Sara Gress

Sara Gress

Ider-ho and the surrounding biomes.

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Sara 's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Running
Biking
Snowshoeing
Climbing

Sara 's Bio

A grad student who likes to escape from the office dungeon to sweat profusely outside.

Sara Gress

Sara Gress wrote a review of on December 8, 2013

5 5

This bag was perfect for my summer/fall camping and backpacking adventures. I'm not sure why people reported getting cold. Most nights I would go to sleep with base layers on and wake up a few hours later roasting alive. The temps were in the 20s and 30s...however, I do run hot in general. I was using a sleeping pad as well.

This isn't so much a complaint as it is a head's up for other females out there: check what length of bag you need and compare prices for men's and women's! I needed a long in the women's, which is more expensive, and that same length was a regular in the men's and the same price as the regular women's. So beware! Is there a difference between the men's and women's bag? Eh, probably not much more than the colors. It's worth saving yourself the thirty or so bucks TNF is charging for the long women's bag and just getting a regular men's bag. Silly gender-based marketing.

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Sara Gress

Sara Gress wrote a review of on December 8, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I use this literally every day. It keeps my coffee hot for hours and also when the trek across town is 0 degrees. I've dropped it multiple times onto asphalt, resulting in a loud clanging sound, but not a dent. The best part about this bottle is that it doesn't leak! It's seriously incredible, I throw it into my pack and my notebooks/computer are left dry and unscathed. I would recommend this to any coffee/tea drinker who needs to drag their addiction with them anywhere and everywhere.

Only complaint I have is that it doesn't fit into my car's cup holder, since I have an older car, made back when to-go cups weren't the size of a bathtub. However, as I said, it doesn't leak, so instead it gets crammed in other handy spots.

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Sara Gress

Sara Gress wrote a review of on February 3, 2013

4 5

I used this while training for a half marathon in Jamaica. It made my 10+ mile runs much more bearable, as exercising in a humid tropical environment is a totally different
beast with the amount of sweat that you produce. I had never run with a hydration pack before, so the loudness of the water sloshing around in there with each step was rather surprising at first. But after I figured out that hooking the hydration tube between the shoulder straps across my chest held the pack tightly to me, this thing was great. I wish there was an actual strap there for this use, as unhooking the tube for a drink was rather annoying, but it was that or the pack bouncing all over the place. This thing saved me from horrible dehydration alongside a highway in Jamaica, so it did what it is designed to do.

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Sara Gress

Sara Gress wrote an answer about on February 3, 2013

I have an extra large and the only issue I've run into is you can put so much stuff in it that it becomes too heavy to carry comfortably for very long, i.e. through the airport, and will be too heavy for airline weight requirements, forcing you to pay for overweight luggage. But if you aren't planning on flying with it and/or filling it with heavy gear, the extra large is awesome.

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Sara Gress

Sara Gress wrote a review of on February 3, 2013

5 5

Living in Jamaica, I have used this is many places to read, space out, listen to the waves, and sleep. It has been one of my favorite purchases since being here. It's great to sleep in for one person, good to hang on in for two and super easy to set up with the Slap Straps. The Double Nest has enough fabric to cover yourself up completely, which makes a nice shield against bugs and the sun. It also packs up fairly small and is very light, making it easy to stuff into your pack for a crammed ride across island on public transportation. I do not regret this purchase at all.

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Sara Gress

Sara Gress wrote a review of on February 3, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I have used this daily for a year and a half now while serving in Jamaica. It has survived multiple trips on public transportation, insane humidity and some creative packing techniques. I love this press. I can drop it and it doesn't crack, and it is light enough to drag across island. My only gripe is that it seems to trap a lot of coffee under the actual press part, making it a bit of an effort to drain all of the precious liquid out at the end. Other than that, awesome press for the price.

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Sara Gress

Sara Gress wrote a review of on February 19, 2010

3 5

While Skullcandy talks a lot of crap about their products, this one doesn't quite deserve the confident blather that is their product description. The sound quality is average; not awful, but not mind blowing. I have yet to try them on an airplane, though I have a feeling they will block noise well.

They are fairly comfortable and adjust easily. They are not compact at all, so if you are looking for something to carry around all the time, these probably won't work so great.

My biggest issue was the cord length. It was ridiculously short and would definitely not work for what I wanted, which is for listening to music while using my laptop. I had to go out and buy an extension cable. Annoying.

I think I would be more disappointed with my purchase if I hadn't gotten them on Steepandcheap for 30 bucks.

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Sara Gress

Sara Gress wrote a review of on January 5, 2010

5 5

Clif Bar has yet to disappoint me. Not only do these little gummi blocks taste exactly like the flavor they're named, they are made out of real food. Real food! When I read the ingredient list, I can actually pronounce the words and know what the ingredients are. This is amazing, especially considering the state of the 'food product' industry at the moment. And to top it off, they make a noticeable impact on my energy level. These are great to have for any activity that lasts more than an hour, which is to say pretty much everything. It's great to have an energy food that isn't loaded with caffeine and 'is that food?' items.

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Sara Gress

Sara Gress wrote a review of on December 28, 2009

5 5

These are by far the best socks for running. Ever. I will never wear cotton for running again. These keep your feet from burning up during the summer or freezing off during the winter. Well, not when it's in the single digits, but I tend to avoid running when it's that cold. They hug your foot much better than the sack that is a cheap cotton sock, so these socks provide better support. They're also great for just every day wear.

Buy more than one pair, you will thank yourself.

Oh, and they stay un-stinky and un-crusty for quite a few runs, meaning you'll have to do less laundry. And everyone likes that.

These also get points over other brands for their eco-sensitivity. Teko buys wind power for all of their energy needs. Awesome.

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Sara Gress

Sara Gress wrote a review of on December 28, 2009

5 5

This little device saves its hydration reservoir from potentially causing a lot of havoc and frustration. It stops water from leaking all over your coat and freezing into an icy addition to your outer layer; it also saves you from losing precious water during the hot summer months. If you pack your car like I do, it stops water from being squeezed out of the bladder that is crammed into the last space available in your trunk.

If you like your water to stay where it's supposed to, get the Ergo Hydrolock and never deal with H2O sneaking out of its home.

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Sara Gress

Sara Gress wrote an answer about on December 28, 2009

Like the two previous people said, it can take a lot of effort to jam the mouthpiece on there. Which is a good thing, because if it was easy it would probably leak everywhere. I coated the mouthpiece and tube with rubbing alcohol the first time I rammed it on there. It helped slightly, but what I discovered later when I was removing it to clean it works much better. Run both parts under hot tap water to get them warm and loosened up. Then you're able to fit them together with much less effort.

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Sara Gress

Sara Gress wrote a review of on December 28, 2009

5 5

I have the 3L version. I would never go with a smaller reservoir; there's no reason why you can't just fill the 3L up halfway if you don't need the full capacity. I have been using the same bladder for everything for about 6 years now and it still looks and functions like it did when I bought it. I have been taking care of it, making sure to wash it out right after I use it, as well as letting it air dry before I pack it away. I had a friend who did not do this and the bladder grew mold after being stuffed away full of water for several months. Moral of the story: don't be lazy and you will have a great hydration reservoir for a very long time.

Water tastes like water when coming out of this reservoir. However, beer tastes like carbonated plastic when coming out of this reservoir. And the bladder retains traces of that taste for about 5 uses later. Moral of the story: don't be an idiot.

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Sara Gress

Sara Gress wrote a review of on December 28, 2009

4 5

I compulsively bought this headlamp for the night scenario portion of a Wilderness First Responder course. It was a good excuse to buy a nice headlamp I hadn't realized I needed. My headlamp easily out-shined everyone else's. This sucker allows you to look halfway down the mountain...or at least that's what it feels like.

I ended up using it a lot while teaching outdoor education in Colorado. I brought it along for a back-up light during night hikes, in case the moon failed us. When the moon did fail, the Icon was an explosion of light along the trail. No tripping was caused by not being able to see. My only issue with it is that the battery pack and the strap over the top made it rather awkward to wear around my neck while I wasn't using it. This could obviously be solved by wearing it on my head where it's designed to go, but why would I do that?

I've recently started using it for bike commuting. I was able to loosen the straps and shove it over my helmet, which works great. However, if I was to use that set up for something more intense, there would be issues. Someone has posted an ingenious way to 'cement' the Icon to a helmet. But no matter how you have it rigged to your helmet, it functions almost better than a car headlight. It ensures you won't be launched over the handlebars by an unseen pothole and drivers will definitely see you.

If you want a headlamp that has great battery life for the amount of light you get out of it and works for pretty much everything, this is it. If you want something small and light to jam in your pocket, pack or glovebox, this is probably not the light for you.

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Sara Gress

Sara Gress wrote an answer about on December 28, 2009

I was able to just loosen the straps and shove it over the top of my helmet. The battery pack was held in place by the flat spot on the back of my Specialized helmet. It works great for commuting, but if I was going to do something a little more intense, I would definitely rig it up like Bobbie did. And it really is like a headlight, which is great for seeing things and not being hit by cars. My only issue with it is that to light up things that are not right in my general vicinity I have to lean my head way back to get the light to shine up the road. Which is more my helmet's fault than the headlamp's; the way it sits on there causes that. If I rigged it up like Bobbie (which is awesome) did, I'm sure that wouldn't be an issue.

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Sara Gress

Sara Gress wrote a review of on November 18, 2009

5 5

I love this jacket. I've used it for hiking, snowshoeing, skiing and just around town, all of which it worked great. I'm 5'9 and about 150 lbs., so I got a large. The arms are long enough, the torso length is perfect and it's roomy enough for (thin) layering underneath. I wore an Underarmor baselayer with a Pearl Izumi Woolie Mammoth under the Shift; it was about 15 degrees and windy outside and I was almost sweating. I haven't tried bike commuting with it yet, I doubt I will, as someone said on here it's not made for that.

I have yet to find any drawback to this jacket.

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