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Ryan Conklin

Ryan Conklin

Las Cruces, New Mexico

Ryan Conklin's Passions

Running
Biking
Yoga
Hiking & Camping

Ryan Conklin's Bio

Mountains are my bullseye, my jackpot, and my bingo. Outdoors, I'm all about elevation gain/loss on bike, feet, or skis. Indoors, I like healthy eats, dark or hoppy craft beers, and crashing on the couch with my wife and dog after an active day.
instagram.com/raiyen

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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Ryan Conklin

Ryan Conklinwrote a review of on July 13, 2015

5 5

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

As a cross-trainer, I've been very pleased so far with these shorts.

Regarding fit: They have just the right width for the leg opening for my leg size, and the shorts' inseam length comes is just what I look for: size Medium and I'm 6'3" -- call it "Goldy Locks Length." The polyester/spandex ratio helps me move without restriction, no matter how ridiculous of a position I'm trying to put past myself.

Getting them just last week, they've already seen a lot of action, and I have a few highlights to mention: Going out for a 5k out-n-back in the front country and stopping to toy with the occasional boulder problem has been a joy, as has flexing my warrior 1s, 2s, and 3s beneath my backyard gazebo thanks to the boxer-brief liner keeping my 'situation' secure.

FYI: No side pockets, 1 back zipper pocket, boxer-brief-like liner, waist drawstring, and a strip of vented fabric runs through the inner-thigh/satchel region to keep you cool.

Only thing I would change on these is to make the stash pocket slightly larger. Since I like to run with Strava on my iPhone 6, which is in a case, it barely fits in the stash pocket and is really hard to get out once it's in there. It's so hard to get in/out that I decided for my phone to forego the pocket and ride in my minimalist waist pack. The back pocket really is a "Stash" pocket though, and will easily accommodate a few keys, credit card, driver's license, energy gel, and maaaybe a picky bar; larger smart phones may get in, but beware: They may not easily get out.

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Ryan Conklin

Ryan Conklinwrote a review of on July 3, 2015

Great Merino T-shirt w/ Uniquenesses
3 5

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

Thank you to Backcountry.com and Minus33 for hand-selecting me to review this piece of gear for the benefit of the backcountry.com community.

I love merino wool shirts and how they effectively keep you warm even when wet. I've used them mostly for hiking and trail running, and love their ability to insulate. The Minus33 fits right in with my best experiences in merino wool. The Minus33 has a beautiful green to it that reminds me of a shaded gully hidden in a deep forest. The triple stitching on the seams pounds the chest of durability, and the shoulder seems fit me slightly offset to minimize chafe from daypack shoulder straps. And because it's merino, you can wear this guy over and over--and over-- with minimal, if any, stink.

At 6'3" and 185lbs. I'm pretty thin, and it's really hard to find a t-shirt with the right length that isn't baggy. However, this Minus33 in a LRG fits my length spot on without making me look food deprived, and I can truthfully say I wouldn't want the shirt to be even a centimeter longer/shorter--perfect!

One thing I wasn't in love with is the longer sleeve length on this t-shirt. Maybe it's because I prefer shorter sleeves that cover roughly 2/3 of my bicep, but the sleeves on this shirt run more like the length of a golf shirt stopping just short of my elbow (my dress shirt sleeve length is 36" for reference). If you like short-sleeve shirts with longer sleeves for added sun protection or that golfer look, this is definitely the way to go, but if you prefer your guns to run partially exposed, you may have this shirt tailored; be advised.

My other hangup was the neckline, which I felt was too tight. Maybe I just need to wear the shirt in a bit more, but after a few wearings, my opinion holds: the neckline isn't the standard size; it's significantly smaller, which makes the shirt run high on the neckline--it's most apparent in the front.

If you'll be wearing this shirt in sunny weather and want to stick to the higher-end of sun protection via t-shirt, this Minus33 will offer you greater protection for your arms with slightly longer sleeves, and better coverage for your upper chest/neck area with the higher neckline. The superfine merino wool will keep you cool in the heat and warm in chillier conditions, and if it gets wet, simply take it off, wring it out, and pop it back on for renewed warmth--something cotton 'n synthetics fail to offer.

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Ryan Conklin

Ryan Conklinwrote a review of on May 29, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 3"
Weight: 180 lbs
Size Purchased: Large

Since ordering this jersey my cycling efforts have required purchasing several more jerseys, and I still go back to this one as my favorite for the simple reason that it fits very well and is very light (great for hot rides in New Mexico).

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Ryan Conklin

Ryan Conklinwrote a review of on May 26, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I've put around 300 miles on these tires so far and have yet to suffer a single flat. I ride in the desert southwest, too, where spiky plants and "goat head thorns" (google it) are as common on roadways as cigarette butts in the parking lot at the Kentucky Derby. My previous tires regularly suffered the wrath of spiky street gangs, and I usually had a flat every 50 miles or so.

I've romped more times than I would like to admit through loose gravel stretches laden with pointy glass shards, spiny goat heads, and chunks of broken rock--a gauntlet that my gators have guided gallantly with no flats to date.

Also, I think these tires ride just as fast as my previous, lighter tires, as my average speed hasn't dipped. So far, I love them.

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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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