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Ben Cook

Ben Cook

Ben Cook's Passions

Hiking & Camping

Ben Cook

Ben Cookwrote a review of on September 2, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 6'
Weight: 230 lbs

I love this style of glasses from Smith. I originally owned the Factor Max and they were amazing. I used and abused my Factor Max glasses for years and was super bummed to find out they stopped making them. When it was time for a replacement I was guided to these glasses as the replacement. I bought them with some reservation as I was completed sold on the other glasses. I was pleased to discover that the Parallel Max was better. The coverage and comfort were improved with this new design. They look great. I love the brown lenses for fishing and hiking in bright mid day sunlight. I use the Ignitor lenses for early mornings/ evening hiking or in overcast conditions. I also prefer the ignitor lenses when I am mountain biking. They provide sufficient tint to handle bright light and still give me good vision while traveling in and out of tree cover. For comfort, looks, and functionality these are my favorite sunglasses. As far as fit goes. The fit was perfect for my face. My melon is a bit on the larger side and they fit great.

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Ben Cook

Ben Cookwrote a review of on September 2, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

When I first heard of these Propane Campfires I thought it sounded silly. Why would you need this right? Well I have changed my mind on this and I will explain why. I typically don't have a fire when I camp. I don't see it as essential to the camping experience. This is for a couple of reasons. First you have to either buy or gather firewood(I don't like to gather - leave no trace). Then you have to cut it up. Build a little teepee or log cabin(kind of like that part) and light it up. Then you have to keep it going and then put it out cold when you are done. You smell like smoke. You leave a mess. For me it is just not worth it.
My wife and kids think that Camping isn't camping without a fire. The Camp Chef Portable Fire Ring is the perfect compromise. They get the fire, s'mores and all that and it is easy on me. We leave things just as good or better than we found them. Win Win.
The setup is easy. Once it is cool you just pack it up. I already bring a Propane tank for our stove anyway so this is not really much extra to bring on our trips. Really ends up taking less space than firewood. The heat and flame you get out of this is plenty for ambience, cooking, and comfort. The only things this lacks over a "real" campfire is the crackle and coals. Another con is when it is on high there is a psssss sound that you are not used to hearing around the campfire. The benefits certainly outweigh any negatives. We have had it out a few times both at home and abroad. It will be on every Car Camping trip that is for sure.

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Ben Cook

Ben Cookwrote a review of on January 29, 2014

Great invention
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I got 6 of these for me and my family to store our bikes. They are amazing. I mounted them on typical stud width(16" on center) and with some up and down adjustment for each bike I was able to get the bikes really tight to the wall without them banging into each other or getting scratched. Put 6 bikes on the wall and can now park in the garage again. The furthest any of the bikes are from the wall is 28". Basically the width of the bar on my Highball. Installation was a breeze. Way easier than your typical bike hook. If wall space wasn't a premium putting them at every other stud as seem in the pics above could make things easier. In order to get my bikes as tight as I did I had to make some adjustments.

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Ben Cook

Ben Cookwrote a review of on September 16, 2012

5 5

This has been the perfect addition to the saddle bag on my commuter. Tire levers are tough enough for my Continental City trekker tires. The patches work well. This little kit has suited me well through 8 or so roadside issues. I am on my second set of patches but am using the same case and levers.

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Ben Cook

Ben Cookwrote a review of on September 16, 2012

5 5

I was pleasantly surprised when i got the tray. It is larger that I expected based on the photo. The dimensions of 2.75 x 10 x 14.5in are spot on. This tray is well constructed and is very durable. One of the best features of the Feedback Sports stands is how portable they are. I was please to see that the tray unhooks from the stand with ease. It takes seconds to attach and remove the tray so portability is practically unaffected.

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Ben Cook

Ben Cookwrote a review of on September 16, 2012

5 5

I bought this for a friend training for his first marathon. He was constantly struggling with hydration and this ended up being just what he needed. It is nice having three bottles as you can take just the amount of bottles/water you need for your particular run. Bottles fit securely in their holders but are easily removed when you need a drink.

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Ben Cook

Ben Cookwrote a review of on September 16, 2012

5 5

This is my second pair of Fox Reflex gloves. I bought a previous model a few years back. I still use them as my everyday commuting gloves. They are holding strong with what I would consider normal wear and tear. I am really impressed with this new model. The gel pads are more strategically placed a shaped for greater comfort. The styling has been updated and improved as well. The faux leather is awesome. It is great at moisture management, wears well, is easily cleaned, and stays flexible. After using and abusing my first pair and now trying the new version, I can't imagine getting a better deal than these gloves.They are a great value.

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Ben Cook

Ben Cookwrote a review of on September 16, 2012

5 5

Full disclosure. I have not used the other sealants on the market other than Slime(Meh). I used this based on the recommendation of some industry professionals I work with. This is all they use. I love this product. I have not had a flat in the 6 months I have used it. I likely would have had three with the tube setup I was running before. I have put this in my kids bike tubes as well with great success. Our neighbor runs a goat head farm(not on purpose). The kids tires were flat more than they were full. Since using Stan's sealant we have not had any flats. I will continue to recommend this product.

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Ben Cook

Ben Cookwrote a review of on September 16, 2012

5 5

These are delicious. It is amazing how many calories are packed into such a lightweight product. They are 160 calories and weigh about as much as a 80-90 degree energy gel. They are much more palatable than the energy gels as well. They taste great and are easy on the digestive system. I take some of these on every long ride.

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Ben Cook

Ben Cookwrote a review of on September 16, 2012

5 5

I have several of these. They are my go to bottle for biking and everyday use. They keep cold drinks colder for longer that typical bottles. The positive of jet valve keeps them leak free in a bag or pack. The jet valve flows very quickly which is ideal during exercise. These things last a long time as well. I just use mine for water and occasionally sports drinks. Be sure to wash after sports drinks or the plastic will hold onto the flavor for a while.

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Ben Cook

Ben Cookwrote a review of on September 16, 2012

5 5

Picture a Laptop sleeve with room for all laptop accessories and a small binder. It is very functional and works perfect for me. Big enough to carry all I need yet small enough to prevent me from brining along items I don't. I drop this bag in a pannier on the back of my bike. Works great for my commute. I have had no problems with this setup.

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Ben Cook

Ben Cookwrote a review of on September 16, 2012

5 5

The tent is super light but the floor is very thin and takes extra care. That is the cost of the weight savings I guess. The footprint is made of the same fabric as the tent. I don't worry about the tent while using this footprint. What your paying for is tent tent insurance in the form of floor protection and a fast and light pitch option. Well worth the price in my opinion.

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