Monday, July 25, 2016

#ORInsightLab Gear Review: Outdoor Research Whirlwind Hoody

When I was sent the Outdoor Research Whirlwind Hoody for the summer #ORInsightLab review, I was a bit skeptical I would be able to use it during the warmest months out of the year.  After unwrapping the package, I realized quickly how this hoody could be quite useful, even during the summer season.

Ringing in at 9.1 oz. the Whirlwind Hoody is extremely light.  The material is breathable and quick drying from a light rain to a moderate sweat from the hike to the crag base.  This pullover half-zip hoody fit like a glove.  There's a little extra length in the sleeve as well as thumb hooks to partially cover the palm and top of the hand.

Like most of the lightweight shells Outdoor Research has to offer, the Whirlwind Hoody holds up well to abrasion and light wear and tear on the trail.  There is limited pocket space, but being a light weight shell, you don't want to weigh it down with unnecessary items.  The lone pocket itself can hold something the size of a cell phone or wallet with an attachment cord inside to clip on items you don't want to drop while on the wall.

The performance was perfect for the cool morning hike and the initial warm-ups at the crag.  The hoody provided free range of motion without interfering or limiting any movement.  However, I did not wear it for very long since the weather warmed up rather quickly and the hoody was not needed.  The Whirlwind will be something I could wear all day once the weather breaks to the fall style.  Overall, I was satisfied with this piece from Outdoor Research.  I give the Whirlwind Hoody 4 sprays out of 5.  I recommend this for anyone needing that little bit of an extra layer before they hit the trails or crags.  

Saturday, June 25, 2016

#ORInsightLab Review: Men's Ferrosi Shorts

This round of #ORInsightLab has me very excited to try out what Outdoor Research has given us testers to review.  The first feature review is the Men's Ferrosi Shorts.  The Ferrosi collection has long been heralded as a fan favorite from OR.  With its lightweight, soft shell, breathable fabric, it's no surprise about the popularity of this line of clothing.

As a rock climber, restrictive free movement of clothing is important as well as staying cool during the summer months.  When I tested the Ferrosi 3/4 pants, I was impressed with the material.  The breathable stretchy fabric performed great on the rock.  I wasn't so stoked on the length of the pants though.  I'm a shorts kind of guy, so  I was very happy to see OR take the Ferrosi line right down to what I wear most.  I took the Ferrosi shorts for the test ride out on the some of the best problems in New England at Great Barrington.

Pressure Drop v10

These shorts performed better than I had expected.  They allowed free flow of movement and the stretch in all the right places.  The breath-ability and light-weightness of the fabric was perfect for hiking and climbing in the overgrown jungle like areas of Western Massachussetts.  The material even held up well to scuffs during top-outs on the abrasive gneiss type rock of the boulders.

These are very competitive with the performance of other shorts that I have worn for hiking and climbing.  I feel the Ferrosi shorts have a slight edge on the competition due to the very good breath-ability and light weight fabric.  The price seems high for shorts but are in the same price range as other name brand shorts made for these activities.  I'm giving these 5 sprays out of 5 for these shorts for their ability to not crush my stoke when the temps kick up out at the crag.

Disclosure:  The products received from Outdoor Research for the #ORInsightLab program are provided in exchange for honest feedback.  All opinions are my own and are not influenced in any way by receiving such products.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Bouldering in the CT Video Edit

I just finished up the edit for the recent sends here in the CT area: Slice (v9/10), Chisel Chest (v7), and Slice variation (v10).  These problems became insta-classics (IMO) and I am looking forward to finishing my project of Buzzer Beater (v11/12) on the Slice boulder.  Check out the video, enjoy!  

Thanks to Asana Climbing, Julbo Eyewear and Climberism for all the support!

Friday, April 15, 2016

#ORInsightLab Review: Men's Stronghold Twill Pants

The next installment of the #ORInsightLab has arrived!  This review will cover the performance of the Outdoor Research Stronghold Twill pants.  These past few months I've been able to test out these pants while bouldering.  Pants are, in my opinion, the most important clothing you will wear; they literally cover half of your body!  When it comes to climbing, pants become even more important.  The pair you choose can make or break your day at the boulders.  The only place I knew where to test these were my favorite stomping grounds here in the northeast.

Slice v10, NWCT

I'm going to be straightforward, the Stronghold Twill were not my favorite.  They just didn't fit the way I want climbing pants to fit.  The legs were very loose and baggy.  I was still able to send my v10 boulder problems, but there was just too much movement in the pant legs while climbing.  The material was comfortable but did not provide much in terms of stretch, which is something I prefer in a climbing pant.  Overall, the performance failed my standards for climbing but they style did not.  I liked the way they looked for more casual occasions, such as the after climb pub visit.

Comparing the fit of the Stronghold Twill, I much preferred the fit of the Outdoor Research Men's Deadpoint pants. A tighter fit in the leg with stretchy fabric has a much better feel while climbing.  The Stronghold Twill gets its points for style and comfort, just not for its climbing performance.  I give these pants 3 sprays out of 5.

Disclosure:  The products received from Outdoor Research for the #ORInsightLab program are provided in exchange for honest feedback.  All opinions are my own and are not influenced in any way by receiving such products.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Red Rock Canyon Classics

I finally got around to getting the video edit done from my February trip to Red Rock Canyon.  While there, I focused my efforts on volume rather than trying to put down a hard grade or two.  The weather was perfect for the four days that we were there and got to top out many of the classics that I didn't try the year before.  If I can get back out there next year, my plan is to focus on projecting (and hopefully sending!) some of the harder lines in the area.  Here's the final published edit:

Monday, February 22, 2016

#ORInsightLab Review: Men's Starfire Hoody

With another round of being part of the #ORInsightLab program comes another great opportunity to test some outdoor apparel from Outdoor Research.  As mentioned in previous posts about #ORInsightLab, this program offers a select group of outdoor enthusiasts the chance to test out gear for Outdoor Research and provide them with performance feedback. 

The first of the reviews will be starting with the Men's Starfire Hoody.  This hoody went through some tough and rigorous adventuring here in the northeast and all the way out in the deserts of Las Vegas.  The first thing I noticed while wearing this jacket was that it held in heat very well, which is perfect for the winter time of year when I tend to be outside bouldering.  The flexibility of the fabric was also ideal for the climbing trips.  The thumb loops in the sleeves were great for keeping my hands warm while resting between problem attempts.  The jacket material was also perfectly flexible and un-restrictive while climbing.

The overall feel of the material was very soft on the inside but had a durable feel on the exterior.  The only aspect I would like to change about the jacket is the stiffness of the zipper.  It causes the front of the jacket to bunch up in the center area at times but wasn't a huge issue with the performance.  I liked this hoody for a warmer layer when I am out climbing, but I really liked it more for the normal kick-back-with-your-friends-kind-of-wear.  The blue color was prime for my taste and it had a great style that is well suited for an outdoor adventurer.  I give the Starfire Hoody 4.5 sprays out of 5!

The products received from Outdoor Research for the #ORInsightLab program are provided in exchange for honest feedback.  All opinions are my own and are not influenced in any way by receiving of such products.