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Caitlin

Caitlin

Bryce Canyon National Park

Caitlin's Passions

Hiking & Camping

Caitlin's Bio

Teaches for Bryce Canyon Natural History Association. Leads hikes into Bryce Canyon National park.

Caitlin

Caitlin wrote a review of on January 21, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I ordered 4 pairs of gaiters and ended up choosing these to lead snowshoe hikes. Do not size yourself according to TNF guide provided (based on shoe size) - use the width of your calf. I wear a woman's size 9.5 in hiking boots and ended up having to get a size xl in these. I have about a 16 inch calf circumference and needed to be able to fit a few layers under these. I don't think I could get them over any heavy layers, but over wool socks, a base layer, and water resistant leggings or hiking pants they fit perfectly. To compare, the mountain hardwear pinnacle stretch xl I could kick off even when it was cinched down all the way. I ultimately chose these for the elastic in the back that holds them against the upper heel of your boot. There is no excess fabric to bunch up or get in the way when strapping on snow shoes.

I have used them a few times and so far they have held up well for the snowshoeing hikes. No snow got in, the quick release buckle is a nice touch and stayed secure, no rips or tears despite a few scrapes with the snowshoes, and they vented well.

Would probably give 5 stars if the sizing wasn't so off.

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Caitlin

Caitlin wrote a review of on January 29, 2012

Great fit, just don't snag it
4 5

Got this jacket before a trip to Peru and it was pretty great. I really like the feel and the fit. Zips fine over a larger chest and plenty of room in the shoulders. The sleeves are long and cover well past my wrist with no thumb holes, not a problem for me but it might bug some people. Kept me warm while moving but not while stationary in the wind off the mountains. It has lots of stretch but holds its shape well. Unfortunately, after hiking through mountains and ruins the seams got some pretty gnarly pulls. Even though the shell itself didn't snag, the material used for the stitching caught on every bit of exposed velcro, branches, and rough boulders. So far the seams are holding up, but I'm hoping that holes don't develop. Also, the ceramic/chartreuse jacket is more seafoam than turquoise. I love this jacket with the exception of the seams catching on everything (literally, everything).

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Caitlin

Caitlin wrote a review of on December 13, 2011

3 5

Both my roommate and I are former swimmers and the XL jacket was too narrow in the shoulders for either one of us. I am a true L/XL for my shoulders and chest, and I could only zip this half way. My roommate, who is usually a M/L got it zipped but it was too tight over her shoulders and across her chest. It is a great jacket (the black/turquoise looks awesome in person), I just wish it wasn't so narrow up top.

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Caitlin

Caitlin wrote a review of on November 25, 2011

Great Boots, UPDATE: Ok Boots...
3 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Got these boots for a trip to Lassen Volcanic National Park and have really liked them. Like other Asolos they run a bit narrow. I definitely do not have a narrow foot, but I have been fine as long as they aren't tied too tight. There was practically no break in period, and I've never gotten a blister from them. These are truly waterproof - I've hiked though snow, rain, streams, and mud and done fine. Happened to have them in the car for an impromptu tidepooling trip and fully submerged them (quickly) and no water got in. They have great grip, but after some heavy hiking over rough lava fields, there were some cracks and tears in the sole. These have remained small and have not been a problem. The blue is not as bright as in the photo, and in person, looks great with the gray. I typically wear a 9.5 or a 10, went for the 10 in these and they fit great. Overall a sturdy reliable boot.

UPDATE: After having these boots for a year and a half the soles are starting to crumble. This is not what I expected for the price. I did 5 or 6 trips with these boots and no matter the terrain I found chunks missing out of the bottoms each time. After an afternoon of leisurely walking around on some Southern Utah slick rock the rubber was peeling off in layers. I really wanted these to work but I'm considering returning them.

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Caitlin

Caitlin wrote a review of on October 19, 2011

4 5

Just dragged this pack all over the Mojave TAing for a geology class. The material held up perfectly despite getting dumped on rocks, scraped against cacti, and jostled in cargo vans. The reservoir holds 3 nalgenes worth of water, which came in handy in the desert.
This bag is awesome because:
1. The polyethylene reservoir really has little to no plastic taste (whereas the water would start to get funky after an hour in my old platypus reservoir)
2. Hose attachment design is great - there is an adjustable magnet attached to the hose that will magnetize to a spot on the chest clip. No more fiddling with alligator clips hooray! Also, if you prefer to not use the hose but haven't taken it out of the pack, the awkward looking bungee on the upper right of the pack keeps the hose out of your face when not in use.
3. comfortable on the shoulders
4. Just enough room. I fit a few cliff bars, keys, flat sunglasses case in the smaller of the 2 main compartments, and then a lightweight shell, a small notebook, and a standard bottle of sunscreen in the larger.
5. Loop on the back was just right for my rock hammer
6. Mesh straps and back panel are breathable - I never got too hot hiking in the desert.

cons:
1. Side pockets kind of useless unless stashing an energy bar (that will fall out if you bend over too far)
2. Waist belt is not comfortable for lots of maneuvering, bending, scrambling up rocks.
3. Zipper design is a bit awkward - whenever I swung the pack around to grab something out of the main compartment, unless I was focusing/looking closely, I always unzipped the hydration pack chamber. Simply an annoyance that takes getting used to

Cons aside, this really is an awesome pack. I have the "venom yellow" color which is more green and not nearly as ugly as the picture makes it out to be.

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Caitlin

Caitlin wrote a review of on August 15, 2011

So good I bought a second pair...
5 5

These shoes got me through 3 years of working at an aquarium. They kept my feet dry despite countless seawater splashes and spills. They also held up well tidepooling, with enough grip even on algae covered rocks. I always wore these when I knew I would have a full day on my feet. They are light and breathable and do a much better job than their older counterpart at keeping out the super fine-grained sand while on the trail. I also have weak ankles and haven't rolled one once in these shoes. I adore the turquoise Atol/Bay Blue/Black color (yes, they are as bright as in the picture). One thing to note is that the black on the front of the toe is painted on. You can see where the sole comes up the toe slightly, but the rest of the black at the front of the shoe is painted. This means that with some tough loving the black scuffs down to the bright blue underneath. Not a problem for me, but it might annoy some people. I like them so much I bought a second pair.

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Caitlin

Caitlin wrote a review of on August 15, 2011

5 5

I bought this bag before a month long trip through Southern Utah and it was great. I was toasty warm despite a few overnight snow storms. Even at high elevations in April it was warm enough. I am a girl and only 5-5 and I bought the extra wide extra long since I feel trapped in many mummy bags. I sleep on my side and this bag definitely has plenty of elbow room and is great to curl up in. Despite having so much extra room, I've never had a problem warming it up.

Just got back from a trip up the Northern California Coast where even in August it was cool and wet each night due to the thick marine layer. The sawtooth got pretty damp from the condensation on the inside of the tent and between the bag and my pad but I stayed warm and dry inside. The bag itself dried quickly when it was time to pack up. So far the sawtooth bag has been perfect.

The stuff sack it came with was standard and doesn't have any compression straps, but the extra long fits great into my 21 liter compression sack.

Also, for anyone camping with a dog, the hair hardly sticks to this material compared to my previous North Face bag. It just shakes right off...

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