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Matthew J.

Matthew J.

Matthew J.

Matthew J.wrote a review of on October 20, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Ive started developing sport routes and this had been a very critical component for getting the job done and feeling safe while doing it. This thing has a sheath that will last. I'm really curious what kind of abuse the other reviewer put it through to have had sheath issues, but I've seen mine in a very bad spot and come out with minimal scuffs. Based on what I've seen from this static line I dont think I'll be trying anyone else's. Feels great, and 100m of rope on your pack is not bone crushing.

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Matthew J.

Matthew J.wrote a review of on September 21, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Well, after using these, I'd say that you cant go wrong with either, both are extremely nice, easy to clip/clean, and weigh next to nothing. If I had to really separate them though, the DMM is better handling, being slightly smaller with an arch on the spine, and has a slightly lighter gate spring which seems a tiny bit easier to clip. The DMM also has a stronger overall rating at 23, 7, 9 vs Black Diamond 20, 7, 7. So, everything going for the Alpha Light, but it's more expensive. So, honestly, get whichever is cheaper when you need them becasue you cant go wrong with either. The color options for the Alpha Light, without having to buy the rack pack is the main selling point for me though.

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Matthew J.

Matthew J.wrote a review of on August 10, 2018

Best Slings on the Market
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Seems like Edelrid has become the industry leader in gear innovation. This sling being a great example. Everything I have from this company has been exceptionally well made and uniquely superior to comparable gear. The tech web is strong, light, and is my favorite sling for extendable draws because of the way it handles and doesnt get awkwardly twisted when racking. I will be getting different lengths of these very soon.

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Matthew J.

Matthew J.wrote a review of on July 18, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This is my first choice for all my climbing except edging. I prefer these to the Hiangle or Miura XX/VS on anything requiring smears, toe jams, supple placements in pockets and other features, and even technical vert routes in the 5.11 and under range. I like how soft they are once they get truly broken in, they'll fold around the shape of your foot, or however much you can wedge and poke in some hold. Smeadging is a thing. I highly recommend them and would offer more than anything, they're just plain fun to climb in, they're super sticky and soft.

Sizing- All 5.10 I've found to be my street shoe size or a half below. I'm a 10.5 street shoe, 42 in La Sportiva Miura, and I get 10.5's for a comfortable snug fit in both Hiangle and Mocc's, and 10 for a tighter 'performance' fit. I do not reccomend these to be fit overly tight, it would completely defeat the point, plus the leather is not durable enough to take major stretching during the on off process. Besides, they're not great edging shoes anyways, and your shoe won't stretch much if it fits well from the beginning, so don't go 1&1/2 sizes down like some people say. You'll just end up with a hole in your shoes.

Oh and you may have to return one or more because of faulty leather. Mine that got returned looked really fuzzy compared to the good one

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Matthew J.

Matthew J.wrote a review of on July 1, 2018

Solid and safe but needed a modification
4 5

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

My main issue with this harness is the sizing of the leg loops. I have 22 1/2" thighs, which falls in the medium size range, but there is a small elastic keeper piece that makes tightening the leg loops all the way down impossible, which makes the loops too big even when all the way tight. With the keeper, there's about an inch or more left to tighten down. I called Petzl and they recommended me trying a fix before sending it back, and luckily it worked. You have to remove the entire loop from the double back buckle and slide the elastic piece through to where it sits on the outside between the double back, then tighten all the way down. Check out the picture to see what I mean. A Petzl Rep told me I could cut the eleastic keeper off carefully after I tried the fix to make sure it would get small enough.

As for a proper review, this harness is going to be my winter harness and a backup for sport climbing. I also have a Metolius Safe Tech Deluxe (which is so comfortable and burly), and the Adjama is certainly not as comfortable to hang in or belay in, though it's a lot lighter and cooler, and easier to walk around in. Perks for me over the Metolius is the extra gear loop in the back, it's thin light weight construction, and nice packability meaning it's going to work great for any winter climbing that I do.

I'd recommend this harness, especially because the fix for the leg loops is so easy. Takes about 2 minutes or less per side.

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Matthew J.

Matthew J.wrote a review of on November 26, 2017

Perfect Length for Quad PAS w/ figure8's
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This cord has been a huge part of my sport climbing rack. I used the full 6.4m length to make a Quad PAS made with a triple fisherman's knot, triple loop stoppers, and the figure 8 knots. I'm 6' and the 6.4m comes out to a very comfortable length for attaching to the anchors, testing my weight on rappel, and removing. So glad I bought this instead of a daisy chain. The peace of mind knowing I have four separate 19kn ropes attaching me to the anchors has been extremely comforting. I would buy this again if I ever get into anchor building for trad climbing, or when this PAS needs replacing.

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Matthew J.

Matthew J.wrote a review of on November 23, 2017

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

...but the materials look and feel as thin as possible, making it SUPER lightweight and very compressible, but 'may' not be the most durable over the long haul. Don't get me wrong, this is a well made bag, it's just the designers were shooting for LIGHT, and they succeeded. If this lasts as long as my Caddy, then this thing is 5 stars without a doubt.

The design itself is amazing. It's 30 seconds or less to pack a rope and be on the move. The Caddy Light ends up laying flat once it's open, unlike the Caddy, which forms a bucket because of its rigid materials.

Great bag, and if I had a crystal ball and could tell that it was durable over the next long while, I'd have given it 5 stars. Would recommend to anyone looking to save space and weight and also wants the unique "bucket" design. And btw, it does not come with a padded strap like the description claims.

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Matthew J.

Matthew J.wrote a review of on November 23, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

First off, this bag is amazing. It is made from super heavy duty material and feels like it's going to last for 10 years or more. The bottom feels puncture proof at the crag, and the sides are nearly the same. The trade off is that it's a little heavy, and it doesn't squash into a pack as easy as the Caddy Light does. I am able to put this in the top of my 55L pack, leaving room for everything else at the bottom.

The design is genius. It takes 30 seconds or less to pack up and move spots to a new climb. My favorite part is that when your belay stance is not ideal, you can leave the rope fully in the bag and it's like having the rope in a bucket, creating a super compact area to pull from.

I highly recommend this if you don't mind a little extra weight, and you want something that is going to outlast 10 ropes.

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Matthew J.

Matthew J.wrote a review of on November 16, 2017

Must have Biner for Sport Climbers
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

If a picture is worth a thousand words, I'll keep it short so you can gaze. All you need to know is this thing is the main component to an UltraLight Top Rope Anchor alpine draw set. I highly recommend this setup, it will last forever, and I can't stress enough how lightweight these are. This is made from all Edelrid products: the BulletProof biners on the bottom, 12mm x 60cm Tech web sling between, and the Pure Locking Carabiner on the bolt hangers (Lockers totally optional). Also, the Bulletproof biners are really easy to clip.

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Matthew J.

Matthew J.wrote a review of on November 16, 2017

BEAST!!!!!!
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

This has to be the most serious carabiner on the market. It's ratings are ridiculous, 32kn x 12kn x 12kn. It's also lightweight, but rather large, equivalent to the BD Rock Lock, so, more appropriate for anchor building, or using on belays or rappels. DMM has become my favorite for all-things bomber. Between this, and the Sentinel, DMM has bomber lockers covered.

Photo shows a side by side with the BD RockLock for comparison.

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Matthew J.

Matthew J.wrote a review of on November 12, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

First off, I want to say that without the awesome Backcountry.com's return policy, I would have sent this back right away. When I first tried this helmet on, I thought the weird rubber band that keeps the strap's lose end cinched down was very confusing, frustrating, and was causing me trouble getting it to fit correctly. After messing with it, I actually ended up breaking the useless rubber band and everything was all good. With the ability to try this helmet out while climbing, I was able to tell after a couple of trips that this thing is wonderfully designed and is very comfortable over the course of a long day climbing. I don't wear this all day like an alpinist , but do have it on for every climb and at every belay and it never once felt uncomfortable.

Obviously the appeal is that it collapses and packs well, and it does that nicely. This thing takes up very little space in my pack; it sits on the very side of the pack, top out. It is also very easy to use and I haven't had any issues with either opening or closing it down. With it's comfort and obvious durability (hard shell), hopefully Edelrid sees success with this helmet and keeps innovating and improving the design because I hope to buy another in the future when this one wears out.

Overall Grade: Solid A

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Matthew J.

Matthew J.wrote a review of on October 13, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

The Miura VS has to be one of the best climbing shoes ever made, and the XX is even better. They're slightly less volume, slightly firmer, and have laces, which I prefer. These are great for sport climbing as they edge really well, and are the perfect balance of being aggressive and comfortable. Compared to the VS, I like the tongue of the XX better, it's a full length, free moving tongue with a lot of padding, versus the thin stationary tongue of the VS. The VS is a 10/10 and the XX is an 11/10

I'm very sad that these are not a regular model and are a limited edition. Im thinking about grabbing another pair to put in storage, but maybe the XXX will be even sexier.

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Matthew J.

Matthew J.wrote a review of on September 2, 2017

5 5

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

These shoes are exceptional. If I was recommending a pair of shoes to a beginner, it would be this pair. The reasoning? 1) They are incredibly comfortable, even in a snug fit, which is huge for being at the gym CLIMBING, and not sitting on a bench with your shoes off. 2) They have very firm rubber, which might not seem critical, but for a new climber without tough, strong feet, it's great. 3) They catch and hold the tiniest foot holds and edges, which immediately boosted my confidence and ability, allowing me to stand on almost anything with ease. Those three factors alone are why beginners should have these.

In addition, I could literally wear these all day, they are the perfect fit. My toes aren't curled up, but are touching the end of the shoe when my heel is smashed all the way to the back. There's absolutely ZERO gaps. The laces are great and can be cranked down if you prefer an overly tight fit. The last feature that I wish was on every climbing shoe is the mid cut. I like having my ankles covered and protected. There is no restriction that I can tell by having this. ALSO, they are very breathable and stay pretty cool. I sweat a lot, so this is really nice.

Street Shoe- Nike 10.5 -Super comfy, with a little room in the front

La Sportiva TC Pro- 43 - PERFECT FIT, toes are flat, but have no room for movement. They were comfortable from day 1 and have only gotten better. They've actually molded themselves to my foot.

Miura XX- 42 - Super snug, SUPER comfortable, easy to get on, pretty aggressive, but I can wear them in comfort for a couple hours. Best shoes of all time for all the reasons climbing shoes are good: Edging, Comfort, Stickyness, etc.

Miura VS-42- Very Comfortable, but not a huge fan of the fixed tongue like the Geniuses have, much prefer the XX's. These shoes are the basis for the best shoe ever, so yeah, they're great.

La Sportiva Genius - 43.5 - Toes curled initially, and were VERY painful til they broke in. Now they feel fine and could easily be a 43. I use these for overhangs, which the TC Pro's aren't the best at.

Evolve Shaman- 10/43- VERY long and painful break in, but I dont think I'd like them if they didn't fit as perfectly as they do now. Very comfortable because of the soft linsides, but they're super aggressive and I can only wear them for an hour max. I usually only need a couple minutes of rest and then good for another hour.

5.10 Lace ups (can't remember the name, but they looked like the Anasazi) - 45 - Way too tight, could only take 3 or 4 boulder problems with them.

Evolv Rentals - 10.5 - Flat toes, super comfy, but snug.

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