La Pedestrienne

La Pedestrienne

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Kate's Bio

I'm a Green Mountain native with a fondness for global backpacking, plus XC skiing in the winter and lots of time on the water in the summer. Oh, and I bike commute.

La Pedestrienne

La Pedestrienne wrote a review of on November 25, 2011

5 5

You need these pants. If you have been wearing your boyfriend's carhartts all these years, or even if you finally bit the bullet on some of those women's carhartts, you need these pants. Range of motion, thanks to the somehow magical cut, is exceptional for such heavy-duty fabric. Durability goes without saying--I'd say they are sturdier than just about any carhartts, in all honesty. Stitch quality is far superior. The fit is great, at least for me. Some say they run small, but I find them true to size relative to other outdoor apparel. The fit is trim and classy enough that I feel alright wearing them to work, then taking them on an afternoon hike, then spending all weekend doing carpentry and splitting firewood... Yes, you will be more bad-as* in these pants. They are the Chuck Norris of pants.

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La Pedestrienne

La Pedestrienne wrote a review of on November 25, 2011

3 5

These are nice enough as lightweight around-town gloves, but nothing special. I've not yet found a pair of wool liner gloves durable enough to make them worthwhile. (Had an old pair of Terramar liners that disintegrated after a couple months of winter bike commuting--even though they were always underneath a pair of windproof outer gloves.) These Smartwools are thicker than most liners, and are not a jersey knit as I'd expected--more of a typical knit stitch. Too thick to layer under some of my work gloves, which is a bummer. Also, put a whole in one finger yanking a tent stake out of the ground--because they are not finely wove, these gloves are prone to snagging. I've gone back to an ancient but *very* sturdy pair of polypro liners that I picked up years ago for 4 or 5 bucks. They smell irreversibly like a wet dog, but they get the job done better than anything else I've found.

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La Pedestrienne

La Pedestrienne wrote a review of on November 25, 2011

4 5

If you are looking for a softshell minus the techie bells-and-whistles that are hard to avoid, this is it. Fabric is light, stretchy but durable, breathable, not clingy, and so far does a great job repelling water. I picked this up to layer over my new down hoodie (also Sierra Designs), as my older hardshell does not breathe well enough to accommodate down (condensation = no insulation). I went with a small, and could probably have gotten away with an XS if I were looking for a more athletic/flattering fit, but the extra room means I can throw this on over just about anything I own. Hood fits nicely with space for a hat underneath. I like the big pockets--room for just about anything, including my oldschool Sony Discman! Note that the pockets do not fasten shut--no zippers or anything, but I've not yet lost anything. Look forward to using this jacket for xc skiing, snowshoeing, and outdoor chores. For $31 you can't go wrong, it's cheaper than most sweatshirts!

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La Pedestrienne

La Pedestrienne wrote a question about on November 25, 2011

S or XS? I have Ibex tops (indie, hooded indie) in XS, and they fit comfortably, not skintight, with plenty of room to spare. Looking at their sizing chart, it seems the XS bottoms will be too small--my waist is def. a 26, not a 24/25. However, all of my baselayer bottoms are Patagonia Capilenes in XS, and they fit fine; however, they tend to ride low, and the Woolies look like they ride high... I'm guessing I should stick with an XS, but I'm worried that the higher waist will feel binding. Also, my experience with wool is that its shape-retention isn't as great as some synthetics, they stretch out after a day or two of wear, is this the case here? I don't want to get stuck with saggy johnnies if I order a small.

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La Pedestrienne

La Pedestrienne wrote a review of on March 1, 2011

5 5

Love it, Love it, Love it! Bought it on a whim last summer when I found one on clearance--only one left in my size, so I had to take it home ;)

I think this dress works best for somewhat-skinny girls who still have some girl bits to show off. It is a deep V neck, so it won't be flattering if you're flat. I was worried at first that it would be too tight through the hips and thighs (I'm 5'4", 110, and rather curvy--I went with a Small) for everyday wear, but there is plenty of stretch, so it is a body-hugging garment but not one bit restrictive!

I have to say, I really like the black "belt" that comes with it, too. I have found myriad uses for it: a belt with casual pants, a thick headband, a skinny scarf, a means of lashing things to the outside of my backpack... This one of the classiest little black dresses out there, and the only one game enough for a transcontinental flight followed by a backcountry trek followed by candlelit dinner followed by... well, you get the idea.

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La Pedestrienne

La Pedestrienne wrote a review of on February 25, 2011

5 5

Awesome design--breathable and comfortable. I use this on an almost daily basis, whether for bike commutes to work, long walks when I want to carry extra water/insulating layers/camera/etc, and even overnight backpacking excursions (this may seem crazy, but a 22 L pack is a fine amount of room for warm weather backpacking, especially if you're a smaller person and a minimalist packer). The frame is so well-designed the pack feels weightless and the sizing is spot-on for me (I'm about 5'4" and 110# and I have a Small). I don't use hydration bladders, but I love the big mesh pockets on both sides of the Stratos--excellent water bottle storage and access, compared to many packs which sport pockets that seem designed to fit only one particular brand of bottle. Bought this as a do-it-all replacement after my well-loved and well-traveled messenger bag was stolen, and in the time I've had it, the Osprey has done an exceptional job helping me overcome my loss!

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La Pedestrienne

La Pedestrienne wrote a review of on February 25, 2011

4 5

I love wool johnnies, and these are my first pair from I/O Bio. I love the comfy fit--great for lounging--and I loved the fabric for the first few weeks--very soft and stretchy. Then, on the first night of a weeklong backpacking trip, I sat down to pull these on for the evening and I put my foot right through the thigh! I marched around with a big three inch gash in one pant leg for quite some time (a couple of months) before I finally got around to sewing them up. I have to say, though I was disappointed in the fabric for tearing so easily, I was impressed with it for not unraveling once it was torn! As I grabbed these off of Steep n Cheap for next to nothing, I'm pretty satisfied with my purchase, but from now on I'll stick to wool knits (ibex, smartwool, icebreaker) that tolerate a little more roughhousing.

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La Pedestrienne

La Pedestrienne wrote a review of on February 25, 2011

5 5

Before complaining about the design of this bra, read the specs: it is designed for smaller gals. Also, though the bra may seem tiny upon first inspection, note the huge amount of stretchy stuff in the fabric! This means secure support and excellent shape retention. I have a comparable model from Patagonia (the tiny bra, I think it's called) and now that it is several years old, the fabric has stretched out and no longer offers the support it used to. This Isis bra, on the other hand, is going strong. Strong enough to give me a bit of cleavage to show off when I wear a cami or scoopneck. :) Bottom line: If you're a petite woman looking for a constant companion for long- or short-distance trekking, adventure travel or everyday outings, this is a must have! And yes, it does make a satisfactory swimsuit top in a pinch.

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La Pedestrienne

La Pedestrienne wrote a review of on September 18, 2009

5 5

I'm a relative newbie to the Chaco scene; I've been wearing my first-ever pair for the past year and a half. I was hesitant when I first put them on; the very prominent arch tempted me to send them back. I'm SO glad I didn't. After the initial break-in period (a week or so), the sandals get a nice better-than-barefoot feel. The fit is so very customizable--which comes in handy on long backpacking trips when one's feet start to swell. I take an 8.5 or 9 in trail runners, but the Chaco women's 8 works for me. I've learned to keep them nice and loose, and I don't have to worry about chafing or blisters.

I wore these nearly every day for four weeks this summer while walking el Camino de la Costa across northern Spain. That's 20 to 30 km a day through mud and mountains and city streets, in July heat. They held up well and gave me a killer sandal tan (far superior to a sock tan). The straps dry fast and there is no velcro to wear out or get gunked-up. The Vibram outsole grips like a dream.

My only wish, being a bit of a flat-footed supinator, is that Chaco would come out with a lower-arch version of these. I know I'm a minority here; most people lap up the arch support. Plus, after months of regular wear, I've flattened out the footbed so that it isn't so much of an issue. They still get 5 stars, because there is no finer footwear on the planet. Too bad they don't let me wear open-toed footwear at work.

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La Pedestrienne

La Pedestrienne wrote a review of on September 18, 2009

5 5

I received my super-discounted Vertigo jacket yesterday, just in time for some chilly grey rainy weather. I'm living in this wooly beast and loving it. Over the past few years all of my fleeces have managed to bite the dust, and since I prefer wool infinitely over synthetics (less smell, more breathable, no pilling) the Vertigo is a perfect replacement. At $45, it's cheaper than most Polartecs on the market today.

The zippers work well, the pockets are roomy (I hate useless little pockets!), and the cuffs are nicely elasticized to keep the wind out while managing to not look like a sweatshirt. Runs true to size. I usually go with an XS (5'4" 110lbs), and the Small is roomy on me, particularly around the hips. Plenty of room for layering, and it does look great with a flannel underneath. Length--sleeves and body--is spot-on, no gapping at the tummy when I stretch or bend over.

The green color is very pretty and the fabric has a nice touch of stretch. It does have an old-school wool feel, so if you have sensitive skin and get itchy easily, you might want to look elsewhere. All in all, a quality garment that will move from a day in the mountains to a night at the pub with ease. OH! And, though the BC website says this is made in China, the tag states: "Made in USA of fine Austrian wool." So if you're susceptible to guilty consumer conscience you can rest a little easier.

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