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Owner Review High Peaks Pinnacle II Fleece Pants- Ray Estrella

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  • rayestrella1
    OK, this is it until next fall. (Or until Andrew beseeches us for more.) HTML may be found here. And I may be found hiking..... http://tinyurl.com/eh3x8 High
    Message 1 of 2 , May 2, 2006
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      OK, this is it until next fall. (Or until Andrew beseeches us for
      more.) HTML may be found here. And I may be found hiking.....

      http://tinyurl.com/eh3x8

      High Peaks Pinnacle II Fleece Pants

      Owner Review
      May 2, 2006

      Tester Information
      Name: Raymond Estrella
      Age: 45
      Gender: Male
      Height: 6' 3" (193cm)
      Weight: 210 lb (95 kg)
      Email address: rayestrella@...
      City: Huntington Beach
      State: California
      Country: USA

      Backpacking Background: I have been hiking for over 30 years, all
      over the state of California. I have also hiked in Washington,
      Minnesota, Nevada, Arizona, and Idaho. I hike year-round, mostly in
      the Sierra Nevada, and put 555 miles (894 km) on my boots last
      year. As I start my 4th decade of backpacking I am making the move
      to lightweight gear, and smaller packs.

      The product

      Manufacturer: Campmor
      Web site: www.campmor.com
      Product: High Peaks Pinnacle II Fleece Pants
      Size: Medium
      Year manufactured: 2004
      MSRP: $80.00 (US)
      Weight listed: 1 lb 8 oz (.68 kg) Actual weight 1 lb 9.9 oz (.73 kg)
      Color reviewed: Black
      Warranty: (Quoted from web site) "All merchandise in resellable
      condition may be returned for a refund within one year of purchase
      when accompanied by your receipt. If used and found defective, we
      will exchange or repair within one year of the purchase date when
      accompanied by your receipt."

      Product description

      The High Peaks Pinnacle II Fleece Pants, (hereafter called the
      Pinnacle or the pants) are heavy-weight fleece pants. It is made
      of "450 gm double-sided, non-pill 100% polyester Grizzly fleece"
      and "abrasion-resistant nylon".

      The entire pants are made of the fleece. The nylon is used to
      reinforce the pants at points of wear. It occurs at the seat and
      back of the thigh, and over the articulated knees.

      The pants have a zippered fly, but no front snap or button. They do
      not open at the front. There is a nylon web strap on the waistband
      above the fly to tighten the pants. At the back of the waistband is
      an area with elastic in it. It makes up about 30% of the diameter of
      the waistband. Inside of the waistband is a hang loop and a consumer
      tag listing size, materials, "made in Vietnam" and laundering
      instructions. (Wash cold, gentle. Tumble dry, no heat. Do not dry
      clean.)

      A double-ended YKK zipper runs up the entire length of each side of
      the legs. A 1.25 in (31 mm) piece of nylon backed fleece runs under
      the zipper acting as both a draft stop, and a snag guard. (Snort!)
      At the bottom is a flap with a hook and loop closure that goes over
      the zipper. At the top is a double-flap hook and loop attachment.
      When both closures are opened the zipper can completely separate,
      allowing the pants to be put on or taken off without even lifting a
      foot off the ground.

      The bottom of the leg has a lot of extra loop material on it
      allowing the flap to be pulled tight against the ankle to close it
      off to wind and snow.

      The only pockets on the Pinnacles are the two fleece-lined hand
      warmer pockets on the front. There are no closures on these pockets.
      I have noticed that things will fall out of them easily.

      Field Conditions

      These pants have been on almost every winter trip I have gone on in
      the past two and a half years. It has been on at least eleven trips
      that I can remember. I have worn them at elevations ranging from
      7,000' to 13,300' (2,134 to 4,054 m). The temperatures seen on these
      trips were in the teens to twenties F (-9 to -4 C) as a norm, but
      saw it near 0 F (-18 C) on occasions. I have worn them in beautiful
      weather, and full on blizzard conditions. I do most of my winter
      hiking in the Sierra Nevada and White mountains, along with local
      stuff in the Mount San Jacinto and San Gorgonio areas. But I also
      wore them on Mount Shasta last year, where it was 13 F (-11 C) and
      storming.

      Observations

      I bought these because I wanted a heavier fleece pants than the ones
      that I owned at the time, as I started mountaineering and was doing
      more winter specific backpacking, and I wanted something that would
      keep me warm while hiking hard. I also wanted full zippers on the
      side, something my other fleece pants were lacking. I have a high
      metabolism and put off a lot of heat. And I sweat pretty darn well
      too. (Oooh, gross.) So I bought the High Peaks Pinnacle II Fleece
      Pants (hereafter called pinnacle or pants) and matching Jacket, (see
      review) to fill this need.

      At 450 g per yard this is some thick fleece. It has no wind blocking
      film in it though, so a strong wind will punch through it. Which is
      fine with me. When the wind blows too hard or is just too frigid, I
      put a shell on over the pants. That of course makes me instantly too
      warm.

      That is where the side zippers come in. The full length zippers
      allow me to put them on, or take them off, over my plastic-double
      mountaineering boots. And they match up quite well with the Sierra
      Designs MX-31 mountaineering shell-pants I use. They vent superbly.
      Unfortunately the zippers snag very easily. I can only get them down
      a little bit at a time before the zipper snags and comes to a stop.
      It makes unzipping them a two-handed proposition, meaning I have to
      stop to do it. It is my only complaint about these pants.

      I like the major reinforcing on the knees and seat. It adds weight
      but is well worth it to me, when dropping to my knees, or sitting on
      a tree or rock not to be trashing my fleece.

      And I have always read the statements about how fleece insulates
      when wet. I always said to myself, "right, who's going to get their
      fleece wet in winter conditions"? And then I got my own example on
      Shasta in 2005. (Note: the piece that got soaked is the jacket, the
      pants were on, but protected by a shell. This story is shared in the
      other review as well.)

      We went to climb Mount Shasta with a very tight time frame. We could
      only free up four days from the office and my brother-in-law Dave
      and I live down in Huntington Beach, the other end of the state from
      Shasta. So we drove up in one day and hiked up to Lake Helen the
      next. We had one shot at the summit. They were calling for bad
      weather so we got up at 2:00 am to try to beat it. We made to within
      900 vertical feet (274 m) of the summit when the storm hit the peak
      and was rushing down at us. We stayed ahead (below) it back down to
      our camp, where it caught us as we were breaking down. We hoofed it
      down as fast as we could. Even though it was 13 F when we left
      Helen, I was burning up. It was too cold to just wear the shell, so
      I took it off and just wore the Pinnacle Jacket with the pit-zips
      open.

      While we were in the storm (total white-out) the wind was swirling
      around and blasting us with tiny little snow balls, I couldn't call
      them flakes. Somewhere around 8,500' (2,590 m) we got below the
      clouds. Suddenly there was no wind to speak of, and huge snowflakes
      falling on us. I did not bother to put my shell back on just kept on
      truckin' for the trailhead. My body heat was melting the snow on the
      Pinnacle jacket. It was soaked through. We stopped to talk to a guy
      that wanted to know how it went on the mountain and water was
      running out of it. (And out of my goggles too.) Dave asked how I
      wasn't freezing, and I honestly told him I was fine. It was still in
      the 20s F (-4 C) at this point. I took it off at the truck and had
      to put it in the bed, it was so wet. But it insulated just fine.

      At night I use the pants (and jacket) to help keep my water from
      freezing. I wrap my water in the fleece and put the whole works
      inside of my pack. It seems to help.

      Except for the sticky side zipper I have been pretty happy with
      these pants. I will most likely keep my eyes open for a possible
      replacement with less aggravating side zippers.
    • chcoa
      PLEASE READ THIS EMAIL IN FULL. IT IS MOST IMPORTANT! Thanks for your Owner s Review. It has been added to the Owner Review Queue and will be picked up by an
      Message 2 of 2 , May 4, 2006
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        PLEASE READ THIS EMAIL IN FULL. IT IS MOST IMPORTANT!

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