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Charlotte H.

Charlotte H.

Yosemite national park

Charlotte H.'s Passions

Fly Fishing
Hiking & Camping
Running
Biking
Skiing
Climbing

Charlotte H.'s Bio

Mom, cyclist, runner, climber, backpacker, fly fisher, chef and skier. I do it all.

Charlotte H.

Charlotte H.wrote a review of on July 1, 2019

A highly functional all-round watch
4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Pros:
Fit is awesome. The band is supple and moves with your wrist. Navigation is easy and quick, even with gloves on. You can customize the activities, endlessly! This is the best part of the watch. There's every activity you can do, and a ton of useful data. It does basics, like steps and caloric burn. I think the calorie algorithm is on the generous side based against my Garmin and Apple Watch. Another amazing feature is the auto sync to Strava. The Suunto App is useful and clean. It give you sleep performance as well as when you are feeling fatigued. I was surprised with how accurate this was, and it's a smart feature to have. Lastly, excellent battery life! However, one caveat (see below).

Cons:
Let's start with the fact that the metal rim around the screen scratches. It could be a little more rugged in that regard. The main problem I am having with the watch, centers around its glitches. After three days the watch was stuck in the download mode. Nothing worked and ultimately I had to let the watch die. After that, I was back on track. However since then, the steps tracking has stopped and sleep data is missing. Another development has been battery life, which has suddenly gone down hill. After a full charge, 10 percent of the battery was gone in hours of just normal use (time mode, no activities) so at this rate it is around 3-4 days before it dies. This is a far cry from the battery life it started with. Lastly, the Moveslink App is how you update the watch. Yet, even that is glitchy. Connecting the USB cable no longer works so that you can add your watch. I am hoping that there are fixes coming soon because I love all of the features this watch has to offer and can see using it for all of my activities. It's perfect for backpacking, rock climbing, cycling, gym workouts ... you name it. Suunto makes quality products and I know they will work out the kinks.

Should you buy it? Yes. Despite the glitches (which I believe will be remedied) you can not find a watch on the market with this much to offer as far as custom sports modes. Not many watches can cross over and give you as much useful data as the 5.



Update: a link for the Moveslink that actually works https://www.suunto.com/en-us/Support/software-support/suuntolink/

This should get your watch the latest patches and update.

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Charlotte H.

Charlotte H.wrote a review of on June 23, 2018

Amazing Running and Biking Partner
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

First off, I’m not usually a fan of running with a backpack. But on long runs I’ll bend for food or a jacket in case of thunderstorms. I had the Avos in mind for mountain biking but decided to give it a test on a run. I was pleasantly surprised at how minimalist the Avos feels! The pack suspension gives it a lightweight ride you will hardly notice. No bouncing or shifting side to side, just a solid feel. I had it weighted down with plenty of water (bladder is included and holds 3 liters) and I had to remind myself I was running with a pack. Yes — it feels that good.

I was pretty confident mountain biking with it was going to be awesome. Took it to Mammoth Mountain and rode all day with no issues. Same lightweight, secure feeling and plenty of room for tools. There’s even a crash pad pocket for a camera or valuables, which I fortunately did not test! The real highlight for mountain biking is the buckle, which is magnetic. With gloves on it was easy to undo and redo (and we all know how biking gloves are a pain when needing dexterity).
Simply put this pack excells! I can see it as a running, mountain biking or even day pack with plenty of storage, water and gear. The suspension gives it an amazing feel, and you will love how solid it feels in varying terrain. Highly recommend this pack! You will be hard pressed to find a pack in this size with so much capability and thoughtful touches.

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Charlotte H.

Charlotte H.wrote a review of on June 13, 2018

A Cushy, Stable, Ride
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

The redesign of the ATR 4 upper is perfect. The shoe is more glove-like and supple than the 3. The design is also more roomy as a result. Be prepared to wear thicker trail running socks to compensate for the change. This is also a sizing matter. Hoka’s tend to run small so sizing up a half size, coupled with the new upper easily accommodates hot feet and swelling on long runs. As mentioned before, as long as you go thick on the sock coverage the fit ends up being ideal. The 4 sports the same meta rocker spring ride but with beefier lugs for enhanced grip. These shoes stick! On my recent trip to the Sierra, my running route included sections of granite slab notorious for “ball bearing” scree. The 4s has no problem gripping, confidentially sticking each stride on terrain I normally shuffle down for control. Really happy with the small improvements to the ATR. If you were a fan of the 3, you will undoubtedly love the 4s! If you are wondering if you should get these, and are new to the Hoka brand; it is a definite yes! Nothing beats the technology, support and grip of the ATR. Right out of the box and these shoes are trail ready. Grab those thick socks and go!

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Charlotte H.

Charlotte H.wrote a review of on May 10, 2016

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: Runs large
Height: 5' 8"
Weight: 145 lbs
Size Purchased: 8.5

The fit is amazing, glove like and unique. I would recommend a half size down though. I ordered an 8.5 and after a day I have realized they need to be exchanged for an 8.0. The tread is aggressive and sticky but the shoe is super light.

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Charlotte H.

Charlotte H.wrote a review of on August 7, 2014

A forgiving trail leash for your arm!
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

First off, I'd like to say thank you to Backcountry.com and Ruffwear for hand-selecting me to review this piece of gear for the benefit of the backcountry.com community.

As an avid runner with my German Shorthaired dog, Donner, I have tried every running leash known to man and dog. Most basically have buckle attachments and use a static line to tie you to your running buddy. Not the Ruffwear Roamer!

Finally someone sat down and said, hey how about a leash that gives a little? That's exactly what the Roamer does. It's not a static leash (so you would not want to use it, say in a crowded environment where you would not want your dog to roam). This leash is meant to move with you and your dog without jerking you all over. As a result this leash is perfect for running, hiking and recently, our backpacking trip. While it is on the heavy side for packing in, we knew that the trail would have stock animals and thought that, despite on the heavy side, it would be better not to have my arms pulled out of my sockets trying to keep Donner on the trail and focused on going up verses that last horse he saw, say a mile away. I was very happy with the results. The Roamer gave Donner enough freedom to sniff around but without knocking me off balance with my 37lb pack. Additionally, there is a grip handle you can grab that is static, which gives you direct control over your dog at the neck. Very helpful!!! I simply LOVE this leash!! Now if it was lighter, I would be ecstatic!

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Charlotte H.

Charlotte H.wrote a review of on August 7, 2014

Finally a functional dog water bowl!
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

First off, I'd like to say thank you to Backcountry.com and Ruffwear for hand-selecting me to review this piece of gear for the benefit of the backcountry.com community.

The Bota serves two purposes. One, you of course can fill it with water, but you may also place kibble on the top to serve as a quick bowl. You can do this because unlike other water containers, the Bota can be closed and is leak proof. As a result, the lid can be kept slightly open to keep a fresh flow of water filling the bowl as your dog drinks, without a giant mess of water sloshing around. This makes placing the Bota in our dog, Donner's travel kennel easy, and clean to do! We recently had it on a long car trip to backpack in the Eastern Sierra. Normally when cut free from the kennel, Donner runs to get a drink. However, this time he was not thirsty, thankfully due to having the Bota in his kennel the entire drive. We also found the Bota's dual purpose useful on a trip to Reno. We were able to do drink and feeding from one bowl!! In the future, we would love to add the Bivy Dog Bowl to Donner's collection for backpacking. We would not recommend the Bota for multi-day trail use, and instead would prefer a simple bowl for weight reasons. Yet, the Bota is a great travel bowl for car, day trips and hikes and hotels.
The only draw back is that while the Bota does have a clip to hang the bowl to dry, it doesn't dry easily inside. It really isn't a big deal as long as you actively make sure to shake it periodically or place it in the hot sun.

Overall, if you do a lot of car travel with your dog, this bowl is a must!



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Charlotte H.

Charlotte H.wrote a review of on July 10, 2014

A Great Looking, Functional Dog Collar
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

First off, I'd like to say thank you to Backcountry.com and Ruffwear for hand-selecting me to review this piece of gear for the benefit of the backcountry.com community.
Our German Shorthair, Donner, has always been a Ruffwear user. Typically we went for the climbing rope collars that the company used to make for the look of them. The only drawback was that the collar was so thin, it made it hard at times to get a decent grip when having to help Donner get onto rocks and so forth. We were excited to the see the Hoopie Collar maintains the "outdoors" look but with an improved, thinner, supple webbing. You can easily grab it and have a solid lock on your dog. Also, Ruffwear has a ID tag clip that virtually eliminates lost tags (the prongs keep it in place) and as a hunting dog, we really like the silicon silencer that buffers the jangle of his collar and tag.

We highly recommend this collar for active dogs! And the designs are very cool, we have the Teton but may need to add the Pacific blue to our quiver.

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Charlotte H.

Charlotte H.wrote a review of on July 2, 2014

We Love This Bag!
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

We got it for our 3 year old and there is plenty of room to grow. I'm thinking this bag will work until he's at least 5-6. We also love the features: attached stuff sack, pillow slot, nice stitching and washable. You can't beat this for a first sleeping bag.

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Charlotte H.

Charlotte H.wrote a review of on July 22, 2009

4 5

If you're close to fitting into a regular size, go to the large -- the regular only fits 5' 5" not 5' 6" as this site states. It says so right on the Mt. Hardwear bag tag, so go figure. Anyhow, if you're a little over 5' 6" you will find this bag to snug and your feet will poke out in the toe box. Otherwise, great lightweight backpacking bag.

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Charlotte H.

Charlotte H.wrote a review of on July 18, 2009

3 5

First off, I typically love Montrail shoes so it was my main choice when looking for a cross-over shoe for trail running and lightweight backpacking (3 days in the Sierras with about 30lbs on the back, plus non back days peak bagging, fly fishing etc.) When the shoes arrived, I wore them around the house for a few hours and found that the plastic buckles at the ankle dig into your skin. I was not overly tightening the shoes either. Additionally the toe box felt a little less roomy than normal for Montrails. The company's size 8 typically fits my feet fine (slightly wide toe box but narrow elsewhere). The shoes would not accept my thicker Smartwools or new Keen trail running socks without feeling too tight! A size 8.5 might. So I left the shoes at home to be returned and got by with my regular trail runners and only a couple of blisters. I do like the cross between backpacking/trail running in a shoe but this model needs more work. In the meantime I'm going to get the Asolo Styngers and stick to more traditional hikers (although lightweight for their beefiness) and cart a pair of trail runners with me for scrambling.

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