Friday, February 26, 2010

Tomgirl Reviews: Giro G9 ski helmet

Any gear I purchase for outdoor adventures needs to follow a specific set of criteria - function, comfort and style. So, I’m thrilled that the helmet I chose to buy this year – Giro G9 - met all three criteria.

Giro bike helmets have been around since I can remember, and both my son and I wore them religiously as he was growing up and our biking went off road. I loved them – functional and safe (they meet both U.S. and European safety standards), easy to use, light-weight (13.5 oz) and so comfortable.

It only made sense when we started skiing to look for a Giro helmet. I just picked up a new 2010 Giro G9 before I started the season this year. The Giro has a low profile and provides good peripheral vision, which you really need on the slopes. This weekend, Brettonwoods in New Hampshire was a bit busy and the weather was alternately cloudy and snowing hard, making seeing any depth whatsoever tough, so the ability to easily see on either side was key to safely navigating the mountain.

The Goggle Notch feature (holds your goggles to your helmet) is pretty standard and I find it handy both on and off the slopes (having one less thing to carry around the lodge makes me really happy!) The helmet is also sporty and it looks good on everyone.

Another key feature of the G9 ski helmet is that it is warm in the cold weather – in fact, it’s warmer than any winter hat I’ve worn (and so much safer). There is also an adjustable vent system with fifteen vents around the helmet that are easily removed. Weatherstrip plugs pop out easily and go into your pocket if you are heating up during a run so the ventilation keeps you cool. Manually removing the plugs on the mountain is tricky, but the ability to customize the airflow makes it worth it (and you can do it at the top or bottom of the mountain).

A couple of other “off the beaten path” features that I really appreciate are being able to hear everything with the helmet on; and the soft, vented ear covering that makes for easy listening (great when skiing with friends or sporting an ipod). The fit was perfect – and how do I know that for sure? Well, it was comfortable for starters and I could easily slide my iphone up under the ear vent to take a call without removing my helmet – happy day! If you know me at all, you know, that I’ve gotta have access to that iphone at all times (well almost all times)!

In sum: I give the Giro G9 helmet a big “thumbs up”.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Tomgirl’s Picks of the Week: February 23, 2010

So, this week we have empowerment on the brain. One of the great things about Tomgirl Toursis that they allow women to build confidence tackle new and exhilarating challenges. So, while all our picks this week aren't necessarily travel related, they are all fabulous for empowering women. Hope you'll enjoy these great resources!

The Voices of Baby Boomer Women is the blog by the National Association of Baby Boomer Women, and it covers a range of topics of interest to the association's focus... 38 million of the healthiest, wealthiest, and best educated generation of women to ever hit midlife: baby boomer women.

Outpost Magazine is a must read for the adventure lover. Filled with pieces that take an honest look at all aspects of travel--from health to gear to gadgets to places.

Diversity Woman is a magazine unrelated to travel, but one we adore for its focus on empowering professional women. Their tagline: "Leadership empowerment for women who mean business" says it all.

Having just returned from a ski trip to gorgeous New Hampshire, we're reminded of our upcoming White Mountains Adventure tour and one of our favorite elements, the indoor sky diving at SkyVenture. Talk about exhilarating! A vertical tunnel where you experience the sensation of sky diving (without the plane) We can't wait to get back into their vertical wind tunnel!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Tomgirl Reviews: the EMS thumb-loop power stretch top

At Tomgirl Tours, function, comfort and style are critical components for us when selecting our own outdoor clothing and gear. Whether we are running errands after work, attacking a ski slope or hiking through the woods, these are necessary elements when making a purchase. Here, Amanda DiLeone, an ultimate Tomgirl (and our Business Development specialist), shares one of her favorite outdoor clothing finds, the Eastern Mountain Sports thumb loop, power stretch half zip top.

Amanda is so active and involved in so many outdoor activities, we never know what adventure she's on is on (it’s hard to catch her indoors!) But we did catch her between her snow mobiling trip last week in New Hampshire and her zip lining and ski/spa adventure next week, to explain why this top (which, by the way, is on sale at the moment!) is a great find for outdoor enthusiasts.

First, I love the beautiful Morocan/Blue Curacao color. The texture had that polar tech feel (soft and stretchy) and the thumb loops were intriguing. I’ve never had a top like that and wanted to experience it.

I wear it all over the place (and I wear it a lot!)... at the office sometimes, running errands, hiking and, just last weekend, I wore it while on my snow mobiling adventure through the remote forests of New Hampshire. It’s so comfortable that I want to wear it everywhere.

The fabric is great because it’s does NOT pull and pill up like some other products do. Also, the sleeves are very long and placing my thumbs through the loops keeps my hands warm. The thumb loop also keeps the sleeves tight and neat around my arm so I can pull my gloves and coat right over it and everything stays in place. That’s a big factor because, on an adventure, I am moving around so much and I need to stay warm. It’s also great as a pull over with a tee shirt underneath and has a cool zip pocket on the upper left side.

You may consider going one size UP. I’m not sure if they run small or why that worked out for me, but that next size fits me just perfect.

Watch next week for a gear review by Tomgirl founder Lori Carr on new Giro G9 ski helmet, which she'll be sporting on the slopes of New Hampshire this weekend. Have fun Lori (and we’re so glad to hear you sport a helmet while skiing!)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Tomgirl’s Picks of the Week: February 16, 2010

We love discovering fabulous new travel writers. We equally adore our partners and friends who share our passion for adventure. Happily this week, we have some fantastic examples of both! So, without further ado, here are our picks this week: people and places you simply can't miss...

Media Resources
In a sea of travel resources, Brave New Traveler stands out for a unique take on travel. Instead of just focusing on certain places, these writers take a broader look; exploring how to travel the world, respect other cultures, and discover the many paths to being a global citizen.

How does one summarize a website like Amazing. This well-written resource is (in their words): "the world's biggest travel blog, written and edited by passionate travelers and writers. Covering all aspects of travel from around the world, Gadling is the premiere source for everything from travel news to travel tips, from budget travel to adventure travel -- and for everything in between." is a great blog that focuses on exploring the world on your own. We love the advice: "If there is a place you want to see, then go see it. Don’t let anything—fear, other people, lack of resources, etc.—keep you from exploring this huge, diverse world we live in."

Interesting People
One of our favorite elements in our Green Mountains Escape tours in Vermont is the hot air balloon ride. So, meet the man who makes that happen: Jeff Snyder of Above Reality. Jeff runs a spectacular operation, which includes the largest hot air balloon in New England. His record and experience ensure that all Tomgirls on the tour are in good hands!

Susan Rezendez, owner of The Travel Connection, is a wonderful fellow travel enthusiast who owns her own travel agency and was very helpful to Tomgirl Tours when we first launched last year. She's incredibly experienced and knowledgeable and can find anyone the perfect trip.

From Tomgirl Tours
Heading North this weekend for a much-anticipated weekend of skiing! Destination: New Hampshire, site of our White Mountains Escape. While we're looking forward to the snow this weekend, we're also anxious for spring, and the two White Mountains Escape tours we have scheduled!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Tomgirl’s Picks of the Week: February 9, 2010

As we in the Northeast muddle through these winter storms (snow shoeing, anyone?), we find ourselves with a lot of time to discover fantastic people and media resources. Here are our favorites this week… as always, we welcome your suggestions for great people to know!

Media Resources

Natural Awakenings is a national group of publications focused on healthy, green and natural lifestyles. Originally from Florida, this is now a nationwide franchise. Here in RI, we are big fans of the local version, which offers insight and resources for those, like Tomgirls, who are committed to leading a healthy , socially conscious lifestyle.

The Window Seat blog, written by the expert and passionate travel editors behind the behemoth Travelocity, is a fantastic resource for fellow travel lovers. As they say: “We love waking up in new destinations, counting down the days until that next big trip, and settling into the window seat to see the world beyond our front door.” We do, too!

Interesting People

Aspen Blogger is an entertaining and insightful resource on pretty much everything relating to women and adventure. We adore her posts on all types of adventures; from motherhood to travel, all peppered with her great sense of humor and wit about life’s challenges and joys.

From Tomgirl Tours

If you missed Tomgirl’s CEO Lori Carr’s interview about Sedona on Big Blend radio’s Champagne Sundays, here’s the clip! Stay tuned, as Lori will soon be contributing as Big Blend’s expert source on adventure travel!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Tomgirl’s Picks of the Week: February 2, 2010

Hello, February! The year is already flying by, but we want to stop to give props to these great places, bloggers and media. If you love to travel (especially if you are a woman), you’ll want to connect with these fantastic resources. Happy Travel Tuesday!

Media Resources

We “met” Melanie Nayer on Twitter and quickly found a kindred spirit: a woman who loves to travel and sample adventure—be it outdoor activity, sampling new cuisine, or simply: exploring the world. Her blog is a wealth of insight… from discovering new places to simply commentating on the joys of travel. Here’s a perfect example: her 5 guilty travel pleasures of travel.

Carol Margolis, women’s travel guru, is another amazing resource we connected with on Twitter! Carol’s site, is phenomenal; a one-stop shop for any woman who travels. The site covers all the joys and challenges of travel—be it for business or pleasure. A must read!

People & Places

As most of you know, we have a serious soft spot for Arizona… for both personal reasons and because, well, our Red Rock Rendezvous is one of our favorite Tomgirl tours. So, imagine our delight to discover Arizona Spa Girls! Focusing on fabulous spas in Arizona (hey, Tomgirls love to unwind in style! 0h, this site is the brainchild of Lisa Kasanicky, author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Girlfriend Getaways. Check out the site, or follow them on Twitter.

Our next suggestion isn’t necessarily travel related, but for women out there (especially those in our area: Rhode Island), we love to recommend Maureen Umehara, founder of Women's Club SWANS. Maureen is an avid networker and very committed to connecting women in the local area. Her speakers and events are always of the highest quality. With a mission statement of: “To offer opportunities for women 21 years and older, living in and around RI, to have fun connecting and supporting one another in achieving their individual goals”… well, how could we possibly not love her!

From Tomgirl Tours

We couldn’t be more excited about this bit of (big!) news: we have joined the Big Blend Magazine family! Big Blend is an online “variety” magazine featuring lots of information and resources in a range of categories. Tomgirl Tours’ CEO Lori Carr is the newest expert on the site, specializing (of course!) in women’s adventure getaways. Lori will be a regular speaker on Big Blend radio, and author of monthly articles on the subject. Here’s a peek, but stay tuned, as we’ll be posting more on our Big Blend partnership soon!