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Luke Nelson

Luke Nelson

Luke Nelson's Passions

Snowboarding
Running
Paddling
Skiing
Climbing
Surfing

Luke Nelson's Bio

I am a passionate lover of mountains. Primarily I choose to travel them by running, but sometimes I slide through on skis, or float down them in a kayak. I live far from the ocean, but when I am close enough I sure love getting it handed to me on a surf board. I see gear as the tools that help my travel more efficiently and safely and chose to use the highest quality equipment that does the least amount of harm to the wild places I love.


I have spent the majority of my life living and working the mountains. I now choose to live in Idaho for the solitude and ease of access to remote and wild places. I have been a professional mountain runner for more than 6 years and a professional ski athlete for about the same. I feel quite lucky to be able to represent Patagonia as a trail running ambassador. I also have support from Ultraspire, First Endurance, La Sportiva and Smith Optics.

Luke Nelson

Luke Nelsonwrote a review of on September 17, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I am a long time user of Suunto watches, and am very happy with the latest evolution of their pinnacle watch. The biggest improvement with this watch over previous is the battery life. I recently used the watch for a 220 mile race in Italy and still had 30% battery life after 85 hours of use. I did use some of the less accurate gps settings, but it was still right on what the race advertised for distance and vert.

Another feature that I have found particularly useful with this watch is the sleep and sleep HR tracking. This is a very powerful training tool to track the time spent recovering and to monitor resting HR status as a way to keep out of the trough of overtraining.

The watch is a fully featured gps watch with all of the things you would expect with a watch of this quality. I find the user interface very intuitive and easy to use. One thing I do not love is the optical HR while running, but it connects to the Suunto HR chest strap for the times when very accurate HR data is needed,

Full disclosure, I am an ambassador for Suunto and was provided the watch as part of that program. Regardless of the relationship that I have with them, I am so stoked on this watch and how it is working for me.

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Luke Nelson

Luke Nelsonwrote a review of on April 5, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 10"
Weight: 145 lbs
Size Purchased: 43

As of today I have 371 miles on my pair of Akasha's. They are an incredible shoe. Very versatile. I have run road, trail, snow, mud, slick rock and sand in them. There isn't a surface that they have disappointed me. I have run up to 12 hours and 45 miles in them. Plenty of room in the forefoot for the piggies, but secure fit to keep the toenails from slamming into the front of the shoe on aggressive descents. They are showing some signs of breakdown, but no major blowouts and plenty of tread left on the shoe.

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Luke Nelson

Luke Nelsonwrote a review of on March 30, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 10"
Weight: 145 lbs

I am a long time Suunto user. I have had several models over the years from the Core, the T6, a first generation Ambit and most recently the Ambit3 Peak. I am very familiar with the Suunto operations and won't go into that much here. I have now been using the Ambit3 Vertical everyday for about 2 months. I run ultra marathons and train 15-25 hours a week. I use the watch to log every training session. This includes running, skiing, skimo, biking, swimming and strength training. I often train with the heart rate monitor. I am blown away with the improvements in this watch over the previous Ambit's I have had.

Design: The biggest update is the removal of the gps antenna

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Luke Nelson

Luke Nelsonwrote a review of on March 30, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I saw a prototype of this stove last fall at an ultra marathon and was blown away by the size of a fully functional two burner stove. I anxiously awaited it's arrival this spring and have already used it many, many times. I got the stove and noticed a few subtle refinements from the proto, including a windshield. The entire package is small, particularly when you note that it includes a fry pan, a pot and the stove. It fits in an action packer we use as a kitchen box for our car camping and rafting trips without taking the whole box.

The Stove works very, very well. The knob turns a full four turns for adjusting simmer to boil. I am seriously impressed at how accurate the temperature can be dialed in. The post clean easy and are a good size for cooking for a group. We have cooked several dozen meals on the stove and honestly have nothing but success with it. I can't speak of long term durability at this point but will certainly update this in a few months after.

The only complaint I would have, and it is a minor one, is that the windshield is a little weird to get setup. Maybe I am not doing it right but with how well engineered the rest of the stove is, I think this could be improved.

I am probably going to get the link to add a Luna single burner Jetboil to it simply for making tea or hot water quickly. I also thinking it would be a good idea to buy the part to make it compatible with a full-size refillable bottle so as not to waste so many of the little ones.

Overall, I would say that this stove is posed to send the classic two-burner camp stoves the way of the dinosaur.

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Luke Nelson

Luke Nelsonwrote a review of on September 1, 2015

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

We bought this bag for our 8 month old son. His older sisters have similar bags that have been heavily used for many years. So far he has spent about 15 nights in the bag and it has been great. It is of course plenty big for him now, but we just fold the bag underneath him so he doesn't disappear down the rabbit hole, (which also doubles as extra ground insulation) and he does great. The two zipper system works great for getting him in and out and seems to be well built. Our only gripe would be how large it is when packed down, it is almost the biggest stuffed bag in the whole family and considering that it is the smallest bag you'd think it would be compact. We only plan on using this one for car camping and basecamp type scenarios so it isn't that big of deal, but it would be nice if it could be more compressible. Looking forward to years of adventure with this bag and our little guy.

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Luke Nelson

Luke Nelsonwrote a review of on September 1, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I needed something to keep a Delorme Explorer powered up for a long multi-day run through the High Sierra. I relied very heavily on the Delorme and my iPhone to navigate and communicate with crew. Without the recharge we would have been up that proverbial creek. The Venture 30 was not the lightest recharger I could find, but it was the most durable and weather resistant. It powered each device twice and still had a little juice left over. In all I got 7 days of use of the devices from the power of the Venture 30 with no additional charging to it once we hit the trail.

Since the big trip I have found it to be very useful to power everything from headphones, speakers, go pro's and many other things. It is very reliable and handy. I have a Nomad 13 that I have used to recharge the Venture with a few times and that works very well. It was well worth the purchase and will be on every long adventure where a recharge will be needed.

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Luke Nelson

Luke Nelsonwrote a review of on April 17, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 10"
Weight: 145 lbs

I have to admit that I am a long time Suunto user. I first used the T6C many years ago and went through what sometimes can be a bit a challenge learning how to use Suunto watches. I used the T6C for several years, upgraded to the T6D, and when the Ambit first came out I moved to it. I loved the Ambit (first gen) but used it so much that it no longer held a charge very well. It should be noted that I wear the watch all the time, and use the advanced functions ( gps, compass, etc) for an average of 2 hours a day. A month ago I got the Ambit 3 Peak mostly because I needed the battery life back.

I have been more than impressed with the updated Ambit. The menus and use stayed essentially the same, but the features and software are vastly improved over the 1st gen. The battery life was one of the first things to blow my mind. I went two full weeks before needing to recharge the first time, which included close to 30 hours of training. The ability to customs screens, use multiple apps, and multiple sports has made the watch an even more effective tool in my training than it's predecessor. I have found the notifications on the watch interesting, but honestly leave them off most of the time.

The feature that I like the very most about the Ambit 3 is the integration with the Movescount iPhone app. I love the fact that I do not have to plug the watch into my laptop to sync moves or update settings. On the most recent update the ability to plan a workout on the phone and then immediately sync it to the watch and use it is AWESOME. The Movie you can produce after a workout through the phone is also really cool, I think my family and friends really enjoy seeing the adventures I take my watch on.

I plan on coming back and updating this with more information after I have used the watch more and to discuss some of the long term durability, function, and battery life.

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Luke Nelson

Luke Nelsonwrote a review of on April 1, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: Runs small
Height: 5' 10"
Weight: 145 lbs
Size Purchased: 44

For the last couple of months this has been pretty much the only shoe I have run in. So far my pair has a little over 300 miles on them and aside from the expected wear on the sticky rubber they are going strong. I am so psyched to have a shoe with truly sticky rubber, and dang it is sticky! I just wrapped a 10 day trip to central Peru and spent a lot of time running on very rocky paths with thousands of stone stairs. The traction gave me the confidence to really get after it. Even on a drizzly wet run near Macchu Picchu the shoes grabbed any surface I threw at them. The midsole is very comfortable and transitions nicely from road to trail. It has just enough rock protection to keep some trail feeling without any painful jabs. The upper fits like a glove, I do have narrow feet and often find it hard to keep from slipping side to side. These Italian beauties lock my foot in place. For the first time in several years I have all of my toenails since I am not jamming into the front. I normally wear a 10.5 in most running shoes (new balance, nike, salomon) and I went with the 44 to keep a little extra space up front for very long runs. I am really looking forward to putting them to the test during some long alpine running this summer once the peaks clear of a bit more snow.

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Luke Nelson

Luke Nelsonwrote a review of on April 1, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 10"
Weight: 145 lbs
Size Purchased: small

I have been using the Strider Pros for a couple of years now. There have been a few tweaks over the years and the most recent version is probably the best running short I have ever used. Last year I put over 3500 miles in on the trails and 90% of them were in Strider Pros. The pockets can hold a ton of food, an iPhone or camera, or even accommodate a light jacket like the Patagonia Houdini. I have ripped one pocket from overstuffing it, but it was easy to fix (and patagonia will fix that type of thing for free as part of their Ironclad guarantee). The length of the short is just right, short enough to not restrict leg movement, but long enough to not offend young audiences. The liner can develop a bit of a funky smell over time, but with semi-regular washings it can be kept at a minimum. I am 5'10" and 145 pounds and the small fits me just right. From racing to adventure running this is one of my favorite pieces of running gear that I own.

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Luke Nelson

Luke Nelsonwrote a review of on April 1, 2015

Indestructible
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

The 60L Black Hole Duffel is my go to piece of luggage. It is pretty close to max carry on size and I have used it to travel all over the world. It is large enough to hold enough clothing and gear to go for up to a couple of weeks. The one that I am using right now has been on 4 continents, in planes, trains, cars, trucks, buses, llamas, donkeys, and strapped to a bike. I have literally drug it through airports, used it as a pillow, chair, and back rest, yet it doesn't hardly show hardly any wear. I did rip off one of the zipper pulls, but replaced it with some 3mm climbing cord. If you are considering a bag for abusive world travel or just need a bag you can always count on, look no further.

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Luke Nelson

Luke Nelsonwrote a review of on July 21, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I have been using a version of this lamp since it was a prototype a few years ago. It is amazingly bright and is my go to light for the night sections of long runs. The battery life is really good, especially if you dim it back just a little bit from full power. Generally I just drop the battery pack into my pack or into a shirt pocket. With the batteries off of your head you can hardly tell the light is even there. The pouch that is comes with is much like an avalanche transceiver strap, which does work pretty well, but can be a dog to get adjusted. Overall it is an amazing light, highly recommend it.

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Luke Nelson

Luke Nelsonwrote a review of on July 21, 2014

5 5

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

I have been a Houdini user for more than 6 years now. It is the one piece of clothing/equipment that goes with me on every trip and is always with me for long days in the mountains. It is not completely waterproof, but it will be there in a pinch to keep you dry enough and warm enough to keep you alive. I have used mine in everything from freezing rain in the Tetons, to deluge downpours in Peru. It has served as rain jacket, wind layer, mosquito protection and sun shirt. It breathes very well and you can run all day in it without getting soaked from condensation. In addition to being a great layer in the mountains it makes a great travel piece. Cold on a long flight? No problem slip on the houdini. The fit is athletic, i.e. slim. It has no extra frills that aren't necessary. In mind it is one of the best pieces of clothing out there.

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Luke Nelson

Luke Nelsonwrote a review of on July 21, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I have been using this stove very regularly for almost a year now. I am always amazed at how quickly it heats water and how efficient it has been with fuel. It works relatively well when very cold on multi-day ski tours and almost disappears in my pack. The lighter can be a little finicky at times but with a little patience it starts every time.

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