BOB Revolution Flex Stroller Review

Common Landon, a stroller review? You’re kidding right? Well, no I’m not kidding. As you know I love running and am constantly working to better my running fitness. As you likely also know I have a two year old with another one on the way. So finding the right stroller that allows me to run and train while still spending some time with Paityn is important. Luckily for me, and for Paityn, I recently had the privilege of working with BOB Gear strollers to test and review the BOB Revolution Flex.

The BOB Revolution Flex is classified as an off-road/on-road fitness stroller. It’s a lightweight but durable stroller with some awesome features aimed at getting every level of runner out on the trail.

landon faulkner bob stroller

Favorite Features:

The BOB Revolution Flex has a number of great features, but lets start out with just a look at a few of my favorite features.

– Swivel/Locking front wheel. This allows for super maneuverability or more stability when locked on rough terrain.

– Adjustable Suspension System. This provides exceptional comfort not only for Paitynm but also for my hands as I’m pushing.

– Polymer Composite Wheels. These puppies are tough and lightweight.

– Foldable and Packable. The BOB Revolution Flex folds in half which makes for easy storage, especially in a small apartment.

bob's revolutions flex stroller

bob's revolutions flex stroller

Overall Performance:

BOB Gear prides itself as being an industry leader and after using the Revolution Flex for a few months on varying terrains it’s easy to see why. From my first run with the BOB Revolution Flex to my most recent run I have been very impressed. The stroller floats easily down pavement and even rolls easily along moderate trails. The suspension helps ease the bumps of more rigorous trail, but I generally steered clear of the more difficult terrain. The BOB Revolution Flex weighs in at 26.2 pounds which coupled with Paityn’s weight of nearly 30 pounds it’s a bit difficult to push on a more rough trail with more elevation gain.

While the BOB Revolution Flex may not be your fix for trail running with a little one, it is perfect for moderate trails with minimal elevation gain and on the road of course. Given how much easier to push the stroller on the road even with the oversized tires I have logged most my miles with the stroller on the road.

It’s important that I note Paityn’s take on the stroller as well. Her favorite feature is the canopy that regardless of time of day or weather she prefers to be pulled down all the way. She enjoys the peak through window that allows her to look up and my sweaty face as we run along together, both enjoying the outdoors. Paityn’s overall take, however, is extremely positive. I cannot tell you how many times she has stood by the stroller pointing and begging “up, up, up!” There’s no doubt, even in her early speech what she means and how she like the BOB Revolution Flex.

bob's revolutions flex stroller

 

bob's revolutions flex stroller

Preferred Changes:

While I love the BOB Revolution Flex my only preferred change would really mean a whole new stroller that would require some significant changes; I’d prefer a super lightweight stroller that would be more suitable for hills. Although I realize that this presents a huge issue for developers who are seeking to maintain my aforementioned favorite features., not to mention Paityn wouldn’t be too stoked on a suspension-less and bumpy ride.

So take my “preferred change” with a grain of salt. The weight of this stroller is relatively low given all of the tradeoffs with necessary and important features.

bob's revolutions flex stroller

bob's revolutions flex stroller

Bottom Line:

My bottom line on the BOB Revolution Flex is that this stroller is awesome. Kyra and I generally just keep the stroller folded up in the back of our Ford Fiesta as we prefer to be on the go and it makes things easy to keep Paityn happy in so doing, did I mention she loves the stroller? So if you are in the market for a stroller to fit your family and running lifestyle I strongly recommend checking out the BOB Revolution Flex and the BOB Gear line in it’s entirety.

bob's revolutions flex stroller

Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2015 Preview

With the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market just days away I’m getting pretty excited, but in a whole different way than last year. If you read my last years preview of the Winter Show you know I attended for a couple of main reasons. The first was to network to find a job in the outdoor industry, and the second reason was to check out all the new gear. I was able to successfully check out a lot of amazing gear and even got to test some gear, but my primary reason for attending never seemed to pay off. Sure, I made a ton of very important contacts, but none led to a job, well, not right away.

When Kyra and I decided to move back to Utah last fall I reached out to one of those contacts, TETON Sports, in SLC. As fate would have it TETON Sports rapid growth had opened up the potential for a new  hire. To make a short story shorter, I got the job and have been employed since August in the best job I have ever worked in my life.

Now, how does this all relate to the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market? Well this year, instead of packing in appointment after appointment I have been busier than ever working to help build out a new showroom at TETON Sports. We moved into a brand new facility shortly before Christmas and have been working slowly to get everything designed, built and set up. However, with a number of things left to do it definitely feels like crunch time.

Outdoor Retailer

That is not to say that I don’t have some appointments set up to preview some new gear, gear I’m pretty excited about. I’ll share more of what gear I’m most stoked to see after the show, but know that I am still no doubt a gear head.

In addition to the normal gear excitement and excitement and frenzy of finishing the showroom, I am pretty amped about a number of seminars. This will be the first show I have attended any of the seminars and I’m excited to learn a bit. I’ll also share which were my favorites after the show.

Sure, this isn’t a very detailed preview, in fact I have previewed any specific thing. This is more of a preview in terms of where my intentions lie this year as opposed to last year at this time. I suppose this post is more an exclamation of gratitude for all of the good that has come into my life since I first began looking to find a career in the outdoor industry and how happy I am today with where I’m at within TETON Sports.

Adventure: Version 2.015

Yesterday I posted my recap of my 2014 adventure related goals. I’m a big believer in goals, especially written goals. I have found the practice of thought out written goals to be unmeasurably beneficial when it comes to success and achievement. So in that spirit I think it’s only fitting to share some of my adventure and running goals for 2015.

Lassen Volcanic National Park Landon Faulkner

1.) Climb Mount Timpanogos via the Everest Ridge Route in Winter.

2.) Run Mount Timpanogos in under 2 hours to the summit.

3.) Run a Snowshoe 50k Race.

4.) Run at least 4 Ultra-Marathons (they’re expensive!).

5.) Run the North Face Challenge 50 Miler in Park City, Utah.

6.) Run King’s Peak (the tallest peak in Utah).

7.) Backpack the Narrows in Zion National Park.

8.) Learn new sports: Cross-Country Skiing and Touring.

9.) Run at least 1500 miles.

10.) Visit Canada (accepting travel fund donations – I kid, I kid (but seriously)).

So there is my adventure goal list for the upcoming year. I’m truly excited for a new year of adventure and excitement. Feel free to join me, or invite me, on any adventures! This is a working goal list that will likely grow as the year grows and I’m always accepting recommendations so please share if you have anything I should add to the list!

Make a great 2015!

Adventure: Version 2.014 Recap

Last year I made a list of adventure and running related goals. Although you likely don’t recall anything on my list I have kept those goals in mind throughout 2014. Some goals I have achieved, others have been left to another day and another adventure. As a matter of recapping and evaluating here are my 2014 goals and my results:

Adventuring

1.) Climb at least one of the 3 highest peaks in Washington

This one didn’t happen. Finances didn’t work out and we moved to Utah part way through the summer making the travel Washington too costly and difficult.

2.) Summit Mount Shasta, California… again

Check! Nailed this one in a single day ascent with a few good buddies. Check out the trip report here.

3.) Qualify for the Tahoe OGUL Peak Emblem Status

This one didn’t happen either. This was my summer plan with Kyra, and we moved just part way into the summer and never got this one checked off.

Landon Faulkner Mount Shasta Summit

Running

1.) Complete my 2nd Half Marathon

Officially, no. I didn’t run an official Half in a sanctioned race this year. I’m not too bent about it though (see below).

2.) Complete my first Marathon

Again, I didn’t officially race a marathon. Granted I ran the distance in training, but I never participated in an official marathon.

3.) Complete my first 50k Trail Run

CheckI got this one done during the Antelope Island 50K. Check out the race report right here.

landon faulkner antelope island 50k

Looking at the list two out of six might seem a bit of a failure, but 2014 has been an incredible year. There are legitimate reasons as to why I didn’t get a few of these goals accomplished and I’m not too concerned with not racing at the shorter distances. I am genuinely excited about all the adventure and opportunities that 2014 brought. I’m looking forward to a whole new set of adventures in 2015!

Joining Columbia’s #OmniTen Team

If you’re active on social media within the outdoor realm in which I personally find myself engaged, you likely have heard at least a little bit about Columbia Sportswear’s #OmniTen team. As a brief #OmniTen history, Columbia started the program in 2012 when they chose 10 influential people active in the outdoor social community. The #OmniTen team was born with a few goals in mind; to get feedback on Columbia products by users, and to provide an innovative and exciting environment for #OmniTen members to test that gear and grow as individuals within the outdoor industry. Since that time Columbia has added to their #OmniTen crew by choosing 10 people, twice a year (for the winter and summer season).

A couple of weeks ago (just before finals) I received some awesome news in the form of an invite from Columbia to join the #OmniTen team. Without hesitation I of course said “YES, YES, YES!” I literally tried to hold back on my excitement over the phone without jumping up and down with excitement. I was quite surprised about the invite and felt very humbled to be asked to join the #OmniTen family.

landon faulkner columbia #omniten

Along with the invite to be a part of the #OmniTen team was an invite to join some of the crew  in Deer Valley, Utah for the USSA World Cup in early January. The invite also extended to Kyra so the two of us will spend an extended weekend in Deer Valley skiing at Deer Valley and watching world class skiers competing in the mogul and ariel events, how awesome is that? A few days later a hoard (literally a mound) of boxes showed up on our doorstep filled with gear for the event for Kyra and me. Man this #OmniTen stuff is rad!

I’ve already had a chance to test some Columbia gear during our Alaskan Christmas vacation; from below zero runs to romping about in the snow I have been insanely impressed with the Turbo Down puffy the most. That jacket it so warm and light, it out preforms all my other puffy’s hands down.

landon Faulkner #omniten alaska

At any rate, I am thrilled to be a part of the adventure known as #OmniTen. Being a part of such an awesome family of adventurers from all over is exciting and humbling all at the same time. Thank you Columbia for you invite, it means the world!

Christmas Surprise in Alaska

With the help of a Christmas Elf (Kyra’s Mom) our little family was able to fly up to Alaska and surprise the rest of Kyra’s family. It feels awesome to be done with the semester and now have some time with family and in Alaska of all places.

As a lover of the cold and of winter I am a little sad that it’s only around 0 degrees here instead of -40, but it’s still pretty awesome! I went for a 5 miles run this morning and was able to watch the sunrise at around 10am.

Ice Beard Landon Faulkner

After getting my beard all iced over during my run we opened some presents and watched Paityn’s excitement over Christmas morning presents. She was most excited about the little bottles of milk and juice for her baby doll.

paityn christmas in AlaskaPaityn Christmas in AlaskaAfter some breakfast/lunch Kyra and I took a couple of photos in our Columbia Sportswear gear (I’ve got a story to tell about Columbia’s #OmniTen that I still need to share, it’s coming soon).

landon faulkner alaksa christmas

landon faulkner and kyra faulkner Alaksa

Now the sun is setting (it’s 2:30pm) and Paityn has worn herself out and is passed out fora bit. The Christmas Tree lights are getting brighter as the day outside gets darker. What a magical place Alaska is and special place to spend Christmas.

Planning Time: Mt. Timp via Everest Route

During a recent mountain run in the Wasatch during a light snowstorm I cam across a couple of guys holding ice axes. They were wearing snowboard pants and jackets coupled with Jansport school backpack style packs. I was intrigued to say the least. I was wishing I had snowshoes with me to keep from post-holing through the deep fresh snow and here were a couple of guys that seemed rather out of place considering their gear and attire. I asked a couple of questions and soon learned that they had been climbing Mt. Timp via Everest Route. Although I have run Timp plenty of times I had to admit I had never heard of the route.

Mt. Timp via Everest Route, it had an interesting ring to it. All I really found out from the couple of climbers is that this was one of their first alpine climbing trips and that the Everest Route was an awesome winter route. I wished the two luck on future trips and headed home spurred by the very brief conversation to investigate a little bit more.

The route was made possible by the Utahn’s on Everest, a group in the early 1990’s that used the route as training for a summit bid on Everest. Mt. Timp via Everest Route is a rather straightforward climb from my studies, but it is a beast of an ascent given the killer elevation gain. To me it sounds like a good time!

Mt. timp via everest route
Photo Courtesy thealoof.com

I texted my buddy Josh and send some images and states I had found on SummitPost.org and Google Images. His response, “I’m keen!” That’s just the answer I was looking for, and no the preparation and planning begin.

To climb Mt. Timp via Everest Route includes about 6,300 ft of elevation gain in 4.35 miles. There are a number of trailhead options that proceed to the Everest Route proper and we will likely take the Dry Canyon approach. We both live pretty close to Dry Canyon and I regularly run the maze of trails that branch from that trailhead.

Once the saddle between Big Baldy and Mt. Timp is reached then it’s all uphill from there until the summit ridge is reached. The route appears straightforward and follows a long ridge from the saddle to the summit ridge. From the information I have been able to gather the climb is non-technical, except for “The Step” which is the crux of the climb.

Mt timp via everest ridge
View of Everest Route from Big Baldy

From my reading “The Step” comes just below the summit ridge and can be approached in one of two ways.

The first option is to proceed straight up the ridge through a rock band that requires a class four scramble.

The second option is to traverse the rock band to the right which requires a steep and exposed snow crossing.

From there Mt. Timp via Everest Route continues along the summit ridge to the summit proper. All in all the Everest Route sounds like an amazing climb full of awe-inspiring beauty and breathtaking climbing (literally). At this point Josh and I are waiting for winter to officially hit so the route gets filled with snow and conditions improve for proper climbing. As much as I admire all climbers of any experience, I don’t plan on climbing during a light snowstorm as my two acquaintances.

So, here’s the point where you help me out! Who has climbed Mt. Timp via Everest Route? Tell me about your experience below if you have. Any insights are much appreciated!

Finding My Mojo

It’s been one month since I ran my first ultra marathon, the Antelope Island 50K, and finding my mojo again hasn’t been easy. I have battled overuse knee injury for about a year and was feeling awesome leading up to my first ultra, however after my knee was a bit wrecked. I took a couple weeks off and only logged a few miles. If I really push it my knee is still painful, but my real problem is finding my mojo, it just hasn’t been there.

During the past month, while finding my mojo, I blamed my apathy on my injury, the utter darkness of my early morning trail runs, the dropping temperatures at the hand of winter’s approach. I have unsuccessfully blamed everything and anything I could for my laziness while realizing my lack of desire isn’t based in any of those reasons or even laziness, it’s because the drive just hasn’t been there.

finding my mojo

I’ve gone from scared that I would never find my running mojo to not caring at all and everywhere in between. The truth is, however, I love running and miss logging the mountain miles that seemed to easy before. I have missed the excitement I generally feel starting down my favorite trails or fighting up my favorite claims. It has been a struggle to push myself out for 3 or 4 runs a week, but my head hasn’t been in it. I find myself lolly-gagging my way down the trail without focus, drive or passion. I have been unable to just get out an love running, that is, until last Saturday.

Last Saturday I decided to forget running and just get out and bag a little peak, Big Baldy. Big Baldy is a 8700′ peak that is nearly invisible from the Utah Valley because it sits directly in from of Mount Timpanogos which dwarfs Big Baldy. I decided I would just go back to my roots of hiking for a day and enjoy being outdoors. I headed up the south face which sees almost 3000′ elevation gain in just under 2 miles; a calf-burner. I hit the summit, running right past a boy scout troop taking photos on the top, and down the backside of the mountain.

Landon Faulkner Finding My Mojo

The south face is a rather unattractive and steep climb through grass and short shrubby oak trees, however, heading down the back side of the mountain is a different story. The trail is much less steep and is a great option for the descent and the view is much better. The trail initially winds down the east side of Baldy towards Mt. Timp through a small pine forest. Shortly after the trail hit the bench between Badly and Timp where you can descend via the Battle Creek Canyon route or the Dry Canyon route, I chose the latter which dropped through a bare leafed aspen forest and patches of snow before opening up to a large grassy meadow. From here the trail continues to provide evermore beautiful vistas as the route I chose took my around the south side of Little Baldy. This section was a mix of thick oak and pine forests before dropping turning north and dropping back down into Dry Canyon for the final descent. The total loop was just under 9 miles and I couldn’t wait to do it again.

finding my mojoAll weekend I thought about that trail, about exploring the other trails, and about winter alpine climbing. Without even realizing it (until now) I had found my mojo once again.  It took fighting through a number of runs with little to no drive and eventually forcing myself to go back to the basic, hiking (which turned to running) and exploring. I can’t say I’m back to running like crazy as before (my knee is still giving me a little grief), but I feel like my mind it back. It feeling like the last month I spent finding my mojo has paid off.

Mountain Adventurer #givebackendeavor

Many of you likely already know how much giving back means to me. If you’ve followed this blog for awhile you likely know my cousin and I raised just over $5,000 in two months for a non-profit organization, Peak 7 Adventures, that provides outdoor adventure activities for at-risk teens. It was an awesome adventure and I appreciate all of your help and support along the way.

#givebackendeavor

As a Mountain Adventurer, or brand ambassador to TETON Sports I am privileged to be involved in a #givebackendeavor. What does that mean? Let me explain. TETON Sports is committed to giving back and as part of the ambassador team we are working to do just that. I have been given a coupon code for 5% off any TETON Sports product (Coupon Code: LandonFaulkner). Whenever that code is used to purchase an item(s) from TETON Sports online store a portion of the proceeds goes directly to my “charity” of choice as part of the #givebackendeavor. In this case I have teamed up with Peak 7 Adventures once again.

I believe in the mission of Peak 7 Adventures I applaud their diligent work to reach youth who otherwise would never have such an opportunity. So, during this holiday season as you are searching for the perfect gift for you favorite outdoor adventurer shop TETON Sports using the coupon code “LandonFaulkner” to help provide more outdoor adventure programs for underprivileged youth throughout the pacific northwest!

Go shopping and help a worthy cause out while hash tagging your adventures #givebackendeavor.

I/O Merino: Quality Merino Wool

With winter’s cold breathe beginning to blow it’s icy air I’m pretty stoked for a new season of adventure. From snowshoeing to winter alpine ascents staying warm in sub-freezing temps takes a little knowledge and the right products. So if you’re ready to say goodbye to your cotton Long Johns from yesteryear and enjoy the comfort and warmth that comes from I/O Merino products continue reading.

I/O Merino is an Australian merino wool base layer and apparel company that is doing all the right things. I/O Merino is a family owns company, a family that knows wool. The Michell’s have been in involved in about every aspect of the wool industry since not long after sheep were invented as they like to say. Their commitment to the industry, the wool they work with and the products they develop is evident in the quality I/O Merino produces. After 140 years of the Michell families involvement in the industry they have mastered the developed one of the highest quality merino wool products. In fact they’ve gone past just quality merino wool product, I/O Merino has actually made the best better.

I/O Merino
I/O Merino Keystone Long Sleeve Tee

I/O Merino doesn’t just use your regular, run of mill, merino wool. They have refined their product and culture to create the highest quality merino wool, a MicroMerino®. Their MicroMerino® is, technically speaking, 18.5 micron merino, which in essence means it is in the category of “super fine” material. I/O Merino prides its self on having some of the most quality merino wool products on the market while still maintaining ethical and environmentally friendly production practices from the land down under, Australia.

What does all this MicroMerino® talk mean though? Well let me give you the run down after my experience wearing I/O Merino product. I have worn and tried countless base layers from the low end to the high end. I have nearly froze and stayed toasty in varying situations wearing various products from companies like Patagonia, Marmot, Terramar and the likes. Those are some quality brands who produce some very quality products, but in my experience I/O Merino has developed a product that has the edge over most.

The Feel of I/O Merino is hard to beat. Although merino wool is pretty soft some merino wool products can be a little bit itchy, and some not at all. However, upon slipping on my I/O Merino base layers for the first time I was astounded at how ridiculously soft the material was. In a comfort comparison with other base layers I/O Merino wins hands down by leaps and bounds. This is huge for me as I can’t stand a “next to skin” layer that is comfortable and itchy when I’m out in the mountains for a day or even days.

I/O Merino
I/O Merino Altitude Zip
I/O Merino
I/O Merino Altitude Bottoms and Zip Top

How about Performance though? Well this is where the MicroMerino® really set’s I/O Merino apart from the heard. This stuff wicks sweat with the best wicking products out there and merino wool is all natural. Unlike cotton, however, wool wicks naturally and is anti-microbial, meaning anti-stink. However I’ve filled plenty merino wool and synthetic base layers full of stinky smelly sweat. I have tried to do the same thing with I/O Merino with little success. For example I recently took an I/O Merino’s Keystone Tee on a tough 15 mile run to the summit of Mt. Timpanogos, one of the tallest peaks in the Wasatch front of Utah that includes about 4,800 vertical feet of running to reach the summit. By the time I got back to my car I was a dirty sweat ball. I took my Keystone Tee off and tossed it in the back of my car and put on a clean shirt. However, I forgot about my Keystone Tee all wadded up in my back seat for a few days.  Once I pulled it from it’s resting place to wash it I gave it a few sniffs; no awful scent or stench. Miracle? Maybe, but I’ll give I/O Merino credit.

I/O Merino Landon Faulkner
I/O Merino Keystone Long Sleeve Tee

My Final Word on I/O Merino products is that they are hard to beat. Sure I haven’t tried every top of the line base layer every made, but IO have tried a fair share and I/O Merino competes with the very best, and competes well. The comfort and feel of their products coupled with the insane quality and attention to detail apparent in the best way. And isn’t that what you want from a base layer? Total comfort and best performance possible? I submit  that is exactly what you want.

Make Adventure