Product Reviews 2/13

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Lacrosse Footwear Onalaska Lace Black 800G Pac Boots

Dri Cat Neck it Waterproof iPhone Case
The Dri Cat Neck it case did a most excellent job of keeping snow out of my iPhone on a recent shredpedition at Brighton. You know what else did an equally good job (and didn’t cost $60)? My pocket. While I can see the merits of a waterproof case for, say, kayaking, or floating the Weber while inebriated, it’s overkill for a basic day of snowboarding. The bulkiness of the Dri Cat in my pocket made it difficult to strap in—or maybe that’s just my growing PBR baby. Either way, it’s too big to fit comfortably in a pocket, and dangling my iPhone around my neck while participating in an action sport seemed a little sketch. The design of the case still allows the touch screen and camera to function, but renders the volume controls and lock button useless, which I found quite frustrating. I don’t plan on ever bringing it riding with me again, but you’ll probably catch me using it on the Weber this summer. –Katie Panzer

Kate’s Real Food
Kate’s Organic Energy Bars
Leading an active lifestyle in the mountains requires a certain type of person. It also requires a certain type of food to fuel the adventure. Countless companies have come and gone in the energy supplement world, and few have made a lasting impression. Idaho-based Kate’s has developed one of the tastiest selections of meal bars to date. The Tram Bar and Grizzly Bar are two of my personal favorites. Labeled “Pocket Meals,” these treats deliver tons of energy for prolonged activity. They taste good, too. Smooth combos of peanut butter and milk or dark chocolate mixed with organic oats and honey keep you going for hours. The Tiki Bar is a refreshing blend of coconut, mango and cashews that delights the taste buds. Try the Handle Bar if your palate likes cherries and almonds. Oftentimes, your snacks take a beating out in the elements, but I carried these in everything from my backpack to my ski jacket and I couldn’t bust ’em. Long days on the hill are now made better by Kate’s Real Food bars. Pick them up at discerning grocers or on their website. –Sean Zimmerman-Wall

Lacrosse Footwear
Onalaska Lace Black 800G Pac Boots
I have been kicking around in these 7” high lace-ups for about two months, and I haven’t fallen yet. Lacrosse isn’t just some douchey version of field hockey—it is also a brand that’s been around for well over a hundred years. These boots are just the way I like them: easy to break in, high on the calves and rugged. They are also comfortable as all hell, with a tread design reminiscent of an off-road tire, and a total weight under five pounds. It took about five wears to get them worn in and ready to jet. Lacrosse bills these for use in “extreme” winter conditions, but I beg to differ. I have had frozen feet with these boots more than I expected, even with two or three pairs of socks on. The website says they have waterproof and abrasion-resistant protection, but I plan on treating them with some waterproofing spray. Good boots don’t come cheap, and these have a tag of $160, which is probably worth it—after a quick waterproofing spray. I can see them holding up for many seasons to come. Snag a fresh pair online or at local sporting goods stores. –Eric Granato

Comp 4 Tech Fleece
I’ve become what my mom calls a “diehard”—the type of person riding their bicycle when snow sticks to the street, trying to beat the red light on 500 South and State Street in 10-degree weather. I’d like to say that primordial ruggedness and gumption have afforded me this identity, but I’d be lying if I didn’t reveal that my Comp 4 Tech Fleece base layers are what have ensured that I have the courage to get out in the cold to come to work every day. The Comp 4s are Polarmax’s leading line, and the warmest of the base layers that they have to offer. Mainly consisting of synthetic material, these thermal layers are a blend of high-performance “Acclimate®” Dry polyester and Spandex, and the material creates some fine insulation on those spooky-cold nights. When I overdress, though, the layers do not wick as much sweat as I would find ideal, and I can feel the moisture caking on my back. The layers are pretty breathable, however, so the discomfort from perspiration doesn’t pervade my existence when I’m finished with my commute. If I wear these bad boys consistently, they eventually will get a bit of a funk, but that’s to be expected from material that I’m essentially using as a second layer of skin. The fabric stretches enough to make for a comfortable ride (mainly noted with the pants), whether it’s cycling or hitting the slopes, and my zip-up mock top makes room for some relief when I’m cooling down. If you need thermals, Polarmax has you covered. –Alexander Ortega

Moga Mobile Gaming System
The Moga Mobile Gaming System is the greatest thing that you should never buy. Any person who spends any amount of time gaming on their phone should, by all rights, receive instant benefit from this piece of hardware. The trouble is that it only works with licensed software that is programmed to support the Moga directly. What makes it worse is that many games are backed by Gameloft’s online store; however, there is the option to purchase games from the Google Play store. The Gameloft store is borderline un-navigable, though, which lent to some confusion between games that are priced $4.99, $1.99, $0.99 and free. There was a multitude of games I wanted to use this device on, including Dark Legacy, The Hobbit and every single game on my SNES and NES emulators. Unfortunately, the Moga supports none of the aforementioned games or apps, so what exactly is it good for? It does come with “free” copies of Pac Man Anniversary Edition and Sonic The Hedgehog, so it’s possible for you to find some great titles packed away in their store—it takes some digging, but the quality titles do exist. I foresee a future where the Moga gives you limitless functionality and works with stacks of Android-based games for all to see. If you have absolutely nothing to do with $50, knock yourself out. I’m willing to bet yours will collect as much dust as mine.  –Thomas Winkley