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Wendy  McAlpine

Wendy McAlpine

Australia - outer Melbourne Suburbs, the Mornington Peninsula, and when living in the USA - New England, Alaska and Minnesota

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Wendy 's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Biking
Running
Skiing

Wendy 's Bio

I've been living the dream since 2005; avoiding a 'real job' by doing some cool jobs all over the USA. I love to be in the outdoors, and exploring new environments.

In a former life I was a National Champion in Triathlon. However, these days I prefer to enjoy my exercise, but still run, swim and cycle. I have taken up cross country (skate and classic)skiing recently.

I'm always on the lookout for my next adventure!

Wendy  McAlpine

Wendy McAlpine wrote a review of on September 11, 2010

5 5

After owning a pair of 3/4 length CW-X expert tights, I decided to give the full length tights a go....and I couldn't be happier. They really do feel good to run in. I don't have any dire injury problems, but I do like the idea these tights could be helping to prevent possible issues arising.
Be careful with sizing....at 5 and ~140lbs I was in between small and medium. I went with the small, and they're snug (which is how they are supposed to be) but I can still get them on without much of a problem.
They're expensive, but a worthwhile investment!

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Wendy  McAlpine

Wendy McAlpine wrote a review of on September 11, 2010

5 5

This fleece is compact and makes for a great winter baselayer or lightweight fleece outer layer on those cool summer evenings. It is somewhat fitted, so if you are planning on using it more as as an outer layer, you may need to size up. I'm 5 7 and 140lbs with an athletic build, and the Medium gives me a perfect fit when I've got a t-shirt underneath. I am impressed with the quality of the TKA100 fleece, it looks as though it will resist pilling more than the 'technopile' brand fleece equivalent.
A worthwhile investment which I am sure will see plenty of use.

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Wendy  McAlpine

Wendy McAlpine wrote a review of on August 19, 2010

5 5

I purchased this bag to replace my old Recon (circa 2005-ish), because I wanted a bag that would better fit my laptop, and organise my gear better. I cannot be happier with the bag so far. The Recon was a great bag, but it wasn't a great fit for a laptop and didn't protect small electronics all that well either.

I love how this bag has a dedicated, and well padded laptop section. It fits my 13 inch MacBook pro with ease. The other 2 compartments contain useful space for books, gear and there's plenty of pockets to keep things organised. The front of the bag opens up into another compartment, great for storing small things which you need to get to quickly. I love the stretch side pockets too, because they are not bulky when there's nothing in them. The bag fits me well (i'm 5 7), and feels very comfortable, more comfortable than the Recon for sure...I think there is better padding.

Overall, I highly recommend this bag if you are looking for a daypack that will both do the job for both school/work and hiking day trips. Like always, this North Face bag is well constructed.

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Wendy  McAlpine

Wendy McAlpine wrote a review of on April 14, 2010

5 5

The oasis crew from icebreaker would have to one of the most well-worn pieces of clothing in my wardrobe. I mostly use this top for running in mild to cool-ish conditions. The merino breathes amazingly well. I still feel the top holds its warmth even when it gets damp. The ability of merino to not get stinky like other synthetic tops is true as well!

But, as a running top, it does have a high neck - which might annoy some people, and the sleeves are long - but this is because its designed to be a next to skin thermal layer.

Highly recommended...great buy (and worth it the expense!).

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Wendy  McAlpine

Wendy McAlpine wrote a review of on February 11, 2010

5 5

Although I am new to both types of xc skiing (classic and skate) I found these boots to be a great investment! They provide what feels to be a stable and firm fit for skate, and when the cuff is removed there is flex in the boot for classic skiing. The cuff can prove to be difficult to remove and replace initially, however it gets easier with time. Just a note about sizing - you need a snug, but comfortable fit with these boots, and I had needed to go a full size down from my Salomon trail running shoe size to achieve this.

Overall, I recommend these boots to any newcomer to xc skiing who doesn't want the investment in 2 sets of boots, yet wants a combi boot that works very well for both classic and skate techniques.

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Wendy  McAlpine

Wendy McAlpine wrote a review of on January 17, 2010

4 5

Salomon make some pretty cool looking trail shoes, and the XT Wings GTX is one of them. Overall, I find the shoe to be slightly wide for my narrow feet, and as with all my previous Salomon trail shoes, I always size down 1/2 a size.

This shoe, is very well built, as it should be for the price. I find stability and traction to be excellent. It's probably one of the better cushioned trail shoes that I have tried. My main use for this shoe is running on roads and trails in snowy conditions, and so far I've found the gore-tex to be doing its job. Grip is also great on snowy packed trails.

Well worth the investment if you are seeking a stable, cushioned, 'waterproof' trail shoe with good grip.

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Wendy  McAlpine

Wendy McAlpine wrote a review of on January 17, 2010

4 5

I've been using this jacket for around 2 weeks. I was in need of a well priced windbreaker type jacket to layer with so I could xc ski and run during the Northern Minnesota winter.

As for sizing - read the chart carefully, and ignore the US size equivalent. I ordered a Medium and this not equivalent to a US 10, as stated on the chart! However, I find the fit perfect for me. I'm 5 7 and about 140lbs with a athletic build. This jacket fits more like a US 6-8. Sleeve length is perfect, so people with long arms may find this jacket short in the arms. Width across the shoulders is also narrow (but I do have broad shoulders). It's nice and long in the body too, which perhaps makes it better suited to hiking rather than more athletic paced activities.

The jacket is well made (note -seams are just stitched, not sealed), and packs in a lot of features for its minimal weight and size. I really like how well the hood fits. Pockets are large and well placed. I find when zipping this jacket up, the zipper can at times get caught, requiring the use of both hands rather than just one. Even though I have not packed the jacket since I purchased it, the fabric is still very creased looking.

Overall, nice jacket for the sale price. Vivid Green/Rutabage is a decent colour, perhaps slightly duller than the photo provided by Backcountry.com suggests. The lack of pit zips and its longer length suggest its a better choice for hiking rather than faster paced activities, but if you are not fussy then its excellent value as an all-rounder very packable windbreaker. Nice to know it can be recycled too!

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Wendy  McAlpine

Wendy McAlpine wrote a review of on December 10, 2007

3 5

Unfortunately, these shoes are not for my feet. Pity because the innovative design looks as though it has a lot of potential to make this a great shoe. To start with, I have narrow feet. The section of the shoe where my heel sits contains far too much space, and there is little padding to assist. The idea of removable foot beds sounds great too....but I still cannot 'fill' the shoe up enough to get these shoes to fit. I Have the laces as tight as they will go down closest too the toe-box but its still not tight enough. I also feel these shoes would be best for people with normal to high arches. I have fairly flat feet and the shoe I felt didn't give enough support. I give these shoes 3 stars , because the idea of the shoe is great, and they are well made - just not suited to me.

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Wendy  McAlpine

Wendy McAlpine wrote a review of on May 30, 2007

4 5

These Salomons have a great lacing system - it takes a bit to get used to at 1st however. This shoes runs big, I would recommend getting a 1/2 size down compared to other running shoes. The shoes perform great on the trail, the have a nice amount of grip and good ventilation. Coming from road running shoes I notice the lack of cushioning, however these shoes still provide a fair amount of stability support.

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Wendy  McAlpine

Wendy McAlpine wrote a review of on May 25, 2007

5 5

I have owned these rain pants for nearly 2 years. They have been fantastic. The fabric is quite durable, and does a great job at keeping the rain out. They are nice and compact when storing them in a backpack too! My only complaint is that if you are tall, you will find them short, and with the elastic at the bottom of the legs - the rain runs off my pants and down into my shoes! I am 5'7 and have a size medium, I wouldn't want to be any taller.

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