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Ryan Conklin

Ryan Conklin

Las Cruces, New Mexico

Ryan Conklin's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Running
Biking
Yoga

Ryan Conklin's Bio

Mountains are God. I like my beers and coffee strong and black.

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Ryan Conklin

Ryan Conklinwrote a review of on May 16, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 3"
Weight: 180 lbs
Size Purchased: Large

BIG shout-out to Backcountry.com and CW-X for hand-selecting me to review this piece of gear for the benefit of the backcountry.com community!

As my first pair of running shorts, I wasn't sure what I was getting into. I always paired running tights with winter temps, but these shorts have proven that Spring, Fall, and early summer mornings also offer running tight loving thanks to these shorts. The quality of the fabric feels impressive and inspires confidence; the 80/20 CoolMax Poly to Lycra ratio pretty much guaran-dam-tees you'll have breathability and a glove-like fit. (For gear junkies: The fabric has a capillary-like structure that wicks moisture more effectively to boost evaporation).

The compression of these has me convinced. My stride feels reinforced, which is important because a lot of my runs happen in the sandy trails that wind through the foothills bordering my neighborhood. Without a sure foot, you'll tweak your knees and end up crawling home, so I've been pleased as punch that these tights give me laser leg placement. So far I've had no issues with irritation or pressure spots.

For yoga these guys kill. I wore them for a 90 minute power flow class and there was NO slippage or bunching, these guys stayed put and left me feeling secure. Even in 110-degree yoga, I appreciated the breathability of the CoolMax. When trying to really connect with the floor I like the compression feeling in my thighs because it helps me visualize that I'm grounding into my mat. I will certainly be reaching for these for yoga more often.

Small points: The comfortable waistband, thick drawstring, inner stash pocket, and back loop (for hanging to dry) are all well executed, and add to the enjoyment of these awesome shorts.

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Ryan Conklin

Ryan Conklinwrote a review of on May 15, 2015

Fit Was Weird Or Maybe It's Just Me...
2 5

Familiarity: I returned this product before using it
Fit: Runs large
Height: 6' 3"
Weight: 180 lbs
Size Purchased: Medium

I'm returning these because I found the fit to be uncomfortable and odd looking. I'm a tall, skinny dude, and I prefer slimmer-fitting shorts, and well, these fit a bit too snuggly in the thighs and oddly enough the waist is big on me. I always wear a 32" waist, but these are big, but the legs are tight. But that isn't the deal breaker: The real problem is that the leg openings at the knees flare open (notice the picture how they flare out at my knees). It's not extreme, but my initial thought was "no, these aren't for me" and when my wife saw them, she instantly concurred with my plan to return them.

Maybe guys with burlier quads can fill these in, but I was left feeling like I need to hit the legs a bit more often going into summer. Sorry Black Diamond, your design does not fit my body type. 6'3" and 180lbs did not do well in your 32" waist.

Port color is RAD though, and I like the stretchiness of the fabric. Hardware of the button clasp is nice with the BD logo. I wanted to dig these, but I'm not the right fit.

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Ryan Conklin

Ryan Conklinwrote a review of on May 15, 2015

Get Stoked - These Will Help Your Flow
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 3"
Weight: 180 lbs
Size Purchased: LRG

BIG shout-out to Backcountry.com and CW-X for hand-selecting me to review this piece of gear for the benefit of the backcountry.com community.

This is my third pair of running tights, but the first pair I've had that I look forward to wearing. I always thought of running tights as providing enough warmth to pacify the icy daggers of winter, but these guys not only stave off icy daggers, they also provide compression that is so good, you'll do a double-take after pulling them on.

Right out of the mail, I was immediately impressed by the quality of these tights. In your hands they feel like a top-shelf soft shell providing the best in durability and strength; the 80/20 CoolMax Poly to Lycra ratio guarantees breathability and custom fit. I love wearing these on runs in the surrounding desert trails because even after I get my furnace going, I don't sweat in these thanks to the CoolMax fabric, which delivers brisk breathability (For gear junkies: The fabric has capillary-like structure that wicks moisture like a sweat-seeking vampire).

The compression feels like it's reinforcing my legs with titanium, and I instantly want to run faster and longer--this is particular helpful on my morning trail runs because the sand used to sap my speed. But because the compression increases blood flow, my performance isn't hampered. And because the seams on these guys are expertly woven, I haven't gotten any pressure points or aches.

Small points: The comfortable waistband, thick drawstring, inner stash pocket, and back loop (for hanging to dry) are all well executed, and it's sometimes the perfection of little things that make the overall product all the more enjoyable to use.

If I had to ding them, it would be that I don't quite fill in the booty. Butt that's something I can plan to work on. ;)

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Ryan Conklin

Ryan Conklinwrote a review of on May 13, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 3"
Weight: 180 lbs
Size Purchased: LRG

I bought this jacket, so that I could use it for business trips as well as casual outings, all the while having a reliable performance shell should I need to kick major heinie in the backcountry. Why? A: Sleek design, reliable material, professional appeal. Zipper is reliable, seams are uber-trustworthy, folds up nicely to stow in carry-on outer pocket, and emerges after a 12-hr flight with a wrinkle-less shine.

How'd we meet? Well, I fixated on the sharp look of this jacket from day one. Now that I own it, I relish in the incredible feel and protection this jacket pours over me. This spring I dashed a couple hundred meters across a rainy parking lot in OKC en route to a Lebanese restaurant, and when the zipper came down, I emerged dry, crisp, and ready for hummus and baba ganoush. Pass the pita!

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Ryan Conklin

Ryan Conklinwrote a review of on May 12, 2015

No Hocus Pocus, Straight Up Abracadabra
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 3"
Weight: 180 lbs
Size Purchased: LRG

Two magician puns in one title, but the Houdini pullover is deserving. I bought this guy because I wanted to have a go-to layer that wouldn't weigh me down or take up much space.

The Houdini is so compact I can fit my smartphone, energy bar, and Houdini in a single jersey pocket when out on a ride, quite the trick. What's more, even though it's slim fit, the pull-over style allows me to get it on even over my bike helmet so I can get back to my ride without too much fuss. When trail running it's easy to tuck this guy in my back pocket and forget about it without any change to my stride. The single chest zipper pocket allows you to store driver's license and credit card, in case you're shorts are sans pockets. When not in use the zipper pocket swallows the Houdini for easy storage, Ta-da!

All in all, ample weather protection that fits in your pocket, doesn't weigh you down or obstruct your movements, and compresses into a tiny, handy pouch. Plus, it comes from Patagonia, a company that account for where and how all their products are made.

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Ryan Conklin

Ryan Conklinwrote a review of on November 13, 2014

Step Right Up and Peep this Travel Case!
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size

Thank you to Backcountry.com and United By Blue for hand-selecting me to review this piece of gear for the benefit of the backcountry.com community.

After a few short trips, I invite you all to gather-round to hear my initial conclusion: This travel case is of very high quality. Period. Boom! "How's that?", One of you bravely asks... Well, the stitching is strong, straight, and consistently tight; the organic cotton body is plated on the front side with leather to reinforce the quick access exterior pocket, which is zippered shut with biting teeth of brass (read "very durable"); the case is topped with a quick-grab leather strap, so it won't slow you down whether you're scrambling to check-out by noon or just in need of an easy way to hang your case from a doorknob; plus, I'd like to add that the inclusion of a leather landing strip on the bottom of the case will add years to the case's lifetime; finally, the leather zipper pulls mean the act of opening and closing the case is graceful and will leave you with confidence that your contents are secure.

(Crowd inches forward as case is unzipped.) The inside is refreshingly uncomplicated, with a small zippered pocket, and beneath it a patch commemorating the solidarity between your decision to make a responsible purchase and UBB's oath to remove a pound of waste from our waterways.

All step-right-ups aside, this travel case has been a victory of mine for two main reasons: (1) It embodies a simple, yet professional means for safely transporting my smaller essentials, and (2) Purchasing this product triggers concrete environmental action by UBB: THEY REMOVE ONE POUND OF TRASH FROM THE OCEAN for every product purchased.

My case is in "Moss" and it's pictured with ALL of my travel toiletries, PLUS 7 bananas. Why 7 bananas? Well, after adding all of my essentials, I still had room for 7 bananas. Have you ever seen a traveler suffering from hypokalaemia (potassium deficiency)? Let's just say it's a grizzly sight.

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Ryan Conklin

Ryan Conklinwrote a review of on October 11, 2014

Trippity Fashionista Sk8r Doggie Collar
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

A big thank you to Backcountry.com and Wolfgang Man & Beast for hand-selecting ME to review this piece of gear for the benefit of the backcountry.com community.

First things first, the pattern is oh-so fly because not only does the collar show a have-a-nice-trip striped-out section (pictured), but you also have colored squares that go so well together you will swear Wolfgang took the color scheme from a hipster summer wedding palette. And, on the inside, you'll find a hidden treat (bottom of cereal box style!) with skateboard legend, Natas Kaupas, shreddin' it like the pavement grating Lithuanian he is. --The Kaupas pic may come in handy if you and your dog are trying to earn street cred at the local skatepark... OR if you need to infiltrate a Lithuanian skateboard gang to rescue your girlfriend--just saying, I'm just saying.

With a burly collar ring your dog's name tag, rabies tag, beer opener, night light, etc. will fit without a prob. The buckle is easy to grasp and maneuver, so don't plan on fighting fumbling fingers when it's time to take off the collar for bow-wow's bath. The collar's width and the cleverly placed Wolfgang patch make the collar pop like an Osiris shoe tongue, huzzah!

Solid nylon construction, burly hardware, and gang-infiltrating style all comfortably worn around your best friend's neck. OH! so good.

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