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Heidi V.

Heidi V.

Laramie, Wyoming

Heidi V.'s Passions

Hiking & Camping

Heidi V.'s Bio

I'm an archaeologist, graduate student, wife, and mom who goes out on crazy adventures and spends the summer living like a vagabond in a tent digging up stuff people threw away 10,000 years ago.

Heidi V.

Heidi V.wrote a review of on January 4, 2017

4 5

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

I just received this and only tried it out once so far. Initial impression are good. I'm an archaeologist and needed a new day pack for field jobs. The size is good and the fit is comfortable. I'm 5ft5in and 150 lbs and the sm/med fits like a dream. There is plenty of room for ALL of my gear without being bulky. I have looked for quite a while for a new pack and everytime I tried one on that could hold everything, it was big and bulky and obnoxious which is awful when working long days, every day. I like the loops for holding things (yay, tool holders!). My one complaint: Please, more pockets on the outside! I am really happy that I found a day pack with 3 decent sized separate compartments/pouches. However, for my job, it's really important to have quick access to everything in my pack and for things to stay organized. I thought this pack had a stuff pocket on the front, but after getting the bag and checking the info on BC, I was wrong, there is not even a daisy chain. Pictures and pack information from Backcountry show that there are shoulder strap pockets, but it doesn't. I'm particularly disappointed that Backcountry would state that there are shoulder strap pockets when they are not on this pack. I know companies are streamlining their bags more and more because backpackers like streamlined bags. My hope is that someday, a backpack will be made with field scientists in mind. For now, I may just void my warranty and sew on my own daisy chain and buy some bungee cord. I haven't decided yet. I don't think I will find a better pack for my needs, but there are still features I wish were on this pack and info stated by BC about pockets were big selling points.

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Heidi V.

Heidi V.wrote a review of on December 31, 2016

3 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I bought this bag for archaeology digs and slept in the bag more than my bed at home during a 4 month field season. The bag is very comfortable and I really like the sleeve for the pad. However, Big Agnes really ought to look into some kind of insulation for the sleeve side of the pad. I sleep pretty cold so I bought a bag with a colder rating than would normally be needed. No matter how I slept or what I wore (or didn't wear), cold seeped in from the ground. I used a very good insulated pad and then tried wrapping it in an emergency blanket, lastly, I purchased a liner just for the pad side of the bag before I stopped getting cold spots on the ground side of the bag. The top of the bag was nice and warm, but with cold seeping in from the ground, I would not repurchase this bag given a second chance.

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Heidi V.

Heidi V.wrote a review of on December 30, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 5"
Weight: 150 lbs
Size Purchased: 12

I found these on clearance someplace else and I'm happy to see them here. I will be purchasing more before the archaeology season starts here. I'm very curvy and was surprised to find that these actually did fit (I still have to wear a belt, but I have yet to find a pair of good work pants in which I do not need a belt). They are very comfortable for denim and much more comfortable than I have experienced with Carhartt. I haven't actually worked outside with them yet, just worn them around the house and in the yard a bit during winter, but I have a feeling these will become my new work pants. They fit the bill for what I need as an archaeologist - durable, pockets, and the ability to move without the pants being uncomfortable or too revealing.

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Heidi V.

Heidi V.wrote a review of on November 22, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I used this shower for 4 months last summer while on archaeology digs. It was fantastic. Look, it's not like your shower at home and it's not a fancy camp shower. It is better than other hang in the tree type showers I have used. There is not much water pressure, but it was enough to wash my long hair. The bag was big enough I only had to fill it after about every 3rd or 4th use. As long as it was sort of warm outside, the water warmed in the bag at least somewhat. On my last dig, my husband visited and made a pulley out of 550 cord which made it easy to refill and kept the shower above my head (my one complaint - but any hanging shower can be tough to hang high enough). The best part, the tough thing didn't break all season long!

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Heidi V.

Heidi V.wrote a review of on August 30, 2016

3 5

Height: 5' 5"
Weight: 150 lbs
Size Purchased: Large

I ordered a large because I am very curvy - but the sleeves are extremely wide all the way to the wrist which makes the shirt look a little odd. It fits through the chest and torso, but really, the sleeves are far too big. But the shirt is comfortable so I will keep it. I just won't wear it when I need to look nice. It will work better as a field shirt rather than something I will wear to the lab/office

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Heidi V.

Heidi V.wrote a review of on May 31, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: Runs large
Height: 5' 5"
Weight: 150 lbs
Size Purchased: 12

I bought these as field pants for the summer. Before I even left for the field, I had used them several times just because they were so comfortable. I had no trouble with them while bushwhacking through the back country for my job. They do run a little large and I will be taking these in a bit. I like them enough though that I will be purchasing another pair in a smaller size.

Addition: I used these pants throughout the field season and they still look great. I wish the waistband were a little tighter. I got the large, and I was pulling them up as I lost weight while surveying back country. I still love them. Another plus, these are some of the only field pants that fit comfortably AND perform well for very curvy women.

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Heidi V.

Heidi V.wrote a review of on May 31, 2016

2 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I took this on a 10 day trip thinking it would be pretty nice. I had tried it out at home and it worked fine. However, on day one of the trip, the inside cup got stuck and stayed stuck the entire time which meant I could only use it as a cup, not a coffee press. I ended up drinking cowboy coffee from my dinner bowl instead.

*update
So, after getting the mug home, it took a while to get it unstuck. I still occasionally have some trouble with it, but not like the first trip out. Most of the time it works fine. It is not easy to clean without some water pressure. It's still better than drinking my boss's black tar from my dinner bowl. I will hopefully upgrade soon since I pretty much live in my tent all summer long for my job.

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Heidi V.

Heidi V.wrote a review of on May 31, 2016

5 5

I used these on a ten day archaeology stint in the back country. They were easy to pound in and stayed in place even when I was lazy and didn't pound them in completely. My only concern about these is that sometimes they get stuck in the ground so having an actual hammer to get them out was helpful when my hands were weak and aching from archaeological work

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Heidi V.

Heidi V.wrote a review of on May 30, 2016

3 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I'm a pretty cold sleeper but hoped a nice down bag would help solve the problem. On the top, this bag is awesome. However, there is no insulation on the bottom as the bag relies solely on the insulation from the pad you use. The pocket for the pad is also too narrow for my other sleeping pads so I had to purchase a new one. This is frustrating because 1. I rely on my gear not just for recreation, but for my job as an archaeologist. This also means that I often live with my gear for weeks at a time and I like it to work well. 2. I had a sleep system set up that was actually more comfortable than my bed at home but I needed a new sleeping bag. Now I find myself spending more than I intended in an attempt to recreate a good sleep system. I have yet to come up with something nearly as comfortable as what I have used for the past several years.

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Heidi V.

Heidi V.wrote a review of on May 30, 2016

3 5

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

I bought this when my nifty new sleeping bag had a pocket to keep the air mattress - except my old air mattress was too wide. The sleeping bag is warm and comfy, but this was just okay. I tried it out in my backyard during a storm and was cold simply from the ground sucking away my heat. I'm a cold sleeper and I had to quickly purchase a cheap sleeping bag liner from Wal-Mart to add a bit of insulation to this air mattress. Kind of a pain when backpacking with archaeology gear to have to tote extra weight and use up space to insulate an insulated air mattress. Glad I took the liner though because although nights were near freezing, I stayed pretty warm. As far as being comfortable, I sleep mostly on my side and this made my hips hurt no matter what I did. I will keep using it because the money is already spent and I leave for another dig in a few days. Perhaps next summer I will invest in something else though.

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Heidi V.

Heidi V.wrote a review of on March 24, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: True to size

I love that I am finding Carhartt products here now. My son loves these shorts and I'm so happy that the older boy sizes still have the adjustable waist. For some reason, once boys hit size 12 the adjustable waist disappears in most pants and shorts. My son is a skinny bean pole swimmer and without the adjustable waist belts are a necessity but he hates wearing a belt. Bless you Carhartt and you too Back Country.

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Heidi V.

Heidi V.wrote a review of on March 7, 2014

4 5

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

During the winter, I used them mostly in the gym and have loved them. They are breathable and have just enough cushioning so that my feet don't hurt like they do with a true barefoot shoe. Now that the weather is nicer, they are out of the gym and I wear them everywhere on sunny days. They are the opposite of waterproof, more like sponges. I do a lot of walking on a college campus and I also usually walk a couple of miles home from school and these are fantastic walking shoes. I'm not a young college student either so I really want comfy shoes and these are my favorite. Also, they have a nice wide toe box so my toes aren't squished together.

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Heidi V.

Heidi V.wrote a review of on March 7, 2014

2 5

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

These shoes have been very comfortable. I love a big toe box and these are great. I have hiked in the Utah snow and in Death Valley and no blisters or sore feet. However, they are not very durable. After 2 months, there is a hole in the top of one shoe. I am not hard on my shoes, so I expect them to last better than that. Until the hole, my feet stayed nice and dry, now I get a wet spot by my big toe every time it rains or if I'm in the snow. It's really annoying because although I do hike, I bought these shoes to keep my feet comfy AND dry while walking around a college campus all winter. Because of the durability issue, they are overpriced. I would not buy them again.

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Heidi V.

Heidi V.wrote a review of on January 11, 2013

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I bought these for walking around a college campus in the winter. I was sick of wet feet all day in classes. I was initially a little sad, they aren't as wide as a lot of other Merrell shoes, and not quite as comfortable. Yesterday made up for it. We had a big snowstorm and the buses weren't running all the way to campus, so I had to walk for an hour in a blizzard. My feet were the warmest part of me, and though the snow was pretty wet, my feet stayed dry. So I may not wear these every day, they will definitely be worn any day that may be wet.

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Heidi V.

Heidi V.wrote a review of on September 4, 2011

3 5

I bought these as a good all around shoe, it looked nice enough to wear to my office too. The biggest problem (and it's a biggie) is that the strap rubs against the top of my foot and gave me blisters. So I NEVER wear it hiking, running or without socks. I will keep it for wearing at work, the black is a very nice look, but disappointed that I can't wear them much otherwise. With socks and for lighter duty, they are still very comfortable. Oh and unlike the previous post, I did order my normal size and I'm glad I did or the strap probably wouldn't even fit on my foot.

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Heidi V.

Heidi V.wrote a review of on February 28, 2010

5 5

We've had an older model of this for about 2 years now. We love it! I'm not very tough, but bought it for hiking while my husband was deployed, I was able to carry my 1 year old on several long hikes with little discomfort (just a little in the shoulders). When my husband came home, he was able to adjust the carrier to his size and he's alot taller and bigger around than I am. Our daughter is now almost 3 and still can ride comfortably. The balance is good even on snowy and steep trails. We constantly get asked where to buy one just like ours. There is also enough room to carry snacks, water, diapers,first aid kit, and a few other odds and ends - and we can keep dirty stuff separate from the food which comes in handy.

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