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John's Bio

fratface

fratface wrote a review of on June 12, 2013

5 5

I have about 150 miles on these and really enjoy running in them. I had a major foot surgery (tarsal coalition discovered a little later in life) about 7 months ago so getting back into running was also a chance for a reset in my running style. Pre-surgery I used the Merrill Trail Glove on dirt but traditional running shoes on the road. Getting back into it, my old road shoes just did not fit right and my heel slipped out on the now fixed foot. These Invo8's were a great solution. I really love how the shoe holds tight in your mid-foot and leaves your toes free to let them do the work. Given that I can't really feel much in my forefoot anymore, this has been helpful. There is enough cushioning for the road (I tried the Trail Gloves on the road once, that was enough) and I have never felt any pain yet. I have seen some reviews that were negative on the finish of the shoe and there are some open seams, etc. but I have not seem any degradation in the construction since I have used them. The sole seems to be wearing out at a reasonable pace for a soft rubber.
Overall these have really been a savior for me and my road to recovery. Sorry for the pun there.

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fratface

fratface wrote a review of on May 20, 2013

5 5

This tent is definitely car camping oriented but could be carried in a couple miles if need be. Quality all around, easy to set up and take down. Withstood constant drizzle and a little rain with no condensation and plenty of comfort. When I go for tents this big having two doors/vestibules is a must and subtle overhang of both ends is really nice. Reminds me of the nose of a 1980's BMW. I left the door on the bottom vestibule partially unzipped all night and the tent was dry. Gear loft could be pre-fitted instead of requiring knots at each corner. Looks like a few others have commented on that.
Two and gear is fine, three is asking for trouble.
Prior to this I was using my wife's Kelty from Girlscouts for this kind of car camping so, yeah, a low base but this tent still impressed a few people in our T-ATC maintenance crew.

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fratface

fratface wrote a review of on April 10, 2013

5 5

It's funny how you learn as you get older to pay for quality in the items that most affect your life. This mug is an excellent example. I get it filled with coffee every morning and it stays hot (too hot if I have to hit SBUX) as long as I need it to. I can wash it out with hot water and drink water from it the rest of the day with no coffee taste. Occasionally I will give it a more thorough scrubbing. I have been doing that for about two years and it works great. When I am lucky enough to get out in the woods for a few days, it can keep a 16oz beer cold in 90F heat for over 24 hours using the 'cold' lid.
While I am not a minimalist by any stretch, if I had to pick one, this is the only vessel I would need. Maybe the Ti version is lighter but I would rather have the larger size. Buy with confidence.

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fratface

fratface wrote a review of on January 23, 2013

As expected
4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Received for Christmas. Boo Hoo's on the UVA colors but otherwise it's a great vest that I can't wait to take on an early spring trip to the woods. It's a little poofy vs. the patagucci alternative but also much less expensive. Quality feel to it with a good zipper pull but it is always trading out durability for weight. I can't imagine i would ever risk hiking past a tree limb without a shell covering this guy. For that reason, the lack of hand pockets is no concern. All things considered, I am sure it will replace my down jacket for most of my fall-winter-spring backpacking trips.

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