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Koly Swistak

Koly Swistak

, Gearhead

SLC, UT

Koly Swistak's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Snowboarding
Yoga
Paddling
Climbing
Biking
Snowshoeing
Skiing
Running

Koly Swistak's Bio

Hey, I'm Koly! I love getting outside. I spend my time geeking out about gear and the best places to use it. I'm originally from Michigan and transplanted to Utah where the mountains and valleys are seemingly endless. I love hiking, splitboarding, backpacking, traveling, paddling, camping, and generally anything that gets me outdoors.





As a gearhead, I'm here to be your one on one contact at Backcountry. I'm here to help find the right piece of gear to get going on your next mission... and make sure you get the right size the first time around. Let's get to know each other!






To Connect:

Phone: 801-204-4694

Email: kswistak@backcountry.com



Read my article on backpacking with Fjallraven here: https://www.backcountry.com/explore/the-fjallraven-classic

Koly Swistak

Koly Swistakwrote a review of on May 13, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: Runs large
Height: 5' 6"
Weight: 135 lbs
Size Purchased: 36

I originally tried on the 38 but had to size down to the 36 because the waist was just too big on me. It fit with the velcro but I didn't want to rely on that. For reference, I am typically a size 6. The material is nice and thick. Great for spring mountaineering, hiking in the winter, and hiking when the weather is questionable. I love that there are vents on the upper thigh, great pockets and an adjustable ankle to fit with boots or to cinch when you're wearing approach shoes.

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Koly Swistak

Koly Swistakwrote a review of on May 13, 2019

Great MTB pack
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I'm a newer mountain biker and really loved using this pack for a weekend biking in the Utah desert. The water bladder has a great hook on it around the waist and is easy to use. I liked the velcro outer pocket with internal zipper pockets. Great for snacks, tubes, etc. The zippered compartment held my pump and tools. I kept my houdini jacket in the outer open pockets and phone in the hip pocket. I'd recommend this for hiking or biking!

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Koly Swistak

Koly Swistakwrote a review of on May 13, 2019

Awesome!
5 5

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

I have used POP paddleboards a number of times and really love their gear. This SUP is great for all around adventures. We paddled some fast moving flat water on the Colorado this month and she did brilliantly. The material is super tough so I wasn't worried about pulling up to the beach or getting knocked by trees and branches on our bushwack back from the takeout.

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Koly Swistak

Koly Swistakwrote a review of on May 13, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I am super impressed with this PFD after it's first trip down the river. I SUP and liked how low profile this was especially for crossing over your body with a SUP paddle. Another thing I really like about this PFD is how adjustable it is so if a friend wants to use my gear they can comfortably.

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Koly Swistak

Koly Swistakwrote a review of on May 7, 2019

please bury me in these boots
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This is my SECOND pair of Blundstones and I AM IN LOVE. I have the New Originals and wanted something a bit lower and in a new color to diversify my wardrobe. I typically wear a size 9, own a 9 in the New Originals, and ordered the same in the 550 series. Because this pair is leather lined I did have a break in period with this boot. They rubbed a little on my heel but after about a week of wearing them that hot spot went away.

These boots are my daily work boot in the winter and my go to travel shoe as well. I went on a 2 week overland journey in rural China that involved a bit of hiking, a bit of site-seeing, and a bit of Buddhist spiritual exploration with one pair of shoes - my blundstones. They're perfect for travel because you can hike in them (I wouldn't recommend more than 6 miles of steep hiking), they can be dressed up, and they're easy to get on and off in the airport. Bonus points for not looking like a hiking dork in the middle of a big city too!

I think that this style will fully replace my New Originals for day to day wear because the shorter style is more comfortable on my ankles - especially in summer. The New Originals are still in great shape and I will bust them out on occasion! I think both pairs will last my lifetime.

I have the Rust Brown color and think about treating them with a waterproof leather treatment but haven't brought myself to do it yet. I really like the more matte color they are currently. The treatments definitely gloss, and turn the leather a bit darker. Nothing crazy but enough for me to hold back from it.

I would recommend everyone with feet own at least one pair of these boots, if not four.

A note on sizing:
Boot LENGTH changes in WHOLE SIZES . So if you buy an 8 and it's too short and your toes are buckling, buy a 9!
Boot WIDTH changes in HALF SIZES. So if you buy an 8 and it's squeezing your feet, buy a 8.5 for a wider fit!

All boots from Blundstone are UNISEX except for the heeled boots- Backcountry lists styles under Men's and Women's based on our site Taxonomy. If you can't find your size here, check the men's listings but don't forget to convert from women's to men's US sizing! Please don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions on Blundstones from sizing to styles.

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Koly Swistak

Koly Swistakwrote a review of on May 7, 2019

Super Comfortable
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I am a new paddler and this is probably the nicest PFD I've ever used. I was a little nervous to try a unisex style to fit my feminine shape but the cut of it was perfect. The front pocket section is separate from the rest of the body and adjust able from the band that connects around your body. The shoulders are not adjust able but pretty much everywhere else is and I found the fit perfect. The style is quite low profile so I didn't feel like a balloon while on my paddle board.

Because I'm on a SUP and not a kayak, I really appreciated the front clam shell pocket to hold my beers. It fit two perfectly and I could have an open beer inside the shell partially zipped as a nice beer holder while paddling. If you're not holding beers, I think it would also be nice for fly fishing accessories or smaller pieces of gear or snacks. There are also nice lashes on both shoulders to hold your knife depending on your dominate hand. Additionally there are two pockets on the bottom directly under your armpits that I personally used for my snack trash but are big enough to hold a phone (with waterproof case) or something else more suited for your river adventures.

Bonus points for coming in my favorite color: Turquoise!

If you have questions on sizing or if this is the right PFD for you, feel free to shoot me a line!

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Koly Swistak

Koly Swistakwrote a review of on April 26, 2019

Great Ride!
5 5

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

I'm going to be honest at the start of this review to let you know I have no business on this bike. I've been on 4 mountain bike rides in my life. I feel very lucky to be able to demo AMAZING bikes to learn on.

We rode some nice cross country trails outside of Price, Utah last weekend on this bike and I felt super comfortable and it was so light! I was keeping up (as best of my ability) to our crew and didn't feel at a loss on the short downhill sections of trail compared to my crew's full suspension, long travel bikes. The trails we were on were mostly flat with some short drops and climbs along the way. I definitely was the fastest when we pedaled back on the dirt road being able to lock out the suspension so quickly! I think if I were to be riding mostly this style trail or living in the midwest (where I'm from), this bike would be perfect. I've ridden a Yeti SB5 and Santa Cruz 5010 in the past and can tell the difference in the squish but for the trails I like to ride, this has enough squish to crush it.

I'm 5'6" and rode the size small frame with a dropper post.

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Koly Swistak

Koly Swistakwrote a review of on April 22, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This spring my partner and I completed a 1200 kilometer overland journey from Chengdu to Shangri-La, China. It was a pretty rural area without many western tourist traveling through. We traveled by bus and moved every couple days so we wanted to be able to carry everything hands free on our backs comfortably and have access like a duffel. Top loading packs aren’t the best because they are hard to keep organized when you need something buried at the bottom. That is why we went with Peak Design’s Travel pack.

Peak Design Travel pack is the cream of the crop when it comes to carry on style packs. The straps and hip belt are super comfortable to wear for hours and stow away when not in use. The pack itself has back panel access so you can see everything at once along with having a laptop sleeve with a smaller pocket inside for a tablet or e-reader. It also works great for securing travel documents and flight confirmations! It has a slew of outer pockets: 1 for sunnies, 2 for water bottles, and 2 zipper passport pockets attached to those that can be accessed while wearing the pack. They’re hidden from the front so nobody’s going to steal your stuff! Additionally, all of the zippers to the main compartments are securable to deter theft. You can even lock them together with a cable lock. It’s because of Peak’s bomber organization that I was able to fit all of my clothing and gear for a 2 week trip in one bag – no personal item.

When you look at this pack you’d never guess it hides all of these features. It’s as low profile as a 35 L pack can get. No mesh outer pockets, no straps dangling about. Looking at it on the outside you mostly notice the durable fabric, clean lines, and burly zippers.

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Koly Swistak

Koly Swistakwrote a review of on April 16, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This is an awesome piece of gear for keeping your pup safe. It is NOT AN AVALANCHE BEACON! It is ONLY a transmitter and it transmits on a different frequency than standard beacons pick up.

THIS IS COMPATIBLE ONLY WITH THE PIEPS DSP BEACONS, BLACK DIAMOND GUIDE BT , and PIEPS PRO BT!

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Koly Swistak

Koly Swistakwrote a review of on April 16, 2019

Best all around pack!
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I received this pack 3 months ago and have used it everyday since. I use it mostly for daily commuting to work on bike and via car. The straps are super comfortable and have a great contour. It's a unisex pack and fits well even with a less than flat chest. The straps are super easy to tighten and loosen with the pack on.

When I first got the pack I was unsure if I would like the roll top style but it is honestly so easy to use. I think I prefer it to a fully zippered pack because it's more secure. There is a nice full zip side access to the main compartment as well. This zipper does not give you access to the laptop sleeve which I appreciate for security. The pack also has a nice small, side pocket opposide the zipper to the main compartment. It's super easy to access with one strap off pulling the pack in front of your body. It has a leash for your keys and fits a wallet, passport, envelope, and chapstick nicely. For small do dads that you don't need easy access to there is a small zipper pocket on the top of the main compartment accessed via the roll top.

I typically don't use all of the available space on my daily commute and love how the pack doesn't look floppy or empty. I would recommend this to anyone looking for a new commuter pack that can also be used for hiking or airplane travel. It's definitely comfortable to wear for hours.

PHOTO: This is a photo of our Haglofs rep Daniel rocking the pack on our hike to Lake Blanche outside of Salt Lake City. I don't take many photos commuting to work haha!

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Koly Swistak

Koly Swistakwrote a review of on March 6, 2019

3 5

Familiarity: I returned this product before using it
Fit: Runs small
Height: 5' 6"
Weight: 135 lbs
Size Purchased: Small

I am typically a small in leggings. These leggings didn't know what was coming for them. The size small felt closer to a girl's size 10 than any other small sized legging I've tried on in my life. They didn't even get past my lower thighs! I think I could have been sewn in to them like Sandy O in the last scene of Grease but it's hard to say. The elastic band on the waist seemed to have no stretch. I will not be reordering because although they were soft they aren't very thick and my vanity is getting in the way of me ordering a Large. The smalls were so small I doubt the medium will get past my butt.

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Koly Swistak

Koly Swistakwrote a review of on February 20, 2019

5 5

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

I was impressed in the response in these bindings for how soft they are rated to. I mostly rode all mountain conditions during the day I demo'd them but did a couple cliff jumps and they performed great. The canted footbeds made it super comfortable to ride all day and I liked the ease of use with the "bend over" straps.

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Koly Swistak

Koly Swistakwrote a review of on February 20, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 6"
Weight: 135 lbs
Size Purchased: Small

I am in love with this jacket! I got it during a serious cold snap in Salt Lake and it kept me nice and cozy on dog walks in the morning in below freezing temps. You can just wear a tshirt under the jacket and feel nice and warm. I would recommend this for anyone looking for a middle of winter parka to keep them warm on commutes, snowshoeing in the arctic, or just walking the dog.

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Koly Swistak

Koly Swistakwrote a review of on February 20, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I was hesitant of this bag at first because of the roll top but dang was it great! I used it for a ski trip to Norway and storage in our lodging was tight. It's so nice this thing rolls up and straps to itself while your gear is out and about on your trip. I was able to pack my splitboard, helmet, avy pack, boots, skins, poles, and assorted gear inside of it with no problem. I'd recommend this to anyone looking for a one man snowboard bag. I think it would be a little tight with two people's gear and snowboards with bindings on.

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Koly Swistak

Koly Swistakwrote a review of on February 20, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I think for the right person, this is the perfect tote. I loved the dual size access for camera equipment or other odds and ends. I used this for commuting for a couple weeks and a road trip and liked it much more during the road trip as my "car bag". I had a couple book, sony a6000, 50mm lens, wallet, cords, and paperwork in it and it was great. A bit snug on my small laptop. I would recommend this more for a tablet user as you can't really close the bag with any normal sized laptop inside of it. Great quality overall and I liked the option to wear it as a tote or as a backpack.

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