Thursday, April 27, 2017

DryGuy Force Dry Review

It has been more wet than normal this Winter and Spring here in Northern California.  That along with my increased trail running has resulted in some very wet shoes.  Shoes are typically held together, at least in part, with glue.  If exposed to heat from a laundry dryer, the shoes can start to come apart.  In the past, I stuffed my shoes with newspaper and let them dry naturally, which would take days.  There is a much better solution though, and the price is great as well.

The DryGuy Force Dry is a shoe and glove dryer that is compact enough to take with you on trips thanks to its fold flat design.  The DryGuy Force Dry can dry a pair of shoes in 1-2 hours according to the packaging and after several tests, it rarely took me more than 90 minutes, even with the most thoroughly soaked shoes. 

There is a timer that you can set for up to 3 hours so you can turn on the DryGuy Force Dry before you go to bed or head out to run errands and not have to worry about the dryer running too long.

Another thing that I like about the DryGuy Force Dry is that it’s fairly quiet.  Unlike a pair of snowboard boot dryers that I got 10 years ago, the DryGuy Force Dry can be in the same room as you while watching television without having to crank up the volume.

This last year has been a year where I started running trail ultras and I have been traversing creeks as well as running in very muddy conditions.  The last thing I want to do is let my shoes remain wet for days on end.  Shoes are too expensive and drying them quickly with the DryGuy Force Dry will help keep them in your shoe rotation longer.   Also, wet shoes can grow bacteria, fungus, and mold, which are health hazards and cause your gear to smell really bad.

The DryGuy Force Dry uses a gently heated air to dry your gear without getting it too hot and causing damage.  All I can really say is that it works like a charm.  At $50 on the DryGuy website, you can’t go wrong either. 

Dries most shoes/gloves in 1-2 hours
Fairly quiet
Gentle warm air won’t damage gear
Fold flat design
3 hour timer (you can set and forget)
Great price at $50

There are a few products that I try and they blow my expectations away.  The DryGuy Force Dry is one of those products.  I try to take really good care of my gear, mainly because it’s so expensive so I want it to last.  The DryGuy Force Dry can extend the life of your shoes while getting you back on the road or trail sooner.  Pick it up and please let me know what you think.  I hope you are as impressed as I am.

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.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Yeti Hopper Flip 12 Review

Have you heard of Yeti Coolers?  They are probably the most rugged coolers on the market.  Yeti was founded by Roy and Ryan Seiders and is based out of Austin, Texas.  Roy and Ryan always had a passion for being outdoors and loved to hunt and fish.  The problem that they found was that coolers out there just couldn’t handle the demands of their adventures.  The brothers decided in 2006 to start Yeti Coolers with a simple mission: “build the cooler we’d use every day.”  They sure didn’t make your ordinary cooler though.  Their coolers are designed and marketed toward more serious outdoor enthusiasts.  The prices of their products reflect that. 

The benefits of Yeti Coolers can be worth the money depending on your needs. They are simply made to not break.  Roy and Ryan never want to sacrifice quality to save a few bucks.  Originally only offering coolers, they have branched out to cups, bottle openers, Hoppers, and more.  I tested the 36 ounce Yeti Rambler a while back (click here for my review). 

I got the Yeti Hopper Flip 12 to test out about a month ago.  As a runner who loves to hit the trails, I always bring snacks or a protein shake that sit in my car.  I have tried cooler after cooler, but when it’s in the 90’s (the car can be over 120 degrees) my food usually ends up warm.  I also like to take food for after a race, but have the same issue. 

The Hopper Flip 12 is a great solution to that problem and I will share the reasons why I feel this way.  First of all, it can hold 12 cans of… soda (Tommy Boy reference) and keep it cold for quite a while.  The soft-ish cooler is about a rugged as they come.  The cooler measures about 11”x12” and the interior is made with closed-cell rubber foam and is superior to other coolers in terms of keeping the inside of the cooler cold.  The Dryhide exterior is a high-density fabric that is waterproof and is resistant to mildew, punctures, and UV rays.

The inside of the cooler is lined with a mildew-resistant, FDA-approved food-grade plastic.  It is really easy to clean out the inside of the cooler too.  The Hopper Flip 12 perfectly fits the 4 pound block of Yeti Ice in the bottom.  Yeti Ice comes in three sizes, 1lb ($14.99), 2lbs. ($19.99), or 4lbs ($29.99).  I found that with the Yeti Ice (2lb and 4lb) packs, my food stayed cold for the whole day.  If you were looking for longer periods of time that you need to keep items cold, or want your beer a little colder, you can put the Yeti Ice on the bottom, add your brew, and add some ice on top.  It should stay cold for a few days. 

Besides the Hopper Flip 12 being rugged on the outside and inside, it comes with the most robust zipper that I have ever seen.  The HydroLok™ Zipper is waterproof and will not leak.  With it being so rugged, it is a little more difficult to open than a normal zipper, but I am okay with that if it means a better seal.  It does come with a small bottle of lubricant for the zipper.

The outside of the Hopper Flip 12 has handles on three of the four sides and has an awesome shoulder carrying strap.  There is a padded shoulder cushion that has a slip resistant rubber backing that makes sure the strap won’t fall off your shoulder.  The shoulder strap is double stitched for extra durability as well.

The back of the pack has a Velcro square so you can personalize your cooler with a name or patch.  The HitchPoint™ Grid is made to easily fasten bottle openers, Sidekick storage pouch, carabiners, and other items, some of which are available on the Yeti website.  You can also use the grid to tie your cooler in so it doesn’t fly off your boat, etc. 

I love my Hopper Flip 12 and have used it numerous times on my trail runs and even on a few family picnics. It does an exceptional job at keeping my items cold longer than my other coolers.  The Hopper Flip 12 is the perfect size and costs $279.99 on the Yeti website.  If you are looking for a bigger version, there is they have some other Hopper versions, but they do not have the flip-top lid (Click here to see the other Hopper versions).

Overbuilt to take abuse
Easy to hold with multiple handles
Awesome shoulder strap for carrying
Ice last for days
Interior is made of mildew resistant food grade plastic
Tons of insulation.
Extremely durable/waterproof zipper

Priced higher than other coolers at $279.99 but worth the money

I have friends who bought the large Yeti ice chests and had ice in it for over a week without the ice melting.  My 36 ounce Yeti Rambler lasted 23 hours longer than my Hydraflask bottle.  The Hopper Flip 12 is an amazing product and is perfect for runners who take food with them to trail runs, races, or even just for field meetings if you work in the field.  You can pick up your Hopper Flip 12 at the Yeti website or online through other retailers, although the prices are almost the same wherever you buy it.  Pick up the Hopper Flip 12 for yourself and let me know what you think.

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.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Guest Blog: Jordan Rung, Author of Peace with Sweets

If you are like me, then you constantly struggle with eating healthy.  I can be very good with my nutrition when I am trying to lose weight, but when I am trying to maintaining my weight, I justify poor eating with the amount of exercise I do.  I end up gaining the weight back and the vicious cycle begins. 

Jordan Ring is an author and creator of,, and his author page JMRING.  He made the decision to become healthier after receiving news at a doctor’s visit and it has resulted in tons of research, eventually leading to Jordan writing four books (The Fiber Guardian’s Favorite High Fiber Foods, The Action Diet: 35 Practical Weight Loss Tactics as Chronicled by the Fiber Guardian, Now What? Getting Unstuck in a Sticky World: How Taking Action is the Key to Unlocking Your Ultimate Potential, and his latest book Peace with Sweets: the Healthy & Fresh Way to Manage Sugar Intake and Reduce Sugar Cravings).  The following is a guest blog post from Jordan about his past.  If you like what Jordan wrote, please head over to his page and show some support.  His first book is available on Amazon from free (Kindle version). 

Hey runners,

I just wanted to start by thanking Brian for letting me have the opportunity to share with all of you. Brian was an instrumental part of the launch team for my most recent book, and he asked me to share a little bit about myself and the book here.

While I am definitely NOT a marathon runner by any means, I do run on occasion. I am also a very active person, and I always have been. I grew up playing tennis with my family, and I spent my college years tossing around a Frisbee disc. Fortunately, getting out and running around has never been a problem for me. I have always enjoyed the feeling of the wind on my face and have plenty of history ruining clothes through grass stains.

The problem? Nutrition. I used to stuff my face with chicken nuggets, french fries, and ice cold mountain dew every day after school. And then a few hours later I would eat supper. I don’t how I found the room for it all, and the “you’re a growing boy” comment was used too frequently. I should have known that that excuse would run its course eventually.

I also made the same mistake that many people do every day. I walked around dehydrated and ultimately malnourished. As we all know, your body can fight off weight gain for a while when you are younger, but after college I found out that I could not out-exercise my poor diet. My weight slowly crept up and I could not manage it through working out.

I upped the intensity of my workouts at 4-5 times per week, but never changed what I was eating. I continued to eat pizza, drink soda, and load up on junk food. Looking back, I wonder why I never stopped. I truly wonder what was going on in my head that led me to continue destroying my body like I did.

My metabolism was catching up with me big time and all of the junk food was finding a solid place on my 6 foot 4 frame. Since I was that tall, the weight was spread out, and I always had multiple people tell me “hey you’re not fat, you’re just a big guy.” Well, 260 pounds is not healthy even at 6’4.

I needed to up my water intake substantially, and replace many of the foods I was eating on a regular basis with healthy ones. I knew what I needed to do, but I just struggled to do it. I could not, and would not, make the change I knew that I needed to make.

It finally took a moment in time when my doctor told me I needed to make a change and that I was officially “obese.” I started down a new path right away. Upon her direction I researched and started on a high fiber diet, and never looked back. There were setbacks along the way, of course, but that day changed things for me.  I became dedicated to living a different kind of lifestyle; one that was geared towards healthy living and healthy choices.

Fast forward to the present day… I am as healthy as ever. I am still active, but I choose my diet much more carefully. I am able to indulge once in a while in a piece of chocolate cake and not get bent out of shape. I can eat my wife’s delicious triple chunk brownies and not feel guilty.

My philosophy is one in which we can still eat the foods we like, if only we can learn balance. Balance in regards to eating is one of the most difficult things to actually do. Because we are constantly tempted to eat poorly, we must always be on guard and have a plan.

My book; entitled “Peace with Sweets: The Healthy & fresh way to manage sugar intake and reduce sugar cravings”, describes how to construct that plan.

In it, I share the methods I utilize to crush the sugar beast and at last find peace with sweets. 

Begin your journey towards sugar reconciliation today.

There is no reason why your addiction to sugar needs to get the best of you. If you are truly willing to see a change and want to come to a point of peace, it is possible.

If you have any questions or would like to read more about me, go to my author blog page at I would be glad to connect with you.

His book, the Peace with Sweets: the Healthy & Fresh Way to Manage Sugar Intake and Reduce Sugar Cravings, does a great job of explaining different types of sugars and how your body breaks them down in a way that is easy to understand.  I really liked how Jordan helped clarify how to read labels.  Companies have become very sneaky in how they disguise sugars with cute names, so what you think is healthy is still using bad sugars.    

Jordan goes into which foods are good and bad as well as food prep and how to make a plan to beat the “Sugar Beast.”  I hope you like the book as much as I did.