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Archive | Gear Reviews

For ultras and backpacking, the Suunto Ambit3 offers unmatched performance at its price point.

Long-term review: Suunto Ambit3 Peak || Unmatched performance for the price

Last August I upgraded to the Suunto Ambit3 Peak, after using for four years the previous iteration, the Suunto Ambit2 (read my long-term review). Since I train regularly based on heart rate, I bought the HR package, which includes the Smart Sensor Belt. To date I have worn the Suunto Ambit3 Peak for more than 150 runs or […]

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The Showa 281 Glove is suitable as a wind- & waterproof shell for hiking and running.

Review: Showa 281 Gloves || Inexpensive water- & windproof shell

The Showa 281 Glove is an inexpensive (less than $15), lightweight (sub-2 oz), and somewhat breathable shell made of waterproof/windproof polyurethane. Its exterior is textured and very abrasion-resistant. It is the unlined version of the Showa 282 Gloves, about which I have written a more in-depth review. Online availability of the 281 is limited. I purchased […]

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The Cavu has a two-foam midsole: a soft and forgiving heel and a firm and responsive forefoot.

Review: Hoka One One Cavu || Light, responsive & fast road trainer

The Houston Marathon is less than six weeks, and for all of my tempo workouts and hard long runs — including multiple 10K’s at race pace and distances up to 24 miles — I have been wearing the new Hoka One One Cavu. The Cavu is a neutral lightweight road trainer that is moderately cushioned, responsive, and […]

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The double wrist cuff helps to reduce drafts, keeping arms (and thus fingers) warmer.

Reviews: Sierra Designs F17 Puffies || Well designed & priced, but heavy

On our recent elk hunt in the Colorado Rockies, Steve and I wore two new Fall 2017 puffies from Sierra Designs, the Tioga Hoodie and Sierra Jacket. These two pieces share nearly identical features with the Tuolumne Jacket and Whitney Hoodie, so I will dare to extrapolate our experiences and include them in this review […]

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The liner adds warmth and buffers the hand from moisture, but its durability is questionable. Notice the extensive pulling after just a few weeks of use.

Review: Showa 282 Gloves || Preferred cold & wet solution, but imperfect

When hiking or running in cold and wet conditions, keeping my hands comfortable has been a chronic challenge. On multiple occasions I’ve pulled into a campsite, trailhead, aid station, or my house with inoperable and painful fingers. To minimize (or perhaps even, to end) this suffering, this summer I looked beyond conventional rain mitts like the REI […]

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Cowboy camping in Tablelands in September, using the 20-degree Nitro 800 mummy bag from Sierra Designs

Review: Sierra Designs Nitro 800 mummy || Great price, ordinary design

The Sierra Designs spring 2018 line-up has two themes: (1) back to basics, and (2) better pricing. Innovation is not entirely lacking, evidenced by the “zipperless mummy” Cloud series (my review) and the High Side Tent (my review), but the “better and different” mantra was no longer a requirement of new products. Review: Sierra Designs […]

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