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Matt Z

Matt Z

Colorado, Pennsylvania, New England, Nebraska

Matt Z's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Climbing
Skiing
Yoga

Matt Z's Bio

A future ski/snowboard bum snatched up by the promises of higher education in ceramic sculpture. Rock'n Philly PA for two years while getting my MFA and getting outside when I can. I love a good sandwich, good beer, and my girlfriend and our dog Sue. oh yeah, and I like to geek out on gear.

Matt Z

Matt Zwrote a review of on July 16, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 0"
Weight: 175 lbs
Size Purchased: 32

From hiking and biking to the water, these are a great all arounder. Water, you say? Yep! With mesh-backed pockets I've used these at the lake and on the river with no issue at all. And as to your next question, yes they are perfectly comfortable going comando. The stretch in the fabric affords excellent comfort while keeping a trim profile too. I'm getting the pants next.

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Matt Z

Matt Zwrote a review of on October 19, 2018

Light Layer
4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 0"
Weight: 175 lbs

This is a lighter layer that a Patagonia R1 and it therefore breathes better. It's also more packable than the R1. It's a great travel piece or light layer under a shell. I am cautious about heavy use with a pack though because of the open face knit grid packing out. I have to say I also like the inclusion of the 'no slip zip' too.

I've abused my R1 for 8 years and it's still strong - I hope the Delta LT can do the same for me. Also, what am I supposed to put in this arm pocket? A chapstick?... Joke aside, it might be a little pricey for a light fleece but hey, Arc'teryx. True to Arc' size.

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Matt Z

Matt Zwrote a review of on October 19, 2018

Cerium LT Hoodie
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: Runs small
Height: 6' 0"
Weight: 175 lbs
Size Purchased: L

This is a very convenient insulator. Packs incredibly small, packs serious warmth, and so far is pretty durable for its weight. It looses a feather or two every time I compress /decompress which I'd rather not be the case. My model has a metal zipper which I find sticks a little lower down. It fits almost a solid size small. I am consistently a medium with Arc' but went with a larger here and am very happy.

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Matt Z

Matt Zwrote a review of on October 19, 2018

Abisko High Water Trouser
4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: Runs small
Height: 6' 0"
Weight: 175 lbs
Size Purchased: 48

I love everything about these pants except for that I find their articulation to be sub-par. Especially for a $150 pair of trousers. If I could go back I'd get the long option because every time I took a high step or even just sat down the cuff would raise up to my lower shin. Luckily it'€™s not a fashion show out there. Waist fits true.

Gripe out of the way, these are very well made and the fabric is really top notch. Incredibly breathable, quick drying, and durable. I was sure I'€™d have a hole in the knee on one slide I took only to find nothing at all. The vents are so nice, though maybe a light mesh inside would be polite rather than blinding innocent passers by with one's thighs.

Overall very capable high-water pants.

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Matt Z

Matt Zwrote a review of on October 19, 2018

Sturdy and Nimble
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 0"
Weight: 175 lbs
Size Purchased: 10.5

I spent 15 days living in these, 8 of which were trekking with a 25 pound pack 40 miles in and out of the Langtang Valley of the Nepal Himalaya. They are not a cushy shoe but are light and perfectly stiff, affording excellent stability for a nimble low top shoe. You'€™ll really feel rocks the diameter of a nickel and up, so on this rockier trail I was paying closer attention to foot placement than my ankle-high-clad compadres and felt the beating on our descents. To the shoe€™s' credit, I pushed it a little outside its intended terrain. My choice of a low top over a high was based on what I understood to be the groomed nature of this trail and ling days with a lighter pack and the weight savings paid off - especially summit day of Tsergo Ri, 4984 m. The non-GTX is also very breathable so I had no hot, soggy feet on our long days.

This Contragrip outsole blew me away. Crazy grip on wet and loose terrain. Great going up and down hill. I made a point not to look at the tread until we were out of the valley and to my surprise they looked nearly unscathed! the plastic chassis on the bottom and the foam on the sides however, did not fair so well - a testament to the Contra. I think a good deal of mileage are left in these. After punishing these a bit I think the fit does run slightly narrow, but also a hair long. There were periods where I felt as if my big toe was edging off the insole of the shoe, only to have it self-correct after a little while. Though not a textbook 'wide' I prefer a wider toe box (I run in Altras) but these are very comfortable. The lacing system is something to get used to, requiring some adjusting throughout the day, but overall I am stoked and feel like these are priced fairly for what you get. Definitely a Salomon fan.

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Matt Z

Matt Zwrote a review of on August 13, 2018

Kinda hard to beat...
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I just returned from several days living in this puppy climbing the Crestones in CO and had to finally review it. It's really a great little tent for the price. Swap the stakes with some MSR mini groundhog, make yourself a footprint from some TyVek, and you have a sweet, snug, light little option here. I'm 6 foot and about 180 lbs and find to be be about perfect with room at my head and feet for loose small gear and enough coverage from the rain fly to shelter my daypack, boots, helmet, other etc items. The two small interior pockets hold small things, and I really like the roof vent too for those afternoon rain sessions which can sometimes het boggy. It'd be nice if it were free-standing, but hey, my brother's Big Agnes single costs three times the Spitfire and claims to do so but can't really unless it's set up in a windless garage. If you're cool with the basics and are on a budget(wait for the sale), look no further. Pardon my upper thigh shot.

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Matt Z

Matt Zwrote a review of on August 13, 2018

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This a great quality, great value. They're very light and compact, but the lightness comes at the moderate expense of durability. The pot can bend even with the bowls inside it. It can be bent back, however, but worth note. I also find the rubber seal on the pot's lid to come loose now and again. Nitpicking aside, I love this set. It heats fast and cleans wonderfully. Goes great with their spatula!

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Matt Z

Matt Zwrote a review of on July 13, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 0"
Weight: 175 lbs
Size Purchased: M

I've had the non-hooded version of this jacket for a few years and find it incredibly versatile for its lightness, packability, and light yet breathable protection. I use if often in cool conditions where my output is medium and consistent like long summer days moving through the alpine. It is prone to snags, but I have taken a couple spills with not tearing. I will absolutely pick up the hoody when I can.

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Matt Z

Matt Zwrote a review of on May 24, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: Runs large
Height: 6' 0"
Weight: 185 lbs
Size Purchased: 32

These are the high quality comfort you expect from Prana. I find the fit slightly baggier in the crotch and waist than I expected. I believe this to a be a result of the style of pant. They are comfy and stylish and above all will perform excellently. A new favorite - very highly recommended!

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Matt Z

Matt Zwrote a review of on May 22, 2018

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: Runs large
Height: 6' 0"
Weight: 175 lbs

These seem like excellent boots for cold weather, but to what extent, I cannot yet say. The insulation seems hearty, but the outer is very mesh-like(though tough) so it is hard to anticipate the true warmth of these. Quality is top notch and I look forward to using them in the alpine. Size down 1/2 size as recommended by the Millet website and the sizing chart. I did and they're spot on.

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Matt Z

Matt Zwrote a review of on April 9, 2018

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 0"
Weight: 175 lbs
Size Purchased: Medium

Super light with good venting options - the single leg full zip cuts weight while retaining a modest function of the common alpine feature. As typical with Arc', the light weight doesn't appear to directly correlate to a more fragile product. Though the legs are shorter than a competitor like Patagonia, the articulation is top notch and the legs don't ride up at all with full motion or while kneeling. The medium is almost verging on too small for me, but they serve their purpose just fine without sacrificing comfort or usability. The leg openings are very wide to accommodate ski boots (obviously) and are also very stiff because of the bomber fabrics (wisely chosen of course), but this makes them a poor crossover option for other activities like mountaineering unless you dig the bell bottom look or are cool with putting gaiters on (they are of course sport specific, I just like the option). Overall a great choice and value buy Arc' standards.

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Matt Z

Matt Zwrote a review of on April 6, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 0"
Weight: 175 lbs
Size Purchased: 10.5

These are my first pair of Altra running shoes and I'm super happy. (I purchased the casual Vali earlier in the year and the feel and quality convinced me to give Altra a shot as my runner) The cushioning is generous, but I feel no compromise of stability or control. The toe cap is quite rigid, however. I notice this while walking, but not running. I generally run short to mid distances solely for training so I can't speak to how this feature might affect a long haul. I have consistently gone with 11 in brooks in the past, but the wide toe box here allows me to go with my usual casual shoe or boot size of 10.5.

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Matt Z

Matt Zwrote a review of on April 6, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: Runs small
Height: 6' 0"
Weight: 175 lbs
Size Purchased: L

Generally comfortable in a medium, but occasionally a large, I had to go with a large here. The fabric and collar/ hood shine. I'd say that the fabric weight is somewhere between light and medium, and is oh so smooth against the skin. The collar sits up over the chin excellently while the hood is down and the hood slides up and stays put effortlessly, so don't fear the lack of a draw cord - I actually really appreciate their absence. It's a new favorite, though having the opportunity to score it on good sale certainly helps my opinion as a nearly $150 non technical piece would be hard to justify.

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Matt Z

Matt Zwrote a review of on January 17, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: Runs large
Height: 6' 0"
Weight: 175 lbs

I upgraded to the SV from the AR for the additional coverage. This jacket is easy to love. Longer back length and hood to keep out the worst weather. It is much roomier in the body than a standard Medium for me. This is exactly what I wanted to allow for more generous layering.
The fabric is smoother and seems lighter than my four year old AR. It is very packable and provides excellent protection. I slid over a small rock glissading on my recent alpine outing. In despair, at the bottom of the slide I searched the rear of the jacket for the hole that must have resulted to find not even a mark. Another unbreakable piece by Arc'teryx.

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Matt Z

Matt Zwrote a review of on January 14, 2018

Live'n in it
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 0"
Weight: 175 lbs
Size Purchased: Medium

I'm pleased with the balance this jacket strikes between warm and breathable. If the wind picks up you're feeling it, but a shell greatly increases its warmth. I recently wore this piece up La Plata peak(Colorado 14er) in January. Aside from a down vest on stops and shell at the top I wore this alone over a silk weight capilene tee for a solid 5 hours of aerobic climbing. Temperatures fluctuated between 10 in the morning to maybe 35 in the hight of the day in the sun. Much colder above 14,000 with wind but that's where the shell came out. On the move it was really easy to open the zip in the heat of the sun and pull the hood up when the wind blew. Sweating the whole time and the Nano handled it as promised. If it weren't a small fortune I'd buy another. I just wish it were a little more durable. It took tree branches fine, but I have several pulls in the fabric after half a season's use. Impressive DWR! Overall an easy 5*!

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