Karen

Karen

Pacific Cascades, Sierra Nevada, and anyplace else I can get to

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KarenMo's Passions

Backpacking
Camping
Snowboarding
Hiking
Paddling
Mountaineering
Sport Climbing
Bouldering

KarenMo's Bio

I spend my summers as an instructor for Outward Bound in Oregon where I work with high-school aged students river-rafting, back-packing, rock-climbing and mountaineering. In the winters I work as a snowboarding instructor in Tahoe. Any time in between I spend exploring via international travel and mobbing around in my van.

Karen

Karen wrote a review of on July 3, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I spend a good deal of time on extended back-country trips so I've wound up using this harness for rappelling, rock and ice climbing, glacier travel, and moving on fixed lines. Once again, I love this harness.

As others have said: the size and weight are awesome and it's super easy to put on and take off so you don't have to fumble about when you're wearing large boots, crampons, or anything else on your feet. I'm also impressed by how comfortable it is, even when weighted, considering how minimalist it is.

As for sizing, I didn't have any problems at all. I wear size 6 in women's pants (an XS/S sport climbing harness) so I went for the S/M, figuring I would need more room for layering. Even when I'm just in base layers it fits me so that I have a few extra inches that I could tighten it, and when I'm dressed for warmth I have plenty tail to safely double back.

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Karen

Karen wrote a review of on July 2, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This is a perfect mid-sized backpack for all manner of adventures. I've spent a lot of time traveling with mine and I find it works well on one to two week trips where I'm just carrying clothes and some souvenirs and it fits wonderfully in overhead compartments of airplanes, trains, and buses.

It's also great for one to three day back country trips where you're carrying technical gear. I've used mine on short backpacking/camping trips and on one-two day stints climbing, mountaineering, and back country snowboarding. I find osprey packs really adjustable and comfortable to wear when weighted. Plus this little guy holds a pretty good amount of gear. It has two gear loops for ice axes/tools, vertical and horizontal straps that you can use to attach a thermarest for backpacking or your skis/snowboard when your boot-packing. It has two zip pockets on the hip belt where you can put your compass, sunscreen, chapstick, passport, keys, and all types of odds and ends. Plus it's got side pockets for water bottles, a slot for water a drom, and a decently sized mesh pouch on the back where you can keep avey probes and most styles of shovels.

All around sweet.

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Karen

Karen wrote a review of on July 1, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

This helmet is pretty freaking sweet. I was hesitant about the universal sizing at first because I have a small head but these things are super adjustable. They come with three different sizes of foam inserts for both the front and the back of the helmet so it's very customizable and there's an additional tightening mechanism in the back for you to synch down every time you put it on.

The front peak is a bit short so it doesn't provide the greatest sun protection but since the helmet itself is so adjustable it's easy to size it over a hat to give your face some shade.

Another thing about this helmet is that it provides full protection of your head, going from the middle of your forehead, all the way down the back of your skull where it meets the neck without any gaps. This is awesome for your cerebellum and temporal lobe but a note for people with longer hair: it does limit the number of comfortable ponytail options that you can pull off while wearing the Half-Cut. For me, though, the level of protection and the sweet color options make up for it.

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Karen

Karen wrote a review of on March 7, 2014

2 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I imagine that these bindings would work alright for riders who spend a few days in the park every season, but I've put 50 days on the pushers this winter and have only been frustrated with them. Within the first week of using them the foam padding started to peel off of the high-backs and the paint started getting scuffed to hell; mildly annoying, but normally not a deal-breaker in my book.

On top of that, though, the screws that come with the bindings come loose constantly. Any time I shift my stance I tighten them up as much as I can and I inevitably have to re-tighten them after a run or two. Additionally I'm finding that even when I don't move them around at all, I have to re-tighten the screws every week or so or else my feet start loosely cranking back and forth as the binding comes unmounted. I would normally just get better quality screws or put a drop of nail polish in each insert to get them to stick, but somehow there's more.

No matter how I adjust the toe strap on these bindings, I can't get them to stay put. It's gotten to the point where I either have to synch them down so tight that they put wrinkles in my boots and cut off circulation to my toes, or I can expect to feel them slip off when I'm half-way down the run and readjust them 3-4 times a day.

In general they just inhibit my stoke.

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Karen

Karen wrote a review of on November 8, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I got my neoair second-hand and spent about 70 nights sleeping on it over the summer. It's still kicking butt.

You need to be mindful of it (I use a plastic ground-sheet and a thin foam pad under mine), same with any light-weight inflatable sleeping pad, but it's impressively durable considering the size an weight. The only issue I've had came up after a night of sleeping in a campsite full of thorns. The pad got a small puncture, which I was able to find and easily fix with the patch-kit provided, and it continues to work great now.

Blowing it up every night is bit of an ordeal and if you use it at a base-camp you'll find that, over time, it slowly deflates and requires a couple extra breaths every day or so. To me, it's all worth it for the comfort, though.

Ultimately, I would recommend it to anyone who has trouble falling asleep, anyone with back pain, and anyone who spends more than 5 days a year sleeping on the ground.

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Karen

Karen wrote a review of on April 27, 2013

4 5

I got a pair of these as my first set of climbing shoes and they have served me well. They're not particularly aggressive and they won't help much on technical outdoor routes, but if your spending most of your time climbing in the gym, or you're just starting to climb outside, these are a great place to start. They're also the cheapest climbing shoe you will find.

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