Orange Mud Gear Vest Pro Review

 

Disclaimer: I received an Orange Mud Gear Vest Pro 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 have to say, I was pretty excited when BibRave asked for endurance athletes to test out the new Orange Mud Gear Vest Pro. I have some friends who only wear Orange Mud gear that have really been talking up the products, so I was happy to see what all the hype was about.

The vest comes in several colors (I chose orange) and includes a 1 Liter bladder. It also has optional trekking pole attachments for those that carry poles.

The Fit.

My first impression when I took the vest out of the box was “How are these straps going to work on a woman’s chest?”.  I have been wearing a vest made by women for women, so I was really used to something that was comfortable and had the proper fit.  My other thought when I pulled the vest out of the box was, “Wow! This is really lightweight!”  I quickly reread the instructions on how to fit the vest (adjust the side straps first) and realized that the straps were highly adjustable to customize for any woman or man, regardless of their chest size.

 

The largest difference I noticed when putting on this vest in comparison to the other two vests I own is how much higher up it sits on the body.  This is not a criticism, just a difference that I noticed almost immediately.  About 2 miles into the run, my back felt so much cooler than it does with my other packs! I loved this part about the vest the most. (My other vests run most of the way down the middle of my back where this pack does not.) I get sweaty underneath the pack, so the Orange Mud product really does make a difference in terms of keeping me cool/dry.

The Storage.

On my first run with the pack, I prepared by placing all items I would normally have on a long run with me into the pack… nutrition, water bladder in the back, one soft flask up front, my keys, cell phone, gum, chapstick, and first aid items.  It was a tight fit but I did get it all in there.  I did notice that there were not many zippers like my other packs and hoped nothing fell out along my run.  (Everything stayed intact!)

The bladder that is included worked well. It seems slimmer than my other bladder and the bite valve works well. I love that the site has a section on how to clean your bladder (I always get questions about this from other people new to vests). I typically use two soft flasks up front I can refill but this bladder will come in handy on my long bike rides or ultra marathons for sure! I look forward to testing this out on my bike rides in the coming weeks (it has been raining a lot here, so I haven’t taken my bike off the trainer yet this Spring).

The First Race.

I tested the vest out on a few shorter runs and then actually wore it during the Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon Relay in April.  I had to wait at my relay exchange point for two hours, so it was nice to have the vest packed with nutrition and my hydration as I waited. Bonus: I was able to carry the relay baton in my vest INSTEAD of in my hand! I would never have thought to use this for a shorter race (I ran 9 miles) but in this case, it definitely came in handy!

All in all, I can see why my friends love this product. I am really enjoying the fit of the vest, although the higher ride up on the front took me a bit to get used to, I do not notice the vest on at all now.

If you would like to try out Orange Mud products, check out the website here.  They have a complete line of gear, clothing, and accessories for the avid hiker, cyclist or runner.  Really, anyone that loves the outdoors can find something on their site.  While you are there, use code BIBRAVEGVPRO for 15% off any purchase!

See what my fellow BibRave Pros have to say about this vest below.

Christine: Fit Newton 

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ShadyRays Shades – Live Hard? They’ve Got You!

shadyraysDisclaimer: I received a pair of Shady Rays Shades 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!

Sunglasses and I have a sordid past. My favorite ones usually don’t last long and I think it is because I am a little hard on them.  I have a pair of polarized shades but recently parted ways (read: I lost them) with my non-polarized pair, so I was excited to get the chance to try out some new shades as a BibRave Pro.  The Shady Rays Signature Series Blackout style seemed like just the right pair for me. I love wearing non-polarized lenses for trail running; I feel like I can see in front of me better than with polarized lenses. And, these sunglasses have 100% UV protection, which all runners need. But, I also loved that the company really promotes the durability of their product. I am a mom (which means kids sometimes accidentally get a hold of my sunglasses) and I run, but I also like to bike, swim, hike and just in general play hard. These definitely could be put to the test with my lifestyle.

I was dedicated to another brand of sunglasses, but after using these shades for a few weeks, I can definitely see the appeal of trying out other Shady Rays styles as well as their polarized lenses.  Here are the reasons why I am digging Shady Rays:

  • Lightweight – I can barely feel these on my face! They don’t move when I run either.
  • Stylish – I have the Signature Series, Blackout (non-polarized) style seen below; this is a classic frame that never goes out of style!
  • Affordable – There is a nice price range for all budgets!
  • Mission  – With every order placed, the company secures 10 meals to fight hunger through Feeding America. 
  • Live Hard Warranty – lifetime craftsmanship warranty & free replacements
  • They offer prescription options for eyeglasses and sunglasses as well as snow goggles.
  • You can purchase gift cards online for your friends!

I have worn these for several weeks now in rain, cloudy and sunny conditions and I would highly recommend them for others with an active lifestyle on a budget.

Visit ShadyRays.com and use code “RAVE” good for 50% off 2+ pairs from the Shade Shop!

 

Find Shady Rays on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter!

Don’t just take my word for it! Find out what my fellow BibRave Pros think about Shady Rays:

Ken Stands on Things ,  

I Run on Beer

Stephanie Does Her Own Stunts

Run Katy Run

 

 

 

The Stunt Puppy Stunt Runner Leash Earns a Pawsitive Review

 

Disclaimer: I received a Stunt Puppy Stunt Runner Leash 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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My baby boxer, Booker and his new Stunt Runner Leash!

If you are a dog owner, you realize dogs are our family. We are a very active family and our dogs will do lots of hiking, running and outdoor activities with us. We currently have two furbabies in our house. Ella is a 6-year-old boxer that came to us via boxer rescue about 4 years ago. She is happy to lay around all day on the couch until she sees someone putting on running shoes. At that point, she is up sitting by the door near her harness box ready to go for a walk or run. She is my literal “road dog” and will run up to 10K distance with me. Booker is our new boxer puppy. He is 6 months old and curious about everything. He enjoys chewing on anything he can get his teeth on, playing with his human brothers and taking long walks. We have not started running with him yet but he is doing well on a leash at this point.

When I had the opportunity to try out the Stunt Puppy Stunt Runner leash, I did question the value of the leash as I do not really have any issues running with Ella on a regular leash. But, I heard so many positive things about this product, I thought “Why not?”. It couldn’t hurt, right?

Let me tell you, the Stunt Runner leash is a game changer! This leash allows for greater flexibility for my dog while helping me to maintain my running form.

 

 

The first time I used this with Ella, I realized my arms were not crossing over like they did with the regular leash. I could hold my arms correctly and there was no pull from the leash. Ella seemed to recognize the difference and seemed very relaxed while running as well! I also like that I can take my fule with greater ease because my hands are not full holding a leash. I feel like this hands-free leash really helps me run smarter.

The leash appears very durable and high-quality. I also love that it is reflective! I am using it 4-5 times a week for dog jogs and walks with both dogs. I love the swivel snap hooks; I can use one hand to connect the leash to the dog harness. My 11 year old loves to use the leash too with the puppy. It really is super easy for everyone to use! Stunt Puppy gets 8 paws up from this family!

I have to say I am super excited to try out more products (harnesses, collars, etc) from Stunt Puppy. Check out their website and social media sites:

Stunt Puppy: https://www.stuntpuppy.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Stunt_Puppy

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/stuntpuppy/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/stuntpuppy/

So now that you know more about Stunt Puppy, I want to know if you run with your dog? And, does anyone have boxers that like to run? I would love to hear more from you.

See how well Snowflake and Virginia fared with the StuntRunner Leash here.

Lila loves her Stunt Runner Leash!

Jessica reviews the Stunt Runner Leash.

Andrea’s family enjoys the Stunt Puppy Stunt Runner Leash!

Samantha’s Review

Chris gives Stunt Puppy a whirl.

Aftershokz Operation #GiveGoodVibes is a Success!

Disclaimer: I received a pair of Aftershokz Trekz Air headphones to review and a pair of Aftershokz Titanium headphones to gift to a friend 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 so proud to have the opportunity to be a part of the recent Aftershokz #GiveGoodVibes campaign.  I was first introduced to these amazing bone conduction wireless headphones about two years ago. My husband gifted me a pair of Titanium headphones for Christmas. I could not believe the sound quality, it was amazing –the bone conduction technology allows you to hear without obstructing the ear! I felt much more confident listening to music while I ran solo and I knew my hearing was much better off with these than the old pair I was using.

Let’s not forget, while Aftershokz sent a pair of Air Trekz for me to try out, they also sent me a pair of the Titanium to gift to a friend as part of their #GiveGoodVibes campaign. how amazing is that?!  Now, who was I going to gift the other pair to…? That was the big question. I have so many wonderful friends that love running and did not have these!

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So small and lightweight! Loving my Air Trekz!

After thinking loooonng and hard, I decided to gift the Titanium headphones to one of my best friends, Jill.  She was training for her first trail half marathon and was working really hard to meet her goals. Jill is a very selfless person. She is a preschool teacher with two young children and her husband travels for work, which causes her to get really creative in finding the time to train for races. She does not have a good pair of headphones that are lightweight and safe for running. She is one of those moms that goes without things she wants to give her children, family and friends things that they need. She was a perfect candidate!

So, I decided to surprise her with the headphones at her trail race! I was also signed up to run the race. We traveled down together with our husbands to the race. I watched her run with joy at this race, despite the horrible, muddy course we had to endure due to the heavy rainfall that month. She persevered and finished the race when some people decided not to even show up to start due to the weather-she did amazing! After we received our medals and cleaned up, I gifted her a card telling her how proud I was of her and gave her the headphones. She was shocked! I could not film this due to the poor cell phone service at our cabin, but the look on her face was priceless.

We now are both happy owners of Aftershozk. I am so grateful for this opportunity to give back to a great friend and runner! I highly recommend these headphones to runners but really anyone looking for a way to use headphones that are safe for your hearing and conducive to high-quality sound experience.

#GIVEGOODVIBES

Check out these other fun #GiveGoodVibes stories from my fellow Bib Rave Pros!

With Purpose and Kindness  

ScootADoot

Jenna Runs

 

I am officially a Zwift Runner!

Disclaimer: I received a Zwift FootPod 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!

Running confession time: I have never enjoyed running on the treadmill. Several years ago, I joined a gym just for treadmill use in the months of January and February, when the weather is icy here at home.  It was as I was training for the second marathon that I realized there was value in using the treadmill for training. Regardless of my respect for the device, I still find it a dull experience. Enter the Zwift Run app and footpod!

 

 

First Experience

Prior to getting my Zwift footpod in the mail, I had not heard of Zwift for running, only cycling, so I was very excited to try this out. I quickly checked out the Zwift run website and found that I would need the following for use:  A treadmill, the Zwift footpod or smart sneaker, supported gear, and an electronic device to run the Zwift App. (Full disclosure on the supported gear: my iPad was too old to support the Zwift app so I had to use my Andriod device, which is still in Beta testing. I found if you have an android device, you still will need a laptop/Apple TV/ iPhone/iPad for a fully integrated experience.) 

So, I created my free Zwift Run account. Then, I downloaded the Zwift app to my laptop and the companion app to my phone.  Next, I took the footpod and paired it with the Zwift software on my laptop. The settings are pretty fun to play around with so that you can customize your avatar.  I then opened the Zwift companion app and picked a training run to get started. I set up my laptop beside the treadmill at the gym and I was off!  It was really fun to see “myself” running in “Watopia” with other cyclists and runners.  Once I was done with a 2-mile test run, I was able to look at my companion app to see my run route, Pace, Cadence, and splits.  I was pleased with this as I knew in past running on treadmills did not provide me with truly accurate run stats.  I could begin to like this treadmill thing!

 

My one big take away with the setup: calibrating the footpod to the treadmill run is the most important step as it sets the foundation for future Zwift runs and the accuracy of your run cadence and pace. Don’t get frustrated with this part. It took a minute for my Avatar to pick up the pace and get going; so have patience and let the technology do the work.

 

IMG_20181210_215355_564A few days later, I was really excited to do my first virtual group run as part of at BibRave Pro run with my BRPs who were at The Running Event in Austin, Texas! I got to the gym early, set up and was ready to go! Once the run started, I realized that my footpod did not want to pair with the software. I tried multiple times and chalked it up to a wifi issue and I was majorly bummed. However, at the end of the session, I noticed my footpod was not lighting up! I went home and changed out the battery in the footpod and VIOLA, the footpod pair instantly with the software.

 

 

Third Time is a Charm

My third Zwift Run went rather smooth. I had a new battery in my footpod and decided to do a Zwift 101 training run.  I had zero issues with any of the gear or devices and can I just say I love the companion app?! As I run, I was receiving training advice and rationale for the type of training run I was completing. Time fly by as I watched my avatar run on the computer screen and before I knew it my training run was over. People walked by to check out the avatar and ask what I was doing. It was pretty cool to show off the technology to the runners and coaches at the gym!

I have had another Zwift run since then and I am sooooo looking forward to my next BibRavePro Zwift virtual run on Tuesday, December 18 from 7:30-8pm EST. Please join us! It is open to anyone!

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Benefits of Virtual Experience

I have to say, I was skeptical at first. But honestly, once I figured out the battery in the footpod was my main issue, I have had a great experience with Go Zwift Run! The benefits of being a Zwifter:

  • The virtual experience is pretty awesome and you never have to run ‘alone’! There SmartSelect_20181207-164826_Stravaare multiple daily events you can jump into or try a workout/training run.
  • This is a boon for training using a treadmill; the workouts and training tips are great.
  • You can set goals for yourself and the app tracks it all (distance goal, time goal, even calorie burn goals –this app will tell you how many pieces of pizza you burned on your run)! I am a visual person and love to see the readout at the end of my run.
  • You can follow other Zwifters, give them kudos on runs and make new friends all over the world from the comfort of your home or gym.
  • Zwift app links with all of your favorite running apps, including Strava and Garmin.
  • This makes running on the treadmill less boring! Treadmill companies should def get on board with Zwift and make this a “thing”.

 

FootPod Discount

Need a Zwift FootPod? Use Code ‘BibRave15’ for 15% off the footpod (good only the first 1000 purchased with the code)!

Don’t take my word for it! Read other BibRave Pro reviews on this product by searching for #ZwiftBR now. If you are into technology and/or treadmill running, you are probably gonna want to learn more!

Corey T. Queen over at Go Corey Go has his review up now here.

With Purpose and Kindness review has some great treadmill running tips!

Review of Buff DryFlx Hat and Neck Gear

Disclaimer:  I received a BUFF DryFlx Hat and NeckWarmer 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 familiar with Buff products and have owned a few neck gaiters in my running lifetime, so I jumped at the chance to try out Buff’s new DryFlx line! I chose a bright Turquoise color as I needed a little pop of color for my cold weather gear. As soon as I opened the package, I could feel the difference in this Buff. It was lightweight, smooth, reflective but had an almost silky feel to it.  I immediately loved it.

According to Buff USA, the DryFlx material is

lightweight warmth for cool weather activities, with 360º reflective design for visibility from dusk to dawn. The 4-Way ULTRA STRETCH fabric is highly breathable and quick-drying for all-day comfort.

What the Buff site doesn’t say is how much attention this gear receives. Each time I wore it I had new compliments from the color to the fit to the fabric.  Extra bonus you cannot see: UPF 50+ sun protection! I primarily used mine for running in cold weather less than 30 degrees, but also wore it to my son’s hockey practice and found it to keep me toasty warm without being too heavy!

Check out the hat and neckwarmer – I highly recommend both!

Right now you can get 10% off by signing up to receive emails from Buff.

More fun facts about Buff:

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  • There is a Buff line for your canine companion.
  • Now offering free shipping on orders of $40 or more.
  • Buff has been around since 1991.
  • They can do custom gear!

Don’t just believe my boxer, Ella! Read reviews from my fellow Bib Rave Pros here:

 

Running Smarter with Sabre!

“Disclaimer: I received a Sabre Runner Pepper Spray 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!”

As the member of an all women’s running group, running safety is a topic that comes up quite a bit. When I was asked to test Sabre safety products, in particular, the Runner Pepper Gel with an adjustable hand strap, I was excited about the opportunity.

My box from Sabre arrived with the following products to test:

Runner Pepper Spray

Duathlete Pepper Gel

Personal Alarm with clip and LED light

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For this review, I want to focus on the Runner Pepper Spray. In the past, I have carried traditional mace and a whistle for safety reasons. The pepper gel is new to me and I was unsure of how effective it could be until I started reading more about the Sabre products on the website. Sabre touts gel that is police strength protection level, minimizes blowback and has a spray range greater than 20% of most other brands.   

Additionally, this product is a unique combination of CS military tear gas, red pepper, and UV dye.

You can read more about the product for yourself on the website, but here is a summary of why I really liked using this product:

  • The hand strap was easy to adjust when I needed to wear gloves, etc.
  • The canister is lightweight. I did not notice it on me once I started running.
  • I can get up to 35 short bursts with this one canister. Hopefully, I never have to use it, but is nice to know I have a good volume with one purchase.
  • It is affordable!
  • The company offers free training videos and easy use instructions.
  • The twist lock is easy to use but also feels secure when not in use.

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See the full FAQ for the Runner Pepper Gel here.

Follow my IG page for more posts about this product and follow #SabreBR to see other user thoughts/reviews! My fellow Bib Rave Pros have reviews up as well – check out:

She Runs by The SeaShore

The Marathon Lady

Running Around the Boyz

She Runs By Faith