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After 12 years of having a yeti as our logo, we finally have him as a stuffed animal mascot! Meet Freddie, Betty, and Eddie the Yeti!! These Cute, stuffed yetis can be ordered from SherriTdesigns’s Etsy page located here

They are made to go with you on all of your travels and to inspire and encourage you to make memories in the outdoors…all the while taking pictures or selfies with him while you explore!

Join the #YetiAdventureClub…Get yours today and #UnleashYourAdventure in Colorado Springs and beyond!

Every purchase helps support UpaDowna as well!

Freddie, Betty, and Eddie!

This “Cosmic” Yeti is named Eddy, in memory of our friend Edward M.

Clip them onto your backpack or bike when you go adventuring!

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We are looking for a few young adults who reside in the Southeast area of Colorado Springs to help us this summer during our Generation Wild Paddleboarding Program! Check out the job description and to apply, send a resume and one letter of recommendation to us at randi@upadowna.org! Applications close May 15th.

upadowna gen wild job description

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If you didn’t know, UpaDowna is a tiny but MIGHTY nonprofit with one full-time Executive Director, a handful of hourly staff members, a kick-ass volunteer board of directors and a BUNCH of BADASSADORS who volunteer to help when needed!

UpaDowna couldn’t offer our amazing programs to you without these amazing people, especially our NEW staff members! Please welcome them to our organization, and say HI to them at our upcoming events!!

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Lowa has been around since 1923, think about that, think about the decades of innovation, research, use and abuse that this company has put it’s products through. Think of the brain trust this company has and know beyond a shadow of a doubt that when Lowa puts out a product it is not intended to be a marketing tool or a quick buck. They have a legacy to support and an army of loyal fans that hold them to a higher standard than some fly by night operation. Lowa recently sent us a pair of trail shoes to give a go and give our thoughts. That shoe is the Maddox GTX low.

Billed as an all terrain sport shoe featuring speed lacing, Gore-Tex lining, and the proprietary Lowa Enduro Evo sole. This trail shoe is built to be both light and durable and features enough padding and support to help you put in real miles on the trail with out the fatigue that is all too familiar on our rocky rolling trails here in Colorado. Out of the box the shoe was not what I would call eye catching in it’s muted yellow and dark blue color ways, but I think that is exactly the point (yes other colors are available). But to be honest I think these colors help shepherd us in the direction the outdoor industry is going by focusing on the technology and experience and not in the next shiny object.

As I mentioned earlier this shoe features speed lacing that makes pulling on the shoes and lacing them snugly is a breeze as is removing them, unfortunately when you have skinny long ski like feet as I do this simply creates more uncontainable lacing that flaps around. The good thing is that Lowa must have known people with feet like mine exist and they have an integrated elastic lace keeper mid way down the shoe to help keep the excess in check. Yep, it works, but I’m not a fan of all of the flapping, and while I did not once catch the excess lace on a root and tumble off of a cliff and fall to my death…I did wonder if I would. But that was an irrational thought as it really wasn’t that bad. I am being overly dramatic.

Moving through the shoe I noticed the white streaky bits here and there along the side of the show to help reflect light should it be shined on you, either while you are walking in an urban environment, or your headlamp when you are half awake on a camping trip and need to find your shoes quickly so you can make it to the nearest tree to pee. It is not reflective but the contrast does indeed help the shoe pop a bit. Inside the shoe you’ll notice a Gore-Tex liner and while most readers are aware of the advancements in Gore-Tex making it more breathable and less crinkly and bulky that it use to be years ago, those that are locked into the old Gore-Tex should really take a look at how seamless and integrated the newer liners are. This allows you to scamper across snow fields, through light streams and keep your feet proper dry. Well, so long as you mind the big gaping hole at the top of the shoe…where your foot goes in. For that there is no water proofing material that can help you.

Down to the rugged sole known to Lowa as the Endure Evo which is designed to work hand in hand with their Double Injection DynaPU midsole to provide both stable footing, grip, and comfort for pack weight on rolling terrain. While I was not able to find out how the sole would react to cold temps (some rubber hardens and loses its ability to grip which becomes dangerous on cold rocky trails). I can say hat this sole provided stable footing on decomposing granite, shale, limestone, and great grip on moist soil. It really is subjective as to how a shoe feels when you wear it, but the insole that came with the shoe was just fine but may have been a bit on the thin side for my aging feet. I did slip thicker insoles in and noticed these shoes felt like most of my go to pairs for comfort and support.

All in all this is a great multi-terrain trail shoe and fits nicely in the I only want one damn pair of shoes to do it all, they are not to hot, nor to cold, the rubber is not too sticky, nor too hard, they lace well, fit well, and provide all around comfort us frugal shoppers look for. One thing that may bite you a bit is the price tag at $175. Unfortunately this is what the market will bare are you’ll be hard pressed to find the features and durability for less, and you certainly would have quite a bit of difficulty finding a company with such a storied and proud history in the adventure foot wear category.

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Recently, I was preparing for a six week camping road trip to the Pacific northwest, and had already been researching battery power units when the myCharge Portable Power Outlet showed up in the mail. I was originally looking into larger power units, but this little power pack turned out to be a great addition to my gear list and has the following advertised features:

Battery: 20000mAh Lithium Ion

Product Dimensions: 5.0 in x 5.75 in x 1.4 in

Product Weight: 1.50 lbs.

Input: 20V

Total Output:  AC 110V 65W

Output by Port

  • USB-C Port: 3.0A
  • USB-A Port #1: 2.4A
  • USB-A Port #2: 2.4A
  • Total Shared: 3.4A
  • AC Port: 65W

The myCharge Portable Power Outlet has a sturdy, rugged plastic body, that held up when I dropped it about 3’ at camp one night while climbing into the rooftop tent. The case barely shows a scratch, and there were no issues with charging after that point either. At a little over one pound, and about the size of a paperback book, the unit is easily portable, yet not overbearing. Although we were only truck camping, this could be easily carried along for a backpack trip if desired.

There are four charging outlets – 2 USB-A, 1 USB-C, and 1 AC outlet (with the third prong which most laptop cords utilize). All four outlets can be used at once, which is phenomenal, but power to the USB outlets will turn off if the output goes over 65 watts. The unit will also not work if your larger electronics exceed the 65 watt max output. I was able to charge my Dell laptop, Samsung Galaxy S7 phone, and have the LED lighting strip turned on in the tent, all at the same time, and it lasted well over an hour. When charging my phone individually, I managed over five full charges before giving up, and never completely running down the myCharge. One cool feature, is that it will automatically turn off the charging output when a device is fully charged.

To charge any device, simply plug the USB cord or AC plug into the device, and press the proper power button on the face of the myCharge unit. The display will show ON, or press the button again to turn OFF. I did find myself accidentally turning on the unit when it wasn’t needed, while just carrying or moving in and out of the vehicle or tent. It does automatically turn off after a bit if nothing is plugged in though. It is also good to note that the AC output is not available while recharging the myCharge power pack.

My only concern with this myCharge product, is how it itself gets charged. The only way to charge it is with the DC power cord and adapter plug, and plugging into a wall unit or from another power cell with an AC output. This does allow a fast charge of just two hours, but I would give up some speedy recovery for other charging options. Other battery power packs are able to use a solar charging unit, which is not an option for the myCharge. But, I was able to utilize the in-bed plug in my 2016 Toyota Tacoma, as we drove throughout the day. The ability to use a solar charger would make this a perfect battery pack for camping and charging multiple devices.

I have continued to use the myCharge throughout the summer on multiple trips, and this solid piece of equipment will keep making it back to my camping gear.

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DESCRIPTION: Compact, nesting design is reconfigurable from 2 person backpacking to 4 person car camping.
MATERIAL: Non-Stick Coated, Hard Anodized Aluminum, Clear Polypropylene, Nylon 6-6, Silicone
WEIGHT:3 lbs. 10 oz.
MSRP: 139.95

Along the line of comfort/vehicle based camper accessories the GSI Pinnacle Camper Cookware set is a great addition if you’re looking to upgrade your current set up. In this Halulite set you will find a 3L pot, 2L pot, Frying pan, 4 plates, 4 cups with sip lids, 4 bowls, a folding pot gripper, and a strainer lid for the pots and pan. The system nests within itself and fits nicely in the included carrying bag/welded sink.

The pots and pan are made of hard anodized aluminum and also boast a Teflon non stick coating. They all are lightweight but feel very durable and radiate heat evenly for a well dispersed cooking heat. Each pot has its own well fitting lid that features a silicone lip to not only form a nice seal to keep the heat in and save fuel by more efficient cooking but also it helps maintain the form of the lid by protecting the plastic from the metal sides of the pot and not deforming as it heats. A super nice feature of this is that the collapsable pot gripper that locks into place and holds the pots securely with out marring up the finish and can fold down on itself for more compactness.

Both the 2L and 3L pots come in handy for a wide variety of kitchen creations and I especially appreciated the tall sides for frying messy foods that would splatter all around my small van kitchen if I was stuck inside to cook in poor weather. The strainer lid makes draining broccoli, pasta, and such easy and it fits so well I did not have to worry about food working its way around the strainer as is common with so many other not so well fitting lids. The frying pan fits medium sized tortillas nicely as it will fit with a nice steak too!

The colorful plates, cups, and bowls are made of polypropylene and are made to last solid camp use and abuse. I will warn you that the pates will get scarred up fairly easily by using a sharp knife so beware of that or just use a cutting board for your cutting needs or use plastic cutlery. The four plates are durable enough as I mentioned before and the only real issue I had with this set was the small size of the plates. Yes, they fit nicely in the system, but man you can’t really get much food on them and if you’re a stickler for your food not touching like some of my friends, boy are you in pickle!

To round out this set are 4 nesting cups/bowls that are triangular shaped to allow them to fit well in the pots, and while I was leery of the triangular shape at first, when it came to scooping out my oatmeal it turns out the angle of each corner is perfect for a normal spoon and I could very easily get every last morsel of my gruel out with out much effort.

This cup/bowl set has two separate containers one is uninsulated and the other has an insulating sleeve one for food/one for beverages each cup/bowl set comes with its own lid with sipping/vent holes. Sad news is that these will not fit in my vehicle cup holder and reminds me of the old square peg round hole dilemma which means I simply pack another round cup for my vehicle borne travels. In addition, having a sip lid means the cups/bowls cannot be used to store leftovers or take cup of joe on a hike as it will quickly spill if you try and pack it away. On the upside an often over looked and under appreciated feature is found if you inspect the inside of the bowls you’ll see faint measuring lines on the inside which can make mixing ingredients easier, but come on you’re camping live a little and guess measurements!

What this all boils down to is that if you are in the hunt for a well designed, compact, complete cookset that will work for up to 4 people, or if you like to prepare multiple cooked items at once this set should be considered as it does a great job of addressing most needs and the sexting compactness of the set up really does alleviate potential storage space headaches so many car campers face.

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DESCRIPTION: Sunglasses
MATERIAL: PC Frame with grip coating
WEIGHT:22 grams
MSRP: $25

Company Story
I’ve never encountered a company like goodr. Creators of something beautifully simple, they focus on making sunglasses, and dang good sunglasses at that. They are a wonderfully outrageous company, and I think its awesome. Started back in 2015, goodr wants everyone to look and feel good when they run with their sunglasses. One of the founders put it this way; “I started goodr to destroy the boundaries between working out, and having fun, between utilitarian and fashionable”. Ever since then they have been creating some of the craziest running swag ever. The money bags for them is the wayfarer sunglasses (now available in two styles, OG and BFG’s), but they also make shirts, tanks, hats and sweatbands to keep runners looking baller. They keep things simple, but without being simple. Every few weeks you’ll see a handful of new color sunglasses be released, and their names are straight bananas. Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Mick + Keith’s Midnight Ramble
  • You Don’t Look Like Buddy Holly. At All.
  • Swedish Meatball Hangover
  • Not The Mama
  • Dat Dank Easter Basket Grass

If you really want to get a good understanding of goodr, just listen to their Manifesto:

Ignite and unite the spirits of your friends.
Be active, be yourself, and live with purpose.
Getting a good story is all the reason you need to try something.
If you show up and run, you are a runner…your time and distance are just numbers.
Judge your success by the friends you meet and the high fives you give.
Own your gear, don’t let your gear own you.
What you talk about on a run stays on the run.
Strive for greatness and fight the urge to settle for ordinary.
When pain shows up, find a place to put it (until you can have a beer).
Always remember the closest bathroom.
Bring a dog with you as often as you can.
Whenever possible, wear a party tank — and remember, you bring the party to the tank top, the tank doesn’t bring the party to you.
Enjoy every step you take, every hill you climb, every view you earn.
Runner Swag is a mindset….when you look good, you play goodr.

With that kind of a manifesto, I’m not sure if there is much more that I can tell you! The goodr squad was kind enough to send a pair of the “Whiskey Shots with Satan” classic OG sunglasses our direction for a trial run, so let’s dig into the review!

Review (13/15)

One of the first things that got me excited was the overall packaging from goodr. It wasn’t extravagant, but it as way more than I expected from a $25 pair of glasses. They came in a small cardboard box that was branded to goodr, and on the inside, it has a fun little phrase from their mascot flamingo, Carl. The actual sunglasses themselves were in a soft pouch inside another slide-out style box! I’m big on creating a positive and unique experience for consumers, and right away I was having fun with my goodrs.

The glasses themselves, the OG’s, are beautifully simple and look great. Their classic wayfarer shape is timeless, but with a lot of the modern touches you would want in a daily pair of sunglasses. Polarized lenses and UV400 protection come standard, so you know you’re getting the protection you need. When it comes to fit, they were the momma bear’s porridge, not too snug, and not too loose, but just right. This works when running because the exterior coating is a matte style material that provides just enough stick to keep things in place. This tacky but smooth finish keeps things from bouncing around, resulting in constant good looks.

When it comes to actual use, I liked pretty much everything about these sunglasses. When they say no bounce, they mean no bounce. I put this to the test running some of the toughest trails I could find, biking on stupid bumpy roads, I even went as far as wear them doing GHD sit-ups (basically upside-down sit-ups, just so everyone is in on the terminology here), and they stayed perfectly in place. None of this came at the expense of my comfort. The sides are snug, but leave plenty of room for different head shapes and sizes.

The lenses kept everything clear and when you’re looking at water the polarization works great. My one qualm here is that with the Wayfarer shape you don’t get much protection for your peripheral vision. Depending on where the sunlight was coming from, I did get a glare on the inside of the lenses themselves. I noticed this mainly with my evening runs where I could see my own eyes and face in the lens. Not a huge problem, but it did get annoying when I was trying to make sure you don’t roll an ankle on the trails.

Overall

Comfortable, effective, and pretty dang stylish, the OG’s from goodr are a winner. You can’t beat the price, and they performed just as good as a handful of other pricier sunglasses I’ve worn in the past. Check out their other colors, I’m sure you would be able to find a pair that you can rock anywhere!

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DESCRIPTION: Trucker Hat
MATERIAL: 50% Cotton, 50% Nylon
MSRP: $30

Topographical maps are one of my favorite designs. The way the lines ebb and flow, the unique shaping and appearance, it is really amazing to me. A good friend of mine knew of my fondness for topographical products, so he picked up a hat for me from a small Colorado company, Kind Design. That was a little over a year ago, but more recently I was able to connect with Damon Redd, Founder and CEO of Kind Design to learn a little more about his company, their products, and give one of their newest hats a try!

Company Story + Gear Review:

Damon started Kind Design after 10 years of experience as a ski and river guide here in Colorado. With his passion for the outdoors and an eye for design, he decided that he wanted to create some products that featured some of the ideas that he had come up with over the years. Taking that motivation, he started Kind Design as a small t-shirt company in Vail Valley, and not long after began to ramp up production and move into Boulder around 2012.

Then, in 2013, disaster struck and the floods in Boulder all but destroyed their shop and wiped out almost their entire product line. This was obviously a devastating blow, but Damon took this as an opportunity to rebuild something better than before. To kick things off, he put together one of their first hat designs using a snow and water design to represent the Boulder community. This design took off and ended up bringing in enough revenue to save the company. This rollercoaster of a season helped Damon realize he was onto something, but he needed a focus area. He needed a look and feel that would be unique to the brand but would be something he could consistently build on over the years.

Insert: Topographical Design.

He took this idea and ran with it. Now, nearly every product that Kind Design makes features a salute to topographical design.

Now heading into its 10th year, Kind Design has grown into a company that produces shirts, hats, shorts, ties, posters, and much more. They have also developed an amazing network of non-profit partnerships with their products. A great example is their newest product line, the Colorado River Shorts, which contributes $2 for every pair of shorts sold to the Western Resource Advocates – keeping the West beautiful! This example is only one of many Kind Design products that are produced in collaboration with a variety of non-profits.

All in all, Kind Design believes in giving back to the community that helped them become who they are, and I love that.

Damon was kind enough to send over the awesome Rocky Mountain National Park Hat for us to give a try. The dark, bold blue paired with the leather National Parks patch creates a classic outdoor look. It is a trucker style with a mid-profile design, and with the adjustable strap back, everyone should be able to get the sizing just right. I’ve worn the hat regularly, from casual neighborhood walks to rainy fly fishing trips, and its held up like a champ. Plus, I’ve received more than a handful of compliments on the looks.

This hat is from the National Parks line that also features:

  • Yellowstone
  • Yosemite
  • Glacier
  • Arches
  • Zion
  • Grand Teton
  • Grand Canyon
  • Great Smoky Mountains
  • and Olympic National Park

If you’ve got friends or family who love the outdoors, you should definitely consider a Kind Design National Parks hat as a great option for a surprise gift. Bonus points – each hat is paired with a non-profit that supports the park represented, so you’re also doing your part by conserving our National Parks!

That wraps up this week’s review, but be sure to keep an eye out for a few more, we’ve got a few in the pipeline for you. In the meantime, remember, get out there and unleash your adventure!

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DESCRIPTION: High Cushion Trail Shoe
MATERIAL: Upper: PFS2-M | Midsole: Ultralight EVA with A-Bound | Outsole: MaxTrac Rubber with TrailClaw
WEIGHT:11.1 oz
MSRP: $130.00

I’ve been riding the Altra train for quite a while. The first time I ever really ran on trails it was in a pair of the Altra Lone Peaks 2.0’s in Tucson, Arizona. I initially had mixed feelings, mainly because my feet were so used to running in traditional shoes, but once I adapted my stride to work with a zero drop shoe, I was sold. Here we are, almost 5 years later, and I’m still a sucker for the wide toe box and the comfort of Altras. Although a lot of people have likely heard of Altra, not many know how they got started. I was able to catch up with Chloe Stauffer over at Altra to fill you in.

Company Story:

Ingenuity and curiosity are truly the base of where Altra originated. With the market lacking something that fit the bill for what they wanted, Golden Harper and Brian Beckstead decided to take matters into their own ovens.

Yes. Toaster ovens.

If you can believe it, the first design they made was created using a pair of traditional running shoes, a knife, and toaster oven. You see, Golden and Brian wanted to create a shoe that fit the natural contours of the human foot. Feet aren’t the same width at the toes as they are at the heel, and they don’t have a 12-15mm drop from their heel to the toes, so why did basically every shoe out there follow that model?

Their idea? Toss a shoe in a toaster oven, get it to the point that they could (semi) easily carve out the midsole and level the cushioning. Without really knowing it, they were creating the foundation of their now highly recognized Zero Drop technology.

They took this concept and put all their research into developing the first actual Altra shoe in 2010. By this point, they had sunk all that they had into this project, and they needed it to work. They choose to give it the ultimate test, so Brian signed up to run the Wasatch 100 wearing only their Altra design.

As you can imagine, there was a lot riding on these shoes holding up and quite literally keeping Brian on his feet. With what likely seemed like the weight of his future riding on his shoulders, he flew through the race, and by mile 94 he was hours ahead of his previous years time. The best part, his feet were blister free and he felt good. They realized they had succeeded in creating something that worked, and all the emotions crashed down on them. They knew they were going to make it. In the following months, they began to produce their first release of shoes featuring their signature innovations: FootShape, Zero Drop, and Fit4Her. The first public shoe release dropped in 2011.

Don’t think this was the end of Golden and Brian’s hustling. Oh no, they took their first release of shoes and got the news out the old-fashioned way: Road Trip. They drove across the nation telling every running store they could about what they had created. This caught the attention of a lot of people, and they began to rack up awards right and left, and even joined the ICON Health and Fitness family.

Since that point, they’ve gone on to invent industry-changing technology (TrailClaw, GaiterTrap, Altra EGO, A-Bound, Stabilipod…) and become an international success. They were even acquired by the outdoor retailer giant, VF Corporation, and are living their #ZeroLimits mantra to the fullest. All in all, Altra has changed a lot of things for the running community.

Gear Review:

There are so many shoes that Altra makes that I would love to give a try, but for this round, my feet were graced with Altra Timp. The Timp is great option sitting between Altra’s mid-cushion Lone Peak and max-cushion Olympus. I’ll be honest, I was a little skeptical of this shoe prior to trying it out. The asymmetrical lacing is something new for Altra, and with most asym-lacing systems I’ve experienced in the past, I’ve developed some sort of a blister along the way, but I was pleasantly surprised.

Fit and Feel (5/5)

If any readers have not tried on a pair of Altras, I would highly recommend it. Every shoe, including the Timp, is built with their signature FootShape design. This may sound like a gimmick, but honestly, it is a comfort you need to experience firsthand. I’m not saying that everyone will love it, but I am personally a huge fan and advocate for this shape. Your toes have ample room to splay naturally, and you don’t feel any restriction in your natural movement.

The feature that adds the overall comfort of the Timp is the Zero Drop platform. With Zero Drop, both the heel and the forefoot are on the same height, so your foot sits as it would naturally on the ground. This makes the shoe feel like an extension of your own foot, but for those of you who are not used to it, you may feel that you’re on your heels more than you expect.

The one area I mentioned earlier that I was skeptical of was the asymmetrical lacing, and that was quickly put to ease. Altra has done a great job of putting the right amount of additional material around the lacing eyelets to prevent blistering or weird fitting issues. I was also happy to find that the lacing gap was just about perfect. In the older Altra’s the uppers would almost touch when you snug up the laces, but with the Timp I still have a decent inch wide gap between the uppers.

In Use (9/10)

I don’t really know where to begin here. I’ve put about 220 miles on these shoes, and they are amazing. They are sturdy, comfortable, durable, and an overall rock solid trail shoe. I might dare say they are my favorite overall running shoe to date.

Let’s start with the overall ride of the shoe. The Timp has a 29mm stack height, so it is on the higher end of the cushion spectrum, but unlike other high cushion shoes out there, I never felt that I was unstable. I ran in the Hoka Challengers in the past, and on a few training runs and race day, I rolled my ankle on tricky descents. Right from the get-go, I felt grounded with the Timp. I attribute this to the overall width of the shoe’s platform and the way the shoe still feels close to the ground. Even though the stability is there, the cushioning is incredible. It is honestly like running on two marshmallows, but marshmallows that help propel you to run faster. Marshmallow isn’t the right adjective though because they don’t feel “squishy”. They find a beautiful balance between soft on the knees but responsive enough to help your stride rebound forward.

This cushion comes in handy as well on the rougher terrain. I’ve hit some rocky trails in these shoes, but the Timp does a great job of protecting your foot. The MaxTrac rubber outsole with the TrailClaw lugs do an amazing job of keeping you grounded on any surface. Running in loose sand or mud, you can feel the lugs dig in and stabilize you as you push off. The Timp’s also provided great stability on descents. I don’t know if Altra has a specific name for it, but the elongated outsole on the heel helps provide added grip when you’re stride is more heel heavy going downhill.

The final thing I want to note is how this shoe maintains its comfort over distances. I just completed the Dirty 30 (actually 32 miles) on some crazy inclines and rough terrain, and through it all there was never a time that I even needed to think about my feet. Sure my knees, lungs, and mental state may have been shot, but my feet felt great. I found that that cushioning was perfect for long runs, even at the added weight. It isn’t the lightest shoe on the market at 11.1oz, but you would be hard-pressed to find a shoe that will keep you running this comfortably, so it is a small price to pay.

With the Timp, you also get something that I appreciate, especially running in wet or sandy conditions. Altra has developed a feature for their shoes that is called Gaiter Trap. They have strategically placed a patch of velcro on the heel of the shoe, as well as a metal ring towards the toe that Altra gaiters connect too. This is ingenious and keeps your gaiters secure and appropriately covering your laces and ankles, preventing essentially any debris from getting into your shoes. The catch here is that it only works with Altra gaiters, but you can pick them up for $20, or roughly the same price or cheaper than other comparable options.

If had to point out one area for improvement other than weight, it would be the durability of the outsole and lugs. This may be unfair because I tend to abuse my shoes by taking a 4-5 mile run on the streets en route to the trail, but even then, the lugs show a decent amount of wear at 200 miles. This really doesn’t bother me much, but for those of you who like to make a shoe last 400+ miles, this could cause an issue. The outsole is fairly quite well, honestly, but it is beginning to separate at the toe of the shoe. Again, this isn’t a huge issue, but if it continues to progress it will begin to cause some problems.

Overall (14/15)

Overall, this shoe has performed exceptionally well and continues to provide an unparalleled comfort for long distance runs. The Timp is the most flashy or tech loaded shoe in Altra’s quiver, but it hits a home run in my book. I would love to see Altra take the concept behind this shoe make some tweaks to lighten it up and reduce outsole wear. With that, It would be a dynamite shoe on all levels. Well done Altra!

That wraps up this review, but be sure to swing by again in the next few days for more reviews! In the meantime, don’t forget to get outside and unleash your adventure!

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DESCRIPTION: Lightweight camp knife set
WEIGHT:25.6 oz
MSRP: 29.95

For years I have struggled to find the right gear for my needs, and this is primarily because I am a closet minimalist but I also like so many different actives it is often hard to find the perfect piece of equipment that can span my interests. Lately I have been focusing on my van camping and road trips and this has led me to try and find the best way to prepare my more deluxe meals but with out adding an entire kitchen’s worth of equipment. By now hopefully you have read my review of the mind blowing GSI Outdoors Pressure Cooker, and now I am on to their Santoku Knife set and their Pinnacle Cook Set (review coming soon). The Santoku set is named after the largest blade (6″ blade length) in the kit which also includes a 4″ paring knife and a 6″ serrated knife, as well as a folding dual sided (meat and veg) cutting board and a wash cloth and dripper bottle. All of this is kept neatly in a zippered nylon bag.

The knives are stainless steel and ridiculously sharp. I mean its ridiculous, they are thin and razor sharp, so sharp you’d think its a late night QVC rotten tomato cutting-this-has-got-to-be-a-scam sharp. The Santoku is well balanced and although due to its very light weight I was initially concerned about its ability to stay true it has remained sharp and has not flexed or given me pause concerning its construction.

The serrated knife is equally as effective but I haven’t used it a whole lot as the Santoku is my jam. The 4″ paring knife is a great addition allowing greater control and due to its shorter blade length it is a bit more rigid, but again the sharpness of the edge removes the need for anything more than the more gentle pressure.

Each blade has its own nylon sheath and they are held in place with elastic bands. On the opposite side of the case you will find the folding cutting board and microfiber cloth and dropper bottle. The cutting board is reversible to keep the meat and veggies separate and is easy enough to clean up using the soap filled dropper and dual sided washcloth featuring one side soft as you would expect and the other is covered in a slightly abrasive surface to help scrub your dishes.

For an amazing $29.95 you can’t go wrong if you’re looking for a quality all in one kit that is self contained and well made. I absolutely love this latest GSI outdoors product and whether you camp close to your vehicle or deep in the backcountry I would encourage you to check this set out, the weight is negligible and the features are bomber.

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