Rachael Van Dolah

Rachael Van Dolah

Salt Lake City, the Southern Deserts of Utah, the Wasatch Mountains, Unitas, and surrounding area.

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Rachael's Passions

Road Running
Camping
Hiking
Trail Running
Alpine Skiing
Kayaking
Swimming

Rachael's Bio

Backcountry.com’s Gearheads are your instant connection to gear knowledge. They’re passionate outdoor experts hell-bent on helping you find the right ski, saddle, or pro. Follow their adventures and exploits.
Here is some information about me.


While a native to South Carolina and drawn to the coast, warmth, and the sunshine, I have uprooted for a change of pace and have now called Salt Lake City, UT home for the past 4 years. With a variety of terrain, Utah offers endless opportunities to get out and explore. When the weather is warm, I can be found camping, hiking, running, backpacking, and playing Ultimate Frisbee all over the state. When winter is back in full swing, I tend to stay in the Salt Lake area and can be found skiing up at Snowbird or snowshoeing with the pups in Millcreek.


I’d love to answer your gear related questions. FOLLOW ME FOR REVIEWS ON GEAR AND GIVE ME A HOLLER FOR ALL YOUR GEAR QUESTIONS AND NEEDS BY PHONE AT 1.800.409.4502 ext 4089 OR BY EMAIL AT rvandolah@backcountry.com.

Rachael Van Dolah

Rachael Van Dolah wrote a review of on April 26, 2014

5 5

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

I bought this item as a gift for my boyfriend and he absolutely loves it. For a guy that is capable of destroying just about everything gear wise, this jacket seems to be hanging in there. The jacket is durable enough that he has yet to scuff it while ripping through he trees, yet light weight enough that it can be used in spring conditions while still being warm enough for full winter (with a base layer as this is just a shell). It offers solid ventilation for those warmer day touring/hiking (he was stoked that the vents were set a bit forward actually drawing in air while you walk), the fabric is very waterproof, and the coat offers nice additional features. I was wary of Dakine at first as I was not as familiar with the durability of their apparel products, but I am pleased with my purchase at this time.

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Rachael Van Dolah

Rachael Van Dolah wrote a review of on April 26, 2014

3 5

Familiarity: I returned this product before using it
Fit: True to size

I really loved the style of the shorts when ordering, but I found when trying them on that the style was a tad more narrow than I prefer in the thighs. With an athletic build, they did not work well for me, but I could absolutely see these as a cute style on someone with more slender figure/narrower thighs.

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Rachael Van Dolah

Rachael Van Dolah wrote a review of on April 26, 2014

3 5

Familiarity: I returned this product before using it
Fit: True to size

I found the style and material pattern of the skirt very cute, but I ended up returning this as the style was not something I think I would use all that often.

**It is a little hard to tell by the picture, but the back portion is elastic so there is some flexibility in the waist band.

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Rachael Van Dolah

Rachael Van Dolah wrote a review of on April 26, 2014

3 5

Familiarity: I returned this product before using it
Fit: Runs large

I tend to be quite partial to longer shorts in this style, but I did not find this particular cut flattering on me. The product overall is great. The material is light weight and appears to be quick drying. I suspect this short would work wonderfully for some, but I ended up returning as they were not right for me.

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Rachael Van Dolah

Rachael Van Dolah wrote a review of on April 26, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size

I really love this bottom. It seems to stay on well when swimming, has the reversible feature, and does not bunch or sag on your behind like many bikini bottoms do, and is not skimpy. If you are looking for a full black bottom, be aware that the interior is fuchsia pink and the pink will be slightly visible while wearing.

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Rachael Van Dolah

Rachael Van Dolah wrote a review of on April 26, 2014

3 5

Familiarity: I returned this product before using it
Fit: Runs small

Very cute bikini top, but not designed for moving in water. The top fit just like the image above, however I feel that the size chart may be a tad off. Based off of the chart I should have fallen best in a small, but after trying this on I think the medium may be the better fit.

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Rachael Van Dolah

Rachael Van Dolah wrote a review of on April 26, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I returned this product before using it
Fit: Runs small

I absolutely loved this bikini top. It fit just like the image above, had a unique tie back, the bright blue I ordered arrived in the shade shown on the site, and once tied on the top was very secure. I ended up returning it in the end as I already had a blue top in a similar shade from last year and the small was a tad on the small side, but I have my eye on this one for a bit later this year. The sizing on the size chart seemed to be a tad off. Based off of the chart I should have fallen best in a small, but after trying this on I think the medium may be the better fit.

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Rachael Van Dolah

Rachael Van Dolah wrote a review of on April 26, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

A must have for winter sports. This scraper can handle clearing off that thick wax for you without breaking in two. Heavy duty acrylic material and the less slick surface allow you to easily maintain a firm grip while scraping. I would say this scraper is roughly about 6 x 3 inches in size.

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Rachael Van Dolah

Rachael Van Dolah wrote a review of on April 26, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I feel like I now have bowls for a small army of dogs, but I love this Bivy bowl. It is light weight, easy to pack, durable, does not leak, and it is my go to for every trip. We have a few of the large and small size. I find the large is perfect as a base camp water bowl, but the small ones are easy to fold up and fit even in a small pet pack. If your dog is a little odd about putting their face into a smaller entrance, you may want to opt for the large as the opening on the small is about 4 inches across.

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Rachael Van Dolah

Rachael Van Dolah wrote a review of on April 26, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I returned this product before using it
Fit: True to size

Very cute sandals and a very comfortable foot bed. I ended up returning these in the end as I already had a pair of brown sandals fairly similar, but they are a cute sandal and would be a perfect purchase for summer. One concern I had when trying them on was the stiffness of the leather thong between the toes. I suspect that this leather would soften with time, but you may want to bring some tape or a Band-Aid to prevent rubbing and blisters the first few times out.

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Rachael Van Dolah

Rachael Van Dolah wrote a review of on April 26, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I returned this product before using it
Fit: True to size

Very cute shoes and I would say they run very true to size as I wear a 9.0 and the 9.0 fit perfectly. I ended up returning these in the end as I already had a pair that was very similar, but the sandal was quite comfortable and the zipper heel did not bother my foot at all.

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Rachael Van Dolah

Rachael Van Dolah wrote a review of on April 26, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size

I love these shorts. Patagonia truly nailed this one. Cute shorts that are not too short or too long (top of knee length), they offer a number of bright spring colors but I opted for the classic navy to cover up dirt that may get on them, and the best part is they do not stretch out and sag on the bum with use. I would also suggest checking out the size chart before purchasing, but I personally found the size 6 to be the best fit. I have a 28? waist, typically wear a 4/6, 5?8 in height, and 135 lbs.

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Rachael Van Dolah

Rachael Van Dolah wrote a review of on April 26, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

These G3 Backcountry Goat skins are awesome. Perfect for split board skinning in the Wasatch. They stay on well with two clips on the tip and one on the tail, easy to trim (trim tool included), and come with a storage sack for keeping them contained and keeping debris like dirt and dust off of the adhesive.

** Skin savers sold separately

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Rachael Van Dolah

Rachael Van Dolah wrote a review of on April 26, 2014

5 5

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

Looking for a super soft and very comfortable tissue tee ? look no further. V-neck in style, this shirt would be great for anyone. I purchased the Indigo Heather and found that the color matches the image on the site.

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Rachael Van Dolah

Rachael Van Dolah wrote a review of on April 26, 2014

3 5

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

I know they seem like a silly accessory, but they are honestly worth it. These skin savers will help extend the life of your skins, saves you to hassle of trying to pull apart skins that have adhered to one another, and will last as they are made of a durable and flexible material.

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Rachael Van Dolah

Rachael Van Dolah wrote a review of on April 26, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I returned this product before using it
Fit: True to size

Very cute short, but a tad slim/tight in the thighs for my figure. I personally went with the black so I do not have feedback on the other color, but a nice short for casual to slightly dressy occasion. Waist size wise I found the size chart very helpful. At 5?8 in height, a 28? waist, and 135lbs I found the size 7 to be the best fit.

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Rachael Van Dolah

Rachael Van Dolah wrote a review of on April 26, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size

I love these shorts. Patagonia truly nailed this one. Cute shorts that are not too short, bright spring colors (Catalan Coral is a little brighter in person than pictured), and the best part is they do not stretch out and sag on the bum with use. I do not think the picture on the website with the model does the shorts justice as they are not nearly this short when on. I would also suggest checking out the size chart before purchasing, but I personally found the size 6 to be the best fit. I have a 28? waist, typically wear a 4/6, 5?8 in height, and 135 lbs.

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