Gunks, Catskills, New Hampshire and crazy NYC
I bought these for ice climbing, backcountry touring and mountaineering. I'm 5'4" and I bought the size 4. Definitely high waisted, and they fit true to size around the waist (sometimes a little tight depending the meal I ate). Would probably go a size bigger next time. Can fit long underwear or fleece pants under them without a problem and they're very comfy and flexible. They shed rain and are fairly wind resistant. Great all around winter activity pants!
I'm still on the fence about this bag. Admittedly , my first mistake was to try to fit it like a conventional pack--don't! Follow the Black Diamond fit video, don't rely on the store to try to fit it unless they use the BD method. Otherwise you'll be in for lots of pain. Even though the hip belt looked fine from the front, the back sat lower than I was used to, and there's not really a lumbar support in the normal sense. Also, like the previous reviewer said, the shoulder straps don't unload off shoulders well, which becomes burdensome if you're carrying more than 35 pounds. However, I'm still playing with the straps to see if this can get better, and I think I almost have the magic formula--my last hike was much more comfortable. I agree that more lash points would be helpful, and I wish there was a smaller pocket inside the lid to help separate items. The retractable ice axe loops are a nifty feature. The pack is very roomy and well made, and light compared to similar size bags. I wish there was a way to better lock down the hydration tube to the shoulder strap (the little loop on the chest strap is too small to hook it in easily). The free movement is great and does minimize chafing, but unfortunately if dirt gets inside the ball bearing, the hip belt can squeak (annoying!). I'm still trying to learn to love it, but right now it's more like a high maintenance boss than my best friend.
I haven't used a lot of trekking poles, but I was definitely surprised when I got these and realized that there was no shock absorber. But it doesn't matter, these poles absorb vibrations well, and are a pleasure to hike with, esp with if you're carrying a load greater than 35 pounds. I'm an "average" woman with fairly small hands (5'4" 125#), and I haven't had a problem with holding the grip. Very light and sturdy, great grip on rock. I've used them to hike on mixed conditions and as backcountry snowboarding poles, and they work well in both situations. They could swing a little better, and I'm not a huge fan of the sandpaper grip below the normal grip, but overall great poles!
Used this shirt as a light long sleeve layer for hiking. I'm 5'4" 125 pounds, and the x-small fit me perfectly, although a little tight under the armpits. That didn't bother me too much--the fabric stretches where it needs to, and breathes well. Very comfy shirt, well made, and the stitching is flattering. Love the thumb loops, helps keep the shirt sleeves down under an overshirt. The drop-tail hem is the perfect length for fitting under a harness or waist-belt. One caveat: I got this shirt in retropink, which is a lot more pink than the picture implies (not quite hot pink, but you'll be super obvious from far away).
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