12/23/13

Lifeproof iPhone 4/4S Case Review

I recently got an iPhone and have been looking for the prefect protective case for it. I was interested in finding a hard-core heavy-duty case to protect it from my heavy use. I came across Lifeproof at the outdoor retailer show and thought they would be a perfect case to try.

Features

  • LifeProof’s CrystalClear double anti-reflective (AR) coated camera-grade glass lens delivers the sharpest eight megapixel images possible, with perfect camera flash operation.
  • With LifeProof, HD videos
  • LifeProof’s ClearVoice system takes full advantage of the iPhone 4S microphone and Siri voice activation while in the case.
  • LifeProof’s patent-pending Sound Enhancement System (SES) improves the bass and mid-frequency speaker response by utilizing the back of the case as a sub-woofer for a richer, fuller sound.
  • LifeProof ensures the optimum performance and reception of the iPhone 4S dual antenna design.
  • LifeProof’s ultra-flat screen protector makes operating and interacting with the iPhone 4S highly responsive without the need of a separate screen protector.
  • Unlike other cases, LifeProof’s open screen face allows unrestricted sweeping hand gesture interactions, compatible with the new features of the iOS.

I have been using a lifeproof case on my phone for about two months now. It has created the perfect amount of protection that I have needed while not hindering the features of the phone that I use. In this review I want to go over a few things, waterproof/dust/shockproof features, slim and sleek design, camera grade glass, and the armband and bike mount accessories.

The Lifeproof case provides optimal protection from water and drops. The polycarbonate frame is the main part of this case that absorbs the shock. There is also a elastomeric inner-layer that also absorbs shock. Waterproof seals are on all the ports and openings; it has an O-ring to protect the phone for water. It is really nice to have the ease of mine that nothing terrible is going to happen to my phone if I drop it. My boss got here new iPhone 5 a few months ago and hasn’t put on a protective case hers and she cringes every time she drops it. I have had many friends shatter their screens on their phones from drops, this just gives the peace of mind I need.

I love the freedom of being to be able use my phone wherever not having to worry about dropping it in water or getting it dirty. I use my phone while I am in the hot tub, in the pool, and in crazy dusty environments. Last month in March I visited the Holi, Festival of Colors. This is a super crazy environment for electronics and such. Every hour they throw colored cornstarch in the air so it creates a crazy dusty environment. Most smart people put their phones in plastic ziplock bags, but many people don’t. I saw a lot of people using their phones just open with no protection. I even saw some of my friends not able to use their phones because too much dust had gotten inside. My phone was fully protected, when I took off my case later to see in anything had gotten inside, I found zero dust inside the case. This case give overall some of the best protection for you phone on the market.

The Lifeproof case is extremely slim an super sleek it doesn’t add very much bulk to your phone at all, when measured from the center of the phone it only add 1.5 mm to the size. Before I got the Lifeproof I had an Otterbox on it. Although it created really great protection for the phone it made it super bulky. I have been super impressed with the difference in weight between those two cases, with the Lifeproof on you can’t really tell the difference in weight. A couple times a few people have asked me how did you get a green iPhone, not realizing that it was a case So it cool to see how slim the case is made.

I am an Instagramoholic, taking pics with my phone all the time. It has been really awesome to have a case that doesn’t affect the image quality from the camera. The double anti-reflective coated camera-grade glass lens provides crystal clear images. You can take the case up to 6.6 ft underwater so you can get some fun images. I got some super cool pics while I was at the festival of colors too, so its great not to worry about dust or water while taking pics.

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There are lots of cool accessories available for the Lifeproof. The main two I have been using are the armband and the bike mount, with mainly being the armband. The armband has been great for going on hikes and working out. It has a quick release for easy access of the phone. It is easily adjusted for different arm sizes. If is fairly comfortable compared to most, it has a good amount of padding which is really nice.

The bike mount is great. It works really well. I actually found another use for it. When I am not using it on my bike I use it in my car on my cup holder. It has been great to use my iPhone as a GPS and music player no hands access is great. You can use the mount like a GoPro mount for you iPhone to take video while on your ride.

I have also been using the dock adaptor too. Without it, you have to use the apple cable that came with the phone. When I go to the gym its great to be able to plug in the phone at the treadmill so I can listen to music while working out while not worrying about power.

I would defiantly recommend this case to anyone looking for amazing protection for your iPhone. It offers great protection from water, drops, and dirt while not hindering the features of your phone.

Purchase these cases at REI

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12/6/12

Keen Tryon WP Shoes First Impressions

I have been interested in finding a light hiker/trail runner that was waterproof and came across these.  I wanted to see how they preformed so I asked for a pair for my female reviewer and me.  First I’ll go over some of the key features then I’ll go over my experiences.

Features

  • Abrasion resistant and breathable mesh upper
  • KEEN.DRY™ waterproof breathable membrane
  • KEEN.Zorb Strobel
  • Removable metatomical dual density EVA footbed
  • S3 Heel support structure
  • Stone bruising protection plate guards feet against rocks on trails
  • Torsion stability TPU shank
  • TPU heel stabilizer

I have been using these for about two weeks so far and I have really enjoyed them.  Like I said earlier I was looking for a super light hiker/trail runner that was waterproof, and these have done really well.  One of my first excursions taking these in the wild was trail running in a small canyon here in Utah Valley.  Rock canyon was covered in snow the time that I had decided to go, and these shoes held up well, my feet were dry and warm the whole time.  Running in snow can be pretty crazy, but the support in these shoes made it work out fine.

I took these backpacking last weekend.  They preformed pretty well.  They gave a good amount of support for a overnight backpacking trip.  If I had a much heaver pack I would want some more ankle support with a higher cut.  I went up to Rock Canyon again.  There were a few streams to cross and lots of snow.  The waterproofing upheld well for super shallow crossings.  If the water had been much deeper it the water would run in to the top for sure.

I have also run with these on the streets and on the treadmill.  They have preformed really well, and the shock absorbing structure is great.  I am a fairly big guy so when I come down fast and hard I really need some good shock absorption and these have just held up really nice.

These have a real nice stylish modern design.  My female reviews first thoughts when she saw these were wow these are so cute and yet functional.  The laces are asymmetrical which is kind of different but I dig.  They come in a lot of different colors and also come in women specific styles.

Here are Kamilynn Fletchers thoughts on the women’s pair

First a confession:

I love high heels.  I love ridiculously-tall-incredibly-uncomfortable-sexy-beautiful heels.  I even have scars on my feet from blisters so bad they were literally pooling blood in my shoes.

Crazy, I know.
Two weeks ago I put on my first pair of Keen shoes, specifically Tryon WPs.

I haven’t taken them off since.

Gone is ridiculously tall – I’m now average height with a non-marking rubber outsole that adds less than an inch.  They have a stone bruising protection plate to guard my feet against the popcorn kernels I spilled in the kitchen or the gravel under the bridge at 400 South I cross on my way to work.

Done is incredibly uncomfortable – I’m now moving freely at the beginning, middle, and end of my day.  I’m not only NOT limping when I get home; I throw on sweat pants and go running.  With the S3 Heel support structure of shock, suspension, and stability, not only are my odds of twisting an ankle reduced, they’re just so comfortable I’m tempted to pair them with skirts on Sunday.

Continued is sexy-beautiful – I’m still rocking my colorful style with the sea blue and neutral gray breathable waterproof top mesh.  I love that they’re sporty but not overly masculine.

I’m excited as the weather continues to warm up to take my affectionately termed “magic shoes” further off road and see how they fare.  I’m looking forward to my first summer without massive amounts of Moleskin and stained socks wearing my Keen Tryon WP shoes!

Here is a gallery of some more images of the shoes and the kind of terrain I was hiking through.

Click here 

Purchase these shoes at currently $120.00 rei.com or $83.97 backcountry.com and the woman’s at $84.95 sierratradingpost.com 

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12/26/11

Patagonia Men's Piolet GORE-TEX® Shell First impressions

I got this shell last week from Patagonia to review.  I have been wearing all around town and have gone it the snow once so far.  First I want to talk about the features and then I’ll go over what I have experienced so far.

Patagonia Piolet Jacket, Photo by Richard Keele

Key Features

  • 2-layer nylon GORE-TEX® Performance Shell
  • Helmet-compatible, 2-way-adjustable hood with laminated visor for optimal visibility in bad conditions
  • Touch Point System™ embeds cord locks in the hood and hem for quick adjustments to seal out rain and snow (patented)
  • Modified Y-Joint™ sleeve construction for overhead mobility without jacket lifting
  • Pockets: Harness- and pack-compatible pocket configuration (one chest; two handwarmers) and pit zips feature Slim Zip installation with watertight, coated zippers for reduced zipper bulk and weight; internal zippered security pocket
  • Cuffs have low-profile closure with pleated gusset
  • Shell: 2-layer, 2.7-oz 40-denier GORE-TEX® Performance Shell 100% nylon. Reinforcements: 4.3-oz 70-denier GORE-TEX® Performance Shell 100% nylon. Shell and reinforcements have a DWR (durable water repellent) finish
  • 644 g (22.7 oz)

I have been using this shell for about a week and a half.  I have mainly just been wearing it around town and such.  I have taken it on a trip up to the canyon in the snow.  This jacket is super comfortable, provides great waterproofness, and is fairly light weight. I fine this jacket to be extremely comfortable.  It has lots of places to make adjustments, to make feel just right for you.  I really liked the adjustable cuffs, you can leave them open when you want to vent some heat or close them up when you want to keep out the snow and water.  The pit zips are also great to vent out some heat.  I haven’t been in any really adverse conditions with this shell yet but it has GORE-TEX® linings so you know its going to hold up pretty well.  I have however been in some pretty windy conditions and this jacket doesn’t let any wind in. I really like the pack weight of this shell.  Some of the other GORE-TEX® shells I have had were much heavier; this jacket is fairly light and compresses down to a reasonable size.

I hope to go hit the powder soon and test this more intensely but it just hasn’t snowed forever here in the Utah Valley, so hopefully that will happen soon.

Check out this video from  Patagonia’s Youtube describing The Piolet’s key features

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