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Kevin R

Kevin R

, Employee

Kevin R

Kevin Rwrote a review of on February 22, 2019

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: Runs large
Height: 6' 1"
Weight: 175 lbs
Size Purchased: Medium

This pant is the bombproof shell that you want when climbing or skiing in bad weather,, particularly when considering how well it breathes relative to the waterproofness the goretex pro offers. Despite being a great pant in so many ways, the sizing is a bit off, and as a 6'1-6'2 skier who normally wears a L or XL, the only size that's not way too big is the M. If you're in the 5'10 - 6'2 range, I would suggest either trying on the pant to check out sizing, or just go with a M instead of your normal size (I'm a L in Arc'teryx, Patagonia and TNF).

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Kevin R

Kevin Rwrote a review of on February 7, 2019

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

The highly anticipated Hoji ski boot lives up to the hype, and has been my go-to boot this year for backcountry adventures regardless of the objective. The boot design tours well for its weight, and skis as well or better than other tech boots that weigh a bit more. The lack of a DIN compatible toe lug is an unfortunate limitation of this year's model, as they are only compatible with true tech bindings, and cannot be skied with DIN or hybrid bindings like Salomon's Shift. After about a month of use, the pull tab on the liner tore off, but this damage has of course not affected the skiability of the boot in any way. The booster-like power strap is a great addition to the boot, and really lets you crank the liner's tongue close to your shin allowing for precise, powerful skiing. If you lean towards touring at a fast pace or are the type to skin for the sake of the uphill, this boot may not be for you. For those looking for a one boot backcountry quiver, the Hoji is as good as any boot I've skied over the years.

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Kevin R

Kevin Rwrote a review of on February 7, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Great for long tours while still maintaining a sufficient DIN range to feel confident skiing aggressively on the way down. If you're used to skiing without brakes, this is definitely a binding work checking out. The newer version has two plastic bumps on the base of the heel piece to prevent unwarranted heel rotation when in touring mode (this was an issue on some of the older version models after many many miles). The toe tab is long and makes switching between tour and ski mode easier than with other setups. Solid choice for those who are interested in a light, fast setup that still allows for some serious skiing.

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Kevin R

Kevin Rwrote a review of on February 6, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

The stretchy upper creates a snug, high-performance fit letting you really feel the wall and toe into overhanging routes as well as any shoe currently on the market. If this is your first time wearing edgeless shoes, there may be an adjustment period of a few days, but ultimately I feel that the performance of the wrapped toe is on par (maybe even better) with a traditional edged design. The wrapped toe is definitely advantageous for toe hooking, as the extension of toe rubber up and over the first knuckle of the big toe works well when getting technical on the bouldering wall. The lack of toe rubber on other Sportiva shoes like the Testarossa and Miura VS has always been a bit frustrating, but this shoe takes care of such issues. The lace upper allows for a more customizable fit than the Futura, making this my go-to shoe in Sportiva's lineup for the time being. Overall great option for steep rope climbing and bouldering.

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Kevin R

Kevin Rwrote a review of on February 6, 2019

4 5

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

The combination of synthetic and real down makes for a warm piece that has stood up to a great deal of use and abuse during Wasatch winter adventures. The synthetic down's location in the shoulder and elbow regions stands up to the abuse of backpack straps and winter climbing, while real down in the abdomen and lower back do a great job of keeping things warm. This is not the most packable jacket, and is probably not the choice for ultralight winter climbing missions unless conditions are wet and warrant a synthetic insulating piece. Overall, great jacket with good durability across the last three seasons of use. Sizing appears to be on the large side, I would order a medium in the future instead of large (despite wearing a L in arcteryx and Patagonia).

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Kevin R

Kevin Rwrote a review of on February 6, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

The bladerunner is in a league of its own when it comes to power transmission when kicking into vertical ice. These crampons are certainly not the lightest setup available, and for this reason may not be your first choice for glacier travel or alpine climbing, but in terms of all around ice performance (particularly on vertical ice) these Cassins can't be beat. The stepped design of the frame allows the heel rubber of the boot to assist in transmitting power into the front point, which equates to precise, powerful kicks without the energy input required compared to other setups. Despite the high price tag, I'd strongly encourage anyone in the market for a new ice-climbing crampon to give these a shot. In my opinion, well worth the $$.

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Kevin R

Kevin Rwrote a review of on February 3, 2019

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 10"
Weight: 175 lbs
Size Purchased: Large

This thing is great, for certain things. I wear it skiing, primarily. At first, I didn't love the built in face mask, and hood, but it has grown on me. I was used to skiing with a buff, which I no longer need. I typically don't rock it on warmer days, though, because it keeps me pretty toasty. The thing about this layer, is if you're too warm, there isn't much of an option to cool down. You take off the face mask, but then you're still left wearing a turtle neck. I also like the fit. It's a little longer in the torso, which I prefer, for all of my skiing layers.

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Kevin R

Kevin Rwrote a review of on February 1, 2019

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

The all mountain tool is not the most aggressive nor the lightest tool out there, but that's what makes it great. If you're looking for a do-it-all tool that holds its own on vertical ice and grabs thin ice superbly, this may be the tool for you. The handle is ergonomic but not X-Dream (see what I did there?), and thus is not at all well suited to very steep climbing or dry tooling. I don't think you can really beat the price of this setup, especially if you're getting into climbing and need an all around workhorse tool. With all this being said, nothing beats swinging a tool for yourself, so test out your options before committing. I'd recommend swapping out the abrasive grip tape above the trigger grip, as it can be tough on gloves and doesn't seem to be as grippy as it is rough.

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Kevin R

Kevin Rwrote a review of on February 1, 2019

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Great helmet with extra confidence on the mountain brought to you by MIPS. The Code is super sleek and simple, which is a nice switchup from the extreme venting and aggressive brims that have defined their lineup for a few years now. This helmet does seem to fit a bit different that others in Smith's lineup, but adjusted well to my head with the rear BOA system. Only downside to the helmet is that the velcro pads connecting the liner to the helmet are substantial, and when combined with the MIPS liner, can grab hair if you're one to ski helmets sans liner (or with goggles underneath the helmet).

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Kevin R

Kevin Rwrote a review of on February 1, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Given what these cost, I've gotten a massive amount of use out of them. The waterproofness is inferior to other models that lack the mesh back (although the new gloves with the wax treatment still intact are quite weather proof). If you nail your sizing, dexterity is good enough to tie knots and hold onto ice tools on mellow terrain. Great utilitarian glove for resort skiing and short backcountry adventures when temperatures are above 10 F.

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Kevin R

Kevin Rwrote a review of on February 1, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Multiple versions of the krypton pro id have been on my feet over the years, and I can't imagine spending days in the resort any other way. The low pivot, progressive flex given by the three piece shell design, and best-in-industry liner make these winners in my book. Being able to replace the tongue after a season of skiing brings some much needed spring back to the boot (which isn't an option with traditional 4 buckle overlap boots), and the moldability of the id liners keep my feet happy. For those that spend copious time in the terrain park, the reversed lower buckle keeps you locked into your boots after endless rail bashing.

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Kevin R

Kevin Rwrote a review of on February 1, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

The pivot 18 has been the staple of my in-bounds lineup for many years running, and I've got bindings with hundreds of days on them still in great shape. The pivot 18 toe design is superb, and the binding's high elastic range has prevented prereleases better than any other aggressive binding I've skied through the years. If you're a heavier, more aggressive skier and have been tearing through other bindings, the pivot 18 might be the binding you're looking for. After many seasons of skiing these, I would note that the high elastic range of the system allows me to ski the binding at a lower din than other manufacturer's bindings (no need to crank the DIN to prevent unwanted releases), but if cranking DINs is your thing, this setup will certainly allow for that too.

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Kevin R

Kevin Rwrote a review of on February 1, 2019

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

The Backland Carbon is a great boot for long fast tours in the Wasatch. This isn't a boot for the rando/skimo folks, but strikes a good balance between lightweight tourability and still being skiable in technical terrain. If you're into skiing downhill but want to get in an extra dawn patrol lap before work these might be a good choice for you. The power strap feels pretty weak and is rather integral in cranking the boot down when it comes time to ski (I would be nervous to ski these aggressively without having them pretty tight), particularly given the shape of the plastic tongue - I'm interested to see if it lasts indefinitely.

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