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TsunamisBoy

TsunamisBoy

TsunamisBoywrote a review of on March 31, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 7"
Weight: 170 lbs
Size Purchased: Medium

This bad boys are amazing. I crushed some doubles in Banff in -30 and these things were the best. Very durable double layers where it counts. Wore homemade knickers underneath and survived. Plenty of pockets, flexible zippering on and off. But loose that belly for that girlish figure fit.

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TsunamisBoy

TsunamisBoywrote a review of on February 4, 2019

Light as a feather
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I picked up the Sweet Protection Switcher MIPS Helmet and the thing is awesome. I was able to test in reasonably cold weather (20-30), through a little snow fall, and through some heavy snow making.

The word 'Fresh' came to mind on my 1st run. Not sure exactly why, but that's what entered my head. Maybe because it felt so light and airy. You barely feel it on your head. Having a helmet, that doesn't feel like you're wearing a helmet, is so cool.
The other great thing is the 'OneTurn' ventilation dial. You turn a knob on the back of the helmet and all 20 vents completely open or closed. And there are 2 additional vents on the front, but those are more manual. I experimented going downhill, through the snow making, while fully open, and I got brain freeze. Then I closed them and did the same run. The difference was night and day. And I never had to remove the helmet to make the change.

The magnetic clip is a nice touch. Easy on and off and you never pinch your neck like I've done with those bike helmet style clips. And its Audio Ready, not like that wouldn't have thought of that.

Last year I bought a Smith Vantage with those nice Woolrich ear protectors. While I love this helmet for the coziness, you feel the constraint. The invisible feel of the Sweet Protection brings you back to when there were no ski helmets. Comparing the 2 the Sweet Protection is heavier, but it must be filled with helium as it feels so light on the head.

My only complaint, and I had to dig deep for this one, is: it feels like it rides a little high on the forehead. Comparing this to the Smith, it's not very apparent, but the Smith has a larger bill, so you can cancel out this exposure by tilting your head down. This exposure can be cancelled out by a balaclava, or by putting a larger bill on the front.

Bottom line the Switcher is a very thought out helmet. I see nothing in the marketing literature about the light and airiness. It's hard to describe. What a great achievement!

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TsunamisBoy

TsunamisBoywrote a review of on July 17, 2018

Solid Trail Shoe
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: Runs large
Height: 5' 7"
Weight: 170 lbs
Size Purchased: 9.5

I was given this product from Backcountry, and this review is my personal option. To be honest, I didn’t think the Hoka One Challenger ATR 4 would work for me. But after hammering 50 miles of off-road, medium to highly technical terrain, this shoe changed my mind. I ran on gravel, loose shake, roots, rocks, boulders, mud and bog and the traction was amazing.
The reason I thought this wouldn’t work for me is because I run NC Appalachia rocky, technical tracks. I typically purchase shoes with rock shields, tough treads and minimal drop. Instead of the shield this shoe has cushion. Instead of a solid rubber sole, this shoe has podular rubber/foam. Instead of a minimalist rise, it was puffy. But once I got out there, none of this mattered. The cushioning worked in even the most aggressive downhills. The soles survived tremendous beatings on the downhill. And I never tripped once.
The Hoka One Challenger ATR 4 maintained its integrity when wet. It survived repeated lateral rolling, both inversion and eversion, without have to reposition the foot. It planted well in mud and bog. It is lightweight and dries quickly. I am impressed the soles have no tears or perforations (see photo). And the toe guard survived very well.
The only improvement I would make to this shoe are laces, stability and width. I would have put crinkly laces; while I like a more structure shoe, the stability is true to advertised; and I believe the shoe is a little too wide. But again, I run highly technical trails and feel more comfortable in a laterally tight shoe.
I highly recommend the Hoka One Challenger ATR 4 shoe.

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