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Accuracy of Suunto Ambit3 Peak at Okay/60-second GPS pings (200-hr)

By Andrew Skurka / February 24, 2018 / 36 Comments

Following my long-term review of the Suunto Ambit3 Peak, friend and fellow guide Alan Dixon sent me an email with the title, “Suunto 200 hr mode not cutting it,” and shared that on a recent 8.2-mile hike his Ambit3 shortchanged him by 1.5 miles (18 percent). He had set the GPS accuracy of the Ambit at “Okay”…

Review: Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR Baro || What am I missing?

By Andrew Skurka / February 22, 2018 / 22 Comments

For a few weeks I have been using a friend’s Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR Baro. I am a longtime user of Suunto’s original GPS watch family, the Ambit, but this is the first Spartan series model that I have worn. It has a few nice features, but my recommendation is to stay away from…

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

By Andrew Skurka / February 13, 2018 / 81 Comments

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…

Preview: Salomon S/Lab Ultra & Ultra Pro, and S/Lab Sense 7 & Sense Pro 3

By Andrew Skurka / January 31, 2018 / 30 Comments

For 2018 Salomon has partially reconfigured the line architecture of its trail running shoes, to better leverage a few success stories and to create space for greater product differentiation. It created an entirely new category, Ultra, and then updated the S/Lab and Pro models in its longstanding Sense line. Ultra The new Ultra category is more niche…

Sneak peak: Ultimate Direction Scram || Anton Krupicka scramble pack

By Andrew Skurka / January 30, 2018 / 2 Comments

After a Sierra Designs meeting this morning (re updates to the High Route Tent for 2019), I swung through the Ultimate Direction area to ask about the new pack they are designing with the ridiculously fit but chronically injured Anton Krupicka. None of the Exxel Outdoors brands — notably SD, UD, Kelty, and Slumberjack — had…

Buyer’s Guide: Kathoola Microspikes vs K-10 and KTS Crampons || Differences, intended uses, and limitations

By Andrew Skurka / January 29, 2018 / 32 Comments

Kahtoola was showing off its new gaiters at the Outdoor Retailer tradeshow, but I was more interested in its time-tested traction devices. These spikes and crampons are crux for: Running on snow- and ice-covered trails and roads; and, Hiking on glacial ice, crust-covered snowpack, or steep-ish lingering snowfields. All the Kahtoola devices are compatible with soft-soled…

Suunto Ambit3 vs. Garmin Fenix 5 || Core differences + ideal uses

By Andrew Skurka / January 24, 2018 / 46 Comments

For a week I have been wearing a borrowed Garmin Fenix 5X, which is Garmin’s flagship multi-sport GPS sport watch. I’m a longtime user of the Suunto Ambit3 Peak (and, before that, the Ambit2), and this first-hand experience with a competing brand and product has been informative. I’ve always been curious how the Ambit3 compares to the…

Long-term review: DeFeet Wooleator Sock || Go-to sock for a decade-plus

By Andrew Skurka / January 23, 2018 / 12 Comments

In December I visited my parents in Massachusetts, and my mom had waiting for me a box of possessions that I needed to bring back to Colorado or throw out. Along with newspaper clippings from the Sea-to-Sea Route, a Valentine’s Day card from a high school sweetheart, and running logs from the pre-Strava era, I…

Race report: Houston Marathon || 2:28:24, 33rd place

By Andrew Skurka / January 20, 2018 / 14 Comments

After a solid but underwhelming performance at UTMB last September, I was forced to ponder the future of my running. I was emotional fatigued from three years of intense training, and was lacking an obvious or compelling “why” to sustain it. But at 36 years-old, I recognized that it’d be easier (and probably more fruitful)…

Back in stock: Bonnie’s Balm || For wet feet, chafing, and cracked lips & skin

By Andrew Skurka / January 19, 2018 / 10 Comments

Last year the owner and founder of Bonnie’s Balm, Bonnie Searcy, had a host of health issues (among other things, two black widow spider bites) and the business seemed to evaporate. Orders went unfulfilled, calls and emails garnered no response, and the website even went down. As a long-time supporter and distributor of the products,…