Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Gregory Wasatch Daypack

My old hydration pack is over 10 years-old and is very limiting in the amount of kit I can lug around.
This pack actually belongs to my wife, but she has let me use it a few times and I've been converted. The Wasatch is beyond roomy. It has pockets in pockets and
I can carry more than enough for a run or a day hike in addition to a three litre water bladder. The mesh pockets on the belt an the side of the pack are easily accessible and add to the overall 12L capacity of the bag. All the marketing mentions the body hugging design and it didn't disappoint. I wore it recently on a five hour adventure without hardly even noticing its presence. I went through six litres of water, but the balance was superb. Apparently hydration bags have come along way in the last decade.


Thursday, August 19, 2010

MEC Tace Jacket (Sneak Peak)

The trail running section at most running shops has been growing over the last few years, as runners discover the joys of trails that were formerly the domain of mountain bikers. The Mountain Equipment Co-op has become keenly aware of this, and they even put up presenting sponsorship for the 5 Peaks trail runnning series. With that said, the MEC has been upping the ante with their shoe selection and collection of endurance apparel. The new Tace Jacket is part of the push to get on the trails.
My tester arrived recently and I have been doing it all in the Royal blue packable jacket. It's super light, and aptly named when the weather turnes nasty. Tace means armor, and I needed it on a short run recently when the showers came, then the rain, and finally the hail. I was soaked everywhere except for what was covered by this jacket. Water literally fell off the nylon shell. It also cuts the wind, but the generous pit and back venting has an amazing cooling effect. The Tace is boxy and I am a tailored jacket man myself so the cut feels loose, but it fits. There is an elastic wrist, and pull tabs for the waist which has more drape in rear. Reflective tabs mark the shoulders, back and left sleeve. A single slash pocket near the right kidney is MP3 ready. This jacket has already seen alot of action and with the summer dwindling,it's not going to let up any time soon.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Inov-8 Debris Gaiter

I've mentioned before how much I enjoy running trials intended for bikes or hiking. Time passes quickly when I am placing my strides to avoid the pitfalls of the trails. Dirt, stones and dust are part of the gig right?, sure but outside my shoe. I have been trying out these Debris Gaiters for a while and they are super. They don't add heat to my feet, they just keep junk out. They attach to the laces with a hook, and under the sole with two replaceable rubber laces. They are water repellent and quick drying so they are like a sock over my sock. They come in three sizes and their low price make them a must have for running off-road.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Skinz Road Bike Protector

I just dragged my road bike 1200km across the Rockies and back for some riding on the beautiful roads of the Columbia Valley. Even after my mishap with a garage door earlier this year, I still believe transporting a bike on a roof rack is the best way to go. The trouble is on the highway with bugs and stones messing up the front of your ride. My last cover from Sci-Con implodes after one highway journey and the choices in this niche market are pretty slim. Enter the Skinz protector. It covered the bars and the forks generously and nylon strapping secured around the load bars of the rack. Velcro strapping is also found near the saddle and the stem to keep in in place at high speed.

The entire protector folds up nicely into a pouch that doubles as the seat protector when the Skinz is in use. Durability has not been an issue yet but I suspect long exposure to the sun, and rain will weaken the lycra.

Skinz makes a wide variety of bike covers for the roof and the rear hitch.

PRICE about $80 CDN

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Drymax Maximum Protection Crew

I have tender tootsies, and the older I get the more cantankerous they become. As a result, my peds have kept me from running longer distances. Truth is I don't love running, especially on the road. Trail-good, road-bad. Last spring I was talking socks with Ultra distance runner and fellow free-healer, Jeff Ball. (http://give-n-er.blogspot.com/) He put me on to these socks and my feet have been happy ever since. They are bulky, but not padded in any area of the sole. They have high seams, so they don't rub in the shoe and they are dry. The video they produced,(see older posts) demonstrate the sweat removal system. They claim to be 25 times dryer than regular running sock and I believe it.
Sweat causes friction, which leads to blisters.
The Maximum Protection model is aimed at marathon and ultra distance runners. They feature the friction free fibres of Profilen® which has the lowest coefficicient of friction of any solid material.
I've run, played tennis, cycled and run stairs in these socks. They are true to their claims, well made and are proving to be durable. I have probably 40 days in these sock now and only in one instance did my feet burn like the old days. I just ran 27 km on a trails the Rockies with no problems, no blisters, not even a hot spot on the descents.
Great sock, hard to find, but well worth the effort and money.

Sinclair Canyon

Sun shower, driving head wind, 8% grade topping out at 70.4 km/hr on the descent.