Bear & High
These are decent snowboard pants, with good construction and plenty of features and amenities. However, there is one design quirk y'all should know about before buying. As you're aware, these are "slim" fitting pants, with less room in the knee and thigh area, which is fine. It doesn't constrict movement in any significant way, even for freestyle. The problem is the location of the leg vents. The location of the vent runs directly over the knees on the bottom end, which means the zipper, mesh, and related thicker vent materials, in addition to the fact that the pants are cut slimmer,the vents are constantly rubbing against your knees, especially since your knees are bent when riding which is most of the time. To specify, the vents rub right over the "inner" half of my knee caps. It would be awesome if Volcom stopped the vent right above the knee area, but nope, the vents run right over them. Whether the feeling of vent rub is uncomfortable is up to the wearer, but it's definitely something to consider. I personally find it somewhat annoying. Basic fabric running a little tighter in that region is perfectly fine. However, something thicker and more rigid in rubbing in that area is not desirable.
I have nothing but praise for this helmet. It has a relatively low profile, and has a sleek, streamlined design. It also weighs next to nothing. The fit can be perfectly dialed, literally, with this adjustment dial on the back. There shouldn't be a reason why this helmet shouldn't fit. It also has a neat venting system to adjust between cold and warm days. One gripe is the fact the the fleece chin padding is fixed to one side of the strap, regardless of how you adjust the legth of the strap. In other words, it can't be centered for your chin. No big deal. I got it in matte black so the sun doesn't shine off the top of my head.
What can I say? This helmet is the swiss army knife of headgear: beanie, wind deflector, earmuff, and goggle holder. Furthermore, it has probabley prevented me from getting a concussion several times. What more could you want?
How flexible are these things when it comes to curving my back sideways? From the way it looks it only looks like it's designed to bend forward. Would be awesome if it did both or better yet a combination of both.
These bindings are extremely responsive edge to edge for those who are only concerned with high speed bombing down the steep stuff. Since they offer almost no flex, I would stay away if you're a park rat who wants tweakability and honest feedback from underfoot. The the fully padded carbon footbed is surprisingly comfortable for absorbing hard landings and they soak up a lot of the imperfections on the snow surface. Being my first aluminum binding, I can honestly say I will never go back to a composite binding system every again.
A couple gripes I have about this binding is the fact that compared to Burton's bindings, it is aesthetically and functionally less refined. The ratchets are clunky compared to Burton's smooth glides. Setup and adjustment is a tedious and difficult process because this binding is very mechanical, with many hardware parts and screws that are difficult to reassemble.
Despite some of the less refined creature comforts, the performance of this binding is amazing.
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