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Tricia T

Tricia T

Tricia T

Tricia Twrote a review of on January 18, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

These poles were my favorite piece of gear on my thru-hike. They aren't the lightest poles out there, but at the end of the day they did a fine job. Every month or so I'd have to tighten the locking mechanism as it would gradually come loose and eventually slip, but that can be done in 10 seconds. I fell about 10 times over the course of the summer, but these poles prevented at least 50 other spills. Less than 100 miles from the end of the trail I had a good fall on slippery rocks that bent the lower third of one pole to the point that it wouldn't collapse into itself anymore. Despite the bend, I was able to continue using them to hike with to the end of the trail. It was with a heavy heart that I "retired" these poles when I got home after 2200 miles. Pretty good bang for 80 bucks.

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Tricia T

Tricia Twrote a review of on October 11, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

It was between this silk liner and my hiking poles as my favorite piece of gear on the AT. I love being clean and this keeps your dirty nasty hiker body from stinking up your sleeping bag while also serving as a nice cool sheet on warmer nights when your bag is too much. Even when I was sticky from the sweat of the day I didn't think the silk stuck to me too much.

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Tricia T

Tricia Twrote a review of on October 11, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I used this liner extensively last year from GA to mid VA on the AT. I sleep very cold and was using a 30 degree bag (I absolutely should have been using a warmer one). This liner felt like it saved my life on some of the colder nights (temps in the teens once or tiwce). I loved the warmth it added. Did it add 25 degrees? I think that's hard to quantify, but it definitely was warmer and worth its weight and space. In addition, it allows all the grime from your nasty hiker body to get washed away every so often as opposed to sleeping directly in your bag.

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Tricia T

Tricia Twrote a review of on October 11, 2017

3 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

During my AT thru-hike I used the Katadyn as my sole water filter from Springer Mtn thru the end of the Smokies at Hot Springs. It served its purpose at the beginning but I noticed 2 big drawbacks that led to me replacing it.

1. It was easy to pump and had a good flow rate at first. Unless you are filtering from a fairly deep water source, however, the suction ball will sit on the bottom of the water source and suck in any dirt/debris. The filter does its job and keeps that from ending up in your bottle, but all that dirt/debris builds up. As time goes on it gets extremely hard to pump the handle and is noticeably slower and more of a workout to get your water. I tried cleaning the filter in sinks when I got the chance but never noticed any improvements. At Hot Springs I went to buy a replacement filter and was shocked to see they're $40ish each. I'm sure you could get them slightly cheaper online, but you don't always have that luxury on the trail. I ended up buying a $40 Sawyer filter starter kit that gave me a filter, cleaning syringe, and 2 bags. That one purchase, with regular, free, and effective cleanings (backwashes) lasted me the rest of the AT.

2.. My second complaint about the Katadyn is that you need pooled water to filter. A lot of the sources on the AT, especially as you go north, are running water sources with little to no pooling. The Sawyer, in conjunction with a jerry-rigged water bottle scoop works perfectly in shallow flowing water.

3. (I know I said 2 complaints...I probably wouldn't have replaced it if it was only this complaint) It's relatively heavy and bulky.

So the Katadyn works. And for casual or short trips, it probably works just fine. But if you're counting ounces, cubic inches, dollars (over the long run), or expect to use shallow flowing water sources, it's just not something I'd recommend.

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Tricia T

Tricia Twrote a review of on October 13, 2015

5 5

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

I hate sleeping in mummy bags. I'm a side sleeper and have to be able to pull a leg up to fall asleep. So I was excited when I found this bag, big enough for me to move around in but not horribly bulky when compressed. In fact it squishes down pretty dang small with a compression sack.

I'm 5'4" and bought the petite version. Lying flat on my back with my head in the hood my feet pushed up again the end of the bag which worried me at first. However, the reason I bought this bag is that I never sleep straight out, I'm always curled up in some way which means the length isn't an issue. I use a Thermarest NeoAir Voyager sleeping mat in the bag's sleeve, and while it sticks out the top end almost a foot it works just fine.

There's so much space in this bag I never felt constricted like I do with mummy style bags. All that space, however, does mean that you get drafts every so often. I always sleep cold so I wore capilenes and warm socks and was comfortable in 30 degree nights in the Adirondacks. I'll probably buy a liner for any colder nights but it worked well at its rated temperature.

All in all, I'm very happy with this bag.

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Tricia T

Tricia Twrote a review of on October 2, 2015

5 5

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

I love these boots! I've had them for over a year now and used them for hikes in the Adirondacks during the spring and summer, as well as daily footwear in the winter around town. They are heavy, but worth it for the protection and performance they give back.

The Adirondacks in the spring are wet and muddy, but these boots hold up great. They truly are waterproof. I've tromped through water up to ankle deep and except for the splashes my steps cause getting in over the ankle my feet were totally dry. The traction on the soles holds up on muddy and slippery grounds and any falls I've taken are due to my own lack of balance, not slippage from the boots.

Summer hiking...ehh. I guess the awesome water-proofing makes them a bit hot for summer temperatures. I wear a lighter boot during the summer.

Upstate New York gets cold and is super snowy in the winter. I'm not hardcore enough to go hiking during the winter so I use these boots for walking my dog on reasonably cold (10F and up) snowy days. Anything lower than that and I switch to my heavy-duty winter boots.

Pros: Good support. Good grip on slippery surfaces. Awesomely water-proof. Good for colder weather.

Cons: Pretty heavy. Too hot for summer temps.

**Update** I completed an AT thru-hike last year and used these boots for the first 500 miles until winter was well and truly gone. I love these boots even more now than I did before. They were broken in before I began hiking and I got maybe 3 blisters the whole time I used them. I hiked on sunny days, on cold snowy days, and on miserably wet days. My toes were very cold in the snow but it never melted through and got my feet wet. The only time my feet got wet was when I'd give up and tromp through puddles on the totally rainy days. Near the end when I switched out for lighter summer boots, my feet were decidedly hot, but as I've said before, these aren't summer boots.

After all this time, the boots still have NO wear and tear on them! Seeing other reviews I know these boots aren't for everyone, but for my feet they're just great.

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Tricia T

Tricia Twrote a review of on July 29, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I've used this filter a few times now. It works great for shorter day hikes, but I wouldn't recommend it for more intensive trips.

The time to filter the water is fairly short and the process couldn't be easier, but if you need a lot of water (hot day or for cooking) 16 ounces at a time can become tedious.

I definitely recommended it for shorter hikes where you'll need to refill your bottle only a few times.

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Tricia T

Tricia Twrote a review of on March 3, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Though I've never gotten to use them for skiing as I had intended when I bought them, I've used them on many hikes and dog walks in single digit temps. I love how warm and thin the material is. I can wear them comfortably under a pair of jeans. My only complaint is that the fit is sort of weird, tight thru the lower legs and growing to bagginess at the waist and butt.

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