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Taylor Journey

Taylor Journey

Taylor Journey's Passions

Biking

Taylor Journey's Bio

Avid recreationalist. Lover of fun and dogs.

Taylor Journey

Taylor Journeywrote a review of on April 30, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I've had my Jetboil for probably 8 years now, and really just love this stove. The fact that it can stow everything inside the canister needed to make it boil 4 cups/day for 5 days at sea level is just awesome. The quick boiling time is such a relief for mornings when you want to make coffee and breakfast from your sleeping bag in as few minutes as possible.

The downside (that I'm not docking a star for since it doesn't matter to me at all) is well documented - eventually your igniter will fail. Since redundancy is your friend, as long as you carry a strike igniter, or a lighter I suppose, you'll be fine and the JetBoil will just keep on making that flame.

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Taylor Journey

Taylor Journeywrote a review of on April 30, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

The Black Diamond Hoodwire is a go-to. While not the lightest biners out there, for you weight watchers or alpine hard(wo)men, everything else about them is first class. They're solidly made, with a medium sized wire gate opening. Color coded to match your BD pro, and the hood wire is so smooth and convenient when clipping and unclipping, I always seem to reach for these whenever I can.

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Taylor Journey

Taylor Journeywrote a review of on April 30, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

The steel and flint pieces of this MSR strike igniter magnet together for storage, and are connected by a lanyard so they don't separate permanently. No frills here, just a dependable spark in any condition, what's not to like?

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Taylor Journey

Taylor Journeywrote a review of on April 30, 2018

5 5

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

We are getting our truck / river camping setup dialed this year, and this Camp Chef grill grate is really pulling its weight. Previously, we've just wrapped food in foil, and tossed them on some coals. Works well, no doubt, but more of a steam action than that delicious grill crust that sometimes is just what you need. Be honest here, burn flavor can really bring it home. A cool heirloom tomato, with grill marks on the face and still juicy inside... divine!

Also works well with the skillet on top, obviously. It's nice to not have your skillet covered in ash after every trip, too.

No opinion on durability yet, but seems solid and stable enough.

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Taylor Journey

Taylor Journeywrote a review of on April 30, 2018

3 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: Runs large
Height: 6' 0"
Weight: 161 lbs

So I just got these, after my 5 year old pair with over 1,000 days of use practically disintegrated. Chaco has clearly made some updates/changes to the Z-1, which I prefer to having a toe strap, and I'm not sure I love them.

The strap feels a bit softer, which is nice. However, there just appears to be more material, i.e. a longer strap in total. So, after adjustments have been made and the sandal is tightened, the black tightening strap seems too long and flops around some. I could cut it, singe it, and tack it back, but it hasn't annoyed me too much just yet, and I'm hopeful that some wear and use may somehow shrink the material.

The sole is also different, no longer Vibram and now proprietary Chaco. No opinion on this yet, just a difference I've noted. We'll see if the Chaco soles compare to Vibram, but that would be a surprise since Vibram has been making soles for 80 years and I imagine you learn a thing or two in that time.

So maybe I'm being picky, or maybe I just don't remember the break-in period for my prior pair... but I was super stoked to get my new kicks on, and was initially disappointed by the floppy tightening strap.

As per typical Chaco sizing, I sized down and the fit is good. I wear 9-10.5 depending on the brand, and just swim in size 10 Chacos, while the 9 fits just right.

Will update if an update is needed...

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Taylor Journey

Taylor Journeywrote a review of on April 30, 2018

5 5

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

I've had the original MSR Dromedary for as long as I can remember, and went with these Dromlite bags for a recent trip without water access. No complaints whatsoever! The Dromlite is lighter, obviously, but the material feels quite durable and not prone to puncture. I also really like the redesigned cap with the keeper cord. I don't taste the hose-water that some have referred to, not sure if MSR has corrected that or if I'm just not as discerning, but it wouldn't (it didn't) sway my purchase behavior, since I read that review before buying. Another big improvement from my Dromedary is the hanging elastic cord, opposite the opening, which I prefer to the threaded cord that goes all the way around the perimeter of the Drom.

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Taylor Journey

Taylor Journeywrote a review of on April 30, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

We've strung these around the topper in our truck, on the inside of our tent, and over hammocks and the camp kitchen. They're super cool over the kitchen, definitely give your setup a party-like atmosphere. They're cheap and simple, and I'm gonna pick up another one just for fun. They'd make a fun gift, too!

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Taylor Journey

Taylor Journeywrote a review of on April 30, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

We hang this from the topper in our truck when we crawl in to play a board or card game, or to read before we fall asleep when car camping. It's light enough that I would consider bringing it backpacking, but I haven't done so yet. Dimming ability is neat, though I tend to leave it on bright. I haven't fully tested how long fully charged batteries will last, but I'll update if I ever do.

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Taylor Journey

Taylor Journeywrote a review of on November 27, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Height: 6' 0"
Weight: 161 lbs
Size Purchased: Small

For three years, this was my absolute go to piece, then I got the Patagonia Nano Air hoody and this Nano Puff has fallen to my second most reached for layer.

While the Nano Air breathes quite well for a midlayer, this Nano Puff does not, which is sometimes a very good thing. I run hot, and if hiking or climbing in cold temps, I can work up a sweat wearing very little all the way down past freezing. So if on a climb, the Nano Air would be a much better choice for me at a belay station, where I'm subject to get chilly from the wind while I sit for maybe an hour. Similarly, while hiking, I may be in a tshirt or thin baselayer while moving, but when we stop to eat or regroup I want to trap all that heat I've worked for, and not let the wind steal it all. I still bring the Nano Puff for both of these situations.

The Nano Puff packs down incredibly small for a windproof, synthetic piece. That makes it a prime contender on summer backpacking trips to the alpine, where we know we may see freezing temps overnight or cold and windy storms during the days. While being coated with DWR, and windproof, this isn't a rain shell and will need to be layered properly in a downpour lest it wet out. Luckily, being synthetic, it'll still keep you warm when wet, but it definitely won't be comfortable and you'll have to wear it dry in your tent for hours. This quality makes it an awesome emergency piece, a just in case safety net that weighs 3/4 of a pound but will cut wind or cold in any scenario.

Mine has been incredibly durable, 5 years in now, with only a few small patches from wear and abuse. I take good care of it, but I don't baby it like I am known to do with some down jackets.

The fit on mine, again a model from many seasons back, is smaller than my Nano Air from 2015. The cut is a bit short, and the arms are too, but I still like the look more than sizing up and swimming in the chest. I'm unsure if Patagonia has changed the cut since, so can't speak to the newer versions.

This is a great, practical midlayer that fills many holes in the wardrobe. It is not a breathable midlayer, if you keep that in mind, you will not be disappointed, as it will keep you warm and the wind at bay.

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Taylor Journey

Taylor Journeywrote a review of on November 27, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Height: 6' 0"
Weight: 161 lbs
Size Purchased: Small

I'm entering my third winter with my Patagonia Nano Air Hoody and can honestly say this is a five star piece. It kinda makes me regret giving 5 stars to other pieces, because it may be the most loved piece in my kit.

My Nano Air fills the need on so many days, it's unbelievable. I use it as jacket outerwear on days from 30-55 degrees, or even colder days when I'm just running to the store or to work. I layer a base underneath it for snow shoveling in almost any condition, as I know I'll work up a sweat in anything that doesn't breathe as well. I've worn it under a shell at the ski resort, or over a tshirt while skinning up on a tour. I've slept with it under my 35 degree bag on nights when the temp falls below freezing and this is the warmest layer in my pack. This piece has been to the top of over 20 mountains. It has also been to the beaches of California to warm me after swimming or surfing all day.

It is incredibly cozy, sometimes I get home and just don't take it off. The face fabric feels more durable than a standard down puffy, or even the Nano Puff, but a nasty day of bushwhacking without a shell may push it to it's limit. That said, when hiking around off-trail, I'm not near as conscientious as I am with a down puffy.

I have put at least 300 days in by now with my Nano Air, and would replace it IMMEDIATELY if it were ever lost, stolen, or somehow destroyed. It is so versatile it will usually end up in the bag because it does so many things as well as competitors, and a certain few (looks, breathability, comfort) significantly better.

If you're looking to buy a midlayer that is more than just a layering piece, look no further. Just know what this isn't, it isn't a standalone jacket for 20 degree days, and it isn't waterproof. My advice is to get a color you love, cause you'll be wearing it a LOT.

I am 6 feet, 160 ish with longer arms than I am tall, and I purchased a small. It's been perfect, as I never intended for this to fit over anything other than tshirts or merino/capilene baselayers. This is a midlayer that looks like a well cut jacket if layered over light clothing.

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Taylor Journey

Taylor Journeywrote a review of on November 27, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I've been using the Hestra Fall Line gloves for 2 seasons of resort use as my warmest glove. Last year I skied with them at zero degrees a few days, without liners, and they worked for half days, but my hands would start to get cold if I stayed out longer than 4 hours or so. With liners, they're unbelievably warm.

They're outstiched on the fingers, which provides awesome pole grip and dexterity for such a think and padded glove. I've never sealed these guys with snow seal, but I will do so this year. They're not mitten warm, because they're gloves, but they look fantastic and feel incredible. I like the short cuff for wearing under my jacket, too.

If you're like me, you have 4-5 sets of gloves/mitts for different uses, and these will definitely fill a role in the quiver. Incredibly well made, beautifully stitched, warm, and dexterous.

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Taylor Journey

Taylor Journeywrote a review of on November 23, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

The Black Diamond Dirtbag gloves are the gloves I find myself reaching for most often. They are not the warmest glove I own, or even close to it. In fact, They're barely insulated, with only 100g of fleece lining the interior. Still, I use them almost daily in the winter here in Park City, Utah. Shoveling or snow blowing the driveway, walking the dog, driving to work in winter, headed out to dinner or for a beer, early morning coffee runs with friends, they're just incredibly practical and useful. The lack of loft actually benefits in dexterity. I've sealed them once, and probably need to again before this second winter hits full-on, but at the price point they're just amazingly useful. I have a size medium that fits snugly without liners, but if I wanted to wear liners underneath I'd have to size up to a large.

If you live in the mountains and don't want to ruin your warmest and nicest ski gloves with the rigors of daily life, these are just an awesome addition to the quiver. If you're early season or spring skiing in temps closer to freezing than 0, they're awesome for that as well. When the temps fall to 0 or the wind and snow are howling, I'll reach for my burlier Hestra Fall Lines, or the Work Glove from Black Diamond.

The elastic cuff is great, it's cozy and snug and doesn't allow wind or snow into the hand area. If we're being honest, it's also helpful to wipe the ole nose as well. Practical use for a practical piece of gear.

Lastly, who doesn't love the classic styling of the yellow leather work glove look?? I sure do, and if that's not your thing, you probably haven't made it this far anyway.

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Taylor Journey

Taylor Journeywrote a review of on November 23, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Whether you're a tall boy, a short girl, or anything in between, you could always use another bottle cage holder, amiright?? The Blackburn tallboy cage does exactly what it says, holds drinking vessels to your steed, up to tallboy size. And, it comes with a cool topo koozie to boot! How could you be disappointed??

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Taylor Journey

Taylor Journeywrote a review of on November 23, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

The BCA Tracker 3 is only the second beacon I've used, the first being an older and much earlier generation Pieps model. Comparing the two, I pretty much like every feature better on the Tracker 3. It has a sleek design with a rubberized back that is easy to grip with gloves or mitts, it's lighter than most beacons (ounces equal pounds and pounds slow you downs!), and I find the interface simple to use in practice.

The processor in this beacon is quite fast, which is an important quality in my eyes when picking something that needs to be fast and simple to use when seconds matter. While the stated range from BCA isn't as high as some top of the line models by other manufacturers, this beacon absolutely excels at fine search. Since fine search is the most critical action in discovering a buried partner, this is exactly what I was looking for in a beacon, and I find myself able to locate a buried tester on a board within a probe strike or two every time. That sort of precision is huge to me, should I ever have to use this beacon in an actual avalanche with a buried partner.

In multiple burial scenarios, the Tracker 3 will allow you to suppress a signal (marked burial) so a partner can begin to dig while you continue your search for other victims. This suppression only lasts one minute, before it reverts to the closest signal. In practice scenarios, this can be frustrating, but it would be best to avoid a real life situation where you're out with a big enough group that you not only have multiple burials, but enough folks to dig out marked burials while you continue searching. Let's be real, that's an absolute disaster of a scene, with so many external forces in play I just don't see that 60 second limitation as something necessary in a beacon.

The shoulder harness it comes with is comfy, I've used it a handful of times. And the attached clip works great with dedicated beacon pockets in touring pants, clipping into any loop.

The BCA Tracker 3 is a great beacon, in a world of solid beacons. The moral here is don't go out without a beacon, and if you're looking to upgrade from an older model, or get into the beacon game for the first time, you could definitely do worse than this one, while doing better will likely cost another Franklin (or two), and may not even provide more functional utility. Unless you're an avalanche professional, and constantly drilling in multiple burial scenarios, then I would consider spending the extra money on the Barryvox or the DSP.

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