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Wally Phillips

Salt lake City, Utah and ANYWHERE there is snow

Wally Phillips's Bio


Backcountry.com’s Gearheads are your instant connection to gear knowledge. They’re passionate outdoor experts hell-bent on helping you find the right ski, saddle, or pro. Follow their adventures and exploits.


As a Pittsburghian at birth, I began my outdoor foray on skis at age 2 1/2. Since then, the pursuit of the best turns has consumed me. I am willing to go the extra mile to get to places people only shake their head at (Utah provides many). I also bike, run and have as much fun as I can in this short life.


I’d love to answer your gear related questions. Here is how you can contact me:
Phone: 1-800-409-4502 ext 6112
Email: wphillips@backcountry.com

Wally Phillips's Passions

  • Hiking & Camping,
  • Skiing,
  • Running,
  • Biking.
Wally Phillips

Wally Phillipswrote a review of on March 11, 2020

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: Runs small
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 183 lbs
Size Purchased: 181

The Line Blade is a VERY NEW addition to their quiver for those folks who look to rippin' groomers with a smattering of glancing off piste to some pow stashes. The carve factor is certainly there with the very high amount of sidecut (13.8m!!!) along with putting some specifically milled titanal (box map in tip and tail with none underfoot) with their aspen wood core into a sandwich construction. It does rail turns, though it doesn't feel super abrupt which is nice as I expected it to be more impatient in the turn flow.


What the 5CUT radius brings as well in conjunction with the high change between tip-waist-tail and the stout construction is CONTROL. I started doing some DUMB STUFF on this ski just to see what it would do (mach 11 into hard bumps, etc) and I was able to definitively bring this ski back underneath me with relative ease. The float on these is also pretty decent for the waist width due to how mega-wide the tip and tail are and with a tiny bit of upturned tip.


A play ski this is not however as it is so traditional even trying to flick or pivot it is not worth it as it'll catch like mad. Also, I know why this ski doesn't go above 181cm as it is one of the highest grams of weight per cm of length ratio ski that I've been on in some years so size down. Finally, even though the lack of length helps here, pinning through tight hard chop is a big chore.


Overall, a super good option for those folks who love wide open short groomer turns who want to get stashy pow on the outside more than every so often.

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Wally Phillips

Wally Phillipswrote a review of on March 11, 2020

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 183 lbs
Size Purchased: 185cm

Don't let the title fool you, the Enforcer 110 Free from Nordica is still that at heart: sandwich construction with wood, titanal and fiberglass to build a super strong feel underfoot that needs to be pushed a bit. With the camber produced by the powder rocker shape however, you can flick this Enforcer iteration a hell of a lot easier than its skinnier predecessors which gives it a super versatile feel for a ski from this particular brand.

Again, it is a bit of a heavier and plowy ski so you will need to stand strong on it but the sizing run feels wide enough to give folks a good ability to size up or down depending on what they are looking for charge-ability wise in this ski. A super good option for stronger skiers out there who usually charge hard but want a little bit of that flick-ability fun sprinkled in.

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Wally Phillips

Wally Phillipswrote a review of on January 1, 2020

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 3' 10"
Weight: 40 lbs
Size Purchased: 10

Sperry's Top-Sider Saltwater Boot is a good entry into the Kids' realm where we see the duck type design shine in any water conditions. The micro fleece liner does help to keep this boot versatile to the early/late winter and early spring times with temperatures get cool to cold. The sizing is pretty close to true on the length, a tiny bit narrow on the width but I do find that the longer and narrower feet can have a tough time getting in to the boot. Also the laces come out of the dongle (sp?) that they are tied in a bit easier than expected. All small quips aside, this boot should be on the short list of what your girl wants to wear in wet/cool weather.

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Wally Phillips

Wally Phillipswrote a review of on September 16, 2019

4 5

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

The Evolv Shaman definitely fits the bill for everyone who wants an aggressive shoe. The downturn is super established and it caused me to have to size up almost 2 sizes higher than street shoe for me due to me having a more pronounced big toes. Hard for me to talk on the Love Bump as I don't have a ton of experience with down turned shoes though at the right size it is more comfy than it would look to be. The upper and rubber feel solid and have had minimal slipping on the smallest of toe holds. A pretty good option for folks out there who definitely want performance over comfort and have very even sized toes.

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Wally Phillips

Wally Phillipswrote a review of on May 6, 2019

3 5

Familiarity: I returned this product before using it
Fit: Runs small
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 182 lbs
Size Purchased: 34

RVCA has a knack for versatile style and that is certainly on display with the Daggers Denim Pant. The colors are contrasted enough to disseminate from each other if you want to buy multiple pairs. The problem lies in its fit where it is a bit tight in the legs without having the denim weave give enough stretch even though it is comfy in feel. If you are the skinnier type of leg then this pant is for sure on point.

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Wally Phillips

Wally Phillipswrote a review of on May 6, 2019

3 5

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

The rep that Pit Viper has built based upon its hard charging cult following that makes a living out of not caring at all what you think. The double wide version does deliver on that note with their widest frame yet (148mm) and the same boisterous style that we've grown to love. The frame and lens materials used are bomber as well while still providing substance.
However, they aren't kidding when they say double wide as these things are massive. I thought I had a bigger face than the norm and these resembled clown sunglasses so I think it might've gone a bit too far with the sizing. For super big rad faces only.

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Wally Phillips

Wally Phillipswrote a review of on May 6, 2019

4 5

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

Darn Tough's ABC Boot Cushion Socks are a good option for anyone looking for a casual sock that braves the abuse better or a mid-weight hiking sock. The first thing that sticks out is the design which is crafty without being too much. The wool/lycra/nylon blend is somewhat thick but a good middle between insulating and cooling so I never felt temperature discomfort. Those looking for super cushion will want a thicker blend however. Sizing is about true and comes not too far up the leg.

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Wally Phillips

Wally Phillipswrote a review of on May 2, 2019

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 182 lbs
Size Purchased: 11

On Footwear was a relatively new brand to me when it was introduced into our assortment. After trying them out a bit I was impressed with how it took to road running. The weight makes the stride feel swift while the Cloudtech sole provides an ample amount of cushion. The sockliner upper helps to breathe very well however I wouldn't use this as a training shoe as cutting tended to fold it over a bit.
The fit is interesting as it comes out a bit longer length-wise but also a bit narrow. It's fine with me as that mirrors my foot shape however it makes the quicklace system a bit moot for me.
Finally the style is on point. I have actually gotten a bunch of compliments on the look within the 5 days of wear. Will follow up with longer term review but overall a great long road run shoe and decent light trainer.

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Wally Phillips

Wally Phillipswrote a review of on May 2, 2019

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: True to size
Height: 2' 10"
Weight: 28 lbs
Size Purchased: 2T

Patagonia's Board Short for toddler boys is a more than viable option for your little boy and his first forays into the water. The nylon/DWR design does shed water pretty well and dries faster than usual at the beginning. The fit is pretty close to normal though my boy is pretty big so it came off a bit tight. Also, the color scheme is hit or miss as the navy/orange blend is awesome but the green is a bit too bright.

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Wally Phillips

Wally Phillipswrote a review of on May 2, 2019

3 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

The Thule SnowPack 6pr Roof Rack is a pretty decent mid-level option for carrying your skis and board on top of your vehicle. The fit and closure system of the rack itself to any crossbars and the skis/snowboards in the rack are very intuitive and tight. The key system is a easily usable security feature as well. I did find that for a 6 pair rack that it seems a bit thin for today's ski and board width standard. Also it is a bit cumbersome on taller vehicles.

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Wally Phillips

Wally Phillipswrote a review of on May 2, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

YETI's Rambler Colster is a very good camping accessory that you didn't know you needed until you try it. Most normal shaped 12oz cans and some bottles will fit into the colster which will insulate it and keep it from getting warm. The time I've tested is an hour but with a can of Coca Cola it did not lose very much cold-ness. The only caveat is you need to be choosy on the type of cans and bottles that you try to use and it seems more for car camping than actual minimalist excursions.

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Wally Phillips

Wally Phillipswrote a review of on March 28, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 3' 8"
Weight: 38 lbs
Size Purchased: 5T

Warm kids last longer and have more fun. These fleece layers are soft, wash easy and keep kids toasty while they take their turns. We have these for our four year old to wear on cold days and, in her words, she stays "nice and warm". They are loose enough to get a first layer under them but fitted enough to wear under a jacket comfortably. Great staple for your adventure kid's wardrobe.

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Wally Phillips

Wally Phillipswrote a review of on March 28, 2019

3 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 3' 7"
Weight: 28 lbs
Size Purchased: 2T

As per usual, Stance keeps up with the style times with the Seapunk socks. The scheme is a bit more unorthodox here so definitely pair it with more plain colors. The material is good but pretty thin and synthetic so it won't repel smell and could impact durability. Fit is surprisingly close to normal.

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Wally Phillips

Wally Phillipswrote a review of on March 28, 2019

3 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 3' 7"
Weight: 28 lbs
Size Purchased: 2T

Stance socks' style can never be questioned as they are one of the visual leaders in the sock industry. That doesn't stop here as the style is super eclectic and one of a kind that will draw heads. Outside of that, the structure of the sock is super polyester and fairly thin so you'd think it could stand up to more. Keep only in casual situations.

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Wally Phillips

Wally Phillipswrote a review of on March 28, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 3' 8"
Weight: 38 lbs
Size Purchased: 5T

We have these pants and the matching top for our 4 year old. She stays so warm that we often have to drag her off the hill, even on the coldest days. We have these soft, warm fleece layers to thank. They are loose enough to get a first layer under them but still fitted enough to go under snow pants.

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Wally Phillips

Wally Phillipswrote a review of on March 28, 2019

4 5

Height: 4' 8"
Weight: 38 lbs
Size Purchased: 9.0

Sorel is now a current staple when it comes to winter boots and the Yoot Pac TP Boot is no exception. The waterproofing, insulation and protection is above most grades of merit while the fit is slightly on the long side. I do admit that this boot can definitely be viewed as overkill in anything that is not super winter conditions so it falls into a bit of a niche in that manner.

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Wally Phillips

Wally Phillipswrote a review of on March 28, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: Runs large
Height: 3' 3"
Weight: 29 lbs
Size Purchased: 2T

This piece is on the opposite spectrum of the design of Tiny Whales as it seems counter-color-intuitive at first but as you put it together with the matching pant it comes alive. It's funny how the color scheme grows on you.
Meanwhile, the comfort is very high and it feels like an old school go-to sweatshirt when you just want to be normal. The fit is slightly big but not abnormally.

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Wally Phillips

Wally Phillipswrote a review of on March 28, 2019

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: Runs large
Height: 3' 3"
Weight: 29 lbs
Size Purchased: 2T

Tiny Whales can have some interesting design choices and nothing personifies this like the Graphic Crewneck Sweatshirt. How this piece looks at face value could have other Moms and Dads walking the other direction though the fit is slightly big in the right way and is so comfy. If your boy is a little bit on the bigger side or likes baggier apparel then this is a good option if you can get past the looks or take them ironically.

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Wally Phillips

Wally Phillipswrote a review of on March 28, 2019

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 183 lbs
Size Purchased: 34x32

Volcom's Solver Denim Pant has a softer blend and a stretchy material to optimize comfort. The fit is close to true if a tiny bit on the thin side but the stretch of the pant cancels this out. We'll see how the durability comes out but so good so far.

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