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The innovative GeigerRig hydration packs

I was provided this innovative hydration pack, Rig 500 Ballastic, from the folks at GeigerRig. I was excited to review as I had traditionally used CamelBack hydration bladders for everything from hiking, skiing, biking, golf (bladder stashed in bag) and hitting the beach with the family.

This is a feature rich pack that changes my thoughts on hydration bladders I had used prior to GeigerRig. This pack is loaded with cool features including a dry stash pocket for your iPod and other pockets with just enough room for an extra set of keys, wallet, snacks for the kids and parent(s).  One tip that I recommend is filling just past a 1/4 full with water and put in the freezer the night before your activity to have cold water on the go for many hours. I have filled half way to provide even longer duration on the hottest of days. It’s become the go to for any family activity in which we need water. 

Here is what seperates these guys from the crowd (please see videos highlighted below for full feature explanations):

1) Pressurized  bladder- no more sucking, after a few pumps it can be sprayed into your mouth, your dogs mouth or even to clean the grime off your legs after a muddy hike or bike.

2) Filtration System– you can easily remove the regular tube and use the filtration tube for times you know you will need more water and have the luxury to dip into any water source without the hassle of using tablets, boiling, etc to purify the water. I do think that the pressured spray isn’t as strong but who cares when you are filtering primarily to drink.

3) Cleaning– if you have used bladders in the past you know that taste you can get after a few uses and it’s frustrating to not be able to clean the bladder better after every use. These bladders come with a plastic slider on one end allowing you to reach and a revers bladder for a quick cleaning or for a better clean the bladder is durable enough for the dishwasher.

While I have highlighted benefits in the warmer weather the GeigerRig’s also have insulated tubes which allow you to retrofit for Winter activities.

Never suck again and get yourself set up for the ultimate in hydration technology.


Revitalize your gear with NIKWAX

I received a generous goodie bag from Nikwax and my leather boots, wool clothes, and technical outerwear were the beneficiaries.

I started with the clean up of multiple pairs of leather boots and applied ample amounts of  waterproofing wax for leather. As you can see from the pictures below these boots were ready to soak up the wax. While recommended for boots with gore-tex or eVent, it can be used on boots without. This is a very safe product that allows you to use your fingers for application without worry. Beyond the obvious waterproofing benefit this wax really cleans up a boot with a really nice shine. I didn’t buff then at all with a cloth and they still came out shining. The middle picture below shows all conditioned boots 24 hours after first use. The 2 oz tube provided plenty of liquid for the first use and will be enough for another application as needed for each of the five pairs of boots.


The overall reconditioning of the leather almost overshadows the waterproofing function. Yes, the wax will darken your boots which I believe provides that  newer look the boots once had.
The NIKWAX Tech Wash is perfect for any outerwear that has a DWR finish that you are afraid to wash out the repellent attributes from. I put three jackets into the front loader with one of those jackets needing a lift from old age.  A lift it received, as it repelled the rain like a newer shell.  I also look forward to working this Tech Wash into my tents, as I was unaware of the use beyond outerwear.
Lastly, I was more than happy to try out the Wool Wash travel gel as I am heavily invested in all things merino (Ibex)! I only used on one item because I want to save this for travel. When traveling/hiking, I pack merino wool items to reduce the amount of clothes needed as it naturally fends off stink. However, if a top is worn for more then 2-3 days for active pursuits it could use a quick wash without the need of a washing machine making the travel gel a necessity in my bag.
NIKWAX not only revitalizes old gear but maintains your new gear. When you make the investment in your gear it’s important to take exceptional care to ensure longevity. The NIKWAX product family is short money for the long term benefits it provides.

On Top of the Pile: Chaco Waterproof Credence Wool Nurl Boots

The Chaco Credence Wool Nurl takes your favorite summer sole and creates a super durable, wool lined, waterproof boot. I hesitate to call it a Winter boot, as not to confuse it with a heavier Winter boot like a Sorel. While it’s fully suitable for the Winter months, it’s not necessarily the boot you wear while snowshoeing in below-freezing temperatures.
This boot has a place in the woods- but surprises as a work boot and in town. From urban get around to stacking endless amounts of wood, this is a worthy chameleon-like contender looking for more time on your feet.
The first days were not challenging test days for the boots riding the Redline and walking to the office, but nonetheless left me a bit surprised with the all day comfort. Being Chaco’s, I knew they would have comfortable footbeds.  But the temperature control was awesome…never once felt too warm, most likely due to the ever-present wool acting as climate control. Going into the weekend I was ready to see if this comfort would sustain itself outside of the office and on the farm.  And that they it did.
The gigantic woodpile needing to be stacked proved to be a perfect environment: wet ground, temps in low 30’s (f), a solid 5.5 hours of work moving the wood pile and stacking.
A note on sizing:  I wear a 10 in most shoes including Chaco. These boots do run a little bigger as most boots do. The one remedy I had already planned on was inserting a pair of  SuperFeet over the existing footbed to help take up some volume and provide a snugger fit. While kicking around town they are fine having a little room, but while working I prefer them to have the ability to allow for modifications-which they did. Chaco doesn’t come in half sizes so something like SuperFeet makes sense instead of cramming into a full size down. I also wore a heavier weight merino wool sock with these boots when needing to suck up more space in the boot.
I wore these for 12 hours total that day, with a bulk of it in constant motion and at times forgot I had boots on. They don’t have a steel toe but did provide more than adequate protection for the occasional dropped piece of wood.
Each Credence boot features two looped pieces of leather making for putting on a breeze. The waterproof barrier didn’t seem to prevent them from breathing when the work got warm. The Vibram soles stuck to every surface – wet or dry – drawing confidence with every step over uneven earth.
The Credence is like a Blundstone on steroids. A must for those looking for a non bulky winter boot that you can get away with wearing with just about anything (although a suit would be pushing it…well maybe the black!)  I find this boot to be the perfect solution for the shoulder seasons and through Winter in urban environments and equally up to task in the hills. Many thanks to Chaco for providing this awesome boot for review.

Boston Bike Friday

Up and at it this morning to meet the DOT Bike convoy as they were spinning past my part of the neighborhood at 7:15. It was awesome to see the crew being escorted by the Boston Police (C-11) as well as BPD riders guiding our convoy to City Hall for the first Bike Friday event of the year. Thanks BPD!!! I rode in and had fun chatting it up with Andy from DOT Bike.

The usual suspects from previous years were there promoting National Bike to Work Week. Always great to see the vendors/organizations supporting the growing cycling culture of Boston. Of course, my first stop was at the Boloco tent for the tasty Truck Stop egg burrito and a cup of coffee. It was also nice to see Pete from Boston Cyclists Union as they are strongly committed to supporting Boston as a world class cycling community.

A new participant to be present this year included one of Boston’s recently permitted mobile food vendors, Equal Exchange Free Range, follow them on Twitter to know where they will be with their trike so you can try some of their excellent organic coffee. (Thanks, Jess!).

I brought my bike over to the WheelWorks tent for a quick adjustment to my brakes and made my way to the other various tents. I met Janey from Go Green Streets and really love what they are doing to promote not only cycling but any alternative to commute besides a car. Having the options we do in the city is pretty awesome not only for our health and environment but on our wallets.

Another cool company that is getting bigger every year, Urban AdvenTour, was here today as always promoting there awesome bike tours of the city….what an alternative to see all the nooks and crannies of the city!

Here is a shot of the scene and the organizations that are doing there part in promoting a healthier Boston! Don’t mind the horrible example of 1960’s architecture being represented (City Hall).

A fun morning and glad to catch up with friends (yeah you Ibex Jenny) from around town. Happy Friday!


The Freeheel Life 2: Hippies, Punx, & Misfits

I was more then happy to attend a screening last night of “The Freeheel Life 2: Hippies, Punx, Misfits”.  Josh Madsen the Director, Editor, Producer and Telemark evangelist himself was there to show off his work which was nothing short of extraordinary.

The straight up ski porn makes the mind wander to daydreams of dropping the knee everyday….at least for those of us tethered to an office. Although mobile technology has brought us a long way working away from an office it’s still tough to carve out the days needed to satisfy the quest for deep snow. Josh does an amazing job of helping us live the dream via these amazing athletes and promoting the graceful feel of the Telemark turn.

The movie connects you to the passion of individuals such as Tom Carter and Doug Robinson who were the pioneers of the emergence of Telemark skiing in the Unites States. They also provide a glimpse of the characteristics of the folks that led the emergence which was entertaining to say the least.  The Freeheel Life 2: delves into the historical timeline of the sport from it’s birthplace in Norway, the emergence in the US, to modern day footage in Utah, Alaska, California and Norway.

Interesting side note, the vast majority of people skiing in Norway are telemarking as this is how the kids learn….how cool!

Many thanks to the Ibex Boston store staff for hosting this event. I met some great people and reconnected with others including the good folks from my neighborhood bike advocacy group…DOT Bike.

If you are in the New England area and interested in learning the telemark turn as a beginner or cross over from Alpine, I would highly recommend the Telemark Ski School at Mad River Glen or locally outside of Boston contact the Eastern Mountain Sports Ski School.

If you have any questions feel free to contact me and would be happy to point you in the right direction.


My Review of Inbound Cap

Originally submitted at Ibexwear

We haven’t forgotten your extremities, and you shouldn’t, either. Wool style, performance and beauty doesn’t stop at your wrists and neck, after all. This season, we’ve added a host of new hats, scarves, gloves and mittens that deliver performance and looks, in equal measure.

 

Stylin’ ….highly recommend!

By @bostonoutdoor from Boston, Ma on 11/10/2010

 

 

5out of 5

Sizing: Feels true to size

Pros: Attractive Design, Comfortable, Breathable, Urban cool

Best Uses: Around town, Casual Wear, Pub, Rain

Describe Yourself: Wool maven, Outdoor Enthusiast, Comfort-oriented, Practical

The Inbound Cap has become a go to on a daily basis as the weather becomes cooler. The Inbound Cap has been a savior to pull out of the bag when raining. Doesn’t matter how wet it never seems to soak through and keeps you warm. I receive compliments and inquires about where to pick one up. The sizing might run a little small as I had to get an XL.

Tom Brady needs the Inbound Cap! 


A Guy’s take on lululemon athletica

I should start out by letting everyone know that if it wasn’t for lululemon generously providing us with some active wear in support of our, “Hike to Remember” , I would have not understood the brilliance of this synthetic.  Being a merino wool enthusiast I was torn but intrigued at the same time to try the RunResponse Short and the Metal Vent Long Sleeve.

The most notable key characteristic for the long sleeve top after 11 hours on the trail was the no stink factor which is usually only attainable in a natural fiber such as merino wool. The shirt provided superior moisture management through it’s great wicking ability.  Jamie (wearing Achieve Tech Long Sleeve) and our friend Kristen can be seen enjoying a lunch lookout on the first day.

The RunResponse shorts with the liners were super comfortable but I had wondered how they would hold up to a long day on the trail and not in the yoga studio.  My thoughts and perceptions were put to rest after day one, then day two, three and four.  The comfort in these shorts is derived from a ultra wicking inner lining. The  lining was solid and maintained a tighter boxer brief feel and remained supportive throughout the hike. The short allowed maximum room for movement with it’s looser fit when scrambling around the massive slabs of New Hampshire granite along the ridge of the Monadnock Sunapee Greenway Trail.

While in Portland, Maine a couple of weeks ago and post hike I swung into the lululemon store and we were greeted by a warm and friendly staff.  I must admit it was only my second time in a lululemon store as I previously hadn’t known they made stuff for guys. Upon entering,  I soon realized that many other guys don’t know either as the Men’s section consisted of two small racks with long sleeves on top and shorts on the bottom.  This only heightened my awareness to the fact that while the majority of fans are women and yoga lovers this brand stretches well beyond the studio to the trails and wherever you adventure as a boy or girl.