Free 2-Day Shipping on Orders Over $50*
Jon

Jon

Boston

Jon's Passions

Snowboarding
Biking
Running
Hiking & Camping

Jon's Bio

I'm an outdoor enthusiast with a software engineering problem. I love anything that let's me go fast or push my limits including biking, running, snowboarding, and soccer.

Jon

Jonwrote a review of on March 24, 2017

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: Runs large
Height: 5' 10"
Weight: 175 lbs
Size Purchased: Medium

40" chest, 32" waist

I love the material; reasonably warm, and super comfortable. I like the cut in the sleeves, chest, and neck, but wish the waist was trimmer. I did get this on sale, so I took it to my tailor with all the money I saved. Not surprisingly, first thing she said was "That's a nice shirt."

I don't think I'd pay full price for regular fit, but if OR made one just like it in slim, I'd buy them all.

(0)

 

0 Comments

Jon

Jonwrote a review of on March 24, 2017

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: Runs large
Height: 5' 10"
Weight: 175 lbs
Size Purchased: 32x32

I originally bought a pair of grey ones in a Toad&Co store last year, and liked them enough that I just got another pair in the honey brown. The fabric is wonderfully stretchy and soft, and looks a little cleaner than your standard jeans.

I usually wear a 33" waist, but found the 32" to be a better fit; doesn't require a belt, but not overly tight. I also normally wear a 30" inseam, but decided that was a touch too short, so I got the 32" and had a tailor take off an inch.

I have 24.5" quads, and these are perfect. I tried on some of their slim-fit pants, and they felt too restrictive. If you have muscular legs, regular fit is the way to go.

(0)

 

0 Comments

0 Answers

0 Answers

0 Answers

Jon

Jonwrote a review of on March 15, 2017

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 10"
Weight: 175 lbs
Size Purchased: Medium

40" chest, 32" waist

My old rain shell bit the dust after a few years of heavy use, so I decided I wanted to upgrade a little. I needed something to check these boxes:
1. Trim enough to fit a button-down or light fleece and not much else.
2. Packable enough that I won't think twice about bringing it when I travel.
3. Durable enough not to get trashed by backpack straps.
4. Breathable enough that I won't feel like I'm in a sauna when bike commuting.

After searching around and getting a recommendation from Leta, I decided on the Axiom. It's trim enough to look good with just a t-shirt, but has enough room for my Atom LT if needed. It's packable enough to fit in a medium Eagle Creek cube with a base layer or my wife's rain coat without having to force it. I've used it 6 times and the durability seems to be fine. Based on the other reviews, I have nothing to worry about there. Breathability is activity dependent as always, but this jacket surprised me. I can wear it up to 50 while biking before I start sweating like crazy and actually felt chilly standing around at 60 when the wind was blowing, which is very similar to my running jacket which isn't waterproof and has lots of ventilation holes.

I know it would add some weight, but I'd still like to see pit zips for when I'm super active (bike commuting). The hem isn't tight enough for me to return it, but a little more room would be nice.

My biggest regret is that when I stopped to help someone change a flat, I casually laid my jacket on my bike, and got some grease on the hood. Totally goofed on that one..

Since I'm sure you'll read this Leta, how would you compare this to the Realm? I didn't know about it until I already bought this and put some grease on it.

(1)

 

Jon

Jonwrote a review of on March 9, 2017

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

39.5-40" chest, S/M

I ordered the S/M and M/L in this, plus the M/L Salomon ADV Skin 5, and ended up keeping the S/M Duro which says a lot because hydration vests are Salomon's wheelhouse. If you don't want to watch the sizing video, 34-40 is S/M, and 39-45 is M/L. I'm right in the middle, but opted for the smaller size because a vest like this should be snug.

The Good:
I really like the overall design and materials. The squishy mesh inner doesn't chafe at all, and you could probably go shirtless. The pocket selection is solid and the compression straps on the back keep everything locked-down. I run with my dog, so I carry his leash in the big pocket, poop bags in one kangaroo pocket, and a 1/2 cup measuring cup for him to drink out of in the other, plus my phone, buff, and a gel in the front with room to spare. The main reasons I kept the Duro are the excellent bladder integration (easy removal/refilling) and the stiff plastic strips on the front for the straps. They provide the perfect amount of structure and prevent one side of the vest from being higher than the other. Seriously. So nice having everything lined up without having to think about it.

The Bad:
Fit is subjective, but I think Osprey could do a better job here. Only offering two sizes in a running vest seems crazy. Ultimate Direction has 3, Salomon has 4 in their Advanced line, and a whopping 5 in the S-lab. If Osprey added two more sizes, they could ditch the side compression, extend the rear kangaroo and front mesh pockets, and really dial in the fit. Check out the Salomon vest for what I mean.

If the Duro fits you without having to cinch everything down a ton, you'll love it.

(2)

 

Jon

Jonwrote a review of on March 6, 2017

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

18.5" torso, S/M

I got a 34L M/L for Christmas, which is what I originally wanted. After using that for a couple weeks, it seemed too big, so I had a pack fitting done and ended up sizing down to the S/M. After two more weeks, I decided the 34L version was just too big, so here I am with the 26L.

I love the pocket selection, kickstand, and ventilated back-panel. The zippered side pocket is too small for my phone, but it holds a tube, hex set, and a couple levers just fine. I found the zippered tablet pocket holds my larger-than-normal pump without affecting the laptop at all. I keep my coffee inside the main compartment and use the stretchy pocket for keys and building pass.

I hate the stretchy load-lifters. Some people like them, but I found they bounce when going over bumps and amplify the side-to-side motion when pedaling off the saddle (think climbing a hill where your body naturally goes side-to-side a little). I also really wish they had a hip belt with pockets like most of their other technical packs. It would be a great spot for keys/building pass and wouldn't dig into my side like the current one. I may end up removing it because it's fairly uncomfortable.

I spent a couple weeks debating whether to pick up a Manta 28 because the suspension is so good, but ended up with the Radial because I carry a laptop everyday. I can't decide if I've made the right choice though...

(1)

 

Jon

Jonwrote a review of on March 1, 2017

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I do all kinds of active stuff, so I have lots of water bottles; most of which are the basic plastic ones from races, but I have a couple nice ones (Camelback Podium/Eddy). If I'm hiking, biking, travelling or playing some soccer, I'll grab ones of those because they're bigger and I don't really need something insulated.

However, this is perfect for taking coffee to work while bike commuting. I can throw it in my bag or the stretchy side pocket and secure it with a carabiner and not have to worry about it leaking or falling out. While 18oz is small for water, it's great for a cup in the morning, and another in the afternoon. Dishwasher safe is a big plus too! $30 is pricey, but the leak-proof, carabiner-friendly design are pretty cool.

(0)

 

0 Comments

0 Answers

Jon

Jonwrote a review of on February 22, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I got mine as a gift 2 years ago, and its lived on my desk at work ever since. The wide opening is great for the ice machine, the lid controls the flow, and the insulated design keeps the condensation puddle at bay. I prefer a traditional mug for coffee, so I can't comment on how well it keeps stuff hot.

(0)

 

0 Comments

Jon

Jonwrote a review of on February 22, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Everyone needs a minimum of 2 bags in their life. A 20-30L backpack, and a carry-on legal duffel. The backpack is up to you, but this should be your duffel. I've had mine for about a year, and can honestly say it's the best overall carry-on design you can buy. Most people who travel have realized you can fit more stuff in a duffel vs a similarly sized roller because you don't have to account for the wheels or handle. However, what separates this from the rest of the duffel world are the pockets, carry options, and clam-shell opening. Packing cubes take this to another level. Go with the Eagle Creek Pack-It Specters to save weight.

Pockets:
1. The tiny exterior pocket will hold a pair of shoes or a couple pairs of flip-flops, keeping them separate from your clothes. Best option is wear the shoes, pack the flops.
2. Small exterior pocket has organization for all your cords, wallet, passport, travel docs, etc. I always carry my phone, but found the padded pockets holds my Anker battery perfectly for emergency juice. Having this stuff accessible while not showing off the rest of your stuff is key.
3. Large interior pocket will hold a variety of cubes. I recently returned from 8 days in Costa Rica and brought 2 large cubes, 2 medium cubes, 1 small cube, and a toiletry bag with room to spare.
4. Two small interior pockets hold small items. I used one for socks, and the other for some emergency meds and a small travel camera.
5. Behind the small interior pockets is another that's great for keeping items flat. It held my suit and wife's dress for a wedding we went to last summer without any trouble. Alternatively, you can keep this pocket empty and use it for dirty/clean clothes depending on where you are on your trip.
6. Laptop sleeve. Want your laptop, but don't want to carry a second bag to keep it protected? Done.
7. Tiny pocket with zippered bottom for sliding over a roller. I don't use a roller, but it's good for holding my kindle and pass while boarding.

Carry Options:
1. Two handles make grabbing it out of a trunk or overhead bin easy.
2. Backpack straps are wonderful if this is only bag you bring. Otherwise, tuck them away, and the use the...
3. Shoulder hardness for when you're also carrying that 20-30L backpack. You can remove this and stuff it into the backpack strap area when not in use.

Clam-shell:
Having the bag split in half makes packing and accessing your stuff much easier than a traditional duffel. You'll come to love it when you can just open the bag on the floor in the hotel, and see everything nicely laid out.

The Black Hole series gets all the recognition, but this is the better travel bag. Like everyone has mentioned, the 3-5 day suggestion is crap, and will easily get you through twice that. If you want to go full travel-pro, get one of those super compressible day packs (Sea To Summit, Osprey Ultralight, etc.) for all that Costa Rican coffee you're going to bring home...

(1)

 

0 Comments

Jon

Jonwrote a review of on February 19, 2017

4 5

Fit: Runs small
Height: 5' 10"
Weight: 175 lbs
Size Purchased: Medium

40" chest
32-33" waist

I didn't buy this, but tried it on at the local Arcteryx store in Boston while shopping for a new shell. I have an Atom LT, so I'll compare it directly to that.

Fabric: Seems more durable than the Atom, and more closely resembles the Gamma series in overall feel, which I prefer.

Fit: It feels trimmer overall, and is most noticeable in the waist and arm holes. The waist is fine for me, and had enough room for a t-shirt and wool baselayer. I have larger shoulders, and the arm holes felt restrictive in the pit area. I can't tell if it's fabric build-up, or needs more room in the arm hole/chest , but I found it uncomfortable, and wouldn't like it for everyday wear.

Open up the pit area a bit, and I'd probably take the Proton over the Atom.

(0)

 

0 Comments

Jon

Jonwrote a review of on February 8, 2017

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 10"
Weight: 175 lbs

I've got two full-size ones, but those have too much fabric to make a good headband, so this was the next logical step. I use mine primarily for running in the winter, but will probably use it under my bike helmet in the spring/fall. I didn't realize they made a Buff Headband, so I'll probably get one of those next.

(0)

 

0 Comments

Jon

Jonwrote a review of on February 8, 2017

3 5

Familiarity: I returned this product before using it

5' 10", 18.5" torso, 40" chest. S/M

I originally bought this as a small pack for trail running, hiking/travelling, and maybe a little mountain biking down the road, and would be primarily carrying a hydration bladder and a little extra gear (snacks, shell, dog leash, etc).

The good:
When it first arrived, I thought I was set. The size seemed perfect for what I wanted. I really liked the pockets on the hip-belt because they were large enough for my small camera, but not overly big to get in the way while running. The fit is outstanding, and once I got it set-up, it almost disappeared on my back. I loaded up some heavy stuff, and ran around the house a bit, and didn't notice any weird shifting, which is good.

The bad:
Once you add a hydration bladder, it's fairly expensive. I picked up a 1.5L Hydraulics LT, which brought the total to $132. The little stretch pocket on the shoulder strap is about the size of a granola bar, so I'm not really sure what you'd put in there. I feel you'd be better off leaving that out.

The Deal-Breaker:
The integration with the hydration bladder is terrible. The external sleeve sits between the back panel and main compartment, and is only 8" wide, which makes sense given the size of the pack. However, there are two load-lifters blocking it. If you get a Hydraulics LT, which is also 8" wide, you need to completely undo the load-lifters to get it in. The depth is also an issue, and requires quite a bit of force to open the hydration compartment wide enough to accept a full bladder. Since I wanted to use a bladder pretty much every time I used the pack, this was a no-go. I realize it standardizes production, but there's no way you need load-lifters on a pack this size. If there was a zipper access, I may have kept it.

Given the above, I recommend focusing on your primary use. Once you add the hydration bladder, you start competing with much better options.
Hiking: For 20$ more, you get the Manta AG 20, which has a little more space, a larger bladder, and AG suspension.
Biking: For 10$ more, you get the Raptor 14, which has similar usable space plus and awesome hydration bladder integration and is probably the best alternative.
Running: For 20$ less, the new Duro 6, which is what I'm going with, should carry significantly better than the Talon while running, and actually has enough space for a 1.5L bladder plus shell and snacks which would cover you on most short hikes.

If you're not going to be using this with a hydration bladder, this is a great pack. Otherwise, there are much better options.

(1)

 

Jon

Jonwrote a question about on February 6, 2017

Between the Furio, Axiom, and Skyward, which would be best for an everyday rain shell? I'm primarily going to use it around town, but would also like it for travel/hiking (lightweight/packable) and winter bike commuting when it really sucks (35 and raining...). Trim-fitting would be good since I run hot, and it's unlikely I'd be wearing more than a button-down or light fleece (R1 style) under it. I have a separate Gore Pro shell for skiing, so I don't need anything with powder skirt or pass pockets, etc.

(1)

 

Jon

Jonwrote a review of on January 18, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

This is one of those things where you don't realize what you're missing until you have it. If you have a dog, and travel at all, you know you need somewhere to put food, water, bowls, leash, toys, poop bags, and treats. This does all of that while keeping it more organized than the old grocery bag/plastic bag combo you've been using.

(1)

 

0 Comments

Jon

Jonwrote a review of on January 18, 2017

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back
4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Size: 5'10", 18.5" torso, S/M
Commute: 10 miles roundtrip
Weather: Boston in January....

I had been eyeing the previous model of this bag for a while and actually went to REI multiple times to check out both the 26 and 34 versions. The problem always came down to wanting the larger one, but hating those weird little side pockets.

ENTER THE REDESIGN and my wife for coming through big at Christmas! The suspended mesh back panel distributes the load well, comfy on or off the bike, and reduces the dreaded sweat build-up. I initially thought the kickstand was gimmicky, but boy was I wrong. It's super convenient having the pack stay up and open and is probably my favorite feature. The small front and side pockets are great for storing tools, plus phone/wallet, although I keep going back and forth on which to use for what. I have a 14" laptop, and the pocket for that is great, with lots of extra room if you have a larger one. The main compartment is massive; easily holding a day's worth of clothes and food, plus an extra pair of gloves, buff, and wool baselayer, with two little interior pockets for keeping the buff and gloves separate. Yesterday I put my softshell jacket in there too because it warmed up in the afternoon, and there was still room for more. I've been putting a small towel and a pump in the front shoe pockets, but will be carrying shower flops come summer since I leave my normal shoes at work. The sunglasses pocket on top is a nice touch, and keeps them from getting scratched or squished. I got caught in a storm on my way home, and the rain cover was excellent; protects the bag without any billowing.

UPDATE: I started with the M/L, but traded it in for the S/M because I'm closer to that range. After using that for a little while, I decided 34L is just too big for me. The stretchy load lifters generate lots of instability, and I'm hoping to mitigate that with the smaller version.

(0)

 

Jon

Jonwrote a review of on December 12, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 10"
Weight: 175 lbs
Size Purchased: Medium

40" chest

I got this a few weeks ago to fill a jacket gap between a Marmot ROM and a Black Diamond Heat Treat Hoody in terms of warmth, and it's doing the job beautifully. The dwr repels a light drizzle or snow, and the fleece side panels have kept me from overheating. The cut is trim, but not restrictive, leaving enough room for a button down or fleece without looking bulky. The odysseus color is much better in person, and looks like a mix of green and grey.

(1)

 

0 Comments

Jon

Jonwrote a review of on December 12, 2016

Good minus front clip
4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

8 month-old aussie mix, ~45lbs, small harness

Oakley is an energetic pup that likes to pull with just a collar. We picked up one of these based on the reviews, and have liked it so far. He's about an inch or so under the upper limit, and the small is working well. He tried to bite it at first like everything else, but has figured out the harness means we're going somewhere fun. The back clip is great for keeping the leash away from his paws. However, the front clip kinda sucks. Like another reviewer mentioned, if he pulls with the front clip, it slides to the side. It works, but not nearly as well as a traditional front clip one that has a horizontal strap across the chest.

(1)

 

0 Comments