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June 11, 2015 Comments (0) Gear Reviews

What every Father needs…


Growler camouflaged at the creek during our winter photo shot. PC – Matt WIlliams

Hydroflask Set

The Growler and true pint glass set from Hydroflask is a true gem. Constructed of double wall vacuumed steel, our testers fell in love with this set. These will make any dad happy. So happy, that we have put together a little contest for these bad boys. For those Dad’s out there, post an Instagram photo of your least favorite Father’s Day gift by 6/24/15 with the tags @trailandultra & #TAUR. A winner will be selected by the TAUR admins on 6/25/15.

The Growler worked wonderfully keeping liquids hot during our winter photo shot, and beverages cold on long desert runs. We can’t boast enough about how refreshing it was to have a cold beverage right on hand several hours after leaving the car. The pint glasses were used daily and look as classy as the first day we received them. Unlike many other metal pint glasses, these never left a metallic taste or felt harsh on the teeth.

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Montane Shark – $115 – 5.5 oz

Designed for the more aggressive Dad in your household, the Montane Shark is a fantastic all around light weight jacket for shoulder season runs. The jacket is well articulated and very breathable. Constructed of Pertex and Aerofltye fabrics, it is both very breathable and flexible for high intensity workouts like trail running. This feels like a more technical, or European fit, rather then the traditional US jackets.

The back and underarm Aeroflyte fabric is extremely breathable, great for hot spots while wearing a pack. And while it is not waterproof, the jacket does have a DWR coat and will repel those light rains. The hood, does not add much to the weight of the jacket and tucks in discretely. The only Con for this jacket was the lower hem, designed to prevent weather entry. Our tester, did want to loosen this lower hem on occasion. Overall, the Shark was a nice addition to the tester closet. The Shark is extremely comfortable and does the job on those rare occasions you are caught at the end of a run in a sprinkle.

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Eddie Bauer Big Leap Jacket  – $129 – 4 oz


Tester Zac Marion checking the abrasive resistance qualities of the Big Leap!! PC – Zac Marion

The Eddie Bauer, a cornerstone in the outdoor casual lifestyle apparel market, has re-entered the active pursuits apparel category. While some companies try to get their toes warm, Eddie Bauer has gone full in with the Big Leap Jacket. The Big Leap is built and designed for active sports use. The jacket is constructed of a Flexion fabric that is water-resistant and very breathable. Unfortunately, this is only for the Dad’s out there and comes in one color, Limeade.

The Big Leap does fit true to size.  The testers liked the cut all around. The sleeves were perfect, and the chest was large enough for layering.The fabric worked nicely as a wind breaker & at mild heat insolation.  It was an excellent shell to start off with during 35 to 50 degree run and light enough to determine later whether to remove or keep it on along the way. The testers liked the hood and were pleased with it’s function when they got caught in some driving wind and rain coming from the side.  As you can see above, our testers were not afraid to test the abrasive id not tear easily and had no concerns about the fabric durability.

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Eddie Bauer Microtherm Stormdown Vest – $129 – 8.32 oz

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Down is an essential in an outdoor enthusiasts gear closet. As a trail/ultra runner, down products are relegated to pre and post aspects of running. That is until now, DownTek has increased the versatility of down to now compete with synthetics. DownTek is the essential component of the Eddie Bauer Microtherm Sotrmdown Vest. This 800 fill vest has an additional DWR coat to enable use in more versatile conditions.

The Stormdown Vest has a more athletic fit, than other Eddie Bauer clothes. Additionally, the vest has a longer torso fit, which should be considered when purchasing. Otherwise, the Stormdown Vest is ideal as a multipurpose use down vest. Our testers, used it on casual days, pre/post run days and even on a chilly and cold run. The Stormdown was great in all of these circumstances. Out West, the mornings before races can get a bit chilly. Having a go to DownTek, with the warmth of down and the security of DownTek, made this a go to piece for our testers. We really liked the vest before and after runs as our core temperatures dropped. For those Ultra runners who struggle to regulate temperatures during Ultras, this Downtek is a must have. With the packability of Down and the repellence of DownTek you can feel condiment that the jacket will adequately protect and propel you to the finish. As is the case with any Down products, the durability and functionality can be compromised easily when the jacket meets the harsh environmental demands of the rugged mountains.

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Smart Wool Run Kit

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“The PhD line is definitely an improvement over their older versions. Although equally as comfortable, Smartwool has made significant improvements in quality and durability.”

“Smartwool does a great job providing comfort without having too much cushion with their PhD line. They are easy to wear, breathe well, and dry quickly.”
Breakdown (scores 1-5)
Overall Fit and Feel – 4
Comfort – 4
Durability – 4
Wicking / Drying – 4.5

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