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Backing the imlay Backpacks

Backing the imlay Backpacks

Posted by: on Apr 13, 2013 | No Comments

Need a good rugged canyoning bag? If you’re lucky enough to order one of these bad boys when they’re in stock then you are in for a real treat. Imlay Canyon Gear bags are by far are the best bags for canyoning, but also the hardest bags to get your hands on. They’re produced in small quantities and can sell out in a matter of hours. belaycafe was lucky enough to get a spry and bagarino from Zion Mountain School in Southern Utah and couldn’t be happier with the quality (and the way they hold to up to serious beatings in the canyon). The bags are well thought out for the canyoneer and designed by the guru of canyoning, Tom Jones.

Fjallraven Keb Pant

Fjallraven Keb Pant

Posted by: on Feb 15, 2013 | No Comments

I found out about Fjallraven last summer and have been in love with all the products and history of the company ever since. Based out of Sweden, the company has been producing outdoor gear for over 60 years. Åke Nordin of Northern Sweden started hand building backpacks based on a wooden frame, and in 1960 Fjallraven became the first company to make and distribute framed backpacks. Fjallraven means arctic fox in Swedish, honoring the small and highly adaptable predator. They began making all types of outdoor equipment from tents to sleeping bags to outdoor clothing, and today are famous for the g-1000 fabric which is one of the strongest and most popular outdoor fabrics on the market.

feroce fire

feroce fire

Posted by: on Jan 20, 2013 | No Comments

feroce pronounced “fer-o-che” meaning: 1.ferocious; 2.fierce, cruel; 3.savage in italian. all 3 of these adjectives are definitely part of the experience when climbing in these shoes. they are a beast in the performance world and provide long lasting comfort. the shoe is comprised of an upper suede/lorica with a v-tension midsole and a vibram xs grip 2 sole. while these call outs might not mean much besides tech jargon i can assure you they will all capture your attention and praise once out on the rock.

white holds

Posted by: on Jun 15, 2012 | No Comments

every once in awhile something really innovative comes to the market place and allows the setter and user to make the most of their climbing experience. the white hold could be that innovation for gyms that is long over due. while there are amazing shapes and designs created in the climbing hold world, there are few with deep technical attributes. please enjoy our talk with hrt about their new holds.

q: another amazing product you had in the works was what you were calling “white holds”, there were a lot of very interesting aspects to the hold you showed me. can you call out all the innovation and product features on these holds?

a: the sets were created having in mind a few basic ideas and concepts:

- you won’t have to buy each of the magnificent sets in different colors in order to use them in numerous routes. you can do that only by having the white version of the desired set and after that – color every single hold in any color that suits your route-setting.

- clean, simple and at the same time – stylish look for your wall.

- easier, cost-effective management and storage of the holds. each hold will be enough to fully cover the color range that you use in your gym.

- on every hold there are 1 to 5 flat spots, on which color stickers can be placed. the removable color stickers for the white holds are supplied together with each set.

q: i really like the idea about these hold working to stay fixed to the setters key when placing a route. was this thought up by you guys or did you would with route setters to develop this solution?

a: we have had many discussions with leading route setters around the globe on various topics for improving climbing holds,  and every time we find out about particular issues or problems that need focused attention we always try to find a working solution – just like in this case.

q: are these white holds in the market place yet and if so where can we find them at?

a: yes – they have been released some time ago – and will also be available in the us really soon as we are planning on stocking a huge amoun of our holds in usa  – shipment expected to arrive august 2012.  as of right now, there is a small invetory available through walltopia usa if anyone would like to purchase a set and see for themselves.

q: are you working with different hold manufactures to convert their molds to white holds or are you sculpting all new holds?

a: we have created the white holds using our best selling hrt models – rest assured that variety is not lacking as we boast a vast range of over 2500 hold shapes. as of now, we are also planning to have all of our future models available with molds which allow the placement of colored stickers.

q: are you planning on these white holds to be the counter part to the white led walls to maintain a clean surface?

a: i can’t think of a reason why both cannot be used in combination and provide a simple – yet aesthetic and functional apperance of the climbing walls. the led holds add a brand  new value to the overall climbing experience – setting the boundaries of routesetting imagination to a whole new level.

walltopia genius

Posted by: on Jun 13, 2012 | No Comments

always impressed with walltopias push for bigger and better climbing walls, we decided to pay them a visit at the 2011 outdoor retailer. we learned about some of the new innovatiove products coming to market in 2012 and beyond. please enjoy this interview with them about their led walls and make sure to not miss our other interview with them about the white holds they are working on with hrt.

q: when we first met, we started talking about some of the new things walltopia had coming out. one of the most interesting was this concept behind led lit walls that could double as a climbing and social enviroment. is this still walltopia’s plan or has the concept changed?

a: yes, this is still a concept we are developing.  so far, the feedback has been overwhlemingly positive.

q: have you already installed some of these led walls and if so, where can we find them?

a: yes, but only in the european market so far.  you can expect to see the first one in the usa by the end of 2012.  the project location is yet to be announced to the climbing market, so i’m afraid you’ll have to keep your eyes and ears open for new walltopia-built gyms on the way!

q: what inspired you to transform your already stellar walls into more of a conceptual art piece while still maintaining its functionality?

a: georgi, the main designer, was inspired by icebergs and the shapes of ice formations. he combined this with the look and contours of concept cars in the automotive industry.

q: will these wall’s be moveable or fixed?

a: the walls could be moved to different locations provided the building and support strutures are similar.  transformable and moveable climbing walls are a key technological innovation that walltopia walls offer.  we offer the greatest flexibility of any climbing wall manufacturer in the world.  with our walls, you have an asset rather than a sunk cost.

q: from what you have shown me, it looks like the lighting will change colors. can this color changed be tired to a specific pattern or music?

a: it is not something we’ve actively worked on yet, but it is certainly possible.

q: walltopia builds some pretty amazing walls both in height and dimension. are there height or other restrictions when it comes to these led walls?

a: there are generally no restrictions for heights or dimensions for the led cracks.  we love design challenges and making dreams become reality.

q: since these are white, i remember you showing me some materials that will be able to maintain a clean looking nature without picking up the notorious black skids from climbing shoes. can we still expect for these walls to be non marking?

a: yes, the walls will still have our marking-resistant surface.

q: anything you would like to add or specifically speak to about these led walls?

a: we strive to be on the cutting edge of the technological revolution in the climbing industry.  the climbing industry has historically been pretty low tech and still has great potential to be developed and we look forward to playing a leading role in its development.

vapor v test drive

vapor v test drive

Posted by: on May 16, 2012 | 2 Comments

today we’re talking about scarpa’s vapor v which is a beautifully designed shoe that i have fallen in love with. scarpa has made a really great shoe here with some nice technology mixed in, proof is in the pudding as these things are rarely in stock at scarpa or in stores. the upper is a mix of suede/lorica and the mid-sole is flexan. the sole is comprised of the vibram xs grip 2.

these shoes are performing very well both inside and out, having no problems on plastic and finding them very responsive on real rock. as with any shoe, you have to try them on and see what shape works for you. i thought they would stretch a bit more then they did, which made for some very uncomfortable first climbs. the high heel cup is nice for a secure fit but in the early stages can pinch the achilles tendon. the free floating tongue is a nice feature to get the right fit for your feet.

so after the painful break in period, they are one of my go to shoes. i have been very impressed with what they have given back from my initial work to break them in. as for the look, i’m a glutten for the color orange so these are some of my favorite looking shoes. the grey gets a bit dirty which contrasts the out of the box polish but a last this is the fate of all climbing shoes. i find the cross load dual power-strap closure to create a very secure fit. the dual pull tabs are also nice for getting your heel into the very dramatic cup.

the toe box was also a bit tight out of the box, but i’ve never had a leisure break in of a climbing shoe. these guys edge and toe pick really well, i climbed in these all the way into the 5.12′s with no performance problems. as the downturn starts to mellow out they really come into the true fit element and work well with your feet in solving the problem the route has presented. get asked a lot about these shoes and always recommend people check them out when they are looking for a new pair of shoes.

petzl gunslinger

petzl gunslinger

Posted by: on May 8, 2012 | No Comments

the petzl spirit express quickdraw has by far been my favorite quickdraw to date. weighing a little more then a quickwire or other ultra light quickdraw isn’t a factor for me. these things are bomber and i prefer the durability and design of these over anything else on the market. the curved gate makes for easy rope clipping and the straight gate with textured grip on the gate makes the clipping of a bolt or anchor point a easy motion. both biners feature keylock noses that won’t snag on bolts or gear. love the dual color for easy identification when climbing and the petzl end cap holds the biner in place when placing the gear and clipping the rope.

via rapida 35

via rapida 35

Posted by: on Apr 2, 2012 | No Comments

today we’re talking about one of my favorite packs i use for either climbing adventures, travels or mountaineering. it’s the via rapida 35 from mountain hardware, and is bar none one of the best packs i’ve ever used. listed as a alpine bag, i feel like this can be used for a multitude of activities. while it excels at alpine the flexible design allows suspension and bag components to be removed to significantly reduce weight when not needed. being a huge fan of top flap/loaders this one has a removable top flap for weight reduction. with the durable dyneema front panel, it offers lash points for all kinds of mountaineering gear. the sizes of this pack are s/32liter  m/35liter  l/38liter.

taming the raptor

taming the raptor

Posted by: on Mar 28, 2012 | No Comments

whether you are a hardcore trail runner or looking for the perfect approach/accent shoe, look no further then the la sportiva raptor. this trail monster has all the makings to help you enjoy the time spent on your feet hauling gear or bagging peaks. the sticky frixion® rubber out-soles grip the rock like a climbing shoe with flexibility to handle any variation in terrain. with a active braking system your knees and ankles will thank you for taking them into consideration with this technology. the protection this shoe offers is finished by adding a durable toe cup to protect from anything that might pop in while on trail.

creed envy

creed envy

Posted by: on Mar 25, 2012 | No Comments

edelrid is probably if not my favorite company design wise in the marriage of form and function. i fell in love with the creed when it first surfaced before even being available to the public and wrote about how wonderful the design looked anticipating getting my hands on it. well i’m happy to say i finally got one and have been nothing but impressed with the comfort and performance of this harness. i regularly climb in it over my r320 or black diamond harnesses. so lets get to the details!

the creed harness is a three buckle design for extreme use and incorporates the tri-laminate technology. right away, securing this harness is a snap with its waist buckle and sleeve to draw the waist belt together. the only complaint i had with this system is that when you bring the tail back to the right there is no way to secure it so you have to either tuck it behind or let it hang. i chose to tuck it behind and have had no problems with it.

next we move to the leg loops where edelrid was the first to introduce the quick-adjust 10 mm easy-glider buckles. the system works beautifully and has a great finish to secure the tail. so clean so simple as eledrid is known for. the adjustable options here allows for maximum comfort and quick change depending on the amount of layers you need to compensate for.

the leg loops continue to impress by incorporating an elastic mesh insert to create all the comforts of a top grade sport harness. this design is more then sufficient to meet all safety standards and maximize weight to keep this harness super light and super comfortable.

to put the icing on the cake this harness has four asymmetrical gear loops make the creed an unbeatable alpine or sport harness. the harness comes in two color combinations sahara-pebbles & night-pebbles. i prefer a little bit of flair thus going for the bright orange and enjoying it every time i suit up.