Don’t worry…I am not taking a break from skiing. As Powder Matt is still working on making sure that he gets ski turns in each month of the summer. It has been easy so far with the tremendous snow-pack we had this past winter! In fact it has made opening up the alpine portion of the summer mountain biking operation at Fernie Alpine Resort a challenge for the Trail Crew. But the Trail Crew has worked hard to get trails open on the Timber side so get out and enjoy! Now from time to time I get out to test outdoor gear. As I have been doing a mixed fitness routine consisting of mountain biking, running, hiking and some back-packing and wanted to review some low cost and lightweight options to stay warm/dry during your workouts. I looked long and hard for a lightweight shell that was reasonably priced, easy to store and yes- extremely lightweight. I found a good option in Outdoor Research (OR) vigor jacket- you can’t beat the weight- at just a few ounces it is by far the lightest jacket i tested. It also worked great on mixed weather days as it shed water amazingly! It also provided good protection from wind. It packs up into your palm so easily fits into tool pouch on my mountain bike and or into your rucksack when hiking. Also much lower cost than other options from other wellknown outdoor clothing companies. Much lower price than the offering at Lulemon and better quality. From the folks at Smith Sports Optics I tried out the Backdrop polarized with glass lens to enhance my fish finding vision on the Elk River, Fernie, British Columbia, searching for the wily Westslope Cuthroat. My day of fly fishing on the Elk River was much improved by the optical qaulity of these glasses. I could see more fish than I ever have. But needless to say my catch rate still needs some work. Check out Smith’s video – http://smithoptics.ca/lounge/Smith+TV/ Smith makes probably the best action sport sunglasses out there. Enjoy your summer outdoors! as doing anything outdoors is more fun! take care, Powder Matt

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