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Gear Review: Showers Pass Crosspoint Flip-Mitt

I know I’ll lose credibility when I say this, but I do most of my outdoor activities with the less-than-superior Apple Watch. I use the Strava app, and since their “Auto Pause” feature doesn’t register progress during steep climbs, I run with “Auto Pause” off and manually pause the watch whenever I need to stop and refuel.

Winter has made this difficult. Every time I stop, I have to pull off my glove, hit pause, put my glove on, grab a Honey Stinger, refuel, take my glove off, un-pause, and put my glove on again. Needless to say, it’s a pain in the butt.

Crosspoint Flip-Mitt

Showers Pass Crosspoint Flip-Mitt

At Outdoor Retailer’s media event, I had the chance to chat with Jeremy Rider, National Sales Manager and PR Director for Showers Pass, as they unveiled a new product: the Crosspoint Flip-Mitt.

The Showers Pass Crosspoint Flip-Mitt eliminates the issue I was having with traditional gloves. It’s constructed with a magnetic gasket closure that allows for quick access to your fingertips. I can easily pull it open, pause my Apple Watch, and close it with a flip of my wrist.

Inside, there’s merino wool lining with ultra-light synthetic insulation. I’ve taken the gloves running, cycling, skiing, and snowshoeing, and they are an absolute joy to be outdoors with. The merino wool keeps my hands comfortable and dry, and if my hands do get warm, I can pull them open and let them breathe for a little bit before flipping them closed.

During most outdoor activities, I’ve worn them without an additional set of gloves in the interior of the Flip-Mitt. For longer activities, like skiing or snowshoeing, I paired them with an old set of lightweight running gloves. They worked well, but after talking to Jeremy, I’d highly recommend pairing the Flip-Mitt with another one of their products: Crosspoint Waterproof Knit Gloves. With these gloves you get the added benefit of a breathable waterproof for extra protection.

The only issues I had with these gloves happened during two crashes. While skiing, I fell, and the slip-mitt pulled open, letting snow pile in. I was able to shake most of the snow out, but it was a little bit cold. The second crash happened while trail-running. I hit a section of ice with no traction, slipped, fell, and when I caught myself on the ground with my mittened hand, the flip-mitt’s gasket closure rolled open. Those two crashes didn’t impact my review of this product in a negative way. I mention them, because that’s where having a pair of waterproof gloves inside the Flip-Mitt will come in handy.

Conclusion

Showers Pass Crosspoint Flip-Mitt

Over the past two months, I’ve had plenty more positive experiences wearing the gloves. These are now my go-to for any winter outing.

Having access to my fingertips while keeping the Showers Pass Crosspoint Flip-Mitt on has worked in a number of scenarios: the aforementioned Apple Watch challenges, refueling, shedding layers, or helping my kids zip up their winter gear.

Check them out at the links provided or visit www.showerspass.com.

Gear Review: Showers Pass Lightweight Waterproof Crosspoint Classic Socks

Showers Pass Lightweight Waterproof Crosspoint Classic Socks

I had just begun a trail run on a wet, snowy night when my foot broke through a layer of snow into an ankle-deep puddle of cold water.

Normally there’d be swearing and I’ve have to cut my run short.  Running with wet, cold feet for any length of time is plain miserable.

But my feet weren’t wet. They weren’t cold.

My feet were dry and happy because I was wearing Showers Pass Lightweight Waterproof Crosspoint Classic Socks. Showers Pass had sent me a pair to test out, and they have become my go-to socks for snow, slush, mud, or rain-filled runs. They are the perfect partner to my minimalist shoes that don’t offer any type of water resistance.

While my fellow night runners complained of wet and cold feet—trading stories of shoes and socks lost in sticky mud and snow—I couldn’t help but be thankful for my choice of socks. Even as we rounded the final corner and I landed on what I thought was asphalt, but what was really a deep puddle of slush.

Technology and Features

Showers Pass Lightweight Waterproof Crosspoint Classic Socks

The Waterproof Crosspoint Socks are constructed with three elements: a knit exterior sock, a waterproof membrane, and a knit interior sock. They feel thicker than your average pair of socks, but still fit comfortably. The first time I slipped them on, I commented how it felt like I was pulling on a wetsuit.

Their waterproof ability starts at the toe and goes all the way to just below the cuff. Even with the waterproof technology, I still found that my foot was able to breathe. That’s because they use an ultra-thin PTFE Waterproof Breathable Membrane that stretches to let your feet breathe without letting the pores open, keeping your feet dry.

Cleaning

Showers Pass suggests machine washing in cold water (avoid fabric softeners and bleach). You can tumble dry on low heat, however, the dryer can cause shrinkage. To prevent this, I highly suggest letting them hang dry.

Conclusion

Showers Pass Lightweight Waterproof Crosspoint Classic Socks
Showers Pass Lightweight Waterproof Crosspoint Classic Socks

Needless to say, I’m a big fan of the Waterproof Crosspoint Socks. They are the perfect companion in Boulder for wetter runs and bike rides. I even took them snowshoeing with great success.

It’s worth noting that Showers Pass sells a variety of the sock with a merino wool interior for colder outings, but for my snowshoeing adventure I doubled-up with a pair of merino wool socks underneath and was pretty comfortable.

These socks are only the first step in having a full waterproof experience. Because Showers Pass is based in the Pacific Northwest, they know how to make a lot of great waterproof materials, including pants, jackets, and gloves.

Check them out at the links provided or visit www.showerspass.com.

Earth Day 2019

When you’re outdoors, it’s the perfect time to start making a difference.

Our team at Huck Adventures is dedicated to preserving the wonder of nature by keeping our land, oceans, and trails clean. A big part of our mission is to reinvest in the outdoors by partnering with nonprofits who have made that their mission.

That’s why we’ve partnered with National CleanUp Day to participate and promote a nationwide volunteer event in honor of Earth Day 2019 in conjunction with Earth Day Network.

Throughout the month of April, grass roots organizations and corporate partners are uniting communities across the U.S. to clean up our green spaces, waterways, and trails. So far, National CleanUp Day has cleanups organized in 13 focus cities throughout the U.S., including Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Honolulu, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Phoenix, Richmond, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. Each city has at least 25 different clean-up locations to choose from.

We’re excited to participate and look forward to announcing our clean-up site in Boulder, Colorado, in the next two weeks.

It’s an opportunity to inspire a spirit of volunteerism and make a positive impact on our environment. Because studies have shown that people will pitch in when they see someone else picking up litter. And we need all the help we can get.

If you’re interested in learning more about the events in your city, visit www.NationalCleanUpDay.org.

For more information about Huck Adventure’s Boulder clean up, join our email list to join the Huck team and our partners.

If you’re a local Boulder brand or athlete interested in participating, please contact us at info@huckadventures.com.

Gear Review: United By Blue Bison Snap Jacket and Trail Socks

We get excited when we hear of outdoor brands that are not only innovating, but have made sustainability and preserving the beauty of the outdoors a priority. United By Blue is one of them.

United By Blue is a young company but is doing some remarkable things. As a certified B Corp, they have to prove each year that they put people and the planet before profits, and a couple of their initiatives really make them stand out.

First, is their mission: for every product sold, they remove one pound of trash from oceans and waterways. To date, they have removed over 1.5 million pounds of trash. Plus, it’s a mission that they encourage others to share in. On their website, you can sign up to join them on one of their cleanups.

The other thing that makes United By Blue unique is in order to have the least impact on the environment, they use materials like organic cotton and recycled polyester from plastic bottles.

They recently launched a collection of jackets and vests using a very interesting insulation material: bison down.

Huck Adventures reviews: United By Blue Bison Snap Jacket.
United By Blue Bison Snap Jacket. Photo by Andrew Patra.

Bison down usually ends up in landfills as a bi-product of the ranching industry. United By Blue, however, acquires the material before it gets there, combs and cleans it, and blends it with recycled polyester for an amazingly lightweight and warm material that they call BisonShield.

Bison down is naturally hypoallergenic, moisture wicking, and provides superior warmth while regulating temperature. It’s the same natural properties that let bison survive cold winters instead of migrating.

United By Blue gave us a bison jacket and a pair of their merino wool socks to test out and share our review.

Women’s Bison Snap Jacket

Huck Adventures reviews: United By Blue Bison Snap Jacket.
Photo by Andrew Patra

The Bison Snap Jacket was truly a pleasant surprise. I don’t typically wear clothing made from animal by-products, so I didn’t know what to expect. Other than the bison tag on the inside, you couldn’t tell the jacket was insulated with bison down.

This is the perfect jacket for spring, fall or a mild winter day, since it’s suited for 32 to 70 degree weather. And I found it surprisingly warm for how thin it is.

I’m 5’2 and typically wear size medium jackets, and I felt like it was true to size and the right cut for my medium build and still allowed room for layering underneath. It reminded me of my favorite jean jacket, where it can be a bit stiff and restrictive at first when stretching or crossing my arms, but it didn’t bother me after a couple days of breaking in the jacket.

Huck Adventures reviews: United By Blue Bison Snap Jacket. Photo by Andrew Patra.
Photo by Andrew Patra.

The look and style of this jacket is versatile and has a dressier feel than a utility or sports jacket. Its warmth, weather proof material, and deep pockets made it great for a hike, but it’s cut, style, and space for adjustable layering made it the perfect jacket when I traveled from Denver to Phoenix for a work trip. And the color they chose for this one is a particularly gorgeous shade of blue that I loved.

Trail Sock

Huck Adventures reviews: United By Blue Trail Sock.
United By Blue Trail Sock. Photo by Andrew Patra.

I also got to test United By Blue’s unisex Trail Socks and found them amazingly comfortable when compared to other merino wool hikers.

I have a wide foot and have experienced socks from other brands that end up being tight and restrictive. And having the right sock for your activity is just as important as your shoes. Keeping your feet comfortable is all about choosing the right fabric, length, and features.

United By Blue’s Trail Socks are made from merino wool and are extremely soft. They were super cozy when just hanging out at home. Plus, on hikes and trail-runs they were very breathable, warm, and comfortable. My foot was able to flex and bend in them without feeling encumbered by any rigidity.

At only $14 a pair, I’ll definitely be adding more of these to my sock drawer.

Please note that United By Blue is an affiliate to Huck Adventures, and at no additional cost to you, Huck earns a commission if you decide to make a purchase after clicking through the links above.

Best 10 Eco-friendly/Green Ski Brands

With the effects of climate change encroaching on snow and slope conditions, ski brands are producing gear and garments that are kinder to the planet. And they are catching on in popularity with skiers and snowboarders as they seek ways to preserve the powdery winters they love so much. Below are some of our top picks for eco-friendly companies that are leading the ski industry in innovation, sustainability, and design.

ECO-FRIENDLY CLOTHING

Pure Brandz

This Australian based ski brand prides itself on maintaining high levels of safety and sustainability with products that are 100 percent recyclable and free from environmentally harmful chemicals. Their iconic jackets are crafted with a savvy fabric called SympaTex, a waterproof, windproof, and moisture-wicking fabric that gives maximum warmth in cold, wet conditions. When you’ve felt like you’ve worn out your gear, Pure Brandz offers a buyback program that either contributes to your next purchase or to charity. Order their products online or pick up their gear on your next epic ski trip to Australia, Japan, Switzerland, Canada or Norway.

Ortovox

Ortovox Skitour Outerwear
Photo credit: Ortovox

This German-founded company has been making gear with people and nature in mind since the 1980s. Ortovox ensures safe and fair working conditions for its employees as a member of the Fare Wear Foundation. Ortovox is also a member of EOCA (European Outdoor Conservation Association), which protects endangered environments worldwide, not just in Europe. As a wool-centered clothing company, Ortovox ensures the highest quality of animal welfare with their “Ortovox Wool Promise,” an incredibly high standard for animal welfare and land management for their Tasmanian sheep farmers. Browse their outerwear by layer, and order online for international shipping.

3. Holden

Holden designs simple, elegant outerwear that easily translates from city to mountains. Holden innovates by using S. Cafe in its gear. This yarn is made with the help of leftover coffee grounds to enhance fiber durability and increase drying time. According to Holden, their S. Cafe fabrics are also naturally antimicrobial, odor absorbent, and UV resistant. As well, Holden’s lightweight jackets feature Primaloft, insulation made from 70 percent post-consumer materials. Order their gear online, at EVO.com, or from their boutique stockists.

4. Picture Organic Clothing

Started by three French friends looking for new jobs that aligned with their values, Picture Organic Clothing was born in more-or-less, a garage. The avid skiers were all passionate about one thing–sustainability. Inspired by the 2008 snowboard movie “Picture This,” the crew created the name for their company. In just 10 years, the company has expanded to over 10 countries, yet still keeps tabs on their carbon footprint with a carbon calculator. Picture uses organic cotton and reuses leftover fabric scraps to line the inside of their jackets. Their line also features a helmet made of 100 percent recycled and organic components. No harmful chemicals are used to make their water-repellent clothing. Order online or at their US partner retailers.

5. Patagonia

No one is leading the environmental charge quite like Patagonia. The father to outdoor brands everywhere and world leader in environmental activism, Patagonia is the retail giant that puts its money where its mouth is. The list of Patagonia’s eco-initiatives goes on, but their most recent decision says it all–10 million dollars earned from the Trump administration corporate tax break went right back to green groups fighting climate change. If you’re inspired to get involved on a grassroots level, check out Patagonia’s online activism search engine, Patagonia Action Works, to find a volunteer event near you. Buy Patagonia online, or most major outdoor retailers like REI.

ECO-FRIENDLY GEAR

1. Lokomotiv Skis

Handmade in Scandinavia, Lokomotiv skis are characterized by a sustainable bamboo core, rather than a hardwood core from trees that take much longer to grow. In fact, Lokomotiv doesn’t source any of its wood from North America, an over-forested region. These ski makers also support groups involved in forest regeneration. Lokomotiv skis are made to order depending on your flex preferences, so contact them directly.

2. Nzero

Nzero Eco Ski Waxes

Barcelona-based Nzero makes 100 percent organic and vegetable-based waxes for all snow sports. Their line features cold and hot waxes that don’t harm the environment or the skier. No toxic fumes, smoke, paraffin or pollutants are used in the making of their waxes. Buy Nzero waxes online in Euros only.

3. Badger Sunscreen

Badger Sunscreen

Every savvy skier knows that sunscreen is arguably even more important on the slopes than by the pool. Being closer to the sun and on snow can easily lead to burn. If you want an eco-friendly product, protect yourself with Badger sunscreen, which uses just five simple, pronounceable ingredients. Badger sunscreens are zinc-based with moisturizing sunflower oil and are UVA and UVB resistant. If you find yourself swimming among reefs in the off-season, Badger sunscreen is certified safe for reef diving too. Buy from numerous retailers or direct from Amazon.

4. Niche Snowboards

Niche Snowboards is dedicated to crafting high-quality boards using earth-friendly materials and manufacturing practices. Niche boards feature sustainable wood cores, water-based inks for printing, and flax stringers instead of carbon fiber. For coating, Niche uses eco-friendly epoxy, uniquely crafted from the waste of the paper-pulp and biofuels industry. Buy online at Niche Snowboards.

5. Grown skis

Grown Eco Skis

Grown strives to not only be the most environmentally friendly ski, but also the best performing ski. Function and form take no backseat to their sustainability initiatives. Grown skis are made of alternative materials such as hemp fiber, volcanic basalt rock, and pine tree resin. Ten percent of ski sales are donated to WWF Arctic Program. Buy Grown skis online.

Gear Review: Ultimate Direction Mountain Vest 4.0

Huck Adventures reviews: Ultimate Direction Mountain Vest 4.0
Photo by Andrew Patra

After moving to Colorado, I knew I needed to up my hydration game on the local trails. Over the past several years of training, I usually brought water anytime I exceeded eight miles (roughly an hour). But knowing that my training goals were shifting toward ultras and that my elevation gain was increasing in a drier climate, I knew that I needed a change.

In the past, I had owned a hydration vest that could only carry a bladder in the back, but it was difficult to clean and maintain. I had also owned a waist belt that carried two hard, plastic bottles, but it bounced and over time was uncomfortable. Plus, it didn’t have enough room to carry a phone, keys, or fuel.

Two years ago, I started looking for a fanny pack to carry my over-sized phone during lunchtime runs from the office. After trying out several different brands and models, I came across Ultimate Direction and fell in love with their waist belts and the story behind their product design.

Ultimate Innovation

Ultimate Direction (UD) has been innovating the hydration pack category for over 30-years; creating award-winning hydration vests, handhelds, and belts. They were also the first company to offer a women’s specific hydration pack.

Huck Adventures reviews: Running with the Ultimate Direction Mountain Vest 4.0
Photo by Andrew Patra

Their products are designed by athletes for the self-propelled runner, skier, climber, fast packer, or obstacle course racer. If you follow them on social media, you’ll see athletes in their office testing the products long before they go into final production.

Mountain Vest 4.0

When they launched their 4.0 Signature Series in Spring 2018, I was quick to pick up the Mountain Vest 4.0. It was one of their larger hydration vests, but I knew that I wanted something that would support me for both shorter summer runs when I would need just a few essential items and longer mountain runs fully loaded with gear.

I found the Mountain Vest 4.0 light and versatile. For shorter runs, I would typically carry one of the soft flasks in the front for on-the-go hydration, while stashing my phone in the other pocket.

Huck Adventures reviews: Ultimate Direction Mountain Vest 4.0 and Bobo Bars. Great combination.
Photo by Andrew Patra

The front of the vest has several smaller pockets with easy to open with zippers or velcro, which can hold keys, gels, salt tablets, or chapstick. There are also two zipper pockets on the side of the vest that are large enough for a phone or additional fuel. On the front, there are trekking pole straps, but I’ve had issues keeping my Leki trekking poles in them during longer mountain runs.

In the rear of the bag is a large compartment with a thin partition to help with organization or can hold up to a two-liter water bladder. The other side of the partition is large, perfect for carrying additional clothing, food, microspikes, etc.

Huck Adventures reviews: Ultimate Direction Mountain Vest 4.0
Photo by Andrew Patra

On the very back of the vest is a quick-stash compartment for easy access. It’s where I typically put my windshell.

I’ve used this pack for trail-running, but I’ve also used it for bike commutes into Boulder for work. The compartment in the back is large enough to keep a change of clothes, while the quick-stash area can hold shoes.

It wasn’t until months of use that I discovered that the pack had a hidden whistle. I wasn’t sure of the scenario I would need it in until I stumbled upon a black bear scavenging for apples at the bottom of Green Mountain. The build of the pack made it easy enough to quickly access the whistle to scare the bear off the trail (and access my phone for a few pictures of my new friend).

Huck Adventures reviews: Ultimate Direction Mountain Vest 4.0
Photo by Andrew Patra

The vest’s materials are soft, thin, light, and extremely comfortable. It’s easy to adjust the fit, depending on how much you’ve packed into it.

Sizes come in small, medium, and large. I am 5’11” and 175 lbs. I’m right on the edge of a Large, but I ended up purchasing a Medium and am happy with the way it sizes.

Conclusion

Huck Adventures reviews: Ultimate Direction Mountain Vest 4.0
Photo by Andrew Patra

I’m a big fan of the Mountain Vest 4.0. UD continues to innovate in this category and although I know this vest will last several years, I can’t help but drool over their new product releases.

Product Review: Theragun G3PRO

Huck Adventures reviews: Theragun G3PRO Percussive Therapy
Photo by Andrew Patra

One of my favorite booths at Outdoor Retailer is Theragun. After walking the show for countless hours with a heavy backpack, a few minutes of percussive therapy provides lasting relief for my tense and tired muscles.

After seeing them at Outdoor Retailer for the first time last summer, I started seeing Theraguns all over my social media feed. Professional athletes were using it for recovery during training and sport therapists were using them during their patient sessions.

All this coverage made me curious. I’ve committed to train for some local ultramarathons and have been upping my mileage and the difficulty of the terrain. Could using the Theragun help me recover faster and improve my performance? I reached out to Theragun, and they loaned me one to put to the test.  

Theragun G3PRO

The Theragun G3PRO is a hand-held device that combines frequency, torque, and 16 mm amplitude to release muscle tension, improve mobility, decrease pain, and aid in overall recovery. It looks like a power tool rather than your average massager, and it is powerful.

Huck Adventures reviews: Theragun G3PRO Percussive Therapy
Photo by Andrew Patra

Inside the shell is an industrial-grade motor; strong enough to withstand 60 pounds of pressure without stalling. The motor provides 16 mm amplitude with a fast 40-percussions-per second on an easily-adjustable arm that can reach any sore muscle. While testing, I was able to reach a tough spot on my back that I would normally use an unhelpful foam roller on. After 20 seconds on that spot, I felt back to normal.

For the latest iteration of the Theragun, they worked with mechanical and sound engineers from MIT to design the gearbox and state-of-the-art sound insulation to reduce the noise by more than 50 percent compared to the G2PRO.

The G3PRO’s standard treatment operates at a frequency of 2400 RPM; high enough to encourage nerves to close to painful input, preventing pain from traveling through the nervous system. For the first time in their product’s history, TheraGun introduced a second speed for lighter treatment: 1750 RPM.

The G3PRO comes with two Samsung lithium-ion 4 cell, 2.5 amp batteries. A single battery, full charged, will last 75 minutes.

Huck Adventures reviews: Theragun G3PRO Percussive Therapy
Photo by Andrew Patra

They also improved the G3PRO attachments by molding them in closed cell PU foam. Sweat, lotions, and oils can be easily wiped off, making the attachments more hygenic. During long-run recovery sessions, I was able to switch out the attachments easily, making the therapy session more efficient and effective.

The various attachments provide a variety of different uses. The larger soft heads can be used on larger muscles groups, while the smaller, angular heads can be used to target smaller areas.

Testing Results

Normally I would feel muscle tightness for 6-8 hours after a long run. If I was sitting for prolonged periods, the muscle tightness would be worse. I would also usually have some soreness the following morning.

I started using the Theragun for 10-15 minutes after each run on each major muscle group in  my legs. It was amazing how much my time in recovery shifted. I was able to easily increase my mileage without feeling horrible. In fact, I felt great—even when I did two runs a day. I was getting out for longer distances more times a week and felt like my goal of an ultramarathon was easily attainable.

One of our other product testers came by to use the Theragun. She was complaining of sore muscles in the back of her legs after an intense yoga session. I had her use the Theragun on one of her legs. Afterwards, she stood up and bent over to touch her toes, issuing a “Holy cow!” over the limberness of the Theragunned leg versus the other.

A week later, another product tester, our mountaineer Grant, went on a trail run with me and used the Theragun for his recovery; using it on his legs and some other sore spots. He was immediately a fan, commenting about how he usually spends $150-$200 a month on massages to help him on his recovery, but the Theragun worked faster and better and was more cost-effective.

Needless to say, we are super bummed that our two-week trial of the Theragun has ended

Conclusion

Theragun G3PRO Percussive Therapy
Photo by Andrew Patra

The Theragun provides amazing muscle percussive therapy that any outdoor enthusiast or adventure athlete should welcome into their lives. Sure, it’s expensive, but if you run a cost-benefit analysis comparing it against chiropractor and massage therapist bills, it easily wins.

As we’re returning our media loan, we’re already talking about buying one for our active team to use. One of the benefits of Theragun is that they offer an installment plan to spread out the payments.

It’s an amazing piece of tech to have in your gear closet, and I don’t think you’ll regret buying one.

Maximize Your Ski Pass Next Season with These 10 Tips

Ski passes for the 2019/2020 season went on sale this month, many with early bird pricing, so check out our tips below to discover the perfect pass for you!

From local and international season passes to hotel perks and weather patterns, there’s a lot to consider when discovering your ideal ski season pass and what maximizing that looks like to you.

Do you see yourself shredding The Remarkables in New Zealand or sticking close to home? Are you a die-hard, year-round skier, or do you prefer switching out your skis for hiking boots come June? To aid you in your quest to make the most of your ski season and available passes, we’ve compiled a list of 10 tips to maximize your season in hopes of helping you choose what makes sense for you.

1. Buy a Season Pass

First of all, why is a season pass the way to go? Well, if you’re hoping to ski at least five days this season, a season pass could save valuable funds while offering additional benefits that don’t come with your daily lift tickets. However, each season pass varies from one mountain and/or organization to the next, so it’s important to weigh your options, dive into the fine print, and decide which perks adhere to you and your lifestyle. This is the essential first step to maximizing your season, given you’re hoping to shred five days or more.

2. Get Ahead of the Game

Whether it’s your home mountain or a multi-resort pass, do your research and check out early-bird sales to snag the best deals. Search up those 2019-2020 season pass steals now!

3. Purchase a Multi-Mountain Pass

The Ikon Pass, Epic Pass, and the Mountain Collective gets you to 17+ destinations around the world.

  • The Ikon Pass offers unlimited lift tickets to 14 destinations and up to 7 days at 23 destinations for a whopping total of 38 locations to ski your heart out this winter. As if that’s not enough, friends and family also get 25 percent off window rates for 10 days at all Ikon Pass destinations. This pass even gets you to Australia, Japan, Chile, and New Zealand! If you’d rather save a buck, check out the cheaper Ikon Base Pass; you still have unlimited access to all 38 destinations, but access is limited.
  • The Epic Pass gets you access to 68 resorts internationally with unlimited access to 15 resorts in the United States and Canada. Enjoy unlimited skiing at Vail, Breckenridge, Beaver Creek, Keystone, and Crested Butte in Colorado alone, as well as seven days at Telluride. The Epic Pass is well-known in Europe as well with limited days in France, Italy, Austria, and Switzerland; then hop to the other side of the world to ski Japan and Australia. As with Ikon, Epic offers a cheaper version called the Epic Local Pass for those hoping to stay in North America.
  • The Mountain Collective is for the worldwide traveler and the year-round rider. With 34 days at 17 destinations over the span of five continents (North America, New Zealand, Asia, Europe, Australia, South America), your season only ends when your pass expires, and then all it takes is a simple renewal to keep at it! Once you’re out of days, enjoy 50 percent off lift tickets at the included resorts for the remainder of the season, among other noteworthy perks.

4. Take Advantage of our Hemispheres  

Because these multi-resort passes often jump hemispheres, it’s possible to ski all year long. When summer starts melting the slopes at Aspen, venture down to Queenstown in New Zealand to ski the beginning of their glorious winter.

5. Cash in on those Lodging Perks

Some season passes offer lodging deals in addition to their more obvious perks. Epic and Ikon passes offer killer hotel discounts (they know you’re thinking on the international level). But even local season passes to resorts like Copper Mountain, Vail, Schweitzer, and Whistler/Blackcomb offer lodging steals as well. Some passes even offer rental, food, and gear discounts too! Long story short, read the fine print and take advantage of the perks you’re already paying for.

6. Staying Local?

Stick to the Rockies. The Rockies’ ski season (especially the Canadian Rockies) often begins in early November and extends into May. The Loveland Basin in Colorado is one of these winter phenomenons. Standing at a massive 13,010 feet tall, its season begins in October and often runs through May. If you’re a one mountain-range kind of shredder, you’ll get the longest shred season out of the Rockies.

7. Embrace Your Freedom

The cool thing about a season pass is its inherent freedom. If you’re blessed with a couple free hours on Tuesday or you accidentally sleep in until 11:00 a.m., wasting the price of a lift ticket on half (or less than half) a day is of no concern. The pass is already paid for, so get up there whenever you can for day skiing, night skiing, or lunch break skiing–even if it’s just for a few hours–and shred like it’s nobody’s business.

8. Summer Perks

If you’re an all-season enthusiast and simply love spending time in the great outdoors, take an extra second to mull over season passes with summer perks. The Epic Pass, for example, offers 20 percent off summer lodging. It also offers exclusive rates on Colorado’s Epic Discovery Pass, and discounts on food and beverages, bike rentals, and golf. And with a local season pass, you get access to lifts all summer long!

9. Give Your Board a Rest

I know, I know, why would you do such a thing? Well, for the families out there, some ski passes include or offer discounts on tubing –  an awesome family activity to get the most out of that ski pass.

10. Get a GEMS Card

Truly a hidden Colorado gem, the GEMS Card is a $25 card that gets you two-for-one lift tickets, two 30 percent off lift tickets, or one of each at each of the 11 Colorado Gems Resorts. These include Arapahoe Basin, Cooper, Echo Mountain, Eldora Mountain Resort, Granby Ranch, Hesperus, Kendall Mountain Ski Area, Loveland, Monarch Mountain, Powderhorn, and Sunlight.

What are you waiting for? Catch you on the slopes!

Founder’s Story

The Journey Began in the 1980’s

I grew up with two brothers in a small rural neighborhood in Missouri during the 1980’s. We were always outside climbing trees, running through the surrounding woods, or chasing makeshift boats that we sent careening down our small creek.

The outdoors became an integral part of our lives because if we where not being homeschooled we where outside exploring. On a typical day, once school was finished, we’d be outside. On the weekends, our group of three expanded as more boys from the neighborhood joined our explorations. We’d follow the creek, taking it deeper and deeper into the woods, past the boundary of our neighborhood, and into the realm of the unknown.

We had a wood burning stove, and to prepare for winter, we’d head to my grandparents’ farm after the first frost to cut trees for firewood. As our dad worked, my brothers and I would explore the surrounding 40 acres, motivated by the rumors of Jesse James’ hidden nearby cave and underground caverns.

My mother, after a day of us galavanting in the woods and arriving on her doorstep dirty and smelly, would say, tongue-in-cheek, that we reminded her of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn.

Adventure was endless.

The Problem

As I grew, and the child-like wonder of imagination faded, I began to pursue other outdoor activities: climbing, hiking, paddle sports, snowboarding, and mountain biking. These activities were typically done with friends from school, but after high school, those friends drifted away as my love for the outdoors continued to grow.

There is something undeniable about being outdoors with friends. When you’re out there alone, there’s so many shareable moments; countless times when you want to turn to someone you have a connection with and say, “Did you just see that?”

As I traveled to different states and countries, the challenge to find like-minded outdoor enthusiasts became even more evident. It was difficult finding someone that had the same interests and was at the same skill level. And safety during outdoor activities like rock-climbing or mountaineering is dependent on having partners you can trust.

As I voiced my difficulties, I found others shared the same challenges; some even were injured by bad rock-climbing buddies or had experienced deadly mountaineering expeditions. I ran into others who had a desire to participate in outdoor activities but didn’t know where to start. They couldn’t find anyone to participate with, lacked skills, found certain categories to be too expensive, or didn’t have transportation.

The Beginning

In January 2018, the idea that became Huck Adventures started to take shape. After all the conversations I’ve had with outdoor enthusiasts across the world, I started to organize my ideas into the wireframes of the app—how it would work and what features it would launch with.

By March, I had completed my research of the outdoor industry and interviewed outdoor enthusiasts to create the business plan. I started reaching out to the various athletes, writers, travelers, and dreamers I had met during my years in technology, advertising, and fashion; curating a team of passionate individuals that wanted to change the outdoor industry for the better.

Kalymnos Greece, October 2018 (1 month after moving to Boulder)

We chose Boulder, Colorado, as the home for our bootstrapped startup. Colorado would also serve as the prime market to test and launch the app. In September, I packed up my apartment in Kansas City and moved into a tiny 100-square-foot room in my brother’s basement as I scraped together enough funds to make Huck Adventures a reality.

The years of watching Full House wasn’t enough to prepare me for taking on the role of Uncle Jesse to three kids under seven. There’s nothing more challenging than talking to brand partners on the phone while your 18-month old nephew is sneaking down the stairs to check on Uncle Ben.

The Journey Has Just Begun

Twelve months into the journey and our team has grown to a bunch of Huckers that are just as passionate about the outdoors as me. We’re still a boot-strapped organization and proudly so. Bootstrapping this project has taught me some valuable lessons: 1) the best things in life are created without money and 2) sometimes you have to give up everything to get what you really want.

I’m writing this as we near our launch, and I’m excited for what’s to come. But the launch is only the beginning. I’m excited for where we’re headed and some of the new features we’ll be rolling out over the next several months.

I hope you come along on this journey with us.

Product Review: BN3TH vs. SAXX

BN3TH and SAXX Underwear
Photo by Andrew Patra.

Like most boys in the 80’s, I grew up wearing tighty-whities. It wasn’t until my later teen years that I realized that there was a bigger world out there when it came to supporting my dangly bits. This came to a head when, due to years of not having proper support, I had to have surgery on a pinched blood vessel on one of the boys. Something had to change.

During athletic activities—hiking, running, jumping, climbing, skiing, cycling—you need to have the proper support. Everything down below needs to be packed away tightly enough so it’s safe from twisting and too much bouncing. Underwear needs to be more than comfortable. It needs to be breathable, quick-drying, and chafe free.

As my own level of activity has increased, I’ve had a difficult time finding running shorts that fit all these criteria. Some brands I’ve found have lasted for a time—providing support and comfortability—but would then wear down leaving me chaffed after short runs and bleeding after longer ones.

Over the last two years, I’ve begun running in Prana Super Mojo Shorts and a pair of Adidas Climalite Boxer Briefs. This combination has worked, but over time, the Adidas Boxer Briefs have worn down, and I’ve run into similar chafing issues.

Needless to say, I was hunting for the perfect combination.

At Outdoor Retailer Snow Show, I had a chance to talk to two underwear companies: BN3TH (pronounced like the properly spelled word “beneath”) and SAXX. Both claimed that they were the best in the market due to the technology they had developed for their products. For BN3TH, it’s their “MyPakage Pouch” and for SAXX their “BallPark Pouch.” So why not put them head-to-head?

SAXX

SAXX Underwear
Photo by Andrew Patra. Modeled by Nathaniel Nash.

SAXX has been reinventing the underwear category since 2006. Their BallPark Pouch is a hammock-shaped pouch designed to keep your twig and berries in place while minimizing bounce during sport activities. The pouch keeps your equipment separate and safe like a baby kangaroo, preventing the skin-to-skin friction that usually leads to chafing.

The other thing that I liked about the product design was how they reversed the stiching. The flatter, softer side of the fabric is against the body. In the past with other brands, the stitching side would be against the skin, always leading to chaffing or bleeding during longer activities.

The fabric of SAXX’s Volt line is a mixture of polyester (88%) and elastane (12%). This helps fight clamminess and helps wick away moisture away from the skin.

BN3TH

BN3TH Underwear
Photo by Andrew Patra. Modeled by Nathaniel Nash.

BN3TH, formally MyPakage, recently rebranded in Feb 2018. They created the patented MyPakage Pouch Technology as an internal pouch designed to keep your Bilbo Baggins from rubbing against everything else. It keeps everything secure, providing support from every angle, to eliminate the need for shifting and adjusting.

Their design also includes the “Pucker Panel,” which removes the need for seams in your most sensitive areas, reducing the likelihood of chafing.

BN3TH claims that their underwear is so comfortable that it’ll feel like you aren’t wearing anything, like you’re “floating on a cloud.” While I felt like I was still wearing underwear, I did find their product to be very comfortable.

Part of their Working Out collection is the Entourage line. They are collaborations with BN3TH’s entourage—a collection of athletes and artists. The fabric of BN3TH’s Entourage line is a mixture of post-consumer recycled polyester (86%) and spandex (14%), reducing their impacts on the environment. The fabric also reduces the impact on your fish and chips by allowing for a high level of breathability and moisture-wicking. Their underwear also comes in a recyclable and reusable bag.

So… How did they stack up?

Over the past three weeks, our team has taken both products out skiing, snowboarding, hiking, trail-running, and to the crossfit gym. Don’t worry, though, we didn’t share.

And there was no clear winner.

Some team members preferred the look, style, and fit of one brand while others preferred the others.

When it came to the MyPakage Pouch and the BallPark Pouch, it varied as well. Users commented about how their bacon and eggs felt more support in the BN3TH product; feeling like there was a more lift and separation during high-impact activities. Yet, during those same activities, other users preferred SAXX, saying that their crotch luggage felt more secure.

From an aesthetics standpoint, I personally prefer BN3TH’s MyPakage Pouch. However, since wearing both of these brands, I haven’t had any chaffing issues. My Tom and Jerrys are happy, and that’s enough for me.

Both companies make great products. If you’re in the market to upgrade your performance underwear, we’d highly suggest looking at both brands. Just like our team, you’ll have your own opinion, because when it comes to the land down under, everyone is different.

Buy now: BN3TH

Buy now: SAXX