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J  Miles

J Miles

Adirondacks, Catskills, Central Texas

J Miles's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Biking
Paddling
Snowshoeing
Climbing

J Miles's Bio

The Mountaineer from Texas. You will want me on your team during the Apocalypse.

J  Miles

J Mileswrote a review of on January 7, 2014

2 5

I see no reason to purchase this piece of gear. It saves a whole 5 GRAMS over the positron screwgate 56 grams. There is a negligible difference in size over the positron locker. It is advertised as pear-shaped rather than the positron off-set D shape. Hardly noticeable difference in geometry in terms of usage. Its 21 KN strength is weaker than the positron locker's 25 KN. So, my question is: WHY WOULD YOU EVER SPEND AN EXTRA 6 USD FOR THIS CARABINER? I did. And I still don't know why... People that say it is perfect for anchors: You really prefer saving those extra 5 grams per carabiner over the extra 6 USD per? If so, you are BD's favorite customer.

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J  Miles

J Mileswrote a review of on January 7, 2014

3 5

Simple piece of gear. I have one somewhere in my box of old gear from when I was new to climbing and didn't have a lot of money. Unless you're in that boat, go ahead and upgrade yourself to the ATC-guide. Skip the ATC-XP. Its not that much more money and you will want the extra features of the guide when you get into advanced techniques. The ATC-Guide moniker doesn't mean it is used exclusively by guides. Guides are just skilled climbers that do it so much they need to make money on the side to justify to themselves or to their spouses all of the time that they spend doing it.

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J  Miles

J Mileswrote a review of on January 7, 2014

4 5

So far I've put sabretooths and cyborgs in there and the fit is good. The material on the floor and sides of the bag is heavy and I haven't ever had an issue with holes in them. The mesh top gets caught on the points no matter how you fit them in there, it seems. The holes in the mesh start to get cut on the points after a while. It is meant to air out your crampons but since I stuff the bag inside my pack it negates that feature. You could probably figure out a cool way to rig the bag on the outside of your pack using the daisy chain or loop but it isn't convenient for me on my particular pack and I hate the idea of having a gypsy camp swinging on my back. Anyway, I still take my crampons out of the bag when I get done for the day to dry them out and prevent/remove rust.

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J  Miles

J Mileswrote a review of on January 7, 2014

4 5

I have the older pathfinder that isn't sold anymore, but this seems to be the one that replaced it. Best upgrades on this watch are the metal components and the solar charging system. Great features, extremely reliable, waterproof, and good sensors. The thermometer takes a good while to reach ambient temperature. I got it as a gift 3 years ago and probably wouldn't spend this much on it myself as there are superior offerings out there at similar price point.

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J  Miles

J Mileswrote a review of on January 7, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

It is a nice size for a belay carabiner. I keep a figure 8 and an ATC guide on it and can still put a clove hitch on there while belaying. However, its not really any stronger than the much smaller and thinner positron locker. I would think that the beefier size would make it stronger. Must have something to do with the tensile strength of the aluminum regardless of thickness.

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J  Miles

J Mileswrote a review of on January 7, 2014

3 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Good design. Doubles as a small tarp which is cool if you're top roping in a grimy spot. Materials are light (thin). Shoulder strap is kinda lame. Theres a lot of cinching and buckling and folding that you gotta do to properly secure your rope. Make sure you cinch down the ends of the bag really good or it'll all go haywire during your carry, probably at a really bad time.

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J  Miles

J Mileswrote a review of on January 7, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

See what I did there? Seriously, the plastic is tough, flexible, and resistant to cracking and dry rot. The bungees look like they will hold up even after excessive stretching. Crucially, they are orange so that it is easily identifiable when you drop it in the snow. These should come with the BD Raven. All it takes is one hole in your mountaineering pack or goretex jacket from an ax tip and you will be sold on this product.

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J  Miles

J Mileswrote a review of on January 6, 2014

3 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Its strong enough and great general purpose rope. Good length for anchors and the sheath is highly durable. You can work some of the stiffness out over time but I will second, or third, the others that said it is too stiff to use as a prusik. Even many common anchor knots are tough to untie. This is a characteristic common to bluewater ropes. Go with sterling for the extra cost.

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J  Miles

J Mileswrote a review of on January 6, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Heavier than the oscillante, but much stronger with its metal sheave and all metal fixed frame. Its heft is much more confidence inspiring than comparably sized pulleys. The fact that the two sides of the frame are joined at the base could potentially provide a backup in the catastrophic event of the sheave axle blowing out. Never heard of this happening, but I suppose it is possible. The fixe needs a larger carabiner or an oval due to the distance between the attachment rings. Smooth action and reliable. Efficient and balanced is an accurate description.

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J  Miles

J Mileswrote a review of on January 6, 2014

3 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This is a decent run of the mill product. Its mid-weight but not an advanced material, pretty standard microfleece. The zipper is mid-grade quality. The sleeve length is a little short for my taste but I'm a tall guy so the Large isn't as long as I would like it to be for technical activity. The shoulders are also more restrictive than other high-tech performance tops. Best application for this product is to wear it around town as casual wear as an alternative to a high-tech piece. Its cost is right where it should be and its a good deal on sale.

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J  Miles

J Mileswrote a review of on January 6, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

The stretch panels on the side improve mobility. The fabric is pretty thick, so it makes a good layer to wear over a base and under a shell in extreme cold or as outerwear on cool fall days. The collar is meant to be worn in the up position, and keeps your neck warm. It doesn't block wind very well but it insulates very well. I haven't worn it against my skin but the seams and zipper are high quality.

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J  Miles

J Mileswrote a review of on January 6, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size

I have pretty high standards for outdoor gear. This is a great baselayer for truly cold conditions as it is thicker than 'silkweight' base layers. Moisture has never been a problem with this as a base. That is the best feature of this piece. The FlashDry is by far the most effective technology at wicking sweat and managing moisture. It is a pricy base, to be sure. More expensive than Smartwool or Patagonia offerings, it also has better results. You really will stay drier and warmer. Make sure you use it with a shell that has good breathability qualities to maximize the effectiveness of this top. The stretch is nice as it doesn't bind and fits comfortably in any activity. High quality seams and zipper complement the other fine features. And I actually really like that the ubiquitous TNF logo isn't branded on the shirt. I would own a couple more if the price didn't prevent it.

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J  Miles

J Mileswrote a review of on January 6, 2014

3 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Not super warm, not windproof, doesn't manage moisture. The fabric is comfortable and it is useful when you want a light beanie for general purpose use. It is a nice classic construction, avoiding microfiber and just sticking to the basics. It does what it says it does, and its more a fashion statement and advertisement for Marmot than a piece of technical gear. I still like it though. It wasn't expensive and the color selection is nice.

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J  Miles

J Mileswrote a review of on January 5, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Cheap. Light. Cheap. With some tubular webbing these are a great leavers. Be careful reusing the leavers you pick up. Always inspect them. Though lighter, the aluminum ones are much more prone to wear than the steels. The sand and grit in your rope can leave flat spots on the aluminum ring. Backcountry doesn't carry steel rap rings though.

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