Top

Archive | Gear Reviews

The Hoka One One Speedgoat 2, developed with superstar Karl Meltzler, is classic Hoka: it's lightweight and generously cushioned, and offers a smooth ride. For its height, it's remarkably stable.

Review: Hoka One One Speedgoat 2 || Light, plush, grippy & surprisingly stable

On my first three outings with the second-generation Hoka One One Speedgoat 2, I took it out for 13-, 11-, and 25-mile trail runs with nearly 10,000 vertical feet in cumulative climbing. That’s rare for a shoe with which I had no prior history — normally, I start off slowly, with short and low-risk runs […]



Continue Reading
Wearing a 200-weight fleece atop 13,250-foot Mt Bancroft, where the wind was howling at 30 mph and temperatures were only in the 50's.

Review: REI Quarter-Zip Fleece Pullover || Benchmark standard for $22

On three-season backpacking trips in the Mountain West, and on cooler trips elsewhere, I consider a fleece top like the REI Co-op Quarter-Zip Fleece Pullover ($45, 8 oz) to be an essential item. It serves two functions: As a second layer in brisk conditions (e.g. chilly mornings, windy ridges and peaks), when my hiking shirt isn’t […]



Continue Reading
The UA HeatGear Armour Compression Shorts (left) look very similar to my trusted UA Sonic Shorts (right), but they are NOT a worthy substitute.

Review: UA HeatGear Armour Compression Shorts || More realistically, “fitted underwear”

For several years my go-to short for long runs and cool temperatures as been the Under Armour HeatGear Sonic Compression Short. Read my long-term review. Unfortunately, the Sonic Short was discontinued a few years back, and leftover inventory is just about gone. I was hopeful that a similarly spec’d model, the Under Armour HeatGear Armour […]



Continue Reading
The Sonic Shorts are more "tight shorts" than "compression shorts," especially after a few wears.

Long-term Review || Running favorite: Under Armour HeatGear Sonic Compression Shorts

For the past three years the Under Armour HeatGear Sonic Compression Short has been my go-to running short. After 500+ runs — including my biggest races like Run Rabbit Run 100, the Colorado Marathon, and San Juan Solstice 50 — I feel very confident in writing a long-term review. I use the Sonic Shorts primarily […]



Continue Reading
The Black Diamond Spot is a solid all-around headlamp. It's bright, lightweight, versatile, and reasonably priced.

Review: Black Diamond Spot Headlamp || Bright, lightweight, reasonably priced

While in the headlamp aisle at the local REI last summer, I wondered if other customers felt fortunate for the recent advances in LED technology. The three models I was deliberating between were all less expensive, lighter weight, longer lasting, and brighter (by several factors) than the lights I had used for my thru-hikes in the 2000’s and […]



Continue Reading