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Repost: Owner Review: High Sierra Gulp 1.5 L Hydration pack by Samson

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  • Samson Phan
    Ray, I finally got the OR for the GUlp posted. I did not load it in the right area, then I was emailing the wrong address. Thanks for your patience and
    Message 1 of 7 , Nov 1, 2006
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      Ray,
      I finally got the OR for the GUlp posted. I did not load it in the right area, then I was emailing the wrong address. Thanks for your patience and understanding of my inability to use computers


      BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com wrote: A forum for posting impressions and eval A forum for posting impressions and eval
      Messages In This Digest (4 Messages)
      1.
      Re: APPLICATION TO TEST-VALANDRE CLASSIC 700 From: sololight2001
      2.
      REPOST: OWNER REVIEW: Yaktrax Pro - Jo Ann Moffi From: Jo
      3.
      EDIT: OR - CERRO TORRE GECKO 65L Internal Frame Backpack - Christens From: nazdarovye
      4.
      Owner Review - SmartWool Tee - Ray Estrella From: rayestrella1
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      Messages
      1.
      Re: APPLICATION TO TEST-VALANDRE CLASSIC 700 Posted by: "sololight2001" cyr@... sololight2001 Tue Oct 31, 2006 3:16 am (PST) Thanks. I goofed on the posting and missed the test call....oops...
      Pat

      --- In BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com, "Leesa J" <leesaj@...> wrote:
      >
      > Patrick,
      >
      > You sent this to the wrong list - it needs to go to
      > backpackgeartesters@yahoogroups.com
      >
      > Leesa
      >


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      2.
      REPOST: OWNER REVIEW: Yaktrax Pro - Jo Ann Moffi Posted by: "Jo" jomoffi@... jomoffi Tue Oct 31, 2006 2:17 pm (PST) Hi Steve,

      Thanks for the edits. After I post the OR, I was thinking I could
      have elaborated a bit on the trail useage, but I figured it would be
      better to wait for the edit to occur first.

      The edited version is also in the test folder:
      http://snipurl.com/10wm4

      I have made the edits you indicated, and I have a couple of comments
      of my own:

      YakTrax Pro on Merrell Boots
      ***EDIT: I suggest removing this line and noting which boots you used
      in the body of your review.

      --- Comment: That was just the marker for a picture. It only shows
      up when the picture is not available. It does not appear in the HTML
      version in the test folder. I have removed them from this post, but
      they will still be available for those people who cannot see the
      images on the website.

      Putting on the Yaktrax Pro:

      To get the Yaktrax Pro on, put the toe of the shoe under the Velcro
      strap and into the toe end of the rubber 'frame'. Then, while
      grasping the thickened portion at the back if the Yaktrax Pro, push
      the toe of the shoe into the rubber frame at the same time as
      stretching the Yaktrax Pro over the heel of the shoe. This is easily
      accomplished when wearing the shoe. Getting the force to push the
      shoe and stretch the Yaktrax Pro at the same time when not wearing the
      shoe is a challenge I have yet to master. Once the Yaktrax Pro is on
      the shoe, go around the edge of the shoe and pull up on the outer
      edges of the rubber webbing so that it is around the entire outside
      perimeter of the shoe. The toe end of the Yaktrax Pro has a distinct
      mesh pattern that allows for easy centering at the toe of the shoe and
      the heel end of the Yaktrax has a thickened tab for ease of pulling on
      and off and centering at the heel of the shoe. Once the Yaktrax Pro is
      satisfactorily situated, tighten the Velcro strap across the top of
      the shoe.

      ***EDIT QUESTION: Is this your personal description, or Yaktrax's? If
      the former, personalize it a bit to make that clear; if the latter,
      consider removing this and restating your own experience.

      --- Comment: This is entirely my own description here. Yaktrax
      provides no instruction on how to get them on other than to stretch
      them over the bottom of the shoe and fasten the velcro. :) I'm not
      sure what you mean by personalizing it, there is an 'I' statement in
      there, and this is generally my writing style, analytical and
      technical writing with concise descriptions. If you can expand here, I
      will do what I can to make it more personal.

      Thanks again for the edit Steve!

      Jo Ann
      -----------------------------
      Yaktrax Pro
      Owner Review
      October 15, 2006

      Name: Jo Ann Moffi
      Age: 33
      Gender: Female
      Height: 5' 6" (168 cm)
      Weight: 175 lb (79 kg)
      Shoe Size: US 8 women's
      Email address: jomoffi AT gmail DOT com
      City, State, Country: Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada

      Backpacking Background:

      I was introduced to backpacking about 15 years ago when I met my
      husband. We have been backpacking, canoe camping, car camping, hiking,
      and participating in all sorts of outdoor activities ever since. We
      live in a border town (US & Canada), so we spend lots of time in both
      countries for our outdoor excursions. My most recent foray has been
      into Adventure Racing. When making a decision on gear, I like to go
      lightweight and practical. I don't like to carry around extraneous
      bits and pieces.

      Product Information:

      Manufacturer: Yaktrax, Inc.
      Manufacture Date: 2005
      URL: http://yaktrax.com
      Style: Yaktrax Pro
      MSRP: $29.95
      Size: Small (Available in unisex sizing Small, Medium, Large, and
      Extra Large)
      Color: Black
      Weight: 154 to 156 g (5.1 to 5.5 oz) depending on size
      Warranty: Full 90 day warranty should anything happen to the Yaktrax
      or if satisfaction is not complete.

      The Yaktrax Pro are made with rubber webbing covered with metal coils.
      The coils are made from 1.4 mm (0.06 in) steel and the rubber is
      touted to be heavy duty, natural rubber. The rubber webbing forms two
      large 'X' patterns on the bottom of the shoe and one smaller 'X' at
      the toe that are covered in the steel coils. Yaktrax, Inc. calls this
      system the SkidLock coiled design that provides 360 degrees of
      traction. The remainder of the rubber webbing around the edge of the
      Yaktrax Pro is not covered in coils. The Yaktrax Pro has a Velcro
      strap that goes across the top of the shoe. This is one of the
      differences between the Yaktrax Walker and the Yaktrax Pro, the other
      being a more durable rubber blend.

      Yaktrax, Inc. claims the Yaktrax Pro gives instant traction,
      confidence and safety on ice and packed snow, enabling the user to
      walk and run as if ice and packed snow were dry surfaces. Yaktrax,
      Inc. indicates the Yaktrax Pro can be worn in temperatures as low as
      -40.55 C (-41 F).

      Yaktrax Pro Features (according to the Yaktrax, Inc. website):
      • Easy On/Off
      • Walk Naturally
      • Spikeless/Ultralight
      • Helps Reduce the Risk of Falls & Injuries

      Putting on the Yaktrax Pro:

      To get the Yaktrax Pro on, put the toe of the shoe under the Velcro
      strap and into the toe end of the rubber 'frame'. Then, while
      grasping the thickened portion at the back if the Yaktrax Pro, push
      the toe of the shoe into the rubber frame at the same time as
      stretching the Yaktrax Pro over the heel of the shoe. This is easily
      accomplished when wearing the shoe. Getting the force to push the
      shoe and stretch the Yaktrax Pro at the same time when not wearing the
      shoe is a challenge I have yet to master. Once the Yaktrax Pro is on
      the shoe, go around the edge of the shoe and pull up on the outer
      edges of the rubber webbing so that it is around the entire outside
      perimeter of the shoe. The toe end of the Yaktrax Pro has a distinct
      mesh pattern that allows for easy centering at the toe of the shoe and
      the heel end of the Yaktrax has a thickened tab for ease of pulling on
      and off and centering at the heel of the shoe. Once the Yaktrax Pro is
      satisfactorily situated, tighten the Velcro strap across the top of
      the shoe.

      I have worn the Yaktrax Pro on my running shoes and hiking boots. My
      normal shoe size is 7.5 to 8.5. I chose a size small based on the
      manufacturer's size guide. The sizing was accurate for my shoes.

      Field Information

      Location or locations where the shoes were worn:
      In and around Sault Ste Marie, Ontario and surrounding Algoma region.

      Description of Location(s):
      Around town on ice and snow covered sidewalks and streets, snow and
      ice covered trails, some muddy trails. Local trails included:

      * 5 km (3.11 mi) trail along the Sault Ste. Marie Canal system,
      including St. mary's Island and Whitefish Island. Trails are
      reasonably well marked, some are only there because they are well
      frequented. These trails are not maintained in the winter and travel
      on them is at your own risk. Many feet traverse these trails so they
      are easy to find. The trails here are flat, with the occasional water
      crossing (ice crossing in winter).
      * Hiawatha Highlands trails including the Crystal Creek Trail
      system, Lookout Trail system, and Red Pine Trail system.
      Approximately 40 km (24.84 mi) of trail through Boreal Forest. Trails
      are well marked and regularly maintained. In the winter, they are
      groomed for use as cross country ski trails, both skate skiing and
      classic skiing. Walking on the trails is prohibited from late
      November to late March/early April. The trails are somewhat hilly on
      the Red Pine Trail and the Crystal Creek Trail systems.
      * Fort Creek Conservation area is approximately 77 hectares (191
      acres) with trails snaking randomly throughout. This area gets a fair
      amount of use in winter, but the trails are not maintained.

      From about January until March, I primarily used the Yaktrax on snow
      covered sidewalks and streets. I wore them on the trails at the Sault
      Ste. Marie Canal and the Fort Creek Conservation area periodically
      from January until March. Once the trails were no longer ski-able at
      Hiawatha Highlands, I also started heading out there for weekly outings.

      Weather Conditions:
      Bitter cold January and February averaging -10 C (18 F), March
      averaging -4 C (7.2 F). Snowfall coverage in January and February
      averages 50 cm (19.69 in). Active weather included snow flurries,
      blowing snow, overcast, and sunny days.

      Product Review

      My original reason for purchase of the Yaktrax was for running on ice
      and snow around town. After several near wipe outs in slippery
      conditions, I ordered the Yaktrax Pro from an online retailer,
      sight-unseen. The Yaktrax arrived in a plastic wrapped package with
      instructions. The instructions gave a brief outline on how to put on
      the Yaktrax Pro, care, and use guidelines.

      The Yaktrax Pro are fairly easy to get on and off while indoors.
      However, once outside, getting the Yaktrax Pro on and off with cold
      fingers and (usually) wet/snowy shoes or boots is not a pleasant
      experience. Removing the Yaktrax Pro with gloves and/or mittens is
      possible it is easy enough to just rip open the Velcro strap and pull
      on the tab at the back of the Yaktrax Pro in a downward direction.
      The rubber just springs off the shoe. Putting them on is not easily
      accomplished without removing gloves, and is impossible without
      removing mittens. If the gloves are not bulky, putting on the Yaktrax
      Pro is just like doing it with ungloved hands. Too much dexterity is
      required of the fingers to make it possible to stretch the rubber over
      the shoe with mittens on. This is the nature of winter though, and I
      certainly don't expect any different. The design of the Yaktrax is
      intentionally tight to ensure the Yaktrax Pro do not come off during
      walking and running. It would be extremely difficult to design a
      removable traction device without this issue.

      I used the Yaktrax Pro while hiking on snow packed trails. Most days
      I wore a small waist pack for water carrying, a couple of times on
      longer walks with my nephews, I would carry a backpack for water and
      extra 'kid' paraphernalia like mitts, hats, snacks, etc. The Yaktrax
      Pro performed similarly to ice and snow packed roads. When hiking up
      snow packed and ice covered hills, the Yaktrax Pro performed just as
      well as on flat land. I would hike between 5 km (3.11 mi) and 10 km
      (6.21 mi), depending on my time availability for the day.

      When used on muddy trails, the Yaktrax does slip a bit until they hit
      a more solid surface to bite into. They still perform better than a
      naked shoe in muddy conditions. Yaktrax, Inc. does not advocate using
      their product in these conditions.

      I also used the Yaktrax Pro for most of my winter runs last year. I
      ran mostly in town on snow and ice covered sidewalks and streets. The
      Yaktrax Pro performed exceptionally well. Not once can I recall
      slipping, even when running on glare ice. It takes a bit to have the
      confidence to run/walk on such surfaces without instinct kicking in
      and changing your stride. Once I was sure I wasn't going to be
      slipping, I actually came to enjoy those slippery patches just for the
      chance to 'test' the Yaktrax Pro!

      As the winter progressed and the weather started turning warmer, it
      was a bit more of a challenge running in the Yaktrax Pro on sidewalks
      and roads. Yaktrax, Inc. does not recommend wearing the Yaktrax Pro on
      any hard surface like pavement, concrete, gravel, tile, linoleum, etc.
      There were times when I was running partially in the snowbank to avoid
      the melted spots on the sidewalks. On longer portions of trail and
      sidewalk that we clear of ice and snow I would remove the Yaktrax Pro
      and put them back on later if necessary.

      The Yaktrax Pro saw about 12-15 km (7.45-9.32 mi) of running per week,
      plus 5-10 km (3.11-6.21 mi) of hiking per week over the course of four
      months. There was no evidence of wear on the rubber, and some mild
      wear on the metal coils. The coils were shiny when I purchased the
      Yaktrax Pro and they are dull now.

      As a final note, when I was pulling these out for the first time this
      year, the steel coils had some rust on them. After wearing them on
      one outing, the rust is now gone.

      Most desirable features:
      - Exceptional traction on ice and packed snow.
      - Stay on both my hiking boots and running shoes without slipping.

      Least desirable features:
      - Not easy to get on with cold fingers.

      Summary
      The Yaktrax Pro provide exceptional traction on ice and snow while
      hiking, running, walking, etc. They will be my traction device of
      choice for many years to come. An excellent product!


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      3.
      EDIT: OR - CERRO TORRE GECKO 65L Internal Frame Backpack - Christens Posted by: "nazdarovye" nazdarovye@... nazdarovye Tue Oct 31, 2006 8:25 pm (PST) Hi Ryan -

      Thanks for the OR on the Gecko 65 pack, and your patience in waiting
      for an edit.

      I've provided edits and comments below - as usual, make the
      corrections and post a revised version here with "REVISED" included in
      your message subject line.

      I note that you gave experiences of your son or his friend with the
      pack (I ask for clarification below). Generally reviews should be your
      own experiences only, though if it was your son, in this case it can
      squeak by.

      Also, you asked whether the pack might be considered as winter gear
      for the current call, mentioning the ice axe loops and some other
      features. However, I don't believe you addressed those in your review;
      have you used those features, or used the pack for winter camping and
      mountaineering?

      Regards,
      Steve

      [EDITS FOLLOW:]

      CERRO TORRE GECKO 65L

      ***EDIT: As far as I can see on the site (which is mostly in Korean),
      the name is "Gecko 65", without the "L"; can you verify and correct as
      needed throughout your review?

      URL http://www.cerrotorreusa.com

      ***EDIT: This resolves to a Korean site now. Is the product still
      manufactured and available in the U.S.?

      Listed Volume 3,966 cubic inches (64,991 cubic cm)

      ***EDIT NOTE: Or, simply, "65 L"; you could also use "cu in" as an
      abbreviation for cubic inches

      Material of Construction lightweight 420D ripstop fabric and 1000D kodra

      ***EDIT: "Kodra"

      An external pocket, with a waterproof zipper, for pencils, keys, maps,
      etc"A"
      slanted hip belt that splits in two; one to go above the top of the
      hip and one
      to go below to allow flexible movementIce axe loopsA small pocket on
      the hip
      belt for a compass, lip balm, knife, etc.Dual ski loopsA mesh pocket
      on each
      side of the pack along the hips; great for water bottlesZippers running
      vertically down each side for easy access to items in the packTwo rows
      of nylon
      daisy chain to attach items to the outside of the packHydration
      compatible,
      including port on the right shoulder, just above the strapA separate
      sleeping
      bag compartment at the bottom of the packWell-ventilated mesh back
      panelMonkey-fist zipper pulls on the sleeping bag compartmentThe upper
      portion
      of the pack is notched out to conform to the contour of the
      headDrawstrings
      inside pack at the top, and just above the sleeping bag
      compartmentFrame is
      adjustable to accommodate small (18" or 46 cm) to large (21" or
      53 cm) torsosSeveral adjustable cinch straps to secure load increase
      comfort

      ***EDIT: This entire paragraph came across missing something - line
      returns, bullet points, spaces - that would have separated sentences.
      There's also a superfluous set of quotation marks on what appears to
      be the start of the second sentence. Please edit to clean it up if
      it's not clear in HTML.

      My 0 F (-18 C) rated Halofill mummy bag did not fit well.

      ***EDITS: "Hollofil" if you're referring to the trademarked DuPont
      insulation; can you provide rough dimensions for the sleeping bag in
      rolled/stuffed form?

      The ventilated mesh back of the pack prevented my back for being totally
      soaked with sweat.

      ***EDIT: "from being"

      The weather conditions during his
      trip were ideal: clear skies, calm winds, and temperatures from the
      mid 50 F in
      the early morning hours to the upper 90 F in late afternoon (10 C – 32 C).

      ***EDITS: "mid 50s F" and "upper 90s F"

      Tye lent his backpack to a friend who did not have one.

      ***EDIT: do you mean the Cerro Torre, or another pack? If the latter,
      and it was your son using the Cerro Torre, remove this prelude as it's
      a bit confusing and irrelevant to the review; if you mean the former,
      and it was your son's friend using the Cerro Torre, then I'd say
      eliminate all of what follows and stick with your own experiences.

      Therefore, each day, using a 5mm static rope through the
      shoulder straps, Tye would hang the pack up10 feet (3 m) in a tree and
      4 feet
      (1.2 m) out from the trunk.

      ***EDITS: consider adding an imperial equivalent for the rope (though
      I can see that this could be an exception to the normal requirement -
      your call); add a space between number and measure at "5 mm" and at
      "up 10"; use "ft" for consistency of abbreviation for feet.

      The Palisades Creek Trail to the lower and upper Palisades Lakes is
      located
      approximately 50 miles (80 km) southeast of Idaho Falls Idaho and
      nearly 60
      miles (97 km) west of Jackson Hole Wyoming. The Upper Palisades Lake
      is about
      6,800 feet (2,071 m) above sea level.

      ***EDIT COMMENT: Consider using "mi" and "ft" for consistency here and
      elsewhere where you spell out measures

      Daytime temperatures were in the 90's F
      (30's C).

      ***EDITS: "90s" and "30s"

      Daytime temperatures were in the 70's F (20's C) and
      nighttime temperatures were most likely in the low 40's F (4 – 9 C).
      On this
      trip, my pack weight was about 22 lb (10 kg).

      ***EDITS: "70s" "20s" and "40s"

      The capacity of the pack is ideal for shorter treks, but for longer
      outings, I
      would like to have the larger Gecko 80 which is 33.75" x 14" x 10.5"
      (86 cm x 36
      cm x 27 cm) weighs 6 lb 10 oz (3 kg) and has a capacity of 4,882 cu. in.
      (80,001 cu cm) or another larger pack.

      ***EDITS: "80 L" is probably as accurate and useful a measure; add an
      em dash or parenthesis after "Gecko 80" and before "or another pack"
      to separate that parenthetical clause with the measures

      The zippers and cinch straps, and buckles are
      in excellent condition.

      ***EDIT SUGGESTION: "zippers, cinch straps and buckles"

      -------------
      My Likes:
      -------------
      Zippers running vertically down each sideSeveral durable cinch straps
      to secure
      load and increase comfortWell-ventilated mesh back panel"A" slanted
      shape hip
      beltTop cover of pack has a zippered pocketFrame is adjustable for
      small (18" or
      46 cm) to large (21" or 53 cm) torsosSmall zippered pocket on the hip
      belt

      -----------------
      My Dislikes:
      -----------------
      For longer outings, I would prefer a pack with more capacityWish top
      pocket
      detached for use as a fanny pack

      ***EDITS: These sections have the same problem with sentences running
      together and superfluous quotation marks as the first main paragraph;
      please fix as needed in HTML if this is not a "Yahooism"

      [END OF EDITS]


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      4.
      Owner Review - SmartWool Tee - Ray Estrella Posted by: "rayestrella1" rayestrella@... rayestrella1 Tue Oct 31, 2006 10:10 pm (PST) It is very slow here. I figured I would spark some action. HTML may
      be found here;

      http://tinyurl.com/ygp4ao

      SmartWool Lightweight Short-sleeved Tee

      Owners Review
      November 3, 2006

      Tester Information
      Name: Raymond Estrella
      Age: 46
      Gender: Male
      Height: 6' 3" (193 cm)
      Weight: 210 lb (95 kg)
      Email address: rayestrella@...
      City: Huntington Beach
      State: California
      Country: USA

      Backpacking Background

      I have been backpacking for over 30 years, all over the state of
      California, and also in Washington, Minnesota, Nevada, Arizona, and
      Idaho. I hike year-round, mostly in the Sierra Nevada, and average
      400 to 500+ miles (640 – 800+ km) per year. As I start my 4th
      decade of backpacking I am making the move to lightweight gear, and
      smaller volume packs. I start early and hike hard so as to enjoy the
      afternoons exploring. I usually take a freestanding tent and enjoy
      hot meals at night. Many of my trips are taken with my brother-in-
      law Dave.

      The product

      Manufacturer: SmartWool
      Web site: www.smartwool.com
      Product: Lightweight Short-sleeve Tee
      Style #: 14-610
      Size: Extra Large
      Year manufactured: 2005
      MSRP: $60.00 (US)
      Weight listed: N/A Weight measured 9 oz ( g)
      Color reviewed: Green
      Warranty: 100% Guarantee

      Product Description

      The SmartWool Lightweight Short-sleeved Tee (hereafter called the
      SmartWool or shirt) is a loose cut t-shirt aimed at outdoorsy types.
      It is made of "100% superfine SmartWool" according to the
      manufacturer, yet inside the shirt near the bottom side is a tag
      that identifies it as 100% Merino wool. On the back of said tag are
      the laundering instructions. They are as follows. Machine wash cold,
      tumble dry low, iron low. DO NOT DRY CLEAN. (I'm a guy, brushing old
      mud from my boots is as close to dry cleaning as I get, they needn't
      worry.) The material is much softer to the touch than cotton but not
      as slick feeling as nylon. I like it.

      I bought my shirt(s) in a size XL to accommodate my height. It is a
      bit baggy on me because of it. The shirts are not offered in Tall
      sizes although I wish they were. It looks like any other t-shirt at
      first glance, (usually the only one I get from most people,
      especially female glancers) but upon more careful inspection it
      reveals itself to be quite a nice piece of work.

      The stitching is some of the best I have ever seen on a t-shirt. (At
      $60.00 US for a tee maybe it better be.) All of the shoulder, arm
      and side seams are sewn with a serge stitch to create both a flat
      and extremely strong seam. I have had many shirts pull apart at the
      shoulder seams from my massive pipes…I mean my heavy backpacks. This
      shirt is still looking good as far as that is concerned. It has
      frayed along the edges of the seams where my shoulder straps have
      rubbed them incessantly, but none have pulled loose. The hems at the
      end of the sleeves and body look from the outside to have two rows
      of stitching, but upon examination inside it is seen that the two
      rows are done at the same time and interlock with each other it
      seems like every other stitch. This would seem to give it some
      redundancy in the event of cutting one of the threads so as not to
      have it run.

      The collar is an example of sewing marvel to me in itself. I made a
      t-shirt in school. The collar was the hardest part and the seam of
      it, while looking good from the outside (my mom was amazed),
      protruded inside where my delicate neck could feel it. (Ever read
      the Princess and the Pea?) The collar on the SmartWool is sewn with
      the same double-run as the hems, but they add an extra fold of
      material folded over again to both the collar and body before
      stitching them together. This results in a seam that looks kind of
      like it has split piping. It ends up being very strong and has
      retained its shape very well, not drooping like many of my shirts
      (and house plants) do.

      Field Conditions

      The SmartWool shirts have been used in San Jacinto State Park and
      Wilderness, San Gorgonio Wilderness and many areas of the eastern
      Sierra Nevada. The lowest elevation seen with them on my back was
      400' (122 m) in Palm Springs California, the highest being on
      Forrester Pass at 13,180' (4017 m). The coldest temperature
      encountered was 28 F (-2 C) near White Mountain, the warmest many
      90+ F (33 C) days in the regional parks of Southern CA. They have
      been worn in cactus covered desert locales, low elevation scrub and
      hardwood areas, pine forests and treeless rock up high. They have
      been rained on, hailed on and mostly sun baked in my pursuit of
      backpacking miles and hiker chicks. (So far miles-thousands, hiker
      chicks-0)

      Observations

      I bought my two SmartWool t-shirts, one short and one long sleeved,
      in late summer of 2005 as part of a move to find the best material
      to combat odor. With the 2005/06 winter season approaching I
      decided to search out some new to me articles of clothing to fight
      the funk. (Winter in my opinion is much worse for clothing-retained
      odor as I am trapped in layers quite often, along with the
      impossibility of washing on the trail.) I purchased three silver-
      incorporating pieces, one more chemical antibacterial treated item
      (I have many), and the SmartWool shirts.

      One concern about them was how they would feel. I always thought of
      wool being itchy like my old hiking socks from the 80s and wool
      button up shirts of the same period. I decided to try it because of
      how soft and non-itchy the company's socks are, of which I have 19
      pairs of varying thicknesses and heights. I was pleased with the
      soft feel of the material. It is softer to touch than cotton.

      When I first got the SmartWool shirts home I washed them. I washed
      them in cold water as recommended and then took them out to air dry.
      They smelled horrible! I think this is what it smells like in New
      Zealand when it rains, a wet sheep. I was thinking there is no way I
      am going to be able to wear this thing hiking. I sweat hard,
      especially while climbing which factors largely into almost all of
      my backpacking trips. After they dried the smell went away, but I
      was still concerned about how they would fare on the trail. It is
      hard enough finding hiking partners without adding Eau-de-sheep to
      my repertoire of olfactory offenses.

      So I took them on a couple of day hikes where they proved themselves
      to be a non-smelly garment. What is more it seemed that they do not
      hold odors too much. The next use really tested this quality out. It
      was another day-hike at the end of October with a twist. The Cactus
      to Clouds hike was called the 5th hardest day hike in America by
      Backpacking Magazine, climbing from 400' (122 m) elevation in Palm
      Springs to the top of San Jacinto at 10,834' (3302 m) in a distance
      of 17 miles (27 km). With the 5 miles back from the peak to the Palm
      Springs Arial Tramway for a ride back down it is a 23 mile (37 km)
      hike that climbs almost constantly for a total of 10,700' (3261 m)
      of gain. I wore both SmartWool shirts starting off at 4:40 AM. By
      5:00 AM I was sweating hard enough to lose the long-sleeve shirt.
      Within another hour the short-sleeved shirt was soaked, a state that
      it would stay in for most the day. As I got above 9,000' (2743 m)
      the wind was getting pretty cold so the long shirt went back on. I
      was still sweating and soaked it also. We took a rest when we
      attained the summit. I had to put a rain coat over both to keep from
      getting too chilled through the wet wool. I lost the coat on the
      quick descent to the tram station. As we were having a well deserved
      beer (OK, two…) while waiting for the tram both shirts were
      noticeably drying out while I sat there. And I noticed that I did
      not smell a fraction as bad as my hiking partner. I had to attribute
      that to the SmartWools as I bet I had sweated at least a quart (1 L)
      that day into my shirts.

      I continued to wear the Smartwools off and on during the spring and
      summer of 2006, always being impressed with the inherent ability of
      the wool to actually win the battle of the B.O. Then I decided to do
      a torture test to the short sleeved shirt as I was planning on
      writing this review.

      I am in the habit of bringing extra shirt, socks and underwear on
      all multi-day backpacking trips. At the end of a hard days hiking I
      try to find a lake to dip in to rinse off the days dirt and sweat.
      Then while I drip-dry I rinse out the days clothing and spread it to
      dry back in camp. Often the drying process will have to be completed
      on my pack during the next days hiking. On my recent four-day trip
      from Onion Valley to Horseshoe Meadow via Cottonwood Pass (east-side
      Sierra Nevada) I decided to wear the short sleeved shirt every day
      without benefit of rinsing out between wearing. I did bring the long
      sleeved SmartWool also but only wore it in camp to let the short
      sleeved shirt have a chance to at least dry out off of my back. Over
      the course of the trip I put in 58 miles (93 km) and 11,100' (3383
      m) of elevation gain in temps that got as high as 90 F (32 C) down
      near Horseshoe. The shirt was soaked every day of the hike. Here is
      a shot at the top of Forrester Pass. The shirt is pretty much solid
      soaked. It is actually a lighter color than it seems.

      By the end of the second day it was getting salt lines on the front
      of it where my backpack's shoulder straps ride. By the last day it
      had salt marks over the whole chest area. (Did I mention that I
      sweat a bit?)

      At the end of the trip I purposely wadded it up and tossed it on the
      extra bed in my room in Lone Pine CA. (Dave had to bail mid-hike.)
      The next day after having a night to get back to normal (if I can
      ever be called normal) I unwadded it and gave it a good wiff. And
      another. I was major impressed. There was no pungent body odor even
      under the arms. It smelled dirty to be sure but was not "funky", or
      sharp.

      On the down side the shirt seem to be a little less durable than my
      other shirts. A little snag on the long sleeved shirt resulted in a
      tear in the sleeve near the wrist. And the short sleeved shirt is
      pilling on the back where my hipbelt rides and the shoulders, along
      with the edges of the seams as mentioned earlier.

      The results of my experience with these has me determined to try
      some thicker models this winter. Stay tuned for the results.

      Pros: Excellent wicking ability, quick drying, superb odor control.

      Cons: Expensive, not as durable as other materials, does not come in
      tall sizes.



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      Samson Phan
      10286 East Annadale
      Sanger, CA 93657-9725
      samsonphan@...


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      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • chcoa
      Hi Samson, To where did you upload it? If has not come over on the recently uploaded list and I could ot find it with a BGT search? jamie d Edit Admin Manager
      Message 2 of 7 , Nov 2, 2006
      • 0 Attachment
        Hi Samson,

        To where did you upload it? If has not come over on the recently
        uploaded list and I could ot find it with a BGT search?

        jamie d
        Edit Admin Manager

        --- In BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com, Samson Phan <samsonphan@...>
        wrote:
        >
        > Ray,
        > I finally got the OR for the GUlp posted. I did not load it in the
        right area, then I was emailing the wrong address. Thanks for your
        patience and understanding of my inability to use computers
        >
      • rayestrella1
        ... Hi Samson, I still do not see it. Did you put it in the High Sierra Sports Gulp folder? Ray
        Message 3 of 7 , Nov 3, 2006
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          >Ray,
          >I finally got the OR for the GUlp posted. I did not load it in the
          >right area, then I was emailing the wrong address. Thanks for your
          >patience and understanding of my inability to use computers

          Hi Samson, I still do not see it. Did you put it in the High Sierra
          Sports Gulp folder?

          Ray
        Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.