Central Maryland, USA
I'm 5'7", 150, 36D. If I'm ever unconscious and getting picked up by my PFD, I want that sucker to stay on. Men's PFD's meant smashing my chest flat to get the straps tight. So I tried every "women's" PFD (see other reviews). I got the BetSEA in L/XL. This one has the padding cutout in the right place to allow some room for the girls. I was able to cinch it tight and still breathe. Pockets have room to stash food bar, gloves, knife and dry-bagged phone. I don't know if I'll use the hand warmers but I like having the option. For whitewater, I really like this one.
If you're very busty (>DD) I'd recommend the YTV (you'll be hanging the girls out and losing extra pockets but it's very comfortable)
ACT Lite 65+10 vs 70+10 SL vs 65+15 Pro SL
These packs are VERY similar. I was able to pack them each with the same loads and adjust them to fit comfortably. (I'm 5'7", 150#, Medium frames usually fit). So the deciders for me were:
D-rings on shoulder straps: 70+10 & Pro = Yes, ACT = No.
Daisy chains on back: 70+10 & Pro = Yes, ACT = No.
H2O bladder: Pro=Left & Rt pockets, Others=pocket in pack.
Top becomes daypack: Pro only (despite what Deuter's site says).
Raincover inc'd & stow pocket on bottom: 70+10 & Pro = Yes, ACT = No.
Mesh pocket on back (great for easy access or allow wet gear to dry while walking): 70+10 & Pro = No, ACT = Yes.
Weight: Lite=3#11oz. 70=6#10oz. Pro=7#1oz.
Note that SL refers to Slim so, thin men may also prefer this version.
I got the blue/blue unisex ones. I found the sizing to be pretty accurate if you use the eu size. The shoe is cut to be fairly form-fitting, so they might fit into a kayak but you'll have to check. (I wear a 39 and paddle a creek boat, so I may have more bow room than many people).
I loved how close they fit through the heel and instep. Didn't feel like they'd shift around and cause blisters when wet. There's absolutely no lining or padding inside (small roll at upper back cuff) so if a seam or eyelet hits in the wrong spot it can be painful.
Super sticky soles. Dry fast. Drain well. Very cool looking as street shoes. Hope they work for you!
I tried this one since I really like the low-profile YTV but don't like the pullover style. The Camino 200 has a similar minimal feel. It doesn't feel like there's a huge float strapped to your chest. Instead the padding wraps all around. The cut of the front makes it female friendly. This would be awesome for anyone paddling in hot weather because there are cutouts all the way through the padding under the black mesh bits. The ripstop nylon is slightly translucent and seems fragile, but I suspect it's tougher than it looks. To me (5'6", 36D, 38" bust, 30" waist) the YTV is still more comfortable (less compression on the girls) even when really snugged down. The shoulder straps are pretty close together, if you have a thick neck this jacket might not work.
As usual I'm on the cusp of S/M and M/L. I got the M/L per the size chart but I have to pull every strap as tight as it will go, and still wish I could shorten the shoulders more, so this one goes back.
Note: unless I'm missing something, this jacket has 2 zippered pockets, not 4, and only small hands will fit fully inside, but sufficient for keys, sunblock, snacks.
I don't understand how this PFD can be so slim feeling. All the others I've tried make me feel like one of those hotdogs wrapped in a biscuit that you loved as a kid.
The most comfortable PFD I've tried on. I'm female, 36D (aka about 38" max chest). It's super adjustable and the M/L feels great on. Now about the girls... The central part is fairly narrow and the padding is thinner across the top. If you're bigger than a B cup, instead of being smashed into a vest style, you'll be sporting this rather in-yer-face cupless corset look. Very comfortable... It's not as sexy as I made it sound ;) but something ladies should be aware of before ordering.
It doesn't have a bunch of features. Just the front lash tab, and two SMALL zippered pockets (not 2 hand pockets and a 3rd zip pocket) with a key loop in each.
I'm not sold on the pullover style. If this had side buckles I'd be convinced, but I'm waiting for a Camino to arrive hoping it will be the same fit but with easier access.
These are not going to keep your feet dry, but they'll dry quickly.
Who designed this? I compared it to the men's version to see where the women's specific cut is... It's bizarre. The men's has padding the same thickness all around. Instead of thinner padding across the top front (you know, where our boobs are) the MsFit has thinner padding at the sides from top to bottom. In the pictures you can see the front is made of two panels that zip in the center, then there's a side seam where the front panel meets the side panel that has the zippered pockets (the reflective part ends in that seam). The padding cutouts are not in front, they're in under that front-side section. Why?? If you can sling your boobs to the sides and out the arm holes, you'll love this PFD... otherwise, return it like I am. (another thought is that if you are thicker around the middle, whether female or male, this might be an option for you)
I am 36D, with largest chest measurement of 38.5". I tried both the S and M. I found the S too small and the M too big.
Quality-wise it seems well-made. The pockets and reflectors are good. The flap over the knife lash and chest buckle under the zipper are nice touches. Shoulder "padding" is articulated stiff pieces. Looks more protective than the usual soft stuff.
The kapok feels really good... it feels like it would "learn" my shape, unlike standard foam. The boob cutouts are pretty shallow. Probably ideal for A/B cup size, for C/D (me) it's better than a man's PFD, but not as cutout as I was hoping for.
I am 36D, with largest chest measurement of 38.5". I tried both the S/M and M/L. I found the M/L too big. I had to max all the straps on the S/M but preferred the fit and assume that the filling may compress over time.
The handwarmer pockets zip and extend up the chest to the shoulder strap, so tons of space, plus two more zip pockets.
The reasons I'm returning it are 1) the shoulders are not padded... the buckle rides right on top of my shoulder and carrying my kayak will be torture (and I'm not convinced about the "no rub neoprene vs. padding). And 2) the back of my arms hit the back padding and waist buckles when I move my arms backwards.
This boot is very light-weight. Appears well-made. These are not going to keep your feet dry, but they'll dry quickly. The upper is very simple with just a single layer of canvas stiff enough to give a little ankle support. There's no padding around ankle. Nice protective rubber toe bumper. The insole is awesome with good arch support and shock absorption. The sole is very sticky rubber (at least on dry surfaces, I haven't tried wet rocks yet) with a moderate tread. Sole is stiff enough to prevent twisting on rocks, but still flexes for good feel.
The cut feels women's specific with a narrower heel and snug instep, yet has a very wide toe box. Overall size feels correct (choose your Euro size). I got these for portaging on whitewater kayaking trips. I got the women's 8.5 and they're a tight fit in my Dagger Nomad, so they probably won't work as kayak shoes unless you have smaller feet.
The dark grey boot comes with a set of light grey laces in case you don't like the purple. (photo correctly shows colors).
The DryLite is a bit thicker fabric, thus bulkier. The pocket towel is very thin but it works great. Drys super fast and packs into a sack the size of a tennis ball.
My Requirements: 1) lightweight 2) waterproof 3) big enough for bulky camera gear yet can pass it off as my "personal item" on flights.
Used as daypack in Torres del Paine, plan to use for motorcycle trips. This bag worked great! Very light for the sturdiness of the fabric. Comes with 2 metal biners that have slots to lock them onto the straps. Great!
Weatherproofness: Absolutely waterproof. Nikon gear stayed safe thru thorny scrub, 8 hours in rain & days of dusty desert .
Packability: Easy to load it with DSLR, lenses, filters, jacket, wallet, a paperback: squeeze air out, roll all the way down , clip the biners to the lowest side loops, use the waist strap as a compression strap and tada! it looks like a school backpack. No trouble using it as my second carry-on item. Yet big enough to be your primary carry-on if you load it up.
Functionality: No pocket or bungee grid so I clipped my platypus bag and a drawstring bag to the chains. I'd add gear loops to the shoulder straps.
Comfort: Both 5'7" 36D me and my 6'2" thin hubby found comfy fits. The shoulder straps were cushy enough with <20lbs. Waist strap is good enough to take some of the load. Adjustable sternum strap.
See awful photo for size while on, daisy chains and the included biner. You can roll the top much farther down and turn it into a cube shape.
This pack is super light. The water pouches on the shoulder straps will accommodate a mid-size telezoom lens, but you'll want to equally weight the two pouches. There's a keep-it-from-flapping waist strap, but not a weight-bearing hip belt. The bungee grid on the back it cool, as is the routing system for hydration.
Very adjustable... but the adjustments are all a bit fussy. If you like to set things once, it's fine, but if you (like me) find yourself changing things on the fly, you might be frustrated. For example, the chest strap can be moved up and down... but you can't just slide it, you must remove the straps, and reinsert them into different attachment points.
The outside zip pocket is about 9" deep but only 4" wide at the bottom. The access to the main area is a trapezoid that's narrower at the top and seems less friendly than a rectangular opening, but it's not bad.
Feels like a small 25L... my everyday "bookbag" backpack feels more roomy.
I filled it with 16 lbs of rice. It carried well (lots of weight on my shoulders but I was able to adjust it so some weight was sitting on my iliac crest (I just looked up the name for that bony plate on my lower back).
Recommended for small loads when you might get rained on while dayhiking or mountain biking. But feels small for a weekend photographer's pack. (I'm leaning toward the Outdoor Research Ridge Sack)
I love the 150 weight shirts. They're great from warm to cool weather so ideal if you have a casual workplace with fluctuating temperatures.
I usually can't use thumb-holes but these are well-placed on long sleeves. Petite ladies might not like the sleeve length but I love it since I have broad shoulders and long arms and hate to have my wrists stick out... not a problem with this shirt! I also love that the shirt completely covers my butt. It's close-fitting (especially hips) but not tight (I'm 36D-30-39 and got Large). So you can wear the shirt tucked in or pulled out.
I was bummed that this boysenberry color is lighter/less bright than the boysenberry color of the long underwear bottoms but still a cute magenta color.
NOTE: there's also the Stoic Merino 150 crew which has the shorter body length.
The fabric is great. Black is very black. The Dark Forest is a really cute dark green. Smooth and super stretchy. The length is a solid 32", maybe a bit longer. The three (not five... no front hand pockets) pockets are purely ornamental... too small for a cell phone, barely shove a power gel into them. The styling is sleek enough that you can wear them as casual pants, they don't look like hiking pants.
I have 30" waist, 39" hip, 32" inseam. I tried the large first... the waist was way too big for me. So I tried the medium... way too snug for me in waist and hip (fine from mid-thigh down). I'd call the large a size 12, and the medium an 8. Guess who needs a 10? Sadly returning them.
I love the ICE tees. The Large fits my broad shoulders and 36C/D chest nicely. The body is loose but not baggy. So I just assumed this shirt would fit the same.
Sadly for me, the Anytime Active shirts pull across the bust and the back yoke is uncomfortable on my shoulders.
Has the little cap sleeves that I detest... guess I'll check into the men's styles (with ACTUAL short sleeves)
I don't think the magic ICE tech does anything, but the shirt is lightweight, wicks and breathes fine.
The Large fits my broad shoulders and 36C/D chest nicely. The body is loose but not baggy. I'm not a fan of the little cap sleeves but apparently companies think women have something against the short sleeves that men get, so I tolerate them.
These are basically fleece lined softshell gloves with a slim fit. They have a small pocket on the back which stores a thin waterproof shell glove that feels like a paclite GTX fabric. The storage option is cool, although you've got to fold the shell up nice and flat or you might feel it too much through the fleece glove. I could wear the fleece glove alone, but can't really imagine wearing the shell alone since it's sized too big for my hand without the shell.
These are really awesome. The shell is waterproof and has a soft, warm lining; google wiper, cinches at wrist and cuff (though the cuff one is a bit hard to use) and grippy palms. Then there's a removable thin fleece liner that you can wear separately if you want. For me, the shell with liner is just a bit too bulky (since I want them for hiking... but if I was looking for ski gloves, these would be serious contenders.
These gloves in white with black are really cool looking. There's a really soft fleece cuff, nice retainer straps and you can tighten them at the cuff and wrist. I really like them... they're just a tiny bit too short for my fingers (7" from tip of middle finger to wrist crease). Maybe a men's version will work for me...
FIT: My measurements: 5'7", 150lbs, waist 30", hip 39", inseam 32". I like the 8R, which has a 31.8" inseam and fit nicely.
FEATURES: Two shallow front pockets, 1 drop-in on thigh that fits a candybar (but not a phone), 1 zip pocket on thigh with a key clip, no back pockets. The zip pocket is the only safe place for a wallet and phone, unfortunately it's also the only mesh lined pocket that could have functioned as a vent. The lack of back pockets means an unflattering back view. The cuffs are outstanding, with very long zippers that allow you to unzip the pants into shorts and take the legs off over large hiking boots. The fabric is lightweight but feels durable. The inside is lined with some nice perforated wicking fabric. Yes, Titanium is wet cement colored... but goes with a lot of colors and hides dirt.
I wish the shorts were shorter, and they had back pockets, but overall great pants for travel and hiking.
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