Denver, Colorado area
Frank, yeah, I learned after my first pair to go a half-size up, too. I always wear an 11 except with Hokas.
It's a good hat for running but I don't get why the interior side of the bill is white and not gray. Hmmm. Also, this hat tends to hug my head a bit too snugly, sometimes causing me to have a headache. I love Mountain Hardwear's stuff but this hat, even though it looks cool, isn't one of the better MH products I've used. If I find that it breaks in and is more comfy, I'll come back on here and update this review. Three stars, which might be a tad generous.
These shorts are the bomb. They give my quads amazing support. When you run in them, it almost feels like you're...naked. You don't even know they're there. Living here in Colorado with steep mountain trails, I find that these shorts protect my quads from getting trashed and keep me fresh. Highly recommended.
The most comfy hiking socks I've ever owned. They're soft, plush and durable. Highly recommended for long hikes, including treks up and back down big mountains like what we have here in Colorado.
I have this amazing shirt in green, orange and metallic silver. It is rare for me to buy three of the same thing (even with different colors). Yes, I love this shirt (along with the TNF Cardiac shorts) that much. This shirt is super breathable, light and comfy. One thing I noticed is that my orange shirt is a tad larger than the green and silver ones. Oh well--they all still fit beautifully. If you're looking for a sweet tech tee to wear on the trails, here you go. I'll be donning one of my TNF shirts at the Leadville 100 this year.
Hoka has made some nice shoes in the Bondi B's. They're soft and comfy and even light. They provide decent support but I wouldn't run on super technical trails with them from a support standpoint. My big beef with the Bondi B's is how they're sized. They are at least a half-size too small. I didn't really realize this until I'd run a few miles outdoors in them (making a return complicated and next to impossible). I should have run with them on the treadmill to test the size before venturing outdoors. My bad! Next time around I'm going to order 11.5's (Note: I have NEVER had to order anything but 11's...and then along come Hokas). This brings me to my second beef. These days everyone wants a pair of Hokas--and yet they're so hard to find. I bought mine on Backcountry within hours of them going live on the BC website, and then within a day or two the Bondis were sold out (and they're still sold out as of his review). This isn't Backcountry's fault--it's Hoka's fault. They need to produce more shoes to meet US demand. Or maybe they want to demand to outstrip supply to create that magical buzz.
I was skeptical when I bought these shorts because, while I tend to like North Face products, I'm not crazy about TNF shorts based on previous experience. These have changed my opinion of TNF running shorts! Yes, the fabric is stretchy and super comfy. They provide great support. And, sure, they look good, too. But what I really like about the Cardiac shorts are the three pockets. You have two pockets--one on each side--and one pocket right in back. So you have a total of three pockets. These shorts make it easy to carry a few gels along with some e-Caps and I'll be wearing them at the 2011 Leadville 100. In other words, for a guy like me who races 100s, these shorts are perfect. Highly recommended.
I wear these shorts quite often. Even though they're a tad baggy, these shorts are ultra comfortable and the pockets come in handy too for gels, my car key, etc. I have lots of black shorts so I decided to order the asphalt and they're sweet--almost black but not quite. Highly recommended for trail running.
I have gone through a countless number of YakTrax Pros and finally decided to pony up what it takes to get some serious ice spikes. The Kahtoola MicroSpikes deliver in a big way. When I'm on icy Rocky Mountain trails with my MicroSpikes, I can run with confidence and without any worry. At first, it's kind of unnerving hammering it over pure ice, but with MicroSpikes you know you have the footing to get in that great workout regardless of how slick the trail might be. Huge props to Kahtoola for this incredible product that delivers superb traction thanks to sharp teeth that really dig in with each step.
Also, last Sunday I ran in Boulder, CO with a pal who wore YakTrax Pros. It took me half the time to slip on my MicroSpikes that it took him to put on his YakTrax. You just slip on the MicroSpikes and you're ready to go. No velcro strap and hassle.
Kahtoola MicroSpikes are one of the best products I've ever bought. Huge thumbs up.
I've used my MSR filter on two high-mountain adventures and so far it has performed quite well. One of the thrills of a mountain run is enjoying the cold streams. This MSR filter gets the job done, allowing you to enjoy mountain stream water without worries of giardia, etc. Be forewarned: Filling a water bottle and especially a hydration pack will take a little time as you pump away. With continued use and practice, though, you figure out ways to refill as quickly as possible and move on.
I've owned 4 or 5 pair of these and, while they do provide decent traction, the rubber always breaks way too soon. These are not recommended for serious trail runners who put in the miles, and definitely not for any high country running. Recommended more for the hiker or short-distance trail runner.
I wore this hat during the 2009 Mohican Trail 100, and I can honestly say this hat helped me stay cool and protected on a very hot, sticky day. It's light. An excellent hat for a day hike or trail run when it'svery sunny.
Very light and durable. I highly recommend these for steep, rocky mountain ascents and descents. I plan to use these on Hope Pass at the Leadville Trail 100-Mile Race. Will report back on how they do.
The Speedcross is the sweetest trail shoe I've ever owned--light, flexible and durable. You can really "feel" the train in them. It has great tread, too. Occasionally you'll step on a sharp rock and really feel it, but the Speedcross is truly stand-out in its weight and flexibility. I've worn them on eastern trails and now Colorado trails, and I can honestly say they work very well in many settings. Do not buy these unless you want to go fast on the trails.
I got only 370 miles out of my Vasques before the material on the inside shredded. Actually, the material on the inside and outside near the front of my foot was showing major wear and tear as early as 200 miles, but then the inside of one of my shoes shredded in the middle of a long trail run, really irking me to the say the least. Yes, the shoes provide great traction, but the material is so not durable if you're on single track and gravel trails. Also, the shoes are VERY heavy. They have far more minuses than pluses. This go-around with Vasque proved to me that it's hard to find a better trail running shoe than Montrails.
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