Monday, 23 May 2016

Checked: Dynafit - Transalper 3L Jacket

Hello rain! See this? Yes, it looks like a carrot. In fact it isn’t. This is a shiny and smart out-layer that keeps you in check. This is the latest addition to Dynafits running collection. It is ultra light and it goes by the name of Transalper. Eventually you will meet it.
Biking, running, hiking… If in doubt I always pack a light, packable sheathing. Let there be rain, cold or possibly snow. You need to have some sort of protection that does not bulk up the backpack or the shorts. With the Transalper Dynafit plays straight into that vital category. With about 185 grams it does not bother too much. The outcome is vital, though.
Dynafits emblem is a snow leopard. It embodies the fundamentals of the Austrian brand - speed, lightness, performance and technology.
Smart details – clever positioned ventilation in the front covered against rain.
The only storage solution provided – a little but useful pocket on the chest part. Enough to keep your keys or some gels. It is very laidback to use as the zipper worked particularly smooth.
On the back the leopard observes who’s following! I valued the breathable material used throughout my runs the body never overheated. Quality 3L material finished up well.
Significant during showery outings – a well shaped hood. Dynafit did a good job with this one. A real shelter without being to large. Also with a cap the hood worked well.
Another look at the hood – on the top you see a bendable band that’s fixing the hood throughout the run.
A look at the inside of the Transalper jacket. Taped seams help to keep the wet outside. An additional quality feature.
Generally an exciting and efficient jacket - I enjoyed the simple, sportive and slim cut. Specially the elasticized cuffs and hem stood out for me and summed up the proper performance. Hello rain! Try to beat this piece of equipment…

Tune of the day: Casey Veggies - Choose Up

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

shoeporn: Salomon - S-LAB Sonic

Annecy based off-road running connoisseurs, Salomon, created a key move towards the long avoided cemented boulevards. With the all-new S-LAB Sonic they absolutely impressed me.

With some elusive 220 grams it’s a treat to stride on the roads. The straight sensation joined by a comfy fit is well build - a shoe that needs speed.

However the performance is made for faster road runs I don’t know why Salomon assembled an 8 mm drop (24mm/16mm) in the sole design. Other then that this shoe is good and fast fun and an exciting addition to Salomon’s mountain based assortment.

All pictures (C) runssel

Tune of the day: Oddisee - Brea

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Amphiman Arrangements

The second SwimRun encounter of the season is just around the corner. As we get our kit organized we just had some last easy strokes in the local pound to get equipment and machine arranged for our petite excursion to Belgium’s 38 km Amphiman this Saturday. We cannot wait for this one.

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Checked: Haglöfs - Roc Helios 25 Backpack

Simple equipment stuns me. Right from the moment I received the newest Haglöfs backpack, Roc Helios in the 25-liter version, it started to amaze me. It appears that you don’t need much to construct an efficient, self-effacing but valuable rucksack for steadfast mountain undertakings.

Personally I used the pack during longer day hikes, run commutes to work and general travel activates. The well build and crafted Roc Helios already became a trustworthy partner for me. I value the fast and stress-free use as well as the packing possibilities this bag provides. Together with Italian big mountain skier Jacopo Bufacchi, the swedes created a amazing piece of gear.

Now I’m hyped to use the Roc Helios through longer mountain jaunts during the upcoming summer. I know its gonna be fun!

A humble 25-litre pack considered for steadfast alpinism and rock climbing activities. Weightiness, packed size, and flexibility is key with this one.
With 625 grams there is not much heaviness involved with this one.
Although a “standard” rucksack has its central zipper lengthwise on the front, the Roc Helios outlines the main zipper round the back of the pack. This generates astounding options and safes the gear against rain and allows to open the bag fully to see and get all gear fast. Pretty smart and something I have never seen before.
Seeing it the naive way. This case transports your junk secure and fast to every mountaintop. No gimmicks!
The backbone of the rucksack has a good padding, which is entitled “Interact”. And so it does.
Well placed mesh for extra add-ons and a rope carry.
It will be extremely challenging to demolish the exterior material. Very sturdy style paired with a slick design.
Attention-grabbing tiny features can be found ubiquitously. And they all have their purpose. It is exciting to use this pack.
The big central storage compartment wholly opened up.
Efficient storage of a laptop is also possible.
A multipurpose partner – Haglöfs Roc Helios!

Tune of the day: Throwing Snow - Lumen

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Racereport 2016-05: SwimRun Costabrava

Currently it seems like SwimRun competitions are cracking scenes all over the place. Already last year was a pretty hectic year for this diverse endurance sport combination, 2016 looks like the year that shoots this sport more than one step into the future. Up until now my cherished GSP-troop and I competed in the maiden SwimRun races in the UK (2015 Breca Buttermere) & Switzerland (2014 Engadin).

Honestly, it feels special to be in the midst of a growing scene and surrounded by a sound bunch of driven pioneers in our country and across mainland Europe. SwimRun fetched back a lot of vanished inspiration, not only to for myself but also to both of my associates Fabian and Knut. The simple base of the sport is something that we started to adore straight away. I still reminisce the first time Fabian and I doubtfully hopped into the cold waters of the French Rivera to exam what it feels to swim with shoes, paddles and pullbuoy. Also the first strides in wet soaked shoes are still evident. Seeing our friends, that were comically entertained by our actions, enjoying their first experiences with the sport is a great sentiment. Once we realised how much fun it is to race as pair of twos there was no stopping. Thankfully we are infected by Sweden’s prime endurance export.

Our superb friends at made a start at yet another initial race realism. Convoyed by former SwimRun criticisers and friends Felix and Tim, the Über-Hobbit and yours truly ventured down to Spain as the Costa Brava region was home to Spain’s first ever SwimRun contest. Knut engraved an superb description on our team website. If you do not check it out you have the chance to win a date with Lil Kim. You better think twice valued reader!

There is only one thing I would like to add to everything that has been written and stated about Spain’s maiden SwimRun meeting. Although the organisers of the SwimRun Costabrava did an excellent job scouting and arranging the scenic course, I feel the must to reassure all participants, organisers and Marshalls to stay true to the fundamental procedures this sport laid out. Of course, I’m German and I might be regulation driven but when it comes to competing and particularly team racing in the nature, some things need to be understood and adhered to.
Stay with your partner all the time.
SwimRun is a crew game! There is a simple intention for that. It is not that you won’t get bored or lonesome out there, it is pretty much down to security. Simple. While we were roaming along the shoreline we came past more than a few teams from the shorter competitions. Prior I laid out that for us a big share of the splendour lies inside the team characteristic. That’s why I get bothered when teams split up. It absolutely makes no sense and it does not provoke your companion if you run away from him and leave him in the dust. Stay within the definite radius and support your partner. At all times. From my own knowledge I can tell you that coming back from a low is harsh. Occasionally you might never ever come back out of this nasty dark neighbourhood. Racing SwimRun races with great partner I ALWAYS came back and I ALWAYS came back tougher and more focussed. So do not leave your partner back and stay by his side. At all times. Watch him and share as much positivity as possible. Honestly, it is so simple. During the Costabrava race we passed some bizarre teams that clearly did not know what the goal of this sport is. I encourage all organisers to eliminate crews like this straight away. Talking about soul and integrity of such a young sport, a clear announcement has to be made early on. Competitors must respect and recognise this basic rule.

While it is not really life threatening to leave your partner behind on the run, there is a major risk of leaving your partner behind in the H2O. This was an matter that happened through the race and wasn’t highlighted. As the sea was rough and even for experienced open water swimmers like us a test, some fellow contenders were shipwrecked. This is an issue I cannot understand and a rule that has been set up by the ÖtillÖ originators for a cause. Pure security for yourself and your companion. The logistics are challenging enough so the co-ordinators simply cannot offer a boat for every team at every swim section. This is where a team comes into place as its own personal safety boat. In my opinion this is essential and, again, needs to be executed with race-exclusion by the organisers straight away.

Please don’t get me wrong by being negative on an issue like this, but this theme has been discussed during the aftermath of the Costa Brava race by our group of friends and I feel the requirement to write it down. The Costa Brava competition was a great start for SwimRun in Spain and the vast majority of the line-ups that competed did a great job guarding themselves and their partner but there were some incidents that made me think. Better get it right early on.

Stay safe and watch your partner. At all times.

Appreciate SwimRun and enjoy your season!

Sunday, 24 April 2016

shoeporn: Dynafit - Feline Vertical Pro

It all began with Austrian ski icon Franz Klammer who won the 1973 Schladming world cup race wearing Dynafit boots. Klammer and fellow Austrian Leonhard Stock went on to win several world cups and Olympic medals with the help of Dynafit products. Straight from the start Dynafit had successful athletes racing and developing their products. Currently the company is a household name when it comes to light and high quality ski gear. Some would call them a reference when it comes to winter sports.

In 2010 the firm progressed towards the warmer season. They started to expand their product array and developed their first mountain running collection. I had the chance to review some of their products (MS Feline Superlight, Feline SL and the Pantera) along the way. With the latest Feline Vertical Pro they unquestionably raise a lot of eyebrows. And not only because of the distinctive look!

Difficult to oversee - the magenta and neon-green mixture is something distinctive and one-off. These shoes not only look reckless, though.

Don’t get perplexed! The right shoe appears with an upbeat and flashy magenta look although the left one sports a bright neon-green. I like the idea!

There are some fine-looking diminutive graphical highlight.

I appreciate the agile and direct attitude of this shoe. As stated earlier, the new-fangled Dynafit Feline Vertical Pro is a lightweight racing shoe with a hell lot of grip. This one needs some breakneck and challenging trails to be at its best.

Salomon effectively presented the Quick Lace technology to trail running. Dynafit uses a similar technique that works pretty well.

These glitzy mates come with a kind 4 mm drop to help an undeviating sense for the underground. I valued the “close to the ground” sensation a lot as I ran the shoe on and off-trail. In the last few weeks it turned out to be my absolute go-to shoe from 30 minute to 2-hour trail runs.

The super-light EVA midsole delivers great cushion without being to inflexible. Also a dainty but efficient carbon shield safes your feet from rocks and other trail endangerments.

Dynafit uses well know sole syndicate Vibram to deliver prodigious grip and characteristic material.

Really. I can not get enough of the loud design. I totally dig the look of the Feline Vertical Pro.

With the outsole scheme Dynafit did a great job. This one has some very well designed traction abilities. I totally dig the stylishness of this Vibram sole. They call it Megagrip for a reason.

Minimalist methodologies to the midsole and upper keep Dynafits newest trail running model sprightly and sensitive. Well made for steadfast and technical runs.

...and this time a shot that shoes the right shoe.

250 grams of pure grip and off-trail sickness.

Traction and eye satisfaction -  a fashionable and thrilling ride.

Dynafits symbol got changed in 2005 to a snow leopard. The leopard wholly represents the companies values: Speed, Lightness, Performance and Technology.
Click on the picture to watch a nice feature clip!

All pictures (c) Runssel