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Nathaniel Chu

Nathaniel Chu

Nathaniel Chu

Nathaniel Chuwrote a review of on October 14, 2019

Terrible climbing pants
1 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: Runs large
Height: 5' 8"
Weight: 140 lbs
Size Purchased: 28

I have high standards for gear, but these pants consistently did not meet my expectations or hopes, and I really can't see why everyone rates them so highly. All of my climbing/mountaineering friends also dislike them. They died in a year of use. Let's count the ways.

1. They stretch out rapidly over time. I got the 28in waist for my ~29 in waist, and within six months the pants could easily fall past my butt. When climbing, this means that they were always falling below my harness, meaning blisters and rug-burn where the harness contacts my hips. The waist cinch was close to useless for countering this.

2. They are not durable. Mine got holes in them rapidly from chimneys, offwidths, and squeeze chimneys. Some holes are fine and a cost of awkward styles of climbing. But once the holes got to a certain size, they then caught on manzanita bushes while approaching and immediately blew the entire knee out (see photo). These pants to not discourage ripping very well at all.

3. Overall design is poor for climbing. Small things like the poorly positioned pockets (fine for hiking, bad for climbing) and even the buttons to hold the cuffs rolled up (which aren't useful and only get in the way when you want to wipe off your climbing shoes) mean that these pants really are annoying to climb in.

I really wanted to like these pants. But every time I put them on, I was annoyed with them. This included being mad at them on The Nose on El Capitan, the Bugaboos of Canada, and other alpine adventures. I put them through the wringer. But I wager they would be nice pants for hanging around town or doing low-impact hiking.

(1)

 

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Nathaniel Chu

Nathaniel Chuwrote a review of on December 4, 2018

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I climbed exclusively in this harness for ~2.5 years on sport, trad, mountains, ice, and some plastic. After that time, the harness's weaknesses cropped up and it is starting to breakdown. Overall this harness is great for its features, packability, and weight. It is bad for its comfort and durability.

SIZING:
This was pretty tricky, like many harnesses. With this one you want some extra room for winter layers. I'm 5'8, 140-150 lbs, 29-30 in waist. I wear prana zion stretch pants in 28in waist (30 is waaay to big), and jeans usually with room in 29-30 in. I'm usually a Small in most things, but here the S would have put me at the highest end of the spectrum, so I went with a M. I was often wishing I could tighten the harness more like this, but I was happy with winter layers on. Hard compromise.

Good: The gear loops are great; large and rigid. It packs quite small, although by folding it together to fit into the sack, you put a good amount of stress on the gear loops, which is a disappointing weak point. The harness is comfy to climb in.

Bad:
1. Comfort. The spectra fibers spread out in the middle, but at the edges of the harness waist they com together at a single point, making a knot/rigid bulge. With my sizing, I found that this bulge often created a pressure point that was very painful when hanging in the harness. If not for this, the harness would simply be impressively comfy for how small and light it was. Again, sizing is key, which sucks since you can't return these and stores are getting in short supply.
2. Durability. The first points to die were the elastic cords that attached to the leg loops, which are shockingly important for the harness. Without them, the harness is terrible to walk or climb or exist in. You need those straps. These straps quickly wore out at the attachment point with the leg loops. The new version might be a bit better, but that sucked. After 2.5 years, these cords blew out, and Petzl stated that this was outside of the warranty. Pity, since otherwise the harness still has a lot of life. The other place that wear shows early is the gear loops. Imagine losing your rack 10 pitches up! I think this is largely because of the stress put on the loops during storage.

Verdict: this this is damn expensive and doesn't last well. I would strongly suggest not trying to use this harness as a quiver-of-one harness. Get a more durable harness and save this one or the similar BD harness for the alpine missions. I'll be looking to get a different harness next.

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Nathaniel Chu

Nathaniel Chuwrote a review of on June 8, 2018

2 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I generally use trail running shoes for approaching alpine climbs or even doing easy climbing on ridges (think Matthes Crest or 5.0-5.7 for many many pitches). They tend to be lighter and better for hiking than designated approach shoes. These shoes are unfortunately a very poor fit for this purpose, which is understandable since it's not what they are designed for. The lugs on the soles are very aggressive, but flexible. This means great stability on dirt, mud, and even snow. However for hopping from rock to rock, climbing technical rock terrain, or really anything else where you need more precision, the lugs bend and flex which makes for extremely unbalanced and squishy traction. If you plan to do any climbing or mountaineering in these shoes, I would look elsewhere.

So far I have used these shoes for a couple weekends of climbing in New England and an intensive 2 week climbing trip in Yosemite.

(1)

 

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Nathaniel Chu

Nathaniel Chuwrote a review of on December 4, 2017

2 5

Familiarity: I returned this product before using it
Fit: True to size

So I saw some reviews on the La Sportiva website stating that this boot is not waterproof. I got them myself to take a look, and these boots are really sweet. BUT THEY ARE NOT WATERPROOF. There is a direct path for water to enter the inside of the boot. The zipper is not waterproof, and the inner boot has no gusset or tongue (it's an open half-boot style). Thus, if you step in a puddle, saturated slush, river, or anything else, there is an clear path from cold water to your foot. I was pretty shocked by this, so I talked to the La Sportiva folks. After reviewing my comments, they are now updating the description of this boot to not waterproof but instead "highly water resistant." To be sure, if all I did was roll up to roadside crags and climb in super cold temps, these things would be a dream. But the risk of water logged feet for any alpinism seems a very high cost. How often do you cross a river, get slogged in a bog, or find yourself working through slush? I am disappointed.

(3)

 

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