Tasc Performance Review: Full Zip Fleece Hoodie

by Joslin Fritz
( November 15th, 2014 )

Tasc Performance Escape Full Zip Fleece HoodieFirst there was polypropylene. Then, merino wool. Now… it’s bamboo.

Advances in technology allow use to continually improve our clothing and its’ uses in our active endeavors. In the case of bamboo, the inner “pilth” of this hard wooden plant is mixed with a variety of other materials, such as organic cotton or merino wool. The rayon fibers are used from the bamboo to make textiles, and the result is a softer, less likely to smell, stretchable article of clothing. I’ve had a bamboo/organic cotton blend t-shirt for a year and I’ve loved the feel of it against my skin. I was looking forward to testing out the Escape Full Zip Fleece Hoodie, which is made from Velu Performance Fleece, a material created by Tasc Performance.

The first thing I noticed in my testing was how warm it was. The 51% cotton/44% Viscose from Bamboo/5% Elastane hoodie was surprisingly thin for a hoodie, given the warmth it provided when worn as an additional layer or light jacket. The hidden, zippered pocket easily stored some cash and my license when I went out to run a quick errand. The hood provided ample coverage, and the loose, relaxed fit allowed me plenty of room to stretch and move about. The angled sleeve cuffs let me pull my hands up into the sleeves, and keep my hands warm during an evening jog.

Tasc Performance Full Zip Fleece HoodieThere are two deterrents to this hoodie for me that are easily fixable and will probably be updated in the near future. One, the only colors available are a black and hot pink combination. I don’t usually wear hot pink, and quite simply, it’s not my style. I would prefer a solid blue, black or green hoodie. Again, this is an easy fix. The other modification I would suggest is a thicker, more durable zipper. I found the zipper troublesome to connect, though once in place, it would work fine.

What I loved:

  • Very comfortable against the skin.

  • Can be worn in active outings or lounging at home.

  • Hand pockets and one zippered pocket very useful.

  • Longer sleeves provide good coverage when cold, but also can be rolled up easily.

  • Relaxed fit allow for easy layering.

Not so much:

  • Zipper is a bit flimsy and gets stuck often.

  • Only color options are black and hot pink.

The Escape Full Zip Fleece Hoodie can be bought for $108 here on the Tasc Performance website.

 

Adventure On, 

Joslin

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National Geographic Adventurers of the Year 2014

by Joslin Fritz
( November 12th, 2014 )

It’s that time of year again.

Every November, National Geographic puts out a list of their Adventurers of the Year, and this year, the list is as impressive and inspiring as ever. They choose these individuals based on “his or her extraordinary achievement in exploration, adventure sports, conservation, and humanitarianism.”

Booyah is what I have to say to that.

Boo. Yah. 

I for one am always inspired by the people that Nat Geo highlights in this annual award ceremony. Last year I wrote about the past award recipients,  including Dave and Amy Freeman and Gregg Treinish. I also can’t help but reflect on the fact that while they chose these certain individuals as worthy of this title, there are so many others out there doing amazingly cool and inspiring work that we never hear about. This award is a reminder to celebrate all those who are adventuring and changing the world with their actions and indomitable spirit.

Erik Weinhenmayer and Lonnie BedwellTwo favorite Adventurers of the Year are Erik Weihenmayer and Lonnie Bedwell, two blind kayakers who paddled the mighty Colorado river in the Grand Canyon earlier this year. I think it’s the rafter in me, but I get butterflies every time I run those rapids myself, and I can see the rapids. I’m amazed that these two men who didn’t know how to kayak before they lost their sight, decided to take on this epic feat. I’ve been following Erik for a while now, ever since he climbed Mt. Everest in 2001, becoming the first blind man to ever summit the tallest mountain in the world.

Another Adventurer to read about is Kit DesLauriers, a world class ski mountaineer who ascended Mount Chamberlain in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge with a team in the name of science and, well, exploration. The team succeeded in gathering the necessary data which aided in measuring glacier retreat, while also partaking in an incredible expedition to the farthest corners of the earth.

There’s many more Adventurers to read about, and I encourage you to vote for your favorite here.

Adventure On, 

Joslin

Photo credit: Skyler Williams

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Gear Review: ExOfficio Rain Logic Trench

by Joslin Fritz
( November 5th, 2014 )

Rain Logic Jacket ExOfficioThe fall weather is upon us, and that means shorter days, cooler temperatures, and often more rain. I’m still traveling quite a bit though I’ve been staying in the New England area, but I’ve had plenty of wet days now to test out the Rain Logic Trench from ExOfficio.

I made my way from Boston up to Burlington, Vermont last weekend, and it was the perfect time to really put this coat to the test. As an outdoor guide, I tend to go with waist length rain jackets, as I’m more familiar with the cut and I like the mobility they provide for hiking and walking. The trench coat length was a new experience. I loved not having to worry about the back of my thighs getting wet, or my jacket pulling up when I bent down. The A-cut was flattering to my shape, and I did get compliments on the cut and deep purple color of the jacket. I have to admit, I’m now a converted trench coat fan.

The best thing about this jacket, as is the same with another one of my ExOfficio favorites, the Storm Logic Jacket, was the number of pockets. The trench is an organized persons’ dream. This is one of the most important details I look for in a travel jacket-it needs to have zippered pockets, both inside and out. The Rain Logic trench boasts six, (yes, SIX) zippered pockets. On one flap of the jacket, there are two labeled pockets for a passport and a phone, while the other flap has a slot for sunglasses and a small compartment for keys. This jacket doesn’t have a slot for your boarding pass like styles in previous years. You can easily slip a boarding pass in the outer zippered pocket though.

Though the jacket is meant to protect from rain, I did get additional wind protection provided from the extra layers built into the jacket (2.5 layers in all). I found it packed up nicely into a small folded jacket, and it actually rolled right into the hood. I was surprised at how lightweight it was, and was pleased that it was seam sealed, givingExOfficio Rain Logic Trench extra protection on those particularly stormy days. The jacket is definitely a nice addition to my travel wardrobe, especially to wetter destinations. :)

What I loved:

  • Pockets! I love a travel jacket that has lots of pockets.

  • Seam sealed interior made sure I wouldn’t get wet on particularly stormy days.

  • Longer length of a trench coat felt a bit more stylish rather than sporty.

  • Fit felt true to size, and had a bit of stretch in the material.

Not so much:

  • A small hole in the phone pocket to run my headphones out would be a nice addition.

  • Underarm venting with zippers would also be a nice touch to keep from getting overheated.

You can purchase the Rain Logic Trench for $200 on the ExOfficio website here.

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