Buzz: Putting Columbia Gear To The Test
Last week I received some paperwork from Columbia Sportswear for my trip to Sedona. The first thing I thought was, “Weeee! So excited. Only a few months away…” and then I realized, “No, it’s next month! Whoa!” I just got back from Italy and it’s already time to gear up, literally, for some adventures in Sedona.
Being a member of the Omniten is pretty cool. I now have a new network of friends and am looking forward to finally meeting them. Out of everyone I am probably the least experienced, but I’m okay with that. My outdoor life consists of running, swimming, biking, nature hikes, and exploring wherever we go. No mountain climbing or “extreme” sports for me, as you know the last time I skied was well over 15 yrs ago when I broke my leg. (I’m still waiting to complete my challenge!) The great thing about Columbia is it’s not just for mountain climbers, etc. Everyday people use it and love it. That’s where I come in. But being the least outdoorsy I must say I’m a bit intimidated but if anyone knows me, they know I’m all for adventures and trying new stuff.
With my excitement of my upcoming trip next month I wanted to share with you my thoughts on a few products they sent me over the past couple months. For those that are interested I’ve already introduced several of the products in this blog post.
Let’s talk about the Powerdrains. The point of Powerdrains is to provide an “amphibious” shoe that’s versatile from water to land. When immersed in water they immediately drain so you don’t have wet soggy shoes.
Check out these holey insoles.
Yeah, those aren’t messing around. And even though they’re holey, they provide cushion just like regular insoles. I dig how they lace up with a bungee cord making them super easy to slip on and off. (I’m wishing all of my shoes had this!)
Wow. I LOVE LOVE LOVE these shoes. So light and comfy. When I say they’re probably one of the most comfy shoes I’ve ever owned I’m not joking. They’re definitely up there with my Mizunos. I decided to take them to Italy on a whim and it wasn’t a mistake. Since I was recovering from my ankle issue I was concerned with stability and comfort during our trip and these delivered the goods. They were flexible enough that my foot could mold to the ground, yet they provided plenty of protection. They also had excellent grip on the slick bricks that are used to pave the streets of Rome and Florence.
I debated on whether to wear these this past weekend for the Dirty Girl Mud Run (more on that later this week!) but didn’t want to ruin them. But, I went ahead and put these shoes through the wringer and they did fantastic. The holes allowed the shoes to quickly drain and so I wasn’t wearing soggy shoes.
The Powerdrains washed up fantastic and you can’t even tell I trudged through multiple mud pits with them.
All around I was impressed by the performance of the Powerdrains. Columbia hit the nail on the head with these shoes.
Next is the Compounder Shell.
This sucker is basically a raincoat on steroids. When I first felt the fabric I thought, “This is pretty thin. How is this going to work?” But it does and it’s amazingly durable and breathable too. No feeling like you’re wearing a plastic bag that traps in all of your sweat.
Even though I didn’t get to wear it in Italy I was able to do some heavy duty testing while spectating at Tough Mudder Ohio several weeks ago. It was pouring rain while I spectated for about 3 solid hours and I was kept dry.
I got a kick out of how the rain would actual bead up on the surface of the shell like a freshly waxed car. The massive hood helped with protection too.
I still need to share with you my thoughts on my newest pair of shoes, the Peakfreak Low Outdry. I’ve tried them out, but I’d like to test them out on more rugged terrain before I give you my thoughts. Stay tuned!
Yes, I’m part of the Columbia Omniten and am lucky enough to receive gear, but I’ve truly put this gear to the test and the thoughts I’ve presented are my own.
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)