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OR - Yaktrax Pro - Ray Estrella

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  • rayestrella1
    Hi Ted, Here is an OR for the call. Now may I have a cookie, I mean a bonus point please? ;-) The HTML may be found here; http://tinyurl.com/c3n598 Thanks, Ray
    Message 1 of 2 , Feb 24, 2009
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      Hi Ted,

      Here is an OR for the call. Now may I have a cookie, I mean a bonus
      point please? ;-)

      The HTML may be found here;
      http://tinyurl.com/c3n598

      Thanks,

      Ray

      Yaktrax Pro
      By Raymond Estrella

      OWNER REVIEW
      February 24, 2009

      TESTER INFORMATION
      NAME: Raymond Estrella
      EMAIL: rayestrellaAThotmailDOTcom
      AGE: 48
      LOCATION: Orange County, California, USA
      GENDER: M
      HEIGHT: 6' 3" (1.91 m)
      WEIGHT: 200 lb (90.70 kg)
      I have been backpacking for over 30 years, all over California, and in
      many of the western states and Minnesota. I hike year-round, and
      average 500+ miles (800+ km) per year. I have made a 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. If not hiking solo I
      am usually with my wife Jenn or brother-in-law Dave.

      The Product

      Manufacturer: Yaktrax
      Web site: www.yaktrax.com
      Product: Yaktrax Pro
      Year manufactured: 2007
      MSRP: US $29.95
      Size: XLarge, fits shoes sizes 14+ (see below for more info on this)
      Stated weight: N/A
      Actual weight (pair): 5.1 oz (145 g)
      Color: Black
      Size folded up for travel: 3 x 4 in (7.6 x 10 cm)

      Product Description


      The Yaxtrax Pros are a compact traction device made to improve
      stability on slick and icy surfaces.

      They are made from heavy duty natural rubber that is said to stay
      flexible to -41. The 0.2 in (5 mm) thick rubber strands are woven into
      a kind of basket that will stretch over shoes and boots. The strands
      of rubber that go across the sole, or bottom, of the footwear have
      been wrapped with high strength, abrasion resistant 1.4 mm (0.06 in)
      steel coils.

      These coils with what Yaktrax calls their SkidLock design, are made to
      cut into a frozen surface, or grab the solid surface through water to
      keep one upright and mobile in bad conditions.


      To put them on the toe of the footwear goes into the front of the
      Yaktrax. Then gripping the thick pull tab at the back of the Yaktrax
      it can be stretched over the footwear. The sides then need to be
      pulled up to make sure they go around the footwear properly.

      To keep the cradle of rubber and coils in place on the footwear a 0.75
      in (1.9 cm) nylon strap is attached with a buckle to one side of the
      Yaktrax. It is run through a slot on the opposite side, then pulled
      over the bridge of the foot and attached to itself by means of sewn on
      Velcro strips.

      It can be difficult to get them on over large boots, but in my
      experience it is quite easy to get them off. I just pull the tab
      gently and like a giant rubber band they POP off my boots.

      I keep the pair stuck together and folded in two for storage. By
      slipping a section of rubber over one another it keeps them from
      unraveling. Here is how they look in this manner.

      Field Conditions

      I have used, or at least carried, the Yaktrax Pros a lot in the San
      Gorgonio wilderness and Mt San Jacinto State Park and Wilderness area.
      The hikes in these areas range from 5000 to 11500 ft (1500 to 3500 m)
      elevation. Temperatures will get down to 10 F (-12 C).

      There have been much too many to individually list but here a couple
      memorable trips I used them on.

      Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah: This was a one night trip with the
      camp elevation at 8,000 ft (2,438 m). The daytime temperatures were
      from 36 F (2 C) and a nighttime temperature of 5 F (-15 C). There was
      snow on the ground from a trace amount to almost 3 ft (1 m) drifts.
      The white snow setting off the orange rock was beautiful.

      Stretching the boundaries of how they should be used I wore them on a
      15 mi (24 km) winter peak bagging trip to the Mt Baldy area. We
      summited Timber Mountain, Telegraph Peak and an unnamed peak in one
      day. Conditions ranged from dirt trails with some snow on the approach
      to frozen snow/ice fields, hard frozen ground and rock. I did not
      carry a thermometer but will guess the temps to be from 30 F to 60 F
      (-1 to 16 C).

      Observations

      I was given the Yaktrax as a surprise by my wife back when we were
      dating. She bought them for me based on my boot size listed in my
      reviews as US Men's 11. According to the chart, a size Large Yaktrax
      would be right. My first use of them was on a two day trip to Bryce.
      The main trails and heavily used trails were packed down by traffic
      and got very slick and icy. I immediately put the Yaktrax to work,
      only taking them off when I got into deep snow in the canyon bottoms.
      Then the snowshoes would go on.

      But they were too small. It took all my strength just to get them over
      my boots. Once they were on they were so tight that if I traversed and
      put my weight on the side of my foot the Yaktrax would pop off my
      boot. It was pretty irritating but I kept using them for the trip.

      Thankfully she had purchased them from REI. Once I got back from that
      trip REI exchanged them for a size XLarge. These worked great. I have
      never had an instance of the Yaktrax popping off since.

      They work very well for snowy trails that will support my weight.
      Rather than keep my snowshoes on I can slip the Yaktrax on and make
      much better time without the tripping hazard of snowshoes on a hard
      surface.

      I have gotten pretty good at putting them on and taking them off,
      although there is a short learning curve. The colder the weather, the
      harder it is to put them on as the rubber is not as pliant and my
      fingers are stiffer. I find it easier to do bare-handed rather than in
      gloves.


      My brother-in-law Dave had been watching me bring the Yaktrax on trips
      that I felt did not warrant crampons, yet I might want some traction
      on, for some time. He finally bought a pair himself. On his first trip
      with them we did the climbing trip to the Mt Baldy area mentioned
      earlier and pictured above. It had been very warm and I expected most
      of the snow to be gone, and what little was left I expected to be
      shallow mush. I decided that we would probably not need crampons and
      Dave foolishly listened to me. We did bring the ice axes just in case.
      Good thing.

      What we found was solidly frozen areas of snow cover. It sounded like
      rock as our poles (or axes later) would strike down.

      We put on the Yaktrax to negotiate some big snow fields that needed to
      be traversed downwards to hit a saddle that was the location of the
      trail to two of our peaks. It was very steep.

      NOTE: Yaktrax does not intend these devices to replace crampons.

      The Yaktrax gripped the frozen surface quite well. I let my ankle roll
      to keep as much contact with the surface as possible. I found that if
      I hesitated after planting my foot, before transferring all my weight
      to it for the next step, the coils would bite into the surface better.

      Dave just watched me for a while as I slowly made my way across. Then
      I stepped into an area that had about two in (5 cm) of fresh snow over
      the hard under-layer of ice. That floated the Yaktrax away from the
      surface resulting in me taking a fall and making a self arrest. Seeing
      this Dave chose to forgo the traverse, instead climbing up to find
      buttresses that had the tops melted free of snow and ice that would
      take him where we were trying to get to. I stubbornly continued on
      using the Yaktrax until I made it to clear ground.

      I hate to admit it but I had two more falls. But it was not the fault
      of the Yaktrax which had performed mightily in some conditions that
      they were not made to handle. And through it all they never popped off
      my boots although I watched them for signs remembering that first
      trip.

      They have held up quite well. I have worn them on exposed rock and the
      long concrete ramp at Mountain Station (the hardest part of a trip to
      Mt San Jacinto State Park some say) many times. I see no major wear on
      the steel coils. They are understandably scratched and pitted a bit.

      While I will not use them for any further mountaineering trips I will
      certainly keep my Yaktrax Pros around for more reasonable pursuits for
      a long time to come.
    • Jamie D.
      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 , Mar 3, 2009
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        PLEASE READ THIS EMAIL IN FULL. IT IS MOST IMPORTANT!

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