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Baghdad and beyond...

rickevam's Bio

World Traveller


rickevamwrote a review of on January 10, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

This is definitely one of the coolest NorthFace jackets I have ever owned! I saw this jacket for the very first time when US Magazine reported Angelina Jolie's December 6th 2012 visit to the Jordan-Syria border. At that time it was only a mystery jacket for me because nobody knows exactly where to find the same one. So many media outlets had reported the wrong info about Angelina Jolie's jacket and ALL the web links they provided always automatically got rerouted to the NorthFace regular "Thunder Down Jacket"which is totally different in style and pattern (*Hint: missing word MICRO in the name) After noticing the pattern and style differences on the regular NorthFace "Thunder Down Jacket" and comparing numerous jackets with the picture of Angelina Jolie in US Magazine, my persistence and extensive research finally paid off! Even though all the NorthFace products are still made in China, I think this Thunder Micro jacket is very cool, super flattering with sexy slimming cut and it's extremely light (*hint: micro jacket). Frankly, I am still hesitant to wear it around the campfire due to its delicate material so I've been trying to "baby" this jacket to death. Trust me, it's very hard to find a nice winter jacket that doesn't make you look like Michelin Man. I ordered SMALL when my actual size is EXTRA-SMALL as the NorthFace size usually runs small and it's fits me perfectly! I am still unsure whether this Thunder Micro jacket can travel far in high mileage adventures. My all time favorite NorthFace down jacket is called "ERICA" (but sadly--it has been discontinued) That jacket has been keeping me warm in so many different countries without complaint because it was crafted with more durable material and tons of smart hidden-pockets that I am crazy about. This NorthFace Thunder Micro Jacket is definitely very cool, stylish and highly packable, so far I am loving it. I highly recommend it to anyone who loves looking awesome and fashionable on a backpacking trip!





rickevamwrote a review of on January 8, 2013

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

The Copper Spur UL2 is definitely more livable than Big Agnes' Flycreek series. The flycreek gave me a very tight coffin-like feel inside the tent with its slanted walls design. The Copper Spur UL2 provides high degree of comfort and livability for ONE PERSON. I took this tent on a solo cold-mountain backpacking and put it through hellish torrential rain + 65mph wind in the middle of SANDY STORM last year and I was pleasantly surprised to see the excellent performance. I pitched the tent on its "footprint" (purchased separately) using only 4 stakes, didn't even use the guylines... no pole breakage, no leak, no condensation, everything was bone-dry inside the tent despite the insane weather (-although both vestibules got really flooded because the rainfly is not designed to reach all the way to the ground) I am glad that I picked the UL2, if I had the UL1 then I would've been forced to place my gears in the "faulty" vestibules. IMHO, the Copper Spur UL2 is most suitable for ONE PERSON only; of course it's still "doable" to push 2 people in it, but they would have to be tiny teenagers or super skinny adults who won't move around much during sleeping. It's miserable riding out a bad weather in a very cramped space, even when both occupants really like each other. One more complaint that I have is its Rainbow Doors! The "D style" doors would certainly seal the FIVE STARS approval. After stepping on the doors so many times I can't help wondering why such a nice highly packable ultralite tent would have this stupid flaw. But then again, Big Agnes' tents are NOT in the same class as the Hilleberg's so I don't expect they'll ever make a tent like the Hilleberg's. Swedish manufacturers seem to always have well thought out designs and superior quality. Nevertheless, even with the annoying "Rainbow Doors", I still highly recommend this tent! It's even worth the wait when it's on back-order!