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Reviews by tigerlilly (15)

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Elite Syncro Adjustable (Manufacturer link) Average Rating = 4.50/5 Average Rating : 4.50/5

In: Gear: Essential Equipment: Harnesses: Adjustable

High on features for the price 4 out of 5 stars

Review by: tigerlilly, 2008-01-09

This harness has a lot of features for the price, like many well placed (but a little small) gear loops and ice clip holders. The swami is quite comfortable, but the leg loops are not as comfortable as those on my Misty Mountain Cadillac. This is my ice climbing harness.

Taka (Manufacturer link) Average Rating = 1.00/5 Average Rating : 1.00/5

In: Gear: Shoes: Climbing Shoes: Lace Up

Don't get these! 1 out of 5 stars

Review by: tigerlilly, 2007-12-27

These are made out of toilet tissue. I wore them a handfull of times, almost all indoors, and the leather tore right through on the outside of the right foot, in the middle of the leather, and not at a seam. There is another spot I could push a finger through if I tried only half-heartedly. The torn edges are stringy, and not at all like the leather they are supposed to be made of. I will dig around for my receipt and try to return these. A friend had a similar experience, though I found out after I had bought mine.

Cadillac (Manufacturer link) Average Rating = 4.24/5 Average Rating : 4.24/5

In: Gear: Essential Equipment: Harnesses: Adjustable

A very comfortable harness, but not perfect 4 out of 5 stars

Review by: tigerlilly, 2007-09-09

I think I tried on every 4 buckle harness within a 100 mile radius. BD Focus Speed, both versions of the Corax, the Caladris, and a couple 3-buckle units for comparison, or to make the salespeople happy. I didn't bother seeking any of the women's specific designs, since I seem to have a short rise. The Petzl
harnesses all failed to fit because of too high a rise. I didn't try a Wild Country Synchro nor a Mammut Baffin, though I looked high and low for them. The Petzls had very comfy legs loops, but tended to ride up uncomfortably in back when hanging. The BD had less comfortable leg loops, though it didn't ride up
quite as much. The Cadillac supported me the most evenly. Even though it had a couple minor issues I discuss below, it was the most comfortable in both the waist and the legs. It didn't hurt that Rock and Snow was having a 15% off everything sale for Memorial Day to take the sting out of the large price tag.

Pros: The Caddy is the only 4-buckle harness I found that comes in more than 2 sizes. No more two-sizes-fit-everyone-but-me. I really wanted to like the new Petzl Corax II, which had all the features I was looking for at a decent price, but it took my breath away when hanging. The Caddy actually fits me and doesn't squeeze my lower ribs when I hang. Comfy!

Plenty of large gear loops, but I don't like the way the rear ones are stacked directly over one another in the back. It's easy to clip both when the upper one is loaded and hanging down.

Excellent tunnels for tucking in the waist belt tails - no floppy ends contributing to harness clutter. The tips of the tails are apparently melted and flattened just a bit to stiffen them, which makes them a little easier to thread. The buckles are a little hard to thread, but will not slip at all.

Leg loop keeper strap in back is attached with a QR buckle that is easy to unclip when you need to, but doesn't come undone by itself.

Cons: No useful tail keepers on the leg loops. There are tunnels to tuck the tails into on the back of the leg loop padding, but on my size small, I'd have to have toothpicks for legs for the tails to reach that far. I made my own keeper loops out of a couple bits of elastic and slipped them over the straps. It was an easy problem to fix, but at this price, I expect i's dotted and t's crossed.

Non-elastic leg loop keeper straps. What's up with that? I have to keep them a little loose so as not to bind in high steps. It works, but I have to wonder why elastic was not used. If they had put QR buckles on both leg loops, I could easily replace the nylon with elastic. Since one is sewn, I guess I'll wait until the warrantee expires to put a QR buckle on the sewn end and replace all with elastic.

No ice-clipper slots.

Titanium Nut Tool (Manufacturer link) Average Rating = 4.00/5 Average Rating : 4.00/5

In: Gear: Add-On Climbing Gear: Tools: Nut Tools

Russian nut tool gets 7.5 from American judge 3 out of 5 stars

Review by: tigerlilly, 2007-05-24

I love all things titanium. Well, except for that plate the doc put in my wrist, but I digress. Ti is light, strong and beautiful, since it never rusts or corrodes. What a sexy metal! So I couldn't help myself when I saw the Ushba Ti nut tool. It had a built-in wiregate, which I really wanted, and a palm protector, which I thought might be nicer on my aging hands. My Ushba Ti nut tool weighed in at a scant 40 gr, even thought it was advertised at 45gr, palm protector and all. The blade is a thin sliver of metal, about 2/3 the thickness of the BD nut tool this will replace - all the better for dislodging small nuts in tight placements. So what if it costs 2-3x what some other
tools cost? It's titanium and feels like a feather in my hand.

So, all that said, what's not to like? First off, I noticed it has a decidedly hand-made look to it. Not that hand-made is bad, as many fine things are crafted by hand, but it was certainly not as precisely cut and finished as my BD or the Metolius Freenut tool I borrowed once. The metal edges are burnished to remove burrs, but are done so just a little unevenly. The flat surface is polished in an array of circular spots, except right up by the palm protector, where it switches to the dull matte finish of the raw Ti stock. Personally, I wouldn't have minded if they had left it raw all over (except for the edges, of course). But beauty is as beauty does, and if appearance were it's
only defect, it would have scored much higher. Its more serious flaw is that the wire gate is a bit sloppy, and the very first time I thumbed it open and released it, it closed crookedly, off to the side of the hook, and not looped over it. I nudged it the opposite way and it seemed to close better, but does not impresss one with sturdiness. Absent is the precision feel I have come to expect from climbing equipment. Securing one end of the wire gate is a big button of metal which
promises never to neglect its duty, but the other end is bent and poked through a hole in the stock. The stock is so very thin, it doesn't appear terribly secure, like it could pop out and render the gate useless at any time. I fear the gate will not last, and this tool will fall from my harness at some inopportune time. It will always be tethered for this reason. It's first use in the field was trouble-free but I'll have to post an update after more mileage to note whether or not my fears are ungrounded.

Follow report: The small end of the wiregate frequently pops out of it's tiny hole, rendering the gate useless. It pops back in fairly easily, but this isn't what I want to be doing when I'm hanging on a cliff with one hand. I haven't figured out a fix yet. On the upside, the thin tip let's me dislodge the very smallest nuts. Not sure I'd buy it again.

Joshua Tree Climbing Salve (Manufacturer link) Average Rating = 4.30/5 Average Rating : 4.30/5

In: Gear: Training & Accessories

Great stuff, but as precious as gold 4 out of 5 stars

Review by: tigerlilly, 2007-05-16

Works wonders on shredded fingertips, but so does Burt's Bees Hand Salve at a fraction of the cost.

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