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Apparel, Contests, Footwear, Outdoors, Uncategorized
Banner-WendyE Last year we did a monster Shoe Review… now, it’s time to do it again. 5 of our Veteran Writers picked ELEVEN Top Brands and we’re reviewing our top picks; find out which of our choice pairs fits you best. WIN-instructions-03

Scarpa company profile

Scarpa is an Italian performance footwear company whose American base is in Boulder, Colorado. Since 1938 they’ve been rocking the ski and mountaineering market with technical, highly functional boots. Scarpa also has developed a line of high alpine running shoes. This innovative company has developed several ‘firsts’ in the footwear industry including the first Gor-Tex boot. Our feet thank you, Scarpa.

Neutron – 16.4oz/pair, $129

This shoe is designed for running long trail miles in comfort. The neutron has a super lugged sole for tackling rocky and uneven terrain. And while duel density EVA midsole with a 6 mil drop means cushion and comfort for the long training days, a synthetic and mesh upper keeps your feet breathing happy. The Neutron is long distance trail shoe, right out of the box. IMG_5390
A trail shoe built for long, comfortable miles on gnarly terrain.
1. Upper/Inside Shoe Composition The upper shoe is made of synthetic leather and polyester mesh. The leather provides side support while the mesh allows total breathability and moisture escape. The lining is made from a comfortable polyester that eliminates hotspots. 2. Midsole Shoe Construction The midsole is designed to keep your feet happy during extended time on the trail. Built with compression molded EVA and a wider toe box, comfort is company during the long training days. The 6 mil drop means major cushioning over rocks and roots. 3. Outer Sole Construction The Neutron’s outer sole provides serious traction while protecting your feet from rocky terrain. The tread is made with Vibram Genetic technology and with arrow shaped tread design, it creates 360 degrees of response and security as you tackle uneven trails.
A breathable and cushioned shoe that responds to your every movement.
We tested these shoes on the rocky, ankle breaking trails of Northern California and as approach shoes in Yosemite Nat’l Park. IMG_5393 Almost like slippers, these shoes were comfortable and fit well, right out of the box, no pressure points or hot spots. The Neutrons have a great balance between nimble and stiff and while rugged, they feel light on the feet.  While running the shoes felt solid and there was little to no foot slippage inside the shoes as we ran over creek beds and down steep drainages. The lugged sole and grippy tread totally surpassed our expectations on the trails here. Jagged rocks and roots are hardly noticeable as these shoes cool over them. While on approach in Yosemite, these shoes gripped the granite slabs surprisingly well. It wasn’t until traversing steep angled slabs that  our tester wished she had specifically designed approach shoes. Despite several hours on steep ascents and descents, our tester never had any issues with hot spots or blisters. IMG_5387
In conclusion…
If you’re looking for a responsive shoe that can stick with you for miles, this is it. The Neutron can provide comfort and cushion for sensitive feet and provides support for the longer training days.

Official Contest Rules: Enter by commenting for a chance to win one of five pairs of shoes from this review series. One entry per review (so enter 16 times y’all!). Prizes have no monetary value and are limited to the selection of seven pairs revealed throughout the series. Winners announced August 2, 2016!

WIN THESE OTHER SHOES!

Read the reviews & comment:

99-Bridger-01

99-Inhaler-01

99-Neutron-01

99-Norvan-01

99-Mazama-01

99-Hydroventure-01

99-Versatrails-01

99-Monolith-01

99-Scapegoats-01

99-Akasha-01

99-Trainers-01

99-Puregrit-01

99-Maupins-01

99-Northpeak-01

99-Core-01 99-Agravic-01

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Outdoors, Uncategorized
Trailer of the Week: Reel Rock 10 Produced by: Sender Films Reel Rock 10 is here, and just in time for summer, Trek Tech is reminding everyone to get psyched on this year’s climbing season. The Reel Rock films, for 10 features, have brought the stoke and the itch to get on a rock for those of us in the climbing community and further yet, peak the interest in those of us that aren’t. A collaboration of several climbing films meshed into one adrenaline pumping line up, you don’t want to miss this round of climbers and climbs. The film Trek Tech is most excited for? The Dawn Wall Exclusive with Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgensen, a challenge the whole world was routing for. Reel Rock 10 gives you another glimpse into the crazy world of climbing, sleeping, eating, and living on rock. Stay tuned for the announcement of the Reel Rock 11 line up, coming fall 2016.  
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Outdoors, Uncategorized
At Trek Tech, we’re not above car camping. Hell, we sometimes prefer camping over backpacking. Despite crowds of drunk, crying babies, and smelly bathrooms, if you can find a good campsite, it’s being outside and expending little to no effort. We recently shot over to the coastal region to camp at Lake Sonoma. The place was dog friendly and not too crowded due to the impending bad weather. Turns out it was an amazing weekend with only a couple short episodes of rain. From this trip we’ve compiled a list of must have items on your summer camping adventures. These pieces of gear will epitomize your camping experience and have you planning your next trip on the way home. Yeti Tundra 65- $399 Before you pass out over the price tag, let me explain. Imagine leaving for a long hike in the morning, getting lost, hiking way farther than you expected, and with only the hope of a cold brew and delicious chicken fajitas giving you strength enough to return back to camp. Now unfortunately, you didn’t have a Yeti cooler. No, you had a cheap cooler that had melted out by noon, leaving you with warm beer and decaying chicken. The Tundra literally keeps ice for days. The 65L is perfect for 2-4 people out for a weekend and is rugged as f*ck. Yeti makes their coolers bear proof, idiot proof, with the top doubling as a table or cutting board, and the no slip bottom annoyingly sticky. This is the ultimate cooler for the ultimate weekend. IMG_4919 IMG_4815 ThermaCell Mosquito Repellant Scout Lantern- $39.99 If there’s one thing that can ruin a camping trip more than annoying camp neighbors or bad weather, it’s mosquitos. The Thermacell Scout Lantern provides 15’x15′ protection from these awful little buggers. There’s a allethrin soaked pad that when heated up by the butane canister inside the lantern, expels a natural repellent to mosquitoes and black flies. And it works. We take this lantern just about everywhere, just in case. The lantern itself has 220 lumens on the High setting, enough to light up the picnic table or the tent you’re sleeping in.  We appreciate when a company puts two very relevant and necessary uses in one piece of gear. IMG_4824 Scosche BoomBOTTLE – $179.99 What’s camping with out a little background music? This portable, sleek looking speaker is a favorite among the techies of the group. Water proof, rugged, multifunctional, this is a music lovers dream adventure stereo. Travel is a piece of cake with the BoomBOTTLE. As its name implies, this speaker fits into most water bottle holders, and with an indoor/outdoor setting, this thing puts out top quality sound no matter where you are. To make things even better, this speaker has the ability to charge your phone while you’re listening to your favorite tunes. This go anywhere, listen to anything device is meant for days of camping, floating, hiking, biking, and anything else you’d take a water bottle on. IMG_4793 (1) IMG_4797 Tentsile Stingray Tree Tent- $650 Literally the talk of the campground, this amazing contraption draws the crowds. The two men of the group set to work on this off-ground tent after a day at the beach and in 20 minutes had this thing up and tensioned, not bad for first time set up (set up time is noted to take 15 minutes). The cool factor of this piece is off the charts. To lay in a hammock/tent byproduct, have full view of the stars, and be away from all the creepy crawlies of our world, is a pretty neat experience. Use trees, posts, or a trailer hitch on a truck as your tensioning resources, just make sure they’re sturdy…the Stringray can hold up to 880lbs. With minimal sag the next morning this is a perfectly acceptable, Trek Tech recommended, mode of sleeping. Although heavy (18lbs), we’re not sure we’d trust sleeping in anything lighter with 2 other people plus gear. Raining? No problem. With the Stringray’s rain fly, once set up gives a staggering 160 sq. ft. of coverage underneath. Not only will you sleep dry, but now you literally have a living room underneath your Tentsile. IMG_4770 IMG_4855 IMG_4771 Avex 3Sixty Pour Thermal Bottle and Insulated Pint Glass- $24.99 Hot coffee and cold beer, there are few things better in life. Make a cup of joe the night before an early start to save time and minimize your morning to-do list. The 3Sixty Pour will keep your drinks hot for up to 16 hours. Want iced coffee? This thermal bottle will keep beverages cold for up to 30 hours. As the name indicates, there’s 360 degrees of pourability out of the spout. Leak proof, spill proof, and double wall insulated, this thermos was built for travel. When the adventure is done, come back to camp to enjoy a cold brew. The stainless steel, insulated design of the Avex pint glass keeps its beverage chilled for hours so no need to chug the thing in 100+ degree weather. Enjoy it as a glass or add the lid with sliding spout cover for the sippy cup effect. The pint glass itself has an amazing design including both a beer opener on the bottom and a non slip grip, simple yet effective. We love it. IMG_4810 Camping with Dogs MyDogsCool Leash- starting at $24.99 Take this leash with you on every camping adventure. Most campsites require dogs to be on a 6ft leash. MyDogsCool leashes are handmade here in the USA and made with amazingly durable materials: climbing rope, marine grade stainless steel clips, and quality carabiners. These leashes are offered in different lengths, colors, and add ons. We particularly like the optional second handle which is a loop built near the clip for added control when street crossing or in crowded public places. These leashes are tough as nails and built for performance. IMG_4848 IMG_4837 EzyDog Adventure light- $25 The EzyDog adventure light is quickly becoming one of our favorite dog products. Small and simple yet incredibly effective. The waterproof LED light clips to your pup’s leash and twists to turn on. With the options of static or blinking (simply flip the battery) the light can be seen from a hell of long way off, definitely desired if you’re adventuring at night with your pup off leash. The light adds a safety factor for you and your dog when taking nightly walks and is a courtesy for fellow campers as you walk through the campground in the dark. This light lives on the Roaming Retriever and is a necessary component to all his adventures. IMG_4872 IMG_4891  
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Outdoors, Uncategorized
Functioning Fashion Friday Cotopaxi Toliman Hoody $139.95 We’re always a little bit skeptical of unisex products, but the Toliman hoody shut us up big time. With a neutral color and straight fit, it makes functional and trendy for both men and women. The super soft merino wool fabric allows you to actually use this piece in the out of doors and stay a comfortable temperature while doing your favorite activity. We had our testers try a size large and it was perfect as a base layer for him and as a cozy outfit addition for her. Ladies, when you’re too tired or fed up to care about life but still want to look cute, throw this over some leggings and pair with cute shades and shoes. Adorable. Take this hoody running, camping, hiking, climbing, out to coffee, or to the local brewery with the crew. You won’t be sorry. IMG_4257 IMG_4220 (1)  
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Outdoors, Uncategorized
Trailer of the Week: Life on the River Produced by: Smartwool and ROAMTV What happens when you take a bunch of professional snowboarders and skiers and stick them on the water in a raft? Major entertainment. Check out this trailer of Smartwool’s second short film, Life on the River. Follow these Smartwool athletes as they go from owning on snow to being totally challenged on snow melt. For most of us, hanging out in the sun on a boat sounds pretty great, but for these guys, it’s “forced relaxation that turns into actual relaxation.” Smartwool’s goal with these short films is to ‘inspire people to get outdoors and go futher,’ even if it’s out of your comfort zone and not your usual recreation of choice. Get out with some good friends and go try a different adventure, you’ll probably have an epic time. Stay tuned this year for more short films by Smartwool and ROAMTV.
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Outdoors, Uncategorized
It’s happened, finally,  I have a dog. I can’t fully articulate how ecstatic I am to have this glorious creature in my life. Sauvie is full of personality, quirks, love, and so much interest in adventure. Woof Training did such great work with him so we really are just reinforcing training and introducing him to the outdoors. The past few weeks for Sauvie has been filled with new outdoor experiences with the Ewings. Snow, swimming in the lake, and most of all trail running, …all of which he’s responded with pure joy. Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Trail Running with Sauvie One of the reasons I wanted a dog was to have a trail running partner on the days when friends weren’t available. Sauvie, as far as I know, has had no trail experience, so when I felt comfortable letting him off the leash I was pleasantly surprised at his trail behavior. This dog loves to bolt about 20 paces ahead and then stop and look at me with the goofiest grin. When I catch up he proceeds forward again. This goes on for about a mile before he calms to the same pace as me. Right now I am in the process of training him to stay on trail while we run or hike, and a training collar has been my best friend for this. Every time Sauvie goes to wander off the trail I vibrate the collar and call out “Trail!” I am pleased to say he’s taking to the ethics quite well and rarely do I have to use anything stronger than the vibrate before he comes straight back to the trail. Ultimately, I want our pup to be trail trained for the backpacking season and have as little impact on the places we’re visiting as possible. IMG_4125 Processed with VSCOcam with m3 preset Even though he’s showing so much potential to be the best adventure dog ever, he’s turning out to be just the best all around companion for us. Sauvie, you’re the best. And the most handsome. Processed with VSCOcam with m5 preset 5 Fun facts about Sauvie. 
  1. When he drinks water he submerges his entire head in the bucket…then proceeds to carry most of the water around the kitchen. When he goes to get a drink we start shouting out names of rivers. Also, there is now a towel in every corner of our house.
  2. When he goes to poop he spins in a circle 2-3 times.
  3. He goes to the bathroom on command. (Awesome.)
  4. He is a true child when it comes to water of any kind. Puddles must be splashed in, rain must be ran in, and lakes/rivers must be jumped in. In fact, we’ve nick named him Goldfish (see what I did there?)
  5. He’s a master at retrieving things (go figure) but not so much a master at catching things.
Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Now that I’ve made everybody jealous and swoon over my amazing new dog, here’s the other half of this experience. Damn. Having a dog is hard. Growing up we never had a dog, just cats, and let’s be honest, they don’t need you. Dogs do. It has been such an adjustment having to genuinely care for and pay attention to another living creature. It’s a tremendous responsibility that one can only prepare for so much. My husband has been gracious enough to not say “I told you so.” As great and fun as it’s been, it’s been equally exhausting. Getting a dog means getting a new routine. So the new routine begins and here’s a few things I’ve learned.
  1. Everyone knows everything about having a dog. Everybody has their own experience and opinion about how to handle a dog. I’ve gotten a lot of feedback and advice on certain situations, most of which has all been different. So to keep from letting everyone else manage your dog, do your research, talk to your vet, consult a dog trainer, and use your discretion. They’re in a forever home with you.
  2. Life doesn’t stop just because you get a dog. Jury Duty, a week of rainy weather, it all still happens even though you have a new family member who needs attention and exercise (and no, sadly, taking care of your pup doesn’t count as a ‘hardship’.) Work as a team with family or friends, suffer the bad weather (your dog will probably love it), life requires creativity and sacrifice sometimes.
  3. Sauvie’s personality is hilarious. Seriously though, the way he responds to things, the way he plays, the way he goes nuts for puddles, the noises he makes. Learning more and more every day about their personality is probably the most entertaining thing about getting a dog.
  4. Having a dog really is like having a child! People mean it when they say that. Sauvie gets grumpy if he’s tired but won’t take a nap, clearly he can be obstinate and stubborn. You really have to watch them and they definitely don’t let you sleep in.
  5. Buy a Dyson vacuum cleaner. Or any other high quality vacuum that can handle pet hair. You could stuff a pillow every week with the amount of fur this thing sheds.
Stay tuned for upcoming adventures! Next for us are Sauvie’s first back country ski day and continued trail run training! Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset
1

Outdoors, Uncategorized
Trailer of the Week: Banff Mountain Film Festival 2016- World Tour It’s that time of year again! The outdoor film festival that inspires stoke in all of us is coming to Northern California. The Banff Mountain Film Festival is a compilation of outdoor inspired films. Some are short, some are long, some adrenaline based, some journey based…all resulting in one epic experience. This festival is never disappointing and you can count on leaving with an uncanning desire to go send or scale something. This is one of the best ways to gather our outdoor community together. Check out the Banff Mountain Film Festival website for locations, dates, and times…here’s the dates for Northern California. Chico, CA – April 8 Redding, CA –  April 9 Arcata, CA – April 11
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Apparel, Gear Reviews, Outdoors
IMG_3822
Wool vs. down is an ongoing conversation in the outdoor community. For a long time, wool was our foul weather best friend because of its ability to insulate while being wet. But now, as our industry grows, so does its technology. Some companies, like Big Agnes, are now using DownTek, a weatherproof down that continues to hold loft even when wet. So what now? Is wool a thing of the past? The company, Ibex, has found a way to compete with down “puffies” by make their own version of a wool puffy. Take a look as we explore the two puffy insulates and help you choose the best jacket for your adventures.
IMG_3829
The Wool Aire is like a puffy without the puff. There’s tons of warmth from the merino wool insulation but it has a much sleeker look. There’s no marshmallow effect with this jacket. The 100 g/m merino wool insulation keeps things toasty near freezing and regulates body temps when things heat up.  While the jacket is great for the 30s, anything colder and unless you’re working up a sweat, you’ll want to start piling on the layers underneath. Raining? Slushing? Get pushed in a lake? Whatever. The properties of merino wool continue providing warmth and insulation despite being wet or dry. Surprisingly, this layer is great at cutting wind and the hood adds the perfect finishing bit of protection. At only 14.56oz, this jacket competes with other down jackets in their warmth to weight ratios. Winter, spring, summer in the North Cascades, Trek Tech would take this in confidence anywhere you’re guaranteed wet and cold weather.
 IMG_3827 IMG_3819
This mid-weight, DownTek insulated puffy is the perfect warmth to weight ratio. This 700-fill power jacket weighs 15oz and keeps those winter temps at bay. We found that the vertical baffling not only adds to the warmth factor but also slims the look of the jacket. The rip-stop nylon shell repels winds up to 55mph (we may or may not have tested this by leaning out of a car window going down a highway), perfect for spring skiing where the winds get nasty up on mountain ridges and mornings are still cold as F@&k. This piece is an excellent addition to the winter camping, back country skiing, Colorado brewery hopping collection. The down used to insulate this jacket is DownTek, more specifically a treated down that protects the pockets of air that are used to insulate in a down product. This means you can sweat or get rained on and the down will hold shape and continue to insulate. Pretty ground breaking stuff, although we’re not sure if all the old geezers out there will trust it…
IMG_3848 (1) IMG_3840
With the same ball park cost, same packability, same weight…it comes down to stand alone warmth and what you’ll trust in wet conditions. Both puffies are excellent winter and spring weather jackets ready to keep you warm, insulated, and dry.
IMG_3851
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