Tag Archives: running

Review: Knuckle Lights

Disclaimer: I received one pair of Knuckle Lights 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’m definitely not an early morning runner (I’ve tried, it’s just not my jam), but I do run at dusk and walk the dogs at night sometimes. My neighborhood has a couple street lights on the main street, but there’s nothing on the cul-de-sacs, which makes it super dark at night. I was super intrigued by the concept of the Knuckle Lights and excited to try them out.

What I received to review

  • One pair of Knuckle Lights in black, with charging dock, USB cable, and wall adapter

Photo Credit: KnuckleLights.com

What’s so special about Knuckle Lights?

Knuckle Lights were designed to keep runners safe. They are an alternative to any other lighting device (headlamp, clip-on light, etc.), and the strap goes around your hand.

According to the website,

Knuckle Lights will brighten up your early morning runs with the wide-flood LED beam that pumps out a smooth spread of 280 lumens. Designed to be worn across the front of your hands, Knuckle Lights allow you full use of your hands without the bothersome bobbling of a headlamp.

The Good

I’ll just bullet point my favorite things about these lights:

  • There are three different settings: low, high, and blinking
  • All of the settings are really bright and the light is very broad. It lit up the full width of the sidewalk, and goes up to 280 lumens.
  • They are waterproof.
  • The silicone straps are adjustable and can even go over gloves.
  • The whole unit is rechargeable.
  • They have a decent battery life – 8 hours on low, 4 hours on high, and 14 hours on blinking.
  • You can still hold other things, like leashes, in your hand.

The Not-So-Good

I honestly can’t think of anything I don’t like about them. They were really easy to use and comfortable to wear, they have a decent battery life, and they’re easy to charge. They also click together so that they sit up in the charger and so that they don’t get lost if you put them somewhere (like in a drawer, where I keep my running stuff).

The Bottom Line

Knuckle Lights are wonderful for running or walking in the dark, or for getting around your campsite. They are $59.99/set, and will soon come in pink, blue, and tan. I’m going to be running the TransRockies Run this year, and I’ll definitely be sticking these guys in my pack for getting around camp at night!

 

Review: OOFOS Ooriginal Sport

Disclaimer: I received a pair of OOFOS Ooriginal Sport 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 was really intrigued by OOFOS because they are designed to “absorb impact” and “aid recovery”. I love flip-fops anyway, so I’m not likely to turn down the opportunity to test out a new pair, especially one that will make my legs feel good after a long run. Right now, I’m only training for a 5K and a 5-miler, so I didn’t have any super long runs, but I feel like I was still able to get some benefit from the sandal’s design. Read on for more 😉

What I received to review

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What’s so special about the OOFOS?

According to the hang tag that came on the sandals, OOFOS is “recovery technology for your feet” and works by:

  • Absorbing shock with every step
  • Cradling your arches
  • Reducing stress on feet, knees, and back
  • Enabling more natural motion

The foam absorbs 37% more shock than other materials.

The Good

The first thing I noticed about OOFOS was it’s unique design, and I honestly wasn’t sure how it would feel. The sole is bulkier than most flip-flops, and is thicker in the middle than on the front and back, which I assumed was to help the foot roll more than heel strike (which it did).

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The sandals are super cushiony and comfortable. It felt like I was squishing down into the cushion and then rebounding with each step.

The fit was great, and they are true to size. The website suggests ordering your true size if you are a whole size, or a half size up if you typically wear a half size.

I wore them after a few of my longer runs (about an hour), and while my legs don’t get super sore, they do get tired. I put on the sandals immediately post-run—my legs and tired feet felt supported. It was great.

Another plus to the OOFOS Original Sport? They are moisture resistant and don’t get stinky. Always a good feature when you are dealing with smelly, sweaty feet.

The Not-So-Good

They are supposed to have an anti-chafe toe, and while I wouldn’t call it chafing, there was a bit of discomfort if I wore them all day long (which I wanted to do because they were so comfortable!).

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The Bottom Line

I loved the OOFOS Original Sport sandals for after runs, or on days when I was walking around or on my feet a lot. They retail at $59.95, and while I can’t attest to how long they might last since I haven’t had mine that long, they seem to be well made and with quality materials.

Join us and OOFOS for #Bibchat on August 30! I can’t guarantee that they will be giving away a pair, but there are often sweet giveaways during #Bibchat, so come hang out with us on Tuesday at 7 pm MT!

Review: UV Half BUFF®

Disclaimer: I received a UV Half BUFF® 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 seen any of my other reviews, you may have seen me post about the Hoodie Thermal BUFF® in January, and the UV Full BUFF® in May, and you also may know that I love them. I love the colors and the function, but they can be a little bulky for the summer, so I was excited to try out the half version and compare the two!

 

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From Buff, Inc.:

“Shorter than the Original BUFF® , the UV Half BUFF® offers style and sun protection without weighing you down. It wicks away perspiration to keep you comfortable in the gym, on the road, at the yoga studio, or on the trails. Cyclists especially love the way it sits comfortably under a helmet without bunching. “

The Good

I love all of the features that my UV BUFF® offers:

  • 100% Seamless. We can all agree that tags and scratchy seams are the worst.
  • Breathable & moisture-wicking. The Half BUFF® is even lighter than the full.
  • Odor resistant. I’ll be honest. I don’t wash my running accessories as much as I should, so the longer they go stink-free, the better.
  • Stretchy. It’s easy to get over your head, and the Half BUFF® doesn’t scrunch or get bulky.
  • Wind resistant. Not as much of an issue in the summer, but man do I hate wind when it’s cold.
  • UV protection. The UV BUFF® blocks 95% of UV radiation.

I think I’m a bigger fan of the Half BUFF® than the Full BUFF® for the summer. It’s lighter and easier to wear as a headband (my favorite way to wear it). It’s also easier to lose, as I thought I had almost lost my first one!

Even though it’s smaller than a full-size BUFF®, it still stays in place, which is important, too!

The Half on the left and the Full on the right.

The Half on the left and the Full on the right.

The Not-So-Good

Nothing – I love it!

The Bottom Line

I’m already a huge fan of BUFF® products. You can wear them all kinds of ways in any type of weather. The Half is perfect for summer activities because it’s smaller.

Like I said in my Full BUFF® review, living at altitude in Colorado means an increase in the strength of UV rays, so I will take all the protection I can get!

The UV Half BUFF® retails for $15, has a ton of cool designs, and they last for years.

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Run to Help Eliminate Hunger

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Did you know…

that hunger is the world’s most solvable problem?

That 1 in 7 Americans are wondering where their next meal will come from?

That 16 million children are at risk of going hungry?

Hunger isn’t something that just happens in “those other” countries, it’s happening here, in our very own country.

When I was selected as a 2016 Women’s Health Action Hero, part of the agreement was that I would participate in Run 10 Feed 10, but to be honest, I would have participated anyway. It’s pretty simple idea – run a 10K and feed 10 hungry people in your community.

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Since the program started in 2012, Run 10 Feed 10 has raised enough money to provide 4.5 million meals to people in need!

There are three main events in New York City, Chicago, and San Francisco, and there are fun runs all around the United States (including Denver!). They all take place in September and October, and there is a 5K option, so check out the website to see if there is an event near you (or you can create your own).

You get a super sweet FEED bag with your registration, and a finisher’s bracelet when you complete the race (not to mention feeding hungry kids in your city).

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And, you can get $5 off with the code “WHMOOD, so head on over and sign up (and join my fundraising team if you want)! And you don’t even have to come to Denver – you can sign up for any city!

If you aren’t a runner or have another event that day, you can still donate to the cause on my fundraising page here -> https://www.crowdrise.com/abbiemood1/fundraiser/abbiemood

Review: SPI H20 Venture Hydration Belt

Disclaimer: I received a SPI H20 Venture Hydration Belt 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!

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I am always looking for things that will make my run easier, or make a necessary part of my run easier, like staying hydrated. I’ve used the same waist belt hydration pack since 2006 (seriously), and I have a regular SPI belt that I use on shorter runs, so when I jumped at the chance to try something that combined the two.

For full transparency: I’ve been dealing with a quad strain since my half marathon last month, so I didn’t get out with the belt *too* much, but I did get to try it a couple times and feel the review is an accurate reflection of how it works.

What I received to review

Photo from SPI website.

Photo from SPI website.

From the website:

The SPI H2O™ Venture Series hydration belt is bounce-free, easy to use, and eliminates cumbersome bottle holders. The SPI H2O Venture Series is a unique product because the two, 8 ounce bottles that can be placed anywhere on the elastic allowing runners to maximize comfort. This running belt is built for durability and can keep up with your longest runs. Go for a hike, run a marathon, go mountain biking. The Venture Series will effortlessly keep your water and other essentials right where you need them! The belt pocket is big enough to hold the iPhone® 6S Plus or the Samsung Galaxy Note 5® as well as keys, ID, and more.

The Good

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Like I said, I’ve had the same hydration belt since 2006, so I was excited to see how they have evolved since then, and I was pleasantly surprised. I wear my belts low and on my hips anyway (which greatly reduces bounce to begin with), but I found that the SPI H20 belt was bounce-free, as promised. I varied my speed from walking to a brisk run and it stayed put (and didn’t leak, either!). 

The band is pretty wide, so it’s really comfortable, and fits waist sizes from 27″-48″, so it will probably fit you, too!

I love that the bottles just slide on AND there’s not lid to pop up! They are no-spill, and then only work when you squeeze them. And the mouth of the bottle is big enough to fit ice cubes!

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The plastic part that the bottle connect to the belt with is connected to the bottles, so it’s super easy to wear it as just a SPI belt, too. The stretchy pouch has enough room to hold a cell phone, key, and headphones.

While it’s not water proof, it does have a WeatherGuard design to keep out dirt, dust, and the occasional raindrop.

The Not-So-Good

There are two 8 oz. bottles, for a max of 16 oz. of hydration. While this probably isn’t a bid deal to most, and I don’t usually consume more than that on my longer runs, if you were heading on a lengthy adventure, you might want to have more water.

There are two loops on either side of the pouch that are supposed to be for gels. I couldn’t stretch either one out very far at all, so there was no chance that I was getting a gel in there. The good news, is that I could probably fit the gel in the main pouch with everything else.

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The Bottom Line

If you like hydration waist belts, this is a great choice. You can wear it with or without the bottles, and it holds just about everything you would need for a decent run. I definitely recommend checking it out and snagging a discount on one below!

The SPI H20 Venture Series SPIbelt retails for $44.99. You can get 10% off and free shipping with the code “abbie10” until the end of May!

Check out Christine’s review, too!

Join us on Twitter for #Bibchat on Tuesdays at 7 pm MST!

Review & Giveaway: UV FULL BUFF

Disclaimer: I received a UV FULL BUFF 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!

***THE GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED***

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You may remember that I reviewed the Hoodie Thermal BUFF in January (and loved it). I’ve also worn BUFFs when I travel, because they are great to keep your hair back, keep dirt out of your face, and I have sprayed bug spray on mine so that I didn’t have to spray it on my neck. For whatever reason, I hadn’t tried a BUFF in the warmer weather at home, or on a run, so I was excited to try out the UV BUFF.

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From BUFF:

“No more excuses for sunburns. No more hiding in the shade. UV BUFF® headwear keeps the sun fun while blocking 95% of harmful UV rays*. Hour after hour, COOLMAX® Extreme fabric wicks away sweat to keep you cool and Polygiene® Active Odor Control neautralizes odor. Now that’s cool.”

The Good

I love all of the features that a BUFF has:

  • Seamless. Nothing is worse than a pesky tag or seam.
  • Breathable & moisture-wicking. The BUFF is so light, you don’t even notice it is there.
  • Odor resistant. We know how stinky our running stuff gets, so enough said.
  • Stretchy. It’s easy to get over your head and wear one of the many ways you can wear a BUFF. I think the stretchiness also helps with the comfort.
  • Protects from cold & wind. So not only does it block UV rays and help on those hotter days, you can wear it on cooler days, too.
Photo Credit: BUFFUSA.com

Photo Credit: BUFFUSA.com

The Not-So-Good

Literally, nothing. See above.

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The Bottom Line

I’m a huge fan of BUFFs. You can wear them 12+ ways in any type of weather. I’m especially excited about this UV BUFF for hiking and running in the mountains in the summer. Living at altitude in Colorado means an increase in the strength of UV rays, so I will take all the protection I can get!

The UV Full BUFF retails for $25, and they last for years.

I loved my BUFF so much that I wanted to give one away, too! And next week is my birthday, so it’s fun to give things away for your birthday 🙂

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It’s for a basic black FULL UV BUFF. This contest is only for US Residents, and a winner will be chosen on Wednesday, May 18.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Review: Orange Mud Single Barrel HydraQuiver

Disclaimer: I received an Orange Mud Single Barrel HydraQuiver 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!

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As you may have heard, I’m training for the 3-day TransRockies Run in the mountains in August. I usually wear a waist belt with hydration, but have been looking for a lightweight backpack type option that would allow me to comfortably hold a little more stuff. When I saw the Orange Mud Single Barrel HydraQuiver, I was super excited to try it out and see if it would work for my big race.

What I received to review

From the website:

Tired of bouncing and sloshing hydration packs? Solution found, meet the HydraQuiver™. The HydraQuiver sports a silky smooth webbing, long spandex pockets to hold your phone while running, an interior rear cargo storage and a secure zipper pull.

Thick foam padding and big air channels provide ample support and maximum breath-ability. The running water bottle is easy to reach and replace thanks to a wide funnel opening and perfect retention. We use a reusable BPA-free water bottle to make refills quick and clean up easy. Unlike a hydration bladder, these are much easier to wash! For your nighttime safety we have a reflective logo on the bottle holder.

Features: Capacity – 140 cu in ~ Weight without bottle, 7.2oz/204 grams, with bottle 10oz/282 grams ~ Super breathable nylon ~ Secure storage with headphone port ~ Bottle: BPA Free 25oz ~ Patent pending

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The Good

It’s definitely light, even with a full bottle of water. Even though it’s light, and there is a minor amount of sloshing (it is a bottle of liquid after all), I didn’t feel like it was bouncing or moving at all.

It holds quite a bit of water. The bottle holds 25 oz. of hydration liquid, which is more than enough for me for pretty much any run or hike that I would be on.

The pocket was surprisingly big. I thought it would just be a small pocket, but it actually goes behind the bottle and spans the entire width of the pack. It can easily hold keys, a phone, and a snack. There is also a clip for your keyring to keep that in place, which is a nice feature. The headphone port made it easy to plug in headphones and string it through without having to leave the zipper open.

There are also a couple velcro pockets on the shoulder straps that are perfect for a gel. It was actually stretchy enough that I could fit my phone into it if I wanted to keep it close to snap pictures of my hike or trail run.

Under the velcro pockets is a little band that you can double up your straps, which kept them conveniently secure instead of flopping around.

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While I found it more difficult to grab my water bottle for whatever reason, it was super easy to get back in the pack. The top of the bottle holder is wider than the bottom, which makes it easy to pop back in and keeps it pretty secure. You can lean over or and it isn’t going to just fall out.

The padding on the back was comfortable and the air channel gave some breathability. Of course, it still got sweaty, but I didn’t really notice that my back was sweaty until I took off the HydraQuiver.

The materials are high-quality and the pack is durable. This pack is well-made and I can tell that it will last a long time. It’s sturdy and easy to clean.

Photo from Orange Mud website

Photo from Orange Mud website

The Not-So-Good

As I mentioned before, I am on the hunt for a solution that will allow me to carry more for my longer adventures and eventually, the TransRockies Run, so I was excited to see that the HydraQuiver has a built in area to strap down a jacket. Unfortunately, you have to purchase a separate “cord and cord lock set” for an additional $4.95. I was bummed that it was a separate purchase, instead of it being included with the HydraQuiver.

I had a big issue with the fit. It was easy to put on, easy to adjust, but chafed my armpits and rubbed the top of my shoulders (through my shirt). It didn’t matter if I tightened it or loosened it, the straps don’t have any padding beyond the shoulders and rubbed my inner armpit. If I tightened it to where it was close to comfortable, it restricted my arm movement. If I loosened it too much, I the shoulder padding/pockets were too far back. I couldn’t figure out what the issue was, but after several runs, I never felt comfortable with the pack, which was really disappointing.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is that there are so many things that I really like about this pack, but when it comes down to it, if it’s not comfortable to wear, it’s just not going to work. I think Orange Mud is a great company, but this pack is not for me. That being said, there were other BibRave Pros that really loved the pack and didn’t have the same issue with the fit, so you may want to check out their posts, too – Katie, Samantha, Shannon, Jessica, and Emily.

The Orange Mud Single Barrel HydraQuiver retails for $84.95 and comes in black, gray, orange, and pink. There is also a double barrel version if you want to hold more water, and a Vest Pack that has a chest strap. If you want to try out Orange Mud for yourself, use the code “BIBRAVE” for a 15% discount!

Join us on Twitter for #Bibchat on Tuesday, May 3 at 7 pm MST – Orange Mud will be there and may be giving away a hydration pack!

Race Recap: Platte River Half Marathon

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to the Platte River Half Marathon 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!

This race was my first half marathon since at least 2011, maybe even 2010, so I was really excited. I didn’t PR (and didn’t expect to), but I was super proud of myself anyway, and beat the goal I had in mind (2:30). It was also super exciting because I got to meet fellow BibRavers Bradley & Katherine IRL!

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Registration: The registration process was easy and was with Race Roster online, and you could get your name on your bib! I received a confirmation email, then a couple emails the week before the race that told me the final instructions were posted on the website. It would have been nice for the instructions to have been emailed, but that’s not a huge deal.

Communication Leading up the Race: I was a little disappointed in the lack of social media engagement. I posted on IG and tweeted regularly, and never received a like or response. In fact, the last post on their Twitter account is from St. Patrick’s Day, even post-race. Again, not a huge deal, but some engagement would have gotten me more excited about the race.

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Packet Pickup: They offered three days to pick up your bib (Friday, Saturday, or race day) so I went on Friday afternoon, and there were only a couple other people there. Packet pickup was quick and easy. It was at a local Runner’s Roost, and this particular location has a great downstairs space for events, so I was lead downstairs and easily picked up my bag and long-sleeved shirt. There was also some sponsor samples down there. Runner’s Roost and Asics were main sponsors of the event and offered a discount on Asics products at the store that day.

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Pre-Race: The day of the race, it was really easy to find parking. There were two bigger lots, but we chose a street spot that was only a block away so my boyfriend could drive over to the finish. He didn’t have any trouble finding a spot within a couple blocks of the finish line, either. There were plenty of Port-a-Potties near the start line, so the bathroom line moved pretty quickly.

THE RACE!: The race started in five waves, which helped us get a bit spread out and it wasn’t as packed as it usually is when you have 1500+ runners starting at once. The point-to-point course started in downtown Littleton and then headed out to the Platte River Trail. It was a cool, cloudy day, so it was perfect racing temps!

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The Platte River Trail has some dirt and gravel, but the multi-use path is mostly paved. There are some small uphill/downhills underneath roads, but overall it’s mostly flat and scenic along the river, with a couple industrial sections.

There were plenty of volunteers along the course, and hydration (water and nuun) every couple miles. Because this was also a relay, there were two points where runners were handing off, but the process was smooth and didn’t disrupt the race in any way.

Around mile 12.5, there is quite a hill going up and over an overpass, but the perk is that you get to come downhill and then cruise around a corner to the finish line.

It's a little blurry, but this is what I was staring down with a 1/2 mile left in the half!

It’s a little blurry, but this is what I was staring down with a 1/2 mile left in the half!

Finish & Expo: At the finish line, I got a big medal and *another* swag bag with a glass and a bottle opener. There was plenty of water and signage so I knew where to go to find the expo. It was a couple blocks down the road, but again, easy to find. At the expo were plenty of samples of nuun, Noosa yogurt, Skinny Pop popcorn, and a few others. There was beer and food as promised (hot dogs, burgers, mac & cheese), and a band playing music.

More swag at the finish line!

More swag at the finish line!

The expo was right next to the RTD station, which was the way back to the start line where most people parked, but as I mentioned above, my boyfriend picked me up, so I didn’t experience that. Runners were supposed to be able to ride the RTD back for free.

Post-Race: The results weren’t posted until a couple days after the race, and my posted time was two minutes off of my watch time. I have a feeling that maybe my chip was picked up as soon as the waves started, because I started in wave 4. I’ve never had my watch that far off, and I always hit it as I’m crossing the mat, so it could just be me, but I’m not sure what happened there.

The race pictures came out on Friday, so five days after the race. The photographer wasn’t very easy to spot, so I didn’t even realize they had a photog out on the course. The pictures were sorted by time (instead of searchable by bib) and didn’t really give an indication of where they were on the course, so it was a matter of looking through many photos to try to find mine. I also wasn’t able to find a picture of me at the finish line, which is a bummer (but luckily Eric took some pictures for me!).

Overall, this was a well-organized race, a lovely course at a great time of year, and I definitely recommend it! There are a few things that could definitely be improved (social media, photographs, etc.) but those are what I consider to be add-ons and not essential to the success of the race.

For more pictures and a different perspective from Bradley, who came here from sea level check out Bradley on the Run. Also head over to Katherine’s blog, a fellow Coloradoan, who wrote a lovely review as well.

Review: Aftershokz Trekz Titanium Wireless Headphones

Disclaimer: I received a pair of Aftershokz Trekz Titanium Wireless Headphones 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!

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I have been noticing more and more people wearing fancy wireless headphones, and I’ve wondered if they were any good. What sets the Aftershokz Trekz apart is that they are not only wireless, but also use bone conduction technology, which “guide mini vibrations through the cheekbones to the inner ears, delivering sound without plugging or covering them.” See the orange sounds lines below, vs. the traditional headphones/earbuds with the blue sound lines.

Photo from Aftershokz website.

We are in 2016 people, and this is some serious science. Photo from Aftershokz website.

What the Headphones Come With:

  • 1 pair of Aftershokz Trekz Titanium Headphones (they come in blue, green, or gray)
  • 1 case
  • 2 ear plugs
  • 2 “fit bands”
  • 1 USB charging cable

Aftershokz Trekz kit

From the website:

The lightweight and comfortable Trekz Titanium wireless stereo headphones are the safest alternative to traditional sport headphones and earbuds. Bone conduction technology, an open ear design and a suite of convenient features deliver premium music play and crystal clear calling without compromise. Designed with athletes in mind, Trekz Titanium are sweatproof, secure, and will allow you to hear your surroundings – no matter where life takes you.

The Good

They are definitely light and durable. You can bend them and twist them easily. I *may* have dropped them a couple times, too, and they are still fine.

The lightness makes them pretty comfortable, too. I wore them on 2+ hour runs, without even really noticing that they were there. When I have my earbuds in, they eventually start to annoy me.

When I first put the Trekz on, the headphones felt a little wiggly, but I added the fit bands and after that, they felt nice and snug.

The fit bands are small, but seemed to make a difference for me.

The fit bands are small, but seemed to make a difference for me.

The sound quality is good. It’s not as good as earbuds in my ears, but that’s kind of point, and I could definitely hear environmental sounds (bikes, cars, people) when I was running, which was great. If you put the earplugs in, the sound quality is much better, and comparable to what I would expect from a high quality in-ear earbud or headphone.

The battery life is great – six hours on one charge. Mine never ran out because I charged it after a couple long runs, but six hours can get you through most long runs and road races.

The Trekz aren’t waterproof, but they are sweatproof and rainproof. I was afraid that I was going to have to test this out one day when I almost got caught in a storm, but luckily I made it back in time 😉

The rain was coming!

The rain was coming!

You can connect the headphones to multiple devices via Bluetooth. I usually have mine connected to my phone, but tested them out with my computer at a coffee shop and had no problems.

The headphones also have dual, noise-cancelling microphones so you can use it to answer phone calls. I tried it with a couple calls and the sound quality was good.

The Not-So-Good

This is probably a wireless headphone issue, not an Aftershokz issue, but if you try to sit back or have a big hood or something pushes into the headphone part around the back, it pushes them off your ear. This means that the headphones are best used while being active, driving, or if you are sitting forward.

The Bluetooth can be finicky. I noticed that if I had my phone near my shoulders in a pack, or in front of me at the gym, it worked fine, but if I had it around my waist, the music would skip. I consulted fellow BibRave Pro Katherine about this issue when we were running the Platte River Half Marathon, and she told me that the Bluetooth receiver thing was in the right side of the headphones. I moved my little waist pack to the right side and had no further issues.

As I mentioned above, the sound quality is not as loud or as high quality as you might like from your earbuds (unless you put the earplugs in). And the whole point of the headphones are to hear what is around you, so that limits the volume.

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The Bottom Line

I am really happy with these headphones. They are light, they are wireless, and they work great (as long as the device is in front of you/on your right side). I would definitely recommend them, and if you decide to try them, get 20% off any Aftershokz product with the code “BIBCHAT“.

Review: MESTRENGTH Performance Hydration Drink Mix

Disclaimer: I received a 10-pack of mixed flavors of MESTRENGTH Performance Hydration Drink Mix 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!

You may or may not know that I’m currently training for the TransRockies 3-day Run in August, which means LOTS of long and back-to-back runs. I’ve been starting my search for hydration options that are going to help me both hydrate and recover for my next run, so I was really interested in trying MESTRENGTH.

mestrength box

What I received to review

From the website

MUSCLE CELLS REQUIRE TWO ESSENTIAL INGREDIENTS TO FUNCTION PROPERLY – FLUIDS AND ENERGY. MESTRENGTH PROVIDES THESE IN A ZERO CALORIE, SUGAR-FREE BEVERAGE THAT COMBINES 5 KEY ELECTROLYTES FOR HYDRATION WITH 5 GRAMS OF CREATINE FOR PERFORMANCE TO HELP ATHLETES GET THE MOST OUT OF THEIR WORKOUT.

The Good

The powder has limited ingredients: Electrolytes (calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, potassium) and creatine, citric acid, natural flavor/color, and stevia. It’s also vegan and gluten-free, if that’s important to you.

All of the products, whether you buy a single flavor or the mixed flavors sampler, come in a prepackaged stick packs. You don’t have to measure or think about it – just mix it with 16.9 or 20 oz. of water and go.

I think the cost is pretty reasonable – just over $1/serving for 16.9-20 oz. of hydration (the 10-pack is a little more expensive at about $1.80/serving).

mestrength ingredients

The Not-So-Good

Unfortunately, the flavor wasn’t for me – I’m not a huge fan of stevia and it tasted both sweet and tart. I watered it down from the recommended 16-20 oz. to 24 oz., and still didn’t think it made much of a difference. That being said, other BibRave Pros, like Frank, LOVE the strawberry kiwi.

The Bottom Line

I like that MESTRENGTH has the limited ingredients and the price is pretty good. The product has no calories, which I think some people would really like, but I want some calories for my long runs. There is also no sugar, but I think that real sugar over Stevia would have improved the taste.

But, just because I didn’t like the flavor, doesn’t mean that you won’t. The 10-pack is a great way to sample the flavors and find out which ones you like and don’t like.

Have you tried MESTRENGTH? What did you think?