Cotopaxi Tikal Active Shell Keeps Me Dry

Review by Susie; Cotopaxi Tikal Active Shell provided for review by Cotopaxi

Cotopaxi Tikal Active Shell sleeve with rain drops
Cotopaxi Tikal Active Shell shell repels rain quickly.

When I first got the Cotopaxi Tikal Active Shell in my hands, the first thing I did was check the weather. Why? Because it made me want it to rain! There was no way such a stretchy and lightweight shell could be waterproof. It did not feel like any raincoat I had ever felt before. I subsequently wore the Tikal Active Shell every day until it finally rain. Has the “ultralight waterproof and breathable shell with four-way stretch, perfect for four-season backpacking, hiking, and travel” even remotely lived up to the hype? Perhaps I’ve kept my ancient crinkly rain coat in my closet for the really rainy days. Well, you’ll just have to read the first chapter of my review to find out!

UAG Aero Cases protect your gadgets!

Review by Susie; UAG Aero Case provided for review by UAG

UAG Aero Samsung Galaxy Case screen protector
UAG Aero Samsung Galaxy Case screen protector

I seem to go through several cases over the lifetime of every gadget that I have. And I have a lot of gadgets. When Urban Armor Gear (UAG) sent me their Aero case for my Samsung Galaxy S5, I was excited to see how safe my phone would be and if the case would live up to the specifications for it. Featherlight, easy access buttons, meets military drop test standards… the list goes on. That’s a lot of wow to pack into such an affordable case! Will the UAG Aero be the case of my dreams and finally put an end to my case buying days? Click here to check out my review and be sure to follow along on to see how it does.

Running with the Smartwool PhD Run Light Elite Socks

Review by Susie; Product provided for review by Smartwool

Review of the Smartwool Women's PhD® Run Light Elite Kneehigh Socks
Review of the Smartwool Women’s PhD® Run Light Elite Kneehigh Socks

I started running at the beginning of the year when one of my girlfriends urge(urged) me to sign up for a 5K race series. Every week I was intrigued by everyone wearing compression socks and sleeves. Smartwool asked me to try out their Women’s PhD® Run Light Elite Kneehigh Socks and naturally I jumped at the opportunity. I’ve known the Smartwool brand for years and they have a reputation for high quality merino wool apparel. Running gear, however, was not on my radar when I thought of Smartwool. I have been wearing the Women’s PhD® Run Light Elite Kneehigh Socks in Aubergine/Hibiscus for about a week now including my first 5 miles race and several training runs and other workouts. So, the question is, should you add Smartwool to your running gear radar? Check out the first segment of my review and be sure to follow to see how they fair in the long run. (Yes, pun intended.)

Stay Warm & Stylish with the Baffin Kiki Womens Boots

Review by Susie; Product provided for review by Baffin

Baffin Kiki Womens Boots
Baffin Kiki Womens Boots

Oh my, Baffin, you certainly know a way to a girl’s heart. When I think of Baffin, my mind instantly flashes to the Arctic tundra. Lots of snow. Lots of ice. And really extreme boots. But then Baffin sent their Kiki Womens boots to me to review and my perspective instantly change. “What is this? From what strange world did these stylish yet wicked warm boots come from?!?” I know that seems a bit of an overreaction, but the Kiki boasts all of the warmth that Baffin is known for with a fun faux-fur collar and a toggle closure. They are rated for -40 degrees! With snow in the forecast for here in Maine tomorrow, they arrived just in the nick of time. Check out the first part to my review and be sure to follow to see how they handle winter here in New England.

Keep warm with ThermaCELL Hand Warmers

Review by Susie; Product provided for review by ThermaCELL Pocket Warmer

Just in case you didn’t get the memo, fall is fast disappearing, the temperatures are dropping, and, at least here in Maine, the snow is starting to fly. If you love the outdoors in the winter but struggle with cold hands, this time of year is a blessing and a curse. That is until ThermaCELL came up with their ThermaCELL HeatPack hand warmers. As a runner, hiker, and professional photographer, I couldn’t wait to warm my hands up with them! That’s assuming that they live up to my excitement. Click here to read up on my initial thoughts of them and be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss my follow up reports.

ThermaCELL Hand Warmers Kit
ThermaCELL Hand Warmers Kit

My Newest Obsession: ThermaCELL Pocket Warmer

Review by Susie; Product provided for review by ThermaCELL Pocket Warmer

It seems like the checkout lanes at every outdoor retailer this time of year are lined with the disposable chemical heat packs that you use once and toss out. Often they get too hot or you’d like to just click a pause button to keep the heat for a few hours later. Fortunately, ThermaCELL aims to take care of those woes and more with their Heat Pack line up.

ThermaCELL Pocket Warmer Heat Pack Set
ThermaCELL Pocket Warmer Heat Pack Set

Their Pocket Warmer aims to keep your core and legs toasty warm. Click here to read all about my initial thoughts on the ThermaCELL Heat Pack Pocket Warmer and be sure to subscribe to see my follow up reporting as I try them out. I’ll admit that I’m already a bit obsessed with them, especially as the temperatures drop here in the northeast.