Monday, June 29, 2015

Runtastic Orbit Fitness & Sleep Tracker Review

I have seen activity trackers all over the place.  There are numerous companies that offer various brands fitness trackers starting as low as $50 on Groupon.  Many of these trackers also let you know how well you sleep, which is a cool idea.  I received the Runtastic Orbit.  It is a fitness and sleep tracker that connects to your smartphone as well as the Runtastic’s website.

First of all, I have been using the Runtastic running app on my phone for years now.  I find that it is very accurate and I actually preferred it to Map My Run in several categories.  The only thing that I don’t like about the Runtastic app was that if you use the voice training, it speaks too slowly, but you can probably adjust that (I just couldn’t figure out how to yet).  It measures all of the normal measurables like pace, distance, time, and even your heart rate if you have a bluetooth heart rate strap (which you can get for around $69 on the Runtastic website).  I found that this is almost as accurate as my $400 Garmin Forerunner 620.  The Runtasic app was only off by about 2 seconds per mile.  That isn’t bad for free.

The Orbit comes with two silicone bands (one black and one blue) and a black belt clip.  It also has the actual device itself that easily slips into the bands.  You can buy other colored bans as well.  There is a ½ inch by ½ inch screen that shows the time of day, steps that you have taken, minutes you have been active, calories that you have burned by walking, and distance that you have covered.  When I got the Orbit, I downloaded the “Runtasitc Me” app from the Google Play store for free.  It not only lets you see these measurable, but you can set alarms, a notification to let you know if you have been sitting too long and how much battery life is left.

I have to say that I loved to see how many steps I took and tried to always do more than my goal of 10,000 steps per day.  The sleep function is cool too.  You hold down the button when you lay down to sleep.  Then you do the same thing when you wake up.  It will tell you your sleep efficiency, how many hours of you were awake, had light sleep, or deep sleep.  It is cool, although I fell asleep several times before turning in on sleep mode.

The alarm feature is awesome. The Orbit will vibrate to wake you up according to the time you set on your smart phone.  You can set multiple alarms too.   No more waking up your spouse when you get up early for a long weekend run.  When you run and are using the Runtastic Run app, it will show the measurables that you select to be seen on the Orbit.  I found that it didn’t always show the right distance, but the app still recorded it right.  

Very comfortable
Syncs with your phone easily
Syncs with Runtastic’s apps easily
Inexpensive compared to many of the other fitness trackers out there
The alarm feature is awesome!!!

My phone would show the actual mileage, pace, etc. but when I looked at the Orbit, it wasn’t always correct.

I have not tried other fitness trackers, but I really like the Orbit.  It keeps me thinking about my steps per day and I really like knowing how well I am sleeping (although with 2 toddlers that still wake up at night, I am not sleeping as long as I would like).  This is a great product and is one of the least expensive at around $99 on the Runtastic site.  You can find it cheaper elsewhere though.  I would recommend this fitness tracker and I love the Runtastic Run app.  Pick yours up today.

Runtastic's Social Media Links:

Note:  I received this product in exchange for a review.  The review is my personal opinion of the product and I was not required to give a particular opinion of it.  I am not a doctor, so please use all of the products that I review at your own risk.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Zeal Optics Range Review

Zeal Optics was started in 1997 in Moab, Utah.  They moved their business to Boulder, Colorado shortly thereafter, which is where they still reside.  They believe in being stewards of the environment.  Their frames and lenses are made from plant based materials and their prescription lens lab produces zero waste, either recycling or repurposing the leftover materials.  In fact, they are the only company in the world that uses 100% plant based materials to make their sunglasses, which is pretty cool.

The frames are made from the oil of the castor bean instead of from crude oil like most companies use to make their frames and lenses.  The Castor plant is the perfect resource because it is an efficient, fast-growing perennial that is not only drought-tolerant, but can thrive in less than ideal conditions.  Zeal Optics calls this the Z Resin Process. 

The lenses are made using what Zeal Optics calls the E-llume process.  It uses a plant based bonding agent instead of petroleum-based materials.  They can produce great clarity using this process while still being eco conscious.  They can do all of this and still provide complete protection from UVA, UVB, UVC, and HEV light.  The polarized lenses cut 99% of the glare and use the best polarizing film on the market from Japan.  Their sunglasses not only meet, but exceed the tough ANSI Impact Resistance Standards.

The Range comes with mirrored lenses that look great.  The lenses have a hydrophobic lens coating that repels water, oil and dust and an oleophobic lens coating to reduce fingerprints.  The nose bridge and arms are injected with what Zeal Optics calls Pro Flex, which provides a soft comfortable hold.  These are made for people with average sized faces.  I love the way that they fit and look. 

Zeal Optics offers a 30 day money back warranty as long as the sunglasses are in resellable shape when they receive them.  That is the only thing that surprised me.  These are such great sunglasses and all of the other sunglasses companies that that provided sunglasses to test give at least a lifetime warranty against manufacture defects.  I also did notice that when I was driving and the sun was shining on the tail light of the car in front of me, there were three halos that appeared.  It seemed like the sun had to be in a specific position because I didn’t notice this other than a few times.  Not a big issue for me.

Very light weight material
Great fit, doesn’t bounce around while running
Great peripheral coverage
Mirrored lenses look great
Made from plant based materials, better for the environment

The warranty is not as good as other sunglass companies
On very rare occasion, I noticed red halos when looking at a cars tail light.

The Range is a great pair of sunglasses.  I not only use these for running, but they have become my everyday sunglasses as well.  That is saying a lot because there were several amazing sunglasses that I tested.  While they were the most expensive sunglasses I tested (at $139.00) they are well worth the price.

Zeal Optics Social Media Links

Note:  I received this product in exchange for a review.  The review is my personal opinion of the product and I was not required to give a particular opinion of it.  I am not a doctor, so please use all of the products that I review at your own risk.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Tifosi Seek FC Review

I have known about Tifosi for years.  They sell them at Performance Bicycle and I have tried on a few pairs, but never pulled the trigger.  Tifosi is the Italian word for “super-fan” or an avid sports enthusiast.  Tifosi designs, tests, and completely tortures their products to make sure that their products perform flawlessly under the most extreme conditions.  That is probably why they are the #1 selling brand of sunglasses in specialty cycling and running stores.  Tifosi strives to provide sports optics products that fit well, look great, and offer a high level of value to their customers. 

Tifosi sent me the Seek FC, which is a single lens sunglass that comes with their Fototec (photocromatic) lenses. Photochromatic lenses change the tinting in response to changing light conditions.  In bright sunlight, the lenses get darker and in lighter conditions, the lenses lighten.  It takes about 10 seconds for the sunglasses to fully transition, but I never even notice the change.  The Seek FC that I tested came with the Smoke Fototec lens, which let 47.4%-15.2% of the light through.  They are perfect for running around dawn or dusk, which is when I do my long runs.  I was able to leave the house when it was sunny and get back when it was fairly dark and never had to take the sunglasses off.  They might not be quite dark enough for the brightest of conditions. 

The frames are made with TR90, which is an extremely durable nylon resin that prevents breaking and stretching.  The ear pads are adjustable and so are the nose pads.  The sunglasses in general are extremely light weight and do not bounce when you run.  They are made to fit people with small to large sized faces.  The one thing I didn’t like was that I could not put the sunglasses on top of my head without feeling like they would fall off.

The Seek FC comes with both a hard case as well as a soft microfiber bag.  All Tifosi products come with a lifetime warranty against manufacture defects. 

Very light weight material
The Fototec lenses are great for running in variable lighting conditions
Great fit, doesn’t bounce around
Great price $69.95 on Amazon
Lifetime Warranty

I wish they would stay on top of my head

These are some awesome shades and the price is excellent.  I read reviews that some people have had issues with these glasses breaking at the nose bridge when they were cleaning them.  I have not had any issues and when I talked to Tifosi, they said that they have addressed that issue.  If they break, you can send them back for a replacement as well.  I would recommend getting these sunglasses, especially if you tend to run in the morning or evening when lighting might change throughout your run.

Tifosi Social Media Links

Note:  I received this product in exchange for a review.  The review is my personal opinion of the product and I was not required to give a particular opinion of it.  I am not a doctor, so please use all of the products that I review at your own risk.