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James B.

James B.

James B.

James B.wrote a review of on November 24, 2016

5 5

Just flipping through the baselayer selection, here at BC, and couldn't believe there were no reviews for this one. This is, by far the most versatile piece of kit in my layering system. Lightweight, plenty of stretch (which makes it supremely comfortable), usable all year round in a wide variety of endeavors. This is the best of the light merino tops for my money and at a good price too.

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James B.

James B.wrote a review of on March 18, 2016

5 5

This fleece has no pretension in it: No zipper garages, media pockets, drawcords, nothing of that sort. Backcountry has it as 100 weight fleece. It might be a little more than that, but not much if it is at all. There isn't a windflap even. No matter. What this fleece has going for it, is comfort. You can wear it over a base layer and under another jacket or shell and hardly know it's there. There are big pockets, set very low, but that's okay too. They are just where they need to be when chilling out. The fabric isn't branded, again, whatever. It is high quality nonetheless. Fit is pretty snug. It comes down pretty low on the hips, in fact lower than alot of the technical shells out there. It's fine with a regular fit shell. The one big feature it has is it is flat-locked seamed throughout: Comfy, layers well. Don't buy it of you don't like long fleeces. Do buy it if you like comfy. The fact is you will end up wearing this more than you wear all your technical fleeces combined, unless you work in the outdoor industry, and maybe even then.

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James B.

James B.wrote a review of on March 8, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 7"
Weight: 140 lbs
Size Purchased: Small

This is just the jacket to get if you want a light down layer, with amenities like zippered pockets, drawcords, velcro at the wrists, and a slightly more relaxed fit. It's alot like the fancy tech down layers otherwise. 800 count down goes a long way towards making this a warm lightweight jacket. Poly ripstop means it will stand up to uv exposure without taking as much damage as nylon will. Marmot rates this as regular fit. I agree, but that doesn't mean the guys saying it's snug in the pits and chest are wrong. it is snug in those areas. That's not a bad thing though in terms of heat retention as long as you take it easy with the mid-layers. Baggie down garments are not as warm as ones that fit well. Definitely size up if you want to use it on belay, which brings me to my one ding on this jacket. The single pull zipper really limits this parka. Kinda sucks if you need to get at your harness. It doesn't bother me that much. The other gripe I have is there is no snap at the bottom of the zipper to prevent separation. Otherwise, this is a favorite.

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James B.

James B.wrote a review of on November 3, 2015

3 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 7"
Weight: 140 lbs
Size Purchased: Small

Marmot seems to have lost the plot as far as the Driclime Windshirt is concerned. While this is still a decent layering piece, it no longer works as a true windshirt.
Marmot has decided that what is needed is a fully knit-lined jacket. No. What is needed is what the Driclime Windshirt, and the late lamented Driclime Windvest, used to be.
Fully knit-lining the Windshirt makes this just another light jacket. Formerly, the partial knit in the front and double nylon lining in the back made the Driclime Windshirt just the right combination over a wide range of activities and climates.
This latest iteration is too much, where the original was just right.
Boo Marmot.

Three Stars, a decent little jacket, but still a miss in its category.

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James B.

James B.wrote a review of on January 22, 2014

5 5

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

Fit is old school. I wear Two medium thickness boot socks, usually, and size up one full European size.

This is my go to boot for pretty much everything except dead of winter and ice climbing although they will do a bit of that well enough.

I agree with tscheezy's review except the lace pressure criticism, but then I take care of that with the sock combination above. I don't have a problem with the weight. You do get a more durable boot in return for the extra weight compared to the Charmoz and S Evo.

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James B.

James B.wrote a review of on November 14, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: Runs large

$116.00 clams for these things is a steal, so don't wait.

I agree with the guy who wrote a review saying(not sure where) that the Zen runs a quarter to half size large. Best way to fit them is to measure your foot in centimeters, and get the closest size that is just a bit bigger. If you want a roomy shoe, by all means get the closest size that is about One centimeter larger. But, I wear a size that is just a few millimeters longer than my foot and they are great.

Ever notice how one guy will say a shoe fits large and the next guy says it sizes small? US and Euro sizes do not match up very well. That's why. So, do not size these with the U.S. size conversion. Measure your foot in centimeters, and go from there using the euro size conversion.

Another thing about the Zen: People tend to lace them too tight IMO. If the toe feels tight, back the laces way off, then back them off some more and then just take the slack out from the toe to the ankle and, voila, plenty of room in the toe.

Fit is kind of classic Scarpa: cut close to the instep up through the big toe, and a skosh more room to the outside of the foot. It is a low volume shoe, but not particularly narrow IMO.

Performance-wise, I consider the Zen a rock hiking shoe. They are grippier and better when the going gets steep, than most of the other hiking shoes on the market IMO. They are also way better made than most. They are firm but the EVA does a good job of protecting the foot against stone bruises.

This is a classic IMO.

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