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Stephanie P.

Stephanie P.

Stephanie P.

Stephanie P.wrote a review of on August 4, 2018

3 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I bought this pack because a friend had it and liked it. When I tried it for 10 mins in the store, it seemed like it would work. I am carrying in the 35 pound range with it. It is comfortable and carries well. That is a big plus. Mystery Ranch customer service is awesome. But there are some design flaws that have become bothersome enough that I am going to buy a different pack.
1. Probably the biggest flaw is that that the top flap of the top compartment does not cover the top of the main pack when the pack is full. Also, the main compartment cinch-ability is really lacking. There is no extra material so you can’t cinch it totally closed if the pack is really full, thus the top of the pack is open more than it should be. That, coupled with the fact that the top flap doesn’t cover the top of the pack is a huge detriment. It lets rain, hail, pine needles etc in. It also looks clunky and not at all streamlined.
2. The next fairly bad flaw is that the various pouches are not really pouches. What I mean by that they don’t have much extra material so if you put something in them, it takes away space in the main compartment. So, I can fit water bottles in the bottom two holders on the outside, but not if the pack is full. The “stretchy” material is too tight and not really very stretchy. So forget putting Nalgene bottles in there if my sleeping bag is in the bottom. I could not even fit my Crocs in there with the pack filled up. And there are two zippered compartments on the back of the pack, which you’d think would be really useful but again, they are not really pouches. If you try to put something in them, it takes away volume from the inside of the pack. If the pack is already very full, you can’t fit anything with any bulk in those two zippered compartments (like a water bottle or a fuel bottle).
3. The top two-hump Bactrian camel-like pouch has a lot of room but it looks kind of stupid and is very bulky (sorry guys). It is hard to get items in the section that is against your neck/head such that it doesn’t touch your head, although putting stuff in the back section is fine. I think a single large top compartment would have been better.
4. Finally there is no way to hang anything from the belt because there is not one loop or attachment point on the waist belt, nor is there a waist belt pouch. I have a separate pouch I like to hang off my belt with stuff I need right away (an energy bar, some medications, toilet paper etc). On this pack I have to hang it from the webbing that is part of the belt system. What that means is that I always struggle to get the belt buckle back to where I can close and cinch it.

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Stephanie P.

Stephanie P.wrote a review of on August 3, 2018

4 5

I have hiked around 60 miles in these boots on trails and steep talus. I bought them after my 5th pair of Trango S Evo GTX's died. I really loved those boots. These supposedly have more updated in features. I like them but not as much as the original. Although they might last longer than the original boots, which I could maybe squeeze a season out of before the tread was gone and putting apart from the uppers. Have not tried crampons with these yet. Also I hike probably 3 times per week, usually climbing peaks in Colorado, so I go through boots faster than probably many people.
Here are things I would change:
The toe box is narrow. It can get cramped for me. I wish it was a little more roomy.
Due to narrower toe box these are harder to get on. A loop at the back near your Achilles would be VERY handy.
I don't get why you would want a removable tongue. This tongue is hard to get adjusted right and the velcro will probably fail.
There are loops for the laces near the ankle. These would be useful if they were hooks instead of loops. The loops are useless. You have to thread the laces through but when you do that you lose the tightness lower down in the foot. Would it really have cost that much to add hooks instead of fabric loops?

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Stephanie P.

Stephanie P.wrote a review of on May 4, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I really like this helmet. It is lightweight yet is MIPS rated. I luckily have not tested the impact protection personally. It is plush and comfortable and super easy to adjust. So if you sometimes wear a hat and sometimes not, no problem. A spin of the adjustment wheel takes a second. This helmet fits better than my previous one, even though I am at the bottom end of the M size range I can still wear it with no hat.

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Stephanie P.

Stephanie P.wrote a review of on August 4, 2016

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I bought this as a spring ski mountaineering pack, but spring was over so I didn't try it for that yet. Just tried it for hiking so far. It is super light. There are a few things I wonder about. There is almost no padding on the waist belt and the water hose just comes out from a hole. That should be fine in the spring but if I tried to use this in the winter the hose might freeze. I really need to load it up with full gear including skis, crampons, ice axe, to see how it carries. I know they had to cut some features to lighten it up. I like the high usable to unusable feature ratio. I also have a Kode 42 and that pack could lose a bunch of features I don't need (board carrying straps, back side full zipper, etc) and get a lot lighter and still be just as functional for me. The Mutant has most features I need (ski carry, helmet sling, hole for water bladder etc) without a bunch of stuff I don't need. I am giving it a 4 because if it had waist belt padding I think it would be just about perfect.

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Stephanie P.

Stephanie P.wrote a review of on December 5, 2015

2 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I love how these look and I always get lots of comments on them. I am actually reviewing my original pair, but these have the exact same lining, so they will have the exact same issue. The polar fleece lining is really low quality. After maybe a dozen days wearing them, it packs down so there is almost no insulating value left and my first pair even had to be sent back because the liner developed a big hole in it. My first pair are not very wearable any more except on a warm-ish day. These are so expensive, you would expect the liner to last more than a season. My recommendation to Astis is to use a REMOVABLE liner that can be replaced since the leather outer mitt and bead work lasts just fine. This would give the gloves a way longer lifespan than a season, and also would help some with the drying after a ski day. If they don't change the design I doubt I'll buy another pair in the future, which is a shame because the concept is so cool.

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Stephanie P.

Stephanie P.wrote a review of on November 21, 2015

4 5

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

These fit well, high enough waist that I am not going to have to stop my run to yank my pants back up from my butt. They have a lot of pockets. Two back pockets and two front hand warmer pockets. I love this as most women's pants don't have enough pockets. But they are REALLY long for me (hence only 4 stars). I wish they made a petite size too. I probably should have gotten a size down, but I like my clothes loose for active sports. They are soft, not real plastic-y like some fabrics. I am sure they are going to be great for those below zero, windy Loveland days this winter. I finally tried them on a cold day today. They were very warm, I never got cold. A couple of minor annoyances. First the pockets are kind of small. It is hard to put a phone in one because you either sit on it or it is sticking into your hip flexor. In retrospect I really like thigh pockets. The ankle pocket seems really useless to me. The other annoying thing is that the velcro adjustment strips for tightening the waist are on the inside waistband. That means they are constantly getting caught on your long underwear and getting rolled over or pulled off. They would have been much more effective on the outside of the waistband. Or better yet, used snaps instead of velcro.

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Stephanie P.

Stephanie P.wrote a review of on October 29, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size

I previously had another one of these that is getting pretty worn. I replaced it with this version, which is not much changed (a great deal from backcountry.com by the way). I have used it for 3 season ski mountaineering and hiking. It is a little light for Colorado winter temperatures, but great in the summer or fall as your main layer. It has 2 large pockets and is lightly lined, making it cozy but lightweight. It is a really cool color (my last one was gunmetal grey). The only thing I am not thrilled with is the hot pink zipper linings. How come they always think women like pink and flowers? I'd rather have turquoise and wolves, but maybe I am just an outlier!

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Stephanie P.

Stephanie P.wrote a review of on August 26, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size

This is my third pair of Trango's. I have completely worn out 2 previous pairs. They have lasted me about 4-5 years per pair doing both hiking and scrambling in the Rockies during the summers and falls, pretty much every weekend. I have average typical feet, not super wide but definitely not narrow and they fit perfectly. I don't think they are for narrow feet. I wore them on a 11 mile scramble/hike in the Indian Peaks wilderness the first time out and they were super comfortable. I wear them all summer and don't feel that they are too hot, but on the other hand it is rarely that hot at the elevations I am hiking in. I have done some snow climbing in them and they were warm and dry, but I have not done much in the dead of winter. They are not warm enough for -10 degree days on ice. Overall this is a great all-around hiking/mountaineering boot that can deal with 3 season conditions at altitudes above 12,000 feet.

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