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Janet P.

Janet P.

Janet P.

Janet P.wrote a review of on October 30, 2018

Good pack for   <br/> Short people only
4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Backcountry sent me this pack and asked me to review it. This is a beautifully made, full featured pack, with several clever touches, and its price is low for the value. However, it did not fit me (I’m 5’6”, 125 lbs, 18” torso length), and it barely fit a friend who is 4” shorter. The problem is that if I position the hip belt across my hip bone, as is needed for maximum comfort and efficiency, the shoulder straps need to be loosened significantly, resulting in a pack that sits low on my back and with load-stabilizer straps that tilt uphill, instead of being level or sloping down. It fit my friend a bit better (see photo), but the stabilizers were still almost useless. The reality is that when the pack bag is small, the distance between the belt and the top of the shoulder straps will be correspondingly short. In sum, belt, shoulder straps and stabilizers will work as intended only when the wearer’s torso length is also short. Taller folks should look for day packs without a hip belt.
So, if you’re a short woman, is this the pack for you? Kudos for nice touches such as fabric “keepers” for compression straps, attachment points for ice axe/trekking poles, daisy chains on either side and more attachment points for a jacket or even a rolled sleeping pad, stiff spreaders in the zipper pulls that make it a cinch to find and pull the zipper, zippered compartments on each side of the hip belt (no phone, but lip balm and a bar will fit), and a key/wallet/phone compartment that’s accessible from the top outside, yet keeps your goodies safe inside the pack. One major ding: the port for your hydration hose is a small, vertical slit that will not accommodate either end of an MSR hose (old-style Camelbak hoses will work, as they have a straight 180 degree coupling at the bag end).

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Janet P.

Janet P.wrote a review of on May 15, 2018

2 5

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

I'm a big fan of MSR products, and have used the Hubba tents for years. They are brilliant, simple, sturdy. The Freelight looked like a lighter version...but not really, and not worth the weight-savings anyway. It seemed that the designers took every little Hubba feature, tweaked it, and made it worse. Like, no way to secure the fly (it drops in the dirt); no grommets on the ground cloth; two hands needed to open the door zippers; not really free-standing. I exchanged it for the 3-person Hubba (thank you Backcountry for understanding!) and although that tent is a bit more expensive, it's well worth it.

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Janet P.

Janet P.wrote a review of on October 27, 2017

2 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

This coffee smells freshly ground as soon as you open the bag, and it tastes great. But the system for hanging the bag off the cup rim, though ingenious, causes a problem: The bag with the grounds hangs into the cup, rather than being above the cup, as would be the case with a normal pour-over filter holder. The result is that once the liquid coffee reaches the bottom of the filter, the filtering process stops. If you continue to add water to the bag, grounds spill out. Then, when it's time to remove the filter and wings, you'll need a place to put it so that it can continue to drip. In a tent or other cramped spot, that's a hassle. One more thing: the slowness of the whole process means that by the time you're done filtering/pouring, your coffee is cold. I think I'll keep with Alpine Start, which is a very good instant; not as tasty as this one, but more practical in the field.

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Janet P.

Janet P.wrote a review of on October 10, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 6"
Weight: 125 lbs
Size Purchased: 9

I'm a long-distance thru-hiker who has tried many boots over the years. Zamberlans are the best. I have a narrow heel, and these don't slip. The boot has a generous toe box, so no rubbing when your feet get hot (and expand). The boot is waterproof, but be sure to follow the care instructions -- yes, you really should wash them and re-treat them with Zamberlan's boot product. Think twice before resoling them: Even Dave the Cobbler in Seattle, who does the best job, uses a heavy sole replacement, not at all like the original. Plus, it's half the cost of a new pair. If you're careful, these should last several years.

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Janet P.

Janet P.wrote a review of on May 16, 2012

5 5

Okay, guys, maybe this isn't what you wanted to hear about this shirt, but the fact is, I'm a gal and I bought it and I love it. Ladies, here's the deal: Icebreaker has been making their women's shirts very stylish lately, with tight shoulders, short, capped sleeves, and tight fitting. That's fine and dandy for street wear, but if you want something serious for backpacking, you need a looser fit, longer short sleeves that will give you some decent sun protection, and shoulders that won't bunch underneath and will be comfortable under a pack. Years ago, IB made their womens' shirts with these features in mind, but no more. So I bought the men's size small, and it works great. The shirt has a deep front zipper for good ventilation, and the collar will lie flat if you open the zipper a little bit. There's a cool little pocket on the right seam, at the bottom, into which you could slip a key or bandana, and it doesn't interfere with a pack. The shirt has pointelle fabric (tiny holes) in areas of heat, which is very clever. I've used the shirt on two long backpacking trips, and it's wonderful--no smell, comfortable when wet/sweaty, but dries quickly. True, it's a bit manish in color and styling, but no one has called me "Sir" yet.

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