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Re: FR - Wenger Xpedition Boots - Ben Mansfield

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  • Ben Mansfield
    Thanks for the edits Pam. I m all set. Sorry to hear about your dad s health problems - best wishes to you and your family. -Ben
    Message 1 of 2 , Mar 1, 2011
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      Thanks for the edits Pam. I'm all set. Sorry to hear about your
      dad's health problems - best wishes to you and your family.

      -Ben

      On Mon, Feb 28, 2011 at 1:46 AM, Pamela Wyant <pamwyant@...> wrote:
      >
      > Hi Ben,
      >
      > Sorry for the lateness of this edit, as my dad has been in the hospital with a
      > stoke, and things have been pretty hectic.
      >
      > Just a couple of things for you -
      >
      > *************
      >
      > On every trip so far I've worn a winter weight wool or wool-blend sock and no
      > liner under Xpeditions, and I typically change my socks every day in the winter
      > to ensure that they're dry and clean to start each day
      >
      > ### EDIT: ...and no liner *in* the Xpeditions...
      >
      > These boots have really surpassed my expectations. I'm really happy with the way
      > they fit, though I am a little worried that as they start to wear out I may have
      > to lace them tighter to keep my heel locked in, which may in turn be
      > uncomfortable.
      >
      > ### Edit: Is there a reason you worry the boots will have to be laced tighter?
      > If so, please add that. If not, please remove this, as it would be unfounded
      > projection.
      >
      > When finished addressing these, please upload to the regular folder and delete
      > the test copy. Thanks, and see you in a couple of months.
      >
      > Pam
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > --- On Tue, 2/15/11, Ben Mansfield <benmansfield27@...> wrote:
      >
      > > From: Ben Mansfield <benmansfield27@...>
      > > Subject: FR - Wenger Xpedition Boots - Ben Mansfield
      > > To: "BGT TestERS" <backpackgeartesters@yahoogroups.com>
      > > Cc: "Pamela Wyant" <pamwyant@...>
      > > Date: Tuesday, February 15, 2011, 3:41 PM
      > > My FR is below, and the html version
      > > can be found here:
      > > http://tinyurl.com/45qmzxd
      > >
      > > Thanks in advance for the edits!
      > >
      > > -Ben
      > >
      > >
      > > Field Report
      > > 15 February 2011
      > >
      > >
      > > Field Conditions
      > >
      > > I've worn the Wenger Xpedition boots on three backpacking
      > > trips thus
      > > far, as well as two day hikes. The first backpacking trip
      > > was four
      > > frigid nights and three cold days in the Allegheny National
      > > Forest
      > > (ANF) in Pennsylvania, the other two were on different
      > > trails in the
      > > same forest, and were both three day, two night trips.
      > > Rounding out my
      > > 11 days of trail wear were two day hikes in the Cuyahoga
      > > Valley
      > > National Park (CVNP) in Ohio. It's been either cold or
      > > really cold on
      > > all of my trips, and all have been snowy. The longest trip
      > > to the ANF
      > > that I mentioned above brought daily highs around 20 F (-6
      > > C)and
      > > nights that were much colder. The other two trips in the
      > > ANF were
      > > almost twins, weather-wise, with daily temperatures in the
      > > mid to
      > > upper 20's (-3 C) and modest snow on the ground. The first
      > > trip was
      > > the standout, since we encountered 12-18 inches (30 - 45
      > > cm) of snow
      > > on the trail and more in drifts and around fallen trees.
      > > All that snow
      > > made the trail nearly impossible to follow in many places,
      > > and we
      > > spent the days playing games of "find the blaze" and
      > > following animal
      > > tracks along what we hoped was the trail.
      > >
      > > My two day hikes in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park were
      > > cold as
      > > well (I guess that should be expected this time of year),
      > > with a
      > > less-than-pleasant mixture of snow and ice. The CVNP
      > > features really
      > > well graded and maintained trails that are used year round,
      > > so hiking
      > > there is more like a pleasant walk in the park as opposed
      > > to a rugged
      > > backcountry experience. These easy trails greatly mitigated
      > > the ugly
      > > snow and ice conditions that I encountered.
      > >
      > > If I add up all of my trips, it totals to about 83 miles
      > > (134 km) of
      > > on-trail use so far. None of those steps were taken on dirt
      > > trails -
      > > they were all covered by some amount of snow or ice as
      > > we've had a
      > > really snowy year in my part of the world. I'm hoping that
      > > as the
      > > weather starts to warm a little bit I'll be able to get out
      > > and learn
      > > about these boots in more spring and summer-like trail
      > > conditions.
      > >
      > >
      > > Field Observations
      > >
      > > Prior to receiving the Xpedition boots I had just about
      > > broken down a
      > > pair of fairly rugged mixed-use boots that were heavier,
      > > stiffer and
      > > uglier than the Wengers. I appreciate the lighter weight of
      > > the Wenger
      > > boots, but I have to admit I was a little skeptical that
      > > they might be
      > > a bit too "light duty" for me. So far, I've been wrong
      > > about that.
      > > Admittedly, I haven't had much rugged terrain to hike over,
      > > since the
      > > trails that I've been on have always been snowy thus far.
      > > The boots
      > > have offered plenty of grip over snow-covered trails,
      > > iced-over
      > > bridges, and slippery stream crossings. Of course, I did
      > > slip into a
      > > creek here and there, but I don't blame the boots.
      > >
      > > Originally I found that if I pulled the laces too tight, my
      > > feet hurt,
      > > so I was worried that they would have to be either loose
      > > and
      > > comfortable but not hold my foot securely, or tight and
      > > uncomfortable.
      > > It turns out that I can lace the Xpedition boots much
      > > looser than I
      > > would normally pull my hiking boots, and I still have not
      > > had any
      > > rubbing or hot spots.
      > >
      > > On all of my trips, I've worn a light-duty gaiter over my
      > > boots to
      > > help keep snow from getting in over the top of the boots. I
      > > find that
      > > this also tends to keep me warmer, as my socks and pant
      > > bottoms stay
      > > dry as well. My gaiters have a pretty typical configuration
      > > - a simple
      > > clip that hooks over the laces on the top of the boot, an
      > > elastic band
      > > that wraps around the boot, and a strap that goes from the
      > > inside of
      > > my foot, under the boot sole, and back up to the outside of
      > > my foot to
      > > keep the gaiter from riding up. I haven't had any problem
      > > installing
      > > or removing the gaiters (a little ice and frozen snaps
      > > aside), and
      > > they have stayed in place faithfully throughout the day.
      > > The Wenger
      > > Xpedition boots seem to work just fine with this style of
      > > gaiter.
      > >
      > > The "OutDry" waterproofing has done a very good job of
      > > keeping my feet
      > > dry, which was critical in the conditions under which I've
      > > been hiking
      > > this winter. Besides being buried in snow for days on end,
      > > I've also
      > > had to deal with lots of stream and little creek crossings
      > > made scary
      > > by thin layers of ice and slippery rocks and downed trees.
      > > In more
      > > than one occasion, my foot slipped off and into the frigid,
      > > shallow
      > > water and in every occasion the Wenger Xpedition boots kept
      > > my feet
      > > dry. The boots also didn't absorb much water, which would
      > > have been
      > > obvious because it presumably would have frozen and turned
      > > my feet
      > > into blocks of ice. I have not treated the boots with any
      > > aftermarket
      > > waterproofing or other treatment.
      > >
      > > On every trip so far I've worn a winter weight wool or
      > > wool-blend sock
      > > and no liner under Xpeditions, and I typically change my
      > > socks every
      > > day in the winter to ensure that they're dry and clean to
      > > start each
      > > day. As lightweight as the boots are, they have also kept
      > > my feet
      > > relatively warm. For full disclosure, however, I'm not a
      > > cold feet
      > > kind of person and my extremities generally stay warm. Even
      > > pulling on
      > > partially frozen boots that sat out in the cold all night
      > > (one of the
      > > rare pleasures of winter backpacking), my feet warmed up
      > > within the
      > > first mile or two.
      > >
      > > Because they haven't really seen any dirt, the boots look
      > > almost as
      > > good as the day they arrived. They're also not really
      > > showing any
      > > tread wear, though I don't wear them around town.
      > >
      > > Summary
      > >
      > > These boots have really surpassed my expectations. I'm
      > > really happy
      > > with the way they fit, though I am a little worried that as
      > > they start
      > > to wear out I may have to lace them tighter to keep my heel
      > > locked in,
      > > which may in turn be uncomfortable. I'm looking forward to
      > > warmer
      > > weather when I can try out the boots on trails that are
      > > rocky, muddy,
      > > leaf covered, and/or mossy. They've kept my feet warm and
      > > dry, and
      > > have proven thus far to be a great lightweight alternative
      > > to what
      > > I've worn in the past.
      > >
      > > Key Features
      > > OutDry works - feet stayed dry despite heavy snow and
      > > stream crossings
      > > Fit - comfortable when laced loosely yet locks in my feet -
      > > no
      > > hotspots or blisters
      > > Warm - Even in really cold weather, as long as I'm moving
      > > my feet are warm
      > >
      > > Areas for Improvement
      > > None yet
      > >
      > >
      > > I would like to thank Wenger and BackpackGearTest.org for
      > > the
      > > opportunity to test the Xpedition boots.
      > >
      >
      >
      >
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