Wednesday, February 22, 2012

New Gear

2011 was a year of upgrading my bike.  Now that I've got it how I want it I think 2012 is going to be a year of upgrading my gear.  Yesterday I bought 2 items that I've been lusting after for awhile.  The first is a pack, the second is a pair of shoes.   

I've got several packs and several trail running shoes.  I like most of them but I haven't got any that I love.  My favorite current pack is an Osprey Talon 11.  
It's pretty light, is roomy enough and if you snug down the straps it will stay in place while you run.  I hate a bouncy pack.  What I don' t like about it is the waist belt.  The pockets are too small for much more than a couple gels and hard for me to open one handed.  Having the pack tightened enough it to keep it from bouncing gets uncomfortable after awhile.  So I end up loosening the straps and running with my hands holding the shoulder straps in place.  Not a good position when you trip and fall in the woods.  

My favorite current shoes are Salomon XR Crossmax's.  
I run on pavement more than trial (unfortunately), and these shoes work well for both.  What I don't like is the weight and tread; kinda heavy and not enough traction in the woods.  Good enough for most training but not what I want when I'm wearing them for hours and want to go as fast as possible.

My upgrades are both Salomon products; I'm a fan.  The first is a new pack that I read about when they came out with it last year.  It was a small pack (5 liter) so didn't really suit my needs, but I loved the design and hoped they'd come out with a larger version.  For 2012 they have.  Its the Advanced Skin S-Lab 12 Set (quite a mouthful).  
The idea is that there is no waist strap, and that the pack fits more like a vest than a typical backpack.  the weight is more evenly distributed and there are multiple chest straps so there shouldn't be as restrictive as what I've been using.  Plus BIG side pockets.  It was expensive, but it's gotten great reviews and I can't wait to try it out. 

The second product is a lighter pair of trail shoes, the Speedcross 3.  
While I intend to just use them for occasional trail running and adventure racing, I love the aggressive tread pattern and the weight will be an improvement over the Crossmax.  Again, I'm looking forward to trying them out.

I'll post up some reviews once I'm able to get some miles on them.

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