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Archive for the ‘Clothing’ Category

This Top Ten List of mine is half wish list, half currently owned but 100 percent awesome-ness. Out of all the cool stuff we have in our store at Good Sports Outfitters, I have managed to narrow it down to only ten items. That is a feat.

 Ben’s Top Ten List.

1. Helinox Big Agnes Chair

This collapsible chair is a very lightweight, and very easy to set up. It is a bucket seat camping chair that will sink you into “comfort zone”. I have a blog that I wrote about this chair already so I will not bore you. If you want more on the Helinox, go here.  I simply love this chair.

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2. Arc’teryx Alpha SV Jacket

Not only does it look good, the Alpha SV Jacket is THE highest in performance gear. It is like buying a Yeti. A large cost upfront, but a product that will outlast the competition and out perform.

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3. Nixon Big Player Black

First Impressions: This watch isn’t my style. I don’t really like watches that don’t have exact times on them. They are too modern. They are too artsy. They just aren’t practical. Once I put this watch on my wrist, all of those first impressions went through the window, to the wall and I can’t stop thinking about this watch. All of Nixon’s watches are landing more in time pieces and less watch functional practicality. These watches are the pieces you wear to look good in and it is easy to do so in the Big Player.

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4. Eagle Nest Outfitters Hammocks Sunshine

I have two ENO Hammocks. One in the car for… well, who knows what, and the second in the backyard for everyday usage. I typically use it most when I take the dogs outside. They run and bring me the stick/ball/toys as I lay relaxing occasionally throwing for their entertainment.  There is absolutely no reason for me to have another Hammock other that the fact that I don’t have the Sunshine color. It’s my favorite new color that we have gotten in the store. Couldn’t hurt to have another one of my favorite things right?

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5. La Sportiva Helios

The Helios is my current trail shoe. I have read and received plenty of great reviews form Ultra marathoners and other hardcore runners that come through the store about how the Helios is their favorite trail running shoe. I am a pretty low mileage runner (10- 20 miles per week). All I know is that I have found a trail shoe that is very responsive to the loose gravel and rocks here in south/central Texas hills. My low mileage may not have as much pull as an ultra runner, but I do know I am very happy with this shoe and would recommend it to any of my friends.

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6. Burton Beercuda

So I play disc golf. It is somewhat mandatory to bring a beverage to play. Really that goes for any golfing sport. The Beercuda is a bandolier cooler for beers/sodas/sparkling water/whateverbeverageyouwishtokeepcold. Some of the staff already has the beercuda and they use them for the slopes in winter. I am taking their advice and stocking up on one or two. Only 20 bucks too!

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7. Black Diamond Magnetron

So I’m honestly also not an avid climber. I DO boulder and climb when I get the chance but it isn’t exactly my THING. I simply enjoy it, I’m not all geared out with harnesses and rope bags. What I do like is the high quality outdoor equipment Black Diamond creates.  Their latest little toy is a carabiner with magnets to create easy one handed use of a two-point locking carabiner.  A video that will demonstrate the awesome-ness is here.

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8. Swany Legend Mitt

I didn’t know how awesome this glove is until recently. I was just opening pockets looking through the gloves we have and then realized the hand-warmer pocket is actually meant for your hand to slip through.. Woah. Wait. Now I can get access to the little things while still wearing my large cozy mittens. Sweet! I am also a mitten snowboarder. You won’t catch me wearing gloves. I just don’t think they are warm (plus they are more snowboarder that regular gloves).

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9. GoPro Hero 3 Black

I have previously had the Hero 2 (until the mountain ate it. Pro Tip: Don’t trust sticky mounts in very cold weather) and I currently have the Hero 3. The biggest upgrade from the Hero 2 to the Hero 3 is Wi-fi capabilities. I use this camera as a part of documenting all the fun I have, where ever that may be. In the mountains, the beach, the lake, playin’ with the dogs. Anywhere. I take this camera with me and I don’t have to worry about most issues that come along with a regular point-and-shoot. The waterproof housing allows me to be carefree in any situation. I don’t have to show people the fun things I do, I simply show them.

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10. Benchmade AFO 9051BLK

This Knife is sick. Simply said. I use my pocket knife as a tool everyday and this Benchmade is the highest quality of American made knives. Easy one handed operation. The AFO II is an sweet knife. I have always been a serrated blade kind of person, but I am beginning to lean towards straight blade because it is much easier to sharpen it yourself.  Benchmade has always been on my wish list and hopefully Santa will make his way form the Benchmade factory and grab one for me this year. The AFO II is my favorite from Benchmade because well designed mechanics. They stand behind their product. You can send it in any time and they will restore it to factory sharp, as long as you pay the shipping. I respect a company that is publicly proud and prideful of their work.

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CEP-Compression-logo hpssCEP-Compression-logo

CEP is a compression sock brand built from a medical company, Medi, with a purpose driven to give athletes an effective edge. CEP Compression socks give athletes more energy, faster recovery times, along with joint and muscle stabilization.  Coming from a medical based company, they obviously have better knowledge of how the body’s blood flows and how to use that to an athlete’s advantage. CEP Compression has transferred  their knowledge into a garment that actually helps you with recovery time and gain more energy.

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The science behind CEP compression socks is simple. When the sock applies pressure to your foot/leg, it prevents blood from pooling in your lower legs. The socks utilize graduated pressure. Graduated pressure in their socks are tighter in the ankle and slightly looser in the calf, so the pressure lessens as it gets closer to the heart. The increased blood flow that the sock creates helps to reduce muscle swelling, remove lactic acid, and reduce muscle fatigue. These sock are also very dependent on sizing. When Purchasing any compression garment you need to be properly sized. You can size yourself at home, if you wish, with a measuring tape. Do so according to this chart below. The right size for you is dependent on the widest part of your calf.

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In addition to increasing blood flow, the socks are a proprioceptive sock. 99% of the running world doesn’t know what proprioception means and likely hasn’t even heard of the word before. Don’t be so hard on yourself. You haven’t heard of the word before either. I definitely didn’t.  In a product clinic that Good Sports had, CEP educated us on what this term means and how CEP socks help increase awareness of this “missing” sense. We all have five senses as you should know already, but there is the other less known “missing” sense. Proprioception is defined by on-line dictionary as “the unconscious perception of movement and spatial orientation arising from stimuli within the body itself.”  Basically this means that we understand our spatial orientation from the muscles, joints, and specifically ear drums from inside our body. CEP compression socks will increase proprioceptive awareness.

Long story short, they help you balance yourself with compression.

Compression socks will also help with your recovery time. So you just ran an ultra marathon. Finished after a 100 mile race of your life. Wear some compression to relieve you very achy body. They will reduce recovery time. And honestly, if you had a rough day on the slopes or an intense game of kickball at Olmos Basin last night, it would behoove you to wear some CEP Compression socks. When you wear a compression sock, your recovery time will be significantly reduced. Compressing the blood from lower extremities upwards will significantly increase your recovery time. You can also use a Compression sock during recovery but WHILE IN THE RECOVERY STAGE DO NOT USE THE CALF OR ARM SLEEVES. They will compress and not let blood to your extremities correctly. The full sock will. The sleeve won’t. For recovery specifically: Sock good. Sleeve bad.

Thank you for your trust in Good Sports Outfitters. We truly appreciate your loyal business over the past thirty years.

Good Sports Outfitters your adventures begin here….

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Kühl has been around for three decades as of this year. Before  Kühl was Kühl, they were Alfwear. Alfwear first known for the Alf Hat (seen below), which Good Sports actually used to carry, was founded by Alf Engfeld . If you are a veteran of the Outdoor Industry, you will recognize this hat.

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The Alf hat was a Peruvian designed hat that became very popular in mountain culture in the Mid-80’s.  The Alf hat was the bedrock which founded Kühl. “Born in the mountains” is Kühl’s mantra and all of their line is built around that motto. Kühl began with three mountaineers and one climber. They went separate directions after the tragic loss of Alf Engwall, but the remaining three kept living the brand’s motto by bringing our mountain culture quality practical products. Kühl is now best known for their pants. The pant is built on a last instead of being cut on a flat 2D surface. There are pleats in the knees that give you an amazing range of motion and comfortable fit. Because they fit so well with an amazing range of motion, you can even use them for climbing.

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Along with a great range of motion, the construction of Kühl fabrics make each pant perfect for a variety of conditions. Here are my favorites from Kühl.

The Liberator Pant

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I personally use the convertible Liberator pants as my fly fishing pants and daily work pants. They dry very quickly with 77% nylon and 23% cotton. I love the feel of these pants when walking around. The Texas August heat has dictated which fabrics I will be avoiding for the day. It will not rid me of my Liberator pant! Maaaybe just the removable pant legs, but definitely not the entire pant! The fabric on the Liberator is the lightest and most breathable. As a south Texan this is my favorite pant for practical reasons. Plus! I love being able to change from pants to shorts. I ride my bike to work frequently and it might be chilly in the morning and quite hot for the afternoon. The Liberator is a lightweight pant ideal for backpacking, packing light, and remaining versatile for temperatures’  highs and lows. Lastly, most convertible pants are loudly yelling, “LOOK HERE! I AM A CONVERTIBLE PANT! I’M OUTDOORSEY!” The Liberator is a stealthy convertible pant that remains humble and practical.

The Rydr Pant

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The Ryder pant is the more comfortable version of a thick fabric “Carhartt or Dickies type” work pant. The dense khaki fabric can be your daily work pant that won’t give you plumber’s butt. The fit that Kühl keeps in all their pant’s will help you with this problem which only others have the pleasure of seeing. Keep their eyes safe. Please. somethings in life you cannot un-see.  The Kühl Rydr pant has pleats in the knees, and a slightly higher waist like most Kühl pants, but even more importantly the fabric is 98% cotton and 2% spandex. So when you squat to get underneath your sink, car, or even to tee up at the golf course you won’t be lighting up places where the public sun shouldn’t shine.

The Outkast Pant

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The Outkast pant is a casual pant that will fit well into you closet with everything else mountain man that you wear. It is designed for a mountain man thigh with enough room for your athletic legs remain comfortable and not constricted when you’re living your active life. This pant is a 101 intro to Kühl designed pants. This will be your first Kühl love.

The Vala Pant

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The Women’s Vala pant is similar in fabric to the men’s Liberator but even softer to the touch. It is a Tufflex™4-way stretch DWR (Durable Water Resistant) fabric that beads water up like it does with Rain-X in order to keep you dry and comfortable. The Tufflex™ fabric is also wrinkle resistant. So if you’re always throwing things in the dryer to keep the wrinkles out, try the Vala pant to save yourself some extra effort.

The Wunderer Shirt

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The Wunderer shirt is very popular for Good Sports. It flies off of the rack because it is such a comfortable shirt. It is 100% nylon and quickly grabs moisture from the body to the shirt to your surrounding atmosphere. The first thing I noticed when tried this shirt on was well placed pockets. I am a novice photographer and having extra pocket to keep Wireless remotes, lens filters and lens cloths is essential. I’m sure you can find use for the pockets as a non-photographer. This shirt is also available in a women’s fit right here. I like the white better than the carbon, personally.

Overall, Kühl is certainly a very “Kühl” brand literally and figuratively. We are more than happy to answer your questions and fit you properly into the right apparel and footwear for your next adventure.

Good Sports Where your adventure begins…

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So! Tax free weekend is coming the 9th-11th of August. As you already know this means avoid every mall at all costs. Targets and Wal-Marts are certainly going to be the busiest. Plan your trips to the store accordingly. Unless of course you enjoy standing in lines and generally speaking dense of humanity. Retailers in the state of Texas are anticipating a Back-to-school slam dunk. Tax free isn’t an all inclusive tax free everything though.

The tax free items that you can buy are within these requirements. A very detailed explanation here. Below is the low-down.

  • Clothing and footwear under $100
  • School supplies under $100
  • Backpacks under $100 for elementary and secondary students
  • Includes layaway items

Here at Good Sports we are expecting some more traffic, but it is dubious that downtown Tokyo sized crowds will make their way here. I would think of the weekend as more like “end of summer” weekend, because the specifications are not limited to only back-to-school items. I took a look around the store to locate some back-to-school specific items that you would like to grab for the kids on their first day back-to-school. I have also made a list of items that will be tax-free. This list is not comprehensive. Just here to help you see what’s on sale. (Mind you, this is only for in-store purchases. Sadly online online purchases are not allowed to be tax-free)

The Patagonia Violeta Backpack

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The North Face Recon

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The North Face Sprout

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The North Face Mini Free Fall

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Kühl Pants and Shirts

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Altra Instinct 1.5

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Prana Embroidered belt

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ExOfficcio   Insect Shield Shirt

Exofficio Shirt

All of these item above are with in your tax-free range. I hope that you have a crowd free weekend if you choose to participate in the tax-free weekend, and if you do make sure to come check out what we have. Good Sports always aims to carry items, styles and choices that are not on your run-of-the-mill. If you want something different, come to Good Sports to start your search. We love helping you find the right fit for your next adventure (or school year…. which might be an adventure).

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The Market Place

There are multitudes of proprietary waterproof-breathable fabrics on the market. If you know anything about waterproof breathable fabrics, you must have heard of Gore-Tex®. Once you have worn a high quality breathable waterproof garment, you understand that having a breathable waterproof fabric can make a world of a difference. Gore-tex is the standard for a very high quality W-B (Waterproof-Breathable: I’m going to use the W-B acronym for my own sake) fabric mostly because they started the idea of a Waterproof-Breathable Fabric in 1966. They are the go-to because their launch of the first Waterproof-Breathable raincoat hit the shelves in 1977 as a major success (many who tread lightly would likely still have that same jacket). While Gore-Tex® is the benchmark for W-B fabrics, it is certainly not the only. Patagonia uses their own H2NO® in their raincoats, rain pants, and ski gear which is a spray on “laminate/membrane.” Marmot’s version is Precip®. The North Face’s has their Hy-vent® which is used in a lot of their price-point W-B apparel lines.

I will go into detail how spray-on membranes/laminates are constructed at the end of the next section.

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Photo courtesy Gore-Tex®

Breath-ability  – Understanding The Science

For things to breathe you need to be in a climate temperatures inside and outside of your jacket/pant. “Wait” you say. “I am wearing this technical Waterproof-Breathable jacket/pant, which means I will not get sweaty and will always stay dry because this jacket is like an A/C Unit right?” Not so much. Not AT ALL.

Let’s say the outside and inside of your jacket is 90˚F with 80% humidity. It is then scientifically impossible for a piece of fabric to fix both climates, inside and out. AKA will not breathe!!

If you find one that does PLEASE let me know, I’d love to wear it and see this miracle fabric you have found.

But, when you are out on the slopes and it is 10˚F with 20% humidity outside, and inside your jacket is 90˚F with 80% humidity (because you are crushing some fresh POW-POW lines) your W-B jacket breathes very well.

On the other hand, imagine crushing the same slopes while wearing a trash bag. You are still water proof, but you’re Niagara Falls on the inside. You will wish you had come to Good Sports before you hit the slopes.

Bottom-line: When the climate inside your jacket/pant is greatly contrasting the outside climate, you will be able to feel moisture management at its best. Also, waterproof is waterproof. So if you are in a trash bag, you will be waterproof. With Gore-Tex you are also waterproof, but now you are comfortable.   Comfort is driven by the breathability.

Another good way to look at GTX (Gore-Tex) membrane is thinking of it as a bird’s nest. A bird’s nest structured membrane that has billions of tiny holes per square inch. The fact is that each hole is 20,000 times smaller than a water droplet, yet 700 times larger than a water vapor molecule.

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Photo courtesy Gore-Tex®

Gore-Tex Performance membrane is the standard which everything has been built on, but there are also variances of breath-ability within Gore-Tex fabrics. It gets pretty heady getting into details. Which fabric is which? Which one do I need to wear? That purely depends on what you want to do; Where and how you are getting there. If you need a direct answer, contact us at Good Sports. Happy to help with your specific adventure inquiries.

  • Performance Shell – Original GTX fabric breathable, mid-weight, with great durability
  • Pro Shell-  Breathable, light weight, with superb durability
  • Pac-Lite-  Most breathable, lightest weight, with good durability
  • Active Shell- More breathable, Light weight, with good durability AND stretch!

Now! to spray on liners. Spray on Waterproof-Breathable liners are interesting. It is a Polyurethane (PU) material that is sprayed onto the fabric. Then using a factory sized squeegee, spread out on top of a large sheet of fabrics. It is then heated, baked onto the fabric. This is most frequently seen when companies keep the price range feasible. They are significantly less durable than Gore-Tex, yet still breathable and waterproof. For example, the Patagonia Torrent shell rain coat and The North Face Venture shell are a proprietary liner. These breathable rain coats are truly great intros to a rain coat. A huge step up from a plastic poncho. No doubt. It all depends on how much you want to shell out.

Durability

As I mentioned before Pro-shell is the most durable and lightweight waterproof fabric that Gore-Tex has created. It is a pretty simple equation. The more durable the jacket plus the higher breathability, equals a higher price for the product. With these two components, they directly correlate with the price of the garment.

  • Durability + Price = Degree of breathability

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There is very rigorous testing done on everything “Gore”. Coming from a scientifically born company, the company is filled with scientific personalities  diligently curious about the cutting edge. They do it very thoroughly. The bottom line that you need to know is that Gore-Tex is the highest quality of W-B fabrics on the market. You will be paying for that. When you are buying a comparable product and paying less you are simply losing durability and breathability.

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We’ve just received a huge shipment of The North Face in the store and we’re rolling it all out onto the floor!  This means that we’re restocking on all your old favorites like the Base Camp Duffel, but we’re also bringing in some fresh new pieces like some of their new base layers.

You’ll also find a whole new selection for the upcoming cold (keep your fingers crossed!) weather.  We’re starting to see things like the Harper Triclimate, a men’s 3-in-1 that offers a 600 fill down insulation layer underneath a seam sealed waterproof outer layer.

Now is the time to come shop, while the were stocked on sizes and selection.  Check out our website or stop in the store today to see what else we’re getting in!

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