I recently made a COVID-19 derived big order from Patagonia when they brought they store back online. One of the items I purchased was the Patagonia Quandary pants in a size 31x32, in Forge Grey, which retail for $79.00. I picked out the the Patagonia Quandary pants to be a sort of mid level or all around hiking pant. I have a pair of Patagonia Simul Alpine pants which are a soft shell pant as well as a pair of Columbia fishing pants that are super lightweight.
I chose the Patagonia Quandary pants because they checked a lot of the boxes in what I look for in a hiking pant. They are a mix Nylon and Spandex fabric with a DWR coating which means they are both stretchy and somewhat water repellent. Inside the waistband is a pull tie for tightening but the Quandary pants also have belt loops. Pocket wise you have your normal hand pockets and a small coin pocket up front. On the right leg is a zippered pocket. The back has two pockets with the left one being zippered. All of the zippers have zipper garages to keep them from flapping about.
Overall the fit is what I would call on the slim side. I typically wear a 31-32 waist depending on the brand. The 31 waist on the Patagonia Quandary pants is great but they are slim through the thighs. I like the feel around the legs which cuts away excess fabric but the thigh might be a smidge tighter than I would prefer in a perfect world. However, in my initial wear around the house the stretchy fabric meant I still had a full range of motion.
Patagonia claims the weight of the Quandary pants to be 284g and I got 293g on my scale but I hadn’t removed the tags yet so definitely close enough. They are available in four colors: Ash Tan, Forge Grey, Industrial Green, and El Cap Khaki. Sizes run 28 to 40 waist with short, regular, and long options.
I will follow this up with a more a detailed review of the Patagonia Quandary pants after several months of use in variable conditions. The link below is directly to Patagonia’s page on the Quandary pants. It is not an affiliate link: Patagonia Quandary Pants
The amount of gear we have bought during the COVID-19 crisis is really starting to add up, but I’m pretty happy with this one. Our local climbing gym, Stone Age Climbing Gym, has beefed up their online store due to the actual gym being closed. Stone Age has also been running special daily deals. They recently had a deal on the Petzl GRIGRI for 30% off!
We started climbing a couple of months ago and are looking to keep advancing our skills. At Stone Age you have to use an assisted belay device to lead climb so a GRIGRI was a purchase we planned to make at some point in the future. However, when Stone Age offered them for 30% off it seemed like a great way to get a good piece of gear we would eventually need while being able to offer at least some support to our local gym. So we ordered the Petzl GRIGRI in blue which was on sale for $76 down from the usual retail of $109.
For those who are unfamiliar with the GRIGRI it is an assisted breaking belay device. All belay devices are basically friction creation devices that allow the person belaying the climber the mechanical advantage to easily hold the rope when the climber falls. Since we started climbing we have been using a Black Diamond ATC, one of the most popular belay devices. The Petzl GRIGRI is an assisted belay device in that it has a cam inside of it. When the climber takes a fall the GRIGRI pivot and hold the rope. The device doesn’t replace an attentive belayer but is an additional layer of protection. The GRIGRI is one of the most popular assisted braking belay devices on the market.
The Petzl GRIGRI is available in Blue, Orange, or gray. Petzl has a claimed weight of 175g for the GRIGRI and it came out to 177g on the home scale, pretty close.
We are a little sad that we will just be sitting on this piece of gear until this crisis is over. But rest assured as soon as we can we will be back at Stone Age Climbing Gym! After some extensive use we will let you know how we like the Petzl GRIGRI.
I have been doing a lot more running over the past month due to the limited options currently. With more running I’ve been doing more distance and in New Mexico water becomes a bit of a concern. I used to run with a hydration belt but after an uncomfortable 8 mile run a couple weeks ago I decided I needed an upgrade. So, I did some COVID-19 influenced shopping and ordered the Ultimate Direction Adventure Vest 4.0 from backcountry.com. It definitely didn’t hurt when Backcountry had the Adventure Vest 4.0 on sale for $75 down from it’s regular price of $169.95.
I chose the Ultimate Direction Adventure Vest 4.0 because I was looking for a running vest to fit a wider range of activities. I wanted to use it for longer runs when I carry water, which for me is anything over 6 miles. But I also wanted something that would work for fast and light hikes in the summer when I don’t have to carry a lot of gear. The Ultimate Direction Adventure Vest 4.0 has a total storage capacity of 16.4 liters. So it seemed like it would check all of the boxes.
Now although the Ultimate Direction Adventure Vest 4.0 has a capacity of 16.4L keep in mind that is counting ALL of the pockets not just the main compartment. And I should mention this thing has a LOT of pockets and by a lot I mean exactly 16 pockets or stuff locations! That literally blows my mind. The back has one main compartment that can hold a water bladder with routing for the tube but a bladder doesn’t come included. Then there are two stuff pouches on the back, a small wallet pocket, and stretchy cable system for oversized items like rain jackets. Each side has a small zippered pocket ideally meant for gels or snacks.
On the front there is the main water bottle pouch and a 500ml soft bottle comes included. On the other side is zippered pocket that can fit another bottle, not included, or a phone nicely. There are several more zippered and stuff pockets located around the front.
For stability the Ultimate Direction Adventure Vest 4.0 has two sternum straps that slide up and down and a stretch cord suspension system in the back that tightens down to snug the vest up. Ultimate Direction claims a weight of 302 grams for an empty vest without bottles.
Initial impressions on my first run of 10 miles with it today were pretty positive. I have to figure out how exactly I want to distribute my stuff among the myriad of pockets. However, the fit was comfortable with no rubbing or hot spots. There wasn’t much bounce at all even with water up front and the back compartments completely empty. I will post a detailed review of the Ultimate Direction Adventure Vest 4.0 after I get some solid time in using it for runs and hikes.