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Refreshing

Refreshing

Duluth, MN

Refreshing's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Snowboarding
Running
Paddling
Climbing

Refreshing's Bio

I LOVE NATURE, there is nothing better than backpacking into a new area and being unable to comprehend the beauties and mysteries of the natural world.

Refreshing

Refreshingwrote a review of on September 3, 2011

5 5

I bought this helmet to replace my Edelrid Ultralight. The first day that I wore this to the crag I seriously forgot that I was wearing it. I got in my car and my belay partner asked why I was still wearing my helmet. This thing is lighter than my super expensive road bike helmet and it never gives me the hot-itchy-head feeling. I am sure this is because with the inner air channels not too much of the foam actually touches the head. The outer shell does feel very fragile but only time will tell if it can hold up. If this helmet handles the small bumps and scrapes I will be repurchasing it when I retire my current one.

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Refreshing

Refreshingwrote a review of on August 26, 2011

4 5

I was lucky enough to find this thing at my local crag lying in some tall grass. My original belay device (Wild Country VC Pro) is a lot less bulky and a lot more easy to push my rope (10.2) into. However I did notice that the ATC-XP doesn't get nearly as hot on long rappels. I gave this to my lady so she can catch my falls easier and she enjoys it much more than the VC Pro. I would personally go for the cheaper one.

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Refreshingwrote a review of on August 26, 2011

5 5

I LOVE this shoe. It took me about 8 to 10 hours of climbing to break them in. These are my bouldering and overhang-sport-climb shoes. I brought them along for a day of top roping on some easier long routes and my feet were in lots of pain by the end of the day so they are, of course, specialized for technical climbing. They grab the smallest holds and heel hooks feel great. Highly recommended!

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Refreshing

Refreshingwrote a review of on August 26, 2011

4 5

The only reason why I did not give this jacket 5 stars is because the pockets do not work well with a hipbelt. If a company makes a jacket for climbers and backpackers I expect that the extra weight used for the pockets would be useable. I cant store anything in them and I cant even use them as extra vents because the pocket material is waterproof and seam sealed. Other then that the jacket fits great with room for layers and room for my climbing helmet (I am 6'3" and 180 lbs and the large fit great length-wise but does not have the athletic fit I was looking for). This does not "breath" like Goretex or Event but it has not failed to keep me dry. I use it as my winter shell and it is small enough to ball up and hang off my harness in the summer. I would not pay retail for this jacket again but if you can find it on sale I would recomend it.

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Refreshing

Refreshingwrote a review of on August 26, 2011

5 5

I love these things. They are light but the thing I like most is the clutter on my harness that no longer exists. These are now the only draws I use for sport climbing. When I climb at my local gym their quickdraws feel unnecessarily enormous. Using regular sized quickdraws for sport climbing is like buying a shark tank for a goldfish. These are all that I use. I own a 10.2 rope and I have no troubles what so ever with clips.

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Refreshingwrote a review of on January 27, 2011

5 5

Wow do I love this spork. The things that I like: It is very light, it is longer than any other backpacking utensil that I have owned, it folds up to fit into my cooking pot, the locking mechanism is bomber and holds tightly. The things that I don't like: nothing, I have no idea how they could make this spork better. The price is great too, I highly recommend it.

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Refreshing

Refreshingwrote a review of on January 22, 2011

4 5

I bought this backpack to replace my old Vaude Rock Ultralight 25. I only have two complaints. #1 - The opening is annoyingly small. #2 - The foam back panel is removable and its pocket on the inside of the pack has no Velcro or button closure so it is constantly open and getting in the way when I try to load the pack. I ended up sewing it shut which solved the problem. Other than those two complaints I love the pack.

I mainly use it for my climbing gear and for when I go to work. I can fit two pairs of climbing shoes, a harness, a nalgene, a fleece, and a sandwich or two in the main compartment. The harness pockets are huge! I carry a wind jacket in one side and a headlamp/knife/paracord in the other. There is also a small pocket on the lid where I usually throw a few power bars and an expandable front pocket that I use for my dirty gym clothes. The compression straps work wonderfully and keep all of the gear in place. The material is thick and durable with a waterproof coating on the inside. The pack rides awesome on the back and I just love this thing. It is a killer backpack and I have no doubt that it will last me a long time.

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Refreshingwrote a review of on December 13, 2010

5 5

The best part about this shovel is that it feels great in the hand. Seriously, the handle/shaft feel so comfortable when digging. Also, for a telescoping shovel it has a solid feel. My only concern is the "anti-slip strapping" because it is like sandpaper or griptape and having this material vibrate against a backpack could quickly rub a whole in a pack. I give the shovel a five out of five because it is comfortable, it performs well, and it looks cool.

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Refreshingwrote a review of on November 22, 2010

5 5

I wish all climbers and backpackers had the guts to wield the Mistral jacket. There are so many gear guru's that are obsessed with waterproof/breathable membranes like Goretex and Event but not I! Let me explain:

I wear this jacket with a midweight grid pattern microfleece base layer (such as the Patagonia R1, Under Armour 3.0, or my personal favorite the Lowe Alpine Ninja Hoody) and this combination gets me through EVERYTHING. Everything means anywhere from high output trail running in 40 degree temperatures with sleet and wind to lower output backpacking in snowy single digit temperatures. This jacket works so wonderfully because it allows me to keep a thin layer of warmth close to my body without the wind stealing it from me while at the same time letting my sweat wick through the ultra thin nylon. I can drastically control my body's temperature by opening the pockets, the front zipper, and my baselayer zipper to vent and cooldown OR cinch the waist, pull the hood over my stocking hat, and zip everything shut to keep out the wind. And trust me, it does a fricken good job at keeping out the wind because the arm length is very generous, the waist cinches tight, and the high collar comes way up to my chin to seal out the drafts from my neck (If the tail dropped an extra 2 or 3 inches I would consider this jacket perfect). This jacket is not waterproof and this is what makes it so awesome. Example, if I go trail running in a waterproof/breathable jacket during a snowy 10 degree morning there is no way in hell that the membrane will "breathe" good enough to dump the massive amounts of sweat that I produce and I end up freezing my butt off from my own sweat. The Mistral on the other hand is not completely waterproof which means that the warm moisture (from both my body and the snow) can easily escape the jacket and I stay dry (and more importantly, warm!).Craftsmanship: Initially I wondered why Montbell used a thicker material around the neck but I soon realized that they did this because the EXTREMELY thin main material simply isn’t rigid enough to stay up around the neck when the hood is down. The thicker material also has a small amount of stretch and I am pleased to say that my range of motion is not hindered in any direction because of the combined use of the two materials. The pockets do vent really well but I like them mostly because I can access them with a hip belt on. I am 6’2” – 175 lbs and bought a Large.

This jacket is my shield against the world's nastiest weather! Because of the Montbell Mistral jacket, I will never again own a Goretex jacket. 5 stars!

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Refreshing

Refreshingwrote a review of on November 22, 2010

5 5

Do the letters on the front of my jacket really spell out "Columbia"? I hate to play the name brand game but I was never fond of Columbia because they have been known to use stupid clothing materials (pvc rain jackets, or cotton hiking pants) and the fit of their clothes always sucked. However! This jacket's materials, the weight, and especially the fit all resemble wonderful craftsmanship that would be expected from brands like Marmot or Patagonia.

Why I bought this jacket: I was looking for a synthetic fill jacket to replace my down fill Marmot Ama Dablam jacket for winter backpacking but I did not want to spend over $150.

Warmth: WOW was I surprised by this jacket. Two mornings ago I crawled out of my tent and it was five degrees out. I had on a midweight baselayer, a hooded nylon wind shirt, and this jacket. I pulled the hood up over my stocking cap and I was warm as a button! I brought a down vest for extra core insulation but I never needed it.

Materials: The outershell is a very thin ripstop nylon. The insulation feels like a good quality synthetic and it is very compressible for a synthetic (100 grams). The inner is a light polyester fabric with little silver speckles on it. I originally hated the idea of a sparkly interior because in my eyes it was just extra weight but maybe it has something to do with the surprising warmth of this jacket.

Weight: I read somewhere that it weighs 22 ounces but because I can not find the source of this information I will just say that it feels very light and it compresses into the pack very easy.

Fit: This is where I was really impressed. I am 6'2" - 175 lbs and I bought a large. Usually jackets are either too wide or too short. This jacket fits close to my body and the arm/waist length is perfect. But the thing that most stuck out was that I can raise my arms above my head without the jacket riding up to my nipples.

Overall: I love it. If you are looking for a light synthetic fill jacket with an awesome fit that won't break your wallet this is it.

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Refreshing

Refreshingwrote a review of on November 7, 2010

5 5

Short Version: The pack has a simple design that makes it durable and light. My favorite part of this pack is the insanely comfortable back pack panel that feels like an extension of the body.

Long Version: Wow do I love this backpack. Let me repeat that again so that this review doesn’t look like a generic “I love my gear because I own it”. WOW DO I LOVE THIS BACKPACK. Out of the five packs that I have owned none of them make me as happy as this one does. The shape of the back panel is PERFECT. The material is light and malleable yet thick enough to survive an epic bushwacking extravaganza. The design is simple and durable because there are no major pack height adjustments or movable hip belts. On the same note, the simple design has lots of “why didn’t I think of that?” features (like the little loops that marmot uses at the end of every strap to keep them from flailing around). I bought this pack because I was given a price that I couldn’t pass up but I never foresaw it becoming the only backpack that I use. It is capable of comfortably carrying 3 days worth of winter gear/food/fuel. It is also capable of carrying 3 days worth of winter gear/food/fuel along with climbing shoes, a chalk bag, and a GIANT crash pad strapped to the back of it!

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