Shady Rays X-Series Product Review

Shady Rays X-Series Product Review

“Disclaimer: I received Shady Rays X-Series Sunglasses 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 might have a thing for sunglasses. When I was introduced to my first pair designed for running years ago, I haven’t looked back – and rarely leave the house without a pair. Ironically I would rather wear my contact lenses than my prescription glasses, however on the run I need the protection sunglasses can provide.

Within the X-series line, I was given many options to choose from. I decided on the emerald ice version. They are clear frames with blue/green mirrored lenses. Gotta look good right?

When they arrived, my initial reaction was how sleek they look. I thought they would wraparound my face for a more aerodynamic fit. I also had to try them on with my gear. I always wear a hat/visor and headphones. The glasses fit fine with all my accessories!

I then took them on their maiden voyage. It was a warmer day so my face was sweaty. They were not fitting like they should, I took them off to squeeze the nose pad and discovered it doesn’t cinch. They kept sliding on my sweaty face, and sitting too close to my eyes, and then fogging up as there was no air flow. I kept pulling them down.

I wasn’t going to give up just yet, they looked fancy and they protected my eyes with their “Premium Polarized blue-green lenses with grey tint and 100% UV protection.” The older I get, the more interested in the things I ignored as a college student.

I am currently run streaking, so I gave them another go on a mile run. I was still having fit issues.

Then I was thinking, maybe this pair of sunglasses is just made for a bigger face. I never thought I had a smaller face, but maybe I do. So I drug out my trusty measuring tape…. My face is about 5″ across and the shades are just under 5-5/8″.

I was excited to try this design. Shady Rays is a great company with a great mission, giving back to the community. With every order they provide 10 meals to fight hunger in the U.S. through Feeding America. 

Plus they offer a “Lifetime Craftsmanship Warranty & Free Replacements if Lost or Broken – just pay S+H fee for lost/broken replacements.” They stand behind their glasses.

If you have a larger head, this is the sunglass for you! Use code “RAVE” for 50% off 2 or more pairs from the Shade Shop. https://shadyrays.com

If you are looking for more input on the X-Series, check out these reviews: BrendaCorey Katy Renee Lissa

Orange Mud Gear Vest Pro

Gear Review – Orange Mud Gear Vest Pro

“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!”

Buy an Orange Mud hydration pack. The End!

Ok, I know you are looking for actual content, so I will give you the run down of my experience of the new Gear Vest Pro.

I first had to pick which color I would like. The pack comes in 3 options – coyote brown, green or black/orange. I really don’t have a preference, so I went with the traditional black/orange.

The features:

  • Has a 1L bladder with bite valve and sliding top. The hose clips in and out
  • Has 293084209348 pockets – ok so it has 2 GIANT front pockets with a drawstring to cinch it tight. These pockets will hold a soft flask or a giant phone.  There is a small pocket on each of these front pockets to hold trash or treasures. There is a pocket on each shoulder that velcro closed. (Oh I am not done) There is the pocket that the bladder slides into on the back. On top of this pouch is an additional pocket, and on the outside of this pocket is a zippered pocket. In the zippered pocket is a hook to stash a key. On top of all these back pockets is an elastic system to cinch in any extras.
  • Trekking poles attachments
  • This has a smaller fit, fitting across your shoulders.
  • Sliding front closure straps
  • Top strap with a whistle
  • Heavy duty nylon – durable, breathable, washable
  • There are 2 reflective strips on the back

Whew – now, you might already know I own a few OM packs so forgive me if I start comparing this to the packs I already have.

One of the first things to consider when using a hydration pack is the fit. To get the best fit with this pack, put it on with an empty bladder. You will want to fit it across your shoulders and fasten the front straps across your chest. Then you will tighten it using the straps under your arms.  I noted the front straps will slide up and down – ladies this pack will fit you – you can move the straps to where they fit you the best. I will sometimes criss cross them. The straps are stretchy and can be tightened up. The under arm straps can be difficult to grab, but once you get the hang of it you can just tug on and get the best fit. The excess material can be folded in the clip on the strap.

Next, the bladder. A bladder is where you keep the liquid you plan to take with you on your activity. This vest holds 1 liter or 35 oz. In my opinion it’s the perfect amount, mostly because it’s the perfect extra weight. If you are looking to carry more, or carry a different liquid you can add soft flasks to the front pockets. If you are still searching there is the Endurance Pack that holds 2L in the back. This bladder has a slider top, no difficult screw off nonsense. This makes it easy to refill and easy to get the air out. The hose is easily detachable. The bite valve on the end it easy to use. All components of the bladder come apart, you can put it in the top rack of the dishwasher. The downside of a bladder is it can keep moisture trapped inside, so you can flip inside out to dry. OR I will keep it in the freezer when it’s peak pack season!

Now, how did I use this?

I first used this on race day – GASP! Yep, I knew the quality of Orange Mud wouldn’t disappoint. I had a trail 25k on the schedule, and I was fresh off injury. I wanted to make sure I had what I needed.

Then I ran the Illinois half marathon. Ok, so the course is well supported, but I love the ability to have my phone easily accessible. I also know what I like to drink, so I bring that with me, water is usually found on the course.

As you can see, I also pack in things I might need. These things stay in the pack for every run. Things like lip balm, sunscreen, chaffing wipes, candy, salt chews, a granola bar, a light jacket, cash.

I also run across town to sporting events. It’s nice to be able to bring with me a change of clothes or snacks once I get there. This spring I ran to a baseball game and discovered that 2 clementines would fit in one front pocket.

I also took the pack to carry a t-shirt and a cowbell to a volunteer cheer station of a recent local half marathon.

I ran another half marathon, and since I am usually a self supported runner – it joined me on my last 20 miler. I can bring all the snack, liquid, entertainment I need.

Last, the care of this is simple. Ok, don’t be like me and let it sit around for a week and then realize it can stand up on it’s own from the salt crust, and then just put it on and run. The breathable, durable fabric allows for it to be washed!! Throw it in the washing machine and hang to dry! I usually will hand wash them when I wash my skirts.

Are you sold? Well stop on over and I will let you try mine out! Then you can use code BIBRAVEGVPRO to save 15% to buy your own at Orangemud.com

Still looking for more, check out these following reviews: BrendaBeckyAndreaSteph JonathanNicoleEmily

Make sure you are following Orange Mud on youtube, twitter, Instagram, Facebook or their website. They truly are a company that sticks behind their “innovation from frustration.”

Brooks – Product Review

“Disclaimer: I received the Brooks Ghost 11 and LSD jacket 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 received a bag full of items at The Running Event, I will do my best to give each item their proper review.

The Brooks Ghost – this is MY SHOE!! I was a happy camper to see this shoe as part of my swag from The Running Event. I also received the LSD jacket from Brooks.

I received the Brooks Ghost 11 in white/gray and teal colors. The outer fabric is a cloth type material. This is a neutral shoe and retails for around $120 https://www.brooksrunning.com/en_us/brooks-running-shoes-ghost-11-womens/120277.html

I don’t know where to begin…except the beginning. The Brooks Ghost has been my go to shoe since model 3. I agree with this information from the website, ” Enjoy the just-right balance of DNA LOFT softness and BioMoGo DNA responsiveness. Not too soft or too firm, if Goldilocks ran, this would be her shoe.” This shoe has been just right for me for years! It also has a 12 mm drop.

I was skeptical for this model. With every shoe upgrade they tweak something here or there and as a supporter of this shoe for so long, I can feel the differences. They boast “DNA LOFT heel crash pad for softer landings” I tried this new model on at my local running store. While the toe box felt roomy and stretchy, the arch area felt a little more narrow than usual. I also was set in the old model and didn’t need new shoes at the time.

After many runs, walks and a few trips on the treadmill; the Ghost 11 is a part of my shoe rotation. I am a Ghostie for life! I would run a marathon in these out of the box. These are the shoe that has always worked for me, and I am happy that the new model will continue to be my go to shoe.

*I will add this note about shoes, please find the shoe that works for you. Everyone’s foot and mechanics are soo different.

The exhibitors at The Running Event had a lot to say about the various models Brooks offers. They didn’t say too much about their apparel.

The Brooks LSD jacket I received is black with a silvery reflective pattern. It zips up and does not have a hood. It is similar to the feeling of a rain coat and very lightweight. It also packs up inside itself. It retails for $105 https://www.brooksrunning.com/en_us/womens-lsd-jacket/221135.html

I have never been one to wear a jacket on the run. I just layer up in a pullover, as I have a lot of them. I was willing to give this jacket a try.

I first ran in the jacket at night for it’s reflective properties. I was nervous as it’s all black and I was running at night, but you put some flash to it and you are lit up!!

Not only is this flashy, it does it’s job as a jacket. It’s a great top layer to cut the wind. I had to take the jacket off many times because I was too hot, like the old suit wrestlers would wear to cut weight. However, it was super simple to pack up and wear it on my wrist when I needed to take it off.

I really like Brooks products, mostly because I always have worn their shoes. I like companies that stick to one focus. Brooks makes running shoes and running gear. I can’t wait to see how may miles I get in my new gear.



Shady Rays Review

Shady Rays – Sunglasses Review

“Disclaimer: I received Shady Rays Signature Series Sunglasses as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”

Before you all roll your eyes at another sunglasses review… let me tell you why I was interested in checking these out – “Our mission to fight hunger in America has led to over 1 million meals provided to date.”  That’s right, they are more than just looking good.

I was able to choose the colors I would like from the Signature Series. I went with the Purple Sunset Ice Polarized. (Which appear to be out of stock.) I wanted something fun! These are a clear plastic frame with a purple hued lens.

Here are the specs:

  • Durable gloss clear frame with metal hinges
  • Premium Polarized mirror lenses: 100% UV protection / shatter-resistant / salt water proof
  • Lifetime Craftsmanship Warranty & Free Replacements if Lost or Broken – just pay S+H fee for lost/broken replacements.
  • Every order provides 11 meals to fight hunger in the U.S. through Feeding America

Size Specs: Front Height: 50 mm (2 in.), Front Width: 140 mm (5.5 in.), Bridge Width: 18 mm (.7 in.), Temple Arm Length: 146 mm (5.75 in.)

*Did you see they will replace a lost or broken pair?!?!?

Ok, so how does these measure up? You know I have tested and worn many pairs of sunglasses over the years, so I have some thoughts.

First I just wore them around, to work, out to eat, to the auction, kayaking – low key type activity. I will say I really like them as a fashion shade. They compare to other glasses on the market in that regards, you look good while protecting your eyes.

Then I put them to the running test. I am on a run streak, so I started with a mile. I also wear a hat and headphones. I will say they fit with all the things on my head. However, what I noticed while running. They do not have adjustable nose pads, which will allow you to set lower on your nose to allow ventilation to minimize foggy up. Also they just sit so close on your face. I did notice they will bounce if they are not in the perfect place on my face. *I also note these things as I have a few pairs of sunglasses specifically designed for running.

I also noticed that while the shades are fun mirrored purple color, they are not that dark. This does not take away from their polarization. They are also great on cloudier days or on trails.

That’s right, just because they are not my favorite pair for running, I find myself grabbing them to run a quick mile or because I am already wearing them when I go to run. For example, I ran a 5k in them as it was in the evening, and the glasses were on my head.

Overall thoughts: With the mission of feeding America and the warranty, these are worth the $45 price tag. However, as a running pair of glasses, I think I would reach for something else. For me these are more for looking fashionable…and I think I do!

If you would like to purchase a pair you can use code  “BIBRAVE” good for 50% off 2+ pairs: https://bit.ly/2rk7Hor 

If you would like more input, check out what the BibRave Pros have to say: VanessaKaty BenLissaJenn

Keep tabs on Shady Rays by checking out their website, twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Coros PACE Multisport Watch Review

Gear Review – Coros PACE Multisport Watch

“Disclaimer: I received a Coros Pace Multisport watch 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!”


The Coros Pace Multisport watch is brand new to the market and as a BibRave Pro, I get to try it out!

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First Impression:
The watch arrived in a cube shaped box, everything was compactly packaged. It already had a charge, but I plugged it in anyway. There was a USB charging cord in the box.

I received the red watch, which meant the face has red accents and the band is red. In addition to the charging cord, there were some materials to get it set up and a tool to change the band.

The watch face is round and similar in size to many other GPS watches. The band is flexible. The whole device is light weight. There is a built in hear rate monitor on the underside on the main face.

I added my Road ID to the watch band and followed the steps to get it set up. It was basically ready to use, but I wanted it hooked up to my phone for “all the stats” and so it would sync to Strava. *I use this app to help keep track of my overall mileage.

To get it set up with my phone, there is a QR code that appears on the watch face, which you scan with the photo app on your phone, this is how you get the app. There was no app store process. Then just like that it was connected to my phone.

Next I needed to calibrate it, first with the GPS and second with the elevation. With some touches of the buttons that was done. I like how this is easy and simple to find, and can be done at any time.

I then finished the set up by adding my personal information – height and weight and setting my daily fitness goal. This will make the heart rate more accurate and help you achieve medals in the app.

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Time to use it

There are 4 buttons around the watch face. One is red, this is what starts and stops your activity or selects the prompts on the screen. There is a button to go back, and then there are 2 buttons to scroll up and down.

I am a runner. The activity settings on the watch are as follows: indoor run, outdoor run, outdoor cycle, pool swim, open water swim and triathlon.

I set out for my first run, I just needed to get the feel of using it. It really isn’t different from my other watches, except the buttons are in different spots.

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I put it on auto pause, I was not getting used to the buttons being in a different place from my other watch. Auto pause is awesome, you don’t have to ever stop or start your watch if you are waiting on a train, or to cross the road. The only thing is that there is a few seconds delay.

I ran with the watch at a prison 5k. This meant I needed to turn off GPS or any outside communication, so I put it on indoor run mode. The watch did not sync to Strava, which really isn’t that huge, as I can manually enter my data.

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I ran with it at the track a couple of times, I liked using it here for the data. We did an 800 work out and I was able to push the lap button to keep track of my splits. I like how the watch says the track has a tiny elevation gain.

I raced with it at a couple or races and didn’t have any issues. Pushed the buttons and it connects to a satellite quickly, and even if it hasn’t connected you can still push start.

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I think my favorite feature, besides the heart rate on your wrist is the elevation stats. I like to know what the elevation is at the bottom of a hill and what it is at the top. Then I realize what I thought was a huge climb, was only 50 feet.

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What sets this apart from the competition?:

1.) The battery life, I had this last 2 weeks with no charging. I wore it every day and ran a total of 50 running miles. I am a slacker… I did run about 38 miles this weekend and the watch still has half of it’s battery life.

2.) This has a combination of GPS, GLONASS and BDS which allows for increased performance in challenging areas or rural environments to connect to the satellites.

3.) The Barometric Altimeter is built in, allowing the most accurate elevation readings.

4.) Price. This watch costs $299. – https://coros.com/pace.php

Looking forward to what’s next:

The watch is very new, so many things are still getting updates. It will be able to sync to more training apps, and the ability to have the indoor workouts sync properly.

I am hoping they add more activities like walk, trail run, or hike. If it’s a multisport watch, it should include multi amounts of sports.

I do like that this is simple and no frills, there are no watch faces to change. It’s a watch for the stats and has a battery life that lasts.

If my review hasn’t convinced you to consider a Coros Pace Multisport Watch, check out what the other pros had to say: CoreyLindseyMaiMichael – KimRyanKevin

Keep tabs on Coros – WebsiteTwitterInstagramFacebook

 

 

Rudy – Rydon – Product Review

Rudy Project, Rydon Performance Sunglasses – Product Review

“Disclaimer: I received the Rudy Project Rydon 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!”


Yay, sunglasses!! Years ago I never ran with glasses, however since I have been introduced to glasses that help protect my eyes (especially as a contact lens wearer,) I can’t resist another pair.

For this opportunity with BibRave we were given the Rudy Project Rydon frames. There is quite a selection – seriously I think there are 14 choices on this page. I decided to go with the Frozen Ash frame with the Photochromic lens. The color I received is Lime with the Impactx-2 clear to laser brown lens.

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Also included is a hard plastic case and a soft case that doubles to keep the lens clean.

These glasses are featured in the film GODSPEED – The Race Across America. I had the chance to review it! The movie is about a team that cycles across the country. These glasses are put to the test in some wet and rainy conditions.

I run in all conditions, rain or shine. These lenses would be great for those dark cloudy days, yet protect my eyes from drying out, and if the sun came out, I would be prepared too.

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These glasses are great for gray, cloudy days. They are also great for hitting the trails where the shade from the trees is too much for your average dark lens. Also, if you have a night race, these are perfect!

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However for me, I would have to say this specific lens does not work for me in the sun. It just isn’t dark enough. This is easy to change, the lenses just pop out and you can put in a different choice.

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I should also note that in addition to the adjustable nose piece, the side arms or pieces that go over above your ears are adjustable too. You can make them fit your head.

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Check out the following reviews for more insight: – AndreaJenn – LindseyBarb Amy

If the above reviews have convinced you to give Rudy a try you can use code GODSPEED for 30% off – https://www.rudyprojectna.com/collections/performance-sunglasses/products/rydon?variant=47379967628

Make sure to follow Rudy – websiteInstagramFacebookTwitter

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Amphipod®️ PureRun™️ Minimalist Hydration Vest

Amphipod®️ PureRun™️ Minimalist Hydration Vest – Gear Review

“Disclaimer: I received a Amphipod®️ PureRun™️Minimalist Hydration Vest to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”

I have run many miles, and many of them with some sort of pack. I am familiar with bladders, bottles and flasks. What intrigued me most about getting a chance to try this vest was the versatility to adapt to bottles, flasks or bladders.

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The vest arrived with two, 12 oz Hydraform™️ bottles, one for each front drawstring pocket. There are 3 front buckles with adjustable straps. There are two front zipper pockets. The back is like a back pack with two separate zipper compartments, one large enough to house a bladder. The front even has a clip for the hose. There are also cords to carry a light weight coat or something on top of the pack. I also received a fun light up smiley face too.

When I received this vest, I was in the midst of training for my 25th marathon. However, I wanted to make sure before I took it on a long run, I would have no problems. The maiden voyage was just across town and back. I stuck my phone in the front zipper pocket and it fit! I have an iPhoneX. I also just carried the bottles with me, so I could get the feel.

Everything fit fine and was easy to adjust. I should note the vest does come in two sizes, so check your measurements before ordering. The only thing that is strange, as a woman, the placement of the bottles just looks “strange.”

I  ran next with the vest to a race day volunteer job. I was going to be directing runners at a corner. It was also very cold that day. The vest fit over many layers of clothes and when it warmed up, I was able to easily stash the extra clothes in the pockets.

I take gear testing seriously! I brought the pack along for a group training run. I was going to run at least 13 miles, and the route was along the highway. The one thing I appreciate about this is the bottles that come with it. It’s easy to bring water and an electrolyte on your run. I did find out that if you don’t tighten the drawstring on the bottle pocket, it will bounce and/or fall out! The vest was also great to hold the treasures I found along the way.

Then it was time for my last 20 mile long run before the marathon. I didn’t hesitate and grabbed the vest, filled it with all my snacks and drinks.

I also packed it full of warmer clothes, and an empty flask and deodorant on my way to the Iowa spring football practice. I didn’t even get checked in the security line and I was able to be fresh when I got there.

Up until this point all the runs in the vest were in cooler weather, meaning I was wearing multiple layers or a long sleeve top.

On race day, the Run Crandic marathon, I choose to wear this vest. The race course had many aid stations, but it wasn’t my first race and I wanted to have my snacks and at the least water when I wanted it. Race day temps would end up near 70 degrees, so I ran in a tank top with the vest. While it was nice to have everything I needed, I was happy to see Vaseline at an aid station as the chafe around my neck and arms was not pleasant. Maybe it was the necklace, sports bra and fresh hair cut…no clue, it just wasn’t pleasant. I am also of the school where basically all gear chafes, or all glasses fog up. I am sure if I gave my vest some adjustments, it would have fit better and I wouldn’t have any chafe. (at mile 17.5, I had no time for that) I will also note, I didn’t feel extra hot or extra sweaty due to wearing the pack.

If you are looking to finally get away from a hydration belt, I would recommend this vest. It’s not complicated, and easy to use and adjust.  The material breathes and you can carry just about anything with you because of it’s versatility. It is available online for $100 – http://www.amphipod.com/products/hydration/purerun-vests/purerun-minimalist-24

Check out what other BibRave Pros had to say: Andrea – AlastairMeridithRenee 

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