Thoughtful, durable, lightweight, low cost. Phone call, not web form. Not custom, but Randy will alter the pack to suit your needs.
The ‘Avalanche Pocket Guide’ is perhaps most appropriate as an in-field reference to introductory avalanche texts for skiers in their first 50-100 days or 1-3 years (whichever comes last) travelling in avalanche terrain. Long-time backcountry travelers may like it for completeness, or when teaching, but won’t consult it at every decision point during the day. Check one out in person (or in the photos), to decide it’s useful for you.
Well, I bought a Garmin Fenix watch, to be reviewed soon; but I was just as excited about the little wireless temperature sensor Garmin introduced at the same time.
It’s an ANT+ temperature sensor built into the tiny Garmin footpod form factor. I’m looking forward to using this in winter, when temperature can be of avalanche interest in the field and back at home.
Read on for mass and temperature measurements…
A curious jacket. Light, breathable, and kinda warm.
Creative construction makes it notable.
After a fun demo of a pair of lightweight 120 mm skis at Vertfest, I’d kept an eye out for a sweet deal on a pair of truly fat skis. The Drifter, at 153/128/141 mm, fits that bill.
These skis are used, but in stellar shape. The previous owner posted a review here. These skis are almost certainly from Voile’s “zero-camber” sale of 09/10 skis. Durability-wise, the previous owner claimed 70+ days; the bases are in stellar condition given that much use.
Weights: From the Wayback Machine in April 2010, the 192 claimed weight/ski was 2.11 kg/ski. The skis weighed in at 2231 and 2217 g, yielding 2224±12 grams. That’s 5% high, even with binding holes drilled and some wear; perhaps pre-production weights were overoptimistic.
The ski dimensions are internally consistent at better than 100 microns, comparable to the amount of material removed by sharpening an edge. I haven’t yet made a major effort toward quantifying ski dimensions, but this is the best I’ve seen. Very nice work, Voile. Repeatability at that level hints at quality in other contexts. The ski topsheets claim 153/128/141 mm. My measurements give 155.1/127.3/141.3 mm, with uncertainties < 0.1 mm. The ski shovel is so huge, it’s only barely measureable with a 6″ shop caliper!
A great deal on a pair of Drifts appeared on our local gear swap today, and I couldn’t pass it up. A friend’s pair of 165 cm Kilowatts is nearing the end of its service life, and the Drifts may be a partial replacement.
Weight-wise, the skis aren’t mint. The previous owner has drilled them once for Dynafits, and added tip/tail rescue holes. That said, these skis weighed exactly the same on my scale; we’ll call them 1464±1 grams.
I can’t find an official BD spec from the 11/12 season, Backcountry.com (archive.org) claimed 1561 g/ski, which matches a blem spec at GearX. For the 12/13 model year (different graphics), the claim was 1432 g/ski. These skis are very consistent in weight, and 6% lighter than the original spec, far more than can be explained by the drilled holes.
My original preference would’ve been the BD poles, on reputation alone, but they weren’t in stock for the season. A friend uses the Dynafit poles with gusto, adding a plus to the Dynafit column. This thread, however, makes me more than a little concerned for durability.
On to the real thing. With the usual concerns about extracting uncertainties from two measurements, the poles themselves weigh 180.9±2.4 g. The baskets are 13.5±0.4 g. In combination, they’re 194.4±2.4 grams. Dynafit’s claimed weight is 190 grams.
The Dynafit pole lowers aren’t round, they’re D-shaped, with notches cut in them to physically block the pole from slipping. The engineering and build quality feels very fine; time will tell if the complicated linkage will hold up to years of use. I’m rather partial to the BD flicklock system (why did BD move to something with more moving parts?!), but this system seems reasonable. Dynafit has a two-year warranty on the poles.
Review/more photos below the bump.
I have a pair of OR Stormtrackers from 2010/11 that I really love – they’re my favorite glove ever. The softshell material keeps hands warm, but not too warm, in most temperatures we encounter in the Cascades. The Windstopper keeps things dry, at least until the DWR wears out. The old pair is now worn out/holey after two hard years of use, so it’s time for something new. What better to replace Stormtrackers than Stormtrackers? Found a minor winter/spring sale and bought a pair.
This year’s pair is red, which is nifty. The fit at the wrist isn’t as close as before, but the zipper closure does a better job of sealing at the wrist. Not sure which I’ll prefer. Dexterity is comparable. After some break-in, it may be equivalent.
What about weight? With the usual caveats regarding assessing uncertainty from two measurements, I measure 63.1±1.5 grams per glove, for size XL, or 126.1 g for the pair. The packaging claims 168 g/pair in size L, but the current OR website claims 116 g/pair for size L.
A friend with a taste for lightweight skis brought these by for mounting. Apparently they’re a rarity here in the US. Before getting to the measurements, let me extend a hearty congratulations to Elan. Look at this excerpt from the Elan page:
There’s an errorbar on their mass! Alas, they don’t have masses for each size, but a huzzah nonetheless!
These skis are 1162 and 1145 g. So, the pair weighed (with the usual calibration and 2-point concerns) in at 1153±15 grams. This is easily consistent with their stated uncertainty. Thank you, Elan!
As this is a very light ski, I measured the widths as well.
I’d been interested in improved braking and modest weight savings for my newly rebuilt bike. The SRAM Apex brakes fit that bill. The new brakes saved 49 grams over the old stock brakes, originally from a ~2001 Trek 1000. At less than 1 gram saved per dollar, that’s not a lot.
Braking performance was noticeably improved. Whether it’s from the shoe-based pad design, or from different pad material, I’m not certain. The flex of the calipers is comparable to the previous brakes, so I don’t think it’s due to different caliper design. I have a couple hundred miles on them now, in mostly dry and some wet conditions. Dry and wet braking meets or exceeds expectations.
Masses checked out nicely. SRAM claimed 308 g for the set (and still does for 2013 — unchanged?). At 152.8 g for the rear brake and 155.9 g for the front, I find 308.7 grams for the brakeset – easily within the 1-gram uncertainty implied from the quoted number’s significant digits.