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  • Product spotlight

    Posted by Will

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    Lycan, La Sportiva, etienne Blumstein-Jones, trail running

    Review: La Sportiva Lycan Trail Running Shoe

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    Product spotlight

    By Mont Sponsored Trail Runner and Australian Mountain Running Team member Etienne Blumstein-Jones.

    First Impressions:
    Very light to pick up and very light during wear. During my first run in them I noticed how responsive they felt, especially while running faster. There isn’t a lot of tread but they still very grippy while running down technical trails and running uphill on rocks like on Mt Tennent. What I really like with these shoes is that they don’t feel bulky like regular trail shoes, the best way to describe them would be road shoes with some tread and a bit of protection over the toes. 

    La Sportiva Lycan Women's

    After One Month:
    After a month and a half of using these shoes. The tread hasn’t changed at all and the shoe doesn’t feel sloppy in the cushioning. They still feel the same as the first run! They feel great running technical descents and going up long climbs. I’ve done long runs, training sessions and easy runs in these shoes and they’ve been great in every one of those different runs.

    La Sportiva Lycan Trail Running Shoe sole

    

I recommend these shoes for any sort of trail and mountain races you could think of from the short distance trail race to the ultra. These shoes would also work well as a door-to-trail shoe where some road or bike path is required; they feel just as good on those surfaces.

    Shop Women's Lycan
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  • Product spotlight

    Posted by Will

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    Review: La Sportiva Akasha Trail Running Shoe

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    Product spotlight

    By Mont Sponsored Trail Runner and Australian Mountain Running Team member Etienne Blumstein-Jones

    First Impressions:
    They looked really good. They were comfortable straight out of the box and were light.

    After first use:
    I used them on a 30km mountainous run straight out of the box and they felt comfortable (I didn’t have any issues with hot spots on my feet the whole run). They worked perfectly even while running in snow. They were responsive and felt light while running which are two things I really look for. They drained well; drying quite quickly when swapping from the snow to rock. They had great grip (which is something that I have come to expect from La Sportiva shoes) when running on rocks and even when swapping from snow to rock.

    new-akasha

    After further runs:
    They are still just as comfortable. I have only done long runs in the Akashas and a total of 73.5 kms but there is no wear on the tread at all. They also have the right level of cushioning which is great for when the fatigue really kicks in. I tried them on parts of the Hounslow Ultra course (Skyrunning race in Blackheath) and I am now certain they will be my shoes of choice for this race.

    These shoes are made for ultras, though they are great for any distance where you want that extra bit of cushioning. Technical terrain is especially where they come alive and I would use these for any distance over 20 kms.

    Shop Women's Akasha
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  • Product spotlight

    Posted by Will

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    Review: La Sportiva Helios 2.0 Trail Running Shoe

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    By Mont Sponsored Trail Runner and Australian Mountain Running Team member Etienne Blumstein-Jones

    First Impressions:
    This is a very light and good-looking shoe. They fitted my foot well and were very comfortable. The new lacing system is really good, but it would be good to have somewhere to hide the string when the shoes are tight. Something similar to the Salomon system would be a good improvement.

    After the first use:
    I found they were an improvement on the first edition of the Helios because of the narrower design to the shoe. They drained well. They had good grip, except for wet rocks where I had to be a bit careful.

    La-Sportiva-Helios-2-blue-flame-wordpress

    After further use:
    They are still just as comfortable as the first time. I’ve only done around 50 kms in them but they has been no visible wear so far. If they are anything like the first edition of the Helios then I expect them to last a long time. I’ve so far kept these shoes for shorter runs under 25 kms and even done some road with them to get out to trails and they’ve been great for that too. I wouldn’t do a lot of road in them, so as to not wear them out too much, but its good to have a pair of trail shoes that is just as good on the road as this is generally a limiting factor when running out to the trails.
    I have also done fast and flat trails races in these shoes and they were great, just the right level of cushioning, responsiveness and lightness I want in a shoe for that sort of race.

    I would recommend this shoe for anything up to marathon distance, as long it’s not technical and too wet and in that case it would be better to use the Helios SR due to the extra grip. But these shoes shine in fast trail races whether there’s a lot of climbing or its mostly flat.

    Shop Men's Helios 2.0
    Shop Women's Helios 2.0

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  • Product spotlight

    Posted by Will

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    TAGS

    4 season, spindrift, kiandra, alpine, sleeping bag, Hydronaute XT

    Sleeping Bag Comparison: Kiandra Tapered Rectangular vs Spindrift Mummy Boxfoot

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    The Mont Kiandra and Spindrift are two sleeping bags regularly considered for 4 season and alpine camping trips. Both sleeping bags are rated from -9ºC to -15ºC, both sleeping bags are made from highly water-resistant and extremely breathable Hydronaute XT fabric, both are filled with super-high loft down (between 785 & 850), and they're within 100grams of each other in weight.

    So how do I choose which is right for me? Read on...

    Kiandra and Spindrift Sleeping Bags side by side
     
     
    The Kiandra Sleeping Bag
    The Kiandra is part of the Tapered Rectangular Series which are often praised for their versatility across a wide range of temperatures.

    The Tapered Rectangular series sleeping bags have full length side and foot zips allowing you to open them out flat in warmer conditions, and close them up in colder conditions.

    The Kiandra Sleeping Bag has full length side and foot zips so you can open it out flat in warmer conditions

    In addition the Tapered Rectangular sleeping bags have continuous baffles (down chambers) from top to base. You can see the direction of the baffles in the seams across the sleeping bag, they start at the zip, run across the top, around the side to the base and finish on the other side of the zip. Continuous baffles allow you to distribute down according to the temperature; in warmer conditions move down from the top to the base, and in colder conditions move more down to the top.
     
     
     
    The Spindrift Sleeping Bag
    The Spindrift is part of the Specialist Boxfoot Series which are specifically designed for alpine and winter conditions. The Spindrift, and all Specialist Boxfoot, are less versatile than the Kiandra, but for that lack of versatility comes a significant increase in efficiency.

    You will notice right away the narrow and very tapered shape, this is called Mummy shape. A Mummy shaped sleeping bag is the most efficient because it minimises unused space that your body must warm up.
     
    Spindrift Boxfoot with no zip is much more efficient and warmer
     
    You will also notice that they do not have a foot zip, rather they have a 'boxfoot'. A boxfoot provides significantly more efficient warmth because of 1) the lack of a zipper and 2) the down chambers underneath the soles of your feet when you're lying on your back. The boxfoot prevents the sleeping bag opening out flat, but makes huge improvements in warmth efficiency.
     
    Spindrift sleeping bag with vertical baffles prevents down shift to reduce cold spots
     
    Another significant feature of the Spindrift is the vertical baffles around the torso. Rather than continuous baffles as seen on the Kiandra, the Spindrift's vertical baffles prevent down movement and maintain even down coverage around the entire torso. These vertical baffles are significantly warmer and more efficient in trapping warmth. You can see these baffles by the vertical seams on the chest (and base) of the Spindrift.

    In Short
    If you find it very hard to stay warm in sub zero conditions or if you're buying a sleeping bag purely for temperatures of -9ºC to -15ºC then the Spindrift will be your best option.

    If you're buying a sleeping bag for occasional adventures in –9ºC to -15ºC but predominantly temperatures up to 0ºC or just above then the Kiandra will be a much better match.

    At Mont we always suggest taking a sleeping bag that is rated to at least 5ºC below the forecasted weather, as it is much safer and easier to cool down if you're too hot, than to warm up if you're too cold.

    See the Kiandra Sleeping Bag

    See the Spindrift Sleeping Bag

    If you need anymore assistance with your selection of a sleeping bag or any other equipment please do not hesitate to contact Mont today.

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