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2 5

I got these for both resort laps and backcountry splitboard tours because they seemed reasonably stiff and I liked the internal Boa Conda backed up by traditional laces. I was told that the J-bars would keep the boot stiffer, longer. They've been below average at best.

From the first few days in them I could tell the the construction was second-rate. They packed-out and softened up quickly. I also replaced the insole due to the cheap standard set.

The lack of lateral stiffness on these absolutely crushes your ankles on steep traverses while splitboard touring and does you no favors while riding deep powder.

Soon, the upper separated from the sole enough to let snow all the way into the boot. Once two of the lace-loops popped I returned them. Unfortunately at that point my only option was another pair of these stinkers - but I decided to give them another shot.

Same story on the new pair - packed out in days, softened up within a couple of weeks. On the second pair the Boa Conda popped within a month. I realize that is probably more the fault of Boa so consider this a review this implementation for both Boa and K2.

The only reason I gave two stars rather than one is that (when operational), the Boa Conda is actually a great idea. I like being able to adjust it easily on the fly - a little softer for touring but really locking that heel down for riding. Plus it's always nice to know that 10 miles from the trailhead you still have a standard lace if your Boa fails. But these are not ready for the backcountry.

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5 5

Everyone needs a good mesh-backed hat for backcountry touring.

I started noticing the every guide I've ever been around rocks a cap rather than a beanie while out - even in the winter. These things are negligible in weight, dry fast, and keep sweat out of your eyes.

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