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Michael B.

Michael B.

Michael B.

Michael B.wrote a review of on March 13, 2019

As bomber as it gets!
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 7"
Weight: 135 lbs
Size Purchased: medium

This jacket is pretty dang winterproof. I was pleasatnly dry and more than warm after spending a few hours in the backyard at the cabin during a beast of a storm. The amount of pockets on this jacket will leaving you wanting more things to shove in it, and the fur lined hood is great for catching the wind and pupil aimed snowflakes. If you are expecting extreme weather and want to prepare for battle, this is your jacket. It's got some serious weight to it, in a good way that confirms its quality.

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Michael B.

Michael B.wrote a review of on September 25, 2018

My go to puffer
5 5

If you have me the choice between this and say the Arcteryx Cerium, I would choose this, even if they were the same price. I’ve had this jacket for some time now, and after testing the hooded arc cerium out (850 fill and lighter) I would still choose this over any jacket I’ve owned, tested, or borrowed from a friend. It’s 750 fill may not be considered the lightest, but it honestly is pretty damn light for me, and any “extra” weight is well used with the Pertex fabric on the exterior and hydrophobic down. The exterior is very durable for its thickness and has never had an issue with water so far (although I haven’t tried to soak it). There have been times when I have a fly rod in hand and am heading down to the water and get caught on some prickles or a branch, and there are still no signs of wear on this bad boy after plenty of use. I never leave home to the mountains without it, and wear it frequently around town. It’s got a great fit, doesn’t overheat due to poor breathability and has the perfect draft tube baffling behind the snag free zipper. It out performs its price on my opinion and is very comfy. Performs great under a Shell in winter if you need some extra protection from winds. The hooded version is also a solid choice and features an excellent good and visor.

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Michael B.

Michael B.wrote a review of on September 25, 2018

Just buy it
5 5

If you need a packable but comfortable blanket for the car camping bin this is your blanket. If you need an extra layer of warmth to stuff in your bag or cuddle with bæ in the backcountry, this too is your blanket. And if you need to improvise a dog bowl because you forgot your pups with your camera battery at home, this water down package is also your blanket. I’m obviously a fan of this blanket, and that’s because it goes where others can’t, including my living room couch. I love the sleeping bag feel, true down warmth, lightweight stuffable size. You know those half sized hard walled bear canisters? The clear ones? Yea I stuffed this in one once the food was gone and it was just trash. This is what you’ve been missing when you want to keep using a lighter weight and more packable sleeping bag when you don’t want to bring the ° or 15° bag, or just bring it alone in the summer when it’s warm enough at night to ditch the zip ups all together.

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Michael B.

Michael B.wrote a review of on September 25, 2018

Will never cheat on this pad w/ another
5 5

Clocking in at four inches thick, under a pound, compact and durable? Can’t be real....but it is. This piece of gear will help you get off the couch and stop complaining about sleeping problems, being too cold or having to use the aspirin for your back the next day. Always keeps me warm by itself ( but always use a foam pad with any inflatable in the winter) and has held up for the past year in all seasons and surfaces. No more bruised hips from thin pads, and it’s not crinkly or loud. You get your moneys worth and them some. Even enjoy the feel of the fabric.

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Michael B.

Michael B.wrote a review of on September 25, 2018

5 5

I’ve had this pad for about a year now and would choose it again without thinking twice. It is very light, very compact especially for its fabric durability and thickness, and an unheard of 4 inches thick! Yes, FOUR INCHES. At less than a pound for the regular size. I never worry about being too cold, or bruising my hips from the ground, or being uncomfortable for any reason pad related. In the winter, like any inflatable pad, you are going to want to put a foam pad underneath to insulate you from snow or frozen ground. Other than that, you’re solid and will never have to worry about this bad little package of lime green comfort. No issues with the inflate/deflate valves, and it holds up against thought California granite .you get your money’s worth with this pad and will be very happy . I have heard someone say they wished it was wider as it comes in at 20 inches , but I’m good.

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Michael B.

Michael B.wrote a review of on September 25, 2018

Perfect
5 5

I can’t think of a better 3 weight tent for most non winter environments. It is sturdy and handles wind well, has great architecture and living space considering it’s weight, interior space and pack size, breathes very well, and seems relatively durable for such lightweight fabric. With two average sized humans on the big agnes q core Slx regular length pads, we put a thermarest zlite pad (the accordion type) for our two dogs, stretched full length going width wise near the entrance of the tent. With our pads against the back wall, the foam pad fits perfectly between the space left from the our pillows to the door . There is still plenty of room on either side of us to store extra layers and accessories with the dogs at the front of tent. The only thing it’s not best for is car camping when you can afford a larger and heavier tent , and save your tent floor for the treks.i chose this over the tiger wall because it is less dependent on using stakes for the pitch.without staking it in, it is still freestanding but loses some of its interior living space due to a unique reason. The mesh on the tent actually clips onto loops on the rainfly at two points half way up the interior wall. These points are then able to be staked our to literally pull the mesh outwards, expanding the interior living quarters by a discernible amount that is very much wackiness . You’ll be hard pressed to find something that is this light, freestanding and can fit this many bodies without going down to an ultra light tarp rig. Oh, and the pockets rock on the inside.

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Michael B.

Michael B.wrote a review of on September 25, 2018

Sturdy and packable
5 5

For a non lightweight/ultralight class weight tent, it packs down pretty small and has a great weight for a 3 person tent if you are getting into backpacking or just need a good campground tent. Great for a first tent, and still has excellent potential if you are just upgrading, or adding another shelter to your closet. This serves a great purpose for any camper. The crossbar expands room well and provides the vertical walls for enjoyable and cozy living space with 2 average sized humans and 2 dogs (75 & 35 pounds). The materials from mesh, rainfly and clips seem durable without being overly weighty. While I have a very light weight backpacking tent besides this, there are times I still use this in the backcountry, and always use it when car camping. I know it will stand up decently well in the winter provided the winds are not too rugged, as I have endured 45mlh gusts in this without being anxious about the construction

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Michael B.

Michael B.wrote a review of on September 24, 2018

Dependable Warmth
4 5

This bag is a dependable item that I expect to use 8 months of the year in California in the, and year round if it weren’t for elevation and extreme lows up Shasta or in the Eastern Sierra. I am plenty warm in this bag so far every night, having it since May and sleeping down to 27° temps so far. I am a cold sleeper and have had issues waking up with other bags in the past. It sheds water, is warm, decently packable, and has an okay weight. The hood size is nice, and the feel of the fabric is quality. Roomy footbox and width around the knee area, while still providing a slim and tapered fit. The zipper is hearty and won’t snag. Great pocket near zipper with a primo draft tube you can bank on. Only complaint isn’t a huge one, but wish it picked slightly smaller and was a few ounces lighter. Other color options and zipper side choice will come in the future I’m sure. By no means is an overly large bag when compressed or heavy bag, , but it’s not the lightest nor is it trying to be. I have no problem taking this on a 30 miles weekend. Would give 4.5 stars if I could.

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Michael B.

Michael B.wrote a review of on September 24, 2018

Lightweight, functional hauler
5 5

Marmot did a great job with this 38L pack. I just got this pack at the beginning of the summer season and love it. I have yet to use it as an overnighter, as my camera gear and fly fishing gear use a little too much space for the size of my sleeping necessities, but this pack can be easily used as an overnighter for many load conscious trekkers. I do use this pack as my go to for all day hikes and fly fishing treks. It has technical points for gear like an ice axe, bottom load (foam pad etc) poles and compression side straps that help hold things like tent poles and fly rod if not inside the cavity. The brain is nice, but my only qualm with this pack is how the brain tends to want to slide off the sides for me, however I may be able to adjust something so it’s always on the top of the frame. While intended for lighter use based on its weight and, size and fabric thickness, I find that it is durable and has a great suspension system closer to Anna Osprey design until you get to the hipbelt which is non rigid where the hip belt pockets exist. I enjoy the zipper pulls, large zip access and brain compartment. It ventilates extremely well in the back and has a great purpose in my closet.

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Michael B.

Michael B.wrote a review of on September 24, 2018

Minimal excellence.
5 5

This little bugger is a solid filter for solo use and on the go dependence. I’m really happy with using this filter when by myself, not needing to filter large amounts of water at any given time. I often don’t hike with a water bottle at all, especially not when I have a bladder because of this (that being said I often have an immediate water source when not in winter months). Whether I’m trail running, hiking or overnighting, I can take this out of my hip pockets on a backpacking whenever I need to bend down and hit a few squirts of freshness. It’s nice when fly fishing instead of the weight of a water bottle as I can just drink straight from where I’m wading. Haven’t had any clog issues in 2 years. There are other small options out there like optical filtration and sawyers that have a small package, but I’m happy with this and have nothing to complain about until I need to do lots of water at a time. It can do roughly a liter in a minute if your forearm doesn’t cramp up.

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Michael B.

Michael B.wrote a review of on September 24, 2018

Comfort and quality
5 5

The first thing I would like to point out about this pack is while it is not necessarily heavy or light for its specs (certainly would be considered heavy to ultralighters), it feels much lighter than it’s weight because of Ospreys suspension system. This translates equally once a load is applied. I enjoy backpacking and winter tracking with this pack for its size, features like the daypack, and durability. The pack seems decently durable, with no noticeable issues after my first spring/summer season with it of roughly 250 miles through snow and heat. The hip pockets have a good size for me, but I don’t have a massive iPhone plus. I have a fairly good base weight before considering my professional camera and lens and fly fishing gear. In total I typically carry about 20-25 pounds depending on how much water is needed during the hike out, and how many days I need food for. In the winter months, add a solid 5 pounds at least due to heavier weight gear plus an extra liter (i always carry minimal water during flowing months ). I hardly feel back strain or issues because of the suspension and could easily and have loaded up to 45 pounds with summit brews, crampons and ice axe and backpacking gear , and would do so again knowing this pack has my back. The daypack is nice for quick hikes from basecamp, fly fishing, bringing an extra lens and layer, etc. I will say that it would be nice to have an extra exterior pocket, and the daypack straps inside the brain are in the way when not in use a bit, but overall this is a versatile pack that is comfortable and will help you get where you want to be.

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Michael B.

Michael B.wrote a review of on September 24, 2018

2 5

I got this jacket at a heavy discount and decided to return it still as I decided there were better options out there. For the full price, I couldn’t justify recommending this item to others. If I could I would give it a 2.5 rather than just a two, because I feel like others might find value in it that I don’t. I tested it during one weekend backpacking above 10k feet in the Sierras and have friends with the jacket. They agree that durability is an issue. The jacket is meant to be a very lightweight puffy that is very pckable and that is obvious once you start using it. The zipper apparatus is disappointing, from failing to have a baffle or wind guard anywhere in front of or behind the zipper itself. The zipper, while ykk brand, feels like the lowest level that they make , and has a laughably small, short and thin zipper pul. It immediately shed down feathers which is often to be expected but still not impressed by the amount or how quickly.the warmth was not what I was hoping for either, but that said, the total amount of full isn’t much despite being a highly rated 850 fuill. It is to note that this down is supposed to be hydrophobic to some degree, but haven’t heard the best from my friends that have tested that. The night I went out in question reached a low of 28 leaving me pretty chilly with pants, a baselayer and a long sleeve mid layer as well. For comparison, my 750 full microlight is hardly any heavier and would keep equally as warm, if not warmer, and has stood up to rain and thorns and fly fishing hooks for the past two years. my Rab doesn’t even have a hood, but I would still take it anyday over the arcteryx regardless of the price. I know after one winter season, this jacket would be toast even remaining under my shell. It just doesn’t feel like it’s made to let, and I I can’t have that anxiety when logging miles, bagging peaks, or doing whatever I need to do in the backcountry. If you have the money to replace your gear every season and you want to go with the lightest weight setup, this would be your jam, but for me, even at 250$ I can’t justify it

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Michael B.

Michael B.wrote a review of on December 25, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

If you are looking for a bag to suit your lower 40's and up adventures, look no further. This bag is an amazing combination of functionality, portability and comfort. Not totally small at the foot end, allowing some room to wiggle around in the night. Packs up REALLY small if you need it to with the included stuff sack.

I will say though, you will most likely be cold in this bag below 40 degrees. I am a 5'8 male, roughly 135 pounds, and find that the toe box starts getting chilly just above its rated temp. The hood is nice to help, but Ive slept in my car, and on backpacking trips wearing a light down puffy to bed with wool socks (no hat was a mistake) and found myself to wake up with slight chills when pushing 42 and below. If you don't mind sleeping in some extra clothes you'll probably be fine at 35. Maybe you'll have a different experience than I, but for the price it can't be beat if you know its limits.

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