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Maia B.

Maia B.

Planet Earth

Maia B.'s Passions

Climbing
Snowboarding

Maia B.'s Bio

Always looking to take it to the next level.

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Maia B.

Maia B.wrote a review of on June 2, 2019

5 5

I have been using this to connect an 11lb propane tank to a Camp Chef stove. I also have a little grill gas gauge connected on the 11lb propane tank to monitor level and this connector fits right on it. It works great! And, per pound of propane, it literally saves me 90% of the cost vs. the non-recyclable green canisters.

One protip is if you are using this with a camp stove like I am, if you turn off the gas at the stove when you're done cooking, there will be some propane left in the tube. I recommend shutting off the gas at the propane tank first and letting it burn out before shutting off your camp stove burner.

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Maia B.

Maia B.wrote a review of on April 8, 2019

5 5

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

These gloves are awesome for warmer winter activities like hiking, XC skiing, or uphill ski touring. (They would not be warm enough for winter resort skiing, though they're great for spring. They are also too thick to be liner gloves.) They're surprisingly warm and waterproof for how thin they are, and the palms are 100% durable leather-type material. Touchscreen feature works great. Fit is also great and provides excellent dexterity. I'm really blown away at how capable these gloves are. Nice work OR!

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Maia B.

Maia B.wrote a review of on August 30, 2018

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Works great! After breaking a plastic trowel at the beginning of an extended backcountry stay and then proceeding to struggle with the jagged stump for the rest of the trip....metal all the way.
Major downside is it has a tendency to fold on your hand if you are not careful about how you are digging with it. It actually pinched hard enough to cut my hand and drew blood once.

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Maia B.

Maia B.wrote a review of on August 30, 2018

3 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I really like the La Sportiva no-edge shoes, but without a women's-specific no-edge shoe (until now!), I had a terrible time finding a good fit. The Maverink fits me quite well since it's basically just a rubber sock, and they were relatively cheap, so I'm overall pretty pleased. However i don't think this is a shoe with mass appeal.

The Maverink is a squishy, soft, sock-like no-edge slipper. You have tremendous sensitivity and you can kind of glom your toe onto the weirdest looking footholds and then feel that it's successfully glommed. It also kind of trains you to climb more precisely with the point of your toes rather than the front side of your foot. Plus, it's comfortable and not detrimental to wear for long periods of time, like when you are say ARC training. That's really what this shoe is meant for---training.

This shoe does not really help you send: it's floppy, fails to drive power to your toes on the steeps, and doesn't provide any support during technical (sm)edging. (Your foot muscles will have to do this all by themselves.) Regarding heel hooks---it's a slipper, 'nuff said. I bet they do rock on friction slab but I haven't tried it.

Having owned Futuras before these, I also have to say that the no-edge rubber holds up forever in the gym (and these shoes are pretty inexpensive), but it's easy to rip a chunk out of the toe on a sharp nubbin or crystal outdoors and instantly destroy your shoes.

Overall, this is a fun shoe, but I don't think that most casual climbers will have a use for this shoe. I think it most benefits climbers who want a comfortable training shoe to avoid foot pain caused by prolonged wear, but who also want a shoe that helps develop their technique and strength by making things "harder". I believe it was designed for climbing team kids and they now make adult sizes so the big kids can have fun too.

For sizing, I went with roughly my street size and the same size that I found fits in all other La Sportiva shoes; maybe consider also trying .5 size below your street size. Your toes should be all the way to the end of the toebox and maybe just a bit curled in these shoes (you need to eliminate dead space in the toe for the No Edge to work right). I have been wearing them in the gym every session for about 3 months and after break-in they have remained a consistent size/fit.

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Maia B.

Maia B.wrote a review of on August 29, 2018

Don't fix what ain't broke
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

The Mythos has got to be hands-down the most comfortable shoe out there. The lacing system is such that you can really change the volume of the shoe from toe to heel to perfectly match your foot, as long as you've bought the right length. They can be made to fit almost anyone.

And don't let their "trad dad" appearance fool you---these shoes are highly adept at smearing, slabs, cracks, and even technical face climbing. They are a tried-and-true design that over decades has perfected the art of making your feet comfortable and capable and then being forgotten.

I will keep buying these shoes until I die and I hope La Sportiva never changes them.

For me, the right length of shoe was approximately street size (maybe also try .5 size down). Get the length of the sole right so that it matches your foot and you have a nice fit from heel to toe; your toes should be laying flat. You can then adjust the laces to be whatever width you need.

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Maia B.

Maia B.wrote a review of on August 29, 2018

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I have a small volume heel but a wide forefoot, which makes it hard to find a fit. The women's Kataki was a great fit pretty much right out of the box, as you can loosen or tighten the laces to fit the front of your foot as needed. The sock liner (like the Solution) is also very comfortable. It took 1-2 days of climbing to break them in---prior to that they would get painful after prolonged wear; now they don't bug me at all. The S-heel is great and improves the heel's structural rigidity without adding bulk (looking at you, Solutions heel tumor).

I would describe this show as a more aggressive yet still comfortable Katana Lace, softened up a bit for the ladies. It is a strong, precise edging shoe without sacrificing total sensitivity. I consider this shoe ideal for steep and technical sport climbing where standing on small holds is beneficial, but for wildly overhanging routes, routes where toehooks are key, or steep bouldering I would choose a more technical shoe like the Solution, Futura, or even Skwama. Also these are not what you want for slabs or smearing.

Only cons are (1) not really versatile beyond technical sport climbing, and (2) the laces are kind of short especially if you are trying to wrap them around your wide ol' feet.

After much size experimentation I have found that I had the best results when I ordered 39.5, which is approximately my street size (39.5 - 40). This has turned out to be my size across all women's La Sportiva shoes but of course every foot is different!

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Maia B.

Maia B.wrote a review of on February 24, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I have the old (almost identical) version and have been using them for 2+ seasons. I've used them in every snow condition from knee-deep powder to wind scoured ice.
They get the job done and don't break the bank; the Alpinist is a nice all-purpose balance of grip and glide. Nose and tail clips work pretty well and are super quick to deploy. Super nice that it still comes with the pouch as well!

The glue has been holding up decently and I expect to get at least 2 more seasons out of them.

My only criticism is that trimming them is tricky. Make sure you position the nose clip juuuuust right before you trim, the asymmetry makes it harder than trimming skins for skis. If you mess up a little (like I did on my left side one) your skin may tend to form a snow-eating pocket near the nose.

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Maia B.

Maia B.wrote a review of on February 24, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This is the first headlamp I haven't hated. Petzl has kept it simple, and absolutely nailed the key features.

- Like any reputable brand headlamp in this price range, it's bright; comfortable; light; and has the features you need for hiking/camping/climbing/skiing/etc.
- Love the rechargeable Core battery pack, saves me so many AAAs
- But also takes AAAs!
- Low/Med/Bright settings are fast to deploy and good enough; unlike tap-hold-waaaaaaait of my old headlamp
- Has yet to turn itself on in my pack, no need for a lock feature. (My old headlamp would regularly unlock, turn on, and run itself all the way down.)

Can't go wrong with this one!

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Maia B.

Maia B.wrote a review of on February 24, 2018

3 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I've had these poles for 2-ish years and I have mixed feelings. I recently broke one when it got pinned between some rocks under some snow, and I'm sure BD would have replaced it, but I bought the Expedition 3 poles instead.
Pros:
- They do fold up to be really short in length (~6-8in shorter than Expedition 3)
- Flicklock mechanism was solid and fast to deploy
- Adjustable, great for touring

Cons:
- I really didn't like the rubber grips, they would chafe blisters onto my hands on warm gloveless days (Expedition 3 foam grips are better)
- I broke them after 2 seasons---probably not a good choice if you are rough on gear like me
- Z-fold makes the poles short, but they don't clip very securely to the snow basket; tend to kind of be floppy and awkward. Plus "triple thick" pole doesn't fit well into touring pack ice axe or pole holders.

I ended up deciding the Z-fold feature wasn't even something I wanted as a splitboarder, because so often I keep my poles out to cross flat or rolling terrain on the way down. YMMV, but I like the Expedition 3 much better.

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Maia B.

Maia B.wrote a review of on February 27, 2017

3 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I've used this pack for maybe 15 or so days of backcountry touring since I got it in November. I love so many things about it but I'm very frustrated by a few design flaws.

The love:
- Fits well and very comfortable to ski in
- Whistle on sternup strap
- Love the external helmet carry!!!
- Roomy dedicated skins pocket (not sure if it's waterproof)
- Dedicated avy gear pocket
- Diagonal carry, side A-frame carry, and snowboard carry, with really beefy reinforced straps
- Ice axe carry strap
- Love the big velcro grippers for the ski pole carry, fits around my folded Z-poles
- Roomy hip belt pockets can actually fit my snacks
- Hydration bladder and Avalung compatible

The hate:
- Hydration bladder is not stored on the back door flap
- The avy gear pocket takes too much volume from the pack, and yet isn't tall enough to fit BD's own Deploy 7 shovel unless the pack is totally empty. If you have a medium-large shovel, packing around it and then repacking it if you want to use your shovel to dig a snowpit is ridiculous.
- The pack is already breaking after 3 months of use. The helmet High-Carry mode has two tabs sewn onto the panels of the shoulder straps; hooking straps into these tabs wraps a holder over your helmet for the climb. These tabs are about to rip off on my pack. I contacted BD to get it fixed or replaced under warranty, and was told that a fix wasn't feasible and it could not be replaced because they had no more stock in this pack. Very frustrating that one of my favorite features broke almost immediately.

This pack has all the killer features for me. I can live with the avy gear pocket being an awkward size; though it is frustrating, I could just get a smaller shovel. But I'm really disappointed that the helmet high-carry feature is already broken after 3 months, and that there's no recourse for me even under warranty.

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Maia B.

Maia B.wrote a review of on February 9, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I bought these because I liked my BD Virago mittens for their durability and waterproofing; but they are only midweight and I had nothing truly warm for the New England backcountry.

While ski touring in 0F and below temps, when my hands got cold, I just popped these babies over some merino liner gloves and within a few minutes my fingers were back in business, no handwarmers needed. I didn't even have to take them off to transition my splitboard from ski mode to ride mode thanks to the dexerity---good thing too, because 60mph winds are no joke!

As far as I'm concerned these are the king of gloves. Super durable and comfortable; great powder skirt; clips to clip them together as well as loops on the ends to clip onto a biner; completely waterproof; pretty good dexterity; and great warmth.

They do seem to run small. I got them in the same size as my Virago mittens, which are very roomy and accommodate a thick liner glove, but found these gloves felt a whole size smaller. I would consider going up a size if you want to wear thick liners. They will accommodate thin liners (and pack out a little after some use) regardless.

Love these gloves!

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Maia B.

Maia B.wrote a review of on February 6, 2017

Didn't fit my boots
3 5

Familiarity: I returned this product before using it

I replaced the older Karakoram Prime straps with these hoping to use them as "toecap" style straps, but they didn't fit my boots right. The top half of the strap wouldn't contact the top half of my boots. Also, I had to crank the toe ratchet almost all the way down even after I'd adjusted the toe slider to center on the boot's toe.

Strap looked really great, I wish it would have fit!

I have size 8.5 boots in the medium sized Women's Prime.

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Maia B.

Maia B.wrote a review of on February 6, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size

I've put at least 25 days on these pants now, and a few weekends were I lived in them and slept in them.

They're awesome, with all the right features and none of the wrong ones.

Things I love:
- Freedom of movement! The AK series is targeted for touring and I have been splitboard touring in these a bunch. They definitely give you movement range to freely skin.
- Integrated gaiter/cuff to keep snow out of your boots
- Awesome zippered pockets including beacon-sized zippered thigh pockets
- Thigh zips (no mesh) for ventilation
- Goretex is impervious to water and resuscitates after being washed
- Right level of protection without insulation in a thick shell
- Velcro tabs in the waistband to keep it on your hips
- Jacket interface loop on the back waistband
- Belt loops!
- Have been bombproof in durability
- Dark blue color is attractive but not too boring

Love these pants! They have been worth the price to me many times over now.

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Maia B.

Maia B.wrote a review of on February 6, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I've used this bag a few times now and I'm pretty pleased. I have the 35L and it has a nice wide shape that makes it easy to load up. The rolltop has a plastic bar inside to make it easier to fold and clip. I also really appreciate how there's a grip strap on the bottom to hold while you pull contents out of it. The fabric feels and has been durable and waterproof. I have the Glacier color and I really like it.

It also has a daisy chain sewn on the side but I have not used it.

The 35L feels pretty cavernous---I put 3 sleeping bags in it last weekend, no problem!

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Maia B.

Maia B.wrote a review of on February 6, 2017

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I ended up getting these after trying to keep up with some skiers on difficult side-hilling.

At first I was kind of mad because the price seems really high for what you get---a special piece of plastic that fits the back of your binding, another special piece of plastic that goes against the boot, and a string. You also just mount them by slipping the string under the ankle ratchet screw, which seems very kludgey.

However, they do make a *big* difference when it comes to being able to exert force on your edges! When I forget to flip them on and do it mid-hill, I can feel the additional stiffness kick in and start to help me put pressure on my edges. I can keep up with the skiers much better.

As much as I still feel like I paid a lot of money for a string...they do work!

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Maia B.

Maia B.wrote a review of on February 1, 2017

2 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I've only had this bag for a few weeks, I've been using it to transport a down sleeping bag while ski touring.

First of all, I have the 15L, and the shape of this particular dry sack is too long and skinny; my sleeping bag keeps getting stuck before I get it all the way to the bottom. This probably isn't an issue if you are putting smaller items (e.g. jacket) in the bag.

Second, the bag has already ripped. While stuffing it I accidentally grabbed the webbing on the side and one of the bar tacks ripped out.

Not super pleased. I have gone back to my indestructible Sea to Summit rolltop.

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Maia B.

Maia B.wrote a review of on January 10, 2017

Pretty disappointed
1 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size

I got the gloves in gray, which I think is really pretty.

Pros:
- The merino is quite nice, it's soft and pretty warm for its weight.
- Touch fabric is knitted onto the finger*tip*, not just the fingerpad. When it's just the fingerpad, using the on-screen phone keyboard is nearly impossible.

Cons:
- The gloves are really thin. As in, I can see my skin color through the knit.
- No grippy stuff on the palms or anything, so they are slippery on a steering wheel, your phone, etc.
- Durability seems really bad. I've had them for two weeks and already I've got some major pulled threads in the fingertips; the OR logo on one of the gloves is peeling off the back; and when I reached in my pocket to grab my car keys a key actually pierced through a hole in the notch between index and ring finger.

Neutral
- My pair (bought direct from OR) didn't have the little black clip to attach them together. It makes them more stylish but easier to lose I guess.
- Touch capability works well sometimes and not at all other times. I have a glass screen protector on my phone.

My last pair of knitted touch gloves had grippy palms and knitted touch fingertips, lasted nearly 4 years, and I paid $4 for them. Pretty disappointed with these gloves already.

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Maia B.

Maia B.wrote a review of on January 3, 2017

Really like it but feels like the beta
4 5

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

I bought this jacket because I liked the styling in the photos, but couldn't find a lot of info on it online.

Fit: I found the fit true to size, maybe a touch on the small size, but cut with a slim fit. The sleeves are very long and will likely cover the backs of your palms. It falls just below my hips in length. I typically jump between XS and S and found the S on this jacket to be a little slimmer/smaller than most size S.

Pros:
- I'm a huge fan of the styling; the charcoal has light blue accents on the inside
- Waterproof, water is just beading right off it!
- Light fleece lining makes it appropriate for a cool weather shell
- I like the long sleeves and being able to pull them down over my hands; I like the stitching accent at the cuffs as well
- Falls past the hip for better rain protection
- Fleece-lined hand pockets are just large enough to fit your hands or a phone
- Detachable hood; hood is well-sized to keep rain off your face

Cons:
- The zippers on the hand pockets are abrasive
- The hand pockets are also not waterproofed or sealed
- The snap + zipper design is confusing; the snaps work, but they're *very* hard to snap, so I'm just using the zipper
- I wish the sleeves had a slippery lining to facilitate layering this jacket over others
- No interior pockets

Overall I'm really pleased with this jacket, and if OR makes a few ease-of-use modifications but keeps the same styling for the next year, I'd call it a home run.

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Maia B.

Maia B.wrote a review of on January 2, 2017

5 5

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

I picked these up to replace some aging mid-tier Smith goggles and I'm really impressed.

Face foam is super comfortable, notably softer than the Oakley Flight Deck XMs I tried on. Fit is large on my tiny head (55cm circumference) but not large enough to make me look like The Fly. They also felt lighter than the Flight Decks.

Optical clarity is great. Huge peripheral vision on par with Oakley Flight Deck XM and Dragon X2s. I got the Whiteout model with the Burn Reflect lens and I'm pleased with the look as well.

The lens change system is simple and quick if not particularly sophisticated.

Biggest wow factor for me was how impervious these things seemed to fog---I had them on and off my face all day while touring, getting snow on and in them, and every time they went back on my face they remained perfectly clear.

The only criticism I can make is that the burn reflect lens has an internal reflection or glare that bounces back from down around the nose area. It's only noticeable when my goggles ride up and I look right at my feet, though.

I'm very pleased and looking forward to more days on the snow in the Smartefy. I'm thinking about picking up the contrast boosting lens as well...

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