Friday, January 25, 2013

Review: Strike Industries - Simple Plate Carrier

This is a really interesting piece of multifunction kit. Strike Industries, in conjunction with J Tech Gear have come up with a multifunction plate carrier, that doubles as a carry case for a laptop. They did my Sling Catch, and Picatinny vertical sling mount
so I've been keeping an eye on their new developments, and was only too pleased to see this cool piece become available, and to receive one! 

This might seem like an unusual combination, but considering the kinds of products on the market now in the US to attempt to protect kids from the alarmingly frequent mass-shootings at schools, the idea of having every-day items with the potential for containing armour is not new. In Australia, we are lucky to have pretty low rates of weapon related violence, but, being prepared for disaster, even the personal and human initiated kind, is what this blog is about. This is the Simple Plate Carrier, and it is anything but merely "simple"...

I've talked about what I use as a plate-substitute before, when reviewing my Platatac MAC rig, and whilst not ballistic protection,  I have again included Polyethylene cutting boards, shaped to the right size.

These not only give me the rigidity and bulk of plates, but I figure that they would also afford me some stabbing, cutting and blunt force trauma protection. Perhaps not as cool looking as a set of Mad Max tire armour, but far more modular, lighter and functional. I have a 34cm x 24cm (13 1/2" x 9 1/2") board in the front internal pocket here, which closely mirrors the SI Plate that Strike industries offers

The back compartment houses both my 15" MacBook Pro, a spare battery, and my iPad.

The rugged cordura-type nylon material of the case is very well stitched, with reinforced seams and bartacking on all the attachment and stress points, without being heavy, stiff or bulky. The wide webbing of the strapping is fixed at the upper edge with vertical fastex type buckles, and at the bottom edge with horizontal buckles of the same type and more importantly, size. Lastly, and this was a big point of interest for me, the back of the carrier features a sewn in handle, laying flush with the back, to turn the whole thing into a modern buckler if needed ....

I found that the laptop charger didn't fit very neatly in the case (it formed a bulge where the plug sat) but because the front of the carrier has three rows of PALS/MOLLE, including two side-by-side and covered in loop-pile, for patches, ID tabs and the like, I was able to affix one of the black Platatac FUP pouches I have, and give myself some extra storage capacity, with out bulking the carrier up too much, or making it too obviously a piece of MIL-SPEC type kit. There is a second panel on the lid flap for a flag-size patch. Depending on how big and full your carrier gets, there may be a third loop-filed exposed, for even more patch-goodness, here's my AFT's Jungle Recon extolling the love of his job...

And here is how the shield handle works, from behind. The main strap is wide enough to give a good bunched grip, knuckles flat against the back of the pad. Because of my very long forearms, by elbow poked out a little of the back when I stand "en guard", so I gave an alternative hold a shot, with my hanad gripping one shoulder strap, arm looped through the hand-hold and the other strap over my elbow.

Both seemed to feel pretty good, and with advantages and disadvantages according to the style of defense used.

When carrying the unit around, I tended to sling the the shoulder strap such that the entire carrier sat under my arm, rather than behind me.

This meant that I could bring the other strap up and over my opposing shoulder, to drop the carrier into the classic "front pack" configuration.

"Nice Target" you might say, about the patch, well, as Batman and the Punisher have said in their respective comics, "I cant armor my face" (although, these days this isn't as true. )

So here I am striking a pose, Simple Plate Carrier as a shield, with my trusty S&W Tactical Pen as my on-hand "please don't make my use this" incentive.

You can see that my elbow hangs out, but when taking a better "buckler and dagger stance" this would be less of an issue. with a combination of the polyethylene cutting board, the laptop and the material of the carrier itself, this was a substantial and solid barrier to put between my vitals and someone without my best interests at heart. All in a package I can happily carry about day to day.

One of the great things about this carrier's design is that the shoulder straps, being all of the same design, can be swapped from position to position. Instead of a "backpacks/frontpack" style carry, simply by changing the straps from top-to-bottom, to top-to-top and bottom-to-bottom, giving you an "around the neck, around the waist" configuration.

All the straps feature a slide adjustment and an elasticised loop to secure loose ends.

This is the classical "Plate Carrier look" and it's a little more conspicuous, but certainly more secure. Wearing the carrier in "frontpack" style, when leaning forwards, it was occasionally tricky keeping the carrier in place, unless I had another pack on my back pinning the straps in place. Good for backpacking and travel in unusual and possibly insecure places, but not full-time.

For the best performance and security, over-the-neck is the way to go.

I've been looking for a means to carry a laptop about. My CSI folder is awesome, and it carries my iPad about in safety, either inside, or slipped beside it in my Bullock Echo daypack, but the Simple Plate Carrier offers the modularity of a inconspicuous armor carrier for a little urban insurance, as well as a means to carry a laptop, and an iPad around safely and securely.

I felt there wasn't much padding for the bottom edge and sides of the laptop compartment, but that was easily solved after-market with a sheet of closed cell-foam. I really liked the lines, and as always, the multifunctionality of the carrier really appealed to me.

Just be sure to remember that neither the iPad or MacBook's are bulletproof .... not to mention cutting boards .... be safe, be equipped and know the limitations of your gear...

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Home Front: Summer Harvests

We've had good fortune with our crops this summer, the front veggie patch has had good light, and we've been keeping on top of the watering when it has been hot. The reward has been a bumper crop of tomatoes, and some edible corn. Last years corn turned out to be the actual variety used to make popcorn. Looked great, couldn't be eaten after boiling. (To be fair, it does pop really well, we still have some of it left).

However, last years crop of tomatoes, those that survived the Triceratops Girl arrival cull (she would pick and gobble several each time she came through the gate) and our own cooking needs, we dried and eventually bottled in olive oil and herbs. This jar however was met by Tactical Baby's early display of evil, when after accidentally knocking off a jar of herbs from the bench, she grabbed my glass jar of precious dried tomatoes, tossed and smashed them too.

Lesson learned, this years produce will be canned into one of the small Dead Person Jars.

I use an electric dehydrator, for the speed and simplicity that offers, and the Fowlers Vacola - Ultimate Dehydrator 4000 is well suited the the task. This batch filled two of the four trays, and filled a third of a 1L DPJ.

We have another couple of meals worth of corn, if they haven't dried out too much in the heat, but even if they have, the rabbits and chickens will enjoy them.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Review: Zombie Squad 1L Nalgene bottle

I had a big fanboy moment when I looked up and joined the Zombie Squad, which apart from being a kick-ass zombie clearance and elimination organization is also a disaster preparation educational and response group, performing acts of goodwill and community welfare. I can totally get behind that.   Apart from that, and their awesome motto "Making dead things deader" they also have some great merchandise. One of these items was a logo'd Nalgene bottle, and I thought it was time I gave these renowned bottles a try.

Many of my long time camping friends have recommended them to me over the years, so I was keen to see what it was all about and compare them to my long standing love, my 1L SIGG bottle.  The main selling point seems to be the fact that it is made from the nearly indestructible  BPA free Eastman Tritan™copolyester, but for me the best feature, apart from holding a touch over 1L (32oz) is the extra wide lid.

This makes filling the bottle up with ice cubes, with powdered Power Thirst and makes cleaning a breeze. 

Being clear is also a real help when it comes to cleaning the bottle. Not only can you see if there is built up grot and grime on the inside, but it also allows light in, which is at least a help to keeping it clean.

The other good thing about the bottle being clear, is that along with it being nicely marked to indicate both mixing, proportions, it is also an indicator of how much you've had to drink and how fluid much you have left. The well fitting cap features a retention cap and ring, so no loosing when you are refilling from a stream.

Having been around for over 20 years, there are loads of pouches, filters and the like out there, and many packs will have built in pockets specifically sized to fit the bottles.

One more thing that sets the Nalgene apart is the versatility. Being all but unbreakable (my partner Anastasia tells me her dad still has the bottle that a Tasmanian Devil gnawed on, leaving tooth marks but not penetrating) makes it a good vessel for other uses than for water. One such example is this "paracord hammock in a bottle" project. With appropriate padding, I've been told they make an ideal impromptu storage and transport container for dedicate paleontological samples.

There are even pre-made "Survival kit in a bottle" sets with the 1L Nalgene as the basis, and of course, the good folks at TEOTWAWKI Blog have some helpful hints as to how to build your own. The extra wide lid comes into play here, as it gives you access to fill the bottle with your needful items.

So, this is a great bottle. It's light, strong, resilient, holds a goodly amount and in my case, bears a bitching slogan. I'm not retiring my SIGG, but this is certainly going in my EDC list.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Review: Ranger Eyes

I've been fascinated by glow in the dark products since I was a little coyote pup, and have had no end of fun with them. From ceiling stars to a Swiss Army Knife, I'm a sucker for that pale green glow. I've passed this joy on to Triceratops Girl, who got a SARGlobalTool Moon Glow disk for Giftmas, to go with her dinosaurs. Then comes the Ranger Eyes / Cats Eyes patches concept. Traditionally I've read, Ranger Eyes have been used to help identify friend from foe during night missions, before the prevalence of IR NVG and reflective tape and certainly in lower-tech and power consumption conditions, (and where legally difficult to obtain) there these patches make it easier to follow members of your group under the cover of darkness.

I thought I might quickly showcase some of my collection of ranger eye patches, which I exposed to the Australian summer sun for about 2 minutes (rather than the recommended ten) to take these quick shots in the equipment closet at work. At the top left and right, my Giftmas present ITS skull logo patches. These were a lot thinner, and made of a white rather than green glowing polymer. The didn't quite have the intensity of the other patches, but that's a good thing some times. in the center, the HorNest logo patch which was larger, and by far the brightest. In the bottom corners, the TAD logo and DogPatch Ranger Eyes. I lost one Dog Patch x-bones patch somewhere along the lines, but I really like these little guys.

I currently have the HorNest patch on my 215Gear Ultimate Riggers Belt, the ITS patches sitting on the ZuluNylonGear CAOS Admin pouch which in turn rides atop my BullockEcho daypack, giving me another piece of "see me walking" visual aid from behind. The two TAD patches ride on my 25th Anniversary Platatac Cap and again, give me some "out and about" visual options.

I've found these patches really good when I have stayed over at friends and needed to find my gear (or my pants) in the dark, late at night, or early in the morning .....

Friday, January 11, 2013

Review: Platatac - Urban Dax pants

I had very good fortune to be asked to try out some prototype pants before Giftmas, and I have to say, I really like them. I've covered a lot of Platatac's gear in the past, and for good reason. They are locally produced, excellent quality and I have a really good rapport with the guys in the shop. I'm really pleased that I get to test out their gear, and more so, that I got the chance to play with a prototype, or at least, a pre-release set ... They are in-store now, I believe, and so I had to get my act together and do some writing, after sneak-previewing them in my "No Really" post.

 These are the Platatac EDC trousers, which are probably going to be called the "Urban Dax" and here's what I can tell you about them.

Made of a cotton ploy blend ripstop fabric, these are both light and breathable. I really noticed this in recent weeks as the Australian summer rolled into full effect. What they are not is flimsy, however. This is a densely woven and almost stiff feeling fabric, but resistance free. After a bit of wearing in, they loosened up, but kept a characteristic "sail-like" feeling. I really like this, mostly because they kept looking sharp, even after some punishment. Being able to blend in to an every-day setting is of great importance to me, and this fabric really did it. It is also silicone treated, and I'll get to that later on.

A simple straight leg, relaxed fit with a reasonably high waistline makes for a comfortable hot or cool wear. My partner Omega (of Fashion Adjacent) commented how smart they looked (perhaps in contrast to the more "outdoorsy looking" cargo pants I sometime wear. That was high praise. I even wore them to Giftmas dinner, with not a second look from the family.

They certainly had the look of slacks over other cargoes. Great for blending in whilst still being very, very effective EDC wear. Lets talk about that for a minute. These are some seriously well thought out and feature rich pants!

The main hand pocket is well placed, and deep, with the opening lines being broken to a just-off-vertical  mainline, and a second , just-off-horizontal seam. This distinction gives you ample real-estate for clipping in a pen, pocket knife or flashlight, without them either sliding around, or putting a tell-tale strain on the pocket. The hem is also reinforced to reduce wear and fraying and the carogo-pocket below has a peek-a-boo gap left in its hood seam to allow cordage, and the like to feed through. At the belt-line, one both sides of the pants, is a secret pocket, about credit-card sized, sewn right up to the waistline stitching lines, very hard to pick and if lightly filled, ideal for a safe stash.

On the front of each thigh is a mobile-phone sized open-topped pocket, which I was happy to keep my iPhone in its silicone case in whilst knocking about, and didn't have any worries with it falling out.

Inside the main-hand pocket is a simple coin-catcher. I kept my ConStel Micro LED lantern in one of these, fit perfectly, and I barely noticed it. In the other set I kept a set of these rappel rings, on a loop of cordage, which I pass over to Tactical Baby when she needs a play-toy, and use as worry-beads in times of stress. Never hurts to have a set on-hand, in case of unexpected haulage needs either....

I splattered them with cooking fat, mud, chicken mess, dribbled lunch, a variety of baby-mess, silicone lube and they bore up tremendously. 

 The silicone coating will wash out eventually, I'm told, but after a week of hard wear, including Giftmas Dinner with my family, they were still looking good. I only washed them to test how they washed.

The twin cargo pockets are at once spacious and cleverly tailored to tuck away when empty. The billowed sides are sewn such they stay flat when emptied of a load, which added to their tidiness for every-day urban wear. However, make no mistake, these are built for storage! With hook-and-loop patches to close the lid of the pocket, and matching tabs inside the pocket let you stow the lid out of the way when you need free access to your pockets. An additional button closure keeps your contents secure when you expect some upside-down adventure. As well as the main cargo-pocket, twin internal pockets give you extra gear securing options.

I kept my DMT sharpening stone in one of my cargo pockets,  my OscarDelta Deep Carry tube, and a variety of work paperwork in the others, without putting a dent or sag in my day. These are some serious EDC pants.

The back sides of each cargo pocket also feature two extra sets of pockets. The larger, inner pocket is big enough to fit my Surefire 6PX on one side, and my Gerber multitool on the other.  The outer pockets are for pens, which worked really well for me. This was great, and they were well fitted, not giving me the "pocket full of junk" swinging about that it might have. I occasionally forgot they was there. 

From this angle, you can see the webbing adjustment waistband, which gives you a nice range of fits, as well as elastisised siding to keep them snug when you bend and duck (no plumbers crack full of grit, thanks). The center most belt loop at the back features the only branding, a subdued Platatac logo on its extra wide space. The two back pockets are also good and deep, like the front hand pockets,the back-right pocket also has a button closure, to secure your needfuls, and I could happily walk around with my SIGG bottle in either of them with no trouble. The seat of the pants have a extra panel sewn in for padding, and wear-control.

The crotch is also deeply gusseted, which I found really comfortable, especially when wearing knee-pads. The main closure is button and zipper, with a webbing sewn button, and a very long and solid zip, good for getting in and out, without worrying about snagging or popping buttons.

A set of double-diamond shaped sewn in panels to add to wear-resistance and a touch more padding to the knees. These were a great design, although I found that with my extra-long legs, the panels were a little higher up on my legs than I'd have liked. being more knee-thigh than shin-knee. I let the Platatac guys know, and perhaps they will adjust the placement in revisions (unless it's just my mutant legs ...)

 These are probably my favourite pants to date. More comfortable and elegant than the Blackhawk! Performace pants, and more feature rich than the 5.11 Gear TacLite Pro pants. 

I haven't quite had the opportunity to "thrash them to death" as instructed, but I'll keep giving them a good hard wear doing a variety of adventurous things, in adventurous places, with adventurous people, and see how they hold up. I think I'd have a hard time doing them much harm, without collecting some new bruises and scars myself though.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Home Front: Temperatures

Temperatures last week at home (Melbourne, Australia) were hitting 43oC (109oF) for a couple of days, with nights of 32oC (90oF) or so. This was pretty bad, but manageable. We thermally shielded the house by closing blinds and turning off heat-sources as best we could, made sure our creatures had shade and water, and spent time out of the heat as best we could.A Fan at night helped somewhat.Triceratops Girl spent the Thursday and Friday nights off the mountain,  down on the coast with her grandparents, the cool-front came through on the Friday night.

Breaking news today is that the Bureau of Meteorology forecast for next week indicates tops of 54oC (130oF) for central South Australia. This is so hot that the Bureau had to add colours to the metric. Never-before recorded highs, significant bushfires in east coast and central NSW and the usually cool Tasmania means this fire season is only just getting started.

Prepare. Act. Survive. as the CFA recommend....

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Events: Upcoming IRL Shooter "Patient Zero" and Tough Mudder

Picture from the IRL Shooter site
I have two big events coming up, which I am really looking forwards to. The first is the IRL-Shooter "Patient 0" live-action lasertag based zombie game. I was originally booked in to do it mid-December last year, but was admitted to hospital in the days before the event, so missed out. Now that I've fully recovered, and have managed to pull another team together, I'm set to go in again. A 1-2 hour full immersion anti-zombie game, filled with chills, spills and corporate intrigue, which sounds really fun. They equip you with everything you'd need (M4-M203 looking lasertagger/game-stats box, with no external sensors or cables). Helmets (with optional-extra Contour Cams to record your event) and tactical-vests and overalls.

Picture from The Age's 2012/11/18 story
They also allow players to do their own costuming (although they do not allow any phones, cameras, personal sights or flashlights, or personal weapons). I'll be going in a cut-down and de-tooled version of my "Apocacalypse Equipped: no, really" loadout. and will offer my team-mates a selection from my collection too. One member of each team is the designated radio-operator / team leader and is on constant communication with HQ (for better or worse)

The zombies are professional actors and the storyline of the event is fast paced and action packed, by all accounts. I'm really excited to be doing it.

 The second event I have coming up is the second Melbourne Tough Mudder, which I will be doing on Saturday the 19th, at 11am at Phillip Island.

This year I am going with just one friend of mine,  rather than a team of guys from the IT departments of several places (friends of workmates).

Having done the course in 2012, and subsequently a similar (but 10km shorter course) of The Stampede I am looking forwards to the obstacles, especially if there will be any new ones, and some of the old ones (I especially like the climbing ones, and the slogging-through-mud ones), but not so much the running. I hate that.

The best part is that having come through my Löfgren syndrome and now it seems all my ankle-pains have vanished, I may be able to run without wincing at every step.

Picture from Tough Mudder website
This year i'll be going in essentially the same kit as I did The Stampede in, with the exception of my boots, as my Altamas dieD at the Stampede so I'll be running in my Bates Delta-8s boots this time. They will suffer, but my feet will thank me.

Its likely to be hot, or at least, very sunny, 26-18oC (78-64oF) is predicted but next week a top of 33oC (91oF) is predicted. We'll see how it goes in a fortnight ... Phillip Island is exposed to the Bass Strait winds which range between 40-15 kph (25-9mph) which may not sound a lot, until you are sodden, mud-covered and running up a hill into it ... All a part of the challenge. Hopefully I will do better this year than last year, even without as much running practice, because I will be prepared mentally, and better equipped...

If you're going, let me know. If  you'll be a spectator, be on the look out for me and my "Zombie Control Officer" sign ...

Friday, January 4, 2013

Wish Lust: Gost PaleoBareFoot - Chainmail shoes

Hot on the heels of my Danner boots post (yes, I went there) I saw a post on Gizmodo about these very interesting free-running shoes.

These are shoes are made of chainmail links made of 0.55 mm gauge "1.4404" stainless steel  with a 4mm external diameter chain and an internal diameter of 2.9 mm. This is some pretty fine link... The kind that one might find in a butchers glove or hobbit chest.

What have the good people at Gost made?

Armoured running shoes, thats what.

According to the documentation, each ring is fused, and the entire process is automated. What would have been a seriously laborious manual task has seemingly been reduced considerably, allowing these to be made at an industrial level.

So, what might they be good for?

"Barefoot running" Or at least, mostly bare. The site talks about the tactile advantages of running, and walking barefoot, that the human foot fares much better when it can respond to the environment beneath each footfall, whilst still being protected from cuts and abrasions.

I've worn mail in the past, and there certainly is something to be said for its feel, AND its protective ability. Made in a very good range of sizes (and half-sizes) and with integral lacing, the PaleoBarefoots boots can also be fitted with a neoprene anklet, to reduce chafing on the top of the foot when running.

The makers of the Barefoot however are quick to point out that on slick modern  [edit, thanks Jorg! ]  polished surfaces like marble, wood, tiles, they do not give a good grip, but on concrete the Paleos have an excellent grip and recommending wearing them in outdoors environments. [/edit]

Water drains right out, mud squishes away. Sand, sharp rocks, thorns, bindies, broken glass and old rust nails.  All worries of the past to the fleet-footed paleo runner.

I'd wear them as part of layering, in a disaster situation. to avoid the same kinds of hazards, as well as Punji stick type man-made ones.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Review: Platatac - PRR Personal Radio Pouch

One of the things I love about writing about, and being an enthusiast in this area, is the ability and willingness to adapt existing pieces to alternate uses, both by the end user like me, and also the manufacturers. The difference between having something "fit for purpose" and "made for purpose" can be an expensive one, when it comes to custom work for exotic items. It's grand when you can meet your need. This was exactly the case when I wanted to find a skeletonised case for my new out-doorsy SnowLizard SLXtreme iPhone case. Here, strapped to my Bullock-Echo daypack. I'll probably have it strapped onto my OAGRE vest for the next endurance challenge I do, or my MAC for Stargate LRP.but it's well suited here for everyday or camping use ...

I could walk in, discuss needs and have something perfect on-hand to suit my need. In this case, it was in the Platatac PRR Pouch. Designed to take the SPR or equivalent radio systems , this was perfect for me. Being only 120mm tall and having a shock-cord / press-stud closure meant that meant that the forwards facing camera of my iPhone would be exposed for "on-the-go" pics and photos, while being open sided (and bottomed) means that when I crawl belly down through muck at the next Tough Mudder, I wont be scooping up as much to take with me through to the next water obstacle!

It also leaves access to controls and the like freer.One of the things I am looking forwards to is to have clear GPS signal to track my run and this case will ensure I have good LOS.

As well as an internal 38mm webbing sewn in to add to stiffness, the back side has some interesting options. The twin PALS/MOLLE attachment strips are standard fare on a Platatac pouch, but the built in rows feature hook-and-loop on both sides, to facilitate mating with a similarly fitted belt, or, ignoring the hook-and-loop, having the twin rows next to each other means it will fit to any standard 50mm belt, sideways as well.

I found that this pouch would also hold my iPhone is its Opt Silicone Armour case but not nearly as well as it does the Snow Lizard case, but at least I can still use my headset....

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Review: Danner - Striker II GTX boots

 I had the good fortune to win some boots (by speed of clicking, ability to read and understand simple instructions and generally having the right-sized feet at the right time, and I wanted to tell you a bit about them.

Previously, I've reported on my dear departed Altama Tan Desert Boots my all-day-every-day Bates Delta-8's and the hard-core stomper HyTest boots . These however, came to me a while back, and have sat unworn except on a couple of "cant be bothered shining my other boots" occasions. Right up until I was in Hospital recently. I took the chance with some new boots for my sore feet, as the insides of the Bates were starting to get a bit ragged, and snagging my sore feet on boots from one examination to the next was getting to be a pain. These are the Daner Striker ii boots

The first thing you notice about them is they are light, at 1400g (50oz) they are 200g lighter than the Delta-8's,which is a real boon, if you want to cut down on legwork but keep the support and security of a full height 8" boot.

The outer of the boot is a mixture of a 1000d Cordura like nylon, giving a breathable, flexible and tough-wearing series of panels, which can take the punishment that is common to feet, whilst being fast-drying and tear resistant.

The lowers are a full grain leather, and are double and triple stitched throughout, which I really appreciate. I've had boots in the past pop stitches from rough use, so having multiple lines of stitching always gives you that "one is none and two is one" security to fall back on. The tongue is flared ans sewn right up to about the second last eyelet hole, to keep puddle stomping feet a little dryer. I would have liked this to go all the way up, but that's how it goes sometimes. The lacing is a mixture of eyelet and hooklet, starting at the ankle, with spacers cut into the leather to allow you to tension the foot-ankle-foreleg areas seperately.

The outsole is made of the
Danner TFX® Lite, which is to say, a oil and slip resistant plastic, with a fairly light tread pattern. I have had a couple of little skids walking on oil-patches on concrete parking lot floors.

One thing worth mentioning that you can't see is the liners on the inside. I get sweaty feet, so having full GORE-TEX® lining which is breathable and wicking is great, but on top of that, is Thinsulate™ Ultra Insulation which adds the perhaps unnecessary for me lightweight cold climate protection.Still, I'd rather have well breathing but insulated feet than cold wet feet, any day.

Inside the sole, a nylon shank lends stiffness and support, and the TERRA FORCE™ X Lite design does in fact give me good arch protection and support (much needed after my recent ankle troubles) as well as a really comfortable wear.

These are good every-day boots, and I think they will serve me well in the upcoming summer heat, and the adventuring I have planned.

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