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George B

George B

George B

George Bwrote a review of on October 1, 2019

4 5

This review is edited after wearing the Otaki several more times. Whereas the toe box of a Miura VS is downright Medieval, the toebox of the Otaki is comfortable. I wear 44.5 in virtually every other LaSportiva shoe model but got these in 45 because of residual Miura-phobia and doubt there'd be as much stretch since the upper is synthetic with a lining. In 45 they are the most comfortable shoe I've worn, and they are maintaining their size as the toebox conforms to my toes - especially my Morton's toes. Next pair - and there most certainly WILL be a next pair of these, I might go with my usual 44.5 and endure what's likely to be a modest break in period. Depends if or how much these loosen up. One final note: as a review of these shoes elsewhere on the Internet observed, for some reason at the first couple of outings you might experience slipping off edges; but as the same review noted, this slippage goes away. I scuffed my soles with one of those grit-covered-foam-sanding-blocks from Lowes and got the XS Edge to grip immediately. So don't be deterred during your break in period.

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George B

George Bwrote a review of on July 25, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: Runs large
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 235 lbs
Size Purchased: Large

This shirt feels nice and cool outside and also at the gym. The Columbia graphics are very attractive. Two caveats: First, the shirt runs large, so you might want to consider downsizing for a slimmer fit. Second, if you like the graphics and want to prevent their deterioration, wash the shirt inside out and dry on a hanger not in the dryer. I am not Jeanne Ransome, I am George Baldwin.

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George B

George Bwrote a review of on June 2, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Facing a 4 day business trip and having to carry more business paperwork and clothes than expected, I bought one of these on a moment's notice from another e-tailer with a store nearby, since Backcountry's logistics couldn't get it to me over the weekend.
I am just back from that 4 day trip and can absolutely vouch for the fact that, stuffed to the gills with 2 big looseleaf notebooks and 4 days of clothes, plus a toiletry kit, plus my laptop, the Black Hole 60L Duffel fit in the overheads of two United domestic flights with more than a couple of inches to spare.
I dragged it on the floor through O'Hare and once I got home, simply washed off the bottom and it looks brand new.

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George B

George Bwrote a review of on May 2, 2019

5 5

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

I got this harness to replace a Petzl Corax I gave away to a double amputee young man who comes to my gym and joyfully belays anyone who asks him to. He said rental harnesses hurt his legs near the hips; and was delighted to have his own personally adjusted harness...
I would say the Momentum DS compares favorably to the Corax, feels a little lighter perhaps. However, on my first time out today, the Momentum DS feels MUCH more comfortable in the legs than the Corax did. I am almost to the max in the thigh adjustments, but that just makes dialing them in easier = no changes needed = on and off in a breeze. And the double buckles on the waist band make centering the belay loop a no-brainer. All in all, completely satisfied and recommend highly. Obviously haven't used it enough yet to perhaps affix the final star.
Update and Answer to Emily's Question:
Added Star #5 = terrific, so glad I got it! I've now used it several times and the leg straps definitely are more comfortable than those of the Corax; I'd urge folks to consider spending the extra $10 to get this harness over the Corax. As for fit, I'm not going to reveal my waist size, because I am embarrassed; but the sizing chart is accurate and there's a TON of range in both the waist and leg adjustments!

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George B

George Bwrote a review of on April 23, 2019

5 5

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

Our Aussie is 16 years old. She walks tentatively and coughs often. We were looking for a harness that would be super easy to get on, give her gentle encouragement and not place any stress on her throat. The Front Range Harness takes about 30 seconds to adjust for a perfect fit, and even less time to put on the pooch. Now that she's used to a different feel from her plain old collar, she seems to really like the comfort and enjoy her walks again. Go Ahead, spoil your "Bestie" with a RuffWear harness.

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George B

George Bwrote a review of on February 26, 2019

5 5

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

The exterior is designed tough so you don't need to worry about throwing it down or around. Huge interior for "only" a 35L rating. Front zip opening pocket and compartments is sheer genius; it's easy to fold or stuff a North Face Thermoball or Patagonia NanoPuff jacket in there. Note: If you have a helmet, rope and lots of hardware, especially if you want your helmet inside the bag, you might step up to the Creek 50. I don't, so I am delighted with the 35.
I measured it inexactly at 23" high to the top rim of the bag, 13" side to side and 10" front to back.
If you have not seen this cute promo video, click here and ENJOY!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rgOw_RUKazI

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George B

George Bwrote a review of on February 24, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Having visited Vancouver Island and seen awesome First Nation artcraft, I was immediately attracted to this Chalk bag; and have received favorable comments at my Gym. Also, it's perfectly functional. I keep it in a gallon ziplock plastic bag in my kit bag; to prevent chalk dust all over the place.

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George B

George Bwrote a review of on February 22, 2019

4 5

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

For most folks, this bag will be ideal for carrying their stuff to the gym! For me, I received this neat Gym bag and immediately transferred my kit, which isn't especially complicated, from another 35L receptacle to the Gym Solutions. I was surprised that, whereas I have some extra room in the previous receptacle, the Gym Solutions was practically full. It's because the Gym Solutions is rectangular shaped, so your kit may need to be arranged differently from what you're using now. The zip pocket on the front is functionally perfect for stowing personal items! I dinged it 1 star because I expected with a burly skin it would somewhat sit upright while packing. But it folds, Oragami style, down onto itself when empty. Pretty cool for storage. People won't even notice this feature if they keep their kit in the bag most of the time.

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George B

George Bwrote a review of on February 9, 2019

4 5

It feels to me as though there's more tension to the Cam, meaning it would facilitate giving slack rope to a lead without having to resort to holding down the Cam with one's fingers as often as with the GG2 or GG+. I'd be interested in the opinion of Mr. Bowen, the Gearhead below me, or another Backcountry Savant on this topic.
As for me, I could never get the hang of using a GG+. Pulling back on the fat 11mm rope at my Gym kept tripping the anti-panic feature, causing jerky lowers of friends; so I would never agree to belay a stranger with my GG+. Looking forward to the smooth action of the progressive Cam on this new model.

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George B

George Bwrote a review of on February 1, 2019

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 235 lbs
Size Purchased: XL

The 11" inseam is perfect where 10" might be too short for some people and 12" might be too long. The fit is trim and it is cut to do what it promises: not get in the way of a harness. Check the size chart before deciding what size you are going to order; if you are on the cusp or a little over, you might want to consider sizing up 1x, because there's nothing extra in these great new shorts. Definitely not surfer baggies, but the gusseted crotch is well designed.

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George B

George Bwrote a review of on February 1, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 235 lbs
Size Purchased: XL

I was looking for a replacement for a 5 year old Marmot Precip that did not have any lining down the sleeves, which caused a clammy feeling and made me wonder if the fabric was still waterproof. My Gearhead Emily checked and yes, the sleeves are line on this terrific jacket; meaning it will not feel clammy and will have at least some insulating/windproofing qualities if worn over a baselayer or two. As another poster below me noted, it fits just a little large, so you can accommodate something underneath; but it's not so large it looks baggy if you don't. Got a subdued color because I needed to be able to wear it for professional client visits. Highly recommend!

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George B

George Bwrote a review of on January 11, 2019

5 5

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

"While originally intended as a wall-in-a-day bag, the BD Stubby also has a secret double life as one of the very best crag packs ever made." I read this review and it persuaded me to order a Stubby.
The body material is SO tough I can't imagine anything but a very sharp point breaching it, and the edges are so built up I cannot imagine anything more than continual scraping and absolute abuse doing them any harm. For someone like me with limited gear, the Stubby is completely adequate; but I have to wonder out loud if someone with a large amount of hardgoods might want to move up to the next size, just to be sure. The choice is important, because you're gonna be stuck with whichever one you choose for many, many, many years - it's that bomber!
The dimensions of this haul bag indicate it's stow-able as an airline carry-on = 22" from floor to the rim of the bag itself and assuming the top skirt does not protrude. You could actually use the haul straps in kind of an "X" pattern across the top of the rim and secure with a locking carabiner.

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George B

George Bwrote a review of on December 27, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 5"
Weight: 125 lbs
Size Purchased: Small

She loves the navy/purple color combo and the soooooft fleece! She's in Vermont for a family reunion and went for a walk yesterday in 7 degree, snowy weather and called me to say it's WARM!
If you're a woman and Backcountry still has this in Small or Medium, don't pass up the opportunity!
Be prepared for lots of compliments!

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George B

George Bwrote a review of on December 22, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 240 lbs
Size Purchased: XL

It might be better than the Patagonia R1 hoodie primarily because it isn't cut as tight; meaning you can get a silky base layer under much more easily it for additional warmth. I also prefer the full zip here to a pullover there; and the fleece here is a smaller check, more stretchy and a little cooler. I come home from work and throw this baby on for casual sitting around. Put a thin layer underneath for walking the dog at the nearby park. IMO it's at least a fair competitor to the R1, and some - like me - might prefer it outright. I have the red and the black colors, waiting for North Face to make it in blue.

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George B

George Bwrote a review of on December 16, 2018

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Yes, the zippers are stubborn and the shoulder straps are flimsy but simple to remove. But this is a duffel you can beat up on with no worries if it can take the beating = it CAN. Side pocket perfect for your shoes - climbing shoes OUT, approach/street shoes IN. Inside end mesh pocket perfect for GriGri and its carabiner. Room for all your equipment and a change of clothes. Oh, BTW: the mesh bag it comes in is perfect for storing your harness! The 71 liter size is good for travelling, since it bridges the gap between 60 liters and 90 liters in the Patagonia Black Hole duffel line. You might want to get this in an inobtrusive color so as not to attract the attention of the TSA or your airline re: size.
If you don't like the NF backpack straps for travelling, then get a Shoulder Strap and clip it, diagonally across the top of the bag, into the tough fabric loop nearest the fixation point for the NF backpack straps you removed before you departed for the airport. That's what I did........

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