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Kalen Thorien

Kalen Thorien

The World! Home Base: Salt Lake City

Kalen Thorien's Passions

Fly Fishing

Kalen Thorien's Bio

Professional Skier and Adventurer - Writing and Taking Photos Along the Way

Kalen Thorien

Kalen Thorienwrote a review of on October 21, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

The shoes are great. So comfortable for hours on end. Wore them to a wedding and actually forgot I was even on a wedge. They're super cute dressed up or down and I have wider feet (nothing crazy) and they were just fine. I bought another pair actually :D . I did get a blister on the top of my toe the first time I wore them but now they're fine. Highly recommend.

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Kalen Thorien

Kalen Thorienwrote a review of on August 5, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Ok, this is a product I wish I would've bought years ago. My boyfriend and I were sick of falling into the damn canyon that's between our sleeping pads while we were camping/backpacking. We were hesitant about sharing a pad, worried that every move we made would be felt by the other person, but that wasn't the case. We both slept like babies thanks to how thick this inflates. We could snuggle when we wanted to but there's plenty of room to separate so we can catch some zzz's. It filled the floor of our Big Agnes Tiger Wall 2 man tent perfectly so there's no weird dead space or not enough space. It compresses down substantially and it's just a bit bigger than a nalgene bottle so super easy to pack. It's honestly changed the game for couples camping (I mean hell, I might even bring it solo camping and really live the luxury life!)

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Kalen Thorien

Kalen Thorienwrote a review of on August 5, 2019

THE ONLY PACK FOR ULTRALIGHT!
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

WARNING: IF YOU DO NOT PACK LIGHT, THIS BAG IS NOT FOR YOU!!!

Ok, that being said, let's talk about the best bag on the market... I've used this Hyperlite bag for years. From overnight trips to massive traverses, the 55L is all I need. I've put over a thousands of miles on it and it still looks pretty damn new. No rips, tears, cuts, loose threads...nothing. The kangaroo pockets are excellent for gear you need to access throughout the day. The compartment has plenty of room and even a net inside I use for a camelbak bladder with a small hole to allow the hose to come out and rest on my shoulder strap. As you continue throughout your journey and you have less food or you're only going on a short trip and don't fill the bag, the rolltop feature and compression straps allow this bag to shrink down so your stuff isn't jostling around. Really allows for versatility. To top it off, it's extremely water resistant (almost waterproof) so I never have to use a rain cover or internal drybags for my gear, unless I'm canyoneering.

If you're unsure if you're packing light or not, here's an idea of the gear I'm bringing:

Big Agnes Flume 30 - 1lb 6oz
Big Agnes AXL Air - 10.7oz
Big Agnes Fly Creek HV1 Carbon Tent - 1lb
Jetboil MicroMo - 12oz
Sawyer 16oz Water Filter - 2.5oz
Petzl E-Lite Headlamp - .9oz
SOG Reactor Multi-Tool - 4oz
= 4.25lbs in gear.

Now add lightweight food, gas, minimal clothing, and a small flask of whiskey (because duh, you need that) and we're not talking more than 10-15lbs total, and that's for multi-day. I did the Sierra High Route with roughly that using this pack and it was awesome. Even more hardcore ultralight packers can go lighter by using a tarp (like the one Hyperlite makes) and a foam pad, but I'm pretty damn stoked on how light my setup is and it's also comfortable.

This pack can obviously carry more weight than that, but realize it doesn't have a stiff frame or waist strap (which is why it's so light) so buyer beware if you have big heavy gear.

So if you're wanting to round out your lightweight setup, this is the pack!

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Kalen Thorien

Kalen Thorienwrote a review of on June 12, 2019

Best. Shoe. EVER!
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I LOVE this hiking boot. It does everything, goes everywhere. It's light and flexible enough to be comfortable all day and no annoying break-in period, but rugged and supportive enough for technical terrain and/or when you're carrying a heavy load. It's incredibly durable too. I used mine no a 270 mile off-trail backpacking trip in the Sierra and not even a stitch was out of place when I was done. I was also surprised how much I loved being in a mid-hiker. I usually go with low profile hiking shoes but the extra ankle support and protection was really nice and I honestly forgot it was even a mid because it was so comfortable. I definitely recommend this as a go-to hiking shoe for day hikes, backpacking, and everything in between!

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Kalen Thorien

Kalen Thorienwrote a review of on June 12, 2019

Great Every Day Hiker!
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This boot is great for day hikes and light backpacking/fastpacking. It feels like a sneaker. Lightweight. Flexible. Really nice for moving quickly and confidently through the mountains. I put it through an intense off-trail backpacking trip and it held up great.

If you're looking for a hearty backpacking shoe I'd get the X Ultra from Salomon over this, but if you're looking for a versatile do-it-all shoe, this is your jam!

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Kalen Thorien

Kalen Thorienwrote a review of on November 6, 2018

Only Binding You Need
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This is groundbreaking. The first binding of its kind to be a true pin binding for uphill, and a true alpine binding for down. It's obvious the uphill technology is dialed, but many wonder are they REALLY as good as an alpine binding? I can 100% guarantee they are. I ski these in resort on a daily basis, even without my touring boots. You are locked in and connected with your ski just like any other alpine binding on the marker. I've skied moguls, ice, crud, groomers, hit cliffs, and obviously tons of powder and never had issues. They clean themselves really well when transitioning, but just check for ice buildup if you're having some difficulty. The transfer process is very simple too. Flick of the heel switch, flick of the toe, and you're done. They run middle of the pack in terms of weight. The only time I might not use them is if I'm doing a massive traverse covering a ton of miles, but I wouldn't complain if I had to use these for that too. Just means the skiing will be that much more fun!

So whether you're looking to get into backcountry skiing, or you're a seasoned vet, these bindings are for you.

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Kalen Thorien

Kalen Thorienwrote a review of on December 16, 2017

Best. Ski. Ever
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Wow, Salomon really outdid themselves with this ski. It's perfection. Playful enough to have fun on but stiff enough to charge hard and open them up on big terrain. Obviously they're a breeze in powder, but surprisingly nimble on groomers and bumps for how wide the waist is. I ski this every day, any conditions, and always have a blast.

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Kalen Thorien

Kalen Thorienwrote a review of on December 16, 2017

Perfect Pant
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: Runs small
Height: 5' 7"
Weight: 140 lbs
Size Purchased: Large

Every time I go skiing, this is the pant, no exceptions. Whether it's skiing resort or in the backcountry, it's incredibly versatile, comfortable, and flattering. The fit is loose but not too baggy (definitely size up though!), good venting in the thigh, just enough pockets, lightweight, and keeps you dry. Combine it with the matching Charge jacket and it's the only outfit you'll ever need!

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Kalen Thorien

Kalen Thorienwrote a review of on December 16, 2017

Versatile Charger
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I. LOVE. THIS. SKI! As someone who alway shied away from women's skis, I was so happy to finally find a pair that can ski in any condition, is aggressive enough for high speeds but forgiving enough that you can get lazy on it and not get worked. I've had a pair for three seasons now and they still look and ski like they're brand new. I combined this with the Salomon Explorer boot and MTN Tech binding and it's easily my favorite setup of all time. I'm getting another pair for alpine skiing and combining it with the Salomon QST 110 boot and Warden binding. Perfect quiver!!

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Kalen Thorien

Kalen Thorienwrote a review of on July 19, 2016

Minimalist Perfection
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

If you're looking for a summer bag that compresses down to the size of your nalgene, this is it. My go to bag for spring and fall desert adventures and summer mountain backpacking! They've kept this bag under a pound thanks to cutting away all the bells and whistles. Minimal hood, no draft collars and b.s., and only a 2/3 zipper...so it's not for the faint of heart, but for savvy campers and people who are looking for their go to ultra-light bag. Only in the desert can I sleep in this thing in my skivvies, but in the mountains I recommend coming prepared with thin long johns and a long sleeve shirt - preferably with a hood. Beanie is nice too. When it dips below 40 degrees, this bag will hang on but it's user also has to be dressed appropiately. Otherwise for your standard mountain evenings, this beauty is a piece of art.

So for those who aren't shy of minimalist and aren't looking for fancy over produced bags, this is your baby.

(5)

 

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Kalen Thorien

Kalen Thorienwrote a review of on July 12, 2016

Savvy Campers - This is Your Tent
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I've been reading a lot of the same complaints below about this tent...
Yes, it is small. Yes, there's not a lot of vestibule room. And yes, there might be some condensation. BUT for what you get - under 2lbs, easy setup, packable, free-standing - and you tweak your usual camping habits a bit, then this tent is perfect.

What do I mean by tweak? Well, instead of cramming your backpacks into the vestibule either get a rain cover and stash them under a tree - cover facing up (it'll stay dry, I promise) or get a 2/3 sleeping pad and use your pack to put your feet on for sleeping. Smaller pad means less weight and your pack will stay dry.

The condensation...yes, well you're not going to find a whole lot of tents that won't have condensation on the fly in the morning after a rainstorm. It's just nature. Don't touch or shake the the fly and you'll be fine. Drip or two never hurt anyone...

Two people in this tent is definitely a test in flexibility. Getting in and out is not easy - a side door probably would have been a smarter design, but after a few awkward spin moves, I'm able to get in and out with a partner lying down fairly easily... I've shared this tent with people that are 6ft and under (I'm 5'7

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Kalen Thorien

Kalen Thorienwrote a review of on February 9, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 7"
Weight: 140 lbs
Size Purchased: 4

Absolutely love these pants. Forget about the frumpy, unflattering look of a normal Carhartt, these are sexy, slim fit, badass pants that look amazing and still have the classic rugged durability you'd expect. I wear them everywhere! It's a fairly tight fit but the tapering and mid-hip fit allow for a lot of comfort and they don't inhibit movement in anyway. I get a lot of compliments on these pants and they're especially cute with a rugged boot, rolled up. Loved them so much, I had to buy a second pair!

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Kalen Thorien

Kalen Thorienwrote a review of on August 1, 2015

Simple and Light
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Just used this tent for a week long thru-hike in Idaho and needless to say, it was great. This was my first time using trekking poles and so it made sense to bring a tent of this style. Takes a few minutes longer to setup than their standard tents, but once she's up, it feels so solid. A bit of condensation happened every morning, but nothing major. Even experienced a full on downpour with some snow too, and we stayed dried even though the tent was quite wet. It dried out in about ten minutes once the sunshine hit! I brought a compression sack for the tent and wow, it shrunk down to the size of a football. Makes it so nice for extended trips because it doesn't take up any room in your backpack, and obviously it's extremely light.

Inside it's incredibly roomy and perfect for two people. A bit more spacious than their standard 2-man tents and the vestibule even fit our buddy who joined us for the first night of the trip and was caught in the rain.

Highly recommend!

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Kalen Thorien

Kalen Thorienwrote a review of on June 30, 2015

Does it All
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Holy cow...this thing is awesome.

I take this everywhere! It practically lives in my car, or if I'm flying (especially out of the country) it's TSA approved some comes right with me on my carry on. I'm able to charge my laptop, camera batteries, iphone, battery packs, lights, headlamps, speakers, anything that takes AC, 12V, or USB. It's amazing how much power this little guys holds too. Easily makes it through a week to two week trip and if it's running low, I just bust out my Nomad 20 and charge her right up.

One of the most important items in my gear box. It's a must have.

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Kalen Thorien

Kalen Thorienwrote a review of on June 30, 2015

Go to for Backpacking
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This panel comes with me on every backpacking mission. I use my iPhone for GPS navigation, compass, music, and photos. All that use makes the power go fast, but combining my Nomad 7 panel with a Flip 10 or 20 charger makes for a quick and reliable way to keep my phone charged. Favorite way to run this setup is attaching the panel on the outside of my pack while hiking with the Flip battery charging. By the time I'm done hiking and setting up camp, my battery pack is good to go and ready to charge my phone. Easy as that!

It's able to withstand some light moisture and quite durable, but good to stash it away in a downpour. It's about the size of a National Geographic Magazine making it easy to pack away.

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Kalen Thorien

Kalen Thorienwrote a review of on June 30, 2015

Quick and Easy
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Never miss a shot or moment with the Flip 10 in your pocket. Lightweight, small, and quick to re-charge, this little guy comes with me everywhere. Can charge an iPhone from empty to full and quickly re-charges off a Goal Zero solar panel. My favorite setup is attaching the Nomad 7 panel on the outside of my backpack with the Flip charging off of it. Spend the day backpacking around and by the time I get to camp, I have a battery pack ready to go!

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