Gear Review: Arc'teryx Norvan VT GTX

I'm the kind of person who resists wearing boots whenever possible. I prefer the weight and feel of trailrunners as I cruise up and down the trail. They offer stability, sticky rubber, and the breathability I want when I'm outside. Nevertheless, finding something comfortable for my wide foot has been tricky. Enter the Norvan VT GTX.

Taking in the views from the summit of Black Peak.

Taking in the views from the summit of Black Peak.

Lightweight yet supportive, they have become my go-to for everything from day hikes to summit scrambles! I wore them on the summit of Shuksan, all the way up and down Glacier Peak via the Gerdine Ridge, and even out and about in town!

Pros: 

  • lightweight
  • adjustable lace system for extra support on the downhill
  • super rad colors
  • supportive and comfortable, even for my wide feet

Cons:

  • not available in metallic colors
  • better suited for lighter pack loads
  • mesh side vents are susceptible to tearing in heavy scree

All things considered, this is a great shoe that I will wear until they give out, and then get another pair!

 

Gear Review: Arc'teryx Cerium SV Hoody

Imagine for a second that you're standing on the summit of Prusik Peak, the wind blowing through your sweaty hair as you take in the views. You pull on your Arc'teryx Cerium SV Hoody and next thing you know, you're cocooned in soft, downy warmth as you watch the sun slowly sink over the distant hills with you friends. It's the stuff of dreams and I'm not talking about the sunset!

I have had my Cerium for a year and it has taken me from freezing temps in the Cascades to blustery days in the Swiss alps. It's my go to down piece and I don't go on any big adventures without it. It's lightweight, highly compressible, and works as a standalone piece or a mid layer, depending on temps and conditions.  The hood fits over my helmet and the slightly longer cut hits my hips, with extra length in the back for added warmth. As an added bonus, it's my favorite shade of blue and reminds me of an alpine lake in summer! If you're looking for a new down piece, I highly recommend this one. Pop into Arc'teryx Seattle if you're local or check out their website for all the options, then get after it!

Gear Review - Arc’teryx Theta AR

If you spend any time with me in the outdoors, you’ll quickly learn a few things:

1.       I value quality gear, knowing that it could someday mean the difference between life and death;

2.       I love gear that combines functionality with style, giving me clean lines in vibrant colors; and

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3.       I am very hard on my gear and expect it to stand up to a lot of abuse.

In need of a new shell after tearing through 2 higher end Gore-Tex shells in less than 12 months, I picked up an Arc’teryx Theta AR in Violet Wine from Arc'teryx Seattle. Designed to be an all around jacket, I instantly fell in love with the longer fit of the Theta. At 5’10 with an athletic frame, I often struggle to find something that sits comfortably on my long torso and this jacket nails it. It’s roomy enough that I can fit a Cerium SV and base layer underneath but streamlined enough that it doesn’t add bulk when worn by itself. The color is a fun, bright pop that stands out on the ice and snow—letting my group find me easily if we get split up.

The hood can be cinched down nice and tight and easily accommodates my helmet—a key detail when cruising down the slopes or hanging on a windy crag. With a mix of Gore-Tex Pro in 40 and 80 denier respectively, it’s lightweight at 420 grams but durable enough to take a beating when tossed into my pack with my other gear. I have worn it in driving snow, rain, and sunshine and found it to be incredibly comfortable and watertight.  Extra shout-out to the pit zips which don’t chafe or cause any discomfort when open for venting, even in a tank!

Photo credit: the incredibly talented Mitch Pittman. Check out his  account  for more inspiring shots!

Photo credit: the incredibly talented Mitch Pittman. Check out his account for more inspiring shots!

In sum, it’s an incredible all-around jacket that’s built to last, especially for my fellow long-torsoed ladies. Check out the Arc’teryx website for more info.