Nothing like waiting until the last minute, but today was the first chance I had to find and try on a couple of Patagonia boots!
APPLICATION TO TEST THE PATAGONIA
W's VAGABOND WATERPROOF BOOTS
Please accept my application to test Patagonia's W's Vagabond Waterproof Boots. I have read the requirements for being a tester and the reporting requirements and I AGREE to comply. I am familiar with the BGT Survival Guide v.0609, including Chapters 4 & 5 and my Tester Agreement is on file.
I have tried on two different Patagonia brand boots and am comfortable with requesting a women's size 8 if I am selected for this test. If I have a choice of color, my first preference would be the dark brown ones.
Tester Biographical Information
Name: Kathleen Waters
Height: 5 ft 4 in (1.6 m)
Weight: 124 lb (56 kg)
Email address: kathy at bysky dot com or TheMiddleSister at usaring dot com
City, State, Country: White Lake, Michigan/Canon City, Colorado, USA
My husband and I started hiking in 1998 after an eye-opening climb up Hahn's Peak in Colorado.
Hooked, we return to Colorado often and have purchased 40 acres of land with the intent to relocate there in the near future. In Colorado, I anticipate even more opportunities to backpack with acres and acres of BLM land right outside my "backyard" in addition to all the other gorgeous locations which abound in Colorado.
We've also hiked/snowshoed glaciers, rain forests, mountains and deserts in domestic and exotic locations, including Iceland, Costa Rica, Slovenia and Death Valley.
At home in Michigan, we plan for 2-3 hikes of 6-8 mi (10-13 km) weekly and one weekend hike monthly. Weekday hikes take place in Pontiac Lake Recreation Area, a mixture of heavily-wooded moderate hills and flat terrain. Weekend hike locations vary.
My hiking style is comfortable, aiming for lightweight. Current pack averages 25 lb (11 kg) including food and water.
Come the end of August, I will be making a 4+ month trip to Colorado. Yippee! I will be able to do so much more outdoors - metal detecting, geo caching and of course, lots of hiking and backpacking! I have tentative plans to hike almost every weekend, including an attempt to summit my first 14er (A few years ago, I didn't quite make it to the top of Mt. Elbert due to snow.)
Hiking will take place in terrain that will include the alpine forests of Colorado in the Rocky Mountain National Park, the high desert areas in the Cooper Mountain range, and the Sangre de Cristo mountain range including the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve. Elevation will range from 5000' up to 14000' ( 1524 m to 4268 m) and temperatures over summer and fall will vary from 50 F to 95 F (10 C to 35 C). Early winter will be colder I'm sure, down to 30 F (-1 C). I'm sure to experience heat and cold, wind, rain and snow in Rocky Mountain National Park on a Thanksgiving trip.
Proposed Test Plan
I love testing boots! I just finished up the SCARPA Mustang GTX boots' test and it was a lot of fun! (I also previously tested a pair of the La Sportiva Venture boots.) A gal can never have/test enough footwear, IMHO, and that includes boots. So, I'm definitely ready to test these babies out, if I'm lucky enough to be chosen.
Out in Colorado, boots are the footwear of choice anyway and since I will be Colorado for the whole testing period, I will be wearing boots almost all the time. This means I will be vigorously checking out all aspects of the Vagabond boots, including fit, comfort, performance and durability.
Questions that my inquiring mind wants to know the answers to:
Fit - Right out of the box, do the Vagabonds fit my feet per the sizing chart on the Patagonia web site? Does my foot slide right into the boot or do I have to "wiggle" in? Is there enough room in the toe box for my tootsies to breathe without them feeling lost? Does the arch of the boots match up with the arch of my foot? Is the heel snug against my heel without being too tight? Can I comfortably lace up the boots without discomfort over my foot? Can I wear my thickest socks or will I need to use just my lighter pairs?
Comfort - Are there any bumps, lumps or other protrusions in the boots? Is there any irritation to my feet when wearing the boots on the trail? Do any hot spots develop? Is there a stiff or flexible feel to the soles? The uppers? Do my feet stay warm enough? Will my feet sweat? Does the Capilene lining wick away any sweat? Is there enough ankle support? Will my toes bump against the toe box when going downhill? Will my arches get sore from rocky trails, especially with a heavier pack weight? If I need to, can I replace the stock inner sole with a custom one? Will cactus spines prick right through the boots and wedge into my foot?
Performance - How well does the tread hold in various terrain such as sand, gravel, dirt, scree and boulders? How well does the tread deal with mud and slick conditions on the trail? Does the boot flex well enough to handle scrambling up rocks? Will the tread hold on downhill as well as ascent? Will the ankle support protect me from side to side slips? Does the tongue keep out trail debris? Will I be able to ford streams or hike in downpours without having wet feet? How well and long does it take for the boots to dry out when wet?
Durability - What sort of wear will the boots show after four months of near daily use? Will the tread be noticeably worn? Will the toe box be torn to shreds from my not-so-graceful stride? Will the body of the boots rip or tear from contact with tree roots, cactus and sharp rock? Are all the seams and stitching tight, even and straight? Is the sole firmly attached to the boot? Does it stay firmly attached to the boot? How about the shoe laces, will they need to be replaced due to unraveling? What sort of care is needed to keep the boots presentable? I will be experiencing lots of very sticky mud. Will I be able to clean the treads and uppers easily? Will the Capilene liner stay "put"? Will the boots smell?
I will also report any other issues that arise during the testing period.
I am very excited about the BGT group and aim to do my best and a thorough job of testing for all manufacturers. I am detail oriented in my evaluations and prompt with my reports. I currently am not testing any gear, so I will have ample time and energy to evaluate these new boots, if chosen. It would be an honor and a pleasure to test the Patagonia W's Vagabond Waterproof Boots!
Thank you for the opportunity to apply to test the Patagonia W's Vagabond Waterproof Boots!
Other Current Test Applications include: Spiro Sport Foods Spiro Bites
Current Tests include: None
Most Recently Completed Test Series include:
Scarpa Mustang GTX Boots
Outdoor Research Latitude Mitts
All my test and owner's reports can be found at: http://www.backpackgeartest.org/tester_reviews/TheMiddleSister
Current Mentor for: Arnie Peterson (testing his first item) and Ronnie Jo Lewis
Current Test Monitor for: TCK SLOG Series and Darn Tough Vermont Socks
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