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Vinny Mauro

Salt Lake City/Park City, Utah

Vinny Mauro's Bio

I work in merchandising here at Backcountry.com. If you have any questions about any of the gear I have reviewed please post them up and I will do my best to respond quickly!

Vinny Mauro's Passions

  • Hiking & Camping,
  • Biking,
  • Skiing,
  • Surfing.
Vinny Mauro

Vinny Maurowrote a review of on November 22, 2020

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 1"
Weight: 195 lbs
Size Purchased: Large

Until now I had a 2mm shorty suit and a 3/2 full suit. It is SO much more comfortable to be in the 2mm (obviously) that I decided to buy one with full legs so I can go 2mm more often before having to grab the 3/2. I had always liked the simple clean look of the vissla suits, so I was excited they offered this exact style I wanted. Looks and fits great, very stoked to spend some days in it.

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Vinny Mauro

Vinny Maurowrote a review of on January 27, 2020

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: Runs large
Height: 6' 0"
Weight: 195 lbs
Size Purchased: 33x32

The comfort level of these pants is absurd. They are clean enough looking still to pass for a traditional chino/khaki, but they are insanely stretchy and have a crazy soft lining.

The fit of these is called "relaxed" but it's quite slim. Basically their slim fit is mega slim, and their relaxed fit is what I would call "slim for guys with thicker legs". Interestingly the waist does run a little big, perhaps just by virtue of the stretch. I'm 6' 195 lbs, pretty much always wear 34x32. I went with 33x32 in these, and love how they fit. When I first pulled them on I was nervous I messed up, they seemed the tiniest bit too tight. But after wearing a few hours they "broke in" slightly and are perfect now.

Don't want to take them off, definitely buying them in another color. The price is a little steep, but if you think of it as buying one pair of these instead of two pairs of cheaper pants all of a sudden it's not so bad, and once you put them on you'll be glad you took the plunge.

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Vinny Mauro

Vinny Maurowrote a review of on January 9, 2020

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This is such a great upgrade. It's a silly little part, but it's priced accordingly and for the money this makes a real difference in your day to day experience on your bike. Granted $70 is a respectable chunk of change and you have to be a commercially desensitized bike customer to think that's a "cheap" part... but hey, that's exactly what I am.

You jam on that dropper lever constantly, so it makes sense to replace that sloppy poorly designed stock offering with this well thought out and sturdy replacement. I think the big difference is just that they use CNC'd aluminum allowing everything to be stiffer and more precise, so I wish that manufacturers could just take note and include similar levers from the factory. But for whatever reason they do not. Another nice perk I love is the ridges machined in to the lever for thumb grip. Very effective, weather proof, and long lasting solution.

Just make sure you consult their chart regarding whether to purchase this regular lever, or the light action version that has a longer lever (chart posted below in these reviews). Neither is better/worse it's just about getting the best one for your dropper. I have the OneUp dropper so I got this regular one. I've used it on the KS post and also had great results.

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Vinny Mauro

Vinny Maurowrote a review of on January 7, 2020

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 0"
Weight: 195 lbs
Size Purchased: XL

I thought this was pretty cool, basically an Atom LT with a bomber collar. A bit more fashionable, and I actually specifically love NOT having a hood for layering with my ski stuff.

After using this a month or so, it has actually exceeded my decently high expectations. As far as fashion goes, it has gone over even better than expected I wear it all the time and it fetches a head-inflating amount of compliments. Everyone from my girlfriend to strangers on the airplane seem impressed.

And from a layering perspective, it has been a perfect skiing mid-layer. I've always had hooded jackets like this and while the hood is nice sometimes, 9 days out of 10 it just flaps awkwardly between by head and by shell's hood and by the end of the day it's just a icy wet snowy lump. This jacket stays tucked safely inside your shell, adding no uncomfortable lump behind your head and collecting no snow/moisture throughout the day.

Fit is almost identical to the Atom LT, but with slimmer sleeves. The slim sleeves do make layering under it harder, but I can't imagine needing to put more than a base-layer or button down shirt under it so it's fine. I'm 6' 195lbs and I have an XL. The large fit me ok, but was a bit shorter than I'd like, so I went XL. The body is a little bulky, but I have more room for layers and it hasn't stopped the airplane stranger compliments so it can't look that bad.

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Vinny Mauro

Vinny Maurowrote a review of on December 30, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

For many seasons I've just had my park skis and pow skis. Finally bit the bullet and added a third mid-fat ski to the quiver with this ARV 106 and am SO pumped. Whether this is to round out a quiver, or to be your one ski to do everything, it is great. I've skied it on snow from groomers to crud to boot deep pow and they really are one of the best "all around" skis. Also ideal if you go on ski trips where you can only bring one pair and don't know what conditions to expect. I'd be pretty happy riding these in pretty much any conditions. The weight, flex, side cut, and camber are all very "middle of the road" in the best way possible to make them just plain fun and easy to ski. By no means a boring ride, decently lively.

Also love that they offer a 188cm for us big fellas. I'm 6' 195 lbs and the size is perfect. Doesn't feel big/long at all with the decent bit of rocker on them.

I mounted mine about 4cm back from true center for an all mountain ride since I have park skis for park days. You could certainly ski park on these if you like a fat park ski, but mounting farther up will definitely hurt the soft snow performance and turn them to a hard pack only ski in my opinion. That's to be expect though.

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Vinny Mauro

Vinny Maurowrote a review of on December 23, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 0"
Weight: 195 lbs
Size Purchased: XL

This jacket is crazy light and soft for a waterproof shell. Super comfortable, and with the right layers under it can be great for anything from frigid lift days to sunny touring days. I love that it is a light and technical enough fabric for ski touring, but still fully featured with all the pockets and doo-dads for resort days. I also love that it is a super nice technical fabric, but still a generous "freeride" style fit not the usual tight euro fit you get with more touring specific outerwear. This is definitely a pretty big/tall fit, in a good way as long as you get the right size. I'm 6' 195lbs. If I was using it touring only I would go Large, but at the resort I like a bit more coverage and room for layers so I went XL. The XL fits baggy on me though, if you're 6' and want a non-baggy fit definitely go Large or Medium even if you're skinnier.

I paired these with the Purist Bibs and am so pumped on the outfit for all my ski days here in Utah. Only possible disadvantage would be how light they are if it is cold out, but I would much rather just add layers as needed than have them bee too heavy/hot when it is warm.

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Vinny Mauro

Vinny Maurowrote a review of on December 20, 2019

5 5

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

Been rocking other "normal" lizard skins grips for years with the clamping collar on both ends. Having the collar only inside and just nice soft rubber all the way out to the edge on these is nice! More comfort and room for your hands, less carnage in the parking lot when you zing your car door. And what you can't see on here is that instead of an open ended grip and a plastic plug, the whole end of the grip is finished and sealed off around the handlebar. Not only is that quite a bit safer for the rare impaling incidents, but I think it looks way better.

All very nitpicky things... but if you need a fresh set of grips or are building up a new bike these are a very cool option. The thickness is medium I would say. I used to rock the Moab grips from Lizard skins, and these are slightly chunkier but still don't feel too thick to me.

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Vinny Mauro

Vinny Maurowrote a review of on December 19, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 0"
Weight: 195 lbs
Size Purchased: XL

This thing seems just silly at first, so big and fluffy. But it is so damn comfortable that you'll find yourself getting excited to wear it. What's really wild is how warm it is, I wore this thing and a t-shirt the other day when it was 7 degrees out and I walked around outside for 5-10 minutes totally comfortable. And I'm no tough guy, I normally wear a pretty big puffy in that kind of weather. Crazy warm. Downside is it will definitely overheat on you if it's warm out or you're being overly active.

I also really appreciate that there's the big kangaroo pocket, but then a zippered pocket under the flat as well which can hold your stuff and keep the kangaroo pocket free for hand warming.

The fit on this was actually smaller than I thought. I got a Large cause that's what I wear for North Face usually, but exchanged it for an XL. The Large fit me ok, but was just a tad snug all around and a bit short. The XL is slightly over-sized, but for this style of fleece I'd much rather have it that way. The bottom hem is way too big, but you can cinch it up and you're good to go which I think was the intention. I'm 6' 195lbs, 42r jacket. Marking it true to size though, because I think a slightly thinner 6' person would probably still want a large.

All in all, so happy I got this thing. So far just used it as a winter around town fleece. but come summer time it will definitely be my go-to for camping trips whenever weight isn't an issue.

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Vinny Maurowrote a review of on December 11, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 0"
Weight: 195 lbs
Size Purchased: XL

This is a perfect compromise between weight and durability for me. It is light enough that I use it touring, but burly enough to use all year round at the resort as well without being afraid of ruining it or having too much wind get through as it does with some super light touring shells. Pockets/features are all pretty standard, but well placed and thought out. Fit and quality is the same greatness you're used to if you've had other Arc'teryx jackets. If you haven't, definitely give this a shot or find one to try on. They're just plain nice. And in my experience last plenty long to justify the extra cost if it's in your budget.

At 6' 195lbs a Large is a nice snug fit, but since I wanted to use this for resort skiing too I went for XL because I like extra room for comfort/layers. The size is still not problematic when hiking/touring, but if you're 6' and want a snug fit definitely go L or M, whatever you generally do for ski jackets, I'd say it is very true to size.

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Vinny Mauro

Vinny Maurowrote a review of on December 10, 2019

5 5

Height: 6' 0"
Weight: 195 lbs
Size Purchased: 34

Always been a fan of Arc'teryx jackets and gear, but generally their casual stuff and particularly the pants haven't really had the slim/modern fit I'm after. These definitely do, they are truly quite slim. If you love the traditional looser pants from them these probably are not for you, but if you're like me and want a slim fit but with Arc'teryx style/quality then congrats you have found it! They aren't unbearably tight, I'd say the images here pretty accurately reflect how they fit, obviously will end up varying quite a bit for each person though.

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Vinny Maurowrote a review of on December 9, 2019

5 5

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

This is a great pole if you need the functionality of length extension for touring, but without the dork factor of some of the other adjustable poles. To be clear, those dorky poles definitely have their place and are very rad in their own right. But I'd rather own just one pair of poles and these fit my preferred style a bit more. And more importantly, they also function quite well. They sure aren't the lightest in the bunch, and the max length might become problematic for folks over 6' tall (I'm 6' and they're perfect at full extension for the up hill), but I am very pleased. They're light enough, the locking mechanism works great, and the powder baskets are very big which I like.

I wasn't sure about the tab think they use, but it took little time to get used to and I actually like it/barely notice it. I was also concerned about the up hill comfort since these grips clearly don't have the thoughtful ergonomic design of most touring poles... but the strap is comfortable on your wrist and the grip feels great to me.

If you need a decent functional backcountry pole, that were drawn to the more alpine/cool vibe of these, I would definitely recommend giving them a try. They would also be an awesome pole if you just need a resort pole that you can extend on pow days and slam down for park days. In short mode you can barely even tell they're adjustable they just look like normal poles.

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Vinny Maurowrote a review of on December 6, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 0"
Weight: 195 lbs
Size Purchased: Large

I've had this jacket for over a year now, and it has been incredible for spring and fall mountain biking. It's comfy, fits trim enough that it's not flapping in the wind too much, but soft and stretchy so it's still comfortable. And most importantly, it's quite breathable so you don't roast in it when you're pedaling. In exchange for that benefit you do give up some waterproof-ness, it's not a full on rain jacket, but and rain storm strong enough to get through this is also strong enough to make our trails muddy here in Utah so I'm not riding anyway. For light rain it works great. Only reason not to get this would be if you live somewhere where you do ride in strong rain regularly and need something fully waterproof.

I'm 6' 195lbs, wear Large or XL depending on how something fits, this in a Large is perfect to wear over a bike jersey without having too much excess material.

Would also be great for ski touring, running, etc.. It isn't my go-to for hiking though due to the lack of hand pockets.

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Vinny Maurowrote a review of on December 5, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Some people's first reaction to this tube is "what a rip off, $40 for a tube?? I get mine for $6"

Well, it's 2019 so all you use a tube for is an insurance policy strapped to your frame right? Dead weight. This tube is 175 grams/0.4 lbs lighter than those $6 tubes. That is a massive amount of weight to shave for $40. If you told the execs at Santa Cruz that you found a way to make frames 0.4lbs lighter for $40 without losing any performance or durability whatsoever, you'd be swiftly promoted.

Stop strapping those thick rubber weights to your bike, this tube is an easy upgrade. I'm not a weight weenie by any means, but less dead weight means my legs can take me that much farther before they crap out.

How does the tube actually ride or hold up? WHO CARES. It holds enough air to get you back. Ok, if you do super long rides or just for any reason find yourself actually riding a tube for long distances/periods of time then this probably isn't for you. But who on earth rides tubes for long periods of time these days?

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Vinny Mauro

Vinny Maurowrote a review of on December 4, 2019

4 5

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

I've been on a long hunt for a boot that is tolerable on the up hill, but feels as close as possible to a "real" (aka alpine) boot on the downhill. Major bonus points if it is so good I'd use it for a full resort day.

I just got these boots out for their first tour, and they are very promising. The weight and range of motion isn't record breaking, but I found them to be plenty adequate for getting up hill. I was in a very familiar area, and didn't feel noticeably more taxed on the hike than I would in my old Maestrales.

Then, as you might expect, the 4 buckle design of these boots and the relatively (for touring boots) heavy shells make for a pretty great feel going down hill. I was in tight trees and bad snow, and they had a ton of control compared to more touring specific boots. I'd say these are definitely up there with the big names in this category like the Hawx and Zero Gs.

As for resort days, I definitely plan to use these, but I think the inevitable shortcoming will always be the liners. In order for a liner to be light and flexible enough for touring it just simply can't match a beefier alpine liner for all day comfort and control. This isn't a problem specific to these boots though, and for a "one boot to do everything" these are absolutely worth trying on. If they feel good for your foot, I would give them a go! Interestingly,

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Vinny Mauro

Vinny Maurowrote a review of on November 13, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 0"
Weight: 195 lbs
Size Purchased: Large

Shell pants with zero insulation are very popular these days. For good reason since they are so versatile, but getting proper warmth on super cold resort days can be tricky. Seems a shame to layer some cotton sweat pants under those super fancy shells, but who on earth owns a baselayer warm enough to get the job done? This Knicker provides that middle layer of warmth you need. The fairly slick material they are made of let's them slide freely inside your shells, making them way more comfortable to layer with than cotton/fleece that might catch and bunch up in places.

I'm 6', 195lbs, 34 waist and the Large fits great.

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Vinny Mauro

Vinny Maurowrote a review of on November 13, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 0"
Weight: 195 lbs
Size Purchased: Large

Once the depths of winter hit I like to have one big warm puffy I know I can throw on and be comfortable no matter what. This jacket is awesome for that. It's not the absolute biggest or warmest, but it is super warm and gets me around Utah comfortably in just about any winter temps. The most interesting feature is definitely the vents... it has some very well hidden little zippers along both sides that open ti up to let the love handles breathe when you start to over heat. Nice addition.

The hand pockets also have a nice fuzzy fleecy lining... you can call me a wuss, but I really love having that little extra comfort and I think you will too.

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Vinny Mauro

Vinny Maurowrote a review of on November 13, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 0"
Weight: 195 lbs
Size Purchased: Large

My old favorite insulated jacket was the old version of this First Light, which I've had for a few years and loved. What I loved about it was how this fancy schoeller fabric on the outside, while not being water PROOF by any means, is so much more water-repellent than the fabric typically used on other jackets in this category. This is a game changer while touring in snowy weather, but also just around town if I get caught in some rain/snow. Aside from that, the overall fit an feel was just great. It feels much softer/more supply than the crunch/shiny fabrics used in competitors as well. The one issue I had was that it was definitely a pretty slim "athletic" fit, and combined with the fact that it did not stretch at all, it did hinder freedom of movement a little bit especially if I wore anything thick under it.

Enter this new Stretch version. Same great jacket with all the fabrics/features I loved, but with a slightly roomier fit for layering underneath and a good bit of stretch for more mobility.

If you are in the market for an all-around synthetic insulation jacket I would highly recommend this. Only drawback vs. some of the competition would be that it is not terribly light weight or compressible, so if you are backpacking or doing something that requires extreme pack-abilty and weight savings it might not be the one for you. For normal travel I find it plenty pack-able for how I pack.

I'm 6' 195lbs and wear either Large or XL depending on the brand/fit. I wore the old version in Large and it fit, but as mentioned was not a super forgiving fit. I got this in Large and it is also perfect, tiny bit more room for layering, but still a nice trim look not too baggy/boxy.

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Vinny Maurowrote a review of on November 5, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

If you're looking at these bindings you're probably the kind of skier who likes to earn their turns, but ideally with minimal sacrifice in downhill performance. We've been through all kinds of solutions in the last decade... carrying skis on our back while snowshoeing, using alpine trekkers with heavy alpine bindings and boots without walk modes, and then on the other end using super light tech bindings and squishy alpine touring specific boots.

Tech bindings themselves have come a long way and are an incredible option. But the Shift binding is a step further for those who want the feel of a frame binding (more elasticity, broader point of contact on boot) and who might want to use the same pair of skis with some alpine boots that do not have tech fittings.

I used the Shifts all last season, and they are the best evolution yet in my opinion for that middle ground user. I would definitely still recommend tech bindings if you are going strictly backcountry and want to do big vertical, but if you can stomach a weight penalty these bindings really do give you a better alpine feel that let's me have just a little more fun out there. And a huge plus to me is that I can take the same pair of skis to a resort day and can use my alpine boots with the same bindings.

The pair I used last year was the Atomic version in black and white. Those are sweet too (they are identical mechanically), but also excited to see Armada brought us a murdered out version here which I bought for my new pair of skis this season.

If you're comparing these to a full frame touring binding like the Duke or to a alpine trekker set up, this is a must-have IMO. If you're comparing these to a tech option like the radical FT, then it's more of a personal decision based on how/where you'll be using them. In my opinion the Shifts do live up to the hype and are incredible, but for some people the benefits won't outweigh the uphill penalty and tech bindings will be the way to go.

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Vinny Mauro

Vinny Maurowrote a review of on November 4, 2019

5 5

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

I love a good looking bag, and I love a small/compact bag, but as my collection of camera gear grows I also need a bag big enough and functional enough to carry and protect all that. This Prvke 21 looks amazing and is still what I would consider a relatively compact backpack (in terms of camera bags), but thanks to a very well thought out design it is still very effective for carrying a good bit of camera gear and some extras. To note, you do NEED to buy the camera cube separately right now as the bag ships by itself with no cube in it. It's a nice cube with good quality movable dividers though.

And for those not carrying camera gear, this pack alone without the cube is still in incredible bag for working or traveling. The features like side access, back panel access, roll top, and rain fly for weather protection are all awesome features for non-camera traveling too.

It's not the cheapest option, but it's also not outrageous compared to other premium luggage brands, and from what I've seen I think Wandrd is a very cool up and coming brand that is worth supporting. I've only had this pack for a short while now, but if it holds up well as I get some miles on it I will definitely come back for more because the look and feel is the best of any bag I've had.

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Vinny Mauro

Vinny Maurowrote a review of on November 4, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: Runs small
Height: 6' 0"
Weight: 195 lbs
Size Purchased: XL

This "tiger fleece" material is their heavy weight fabric which has a super soft cozy lining. I wear Reigning Champ's lighter terry hoodies all year round, but this tiger fleece is an awesome addition to the closet for colder weather. Same great fit and finish quality of their other hoodies. I'm 6' 195lbs and the XL fits perfectly.

Marking it as "runs small" because it's definitely a slim fit compared to a North Face or Carhartt sweatshirt, but if you're used to the Reigning Champ brand this fits true to their sizing.

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