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Reviews by hosh (28)

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30L Worksack (Manufacturer link) Average Rating = 4.00/5 Average Rating : 4.00/5

In: Gear: Hiking and Camping: Backpacks: Backpacking Packs

Best day pack I have ever used. 4 out of 5 stars

Review by: hosh, 2009-01-21

My 30L WorkSack is the best day pack I've got. It's the perfect size for a trip to the climbing gym, I take this pack to work often, and I can fit all my bivy gear plus some extras for a quick over-nighter. The tool attachments are superb, the compression system is excellent, typical CiloGear genius. The pack is light and versatile. The lid is removable. There is a internal pocket that is easy enough to access and big enough to carry all the odds and ends that you don't want in the lid but can't afford to lose into the abyss of the bottom of the pack. I had some problems with the grommets, but Graham told me that they had some trouble with the batch that my bag came out of, so I anticipated it and had a quick repair ready to go before it was a problem. I would like to have seen a port for hydration compatibility, though I am under the impression that this was fixed on the next batch of 30L's that went out the door. It was easy enough to cut a small hole and stitch it to reinforce so I could run a bladder line out. The bag carries well, it's easy enough to attach crampons to the front of the bag, and mine is a super sexy black. Thank you CiloGear for another super bomber pack. I have my new bag for summit bids and bivy trips. PS, it's a breeze to fly with this pack!

Zealot (Manufacturer link) Average Rating = 4.00/5 Average Rating : 4.00/5

In: Gear: Clothing: Men's Clothing: Men's Outerwear: Men's Hard Shells

Carry less weight! Eat more ham! 4 out of 5 stars

Review by: hosh, 2008-06-14

One of the lightest (the lightest?) Gore-Tex hard shells on the market. I got mine a bit ago and have worn it in some pretty good Juneau Rain. It's held up just fine so far. It's obviously not intended for keeping you warm, since it's so thin. It works well at keeping the rain out though. Caveats? Only one pocket. But if you're buying this jacket, you should have already known that and considered it. I've found that the chest pocket is sufficient for my needs. Also, the protective strip of fabric behind the zipper tends to "roll" into the zipper. Not really a problem, just a minor annoyance. I've also had some trouble with the hood, as it's a little too big to be a good hood without a helmet, but a little too small to work really well with a helmet. I guess it's somewhere in the middle of really good and really lame. The zipper is a little hard to thread every once in a while but once it's threaded, it zips just fine. Things I like? It's so dang light! It packs super small and takes up no room in the pack. There's no reason not to bring this jacket along. Quantitatively, I had more negative to say. Qualitatively, I had more to say positively. I love this jacket and would highly recommend it as a light rain shell.

Also worth noting is the fit. It's cut a little larger than most other garments in the same size (I'm a size "M"). I don't mind this, as It isn't too bulky, just a little more fabric than I'm used to. On the other hand, I can wear it over my DAS parka in the winter... That's worth money in a temperate rain forest climate like South East AK.

Should you get this jacket? Yes if you believe in fast and light. Yes if you ever left your hard shell at home because of weight issues then got soaked because the storm that was supposed to be a arriving tomorrow came early. Yes if you have the extra $$ to spend (approx $200). Yes if you have a long approach to a virgin trad line and you're stuck carrying the rack. Yes if you've ever used your nut tool as a fork. Now you can bring the jacket AND the fork. No if you like form over function. No if you like bells and whistles. No if you read Urban Climber instead of Alpinist. No if you only climb sport; your pack should already be light enough without the cams and/or ice tools. No if you see people hiking through the woods with climbing gear and you ask them, "Are you going to do some rappelling?"

60L Worksack (Manufacturer link) Average Rating = 5.00/5 Average Rating : 5.00/5

In: Gear: Hiking and Camping: Backpacks: Backpacking Packs

hot dang! 5 out of 5 stars

Review by: hosh, 2008-04-15

I used to use an Arc'teryx pack exclusively. Now, the only time I ever touch my Arc'teryx pack is to move it out of the way to get at other gear in my closet. CiloGear's innovative use of materials has allowed them to create an extremely light yet functional pack. There are very minimal features, but the pack seems to have everything I've needed. It could benefit from some pockets on the sides for either a Nalgene or perhaps other odds and ends that you might want to stick there, but I've been able to get by without them. The volume is immense, but can still be compacted enough for short trips. The strap system is ingenious and the minimalist design suits my fancy. I love this pack and highly recommend it.

Link Cam 0.5 Average Rating = 4.45/5 Average Rating : 4.45/5

In: Gear: Essential Equipment: Protection: Active

missing link? 3 out of 5 stars

Review by: hosh, 2007-05-31

These cams, as already noted, are pretty sweet. They have an obvious advantage in range, and a clear handicap in weight and price. But what I'm wondering is, why make two sizes that overlap so much? I think that the climbing community would have been much more impressed had OP made the #2 much bigger, say about the size of a #3 camalot. I don't know what OP is planning as far as expanding the Link Cam franchise, but I would like to see these "missing links" in the shops sooner rather than later. The #2 link cam that I own gets a fair amount of use, but I must admit, it was mostly novelty placements for a while. I usually stick to my other cams and hexes when climbing and honestly, the Link Cam spends much of it's time at home. Don't get me wrong, if I was climbing somewhere new, and I didn't know what to expect, I'd bring it along for sure, no questions asked. But I just can't seem to justify bringing it along when I can get the same job done with the other stuff I've already got. All the moving parts make me a little uneasy. I'm giving it a 3 because I think the design is superb, but they should have expaned the size range beyond just the #1 and #2, as well as the weight and price penalty you get for owning these cams.

ATC Guide Autobloc Belay Device (Manufacturer link) popular Average Rating = 4.60/5 Average Rating : 4.60/5

In: Gear: Essential Equipment: Belay Devices & Descenders

A guide to using the ATC guide. 3 out of 5 stars

Review by: hosh, 2007-05-07

So I've been a die-hard Reverso fan for years, it was the only device that I'd use. When the ATC Guide came out, I figured that it was just a cheap knock off and that I'd be much happier with my trusty old Reverso. Besides, I don't like change.

I picked up the Guide on a recommendation from a friend, and was skeptical at first. It looked like it would be heavy. Well, it is. The Reverso checks in at 81 grams while the Guide checks in at a 102. For those of you who struggle with math, that's a difference of 21 grams. Which isn't really that much. So I guess it's really not that heavy after all.

I had also heard that the Guide doesn't fare well with the fatter cords, and since I've got a 10.2 and a 10.5 (that's more like a 10.7 now), I thought that I'd end up getting frustrated with it. This hasn't happened yet. The only trouble I've had is while rappelling on my thicker rope, though this is easily remedied by flipping the device around or letting the rope feed quicker by holding it at a sharper angle (higher up).

The guide mode on this device isn't really that special, as other devices perform the same task just as well (for example, my trusty Reverso). The device locks up dependably and takes in rope easily. I set up a simple haul the other day to raise a partner through a section that she was having trouble with, and it worked great. I was admiring BD's foresight in making the guide loop large enough to let the locking gate of the locker through. But then I thought about it, and there's never a need for this feature and the Reverso does this just fine as well...

The only real advantages that the Guide has over the other devices on the market is that it's easier to release the rope when belaying from the top of a climb and it has a bit more friction. But it's still a chore to release (and I'd just as soon avoid it and tell my second to deal). And the friction problem is solvable in other ways, this is just more convenient.

I guess all things considered, I like the guide just fine and it has replaced my Reverso. But this is only because I already paid for it so I might as well use it and it does have more friction so it's a more dependable catch when belaying. I have had some rope slippage in my Reverso, and this has never been a problem with the Guide.

Should you get this device?

Yes if your present device is not the ATC XP and you are having trouble with rope slippage. This thing holds on tight.

Yes if you're looking to get an auto-blocking device and don't already have one.

NO if you've already got a Reverso or a B-52. It's not a bad device, but it doesn't stand that tall above its peers. It's better in some areas, for sure, but nothing too impressive. I'd give it a 3.5 if I could, so we'll have to settle for a 3 instead.

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