BibRave, Product Review, Run!

Get Your Boco On

Disclaimer: I received a Boco Gear 360º Visor to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

If you’ve been reading a while or following on Instagram, you may have noticed how attached I am to my hats.  That said, there are random times I don’t run with a hat even though I know I need one to keep the sun off my face.  Ok…truth moment- those “hatless” times aren’t so random.  Those are the days that I want to run but I also don’t want to wash my hair.   😜 Not gonna lie, I have my Slacker moments.

I’ve tried visors in the past but they’ve never survived my destructo girl tendencies.   I think I’ve purchased 4 or 5 throughout the years.  All various brands and the longest one lasted was about a month.  I just kept destroying them.   So I gave up.

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hen I was offered a visor from Boco Gear.  Given my track record, I was skeptical but I thought, sure why not?   And it had the BibRave logo on it??? Bonus!

Boco Gear makes some pretty sweet hats and visors.  You could own one and not even know it- they make a wide variety of custom gear for other brands and teams.  Check your label- you may be surprised by what it says.

You guys, the visor is still alive!!!  It’s been 3 months and I haven’t hurt it yet!   It’s not like I’ve deliberately tried, but like I’ve said before I tend to toss things around in my car.  I throw EVERYTHING fabric in the washing machine at some point.  I shoved it into my carry on for Las Vegas and didn’t take time to pack it carefully- just shoved it in.  It goes in my gym bag to work on days I plan on wearing it.

Little bit of visor info-

  • Lightweight wicking materials outside
  • Wicking internal sweatband to move sweat from your forehead
  • Soft brushed elastic back for comfort and fit
  • Relaxed fit front panel for a better performance and comfort
  • Black underside of the bill to reduce glare
  • Curved bill
  • Machine washable

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y only negative is something that I love about it as well, oops!  I love that it has the elastic back and there’s no Velcro closure.  However, while the elastic back it super comfortable and I never have to worry about the visor slipping off my oddly small head, it does fit rather snug.   For someone as easily prone to headaches as I am, it may be a little too snug.  I can only handle it for about 4-5 miles.  But that’s about as far as I can push it with the lack of hair washing anyway and not covering my ears so I guess it kind of works out!  😛

A visor that stands up to my bad habits?? Awesome!

Check out more thoughts here-

Amy – Meridith – Jeannine – Lindsey – Angie – Vanessa – Jessica – Frank – Gina – Dane – Shannon

Casey Mai

How do you cover your head?

 

BibRave, Product Review, Run!

Light as Air

Disclaimer: I received a pair of Aftershokz Trekz Air to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

I love listening to music on the run.  Partly because it covers the sounds of my own huffing and puffing and partly because music helps gives me that extra kick in the pants I need some times.   Plus it’s fun to randomly throw in a horribly offbeat dance move while running.  😛

That said, I never felt comfortable with regular earphones.   Completely blocking both ears from outside noises just never worked for me.  I always ran with one in and one out… and would usually end up tangled in the cords.  So when I first discovered Aftershokz last year with the Trekz Titanium, I was in love.   Wireless and safe- where have you been all my life???

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hen I heard about the Trekz Air and wondered- can something that was already awesome be better?  Spoiler alert- yes.

The concept is the same- same bone conduction technology. So instead of shoving an earbud uncomfortably into your ear, the Trekz Air rests just outside the ears on your cheekbones.   This way you can safely enjoy your music or your podcast but still be aware of the sounds and environment around you.  Actually, the tech is still mind boggling to me but I know it works from personal experience and I love it.  I can have my music cranked up but still hear the leaves scratching the pavement as they blow across the path.

From the website-

  • Bone conduction technology delivers music through your cheekbones, ensuring ears remain completely open to hear ambient sounds
  • A 20% lighter build than its counterpart
  • A new organic design delivers increased comfort
  • Complete wraparound titanium design provides a flexible fit for unnoticeable all-day comfort and stability
  • OpenFit™ design ensures maximum situational awareness and comfort during long-term wear
  • PremiumPitch+™ guarantees a premium audio experience, including wide dynamic range and rich bass
  • Bluetooth® v4.2 connectivity and convenient multipoint pairing
  • LeakSlayer™ technology significantly reduces natural sound leakage
  • IP55 certified to repel sweat, dust and moisture, from workouts to wicked weather
  • Enjoy six hours of continuous music + calls on a single charge
  • EQ presets boost bass and reduce vibration on the go
  • Dual noise canceling microphones exclude surrounding noise, effectively enhancing speech
  • Audrey Says™ voice prompts guide users through power, pair, play and talk
  • Hassle-free 2-year warranty

<

So why am I totally in love with the Trekz Air?  Like love so much, they are always with me- kept charged and in my purse at all times.   They are so much lighter.  I know that spec wise, it says they are 20% lighter but I feel like that number should be much higher.   I’ve mentioned before that I am prone to headaches and those headaches often turn into migraines.  It doesn’t take much to set them off and sadly sometimes my previous pair would aggravate my head on long runs.   Not the case with the Trekz Air!!  Even after a 2 hour, sweaty mess run, I could barely feel them.  If I hadn’t had the music playing in my ears I would have completely forgotten they were on.  That made me want to jump up and down for joy.   Which is why I now carry them everywhere with me.  😎  I can listen to music on my lunch breaks without worrying about anyone else hearing it, which is great because my music is not always break room appropriate.  😛

Want your own? Get a bonus BibRave trucker hat with your AfterShokz Trekz Air purchase with code “TRUCKER” at http://bibrave.aftershokz.com/

How do you listen to music on the run?  

BibRave, Product Review, Run!

Haul it All

Disclaimer: I received an Eagle Creek Cargo Hauler Duffel as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

Traveling to more races farther away means carrying more stuff.   I have a tendency to over pack.  I like to be prepared for all contingencies you know? 😛  However that would usually leave me with a few bags.  I would try to fit it all in one but would generally fail.    I had no idea how I was going to handle packing for my trip to Las Vegas.

Then I found the Cargo Hauler Duffel from Eagle Creek and I had a solution to most of my problems.  I don’t think I’ll ever stop over packing.  😛

I admit I was a little confused when it first arrived.  It was so small!  I had somehow missed the part where it zips into itself for convenient storage.  Then I opened it up.   It was like a TARDIS moment- it’s bigger on the inside!!!

Some technical specs from the website-

  • ULTRA-LIGHT  (the 60L weighs only 1 lb 12 oz)
  • Made with an extra-durable, water-repellent coated Bi-Tech™ Armor Lite fabric: a fusion of technology that merges max abrasion-resistance with ultra-light carry
  • Bartack reinforcement on all high stress points for maximum schlepping
  • Carry by its removable backpack straps, padded top haul handles, or side grab handle
  • U-shaped lid for easy access to main compartment
  • Sizeable easy-access zippered end pockets for gear organization
  • Six heavy-duty lash points for attaching this bag to a roof rack
  • #10 lockable zippers with storm flap shield zipper from rain
  • Bottom is foam padded to help protect contents against impact
So how has it held up? I used it for local races where I was finally able to take a change of clothes, toiletry bag, and ALL the water in the same bag.  No, seriously, prior to that I would be lugging around my gym bag, a large lunch bag, and a reusable bag.  I mentioned over packing right?  I love that I can keep my toiletries and shoes separate from the main compartment by using the end compartments.   The back pack straps are actually super comfortable.
Beyond that, I lugged it all over airports and planes and taxis to Las Vegas and back.  And it performed beautifully.  At full capacity it is actually slightly too big to be a carry on which is why I was concerned about leaving extra space when I packed for my flight to Vegas.  Only to find out that my flight back had even tighter carry on restrictions.  Why?  The plane was TINY!  Like they were force checking baggage at the gate for free because it wouldn’t fit in the overhead compartments.  What airline checks baggage for free??  I was scared mine wouldn’t pass, I had bought a few things in Vegas and did not pack things anywhere near as tightly but I passed!!!  Whew.
Even better- for a germophobe like me, I was able to literally hose it off before I packed it up to store it for my next trip.  Now I want to take that trip.  But where to????
The only thing I wish the duffel had was some way to cinch tight the parts you weren’t using.  So if you weren’t using one of the end compartments it wouldn’t even have to be opened.
So now really, where’s my next trip?
How do you travel?
For more thoughts on the Cargo Hauler Duffel, check out other BibRave Pros-
BibRave, Product Review, Run!

#SKINSorNOTHING

Disclaimer: I received a pair of A400 Compression Shorts from SKINS to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

I normally try to come up with catchy titles for my reviews but nothing can really top their own hashtag.   😀

When the chance came up to test compression shorts from SKINS, I was excited.  The brand I was wearing no longer made the style I owned and my pair was getting a little ragged.   The weather here was staying pretty warm so shorts would be fine for a few months.


The website has a handy little size calculator which I took advantage of but I was still a little concerned when the shorts seemed really small upon arrival.   Then a little more concerned when they seemed snug around my calves when pulling them on.  Ummm, my thighs are bigger than my calves, how is this going to work?   Surprisingly well- the material is like magic!  Silky soft and stretchy but tight in the right places.   How do they do that?

Ok, let’s get technical-

  1. Innovative ADAPTIVE Technology keeps you warm when it’s cold and cool when it’s hot
  2. A-Seams for comfort and durability without chafing
  3. 360 degree reflectivity
  4. Lower rise sits comfortably on the hips
  5. Easily accessible waistband pocket
  6. Wider waistband for comfort
Dynamic Gradient Compression
SKINS most advanced compression technology increases muscle oxygenation, stabilizes active muscles and reduces blood lactate build up, to enhance performance and speed up recovery time.

Now, I am a big fan of compression so what did I think of these?


They were longer than I thought they would be. They felt a little snug on the first run- maybe too snug.  Either that I was just now realizing how badly my last pair had worn out.  After a few miles my legs felt great.   That was the only time the legs felt too tight.  Every other time has been golden.  I’ve worn them for short runs, almost every long run since (dang laundry issues!) and my trail race.  In fact, the only parts of my body that didn’t hurt post trail race with all its’ hills were the parts covered by the shorts.  Coincidence? Probably not.

I feel like the longer my run the better my legs feel in them.  My upper legs have felt great on my long runs lately.   I credit the shorts because the rest of me is falling apart.😛


I wash them after each run and they’ve held up great so far.  I do line dry them.  But I line dry 80% of my clothing so that’s no big deal.

My one gripe is the waist.  If you check the data I pulled from the website up there⬆️ it says “lower rise sits… on hips”.  Umm, not so much.  At least not for me.   The shorts go up to my rib cage.  That is high people!    Now I don’t know if I just have an odd shaped torso or if I need a smaller size.   I honestly don’t think I could fit into a smaller size but maybe I’m wrong?  Maybe I should try folding down the waist band.  We’ll see.  

Waist height aside, I kind of love these shorts. 🙂

Check out more opinions- some people tested the full pants-

LindseyJessica  

Want your own? Use code BIBRAVE20 to save 20%. 

What do you run in? 

BibRave, Product Review, Run!

Kick the Dust Up

Disclaimer: I received a pair of Horizon RTT  from Under Armour to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”

Surprisingly enough, dirt and trails are a few of a my favorite things.    I say surprisingly because in some ways I am a huge germophobe and if I’m not in running gear, odds are high that I’m in a dress and heels.    Get me on a trail though and I turn into a 5 year old and run free.  Sometimes a little too free but that’s another story.


When I had the chance to try the Horizon RTT’s from Under Armour, I almost jumped for joy.   My current trail shoes were trashed and it had been way too long since I had run recklessly down a mountain.  I needed it.    Then they arrived and they were so pretty.  But hopefully they wouldn’t stay that way for very long, I wanted to get them good and dirty.

Ok, let’s cover the technical details first-

UA Snip
from the website

Ok, first impressions.

This is a serious shoe.  So much sturdier than my previous trail shoes.   How was that going to feel on my feet?  Ok, where’s the dirt? 😀  My first run in them was a couple laps around the lake.    Not bad, nice traction, good grippy feel, I never felt like I was going to skid out in the loose dirt.


Next adventure- 3 Bridges Preserve, a new trail with a little more zig-zag up than I was expecting.  😛     The shoes felt good, kept me sure footed on the path and helped me explore a little more of what run town has to offer.


Other adventure- An unexpected illness turned a planned Bishop’s Peak hike/run into a calmer ocean trail adventure where I took the shoes over paved paths, hard packed sand,  sandy dunes, boardwalk, gravel and roads.    No problems at all.  And something else I noticed that day?  This hike was done with my mother and she had just purchased a new pair of trail shoes that day.  Her shoes and socks were full of dune sand when she took them off but mine weren’t!

Overall, I wore the shoes for about 20+ miles of mixed routes and surfaces since I received them.  Full disclosure, that unplanned sickness kept me from testing them in my favorite way.   My favorite part of trail running is careening wildly down a mountain side in a barely controlled fashion.  Yes, people usually look at me like I am crazy but I love it.  I need a trail shoe that grips tight so I can run free.  Being sidelined kept me from 2 planned mountains.  Boo.   So as soon as I can run crazily down a mountain, I’ll be back with an add on to this review.  And probably a big smile on my face.  😛

That said, I do have some thoughts on the shoe.  While the outsole is great for traction, I feel like it is very stiff on your foot.   Now maybe I have just become used to a more cushioned shoe lately thanks to my everyday running shoes.   I have a tendency for taking the wrong turn on trails and turning a 5 mile run into 9 or 10 and I think more cushion in the sole would be nice.  This can also probably be corrected with a good pair of inserts, I’ve just never had any luck with those. We shall see.   However I plan on putting in many more miles in these in the months to come.  😀

Want to hear more? Check out these thoughts by other Bibrave Pros-

TedrickLindseyJessicaCasey

How do you run on trails?