I have been doing the minimalist running thing for about a year now and up until now have been very frustrated with the lack of thought put into minimalist running shoes. Nike frees are normal running shoes, I don't know why people think they're a barefoot shoe. Vibram five fingers are dumb, they rely on a glove fit but unless your feet are the exact shape and proportions of the shoe they will not fit correctly. I have a pair of KSOs that I can't wear because they are way too tight on my big toes, like painfully tight. Also, it's really annoying and difficult to try and wiggle your smaller toes into the toes of the five fingers. The trail gloves solve this problem. They fit very much like the five fingers but without the annoying separated toes, and the toe box is wide so there's plenty of room for splaying but it doesn't affect the glove like feel and fit of the shoe. I have worn them with and without socks and had zero problems with blisters. On trails you can feel some of the rocks but unless you're not paying attention to where your feet fall you shouldn't have any problems with bruising your feet in these. Oh and these things are super light, they feel like nothing. I finally feel like I've found the perfect minimalist trail shoe. BTW I also really like running in Luna Sandals, unless the trail is really gnarly the Lunas are my default.
I have been eyeballing this thing for months, wanting to try it out. On my way out of town for the calico 50k I stopped at a local running store to pick up some body glide. While there I saw they had these packs and impulsively bought one. I wasn't so sure that testing out new gear on a such a big race was such a good idea, but I decided to run with it anyways. Man is it comfortable. I only ever filled it to 30 oz cause there were enough aid stations that I didn't need to lug around the full amount. 30 oz didn't really feel like anything. Barely bounced at all, though I like to think that i have a pretty smooth stride. The best thing about it is all the pockets and the drawstring. Midway through the race I took off my shirt, it was nice to cinch it down to my pack instead of tying it around my waist or holding it. Also the pockets in the front are amazing. I was able to put my phone (it is my music and camera) in one pocket and some treats in the other. Very easy to get to stuff when it's on the front. I will deffinately be wearing this for all my longer runs and for any long race where there is not an aid station every couple miles.
I used to think I was way too cool for vests. But I really like this vest! It's nice to be able to keep your core warm while keeping your arms free to do other things. It's super comfy and looks pretty good too. I'm 6' 165lbs and a medium fits me perfectly. The drawstring on the bottom of the vest is a nice touch.
I had the opportunity to get this vest for 80 bucks but ended up paying 130 for the patagonia micro puff. Here's why. It looks so much like a trash bag! It's black and super shiny way more shiny than normal vests. I wish it wasn't so ugly because in addition to being cheaper this vest packs down smaller than the patagonia and it comes with a stuff sack! If only it was not so ugly it would be the perfect buy.
Does what it's supposed to. Keeps the sun of your face and neck. Great for exposed desert hiking. My only complaint is that the elastic on the neck flap is kinda tight.
I'm typically a minimalist when it comes to camping, I never carry more than what will fit in my 40 liter pack and haven't used a tent in years. But this towel has found a permanent home in my pack. Folded up it's so small that it doesn't really take up any room or add any weight. It's really nice to be able to wash and dry my face while camping and it's nice to be able to dry off after swimming in an icy river instead of shivering on rocks waiting to dry. Great travel towel too. The only thing I don't like is that it's impossible to wipe it across wet skin. It sticks to your skin you you have to pat dry. I used this without washing probably 10 times before it started to stink.
I used to think I was too cool for zip off pants/shorts. But I just can't deny function. The pants are super comfy and its really nice to be able to convert to shorts in an instant. I wear these pants when climbing, camping, traveling or just lounging around the house. They dry really fast and even when they are wet they don't hold a lot of water so you won't get all bogged down after crossing streams. These pants even look nice, they're not super baggy like some hiking pants but there's still plenty of room for your legs to move unfettered. My only complaint is that the bottoms don't have drawstrings. The bottoms are kinda wide so they drag on the ground behind my heels. I corrected this by sewing elastic in the cuffs but drawstrings would've been nice.
You have to put biners on your cams anyways and if you're smart you have camalots. So why not color match your biners to your cams? It seemed kinda silly to me at first but when I'm 200 feet up hanging on by my fingertips and my legs are bouncing like crazy being able to find the right size cam quickly and easily really make a big difference.
I wouldn't use any other cams if you gave them to me. Camalots are easy to use, smooth and the extra range makes it easier for people like me who are less experienced at placing gear to find the right size on the first try.
These are my go to shoes for trad and all day moderate climbing. They're very comfortable without sacrificing performance. Not my shoe of choice for hard boulder problems or for steep stuff but I know other people who climb exclusively in these shoes.
These are the best aggressive shoe I've found. The most important thing for me is that they fit me feet really well. These shoes have a more symmetrical toe box which is what I need. I've tried other aggressive shoes but none fit my feet as well. As far as shoe function goes these are great. Great edging, great performance on steep stuff and the rubber on the top of the foot gives a nice advantage for those rare situations where you need a good toe hook.
I've had the previous model of this jacket for a year and it is for sure my favorite jacket. It's super comfy, light weight and warm. Also, it's pretty durable, I've worn it climbing a few times and was sure I'd get holes in the arms but still no holes! I usually wear it by it's self but if it's really cold outside additional layers are needed. I also like the way it looks, very fashionable.
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