Gear Reviews

Brooks Launch Running Shoe:
 Recently, Mary has been testing out the Brooks Launch. The shoe is a lightweight, neutral shoe weighing in a 7.5oz (women's model). "It's not the lightest shoe in the market, but very lightweight considering it is not in the barefoot category" she says.One very positive aspect of the shoe is that it is very responsive, "even in snow." The transition from heel/toe is very fluid, making a super comfortable, flexible run (12mm difference for those who are measuring). Although it is not an overbuilt shoe, it certainly looks heftier than it actually is - that was the biggest con. Overall, our tester said it was extremely responsive and very comfortable; and she's suffered foot injury.
This shoe is recommended for someone who is running on average 25miles a week; perfect for someone training for a 10k. It is a lower mileage shoe, so it's not recommended for someone who is doing XC. Also we'd say great for someone who is looking to transition into a barefoot shoe.

Have you tried the Brooks Launch? What do you think? Yay or Nay?

Black Diamond: Spot Headlamp
Hi all, Kaylee here and I wanted to make a quick review about the Black Diamond Spot that I have been using for the last 8 months. This little headlamp packs a pretty mean punch in terms of  its light output and its features. This is a really great headlamp for someone who is an morning/evening runner, XC, or snowshoeing. It's also a nice piece for just kicking around the camp. 
The reason I love this lamp so much is because of its features. It has two modes: direct spot and the two peripheral lamps or the "eco mode". Both of which are pretty strong; at its maximum light output, a whopping 90 lumens! 

When I first picked it up, I was a bit skeptical of its durability in comparison to a Petzl headlamp which looks like a solid rock. However, over the last months, I've been pretty rough on it (accidentally tossing it down off a small cliff and then stepping on it) and amazingly its still in one piece. The feature I love the most is the ability to dim your light. When the lamp is illuminated, holding down the power button will decrease the light output and you can customize how much you want to use. This function is available on both the main spot light as well as the peripherals. For reading maps and other night vision features, you can activate the red light from the off mode (a great feature for military!). Rather than turning on the headlamp and filtering through the modes you can just press and hold the power button from the off mode to activate the red light. 
The only con I have for the light would be that when dimming your light, you can't brighten the light unless you turn it off completely and start back at its full capacity (which is a pretty minor complaint considering once you learn to use the dimmer function its pretty quick). 
The weight is comparable to that of a Petzl Tikka 2XP and the head band fits comfortably with the ability to tip the angle of the light. 
Overall a pretty solid headlamp for the price @ $39.95
Takes 3 AAA batteries that are included. I also swamp my included alkaline batteries for lithium ones because they last longer and are more efficient when performing in colder temperatures. 

If you've tried this lamp, does it get the thumbs up, or the huck?

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