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

Ryan Conklin

Ryan Conklinwrote a review of on July 25, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

I followed Salomon's sizing chart and ordered an M/L, and before running with it I thought it would be too small. This morning I took it on its maiden voyage though, a 7 miler with 1600ft gain, and I can comfortably say that the sizing is correct.

The fit of this pack is really nice: It moves with you. If you order it and you think it's too small, I recommend taking it out for a spin before deciding to exchange for a larger size. Trust Salomon's engineering, or, at least give it a shot.

The back pockets are nice and big, but I had a hard time reaching a loose gel and bar I had stuck in them. I'll probably plan to not keep any back there and only stick things in the back that are bulkier to make reaching them easier: a hat, jacket, gloves, headlamp, or maybe a ziplock bag full of snacks.

The zipper pockets are great, three in total. I put my keys in the zippered pocket on one side and my wallet on the other and I could not feel them as I ran. The small pouches in the front above the water bottles are great for small bars, GUs, and salt capsules.

Soft water bottles are a great addition in this model over hard bottles with over vests, which tend to bruise your chest after long runs. I found that the water bottles begin to flop around a little once you've sipped from them--fun fact, you can sip from them without removing them from their pockets! One recommendation is that once the bottle is empty, take a second and blow it full of air to inflate it and then stick it back in its pocket; this will prevent it from flopping around or falling out of the pocket if you bend over to tie your shoe or pick up an arrowhead.

Since I was out solo in the backcountry, I appreciated the pack's integrated whistle, should I have needed to yell for help, the whistle would've made it much easier to guide people to my location. --On this note, there's also the safety blanket included, which is another reassurance to tuck into the back of your mind as you go out seeking adventure.

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Ryan Conklin

Ryan Conklinwrote a review of on July 23, 2016

5 5

I love that these are not only really friggin tasty, but also very thin. I take 1-2 with me on bike rides and they fit in my jersey pocket without taking up hardly any space! If I had to, I could probably fit 20 of them in one pocket, which is 3,200 calories; there's no way I could fit even half that many clif bars in one pocket. You can't beat the size/shape of these and the caramel flavor is awesome!

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Ryan Conklin

Ryan Conklinwrote a review of on July 15, 2016

3 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: Runs large
Height: 6' 3"
Weight: 180 lbs
Size Purchased: Medium

I'm 6'3 and 180# and the Medium fits. I typically wear a size Large, but for this shirt, the Large would be too big on me. I strongly recommend sizing down a full size when purchasing this shirt, unless you are bigger or prefer relaxed-fitting shirts of course.

As far as the fit, I tend to be very picky about shirt sizing, and this one bugs me in a few ways: the center back length is about 2" too short in my opinion, and the sleeves are about 1" too long. I don't think it's a "regular" fitting shirt, and I would more comfortably classify it as "relaxed" fit. I don't like relaxed fitting shirts since I'm tall and skinny, but buying this shirt on sale made it worthwhile.

The quality is average. I wouldn't say it's very high quality stitching since it doesn't have the triple stitching typically found on higher-end running shirts, but then again this doesn't go for a higher-end price point. Because it's polyester, it will be durable as far as the body of the shirt, just be careful with stretching, tugging, etc. as the lack of reinforced stitching means you could accidentally bust the stitching with less strength than you'd expect.

The hook on the neck is a great addition since I like to hang my shirts out to dry in the sun before tossing them in the hamper after a run or workout. The hook means I won't hang the shirt's neck directly on a hook to dry, which should protect it from stretching. Nice detail, TNF.

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Ryan Conklin

Ryan Conklinwrote a review of on June 22, 2016

2 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

The following review is based on my personal experience with two of the 10oz bottles. I've used these bottles for lots of training runs and a few trail races, and they serve the purpose, but I don't recommend them and am looking for an alternative bottle of similar size/shape.

The problem with this bottle is that the cap doesn't seal well, so if you squeeze the bottle at all to drink, the liquid will come out the opening as well as around the sides of the cap. And, because the opening is so small, it's difficult to patiently drink from a small stream when you're running, particularly in a race. Most times nowadays, I take the cap completely off and sip from the bottle, then replace the cap and put the bottle back on my waist pack--this way seems to be easier as it allows me to drink the desired amount more easily/quickly and (when I'm drinking a powdered drink mix) it keeps my hands from becoming sticky from liquid leaking out around cap.

For me, the leaking problem has persisted even when the cap is closed. If I hold the bottle upside down and apply any pressure, liquid will escape from around the seal of the closed cap and leak out.

As an aside, the company Ultimate Direction is great and I love their other products, just not these 10oz'ers.

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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 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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