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Archive | Gear Reviews & Previews

The Salomon S/Lab Ultra 2

Preview: Salomon S/Lab Ultra 2 || Lighter & stickier than predecessor

The Salomon S/Lab Ultra 2 will be available soon, in April 2019. This third-generation model remains purpose-built for long trail races and training runs, and the iterative changes seem entirely likable. Like most Salomon models, the Ultra is a neutral shoe that is designed for narrow and low-volume feet. But it has more forefoot volume […]

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The width of the 12" x 20" Opsak is about the same as most candy/energy bars and snack/sandwich bags.

Long-term review: LOKSAK OPSAK || Food storage enhancer

LOKSAK OPSAK bags are made of heavy-duty plastic and have a hermetic seal. When closed, the bag is airtight, waterproof, and odor-proof (the “OP” in OPSAK). On some trips, I use the 12″ x 20″ size ($6, 1.5 oz) as a lone food sack or as a liner inside a wildlife-resistant Ursack. I also like the 9″ […]

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On the right surfaces, the Sense Pro 3 is very fun and very fast. It's light, smooth, and responsive; the upper fits precisely; and the traction is very reliable.

Review: Salomon Sense Pro 3 || Smooth speedster for soft ground

The Salomon Sense Pro 3 is a fast, smooth, and aggressively lugged trail running shoe that is best for narrow/low-volume feet and soft or loose surfaces. Even though the Sense Pro 3 will replace the Sense Pro 2 and shares nomenclature with the Sense Pro 1, it most strongly resembles the S/Lab Sense 6 SG, which was the […]

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The second-generation Salomon Sense Pro 2 is a lightweight, neutral, and capable trail runner that excels on steep, obstacle-filled trails.

Long-term review: Salomon Sense Pro 2 || Nimble & capable trail shoe

The original Salomon Sense Pro (long-term review) is still one of my all-time favorite shoes. It fit me perfectly and was extremely versatile — in it, I ran a road marathon, a 50-miler on smooth singletrack and jeep roads, and a 100-miler on tough mountain trails, among other races and training runs, and never felt […]

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The Suunto 9 Baro is accurate and fully featured, and has a long-lasting battery.

Long-term review: Suunto 9 Baro || Legit flagship watch, needs firmware fix

For five months I’ve been using the Suunto 9 Baro GPS Sport Watch on a near daily basis, mostly while trail and road running, and occasionally backpacking. With few exceptions, it has supplanted my trusted Suunto Ambit3 Peak (long-term review). It’s the nicest Suunto watch that I’ve used yet, but has one significant blemish that […]

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The author at the last trail junction before Milner Pass, the northern terminus of the Pfiffner Traverse, with trusted inReach Explorer+ at the ready.

Long-term review: Garmin inReach Explorer+ || Sat comm + GPS unit 2-in-1

For different trips, I often wear and carry different gear. But some items are so vital that they end up on every trip — and my Garmin inReach Explorer+ is one of them. Since its release in early-2017, I have used my inReach Explorer+ on many trips around the globe, including on the southern Appalachian Trail, […]

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Why mess with success? The Speedgoat 3 has been tweaked, but mostly remains the same.

Preview: Hoka Speedgoat 3 || Tweaks to a top-seller

For two years the Hoka One One Speedgoat 2 (my review) has been the brand’s top-selling trail shoe. So in developing the third generation, it was understandably reluctant to mess with success. The most significant change to the Speedgoat is the midfoot lockdown. The TPU overlays have been re-mapped, and a yoke-like collar has been […]

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The upper looks like other Sense shoes: mesh with TPU overlays, elasticized tongue, and Quick Lace.

Preview: Salomon X Alpine Pro || For scrambly runs, maybe high routes

When running and racing on trails, I normally wear Salomon Sense or Salomon Ultra shoes. But for hiking and backpacking, I currently have to look elsewhere. For two years my go-to has been the La Sportiva Bushido (my review; and my preview of the Bushido II), which is perfectly suited for high routes: they’re securely fitting, durable, […]

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The Altra Tusher will be released in July 2019. It is a conventional hiking boot but with Altra's famed zero drop and wide foot-shaped last.

Preview: Altra Tusher || Hiking boot with zero drop & foot shape

My coverage of Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2018 starts with Altra, which has developed a cult-like following among hikers and runners for its zero drop shoes, wide lasts, and gender-specific fits. Altra revealed three new shoes at the show: the Tusher, Grafton, and Wahweap. They will be available in July 2019. Availability is uncertain at this […]

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The SPOX X has rudiumentary navigation capabilities. It has a digital compass, and can create and go-to waypoints.

Review: SPOT X Satellite Messenger || I’ll keep my inReach, thanks

Exactly one week after Garmin announced the inReach Mini in May, SPOT released its first new device in five years and its first device with two-way satellite messaging. The SPOT X retails for $250, weighs 6.7 oz, and features a 2.7-inch dot matrix illuminated screen and physical QWERTY keyboard. It looks like an orange Blackberry with an over-sized antenna. […]

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