Gear and Clothing
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Suggested Retail:2008 version $199.00

Year Released: 2007


Size: small


Color or Scent: Light Blue

Reviewer Info:

trail runner, traveler, never has the perfect “ONE” jacket to take on an active vacation…until now.

At first glance:

I was unsure of the underarm zips of this non-traditional biking jacket. The weight is heavier than my other gore jackets and the slim fit and slightly lower back (bike back) covers more than traditional hiking jackets

Details:

Biking, Trail Running, Travel.  Great for spring/fall temps of 20-50 degrees. 
Update 12/7/08:used it in 4 degree (Fahrenheit) weather in Vermont (10 miles from the Canadian border) with a Patagonia wool underlayer and my core stayed warm though my toes froze!

Through the Ringer:

I’ve used this product for 3 years and LOVE it. the newer model looks like it has some good improvements (zip-off sleeves don’t have the arm extensions on this model).This technical waterproof cycling jacket is loaded with features yet it is lightweight and packable to go with you anywhere. The two-layer GORE Windstopper® fabric makes for a breathable, waterproof, and quiet jacket

What I Liked:

perfect weight, back pocket holds leash, gloves, phone anything you need.

Room for Improvement:

the zip off part I really don’t use as it was/is not easy to zip on and off. The neoprene extensions off the vest portion get caught when putting on and off. Would love if the sleeves were a bit longer and the neck zipped up higher.

Ideal for:

Trail running, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, hiking

Reviewed by Kathy Dragon

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Sunday, August 27, 2006
Year Released: 2005


Size: 4


Color or Scent: tan

Details:

This is not just another convertible skirt…it looks great zipped off and functions for walking tours or warm summer evenings in Tuscany. Zipped into its longer version the details of the offset slit, good length, hidden zipper pocket etc. it works in a restaurant in Florence without looking like I was just in from the trail.

Through the Ringer:

Barely needs an iron (I, personally, don’t iron) and doesn’t pill, which I hate. I bring one on every trip

What I Liked:

lower waistband, seemless zippers, good length both zipped off and in the longer version

Room for Improvement:

I"d like to see a skort or a bit more flared hiking skirt

Ideal for:

Active Travel when you need to go out to dinner but only want to bring one suitcase.

Reviewed by Kathy Dragon

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Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Suggested Retail:Marmot Jacket: $99, Contourwear Pants part of Adventure Travel Pack 35/7: $680 for 7 pieces

Year Released: 2005


Size: 4 Zipoff Pants (Contourwear), Sm. Precip Jacket (Marmot)


Color or Scent: Pants: olive, Jacket: Salmon/Peach

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Reviewer Info:

Zip off pants are historically ugly and nothing you would want to wear off the trail. When traveling on a long hiking trip they are also necessary as weather can change dramatically in an hour and having the flexibility of shorts/pants in one is ideal.

Rain Jacket: I’ve gone through over 30 jackets trying to find the right one that will remain in my pack no matter what the weather (very light) as well as keep me dry in a torrential rain storm.

Details:

Three weeks in Peru.  12 days hiking/trekking Cusco/Sacred Valley/Inca Trail/Machu Picchu followed by 7 day remote trek to the Ausangate region of Peru.

The Contourwear Adventure Pack Is further reviewed in gear trends. 7 pieces that make 35 outfits and fit into a wonderful little carry-on pack.  They are available at selected ORVIS stores as well as additional boutique locations or contact them directly

Marmot PreCip details can be found on the Marmot website.

We had the following weather on our tour:  Intense sun, warm days, rain, wind, snow (5 inches one night!).
I wore both these pieces almost daily.

Through the Ringer:

The zip-offs are made of Schoeller fabric which means rain (or red wine) bead off the pants. They don’t pill or pick. 
The PreCip by Marmot has one awards for years as one of the most economical storm jackets around. Lightweight and breathable weighing in at 11 oz it works as a great layer for most conditions.

What I Liked:

Pants: seamless (almost) zipper so unless you look closely you can’t tell they are zip offs. I loved the ankle long side zips (almost to the knee) for hot weather. The model I tried zips off to rather short shorts.  If prefer fitted this length shorts and without the “leg” you can actually wear them as normal shorts.  They are ideal for women who have either a shorter knee to hip length, shorter legs, or feel comfortable showing off their legs. Contourwear does make a lmodel with a longer zip off short which I term “sweat classy” vs their traditional branding of “sweat sexy”. 

I like the side pockets, loved the fitted waist and side zip rather than front zip.  When wearing a pack belt there was no button or zipper to interfere with the belt.  I RAVE about these pants to everyone I travel with. The women who have tried them on LOVE them and can’t wait to order.

PreCip Jacket: It WORKS!! I’ve used other jackets in Patagonia and the Dolomites recently that are supposed to really be waterproof.  I have found myself too many times wearing a trash bag.  Beyond that, I love the color!! love the pit/side zips, the way the hood fits and the fact that when zipped and wearing the hood the jacket is still comfortable.  Like the velcro over the jacket zips as well.

Generally when I return home from a trip I want to throw away my cloths.  Instead I wash them and put them somewhere so I can’t see them till my next trip.  NOT THESE TWO ITEMS!! I found myself wearing both of them within the week. Honest!

Room for Improvement:

Pants: need a zip pocket like some of their other models as well as hidden zipper passport in leg (like other model).
PreCip: like some of the other Marmot products I have and love, the sleeves are still short on my. I don’t have extremely long arms but smalls seems to be for petite women rather than just small.

Ideal for:

long haul travel, around town, on the trail. These are two perfect pieces for your carry-on. If your luggage is lost, you can get buy for weeks with these two items on most conditions.

View the Gallery Photos!
Reviewed by Kathy Dragon

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Sunday, October 23, 2005
Suggested Retail:$30

Year Released: 2005


Size: they come in three categories: Lite Weight w/Micro Fleece,Techno-Lite Weight, Mid Weight with Fleece


Color or Scent: I tried one of the custom hats

Reviewer Info:

I have a love/hate relationship with hats and hat hair.

At first glance:

I saw these terrific hats at the Outdoor Retailer last year and new I needed to try one.

Details:

I brought the hats on my recent Peru Women’s Trip. Yes, I needed them on the Inca Trail but really, REALLY needed it in Ausangate when we had a white-out and 5” of snow.

Through the Ringer:

Doesn’t scratch, not TOO tight, comfy and WARM.

What I Liked:

the fleece band on the inside, cool designs and great colors. I like the techno-light weight for traveling

Ideal for:

Any outdoor activity

Reviewed by Kathy Dragon

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Saturday, September 10, 2005
Year Released: 2005


Size: 4


Reviewer Info:

I travel about 4 months a year on active cultural trips around the world.  Traditional travel clothing (zip-off pants and skirts, shirt/jackets etc) generally are fine on the trail but you look like a tourist! I’m tired of looking frumpy in Florence, wearing Khaki, and having pants that sag in the butt. I have long legs so almost every pant is short unless they have a Long or Tall option.

Details:

I was introduced to Countourwear at the Outdoor Retailer Show Feb. of 2005 and received a packet of products in time to take on my 5 week/1 suitcase active travel trip in June of 2005.  When I travel I only take my favorite things and those I can wear over and over (and over) again. They have to be versatile enough to hike in all day, go out to nice restaurants at night, and even stand up to occasional night club dancing extension.  It is a tough job, especially in Europe when you want/need to look great (keeping up with the Italians!).  My Contourwear Ensemble had a real test on its hands.

What I Liked:

I LOVE this stuff. I’ll review the items separately later but they are basically functional and fashionable travelwear with great features, design, cut, fabric that a hasn’t been available for the discriminating women traveler before.

Room for Improvement:

Some of the pieces didn’t fit or had some features that weren’t practicle or could be adjusted.
The pants sizes see accurate but the tops run a bit small for all the women that tried them so, choose a larger size for the top and smaller for the bottom.

Ideal for:

Active Travel
Looking great around town, in the city, on the trail when you only can bring one medium size suitcase or carry on.
Around town! these are pieces I don’t put in the “travel pile” of things I don’t want to see again until I hit the road!

Reviewed by Kathy Dragon

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