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Lara LaBar

Lara LaBar

Gearhead

Salt Lake City, UT // New River Gorge, WV

Lara LaBar's Passions

Snowboarding
Snowshoeing
Paddling
Yoga
Hiking & Camping

Lara LaBar's Bio

Lapsed whitewater river guide/errant kayaker with a passion for the outdoors and a degree in Anthropology.

Having retired from twice-yearly cross-country moves from Utah to rural West Virginia in pursuit of whitewater and snow, I've settled in SLC on a somewhat more permanent basis and couldn't be happier to be at Backcountry.

If you've got questions (or just want to nerd out) about the following topics, I'd love to chat with you:
Whitewater
Why inflatables get a bad rap
Kayaking
Rafting
Hiking/Camping/Backpacking
Snowboarding
Snowshoeing
Hot Yoga
Utah
Vegetarian cooking
How to live in a van down by the river

Have some gear questions, or just want to pick my brain? Here's how to reach me:

801-736-6399
Monday-Friday (usually) 9am-5pm Mountain Time
or email me at llabar@backcountry.com

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Lara LaBar

Lara LaBarwrote a review of on February 3, 2016

3 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Have used these in the past and been happy-- maybe the last one I got was from a bad batch, but the adhesive had totally separated from the pad before I even opened the package, making it completely worthless.

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Lara LaBar

Lara LaBarwrote a review of on January 18, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

I've actually got the Hikrs (a 28 inch snowshoe would be a bit overkill for my size) but it's the same technology and FANTASTIC-- holler at me if you've got questions about Fimbulvetr technology or need help deciding between the Hikr and the Rangr!!!

llabar@backcountry.com or 801-736-6399

See my review on the Hikr here: http://www.backcountry.com/fimbulvetr-rangr-snowshoe#review-atg546792

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Lara LaBar

Lara LaBarwrote a review of on January 18, 2016

Great Intermediate+ Ride
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

So two things, first off:

1: I'm not an expert level snowboarder and I have zero qualms about admitting it. Maybe a bit of an ego blow when you work with Olympic hopefuls and jerks who've skied Denali, but hey.

2: If you're brand-new to snowboarding, this is probably not the place to start.

But! If you're just getting into powder, or looking for something stiffer and more aggressive than your first (or second or third) board, this might be the girl for you.

Shines in powder (float for days), hauls ass on hardpack, and holds a carve like a dream. Stable as all-get-out. The Tweekend rockered tips means that if you normally ride a size or two down, you'€™ll hardly notice. Still very maneuverable.

The Wildheart is my first flat camber board and probably the only thing I'm riding for the rest of the season.

Interested? I'd love to chat. llabar@backcountry.com or 801-736-6399.

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Lara LaBar

Lara LaBarwrote a review of on January 18, 2016

Game Changer
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

Oh goody, a new and innovative snowshoe design. Seriously, how many times can you reinvent the wheel?

At least a couple more, apparently.

Went ahead and bought myself a pair of these bad boys after being completely unable to get away from the hype surrounding these innovative 3D modeled snowshoes (Outside Online, I'm looking at you...)

I took them out a couple of times over the holiday weekend, and while eight miles over a few days isn't by any means a comprehensive review, my initial impressions are fantastic, and I'm stoked to share.

Candidly, there were a number of things that had me pretty skeptical: first, the size; second, the materials; third, the bindings.

Addressing each:

Size: I'€™m used to 22 x 8 inch MSR Lightning Ascents, so signing on for 24 x 10 inches had me feeling pretty disgruntled when I got them in my hands. They look massive. They'€™re a couple inches longer, but they float about 100% better than my Lightnings WITH the tails on. Floored. Took them out in hip-deep Utah powder and hardly sank at all. My poles were practically worthless.

Materials: The Hytrel seemed too flexible to take a beating. Google that stuff, though-- €”pretty cutting edge material choice. It'€™s primarily used in car engines and shock absorbers. The way they flex is amazing-- €”makes it so easy to walk around naturally. A lot of that probably has to do with the hinging around the binding-- basically little accordion folds in the Hytrel in three spots. No idea what the lifespan is going to be like, but seems promising.

Bindings: They look a lot different than my other snowshoes bindings, which I already had a tenuous relationship with. (I love my MSRs but I do get a fair bit of wiggle in the bindings and usually have to stop to adjust them a few times every hike.) But back to the Hikrs. OH MY GOD, THE BINDINGS. So good. Once the initial strapping in was done, I didn'€™t really have to mess with them again, and found them much more comfortable than other types I've tried. (Will post a video in the next day or two of the way the straps work.) Best of all, not just snowboard boot friendly, but actually comfortable. Also found them easy to tighten without removing my mittens.

I haven'€™t taken them out for a super icy hike yet, but will report back once I do.

Anyway, if you're interested in the Fimbulvetrs, give me a shout- I'd love to chat and help get you into the best snowshoe possible. 801-736-6399 or llabar@backcountry.com.

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Lara LaBar

Lara LaBarwrote a review of on January 14, 2016

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 4"
Weight: 140 lbs
Size Purchased: Medium

The Intuitive 3 layer fabric is awesome— I usually resent the hell out of tight snow pants, and these are a little more fitted than I’d usually wear, so I was skeptical… but the stretch to the fabric makes them pretty damn comfortable. The waist adjustment means I never have to wear a belt or worry about my pants slipping. Similarly, I thought having vents on the inside and outside of the knees would bother me more, but I’ve barely noticed—the articulated knees are great. My only real complaint is the lack of mesh lining in the vents.

Snaps in nicely to other FlyLow products (I also picked up the Billie Coat this year-- http://www.backcountry.com/flylow-gear-billie-coat-womens .)

5’4”, 140 lbs, usually a M/size 6 in bottoms, and the Medium fits me great with enough room for a midweight baselayer underneath. They’re a little long, but that’s the case with most pants for me.

Holler at me if you have any questions about sizing or fit on FlyLow products!!! 801-736-6399 or llabar@backcountry.com.

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Lara LaBar

Lara LaBarwrote a review of on September 22, 2015

4 5

Familiarity: I gave it as a gift but have feedback to share
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 6"
Weight: 128 lbs
Size Purchased: m

Mom says: "Love this coat! It’s warm, but still lightweight. Great fitted look, although that means you won’t be wearing a lot of layers underneath. I am 5’6”, 128 lbs and a medium is perfect, but I won’t be wearing any bulky sweaters with it. Love the longer length, looking forward to not having a chilly bottom half this winter!"

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Lara LaBar

Lara LaBarwrote a review of on September 22, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I gave it as a gift but have feedback to share
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 6"
Weight: 128 lbs
Size Purchased: M

Mom says: "Merino wool in the heat? I was more than skeptical when the icebreaker line was suggested to me for hot weather gear. My previous experience with Icebreaker products was positive, though, so I gave it a shot. Did a 16 mile hike in Yosemite on a very hot August day wearing this shirt and was very glad I did! The wicking capability was far better than the “tech shirt” I’d worn the day before. Kept me cool, dried super quick, and didn’t seem to lose it’s shape in the process. I had purchased a M, but will go with a S next time. Sizing is true, and shrinkage is not an issue."

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Lara LaBar

Lara LaBarwrote a review of on September 22, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I gave it as a gift but have feedback to share

Mom says: "I should probably preface this by stating that I am a hydration backpack junkie. I have them for cycling, for mountain biking, and for running. This backpack was purchased to use as a daypack for a hiking trip . As with the other Camelbak products, the hydration reservoir is excellent, easy to use and clean. The pack itself was perfect for my needs — just the right number of pockets and pouches for a daypack. "

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Lara LaBar

Lara LaBarwrote a review of on September 22, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I gave it as a gift but have feedback to share
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 6"
Weight: 128 lbs
Size Purchased: S

Mom says: "When hiking in Scotland, the threat of rain is always there. I kept these rolled up in my daypack, and was very happy to have them on more than one occasion. I ordered a small (I’m 5’6”, 128 pounds) and felt like the fit was good. Plenty of room to get them on over my other pants and still be able to move. They aren’t stylish — waist is extremely high — but when the wind is blowing and the rain is coming down sideways you’ll be glad for any and all coverage."

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Lara LaBar

Lara LaBarwrote a review of on September 22, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I gave it as a gift but have feedback to share
Fit: True to size

Mom says: "Trudging through the rain on the streets of a small town in Scotland? Yes! Walking along a graded path on a rainy day in the Highlands? Yes! Hiking through the brush along sheep paths up the side of a hill? No. Super cute, great fit, all purpose rain boot. Not for serious hiking, obviously, but perfect for serious strolling. Just enough curve to the boot to have a little style without being ridiculously hard to get on or off. "

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Lara LaBar

Lara LaBarwrote a review of on September 22, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I gave it as a gift but have feedback to share
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 6"
Weight: 128 lbs
Size Purchased: S

Mom says: "I have become a fan of all things Icebreaker. Their merino/lycra blend is truly awesome. All the great qualities of the merino, but just enough lycra to keep it’s shape through multiple washings and wearings. The sizing is true, I’m 5’6”, 128 lbs, and a small was perfect. "

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Lara LaBar

Lara LaBarwrote a review of on September 22, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I gave it as a gift but have feedback to share
Fit: Runs large
Height: 5' 6"
Weight: 128 lbs
Size Purchased: 4

Mom says: "I love these pants! Got them for a hiking trip and wore them everywhere. They are great for hiking, but don’t scream “tech” if you wear them everywhere else. As with most things Prana, they run large. I bought size 4, (5’6”, 128 lbs.), could probably have gone for a 2. They wash well, but keep their shape through multiple wearings if you’re on the trail. "

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