Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Product Review: Orange Mud Double Barrel

I've been eyeballing this pack for a couple of years. But even after reading reviews and talking to a couple of guys/gals wearing it, I could still never pull the trigger on spending the $110 or so bucks for it.

But as fate would have it, a couple of weeks ago I was named Employee of the Year at Hart Strength and Endurance Coaching
To show her appreciation, my boss and our favorite local race director joined forces and got me the Orange Mud HydraQuiver Double Barrel hydration pack.

Ya know, I just recently did a review on my Nathan VaporKrar Pack. And I really like that pack too. I'm pretty easy, I like most things. I don't really care for kids or even humanity as a whole, but other than that I'm pretty easy. I really like this pack.

I live in Myrtle Beach. I run in Myrtle Beach. It's summer in Myrtle Beach. 
Myrtle Beach is hot and humid. You've probably already heard me speak of this, but it's true, and until you've experienced it...

No chest strap! 

The biggest feature of this pack that I like is the lack of actual pack. It's not a traditional vest in any sense. There is less than half the material against my body as there is in my Nathan. This makes for excellent breathability and prevents that awful sweat waterfall I typically get. 
Ya know, sweaty body, builds up around the pack, which then oozes into my running shorts then pours down legs into my shoes filling them with sweat within 5 miles.  
That happens to you doesn't it?

When I first put this thing on, my first thought was that the straps were going to dig into my armpits and chafe like a sonofabitch. (I run with no shirt on 75% of the time.)

Armpits. We all have them.

To wear the pack properly, you are going to have to tighten up those straps into your pits. But when you're actually running, you barely notice them. I put some body glide on the straps and my pits, just to prevent chafe-age, and so far, so good. 
I will tell you though, bringing your arms overhead while wearing this pack is a challenge. (Most runners won't really need to do this, but if you do OCR, I would not recommend this pack for racing in.)

I was also slightly concerned that I wouldn't be able to reach the bottles as my range of motion in my shoulders isn't what it should be. 
But I have no problems retrieving or replacing the bottles in the pack. With a little practice it has become second nature. Speaking of bottles, this pack comes with two 24oz bottles.

Notice how little the pack really is? Very little skin coverage.

There is minimal bouncing from this thing, in fact, the pack itself does not bounce, only the bottles in the pack. So if you happen to dick up you hydration and run out of water, this pack wont sway at all.

Its recommended to wash this by hand. So I do. I get really gross when I run and really should wash it after every, not every other, run. With the air conditioning on it will dry within 24hrs.

I guess I could just wear it in the shower.

There is a bit of storage in this. Nothing like a Camelback or whatever, but a bit. There's two Velcro accessible shoulder pockets that will hold some food or a smaller phone. There's a large zip pocket in the back.

Still sudsy.

Word of warning on this pocket though, it will change the fit of the pack, this changing where the bottles sit. The pocket is between the body and the bottles, so if you try to jam a windbreaker in there, the bottles are going to sit weird. But if you roll that windbreaker up nice and tidy, you can easily store it with the shock cord that sits between the bottles.

When I was reading other reviews on this pack there were some concerns about hearing the water in the bottles slosh around.
I am a little deaf, but this has not been any kind of issue for me at all.

Never actually wear your hat like this, you'll look like a schmuck. But you get another good view of how small the pack is.

There were concerns about the bottles popping out. I haven't had that happen, nor do I see it happening unless I face plant, which is always a possibility I guess.

Broken wheelbarrow not included.

Why this is going to be my Go-To pack now:
1) As its warm enough here 9-10 months a year I don't have to  carry layers. 
2) Ninety percent of the races I do are Looped Courses. So I don't need 70oz of water and a ton of food on me.
3) It's really damn easy to wash out a water bottle.
4) I can carry two different kinds of hydration if I want. Water and Beer!
5) It's minimal and light (10oz sans bottles)
6) It looks like a Jet Pack.

I didn't want to use the naked picture of me doing this, Google and Orange Mud might get mad.   But if you PM me, I can send it to ya.

If you hate carrying Handys, Running Belts don't work for you, or you don't need to carry everything you own, definitely check out Orange Muds line of stuff. 
And as usual, look into trying it on before purchase or contact them for more info.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Product Review: SIxteen Dollar Shade Tent from Aldi

I'm writing this review in June/July of 2018.
Things are currently looking up for Heather and me. And although we're far from loaded we decided to spend some money on Skin Cancer prevention in the form of:

Pretty Orange and Blue Tent Thingy!!!


We decided this summer to purchase a State Park pass. For South Carolina, I gotta add, not Vermont or Nevada. It cost us $75 and essentially get's us into any SC State Park. 

Well, we've got TWO State Parks in Myrtle Beach. Huntington Beach State Park and Myrtle Beach State Park. Huntington is a ten minute drive up the road from our gym and MB is a ten minute drive from our house. 
So we now spend a good amount of time at the beach! 
Sorry clients, I unplug while I'm there. I'm working on my boogie board skills.

I don't like to use Sunblock. Ya, the sun will give you cancer, but shit, so will covering your epidermis with chemicals. 
And Aspertame will give you cancer too.
So we decided on taking a chance on this $16 funky pop-up sun shelter.

It is realllllyyyy easy to set up. You just take it out of the sleeve and toss it in the air, Boing!

Flip it right side up, and good to go.

It comes with four guy lines and nine, yes mine had nine, stakes to secure it into the beach sand....?  I do stake it down, not sure how much it really helps. Leave a cooler in it too, it'll help weigh it down.

It gets windy on the beach, Stake the frame and guy lines.

It's a pretty handy place to stash all your gear to prevent the wind from blowing it away too. Towels, Boogie Boards, shoes, all that kind of beachy shit, just toss it into the shelter.

Even at the beach it looks like we're having a damn yard sale..

It'd be myopic of me not to mentions a couple of drawbacks though.

It is not the most durable material. If you let your dog play in it, it will get destroyed.

If you cook in it, you'll get a big melty mess of a tent husk.

It is not an Umbrella. Don't expect to get your Tommy Bahama beach chair under this thing.

It may take you 45 minutes to figure out how to take it down, or if you watch our video, it may only take 45 seconds.

If you already shop at Aldi and are looking for a quick sun shelter, I really do recommend this one. Unless, like I said, you have dogs.

I can fit in it.

I will try to post an update if we bring this to a race. Not sure what we may use it for, but I like to take as much shit as I can carry to any race I go to.

Notice the shoes match the tent case? I planned that. Aiming for a GQ cover.

Follow up, July 4th 2018: This thing is brutally susceptible to wind!!!