Sunday, September 24, 2017

#ORInsightLab: Men's Equinox Shorts Review

Next up on the #ORInsightLab gear reviews from Outdoor Research is the Men's Equinox shorts.  I was very stoked to get to test these out since Outdoor Research finally made a pair of shorts with a built-in belt.  This may not get a lot of people excited but as a climber, hiker, and camper, having one less thing to worry about bringing along or forgetting is a huge bonus.

Homefront Arete v7

Here's a quick rundown of what I liked about these shorts:

1. Lightweight

2. Breathable and quick-drying

3. Pockets were very adequate and deep

4. Performed very well while hiking a climbing; very comfortable

There were a few things about the Equinox shorts that I mildly disliked.  I was very excited about the built-in belt but was concerned about the clasp being slotted locking and made of a plastic material.  I do a lot of rock climbing and worry it may pull loose or break during difficult top outs.  Also, the belt length was a little too short past the buckle and made it slightly difficult to pull tight.  None of these issues were deal breakers though as the shorts were very comfortable and were perfect for hiking.  

I give the Equinox shorts 4 out of 5 sprays only for the slight issues with the belt.  

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

#ORInsightLab: Men's Ascendant Hoody Review

The #ORInsightLab Gear Reviews are back for another round!  As always, Outdoor Research provides me with gear to test out and provide honest feedback.  This week's featured review is the Outdoor Research Men's Ascendant Hoody

The fall season is just around the corner and temperatures are starting to cool down!  The more favorable and cooler climbing weather was a perfect opportunity to test out the Ascendant Hoody.  A boulderer will carry up to 30 lbs of pads and gear along with them on a typical outdoor session.  Minimizing the amount of unnecessary weight is critical to prevent pre-climbing hike-in exhaustion.  This was one of my favorite aspects of the Ascendant Hoody.  It was lightweight and kept me warm on the first half of the hike.  Once warm the hoody did a great job in terms of breathability, allowing for a comfortable 2nd half hike.

The performance was also impressive.  The material was flexible that moved with me rather than against me.  Another favorite was the durable zippers.  I find it annoying to zip thin lightweight jackets that are built with thin lightweight zippers, so this was a relief with the Ascendant Hoody.  Pockets were provided in all the right places with perfect sizing for my needs on the hike to the crag.  It was impossible to find a negative aspect about this hoody and it became an instant favorite!

Overall, I give the Ascendant Hoody 5 out of 5 sprays.  I couldn't find anything in particular that I did not like about the jacket.  I am stoked to have this jacket for many more trips this fall bouldering season!