Zach Luchs

Zach Luchs

Aspen, CO (Elk Mountain Range)

Zach Luchs's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Snowboarding
Running
Yoga

Zach Luchs's Bio

Trail Runner | Snowboarder | Photographer | Coffee Lover


www.zachluchsphoto.com
www.instagram.com/zachluchsphoto

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Zach Luchs

Zach Luchs wrote a review of on November 23, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

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

It's a powder day, you woke up a little late and you're rushing to get to the lift before the line is frustratingly long. You're searching all over the place for your spare GoPro batteries and your XSories U-Shot to capture some powder day faceshots, but do to the unorganized chaos that is your room, you can't find either and you rush out the door. After a few runs, your battery dies and you don't have another one. I bet you wished you could organize all those GoPro accessories so this never happens again.

The Big Capxule has enough room for all your accessories to keep you organized so you are prepared to shoot all day. It has a thin profile so it can easily slip into a backpack and is well padded to keep everything safe when your on the move. I really like the webbing compartment in the Capxule as I can store my external hard drive there, the Sneaker Power Bank, or even another GoPro if I needed. The storage in the top is great for cords, extra housings, and other GoPro mounts like the chest mount. The exterior of the case is durable and keeps snow and dirt out. I'm not exactly gentle with my camera bag and I'm not different with this case and it has showed no signs of wear.

Though I like the storage this case offers and I think it does a great job, I do wish the large storage on the lid was a zippered closure. A few times, I would open the Capxule to find a few cord ends popping out. Not a deal breaker, but it would be nice to see. I would also like to see the storage amped up with more slots for SD cards and multiple slots for batteries.

Overall, I really think the Big Capxule Soft Case does a great job at keeping all your GoPro accessories in one place while allowing you to transport and protect everything at the same time.

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Zach Luchs

Zach Luchs wrote a review of on November 23, 2014

3 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

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

Brilliant little beings that we are, we buy cases for those devices that we want to protect, like our phones. With the Silicone Cover HD from XSories, you can now add more protection (and color pop) to your precious GoPro.

The case fits snug around the existing GoPro housing, providing a thin layer of protection without adding too much bulk or heft. There are cut-outs for the buttons, front-facing screen, and bottom mount attachment, to retain normal function. It is proving to be durable after more than a few drops and even tossing it into a boulder garden didn't result in any damage to the casing. Along with adding protection, the silicone casing also provides some insulation to assist with battery life in colder temps. I use my GoPro a lot during winter activities, so this was a feature I was excited to check out. We've been getting some good snow storms lately and the temps are into the 20's during the day and I do feel like the battery in my GoPro is lasting a bit longer when I'm putting it through normal use.

Even though it does help with battery life, your battery will die at some point during use and if you're like me, you have a pocket full of spares to not miss a moment. Taking the casing off to change the battery is more work than I'm looking to do and when I'm using a GoPro, I like to be on the go. Fast. Efficient. This is not a fast process and it was a little annoying at times.

This $20 silicone case is a no brainer for adding some protection. I think this is a great product for the user who is focused on recreational use. Maybe not for someone who is using their GoPro as a videography tool and burning up batteries all day. A two-piece re-design with a snap seam for easier access to the battery would be a great update to see in the future.

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Zach Luchs

Zach Luchs wrote a review of on November 10, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I've used many a gel (Clif, Hammer, Honey Stinger, and GU) through the miles of training and these are certainly what works best for me. No GI issues, great energy, tasty flavors, and a great consistency even when it gets cold.

Just a perfect shot of energy to power all of my runs...

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Zach Luchs

Zach Luchs wrote a review of on November 5, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size

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

As someone whose body always seems to run warm (even in the winter), I have struggled to find a waterproof/windproof shell that protects me while keeping my body temp regulated. It's a very fine line to walk. Thankfully, Mountain Equipment has done a great job with the Micron jacket.

The Micron jacket is a well-built, lightweight, weatherproof shell. I found the jacket to fit true to size and I could even wear the jacket over my hydration vest comfortably. The hood is large enough to accommodate a helmet but adjusts down easily. I came to appreciate the stiff bill on the hood to keep the rain out of the eyes. Another small feature is the thumb loops to really keep the sleeves in place during any climbing/scrambling. Great attention to detail all around. Aside from the finer details, the jacket performed very well in most situations. Winter is in full affect here in the high country of Colorado and this jacket has stood up to 4 hours of rain/snow on the trail and worked great to protect from the moisture and wind.

Though the Micron does it's job at protecting against wind/rain/snow very well, I did find myself overheating on “warmer” days (30-40 degrees) but I think this was more the sun than the actual air temp. I took it on a run to the summit of Mt. Elbert in the start of November. I was warm during the first few miles due to the sun and mid-40's (no precipitation), but the jacket earned it's keep once I started on the ridge and found myself against some heavy wind from 12k to the summit at 14k.

I would say that the Micron really does a great job overall. The jacket isn't meant for sunny/dry/mild temps, so I wasn't too put off on the occasions where I overheated since those conditions were the only that caused overheating. In the water/windy conditions, it performed beautifully.

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Zach Luchs

Zach Luchs wrote a review of on November 2, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

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

Keeping your phone, watch, GoPro, camera, etc. charged can be difficult when you're always on the go. So what do you do when you're out backpacking, you've been snapping photos with your iPhone all day, then you get the dreaded notification that your battery is down to 10%? This is where the XSories Sneaker Power Bank steps in...

The Sneaker Power Bank has proven itself to be a very convenient and affordable option for keeping your devices charged when a power outlet is not an option. The small size packs easily into any pack or even a coat or pant pocket, which is key for being able to charge on the go. It can charge up to two devices that use a USB and does so very quickly. I found that it can charge my watch (Suunto Ambit2) and iPhone (iPhone 5s) at the same time just as quickly as they charge on a wall outlet, which was very surprising. I was also able to get two full charges for my iPhone before the Power Bank needed to be reloaded. A great touch is the grip on the top and bottom to keep your Sneaker Power Bank in place while your charging your devices.

There are not a lot of flaws to this device. It does exactly what it's built for and it does it well. There are a few updates that I would love to see, however. The main updates would be adding protection on the sides of the Power Bank and a loop for a carabiner to allow the attachment to a pack. Maybe a full silicone wrapping to waterproof, shockproof, and insulate the Power Bank, making it more rugged and able to stand up to any outdoor adventure, no matter the weather or terrain.

All in all, the Sneaker Power Bank has been an amazing addition to my weekend adventures and even my day-to-day activities, running around town and just being on the go.

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Zach Luchs

Zach Luchs wrote a review of on November 2, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

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

Documenting your day-to-day, adventures, travels, etc. is becoming an “everybody's doing it” affair. If theres no pictures or videos, it didn't happen, right? The U-Shot Monochrome lets you capture those moments and prove that you DID stomp and backflip on opening day of the ski season.

The U-Shot compact and lightweight design is by far my favorite feature. In the past, I've always found it to be a hassle to take around a pole with me, but with the U-Shot, I can tuck it away into my ski pants pocket (using Arc'teryx Sabre Bib) or jacket and not worry about it. Even when running, I found that I could comfortably hold it in my hand or tuck it into my shorts/hydration vest. I've tested this up to 23 miles. The telescoping design that allows this to pack down is easy to function on the go. Just twist to unlock, extend, twist again to lock. Simple and fast. The ballhead is easy to adjust as well and locks in tightly. Just set it and forget it once you find that perfect angle. And lastly, I appreciate the carabiner clip on the tail of the U-Shot, allowing you to clip it to a pack or a belt loop when your hiking. The little features really seal the deal and it seems they didn't overlook anything in the design process.

I am starting to see some wear around the base of the grip and though I do like the cushy feel of the grip, I would like to see a more durable, rubberized handle. This is really the only area of wear that I am seeing. I would also like to have the U-Shot come with a GoPro attachment. If you don't have a tripod mount attachment, you will need to purchase one separately.

I truly feel that the U-Shot Monochrome is a solid product to assist in capturing those moments you want to remember and share. Lightweight and compact, this can go anywhere with you without taking up much room at all. A job well done by Xsories.

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Zach Luchs

Zach Luchs wrote a review of on October 27, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size

Last year, I toughed out my winter runs with shorts. I waited for sunny days to help, but it was still pretty miserable. I decided to pick these up after a few suggestions and I can't believe I waited this long.

I've used this in temps between 35-20 degrees and have used them on a few mountain runs with windy conditions. I stayed comfortable all day in them. I tend to get pretty warm with layers on, but I would say that these are perfect at regulating your temp. They keep ya comfortable but allow just enough breathability so you don't overheat, even when the temp rises a bit into the 40's. They are very comfortable and I appreciate the small, zipper pocket on the back.

One this I will point out is that they only come in a 30

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Zach Luchs

Zach Luchs wrote a review of on October 27, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I've been using this glove for trail running and mountain running during the cooler days this year and it has been perfect. I've used them in temps from 35-20 degrees and have tested them with high winds on mountain runs and my hands stayed comfortable throughout. One complaint is that I wish the wrist had a little more tension around the gaiter to really seal the glove.

The "E-Tip" works great (with all fingers) and the grip on the glove is a great feature if you're going to be handling your phone at all (I assume you plan to if you're buying the E-Tip glove). The grip isn't too much, so if you're looking for something thats super tacky, this isn't it. However, I have never felt like I didn't have a secure grip on my phone.

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