Posts Tagged ‘camping’

A gimmick this stuff isn’t: Columbia Sportswear Omni-Freeze review

Yep, the title of this review says it all.  I have seen some people lament that new technologies such as Columbia Sportswear’s Omni-Freeze and Omni-Freeze Zero are just that, gimmicks.  I am here to tell you that in my honest opinion that is NOT the case.

Ok, so you know I am part of Columbia’s OmniTen from a post last month (Big news and awesome adventures ahead), and yes, they did provide me some sweet gear to check out.  However, I will not simply give something a favorable review because it was sent to me to try out.  I  keep it real, and this stuff is the real deal!

Over the past month, I have worn the Women’s Freeze Degree 1/2 Zip, Women’s Freeze Degree Short Sleeve Top, and Women’s Trail Dryer hat for running, biking, fishing, hiking, field work, camping, and shielding myself from intense sun/heat.  In other words, I have tried my hardest to put this gear through the ringer.

My initial test of my new Columbia Sportswear goodies

My initial test of my new Columbia Sportswear goodies

Before last weekend, I thought it was pretty good gear that kept me safe from the nasty rays of the sun and wicked away my sweat with ease.  Last weekend helped me realize the true beauty of the Columbia Omni-Freeze and Omni-Freeze Zero.

Don't worry, I returned this guy to the refreshing waters

Don’t worry, I returned this guy to the refreshing waters

You see, last weekend Brian and I went camping and fishing for 3+ amazing days, and his daughter came along for part of it.  The majority of the time was spent along the beautiful shores of Bighorn Lake in northern Wyoming…the one problem, no shade (and lots of heat, too)!

Gorgeous but shade was lacking

Gorgeous but shade was lacking

So how did I realize that this new technology was so much more than just a great layer to keep the sun at bay? 

Trying to keep my cool in the heat after some #in30 pushups

Trying to keep my cool in the heat after some #in30 pushups

Well, in the scorching summer heat and sun (yes it was likely not even 90 but felt like I was on the sun’s surface!), and after running out of our sunscreen for the trip (big oops!), I decided to put my long sleeve 1/2 zip top on myself and throw Rainy in my Freeze Degree short sleeve top.  We then took a dip in the water, and it was instant relief and disbelief for me.  I felt unbelievably cool in the water, but once I stepped out of the water (after dunking my Trail Dryer hat in the water), I stayed cool for a couple hours without going back into the water!

Cool as a cucumber and cute as a button!

Cool as a cucumber and cute as a button!

So it may sound crazy but those little blue dots rocked my world!  So much so that I instantly ordered some gear for my dad and began telling everyone who would listen to me about the wonders of Columbia’s newest technology.  People will believe what they wish, but for this outdoors-loving, fun time having woman, this gear is exactly what it claims to be and just what I need to keep the summer heat/sun off my pale skin!

The Awesome: Obviously those little blue dots!  The technology is beyond my scope of understanding, but I do know it works hard to keep you cool.  The fit is athletic and pretty true to size, at least for me.  The color options are bright, so get ready to stand out in a crowd.

The Not So Awesome: Like any new technology (i.e. the newest iPhone or cool new car), the price tag is a bit high.  However, you can always hit up Columbia’s online outlet or one of their many outlet stores nationwide for some great deals.  They also have sweet sales through their regular site, so sign up for their email alerts to get mad deals.

Overall assessmet: If you love having fun outside in the summer but would rather not melt away or get fried the color of a lobster, invest in some of this cooling goodness and get outside!

Get out there and enjoy life!

Get out there and enjoy life!

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Never Suck Again! Geigerrig hydration pack review

As you might know, I was very lucky to be asked to go on an amazing trip to Idaho following the Outdoor Retailer Show at the end of January.  This trip was sponsored by Geigerrig and was amazing, but this post is not about that trip.  I did finally get to meet some amazing fellow bloggers who did sweet write-ups, so I figured why not share those instead of trying to improve upon what is already fantastic 😉  Check out the trip reports from my friends Erika, Heather, and Tim.

This post is, however, about the sweet hydration pack they sent me in the following days.  I was stoked when I came home one day to find the RIG 1210 waiting for me. At first sight, I loved the coloring as I have apparently become a huge fan of this bright lime green color (as can be determined by numerous pictures from this winter!).

Nice end of the day surprise!

Nice end of the day surprise!

I had to do some recon to figure out exactly how to use the hydration system.  I knew that Geigerrig’s motto was “NEVER SUCK AGAIN” but still didn’t know how to force the water out.  Well I soon discovered that it was so easy a child could do it.  No, really!!  My pack has now gotten frequent use by a 4 year-old and a 7 year-old!

After using this pack for several hikes, days fishing at the lake, and a camping trip, I can finally write a full review of the pack.

First hike test was a beauty

First hike test was a beauty

The Awesome: I really think that the best aspect of this pack is its uniqueness in that you literally pump the bladder full of air to propel the water out of the mouthpiece when you bite on it. I have my fair share of hydration packs and this one is a snap for anyone to use, no matter age.  This beautiful 4 year-old loves drinking from it and pumps it up herself 🙂

Easy enough for kids to use

Easy enough for kids to use

The Not so Awesome: I am not sure why but the waist belt sits funny on my waist.  The straps rub my hip bones.  While I was given the advice of simply gaining a few more pounds (NO THANK YOU!!), I have found that I have to constantly readjust the belt so as to avoid irritation on my hips.  I am not sure whether or not a different pack from Geigerrig would sit better on my frame.  Also, I was gifted this pack by the company for review, but this pack runs for well over $100; that is a bit steep for my blood!

Chilly, windy fishing test

Chilly, windy fishing test

Overall assessment: I love the technology engineered by Geigerrig!  I definitely suggest trying one on before spending the high dollar amount on this, or any, pack to ensure it fits you right.

I’m hot…are you hot? Terramar Base Layers Review

You may have noticed a new addition to my blog; I am talking about the groovy little logo just over to the right of this post.  See it right there?  I added that little fella after I received the sweet news that Terramar Sports had selected me (lil’ old me!) to be a part of their grassroots team called the Terramar Tribe!

Yay, too cool for school!

Yay, too cool for school!

While I was still reeling from the shock, I received my first package of goodies from them.  Inside this care package were two sweet base layers and a pair of comfy looking socks (that will be another review!).  Now as excited as I was, I realized I needed to put these items through some good testing before I did any sort of write up on my selection to the team or my new goodies.

Goodies from my first care package :)

Goodies from my first care package 🙂

It is now safe to say that in the past month I have tested them all out…a lot!  I have used the Hottotties Cloud Nine base layer and a base layer similar to this merino wool one for hiking, fishing, winter camping, going out to dinner with friends, and I even wore it will watching the recent National Finals for ski-joring in Red Lodge, MT this weekend 🙂

My new friend...representing the Tribe!

My new friend…representing the Tribe!

The amazingness:

  • Both of the base layers have one of my favorite features of any top, thumb holes!  These bad boys are great when layering up as they keep the base layer from rolling up your arm as you put on a fleece.
  • While doing some hiking on an unseasonable warm day for NW Wyoming in mid-February, I stayed warm but never once felt sweaty.  This is strange because I produce a lot of body heat and normally sweat when I do any physical activity.  Dare I say it, but these puppies have kept me dry (& fresh smelling) with their sweet ec2 Qwik-Dri technology !
  • I’m not into fashion, but I do like clothes that fit well, are versatile, and look good while doing it.  These shirts might be called base layers, but with their neat stitching, they are shirts which can easily transition from the trail to dinner out (at least in my life).
Keeping warm in chilly and windy Wyoming in my Cloud Nine

Keeping warm in chilly and windy Wyoming in my Cloud Nine

What I would change:

  • After just one wash, my beautiful raisin-colored merino wool base layer shrunk just enough so that when I put my thumbs through the thumb holes, it is a bit too snug for comfort.  When I washed my Hottotties Cloud Nine base layer I was much more careful (i.e. I read the washing instructions) and let it air dry; I am happy to report that it didn’t shrink… Ok, so this is likely my own dang fault for not washing it properly, but I couldn’t find anything else wrong with these base layers!

Overall:  These base layers really do rock!  They kept me the perfect temperature, were comfy, and fashionable…well for me at least 😉

Look for future posts and reviews as I get new gear.  Coming up soon will be pictures of these lovely items in Ireland 😉

Where have I been lately???!

I have been a bit MIA on social media and my blog for the past few weeks….want to see why? 😉

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Devil Canyon

I went winter camping and visited Devil Canyon in the beautiful Bighorn National Recreation Area.

Next, I spent a week at fire public information officer training in Badlands National Park near Interior, SD.

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Badlands National Park

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Sunset in Badlands National Park

And just when I thought things would slow down for a week, I had to head to Fort Collins, CO for a conference this week!

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Somewhere over Wyoming or Idaho

I hope to get back on track with a few reviews I have had to put on the back burner…look for them within the next week!!

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One of those I am missing dearly right now!