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Application to test the Icebreaker Women's Tops

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  • Rebecca
    Please review and accept my application for the Icebreaker Skin 200 Long Sleeve Shirt and Bodyfit 260 Tech top. Biographical Info: Name: Rebecca Sowards-Emmerd
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 4, 2006
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      Please review and accept my application for the Icebreaker Skin 200 Long
      Sleeve Shirt and Bodyfit 260 Tech top.

      Biographical Info:

      Name: Rebecca Sowards-Emmerd

      Age: 28

      Gender: F

      Height: 5'5"

      Weight: 125 lb

      Email: rebecca at backpackgeartest.org

      Location: Sunnyvale, CA (on the peninsula between San Francisco and San

      Backpacking Background:

      Most of the time I am a weekend warrior style backpacker, although I like to
      get out on longer trips a few times a year. California has such variety in
      scenery and terrain that I am never lacking in a place to visit, and most
      weekends find me off in the mountains exploring new (to me) trails and
      peaks. I follow lightweight, but not ultralight, backpacking techniques,
      but am known to carry a few luxury items from time to time. In addition to
      traditional backpacking I enjoy snowshoeing, skiing, and snowcamping, as
      well as long dayhikes, geocaching, and peak climbing. These activities are
      enough to keep me busy year-round in the great state of California.

      Field information:

      This is the time of year that offers a wide variety of conditions in the
      state of California and I like to get out to several different locations. I
      get out on a regular basis year-round, usually fitting in one to two weekend
      trips to the mountains per month, along with local dayhiking on the weekends
      where I don't feel like driving all the way to the Sierra.

      Later this month, I will be taking a nine day road trip down to the deserts
      of Southern California for some dayhiking and car camping. We'll work our
      way into Nevada where we plan on more dayhiking, camping, and maybe some
      climbing thrown in for fun. This is a great time of year to visit the
      desert - it is nice and cool (downright freezing at night), and usually
      cloudy so there is no intense sun. Our hikes in the desert are often
      off-trail and I am really rough on my clothes thanks to the plants and
      rocks. We'll also be in rocky desert terrain, working our way through
      canyons and sliding among the sandstone.

      In the month of December, I have to keep a close eye on the weather patterns
      in the mountains - if there is some good snow I like to get out for an
      overnight snowshoe or ski trip at least once before Christmas. Snowy days
      in the Sierra can be cold, stormy, windy, and dangerous (we encountered
      nearly 4 feet of snow on an overnight freak storm last December, a situation
      I hope to never be in again), or delightfully warm and sunny (yes, I've
      snowshoed in shorts!) I also like to take an overnight trip to the Point
      Reyes National Seashore every December, as it is usually nicer there in the
      winter than in the summer, which can be quite foggy.

      After the new year, the next several months are prime snow conditions in the
      Sierra and Southern Cascades. I plan to get out to Tahoe, Yosemite, Lassen
      National Park, and Mount Shasta on regular overnight cross country ski and
      snowshoe trips, as well as day trips in the same areas. I will likely be
      in the snow two weekends each month.

      The alternate weekends will be spent in my local Bay Area, where winter
      conditions are rainy and mild. I usually try to get in an overnight trip in
      one of the local state parks, and do quite a lot of dayhiking in the local
      hills. Although we get more warm and sunny days than the majority of the
      country, most of the winter days are cold (50s and below) with heavy
      overcast and rain. I really enjoy dayhiking in the redwood forests in this
      kind of weather - it's my favorite time of year to be out.

      Test Plan:

      DURABILITY: I'm rough on my outdoor clothes. Reeeeaaallly rough on them. I
      glanced through my arsenal of outdoor clothing and couldn't find anything
      more than a couple of months old that wasn't snagged, stained, ripped, or
      otherwise damaged in some way (though still perfectly usable). In addition
      to hiking and backpacking, I geocache, and this leads to quite a bit of
      bushwhacking, which in turn leads to a lot of this damage. I also hike in
      mountain terrain that is naturally rough on clothing (and all gear). I
      have some tops that have worn thin where pack straps rub against my
      shoulders and hips. The material of the Skin 200 top is lightweight, and I
      wonder how it will hold up to my regular use and abuse, especially the pack
      straps and plants I am likely to encounter on the desert trip. The Bodyfit
      top is thicker material, but I have similar concerns about the durability.

      MATERIAL: I usually wear synthetic base layers, but don't appreciate the
      odor. For the past two winters I have used softshell wool lined pants and
      have been impressed by their comfort, durability, and remarkable ability to
      stay clean and unstinky. I am curious about the performance of these tops
      vs the synthetic tops I am used to, particularly the stink factor!

      WASHING: One of my bad habits is not paying attention to washing
      instructions. I tend to throw everything in the wash and dryer together
      without sorting by washing method. I'll pay attention to the washing
      instructions early, but as the shirts get used they will probably be tossed
      in with everything else. Fortunately the washing instructions match my
      normal washing techniques, so hopefully I won't accidentally hurt the tops.
      Can they survive this lack of care?

      FIT: I like my base layers to fit snug. The website views of these shirts
      show a snug fit on the models. According to the sizing information, I would
      be a size small. Do they fit snug, but not too tight? Are they too baggy
      for my tastes?

      COMFORT: Comfort is obviously the most important thing with outdoor
      clothing. These shirts must be comfortable as a base layer that can be worn
      alone, or layered with other tops and jackets as conditions require. I have
      an Icebreaker top that has the zip like the Bodyfit top, and the stitching
      itches my upper chest, so this is someting I would be specifically concerned

      Legal Mumbo Jumbo:

      I have read the survival guide v.0609 and previous versions approximately
      2,314,935 times since joining BGT and I agree to follow all the requirements
      that are expected of me as a tester.

      Current Tests:

      I am only involved with one test at this time, which has yet to arrive.
      This is the Red Ledge Convert Fleece vest.

      I've been testing with BGT for several years now, and all of my test reports
      and owner reviews can be found here:


      The following two are more recent examples of reports that I have filed:

      Granite Gear Nimbus Latitude Ki Pack (summer 2005)


      Sierra Designs Electra Sleeping Bag (winter 2005-2006)



      Rebecca Sowards-Emmerd


      Assistant Director of Product Reviews

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