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Elliott Bates

Elliott Bates

, Vendor Rep

Basalt, CO

Elliott Bates's Passions

Running
Climbing
Skiing
Surfing

Elliott Bates's Bio

Born and raised in Boulder, CO, climber for 16 years. I currently am the Rockies rep for the outdoor/ski brands Montane, Millet, Faction Skis, Misty Mountain Harnesses, Plum Tech Bindings, and FrictionLabs chalk. I post reviews based on my personal experiences with the products.

Elliott Bates

Elliott Bateswrote a review of on April 17, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

ClimbSkin is shea-butter based, not beeswax-based, so it's non-greasy. Gone are the days of trying to drive home from the crag without touching your steering wheel because your hands are so greasy from your skin balm. I use this multiple times after climbing days and it's made my skin beefy, thick, and tough. It quenches the thirst, douses the fire, etc etc. Feels so good. Works well. And it's from Spain and Sharma touts it so It's gotta be good.

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Elliott Bates

Elliott Bateswrote a review of on December 8, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 2"
Weight: 175 lbs
Size Purchased: Large

The Montane Hydrogen Direct Jacket is simple yet extremely functional for high-output activities (skiing, ice-climbing, skinning, etc) in cold weather. Polartec Alpha is relatively new insulation that is extremely breathable, and this jacket is 100% polartec alpha direct. This means that as you are skinning up, or bootpacking on a cold day, any sweat you build up will be whisked away by the time you can take your pack off at the summit and get your skis on. I use this piece for hiking Highlands bowl at Aspen, where even when it's zero degrees and howling wind, the 30 minute hike still gets a sweat going. By the time i've taken in the view at the top and "laced up", this jacket is bone dry for the rip down. It's amazing.

This works two ways. One is that Alpha is a more breathable insulation than down or primaloft (a traditional synthetic insulation). The other is through the face fabric which contains the Alpha. Think, the fabric on the front of the jacket. In order for Alpha to truly breathe, you have to let just bit of air into the insulation. This is achieved in the Hydrogen direct jacket by using Pertex Quantum Air, an air-permeable face fabric that lets a tiny (undetectable to your skin) amount of air into the insulation to help suck out any moisture.

If you like going hard in cold conditions, this is the mid-layer for you.

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Elliott Bates

Elliott Bateswrote a review of on December 8, 2017

5 5

Height: 6' 2"
Weight: 175 lbs
Size Purchased: Large

The Montane Minimus pants are built out of a 3 layer construction that makes them very light, waterproof and breathable. They pack down to about the size of a tangerine and weigh almost nothing. Perfect as an backup shell pant, that won't take up space or weight in your pack. You can even pack it into it's own pocket, which as an interior loop to clip it onto your harness for alpine belays as an extra windproof barrier. The fit is athletic but true to size. The Large fits me well in the large/regular size, as I am 32x33 waist/inseam.

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Elliott Bates

Elliott Bateswrote a review of on December 8, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 2"
Weight: 175 lbs

The Black ice jacket is meant to be warm over your layering system in wet conditions as a belay jacket. Think Northwest ice climbing when it's nuking water-heavy snow. It is a 70% hyper dry down (750 fill) that is treated to be water-resistant, combined with 250g primaloft overlays. So you have primaloft on the outside with down on the inside, with a DWR treated and water-resistant Pertex Face fabric. The result is a jacket that will maintain it's warmth even in very wet conditions. The 70% down keeps it light, and it's finished with nice climbing features such as the helmet compatible hood with a wire-brim, 2-way center zipper with rubber pullers, so that you can easily zip up and zip down the jacket while wearing gloves and a harness.

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Elliott Bates

Elliott Bateswrote a review of on December 8, 2017

Extreme lightness and breathability
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 2"
Weight: 175 lbs

The Minimus 777 is a first of it's kind style of rain shell, in that it is very waterproof and even more breathable (20k/45k for those who pay attention to water column ratings). The 777 stands for a 7 denier face, a 7 micron waterproof laminate, and a 7 denier inner, that are all bonded together in a 3-layer construction. What you get from this is a jacket that weighs 4oz , that packs down to smaller than an orange. Check out the Gear Institute's review of running rain shells, where this jacket wins best in class.

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Elliott Bates

Elliott Bateswrote a review of on December 8, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 2"
Weight: 175 lbs
Size Purchased: Large

The Montane Deep Heat Jacket, is a box-baffled 800+ goose down fill jacket, where the down is contained by the Pertex-Diamond Fuse face fabric which is extremely weather and abrasion-resistant. So when you are using it to belay and get launched in the air by your whipping partner and unexpectedly grind against the rock, it won't explode into a cloud of down. Pertex Diamond Fuse is an extremely durable fabric for how light it is.

This jacket has some killer features to lock in the warmth, such as draw cords contained within the hand pockets, as well as at the hem. When you pull the draw cord in the hand pockets, you get a nice cinch of the jacket around your belly button, but the cinch happens on the inside of the jacket and doesn't look weird from the outside. Then you get an helmet compatible hood with 800+ goose down, a 2-way center zip, and rubber zipper pulls to make it easy to zip up and down whilst wearing gloves. A true winter belay jacket, perfect for those days in the Ice Park when your buddy is making you do an hour belay while he hacks his way up a route... He may not be very good but you won't care because you won't be cold!

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Elliott Bates

Elliott Bateswrote a review of on December 8, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

FrictionLabs Chalk is simply the most pure magnesium carbonate chalk you can get. It's all about that purity, and FL has the highest purity available. All climbing chalk is a blend of Magnesium Carbonate and Calcium Carbonate, and the stuff you want to keep your hands dry and the friction high is Mag/Carbonate. The stuff you don't want as much of is Calcium Carbonate. FrictionLabs blends of chalk has a higher concentration of magnesium carbonate than any other chalk. Extra stick, extra grip, and better friction. Unicorn Dust is the most fine blend, but t's the same concentration as the other blends. I prefer the UD for sport climbing, when you gotta chalk up fast and get a good coverage immediately. It's like Peanut Butter; some like it chunky, some like it creamy, but it's all the same (within the same brand). Try it and feel the difference.

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Elliott Bates

Elliott Bateswrote a review of on December 8, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

FrictionLabs Chalk is simply the most pure magnesium carbonate chalk you can get. It's all about that purity, and FL has the highest purity available. All climbing chalk is a blend of Magnesium Carbonate and Calcium Carbonate, and the stuff you want to keep your hands dry and the friction high is Mag/Carbonate. The stuff you don't want as much of is Calcium Carbonate. FrictionLabs blends of chalk has a higher concentration of magnesium carbonate than any other chalk. Extra stick, extra grip, and better friction. Gorilla Grip is medium chunk, but if you were to take a chunk of this and grind it up, you would get the Unicorn dust blend. It's like Peanut Butter; some like it chunky, some like it creamy, but it's all the same (within the same brand). Try it and feel the difference.

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Elliott Bates

Elliott Bateswrote a review of on December 8, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

FrictionLabs Chalk is simply the most pure magnesium carbonate chalk you can get. It's all about that purity, and FL has the highest purity available. All climbing chalk is a blend of Magnesium Carbonate and Calcium Carbonate, and the stuff you want to keep your hands dry and the friction high is Mag/Carbonate. The stuff you don't want as much of is Calcium Carbonate. FrictionLabs blends of chalk has a higher concentration of magnesium carbonate than any other chalk. Extra stick, extra grip, and better friction. Bam Bam is the most chunky, but if you were to take a chunk of this and grind it up, you would get the Unicorn dust blend. It's like Peanut Butter; some like it chunky, some like it creamy, but it's all the same (within the same brand). Try it and feel the difference.

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Elliott Bates

Elliott Bateswrote a review of on December 8, 2017

Very light and breathable
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 2"
Weight: 175 lbs
Size Purchased: Large

The Minimus 777 is a first of it's kind style of rain shell, in that it is very waterproof and even more breathable (20k/45k for those who pay attention to water column ratings). The 777 stands for a 7 denier face, a 7 micron waterproof laminate, and a 7 denier inner, that are all bonded together in a 3-layer construction. What you get from this is a jacket that weighs 5oz (with the full zip), that packs down to smaller than an orange. Check out the Gear Institute's review of running rain shells, where this jacket wins best in class.

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Elliott Bates

Elliott Bateswrote a review of on December 8, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 2"
Weight: 175 lbs
Size Purchased: Large

The Featherlike down pro pull on is very unique in that the entire front of the jacket is box-baffled, whereas the sleeves and back is sewn-through. This means you get extra warmth with no cold spots up front, with more breathability in the sleeves and back. As the name suggests, it's super light, weighing in at around 10oz, and packs down very small (into it's own pocket). It's face fabric is Pertex diamond-fuse, which is a super tight weave that is extremely durable and weather-resistant .It's finished off with nice features such as the two-way center zip to dump heat, which also gives access to the hung- mesh chest pocket; a great place to keep your phone where it will stay warm whilst easily accessible, so you can capture a pic of the yeti that's running by.

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Elliott Bates

Elliott Bateswrote a review of on January 13, 2017

Warm and super breathable
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Height: 6' 2"
Weight: 175 lbs
Size Purchased: XL

I purchased this jacket specifically for hiking Highland Bowl (a 30-45 minute, 850ft gain, mile-long hike at 11-12k feet) since dressing for the Bowl is tough. It can be blowing 50 mph and you are concerned about frostbite, yet are sweating. Then you need to be warm on the ski down. I'd heard that Polartec Alpha was the answer, a "leave it on" kind of insulation, and it turned out to be true. This stuff is warm, so on the long chairlift ride up the mountain, to the base of the bowl, I wasn't freezing with just a base layer, and this jacket as the mid-layer, with a shell on top.

At the base of the hike, if it's not too cold and windy, I've been stripping off the shell and letting the air permeable face fabric of the Pierra Meant Jkt do its thing and suck out moisture from the Alpha insulation. Long story short, even when I'm hiking my a*s off for Skimo Training, this thing stays dry. Any wetness on my back from wearing a backpack is evaporated by the time I put my skis on at the summit.

And amazingly enough, it's simply a warm mid-layer if I'm just riding lifts. I use a shell over it in those cases, and it feels lightweight and warm.

Huge fan. Polartec is crushing with Alpha here, and Millet finishes it nicely with an air-permeable face fabric from Pertex, a leader in ripstop, lightweight, breathable fabrics. Love the extra details like the windproof light hood, reflective details for early-morning or evening skin sessions, the huge mesh pocket on the interior, and the hem draw cord.

If you like the uphill as much as the down, get some Alpha.

If you want a jacket from a brand that knows their sh*t about Skimo, buy Millet. Just size up from your normal US size. I wear an XL and am 6'2" 175lbs. I am a size L in most US brands. But the XL from Millet fits great.


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Elliott Bates

Elliott Bateswrote a review of on May 17, 2016

5 5

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

The Millet Alpine LTK 900 is named not '900' for the fill weight, but rather, the overall weight of the bag: 900g. That's just about 2lbs for a bag that has a limit rating of 25f, comfort at 35f. Super light for the amount of warmth you are getting.

The 700-fill down is nano-polymer treated so it's water-resistant, and won't collapse and lose warmth under morning dew. 30% of the bag is made up of a hydrophobic synthetic material, which helps gives the bag structure and further boosts the water resistance.

Super soft nylon liner makes it feel like Egyptian cotton sheets, and nice features like the full draft tube and glow in the dark draw cords.

The "Jet Pack" system is neat, and negates the need for a compression sack. The compression sack for this bag is built into the hood and the bag just rolls into it. Saves weight and bulk, and rolls up and packs away in under a minute.

Overall it's a killer bag at a great price.

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Elliott Bates

Elliott Bateswrote a review of on April 18, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: Runs small
Height: 6' 2"
Weight: 175 lbs
Size Purchased: XL

Super lightweight, ripstop jacket that is designed by the Compagnie de Guides de Chamonix (Cham Mtn Guides). You can tell it's built for the alpine as it doesn't have hand pockets, as these wouldn't be accessible while wearing a harness or pack. The lack of them gives a better fit and makes it lighter (since no zips or extra material). The other important detail I would note are the drains from the oversized chest pockets. These are the little triangles on the bottom of the chest pockets, they have a tiny opening into the pocket to allow water to drain out. So if you throw your wet skins, extra gloves, etc, in there, snow will melt from your body heat and drain out... Pretty clever. And of course the inner fabric of the chest pockets is gore pro, so you'll stay dry using that feature. Extra panel in underarm allows freedom of movement when you are swinging an ice-axe. Climbing helmet compatible hood with wire brim. Metal grommets. Built to last for years wether you are using it in the Chamonix valley, or the Colorado Alpine. Compare to similar Gore pro jackets from Arc, Mammut, or Patagooch, and you actually save money, AND the Millet jacket is made in Europe where the others are Asian-made.

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Elliott Bates

Elliott Bateswrote a review of on April 18, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: Runs small
Height: 6' 2"
Weight: 175 lbs
Size Purchased: XL

Just got this last week and I haven't taken it off. SO comfy, fit is great ( I am 6'2" 175 and wear an XL), and I can tell will be a perfect climbing piece for cool/cold weather. Grid finish on the inside makes it breatheable, nice scuba-style hood that'll fit under a climbing or ski helmet. Ok, gonna go buy the other color now.

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Elliott Bates

Elliott Bateswrote a review of on November 25, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 2"
Weight: 175 lbs
Size Purchased: L

The Laundromat Phoenix Sweater is the best apres-ski sweater one can wear. Sipping Bourbon, or white russians by the fire, no doubt with an attractive woman by your side, you'll feel sophisticated and even more handsome than you already are when you wear it. It's very warm and cozy, is softer on the inside than the arse of a bebe, and has a warm thick wool outer, with the most righteous bird knitting. I think this thing takes an entire sheep's worth of wool to make, it's that warm. A statement sweater that'll turn heads and make you feel as tranquilo as The Dude Himself.

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Elliott Bates

Elliott Bateswrote a review of on November 20, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: Runs small
Height: 6' 2"
Weight: 175 lbs
Size Purchased: XL

Bomber, light, stretchy, full-featured, European made and cheaper than the competition (mammut and Arc'teryx), because we own the factories in Hungary. Super high attention to detail, nice features like drains from the skin pockets, and 3-layer, 2-way stretch Gore that moves with you as you climb, ski, hike with skis on your pack, etc. I freakin love this piece and have used it on many a deep day, like the photo shown above.

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