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Sam L.

Sam L.

Phoenix

Sam L.'s Bio

Hello Backcountry!
I am currently residing in the desert, which brings my passion of climbing to life. I studied geology in college and find myself to be at peace clipping rope on the side of a mountain. I also travel to Europe frequently and can't wait to explore other parts of the world, hoping to climb in as many countries as I can!

Sam L.

Sam L.wrote a review of on August 19, 2019

I Can’t Stop Buying Them
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I have three of the Truckstop beanies because I love them so much. And with the new colors, I’™ll have to buy more.
I have a very round face and finding a beanie that doesn’™t squeeze my head is very difficult. This is the only one I’ve found to not make me look like a 1970’s Fisher Price Little People toy.
I love that it folds up if I want some extra warmth around my ears, but I can wear it unfolded to fit it under my climbing helmet. These are so soft, too, and hold up great in the washer.
I can’™t rant about these enough.

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Sam L.

Sam L.wrote a review of on June 14, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I don’t know how I’ve gone this long without these sandals! They’re so comfortable and versatile. I definitely recommend these if Chacos don’t work for your feet. (I had mine for over a year and they never broke in for me, always hurting my feet and were so heavy.) Teva hit the nail on the head with these. They’re so light in weight and have held up on strenuous approaches to the crag. I can’t believe how sticky they are! And they still show no signs of wear after three months of continuous wearing from around town to sketchy scrambling. I’m definitely getting multiple pairs just to have on hand. I LOVE these!

I’d recommend sizing down if you wear a half size. I’m normally an 8.5-9 depending on the shoe and the 8 fit perfectly!

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Sam L.

Sam L.wrote a review of on May 22, 2019

2 5

Familiarity: I returned this product before using it
Fit: Runs small
Height: 5' 5"
Weight: 140 lbs
Size Purchased: Medium

I’m a medium in all pants. Some are on the smaller side, some are on the looser side, but it has been consistent. These were very hard to get over my tush and when I brought them up to my waist, they squeezed my skin into rolls over them, making my stomach uncomfortable. It’s probably because they were so small on me, but they were also see-through when I bent over.
I can’t say anything on their durability since I returned them right away, but if you’re on the curvier side like myself, I highly recommend sizing up on these.

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Sam L.

Sam L.wrote a review of on May 2, 2019

Nah
1 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 5"
Weight: 140 lbs
Size Purchased: Medium

I initially left a review on these based on the fit and the feel. They’™re very flattering on my body shape and are also very soft. These leggings were so promising. I love The North Face and have quite a bit of clothing from them for climbing. But then I noticed how much of a low-quality these are.

I purchased two pair because I’™ve been eye-balling them for a while, one in the black and the fig. The black color is actually a light gray, so there’s that. Right out of the bag, my gray ones snagged on a cardboard container my meal was in. I thought that was weird. Then one of my cats’ claws got caught as she was walking over my lap. Nothing that doesn’™t happen all the time, but it snagged the string out so far on these. I wore them climbing outside the other day and have little holes all over them now. Thinking this was a defective pair, I switched over to the fig color. Same thing happened in these and I only wore them once in the climbing gym. One of the routes had new holds and now they have a couple of snags in them.

I hoped the price and the name would mean quality for these, but I’ll have to stick to my Target leggings for climbing. These were definitely not worth it and I’m so disappointed I spent so much money on them. Skip these unless you’re planning on staying on the couch.

I’m 140lbs and the medium is very comfortable. I stand by the one star for the amazing fit.

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Sam L.

Sam L.wrote a review of on February 3, 2019

3 5

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

I’ve had this jacket for a year and a half now and I would say it fits like a tight glove. The fit of my jacket is the complete opposite of those saying it’s too big, but I wonder if that’s because of the way my body is proportioned? I have a 34DDD chest with a smaller waist and bigger hips. The medium zips tight around the hips and chest with no room to layer anything but a t-shirt underneath. I squeezed a crew sweatshirt under when I was shivering in Europe and was able to zip it up, but was very constricted. I’ve climbed in this only once (zipped) and there was no stretch to it. If you’re buying this for casual wear or don’t really zip your jackets up, stick with your normal size. I do recommend, however, to size up if you’re looking to climb, be active in it, or are wanting to layer comfortably.
This was a gift, I never buy down/animal. Feathers are always poking out of it, which is always a sad reminder for me.

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Sam L.

Sam L.wrote a review of on February 1, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 5"
Weight: 140 lbs
Size Purchased: Medium

I’m a climber and have all kinds of heavy jackets for the outdoors, I didn’t have anything slick for when I’m out on the town in weather that isn’t freezing. This jacket caught my eye and it’s a staple in my day-to-day wardrobe now. I was expecting more bulk when I noticed the fleece lining went down the inside of the sleeves, but it looks slimming! I wouldn’t wear anything but a tee under this, which is what I think it was made for. It would just be too bulky with anything that’s not a thin layer. I love the cut and I’m able to fold down the collar and it stays down for when I’m not zipped all the way up. Perfect for this chilly weather. I am a 34DDD and the medium zips perfectly, not too tight, not too loose. LOVE this jacket!

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Sam L.

Sam L.wrote a review of on January 24, 2019

5 5

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

I recently wore this on a cooler climbing day and it fit perfectly. It breathes so well, which was awesome for the strenuous approach. I'm a 34DDD and the stretch was perfect enough that it wasn't too tight and is super flattering. I'm having a tough time not wearing this shirt everywhere, everyday. Comfortable, versatile, and bomb for climbing in.

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Sam L.

Sam L.wrote a review of on December 20, 2018

Super Bummed
3 5

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

I am so bummed that this bag isn’t working out.
I bought this in hopes of having something more efficient for multipitch climbs. The reviews looked great, the pocket is such a nice touch, and I’m a huge fan of Black Diamond.
I used this for the very first time when bouldering and to my surprise, the bag doesn’t cinch closed. There was a huge hole where chalk spilled out all over my backseat, no matter how tight I tried to pull the cinch closed. Bummed because the material is nice and BD is always so promising.

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Sam L.

Sam L.wrote a review of on December 10, 2018

Super Durable and Surprisingly Warm!
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 5"
Weight: 140 lbs
Size Purchased: Medium

Had to use this on a multipitch climb in Sedona over the weekend when the high was 57°F with wind. I layered it on top of the REI Active Pursuits quarter-zip top and completely forgot about how cold it was. (I'm in a sweater in temperatures below 70°F.) The climb required a few chimneys and a beautiful offwidth pitch, I was a little worried I would damage the new jacket the first time wearing it. To my pleasant surprise, it still looks brand new! The pockets sitting above my harness are so nice to access while waiting for others to make it up the climb and made accessing my phone for sweet photos super easy. I'm making every excuse to not have to take this jacket off ever again.
The size is spot on as well. I'm a 34DDD and the medium zipped up perfectly.

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Sam L.

Sam L.wrote a review of on December 10, 2018

Go-to Multipitch Pack
5 5

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

This pack rules.
I made the mistake of only bringing my Tempest 30L on my last six-pitch chimney climb and that was the most uncomfortable I had ever been climbing. I usually climb multipitch with a fanny pack or my Patagonia Atom, but now that my climbing partner and I are moving onto much longer and harder climbs, I knew I had to get something climbing specific.
The size of this is perfect. We climbed a three-pitch chimney/off-width climb on Saturday and I forgot I had this pack on. It's super lightweight and the inner loops helped to keep extra draws and carabiners organized and easy to get to. I was able to store essentials needed for climbing, including snacks, two liters of water, a first aid kit, and an extra layer for when it got too cold for me. I clipped my shoes and helmet to the outside, coiled my rope on my back and was off to the races. It also sits high enough for me to access my chalk bag and gear on my harness, which was also a huge problem with climbing with the Tempest. (There was a reason why I had to climb with it, I promise.) It's also super durable. It still looks brand new, even after having to shove half my body into a crack and legbar my way up.
Highly, highly recommend this little bag for long days on the wall. It may even become my regular pack to bring since only essentials are needed.

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Sam L.

Sam L.wrote a review of on December 4, 2018

Almost
2 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: Runs large
Height: 5' 5"
Weight: 140 lbs
Size Purchased: Medium

I tried these pants on in the store before purchasing them and found that the medium fit perfectly. They felt so comfortable, the material is durable, I love the reinforced knees, and the stretch felt good for climbing. I really wanted to love these as I've been eyeballing them for so long, but they just don't cut it for me.
I wore them on an easy climbing trip and noticed they had stretched an excessive amount around the waist just on the approach. I kept having to retie the drawstring to keep them up because they kept sliding down, which was a total pain. Once I got on my climbs, it was just too annoying. I wonder if maybe I have a defective pair? I haven't worn them since, but may give them another shot around the house or around town.
Definitely purchase a size down!

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Sam L.

Sam L.wrote a review of on November 7, 2018

4 5

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

I bought this sweater to wander Europe this past October. It is so warm and so soft, I was SUPER impressed.
I am 140lbs., 5'5", 34DDD and wear a size medium 75% of the time. I purchased a medium knowing it would fit loose, but I didn't realize how loose. The sleeves came over my hands and the boxy fit makes my torso look WAY wide. This made it tough to bunch up under my rain coat. The neck is also wide, which makes wearing a shirt underneath look really silly.
This will be my go-to sweater for around the house once it gets cold. (If it ever gets cold. Hello, global warming!) I would have given it five stars if I had purchased it with the intention of lounging and not layering while traveling. It's way soft, way comfortable, and I'm sure it'll be perfect around the house or paired without a shirt underneath. I may purchase another in a size small to see if the sleeves fit better and isn't AS loose. I really do love this sweater otherwise.

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Sam L.

Sam L.wrote a review of on November 1, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I purchased this backpack specifically for a two week backpacking trip through Europe. Two weeks isn't much, but there were three plane rides and four bus rides involved and I wanted something sturdy, but also small enough that I could lug around super conveniently. I had seen this pack in a North Face store prior and the material felt super strong for the damage I was about to do to it. It's also water-resistant (proof?), which saved my clothing in the rain, also what I wanted it for.
I packed very specifically, but was able to fit the following:
Seven shirts, three leggings, a pair of jeans, base layer (shirt & pants), climbing shoes, flip-flops, three beanies, seven pairs of underwear and seven pairs of socks, three bras, pajamas (shorts & shirt), all toiletries, small bag of all electronics needed, and still had the two pockets on the sides to spare. I was able to strap my rain jacket and puffy to the bottom when it was too hot or dry to wear. (Yes, I'm talkin' 30L, folks!)
My biggest concern before heading out was the drawstring to cinch it closed. It feels flimsy and I was afraid that would break right away. To my happy surprise, it's still holding up strong.
If I could give this pack ten stars, I would. For what I used it for and what I will be using it for, it's solid.
Now that I'm back from Europe, this will be my go-to day pack for the crag when I don't have to bring my rope. Next stop, Red Rock!

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Sam L.

Sam L.wrote a review of on May 2, 2018

5 5

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

L-O-V-E this shirt!
I was worried it may be too hot as I am a resident of Phoenix and climb locally. I wore this for an all-day climb in the sun and absolutely love the ventilation. It's light enough to keep the sun off my skin as a long sleeve and the vents around the armpits were a lifesaver, keeping me from overheating. The open back is a really nice touch as well. I highly recommend this to ladies who don't want the exposure to the sun, but who also want to keep cool.
I am 5'5", 140lbs, 34DDD, usually a medium. With the nature of the loose-fitting, the small fit me perfectly.

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Sam L.

Sam L.wrote a review of on January 11, 2018

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 5"
Weight: 140 lbs
Size Purchased: Medium

These leggings saved me in freezing Joshua Tree over the New Year weekend. I used them to sit by the fire under my joggers and to sleep in and they are amazing. The thermal grid layering the inside is the bomb!
However, I'm taking a star off because I wore them last night for the first time around the house and they stretched after just bending over to fold laundry out of the dryer. They kept sliding down and I had to keep pulling them up, it was a total pain. I'll probably only save them for cold nights by the campfire and to sleep in, while not using them to go about my day around the urban society.
I'd say they fit true to size when I put them on, but they stretch just too much for me.

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Sam L.

Sam L.wrote a review of on January 11, 2018

3 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: Runs large
Height: 5' 5"
Weight: 140 lbs
Size Purchased: M/L

First off, I am a 34DD, sometimes a 34DDD, depending on the bra. I usually wear medium/large in lounge bras just to fit the girls and have a comfortable, fitted band, so I opted for the M/L. Dangit! The cups fit great, but the band is just way too loose. I'm afraid to sneeze for fear it would roll right up. I knew just by looking at it that it wouldn't have any support at all, so I wasn't expecting to do anything more than be lazy in it. I really wish it fit because I absolutely love the back and it's super comfy when I'm not moving. Free People should make this in a S/M size. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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Sam L.

Sam L.wrote a review of on January 11, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I purchased this pack for my first trip outside of the US. I spent two weeks wandering Iceland and Amsterdam and this pack was all I needed. I was able to pack two weeks worth of clothing, including jackets and sweatshirts, climbing shoes, Chacos, toiletries, etc., and I still had enough room for all of the souvenirs I purchased while in these countries, including $50 worth of cheese. (Amsterdam Cheese Museum, you know what's up.)
With everything in my pack, it weighed 40+lbs and I walked around comfortably while still fitting the size requirements of a carry on. I use this for any sort of travel I do now, even if I don't need all 46L. Total go-to backpack that I know will be sufficient in size no matter what. Not to mention how durable Osprey packs are. I can't live without it now.

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Sam L.

Sam L.wrote a review of on January 3, 2018

Durable and Versatile
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

This pack is the ish! For realsies, though. I wanted a pack small enough for the day that could fit all of my climbing gear, including my rope and, with the help of my Gearhead, this pack was love at first sight. I definitely put it through the ringer over this New Year's weekend in Joshua Tree, scrambling over and under boulders to get to where we were going, and it's such a durable pack. Not a single part showing wear and I definitely skid on my butt with it more than a few times.
I packed my first aid kit, two pairs of shoes, chalk bag, harness, slings, carabiners, my 40oz Hydro Flask, snacks, a jacket, and my helmet with more than enough room to spare. Which is beautiful for when I get my quickdraws and when I cross over into trad climbing, I know I can still use this pack.
Small enough for a day hike, big enough for a long day at the crag. LOVE this pack!

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Sam L.

Sam L.wrote a review of on November 28, 2017

3 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: Runs large
Height: 5' 5"
Weight: 140 lbs
Size Purchased: Medium

I have quite a few pieces of clothing from The North Face and all of my tops are medium. (Some a little tighter than others, but medium consistently fits.) I purchased this in a medium and it is super baggy. It is nice and warm and such a cute sweater, but not flattering at all. I like my sweaters to be form-fitting as it makes it easier to layer and this just isn't cutting it. Huge bummer.

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