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APPLICATION: OR M's Skye Pants - Christensen

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  • Ryan Christensen
    Application to test the OR Skye Pants Rick, please accept my application to test the OR Skye Pants. I have read the BGT Survival Guide v. 0609 and Bylaws v.
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 1, 2006
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      Application to test the OR Skye Pants

      Rick, please accept my application to test the OR Skye Pants. I have read the BGT Survival Guide v. 0609 and Bylaws v. 0609 and I agree to comply with all requirements and timetables. My signed Tester Agreement is on file with BGT.

      Reviewer Information:

      Name: Ryan L. Christensen
      Age: 42
      Gender: Male
      Height: 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
      Weight: 235 lb (107 kg)
      Email address: bigdawgryan (at) yahoo (dot) com
      City, State, Country: Idaho Falls, ID, U.S.A

      Backpacking Background:

      I began hiking, camping, backpacking at twelve, and continued until 25. After a long hiatus due in part to a bad back, I resumed hiking and camping four years ago. I share my love for these sports with my teen-age boys. The past several years, we have hiked or camped nearly every month, year-round. We vary our experience: desert, forest, meadow, and mountain; spring, summer, fall, and winter; sunshine, rain, wind, or snow. We began backpacking together last summer. I am a lightweight backpacker, but carry a full array of necessary gear.

      Field Information:

      I live in Idaho Falls, Idaho which is located at 43�29'30" North, 112�1'57" West at an elevation of 4,700 ft (1,433 m). Consequently, I plan is to test the OR Skye pants while snowshoeing and cross-country skiing in the surrounding area. The areas I am currently considering include the Portneuf Range near Pocatello, Craters of the Moon National Monument; the Kelly Canyon Nordic Area; the Palisades and Teton Valley areas and Harriman State Park. Average winter temperatures for southeastern Idaho are in the low teens to 0 F (-10 to -18 C). However, the temperature can drop to 30 below 0 F (-34 C) or more. The average annual snowfall in the region is 150� � 200� (381 cm � 508 cm).

      I am considering day, overnight and multi-day snowshoeing/cross-country skiing trips this winter into the Portneuf Range. �The yurt system in this mountainous area of Southeastern Idaho is made up of five Mongolian yurt-style structures. Southeast Idaho is known for its exhilarating wide-open powder slopes and uninhibited cross-country travel. The yurts along the Portneuf range are spaced so skiers can make yurt-to-yurt trips--or, if desired, parties can ski into one yurt and make day trips with the yurt serving as a base camp. Designed for all ability levels, the lower yurts are easily accessible to beginners and families, while the higher yurts are oriented to more experienced backcountry skiers.� Access to the easiest of the lower yurts requires a 350 ft (107 m) elevation gain where as the most difficult of the yurts in this system to reach requires a 2,300 ft (700 m) elevation gain over 3.5 miles (5.6 km).

      For January/February, I am planning several snowshoeing/cross-country skiing trips in the Kelly Canyon Nordic Area located 26 miles (42 km) northeast of Idaho Falls, in the Targhee National Forest, near the South Fork of the Snake River. It starts at an elevation of approximately 5,900 ft (1,798 m) and reaches elevations as high as 6,700 ft (2,042 m). The Kelly Canyon Nordic Area includes 24 miles (39 km) of cross-country ski trails, and approximately 5 miles (8 km) of snowshoe trails and a variety of backcountry skiing experiences.

      Another potential location for snowshoeing/cross-country skiing trips is the Palisades area, located approximately 50 miles (84 km) southeast of Idaho Falls at 6,227 ft (1,898 m). There are numerous trails available for hiking, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing in the general area. The Teton Valley area of Idaho, near Jackson Hole Wyoming, where there are approximately 31 miles (50 km) of groomed public trails for cross-country skiing and virtually unlimited areas for hiking and snowshoeing offers the possibility for exciting trips as well.

      Southeastern Idaho�s winter weather should provide a wide range of conditions in which to test the Skye Pants. Below are the average weather conditions for Idaho Falls and surrounding southeastern Idaho area during the test period. However, at higher elevations, temperatures may easily be 10 to 15 degrees cooler and snowfall greater. Although the winter averages shown for southeastern Idaho are in the low teens F (-10 to -18 C) the temperature can and often does drop to 30 below 0 F (-34 C) or colder.

      December 31 F / 13 F (0 C / -10 C) 6.9 in (17 cm) city
      January 30 F / 13 F (-1 C / -11 C) 7.9 in (20 cm) city
      February 37 F / 17 F (3 C / -8 C) 5.1 in (13 cm) city
      March 48 F / 25 F (9 C / -4 C) 6 in (15 cm) city
      April 59 F / 31 F (15 C / 0 C) 1.3 in (3.3 cm) precip
      May 68 F / 39 F (9 C / -4 C) 2 in (5.1 cm) precip
      June 78 F / 461 F (15 C / 0 C) 1.2 in (3 cm) precip

      Below are average weather conditions for Jackson Wyoming and surrounding area. Again, at higher elevations, temperatures can easily be 10 to 15 degrees cooler.

      December 26 F / 6 F (-3 C / -14 C) 76 in (193 cm) mtns approx 9,000 ft (229 m)
      January 28 F / 2 F (24 C / 3 C) 86 in (218 cm) mtns approx 9,000 ft (229 m)
      February 33 F / 7 F (24 C / 3 C) 74 in (188 cm) mtns approx 9,000 ft (229 m)
      March 43 F / 17 F (6 C / -8 C) 62 in (158 cm) approx 9,000 ft (229 m)
      April 53 F / 24 F (12 C / -4 C) 1.2 in (3 cm ) precip
      May 63 F / 31 F (6 C / -8 C) 2.2 in (5.6 cm) precip
      June 74 F / 37 F (12 C / -4 C) 1.6 in (4.1 cm) precip

      Proposed Test Plan:

      OR's Skye Pants seem perfect for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. Will they live up to OR�s claims? My test plan will focus on three areas: Fit, Function, and Durability.


      The first area my testing will focus on the fit of these pants. Does the fit lend itself to the types of activities I will be engaging in during the test period?
      1. OR�s sizing of these pants does not seem to be a perfect match for my body size and shape. I have a 38 in (97 cm) waist and a 32 in (81 cm) inseam. The waist should fit me fine. However, will the extra length cause me any problems?
      2. How will the elastic side panels in waistband play in to the overall fit in the waist?
      3. How will the rise fit my body shape and size?
      4. Besides the fit in the waist and inseam, how will the pants fit over the entire length of my legs? Will the pant legs be too baggy or too snug?
      5. How is the fit at the cuff? Are these open cuff, or do they have elastic to secure them around my boots?
      6. What is the sizes of the numerous (6) pockets? Is the size of each pocket such that it provides great utility?


      Next, my testing will consider function. Most of my winter outings will include highly aerobic activities that require full-range of movement and I will therefore be looking at the following:
      1. Will these pants restrict my movement while snowshoeing or cross-country skiing? Will the articulated knees truly provide unencumbered movement? Will the material truly stretch evenly such that it allows movement in any direction?
      2. Will the performance soft shell material with its DWR finish effectively repel moisture from falling snow and rain? Will these pants keep the lower portion of my body dry when I fall or sink into waist deep, or greater, snow while snowshoeing or cross-country skiing?
      3. How well will the performance soft shell material insulate? Will I be able to get away with wearing only a base layer under these pants? At what temperatures will I need more or less than this?
      4. I sweat a great deal, regardless of the temperature. How well will the performance soft shell material breathe? Will these pants wet out while snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, or hiking? Will they breathe well enough for me to be comfortable wearing them during the warmer temps I should experience later in the test period?
      5. Will I be able to easily operate the zippers and snap, even with gloved hands?
      6. Will the cuffs be snug enough to keep snow out, or will I need gaiters?


      Finally, I will consider durability, especially in the long-term portion of my report.
      1. How durable is the stretch woven nylon fabric that is the performance soft shell? Will it resist snagging and tearing? Will the fabric pill? Will it resist staining?
      2. Will the DWR finish hold up well, or will I need to apply additional waterproofing during the test period?
      3. Will the full-length gusseted inseam remain tight?
      4. Will the zippers continue to work smoothly after multiple uses?
      5. Will the elastic panels in the waist retain their elasticity after multiple uses and launderings?

      I believe I can effectively test the OR Skye Pants while participating in some highly aerobic activities that require clothing that provides good range of motion and flexibility. Based the OR sizing chart, I would like to test the Men�s XL Pants. I selected XL based on my waist size. I can deal with a little extra length in the leg better than a waist that is too small. As it is the only color available, Clay is my color of choice.

      I offer my thanks to both OR and BGT for considering to participate in the Skye Pants test.

      To read my test reports, please click on this URL: http://snipurl.com/12kpn

      Current Tests:

      � Red Ledge Men�s Covert Fleece Vest (field testing)
      � TSL Over the Top Snowshoes (yet to be shipped)

      Test Series Completed:

      � Duofold Varitherm Midweight Base Layer
      � Leatherman e307x Folding Knife
      � OR Prism Cap
      � MSR Fling 2-Person Tent

      Owner Reviews:

      � Asolo Fusion 95 GTX Backpack
      � MSR Whisperlite Backpacking Stove
      � GSI Outdoors Hard Anodized 5 Piece Cookset
      � Cerro Torre Gecko 65L Internal Frame Backpack (I am still waiting manufacturer response to my inquiry in order to answer the editor�s comments/questions. If not received soon, I will finish the OR without the manufacturer's response.)

      Test Applications Currently Under Consideration:

      � None

      Ryan L. Christensen
      E-mail: mailto:bigdawgryan@...

      "Excellence is not an act, but a habit." Aristotle

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