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Product Reviews

Product Reviews

Your products are made to stand up to the elements. Many of The Outfitters staff have tried and tested these products and have a great understanding of how they perform and what to do to ensure they continue to perform.

 

We will be bringing you real world reviews on products that have been tested in the field. If you would like to send us a review on a product you’ve purchased from The Outfitters please send to operations@theoutfitters.nf.ca

 

If you would like to become an Outfitters field tester, please e-mail us at operations@theoutfitters.nf.caand we’ll keep you posted on any products we have available for testing.


Outdoor Apparel

Nick at The Outfitters sent along the great review of a Rab Strata Hoodie that he had the opportunity to test recently.  His review is below.



Recently I had the opportunity to test out the Rab Strata Hoodie for a couple of weeks. This is a jacket which works really well for high output activities during the winter. It is definitely the most breathable insulated jacket I have ever worn, yet the pertex micro light face fabric blocks virtually all wind. When I was cross country skiing it kept me comfortable and dry as a warmup jacket; even when I was sweating a lot the jacket just pushed all that moisture outside. It worked extremely well as a mid layer while ice climbing too; I even got too warm and had to take off my shell and wear just the Strata. I didn't get cold for a second and the jacket still shed all the water that was dripping down from the ice above. 

This jacket also has a great fit. Unlike other Rab Products I've tried on, this jacket has a great length, even for a tall person. It fits true to the size and leaves a little room inside. The hood construction is probably the best of any jacket I've ever worn; whether I wore it over a hat, or just by itself, it hugged my head and kept me warm. It also offers a full range of motion for my head, turning fully in every direction with my head, rather than my head turning inside the hood. On top of the fit I also thought the apple green was a unique and very cool colour. 

The Strata hoodie is an exceptional product and I was glad to have the opportunity to try it out. 

Cheers,
Nick


little about Nick: Outfitters Product Specialist - Long time cross country skier and rock climber, with experience scuba diving, mountain biking, downhill skiing, and various other outdoor activities. Possibly the tallest member of The Outfitters team.  Undeniably an expert at writing short bios in the third person.





Gerry Ryall sent us this review of a Scarpa Zanskar GTX. His review is below.


 

At the start of last year's summer hiking season, it was imperative that I pick up a good, stable pair of hiking boots. Given that my goal was a mix of hiking experiences (everything from day hiking to multi-day backcountry adventures), I decided I'd try to find a good pair of all-around boots that could handle the extremes. I settled on a pair of Scarpa Zanskar GTXs, and I've never been happier with a boot purchase.

The level of ankle support and comfort are immediately apparent. These boots are very stiff in the ankles and in particular in the heel. Sometimes hiking boots require a "breaking in" period, chafing until they mold to the shape of your foot, but the Scarpas were immediately a good fit. For folks like me with big feet, the fit is true to size. I did experience some numbness in my right big toe after my first long hike in these boots, but an adjustment to the lower laces was all that was necessary to rectify this (laces were pulled too tight). The laces are simple to adjust: 2-zone lacing means you can set the tightness properly on the bottom pulleys and then lace up the top hook-style lace holders. I found the stock laces come loose but that's a minor quibble and true of every round lace I've ever owned.

Since leaving Outfitters with these boots, I've put them to the test. They've covered at least 300km of trail in a wide variety of conditions, from summer heat to late winter/early spring snowshoeing. Warm in the winter and not overly hot in the summer, they are a truly multi-season boot. That said, expect to have hot feet on a hot day. Their water-resistant nature means that I plow straight through muddy patches that I would formerly have skirted, and they even kept my feet bone-dry when I plunged through ice and stood in water up to my shins on a snowshoeing trip. On the trail, the level of grip supplied by the Vibram sole and treads is very high: you can safely traverse wet rocks, though I found myself slipping on wet wood, so take care on wooden steps and tree roots. The weight of the boot for hiking is very reasonable and doesn't fatigue the legs of the hiker even on long trips. They're sturdy and have shown few signs of wear aside from scuffs and scrapes. They're as comfortable as they day I walked out of the store.

I highly recommend these Scarpa boots. When they finally wear out (years from now based on their performance thus far), I'll be replacing them with another pair of Scarpas. They are a little pricier than some of their competition, but the quality level is worth the premium.


Gerry Ryall
http://hikingnewfoundland.gerryryall.ca


Chris Michelau tested the Jetboil Sumo System




I was quite impressed with the Jetboil Sumo, it was extremely easy to use and cooked my food quickly. Before using the stove, I watched an employee at The Outfitters test out the stove so as to learn how to use it. When I arrived home I took the pieces out and assembled the burner to the fuel, and had a flame going within a minute. While I love my MSR Whisperlite, I have to admit that the Jetboil was much more user friendly and quicker to get set up. 

Advantages of the Jetboil Sumo:
Quick and easy set-up
No need to pump fuel, as with a liquid fuel stove
Igniter stick extremely handy as you don’t need matches or a lighter
Burns extremely quickly, it boiled water within one-two minutes
Ultralight - stove + fuel weigh next to nothing - a huge benefit over liquid fuel

Disadvantages of the Jetboil Sumo:
Forgetting about the bowl that acts a plastic cover on the bottom of the pot, I accidently put the pot over the flame without taking it off, which melted the plastic. It would be beneficial if this was changed to a metal, because I can see this as a common occurrence. 
After use if you cannot clean the pot, storage could become an issue on a multi-day trip where your pack is full because the stove parts and fuel are supposed to pack inside of the pot

Overall I would recommend the Jetboil Sumo as a light, compactable, easy-to-use, fast burning stove that would be great for beginner hikers, as well as experienced hikers. As well, if you are in a pinch and want to assemble the stove and cook fast, then this stove is the right fit for you. I was extremely impressed with the Jetboil Sumo.

A little about Chris: Chris is an Engineering student at Memorial University and is one of the executive members (and founding member) of MUN's Outdoor Adventure Society.  Chris is originally from Goose Bay, NL and enjoys long walk on the beach with Claire, climbing the walls, backpacking to the Spout (and other fantastic places in Newfoundland and Labrador) and anything outdoor related.


Agusta Farrell - Osprey Ozone 18 Rolling Luggage

    


In one week I was able to test out the Osprey Ozone 18 rolling luggage, not just once, but twice for two very different circumstances. The first occasion was possibly, a slightly unusual use but very practical. As a dancer (Tap; Belly dance; Ballerina), it can be difficult to carry around all necessary costumes, accessories, footwear, etc. First of all, having a rolling piece of luggage makes towing everything much easier. The weight of the contents can be overwhelming enough, so having a minimal weight of 4lbs, 4oz was a help. Also the full front zip panel made seeing all the contents a breeze. Needless to say, with the stress of the show, having everything open, accessible and ready-made the night a whole lot smoother.  Four costumes, three major performance changes, too much makeup, one night in one bag. 

The second test was a four day trip to New York City. To make things complicated, as I usually do, I had several plane changes and extended stopovers.  Instead of risking losing my luggage, and with only a few days to really pack, I decided that the Osprey Ozone 18 would be suitable. Except this time I would use it as a carry on and my sole means of keeping track of my belongings. As with its last use, it excelled. 

Light, easy to maneuver, and kept everything secure. It was ample in size on the inside, with plenty of room for all my clothing and toiletries, but small enough to fit in all overhead compartments. It also had a handle on three sides making it easy to lift from any angle at a moment’s notice and getting through the airport a breeze. 

As a side note, it's also nice to know that the Ozone series, like all Osprey products are backed by the wonderful All Mighty Guarantee. That's any bag, any season, any reason. This was my third Osprey purchase and again has proven to be a wonderful choice. 

Agusta Farrell

A little about Agusta:  Agusta is a talented individual with many passions in life including dancing and the outdoors. Her style is unique and her personality warm.  She is one of our clothing experts, and able to outfit you to a tee.

Lisa N - PrAna Illiana Top



This item is Lisa's favourite because not only is it a gorgeous pattern with a cool, casual vibe, but it is also made out of lightweight 80% organic cotton with a touch of silk, making it soft to the touch. Like all prAna clothing, it is extremely comfortable and breathable so she bought it primarily to work perfectly as a cover over a swimsuit for warm summer days.    

60% of Lisa's closet is prAna because she loves how they have great quality clothing, but also because they do plenty for the planet and practice fair trade.

Lisa would absolutely recommend this product (as well as any other article of prAna clothing) to anybody, for the main reason being the comfort level. She believes it is well worth the money and has zero complaints.

 

We carry the largest selection in Newfoundland of outdoors and active lifestyle products.

 

800-966-9658