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longranger

longranger

Boulder, CO

longranger's Passions

Running
Biking
Hiking & Camping
Climbing

longranger's Bio

Mountains: fast - using bikes and feet. Find me at:
http://longranger.justinsimoni.com
http://instagram.com/longrangerjustin/
http://facebook.com/longrangerjustin/

longranger

longrangerwrote a review of on October 9, 2017

Good for backpack ballast
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I often joke that because of the sheer size and weight of this book, the book itself would be a good training tool to haul up and down mountainous hikes. Which is exactly what I did, when it came to training for my summer adventures!

The actual contents of the book - the writing in other words is a good read as well.

(1)

 

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longranger

longrangerwrote a review of on September 23, 2017

Dream Shoe
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: Runs small
Height: 6' 0"
Weight: 170 lbs
Size Purchased: 46

I've reviewed a lot of La Sportiva shoes (see my profile), and I don't believe I have that La Sportiva footshape. These may be may favorite (not including the TXn's, which are an approach shoe, but also rule) - one little nit-pick after I tell you what I like:

OUTSOLE: the rockstar of this shoe is the outsole. If you want a trailrunner, with a sticky outsole WHILE ALSO having a aggressive tread, these are the shoes you want. The aggressive tread works in the wet grass, mud, scree, snow, etc, the stickiness works when things get technical. This summer, I used these shoes to climb every Centennial peak in Colorado, including the Crestone Traverse (5.2), Little Bear-Blanca Traverse (5.0), Jagged Mountain (5.2) (pictured), Wham Ridge (5.4) and the Maroon Bells Traverse (5.6). I'm a competent climber, so I do know the difference between a climbing shoe and a trail runner, and these trail runners give me enough confidence to take on these routes without fear

The upper is great, very breathable, and dries fast.

The nitpick is on the lacing itself: it's downright impossible to redo the lacing, if you need to put a new lace in them, without cheating to see just how the other shoe is laced up. It sounds silly, but it's true! I've never had the best luck with laces that are supplied with La Sportiva shoes - they make an incredible boot, then fall short on something as silly as a shoelace. Prempting this with a $2 pair from the store may just save your weekend.

My only wishlist would be the heel drop: I'd rather have a more minimal drop, which these shoes def. are not - there's nothing minimal about them: they are well cushioned, very aggressive, stabilized shoes. It's not a big issue for me for trail runners, but this ain't an Altra fer sure.

As with many La Sportivas, I chose a size much larger than what I usually use. My feet are very high volumed, but I didn't have a problem with the toebox. Heelcup may be a tiny bit too narrow for me, but way better than too wide.

(2)

 

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longranger

longrangerwrote a review of on September 23, 2017

1 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This product has a lot of negatives to it: the bulky design is heavy, the bizarre strapping system won't work on all types of helmets (bike helmets are totally out - or really any helmet that doesn't have a flat you put the torch straps under) , the thing is an ugly duck - lots of demerits.

The shining (ha!) star of the NAO is its reactive lighting, which is great, works as advertised, can be customize-able, but the downloadable app is cheesy and customize-able settings are not very amazing. The battery life is honest-to-goodness incredible - most especially because of the reactive lighting saving juice when you don't need it: i.e.: looking at something close up, like what's right in front of you. I don't care about any of those other things I mentioned, because of this killer feature.

Except, let's talk about this included proprietary battery.

Don't lose it.

It's actually easy to lose, since you need to REMOVE it from the head torch itself to recharge. That's horrible design. If you lose it, there's no way in Hell an outdoor shop will have a replacement in stock, and there's a good chance in a few years that Petzl won't have one available, either. Try finding a replacement for NAO that's 2 generations old. I'll wait.

Let's talk about the battery itself. Open it up, and you'll find what's basically a stock 18650 rechargeable lithium battery! EXCEPT, there's all these specific electronic parts soldered on, so you can't just pop in a new 18650 battery and be good, you need all the custom electronics. Petzl made that design intentionally - you can't swap in a 18650 and be good, you gotta buy a new battery pack from them, if you want say, a backup, or a replacement. Why not, I dunno, keep the custom electronics on the head torch itself and not soldered on the battery?

Like I noted, replacements are hard to find, even online, and Petzl doesn't make it easy to get a replacement for older version's of the NAO - Every version of the NAO comes with a slightly different battery pack - they're not interchangeable.

So you're SOL if you ever lose that battery pack. Which is a shame, since the actual battery itself is just wrapped in proprietary b.s., so even if you do purchase a replacement, it's a many times the price of a 18650 markup.

Petzl could have done this: have the battery be a stock 18650 you can replace, and also have an easy to way to recharge it through the head torch itself, via a USB plug which doesn't need to be accessed by removing the battery pack itself and using a female to female USB plug (a f 2 f is itself hard to find a replacement for, and yet another different USB chord I need to carry around)

In all, the NAO's design screams, "PROTOTYPE", but it made it to production anyways. Great features (REACTIVE LIGHTING), but the package/design is horrifyingly bulky. The new iteration didn't change any of that - you can't polish a turd.

"Nao" that I have this headtorch without a battery pack (since I lost it!), it's a paperweight, unless I want to cough up $70 for a replacement battery. That's right: $70! 40% of the entire price of the light. For a $3 18650 lithium battery, and probably $1 worth of custom electronics.

Bad show, Petzl!

(4)

 

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longranger

longrangerwrote a review of on September 23, 2017

2 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Other than in-camp usage, there's only one real setting on this light that's usable, and that's the highest setting. Unfortunately, you'll drain either the included battery pack, or 3 AAAs FAST - a few hours at most. I thought this would be a nice little head torch to have around, but even in , "Oops, I'm stuck out longer than I realized! Thank goodness I have this headtorch" situations, it falls flat. Think of the highest setting as a high beam you can manually turn on for specific times, then manually turn off. And I mean turn off - you need to turn off the entire light to go through all the different light modes, starting with, "red", then "brighter red", etc.

The battery pack is removable, which is a blessing and a curse - you have to open the headtorch itself to access the USB plug, which is a great chance for the battery pack and the torch itself to part ways. The USB plug sticks straight out of the flat side of the battery, which again is a great chance to damage your USB chord, and isn't very pack-able, for on-the-go charging.

Oh, and no way to lock the light, so it can't be turned on by accident when packed.

Finally, the light tells you the batteries are almost out be pulsating rapidly. Like, the light itself. I can't tell you how annoying that is. Like, I want to kill the light, but I'm in epileptic shock because of the light, annoying. No, infuriating. Other headtorches I have had the pleasure of owning have a led indicator on the side and don't cause me to hate myself and the $60 I've lost to this little thing.

Everything else is just kind of a lightweight cheap-plastic-y feel to it.

(0)

 

longranger

longrangerwrote a review of on July 3, 2016

The Promised Land!
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 0"
Weight: 175 lbs

This is actually a followup to my initial review. I've have been now using the TX3's for a few weeks now, everything from warming up my bouldering sess. (up to V4!) in them to scrambling up 5.easy Flatiron routes (up to 5.7).

I have been very happy with the fit and performance of these shoes - something I wasn't surprised given the La Sportiva pedigree.

The shoes have seen some outdoor abuse bushwhacking to off trail climbs and look great. Mesh is holding up well. The out sole is super sticky, so it shows some wear - the stickier/softer the rubber, the faster it's going to wear. Luckily, these shoes look pretty resole-able.

I've haven't done a considerable amount of running, but they've been great on 6+ hour summit-bagging days. All things considered, I'm pretty stoked on my new true love, the TX3's.

(2)

 

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longranger

longrangerwrote a review of on June 14, 2016

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Height: 6' 0"
Weight: 175 lbs
Size Purchased: 44

Quite surprisingly, even though I have been running in size 46 La Sportiva trail runners (Ultra Raptors, Wildcats, Helios, Helios SR, etc), size 46 TX3's were laughable clown-sized. I moved down to size 44's, and the fit was much better for the intended purpose: scrambling 5.easy routes in Boulder's Flatirons, while still being usable running between them.

Size 44 is closer to what I would wear with a LS rock shoe like the Katana, rather than related to their trail running series (which makes sense, in a way). Katanas though, were too tight for me, while the TX3's seem really nice and wide in the toe box, without being too loose/floppy.

So just an FYI, the last on the TX3 is yet another variable in LS's line - it seems actually truer to what other brands release, rather than what I've experienced with LS: you have to size up at least 1 or 2 EU sizes.


(0)

 

longranger

longrangerwrote a review of on June 6, 2016

Does what it's meant to and nothing more
4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

There's nothing really more simple than this bivvy. The opening is pretty tiny, which makes it a little hard to get comfortable - think about getting out and in of it in the middle of the night to answer the call. It IS super-lightweight, though and will do its exact purpose well. I've done month+ trips with this bivvy, along with a tarp and it handled everything I needed. Its spacious enough for a regular sleeping bag and a 3/4 sized pad to fit inside. If you're sleeping on an abrasive surface, I would suggest some sort of ground cloth as well. Wash it with Tech Wash or similar once a year and put a water proof treatment on it, and it's good to go.

(1)

 

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longranger

longrangerwrote a review of on June 6, 2015

3 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: Runs small
Height: 6' 0"
Weight: 175 lbs
Size Purchased: 46

This has to be my dream trail running shoe, except for one major oversight - there doesn't seem to be a rock plate! (descriptions around the net say that it does)

The stack height is lower than the (non SR) Helios by a few mm, which makes things a tad touchy on rocky terrain. If you look at the bottom of the shoe, the outsole is not continuous - it has major gaps between the rubber, revealing the midsole.

This is fine, and makes for a very flexible shoe (which I seem to prefer), but it's too easy to get stabbed in the foot with sharp objects that go in between the outer rubber. Ouch. Def. getting an aftermarket rock plate to put in here. The revealed midsole already is looking a little beat up.

Don't take my word for it. Take out the insole, and see if there's anything between the bed of the shoe and the midfoot. I can personally feel my fingernail through it.

Other than that, It's an OK scrambling shoe, and I've taken it on 5.easy Flatiron terrain here in Boulder. Although it can't edge, it can smear pretty well. Slightly better grip than the regular Helios. Not sure you want climbing rubber on a trail runner, anyways! Hoping that I could replace an approach shoe with this, but there's def. advantages of a true approach shoe.

Ran a 50k with them, with an alright time, straight out of the box. They felt great. This is a very lightweight shoe, make no mistake. Things seem to be getting pretty crushed a bit quickly.

Used the same size (46) for the Helios, Helios SR, and CLite's from La Sportiva - about a size up than say, a Montrail trail runner.

(3)

 

longranger

longrangerwrote a review of on May 20, 2015

Alright
3 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: Runs small
Height: 6' 0"
Weight: 175 lbs
Size Purchased: 46

Some great points: The Tread! For winter (snow) and rainy (mud!) conditions, this was a great shoe to use - the tread pattern is shared with other La Sportiva models, and it's nice to have a predictable behavior in the tread. The only thing I wouldn't use shoes with this tread is when I'm scrambling up the Flatiron Slabs in Boulder - there's just better choices out there, when I need that type of friction and stickiness in the bottom of my shoe.

The shoes, for me, fell down hard in two places: First, the midsole. The drop is minimal, which is great, but the material in the midsole seems to give the shoe a harsh feeling, especially when I'm used to the much springier Helios.

The other place this shoe fell, and fell HARD is the weird plastic wraparound cup. On long runs, it proved very uncomfortable.

I also experienced some wears and holes near my pinky toes. Overall the upper is pretty OK, with a plasticy feel, which also worked well, as there was nothing to absorb water and stay soaking wet (a big plus, in those bad conditions)

Overall, I wouldn't choose these shoes again, but would choose other models from La Sportiva. I wear a half size to a size up from other brands.

Also, these are probably shoes you don't want to run on the road for all that many miles. The tread is pretty aggressive, and those lugs would just wear down a bit fast.

(1)

 

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longranger

longrangerwrote a review of on May 20, 2015

Versatile
4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

The Killer Feature of the Fastpack 20 (and 30, really), is the rolltop, + compression staps, which turn the voluminous pack into basically a much, much smaller version of itself. That means there's no jostling of the contents inside, if you don't have much in there.

The other Killer Feature is that these things expand a bit more than what they're rated for.

This Versatility is why I use mine for commuting, going to the climbing gym, going to crag, going on mini bike adventures, and going on winter hikes/runs in the back country.

(3)

 

longranger

longrangerwrote a review of on May 20, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This is my go-to gear for my short runs (1 - 3 hours), as it's does all you really need - after a pair of shoes, and running shorts. The "handle" works well, even if you don't grip it, so you can use your hands (say to catch a fall!) without too much both. The picket usually holds my house key, and my eTrex 20, along with perhaps a gel.

What's also an added bonus is that you can slip off the bottle, and bring the harness/pocket with you, wherever you go. I keep mine tucked in a bag on my bike, so if I feel the need for a run sometime during work, I slip away, put in a bottle that's also on my bike's bottle cage and go go go!

(1)

 

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longranger

longrangerposted an image about on May 20, 2015

Missouri Mountain

The PB Adventure Vest is what I used for my Tour 14er - a self-supported race to summit all 58 14ers in Colorado, riding to the trail heads by bike.

The PB Adventure Vest served me well, both while riding my MTB between peaks, as well as when running up and down the mountains themselves. I even used it for extended hikes into, and out of more remote mountains, like the Chicago Basin and the Snowmass/Capital linkup, but simply tying stuff sacks to the outside of the pack. Versatile!

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longranger

longrangerwrote a review of on July 5, 2014

Avoid
1 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size

I'm surprised at all the positive reviews of this product, as I've found the shoe to be probably the worst shoe I've ever owned - barely making it to 130 miles, before the bottom has completely worn out. The panels of actual rubber which are glued to the bottom of the shoe tend to peel off, and the EVA foam gets ripped to shreds. Any lugs are quickly ground down, leaving an incredibly slick bottom.

Running my last run in these were treacherous, and I slipped/fell many times negotiated rocks in my way. I've owned many pairs of Montrails - it's basically the only brand I've used. The Bajada Outdry's also show this "panels of rubber peel off" problem, except the rubber covers more area.

The Badrock and Badrock OutDry do not seem to exhibit this problem, as the bottom does not have paneling, but is covered in the rubber.

(1)

 

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