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Roee K.

Roee K.

Roee K.

Roee K.wrote a review of on June 12, 2019

Nimble but Laterally Unstable
3 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 9"
Weight: 145 lbs
Size Purchased: 9

I was given this product from Backcountry, but this review is my personal opinion.
Since receiving my pair of the Oboz Sawtooth Mid B-Dry hiking boot, I've put about 40 miles on them on various terrain. Overall I've found them to be reasonably comfortable and well-constructed, but with a couple of notable shortfalls.
One issue was breathability. While breathability is always a trade-off with a waterproof boot, I found that the Oboz Sawtooth did not perform quite as well in this aspect as my Salomon Quest 4D GTX waterproof hiking boots. With the Sawtooth, moisture buildup from perspiration inside the boot was noticeable (read: soggy feet), whereas in the Quest my feet would stay nice and dry under similar conditions.
Another issue was lateral stability. This is a bit of a double-edged sword, and perhaps the most distinctive feature of the Oboz Sawtooth. The sole of the Sawtooth has a very rounded shape compared to most hiking boots, especially in the heel area, and this has a profound effect on how they feel. On the upside, the rounded sole does give the Sawtooth a very nimble feel for a hiking boot. The downside, however, is that it feels to me distinctly unstable in the lateral direction on uneven terrain. They tend to roll sideways, and to put it bluntly, if feels like it would be far too easy to roll an ankle in this boot on anything but flat terrain.
So with that, I would say that I found the Oboz Sawtooth Mid B-Dry hiking boot to be more suitable as a street shoe than a serious hiking boot. As a street shoe, or even for some easy hiking, it is comfortable and nimble, and could probably serve well in everyday use. But for more serious hiking on challenging terrain, I would go in a different direction.
I'm attaching a photo of the Oboz Sawtooth Mid B-Dry (left) next to the Salomon Quest 4D GTX (right), to illustrate the difference in the design of the sole.

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Roee K.

Roee K.wrote a review of on January 6, 2019

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Size Purchased: 42

Overall, the Phantom 6000's served me well on several ~6000 m peaks in Ecuador. Their warmth was just right for that environment, and I found them to be relatively comfortable and light-weight.

*** Phantoms vs. the G2's ***

The two main contenders for the job were the Scarpa Phantom 6000 and the La Sportiva G2 SM. Ultimately the deciding factor in favor of the Phantoms was fit, although neither fit me quite as well as I would have hoped. The design and construction of the Phantoms vs the G2's was also a mixed bag, each with their respective strengths and weaknesses. I'll elaborate on this below.

*** Fit ***

The Phatoms and G2's fit very differently.

For reference, in the La Sportiva Nepal EVO's I'm a 42.5. So I tried the same size in the G2's, and it was too big all around. The G2's in 42.0 seemed to be the right size, but still just weren't shaped right for me. There were pressure spots in weird places on the sides, and what seemed like excessive volume in the instep area (would better fit someone with a high instep), and they had significant heel lift that I couldn't get rid of no matter how much I snugged them up or what socks or insoles I tried.

As for the Phantoms, they're only available in whole sizes, which is unfortunate because the Phantoms in 42.5 would have probably been perfect for me. Size 43 was way too big. Size 42 was workable (that's what I ended up with), although it was marginally too small in the toe box. Interestingly, the G2's in a 42 had plenty of toe room. Still, the Phantoms in 42 were the best compromise on fit, so I went with it.

Took the Phantoms for a first spin on some mixed terrain, and was only able to go a couple of miles before developing some horrendous blisters on the rear/insides of my heels. It took several rounds of trial and error to zero in on the right sock combination, plus moleskin, to solve this issue. But after that, I had no more problems with blisters, and they fit reasonably well.

*** Design features ***

On the design of the inner boot, I found the Phantoms superior to the G2's hands down. They have a well-conforming shape, the side closure is easy to snug up as desired, and doesn't produce any pressure spots. Whereas the inner boot of the G2 feels rigid and boxy, the front closure is hard to snug up, and as many have noted, there's an annoying pressure spot where the inner boot hinges above the instep.

And then on the outer boot, the closure system on the Phantoms is simple and low tech. A lace on the bottom, and a velcro power strap up top. I found this to be adequate, although I did need to crank down hard on both in order to lock the heel in. The power straps felt a little thin and flimsy for the amount of tension I was putting on them, to where I was worried I might actually tear them, but everything held up.

In comparison, the Boa closure on G2's is high tech, and has the advantage of letting you ratchet up the tension precisely on the upper and lower parts of the boot. But I found that the whole Boa mechanism felt pretty fragile too, and I was afraid to crank down on it as much as I would have liked. Even just pulling those flimsy plastic knobs to release it felt like I could accidentally pull just a little bit too hard and probably break it. And having to do a field repair on that Boa, if it broke at an inconvenient time, would be more troublesome than dealing with a simple broken lace on the Phantoms.

And then the gaiters. The spiral zip on the Phantoms is nice in that it doesn't fight the natural flex at the front of the boot. But the zipper itself felt a little delicate. And others have reported zipper failures, so I was very careful with it, and thankfully didn't experience any problems. In comparison, the gaiter on the G2 has a velcro closure straight up the front, which is much bulkier, creaks as the boot flexes with every step, and is probably less effective against water intrusion, but is otherwise pretty bulletproof.

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Roee K.

Roee K.wrote a review of on December 30, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Perfect for minimizing weight for high-altitude glacier travel. Comfortable fit. Buckle closure system is innovative and well-designed for quick and easy donning/doffing while already in boots and crampons, if necessary. And most of all, this harness is extremely light-weight.

I used this harness in Ecuador for Cayambe, Cotopaxi, and Chimborazo, and was completely happy with it.

Before that trip, I also tried it in the climbing gym, just to gain trust in it, and get a sense for how it feels on a big catch. Of course this is not what this style ultralight alpine harness is really meant for. Wouldn't really want to take a big lead fall in it, or a hanging belay. But that actually wasn't even as bad as I thought it would be, given how little cushion material it has.

Overall, I highly recommend this harness for light-weight mountaineering.

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Roee K.

Roee K.wrote a review of on May 1, 2017

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Comfortable, good fit with a helmet, wide unobstructed visual field, and good air circulation, no tendency to fog up.

Not quite as sturdy as I would have hoped though. The frame is soft and the lens can pop out of position pretty easily if the frame gets a little twisted when pulling the goggles on/off. Also, the lens scratches very easily.

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Roee K.

Roee K.wrote a review of on September 6, 2016

3 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

The Gortex part of the inner sides of my gaiters were quickly shredded by coming in contact with crampons. They slice right through with even very light contact, which inevitably happens.

Here's the design problem. The lower third of the gaiter is made of a highly durable material (Cordura I believe?) that stands up very well to abrasion and nicks. But the upper two thirds of the gaiter are made of a thin light-weight material (Gortex I believe?) that is easily shredded at the slightest touch of a crampon. A better design would be to have the tough Cordura on the entire inner side of the leg, all the way up to the top of the gaiter, where inevitably it will come in contact with crampons every so often. And then on the outer side of the leg, where there is no possibility of contact with crampons, the light-weight Gortex material can be used no problem.

Otherwise, great.

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