Author: Donald Buraglio

Donald is a physical therapist, ultrarunner, barefoot aficionado, and father of three with more than 20 years of experience in endurance sports. When he's not training for ultramarathons, he enjoys hiking or slacklining with his family in Monterey County, CA.

The Brooks PureGrit series is designed to help you feel the trail beneath your feet, without compromising your ability to run hard and fast. The PureGrit 5 delivers fairly well on both of these counts. Brooks PureGrit 5 Features: Weight: 9.9 oz Midsole drop: 4mm BioMoGo DNA midsole Omega flex grooves for forefoot flexibility Rounded heel for improved heel to toe motion Ballistic rock shield impact plate 3D hex lug outsole Two color options MSRP $120 A versatile, high-mileage trainer The PureGrit series represents Brooks’s ongoing endeavor to combine the benefits of rugged, protective trail runners with the smooth-flowing dynamics…

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Altra makes a good model even better with the Lone Peak 3.0. Get ready to see a lot of these at your next ultramarathon. Altra Lone Peak 3.0 Features Weight: 9.7 oz. /275 g Stack Height: 25mm Zero drop platform FootShape toe box Midsole: EVA with A-Bound top layer Outsole: MaxTrac Sticky Rubber with TrailClaw grip Insole: 5mm contour footbed Upper: Quick-dry air mesh Sandwiched StoneGuard rock protection GaiterTrap attachment at heels Four color options MSRP $120 28 Hours Straight in the Lone Peak 3.0’s Altra has been steadily making their presence felt in the world of ultrarunning; it’s truly…

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Curl up with a llama tonight.  The Cotopaxi Kusa blanket combines eco-friendly llama fleece with modern fabrics to create a comfortable companion for a wide range of outdoor activity. Cotopaxi Kusa Blanket Features: Weight: 14.7 oz (416g) Dimensions: 52” x 70” (132cm x 178cm) open, 5” x 9.5” (11cm x 24cm) in stuff sack Outer shell: 20D ripstop nylon with DWR finish Insulation: 50% llama fiber, 50% polyester Corner hang loop Includes stuff sack Two color options MSRP $90 Llama fleece… yes, please. There’s been a sea change in the outdoor apparel industry in recent years towards natural fibers, which have inherent…

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Low profile and built for speed, the new Brooks Mazama trail runners are packed with the latest technology to rock your local trails or go bigger — much bigger. Brooks Mazama Features: Upper: double-layer mesh with multidirectional overlays Midsole: BioMoGo DNA cushioning Decoupled midfoot Forefoot propulsion plate Sticky rubber outsole with directional lugs 6mm drop (23mm heel / 17mm forefoot) Weight: 9.3 oz Color options: yellow from Brooks website, blue from REI.com MSRP $140 Hitting 150 miles in the Mazama’s The Brooks Mazama hits the fall 2016 shoe market as a breath of fresh air: it’s not an update or modification…

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The important changes always come from within. Patagonia introduces an impressive “change for good” with their updated Nano Puff Pullover — and the entire revised Nano Puff line. Patagonia Nano Puff Pullover Features Shell and lining fabric: 1.4-oz 22-denier lightweight ripstop 100% recycled polyester with DWR (durable water repellent) finish. Insulation: 60g PrimaLoft Gold Insulation Eco 100% polyester (55% post-consumer recycled content). Fabric is bluesign approved Brick quilting pattern with horizontal quilt lines on side panels Deep center-front zipper with wicking interior storm flap and zipper garage at chin Left-chest pocket doubles as stuff sack with a reinforced carabiner clip-in…

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It’s smart to stick with what works. Altra’s Superior 2.0 is a longstanding customer favorite that further proved its worth in the Sierra Nevada Mountains this summer. Altra Superior 2.0 Features: Stack Height: 21mm Heel-toe drop: 0mm Insole: 5 mm Contour Footbed with Removable StoneGuard™ Rock Protection Upper: Quick-Dry Air Mesh Natural Foot Positioning platform FootShape Toe Box Midsole: EVA/A-Bound blend with InnerFlex TrailClaw Sticky Rubber Outsole GaiterTrap Velcro at heels Three color options Weight: 8.7 oz/247 g MSRP $110 Superior 2.0’s vs. Castle Peak 100K It’s unusual that we review a shoe that’s been on the market for more…

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Mud, obstacles, rocks, water hazards, scrambles … or good old-fashioned trail running. Merrell’s All-Out Crush is built to thrive on all of them. Merrell All Out Crush Features Stack heights: 24mm heel, 18mm forefoot 6mm heel-toe drop Breathable mesh upper with TPU overlays Traditional lace closure Protective toe cap Reflective details Integrated EVA footbed TrailProtect flexible rock plate M-Select grip outsole with 5mm lugs Vegan construction 5 color options Weight: 7 oz. (each) MSRP $110 Built for good, old-fashioned butt-kicking races As obstacle course racing (OCR) has grown in prominence, a subcategory of gear intended for that specific type of event…

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Home-body or traveler, adventurer or weekend warrior, newbie or musclehead — monkii bars 2 give you the freedom to work out anywhere. monkii bars 2 Features: Weight: Adventure kit: 25 oz / Ultralight kit: 15 oz Length of bars: 7.3” Grip diameter: 1.27” Bars: aerospace-grade aluminum with durable powdercoat Straps: ultra-strong nylon webbing Weight limit: 250 lbs Designed in Boulder CO and Made in the USA Six color options Kickstarter pricing: Adventure kit: $169 (40% off) / Ultralight kit: $119 (30% off) Last year we tested the original monkii bars, an ultralightweight bodyweight training system that made it easy and convenient to set…

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Storage is great, but organizing all that stuff you carry is just as important.  The Cotopaxi Inca 26L is a smart and durable pack that makes it easy to have a place for everything. Cotopaxi Inca 26L Backpack Features: Material construction: 210d nylon ripstop shell fabric Padded breathable back panel and shoulder straps Adjustable chest, waist and shoulder straps Internal hydration sleeve with hang loop (reservoir not included) Horizontal zippered top pocket with key clip Two zippered side pockets Two side water bottle pockets Large zippered cell phone pocket on shoulder strap Contrast color zippers on main compartment Stowable ice…

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Training day, race day … and all the trail miles in between.  The New Balance Vazee Summit is built to handle them all. New Balance Vazee Summit Features: Weight: 9.3 oz (265 g) Stack heights: 27mm heel, 17mm forefoot Heel-to-toe drop: 10 mm 3/4 Rockstop plate Breathable no-sew mesh upper Hydrohesion rubber outsole Toe protect abrasion resistance Two color options MSRP $100 The Vazee Summit can handle all trails Vazee is New Balance’s collection of lightweight, moderately cushioned trainers that are built for speed, which debuted in road models in 2015.  The Vazee Summit was originally billed as a successor to…

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Ibex introduces two new shirts for the outdoors: one for exercising hard, and one for just about anything else. Built with typical Ibex quality and, of course, Merino wool, these shirts have been on some great adventures. Trip Shirt Features: Regular fit Fabric: 100% wool, 19.5 micron Rambler fabric Fabric gram weight: 170 g/m2 Garment weight: 8 oz 5 1/2″ chest pocket with bar tack detail Seaming detail at yoke Center back length: 31″ (size L) Four color options MSRP $145 Ringer Shirt Features: Regular fit Fabric: 100% merino wool, 18.5 micron fabric Fabric gram weight: 150 g/m2 Garment weight:…

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The latest iteration of Altra’s flagship zero-drop lightweight road trainers feature a new foam compound in the midsole, a more flexible upper, and a new offset lacing system to move with the foot.  The company’s trademark anatomic last and lightweight flexible construction remain the same. Altra Instinct/Intuition 3.5 Features: Heel height: 24mm Forefoot height: 24mm Heel to toe drop: 0mm Moderate cushioning FootShape Toe Box Dual Layer EVA midsole with A-Bound Top Layer and InnerFlex Technology Outsole: FootPod Technology 5 mm contour footbed insole Upper: Quick-Dry Air Mesh Four color options Weight: 8.1 oz (Men’s Instinct) / 6.5 oz (Women’s…

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Active-use insulation is a tough balancing act.  Too breathable means too cold at rest, but too insulating means too hot during activity.  Arc’teryx strikes very close to the breathable / insulating bullseye with the Atom LT Hoody. Arc’teryx Atom LT Hoody Features: Front/back panels are 100% nylon Tyono 20 denier shell with DWR treatment Side panels are 88% polyester, 12% elastane Polartec Power Stretch 100% polyester Coreloft 60 g/m² insulation Trim fit Articulated elbows Gusseted underarms Insulated, helmet-compatible hood Stretch-knit sleeve cuffs Drop back hem Internal chest zip pocket Dual hand pockets with exterior lining Weight: 360g / 12.7oz MSRP…

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Sweater?  Jacket?  Outer layer?  Mid layer?  Yes to all of these, and yes to pretty much any activity you’ve got up your sleeve — so long as the Outdoor Research Transcendent Sweater is along for the ride. OR Transcendent Sweater Features: Weight: 13 oz (men’s size L) Shell: 100% polyester 20D ripstop shell Lining: 100% nylon, 44D embossed taffeta lining Insulation: 650 fill power goose down Water resistant finish Brushed tricot-lined collar Internal front stormflap Zippered Napoleon pocket Two zippered hand pockets with brushed tricot lining Two interior elastic storage areas Right-hand pocket doubles as stuff sack Stretch binding at cuffs…

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Most ultrarunners have a gear hierarchy that goes like this: there’s “Regular Gear,” then “Go-To Gear” … and then there’s “100-Mile Gear.” As the name implies, 100-mile gear is the stuff that will carry you through 100 miles on the trail; through a full day and night, in a variety of often extreme conditions.  The tricky part is, sometimes your favorite gear lets you down in one way or another when you finally get to race day – so you never really know if your go-to gear is actually 100-mile gear until you put it to the test. I had…

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How do you improve on the already impressive benefits of wool fabrics?  If you’re Patagonia, you make it lighter, softer and more stylish, without compromising any performance capacity. Patagonia Merino Air Crew Features: Fabric construction: 5.6-oz (190-g) 51% merino wool/49% Capilene recycled polyester Seamless 3D construction Zigzag knit pattern 9 micron-gauge yarn; lofted wool insulation Weight: 196 g (6.9 oz) Three color options MSRP $129 Patagonia Merino Air Crew Review Wool has experienced a Renaissance of sorts in the athletic apparel industry over the past couple of years.  No longer the scratchy fabric of your father’s old Army blanket, wool…

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Simplicity of design is nice – but a simple design that’s also highly functional is wonderful.  The Gregory Miwok 24 offers a wonderful option for exploring the outdoors. Gregory Miwok 24 Features: Total volume: 24 L Weight: 1 lb, 9 oz Torso size: : 41-56 cm / 16-22” Intended pack weight: up to 25 lbs BioSync Suspension technology Large zippered main compartment Two internal mesh organizer pockets Zippered accessory pocket with internal security zip pocket Expandable helmet-compatible stretch front pocket with tuck-away bungee closure Dual external side pockets Dual quick-access hipbelt pockets Hydration sleeve with external access Accommodates 2L reservoir…

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Light weight and durability aren’t mutually exclusive shoe features, as La Sportiva proved with the Helios mountain runner.  The updated SR further reinforces the point, improving comfort, protection and stability without compromising weight. La Sportiva Helios SR features Weight:  1 oz (230 g) Last:Tempo 2 Upper: HyDrain mesh/ wicking EVA airmesh Conventional lace system with TPU harnesses Midsole: morphodynamic injection molded EVA with endurance platform EVA insert Forefoot rock guard 2mm heel-toe drop Frixion AT Wave outsole rubber MSRP $125 La Sportiva Helios SR Review La Sportiva first introduced the Helios at the tail end of the minimalist wave, and it was designed as a thoughtful…

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You want your shelter to be lightweight, but not too cramped.  Convenient, but not too complicated.  NEMO’s Hornet 2P targets those two sweet spots for those looking to travel fast and light on the trail. NEMO Equipment Hornet 2P Features: Capacity: 2P Total weight: 2 lbs 5 oz Floor dimensions: 85” long x 51” wide (at head) and 43” wide (at foot) Interior floor area: 28 sq ft Vestibule area: 16 sq ft Max interior height: 40” Packed size: 19” x 5” cylindrical Vestibule fabric: 7D nylon ripstop Fly fabric 7D nylon ripstop Canopy fabric 20D nylon ripstop / No…

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When you name your pack after a legendary ultrarunner, it had better be a strong one.  And when that same legendary ultrarunner is the guy designing it, your chances of success are pretty good. Ultimate Direction PB Adventure Vest 2.0 Features: Overall cargo capacity: 11L (671 cubic inches) Fluid capacity: 2 x 20 oz bottles; accommodates 70 oz reservoir sold separately Weight: 16 oz (454g) without bottles; 21.5 oz (610g) with bottles Height: 16 in. (41cm) Width: 9 in. (23 cm) Depth: 4.5 in. (11 cm) Two GPS/phone pockets Four gel or bar pouches Two electrolyte or pill pockets Bellows…

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