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An Illusion is defined as “a thing that is likely to be wrongly perceived or interpreted by the senses,” or “a deceptive appearance or impression.” Well, when I received this jacket my senses were immediately persuaded to believe in my original thought — “where’s the wool?!”. 

I am a tactile man, much like a bull in a china shop. My fingers caressed every fold and crevice of the jacket searching for the seeming illusion of the presence of wool. Apparently, Ortovox’s Merino Windbreaker comprises over 50 percent fine merino fibers and 50 percent synthetic polyamide, woven together, making for an extraordinary light & windproof jacket. The merino wool also is supposed to regulate moisture and temperature and claims to be odor neutralizing. Best to put it to the test! 

Ortovox Merino Windbreaker

Product Description: The Ortovox Men’s Merino Windbreaker is a windproof jacket with all the wicking, odor-neutralizing and comfort benefits of merino wool. You can batten down the hem, sleeves and hood when you need to stay safe from cold winds and stow the jacket in its own pocket when the weather improves.

Price: $200 MSRP

  • Quality
    (4.8)
  • Features
    (4.7)
  • Durability
    (5)

Summary

If you want to see the progression of technical clothing with an elegant touch, or if you are curious what the sheep in Tasmania are up to, then I cannot recommend this jacket enough. The feel of the jacket is truly remarkable. Coupled with exceptional breathability, the Merino Windbreaker deserves a place in your line up.

Overall 4.8

Pros

  • Super lightweight, packable
  • Very breathable
  • Incredibly wind-proof
  • Fits really well
  • 50% Merino Wool
  • Odor resistant

Cons

  • Zipper pulls on opposite side
Fit and Comfort

Upon initial handling of this jacket, I was admittedly perplexed. It’s so thin – the sound of nylon crackling like rice off my fingertips, yet the striking logo of Merino wool on the sleeve left my senses intrigued. I put it on, barely noticing it due to its performance fit and ridiculous lack of weight. Still wondering where the wool was hiding, I climbed several different locations amongst cool and consistent breezes splashed with a mixture of chilly mornings and sunny afternoons.

The apparition like fit hugged me well as I completed numerous hikes and climbs. The construction of this jacket combines 50% wool, making it soft to the touch and french seams make it fit well without bunching or bulging. From hiking with a heavy pack, ski touring, and wearing it for wind protection next to skin in the spring desert, this jacket performed exceedingly well and is much softer than my other windproof shells. 

Look and style

The two-tone yellow is a nice touch. Much like the subtleties of a magician performing a trick, the eyes are guided throughout the jacket in part due to strategically placed tones of yellow. Ortovox has no shortage of stylistic touches in their products— one thing that sets them apart from the competition.  A multitude of color offerings means a functional jacket that can fit any occasion.


Function/Performance

This is where this jacket excels. Whether hiking to a distant crag in the humidity of the Red River Gorge, dancing my way up the delicate panels of Shelf Road, or prolonging the inevitable pump at my local crag, this jacket performed. It kept me protected from the wind, yet breathed well when working up a sweat. I was weary of its capabilities initially, but have since been persuaded by its illustrious illusion and add it into my quiver of jackets willingly.

I also found it to be amazingly packable and so light you’ll forget it’s with you. A breast pocket allows it to be stowed away and clipped to a harness, hardly noticing it’s there. Howling wind is stopped in its tracks as this jacket is totally windproof. The high concentration of Merino wool coupled with high breathability made it very comfortable and soft next to skin.

Merino wool has an incredible ability to fight odors and at no point in testing this jacket was I concerned with foul odors. Initially, I was concerned with the potential durability of this jacket given its weight of 158g and extremely thin feel. Through numerous climbs, ski tours, stuffing in packs, cars, and just everyday life, my thoughts and concerns with durability were eased. This jacket even handled a rock fall onto it causing a fractured hand, but absolutely no sign of tears or abrasions to the jacket. My hand was another story. 

Room for Improvement

The first thing I noticed when I put it on, and ultimately my biggest room for improvement was the zipper pull is opposite from a standard men’s jacket. Not a game changer, but something I certainly had to get “used to”. Beyond this, this jacket stood out as an extraordinary piece of technical clothing at which I think the benchmark will be set.

The Final Word

If you want to see the progression of technical clothing with an elegant touch, or if you are curious what the sheep in Tasmania are up to, then I cannot recommend this jacket enough. The feel of the jacket is truly remarkable. Coupled with exceptional breathability, the Merino Windbreaker deserves a place in your line up.

Shop the Ortovox Merino Windbreaker on Outdoor Prolink. Not a member? Apply today!

Joe Anderson is an ER nurse/Flight Medic and ski patroller, who is currently living in a van pursuing the finer points of life, love and happiness; ultimately seeking the ethereal beauty of this world by climbing as many rocks as he can.

The post ProView – Ortovox Merino Windbreaker appeared first on Dirtbag Dreams - Gear Reviews.

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Outdoor Prolink and Evolv were gracious enough to give me a pair of Oracles for testing and these are amazing lace-up performance shoes. I’m currently living in LA and try to make it out to climb every weekend and to the gym at least twice a week.

Evolv Oracle

Product Description: The next step in performance. Utilizing the "Love Bump" and "Knuckle Box" for maximum edging power and comfort, coupled with an all-new high-tension heel rand and "Dark Spine" heel midsole, the Oracle gives the highest level of fit and control available on the market. Speed laces run through the FSS Heel Tensioner giving unparalleled support, locking the heel into maximum power on any angle.

Price: MSRP $175.00

  • Style
    (4.5)
  • Fit
    (4.5)
  • Durability
    (5)

Summary

I would rate them a 4.5 out of 5 with a minor miss of a perfect score due to the aesthetic design. They’re a little bland and generic, which stinks because they’re an amazing shoe and I’m very happy to have them in my arsenal.

Overall 4.7

Pros

  • High performance
  • Easy to put on/take off
  • Fit

Cons

  • Aesthetic design

Fit

The shoes first outing was to echo cliffs, a local LA crag in the Santa Monica mountains. I decided to boot up and get on a climb that I had never been on but heard great things about, Chop top (5.12c). I had tried the Oracles out a few days before at the gym and putting them on at the crag reiterated my feelings about them; they do and should fit you really well right out the box. At least for me, the Oracles fit every part of my foot without being too constrictive or painful. Often I don’t even have to tie the laces and the shoe has hold of my foot. The only time I make it a point to lace up is when I know there is going to be a heel hook that I don’t even want to think about slipping out of my shoe. That being said, I think the shoe itself holds my foot in place enough that the laces are only helping with ease of mind.

They are not the softest shoe I’ve ever worn, so if you’re hoping to feel the rock that may not happen, but when I put my toe on something and push I can feel the sole acting as a platform to use the base of my foot as support on even very small holds. Usually, I wear a size 40 or 40.5 but I got the oracles in 41.5 and am super happy with them. They have held up very well and have minimal stretch as far as I can tell.

Anyway… back to the climb. I took an exploratory burn, putting the draws up and taking frequently. My second go I fell going to the anchors and sent on the third attempt, all thanks to the Oracles.

Performance

In all seriousness, the oracle is a great high-performance shoe that also happens to be comfortable and doesn’t tweak your feet in strange ways. It has ample room for my big toe and heel without that painful break-in process. I would recommend it for any sport climbing or bouldering outing. The only time I don’t have them on my feet climbing is when I’m going to do a multi-pitch or climb that I know I can wear an even more comfortable slipper and not have to worry about performing at or above my limit.

In the past few weeks, I’ve taken them out in the Santa Monica’s a few times, to Bishop, Red Rock, and even bouldering in Joshua Tree. At first I was a bit worried that I would have to be dealing with the laces so much having only worn velcro or slip on shoes for the past seven years, but taking them off is a breeze and, as I stated before, I rarely even spend the time to tie them up because the form hugs my foot so well.

Room for Improvement

I would rate them a 4.5 out of 5 with a minor miss of a perfect score due to the aesthetic design. They’re a little bland and generic, which stinks because they’re an amazing shoe and I’m very happy to have them in my arsenal.

Shop the Evolv Oracle on Outdoor Prolink. Not a member? Apply today!

Brian has been climbing for the past ten years, focusing mainly on sport climbing and bouldering, but has been dabbling in trad climbing recently. He has worked in the indoor climbing industry for the past four years wearing many hats. He is a climbing instructor, coach, setter, and (most importantly) friendly desk staff at The Stronghold Rock Climbing Gym in downtown LA. Reach him on his Instagram: @Islandclimbing.

The post ProView – Evolv Oracle appeared first on Dirtbag Dreams - Gear Reviews.

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Grivel North Machine Ice Tool

Product Description: The North Machine Carbon is a lightweight technical tool designed to fit the most ambitious alpinist. Made of aerospace composite with a finely tuned Ice Plus Blade its designed to climb the north faces where conditions of ice and mixed terrain are likely to be found. The North Machine's Carbon Composite G-Bone shaft offers no compromise over quality allowing greater strength and rigidity. This is made possible by the special reinforcement and by the orientation of the carbon fibres. The North Machine is delivered with the Ice Plus Blade with a hammer or adz option, or with the Ice Blade but without hammer or adz option.

Price: MSRP $289.95

  • Quality
    (5)
  • Features
    (4)
  • Durability
    (5)

Summary

If you want a bomber all around ice tool that can serve you well cragging at the ice park as well as climbing mixed routes high in the alpine, this is the tool for you.  Its light weight makes it a dream for long approaches to routes in the backcountry and allows you to fight off the pump you get from swinging heavy tools repeatedly.  I would give these tools a 4.5/5 with the only reason holding it back from a full 5 being the lack of a spike on the end of the shaft for plunging.

Overall 4.7

Pros

  • Extremely durable
  • Ergonomic design
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • No spike on the end of the shaft
  • No secondary hand placement

Performance

These tools are equally at home on moderate to steep ice as they are on mixed or dry routes.  I have climbed for two seasons (200+ routes) with these tools and have been impressed with their performance each and every time. I have used these ice tools on ice anywhere from WI2-WI6 with about an equal split of backcountry ice and ice in the Ouray and Lake City ice parks. They have also climbed very well on mixed routes ranging from M2-M8. These mixed climbs have been anything from alpine mixed routes in Rocky Mountain National Park all the way to overhung bolted routes in Vail. The North Machines have also accompanied me on some steep couloir climbs here in the Colorado Rockies. There is really nothing involving snow, rock, or ice that these tools can’t handle. They are made of aerospace carbon composite which allows them to be incredibly lightweight and brutally strong.  These features allow me to accelerate the tool head with just a flick of the wrist to get a confident strike.

Look/Style

I have had friends call them the “Ferrari” of ice tools which should speak for itself.  The shafts have the quintessential carbon fiber look with a yellow stripe down the spine.  They are all around a very clean and modern looking ice tool.

Features

The beauty of the North Machines is that they have just the features you need to climb committing alpine routes and nothing else to get in the way.  The aerospace carbon composite shafts are light and tough with a T-rating. The shafts are not aggressive compared to other tools on the market and are relatively straight shafted with a very ergonomic curve for your hand. Grivel’s base model of the North Machine has no attachment, but they offer the options of adding either an adze or hammer to the tool.  These tools are equipped with Grivels “Ice” hot forged steel picks that come razor sharp from the factory. The steel is very hard which leads to less time spent filing your picks.

Weight/Packability

Coming in just shy of 1 lb 4 oz a piece nothing else on the market compares to the Grivel North Machines weight. At just 47 cm in length, they pack down very well on your pack without having sharp edges sticking out past the margins of you climbing pack.

Durability/Construction

So far after two seasons of sheer abuse, the only damage you can see are some scuff marks to the paint along the shaft of my tools.  Thanks to the hardened steel picks, I have been able to easily maintain the points with a simple file from the local hardware store.

Room for Improvement

The only downsides that I have experienced with these tools are the fact that they don’t have a secondary hand placement and the bottom of the tool has a carbide point like a trekking pole rather than a spike.  Without the secondary handhold, it is difficult to go hand over hand on the same tool to reach high placements with the other tool.  I have usually found this to be a problem with aggressive mixed or overhung terrain.  The carbide point isn’t the end of the world, but for plunging the tool into hard pack snow in couloirs or between pitches on a route it would be nicer to have a true spike to bite better.

The Final Word

If you want a bomber all around ice tool that can serve you well cragging at the ice park as well as climbing mixed routes high in the alpine, this is the tool for you.  Its light weight makes it a dream for long approaches to routes in the backcountry and allows you to fight off the pump you get from swinging heavy tools repeatedly.  I would give these tools a 4.5/5 with the only reason holding it back from a full 5 being the lack of a spike on the end of the shaft for plunging.

Shop the Grivel North Machine Ice Tool on Outdoor Prolink. Not a member? Apply today!

Zach is an aspiring alpinist, ski mountaineer, climber, and photographer. He is a Wilderness First Responder and frequently volunteers with the Colorado Mountain Club to help train future mountaineers. Zach works part-time as a marine biologist in Alaska and a wildlife biologist here in Colorado. You can catch him climbing around Golden where he lives today. 

The post ProView – Grivel North Machine Ice Tool appeared first on Dirtbag Dreams - Gear Reviews.

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Sitting, am I right? Not to be taken lightly.

The Big Six Camp chair is a Big Agnes product that can withstand even the most vigorous sitting sessions. It’s built for comfort, style, and ease. This Spring, I took the Big Six Camp chair on several hang out sessions and this is what I found.

Product Name: Big Six Camp Chair

Product Description: When you're used to camping in comfort, the Big Six Camp Chair is your jam. Designed with deluxe chillin' in mind, the Big Six has a tall back, wide seat, and sits an accessible 20" off the ground. Quick and easy to set up with a shock-cord pole set, and packable enough for stashing in your truck, trunk, or travel bag for wherever you're going to need it.

Price: $149.95

[ More ]

  • Durability
    (5)
  • Comfort
    (4.5)
  • Features
    (4)

Summary

The Big Six Camp Chair is a sturdy and comfortable solution to any car camping adventure. This thing is nearly bomb-proof and will make your friends sitting on an upturned log, very jealous. Because of its weight, I would not recommend taking this camp chair on any kind of backpacking experience. But if you and the folks are out enjoying the river for a long weekend? It’s the perfect chair.

Overall 4.5

Pros

  • It’s easy to assemble
  • I love the upper body and headrest
  • It’s extremely comfortable
  • The waterproof coating makes it an all-weather camp chair
  • It’s very durable and can withstand rough conditions

Cons

  • It doesn’t have armrests
  • It’s a bit heavy

Features/Performance

The perfect camp chair requires little effort to sit down into and just as little effort to stand up out of. The Big Six Camp Chair sits a comfortable 20” off the ground. So standing and sitting isn’t too much work. It’s also pretty sturdy. After a long day of climbing, I often threw myself down into the chair and was unconcerned about it tipping over or breaking.

The weight limit for this chair is 300lbs, which means you’ll have no problem holding a dog on your lap while you warm your toes by the fire.

The high back on this chair is really what sold me on it. After an exhausting day, there is nothing better than leaning back in your seat to watch the stars. One of my biggest issues with other camp chairs is the lack of upper body support, which makes it difficult to completely relax. The Big Six Camp Chair has a head and neck rest that I really enjoy.

This camp chair is really well made. The shock cord pole set that creates the base makes it dummy proof to set up/take down. The hard plastic feet sit the chair nicely into the sand without capturing dirt and rocks that can get brought into your vehicle.

Packability

When you break down the chair it has a perfectly sized and easily packable bag (packs down to 3.5x21”) to stash in a roof box or under your seat. On the inside of the bag, there are easy to read set up and break down instructions.

Materials

The fabric seat is High-tenacity Robic yarn that is lightweight and 25% – 30% stronger a regular yarn in the same denier. What that translates to is it’s really sturdy. Pokey stuff in your back pocket? Chill. Aggressive sitting tendencies? You’ll be fine.

The waterproof UTS coating gives the fabric a soft feel and enhances tear strength. Springtime means rainy days and nights. I often left the Big Six Camp Chair out overnight, and in the morning all I had to do was shake the chair gently and it was ready to sit in. The water glides off the Big Six Camp Chair like water off a duck’s back and leaves your seat dry and comfortable.

Look/Style

I’m a sucker for orange these days. The pop of color this chair provides warmed my heart like a fire on a cold morning. If orange isn’t your jam, it also comes in grey, blue and magenta tones.

Room for Improvement

The Big Six Camp Chair doesn’t have armrests. For me, this isn’t too much of an issue. I like to hold my bubbly water in my lap, but if you prefer a cup holder on your camp chairs this will be a problem. It’s also a bit heavy at 3lb 3oz. This is not an issue for car camping, but this chair would not be appropriate for any kind of backpacking.

Final Word

The Big Six Camp Chair is a sturdy and comfortable solution to any car camping adventure. This thing is nearly bomb-proof and will make your friends sitting on an upturned log very jealous. I would not recommend taking this camp chair on any kind of backpacking experience. But if you and the folks are out enjoying the river for a long weekend? It’s the perfect chair.

Shop the Big Six Camp Chair on Outdoor Prolink. Not a member? Apply today!

Kaya Lindsay is a writer and photographer with a passion for rock climbing and the outdoors.  In 2016 she converted a Sprinter Van into a tiny home and has been traveling around the US & Canada to pursue her passion for rock climbing ever since. You will most likely find her in a parking lot or coffee shop, camera in hand, planning her next grand adventure. Connect with her on Instagram @OneChickTravels

The post Proview – Big Six Camp Chair appeared first on Dirtbag Dreams - Gear Reviews.

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If you haven’t noticed, Outdoor Prolink is a dog-friendly office. And when I say ‘dog friendly,’ I mean we all really love these dogs.

Stinky, muddy, semi-wet, treats from the UPS man, a leather couch to lay on, multiple desks to sit under, millions of pets, a backyard to chill in, tons of hikes closeby – these dogs really live the life.

So when Mountainsmith asked me if my doggo Jackson, aka ‘Stinky,’ would test a K9 pack, I asked him if he would be willing to go on extra hikes, play with his buds, and carry all his favorite things all in the name of gear reviews. He just looked at me with this face. 

 

Sooo… that’s a yes? Yeah, I thought so too. 

Mountainsmith K9 Pack

Product Description: Combining 35+ years of dog pack experience and the aid of a local, Colorado vet, the 2019 dog packs are the most “dogonomically” correct designs Mountainsmith has ever offered—now with added water resistance and storage.

Price: MSRP $69.95

  • Quality
    (5)
  • Features
    (5)
  • Fit
    (5)
  • Durability
    (5)

Summary

All in all, this is hands down my favorite dog pack (and I’ve owned a bunch). It’s super easy to get on, adjusts easily, and does an excellent job staying put. Jackson loves it and I love not carrying his sh*t! 

Overall 5

Pros

  • Roomy, great pockets, fits a lot of stuff! 
  • Easily on and off
  • Adjustable straps for the perfect fit
  • Comfy on doggo
  • Buckles are really simple and easy to use
  • Super durable fabric

Cons

  • Literally none! 
Quality

I’ve owned lots of dog packs in the past. In fact, even on quick hikes, I put one on Jackson for a couple different reasons. I always want him to have extra water if we aren’t near a stream or river, he definitely can carry his own poop, and honestly, when he was younger, it just weighed him down a bit so Leelah could keep up. 

Jackson is an all in doggo. So you’ll find him TEARING through branches, trees, wooded areas – full speed – just to get a stick or a frisbee or a ball. I have to admit he’s not the most clever dog out there, but he’ll have no problem absolutely ripping by, 5 inches from a massive tree branch. 

The fact that this K9 pack hasn’t ripped yet is just a testament to how durable this fabric is. You won’t be replacing this thing anytime soon.

I was also really impressed with these packs quality of buckles and adjustable straps. They are super easy to use, and they definitely didn’t skimp on the quality. Also, you adjust them once and they stay put! Revolutionary. 

Features

The worst part of getting your doggo to wear a pack, is getting it on them, especially when their stoke is high. Other brands I’ve used in the past involve throwing the pack over their head, and having to lift up a front paw to get it through a closed leg loop. Not super comfortable for the doggo or owner. 

What I loved most about this pack, is that you don’t have to do that! Toss it over their head, and the lift the sides to buckle all four buckles around their body. One less step, and a perfect way to make sure each buckle is secure and not too tight. 

It’s a pretty standard back with two large zipper pockets on both sides, and two smaller pockets for poop bags and smaller items. Try your best to keep each side weighted the same. 

It’s the perfect amount of room for a longer day hike, or can be packed full for a big backpacking trip. Typically, if we’re going backpacking he’ll carry water, water bowl, food, musher’s secret, bug spray (yes, some dogs get mosquito bites), and treats. And this pack has room for all of it! 

I also love the water resistance as this guy is prone to surprise swims.  I’ll turn the corner and he’s already soaked – happens all the time. Or he’ll have his head completely under water desperately looking for the perfect rock. 

This look means, “sorry, not sorry”. 

Also works great keeping things dry and safe in the snow! 

It’s padded in all the right places, with extra padding and mesh material on the chest and back. 

Those extra straps and chest harness help keep the pack super secure (no flopping from side to side) even when getting rough with your best buds. 

Owners will also love the leash attachment and large handle just in case you need to hold doggo back. 

The Final Word

All in all, this is hands down my favorite dog pack (and I’ve owned a bunch). It’s super easy to get on, adjusts easily, and does an excellent job staying put. Jackson loves it and I love not carrying his sh*t! 

Jackson is a 70-pound golden retriever and wears a size medium pack. 

This pack, as well as all Mountainsmith products,  are backed by the Forged For Life Guarantee, the official Mountainsmith lifetime warranty — so even the gnarliest dog can wear this pack. 

Shop the Mountainsmith K9 Pack on Outdoor Prolink. Not a member? Apply today!

Jess is the digital marketing strategist at Outdoor Prolink and dog mom to Jackson and Leelah. You’ll usually find her in Lyons, CO, hiking, skiing, SUPing, mountain biking, driving her golf cart around town, drinking beer, or listening to bluegrass. Connect with her on Outdoor Prolink’s instagram @Outdoorprolink. 

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A small, convenient lumbar pack for adventures where keeping gear dry is at a premium.

Mountainsmith Dry Tour Lumbar Pack

Product Description: A new take on the iconic Tour pack, the Dry Tour is a waterproof design for days on water and in the rain. From fishing to photography, SUP-ing, to spring hikes, protect your essentials from the elements.

Price: MSRP: $179.95

  • Quality
    (5)
  • Features
    (2)
  • Fit
    (4)
  • Durability
    (4)

Summary

Overall I see the Mountainsmith Dry Tour Lumbar Pack being great for activities where keeping a small amount of gear dry is of the utmost importance. Anglers come to mind as the most likely market for this pack but I can also see the pack working great for kayaking, SUPing, canyoneering, spelunking, and short hikes with water crossings and/or waterfalls. The Dry Tour could be a great addition to the pack arsenal of serious outdoor adventures but I wouldn’t suggest it as a default day pack due to the lower capacity, very stiff zippers, and a non-adjustable water bottle holder.

Overall 3.8

Pros

  • Waterproof material
  • Secure lumbar fit
  • Easily adjustable waist belt

Cons

  • Small
  • Very tight zippers
  • Non-adjustable water bottle holder

Are you looking for a bag that can do it all? Great for an overnight getaway or a week-long backpacking trip? Durable? Packable? All the right pockets in all the right places? Well, this isn’t that bag (sorry to say, neither is any other), but it could be the perfect bag for certain adventures so read on to learn more about the Mountainsmith Dry Tour Lumbar Pack.

I tested the Mountainsmith Dry Tour Lumbar Pack in winter and spring hikes and fishing trips in the Pacific Northwest. I also used the pack around town, at outdoor events when rainy weather was expected, and at the beach.

Performance

I found the Dry Tour to perform very well in its primary duties of carrying gear and keeping it dry no matter the weather. The fit is similar to other Mountainsmith lumbar packs I have used. In other words, it rides well on the hips and the pull tight waist belt is easy to cinch securely.

For adventures that don’t require too much gear, I’ve found lumbar packs to be far more comfortable than traditional day packs and allow better freedom of movement. The Dry Tour pack can also be worn in several different configurations from a lumbar pack (best for hiking and other active pursuits) to a messenger bag (best use as a camera bag for easy access to lenses and accessories) to a cross shoulder bag with the waist belt worn over one shoulder and across the chest.

Features

The bag has one large main compartment with two interior mesh organization pockets. There is one small additional pocket on the front of the pack and also one hip belt pocket on the right side. All exterior zippers are waterproof and coupled with the durable 500D TPU-coated nylon provide a waterproof pack for storage of your gear (hence the “Dry” in Dry Tour). The waterproof exterior and zippers kept my extra layers, food, and camera dry during a very wet day of salmon fishing on the Columbia River, which included several downpours.

However, I did find that waterproofness to come with a price. The exterior zippers on my pack are extremely difficult to open and require me to hold the side of the pack with one hand and yank on the zipper with the other. It requires much more force than it should and is the only reason I would worry about long term durability. Even after several months of use, the zippers do not seem to be loosening up much.

Room for Improvement

I found the water bottle holder to be a nice addition to the pack but I think it could have been better integrated. It is made of the same material as the rest of the pack which is pretty stiff and firm. This means that it fits a standard 32 or 40 oz Nalgene/HydroFlash bottle well but doesn’t adjust for smaller or larger diameter bottles. Since it does not need to be waterproof, it could have been made of a more flexible material or fitted with an elastic drawcord to hold smaller bottles. I did appreciate that the water bottle holder can be removed completely or switch to either side of the pack.

The Final Word

Overall I see the Mountainsmith Dry Tour Lumbar Pack being great for activities where keeping a small amount of gear dry is of the utmost importance. Anglers come to mind as the most likely market for this pack but I can also see the pack working great for kayaking, SUPing, canyoneering, spelunking, and short hikes with water crossings and/or waterfalls. The Dry Tour could be a great addition to the pack arsenal of serious outdoor adventures but I wouldn’t suggest it as a default day pack due to the lower capacity, very stiff zippers, and a non-adjustable water bottle holder.

Shop the Mountainsmith Dry Tour Lumbar Pack on Outdoor Prolink. Not a member? Apply today!

Chad works as a wildlife biologist and spends his free time hiking, camping, backpacking, and fishing. As a new transplant to Washington State, he enjoys exploring the natural wonders of the Pacific Northwest. Chad is also a former Peace Corps volunteer who has lived and traveled extensively both internationally and in the U.S.

The post ProView – Mountainsmith Dry Tour Lumbar Pack appeared first on Dirtbag Dreams - Gear Reviews.

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Slabby approaches in the desert heat, snowy approaches in the alpine and everything in between, I put the Salewa Wildfire Edge MS through the wringer. Over the last month, I was fortunate enough to test this approach shoe on various types of terrain throughout New Mexico. I tested its durability in the infamous and rugged Organ Mountains, I tested its waterproofness on snowy winter approaches in the Sandia Mountains and tested how well it climbed on hard, technical face climbs. Ladies and gentlemen, I think it’s safe to say we have a winner.

Salewa Wildfire Edge

Product Description: Men’s tech approach shoe with innovative Switchfit system and Pomoca sole for both greater climbing precision and more comfort.

Price: $169.95 MSRP

  • Quality
    (5)
  • Features
    (5)
  • Fit
    (5)
  • Durability
    (5)

Summary

The shoe fits very true to size, especially when using Salewa’s size calculator. The shoe strikes the perfect balance between walking comfort and climbing performance.

Overall 5

Pros

  • Phenomenal climbing performance
  • Incredibly comfortable.

Cons

  • Slightly bulky
  • Not a minimalist shoe.

Fit/Comfort

You know people say things “fit like a glove” but they never actually fit like glove? More like a saggy glove that’s one size too big? Yeah, me too.

This is not the case with this shoe. Seriously. The second I put this shoe on it felt like I had just put on a sock. The shoe sucked around my heel and was snug but not constrictive throughout my foot. There was just the right amount of room in the toe box to provide a little movement, yet still snug enough to allow for adequate climbing ability when the going gets vertical.

I don’t exactly have the most normal foot. Well okay, my foot isn’t that bad, it’s my toes. Or more appropriately, my talons. Many people have commented that I could probably catch a fish out of the river with those things if I tried. While I haven’t actually tried, I wouldn’t be surprised if they were right.

It is a struggle for me to find shoes, rock or approach (when intended for climbing), that accommodates the front of my foot. I rarely find a toebox with a short enough height to help lock my toes into place. To my surprise, these do the trick. They truly are a balance of performance and comfort.

Curious about what size to get? Salewa has this very accurate sizing calculator on their website and base sizing recommendations on approach shoes you already own.  I spent an extended amount of time inputting the various models of approach shoes I own in various sizes to see which size was recommended. After eight different manufacturer and model references, each final suggestion was a 10.5 and I couldn’t be more happy with that size.

Comfort is comparable to my all day alpine rock climbing shoe. With a sock. A very thick sock. Long approaches over rocky and uneven terrain in the Organ Mountains resulted in no discomfort.

Salewa has done something very unique in this shoe that I have yet to be seen done before that increases the adjustability in both the fit and the comfort. They have incorporated a modular footbed. Yes, a modular footbed. What the heck is that? I’m glad you asked. In a nutshell, you can remove certain parts of the footbed such as the heel, arch or forefoot as needed to fit your own foot. To be perfectly clear, it is still not as supportive as an aftermarket footbed but its a significant improvement as far as stock footbeds are concerned and do actually provide a significant increase in the level of comfort on the long approaches. If you do decide to replace the stock footbeds with an aftermarket product, be sure and bring the shoe and sock you intend to use with you. This is a fairly low volume shoe and any higher volume footbed placed in the shoe could potentially result in an over-crammed foot. I would highly recommend looking into a lower volume footbed if you choose to go that route.

Performance

“I never thought I would climb 5.11 in an approach shoe.” I also never thought those words would come out of my mouth. But they did. Twice.

Performance is where these shoes really shine. And in the testing, these chose to shine the first time being a victim of an inaccurate rating in the Organ Mountains in southern New Mexico. The range has a reputation on old school rating and heinous approaches. In my opinion, the reputation is accurate. It is the only place I have had to pull cactus out of my head on the approach. I’ll save that story for another day.

On my first outing with the shoes, I quickly found myself in a less than ideal situation on the Citadel, a feature in the northern part of the range. What was supposed to be a 4th class approach pitch or scramble to the base of the harder climbing quickly became harder, reaching the harder 5.8 range. Considering that the guidebook gave it a 4th class rating, my standard practice would be to climb this section ropeless in approach shoes as to not waste time. Perched in a precarious position, I managed to just get the rope on, but no time for shoes. I would have to climb the 5.8 terrain on lead in the approaches shoes. At the time, the grade was unknown to me, it could be anything. To my surprise, the shoes performed phenomenally well. I was able to edge and smear with ease. More so than any other approach shoe I have climbed the technical rock in before. Heck, I even did some jamming just for the fun of it. The gear was good so I figured I would play around.

I imagine this is due to Salewa’s Switch Fit feature on the shoe. Essentially, as you tighten the shoe, the lacing tightens on both the top and sides of the shoe providing an even more snug fit and driving your toes forward, taking it from a walking-oriented shoe to a more climbing specific shoe. When I was first introduced to this feature without actually having seen the shoe I freaked. Have you ever used Salewa’s mountaineering boots that feature the same concept? If you haven’t, it’s terrible. The extra engineering makes the boot extremely heavy. Needless to say, I was very relieved when the show arrived sans hex key.

After my incident in the Organs, I continued to test the shoe in both approach and technical climbing situations. On longer, easier climbs I prefer to climb in approach shoes if it’s appropriate. So, it is extremely important to me to have a shoe that can perform when I need it to. This shoe does the trick.

Besides my off route ordeal, I took some time to test these shoes in a more intentional manner on traditional climbs up to 5.8. While I was able to climb 5.11 in the shoe, I spent most of my time in the moderate range as this is what I would use the shoe for in the real world. I can honestly say that the only shoe that I have found that rival this shoe is the La Sportiva Ganda. I don’t think they make it anymore and I glad. While that shoe climbed well. For me, it was a nightmare to walk in for more than an hour and had a detached tongue so everything that hit the top of the shell fell inside of the shoe. With that in mind, Salewa wins. I was shocked at how well these shoes performed while standing on granite edges placing gear and even more shocked at how easily I was able to dance my way up friction slabs.

The Final Word

I have used a lot of approach shoes in my 12 years as a climber. In all honesty, I have lost track. If I had to guess, I would say at least 15 different pairs of shoes. Some I have loved, some I have thrown away after one use.

The Salewa Wildfire Edge MS ranks up there with the best. I have owned shoes that are more comfortable to walk in. However, that’s what they were designed for. Walking. Given that the MS Edge is designed for more technical applications like climbing or scrambling, I am actually a little surprised just how comfortable they are to walk in. Easily a 9/10 in that category.

Whether you’re scrambling up 3rd class terrain to the crag or making your way up to alpine ridges, there really isn’t much these shoes can’t handle. Go Salewa!

Shop the Salewa Wildfire Edge on Outdoor Prolink. Not a member? Apply today!

So who the heck am I? My name is Kerr Adams. I have been living in Albuquerque, New Mexico since 2008. What do I do? A lot. Currently, I split my time as a communications manager for a nonprofit, Youth Development Inc. and as a mountain guide and climbing instructor in the great state of New Mexico. Yeah, the land of entrapment. Occasionally I make my way up to Colorado for personal and professional outings. I spent close to eight years traveling around the globe as a full-time climber and professional instructor in amazing and inspiring places. I was fortunate enough to sample everything from the steep granite faces of the Fitzroy massif to 8000-meter peaks in Pakistan. One of the learning outcomes of my full-time vertical pursuits is that there is no room for sub-par equipment. More often than not success boils down to the little details you never thought might matter.

The post ProView- Salewa Wildfire Edge appeared first on Dirtbag Dreams - Gear Reviews.

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Getting decked out in Icebreaker from head to toe is a wool lovers dream, especially when it’s lightweight running gear. The overall quality of the pieces are top notch and the fit is true to size from their website. The feel of the material was the real game changer though, the Amplify T-shirt feels like silk and nipple chaffing is a nonexistent issue. The socks were roomy and so comfortable that I did not experience my usual numbness. The support of the boxers is world class and keeps the crown jewels right where they’re supposed to be without feeling restrictive. Even the small stuff, like the Chase headband, pleasantly surprised me, staying put, keeping my head at just the right temp while drying in an instant after some sweaty uphills. The Tech trainer Hybrid jacket is also super versatile, perfect for chilly spring runs followed by an evening walk to the brewery for an adult beverage.    

Men's Icebreaker Clothing

Product Description: Driven by the belief that nature has the solutions, we provide natural performance alternatives to synthetic based apparel to create a healthier more sustainable future for our species and the planet.

Price: Varied

  • Quality
    (5)
  • Features
    (4.5)
  • Fit
    (5)
  • Durability
    (5)

Summary

Getting decked out in Icebreaker from head to toe is a wool lovers dream, especially when it’s lightweight running gear. The overall quality of the pieces are top notch and the fit is true to size from their website. The feel of the material was the real game changer though, the Amplify T-shirt feels like silk and nipple chaffing is a nonexistent issue. The socks were roomy and so comfortable that I did not experience my usual numbness. The support of the boxers is world class and keeps the crown jewels right where they’re supposed to be without feeling restrictive. Even the small stuff, like the Chase headband, pleasantly surprised me, staying put, keeping my head at just the right temp while drying in an instant after some sweaty uphills. The Tech trainer Hybrid jacket is also super versatile, perfect for chilly spring runs followed by an evening walk to the brewery for an adult beverage.    

Overall 5

Pros

  • Extremely breathable
  • Lightweight
  • Not restrictive

Cons

  • Some featured could be tweaked- small pockets on shorts

My big goal for 2019 is the Grand Traverse Triple Crown, a three-part race from Crested Butte to Aspen, Colorado. The course spans 40 miles of backcountry and racers ski, bike, and run the route throughout the course of the year. I have always thrown my running gear together before a race day. However, with this being my longest race yet, when I got the chance to test out a selection of Icebreaker’s finest, I jumped at the chance. I will preface this review with the fact that I love Merino wool; it has been a mainstay of my winter outfit for years but I have never really dabbled with it for summer use. In my mind, it’s wool, it’s for cold weather use, right? Spoiler alert, not so much.

When I opened the box from Icebreaker the first thing I noticed was the quality, all the stitching looked tight and the garments were soft and supple. I’ve used merino garments from most of the mainstream companies and also some small, less well-known brands and the Icebreaker stuff was right up there with the nicest I’ve worn. As we’ve had quite a winter, over 500” of snow at my local resort, this provided the perfect excuse for early spring trips to Utah and even to Florida to test it all out.

Just a quick note on sizing before I jump into the individual items. I am 6’ tall, about 175 lbs, and I have a 32” waist. I am long and lean but a little thick at the same time. I have always been a ‘marge,’ in that dead space between a medium and large in most outdoor companies garments.

Amplify Short Sleeve Crew

There were a number of things that I noticed when I first put this t-shirt on, how light it was, how soft it felt, and most importantly how well it fit. Out on the trail things just got better, the cool light fabric does a fantastic job of regulating temperature. This feature was put well to the test while running during the heat of the day in Utah. The mesh back was appreciated during long training runs on the treadmill. The fit and ultralight fabric make it feel like it isn’t there, which for me is saying something as I typically find myself adjusting t-shirts constantly due to uneven shoulder heights from a partially separated collarbone many years ago. Like most merino products the anti-odor properties are excellent. I put some serious miles on this shirt before washing it and never got an unpleasant whiff of myself.

Cool-Lite Impulse Running Short

The shorts turned out to be a little large for me and someone my size would be better off with a size medium, which is what their website recommends. They were still very comfortable and the Cool-Lite liner did a good job of keeping everything in place and comfortable when running without boxers on. The Cool-Lite fabric really does seem to do everything that Icebreaker touts! The higher length of the shorts took a little getting used to as I’m not really one to show so much leg, but that coupled with the air permeable Pertex nylon fabric were definitely appreciated during hotter runs. The small pockets on the sides for gels and other items are a nice touch but limited with what you can hold. I was able to fit one gel on each side, if they were a little deeper you could fit two vertically which would also make them easier to get to while on the move.


Mens Cool-Lite Anatomic Zone Boxers

After wearing these for a couple of months, there’s no question as to why these are Icebreaker’s best selling boxers. Once again the Cool-Lite  fabric works it’s magic and provides a very comfortable ride. They are lightweight, soft, and there was zero chafing no matter what I was doing. The length and tightness are perfect, they don’t have a tendency to bunch up, and aren’t so tight that you lose circulation. The contoured pouch works perfectly for keeping the crown jewels supported whether running, biking, skiing, or just hanging out. I have been wearing these a lot because of how comfy they are which has tested not only their durability but odor resistance (yes I have washed them multiple times throughout the test) and I can say they have performed valiantly.

Men’s Tech Trainer Hybrid Jacket

The first thing I thought when I pulled this jacket out of the box was how heavy it seemed for its size, this was quickly put to rest though once I put it on. Once again the fit is spot on and the fabric stretches perfectly while running so that there is no feeling of binding anywhere. This jacket is warm too, for a couple of early morning February runs I did, it was the ideal piece. I maintain at a fairly high temperature, and this jacket breathed beautifully so that I didn’t overheat or sweat profusely. The thumb holes are a nice touch but for some reason, my jacket had a left-hand zip which took some getting used to. This jacket is also a great casual piece and looks great on and off the trail.

Unisex Chase Headband

This headband was an odd highlight, it’s just a headband, right? Wrong. I have used various headbands in the past, usually free offerings I’ve picked up at race registrations and the bar was set fairly low. I used this headband under my helmet for the ski portion of The Grand Traverse and it performed totally unexpectedly. The race starts at midnight and then continues throughout the day and as helmets are mandatory layering can be tricky. This headband was so soft and comfortable that I forgot I was wearing it. The only time I noticed it was about six hours into the race when we transitioned to our first major descent and it was wet, however, it dried out in no time and remained in place for the duration of the race. It never became too hot once the sun came out or too cold when the winds picked up.

Run & Light Mini Sock

I suffer from sweaty feet, no matter how cold it is. In the winter I always find myself using the thinnest merino socks I can find. These socks did a great job of wicking the moisture away from my feet and keeping them relatively cool. They are woven to be left and right specific and it makes a difference, they were super comfy and provided a perfect balance of cushion and comfort.

Shop Men’s Ice Breaker clothing on Outdoor Prolink. Not a member? Apply today!

Originally from the green rolling hills of southern England, Will Shoesmith has called Colorado home for the last 15 years. While he was initially drawn over to the other side of the pond by the prospect of otherworldly skiing, it was experiencing summer in the heart of the southern San Juans that forever changed him. Since that fateful summer working on a dude ranch I went on to ski patrol before moving into a career in the fire service. Now residing in Aspen/Snowmass, during the winter he can be found in the Highlands bowl or the high country expanse of the Elk mountains while long summer days are spent biking and running the nearby trails throughout the area.

The post ProView – Men’s Icebreaker Clothing appeared first on Dirtbag Dreams - Gear Reviews.

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As a long time climber, I’ve recently gotten back into bouldering and steep sport climbing as a way to train for longer and harder routes. I needed a climbing shoe that would give me the performance of an aggressive shoe while also not being too uncomfortable to wear while climbing. I wanted a shoe that would work well on my projects and give me a bit more of an edge to get the send. The Five Ten Aleon’s checked those boxes. Designed by world-class boulderer Fred Nicole, the Five Ten Aleon certainly delivers Nicole’s bouldering expertise into a well-purposed shoe. Additionally, Five Ten’s partnership with Adidas has given them access to a broad range of materials and technologies to produce a top end climbing shoe. They are lightweight, perform exceptionally well and are somewhat comfortable for such an aggressive shoe. To top it off, these shoes aren’t overly flashy but still have a nice stylish appearance.

Five Ten Aleon

Product Description: The Five Ten Aleon is an aggressive shoe designed for hard boulder problems with really small footholds. It's a powerful, extremely precise shoe which, thanks to Adidas' plethora of resources, features new materials and new manufacturing processes to improve its comfort, fit, and performance.

Price: $190 MSRP

  • Quality
    (5)
  • Features
    (5)
  • Fit
    (3)
  • Durability
    (4)

Summary

These shoes are designed for steep sport climbing and bouldering and that’s what they do best. Five Ten is known for a narrower toe box, but the Aleon’s have a wider toe box that accommodates users with wide feet. Due to the tight fit, they hold up well when heel hooking, and also perform very well on the smallest edges.

Overall 4.3

Pros

  • Perform exceptionally well on steep sport routes and boulders,
  • Solid heel hooking
  • Edges stick well to the smallest chips

Cons

  • A snug fit which can be uncomfortable

  • Don’t do well on low angle slabs or crack climbing

Fit

I planned a trip to the New River Gorge in West Virginia to try these shoes for the first time. While I didn’t have the opportunity to test them fully, I did try them out on some of the sandstone boulders within walking distance of the American Alpine Club campground. I was a little worried that the size I chose would be too small even though it’s the size I normally wear, but I was impressed to find that they fit well. The sizing was a little tighter than most, but it didn’t seem to be a problem and the snug fit felt great when heel hooking. The shoe has a single Velcro strap near the top which keeps it out of the way when toe hooking, but still allows for some adjustment.

Versatility

After returning to my home in Western North Carolina, I decided to take the Aleon’s for a spin at the popular boulder fields of Rumbling Bald. It was a beautiful spring day with temps in the mid 50’s and really good friction that morning. I did a circuit around the boulder field trying the shoes out on different styles of climbing, from steep heel hooking problems to thin crimpy faces, and the shoes seemed to do well in most areas with the exception of course on lower angle slabs. The aggressive nature of the shoes made it quite painful on the slabs, but in reality, that’s not what they are designed for.

I wanted to spend more time in these shoes, especially on steep sport routes, so I made a trip to Hidden Valley, Virginia to test them on some steep overhanging sport routes. I knew that the Aleon’s would do well on the steep stuff, so I also wanted to try them on vertical faces and cracks. I chose a route that began with a vertical crack and then finished out a roof. The crack section was short, about 30 feet, but by the time I topped out onto a ledge above I was ready to take the shoes off. I took a second to rest on the ledge and let my feet recover and then I took off into the steep heel hooking roof above. While climbing through the roof I felt great and the shoes excelled. Once I clipped the chains I made a mental comment to myself about how solid my foot placements felt while pulling the roof. The C4 stealth rubber works very well and seems to stick to everything. I intentionally tried to use the smallest edges and was surprised when my foot didn’t pop after weighting it. 

Room for Improvement

The only downside I found to these shoes is the tighter fit and they are limited to a specific style of climbing, but they do exactly what they are designed to do, and they do it well.  

     

Final Word

Overall, I was thoroughly impressed with these shoes and would certainly recommend them to someone looking for a high-end, bouldering specific shoe. They do great with steep sport climbing as well but wouldn’t be my go-to for a day of cragging. I will continue to take these shoes bouldering because I love the way the heel stays put while heel hooking and how sticky that C4 rubber is. I was also impressed by the Primeknit material which is one of the benefits of Five Ten’s partnership with Adidas. The fabric allows for a snug fit across the top of the foot while remaining comfortable due to the seamless nature of the Primeknit upper fabric. If you’re wanting to climb hard and looking for a shoe that will give you a bit of an edge with your footwork, then the new Five Ten Aleon’s are a great choice. Also, keep in mind that these shoes accommodate a wider foot than most other Five Ten shoes, so don’t let the Five Ten brand turn you away. 

Shop the Five Ten Aleon on Outdoor Prolink. Not a member? Apply today!

Forrest has worked as a climbing guide and instructor since 2012 and currently works for Fox Mountain Guides in Western North Carolina. He started climbing in 2005 on the gneiss boulders of Rumbling Bald in Lake Lure North Carolina and roping up for the first time on the metasandstone of Table Rock in the Linville Gorge. Since then he has gone on to climb Mount Rainier, Mount Shuksan, and Forbidden Peak in the North Cascades. He has also made trips to climb in Red Rock outside of Las Vegas and numerous trips to closer destinations such as the Tennessee Wall in Chattanooga and the New River Gorge in West Virginia. Climbing is Forrest’s primary sport, but he also enjoys skiing, mountain biking, and trail running. You can follow him on Instagram at @forreststavish.

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I’ve been using the Preshell pullover for the last couple of months as my ‘go to’ spring outer layer for… everything. Morning bike commutes to work, afternoon runs in the wind and light rain, spring skiing, rock climbing, alpine climbing, big cycling days in the mountains, you name it. I never knew I needed a layer that’s dedicated to versatility, but now I’m never going back.

Mountain Hardwear Kor Preshell Hoody

Product Description: Lightweight, water-resistant durability with the stretch you need to make every move. Use it as a do-it-all layer for spring runs, rides, and more.

Price: $130 MSRP

  • Quality
    (5)
  • Features
    (5)
  • Fit
    (5)
  • Durability
    (5)

Summary

Ounce for ounce, it provides more value and versatility than anything else in my kit for climbing, skiing, biking, hiking and more; and given the nearly non-existent weight and packing size – it belongs in my kit for all of them. It’s the missing link between suffering in a base layer or sweating in excess material.

Overall 5

Pros

  • Extremely versatile
  • Very light
  • Great for should season

Cons

  • No hand pockets in the pullover version
  • Sizing runs slim

I’m one of those unabashed gear junkies who spend way too much time and money researching and building up a closet and gear rack of every tool for every job, but a 4oz softshell wasn’t something that had crossed my mind before. I have lightweight windbreakers and rain jackets, it’s got to be pretty similar, right? Wrong. Imagine wearing a long sleeve lightweight base layer that doesn’t quite cut it in the cooler temps, wind, and rain, then pushing a magic button that adds huge wind and rain resistance without adding noticeable weight, restriction, or breathability issues… That’s the Kor Preshell. 

Versatility

My windbreaker and rain jacket get 10/10 at their respective jobs, but their versatility ends there. They don’t breath, they feel plasticy, and they rip before they stretch. After putting this through the ringer in every environment I can think of, instead of a 10/10 in one category and 0s in the others, it earns a solid 8+ across the board – and at a weight and size that is more reminiscent of a piece of paper than a shell, that’s some sort of magic that Mountain Hardwear pulled off. It’s windproof enough to make all the difference in the world when racing back down a mountain road on my bike, it’s kept me dry while spring skiing and mountaineering in pounding snow, and it breathes well enough that I don’t sweat through it while biking to work. It isn’t an alternative to my more heavy duty bomber shells, it’s an alternative to suffering uncomfortably being too cold in a base layer or too sweaty with a bigger/beefier layer.

Features

I have to tip my hat to Mountain Hardwear for the clever design of the interior chest pocket it’s designed to stuff into. Those pockets usually come with teeny tiny hard to use and easy to break zippers that always seem to catch the fabric, but they saved weight and made it easier to use and abuse with a clam-shell style that securely closes around itself. Once it’s stuffed in it’s good to go and down to the size of a tennis ball, which makes it a negligible contribution to the pack and easy to clip to the bottom of your bike seat. Once un-stuffed the softshell material seems to shed the wrinkles much faster than my wind and rain jackets, too.

Durability

20D Ripstop is on the lighter side of what I like to trust for more abrasion prone activities, but at this price point, I’ll happily take the risk for the tradeoff for minimal weight and maximum breathability. The stretchiness seems to help the durability, and that elasticity works amazingly well to keep it from restricting movement when climbing!

Room for Improvement

The harness compatible zip hand pockets on the full-zip version would have been a nice addition, even if it meant sacrificing the chest pocket. The sizing skews more towards an athletic fit; at 6’1 and 175 the large fits me perfectly and I prefer this cut, but buyer beware if you need a little more room.

Final Word

Ounce for ounce, it provides more value and versatility than anything else in my kit for climbing, skiing, biking, hiking and more; and given the nearly non-existent weight and packing size – it belongs in my kit for all of them. It’s the missing link between suffering in a base layer or sweating in excess material.

Shop the Outdoor Research Alpine Onset Hoody on Outdoor Prolink. Not a member? Apply today!

Alex climbed four of the seven summits by the age of 19, including a speed ascent of Kilimanjaro, a solo on Aconcagua, and as an expedition leader on Denali. His career has taken him in and out of the guiding industry, and he takes an “all of the above” approach to adventuring from alpine climbing in North and South America to canyoneering in Utah to competing in adventure and endurance races at home in Colorado. You can connect with him on Instagram at @shockleystuff

The post ProView – Mountain Hardwear Kor Preshell Hoody appeared first on Dirtbag Dreams - Gear Reviews.

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