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Zak Ricklefs

Zak Ricklefs

, Gearhead

Salt Lake City, UT

Zak Ricklefs's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Biking
Skiing
Snowboarding
Climbing

Zak Ricklefs's Bio

Hello gentlemen and gentlewomen of Backcountry.com

My name is Zak, and I am Gearhead here at Backcountry. My main thing is backcountry skiing, but I also mountain and road bike, climb, hike, and backpacking when the mood strikes me. If you ever have questions or just wanna talk about getting out, give me a call.

Use the bat-signal:
zricklefs@backcountry.com
801-523-4057.


Also, here are some stats about me, if you were curious:
6"2'
190lbs
35' waist.

Zak Ricklefs

Zak Ricklefswrote a review of on September 17, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 2"
Weight: 190 lbs
Size Purchased: Large

This fleece is seriously great! I was wearing it over the weekend, and its been keeping me incredibly warm. One thing to note that this is a pretty thick fleece, so expect to be super warm. Plus the Cargo/Khaki color makes you look like an Ewok, so the upsides are really endless.

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Zak Ricklefs

Zak Ricklefswrote a review of on July 31, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

These are a cheap, simple, bowl/plate option that is incredibly to use and clean. They hold my food, which is always a plus, and they are super light for backpacking. The only downside I see is that they don't pack up small, but you should know that if you look at the picture. I use these in my house and camping all the time, I love em!

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Zak Ricklefs

Zak Ricklefswrote a review of on July 30, 2018

1 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I seriously wanted to love this rack, so so much. While Yakima isn't an underdog by any stretch of the word, their hitch bike racks really are. Brands like Kuat and even Rocky Mounts have a better market share for high-end racks. So when I saw this Fourtimer, which holds twice the number of bikes at the same cost? I thought, why not? Sign me up, I can root for the 'underdog'!
I was wrong. On paper, this rack looks great. Its capacity of four bikes is amazing for the price, and it even has locks included (which is rare for Yakima). However, in practice, this is one of the more annoying racks I have ever had to deal with. First of all, lowering and using the rack. The rack has a "safety pin" at the bottom near the hitch mount that has to be inserted and removed to lower or raise the rack itself. While this doesn't sound like an issue, it's just plain annoying compared to most of the other options on the market. Let's say I want to put groceries in my trunk. Well, I will then have to remove the pin, lower the rack, put groceries in the trunk, raise the track, and put back in the pin. Repeat when I get home to take them out. Never mind groceries, you are going in the backseat instead! Combine that with the fact the pin is incredibly hard to remove, and its hard to justify over the simple handle systems that other companies have.

Second, the towers that hold the bike's frame. In short, they are really badly designed. Not only are they not that secure even after tightening (they make the bikes sway forward and back on the rack itself) but the design on how they hold onto the frame is bonkers. Lets say you have two mountain bikes that are similarly sized. If you look at the picture, you would think that the hook would be long enough to still hold the front bike in place, right? Well, that's what I thought too until I tried it. What ends up happening is that the bike in the second position is perfectly secured in place, while the bike in the front position is not at all. That hook just simply too far up on the post (and blocked by the bottom hook to go down any further) to actually secure the bike. Like, did they test this thing with real bikes? No idea.

Third, the overall quality. I'm just gonna say it, it's really bad. I've had this bike for three months, and its already falling apart. One day I was commuting to work, and I noticed the ladder ratchet had fallen off the wheel tray. I didn't hit anything, I wasn't even using it. It just popped off. Shenanigans.

So, in conclusion, go another route. It may suck putting $800 bucks into a rack, but if you are putting $10k+ work of bikes on the back, its more than worth it. I am only three months into owning this thing, and I am already trying to find a replacement.

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Zak Ricklefs

Zak Ricklefswrote a review of on June 26, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

So, this shirt is amazing. Period, end of discussion. First, it's is made of Merino-wool, which means its temperature and odor-regulation is top notch. Second, the back fabric is less dense and has vent holes, so it dumps heat. Finally, its rad looking! All around good shirt, 100% would recommend.

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Zak Ricklefs

Zak Ricklefswrote a review of on June 26, 2018

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I love these gloves. They are pretty soft and comfy on the uphill, protect the shaking on the downhill, and they aren't super warm because of that 4 way stretch on the back! However, the Goat Leather is already ripping on it. I'm going to see if Fox can do anything, but I would be willing to buy them again they are so good!

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Zak Ricklefs

Zak Ricklefswrote a review of on June 26, 2018

3 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I have to admit, I was pretty stoked at first! The shoes were pretty comfy and the velcro and ladder are fine! But as they have gotten older with me, they are falling apart. I have only had these for maybe a couple months, and the bottom is already getting shredded. Combine that with the cleat screws not staying in after a ride(I have to tighten these before I put them on), and I would say pass on these. If you can get em on sale, then great, but definitely spend a bit more and get a quality shoe.

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Zak Ricklefs

Zak Ricklefswrote a review of on June 26, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Mountain Biking is fun, but its a close second to my favorite thing: tacos. So, as a reminder of what is really important, I grabbed taco socks for mountain biking. They are comfortable, smell-proof(ish) and they look wonderful. Pick these up if you share my views on hard-shell Mexican food.

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Zak Ricklefs

Zak Ricklefswrote a review of on June 26, 2018

Carry Everything and the Kitchen Sink
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

This bag.. this bag is amazing. Seriously. I'm stoked. Not gonna lie, my buying this bag started off as a bit of Fjallraven fanboy. I bought this because it looks really nice, and it has the fox on it. But this thing is actually rad. I have used a few packs in my day, and this thing is most of the most comfortable I have ever worn at higher weights. On paper, this thing doesn't usually check mark the "specs to look for" in a backpacking system. First of all, it's heavy. It's 7.5ish pounds. That's insane for a modern bag. I mean, it has real frickin wood in it. Not exactly "ultralight". But its suspension system (and the way the bag distributes weight) makes it wonderful to carry. I love it. And it's not just because its made by Fjallraven either, for a backpacking bag, this is great. It's not the lightest. It's not made by Osprey. But its still awesome.

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Zak Ricklefs

Zak Ricklefswrote a review of on June 26, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

At the beginning of me looking into getting a new sleeping bag, I think I said what most people say when they first see this comforter/sleeping bag design "why the heck would I buy that". I believe I said it out loud, because at that moment my friend and fellow Gearhead Ashleigh McClary leaned over and told me "Oh those are amazing! You have try one of those!". I fought her for so long. We had debates over what sleeping bag I should buy. However, after it all, she convinced me. "At least try it". So I did. And I was wrong. This sleeping bad is amazing. Its the perfect in-between of rectangular and mummy bags on the market. I've generally never been a fan of either of those types, with the mummy being too constrictive and the rectangular being too cold. This fixed that on both fronts. The top hood of this bag isn't restrictive at the least, and the internal comforter is incredibly adjustable to match the cold of the night. Add in that its only like a pound, and its stuff sack is a manageable 15x7.5 inch, and you got yourself a winner. So, thank you, Ashleigh. This bad is perfect. (Also, this may mean Ashleigh is a better Gearhead than me, I'm not sure of the rules).

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Zak Ricklefs

Zak Ricklefswrote a review of on June 26, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I bought the long and wide version of this pad, and ohhhhhhhhhhh man its like the easy boy of sleeping pads. A lazy-boy that fits into the palm of your hand, that is. Packed up, this thing is tiny at about 12x2, but its still really comfortable all blown up. Definitely pick this one up if you are looking for a new pad!

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Zak Ricklefs

Zak Ricklefswrote a review of on June 26, 2018

Do I Need to Review This?
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Come on, do I need to even do this review? This is the Big Agnes Copper Spur we are talking about here! Its short past is more storied than my entire life. What can I possibly say about it that someone on OutdoorGear Lab has already said a million times? This thing is light. Its a three person tent, so the having that at 4 lbs is incredible. My kitten is heavier than this tent. And I can probably fit a lot of cats in this tent, because its huge. At 44 square feet and an interior height of 44 inches, its bigger than my apartment. The only thing that bugs me (and bugs me about basically every tent on the market these days) is that doesn't come with a footprint. However, Big Agnes did leave room in this tents packed bag, so you can include a footprint. This makes it so you don't have to carry two little bags. Brilliant. So, in conclusion, believe the hype. This tent is rad, and you are going to love it.

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Zak Ricklefs

Zak Ricklefswrote a review of on June 26, 2018

Beautiful Sunnies
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

These sunnies are honestly pretty amazing. They are pretty cheap, polarized, and incredibly strong. I have fallen on these sunglasses in my pocket more times that I am willing to admit and they have never broken once. The most they do is bend, which is more than I can say for sunglasses twice this price. They are good looking, strong, and amazing. What more can you want?

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