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Stephen S.

Stephen S.

Stephen S.

Stephen S.wrote a review of on September 30, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Size Purchased: S/M

This balaclava is awesome! My head circumference is 22 inches, and the size S/M fits perfectly. This thing keeps my face even warmer than my beard does! I have appreciated it the most on windy alpine starts on volcano climbs in the PNW. I was at a presentation by Colin Haley recently and he said he is a big fan of balaclavas. They have a great weight to warmth ratio. If I’m bringing bivy gear, I’ll often throw this Option balaclava in my pack. At 1.8 ounces, it’s lighter than most beanies and provides a lot more coverage for the face and neck.

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Stephen S.

Stephen S.wrote a review of on September 30, 2015

5 5

I enjoy using the Metolius Rock Rings! They are the perfect, portable way to get a little bit of hang board style training in without needing a full hang board. I hang these off of my pull up bar that is mounted on my door frame. It ends up being a little low, which is not a fault of the product, but the nylon chord on the rings can be shortened to give quite a bit of adjustability. The rings have a good amount of texture. They’re not too hard on skin, yet they still have enough grippiness. Yes, that’s a word. The rings come with ideas on how to use them and there is a good article on the Metolius website here: http://www.metoliusclimbing.com/training_giude_rock_ring.html

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Stephen S.

Stephen S.wrote a review of on September 30, 2015

Good helmet, be aware of sizing changes
4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This is the second Petzl Elios I've purchased, and it's a good helmet if it fits you. I have a previous version of the Elios that I love but it won't last forever. After I bought this helmet I found out that Petzl has changed the design with a new strap and a new liner. The changes to the foam liner and the padding on the straps makes this new helmet fit differently (smaller) than the old one, even in the same Size 1. I wouldn't be able to wear a hat under this helmet, while I can with the old one. I ended up giving this helmet to my sister and it fits her well. Also, depending where your ears are on your head the straps can be uncomfortable. Fit is very individual, so I prefer trying helmets on in person before buying. The picture below is of my crag baby trying on the Elios, waiting for his turn to climb! He'll have to wait a few more years.

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Stephen S.

Stephen S.wrote a review of on September 30, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

These double length (48") runners are my favorite sewn nylon slings. They’re useful when you want the dynamic properties of nylon versus the essentially static spectra or dyneema varieties of slings. I use these slings for a rappel extension by girth hitching it onto the belay loop of my harness and then tying an overhand knot in the middle of the sling. I put the belay device at the mid point with a locking biner and put another locking biner on the end of the sling for use as a personal anchor. I also use these double length slings as a ‘sliding x’ to connect pieces of an anchor. I like to carry these over the shoulder and across the body, clipped end to end with a non-locker. They don’t interfere with single length slings over my other shoulder and can be removed separately by unclipping the biner and pulling.

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Stephen S.

Stephen S.wrote a review of on September 28, 2015

3 5

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

This is a very basic, simple nut tool. It appears to be stamped chromoly steel. It is light weight, but this is somewhat deceiving. Most of the time I end up attaching it to my harness with a carabiner, so you really have to include the weight of a carabiner when you are comparing this tool to other ones that have an attachment method built in. I bought this on sale as a loaner if my climbing partner/follower doesn’t have one. The price is right for such a plain tool and it is one of the least expensive nut picks available. However, similar to how the weight is deceiving, you have to include the cost of a 'biner when considering the price. Like any nut tool, it is worth its’ weight in gold when it helps you free stuck pro.

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