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Icychap

Icychap

NYC

Icychap's Passions

Climbing
Snowshoeing
Hiking & Camping

Icychap

Icychapwrote a review of on May 29, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 10"
Weight: 190 lbs
Size Purchased: 34/32

The Ferrosi Hoody is made of some magic stuff - super light and breathable, yet highly wind resistant and durable. It is also stretchy making it comfortable during high activity... so what does any of that have to do with these pants? The Ferrosi pants are incredible. They are impossibly light - so light you'll forget you're wearing pants. They are super stretchy and thin, and move incredibly well, yet remain amazingly protective and abrasion resistant. Again, this fabric is some magical stuff. But it works.

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Icychap

Icychapwrote a review of on June 16, 2017

2 5

Familiarity: I returned this product before using it
Fit: Runs small
Height: 5' 10"
Weight: 190 lbs

I generally LOVE Kuhl's stuff, and own their pants, shorts, shirts and hoodies. These are the first item I was utterly disappointed with. Most of their offerings are sized for the athletic build - which means, butt and thighs you actually use.

These were super tight around my thighs, so much so that my wife got a good laugh when I squeezed into them.

Athletic does not mean skinny. These are going back.

(The two stars are for Kuhl's usual quality materials and finish.)

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Icychap

Icychapwrote a review of on April 1, 2016

Pretty Freaking Awesome
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 10"
Weight: 190 lbs
Size Purchased: L

I tried more than a dozen belay parkas before settling on this one. Here were my requirements:

1. Climbing features (2-way zip, big hood).
2. Light, compresses small.
3. Excellent down and good baffles that loft to their max.

I wanted DWR down but it wasn't a deal breaker. I tried offerings from Rab, Montane, Marmot, Montbell, TNF, MHW, Patagonia,... even "other" brands (which were actually really good) like EMS, REI, EB and LL Bean (LL Bean was the best of these).

The 18 oz. Incandescent easily stuffs into an XS S2S ultra sil. Despite the superlight fabric I have had no problems with the durability - but when racked up I am mindful not to catch screw points.

The hood fits over a helmet; when fully zipped the collar will cover your chin (a good thing). The zipper works. The hand pockets are behind the insulation and warm.

The cut fits a muscular guy without stretching out and compressing the down, but doesn't waste any space making this a very thermally efficient piece.

If I could have everything, it would have box baffles in the body. But at a windy belay nothing came through and I never felt anything but warm. On a less burly day it was personal heater that dried me out nicely.

On so-cold-we-really-should-not-climb days I have my Marmot Greenland. Otherwise, this parka rocks.

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Icychap

Icychapwrote a review of on March 8, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Ice screw points and - more importantly - threads need to be protected. Sure, your gear needs to be protected from them too. But if they get dings or burrs they won't go in as easily or have the same surface area for holding an anchor or a fall.

I tried other solutions like chisel/tool rolls made of various materials, some cheap, some not, but the same three problems always persisted:

1. The hangers made keeping it compact difficult/impossible.
2. They didn't do well with getting/staying wet.
3. Having different sized screws made things awkward when rolling/folding.

The Screwup stores any size screws, has room for the hangers, and is synthetic so it doesn't absorb moisture and dries fast. As long as you cinch the strap rightly your screws never slip out.

The threads and points are always protected. I don't even use the end caps they came with anymore. After years and abuse my Screwups have remained bomber and like new.

I occasionally wish I could make it more compact when all I'm using that day are stubbies, but that's a small price to pay.

Like the title says, of everything I've tried, this is the simplest and best solution.

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Icychap

Icychapwrote a review of on February 11, 2016

2 5

Familiarity: I returned this product before using it
Fit: Runs small
Height: 5' 10"
Weight: 190 lbs
Size Purchased: L

I wear a L in just about every outerwear jacket, so I ordered the L Cerro. The length and arms in the Cerro were perfect... but it was WAY tight in the armpits, and across the back and chest.

I don't know why some brands are increasingly sizing technical outdoor gear for skinny people. I'm athletic and muscular but certainly not huge - my jacket size is 42 to 44 depending on cut. I get frustrated when jackets and pants with an "athletic" cut don't have room for my chest, arms or thighs. Who is this stuff designed for?

ESPECIALLY in a belay piece designed to go OVER other layers, this was a serious loser in the size department.

Also, even sitting on the couch there was very little loft. Super disappointed given the amount and fill power of the down. I shook it a few times to help, but it simply did not loft.

The one good thing I can say about it is, the materials and construction are top notch. All of the seams were perfect and the fit and finish was impressive. The hood is definitely nice and big for a helmet and the wire brim is a nice touch.

So if you're a skinny dude looking for a very light, nice looking parka, this may work. If you're actually an ice climber needing a belay jacket, pass.

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Icychap

Icychapwrote a review of on December 10, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 10"
Weight: 190 lbs

Super lightweight, breathable, adjustable and comfortable, wicks sweat and dries fast, durable, and most importantly it blocks the sun.

This is ideal for virtually every backcountry foray, except extreme cold or when you need to wear a helmet. I sometimes wear a Buff with it to protect the back of my neck when exposed to intense sun. I have also worn my Buff in "hat mode" as a liner underneath in cold conditions to add warmth while still keeping the sun off my face.

Super versatile, indispensable hat. Wouldn't change a thing about it.

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Icychap

Icychapwrote a review of on October 26, 2015

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 10"
Weight: 190 lbs
Size Purchased: 34

As the title says, these have amazing, immediate comfort, as if they've been a favorite pair for years. They make a good looking alternative to jeans on cold days.

The only reason they don't get 5 stars is that the fit (for me) is not really designed for high activity - they seem a bit more fashion-oriented. The thighs in particular don't have quite enough give or girth. They're super awesome for wearing around town, or chilling at home when the landlord is being stingy with the heat, but I won't be hiking or climbing in these anytime soon.

Still, absolutely love the way they feel (flannel-lined things are basically awesome) and they look great too!

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Icychap

Icychapwrote a review of on September 13, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 10"
Weight: 190 lbs
Size Purchased: L

My guides on Rainier all had one. I was skeptical since the material seemed so thin and flimsy, yet they all swore by it. I gave it a shot and... wow.

Breathes like a t-shirt but blocks *most* wind. Seriously, it seems impossible given how thin and light this thing is but IT WORKS. Also surprising how burly the material is, because nothing seems to hurt it (rocks, trees, and incidental contact with pointy things like pons and tools). And it's super light and packs tiny into its own pocket, and pops out not wrinkly. OR has some remarkable fabric here.

It will wet through in decent rain or if you're leaning against a seep, but other than that, snow and light sprinkles will bead off.

The hood fits great when worn without a hat for running in windy, wet weather, and it seems like it will be too snug for a helmet - wrong! It's so stretchy it fits perfectly over a helmet, fully zipped, without being too snug against the chin.

The fit is perfect - athletic builds (read: have a chest and arms) will appreciate the stretch. It moves with me perfectly and the arms are long enough that they don't pull away and the jacket doesn't ride up above your waist when reaching. The hem cinches too, which also helps keep it in place. I love that there are no fiddly wrist adjustments - they're snug but not tight, just perfect.

The only conceivable downside I can think of is that the hand pockets get covered by a waist belt or harness. But it has a chest pocket, and my legwear or pack is where I put most stuff anyway so it doesn't bother me.

It is useful for seemingly every scenario, and I bring it on every hike, climb, or camping trip. Fits great, looks great, is great. I simply can't say enough good things about the Ferrosi. Get one - when perfect gear comes along, you have to snag it.

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Icychap

Icychapwrote a review of on August 25, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Honey is the ultimate energy food for a few reasons. Here are two:

1. It is the only food that never spoils thanks to its antimicrobial qualities. Archaeologists found honey in Egypt that was thousands of years old and upon testing was still perfectly healthy to eat.

2. Our enzymes can break down sugars such as fructose and glucose at the same time but only in a very specific ratio; otherwise one has to wait while the other is digested, which slows down the process. Honey is the only natural food which precisely matches the ratio of glucose-fructose that our enzymes can digest simultaneously.

Stingers deliver honey in an easy-to-hold, no mess form that packs flat, has a high calorie-to-weight ratio, are delicious even at altitude, and are inexpensive. They don't get rock hard in freezing temps like bars, and they won't make your pockets bulge either. Plus they digest easily and get the energy in you fast.

One or two of these plus an electrolyte drink and I am good for hours. I don't go anywhere in the backcountry without at least a few in my pack (I always bring a couple to share!).

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Icychap

Icychapwrote a review of on August 15, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 10"
Weight: 190 lbs
Size Purchased: L

This top does everything I need in each season. It wicks amazingly well, and dries immediately. It breathes, vents to the chest, and the sleeves push up easily to keep you as cool as a t-shirt. It also protects from the sun. After hiking for days, the burly shoulder overlays show no signs of wear. And the material is stretchy and moves effortlessly.

When layering, the smooth exterior prevents any binding or friction with the next layer. It doesn't provide much warmth, but it ensures you stay dry inside which is the most important function of your base layer in cold weather anyway.

There are shirts with a softer hand, cushy feel, and more warmth. But they simply don't match the Kilowatt's versatility. I can literally wear it for every backcountry activity all year round, from hiking and canoeing, to rock climbing, to mountaineering, ice climbing and winter camping.

The one drawback is you will stink. But if you don't like natural fibers like wool (I get itchy, even from superfine merinos), you simply can not do better than this for a do-it-all base layer top.

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Icychap

Icychapwrote a review of on July 17, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 10"
Weight: 190 lbs
Size Purchased: 34

** UPDATE BELOW **

Fit, style, comfort, durability... these literally have it all. Here's why:

1. If you're athletic (I don't mean skinny dudes; I mean you have legs you actually use), these will fit your thighs without needing the tightest notch on your belt.
2. They stretch. They move with you as if they weren't there. Seriously, they offer no resistance to any movement.
3. The stretch and super soft material make them ridiculously comfortable.
4. They will last. I wear them many (read: way too many) days in a row, wash them, hang them, and the very next day put them back to work. I have not worn another pair of jeans since I got them several months ago, and I have a lot of jeans.
5. They look great. The dark color goes with anything. They are not baggy and can be dressed up or down for literally any situation.

I am about to order a second pair, and may get rid of all my other jeans. I don't wear them - with these around there is no reason to.

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Icychap

Icychapwrote a review of on May 16, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 10"
Weight: 190 lbs
Size Purchased: 44.5

On ice, heel lift is the enemy of all things fun and good. If your feet aren't good, everything else falls apart. These boots (for my feet, anyway) are simply perfect, locking everything down and creating a stable, super rigid platform. They're amazingly light yet completely protective.

So that's awesome, but what if you don't climb ice?

Loosen the three pairs of speed laces at the top of the ankle and these will hike really, really well. I don't mean suck-it-up approach style... I mean these hike better than 90% of hiking boots. As long as your ankle isn't locked in, they flex comfortably to move over variable, rocky trails without any issue.

I haven't thrashed them for a season or two yet so I can't comment on the durability, but everything else about them is absolutely awesome. And LS has a solid reputation among guides who have used various incarnations of the Nepals for many, many seasons, so I'm unconcerned. The fit and finish, and craftsmanship is evident throughout. These are exceptional boots.

Quick word on fit - I was climbing in Scarpa Jorasses Pro size 44 and went up to 44.5 in these, but I have a wide forefoot. Sneaker size is 10.5.

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Icychap

Icychapwrote a review of on April 20, 2015

Simply the BEST
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 10"
Weight: 190 lbs
Size Purchased: L

I have a sickness - ice climbers are all gear junkies, but I am truly a fanatic. I own WAY too many down coats, from the Patagonia sweaters to the EB Peak XV. This is simply the best of the lot, and here's why:

1. Best down to weight ratio. Almost 11 oz. of down to ~31 oz. weight (mine is L).

2. Lofts incredibly. Fills all available air space, but completely unrestrictive.

3. Compresses well. The light shell and super high quality down crush down.

4. Great design. The belay zip works, and the flash pocket is key. The hood is perfect.

5. The baffles work. It is not GWS or Pertex, but I don't care - in hurricane force winds I feel nothing, even when the wind chill is -40F. If you're as dumb as me to be climbing (or worse, belaying) in those conditions, well, better have this coat.

Remember 2 things:

1. Don't worry about the down - if you need this coat, there is no liquid water anyway.

2. It's not burly, so watch those points. I bring a stuff sack to protect it in my pack.

I simply love this coat. It's like a wearable sleeping bag. I consider it essential survival gear.

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