Tasc Performance Apparel Review

When I stopped at the Tasc Performance booth at Outdoor Retailer, I knew I had stumbled onto a pretty special and unique brand.

Tasc Performance clothes are made from a bamboo fiber blend, which is great for any type of activity due to its moisture-wicking, anti-odor, and wrinkle-resistant properties.

At Outdoor Retailer, it was immediately noticeable how lightweight and comfortable their clothing was. The bamboo fiber blend made it extremely soft and I knew I had to try them out on the trail.

Field Testing

Tasc sent me a handful of products to review. In this post, we’ll break down two products: the Carrolton Tee and the Recess Short.

The Recess Short

Tasc Performance Recess Short

With the Tasc Performance Recess Short, the softness of the bamboo fiber blend was immediately apparent. It might TMI, but I have been have some chafing issues in the nether region. During the field test I took them out on a mountain hike and several runs and I never experienced any redness or soreness down there. I also through in a handful of home workouts and yoga sessions.

When comparing them to my other go-to running shorts, they also weighed in 2 grams lighter.

The shorts have several pockets for storage. I was able to easily hold a few gels and a flexible water bottle in the side pockets, and my keys in a zippered side pocket. On the bamboo liner, it has a cell phone pocket that easily held my iPhone 12 Pro.

The pockets kept things secure enough so that there wasn’t too much bouncing, but ideally on longer runs, I would store a majority of those things in my running pack.

Not getting chafed by itself made these shorts a winner. But I’ve also just lounged around the house in them. The liner isn’t too tight or constrictive. It kept everything in it’s place while giving me room to stretch out.

I also found that they are suitable to nearly every workout activity I could think of. While doing jump squats or downward-facing dog, I never felt that the shorts were slipping in a way that would expose my butt crack. But I also didn’t find myself constantly adjusting the liner.

The Carrolton Tee

Tasc Performance Carrolton Tee

To say that the Tasc Performance Carrolton Tee is as smooth and as soft as butter may sound like an exaggeration, but it’s not. I wish all my shirts were this soft.

While on my mountain hike, I had my go-to running back slung over it, and what I noticed was that I really liked the collar.

The collar sits a bit higher than my other running shirts. And what’s great about it is that I didn’t experience the normal chaffing I would get around my neck from my running pack. It’s the little things that make a difference.

The bamboo fiber also lays a bit different than a normal running shirt. It is heavier and because of that, I didn’t experience the typical riding-up I normally would have during yoga or HITT workouts.

The Bottom Line

Truth be told: I’m a big fan of Tasc Performance.

Not only were they really comfortable during my activities, but I put them through the ringer to test out the other bamboo proprieties: moisture-wicking and anti-odor.

I spent around 15 hours of heavy activity in them and they passed the smell test. I mean, it was a little funky towards the end, but it didn’t have the normal funk of my workout and running clothes.

If you’re looking to upgrade your running apparel or needing something that you just want to be comfortable in, look no further than Tasc Performance.

The Best Lanterns for Camping: BioLite’s AlpenGlow

One of the standouts from this year’s media event at Outdoor Retailer was BioLite’s innovation in the camp lantern market. They debuted their AlpenGlow Series, featuring USB-rechargeable lanterns, and I was excited to have received them to test out in the field.

BioLite AlpenGlow Lantern
BioLite AlpenGlow Lantern

The AlpenGlow models offer 250 and 500 lumens. It utilizes ChromaTeal LED Technology, providing surprisingly accurate color rendering in lowlight conditions. But the coolest feature is the built in accelerometer that will activate “Candle Flicker” mode or “Fireworks” mode.

I brought these lanterns with me to a recent Cub Scout camp and the Fireworks were a hit; the colors quickly cycling between red, blue, purple, green, and orange.

BioLite AlpenGlow Lantern
BioLite AlpenGlow Lantern

As for the functionality inside the tent, it provided adequate lighting (especially with the 500 lumen model) to go about setting up our bedding, changing clothes, or doing some light reading.

BioLite AlpenGlow Lantern
BioLite AlpenGlow Lantern

The bottom of the BioLite AlpenGlow has a hook that can easily hang from the ceiling. And it also has a USB outlet that allows you to plug your phone in to charge or attach a series of SiteLight String Lighting for additional illumination. 

Once my son was asleep, I was able to sneak out of the tent with one of the lanterns and sit at a nearby picnic table with some of the other parents to converse. The lighting modes were easy to navigate back to a warm light that wasn’t so bright it would disrupt our sleeping children.

The next morning, while it was still dark, I navigated the campsite (lantern swinging next to my side) to start preparing breakfast. As the sun was coming up, it provided able illumination so I could make sure the pancake batter wasn’t too think and the bacon wasn’t getting burnt.

BioLite AlpenGlow Lantern
BioLite AlpenGlow Lantern

I was really impressed by these lanterns and the technology they are infused with. I’ve been a fan of BioLite for years and these lanterns didn’t disappoint.

As the days get longer and colder, I look forward to sitting out on my porch with these for illumination.

OLITA Sunscreen – Product Review

Having a solid sunscreen for your outdoor adventures is key.

When I look for the best sunscreen, it’s looking for one that will provide amble sun protection, but will also stay on in the water, but also won’t run into my eyes when I sweat.

That’s why I was excited to get a free sample of OLITA’s SPF 30. It checks all those boxes. Plus it is super gentle on the skin when applied; easily rubbing and blending in.

OLITA’s SPF 30 is an organic mineral sunscreen that is made from non-toxic, fragrance-free, water-resistant, and reef-safe ingredients for up to 80 minutes. 

I’ve tried other sunscreens in the past that were natural, organic, and reef-safe, but I always ran into challenges with them rubbing in and running into my eyes. And my skin is very important to me. Now that I am in Colorado and spending more time outdoors, exposure is high and I don’t want to look 60 when I turn 40. And I’ll avoid rubbing a sunscreen on my face if I know it’ll run into my eyes. There’s nothing like your eyes stinging when you’re trying to crush a 50K.

But I have been very happy with this product, as well as OLITA’s mission to help the environment through their product development.

Lems Version 2 of the Trailhead is versatile and stylish

Lems Trailhead

I am a big fan of companies that listen to feedback from their customers and use it to actually make changes to products! That’s exactly what Lems did when outdoor enthusiasts let them know that their women’s Trailhead shoes were not quite perfect yet. 

I reviewed the first version of Lems Trailhead back in June. I enjoyed the shoe but did find it to be a bit narrow. A lot of Lems loyalists also found the shoes to be narrow, as well as stiff with its rock plate.

So, Lems took the shoes back to the drawing board. They redesigned them to make adjustments where needed while maintaining the functionality that attracted me to this shoe in the first place. The alterations range from practically non-noticeable removal of the bunion area overlay to ahhhhh-inspiring increases in toe box width (read the full list of changes HERE).  

One difference from the original Lems Trailhead design is that the lacing system. It used to have two loops, but Lems reduced it to one to release pressure on the top of the foot. I noticed that with this change, the tongue has a bit more tendency to shift to the side. By paying a bit of attention when lacing up, I can ensure it stays where it should.

They also widened the toebox, but if you have wide feet, these may still be too narrow for you. Even with the increased width in the toe box this shoe is narrower than others in Lems product line.

Flexibility has increased from the first design to the second with the removal of the rock plate. There is adequate tread and cushioning on both of the designs to provide comfort while trekking. The biggest difference is your foot feels more of the impact and terrain with the newer version. I would limit this shoe’s use to walking around town or for day hikes where the added flexibility increases comfort. I appreciate rock plates in my shoes for backpacking to minimize foot fatigue on longer multi-day hikes.

These shoes have become the workhorse of my footwear. They are comfortable for the mundane mile-long walk to school with the kids in the morning, and stylish enough for travel to far-off places where we are on our feet exploring all day long.

I recently took them on a four-mile hike in the foothills of Boulder, Colo. I was pleased with their grip on the sandstone boulders we climbed over. The onyx color does have a tendency to show dust after hikes. But, I can are easily restore them with a quick wipe down. They also pair as easily with leggings as they do jeans or even a casual dress.