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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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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.
A 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.