Month: May 2014

Hydrapak Wooly Bottle – 25 oz

Hydrapak Wooly Bottle 25 oz. review

When you think Primaloft, do you think of water bottles? No? Well, Hydrapak is here to prove you wrong.

The Hydrapak Wooly is not my first encounter with an insulated bottle; I currently own a Klean Kanteen that’s like a tank. If you are looking for something to keep cold beverages cold and your hot beverages hot without adding a ton of weight, the Wooly is for you.

The Wooly bottle is 25 fl. oz of pure insulated awesomeness with double-walled plastic with Primaloft insulation weighing in at 4.5 oz when dry. It has a High-flow Mammoth™ Valve constructed from soft Thermoplastic Elastomer that allows for easy access to the bottle without needing to pull on the valve with your hands. Additionally the Thermoplastic Elastomer is not a magnet for teeth marks, a downside many of these bottle styles have.

The bottle has a wide mouth (60mm to be exact) and makes it easy to clean. This is top rack dishwasher safe and freezer friendly too! Full bottle dimensions are fairly standard: 10.25″ L x 2.75″ W.

The only real problem I found with the bottle was how difficult it was to get that very last drop. Once you get to the last few sips, it is tough to wrestle the water out without extreme yoga skills and squeezing. It’s much easier to stop what you are doing to unscrew the cap. If you’re really on the go and you’re running low on water, this can hinder your performance.

Lastly, the design on the outside of the bottle could be more aesthetically pleasing, but if you’re going for function over form, this isn’t a deal breaker.

All in all, the Hydrapak Wooly is a good deal if you’re looking for a functional and lightweight bottle that you can haul along for hot summer runs and rides to keep your beverages cold, or for those chilly days where a warm beverage sounds incredibly delightful. Buy through Hydrapak for $11.99.

This was sent to me for review.

Forest of Nisene Marks: Five Finger Falls

Hike: Five Finger Falls
Where: Forest of Nisene Marks
Trailhead: Porter Family Picnic Area
Level: Moderate
Duration: 5 hours
Length: 10.2 miles
Gear: Icebreaker Women’s Tech T Lite T-Shirt, Darn Tough Light Hiker Micro Crew Socks – Women’s, REI Flash 18 Pack, Ahnu Sugarpine Boots, Outdoor Research Contour Shorts, and Black Diamond Ultra Distance Trekking Poles
Cost of Parking: $8

The Forest of Nisene Marks in Aptos, CA is one of those little known gems in the Bay Area. Trails wind through the Santa Cruz Mountains under second-growth redwoods, next to trickling creeks.

I set off to explore Five Finger Falls here after hearing many great things about it. The trail was long and semi-strenuous. I started at the Porter Famil Picnic Area and headed up the Aptos Creek Fire Road for a little over a mile. From there, there was a sign to Aptos Creek Trail out to Five Finger Falls. The hike begins off fairly mellow, but around 4 miles out, it begins to wind up some steep switchbacks.

The falls and Aptos Creek were flowing, but barely! The falls were just a small trickle into a basin of water. It was beautiful, but a little disappointing. This is a hike I will want to do again after torrential downpour to really experience the magnificence of the falls.

Forest of Nisene Marks: Five Finger Falls Forest of Nisene Marks: Five Fingers Falls Forest of Nisene Marks: Five Fingers Falls Forest of Nisene Marks: Five Fingers Falls Forest of Nisene Marks: Five Fingers Falls Forest of Nisene Marks: Five Fingers Falls

Desolation Wilderness: Eagle Falls and Eagle Lake

Hike: Eagle Falls and Eagle Lake
Where: Desolation Wilderness
Trailhead: Eagle Falls
Level: Easy
Duration: 2 hours
Length: 2.5 miles
Gear: Icebreaker Oasis Crewe long-sleeve, Camelbak Aventura Pack, Arcteryx Women’s Alpha SL Hybrid Jacket, Triple Aught Design Artemis Hoodie, REI Sahara Convertible Pants, Black Diamond Ultra Distance Trekking Poles, and Ahnu Sugarpine Waterproof Boot
Cost of Parking: Free off Emerald Bay Road or $3 at the trailhead

A few weeks ago the boyfriend and I hiked up the Bayview trail and peered down onto Eagle Lake. The next day, we decided to hike to Eagle Lake and peer up to where we were standing before.

This is a fairly mellow 2.5 miler out and back hike with views of Upper Eagle Falls, granite walls, and a clear blue Eagle Lake.

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Desolation Wilderness: Pyramid Peak May 2014

Hike: Pyramid Peak via Rocky Canyon
Where: Desolation Wilderness
Trailhead: Highway 50 between Twin Bridges and Strawberry
Level: Strenuous
Duration: 7 hours
Length: 6 miles
Gear: Icebreaker Women’s Everyday LS Crewe, Outdoor Research Women’s Helium Hybrid Jacket, REI Sahara Roll-Up Pants – Women’s, MSR Lightning Ascent Women’s Snowshoes 25″, Black Diamond Raven Pro Ice Axe, Arc’teryx Bird Head Toque Beanie, Outdoor Research Longhouse Gloves, Camelbak Aventura Pack, Sierra Designs Tov Down Jacket (not needed), Black Diamond Ultra Distance Trekking Poles – Pair, and Ahnu Sugarpine Waterproof Boot
Cost of Parking: Free off of Highway 50

The boyfriend and I set off this past weekend to conquer Pyramid Peak again, this time in more wintry conditions. Not really sure what to expect, we equipped ourselves with snowshoes and an ice axe. In a worst case scenario, we’d need them. In a best case scenario, we could practice some mountaineering skills and get a good workout in with the additional weight.

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Beyond Coastal Active Sunscreen SPF 34 and Face Stick SPF 30

Beyond Coastal Active Sunscreen SPF 34 and Face Stick SPF 30 I’m kind of a skincare junkie and am always looking for new products to try out during my skincare routine. Sunscreen is one of those things that I wear religiously every single day.

Beyond Coastal sent me a few of their products to test out. Born out of love for sun and the outdoors, their suncare line is natural and free of harmful chemicals like parabens and more. They are also cruelty free!

Active Sunscreen SPF 34

The Active Sunscreen is a cream-based sunscreen. It contains aloe vera, shea butter, vitamin C and E to help moisturize and protect. I suffer from ridiculously sensitive and dry skin, so any bits of moisture from any source really help keep my skin flake-free all day.

This is non-greasy, and it applies very smoothly. I’ve noticed that many sunscreens don’t play well with other facial products; they don’t rub in, or rubbing action removes previously applied products. This layers over like a dream, making sure you get the sun protection you need.

The only con for the Active Sunscreen is it has a slightly funny smell. I’m not quite sure what it is, but it’s a little odd. The Natural Sunscreen SPF 30 doesn’t have an odor, so it is specific to just this Active Sunscreen.

This is water-resistant for up to 80 minutes. This applies to sweating too! A 1 oz container will run you $5.99, 2.5 oz is $9.99, 4 oz is $14.99, and 16 oz sets you back $44.99.

Active Face Stick SPF 30

If you’re one of those people who don’t like touching greasy things, the Active Face Stick is for you. With a touchless applicator, all you need to do is give the stick a click and swipe where needed. This applies clear so you don’t have to worry about white streaks all over your face.

I found this to be a little too greasy for my liking if I rubbed the stick all over my face. However, that is the trade-off for not needing to fully rub the sunscreen in. The plus side of the thick barrier means your skin is less prone to harm from windy, cold, and icy conditions, and those are conditions you probably wouldn’t want to remove gloves for sunscreen. Another con? If your face is dirty, you’ve managed to successfully contaminate the stick. It’s all about trade offs.

This is water resistant for up to 80 minutes and also contains aloe vera, shea butter, vitamin C and E, as well as coconut oil, beeswax, and yerba mate. The Face Stick retails for $6.99.

All in all, Beyond Coastal is a great line if you’re looking for a responsible company that provides natural, not-harmful sunscreen.

Buy through the Beyond Coastal website here.

This was sent to me for review.