Product Reviews

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Bern
Allston Bike Helmet
As an avid cyclist in SLC, I’ve taken notice to the dangers of our streets. More young adults are turning to bike commuting. This has increased the city‘s awareness, and the city has become more biker friendly. In reality, the bike lanes and added signage don’t affect the awareness of drivers. A helmet is highly recommended even for your short, daily commute to the grocery store. I understand bicycle helmets that are feather light are typically not the most “stylish” of headgear and can cost more than the avid cyclist is willing to pay. The Bern Allston, all-season helmet gives the avid young adult their ideal purchase: feather light, highly ventilated and with a visor to help protect eyes from the elements. Snow, rain or shine, this helmet is created to tackle those elements head on. At under $100, the Bern Allston helmet is the most protective, comfortable, affordable helmet on the market. The Allston’s flip visor feature is super neat, offering the capability of wearing any sunglasses out, big or small frames. I wear a larger-frame pair of sunglasses, and I have the hardest time finding a helmet visor to pair with them. The Allston visor supports my giant frames flipped up or down. This is a highly recommended purchase for year-round commuting—or even for summer rides—short or long. –Jake V.
Chrome Industries
Storm Pasha Jacket
I always get so jealous of men’s outerwear. Men’s rain jackets are always so sleek, and they usually fit the wearer near perfectly. As a lady, I always felt that my options were severely limited—women’s jackets tend to be less durable, mildly uncomfortable and the colors are never as cool as the men’s variants. Chrome’s Storm Pasha renewed my faith in functional clothing for women. It’s sleek with fully seam-taped construction, zippered pit vents, a rear stow pocket and a waterproof two-way main zipper. It fits great—it’s got room for, ahem, feminine curves, and it rides comfortably. The sleeves are long enough that even on the climb up to 1700 East, my elbows didn’t feel constricted, and my wrists remained covered. Speaking of the haul up to the beloved Bonneville bench, the Storm Pasha is breathable enough that I wasn’t absolutely covered in sweat by the time I got to where I was going. Come those Rocky Mountain Corridor rains, I’ll be riding dry and happy. Chrome has mastered the art of playing to vanity as well. This is one of those jackets that will have you riding past those big, reflective windows Downtown, thinking, “Oooo-weee! I wanna make that sleek-looking person dinner.” Then, you’ll make yourself a damn fine meal. It’s well worth the $200, especially if, like me, your only form of transport is your trusty, two-wheeled steed. I can’t wait for it to rain. –Genevieve Smith
Chrome Industries
Hip Pouch
I’ve had fanny packs before, but Chrome’s Hip Pouch allows you to transition out of your cool-dad/mom phase while maintaining the practicality of having everything you need by your side (literally!). The Hip Pouch has the classic Chrome look—it looks like a miniature Messenger that sits comfortably at your hip. To make sure that folks knew it was mine, I sewed my trusty “Vieva La Vieve” patch on, and away I went! It’s great to not have to wear a backpack of any kind—since using the Hip Pouch, my back and shoulders are happier. At 10” x 6” x 2.5”, I can fit everything I need in it. It’s also been great for riding to band practice and shows. I can comfortably fit my cello on my back without the Hip Pouch interfering, and I’m confident that I have everything I need for when I get there. (It sux when you get to the venue with no ID and no rosin, amirite? Luckily, I’ve got bandmates with resin, bro—but that’s another story.) The U-Lock pocket is effective as well—my mini U fits snugly, and the construction is durable enough that it doesn’t make a huge weight difference. Forty dollars ain’t bad, considering the durability and size. Though I may have left the fanny pack behind, I still feel a little bit like a cool mom, since every time I pay a tab or pull out my phone, the sweet sound of Velcro rings in my ears. I’m into it.
–Genevieve Smith
PasteUp
Caleb Staker Tee
PasteUp’s process is simple: take a local artist, print the artist’s work on T-shirts, sell the shirts, and give the artist 60 percent of the sale. The message that PasteUp delivers is also a simple one—celebrate art and eliminate the “starving” artist. The concept of artists supporting artists rallies behind the sense of community I can’t stay away from, but the shirt itself makes me question the price point. I received a shirt designed by Caleb Staker, and the design is a gnarly green bald man with his mouth wide open and tongue proudly protruding. The relaxed-fit was so comfortable I wore it for three days straight—100-percent cotton never fails. But if I’m going to spend $33 on a shirt, comfort isn’t all I’m looking for. The printing method isn’t my favorite. If the shirt gets stretched at all, the design starts to distort. For this method, though, the problem is unavoidable. However, my major complaint with the shirt would have to be the website’s depiction versus the actual product. Online pictures show a teal man with a healthy pink tongue and gums and clean lines—almost incomparable to the hooker-green one with a crimson-filled mouth that I received. The clean lines advertised were a lie, being much thicker and present on the physical shirt. For $33, I would have probably sent the shirt back thinking it was a misprint. I’d like to see pictures of the actual products replace the JPEGs placed over a generic T-shirt template on the website. –Andrea Silva
Syck Trix
Syck Trix Board
Balance boards and training boards used to teach kids and adults to skateboard have been around for decades. Adding to the arsenal of Bongo Boards and BoarDRocKs comes the Syck Trix board ($95.99). The deck itself is maple, but the important thing is what’s underneath: Two inner tubes, held inside cloth bags (oddly referred to as “bladders”), are Velcroed to the base of the deck where the trucks and wheels would be on a regular skateboard. The design allows the user to practice balance, ollies and other skate tricks in the safety of their carpeted living rooms instead of out on the street or skate park. As an aging skater, I ollie less and less with each passing year—and since the ollie is pretty much the staple behind most skate tricks, that means I skateboard less in general these days. With the Syck Trix board, I’ve been able to get some much-needed practice in, which has given me the confidence to get off my ass and go skateboarding a little more often—and that’s worth a lot. Syck Trix also offers a replacement kit with new bladders, jackets, Velcro attachments and a deck pad ($69, or $59.99 without the deck pad), allowing you to turn any deck into a Syck Trix board. –John Ford
Copper Urban
Wezel: The Wallet Easel
It’s a wallet. It’s an easel. It’s a wezel. Beautifully stitched, handcrafted leather makes for a handsome wallet. It’s thin and wears in your front pocket quite comfortably. The wallets are made by Copper Urban, a local marketing firm, and are available through their (fully funded) Kickstarter. I thought this would be an ideal wallet solution for my husband, who is a fan of slim wallets and a minimalist at heart. I mean, it can do two things: be a wallet and an easel for your smartphone. But it’s missing a few important things, like a photo-ID window and individual slots for credit cards. Also, it’s rare to carry cash, but it would be nice if there was a spot for it. This wallet does perform well as an easel, and that is handy for watching Netflix and other things. You’ll enjoy breaking the wallet in—the leather will loosen up, becoming a lot more pliable, and you can fit more cards in it. But after a week of carrying the wallet, it’s still awkward. Hopefully, with a few more weeks of wear, it will live up to my husband’s standards. –Amanda Rock
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