A Brief Review — The Chimneytop Pop-Up Zip Case by Nock Co.


I could not be more pleased with the items I received from Nock Co. after having backed their successful Kickstarter campaign. But, of the bunch, so far I’m most pleased with the design and utility of The Chimneytop Pop-Up Zip Cases. They are made primarily with writing instruments in mind but can be used for a iety of other items as well. These have really filled me with delight each time I take them out to use them.

I received both the small and the medium. I’m using the small for pens. I generally have a number of pens in my bag and have been known to use several at once (different colors, point sizes, etc.) when taking notes. Therefore, it is nice to have a case that, when open, allows me to easily see and retrieve the contents inside. It looks handsome on the desk. And, thanks to the way they are designed, once zipped it becomes a nice trim package.

The medium I’m using for other items I like to carry in my ruck — headphones, a small flashlight, a Swiss Army knife, and other sundry items that otherwise knock around the top pocket. Once again, it creates a nice trim package of this stuff when zipped.

Between the two, things are neat and contained. Both are very sturdy too thanks to using 1000D Nylon.

Now, Nock Co. is still trying to catch up with the Kickstarter orders. They have not officially opened shop to the wide world yet. I feel sort of bad reviewing and recommending something that can’t be ordered yet. That said, I know the guys there are working as hard as they can to do so soon. Great products, from great folks, made in the USA, at reasonable prices. Keep them on your radar screen.

A Brief Review — RHA MA750i In-ear Headphone


I’m not much of an audiophile. In fact, I’m pretty fine to just listening to the built in speakers on my MacBook and iDevices most of the time. That said, the appeal and difference of using quality audio gear does not escape me completely. I had an earlier model of RHA Headphones (the MA450i) that I ended up losing at some point along the way. I’ve really missed them. They were especially great for running. So, I was delighted to accept a generous offer by the fine folks at RHA to check out their new flagship model, the MA750i In-ear Headphone.

I’ve had a chance to use them for a couple of months now (yes, I’m that overdue) in a iety of situations and environments. They sound amazing no matter what and have a solid — near custom — fit thanks to the 10 pairs (!) of different sized/shaped/purposed ear tips they include. Thus, the noise isolation that can be achieved is better than any other similar models I’ve tried (which is not many). I think one would be hard pressed to find much better balance of build quality or rich, balanced, sound for the cost ($130.00).

They include all of the other bells and whistles you would expect from headphones in this price range — noise isolation, three button in-line remote and microphone, steel reinforced cable with gold plated connection, and a nice carry case and holder for the ear tips.

In all, I’ve really been enjoying these and have been reaching for them anytime the sound matters. And, thanks to how well they fit they are even better for active pursuits than the ones I lost. These are a keeper for sure.

A Brief Review — Capture Camera Clip by Peak Design


I recently purchased a Capture Camera Clip by Peak Design for an upcoming trip. It’s a really smart idea that first caught my attention as a (very successful) Kickstarter campaign.

Now, they are available to the public at large. It’s a system comprised of a clip that can be attached to almost any strap or belt and a special plate that attaches to the mounting port on the bottom of most cameras that slides into the clip. The clip itself attaches with security and relative ease. But the real star is how easy it is to slide the camera into place and how secure it is once there. Then, a simple, single, push button releases it — ready for action. The very use of it makes me feel like a pro. There is a small knob one can twist to further lock the camera into place, in case the button were to get triggered by accident. But, so far, I have not had reason to use it.

It shines in situations where I need to access my camera with flexibility and speed, and where protection is less of a concern. Really nice not having to take an extra bag or worry about leaving room for a camera in my ruck. I’m looking forward to really putting it through the paces during an upcoming trip and in the next GORUCK event I shadow. I really recommend checking it out if for no other reason than the genius of the idea alone.

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