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5 5

The Good:
These guys are well built, super comfortable, and repariable once the outsoles and/or webbing wears out.

The Bad:
PU is WAY more durable than EVA foam, but a little heavier.
Stock models made in China, not the U.S.

Conclusion:
Contrary to what some reviewers have said about diminished quality, Asian made Chacos are identical to U.S. made ones. Interestingly, since Chinese labor isn't the deal it used to be, a lot of companies (incl. Chaco) are looking at relocating back to the U.S. If you really want a pair of U.S. made Chacos, you can get any sole/outsole/webbing you want made in their U.S. facility for $135 (you'd have to go through a local dealer, not Backcounry though). That's how much more it costs to build stuff here.

Aside from the whole country of origin thing, I think these sandals are the best money can buy. They're supportive enough for serious hiking or backpacking, impervious to water, and super comfortable once the straps are set up properly.

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5 5

The Good:
These guys are well built, super comfortable, and repariable once the outsoles and/or webbing wears out.

The Bad:
PU is WAY more durable than EVA foam, but a little heavier.
Stock models made in China, not the U.S.

Conclusion:
Contrary to what some reviewers have said about diminished quality, Asian made Chacos are identical to U.S. made ones. Interestingly, since Chinese labor isn't the deal it used to be, a lot of companies (incl. Chaco) are looking at relocating back to the U.S. If you really want a pair of U.S. made Chacos, you can get any sole/outsole/webbing you want made in their U.S. facility for $135 (you'd have to go through a local dealer, not Backcounry though). That's how much more it costs to build stuff here.

Aside from the whole country of origin thing, I think these sandals are the best money can buy. They're supportive enough for serious hiking or backpacking, impervious to water, and super comfortable once the straps are set up properly.

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5 5

..could use these.

The Good:
Easy to use.
Proven track record.
LEDs not temperature sensitive like LCD displays.
Excellent customer service from BCA.

The Bad:
Not as light as some newer offerings.
Not as cool when you're showing off your gear.

Conclusion:
This avy beacon is still the benchmark for good reason. They're simple and intuitive to operate. I go out every fall a few times and practice using this puppy with friends, and even multiple burials are easy to pinpoint without a fancy mode to flag each beacon. A buddy had a software glitch with his a couple of years ago, sent his Tracker to BCA, and got a new one within a week (didn't miss a day of skiing).

A final thought. In extremely cold temps, LCD screens (which all the other fancier beacons use) freeze up and stop working. While you SHOULD always have your beacon on your body where it'd stay warm, in a situation where an LCD screen beacon is exposed to low temps (say, a multiple burial search)the more basic robust display of the Tracker will still work.

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5 5

The Good:
Vents easy to open/close with gloves on.
Good (and very adjustable) fit.
Vented enough to tour on colder days.

The Bad:
Kinda heavy.

Conclusion:
This helmet is perfect for in-bounds skiing. Since I'm mostly a b/c guy, I wish it was a little lighter weight. Other than that, this thing is as good as it gets. I didn't bother with the brim because you're just paying a little extra for a fashion feature.

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