Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Hi-Tec V-LITE INFINITY HPI

Until lately a trail shoe was just that.
But the latest adventure shoe from Hi-Tec breaks down many of the trail/road barriers with amazing comfort and ridiculous light weight.
Starting at the bottom, the soles are provided by Vibram® and are lugged appropriately for off road duty. I found the shoes gave me confidence in loose conditions but were surprisingly grippy in the wet and
muck too.
The forefoot of the sole is seriously grooved, giving it amazing flex for whatever kind of running you do. Vibram® calls it Flex-Zone and the groove is angled for a natural hinge motion. The heel is slim and not overly bulky which favors a mid to fore foot strike.

The mid-sole has eight densities of foam that correspond to pressure points on the foot strike and make this shoe one of the most comfortable shoes I've worn. Period!
Admittedly there was an adjustment period, but now the marriage of my feet and these shoes are in the honeymoon stage with no end in sight. The V-Lite Infinities are nimble and have cradled my peds to the point where I can focus on the trail and the obstacles coming my way and not constantly evaluate foot comfort. I've worn them on the road too and although they might not be my first choice in the future, they are up to task on the asphalt. But point them in the ditch and here's where they shine. The uppers are seamless technology which virtually eliminate hot spots and they are coated with a microscopic water management system.
Ion mask™ technology was developed for military application but the V-Lite Infinities are the first shoes to adapt the molecular surface enhancement.
This means the shoes repel and expel water better, which keeps the weight of the shoe stable throughout the run in all running conditions. I've run in the rain and in the heat and the shoes' moisture level remains constant which means maintained comfort.

These are the shoes that inspired a few Scandinavian lads to create a new sport and an Internet sensation called Liquid Mountaineering. http://bit.ly/p4HEKN
What ever kind of running you do off the pave, take a spin in the V-Lites.
You can thank me later.
PRICE $160 CDN

Thursday, July 14, 2011

2011 Giro Ionos

It has 21 vents, and 8 colour combinations and one big price tag.
It looks good except when I put it on my head and it becomes this enormous cradle around my cranium. Acutally it looks ridiculous.
Giro claims it's their most advanced road helmet and it has what it calls 'wind tunnel' ventilation. But I don't agree, it's no cooler than my five year old Limar, and it has the same number of vents.
On the positive side, the new improved Rock-loc 5 works well and is easy to use. Although the dial is teeny, compared to the rest of the helmet.
I suspect the autographed version by the seven-time TdF champ has something to do with the $300 price tag, but at half the price it's still a questionable purchase.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Honey Stinger Waffle



It's a been long debate in my house about trail food. Space packets of goop, chalky nuts and seeds or real food for endurance events.
But the disagreement has been put to rest by Honey Stinger. The Stinger Waffles are worth the hype and the money because they combine the best of space-aged food and the real thing.
They are all natural and organic. And although some contents like, organic palm fruit oil, aren't pure health food ,the good outweighs the bad.
Other ingredients are organic honey, and organic rice syrup that pack 160 calories and 21 grams of carbs.
The waffles are an adaptation from a popular Dutch traditional stroopwafel. Street vendors sandwich syrup with two thin waffles in Holland.
Honey Stinger has done a similar thing, but uses organic honey as the soft middle layer between two crispy shells.
The thing here is that they are easy to consume, taste really good, and have a palatable texture.
Each package contains one disc, good for about 30 grams and are roughly the size my palm.
They're available in two flavours, honey and vanilla and look like waffles, feel like waffles and would be great with maple syrup.
PRICE $2.50 CDN each

Thursday, April 7, 2011

HiTec Granite Peak Parka



The 3-in-1 jacket has to be one of the most difficult garments to do well. Finding a mixture of fabrics and insulation to keep the bulk down and the fit acceptable can’t be easy.

In my experience the shell is often too big, and the liner is too short to go it alone. The Granite Peak parka from HiTec has turned me around though, and I should really clear out my closet of redundant outerwear to make room for this multipurpose jacket. The insulation layer is a 200-weight fleece with a wind-block for the anterior. The same fabric lines the sleeves with serves two purposes. It cuts the wind and makes sliding the jacket on much easier. I have been wearing the fleece on its own, and I find uses for each of the three exterior pockets. The ideal temperature range is about -2 Celsius to about 7 Celsius. But slide the hooded Dri-Tec shell overtop and the temperature range goes way down.
The hood is not detachable, but it does roll up nicely into the collar. I’ve worn the jacket sledding, telemarking, to shinny and in temperatures down to -22 C with poor personal insulation (cotton T-shirt) and I’ve stayed toasty.

The shell also has good water repellency, although it bears not resemblance to a ducks back, I stayed dry when I used my shower as my testing ground. I could see the G.P. parka holding up in a rain-shower just fine, but it may not be my first choice for a downpour. The Granite Peak has many attractive features, and a big one is the price.
SRP is $199.
So if you are looking for one jacket that can keep you covered for most of the year, this could be it.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Lock Laces



I can't remember the last time I tied my shoes.
All my running shoes have bungees, mostly because it makes getting in or out, much easier, especially in transition zones.
My latest testers are from Lock Laces. They feature a large pinch-lock and the usual stretchy bungees.
The cords are bound at the ends, so threading them through the shoe eyelets is a breeze.
Their website features a step-by-step installation photo gallery, so setting up a pair of shoes only takes a few minutes.
Bungee laces can ease tight spots on the top of the foot and they create even pressure throughout.
Aside from athletes the bungees are practical for kids, seniors, or those with physical limitations.


PRICE $11.00 CDN

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Contera Adjusta-Pro radio chest harness

When I joined the ski patrol I was offered the use of a standard radio harness supplied by the patrol at the ski hill. But even before my first shift, I knew a community piece of equipment wasn't going to cut it. I like gear and owning my own harness is just logical. My supplies in the harness, and the same kit all the time is really important when a skier is injured and I need to know where my tape, my shears, or my gloves are.
All the above fits in the roomy pocket. I also keep a red beacon for patroling at night that wraps on a pole to mark a scene. A pen and notepad, and my 10 code cheat sheet also fit in there. A permanant marker for marking lift tickets or restocking tags goes in the pen slot beside the pocket.
On the front of the pocket is a four stage LED light with one red, and one white bulb. It has two points of adjustability and can be used to illuminate the trail or read a map. A really great additional feature is that it slides out of it's sleeve so it can go where ever you want it.
The radio pocket is easily adjustable to accomodate just about any size of radio, even the FRS.
There are a pair of elastic antenna holsters to keep it out of the way and in a vertical position.
Although the selection of radio harnesses isn't huge, the Adjusta-Pro is really the top of the heap with adjustability, simplicity and usefullness. The light puts this harness over the top.

PRICE $55 CDN

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Sugoi Piston 200 Tights

It was evident to me when I saw the stock image of the Sugoi Piston 200 tights that they were a garment I really needed. Two things really jumped out at me just from the photo.
1. They would fit. Period. So many tights are long in the rise and end up doubled over to compensate for their length in the crotch. The result is a horrible fit and frustration. The rise measures 20 cm. but fits better than that number indicates.
2. Compression is my new best friend and the Piston Series was offered from my trusted garment friends at Sugoi. I've worn the socks with great success and how could I go wrong with lower body full cover. My instincts were right and these are my must have gear. I've been spreading the word since I first pulled them on. They've been on during a workout, afterwards, on a long plane ride, an equally long bus ride, to bed and for two solid telemarking days. The results were astounding, as my quads, ham-strings, and glutes really benefited from the squeeze.
They are really finely crafted too with flatlock seams, light weight, durability and compression strength.
The claims of compression ring true for me and have helped my with recovery. The company line adds improved muscle stability, and increased movement efficiency.
They feature the usual stuff too, like an interior key pocket and 3M Scotchlite reflective dots.

PRICE $90 CDN.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

T-Bar Ridge

video
Last week I went on a day-trip to Jasper, AB. for some rippin' with Mr. Hume.
iPhone and GoPro video compiled for a sample of the day.

Kiteboarding video by thegearhound

video

I recently shot this video with my GoPro camera. I tried attaching the cam. Andreas' skis but it just popped off and I was lucky to find it in the spindrift.
Andreas was kind enough to hold the camera, and well....he knew what to do.
So a big thanks to him and to Ross for an afternoon well spent.
GH

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Salomon S-Lab gaiters


Running in the springtime slop is similar to running the dry, dusty trail in high summer for one reason. Crap you don't want in your shoe bed, creeps in and plays spoiler.
Gaiters my friends, are the cure for this pet peeve of mine. Salomon makes their S-Labs in sizes to fit your low cut shoe with more precision. Hook and loop snug them around the ankles even further and the under-strap keeps them in place. The fabric is a light and breathable, but not resistant to snagging on the enclosure. So I refasten the H&L after use as prevention.
I have encountered resistance from runners who fear overheating, but I have yet to experience this, especially with these high quality gaiters from Salomon.

PRICE $25 CDN

Monday, January 10, 2011

Wigwam Snow Mountain Pro socks

Yes I do talk socks alot, but they are as varied and as important as the jacket or any other layer you wear specific to the activity you chase. These are ski socks, and they have developed greatly in keeping with the rest of the gear you don. Wigwam produces almost 30 pairs of snowsport socks alone.
I was drawn to the Snow Mountain Pro for the quilting on the shin. My tele boot always grind this part of my leg, but the cusioning from the sock greatly cuts down this discomfort.
The socks are everything else you expect from a ski sock; seamless, long, warm and terrific moisture management.

PRICE: about $25 CDN.