Stio Pinedale Pants Review

Pinedale Pants Review

I can’t believe it is already the week of Thanksgiving! If you haven’t started your holiday shopping, I have a great clothing suggestion for the awesome woman in your life who likes to stay active.

I have been wearing the Pinedale Pants by Stio for the last few weeks and I am loving them. I even threw in some Ninja Warrior practice, yoga poses and tree climbing this weekend to show how easily you can move in them.


I learned about Stio clothing after our road trip this summer. The brand is based out of Jackson Hole, Wyoming and they offer great clothing and shoes for women, men and children.

When I do a product review, I love to lay out the basics along with my pros and cons, so here is what you need to know.

Pinedale Pants Key Features:

-Fabric: Nylon, Polyester and Spandex Blend
-Hand and Thigh Pockets With Zippered Closure
-Style: Trim Fit
-Weight: 11 oz
-Color: Magnet
-Price: $149


-Soft, comfortable fabric with a great allowance for range of motion
-Lightweight, which is extremely important when you are backpacking
-Versatile style makes it easy to wear out and about with a long sweater or rock climbing; these pants can take you anywhere
-True to size


-A little long if you aren’t wearing tall boots (I’m 5′ 4″); I just roll them up
-A tad on the pricier side, but similar to other outdoor brands


So, I’m creating a new category for this last note since it could be a con for some, but a pro for another person. When I wear the Pinedale Pants, they fit and look like yoga pants in the back. I’m comfortable wearing them outside camping and hiking since I need pants that have a great range of motion. For me personally though, if I want to wear them out and about in public, I am going to wear a long sweater or long coat. The spandex in the pants makes it a great outdoor adventuring option though, which is why I fill like it should outweigh the yoga fit con for those who may not like the spandex.


If you are looking to grab a pair of the Pinedale Pants, make sure to sign up for Stio emails and get 10% off your first order. Plus, Stio is offering free shipping and free returns during the holidays.

The Pinedale Pants were provided for this review, but all opinions are my own.

National Geographic Appalachian Trail Maps Review

I hope everyone is having a great Mother’s Day so far! Before leaving for the Appalachian Trail, I was contacted by TLC Book Tours to do a review on the new collection of Appalachian Trail maps created by National Geographic.

I have used the first map in the collection, Springer to Davenport Gap, along with my AWOL Guidebook during our first month on trail.

During the first two weeks of our hike, I regularly checked the National Geographic map at night to see what was ahead and to compare it with the AWOL guide. As time went on, it became my extra resource if needed to compare with my guidebook or in an emergency situation.

 I believe that they would serve day hikers and section hikers best, but also be excellent to carry on a thru-hike for emergency purposes. 

I say that day hikers and section hikers would benefit from the maps the most because each map is divided into sections of the Appalachian Trail, which gives a big picture of the area and provides other trail information.

If you were a day hiker trying to create a loop hike, the maps allow you see what’s in the area. You can also see where county lines are, topographical lines and shelter information. 

As a thru hiker, a guide book like the AWOL Guide or Guthooks is extremely important, but it’s also great to supplement with a map, which is why I love the National Geographic maps. It doesn’t have as many bells and whistles as a guide book, but it gives big picture coverage of the area you are looking at. 

Some ultralight hikers may disagree with carrying maps, but I like knowing I have another resource in my backpack in the case of  an emergency. A side trail or road crossing near the Appalachian Trail could be the means of getting out of bad situation quickly.

The only con I have with the maps is the lack of listed water sources. Every shelter listed at the front of each map lists whether it has water or not, but there are no other sources listed. You can tell where rivers and streams cross the trail, but it is easier to go by a guide book for water source information.

The takeaway:

1. Each map represents a section of the trail, which makes them lightweight and easy to carry.

2. They provide area information, including other trails, mountains and rivers in the vicinity of the Appalachian Trail.

3. These maps are handy for thru-hikers to use in addition to a guidebook for a larger view of the area and in the event technology fails.

These maps were provided for this review, but all opinions are my own.

LUNA Sandals Review

lunasandalsA little while back, we shared that we had purchased the Leadville Gordo LUNA Sandals to try out and review. We’ve had the chance to test them for a few months on hikes, runs and as an everyday shoe.

Wearing the Leadville Gordo sandals when hiking has been a dream! Have you ever walked through a river that is supposed to be a trail and had soggy feet for the next few days? Not with LUNAs!

In a matter of minutes your feet will be dry again and the sandals not long after. The only places that will hold water is in the laces, but, hey, I would rather deal with wet laces then a waterlogged shoe.

Now, you may be thinking, what about when it’s 30 and 40 degrees out AND IT’S RAINING? For us, we have hiked without any type of insulation down to around 40 degrees and lots of rain and mud without a problem. I’m a cold natured person and my feet never felt cold while hiking.

For days when it’s really, really cold, LUNA Sandals offers a bootie called the Tabu that works with any LUNA Sandal model. The Tabu bootie will help keep water and other debris off your feet while hiking and running.

If you are looking for something warm, but not necessarily concerned about keeping water off your feet, enter Injinji Nu-Wool toe socks. It’s like wearing a glove for your foot, plus you can wear these around camp after a hike.

So, this is definitely a different approach for the average hiker looking for shoes to take on a hike or even a thru-hike, but they have performed wonderfully and now we couldn’t imagine wearing a heavy boot up a mountain.

LUNA Sandals Pros & Cons


Lightweight: All you gram counters out there rejoice! 13.1 oz for size 11 (both sandals)
Performs great in rain and mud
Easy to put on and take off
Comes with added “tech straps” for a secure fit. Just out for a walk? Detach and leave at home for later.
Comfortable: With a 15mm Vibram sole, you’ve got a pretty sweet ride.
Happy Feet: Your toes will thank you for all the air flow and movement.
Customizable: Don’t see your size, or your in-between sizes, send LUNA Sandals an email. They will take care of you!
Price: Non-customized models range from $80 to $125
Awesome customer service: I always received a quick email reply and they made me a new pair when I realized I had ordered the wrong size. Easy to get my refund and return.
Supporting a small business is AWESOME! Learn more about LUNAs in our previous post.


-The only con, which really isn’t a con, is it can take a little while to get the laces to feel just right. Knowing this, just take some time to practice with the laces and walk around with them on and adjust as you feel necessary. I also noticed that I always end up tightening more than I would think after few minutes of hiking, but after that, I’m good to go.

Jake and I can’t wait to wear these on our upcoming Appalachian Trail thru-hike! Stay tuned on social media for photos of them in action.

Disclosure: The author owns this product and was purchased using their own funds.

Gregory J53 Backpack Review

gregory j 53
If you are in the market for a women’s specific backpack, then you may want to take a look at the Gregory J53!

I purchased this pack a few weeks ago in Twilight Blue and recently took it on my 2-day backpacking trip in Virginia. The pack is specifically designed for a woman’s frame and can be purchased in small, medium and large frame sizes.

My favorite part about the pack is the CrossFlo Suspension system. This allows the frame of the pack to sit off of your back while allowing air to flow freely between you and the pack. This is a great addition, especially during the summer months!

Another great feature about this pack is that a size small weighs only 3 lbs! This pack is designed to save on weight without sacrificing comfort and functionality.

  • Lightweight
  • Under $160
  • Adequate storage
  • Floating and removable lid
  • U-Shaped front zipper access
  • 2 front hipbelt pockets
  • Ventilation between frame and back
  • Moves with you allowing  for good range of motion
  • Only one thing – water bottle pockets are hard to reach

I really enjoyed using this pack and I am excited to continue using it on other backpacking trips. This pack has a weight limit of just under 40 lbs, which makes this a great pack for 1 to 2 night trips or longer trips if your focus is on cutting weight and volume.

Check out my video below to learn more!

Disclosure: I am not endorsed by Gregory, and I purchased the pack with my own funds.