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bs's Passions

Hiking & Camping

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bswrote a review of on October 29, 2018

3 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I bought this pack for a 3 week trip to rainy New Zealand. It worked OK, but I didn't end up loving it. No matter what i did with adjusting it, I just couldn't get it to fit me all that well. So I ended up selling it when I got back.
Good: Fabulous waterproof bombproof materiel (just make sure the side zipper is zipped up all the way!) I wish all packs were made of this stuff. Good pockets and features. High quality construction.
Not so good: It just didn't fit me very well, in spite of so make sure it fits you WITH A LOAD before you buy it. If it fits you well, I'd guess it's a great pack, but for me it hung awkwardly and was tiring to wear. Also, it is very expensive of course!
I went back to my trusty Gregory Deva which is the most comfortable pack I've ever had.

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bswrote a review of on May 30, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I have used this bag down to -15F, and slept completely warm. I am a cold sleeper, and normally need a bag rated to at least 20 deg more than claimed. but not so with this bag. It really is WARM! I just crawl in, and am immediately toasty no matter how cold it is. But, it weighs less than 3.5 lbs! And stuffs down quite small. The microfiber shell rocks; it sheds water quite well, blocks wind, and breaths very well. Fabulous bag, I wouldn't go winter camping with any other.

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bswrote a review of on January 23, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

It is not that easy to find a pack that fits short/small women and still holds a lot. This pack delivers! It is very comfortable, and can easily hold as much as you could possibly want or need, it is perfect for winter backpacking! So easy to pack up, no hassle with trying to cram everything into a small pack in the cold. Even with a 55 lb load I had no discomfort or bruising anywhere, and the load did not shift or throw me off balance while snowshoeing on steep trails and ducking under blow-downs.
Make sure you get the right size for your torso length, and get the correct size hip-belt and shoulder harness. Everything swaps out so you can custom fit; I ended up with a size WS pack and shoulder harness but a size large hipbelt. I highly recommend this pack if you want a comfortable load hauler, which can also be compressed down for smaller summer loads.

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bswrote a review of on March 16, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: Runs large
Height: 5' 4"
Weight: 160 lbs
Size Purchased: XL

Good old 60/40 cloth (actually 65/35) has returned, in a very well designed wind/snow hike/ski parka. The wax on it makes it quite water repellant, but not waterproof in a day long deluge. It also makes it less breathable than I like, so I washed it out (one wash cycle on hot gets out most of it). Love the 2 way side vent zips, and the neck gusset which unbuttons and folds out of the way if you don't want it. Very good heavy duty wind anorak, will get a lot of use! Runs large, so you can wear it over other layers. Hood is awesome, and adjusts to your head very nicely. Nit pick: the drawcord on the hood was kind of cheesy, so I switched it out for a better one, easy to do.

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bswrote a review of on March 15, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 4"
Weight: 160 lbs
Size Purchased: large

Very warm, packs down super small, perfect for winter backpacking. Fully baffled so there are no cold spots anywhere. Warmest jacket for the weight that I have ever worn. Love it! I got the large so it fits over everything else.

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bswrote a review of on April 22, 2010

5 5

Like everybody else, I love this jacket. Very weatherproof, a light rain runs right off it. Fantastic hood. Unlike most women's coats, it actually fits real women; long enough in the arms to actually move them, big enough to wear layers under it (yes it does run a little big), long enough to keep your butt warm, enough room in the arms and shoulders. And it really fits like a women's coat, not a man's. Also unlike most women's coats, it is actually warm! Very warm! No sewn thru seams or cold spots. Yes it's not the lightest thing out there, but it's pretty light and for the price it's pretty high performance. Wait for a sale and you will have a great value in an all purpose winter garment.

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bswrote a review of on March 11, 2010

4 5

Yes, it's more breathable than the "big G", but IMO all rain gear should have pit zips. If it's warm enough to rain, then you are going to want to cool off at some point, preferably while not having the rain dumping down your chest, and not having to take your raincoat off to remove layers, which is what pit zips are for! Not being able to dump extra heat without letting water in greatly limits this jackets versatility. However, in every other way I love it so much that I am going to keep it and add pit zips to it myself. Very nice cut, lightweight, great hood, and about as breathable as raingear is likely to get and still be waterproof. If it had pit zips and a 2-way zipper in front I'd give it 5 stars. Too bad they don't make the Latok jacket in a women's cut, but then the lighter weight of the Alpine Latok is nice. On sale it's a great deal.

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bswrote a review of on February 24, 2010

4 5

Good but not perfect; I like the cut, fabric, and color, but it should have pit zips, a way to roll up and stow the hood, and a 2-way zipper in the front. Also sleeve cuffs that open so you can adjust or roll up the sleeves. Not worth the full price, but on sale I'm glad I bought it, I use it quite a bit and it does have a pretty wide comfort range.

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bswrote a review of on September 23, 2009

5 5

This coat is for staying warm in everyday winter life. A bit heavy for mountaineering or skiing, but lighter than most other around town coats, and it is stuff-able if you had to stow it somewhere. Great for traveling. Hood does not come off, but this has not bothered me because if it's cold enough for this coat then you want the hood. Unfortunately it does not have an internal waist drawcord, just one at the bottom, (which comes down long enough to cover your butt). A bit expensive at full price, but a great deal if you get it on sale. You won't be cold!

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