Monday, April 3, 2017

A few honest product reviews (non sponsored)

In this post, I wanted to share a few of my favorite things, and rant about a few products that have let me down.

Favorite Things

Powerbar Energy Gels and Energy blast chews

I like these gels because they are not super thick, and the flavors are pretty simple.  I prefer the fruit flavored ones to coffee/candy flavored gels.  These also seem to not cause too much GI distress.
The energy chews are kind of big but they are soft and dissolve pretty quickly.

It seems that these items are getting harder to find.  I used to be able to pick up gels at the grocery store, but now I have to go to Big 5 to purchase them.  The last time I went to Big 5 the protein cookies are now the new thing and there are not as many options for running fuel.

GU Electrolyte Capsules

We are heading into the hot weather season, and I break a sweat fairly quickly.  I will take a capsule right before I head out on a hot day.  If running long (12 miles and up) I will take another salt capsule about half way through.   These tablets help replenish all of the salt I lose during a run.

Slacker Radio
I run with music most of the time and I also carry my cell phone.  For a long time I was using the free Slacker music app, but about 2-3 years ago I bit the bullet and I pay $9 a month for their subscription service.  And I love it!!  I can create playlists, and there is a huge music selection.  They also create custom stations depending on your music tastes. I feel that their service is more reliable than Pandora or Spotify

A &D Ointment
I don't buy Bodyglide because it is a rip-off.  Instead, I use this $4 tube of ointment to protect against chaffing.  It's a little greasy at first, but it keeps chaffing at bay and it doesn't irritate my skin.

Buff Scarf

My son participated in his school's annual fun run to raise money for new electronics.  One of his fundraising prizes was this buff scarf.  He lost interest in wearing it (sorry kid), and I started wearing it as a neck warmer during the winter months, and recently it has been so windy that my regular running cap is being blown off of my head.

This scarf can be worn as a headband, baklava scarf, neckwarmer, etc.  An even bigger plus is that it keeps my wireless headphones is my ears!!

Waist packs
I have two that I am currently using.  For the last 18 months, I have been wearing this small Ultimate Direction.  I run with a phone about 95% of the time.  This belt is big enough to hold a phone and a gel or two.  It's also waterproof
My favorite feature is that it has a small inner pocket for money, and it has a hook so you can loop your keys.
It also has an emergency hair tie.  I really like this pack for long runs, because it is very easy to open and close while running.

My only complaint is that I have to cinch the belt tight or it will bounce when I run tempo pace.

I received this waist pack last year from the SLS3 company.
And this was an okay waist pack. But, within a year I have already had to call it quits.  The elastic strap wasn't very durable, and I'm worried that the belt will break during one of my long runs.  I did like the waterproof pockets and the fact that there were two separate storage pouches.   The zippers were easy to open, but it would be nearly impossible to be able to shove my phone back into the pockets while I was in motion.  That is a deal breaker for me.

I purchased this Nathan waist belt last month.

It is very similar to the flip belt. I really like this waist belt. It's stretchy and it stays in place. I can run tempo pace, and it doesn't budge. I was worried that my phone would fall out, but so far we have been okay. I like the fact that I can use the entire length of the belt to store items, and there are four separate pockets. The downsides to this belt are that there are no zippers to secure money, and it is not sweat/waterproof.  I will put my phone inside of a ziplock bag before I take off so that I don't kill my phone.  

Wireless Headphones by Yurbuds
I have a love/hate relationship with this product.
When I first bought this product I really loved them.  It was nice not having to untangle my headphones each time I went for a run.  The sound quality is really great too.   I was having fit problems where the phones were slipping out of my ears occasionally.  I switched the size of the little blue ear covers, and it did the trick and I had about six months of great running with them.  

Recently the earphones have been slipping out of my ears, and I hate having to constantly readjust them especially when running tempo pace.  This pair cost me about $70 (these were on sale and normally cost $100).  For that price I want these earphones to fit perfectly.

My other complaint is that the buttons for volume and the on/off switch are super tiny and I'm ham-handed.

Thanks for reading.


  1. I need to do a post like this again! I'm also a fan of the Power gels - their consistency is so much easier to take than, say, a thick Cliff gel. I still use Body Glide because I'm lazy, and it's super easy, but I've subbed vaseline or aquaphor. I forgot to pack Body Glide before a marathon once, but the aquaphor I use on my lips did the trick!

  2. For the Yurbuds, you can get replacement buds. I think the sweat does something to the plastic but you should be able to find someone selling spare buds on eBay.