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REPOST: OWNER REVIEW --Travis-- Merrell Chameleon II Stretch shoes

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  • Travis Beals
    Hello, Thank you Edward for the very helpful edit. I ve made the changes, which are shown in the text version below. I ve also uploaded the report to the
    Message 1 of 7 , Jul 6, 2006
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      Hello,

      Thank you Edward for the very helpful edit. I've made the changes,
      which are shown in the text version below.

      I've also uploaded the report to the following URL: http://
      tinyurl.com/gfsc2 . It looks ugly because the upload filter removed
      some but not all of the CSS tags from within the body (I know only
      stuff in the body is included, but I thought everything in there was
      safe). At this hour of the night, I'm just too tired and frustrated
      to manually code 'style="..."' for every relevant markup tag. I'm
      guessing there will be a few more changes suggested, and I will try
      to pretty things up when doing those changes. In the mean time, to
      see how it was supposed to look, try this URL: http://tinyurl.com/hyz6v

      ---------------------------------

      Owner Review - Merrell Chameleon II Stretch shoes
      June 26, 2006

      Reviewer Information:

      Name: Travis Beals
      Age: 25
      Gender: Male
      Height: 6' 0" (1.83 m)
      Weight: 190 lb (86 kg)
      Shoe size: 9.5 US (9.0 UK, 43 EU)
      Email address: trbeals (at) gmail (dot) com
      Location: Berkeley, California, U.S.A.

      Backpacking Background: I've been camping since I was a kid, and was
      a Boy Scout for a while, but only really got into backpacking about
      four years ago. I started with "traditional" pack weights of 40 lb
      (18 kg) for a three-day trip, but have now pared down to 25 lb (18
      kg) total weight, or about 14 lb (6 kg) base pack weight, putting me
      in the light-to-ultralight range. My wife and I do several trips year-
      round, ranging from overnighters to up to five days. We usually
      backpack either in the Sierra Nevada range, but sometimes also do
      snowshoe trips in the mountains of western Canada.


      Product information:
      Manufacturer: Merrell, www.merrell.com
      Year: 2005
      Weight (listed): 2 lb 3 oz (993 g)
      Weight (as measured): 2 lb 2 oz (975 g)
      MSRP: $99.95 US
      Description: Merrell bills these shoes as being for "speedhiking" and
      general outdoor recreation. The shoes have Vibram soles which wrap up
      slightly at the edges, giving better traction on very uneven terrain.
      The uppers are primarily Nubuck but have several large mesh panels
      for ventilation and flexibility. The lacing system consists of an
      elastic lace loop (threaded through eyelets in a crisscross pattern)
      and a locking slider. The stretch of the laces allows the shoes to be
      slipped on and off easily. The shoes are low-cut, providing no more
      ankle support than a typical trail runner, but do feature a snug,
      stretchy collar to keep out debris. As compared with the regular
      Merrell Chameleon II, the Stretch version has more mesh and more
      flexible soles and uppers.


      Fit and feel:
      My feet pose quite a challenge for most shoes, as they are wide (US
      "E" width), and have very high arches. These shoes felt great in the
      store, with only a few minor issues apparent at the time, which I had
      expected to disappear with use. What I didn't realize is that these
      shoes don't have the usual break-in period found in most other shoes,
      and so those problems never went away. Most people probably won't
      have the same issues I had, but keep this in mind when trying Merrell
      shoes. On the positive side, even though my feet tend to sweat
      heavily, the excellent ventilation in these shoes keeps them
      relatively dry.

      Field testing:
      I tested these shoes in a wide variety of conditions. While I
      initially purchased them for dayhiking and ultralight backpacking, I
      ended up using them as "everyday" shoes for four months in the winter
      while visiting Calgary, Canada, since the other shoes I had brought
      weren't up to the snow and ice. Considering it wasn't what they were
      designed for, these shoes handled Canadian winter conditions very
      well. This use comprised the bulk of the miles I put on these shoes.

      I used these shoes for a lightweight overnight trip in Point Reyes
      National Seashore, as well as a few dayhikes at the same location.
      Tested terrain was easy to moderate dirt paths, sandy in places, with
      occasional bushwhacking. The shoes handled all of this well, and the
      elastic collars kept out the worst of the sand and dirt. The weather
      was dry with no rain, and only a small amount of mud, which might
      otherwise have posed a problem for the mesh. On the longest of my
      Point Reyes dayhikes (10 mi / 16 km), the soles of my feet were quite
      sore, although I didn't have any blisters.

      More recently, I tested the shoes on two dayhikes on steep trails in
      Mount Diablo State Park. These trails had many stretches with loose
      dirt and gravel, and some short rocky bits. Ascent was no problem. On
      the descent, the shoes did quite well on the solid rock, but only
      average on the loose stuff, slipping and sliding in a few places.
      During the descent, my feet would occasionally slide forward far
      enough for my toes to touch the front of the shoes even though the
      shoes fit snugly. This wasn't a serious problem, and may be an
      unavoidable consequence of the stretchy nature of the laces and shoe
      uppers. On the longer of the two dayhikes (14 mi / 23 km distance,
      3400 ft / 1000 m net elevation gain), I did develop small blisters on
      the back of my heels and on my right foot's smallest toe.

      The shoes have seen a range of temperatures from roughly 5 F (-15 C)
      to 90 F (32 C), and have kept my feet reasonably comfortable through
      all of it. Elevations visited with these shoes range from sea level
      to just under 4000 ft (1200 m). These shoes seem well-suited for
      light to moderate trails dirt trails with a light pack, and are also
      capable of handling a fair bit of scrambling in rocky conditions. I
      usually use the shoes in dry conditions, but have occasionally
      exposed them to rain, powdery snow, and packed snow. Although
      breathability usually comes at the price of water resistance, after
      applying a water-proofing treatment, these shoes were also able to
      handle short exposures to water without soaking through.

      Durability:
      Lack of durability is my biggest criticism of these shoes. The right
      shoe has developed holes in the inner lining material in the heel
      area (see picture, temporary URL http://tinyurl.com/zh6qe ), and the
      left shoe shows signs of wear in the same place. This is after an
      estimated 250 - 300 miles (400 - 500 kilometers) of use, most of it
      on gentle terrain.

      Review Summary: Although generally a good shoe, I was disappointed by
      the amount of wear the Chameleon II Stretch showed after 8 months and
      roughly 250 - 300 miles (400 - 500 kilometers). Unlike other shoes
      that need "breaking in", these shoes are what-you-feel-is-what-you-
      get. This is a good thing, but I found that minor fit issues I
      noticed at the shoe store did not go away with wear.
      Pros: Excellent breathability, collar keeps out dirt, easy to slip on
      and off.
      Cons: Poor durability, no wide sizes available, somewhat heavy for
      trail shoes.




      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • edwardripleyduggan
      Hello Travis, This looks pretty good textually. The OR appearance in the test folder is not that desperate, though it s not a patch on your original. There s a
      Message 2 of 7 , Jul 6, 2006
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        Hello Travis,

        This looks pretty good textually. The OR appearance in the test folder
        is not that desperate, though it's not a patch on your original.
        There's a few style-based indents on some sections that need to come
        out or to be made uniform, but other than that what's there will do
        fine if you don't want to fiddle further, although perhaps you can fix
        the title size (but even that's not crucial).

        I'm not at all clear to me what the upload filter will and will not
        handle in the way of styles, so I use them very circumspectly. Only
        inline styles are accepted, as headers are stripped on upload, so all
        style class statements are lost. I generally just use styles with DIV
        tags. Using this method alignment works, fonts work and indents work,
        that much I know. I'd not worry about the style-based boxes.

        The only edit I have is a trifle:

        ### EDIT: 250 - 300 miles (400 - 500 kilometers)

        should be

        250-300 mi (400-500 km) [for consistency].

        When ready, please upload to

        http://tinyurl.com/ps2d5

        Best,

        Ted.
      • edwardripleyduggan
        Travis, I looked more carefully at what you are trying to do. Ingenious! Sadly, it looks to me like the upload script strips out most class statements. Not
        Message 3 of 7 , Jul 6, 2006
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          Travis,

          I looked more carefully at what you are trying to do. Ingenious!
          Sadly, it looks to me like the upload script strips out most "class"
          statements. Not sure why--I can try and ask Dave, our webmaster, if
          you like. Upload in some other form for now. It's certainly a far
          better method of creating boxes around text than using tables.

          Best,

          Ted.
        • Travis Beals
          Hi Ted, I ve gone ahead and uploaded the OR, reformatted to work around the current limitations of the upload script. I took a look through the BGTWeb archive,
          Message 4 of 7 , Jul 7, 2006
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            Hi Ted,

            I've gone ahead and uploaded the OR, reformatted to work around the current limitations
            of the upload script. I took a look through the BGTWeb archive, and it seems there is an
            ongoing discussion of whether to support CSS more fully, and how to do so. This is to
            some extent a technical issue which I'm guessing belongs on BGTWeb and not here, but it
            does potentially affect the overall look of the site. I've always thought it strange that BGT
            does not enforce a standard HTML format for all reviews so as to have a consistent look.
            This could easily be achieved with CSS and very simple semantic HTML tags. The question
            is whether BGT wants an enforced consistent look. Perhaps people prefer to have the
            freedom to format their reviews their own way, in which case there's not nearly as much to
            gain from CSS.

            For my next OR, I was thinking of doing a review of my MSR Dragonfly stove (and perhaps
            a third OR of my SnowPeak Giga power stove, for comparison). The Dragonfly has been
            reviewed quite a lot, but I want to focus on technical specs--in particular, quantitative
            measurements of simmer performance, which is one of the stove's strengths. Simmer
            performance would essentially be a measure of power output at the lowest setting at
            which the stove stays lit and the flame stable. This measurement could be performed by
            determining the rate of temperature increase of a fixed quantity of water being simmered
            in a "standard pot", with some corrections made for heat loss from the pot. I could also
            use a digital scale to measure fuel consumption at simmer, and at full power, thus
            determining stove efficiency at both power settings.

            Before I start playing with my stove, does this sound like a useful type of test? I've never
            seen quantitative simmer measurements, but I would think they'd be useful to backcountry
            gourmets who need good simmer capability.


            --- In BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com, "edwardripleyduggan" <erd@...> wrote:
            >
            > Travis,
            >
            > I looked more carefully at what you are trying to do. Ingenious!
            > Sadly, it looks to me like the upload script strips out most "class"
            > statements. Not sure why--I can try and ask Dave, our webmaster, if
            > you like. Upload in some other form for now. It's certainly a far
            > better method of creating boxes around text than using tables.
            >
            > Best,
            >
            > Ted.
            >
          • edwardripleyduggan
            Hi Travis, Thanks for your thoughtful response. My comments follow. The question ... prefer to have the ... not nearly as much to ... The last sentence sums it
            Message 5 of 7 , Jul 7, 2006
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              Hi Travis,

              Thanks for your thoughtful response. My comments follow.

              The question
              > is whether BGT wants an enforced consistent look. Perhaps people
              prefer to have the
              > freedom to format their reviews their own way, in which case there's
              not nearly as much to
              > gain from CSS.

              The last sentence sums it up. BGT, while it asks for a certain set of
              standards for the textual content of reports, doesn't impose a format
              on the way they are displayed. The new report writing software (due
              some time in August) *will* create a de facto standard for those that
              use it (though use will be optional), but even that generates--as of
              when I last saw it--standard HTML. CSS may be used with it, but must
              be manually applied inline.

              At root is the fact that many BGT folks are not especially comfortable
              with HTML. Many have learned the basics for the purpose of writing
              reports solely. Also, BGT supports a diverse range of voices, and
              something (IMHO) would be lost in the way of individual expression if
              there was an enforced and consistent "look and feel."


              > For my next OR, I was thinking of doing a review of my MSR Dragonfly
              stove (and perhaps
              > a third OR of my SnowPeak Giga power stove, for comparison). The
              Dragonfly has been
              > reviewed quite a lot, but I want to focus on technical specs--in
              particular, quantitative
              > measurements of simmer performance, which is one of the stove's
              strengths. Simmer
              > performance would essentially be a measure of power output at the
              lowest setting at
              > which the stove stays lit and the flame stable. This measurement
              could be performed by
              > determining the rate of temperature increase of a fixed quantity of
              water being simmered
              > in a "standard pot", with some corrections made for heat loss from
              the pot. I could also
              > use a digital scale to measure fuel consumption at simmer, and at
              full power, thus
              > determining stove efficiency at both power settings.
              >
              > Before I start playing with my stove, does this sound like a useful
              type of test? I've never
              > seen quantitative simmer measurements, but I would think they'd be
              useful to backcountry
              > gourmets who need good simmer capability.

              Provided that there is also serious coverage of the field use of the
              stove, such measurements, should you want to undertake them, could
              only add to the OR. Having said that, we tend to be slightly skeptical
              of stove bench tests, as they are not always easy to extrapolate to
              the real world (as witness all those unrealistic boil times in
              manufacturer blurbs).

              Still, if you look at Roger Caffin's reports (he's a physicist and our
              resident stove expert) you will see that he delves into this area. For
              that matter, in the several reports I have prepared on headlamps, I
              have made extensive use of bench tests (using a digital luxmeter) to
              examine aspects of headlamps that simply can't be evaluated in the
              field, e.g. effectiveness of voltage control, battery decay curves,
              collimation diagrams etc.

              Best,

              Ted.
            • edwardripleyduggan
              Travis, Don t overlook my response to your stove query--it s down towards the foot of my response, and I realize it could be overlooked. The OR looks very good
              Message 6 of 7 , Jul 7, 2006
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                Travis,

                Don't overlook my response to your stove query--it's down towards the
                foot of my response, and I realize it could be overlooked.

                The OR looks very good indeed. Nicely done. I think my only negative
                comment would be that you might have set the column width a bit wide
                at 730 px in your first DIV. We did a brief survey a while back and
                found that a surprising number of folks still access at 800 x 600.
                Since the BGT navigation bar is almost 200 px, that puts the minimum
                width of your OR at about 930 px. I set my monitor down to 800 x 600,
                and one does have to scroll left a bit to read your text. Not a big
                deal, though.

                One question. In your font-family declaration, why do you have the
                Trebuchet font in quotes as below? I was curious.

                "Trebuchet MS",

                best,

                Ted.
              • Travis Beals
                Hi Ted, I looked at Roger Caffin s stove reports, and they are indeed very thorough and detailed-- he sounds very much like a physicist. He states in one of
                Message 7 of 7 , Jul 7, 2006
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                  Hi Ted,

                  I looked at Roger Caffin's stove reports, and they are indeed very thorough and detailed--
                  he sounds very much like a physicist. He states in one of them that he doesn't believe boil
                  time specs are very meaningful, but that he does find ability to simmer important. As
                  reports of simmering capability are usually subjective, I'd like to see if I can come up with
                  a quantitative test. Ideally, the test would be simple enough to be reproducible by a typical
                  stove reviewer, but sophisticated enough to give a useful indication of simmer
                  performance. The biggest obstacle will be finding something that can serve as a standard
                  "pot", as the test would otherwise be dependent on the type of pot used. I'm thinking
                  about using a disposable foil pie plate, as that's something anyone could find at their
                  grocery store (the plates sometimes come with pies in them, but disposing of pie is
                  generally a pleasant task :-)

                  I'll keep that in mind about the 800x600 screen width with the next review. About your
                  font question--any time you refer to a font with spaces in its name (such as "Trebuchet
                  MS") for a font-family property, you need to enclose the name in quotes. In the case you
                  spotted in my OR, since everything is already inside the quotes of the style="..." attribute,
                  the quotation marks have to be escaped, and written as ".

                  --- In BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com, "edwardripleyduggan" <erd@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Travis,
                  >
                  > Don't overlook my response to your stove query--it's down towards the
                  > foot of my response, and I realize it could be overlooked.
                  >
                  > The OR looks very good indeed. Nicely done. I think my only negative
                  > comment would be that you might have set the column width a bit wide
                  > at 730 px in your first DIV. We did a brief survey a while back and
                  > found that a surprising number of folks still access at 800 x 600.
                  > Since the BGT navigation bar is almost 200 px, that puts the minimum
                  > width of your OR at about 930 px. I set my monitor down to 800 x 600,
                  > and one does have to scroll left a bit to read your text. Not a big
                  > deal, though.
                  >
                  > One question. In your font-family declaration, why do you have the
                  > Trebuchet font in quotes as below? I was curious.
                  >
                  > "Trebuchet MS",
                  >
                  > best,
                  >
                  > Ted.
                  >
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