The suspender's velcro adjustment system was well designed to eliminate pressure points over my shoulders and chest while the waistband adjustability felt comfortable and easy to use as well. The fit of these is slim and tapered, helping me look good on the slopes (arguably one of the most important aspects of these pants). However - number one for me was the abundance of well-placed pockets, giving me lots of options to stick a bar, beacon, or even my phone to snap the occasional photo.

Breathability-wise, I was easily able to shed excess heat with the side zips and the permeability of the fabric. Conversely, I still stayed warm and dry when the wind got kicking and snow started blowing. Overall, these are some awesome pants that I'll be wearing as much as possible this season out here in the Wasatch.

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Dylan Alvarez

Dylan Alvarezwrote a review of on January 15, 2020

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

This helmet is comfortable and fashionable. It has all of the features I'm looking for to minimize my worries about safety during a day out skiing. The innovative magnetic strap is easy to get on and off and doesn’t catch my hair like a traditional buckle does. The ear flaps are breathable, yet warm, and the air vents are easy to open and close to regulate temperature. A side perk: the shape of the helmet allows my goggles to sit on top without sliding off when I want to lift them off my face. All around, I would highly recommend this lightweight and comfortable helmet.

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Dylan Alvarez

Dylan Alvarezwrote a review of on January 15, 2020

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

These mittens are warm and lightweight. As someone who gets very cold hands, they have been perfect for skiing, even when the temperatures drop and the skies start dumping. They’re durable and warm without being too bulky, and they keep my hands completely dry. I was even able to wear them biking around the city and my hands didn’t overheat due to the breathability. The wrist straps are awesome, completely eliminating the risk of dropping a mitten while on a lift. The cuffs make it easy to get them on and off, although they work best with a jacket that has wide cuffs to fit over them. I would recommend these mittens for cold to medium temperatures for all of your snow adventures and regular cold weather days.

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Dylan Alvarez

Dylan Alvarezwrote a review of on December 16, 2019

Best of the best
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

There's a reason you see so many top climbers wearing this harness. Let that speak for itself. I've had mine since September 2017 and it's looking like it's about time to replace it which I consider to be an impressive lifetime considering the minimalism of this harness and how much I've beat it up. It's not quite a do-it-all - I do have a separate harness for long multi-pitch routes and photographing up on a rope - but for hard sport and trad, plus some short quick multi-pitch routes and even rigging a line for tall highballs, there's nothing better.

The first thing to wear on this one for me was the bottom hard point on my tie-ins. The outer protective material has started to fray, although the core on the inside is still in a good condition, which I was glad to see. The gear loops (which are handy to have so much room for racking on) have shown almost no wear and the back elastic is not as stretchy as it was when bought but it's unnoticable if sized correctly.

As far as sizing, I'll offer my two cents since another reviewer had my exact measurements but sized to the medium. I'm 5'8", 135lbs, and have skinny hips - I wear a size 28 pants, maybe 29 in jeans and 30 is far too loose on me without a belt. I went with the small and I tighten the harness down almost the entire way if shirtless and about halfway with lots of layers underneath for cold weather or ice climbing. The medium requires I tighten it down as far as the waistband allows and still leaves me with some room to spare. As with any harnesses, trying it on beforehand is recommended.

Overall, the Sitta is the best. Hands-down. If you're climbing hard sport, trad, ice, or ski-mo, there's nothing better. I've used and abused it for two seasons in Rifle, a season in the Red, a month in St. George, 5 weeks in Ceuse, two seasons in the New, on ice in the Adirondacks, and countless gym days and am going to order a replacement soon.

Photo by Larissa Arce

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Dylan Alvarez

Dylan Alvarezwrote a review of on December 16, 2019

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I've used a few Black Hole bags over the last few years and most recently took this one on a short trip where all I took was packed in this duffel. I did enjoy the dual-use between the duffel and a backpack, plus the airline carry-on compliant size was useful while packing for some piece of mind.

I'm looking forward to see how long this bag lasts for me since I've already had a couple of the smaller cubes that have shown no signs of stopping since I got them 3 or 4 years ago. I do wish it didn't stand out so much sometimes but they do look really cool and the ripstop fabric doesn't feel like it'll break down anytime soon.

A couple more thoughts:
- The several storage pockets came in handy
- The removable backpack straps are useful and come off quickly while also being quite comfortable
- It is meant to be able to be repacked into its own pocket but I struggled unpacking it initially and don't ever want to try to repack it again. I'll just use a slightly larger stuff sack until Patagonia re-designs it's self-storage feature to be a bit more easily used

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Dylan Alvarez

Dylan Alvarezwrote a review of on December 16, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I have tested La Sportiva's No-Edge tech before, with the Geniuses and I hadn't been too impressed at the time. However, I was using them on New River Gorge sandstone edges, where I wanted a shoe with more of a defined edge, fresh out of the box. I was still curious about the Futura's though, especially with their soft, slipper-like feel and I decided to test out their versatility out here in Utah on Joe's Valley sandstone, LCC granite, and gym plastic.

Again, I found that I preferred regular edging shoes on sandstone edges but I was immediately swayed when I tested these out on insecure granite smears and the notoriously bad moonboard kicker. The soft edges felt like they stuck to the smears much better, molding to cover more surface area and grip more than a defined edge shoe. I was able to get more push out of insecure footholds and in the end, am really enjoying these shoes - for the right place and time. They are an important arrow in the quiver and I'm glad I gave No-Edge another chance.

As for the rest of the shoe's features - I found their last to be much more narrow than other Sportiva shoes, more so than Skwama's, Solution's, and Testarossa's. If you have a narrower foot, these should work well. I found the heel a little baggy for heel hooks but they worked well for toe hooks. Comfort-wise, they were soft yet aggressive and although I have quite wide feet, the softness of the shoes allowed for a decent fit for me. I'm excited to test these out on some limestone pitches in the spring!

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Dylan Alvarez

Dylan Alvarezwrote a review of on December 13, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

This is the first Yeti cooler I'd tried, despite always hearing from friends about how amazing these things were. Turns out their high praise was not unfounded! I tested this out on a 3-day weekend climbing in the swell here in Utah and half my ice was still frozen when I got back home. They just work. The wheels on this one, as everyone has raved about, held up and the handle was designed well.

The only con I could think of was the drainage cap has been notoriously difficult to unscrew for me although I usually just grab a pair of pliers and have no problem. These coolers are bomber and do their job, I would definitely recommend them to anyone.

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Dylan Alvarez

Dylan Alvarezwrote a review of on November 26, 2019

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

A great option for wide-footed climbers looking for a durable, responsive shoe for subtle edges and the gym. My foot is quite wide and I found the toe box on these to fit me well, although I do agree that the sizing is a bit larger than the rest of BD's shoes. I wear a US size 9, men's, and had to size down to a M7.5 in these to get a comfortable fit.

The knit upper was comfortable and helped keep odor minimal although I did find myself wishing there was some rubber on the toe patch to help with toe hooks. The heel cup was better for heel hooking, although felt a little large for my heel. Overall, these shoes felt like great choice for someone looking for a step up from their first pair of shoes and wanting to break into the world of aggressive shoes, while still retaining a comfortable fit.

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Dylan Alvarez

Dylan Alvarezwrote a review of on November 26, 2019

Cannot recommend enough
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 8"
Weight: 140 lbs
Size Purchased: Medium

If you enjoy things like warm blankets, cozy hugs, and being swallowed by a soft, pillowy cloud of warmth, this hoodie just about does the trick. I've had it for about 3 weeks now and have managed to tear it off myself only to give it a washing and then put it right back on. It's irresistibly comfortable, extremely warm, and looks good too.

I've worn it down to around 25 degrees while camping and have been quite comfortable in a base layer, long sleeve, and this hoodie over everything. It's surprisingly warm, the only con I can think of is that it's so thick that it can be hard to layer a shell or puffy over on top. I also really appreciated the large kangaroo pouch in the front and the inclusion of zipper and velcro on the closure. Elbow pads on the arms also helped with wear and looked really good too. The hood felt pretty snug so wouldn't work over a helmet.

A note on sizing: I am usually a size small for North Face jackets but went with the medium to get a more relaxed, cozy fit and could have even gone with the large. A small would layer a bit better for me but in my opinion, the best part of putting this hoodie on is feeling like you're being wrapped up in your favorite blanket so I preferred sizing up.

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Dylan Alvarez

Dylan Alvarezwrote a review of on November 25, 2019

Great hard sport/bouldering shoe from BD
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

These are a great entry from BD into the aggressive-style climbing shoe market! As far as sizing, I wear a US 9 in street shoes and wore the same in these shoes. For those used to a wider and more blunt toe, these would fit the bill perfectly. The rubber used on these felt great on insecure granite smears and greasy Moonboard feet and the generous rubber on the top was perfect for techy or difficult toe hooks.

The microfiber unlined upper was comfortable and didn't stretch much while the heel cup was stiff but still molded well to my foot. For those used to climbing in La Sportiva Otaki's, Testarossa's, or Miura's, the heel shape will feel very similar. The single velcro strap is great for easy on and off while the fit of the shoes was aggressive enough for steep overhangs and technical heel and toe hooks while still being comfortable (for a downturned shoe).

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Dylan Alvarez

Dylan Alvarezwrote a review of on November 25, 2019

Straightforward and Featherlight
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Bouldering pads don't need to be complicated, in fact, they often work best when kept simple and straightforward. The Misty Mtn Highlander strikes that balance perfectly, not overdoing it with excess pockets, straps, or bells and whistles. Instead, it's cut down to exactly what you need - a taco style pad that fits the need for a single circuiting pad, double layering for your big-fall-potential proj, or contouring to cover a rounded edge or corner.

I tested this pad on committing deadpoints in Joe's Valley, techy topouts in Little Cottonwood Canyon, and - most importantly - as a seat with friends around the campfire. Don't be mistaken: this isn't a large coverage highball pad but it definitely isn't pretending to be. It's minimalist, light as a feather, and well-built, with 3 closure straps outfitted with metal buckles that'll last a long time and a single carrying strap. The backpack and waist straps are comfortable but don't add bulk, I found it easy to stuff shoes and gear inside or on the pad for the approach to the boulders, and the handle was well placed to cinch down to the rest of my pads while carrying.

Because it isn't super thick and the foam is on the softer side, it works well as a lowball pad, to help keep you from dabbing but still protecting your falls. The softer foam also comes in handy when double-stacking, since I felt like I wouldn't roll an ankle as easily if I landed on one of the edges. Lastly, the budget-friendly price means it's an easy pad to pick up when you wanna diversify your bouldering kit.

Photo by Lindsi Lake

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