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Lamarsh

Lamarsh

Colorado & the Great Lakes

Lamarsh's Passions

Fly Fishing
Hiking & Camping
Skiing

Lamarsh's Bio

I split time between Colorado and Michigan. I fish, hunt and ski in a very intense fashion--including backcountry hunting and fishing trips, and backcountry ski trips. Hunting, in particular, presents very extreme demands on my gear. I need my gear to be reliable, and I beat the hell out of it. I love to rate everything I own! I also love backcountry.com : )

Lamarsh

Lamarshposted an image about on December 23, 2013

Wool piled after only few wears

I tried to add a photo to my previous review over and over, but could not do it. This is what all four pairs of these looked like after only a few wears. I got them from BC.com a few weeks ago, and they look like they're already years old. Unless all four pairs of these are defective, I'm surprised BC.com carries something this crappy.

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Lamarsh

Lamarshwrote a review of on December 11, 2013

5 5

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

I did not buy these from BC.com, but as you can see in my profile pic, I do own a pair : ) It's tough for me to compare these to other hiking boots because mine have lasted so long, I haven't needed any other hiking boots since I replaced my Asolo Meridians some 6 years ago. These boots are, without a doubt, built to last. They're about as light as you can get with still being a supportive boot suitable for long treks carrying heavy weight. I've carried 150lb loads while packing out elk quarters wearing these boots, without a single worry of a lack of support. Keep the leather on these treated well (I keep it simple and just use mink oil), and they'll last a very long time.

Just an interesting tid-bit: I was in Israel a few years ago and a friend of mine, who was in one of Israel's most elite infantry recon units (the Sayeret Golani), saw me wearing these and claimed that they use these exact boots. They are not combat boots, so I doubted him, and told him they probably use something that just looks a bit like these, but he adamantly disagreed and said "no, those are the exact boots, I am sure of it".

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Lamarsh

Lamarshwrote a review of on December 11, 2013

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: Runs large

These are nice merino liners. They run large. I wear mens 8-8.5, and ordered the smalls in these (size chart says they fit a mens size 7-8.5), but they are quite roomy--the heels come up a bit high and they are loose fitting (but most liners are). I recommend downsizing, if you can. For example, I think the smalls would fit somebody with a mens 9 or even 10 just fine. If I were a size 7, I'd be swimming in these smalls.

Something to keep in mind: Merino does not stretch like acrylic or cotton. Some merino socks with decent amounts of nylon and lycra can be pretty stretchy, but socks made of all or mostly merino really don't stretch much compared to other socks. Keep that in mind ; )

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Lamarsh

Lamarshwrote a review of on December 10, 2013

5 5

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

I have owned two pairs of these for several years now, and have put them through dozens and dozens of full, strenuous days in the backcountry and still cannot notice ANY significant wear OR piling of the wool. I usually have to retire my wool hiking socks to the casual wear drawer after about a year because they lose thickness and wear a bit on some spots, but these are the first and only socks I've owned that have lasted well over 3 years and still are in active duty (not in the casual, retired drawer). They have outlasted numerous other pairs of socks which I've owned for a shorter period of time. So far, they are indestructible. Oooooooorah Darn Tough, oorah!

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Lamarsh

Lamarshwrote a review of on December 10, 2013

Wool terribly piled after a few wears
1 5

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

Overall: Sub par sock even for the SALE PRICE of $7-$8/pair, but I'd never pay the $18/pair ($36 per two pack) normal price for these. Also, the merino content on these is low, so, while they are are stretchy/comfy, their durability and technical properties is questionable vis-a-vis other brands/socks with a higher merino content. I originally gave them 3 stars because the normal price of $18/pair is way too much for something like this, and I already notice some piling of wool after only a half day of use, but now all four pairs are terribly piled after only a few wears.

Now for details. These are 75% merino-15% nylon-10% lycra. What does that mean to me? It means where they lack in durability, odor resistance and ability to dry fast, they gain in stretchiness and perhaps comfort. What should that mean to you? It should mean that these are excellent socks to start replacing your everyday cottons or acrylics, and are also adequate socks for day hikes and other outdoor activities, HOWEVER, they should stay in your drawer or truck when you're really packing out in the woods or backcountry. I prefer a higher percentage of merino for these endeavors, and I think rightfully so.

The quality is satisfactory for the sale price of around $7-8/pair, but the normal price says $36 for a two pack, a price which I would be dissatisfied to pay once I saw them. With just a half day of walking around, I can already notice the wool/material on the heels piling up--a result of less than 100% merino wool use, and/or simply low quality wool (wool is quality priced on the market by strand length). I think the former is the case here, but I can't rule out the latter. So, for around $7-$8 a pair, they're a fabulous everyday sock, but at $18 a pair, I recommend looking into a sock such as Darn Tough (I simply cannot destroy my Darn Toughs, I love them).

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Lamarsh

Lamarshwrote a review of on December 9, 2013

3 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: Runs large

These are great tees, but I do have one strange gripe with them. I picked up two of these Icebreaker tech tees as my first Icebreaker purchase about three months ago (can't remember if it was on BC.com or not), and then just recently bought a bunch more merino items (mostly base layer / long underwear type items). I noticed that all the new merino items I got from Icebreaker (through BC.com) were WAY softer than these two tech tees I bought about three months ago. I even had a few items that were also 150gm (the body fit boxers), and were much softer than these tech tees. I called Icebreaker to ask about this, and they actually said it should be the exact opposite, because the body fit boxers have some lycra in them, while the tech tees are 100% merino. Well, my tech tees must either be defective or the person I spoke with on the phone from Icebreaker is the one who has it backwards because my tech tees are without a doubt not close to as soft as the boxers, as well as the apex bottoms and even the heavier original half zip long-sleeve shirt. Now, has this bothered me? No, not really, until I realized how much softer the rest of Icebreaker's products are! I plan on trying the SmartWool NTS Microweight T-Shirt at some point, and if those puppies are also softer, then I'll have that "which shirts should I wear" / "some of my shirts are obsolete" conundrum, which is irritating given the cost of these merino items. But, all in all, my Icebreaker tech tees are not so rough as to be uncomfortable (just not as soft as all the other Icebreaker products) and I did get a chance to put them through the ringer, and they certainly have held up. They dry faster than anything else I've ever used, and seem very well made. I just don't understand this whole softness issue as compared to their other products.

As a note, I wrote that they run a bit large. To be more specific, I observe they run large in length, not so much in cut, which can be good for some uses.

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Lamarsh

Lamarshwrote a review of on December 7, 2013

2 5

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

I ordered these with several other items from Icebreaker. I was happy with everything from Icebreaker in this order, except the BodyFit boxer briefs. While the material is soft and very nice like the other Icebreaker items, and also seems to be made well, they are much shorter than they look in the pictures, and overall are too short for my comfort. I tried them on and wore them around the house only for a little bit and all they did was ride up crotch, so I'm returning them and ordering the Smartwool Microweight boxer briefs (if BC.com gets smalls in soon) because they look like they have longer legs. Also, what's with the giant tags INSIDE these boxer briefs? Who wants giant tags on the inside of boxers? I cut them off as soon as I got them, before I realized I wanted to return them, and now they are unfortunately "used" and all I could get was store credit (which is fine because I'll surely use it). BC.com was excellent with offering a return on this, as usual, which is greatly appreciated.

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Lamarsh

Lamarshwrote a review of on November 25, 2013

3 5

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

First, I will provide my short review of my own experience with these, then I want to address what I observe as some other reviewers missing the purpose of these gloves. These gloves fit nicely on my hand, and are a soft, thin merino that was very comfortable to wear as a glove liner beneath other gloves or mittens (I wore them under both this past weekend). I wore these for the first time this past weekend while hunting, and just noticed that there were tears in the stitching on BOTH of the gloves! I wore these for their intended purpose, as liners, not as outer layer gloves, so they were not expose to any harsh use at all. Of course, Backcountry.com was EXCELLENT in dealing with this problem--took them back, and are sending another pair because I decided to give this product one more try before I move on to another brand of merino glove liner. If they keep tearing like this along the seams, it will be unacceptable to me. Arc'teryx has always made EXTREMELY high quality gear, so this surprised me, and I'd like to give another pair a try. Will certainly update my review

Now, I wanted to secondly address what I observe to perhaps be a misunderstanding as to the purpose of these gloves. I do not think these are designed to be worn as only a glove with nothing over them. I think these gloves are designed to be liners, and that is why they are thin and free of reinforcement material, have extended wrist coverings, etc. I wore them only as liners, not as gloves, and they fit comfortably under a mid-weight pair of windstopper gloves and also fit nicely under a pair of heavy duty mittens.

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Lamarsh

Lamarshwrote a review of on October 30, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Just got these. Wanted down insulated pants for hunting in Michigan, and to pack up small on Colorado elk hunts. Haven't put these through the ringer yet, but they fit well, and seem to be made of decent quality. Can't really beat these for the price--most other down pants options are twice the cost of these or more. Not too baggy, but not too tight such that you can't fit a base layer and midweight layer underneath. They feel very light (in oz weight, not warmth), and they pack very nicely in the included drawstring stuff sack. I'd penalize a star or two ONLY IF these were priced much higher than $175 because these are relatively simply designed, they are not very technical, and corners were certainly cut in regards to quality (e.g., stitching); HOWEVER, for the price, they deserve all 5 stars for value upon first glance and trying them on. I will update this review after the hunting season, and perhaps also after this winter.

UPDATE> Wore them weekend of 11/23/2013, while hunting (sitting still for 4 hours) in 13 degree weather, and they kept my legs toasty!

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Lamarsh

Lamarshwrote a review of on October 30, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Plain and simple, these puppies are worth the $50. Naturally, it fits my Motha Hubba tent perfectly. It is quite thick and durable, but folds up nice and small and is not too heavy. It has eyelets for stakes, which is nice. It fits perfectly in the loose fitting/oversized stuff sack that came with my Motha Hubba, which I love! Not sure why MSR doesn't include these with their tents!

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Lamarsh

Lamarshwrote a review of on October 30, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: Runs small

These are great gloves, but are a bit thick for liners. I bought them to wear as everyday driving and around town gloves, and I love them! I wear a suit to work, and these are quite slick looking with a suit. I also use these while camping and as a backup glove on packing trips. Nonetheless, I would not order these to serve as your average glove liners--they are simply too thick. Can they be worn under big old mittens in the ultra cold, when you don't care about tactile dexterity? Sure : ) But don't buy these if you are looking for a liner to wear under your average glove--I recommend sticking to something much thinner, such as lightweight merino. But, in these gloves, where you lose in thin liner capabilities, you gain in durability--these puppies are super tough! Also, as for sizing, I usually wear a small in gloves, and my measurements matched up to a small for Mtn Hardware gloves; however, these smalls are a bit snug on me. I actually lost my first pair of these, and upon ordering a second pair (because I love them), I gave the mediums a try, but the mediums are way too big on me (fit ok around the hand/palm, but the fingers were too long). So, I suppose I'm somewhere between a small and medium, but the smalls fit me fine, just a little snug, which actually gets better over time as the wool stretches a bit.

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Lamarsh

Lamarshwrote a review of on October 30, 2013

2 5

I must preface this review and say that (1) I own several products from Icebreaker, and they are awesome, and (2) the quality of these gloves seems great, it was just a bizarre fit for me that caused a "webbed" finger problem between my ring and middle fingers. So, my two stars are not a shot at the quality of these gloves, nor a shot at Icebreaker (love them), rather it is simply a buyer beware of some strange fit. Anyways, I measured my hand and correctly ordered the small, which is what I wear in most all gloves. The gloves fit my hand well, and fit perfectly on my fingers EXCEPT the valley floor between the ring and middle finger on the gloves was about 1/3 of an inch higher than the actual valley floor between my ring and middle finger. I've never seen this problem before, and I own tons of gloves, thick and thin, and many liners as well. If you want to see EXACTLY what this looks like, look closely (use the zoom feature) at the picture here on Backcountry.com, it clearly shows that the person wearing the glove in the photo had the same problem, as you can see it creates a "webbed finger" situation between the ring and middle fingers. I had the same problem; however, a co-worker of mine with similar hand size tried these on and he did not have the same problem! So, it's just a matter of fit. Since I had this problem, and apparently so did the person modeling the gloves for the picture on this website, I figured I'd drop a "buyer beware" note. Otherwise, they seem to be great liners (soft, comfy merino that is thin enough for a liner and seems to be made well).

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