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Kevin Moynihan

Kevin Moynihan

Kevin Moynihan's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Snowboarding
Biking
Running
Yoga
Snowshoeing
Climbing

Kevin Moynihan's Bio

I'm the discerning gear guy and engineer that spends my time outdoors, not on forums. MTB racer for 15ish years, amateur everything else.

Kevin Moynihan

Kevin Moynihanwrote a review of on December 27, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Just bought these, and so far so good!

I'm 190lb plus gear, so I bought the 25in model.

I have experience with the old MSR Denali Evo (like the old plastic body ones), but MSR doesn't make these anymore in the ascent model! So I was a bit torn - these are less expensive than the Lightning, but new to the market. I know I want to do more technical ascents with these, so I wasn't looking at trail models.

So far, so good! The binding system offered on the trails seems quicker, but once adjusted, you can get in and out of these quick with just the heel strap.

I like that the decks are hard plastic, and the rails are steel. Seems like the most durable combo for intermittent rocks.

I did scuff them up on the first use, just where the inside of my feet overlapped from not stepping wide enough. No big deal, but they already seem well used as a result.

At the front, the carry handle seems really nice as well.

As far as flotation, no comment - will update. We were either in super deep powder or packed trails, so I didn't have an opportunity to experiment with float and tails.

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Kevin Moynihan

Kevin Moynihanwrote a review of on December 11, 2014

Close, but adjustment hickups
3 5

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

I have the 2014 in a medium. Fit was great - I'm 185, 5'11", ~40 chest, 33 waist. It has a drop tail, fit under a shell in puffiness and in length. Wrist elastic is sized well for my large hands and wrists. Hood fits with OR without helmet. With a helmet, all zipped up, the collar comes up to under my nose. Perfect.

However without a helmet, the elastic hood isn't great. I think it handles cold, but I get snowdrift blown down my back and neck all the time. Lame. Needs the adjustment the Cerium SL has.

The waist cinch on mine was terrible. But the Cerium SL didn't have this... maybe because it sucked. Most jackets have one or two pulls, and a light yank seals you up from drafts. This thing feels like I'm going to tear or break something, and needs a lot of pull for a little cinch.

I really like the coreloft. But when I climb, I stuff my gloves in my shell to stay warm and keep pushing moisture through their goretex layer. That means I always have a flat spot of wet down on my stomach or my ribs. Coreloft here would be great.

Or Arcteryx, why don't you offer this thing with water-resistant down like everyone else figured out? Then I would be forced to buy this thing again, supposing it had an adjustable hood and better waist. Argh.

I really liked the weight. Nice, heavier midlayer. They didn't waste grams here, so it's just warmer.

Oh, except with the separate stuff sack. They could have made a packable pocket, which I would really prefer...

And dang, I forgot it leaks down for the first five months. The Cerium doesn't seem to do that, but it's a light fabric, so that doesn't quite compute...

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Kevin Moynihan

Kevin Moynihanwrote a review of on December 11, 2014

3 5

Familiarity: I returned this product before using it
Fit: Runs large

I only tried this on (a bunch) and returned it.

Fits like a parka - medium has room for a big base layer AND fleece underneath, and is long!

But it's almost in the mid-layer weight category, has a helmet that fits a hood or adjusts down, the butter cuffs are amazing, and it stuffs into it's own pocket (with a lot of work).

I returned it because though it looks great, it wasn't something that I could put a shell over easily. Too big, too long. But wasn't water resistant beyond DWR, so it's not really a cold outer layer for snowy stuff jacket.

I'm pretty sure it would have lived in the closet, gotten wet on snow adventures, or squished down under a shell (I know shells should be sized to accommodate, but the medium was giaaaant for a midlayer. A small, maybe, but I'm a big person...). So closet or walks around town or campfires. Not for $400.

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Kevin Moynihan

Kevin Moynihanwrote a review of on December 11, 2014

4 5

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

Fits about the same as some other Patagonia Medium stuff. Fit was pretty good - I'm 185, 5'11", ~40 chest, 33 waist.

This jacket is great. I went shopping in the same season I got really cold twice because I just didn't plan for rain and got soaked in cold/windy weather. Turns out violently shivering for hours counts as mild hypothermia.

Enter Alpine Houdini! The jacket I just always bring! I haven't gotten hypothermia since, so that's cool...

But seriously. It fits in a bike jersey pocket. It hangs from a harness. It's smaller than your lunch.

I would love to rub it against rocks n' stuff more, but can't attest to durability besides in and out of packs, pockets, and on to me.

Price is a bit crazy. Since I use it as insurance a lot and goes out to mostly live in packs when weather looks moody, it feels like a lot of money to spend on a jacket that I wear soooo much less than my gnarly hardshell. But if I had giant-but-cheaper jacket, I'd have gotten hypothermia again...

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Kevin Moynihan

Kevin Moynihanwrote a review of on December 11, 2014

Better than I thought
4 5

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

I bought these for a hike (Everest Base Camp). Then I did so much more with these that I'm really pleased!

I wanted glasses to handle many conditions, and weren't wimpy photochromic like 5-15% so I could have one pair for a big international trip. I also wanted ones that wrapped around well and were rated for high altitude and good at snow (both = lotsa sun!)

So I bought these, with hesitation (break easy, whateva.)

I took them to Thailand and Nepal. I hiked to Everest Base Camp, then did Annapurna Circuit and Annapurna Base Camp (photo!)

Then they came back. And I grab them pretty much every day for road biking, mountain biking a running. And here's what I have to say:

They aren't perfect. They fit me pretty well - my eyebrows touch the top frame and transfer sweat to the glasses, and I think if I smile REALLY hard (like I just found a chocolate boulder), I touch the bottoms.

The plastic frames have held up, no problem. People like the way they fit on me, and I like compliments. Dropped them, no breaky - even though I read that review just like you did (or will).

They are pretty good at photochroming (verb?). They kept up, and probably seemed a touch light at times - but never far off. Even at 18,000 ft on a clear day on snow/ice. They can also stay on when I forget to bring a bike light and I ride home at dusk through bug-filled areas where I want eye protection.

The paint on the plastic can get dinged. Not amazing, but it's basically only one spot after months of hard use.

The plastic flexes better when warm, so they seem to want to slip off in hot-hot-heat, but never did and don't while I'm biking.

And they don't breathe amazingly. I only really fog them up in warm still air, doing very aerobic things (huffing up really steep hills usually isn'y enough.)

I would totally recommend these - even compared to my Oakley's or Rudy Project's.

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Kevin Moynihan

Kevin Moynihanwrote a review of on December 11, 2014

3 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: True to size

I tried this jacket, and returned it. I'll lay out why:

It's a crossover jacket. It's not comparable to the Arcteryx Thorium AR, Cerium SL, MH Ghost Whisperer, because it's much heavier, more loft, waterproof/resistant PU coated shell layer. It has waterproof zippers, and a big hood that fits fine with a helmet. So it's a belay jacket, right? Heavy but amazingly warm?

Nope, it's not baffled, just sewn through. It's more of an active cut than a parka cut. It doesn't have a double zipper to unzip a big from the bottom for a harness (if you really needed that). And I guess if I have a real belay jacket, its under a big shell in the wet, or I'll wear it stand alone in the dry, and all the extra features aren't needed.

I was annoyed by cheesy velcro bits to adjust the brim of the hood, and a strap at the back of your neck that's supposed to bundle the hood into a collar. I was also not a fan of the wire brim hood when I have so many other hoods that work fine without it.

So maybe you want a crossover between a midlayer and belay down puffy? SUPER midlayer or lighter duty, wetter weather belay? I didn't.

Fit was pretty good - I'm 185, 5'11", ~40 chest, 33 waist.

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Kevin Moynihan

Kevin Moynihanwrote a review of on December 11, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I used this for night hiking, trips, finding junk in my car, and most recently mountain biking at Betasso in Boulder. It worked well enough as a night light for a 1.5 hour ride, and I can't remember when I last changed the batteries. Luckily, there is a nifty little LED that tell you battery life.

I think it takes people a while to figure out how to get through all the modes with one button, but I don't find it a problem to pick it up after 3 months of not using it and still get through all the functions. Albeit, I use spot for riding, flood for camping/cooking, and red if I night gaze. Flash I just don't use. The dimming capability is okay - I use high or low most.

It is a bit heavy. And takes a fleet (4) of AAAs. If you wanted to run with this, it feels heavy - like it might fall - but I haven't really had it fall down or angle down from bouncing.

Also, I leave the batteries in a lot (sin!) but find it hasn't caused corrosion or dead batteries so far. Certainly convenient!

Ooo, and the little thumb-screw that holds the back on is nice. No fussing around with a bad seal or damaged plastic from coin opening.

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Kevin Moynihan

Kevin Moynihanwrote a review of on December 11, 2014

3 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I have the Ion because it's light. Run time isn't great, but I can milk it for weeks if I just sleep when it's dark.

Spare batteries are impossible to find, except here. The super great price compared to the local store makes it hurt a lot less - as long as you don't pay shipping.

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Kevin Moynihan

Kevin Moynihanwrote a review of on December 11, 2014

3 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Kinda weird that you have to tie a prussik type hitch with the shock cord to make it stay on.

Seems like something without the cord that locks on the hole in most spikes would be a lot better. It does have two bumps that grab that hole, so it doesn't just fall straight off without a prussik.

Rubber bit seems great. Price is wonderful.

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Kevin Moynihan

Kevin Moynihanwrote a review of on December 11, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Well, for $10, it's amazing.

For my Black Diamond Raven Pro I bought it for, it doesn't quite fit the profile of the pick (no noticeable) and there is plenty of room for a wider adze. So it's not purpose build for the Raven Pro - but that's probably a better thing.

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