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Nicole Handel

Nicole Handel

Vermont

Nicole Handel 's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Climbing
Snowshoeing
Snowboarding
Yoga
Biking

Nicole Handel 's Bio

My dog, Bear; fast singletrack; high peaks; camp nights; challenging limits.

Nicole Handel

Nicole Handel wrote a review of on May 6, 2019

A Short That Fits!!!!
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 4"
Weight: 135 lbs
Size Purchased: Small

Okay, so when I got this shorts I had major doubts. Bike shorts are always an issue for me... nothing ever fits and they’re always huge in the waist and tight on my thighs and they NEVER look good. These shorts proved me wrong. They fit me PERFECTLY and were so comfortable to ride in all day. These are me new favorite bike shorts and I don’t say that lightly! I also love the subtle cut detail on the thigh. Well done, Backcountry!

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Nicole Handel

Nicole Handel wrote a review of on May 6, 2019

Comfy & Flattering
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I was skeptical of the material of this riding top because it doesn’t FEEL tech-y like most of my jerseys. However, it handled 6+ hours of sweaty riding REALLY well, and kept me cool and dry and, honestly, looking good 💁🏼‍♀️ It’s way more flattering than I would’ve expected. I’m a big fan.

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Nicole Handel

Nicole Handel wrote a review of on April 16, 2019

5 5

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

I am 5’4” and have very athletic legs. I do Crossfit as well as mountain bike and snowboard so finding bottoms (especially bike shorts) that fit my thick thighs but smaller waist is typically impossible. These shorts not only fit me but are comfortable and allow me a full range of motion (which is rare!). I’m excited to spend this mountain bike season in them.

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Nicole Handel

Nicole Handel wrote a review of on April 16, 2019

Light, Flattering, Effective
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 4"
Weight: 135 lbs
Size Purchased: Small

I really love this jacket as my spring running go-to as well as a summer rainy day essential for mountain biking, hiking, and running. It cuts the edge off of wind but is light and breathable enough to keep me from overheating while active. It’s super comfortable and has really convenient horizontally-oriented pockets that I like for ease of use while running. It’s also cute! :)

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Nicole Handel

Nicole Handel wrote a review of on April 15, 2019

My new favorite crash pad!
5 5

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

I took my new Backcountry x Metolius crash pad out for a spin yesterday in New Hampshire. The hike in to the boulders was about a mile long and this pad was comfy, lightweight, and easy to carry. I love the carpeted corners; some of the areas were a bit muddy and the corners kept my shoes clean and dry. This will be my new go-to pad this summer!

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Nicole Handel

Nicole Handel wrote a review of on April 8, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 4"
Weight: 135 lbs
Size Purchased: Medium

I got the Uinta 3L Stretch Rain Jacket just in time for some spring multisport adventures. A friend of mine and I (plus my pup) mountain biked out to a trailhead with our splitboards on our backs on a particularly “northeast spring”-y day. The roads were VERY muddy and while the temps were warm and sunny, the snow was WET (and maybe I fell into a stream on the downhill, too....). The Uinta was amazing on this adventure. It kept me dry but cool thanks to the armpit vents and super light material; it broke the wind at the summit and kept me chill-free; and it shouldered all of the mud splashes that hit me on the way out on my bike. This will be my go-to running, biking, and spring riding jacket for SURE. (And it’s cute, too...)

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Nicole Handel

Nicole Handel wrote a review of on May 18, 2018

The Watch that Does it All
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I had been eyeing Suunto watches for a while, but didn't want to commit; admittedly, I'd always owned simple, single-function watches (and loved them)...but, the prospect of tracking my heart rate during my Crossfit workouts, or my elevation on outdoor climbs, or my way home on a hike...was very tempting.

So, I got this ^ watch. And seven full days of play later... I'm in love.

I am what some might call "technologically impaired" ; yet, the functions on the Suunto are simple enough that I knew how to use [most of them] within my first day with the watch.

This watch is loaded with features...for example, I didn't know until using my Suunto, that I could pair it with my phone and receive text, call, etc notifications from my watch (useful at work when my phone is not with me).

The Suunto, in two words?: GAME. CHANGER.

I've now used my watch on a mountain bike ride, a day of bouldering outside, a Crossfit workout, a spin class, a circuit training class, and a run...and it has not disappointed. (I've also only charged it once in a full week, and it still has 30% battery power left!)

While this watch is slimmer than expected, I will say that a slightly narrower wristband would be more my style; the watch isn't bulky, but I do think the band is a bit thick.

Otherwise, no complaints whatsoever. This watch would be great for someone looking for a general, all-purpose outdoor/fitness/sport watch. It's super-loaded with features, but isn't intimidating or overwhelming. 5 stars!

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Nicole Handel

Nicole Handel wrote a review of on April 1, 2018

The Dress of my Dream
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 4"
Weight: 135 lbs
Size Purchased: Small

Of all the casual dresses I own, this is by far my favorite.
Ladies: think of everything you look for in an everyday dress; comfy, the perfect length, slight v-neck, lightweight material, POCKETS...let me repeat that: POCKETS.
No woman, ever, in the history of EVER has not responded, when complimented on her dress [with pockets], with "Thanks! It has pockets!" There's a reason for that: pockets on dresses are THE BEST! And this dress has got 'em.

I was nervous getting a size small, because I have a curvy frame and if a dress is too clingy, I usually size up. This dress was relaxed, slightly roomy, and felt REALLY easy to wear. I wore it to work the other day, dressed up with a long cardigan and heeled booties, and then went right from work to meet friends for dinner-- it transitioned really well. I could literally wear this everywhere from a picnic to a party and be comfortable and content. This is my favorite article of clothing that I own from the Backcountry collection, and I would recommend it one hundred times over.

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Nicole Handel

Nicole Handel wrote a review of on April 1, 2018

Lightweight, Flattering, Cute
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 4"
Weight: 135 lbs
Size Purchased: Small

This jacket is the kind of item you'd buy, thinking you'd only use it in the rain, and then be surprised by how often you wear it.
So far this year, Vermont has had about 4 rainy days-- the rest have been too cold. Yet, I've worn this jacket a handful of times more, because of its breathability and wind cover on days when any other jacket seems too heavy or too light.
The waterproofing is good and the hood and sleeves are nice and sturdy, which is nice on such a lightweight jacket.
The fit is unexpectedly flattering and the fun pattern makes this a really good wardrobe piece in general. I'll be curious to see how it holds up in torrential rain!

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Nicole Handel

Nicole Handel wrote a review of on April 1, 2018

Comfy, Cute, True to Size
4 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 4"
Weight: 135 lbs
Size Purchased: Small

While joggers are not typically "my thing", I really like these. When I first got them, I thought that the material seemed a bit too athletic for everyday wear, but I was wrong. I wore these on a few-hour long walk in the woods with my dog, and was pleasantly surprised by how comfy they are. I have an "athletic" build (muscular legs, smaller waist and thicker thighs) so I often have a hard time finding pants that fit-- these were stretchy, fitted but with room to breathe, and a size small fits me well.

I can see myself wearing these both dressed up with nice sandals and a tank top as well as for casual rock climbs. Overall, a great "lifestyle" piece for me.

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Nicole Handel

Nicole Handel wrote a review of on April 1, 2018

The COZIEST Pullover!
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 4"
Weight: 135 lbs
Size Purchased: Small

I' got this sweater just over a week ago, and have worn it on and off for about 7 days...you do the math on that.
It's super cozy, has a relaxed but feminine fit, and can be dressed either up or down. I've worn it with jeans, leggings, over dresses, and at the rock climbing gym. It also has the SOFTEST material on the inside and THUMB HOLES which are a major plus for me.
I've already recommended this sweater to a few friends, and would recommend it to many more. A+, Backcountry.

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Nicole Handel

Nicole Handel wrote a review of on March 14, 2018

Flexy, Floaty & SO MUCH FUN
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I got the Jones Solution mid-winter, when there was very little snow in Vermont. Regardless, I was anxious to try it out. This board is fun and capable on everything from ice to hardpack to FEET of powder.
It's super easy to transition between touring mode and riding mode, and it gives me so much more freedom than my standard snowboard.
I'm now able to shred with my pup at all times, while getting a substantial workout in-- truly EARNING my turns with this bad mamma jamma!

I definitely recommend this board to others, and will be in the market for another Jones board when I'm ready to retire this one someday.

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Nicole Handel

Nicole Handel wrote a review of on November 22, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I got these boots because I wanted to replace my Ahnus-- which I loved-- for something a bit more stiff and tech-y. I had been climbing some sketchy trails, and wanted something better suited for scrambling and ascending tougher stuff.

My first impression of the Zodiaks is that they are more firm and stiff than other boots I've owned-- especially in the toe-- which I loved. I felt very secure in these. The first test that I put them through was an early Autumn jaunt up one of my favorite trails, that features a ton of scrambling up wet rocks that streams pass over. I had tons of grip and felt sturdy the whole time.

To test their comfort, my next experience with the Zodiaks was a 2-day camping trip in the Presidentials. For new boots, they hurt my feet minimally (I wore them two days straight, for over 25 miles, and had only an average amount of discomfort).

Since then, these have been my go-to boots. I cannot rave about them enough. I will be continuing to buy Scarpas from now on as my boot of choice.

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Nicole Handel

Nicole Handel wrote a review of on November 22, 2017

A True All-Elements Shelter
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I received the MSR Remote 3 tent a few weeks ago, and couldn't wait to test it out. I've been winter camping for years, but only ever in a 3-season tent; I was stoked to finally have proper snow, rain, and wind protection with the MSR Remote.

For its first test, I took the MSR to Mt. Washington; while our base camp didn't have more than a dusting of snow, the winds were at 40mph through the night-- this tent didn't budge one bit, and we slept soundly all night long.

Two days later, I took the tent up Mt. Mansfield (VT's highest peak), and set it up near the summit for a mid-morning coffee break. The winds were fast, the snow was heavy, and the temps were LOW-- the Remote made us feel like we were in a lodge or lean-to. We had full protection from the elements, and even warmed up quite a bit while inside of it.

I am blown away (no pun intended!) by the Remote's durability, ease of setup, and resilience.

I would recommend this tent to anybody looking for some SERIOUS 4-season shelter.

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