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Sean McQuillen

Sean McQuillen

Northern Rockies...but live in midwest, so I don't get to "stomp" as often as I'd like.

Sean McQuillen's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Running

Sean McQuillen

Sean McQuillenwrote a review of on June 17, 2009

2 5

Long-term update:

I gave these a 5-star review when I first got them, and they were wondeful shoes for the first summer I owned them. They did everything well, and were comfortable straight out of teh box.

After less than a year, the tread is wearing unevenly on the heels and the stitiching at the mid-foot is busting at the seams. I don't know if it's due to the tread wear or some other breaking down in the shoe, but these started giving me shin splints when I walk in them.

I walk 2.5 - 3 miles each day (mostly on pavement), but I've had them less than a year (I didn't even wear them much of January and February, when I switched to my snow boots), and am very disappointed in how quickly they started falling apart. For now, I'm back to the XA Pros.

I wrote this in June, 2009:

I got the drifters after unsuccessfully trying for three years to replace my old Salomon XA Pro's with trail running shoes. I finally convinced myself that I use these shoes more for hiking and every day use, and rarely get to run on aggressive trails, so I went with a more hiking-type shoe, and couldn't be happier. Being a more "boot-based" shoe, these look like they will have a much longer life than similar trail-runner based hiking shoes. Construction quality is solid.

These have very similar fit to my mid-weight backpacking boots - roomy in the toe box and great (though not obvious) arch support. They are plenty stable underfoot, with a good amount of flex under the ball of the foot and toes. They are much lighter than my boots, though - I was surprised at how light they feel on my feet. I have flat feet with narrow heels - I usually wear SuperFeet in my hoes, and buy moderate-support running shoes, and I am very happy with the stock fit and footbeds of the Drifters. They run pretty true to size - I am typically a 10-10.5, and the 10.5's fit great.

I have not had a chance to take them off-road yet, but the Drifters have held up great for every day use, and have shown excellent support when toting my 30 lb. toddler on my back in a back carrier. They've also survived a soaking deluge - my Gore-Tex pants let wanter in, but my feet stayed dry!

Overall, highly recommended. The upper is pretty much all leather, so as long as it's treated, it will be just as waterproof as the Gore-Tex version, and stay a lot cooler in warm weather.

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Sean McQuillen

Sean McQuillenwrote a review of on April 8, 2009

5 5

I've used the Fire XC Pro 2.1 for a long time. It's been a great tire on all surfaces that I've had occasion to use it on - dry hardpack, wet and slick midwestern woods, loose/rocky Moab soil, even on grass dual-slalom courses. The rounded profile provides excellent predictability going into corners, and the stiff side tread provides great hold when you lean it over a little too far.

And the red rubber on the sides looks pretty cool, too.

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Sean McQuillen

Sean McQuillenwrote a review of on April 8, 2009

5 5

I've had one of these for about a month - it is my favorite midweight layer. It's not itchy at all and provides excellent moisture regulation. The collar is a perfect height and the zipper is heavy-duty and of adequate length, and the thumbholes in the sleeves are a nice touch when wearing under a shell. It looks pretty good when wearing into the office with jeans, too!

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Sean McQuillen

Sean McQuillenwrote a review of on April 8, 2009

5 5

Got this vest to wear on the morning bike commute, and found that it is the perfect addition for winter/spring running as well...it is the perfect piece to take the chill off the cold morning while still allowing heat to escape when you get moving. I usually wear over a midweight base layer down to 25 deg F, or over a lightweight base layer up to about 40-45 and stay very comfortable at the beginning and throughout my workouts.

Also, the screaming yellow color provides excellent visibility in all lighting conditions - key when running or riding in urban environments.

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Sean McQuillen

Sean McQuillenwrote a review of on April 8, 2009

5 5

We have used this pack with our daughter (now two years old) for walks to the park, transportation on the beach in Mexico, snowshoeing, and XC skiing. It provides great stability and comfort for both the passenger and the wearer. She loves riding in it, and it is easily adjustable so that my wife and I can switch off quickly and easily.

With the extra gear compartment below and the removable daypack, it'll hold a lot of extra gear (spare diapers, layers, snacks) for long days on the trail, too. The removable sunshade is stable and allows good coverage - admittedly, we have not had occasion to use the rain shield yet.


Overall, an excellent product that is much more suited to long outings than the similarly-designed Kelty carriers (of which we also own one - it is good, but not as good as the Sherpani). Both the backpack frame and child harness are much more secure and comfortable.

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Sean McQuillen

Sean McQuillenwrote a review of on April 8, 2009

3 5

As many reviewers have noted, I have come across the toe slipping problem. I wear these primarily for commuting (30-35 minutes each way), and even with slight toe slippage, they do keep my feet warm (have worn without problem down to 25-30 deg F), and are easy on and off with my MTB shoes. Admittedly, I have not worn when it is really wet yet, but if it is dry and cold, I think they are acceptable and will be durable.

Other booties have been knocked for wearing down when walked in - I have not had this problem, as the sole cut-away provides ample room for my shoe treads to stick through.

As far as sizing goes, I was between the published sizes (43 - between L and XL), and the L fits quite well - except for the toe problem.

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Sean McQuillen

Sean McQuillenwrote a review of on April 8, 2009

5 5

I own a pair of the M225's, which I think is just an older version of this shoe. Excellent fit - I have a very wide forefoot and narrow heel/achilles tendon. Once I put SuperFeet insoles in them, my heel is cupped very securely in the heel pocket without any slippage.

The combination of ratchet/velcro allows for excellent and secure fine-tuning of fit, and the tread (with removable toe spikes) provides excellent traction.

This is my only pair of bike shoes - they perform equally well on the trail, during the bike commute, on long road rides, or during triathlon races (well, they could be a little easier to get on in transition during a tri, but they weren't designed for that purpose). The stiff carbon sole gives me great power transmission for all activities, without killing my feet.

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Sean McQuillen

Sean McQuillenwrote a review of on March 30, 2009

5 5

I've had this jacket for two years - I wear it nearly every day between November and March, and it still looks as good as the day I got it. I have a 1+ mile walk each way (in Minneapolis) to the bus stop, and it handles everything from +40 down to below zero (even in gusty winds) extremely comfortably. While it isn't designed to be worn in a deluge, it sheds light to moderate rain just fine, as long as you're not out in it for too long.

When it drops to -5 or -10, I switch over to my down jacket, but more so that I can get the use out of that jacket, rather than that this one can't handle it.

It is very attractive, and doesn't look too "sporty" when I wear it to work or out in the evening (mine is dark blue). The vented pockets are in convenient locations, and do a good job of helping to dump extra heat when working too hard.

Ideally, pit zips would extend the comfort range of this jacked another +10 degrees, but that is splitting hairs. This is a great product.

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Sean McQuillen

Sean McQuillenwrote a review of on March 30, 2009

4 5

I got this as a replacement for a medium-sized Timbuk2 bag that was just getting too small to carry lunch, change of work clothes for my commute, and gym clothes for the lunchtime workouts. It has awesome features (internal organizer pocket, extra top carry handle) that would cost you close to $150 if you got them custom-ordered in a Timbuk2 bag.

First, the size is great - it is VERY large, which means that when it's not quite full, it still wraps around my body well enough to feel secure and not place any pressure points on my back during the ride. I also like the extra pockets that keep me organized - the external pocket on the front flap helps stash a pair of gloves and a beanie, the pocket across the back can hold my day planner and file folders, and the end pocket is awesome for quick access to my wallet, keys and cell phone.

I haven't lugged my laptop in it yet, but the padded pocket is as good as anything I've seen in a messenger bag. I've had it out in 30-40 minutes of pretty continuous rain, with the inside staying dry, although I'm not sure I would trust anything in the external pocket on the top of the flap. While water resistance has proven to be acceptable so far, if you're looking for extreme water resistance, you're probably better off with the rubber-lined Timbuk2. The internal lining is light-colored, which is a huge improvement from by black-lined Timbuk2.

The only problem I've had is with the (excessively long) strap slipping. It seems like the smooth, flexible seat-belt type material used for the strap is not thick enough or have enough "bite" in it to stay "fixed" in the strap clamp. Since I love the whole bag so much, I found a quick and easy solution that does not alter the bag permanently - I wrapped duct tape around the strap just under where it threads through the clamp, and then re-threaded the strap through the clamp. The duct tape thickens the strap, provides a bit of bite for the clamp to sink into, and also stiffens the strap under the clamp, so that it won't travel through the clamp quite as easily.

It's a very-well engineered bag. This would be a five-star review except for the strap problem. Since it is an easy and unobtrusive fix, I'll go with four.

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