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Ben Kuhns

Ben Kuhns

Employee

Salt Lake City, UT

Ben Kuhns's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Biking

Ben Kuhns's Bio

My time as an overweight, happy baby was spent in Lincoln, NE. At the age of five I packed my prized set of Legos and made my way to Logan, UT, family in tow, where I would spend most of my childhood. It was with entirely too much red hair on my head that I graduated high school and moved to Salt Lake City to study graphic design at the University of Utah.

Sadly we didn't work out and she left me when she realized my first love was the camera. Nate King and I started our descent into pixel making together in the bowels of dirty, abandoned industry. Years later I find myself photographing high-end piles of carbon tubing and their requisite accoutrements.

Ben Kuhns

Ben Kuhnswrote a review of on November 7, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

While Ultegra 6800 is very much the sum of its parts, this crankset ends up playing a notable role in the overall performance.

While it may lack the shiny Dura-Ace looks and packs a few more grams, this is really is a top-tier crank. Construction delivers the level of polish you expect from anything carrying the Shimano name.

Paired with the Di2 front derailleur I have found the shifts to be fast and reliable no matter the situation. The shift up to the big ring is particularly impressive and at times so immediate I question whether the shift happened at all.

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Ben Kuhns

Ben Kuhnswrote a review of on November 7, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Like the rest of the Ultegra name, the 6800 calipers are a fantastic option for the price. Brake performance is good enough to shave seconds off those Strava times as you take descents faster with increased confidence in your brakes.

The looks are nothing to scoff at either; something sure to appeal to vain cyclist in everyone.

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Ben Kuhns

Ben Kuhnswrote a review of on November 7, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

It's hard to talk about one piece of an electronic drivetrain independent of the rest, but I shall endeavor to do so.

Ultegra is sweet spot for price and performance and the Di2 version is really no exception. The looks are polished if somewhat utilitarian - none of that Campy flair here. But the real concern here is shift quality and that's where this derailleur really shines.

Simply put, this system does not mis-shift. Ever. Even those tough jumps up to the big ring are handled quickly and efficiently. The responsiveness is confidence inspiring to say the least.

When Ultegra can be this good why bother with Dura-Ace?

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Ben Kuhns

Ben Kuhnswrote a review of on November 7, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

In the world of shift levers, Shimano is doing some of the finest work around. The Di2 version of their venerable Ultegra groupset is no exception and retains their near bulletproof reliability and top-notch ergonomics.

The hood and lever design just straight up feels great in the hands in a variety of positions. Levers are easy to reach from the drops and the hoods are a solid touch point when you need to get out of the saddle.

Shifts are precise and fast when you engage the controls. The buttons are maybe a touch hard to feel if you have thick gloves on, but this is nitpicking at most.

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Ben Kuhns

Ben Kuhnswrote a review of on November 7, 2016

4 5

Familiarity: I gave it as a gift but have feedback to share
Fit: True to size

There is no truly adequate way to say thanks to your mother for a lifetime of support and love, but the Sophie purse sure doesn't hurt.

Typical of Frye, the construction and aesthetics are on point. The leather/suede combo makes for a lovely two tone look while maintaining subtlety. It isn't a giant purse, so if your daily carry is giving you back problems this may not be what you're looking for.

One star deducted for the price point. This is a great bag, but a full price of $350 for what is ultimately a pretty basic purse is a little tough to stomach.

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Ben Kuhns

Ben Kuhnswrote a review of on November 7, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

For clean water in the backcountry the Base Camp Pro could not be a better solution.

Operation is as easy as dipping the bag in the water and rolling the top closed. Pop on the hose and take a drink, fill bottles, hydrate the dogs, etc.

The unit works well enough to keep a fairly large group well supplied with water. The clear portion of the bag make it easy to know when you're getting close to needing a refill.

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Ben Kuhns

Ben Kuhnswrote a review of on November 7, 2016

3 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 3"
Weight: 220 lbs

If you're looking for a casual piece to let you wear your brand-loyalty on your chest the Half Dome pullover is a solid addition to your wardrobe. No fancy features, just a sensible jacket for the days when your technical pieces need a break.

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Ben Kuhns

Ben Kuhnswrote a review of on November 7, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 3"
Weight: 220 lbs

The packable, synthetic insulated jacket is a staple of the outdoor wardrobe for a reason: it works. The Nano Puff is no exception and it comes with Patagonia's typically great fit, construction, and warranty.

On milder days this is a great top layer. Warm but no bulky, and water resistant enough for odd raindrop or snowflake. If things progress, throw a shell over the top and let the Primaloft get to work on your core temperature.

The versatility really is the best part of this jacket. If you're traveling, the ability to stow the entire jacket inside its own pocket is a real plus.

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Ben Kuhns

Ben Kuhnswrote a review of on November 7, 2016

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I acquired a like-new Patagonia shell that had picked up a rather unfortunate smell during its short life. Determined to make it wearable once again, I turned to our lord and savior Nikwax for guidance.

This two product pack was the perfect one two punch to deodorize and re-waterproof my jacket. Instructions are easy to follow and the results speak for themselves: a waterproof jacket that no longer smells like a dead raccoon. Success!

If I have one complaint it is that the two products in this package don't have the same use instructions. The Techwash is only enough for a single wash, while the TX.Direct can handle multiple washes in one bottle. Buy this pack a couple of times and you'll soon end up with lots of extra TX.Direct, but never enough Tech Wash.

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Ben Kuhns

Ben Kuhnswrote a review of on November 7, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I gave it as a gift but have feedback to share
Fit: True to size

Leave it to Sorel to build a women's boot that delivers performance and looks it one great package.

I upgraded my lady from her decade old hot pink pair of Sorels to something a little more adult looking (at her request). She was extremely pleased with the fit and warmth out of the box.

We gave the boots a solid break-in on a weeklong trip to Iceland where they were her daily boot. Uneven terrain, sand, water - the Caribou's took all comers with ease.

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Ben Kuhns

Ben Kuhnswrote a review of on November 7, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I gave it as a gift but have feedback to share
Fit: True to size

I picked this up for my girlfriend to wear as her primary baselayer during a trip to Iceland. It quickly became her new favorite layer for travel.

The benefits of merino are well documented and I'm happy to say they apply 100% to this piece from Icebreaker. Not once did my girlfriend complain about her regulating her core temperature while wearing this layer. And after a week of unexpectedly heavy use, she was impressed at the relative lack of odor.

Truth be told, this piece is almost good enough looking to wear on its own.

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Ben Kuhns

Ben Kuhnswrote a review of on November 7, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: Runs small
Height: 6' 3"
Weight: 220 lbs
Size Purchased: 38-39

I bought these in anticipation of a weeklong trip to Iceland. Being my first Fjallraven product I wasn't sure if I would end up loving them or not.

Fast forward to the end of that trip and I am 100% sold on these as my new go-to pant for the outdoors. Looking back on that trip I easily could have left all my other pants at home, the Vidda Pro was simply all I wanted to wear.

The day I bought them I immediately treated them with Fjallraven's Greenland Wax and I definitely recommend you do the same. The wax is easy to apply and adds water-resistance AND makes your pants look awesome.

The cut of the pants is perfect for long days in the field. Being a photographer I also appreciate the ample pocket space and the adjustable cinches at the cuff.

I did find that I had to size up from what I normally order in other brands to get a waistband that fit right. But once I got the size right I could not have been happier with the product and its performance.

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Ben Kuhns

Ben Kuhnswrote a review of on November 7, 2016

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I must admit I was surprised when I first set eyes on this bar of Greenland Wax - it was so small!

Turns out a little bit goes a long way with this stuff and I was able to wax my Vidda Pro trousers with plenty of wax to spare. The wax is easy to apply; just rub it evenly onto your garment. A quick hit with a hair dryers melts the wax into the fabric and you're done; at least until the next go-round.

Circling back to the size of the bar, the small size can make it difficult to hold while applying. If a larger size is available I would buy it simply for that reason.

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Ben Kuhns

Ben Kuhnswrote a review of on September 6, 2016

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 3"
Weight: 210 lbs
Size Purchased: 12

This is my second pair of Chrome sneakers. As is to be expected, it's the details that make them standout of the pack. Thick soles, comfortable fabric, and a good eye for aesthetics are all part of the draw here.

While the shoes are obviously intended for urban cycling, my use is perhaps a touch different. I'm relying on these shoes for fencing practice twice a week. The flat, but supported sole is ideal for good footwork and the low profile construction doesn't interfere with the rest of my equipment.

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Ben Kuhns

Ben Kuhnswrote a review of on September 6, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 5'
Weight: 115 lbs
Size Purchased: X-Small

The lady had this to say:

Great fit, incredibly soft fabric, tons of colors - you name it, this shirt has it.

This is a great basic shirt for any warm-weather activity. The lightweight fabric helps you stay cool and moves with, not against you.

It would be hard to beat this shirt for general outdoor activities in this price range. Ordered the Sea Green color and I love it.

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Ben Kuhns

Ben Kuhnswrote a review of on September 6, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 5'
Weight: 115 lbs
Size Purchased: X-Small

Bought this for my girlfriend, mostly for use in weekly yoga classes.

She loves the cut of the tank, especially the open back design. You can expect the shirt to wear very similar to what is picture above. Even with the extra material hanging down from the back design, movement is easy when exercising. As an added bonus, the design helps you stay cool when the sweat starts building.

Color and fit were true to size.

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Ben Kuhns

Ben Kuhnswrote a review of on September 6, 2016

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 5'
Weight: 115 lbs
Size Purchased: X-Small

My girlfriend purchased two of these for weekly yoga classes and loves them.

Material is soft and comfortable straight out of the bag. Cut is relaxed as stated above, but not baggy. Neck straps are nice and wide and don't get uncomfortable when moving around.

One item of note: the Neon Peach color is considerably more vibrant than the picture.

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Ben Kuhns

Ben Kuhnswrote a review of on August 2, 2016

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I've been a messenger bag kind of guy since my teens. This is not my first Timbuk2 and I doubt it will be my last.

Construction is dependable and their bags are comfy and reasonably roomy. You also can't beat the range of sizes and colors available for getting that personal touch you want.

My only hesitation is the laptop portion of the bag. It does accommodate the 15-inch Macbook Pro that is the defacto standard in my industry. The laptop area is not well protected though. I've added a padded sleeve to beef it up a little and I feel better about rolling around with the computer now.

The rest of the storage is easy to use and provides plenty of space for your daily carries - whatever they are. The straps are simple, but seems very durable and easy to use.

I have yet to fly with the bag, but I suspect it will be easy to carry on and comfortable for treks through the terminal.

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Ben Kuhns

Ben Kuhnswrote a review of on August 2, 2016

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size

Feedback from my lady:

This is my go-to top for weekly yoga. The tank was soft and comfortable right out of the bag.

While the built in bra is a welcome touch, I ended up removing the cups as I felt like they didn't hold their shape well. I am not particularly busty so your mileage may vary.

So far I've found the Quinn to be comfortable through plenty of different movements; no chafing or unwanted rubbing anywhere. Everything feels secure without being constricting.

The range of colors is a welcome touch as well. I'll probably pick up a few more to add some variety to my closet.

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Ben Kuhns

Ben Kuhnswrote a review of on August 2, 2016

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size

I needed to replace some worn out items in my dresser for the hot Utah summer.

These shorts hit the sweet spot of price and construction and no unnecessary extras. The fabric is reasonably light and the cut allows for easy movement in all directions. I do wonder a bit about long term durability, but at this price point I'm not sure it is a big deal.

The fabric detail in the waistband is a nice touch. I definitely see myself buying a few more of these for the summer.

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