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Erin Radford

Erin Radford

Northern Idaho

Erin Radford's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Paddling
Snowshoeing
Fly Fishing

Erin Radford's Bio

So excited, MSR Trailshot is ordered. I cannot wait to try this water filter!

Thinking seriously about pulling the trigger on a Klymit Light Water Dinghy when the mountain lakes thaw - there are trout in the middle who must be caught!

I got my Part 107 UAV license so I'm doing a lot of commercial drone work now. Hopefully I'll get some cool product vids from the air posted soon.

I'm an engineering drafter and a commercial helicopter pilot, currently working toward my CFI (helicopter teacher).

Backcountry.com is excellent; there is a wealth of knowledge amassed here, not only about gear but the outdoors in general.

Long live the GOAT!

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Erin Radford

Erin Radfordwrote a review of on December 7, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: Runs small
Height: 5' 0"
Weight: 130 lbs
Size Purchased: Small

I love my down jacket and my Carhartt, but when temps plummet and the northern Idaho weather vacillates from rain to blizzard, to frozen wasteland, I'm glad I have a proper Columbia again.

Comfort: A+
The collar, inside of the hood, and the inside of the hand pockets are SO soft, bunny-soft without all that pesky shedding of fur.
The length is right. This is a jacket, not a parka so I'm not sitting on the coat when I drive. However, my ass isn't hanging out in the cold, cold wind either. Columbia strikes a happy medium here when a lot of other jackets miss the mark.
This is the first time I've had a powder skirt in a jacket without constantly being aware of its presence. Well played Columbia, well played.

Pockets: A+
2 zippered hand pockets
1 outside chest pocket (taped zipper) large enough for iphone SE
1 inside zippered chest pocket, also large enough for phone w/ headphone buttonhole
1 inside drop-in pocket - this one is mesh & has an elastic top, I might not trust my keys in here, it seems suited for a hat or gloves
1 left wrist pocket

The Alpine has 2 slash pockets with ultra-soft lining that does a good job keeping my hands warm even when I forget my gloves. Also, the zippers on the pockets don't bother my wrists when I'm slouching about with my hands in my pockets - excellent.

Zipper: A+
Primary zip is plastic with large teeth so it's quiet, snag-free, & easy to operate.

Thumbhole Thingies: A++
So. Comfortable.
Thin, double layer of stretchy, synthetic material wards off the chill & fits perfectly - even under gloves!
The thumbholes are engineered properly - they don't inhibit taking off or putting on the jacket. I could write poetry here but I'll spare you - that's how good these thumbholes are.

Fit: A+
The fit is quite attractive, the Alpine nips in at the waist and achieves a feminine look that isn't always present in outerwear.

Sizing: B
The Alpine might run a little small. I'm quite short at 5' and the sleeve length is good for me even in Medium.
I wear a small in Basin and Range and Under Armour but I chose a Medium Alpine to accommodate layers. I've worn a hoodie with a down vest under the Alpine and did not find it too snug.


I can't believe I went years without a proper ski jacket, it's so nice to be snugged up in coat that truly suits all winter weather conditions.

(1)

 

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Erin Radford

Erin Radfordwrote a review of on January 28, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I've worn the Huron High Gaiters from Outdoor Research in a variety of snow conditions now and I'm pleased to report that they are a worthy addition to my snowshoeing kit.

The snow was falling in big, wet flakes the last time I went 'shoeing. We were on a groomed trail - boring! So we took off straight up the mountain in waist-deep snow hoping that the next road up wouldn't be groomed.

It was groomed so that was a bummer but even after slogging through very deep, wet snow for 15 minutes, my feet stayed warm and dry. The neoprene toe cover on the Huron Gaiter works really well. I didn't get any snow between the gaiter and my shoes.

For me, the zipper is on the wrong side of the gaiter.

Every time I put on the first gaiter I get it zipped and then realize that I've put it on the wrong foot because the OR logo is on the inside of my leg. Feel free to laugh, I probably deserve it.

Half of the time I don't bother to fix it because the gaiters fit and function the same way regardless.

Seriously though, wouldn't it be easier if the zipper was on the inside? I've been getting into yoga but my leg still doesn't bend that way.

The Hurons are really tough. I've been bombing through some heavy brush and spent some time clearing trees on the property - no snags so far.

Neoprene covers the top of the foot and then transitions to a different material where it hooks under the toe, the toe material must be quite tough. I've been wearing my gaiters on the drive home and even wore them around the office one day when it was cold - that material shows no signs of wear at all.

I couldn't be more pleased. I might try these in hunting season on wet mornings, it sure beats having wet boots all day.

(2)

 

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Erin Radford

Erin Radfordposted an image about on January 18, 2016

Blizzard Buster

Okay, "blizzard" might be overstating a bit but it was pretty nasty outside.

I was concerned when we all met up and everyone else was dressed in snowpants and ski jackets. It was already snowing pretty hard and I was feeling under-dressed.

The Cobblestone wrap and the Cottonwood vest from Basin & Range turned out to be the perfect combo for snowshoeing.

(4)

 

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Erin Radford

Erin Radfordwrote a review of on January 18, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I gave it as a gift but have feedback to share

My buddy has 25" Tubbs Mountaineers, she and I went snowshoeing together this weekend and I wanted to share a few things.

First and foremost, she loves her Tubbs Mountaineers, they are her second pair of snowshoes, her dog, Zora, gnawed the harness off of her previous pair of Tubbs. Why Zora? Why?

In fact, she likes her Tubbs so much that she expressed surprise that everyone else in our group was rocking Atlas brand 'shoes.

We compared ours side by side - my supposedly 27" Atlas Elektra 10's look to be the same length as her 25" Mountaineers. Go figure. We didn't whip out yard sticks to check but you'd think we'd be able to eyeball a 2-inch difference. [Laugh Track] There's a humor goldmine there that I'm not touching with a 27" pole, or 25" as the case may be.

I like the harness setup on the Mountaineers, it looks like it cradles the foot nicely and my pal got into and out of her 'shoes quickly.

She did complain that the heel strap gives her trouble on occasion; sometimes her snowshoes are difficult to escape. Better than the alternative though, no one wants to throw a shoe.

Some in our group had trouble with the uphill sections. I mean, we all huffed and puffed and agreed that we shouldn't have had a beer (or two) before taking off but there was obviously a marked difference in crampon quality too.

The Mountaineers have an ANGRY-looking crampon, it looks really cool and it was obviously effective.

I really don't need to replace my snowshoes, they perform well, they're comfortable, and they're nowhere near worn out. However, if the Kimber dog ever went all tazmanian devil on them, I'd be sorely tempted to go with a pair of 30" Tubbs Mountaineers.

(3)

 

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Erin Radford

Erin Radfordwrote a review of on January 18, 2016

Zip-off snowpants? Hell yes!
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 0"
Weight: 130 lbs
Size Purchased: Size 6

Why did I wear zip-off pants snowshoeing?

Mostly for the good pockets.

Was this poor judgement, almost certainly, but get this:

The Ziwa's did really well in the snow!

I had an old pair of Patagonia Capilene light weight bottoms on under them. I stayed warm and dry despite some very wet, snowy conditions.

You can see I took a knee for the photo op, I didn't come up wet.

I'm sure no one really needed a winter evaluation of these pants but what the hey.

I did want to give a sizing update for all my fellow short-legged folks. I got the "short" size 6's but they were still too long for me. I finally gave in and hemmed them - much better.

So, if you're backpacking in your Ziwa convertibles and decide you wanna bag that snowy peak, go for it! I mean, I'd zip the legs back on but, that's your call.

(2)

 

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Erin Radford

Erin Radfordposted an image about on January 12, 2016

Yes, they're on the wrong foot...

...And it's dark out but it's best I can do for now. I work days and on the weekends it's the playoffs - GO SEAHAWKS!

Check out those beautiful gaiters! Don't they go nicely with my 27" Atlas Elektra 10's?

I chased the Kimber dog for 3/4 of a mile last night - stayed warm and dry.

It was really nice to just pull the OR Hurons over the jeans and shoes I wore to work. I know it's pathetic but sometimes not having to switch outfits is the difference between actually exercising after work and just thinking about it.

I'll keep an eye out for a cute and furry sacrifice to the Snow Gods - then we'll give these beauties a real test!

(4)

 

Erin Radford

Erin Radfordposted an image about on January 12, 2016

OR Huron S over Merrell Moab Mid W's 6

There's quite a lot of neoprene, from the front of the toe and wrapping all the way around the foot.

I'm not sure what goes under the toe, I read one reviewer speculating Hypalon. Whatever it is, it appears to be quite tough.

Despite all the neoprene, these gaiters still feel very light. I haven't thrown them on the scale yet but Outdoor Research claims they average 8.4oz per pair.

(5)

 

Erin Radford

Erin Radfordwrote a review of on January 12, 2016

5 5

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

I like snowshoeing in my Merrell Moab Mids or my Under Armour Speed Freak hunting boots - both of which are uninsulated.

Two weeks ago I was complaining that I get a little cold along the lacing of my shoes/boots. I borrowed some gaiters but they were woefully unequal to the task, they didn't even cover the bits I was whining about!

I ran "toe cover gaiter" through the Goggle and by golly, Outdoor Research makes just what I was after AND it was available on Backcountry.com - I tell you, I must be living right.

These gaiters are badass. Maybe I should have led with that. I've never owned a pair of gaiters, so I'm not the foremost authority but there's no denying the sheer BADASSERY of the Outdoor Research Huron High Gaiters.

I got size Small and they fit my wee size 6 feet and uninsualted boots just perfectly. So long as the footwear wasn't bulky, I reckon they would work up to women's size 7.5 feet.

The OR Hurons keep my feet noticeably warmer and my jeans stayed dry. They're easy to put on, work perfectly, and solved my problem.

I'll have to write an update after further use. The snow we got around Christmas is packed down harder than a rock so I haven't really put them to the test yet. We'll see how they do in powder and wet, heavy snow.

(5)

 

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Erin Radford

Erin Radfordwrote a review of on January 4, 2016

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

It seems true of almost all brands that bindings and crampons get better all the time.

Such is the case with the Atlas Elektra 8's. As I've mentioned, I have a pair of Elektra 10's and the bindings on my 10's are just a little bit easier to use than the Elektra 8's.

Also, the heel crampon leaves something to be desired on the 8 series. There is a V-shaped bit of steel that helps with downhill traction but it isn't nearly as effective as the dedicated heel crampons of newer Atlas snowshoes.

Still, Atlas makes fine snowshoes. Myself and 4 other women I know have been using Atlas snowshoes from the Elektra series for years and we've all been impressed.

(3)

 

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