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Old 11-28-2012, 01:34 PM   #41 (permalink)
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Just placed the order for my Mystery Ranch Blackjack through the TGR group buy. Got it for their proform price, roughly 30% off. I'm pretty stoked, but hopefully I'll NEVER have to use it.

Keep an eye out for an extensive review once I get my hands on it.
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Old 12-01-2012, 01:15 PM   #42 (permalink)
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I can't imagine riding with anything smaller then a 30l, and if I bring my camera out I really need something bigger.
How do you guys fit water and food with all the safety gear in an 18l pack? Do you bring layers with you?
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Old 12-01-2012, 01:27 PM   #43 (permalink)
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if i'm just out for the day then i'm barely bringing any food. maybe a small baggie of trailmix and a cliff bar or maybe two cliff bars...

for layering i usually limit it to two smartwool longsleeve tees and a patagonia r1 fleece - total including however much of that i am wearing.

i only bring a puffy on overnight stuff. only exception would be to sub one smartwool tee out for a micro puffy vest of some sort. if its just a day trip usually no extra gloves...

the other thing is the camera - if you're lugging a DSLR out there the time has come to change equipment. look at the sony nex 6 and 7, the olympus em5, fuji xpro1 and other compact systems cameras. these new mirrorless cameras offer up to all but the largest full-frame sensor equivalents in a much, much smaller and lighter package. i can carry mine with the lens attached in a small case on the hipbelt of my backpack and i don't even notice it there riding. really is a game-changer for backcountry photography - you can bring it every time and it doesn't add 5-15lbs of suck to your day. another ground-breaking little camera is the sony rx100 - an very powerful and capable compact that's IQ can rival a DSLR with its 1" sensor.

edit: if you're using a full-frame camera like a canon 5dii or higher or whatever nikon's equivalent is i'd still switch to a mirrorless for hiking, unless you really are a pro photographer and you're getting paid for your images. even then i'd still give it some serious thought. sony's nex system leaves some room for the possibility of a ff nex model in the future.

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Old 12-01-2012, 02:21 PM   #44 (permalink)
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Yeah I wanna switch my 7D out with the new Canon mirrorless, but Avy pack first. Last year Canon gave me a free T3 (I gave it to my little sis) so I am kind of hoping that maybe I get their new one this year, or at least a smoking deal on it.
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Old 12-01-2012, 02:33 PM   #45 (permalink)
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the canon m falls short of the mark set by the other cameras i mentioned... i'm coming from a 40d and also own a 7d. the 7d has barely gotten use since i got a nex 7...

so many different options and competing specs on these cameras tho - it can be hard to decide which one is right for you... if i was in your spot i think i'd probably sell the 7d for the nex 6 (better af than the nex 7) but i don't know how you use the 7d now... not many downsides to the new mirrorless cams tho.

i think i'm going to get my 7d converted to infrared and keep saving for more nex glass and a fullframe body of some sort next year, and keep my nice canon glass for now...

just so many goddamn options
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Old 12-12-2012, 05:10 PM   #46 (permalink)
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Back on topic here. My Mammut RAS 35 shipped today. Finally. I don't think I'll have it in time for this weekend, but will have it next week. I might be playing hooky Wednesday. Probably going to blow it and get it recharged before I take her out.
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Old 12-14-2012, 10:37 AM   #47 (permalink)
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My Mystery Ranch Blackjack showed up two weeks ago. Haven't been out in the field with it yet, I'm waiting to find a SCBA shop that'll refill the canister so I can test blow it.

First impressions though.......WOW. This pack is BOMBER. The fit and finish makes my Dakine packs look like they were made my a 2 year old in Indonesia (well, maybe they were). It does feel kinda heavy when lifting it (it's one of the heavier airbag packs) but the weight almost completely disappears once you put it on your back (even when loaded). With the custom fit climbing style frame, it carries very very VERY well. Definitely large enough to fit gear for a hut trip at 42L, but compresses down real nicely if you're just doing sidecountry laps too.

Overall, this pack lives up to Mystery Ranch's and Dana's reputation. Very solid and well built pack. Made in 'Merica, bitches!

I'll get some pictures for you guys and a video of the first test blow......
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Old 12-14-2012, 10:59 AM   #48 (permalink)
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I'd be surprised if any Scuba shop wouldn't refill it. My buddy had to get his airbag filled in Seattle last year after flying in from Denver. I think the first place he went to did it.

Curious as to when it blows. Are there parts that have to be replaced? For BCA I believe there is an O Ring part that has to be swapped out. For the Mammut System, there is a burst plate. Mystery Ranch have any of that?
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Old 12-14-2012, 11:09 AM   #49 (permalink)
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Yes, MR sent the pack with a couple o-rings that have to be replaced with each blow.

Kill, are there any spots in Summit County that can refill canisters? I'll be bringing my pack with me to CO, but won't have much time in Denver before heading west.
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Old 12-14-2012, 11:53 AM   #50 (permalink)
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I don't know of any shops in Summit that do it. Here is a map of dive shops in the Denver area.

Pretty sure any of them will do a refill for you. The Underwater Phantaseas place is a fairly quick on/off of I70 heading up towards Summit. Maybe 10 minutes off of the highway, probably not even that far. BA may know of some spots in Summit you can call to see if they'll do it. The other place that could lead you in the right direction is Wilderness Sports in Summit. They sell avalanche gear. I doubt they do refills, but they will probably know where you can get it done. All of the mountaineering shops in Denver quit doing refills because of liability. The fact that they are not certified like dive shops are scared them off. There is also a dive shop close to my house. I am planning on checking with them about doing refills here soon. They would be more out of the way from the airport though than phantaseas is for the direction you are traveling.

Oh and airsoft guys are another one that can usually refill airbag canisters. Evidently Sports Authority is an Airsoft supplier. So maybe they can do it, and they do have a shop in Silverthorne. You might give them a call too.
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