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Karl  G.

Karl G.

Karl  G.

Karl G.wrote a review of on October 3, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 1"
Weight: 175 lbs
Size Purchased: M/M

I wore these pants pretty much non-stop every day for a month walking the GR 653 (Chemin d’Arles) across France. Any and all conditions - heat wave, rain, wind, steep climbs across the Haut-Languedoc and Pyrenees mountains, through wet brush, dry brush, you name it, these pants saw it. The slightly looser fit is perfect for challenging hikes, the pockets are fantastic, the leg zippers and color coded convertible zips made it super easy to take advantage of their versatility, and they dry super fast - making it easy to rinse or wash them off when the day is done and have them ready for action the next day or a few hours later if some sun is available.

After all that these pants are showing no signs of wear. Oh, and did I mention they are really comfortable? Yes, they are. Get a pair if you have some serious hiking planned - or even if you don’t.

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Karl  G.

Karl G.wrote a review of on July 26, 2019

4 5

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

Works just fine with my 2.5L Osprey Hydration pack. The ribs on the drying rack collapse to fit any size opening so no problems there (despite what you may read in other reviews.) Brushes do their intended job well and with this kit you no longer have a reason to put off cleaning that discoloration that is building up.

One thing to note. As of the date of this review Backcountry is advertising two cleaning tablets as being part of the kit. Warning - they are not included so order some Camelbak tabs before finishing your order. Were it not for this oversight, I’d give this a 5 star rating.

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Karl  G.

Karl G.wrote a review of on June 12, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 1"
Weight: 175 lbs
Size Purchased: 34 X 10

These shorts look good, come with an easily adjustable belt, fit well, are super lightweight, and are durable. And they have good pockets as well. The zippered pocket makes it easy to secure a passport or wallet or other valuable that you don’t want to lose and the regular pockets are roomy and deep enough to keep items from falling out when sitting down.

If there was one place for improvement it is the Velcro pocket. It has plenty of space but with only one Velcro attachment it isn’t as secure as I’d like and the flap barely holds against the pocket. The back pockets are the same design and could likewise be improved with a second strip of Velcro - or a zipper on one of them.

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Karl  G.

Karl G.wrote a review of on January 5, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I am new to wearing goggles and had my first experience with these last month. I was knocked over with how well they work. My field of vision was suddenly sharper and clearer. No distortion, no glare, and the fit was very comfortable. I forgot I even had them on. As a side benefit, my face appreciated the extra protection from the very cold temperatures (single digits.)

Highly recommended.

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Karl  G.

Karl G.wrote a review of on January 3, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I read the reviews and like others found out that these really work well in sub-freezing weather. I used it on vacation in Quebec City recently where temperatures ranged from zero to 20 degrees Fahrenheit.

Simply pull up the buff and it’s a world of difference and quick relief. You can wear them like a balaclava with googles or simply pull them up over your chin, mouth, or nose. Hands down a great piece of gear.

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Karl  G.

Karl G.wrote a review of on September 21, 2018

5 5

Fit: Runs large
Height: 6' 1"
Weight: 175 lbs
Size Purchased: 11

I tried on a lot of shoes and boots after my old pair of hiking shoes wore out. I mean a lot - probably more than a dozen. I just returned from 9 days of backpacking on Isle Royale and now feel ready to comment on the Asolo Agent Evo GV. I had about 170 miles walking flat ground with them prior to taking them out to the wilderness. Here’s what I liked:

I love how the longer lacing allows for greater flexibility in getting the right fit. On flat surfaces I changed the lacing to have a “window pane” at the bottom of the lacing. This offered a somewhat looser fit and more wiggle room and comfort for my toes. However, on the very rocky and root-filled tread of most of Isle Royale’s trails I went back to a criss-cross pattern for the full length. This pulled the shoe tighter across my toes and helped keep my feet from shifting inside the shoe when navigating the constant uneven terrain and the climbing up and down. That alone is worth the price of admission. The only blisters I got were on the outside of my big toe and baby toe on one foot when I had the lacing too loose. After I tightened them up all was well and the blisters healed quickly.

These shoes are very comfortable to wear and look good as a bonus. However, get a real insole and replace the insole that comes with the shoe. I put in the Trailblazer Comfort insoles from Superfeet and I’d highly recommend doing something similar.

The shoes are very light but durable. The Vibram soles gripped long stretches of slanted exposed rock well, even when it was wet from a recent storm. The reinforced toe box and suede uppers took all the beating a rocky trail can offer without any problems.

The waterproofing works like a charm. Before taking them into the woods I walked through a lot of puddles on the street when walking. One was 80 yards long and an inch to an inch and half deep. No matter how long the puddles were the result was the same - dry feet.

The only negative I have are the laces. They are a very hard material which is probably great for ensuring they don’t break. The downside is they are so hard you get calluses on the outside of your pinkies from pulling the laces taut. Also, when double-knotting you want to provide a very solid tug. Otherwise the knot will get loose as the harder surface doesn’t provide as much friction between laces.

Note - I sized down a half size on these and that was just right.
.

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Karl  G.

Karl G.wrote a review of on September 19, 2018

5 5

Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 1"
Weight: 175 lbs
Size Purchased: EU 50

I put my new Fjallravens to the test with a 9 day backpack of Isle Royale. The fit and pockets stand out as especially noteworthy. That, and they held up to constant wear and exposure. I wore them every day and they took it all: lots of brushing against plants on narrow trails, sitting on rocks, logs, and whatever the trail dished out.

My only negative is the temperatures were warmer than expected with many days in the mid-70s and even above 80. In that weather they were too warm so I’d say they are best for below 70 degrees - at least for me.

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Karl  G.

Karl G.wrote a review of on April 28, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 1"
Weight: 175 lbs
Size Purchased: Large

This jacket is immediately comfortable and super light. So much so I was concerned about how it would do in cooler temperatures. As it turned out, it did at least as well as expected if not better. I have worn it in temps as low as 30 degrees with two thin shirts (not technical base layers) underneath with no problem. With a single shirt it handles the 40s just fine and can be worn comfortably in the 50s with an open zipper.

The one caveat is wind. The breathability panels on the side will allow some wind in if it is blowing strong enough. I’d guess this would need to be above 10 mph and more likely above 15 mph before it would become noticeable. So, with a strong wind the lowest temperature the jacket could withstand would be a little higher. Needless to say, if you are wearing this as a layer under a shell this would not be a consideration.

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Karl  G.

Karl G.wrote a review of on January 3, 2018

2 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I wanted to believe the reviews from people who talked about how effective these gloves were in the cold. Unfortunately, I should have believed those who said they didn’t do anything for keeping hands warm in cold weather. This was my family’s experience. All four of us gave them thumbs down for cold protection. Even in temps in the 30s the cold was immediately noticeable. In the 20s? Forget it - nearly worthless.

Good gloves for weather above 35 or so or short exposure outside. Otherwise, buy something heavier with thermal lining. In retrospect I could have figured this out by looking at the materials used.

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Karl  G.

Karl G.wrote a review of on November 8, 2017

5 5

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

I was torn between the Aether 70 and the Atmos 65 and just finished a 3 night, 45 mile hike with the Aether which provided a great shake-down. I loved it. The hip belt was a little beefier than the Atmos and kept the pack in place throughout. Roomy enough to make it easy to pack and unload but not sloppy or excessive. There was still sufficient room for a longer hike. Plenty of adjustment possibilities to get the fit to be just right and plenty of straps to snug up the contents. Everything was well thought out and nothing I’d change. Best of all, it made a multi-day load easy to carry and comfortable throughout.

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Karl  G.

Karl G.wrote a review of on October 8, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I ditched my 17 year old Therma Rest slightly inflatable pad for the Big Agnes. Wow. It is like night and day. Super comfortable and great insulation. At 42 degrees I was warm enough in my tent to sleep in a long sleeve base layer and no cap or gloves. The condensation under the tent where the pad was was non-existent. Where the pad was not was wet as could be. The pad really makes a difference. Just as nice, it is easy to inflate and stow. About 2 minutes to blow up and rolls up nice and compact.

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