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Maro LaBlance

Maro LaBlance

Colorado

Maro LaBlance's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Skiing
Yoga
Biking

Maro LaBlance's Bio

Michigan raised, Colorado based for the last 13 years. I moved here to ski for a season, and...well, you've heard that story 100 times. Love playing outside and at least dabble in most outdoor sports. I'm blessed to get to work in the outdoor/ski industry, for the French based brands Eider and Millet. All personal reviews I post are based on my own experiences with the products.

Maro LaBlance

Maro LaBlancewrote a review of on June 10, 2015

Langtang Review - Outside Magazine
5 5

Height: 5' 5"
Weight: 127 lbs

To create the perfect spring layer, Millet incorporated 700-fill down panels (using 90% duck feathers instead of pricier goose) on the front, back, and collar and paired them with lightweight nylon-stretch fabric on the arms, shoulders, and hood. The whole package is windproof, water-repellent, and surprisingly slim fitting for a puffy.

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Maro LaBlance

Maro LaBlancewrote a review of on June 10, 2015

Climbing Magazine - EDITOR'S CHOICE
5 5

The rope you bring to the sport crag depends on what phase of the redpointing process you’re in: Toproping and working a project requires a nice fat cord while send attempts are much better with a pleasantly skinny cord. Instead of lugging—and buying—two separate lines, take the Opposite TRX 9/10, which is an 80-meter cord with two different diameters. One end is 50 meters of 9mm thickness, and the other is 30 meters of 10mm thickness, so you can carry one cord for two vastly different purposes. Not only did our testers think this was a genius idea, but they loved the performance of the rope, from toproping in Rumney, New Hampshire, to taking 15-foot falls on Sonic Youth (5.13a) in Clear Creek Canyon, Colorado. Millet’s Triaxiale braided core has been proven in past years as a strong and long-lasting design, and that was no different with the Opposite. Six months and two road-tripping sendbots couldn’t get the rope to reveal any durability flaws, and it ran through a variety of belay devices (both tube style and assisted braking) smoothly. Even the changeover point where it goes from 9mm to 10mm was seamless when moving through belay devices and gear. It only comes in an 80-meter version, and at an average of 63 g/m, it weighs in at just over 11 pounds.

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Maro LaBlance

Maro LaBlancewrote a review of on June 10, 2015

UBIC review from Backpacker Mag
5 5

WHY WE LIKE IT: This burly, big-volume, well-organized pack boasts a unique system of exterior straps that lend it year-round performance – without adding a lot of weight.
VERSATILITY: A set of durable, plastic-reinforced horizontal straps and loops easily secures everything from skis, snowboards, and snowshoes to a tent or trekking poles. On an eight-day trip in Alaska’s Gates of the Arctic National Park, one tester reports that her mid-fat powder skis were “as secure as if they were super glued on, yet removing them on the go was still a breeze.”
ACCESS: While the UBIC has a clean exterior, the stretchy, zippered front and side pockets provide easy, on-the-go access to gloves, hats, and extra layers. “The pockets are super low-profile, but held 1-liter bottles, excess clothes, and even my camp chair,” reports one tester. Plus, the extra-large, rubber-encased zipper pulls are truly glove friendly.
COMFORT: The pack easily adjusts to fit 17 to 21-inch torsos via nylon webbing on the backpanel. “Even fully loaded with 45 pounds, the pack sat on my hips without pinching or rubbing,” says one traditionally hard-to-fit tester. He credits the cushioned hipbelt and tapered shoulder straps (the top sections of which offer a broad 3 inches of coverage that distribute the weight evenly across your shoulders).
CAVEAT Testers at the higher end of the torso range felt slightly cramped, and wanted more length.

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Maro LaBlance

Maro LaBlanceposted an image about on June 10, 2015

Millet Langtang review from Backpacker

From Backpacker Magazine’s Spring 15 Gear Guide:

Packs a lot of warmth into a pint glass-size package.
WARMTH FOR WEIGHT: The Langtang kept us toasty on summer peakbagging trips (as a stand-alone) and in subfreezing, shoulder season hikes (under a shell), thanks to the 700-fill duck down in the chest and back. But the stretch-polyester sleeves mean it offers better breathability than a full down jacket during high-output activities. Pertex Quantum shell fabric covers the core and resists light precip.
DURABILITY: The two-way stretch arm fabric has great range of motion for scrambling, and it’s tougher than it looks. “The sleeves were undamaged after some of my more inelegant moves that involved jamming my arm into cracks,” says one tester after a climbing trip in Colorado.
FEATURES: The hood is the same uninsulated stretch material and provides adequate protection from wind on gusty ridgelines, but you’ll want to add a beanie in chilly conditions.

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Maro LaBlance

Maro LaBlancewrote a review of on June 10, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: Runs small
Height: 5' 5"
Weight: 127 lbs

I'm not much of a vest person, but I love this one because it's sporty and not too puffy, so I feel like it's more of a fashion piece. Meaning, I've found myself wearing it around the city, not just up in the mountains. Fit is slender and tailored. I typically wear a size 4 in US brands, but wear a 6 in this.

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Maro LaBlance

Maro LaBlancewrote a review of on June 10, 2015

Great year round piece
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: Runs small
Height: 5' 5"
Weight: 127 lbs
Size Purchased: 6

I've had this fleece for about 9 months now, and love it. It's really warm, stretchy, and fitted, so I've worn it as my main insulator under a shell on most my ski days this year. Longer cut in the back which is nice, and I also really like that the collar is big and wide, so it's more comfortable when fully zipped, and also lays nicely when unzipped. I hesitate to call it a fleece, because that fosters images of something less...cute. But this one is really feminine and figure flattering, which makes me grab it more often than the others in my closet. And because it's Polartec Powerstretch, it doesn't pill.<br ></article><br />As for sizing, it kind of depends on your preferences. I usually wear a US 4 (sometimes 6) and got this in a 6. But like I said, it's really fitted, so you could only wear a thin tight layer beneath. If you want to wear more underneath or prefer something looser, size up.

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Maro LaBlance

Maro LaBlancewrote a review of on June 9, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 5"
Weight: 127 lbs
Size Purchased: 6

I have this tank and especially like it for warm weather hiking because the shoulders are wide enough to provide protection against my backpack straps, yet I still get the benefits of no sleeves. The V-neck comes up a bit higher than a lot too, so if you're worried about chest sun exposure, you're covered. Literally. But the thing I love most is the fabric - so so soft on the skin, and you barely notice the flatlock seams. I also wear it for winter workouts at the gym, when I want more skin coverage and can appreciate the side rouching to mask winter's extra lbs. ;-)

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Maro LaBlance

Maro LaBlancewrote a review of on June 9, 2015

Love this skirt
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 5"
Weight: 127 lbs
Size Purchased: 6

I've been wearing this skirt for two seasons now, and I absolutely love it. It's super comfortable, doesn't hug or constrict at all. Love the length - short, but not TOO short, and the side cuts on the skirt allow it to move with you. The inside shorts are really light and soft - they don't leave marks on your thighs like some can. And the fabric doesn't irritate my skin at all. In addition to hiking, running, and the gym, I regularly wear it for tennis and have been pleasantly surprised that even after holding multiple tennis balls in the outer leg of the short, they haven't stretched out at all.

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Maro LaBlance

Maro LaBlancewrote a review of on May 9, 2013

Millet Miage in Climbing Magazine
5 5

Climbing Magazine, May 2013
What makes a pant superior isn’t just about what it does do, but also about what it doesn’t do. It shouldn’t hinder upward progress; be too tight or too baggy; make you sweat or itch; look unstylish; have too many or too few pocket; or interact poorly with your harness and other gear. From the Alps of Switzerland to Boulder Canyon and Rocky Mountain National Park of Colorado, the Miage didn’t do any of those things, acting as a perfect all-around pant. Rugged, two-way-stretch Scholler One fabric looked new after six months of abrasion, and it shed graupel and light drizzles up high in Switzerland. “These bottoms rock for the articulated knees, which are ‘pre-bent’ for an active fit – they didn’t ride up or get caught when I high-stepped,” our traveling tester said. “Plus, the six-inch vents on each thigh open up so you don’t get swampy on sweaty approaches.”

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Maro LaBlance

Maro LaBlancewrote a review of on April 26, 2012

Climbing Magazine's review on Millet Yalla/Myo
5 5

The following review was in Climbing Magazine's May 2012 issue: I manhandle brand-new rock shoes before wearing them: Caress, squeeze, and even smell ‘em. When I first groped the high performance lace-up called the Millet Yalla (or the Myo, for those who prefer velcro), I balked at their downturned yet very stiff toe-two characteristics rarely seen in the same toe box. I was skeptical. But once I started climbing, I was amazed at how well the stiff-but-grabby combo worked. On vertical faces, I stood on tiny edges with confidence; on steeper-than-45 degree terrain, I could grab and hook features almost as well as if I were wearing a slipper. The rigid forefoot broke in after just a few pitches, softening just enough to offer both support and sensitivity. And for me and my wide, hairy feet, they fit perfectly: tight yet comfortable. The synthetic upper – lined only in the toebox – feels like soft leather, yet holds its shape over time. The Yalla/Myo is one of the few bouldering and sport climbing shoes that truly masters a wide variety of climbing styles

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Maro LaBlance

Maro LaBlancewrote a review of on April 26, 2012

Lafuma GR 20 in Backpacker?s April 2012 Gear Guide
5 5

Backpacker’s review on the Lafuma GR20, in April’s 2012 Gear Guide - Bargain alert: “The performance far exceeded my expectations,” said one tester after using it in Great Sand Dunes National Park. “The (proprietary) synthetic bag lofts well, kept me warm with lows in the 20s, and still packs down to two-liter bottle size.”

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Maro LaBlance

Maro LaBlancewrote a review of on April 26, 2012

Lafuma GR 20 in Backpacker?s April 2012 Gear Guide
5 5

Backpacker’s review on the Lafuma GR20, in April’s 2012 Gear Guide - Bargain alert: “The performance far exceeded my expectations,” said one tester after using it in Great Sand Dunes National Park. “The (proprietary) synthetic bag lofts well, kept me warm with lows in the 20s, and still packs down to two-liter bottle size.”

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Maro LaBlance

Maro LaBlancewrote a review of on April 26, 2012

Millet Miage Selected for Backpacker's Gear Guide
5 5

From Backpacker Magazine’s April 2012 Gear Guide: Got a bulky pile of gear for a week on the trail? With plenty of capacity for longer trips – thanks to a capacious floating lid, gusseted side pockets, and expandable storm collar – this stable, comfortable top-loader can carry it all. The plushly padded back panel and cushioned lumbar pad subdue loads up to 50 pounds, and the suspension adjusts to fit 17-21 inch torsos.

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Maro LaBlance

Maro LaBlancewrote a review of on April 26, 2012

Millet Miage Selected for Backpacker's Gear Guide
5 5

From Backpacker Magazine’s April 2012 Gear Guide: Got a bulky pile of gear for a week on the trail? With plenty of capacity for longer trips – thanks to a capacious floating lid, gusseted side pockets, and expandable storm collar – this stable, comfortable top-loader can carry it all. The plushly padded back panel and cushioned lumbar pad subdue loads up to 50 pounds, and the suspension adjusts to fit 17-21 inch torsos.

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Maro LaBlance

Maro LaBlancewrote a review of on February 9, 2012

Climbing Magazine's review on Hook Pant
5 5

Check out Climbing Magazine's review on the Millet Hook Pant: "You will likely be mistaken for a European when you're onsighting in these pants - patch-heavy crag pants are standard issue from Spain to Slovenia. Although you might not achieve the sending power of Maja Vidmar or Adam Ondra, the techy features will have you raving. The Hook is made from quick-dry softshell nylon spandex and has excellent abrasion resistance throughout, including in the articulated knees. Contrasting extra-breathable, two-way-stretch, quick-dry nylon elastane panels are strategically placed in the crotch, outer legs, across the rear, and behind the knees for full freedom of movement. The cinchable elastic waistband is covered with a soft, next-to-skin microfiber. And angled side pocket on the left thigh is sized for small items like wallet and keys. Testers praised the built-in chalk bag loop, but a fake fly was the object of ridicule.

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Maro LaBlance

Maro LaBlancewrote a review of on February 9, 2012

Urban Climbing Review on Millet Friction
5 5

Check out Urban Climbing's review on the Millet Friction in the Feb/March 2012 issue: Another great all-arounder was the MILLET FRICTION, which proved its worth from Rumney, New Hampshire, to the Red River Gorge, Kentucky, and back to Durango, Colorado. The Frictions provided excellent protection from scree and uneven terrain, thanks to a tight lace system and stiff sole. They also had outstanding torsional stiffness and inner-shoe cushion for off-trail use. Caveat: our tester felt these shoes had little arch support, so high-arched people should be wary. Also, the leather tended to stretch out, so keep that in mind for sizing. Excelling on scree and slab, the Vibram sole had almost perfect friction on everything from granite to sandstone. They also stood above the crowd for their durability, as our tester had no issues after almost four months of heavy use. Our tester said, “I’d choose these shoes over most because of their beefy buy low-profile design and good looks.”

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