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Matt Schroer

Matt Schroer

, Gearhead

Salt Lake City, Utah

Matt Schroer's Passions

Biking
Paddling
Fly Fishing
Hiking & Camping
Climbing
Skiing

Matt Schroer's Bio

A little bit about me: I was raised in the rolling hills of Kentucky and learned to appreciate the great outdoors on my Grandpa's 100+ acres. I moved to Utah in 2010 to study biology and explore the mountains, and I've never looked back! I'm an avid ski patroller in the winter, and mountain biker, backpacker, river runner, climber, and fisherman in the summer. Feel free to contact me at mschroer@backcountry.com or 801-523-4046 if you have any questions!

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Matt Schroer

Matt Schroerwrote a review of on April 19, 2019

kicks that make me feel old again
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 1"
Weight: 175 lbs
Size Purchased: 11

Too many shoes on the market these days with flashy colors, fancy doo-dads, and over the top engineering. Sometimes, I just want to put on some comfy sneakers with a classic look, and feel like I'm acting my age. Used to wear 574s in high school and college back in the early aughts, and these are a good throw back to the originals I used to wear. Old soul approved.

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Matt Schroer

Matt Schroerwrote a review of on April 19, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

In the outdoor recreation world, there are lots of choices, typically, and analysis paralysis is a real thing. Not so when it comes to boat straps. These are the gold standard. Use the thicker ones for frames on rafts, otherwise these 1 inch straps will do the job for just about everything else. I use a 1 footer for keeping high use items (pumps, waterproof boxes) close by and handy on my canoe and kayaks, and longer straps for securing gear. The 9, 12, and 20 lengths are great for strapping boats on top of the ol subaru. Last forever, and the name tag is a nice touch for sorting them out from your buddies after a long haul down the river.

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Matt Schroer

Matt Schroerwrote a review of on April 19, 2019

3 5

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

I used these once or twice when bouldering, and I felt OK in them. They aren't bad shoes, but I also didn't feel that "wow" factor that I've felt in other shoes I've owned and tried in the past. I use TC Pros as my main workhorse in the intermountain west, and it could be that coming from TCs, few shoes will live up to the expectations I have developed. These Aspect shoes do feel well made, so that is a good thing to point out. Overall, a fine shoe that will get you up the rock, but I think there are better options out there for trad shoes.

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Matt Schroer

Matt Schroerwrote a review of on April 15, 2019

Pin Bindings Are Not Dead
4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

With the advent of the Shift binding and other hybrid tech systems (i.e., Kingpin, Tecton, etc.), many may be left wondering if true tech pin bindings have seen their heyday in the wild mountains. I'm here to tell you to not believe the hype, just yet. Sure, the new bindings are great feats of engineering, and probably work very well for a limited range of objectives (example: the mythical skiing unicorn known as the 50/50 resort/touring one ski quiver that does it all better than any other ski set up out there), but for pure touring and skimo objectives, having something fast, dependable, straightforward and lightweight will always win out. Enter the Salomon MTN/Atomic Backland Tour bindings (they are essentially same same but different).

I have the brakeless version mounted on some Blizzard Zero G 95s (pretty sick set up IMO), so I cannot speak about brakes here. As for the other features, I think it's pretty hard to find such a lightweight and reasonably priced workhorse that has as many neat things. The boot guide on the toe piece is great - I'm no stranger to pin bindings, but let's face it, we all struggle to step in at times. Granted, I've only stepped in a handful of times, but so far I'm 100% successful. That's pretty neat. The heel pins rotate independently of the walk mode risers (see top binding in photo), so you get a true flat, 7*, and 13* heel assist without having to rotate the heel piece into multiple positions. That's pretty neat. 30mm of rear adjustment for different boots. That's pretty neat. Just a hair over 10oz a binding with the leashes. That's pretty neat. Multiple heel pins for different skier abilities/body-weights. Again, pretty neat. Standard (aka Dynafit-style) crampon compatible. Just so neat. Unlike the Shift and Kingpin, I can go straight from hike mode to ski mode without taking off the skis - just rotate the heel pins, step in, rip skins, and send. SO NEAT.

OK. One thing I've found a little tough: locking the toe pins for skinning and then changing into ski mode at the top of the hike. The toe lever simply requires more force to move into its different positions than what I am used to, so I've struggled to do this well/fluidly with my ski pole. It may just take a little breaking in and getting used to, but right now I'm just using my hand to make sure I'm locked for skinning, and then unlocked for the descent.

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Matt Schroer

Matt Schroerwrote a review of on April 11, 2019

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

After losing a pair of these a few years back, I tried some less expensive Dakine gloves (the Coverts, I believe). I'm happy to be back to the Cross-X. The Coverts were fine enough, but not having a velcro strap at the wrist to ensure a good fit led to some blisters on longer rides. The Cross-X is noticeably more comfortable, has a better/tighter fit, and I love the extra padding and protection in important areas. Not the cheapest glove out there, but also not the most expensive. I think you get what you pay for - in this case, a solid enduro/trail glove that offers the right amount of comfort and protection for most applications. For reference, my hands measure 20.5 cm/8 inches from base of palm to tip of middle finger, and the size Large is a dialed fit.

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Matt Schroer

Matt Schroerwrote a review of on April 11, 2019

So I got this going for me which is nice
4 5

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

I'm new to water bottle cages. In the past, I've always just suffered without water, carried a small nalgene in my pack, or used a reservoir. Still a bit unsure about this whole water bottle/cage thing - so at such a cheap price, I figured I'd get this caddy so that my cage wouldn't be a complete waste. I can fit a spare 700cc tube in this, plus my tire levers, and a multi tool. There's still room in there for a small energy bar (or I think a CO2 canister would still fit, too - I use a small pump, which I can't store in this). I like that all that stuff is neatly contained in a more rigid package than a tool roll or pouch. If it's not in the cage, it's easy to throw in my pack, or even a jersey pocket. It's nice to have options going...

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Matt Schroer

Matt Schroerwrote a review of on April 11, 2019

My Goat Herd is Growing
4 5

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

The number of things I own with goats on it is starting to get ridiculous. I still don't regret this purchase, though! Great little water bottle at an affordable price point. Love representing the goat on every trail that I ride. I saw an earlier review that stated the bottle leaks when not upright. I tested this last night and did not see any leakage when held upside down for a long period of time. Perhaps it has been fixed or it was a bad batch fluke. A nice feature not apparent in the specs or pictures is that there is a sliver of clear plastic that runs from top to bottom which allows you to make a quick visual check on how much H2O you have left. I will put the "landing on its feet" claim to test more over the spring and summer :)

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Matt Schroer

Matt Schroerwrote a review of on April 10, 2019

Solid choice for a DIY medical kit
4 5

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

As an EMR, I like to carry a fairly extensive first aid kit whenever I ski, bike, hike, climb, etc. After putting those skills to good use a number of times, I've realized that some situations/activities do not require my full kit, which is large and hard to pack. So, I am in the process of building a second, more streamlined kit that can fit good medical supplies in a smaller pack. Since I'm not a fan of pre-built med kits (I'm sorry, but they are usually made with cheap and hokey materials/equipment), I was in search of a good organizer. I use Conterra organizers for my trauma kits (excellent organizers, by the way), but they were overkill for this application. This OR backcountry organizer is perfect for the job, plus it comes in a nice red color. Several different pockets, holders, and dividers for things like tape, wire splints, prewrap, gauze, alcohol prep, anti-septic, shears, steri-strips, large bandages, cravats, a small pocket mask, gloves, etc. etc. etc. The #2 size is going to be perfect for my Osprey Raptor 15 cycling pack. Time will tell on the durability, but it seems well built, yet still lightweight.

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Matt Schroer

Matt Schroerwrote a review of on April 10, 2019

Holds things
4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

This is a nice cage. It holds my water bottle or my Lezyne flow caddy storage bottle. My enduro bike only has room for a cage on the downtube, so I like having the left handed version. This allows me to keep my dominant (right) hand on the bars and use the rear brakes if I need to while trying to hydrate on the fly. I dig the purple color!

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Matt Schroer

Matt Schroerwrote a review of on March 29, 2019

Blizzard Wizard Magic
4 5

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

I've been trending back to "skinnier" skis lately, and decided I wanted a ~95mm waisted, spring touring set up. After much research, I ended up pulling the trigger on these skis. I paired them with Atomic's Backland Tour binding (which, so far, has proven to be a very good touring binding).

First, these things are crazy light. Something like 2lbs 14oz for one ski in length 178cm. What's even crazier to me, though, is how stout they are at that weight. These are a stiff ski. The tip and tail are noticeably stiffer than those on the Atomic Backland 95 skis. Like...way more stiff.

I've only used these a few times mostly on some refrozen death chop (so, really ideal testing conditions), but my initial impressions are: 1) I can't even feel them under my boot. Hiking is a breeze. 2) Edge hold is fantastic. I did some jump turns just because, and they are super easy to throw around due to their lightness, and the edges grip instantly. 3) On the little bit of soft groomer I put them on, they were awesome.

I think as a spring touring/skimo ski they are going to be perfect. I chose them mainly for their weight and stiffness, and for their ability to get me down whatever I choose to drop into. I think they'll rise to the occasion. More to follow once I use them more...

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Matt Schroer

Matt Schroerwrote a review of on March 13, 2019

4 5

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

A fun ski to use on the piste and short jaunts off of it. Thanks to a lightweight construction of paulownia and carbon, it's a very nimble ski. The 95 waist makes it quite snappy from edge to edge. I wouldn't grab for this ski on any kind of powder day, but if you happen to find some leftovers, it will suffice. It did pretty good in the bumps and trees thanks to it's nimbleness. Overall a solid choice for a dedicated resort skier who spends most of their time on the groomed runs.

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Matt Schroer

Matt Schroerwrote a review of on February 28, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I have two pairs of these mounted up on my 88 on piste carvers and 106 all mountain set up for the softer days. Used both for about 2-3 years now. Both set to ~8 or 9 on the DIN. As a mere skiing mortal, I'd say I charge pretty hard on these. I clock in from 50-70 mph regularly on the 88s, and seek steep and deep with the 106s. Never have had any issue with what would be a catastrophic pre-release at the speeds I go. They've ejected me when I downright needed to be ejected (hey, it happens). They just work. And they aren't too heavy. And they are pretty darn cheap for what you get. Plus, colors. You shouldn't second guess a purchase of these! Now, get out and rip!

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Matt Schroer

Matt Schroerwrote a review of on February 26, 2019

3 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

A trend I've noticed in the ski glove world the last few years is to try to offer/mimic a glove similar to the legendary budget-friendly Kincos you see most ski patrollers and lifties wearing. It's hard to go wrong with leather and a little bit of insulation. These ridge gloves get the job done on most days, but you'll want to reach for something warmer on the colder days. I love their simplicity. They seem to be durable enough for 2 seasons of hard use (50+ days). But to be honest, I'll do my wallet a favor and stick with Kincos in the future, as I really don't see anything different except for the name on the glove and the price tag...

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Matt Schroer

Matt Schroerwrote a review of on February 26, 2019

4 5

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

Noticed my ski pants and jackets, which are all 5-10 years old at this point (+1 to Patagonia ski clothing), weren't beading moisture as well as they have in the past. Figured I should finally wash them with a restore solution like everyone has been telling me. Fine. I'll do it. So, I picked up some of this granger wash, followed the instructions, and BOOM - practically like new, again. Not sure if any technical wash will fully restore any of my waterproof tech wear (which I beat to hell and back), but this did a great job. I've noticed moisture beading up, and I'm noticeably more comfortable on those deep Wasatch days. Looking forward to using this on my summer waterproof gear in the spring.

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Matt Schroer

Matt Schroerwrote a review of on February 21, 2019

3 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Nothing fancy here - these tubes just work. Removable valve core means I can put a little sealant in the tubes, which really helps fight the goat heads we get at certain times of the year here in Utah. Price is right.

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Matt Schroer

Matt Schroerwrote a review of on February 12, 2019

3 5

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

I tested these for a day in a full on storm. We had 3 inches sitting at 9am, and 9 more inches fell during the day. Some of my favorite conditions to ski, so that could be part of the reason I had so much fun on these.
Pros: on the fresh, soft snow, these things were very fun. Lots of camber to pop in and out of turns, and the HRZN tip and tails meant this 100mm waisted ski did just fine in the ~foot of fresh. I imagine these skis would be really fun on spring corn. The 100mm waist was easy to put on edge (I think 100mm is ideal for an all-rounder ski out west). The graphics, IMO, are really sharp. Lightweight and a joy to swing.
Cons: The poplar wood core, while good for being lively in and out of turns, is not very stable at higher speeds. The few times I tried to open it up on later afternoon groomers, I could feel it give way a bit under me. Not very damp. On one run, I purposely rode fast off the groomer into a deeper side stash, and I almost went for a bad ride - the skis absorbed very little of the impact. Not really the ski's fault, but I need something damper for my riding style. Durability - I only tested the ski for a day, but I've heard a couple reports of the bases being prone to core shots.
Overall: a fun, affordable ski for hero snow. I'd enjoy having it in my quiver, but not as a daily driver. I think with some tweaks next season, Atomic may have a true winner in a skinnier version of the traditional Bent Chetler.

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Matt Schroer

Matt Schroerwrote a review of on February 12, 2019

4 5

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

A solid skiing helmet. The fit is super comfortable, and the lining is great at keeping your noggin' warm. Thankfully didn't have to put it to the true test of a helmet, but I'm sure it would do it's intended job in case of an accident. The blue color is really, really sharp. I agree with Nic's review that the vents do allow cold air to come through - thankfully I almost always wear a Blackstrap balaclava under my helmet on colder days, which prevents my brain from freezing.

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