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Bill Porreca

Bill Porreca

Bill Porreca

Bill Porrecawrote a review of on June 15, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I love Pro Bars, still eat them regularly but, its really nice to change things up a bit. Also really fun to cook these together with a group, or your climbing/hiking/whatever partners.

Interesting that many of the recipes are rice based. Scratch Labs informed me that if its oatmeal based your body needs to use water to digest it. With rice, the water is already included, so it doesnt hydrate you but, you dont lose water at least.

If you have any questions, shoot me an email! I'd love to be your gear consultant!

Bill Porreca
801-736-6398
bporreca@backcountry.com

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Bill Porreca

Bill Porrecawrote a review of on May 10, 2016

Best Lightweight Jacket
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Picked up the Houdini after years of looking at it and I was not disappointed.

The fit aligns with all of my other Patagonia products. At 5'8" 190-200 lbs I use the large. Its a bit baggie and on "slim" days I might be able to fit in a medium but, the large allows me to layer with a puffy underneath.

It had to be the windiest day in Moab when I first wore the jacket. Could obviously feel the wind whipping the jacket but, not on my skin. Kept me warm and when I was running around it breathed well.

Last week I wore it during a rain/hail storm. It was pouring out and I did get a little wet around the collar/waist/sleeves as those are where the big holes are on this jacket. When I removed the jacket my shoulders/chest felt a little damp but, certainly not wet, I imagine another hour spent out there would have been more moisture seeping through. If you need a burlier jacket that blocks weather better look at the Alpine Houdini, the fully taped version of this. Its not meant to keep you completely dry during a full on rain storm but, I think its more than just a windbreaker.

Using it in the field is awesome mainly because of how light and how compressible it is. The fact that it comes with a built in stow pocket is a huge feature for me as I dont want to carry around extra nick nacks like that. Patagonia even put some thought into the shape of the stuff sack, so that it doesnt interfere with your climbing gear as much if its hanging on your harness, a place where you will commonly find this jacket. I pretty much bring it on any multi pitch climb now because its so easy and functional in the event of a chill or wind. If its raining and I am climbing I am heading down the route, or turning around at the base!

I will say that the hood fits over my climbing helmet but, on more robust heavier jackets I do like that the hood goes over the front of the helmet putting the precipitation away from my face. Again this is solved with the Alpine Houdini that has a more compatible hood for climbing helmets. Over my bike helmet this thing is perfect!

A few weeks back I did use it skiing. I layered it over my Nano Air. It was in the upper 30's and it was all I needed, in those temps I am leaving my bigger, burlier jacket at home now. Thinking about trying something like the Alpine Houdini as a full time ski shell but, that's next year!

Light, compressible, and very versatile is how I would describe this piece from Patagonia.

Let me know if you have any questions on this product or want to go over your layering system.

Bill Porreca
bporreca@backcountry.com
801-736-6398

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Bill Porreca

Bill Porrecawrote a review of on April 17, 2016

Tough To Love Without It
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

This review is copied over from my original which was left on the HR version, they are the same watch. I do recommend if you get the Ambit 3 Peak to get the HR band eventually as the major difference or positive about this watch versus others is the training feature which pretty much requires the use of the HR band.

I owned the Vector and Core for years. When I saw this come out I balked at the USB Charging feature and the need for GPS functionality in a watch. A buddy had one for a few years said it was great, I wanted to see what all the hype was about.

The first thing I noticed about the watch is its ability to communicate with your phone. I teach skiing and need to have my phone on me in case parents call or text but, pulling it out in front of someone is rude and my hands get cold. The watch would now display the texts and incoming calls. You cannot respond but, at least you can easily see whats going on without pulling out your phone. When its connected like this the battery drained quick. I had to charge every night. The major competitor, Fenix 3 does this a bit different, email me if you have questions regarding the differences.

The mapping function is the best part. It does not come with built in maps but, I don't really need them or have ever used them with an actual GPS. For most routes/trips you only need to upload a few way points at home to make sure you are on track. A screen map is so tough to read, if you need or want a map for your trip get a paper one. I'd been trying to get a climbing route here in SLC that is very tough to find the start. There are multiple ridges and they all look the same. Uploaded the way point and when I was at the right ridge the watch confirmed, success! The picture that is uploaded here is how Moves Count the app will spit out your map. On this particular route the clouds rolled in heavy and we had no idea if we actually skied the right route. The classic summit tree looked correct but, we still didnt know. Was nice to get home and confirm as well as get objective data on the climb.

The battery was my biggest fear about this watch. If its going to be longer than a 12 hour day I generally turn off the GPS and use the watch like I used the Core. Altimeter readings and pacing based on vertical elevation gain. Under 12 hours I run the GPS so I can look at all the data when I get home, have not had an issue yet. If I ever go on an expedition, no doubt Solar panels will be there to charge other electronics, and it does not take long for a Flip 10 from Goal Zero to charge this on the road.

I did not really need the Peak Ambit 3. I wanted it because I wanted to experience the best. I have not ever really used the training features. This might change, its nice to know they are there but, if you don't intend to use the training features get the Suunto Traverse. Please email me if you would like to discuss some of the differences with models. There are a lot out there and its a big investment, I can help with some of the homework!

Bill Porreca
bporreca@backcountry.com
801-736-6398

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