Month: September 2013

Triple Aught Design Artemis Hoodie

Triple Aught Design Artemis Hoodie ReviewTriple Aught Design Artemis hoodie at Sanborn-Skyline County Park in Saratoga, CA, paired with Outdoor Research Contour Hoodie and rock face paint.

I’ve had the Triple Aught Design Artemis hoodie since February of this year. Basically the minute I left the Hayes Valley store with it was the minute it became glued to my body (only to be alternated with the boyfriend’s Flux hoodie which he accidentally shrunk so it is now mine, and yes, review to come).

I love this hoodie. Love. It. Love it to pieces (and to pieces I did love it because now it needs to be repaired). It’s great for everything. And I mean it. Every. Single. Thing. I wear it when I’m gallivanting around the city. I wear it to and from work. I wear it while climbing. I wear it while hiking. I wear it when snowboarding. I wear it when I’m kayaking. The Artemis hoodie is basically everything you will ever need in a technical, but casual hoodie.

It’s a great form fitting mid-layer when you need to stay warm. It layers well under every shell and waterproof jacket imaginable. It has thumb holes in case your hands get cold, or if you’re weird like me and you like your sleeves covering your hands. The back is cut slightly longer in the front so people don’t see your butt crack when you bend over.

Also, did I mention it is made of merino wool? And merino wool is pretty much magical. Soaking wet while kayaking in the San Juan Islands? No problem, I’m still toasty because I’ve got my trusty Artemis hoodie on.

The only cons are…

  • The hood. This hood is the least flattering hood ever. It’s got the strangest shape when worn because it’s designed to lay flat against your back when you’re not wearing it. Plus it’s kind of small. It doesn’t fit on your head very well if you have a ponytail on, so you have to keep pulling it back on.
  • The neck, fully zipped. Before it’s “broken in”, when you fully zip up the hoodie, the neck can be very restrictive. It’s bearable, but this might be a not selling point for people who hate being uncomfortable around the jugular. It’s definitely inconvenient until it’s broken in, and even then, it rests in a slightly awkward, kind of annoying way.

Cons aside, would I buy this hoodie again? Hell freakin’ yes. It was worth the $180 (gotta love CA sales tax) I dropped on it and I would so do it all over again. Available via the Triple Aught Design website for $169 in three different colors.

On a side note, TAD, could you please make more stuff for women? Pretty please? I will gladly fork over my paychecks from now through the end of the year. Please and thank you. Love, Paulina.

Outdoor Research Contour Shorts

Outdoor Research Contour Shorts reviewOutdoor Research Contour Shorts reviewTop: Outdoor Research Contour shorts in Aster on top of Half Dome in Yosemite, right before sunrise. Bottom: Outdoor Research Countour shorts in Black at Wilder Ranch State Park in Santa Cruz, CA

I’m generally not a huge fan of shorts made by outdoor brands. They’re always kind of frumpy, all the wrong length, borderline capris. I mean, come on. I’m 5′ tall. Anything cut between mid-thigh and my feet will make me look at a stump. But Paulina! You are doing things outdoors and getting dirty and not showering, why does it matter if you look like a stump or not? It just does.

So cue the Outdoor Research Contour shorts, aka outdoor shorts from the gods, so good I bought two pairs within two weeks of each other:

A Jill-of-all-trades soft shell short, the lightweight, durable Contour™ is a staple for everything from boulder-hopping scree field approaches, to battling up sun-baked granite walls, to skirting icy creeks overflowing with spring runoff. The comfortable, tightly woven fabric blocks alpine wind but still breathes well, and a gusseted crotch facilitates long, dynamic movements. A low-profile waist slides easily under a harness, a zippered thigh pocket holds essential items and the Cordura®/spandex blend fabric shrugs off the wear and tear of the trail.

These are awesome. They’re cut in an extremely flattering way; form-fitting enough to not look like you’re wearing a parachute, yet loose enough for dynamic movements. Oh, and they’re actually shorts that are kind of short, but not too short!

The Contour shorts have two slip pockets for your hands. They will fit an iPhone 4S with a bulky case on. The shorts also have two zipper pockets on both sides, good for carrying your Fitbit.

These are super lightweight, breathable and moisture-wicking. They don’t really hold odors, either. I have a tendency to accidentally on purpose forget a change of clothes on weekend trips. These hold up well to multiple days of use without washing.

My only gripe? There aren’t back pockets. Not that you really need back pockets if you’ve got a backpack or a harness on, but when you’re just wandering around like a normal civilian, sometimes they’re nice to have.

The waist is cut a little high too, but not a deal breaker in my opinion. Personally, I’m kind of a fan since my shirts tend to ride up under my harness, so a little extra protection is nice.

Get these from Moosejaw for $75. You can also find these at the Outdoor Research retail store. If you’re in the Seattle area, I highly recommend stopping by. These guys are super cool and super nice and will entertain your every question and tell you cool stories and maybe even give you a tour of the place which also happens to have a bouldering wall (true story, it happened to me). Also, if you check in on Foursquare, you get 20% off. For Yelpers, it’s 15%.