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Alexandra S.

Alexandra S.

Park City, UT

Alexandra S.'s Passions

Running
Biking
Hiking & Camping
Snowboarding
Skiing

Alexandra S.

Alexandra S.wrote a review of on January 7, 2018

4 5

Got this probe before I purchased the latest version of the Black Diamond Dawn Patrol pack in the largest 32L size. Well unfortunately the probe barely fits in the pack, to the point where I have to put a lot of stress on the pack to get it in there. Its light and I like it a lot but I will need to purchase a new probe that fits better. Don't purchase if you plan on getting a BD Dawn Patrol pack.

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Alexandra S.

Alexandra S.wrote a review of on July 1, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 7"
Weight: 116 lbs
Size Purchased: 9.5

I was in the market for new hiking boots. I tried on a bunch of different ones and first went with the older version of this boot (WOMEN’S ULTRA FASTPACK MID GTX). I liked everything initially, but after a short hike I found the lack of tongue padding bruised the interior of my ankle. Luckily they released this new version with an updated, more padded tongue and so I returned the old version, bought this one and haven't had that issue since. I frequently hike and even backpack in Saucony trail runners, but my feet are hypersensitive to water and simply cannot get wet or they will itch. So whenever I am hiking in the shoulder seasons, when rain is in the forecast, or I am hiking in a wet environment these are my go-to footwear. Their waterproofing also handles snowshoeing well, since I have not yet bought a pair of dedicated winter hiking boots.
Things that I like about this boot are the wide toe box but narrower middle. I am an A width foot with a high arch. I added heat molded foot beds in these shoes for more arch support than the standard insoles provided. I use the SOLE Dean Karnazes Signature Series Custom Footbeds - Medium Volume, which were a little narrower than the Superfeet Green/Orange insoles. B width feet (standard women's width) will probably find these suitable as well, but women with wider feet will want to look at a different shoe. I am a true 8.5 on the measuring platform but purchased these in a 9.5 as I do with all of my shoes for extra toe clearance.
The look and feel of these shoes reminds me a bit of basketball shoes. Actually a lot, minus the soles. When I am tired I sometimes accidentally trip or my ankles give out on me, and this boot provides basic support that the trail runners don't. There is no comparison to a backpacking boot but compared to a low cut shoe, it is a definite step up in protectiveness and support. A lot of ultralight backpackers prefer trail runners but I think this would be a great boot (more like high cut shoe) option for those looking to get a slightly more waterproof and supportive package. Its also a great day hiker of course. Anyways, try these out.

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Alexandra S.

Alexandra S.wrote a review of on April 10, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 7"
Weight: 118 lbs
Size Purchased: Small

I am a 5'7" female, ~120 pounds, and I ordered the Small. Needless to say I am not the kind of lady who asks if so-and-so garment makes me look fat. And yes this garment makes me look quite pudgy. I couldn't find a women's down jacket that was as beefy as this one. I bought this for the few days/weeks when temps hover in the teens or get below 0. I was sweating in this jacket at 20 degrees in sunny, fair weather, and very toasty when it was around 0 at night. This is my "winter blizzard" jacket, and unfortunately I bought it right after it was -10 and then never got that cold again for the rest of the season. My only concern with this jacket is the durability. When I went to pick it up at the warehouse I was about to get a small jacket when I noticed a small hole with down poking through and they traded it for another one. I would be worried about snagging the fabric on anything because it does feel thin, even though it would otherwise feel right at home in a winter mountaineering setting. At the warehouse I compared the feel of this jacket to 2 other down jackets: the Mountain Hardwear Nilas and the Marmot Mountain down jackets. The Nilas looked a lot nicer aesthetically but the zipper kept getting caught, and the Mountain looked too thin for 0 and below. If I could describe this jacket in one word: Pillow. Even though I don't get to pull it out more than a couple of times a year, I will be able to have it for years to come, and looking like a pillow is totally worth the added warmth.

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Alexandra S.

Alexandra S.wrote a review of on February 13, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I got this bag about 9 months ago and used it throughout the summer and fall months as a 3 season sleeping bag. I've slept comfortably in it at 10,000+ feet during the cooler mountain nights. I prefer down over synthetic, its lighter and will last the purchaser longer if they treat it properly. It feels at home in a car camping scenario or a backpacking scenario (light and packs small). I find the bag very roomy on the inside.
I got to test the limits of this bag in January when I was on a road trip for a week. For me, I'd say the minimum comfortable low with this bag would be around 25-30 F. When it was 18 degrees F one night I had this sleeping bag stuffed inside a cheapo 45 degree rectangular bag, it was just OK. But I got to take advantage of the hood for once!
My only complaint is the zipper sometimes gets stuck. This can be annoying if its dark and you can't see. Also the velcro by the zipper can scratch your face a bit, but that isn't a huge deal.
Since I started camping and backpacking 9 months ago I have already upgraded to a lighter sleeping pad and am considering upgrading my shelter, but my 3-season bag will stay the same. I don't need to change it, this bag just fine for the beginner or the experienced outdoorsman.

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Alexandra S.

Alexandra S.wrote a review of on January 19, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Personally I have not at all been disappointed by this lantern. Other reviewers have commented on it having a fragile feel, but I feel that I've used mine enough to say that it can stand up to a reasonable amount of abuse. I like to load mine up with rechargeable batteries. I used the flashlight feature a lot before I got a headlamp, and while it is not the brightest or best light it will certainly do in a pinch. This is a great lamp to carry with you to hang on the inside of your tent, its not incredibly bright but works well for small enclosed spaces. If you're looking for something to really illuminate a large area, maybe you're having dinner with friends after dark on a picnic table, check out a slightly larger and brighter light like the Apollo. I think this is a wonderful light that does the job it is intended to do. My light has not had any technical issues.

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Alexandra S.

Alexandra S.wrote a review of on January 19, 2016

Good backpack
4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I've had this backpack for almost 6 months now and I think its been pretty good so far. This is my first backpacking backpack and I think it really caters well to those people who are buying their first pack because the back rest is adjustable, so if you're not 100% sure what your torso size is as long as you can get it in the ballpark you can fine tune the fit later. Its not as light as some other packs. I was considering an Osprey pack but I got this one on sale for a fair bit cheaper and I really love the bright red and yellow colorway. If you like to hike quickly and get ahead your partner will not lose you with this very bright pack on, and you do not have to worry so much about hiking during hunting season. :)
I've used it so far only for 2 day trips (one I had it packed for 5 but we bailed), the 65 liter size is more than enough for overnighters and appropriate for 3-5 day trips. I take 1 star off because I feel that it isn't quite as comfortable as the Osprey Aura I had tried on, the shoulder straps could use a little more padding IMO.
I like how there is a small zippered compartment you can access right from the outside and the little pockets on the hip straps. One reason I purchased this pack over some other ones is that not only is the brain removable, but it has its own buckle to turn it into a fanny pack! I got some compliments on the fanny pack... I can store a 2L water bladder in it so it holds plenty.
I have been using this pack a lot more regularly for winter snowshoeing because it gives me more space to put extra layers in that a day pack doesn't give me. As far as sizing goes I am 5'7 and purchased the M/L.

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Alexandra S.

Alexandra S.wrote a review of on December 21, 2014

5 5

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

Finally got to ride these today in heavy/wet snowfall. I was worried that the waterproofing wouldn't stand up, being only 10k, and while the outside was fairly damp the inside remained dry. I also had pants on underneath so it was a little hard to tell. Anyways if you're looking for fitted ski/snowboard pants that stand out and feel good these are a nice choice. The leather zipper straps are a nice touch too. There's also a very faint pattern on the pants that is more visible in person than in the pictures.

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