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Reviews by rockmaninoff (74)

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5.5mm Titan Dyneema Accessory Cord - Package of 20 ft. Average Rating = 3.33/5 Average Rating : 3.33/5

In: Gear: Essential Equipment: Climbing Ropes: Accessory Cord

Review 4 out of 5 stars

Review by: rockmaninoff, 2005-08-11


This product is a wonder of the modern world. I used Titan/Spectra to sling my old Chouinard hexes. Incredibly strong, titan is also incredibly expensive. Tie with a triple fisherman's to avoid slippage. From what I have read, Titan should not be used for prussik loops, and I still prefer 8mm cord for my cordalette.


Platypus Big Zip 3 (Manufacturer link) Average Rating = 3.67/5 Average Rating : 3.67/5

In: Gear: Training & Accessories

Review 5 out of 5 stars

Review by: rockmaninoff, 2005-05-28


I have several Platypus products and like them all. The original bite valve was a little restrictive, but that has been remedied. Best for putting in the floating top pocket of a large pack or in a special hydration pocket of a pack. Don't have a Camelbak, so I don't know how the two compare.


16oz Narrow Mouth Bottle (Manufacturer link) Average Rating = 3.71/5 Average Rating : 3.71/5

In: Gear: Archive

Review 3 out of 5 stars

Review by: rockmaninoff, 2005-05-28


Narrow mouth has pros and cons--hard to prepare drinks in, but easy to drink out of while on the move/in the car.


Mythos (Manufacturer link) popular Average Rating = 4.61/5 Average Rating : 4.61/5

In: Gear: Shoes: Climbing Shoes: Lace Up

Review 2 out of 5 stars

Review by: rockmaninoff, 2005-03-22


This shoe is a classic and for many climbers deserves a high rating. However, the Mythos does not fit my foot and is painful in a size 9 when I usually wear a size 6.5 Red Chili. The rubber is perhaps the hardest out there--much harder than Red Chili, and not as sticky as Five Ten. The lace around the heel seems to be gimmicky to me and contributes to the pain in the heel. The last is reminiscent of a board lasted shoe from the 80s. Feels like I'm wearing plastic slippers. Expensive.


Sub Zero SL (Manufacturer link) Average Rating = 4.50/5 Average Rating : 4.50/5

In: Gear: Archive

Review 4 out of 5 stars

Review by: rockmaninoff, 2005-03-01


Warm, soft, and comfortable. Compresses to almost half the size of the included stuffsack, then regains its loft quickly. A built-in pocket key lanyard would be welcome. I believe that Mountain Hardwear has created an excellent product, perhaps the best readily available to the masses, but still feel that fill loss is an issue. I would also like to see a more baffled back on a down jacket to reduce down redistribution due to seat backs and backpacks.


Buck Knife Approach Folder (Manufacturer link) Average Rating = 3.80/5 Average Rating : 3.80/5

In: Gear: Training & Accessories

Review 4 out of 5 stars

Review by: rockmaninoff, 2005-02-23


Straight/serrated blade that stays closed while climbing. Knife body accomodates a full-size carabiner for attaching to harness/sling. Anodized exterior. One-handed operation. I feel that a knife designed for climbing should be a tad smaller and lighter.


Rock Climbs of Southwest Utah & the Arizona Strip (Manufacturer link) Average Rating = 3.67/5 Average Rating : 3.67/5

In: Gear: Archive

Review 3 out of 5 stars

Review by: rockmaninoff, 2005-02-23


Helpful guidebook that has excellent directions, photos, and topos. Historical information is somewhat sparse, and the book could use a better index. Plenty of routes, including many "squeeze jobs" have gone up since publication, which may be confusing.


M2 (Manufacturer link) Average Rating = 4.00/5 Average Rating : 4.00/5

In: Gear: Alpine & Ice Climbing: Avalanche Safety: Beacons

Review 4 out of 5 stars

Review by: rockmaninoff, 2005-02-23


Professional digital/analog tranceiver. I have one M1 and one M2. The M2 has greater range and a few other minor changes. The M1 is easier to use in the dark, as the LED illuminates if you are moving in the right direction. The M2 uses the LED differently, and LCD is used instead of the LED to tell you to move forward. I prefer the M1, myself, but that's partly because I've never been buried. Very comfortable and unobtrusive to wear. Easy to use. I would recommend continuing an analog search pattern until the digital distance meter reads 20 meters or so. If analog is abandoned too early, the digital signal is sometimes lost.

Practice makes perfect with all tranceivers.


Etriers (Manufacturer link) Average Rating = 2.75/5 Average Rating : 2.75/5

In: Gear: Add-On Climbing Gear: Webbing: Aiders and Etriers

Review 3 out of 5 stars

Review by: rockmaninoff, 2005-02-23


Gets the job done. I prefer the staggered step design over H-shaped steps. Durable and well-made.


Anasazi Lace-Up Blanco Rock Shoes (Manufacturer link) popular Average Rating = 4.62/5 Average Rating : 4.62/5

In: Gear: Shoes: Climbing Shoes: Lace Up

Review 4 out of 5 stars

Review by: rockmaninoff, 2004-12-12


These shoes are the testarossa of climbing--just don't expect them to go off road!
These shoes excel at edging and overhanging walls. If you size them well don't expect much friction performance here. The anasazi lace-up will literally stand on the edge of a dime.
This shoe uses a toe-ram, heel shove design that is not comfortable for more than one or two pitches.

I would recommend buying a size no less than 1/2 size smaller than street shoe.


Spectra Daisy Chain (Manufacturer link) Average Rating = 4.00/5 Average Rating : 4.00/5

In: Gear: Add-On Climbing Gear: Webbing: Daisy Chains

Review 4 out of 5 stars

Review by: rockmaninoff, 2004-12-12


A practical tool that makes many aspects of climbing much more convenient. (a personal aside--back it up!)


Into Thin Air Average Rating = 4.71/5 Average Rating : 4.71/5

In: Gear: Media: Just a Good Read

Review 5 out of 5 stars

Review by: rockmaninoff, 2004-12-12


Good read that documents the 1996 Everest disaster. Surprisingly unemotional. One of the better mountaineering books, despite it's grim subject matter.


Rock Climbing Utah (Manufacturer link) Average Rating = 3.00/5 Average Rating : 3.00/5

In: Gear: Archive

Review 3 out of 5 stars

Review by: rockmaninoff, 2004-12-12


This book does a good job at what would be a daunting task for any author--compiling Utah's best climbing into one tome. That said, this book is best suited for road trippers or casual Utah travelers who are not planning on spending many months exploring what each of Utah's climbing areas really has to offer. This is the only guidebook still in print (summer '04) that has information about Maple Canyon. Photos and topos are usually unique and insightful but sometimes muddled.


CLIMBER'S GUIDE TO THE TETON RANGE, 3RD EDITION (Manufacturer link) Average Rating = 5.00/5 Average Rating : 5.00/5

In: Gear: Archive

Review 5 out of 5 stars

Review by: rockmaninoff, 2004-12-12


One of the classics of climbing and mountaineering. This book serves as a historical and technical reference for all who are interested in this truly breathtaking mountain range. Excellent photos and topos for many routes, although for those strictly interested in climbing the Exum Ridge of the Grand, Teton Classics has a more detailed topo. One of the few guidebooks that is interesting to read as a book.


Neutrino Carabiner (Manufacturer link) Average Rating = 4.21/5 Average Rating : 4.21/5

In: Gear: Essential Equipment: Carabiners: Non-Locking Carabiners: Wire Biners

Review 4 out of 5 stars

Review by: rockmaninoff, 2004-09-23


Perhaps the best biner for trad. Not really useful for sport climbing.


Enduro Screwgate (Manufacturer link) Average Rating = 4.09/5 Average Rating : 4.09/5

In: Gear: Archive

Review 3 out of 5 stars

Review by: rockmaninoff, 2004-09-23


A great choice for use at anchors. Reasonably priced. Gate doesn't open that far, but that's to be expected on a regular-sized locker.


William Ball Lock Carabiner Average Rating = 3.29/5 Average Rating : 3.29/5

In: Gear: Essential Equipment: Carabiners: Locking Carabiners: Auto-lockers

Review 2 out of 5 stars

Review by: rockmaninoff, 2004-09-23


The Am'D is cost-prohibitive and would be a nightmare for lefties. Great for the Gri-Gri. The ball mechanism requires a bit of finesse, otherwise it risks damage. Surprisingly, this was the only autolocker that lasted over two years at the gym where I worked before somebody ruined the autolock mechanism.


BlackLite™ Gourmet Cookset (Manufacturer link) Average Rating = 3.78/5 Average Rating : 3.78/5

In: Gear: Hiking and Camping: Cookware

Review 4 out of 5 stars

Review by: rockmaninoff, 2004-09-23


I use only the Blacklite frying pan, which I purchased separately from the set. I use MSR's stainless steel Alpine cookset for boiling water/cooking while camping. Steel is not the material of choice when cooking, however, because it heats unevenly. This set is ideal, then, for actually cooking or frying food because it is aluminum and has a nonstick coating. The Blacklite frying pan allows me to make those perfect pancakes and awesome omelets.


Denali Classic (Manufacturer link) Average Rating = 4.50/5 Average Rating : 4.50/5

In: Gear: Archive

Review 4 out of 5 stars

Review by: rockmaninoff, 2004-09-23


These are excellent snowshoes, even though they look like they are junk. The binding system is the fastest and best out there. I have rented at least four different brands, and these shoes are the best by far. I have used them for tours and mountaineering. They are a bit cumbersome on powdery steep terrain, but I'm not sure that other shoes would function any better.


32oz Wide Mouth Bottle (Manufacturer link) popular Average Rating = 4.34/5 Average Rating : 4.34/5

In: Gear: Training & Accessories: Water Bottles and Bags

Review 3 out of 5 stars

Review by: rockmaninoff, 2004-09-23


This bottle gets three biners. I love my Nalgene bottles, I have five of them, and will continue to buy them in the future. As stated, they are durable and waterproof. So is a second-hand Gatorade bottle. I think the best features of this bottle are the wide mouth (for powdered drink mix) and that they do not retain taste as much as many polyethylene bottles. They do not beat a hydration system for backpacking and hiking.


Powerdry Crew Average Rating = 4.40/5 Average Rating : 4.40/5

In: Gear: Archive

Review 3 out of 5 stars

Review by: rockmaninoff, 2004-09-02


This is a good shirt that is durable and keeps you relatively cool in the heat. The synthetic has peculiar affinity for retaining smell.


Crocodiles Average Rating = 5.00/5 Average Rating : 5.00/5

In: Gear: Alpine & Ice Climbing: Gaiters

Review 5 out of 5 stars

Review by: rockmaninoff, 2004-09-02


Crocs are an impermeable barrier to the elements. These gaiters are worth the extra money. For me, they have been 100% successful at keeping out snow, water, mud, and wet elk doo. Word to the wise--if you are ever going to wash them, make sure you fasten the Velcro together (close the gaiter). Otherwise, the hooks on the hook-and-loop closure will wreak havoc on the Nylon cinch strap.


Nut Tool (Manufacturer link) Average Rating = 4.67/5 Average Rating : 4.67/5

In: Gear: Add-On Climbing Gear: Tools: Nut Tools

Review 5 out of 5 stars

Review by: rockmaninoff, 2004-08-27


Great tool. Gets the job done.


Nutter Nut tool Average Rating = 3.75/5 Average Rating : 3.75/5

In: Gear: Add-On Climbing Gear: Tools: Nut Tools

Review 3 out of 5 stars

Review by: rockmaninoff, 2004-08-27


The redeeming feature of this tool should be obvious: you can use the dual hook to grab cam trigger bars and extract deep cams. The flip side of this feature is that the hooks are always getting in the way of the racking biner, causing it to "bind" instead of hang freely from your sling or harness. If you are really concerned about your small cams, tie off the trigger bars and you will accomplish the same purpose as this tool.


Ultralight TCU (Manufacturer link) popular Average Rating = 4.29/5 Average Rating : 4.29/5

In: Gear: Essential Equipment: Protection: Active

Review 4 out of 5 stars

Review by: rockmaninoff, 2004-08-24


The TCU is the standard for bottoming, thin, and narrow active protection. I like the narrow profile and the extra-wide lobes, which I think gives these a slight edge over the Aliens.


Camalots (Manufacturer link) popular Average Rating = 4.49/5 Average Rating : 4.49/5

In: Gear: Essential Equipment: Protection: Active

Review 2 out of 5 stars

Review by: rockmaninoff, 2004-08-24


Let me say right now that there are two types of climbers: those that hate BD Camalots, and those who would trade their children to get more. I am one of the former, one of the few who dares to speak out against Camalots on this website. Camalots are heavier than all other camming units. I agree that the design is ingenious, and the range incredible. This means however, that as soon as I pull the trigger on a #4 Camalot, it shrinks down to the size of a Yellow Alien. The only use for Camalots in my mind is to supplement a rack of Friends, to expand and contract in a size range that looks like something I might encounter on a new climb. And why are their so many Camalot repair kits for sale out there? Camalots are for the climbing lot who never went to college, never learned that more money for more weight and less product is not necessarily economical. For the four largest sizes, you could almost buy an entire rack of DMM cams. If you don't mind fifty foot runouts, choose Camalots. Or perhaps you feel that the heavier the rack, the better the climber. Even if you have unlimited funds, these cams are a poor choice.


Freenut Nut Tool with Palm Prote Average Rating = 2.80/5 Average Rating : 2.80/5

In: Gear: Add-On Climbing Gear: Tools: Nut Tools

Review 1 out of 5 stars

Review by: rockmaninoff, 2004-08-24


This is the only product I have rated that I do not own. I want to chime in and say that this is the wussiest nut tool out there. Why not make a tool with a leather handle and a monogrammed shaft? A titanium tool with liquid crystal display? I don't want to pay twenty bucks for a palm padder and a built in biner. I have never had a hard time cleaning pro with a "normal" tool, and have seen supposedly "fixed" gear cleaned with one pop of a fist. If I were so concerned about about a little hand pain, I wouldn't be a climber. When this product costs six bucks, I'll think about it.


Stopper Nuts (Manufacturer link) popular Average Rating = 4.45/5 Average Rating : 4.45/5

In: Gear: Essential Equipment: Protection: Passive: Nuts and Stoppers

Review 3 out of 5 stars

Review by: rockmaninoff, 2004-08-24


These are a good product, and three biners seems a bit harsh, but I really think there are better nuts out there. Sizes 1-4 are a joke when you realize they only hold a couple hundred pounds. I use the BD stoppers, and don't have plans to change to another brand, but I wish I had researched the market a little more before purchasing them.


Enduro (Manufacturer link) Average Rating = 3.69/5 Average Rating : 3.69/5

In: Gear: Archive

Review 4 out of 5 stars

Review by: rockmaninoff, 2004-08-24


Good draw for a low price. I would recommend a BD wire draw over this one.


5'' Open Quickdraw Average Rating = 3.62/5 Average Rating : 3.62/5

In: Gear: Archive

Review 2 out of 5 stars

Review by: rockmaninoff, 2004-08-24


The Metolius 5 and 7" quickdraw are cheap and probably adequate for climbing. The ridges on the gates make opening the biners easy. I disagree that these draws are durable. I have had mine for only four years, and some of the springs on the carabiners are kaput. Metolius' idea of a "bent gate" isn't much--it's as straight as a Utah Valley Mormon. I have heard of one of these draws breaking in American Fork, UT, so I am slowly phasing them out of my climbing rack.


Contact Sling Dyneema 8mm - 30cm (1ft) popular Average Rating = 4.76/5 Average Rating : 4.76/5

In: Gear: Add-On Climbing Gear: Webbing: Slings

Review 5 out of 5 stars

Review by: rockmaninoff, 2004-08-23


These are the only sewn runner I will buy. Strong, light, no bulk. Otherwise, I tie my own.


Pacific ISO Cold Forged Doval Carabiner (Manufacturer link) Average Rating = 4.23/5 Average Rating : 4.23/5

In: Gear: Essential Equipment: Carabiners: Non-Locking Carabiners: Wire Biners

Review 4 out of 5 stars

Review by: rockmaninoff, 2004-08-21


The doval is a light, strong, and useful carabiner. Its use should be limited to extending runners and draws, especially in trad. Others have pointed out that you can't tell which side the gate is on, and I heartily agree. Thus, this biner is not ideal for racking gear. Get the DMM Prowire instead.


ProWire Average Rating = 4.40/5 Average Rating : 4.40/5

In: Gear: Essential Equipment: Carabiners: Non-Locking Carabiners: Wire Biners

Review 5 out of 5 stars

Review by: rockmaninoff, 2004-08-21


Best biner out there. Super light, strong, and they have a unique beveled gate that makes clipping even easier than a regular wire. Comes anodized in colors to match DMM cams or Friends. It just doesn't get better than this carabiner.


JC Wiregates Average Rating = 4.40/5 Average Rating : 4.40/5

In: Gear: Archive

Review 3 out of 5 stars

Review by: rockmaninoff, 2004-08-21


This biner looks and feels funky. I have never experienced any problems with it, but I just don't have the confidence in this biner that I like to have in my gear. I'd rather pay a few extra bucks for the DMM prowire.


Epic Stick Clip Kit (Manufacturer link) Average Rating = 2.82/5 Average Rating : 2.82/5

In: Gear: Add-On Climbing Gear: Tools: Stick Clips

Review 3 out of 5 stars

Review by: rockmaninoff, 2004-08-21


This product can be used not only to clip the first bolt, but in a pinch can be hauled up the wall to clip and jug past a crux that's over your head. I bought only the functional end, not the pole. I use an IV pole from work instead. Works well with metolius, BD, and bluewater draws. Don't use it much, but I bring it along if climbing near my limit.


AmD Triact-Lock Carabiner Average Rating = 3.75/5 Average Rating : 3.75/5

In: Gear: Essential Equipment: Carabiners: Locking Carabiners

Review 4 out of 5 stars

Review by: rockmaninoff, 2004-08-21


I like the Am'D Ball Lock, but would not recommend it for belaying. Expensive, but durable--that plastic lasts a lot longer than expected!


Jake Screw-Lok popular Average Rating = 4.56/5 Average Rating : 4.56/5

In: Gear: Essential Equipment: Carabiners: Locking Carabiners

Review 5 out of 5 stars

Review by: rockmaninoff, 2004-08-21


REI used to make one like this. I like the autolocker, and recommend that every climber carry two of these for belaying and anchoring.


First Need DeluxePortable Purifier Average Rating = 2.50/5 Average Rating : 2.50/5

In: Gear: Archive

Review 2 out of 5 stars

Review by: rockmaninoff, 2004-08-21


I have not used this product for several years because I found it lacking in many respects and now use a different filter. Originally, this was one of the the best (and only) microfilters available. Its best use was as a combination filter/forearm strengthener, since it required Herculean effort to pump. It was reasonably priced back in the 1980s, but is now much more expensive than other filters. I believe this is the only filter to actually be certified to eliminate all contaminates, but other products work better and have never let me down either.


Himalaya Multi-Fuel Average Rating = 3.00/5 Average Rating : 3.00/5

In: Gear: Archive

Review 3 out of 5 stars

Review by: rockmaninoff, 2004-08-21


Expensive and a bit heavy, this stove has worked well for me using butane cartridges and white gas in a pump bottle. The stove did burn more dirty than my Whisperlite when using white gas, but the flame is also more adjustable. This stove has mostly metal components (such as the pump), which make it a heck of a lot more durable than some of the competition out there. Getting this stove to work well can be something of an art...


WhisperLite Stove (Manufacturer link) Average Rating = 4.10/5 Average Rating : 4.10/5

In: Gear: Hiking and Camping: Stoves: Backpacking Stoves

Review 4 out of 5 stars

Review by: rockmaninoff, 2004-08-21


I'm not sure why this product is rated 3.83, since 4 is the lowest score I see... I have the Whisperlite Internationale 600. This is a great stove that excels at boiling water and other liquids. Lack of control makes it difficult to cook or fry food. Nine times out of ten I just need it to heat water or soup, and it works splendidly. I have needed to service this stove in the field on a few occasions, and the tools to get the stove up and running are all there.


Alpine Classic Cookset (Manufacturer link) Average Rating = 4.33/5 Average Rating : 4.33/5

In: Gear: Hiking and Camping: Cookware

Review 4 out of 5 stars

Review by: rockmaninoff, 2004-08-21


Durable yet relatively lightweight, these pots are the best all-around choice out there. Unchanged for years because they work. I keep my Whisperlite Internationale 600 inside when backpacking. I got rid of the lid and instead use a frying pan that actually distributes heat evenly (gotta have those perfectly cooked blueberry pancakes). If you have the means, perhaps titanium is a better choice.


PackTowl Original (Manufacturer link) Average Rating = 4.00/5 Average Rating : 4.00/5

In: Gear: Hiking and Camping: More Stuff: Camping Accessories

Review 4 out of 5 stars

Review by: rockmaninoff, 2004-08-21


This product works exactly like it claims: it soaks up water, you wring it out, and continue to dry off. Clip it to a tree branch and it dries out overnight. Don't expect it to work like your plush bathroom towel, and wash it a few times before taking it into the backcountry.


Climb On! Bar (Manufacturer link) Average Rating = 3.56/5 Average Rating : 3.56/5

In: Gear: Training & Accessories

Review 3 out of 5 stars

Review by: rockmaninoff, 2004-08-21


Works just fine with frequent application, but expensive. Smells OK.


Trango 2 Tent 2-Person 4-Season (Manufacturer link) Average Rating = 4.60/5 Average Rating : 4.60/5

In: Gear: Hiking and Camping: Tents: 3 Season Tents

Review 4 out of 5 stars

Review by: rockmaninoff, 2004-08-13


A roomy and durable tent that is a bit pricy and heavy. This tent is very spacious inside. In extreme situations, three people can sleep relatively comfortably. On new models, interior pockets have been raised above floor level to keep stowed items from getting soaked. The "Tension Shelf" seems to be a little hokey for structural support, but works well as a shelf to store gear. This tent is durable enough to use on Everest. The "bathtub" floor keeps seams off the ground and out of water. If caught in severe weather, I would want to be in the Trango. If I were the only one to read this review, I would give the tent five carabiners based on its durability, ruggedness, and roominess. Weight (almost ten pounds) and price, which are very important factors to many readers, lead me to rate the product a four.


Mini-Maglite (Manufacturer link) Average Rating = 3.70/5 Average Rating : 3.70/5

In: Gear: Hiking and Camping: Lighting: Flashlights

Review 2 out of 5 stars

Review by: rockmaninoff, 2004-08-09


The LED revolution has made this classic obsolete. A great flashlight, yes, but why use a handheld when you can go hands-free? If you need to aim a light in a strange place, just hold your headlamp in your hand like they do in Star Trek. Durable, but a little heavy. Extra incandescent bulb is nice, but LED's rarely break. Puts out less light than my Tikka. Uses batteries faster. Five years ago, this product was a five, but now, sadly, it's best place is on a shelf in a camping museum.


Arctic Average Rating = 3.00/5 Average Rating : 3.00/5

In: Gear: Archive

Review 3 out of 5 stars

Review by: rockmaninoff, 2004-08-09


When used with its halogen bulb, this lamp could put a spot of light on the dark side of the moon. Unfortunately, it consumes more power than a weekend in Vegas. I use the alkaline battery adapter (3 AA's), and have to use new batteries for every trip. One set of AA's MIGHT last for an entire weeklong backpacking trip, but I'd take an extra set. It also has the frustrating tendency to turn itself on inside the pack. I do like wearing the batteries around my neck rather than on my head, but this annoys many users.


Tikka Plus (Manufacturer link) Average Rating = 4.81/5 Average Rating : 4.81/5

In: Gear: Archive

Review 5 out of 5 stars

Review by: rockmaninoff, 2004-08-09


This is the champion of the LED headlamps. Illuminates well, batteries last a loooong time, and adjustable brightness is a eye-saving (and battery-saving) feature when reading. The flashing mode is an annoyance.


Tikka Average Rating = 4.20/5 Average Rating : 4.20/5

In: Gear: Archive

Review 4 out of 5 stars

Review by: rockmaninoff, 2004-08-09


This product would get 5 biners if Petzl had not created the Tikka Plus. Lightweight, batteries last forever, ample light output for most uses.


Bison Chalk (Manufacturer link) Average Rating = 3.25/5 Average Rating : 3.25/5

In: Gear: Essential Equipment: Chalk Bags: Chalk

Review 4 out of 5 stars

Review by: rockmaninoff, 2004-07-22


I like this chalk. Maybe it's just a cool name and I have been sucked into a marketing gimmick. I think this chalk is just barely superior to Metolius, because it's not fine and dry feeling.


Brakeman Average Rating = 3.00/5 Average Rating : 3.00/5

In: Gear: Archive

Review 3 out of 5 stars

Review by: rockmaninoff, 2004-07-22


This product performs identically with the HB Sheriff. Gets the job done.

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