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Michael L.

Michael L.

Michael L.'s Passions

Skiing

Michael L.

Michael L.wrote a review of on May 18, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 1"
Weight: 165 lbs
Size Purchased: Medium

I'm 6'1" with a 39" chest (pretty lanky) and the Medium fits great - plenty of length in the arms and it's loose as you want a sun shirt but not overly baggy. I got the green one and it's a nice light green - good combination of light enough to reflect light but also not a pure white shirt.

I tried on about 10 different sun shirts with the intent of using one for spring ski touring in the Sierras. There are lighter ones that probably breathe better like the Arcteryx Phasic and Mountain Hardwear Crater Lake, but the Arcteryx is very expensive (twice as much as the Tropic) and the MH was only available in a dark blue which didn't make sense to me for my intended purpose. In an ideal world, I would probably have preferred the MH if it came in a light color because it weighs half as much and is only $10 more.

Other shirts I tried but ultimately passed on were BD Alpenglow ($85 and the nickel color was pretty dark. Very comfortable. M fit great.), Patagonia Sunshade (M fit great, not as comfy as tropic and $80), Prana Calder (super heavy - M fit great).

For me, it came down to a combination of price, weight, and color. I wanted a light color and a lightish shirt that would breathe well. The BD and MH were leading contenders on fit and weight but were passed on due to the dark color and price difference. Ultimately, I couldn't justify paying more for a shirt that was darker, so I went with the Tropic. I've used it on several tours and it works great. It is incredibly comfortable (maybe the most comfortable one I tried on) so I was tempted to keep it even as a more casual summer shirt.

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Michael L.

Michael L.wrote a review of on May 13, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I have the 1.25" version on my 2002 Outback. Hitch pin eliminated sideways motion and I bought a hitch tightener ($15) to eliminate the up/down movement which was still possible with only the included hitch pin. Tilted down, I have no problem opening my tailgate with a 2012 Giant Reign on the rack closest to the car. One particularly nice feature of the rack is that the lever that you actuate to move the rack up and down is on the end of the rack so you never need to reach through or around the rack to adjust the position like other racks I looked into. Overall solid rack and you can't beat the price.

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Michael L.

Michael L.wrote a review of on November 6, 2018

Solid Bag
3 5

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

ORIGINAL REVIEW WITH UPDATE AT BOTTOM:
I'm posting this review before actually traveling with the bag because of a sizing thing I think people should know. The bag is literally 190 cm long...it is not designed to fit 190 cm skis. I put in some 182 Dynafit Hokkaidos and some 179 K2 Seths and they are both tight fits. There might be 1-3 cm to play with, but, because of the zippers, I think you would have a really hard, if not impossible, time getting longer skis in there. My skis definitely fit, but they don't just slide right in - I have to work the angles. The picture shows the Dynafits in head-to-toe style and it's not super obvious, but they are basically touching the ends. The bag does have enough space to put boots in if you put the skis in base down, side by side as pictured. The bag closes easily in this configuration. I also tried with the Seths which have Marker Schizos so there is in fact space even with bindings. For reference, boots are 27.5 Dyanfit Titans.

Other than that the bag feels burly, isn't too heavy, and seems to roll around nicely. The bottom is made of 3 hard plastic panels, so you can only fold it to 1/3 of its overall length with the panels in. The panels are not removable.

UPDATE: I took the bag to Japan and have some new thoughts from several flights and a lot of bus and train travel. First, there is a (in my mind) questionable design move by Rossignol where the metal grommets holding the inner fabric to the panels are exposed on the inside of the bag. This made me hesitant to put the skis in base side down without duct taping over them. The tape eventually falls off with all the movement so this is definitely annoying. I ended up putting my skis in the standard way (bases touching) and put my boots in my carry on. For general travel use, the bag functions as anticipated - rolls well and the skids on the bottom do a nice job of making me not worry about dragging it down steps and over curbs. The other issue I had with the bag is that both the buckles broke on this trip. They both cracked (seemed pretty brittle) and wouldn't stay together which made maneuvering in tight spaces like a bus much more difficult. I'm currently in the warranty process with Backcountry. Ultimately, I am downgrading to 3 stars because it does what it is supposed to do, but the weird grommet design is actually rather annoying and the fact that the buckles broke isn't great (seems like a poor material choice and not a 1 time defect). For the price, it's still a solid bag - maybe the newer models are better.

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Michael L.

Michael L.wrote a review of on September 20, 2017

5 5

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

These shoes are pretty great. I normally wear a 10.5 in Asics for running shoes and went with the 11s for these after trying on 43.5, 44, and 44.5 euro - interestingly the 10.5 in Asics is 44.5 Euro and the 11 La Sportiva was also 44.5, so their sizing is actually different as opposed to just "running small".

As far as performance, I am a big fan of the traction they provide. I did an off trail scramble (class 2/3) in the Sierras and felt very comfortable with their grip on sloped talus. Even with the fair amount of padding, I haven't experienced any additional ankle rolling tendencies. I also liked the rigidity underfoot for stepping on rocks and edges - obviously not as good as a full on hiking boot, but much better than a standard running shoe.

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Michael L.

Michael L.wrote a review of on November 21, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I have used these for ski touring a number of times. They work great underneath my non-insulated shell pants and wick sweat fantastically. They aren't super warm (no fleece lining or anything), but with a wind protecting layer, they definitely heat up your legs. I'm 6'2", 165lbs, wear 32 X32 pants and I went with a medium. Fits great around the waist and quads. Only complaint is that the lower part doesn't stay down on my calf and typically scrunches up behind my knee a bit. This, however, doesn't really bother me. I just tuck them into my ski socks to solve that problem if I want full coverage.

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Michael L.

Michael L.wrote a question about on July 15, 2012

I am 6'2", 165 lbs and am a pretty decent skier. Nothing extreme but I do ski everything in-bounds (always ski blacks, trees, and bowls) and like to push myself. I'll be in WA for the next 5 yrs for school and I was wondering if the 182's would be too short. Thanks.

Also, how much difference do a few cm's really make?

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