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James Jenden

James Jenden

Canadian Rockies

James Jenden's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Running
Climbing

James Jenden's Bio

I'm a climber, both rock and ice, and a backpacker, and I love all things outdoors. I live for the opportunity to get out into nature, and have been extremely blessed with the ability to be able to do so. I'm studying to be a geologist, but work in the mean time as a carpenter, when I'm not climbing up things in the Canadian Rockies.


I write an outdoor gear blog called Blessed Outdoors, which is filled with gear reviews and trip reports. The URL is: http://blessedoutdoors.blogspot.com

James Jenden

James Jendenwrote a review of on January 8, 2018

Almost right, and yet...
4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I've had an ETA Lite for several years now, and have used it for several dozen backcountry meals. It's a great piece of gear, and yet, one that makes me sad, because it's *almost* perfect, but not quite.

Pros: Simplicity, Incredible efficiency, consistent speed, brilliant hanging system, canister support included.
Cons: No nonstick coating, lid is crap.

My first impression of the ETA Lite is that Primus had their engineers sit down and try to fix every complaint people have about Jetboil system stoves. They almost did it. The Lite simmers brilliantly, it's more efficient (3-4g of fuel to boil 500 mL of water in lab conditions), much better attachment between pot and stove, better hanging system, better in the wind, the lid is better (but still bad) and it's more flexible for use with other pots.

That said, the Lite is slower than any Jetboil system stove (~1700W vs 3000W), which is the price paid for efficiency. That means it boils 500mL in three minutes instead of two. That seems to matter to a lot of people. Neither system stove has nonstick on the inside of their pot, so while the Lite simmers better than any non-MiniMo Jetboil, it's still not great for actual cooking. The lid is also not great. Primus tried to get cute and make a lid that doubles as a mug. It was a bad idea. The lid goes too far down into the pot, so it often gets food on it if you're simmering something. The lid also gets really hot, since it's just plastic with a small silicone ring. That can suck if you're pulling it off without gloves. You probably won't burn yourself, but it's uncomfortable.

Back to the positives! The triangle-lock that Primus uses is super bomber. If you’re looking for a winter-use stove that you need to hang in a tent, I trust this way more than other other stove hanging system. There’s no way for the stove to accidentally disconnect, even if it’s completely full. The hanging system is genius, and you can shorten or lengthen it yourself with ease. The stove comes with a canister stand, which saves you money (and dramatically diminishes the potential for a spilled meal, which is worth a lot after a long hike or climb).

Are you a rebel? Hate being mainstream? Would you like a brilliantly simple system stove that looks cute and performs well in almost all conditions? Try an Eta Lite! It’s not perfect, but you will probably be pretty happy with it.

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James Jenden

James Jendenwrote a review of on May 22, 2012

5 5

I love 'em. They're great glasses, although the price isn't as good as it used to be. Perfect for anyone with a small face. The inserts do a great job of blocking reflected light from your face, just like they should.

For a full (and poetic) review, check out my blog: http://blessedoutdoors.blogspot.com/2012/05/julbo-nomad-sunglasses-review.html

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James Jenden

James Jendenwrote a review of on December 21, 2011

3 5

Dear Camalot C3s, you give me pause
I didn't see sketchy placements as a clause
In the contract I signed by buying you
After each placement, I feel blue
Will you hold me? Sometimes, I assume.
But "sometimes" rather brings me gloom.
'Cause sometimes really isn't good enough
My life rather means too much to slough
Camming duties off on you,
When I have no assurance that you'll hold true.
Cool engineering? Check! You've got it
But when I'm run out, that just doesn't cut it.
Will you fit in that pocket? Why yes of course,
But it's quite likely that you'll blow with force.
Is there a spot on my rack for you?
Yes, but it's small, perhaps just one or two.
When it comes down to it, I'd rather have Masters or Zeros
They give me more bang, por mis dineros.
So if you're looking to buy a micro cam, or two,
look elsewhere, that's why I wrote this review.

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James Jenden

James Jendenwrote a review of on December 11, 2011

5 5

I upgraded to these from Evolv K-Laces, and immediately saw a huge difference. The K-Lace is an edging shoe, as is this, yet I went a full size bigger on these, and get better performance. They are super comfortable, allow great edging, and I can also smear. I ordered them true to size, and they fit great. I am so in love that I just bought another pair to stick in my closet for later (why not at 55% off?).

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James Jenden

James Jendenwrote a review of on November 4, 2011

4 5

This is a great jacket, if you use it for it's purpose, and one of my favorites. It's got a beautiful fit that hangs on your body just right, and basically the best hood in the history of jackets.

Full review is on my site:
http://blessedoutdoors.blogspot.com/2011/11/north-face-kishtwar-review.html

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James Jenden

James Jendenwrote a review of on November 4, 2011

5 5

This would be it. I absolutely love this jacket. The fit is great, the hood is great, tons of pockets, really nice fabric, and really durable. I could gush for awhile, but I'll spare you. I reviewed it in depth on my own website, here's the link:

http://blessedoutdoors.blogspot.com/2011/11/stoic-welder-lo-review.html

Seriously, I can't reccomend this jacket enough. It's worth every penny of it's $270 price tag, and there are few pieces you can say that about.

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James Jenden

James Jendenwrote a review of on September 28, 2011

3 5

Well, they're the best hexes on the market, but the camming range could be better, and there could be more sizes. DMM tries to compare these to regular cams, but their range doesn't overlap very well, so they aren't nearly as functional. I would also like a size smaller than the green. I dunno, hexes can be useful, and these are the best, so you don't really have any other options, but I think DMM can do better.

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James Jenden

James Jendenwrote a review of on September 27, 2011

4 5

These are great little cams. The combination of flexible stem and extendible sling means they'll basically never walk, and the flexibility also makes they easier to squeeze into tricky placements. I'm honestly not sure why these guys aren't compared more with aliens, it seems like they have all the same characteristics. These are all great things, but they get four stars because the flexible stem will potentially reorient them when fallen on in vertical cracks, thus they won't catch as quickly, and could pull out. I think the horizontally flexible, but laterally rigid stem on the c3s is the best system out there, but I'd still take these over c3s because of the four lobes. They are about as confidence inspiring as micro cams can be.

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