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Jason Mills

Jason Mills

Mostly Montana.

Jason Mills's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Running
Biking
Skiing
Climbing

Jason Mills's Bio

Nine months a year: Teacher. Three months a year, weekends, winter and spring break: Aspiring professional recreator.

Jason Mills

Jason Millswrote a review of on September 20, 2019

3 5

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

The sizing of these shoes is completely bonkers/awful.
I wear a 10.5 street shoes. Every climbing shoe I've ever owned is either 9.5 or 10.
Somehow, the 11.5 is the tight shoe and the 12 is the all-day shoe in the General.

Super frustrating to have to order four pairs of these shoes to find the right fit. Never have I had a shoe labeled as an 11.5 actually fit my feet.

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Jason Mills

Jason Millswrote a review of on June 21, 2019

2 5

Familiarity: I returned this product before using it

Even with this thing being "ultra"-adjustable, it fits (me, 5'11, 165) like a sloppy mess. Returned, kept the Black Diamond Zodiak, cheaper and fits way better.

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Jason Mills

Jason Millswrote a review of on March 1, 2018

4 5

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

The gear loops are really tiny on this harness. 90 percent of the routes I'm climbing in my area are 50-ish ft. sport climbs, so it will work well for that, but any 100+ ft. sport, and especially trad., routes would be a huge stretch in this harness.

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Jason Mills

Jason Millswrote a review of on February 26, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I haven't skied any other rando. skis so this review may be a little void, but ...

These little things rip. This ski, like every rando. ski, goes up fast, but does surprisingly well on the down. Stiffness/dampness is perfect. They hold a decent edge on hardpack and ice, but, like any ski in this length when you're six feet tall, it's a little disconcerting. The WSP has a lot of rocker -- this I like.

Again, it's hard to say exactly how good these things are when I can't compare them to another rando. ski (the WSP has way narrower specs, weighs 100 grams more, and is similarly priced to the rockered Atomic rando. ski), but at this price and with how well these have skied thus far, I have no regrets and no desire to find out.

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Jason Mills

Jason Millsposted an image about on August 22, 2014

Great boot, semi-questionable durability

First and foremost: My feet are not your feet, so you can take my sizing and how long it took me to break these in with a grain of salt.

These are stiff. For the first 75-or-so miles I broke these in (walking the dogs, cutting wood, mowing the lawn, etc.) there were hot spots and blisters. So, for me, these took a fair amount of patience to break-in and feel great. Now that they're broken in, for all the non-technical climbing I do, I don't want any other boot.

The durability? After 50 miles one of the rivets ripped out of the boot. The cloth-like material on the sides of the boot near the sole are ripped to shreds after 300 miles (but I do most all of my climbing in Glacier in rotten scree and sharp rock, so that may be any boot).

It feels weird to love a boot that is already kind of coming apart, but, damn, I really, really like these boots for Class 2-5 climbing.

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Jason Mills

Jason Millswrote a review of on June 4, 2014

3 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I got these about a month ago. I have about 50 miles of break-in in them so far, but nothing big (still too much snow to stop skiing). The heel problems that everyone speaks of are there, though, I can still feel it a tiny bit. I'm curious what will happen when I'm finally able to get into the high country in a month or so. These boots are really awesome, though, and I really hope the heel issues aren't for my feet.

I mostly wanted to comment about the sizing. Everyone's foot is different; whether these are too big, too small, too wide, etc., is a personal thing, not a general "one-size-fits-all" thing. With that being said, while everyone here says these run small, I actually think these run a little big (at least compared to my Scarpas). Basically, try these on (or any footwear) and see if they fit your feet instead of going by how they fit someone else's.

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Jason Mills

Jason Millswrote a review of on April 28, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I've been on the hunt for a ski that's 85-90 mm underfoot, 175-178 cm length, and as close (or less) than 6 lbs. per pair. My searching yielded three results: Black Diamond Revert, G3 ZenOxide 88, and La Sportiva GT.

I never tried the ZenOxide. I'm not a fan of G3's stuff (bindings and skins anyway) and I'm turned off by their 60-day warranty.

I skied the Revert 20+ days in a lot of conditions. In perfect conditions they skied ... average; in less-than-optimal conditions I really, really, really did not like them. Also: The top sheet was already peeling off ... bad.

I traded the Revert for the Sportiva GT. I've put five days on the GT and skied steep ice, sloppy, wet pow, heavy pow, and minimal crust on sloppy corn. After only five days I'm really glad I made the change.

My biggest complaint about the Revert was that they had no pop; they were like limp noodles on my feet. To compare, the GT feels stiff and snappy on my feet. Awesome. I haven't skied really bad crud yet, but in minimal crud these things handled really, really well. Way, way better than the Revert anyway. The GTs (probably due to the lack of rocker) feel a little sluggish going up and the lack of any rocker is a bit of a bummer, but not a deal-breaker. (The Revert flew on the uphill.) Also, due to the lack of rocker these ski (I ski the 177) really long; I definitely wish these were a 175 or even a little shorter (I'm 6'0).

Overall, after a few days on these skis, I'm pretty damn happy with them, especially compared to the BD Revert.

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Jason Mills

Jason Millswrote a review of on April 22, 2014

3 5

Familiarity: I returned this product before using it

I ordered these blind. I have skied my Dynafit TLT 5s 300+ days in the last three years. It's time for something new. I got these to try something new, yet something similar, and ski something that won't have to be pushed out to fit my "fat American feet."

Result: I did not ski these; I sent them back and instead paid a little more money to get a used pair of the TLT 6 performance.

Why?

The 307mm/28.5 Spitfire weighs 90 more grams per boot than the TLT 5s. I feel whiny writing that, but if my shop's gram scale is right, that's the truth.

No question, the toe box on the Spitfire is definitely wider. This is good ... and maybe bad. My TLTs are pushed out and kind of mangled, but they fit really well. I really wanted to avoid a push-out, but you can't push boots in (can you?) and boots stretch over time, especially when you hike 100 days a year.

Opinion: The latching system on these just isn't nearly as nice or as intuitive as the TLTs. The piece that latchesthe cuff hangs/is hinged onto the back of the boot and is a whole extra piece that the TLTs don't have. When not buckled, it literally hangs off the back of the boot. It just seems janky in comparison.

These are definitely stiffer than the TLTs ... if you don't have the tongues in the TLTs. I would prefer the option of the tongues to allow the boots to be a little sloppy instead of only stiff.

Overall: The Spitfire seems like a good start for Sportiva in touring boots and it's nice to see some relative competition for Dynafit, but I'd rather wait a few years to see how they dial their design.

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Jason Mills

Jason Millswrote a review of on April 7, 2014

3 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

The good: These things are light for what they are. To me, light gear = a bigger, longer day with more energy. And isn't that what touring is all about? These things go uphill really, really well, either on your feet or your back (duh). They ski pow well enough and do well in slush/corn/very minimal mank. If you're more uphill oriented than down and you're pretty sure that the down conditions will be optimal, this is a good ski.

The bad: These skis have no pop; they feel akin to skiing limp noodles. I remember reading in their Wild Snow review that these are "boring, predictable" skis. Is that bad, your call, but after a month and a half and about 20 days on these things, honestly, these just aren't much fun to ski. It's hard to explain exactly why, but they just aren't much fun. Also: Once conditions get even a little less than optimal, rocker or not, these are (in my opinion) really hard to ski, though that's probably predictable for a ski that's this weight in this width.

I guess the question is whether the up or the down is more important to you.

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Jason Mills

Jason Millswrote a review of on January 31, 2014

3 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

When my dog was younger -- two, three years old -- this thing was his jam. He loved carrying it -- or, well, he didn't mind it as long as it was just for an overnight trip. It gave him purpose, he liked the job. Then he turned six and I tried to get him to carry it for six days, loaded with six days of food. At the end of our third day, a day that featured just over 4,000 ft. of climbing in six miles, I thought he was going to die. That's not a joke -- I was seriously worried he would die, he couldn't walk. We had to take the entire next day off so he could rest.

Moral of the story: Be careful with these things. You shouldn't (can't) push your dog just because you can push yourself.

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Jason Mills

Jason Millswrote a review of on January 31, 2014

5 5

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

I've put over 5,000 miles, mostly in the dirt, in three years on these shoes: I think I'll probably get at least one more out of them. When these shoes are totally toasted I will definitely replace them with another pair of Mavics.

I seem to think I have fat American feet -- these fit me really well, especially compared to Sidi.

I am pretty bummed that they no longer offer the gray color, though. I don't like the black and I ain't fast enough for the yellow.

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Jason Mills

Jason Millswrote a review of on January 30, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size

I owned an Arcteryx Gamma soft shell for five years. It was $350 retail. I loved it. I beat the crap out of it; it rolled with every punch. After five years, dirty, ripped, and beat I replaced it with the Marmot ROM, $200 less than the Gamma. I've only worn this coat for two weeks and I already like it much, much better than the Gamma. It fits much better (I am 5'11, 150 lbs. and I wear the medium.) and it has fewer pockets -- this is a good thing. The Gamma has more pockets (more weight) than you'll ever know what to do with them. It's Gore. This coat seems to offer the same warmth and protection. I may change my mind in five years, but, right now, this is one of the best coats I've ever owned at this price point. Again, usually when you spend less money on something you regret it later -- I'm not sure this will be the case with the ROM.

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