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Ryan Conklin

Ryan Conklin

Las Cruces, New Mexico

Ryan Conklin's Passions

Running
Biking
Yoga
Hiking & Camping
Skiing

Ryan Conklin's Bio

Mountains are my bullseye, my jackpot, my bingo. To tone it down, I savor smokey eats, dark syrupy coffee, & crashing on the couch with my wife. instagram.com/raiyen

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Ryan Conklin

Ryan Conklinwrote a review of on March 8, 2016

Just What I Needed for My First 30k!
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I bought this in preparation for my first 30k trail run because it was a no-cup event. I went with this lumbar pack due to price and also because I already own a backpack hydration system, but it leaves my shoulders sore after long runs (besides the vest- and backpack-type systems I didn't want to go with a handheld because it throws off my rhythm). So, I'm happy to say, I'm very pleased with this purchase: having two 10oz bottles offered me the right amount of liquid between aid stations, and the front pocket fit my iPhone 6 (I had to remove my 6's protective case to fit it in the front pocket, but it fit nonetheless--a 6+ would not fit in the front pocket.)

At the stating line then I had my waist pack loaded with 10oz of water, 10oz of nuun, my race bib conveniently secured to my side, two mini Larabars, my car key carabiner'd to the bungie cord, and a mini ziplock with chocolate-covered espresso beans. All of this snugly cinched up on my waist, did wonders during the run: no chaffing, no bouncing, no agitation. When I needed a snack I easily slid the back section towards the front, removed my snack, ate, stuffed the wrapper in the velcroed pocket, and slid the bottle/pocket section back behind me again with my phone in front, all without breaking stride.

If I had one complaint it would be that the fasteners for attaching the race bib move freely, so unless you safety pin them to the waist belt (which would hamper your ability to slide stuff around to access while running), the race bib tends to fold so that left and right fasteners walk to meet each other leaving the bib folded in half. Now, this is by far not that big of a deal and can be avoided altogether by shouting your race number to the guy with the clipboard, but still, it is a criticism, and probably my only criticism given the solid construction and ease of use that this lightweight waist pack offers. Nice work UD, you guys got this one dialed!

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Ryan Conklin

Ryan Conklinwrote a review of on February 10, 2016

2 5

The straps that connect the round cap to the overall lid flex each time you open it and while you drink. Unfortunately, the material isn't durable and it cracked on each side after 2 weeks of daily use. For a cap that costs nearly as much as the bottle/cap combo, I was hoping it would've lasted longer... I think I'll stick with Nalgene and Klean Kantene over the Chute. Bummer because I like that I could add ice and still drink from a smaller spout.

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Ryan Conklin

Ryan Conklinwrote a review of on February 10, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 3"
Weight: 185 lbs
Size Purchased: 12

I bought these boots on sale since the full-price tag was a bit intimidating. However, now that I've owned these boots for about 4 months, I can confidently say they're worth purchasing at full price. The craftsmanship is expert and it is evident that great care was taken in their creation. Even the laces feel to be of high quality. FYI - I purchased mine in the "Falcon" color and it's slightly darker than pictured.

Break-in wasn't too bad, but there is a break-in period. My first thought was that these were a bit too tight, but I stuck with it and they broke in to the point where I'm certain I chose the right size. (My running shoes, sandals, etc. are typically sz 12, which is what I chose for these.)

I really like their look, which is fairly easy to dress up/down, and although they aren't great for hiking, they can do the job.

Damn attractive and high quality, I'm glad I pulled the trigger on these and look forward to many years of wear. Be sure to pick up the boot dressing and polish them on occasion to boost the life of the leather.

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Ryan Conklin

Ryan Conklinwrote a review of on February 10, 2016

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 3"
Weight: 185 lbs
Size Purchased: XL

I really wanted a pair of gloves that would allow me to still use my fingers for smart phone handling. These seemed spot on for that purpose (as well as tying shoes, operating a DSLR camera, and making micro adjustments on my bike helmet). Not only do these allow you to uncover/cover your fingers quickly and easily, but the mitten action allows for your fingers to stay fairly toasty on runs. Plus when my hands are getting a little too warm, I can easily uncover my digits to help regulate my hand temperature, which is a really nice feature.

A con for me is that the magnets tend to be chilly on my fingers, and they don't tend to reliably secure the mitten flap. Many times I attach them and then they release due to quick movements while running (or even driving). Bummer, but not a deal breaker. Also, another challenge is getting these gloves off, I haven't damaged them, but I'm extra cautious when removing them because it feels like I'll tear the stitching by tugging on the flaps--there's simply no easy/designated place to grab them when pulling them off. A pull tab on one of the fingers (like a lot of cycling gloves have) would be helpful and reassuring since dropping $45 on gloves for me means hopefully getting 3+ seasons out of them.

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Ryan Conklin

Ryan Conklinposted an image about on January 5, 2016

Oatmeal Versus the Spiny Plants

Being from New Mexico, trail running in Oregon is not as easy as I thought. Plants are not all cuddly up here, a few jumped me today as I cut through a field; good thing I'm not a board-short model. Fortunately, the added padding in my darn tough socks kept my feet fresh, so I could remain agile.

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Ryan Conklin

Ryan Conklinwrote a review of on November 11, 2015

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: Runs large
Height: 6' 3"
Weight: 185 lbs
Size Purchased: Medium

A big big thank-you to Backcountry and ExOfficio for hand-selecting me to review this shirt for the benefit of the Backcountry community! Huzzah!

The NioClime shirt will be your best shirt in the mountains granted a few small key notes: On sizing, as far as my personal experience, I usually wear a LRG, but a MED in this shirt is plenty for me. So, consider sizing down one or just buy two and return the one that doesn't fit as well.

The shirt has a relaxed fit and the sleeves are just-a-touch longer than standard sleeves--two style points I particularly like in my short-sleeve shirts, so I dropped one star. If you're a fan of those two features, this shirt is a great choice for your travel, hiking, and running needs. It comes in earth tone colors that go well for low-key travel attire that's functional even after multiple days of steady use.

The fabric is light but reassuringly strong, so durability has your back; and the anti-stink fabric will keep others' nostrils at bay, whether you're packing into a bus, airport line, or even helping a few tourists understand their topo map.

The stitching was thought out so that your shoulders won't be bothered my backpack straps thanks to the off-set stitching--this is pleasantly noticeable after a long day of travel or hiking without signs of abrasion.

Just beneath the collar on the back of the shirt includes an Ex Officio logo in a slightly contrasting color, so it doesn't leap out at those behind you,

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Ryan Conklin

Ryan Conklinwrote a review of on November 5, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 3"
Weight: 185 lbs
Size Purchased: Medium

I wanted a vest to wear over t-shirts and button down flannels on colder days that has a minimalist look. This fits the bill. The two hand pockets are amply-sized and zippered. The fleece is soft and comfortable, inside and out. Patagonia's quality craftsmanship is apparent throughout, and I expect this vest to last a long time.

One gripe: The zipper hardware is standard size, but the pocket zippers jingle-jangle around when I walk. Weird gripe, but I think they smaller hardware would've been better--plastic or coated would've been fine, IMO.

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Ryan Conklin

Ryan Conklinwrote a review of on October 27, 2015

Ultimate Outdoor Utility Shorts
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 3"
Weight: 185 lbs
Size Purchased: 32

Big thanks to ExOfficio and Backcountry.com for hand-selecting me to review this piece of gear for the benefit of the BC community.

I've never owned a pair of shorts that made me think, "you know what, these shorts are really friggin' handy!" But that was my first impression after pulling them on. Mine are 32" waist & 8.5" length in Dark Charcoal.

Belt: Starting from the top, these shorts come with a removable belt with a snap closure--the belt has a minimalist design, which is great because a typical belt buckle can snag on rock or gear when you're scrambling or maneuvering in close quarters. You don't have to worry about snagging anything on this low-profile buckle, and unlike an integrated belt, this one uses a normal belt-loop system can be put on/off without having to fish it through large sections of closed fabric.

Design: The material is lightweight nylon so it won't overheat and it's durable. On the inside of the belt line, there is a soft fabric liner to add a comfy buffer between the shorts and your skin. This is a very welcomed feature, particularly after a long day of hiking or backpacking as it'll save your skin from the brunt of typical waistband irritation. --A really nice feature for those who spend long days outdoors or planning extended trips, especially thru-hikes.

Hardware: The button clasp is nicer than most because of the way it's fastened to the material, it's a touch longer than most button closures, and the added length makes it's easier to fasten the waist--a small detail, but a noticeably nice touch. The zippers are fairly solid, light-weight, and low profile (you won't find gnarly steel teeth on these shorts' zippers, ouch).

Pockets: On the back there are two zippered pockets (Yes!), each side has a cargo pocket with Velcro closure, and the right cargo pocket has a top slide pocket that nicely fits an iPhone 6 for quick-n-easy retrieval--something that is super handy when you spot a moose moving through the woods and need to silently pull out your camera without startling it (I'm looking at you Velcro!). The top hand pockets are modestly deep, are mesh lined, and the right pocket has a change divider sewn into the bottom, again, a nice touch.

Overall: These are truly rad hiking shorts if utility is of any importance: Having two back-zippered pockets, two cargo pockets, a phone slide pocket and two hand pockets is really amazing, and they did all that while keeping the shorts lightweight and sleek so that you can still rally up boulders and bring your legs high without them bunching.

Sizing: Being able to choose your length is awesome: I avoid longer shorts for hiking since going up hills in longer shorts can cause knee abrasion against the fabric. These in 8.5" are perfect for me. Waist is spot on, and if not, you can dial it in with the belt.

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Ryan Conklin

Ryan Conklinwrote a question about on October 14, 2015

BC's Tech Specs state s 29.5" inseam for sz Medium, is that correct? So if I normally wear a 32-33 waist and 34 length, I would probably want a size Medium for the waist, but these would then be super short on me, no?

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Ryan Conklin

Ryan Conklinwrote a review of on August 18, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 3"
Weight: 185 lbs
Size Purchased: XL

Great fit on these: They mold to your foot! With the expected Smart Wool quality. Smart wool socks are an investment: Spend the money now and four years from now you'll be bragging to your friends how your socks are four years old and still rocking!

Sz 13 shoe and XL is perfect size.

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Ryan Conklin

Ryan Conklinwrote a review of on August 17, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

After using this light for half a dozen morning rides, I have to say I'm very pleased.

I went with the Danger Zone, rather than comparable models, because the DZ runs on AAA batteries. This means I can throw two AAAs in my stash pocket along with tubes, and multi-tool, and if my batteries dies, I can swap them out and won't end up a deadman. For extra credit, I use rechargeable AAA batteries making this a no-brainer for me, since USB charging ports are not mega durable on small electronics in general (and inconvenient when 20 miles from home and the battery dies...Now what you gunna do?)

Another reason I went with the DZ light is the presence of two bulbs, which allows the light to double-team a driver's attention, making it more effective than a single bulb's dance. And, these bulbs are NOT SO bright that you'll scorch the retinas of the guy/gal behind you if riding in a group, so no worries there. Also, the three light modes are all I could ask for: a simple alternating top-bottom-top-bottom mode, a crazy schizo mode, and a steady stay-on mode give me all I need.

Finally, I'm uber pleased with the mounting system, the STAYPUTNIK! It is easy to use to mount the light (not tools required), it's fast (probably 2-3 seconds to install or remove), and secure (it doesn't move around, but you can make micro-adjustments with your hand if needed). The mount is great and makes it even easier to fall in love with this light.

If you're hesitant to drop $35 on a light, just remember you can't put a price on safety, and, ER visits can be terrifyingly pricey. Do it!

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