The NAO headlamp is the future of overnight endurance events, early morning runs, and any other adventure in the dark.
NAO pronounced the same as 'NOW' is a headlamp with an extra long battery life. Well balanced, it provides automatic light adjustments for varying conditions. This means that when you run up to someone else with a light it softens the beam. When you need a long beam it recognizes the need because it has a sensor to register light output and input. For example; if you are running with a group and you all have headlamps, the lamp will automatically blend with the other lights. The net result is a longer battery life. If you are running uphill the NAO senses that you need a short beam that will not glare off of a map or the ground close in front of you.
Picky about how much beam there is in your lamp? The NAO allows you to program the amount of lumens to make the battery last longer or change the strength of the short or long beam.
When do you need the NAO? I am thinking that this is a great headlamp for the Ragnar Relay, Red Rock Relay or any other time you need light to run in the dark. If you get out of the support vehicle to support someone the light will automatically adjust to your needs. Then when you hop back in the car the light will dim so you don't blind all your fellow runners that are trying to get some shut eye.
What about triathlon? How many times have you gone to setup your transition area in the dark? Well, when this beam hits your shiny TT it will adjust. When you are making modifications to your shoes, bike, wetsuit etc. this will give you light handsfree and adjust to a comfortable beam. Warning: when the sun starts coming up you need to take it off because you don't want to submerge this during the swim. The lamp is very water resistant but should not be fully submerged.
I have been using the NAO during early morning runs. I was pleased to find that the battery is rechargeable from a USB port on my computer. The battery did not need a charge after being used 8 different times to run for an average time of 2 hours each. This was over the period of almost 3 weeks. I am estimating that for me this was more than a 12 hour usage. I really like the low battery warning system when the light flashes to let you know you have about 1 hour of light left.
I mostly run trails and this has been great for all trail running. For road running it is great because each time a car passes you the NAO senses additional light and does not keep a constant beam. The adjustments are soft and subtle. If you run under a street lamp the light dims. This is perfect so your eyes are not continually adjusting to brighter light. The NAO is the light with a brain that conserves the light. Think about when you are fiddling to tie your shoe or adjust something on your watch; when you look at something at close range it will register a short beam. If there is snow the natural reflection of light will adjust the headlamp so that the battery life will be longer.
This headlamp is about twice the size of an average headlamp. Because the light is in front and the battery is in the back this balances the extra weight well.
The NAO makes manual adjustments by hand a thing of the past. Coming in at about $175.00 it is a bigger investment than your average headlamp. If you are passionate about camping and going to the bathroom in the great outdoors handsfree the NAO is the headlamp that you want. The NAO is set to hit stores summer 2012.
For more information about this and other Petzl products go to: www.petzl.com
As an athlete, it is always exciting to find a new product that fits perfectly with your active lifestyle. The perfect shoe, the perfect leggings, the perfect water bottle. But how often do we find a company that has a mission that fits your healthy lifestyle as well? thinkSport founder Kevin Brodwick has created a company which prides themselves in “creating safe, functional and elegant line of consumer products which do not contain toxic chemicals.” While working for a biological testing lab, Brodwick became aware that regardless of where a product is manufactured, it contained harmful chemicals with no government regulation in sight. So he, along with a team of physicians and scientists, set out to create chemical free products. He has also participated in triathlon for 25 years. Here is a sampling of their line of innovative, and indeed elegant products:
thinksport and LIVESTRONG Sunscreen
When looking for a sunscreen the first thing I look for is the scent. If there is a strong chemical smell or overly tropical fragrance, I am immediately turned off. After passing this first whiff test, chemical free and non-greasy application are an added bonus but difficult to find in the same formula. Until now. LIVESTRONG has teamed up with thinksport to create this waterproof Sunscreen which easily passed the sniff test with it’s light, citrus smell and also has the smooth, non-greasy application that when absent can make applying sunscreen intolerable; especially in transition. This mineral-based formula is also free of the yuck-stuff including PABA, Parabens, Benzoate, Phthalates, and BPA . It doesn’t hurt that you are also supporting a great cause. thinksport has committed a minimum $1.5 million dollars to fight cancer through the LIVESTRONG foundation.
thinksport Yoga Mat
For the past 3 years that I have regularly attended yoga, I have doubled-up my mat each time because I didn’t like feeling the floor through the mat. Apparently I wasn’t the only one out there doing this. thinksport Yoga Mat is more than 50% thicker than other mats providing a much more comfortable yoga experience without compromising your ability to perform the poses. Like all thinksport products, this mat is non-toxic & free of BPA, PVC, lead and biologically toxic chemicals. And they’re stylish too available in 3 colors; red, blue and green. For $39.99 it’s a bummer the carry bag isn’t included, but hey, if you’ve been carrying around 2 mats like I have, think of it as 2 for the price of 1.
thinksport water bottle
Some like it hot, some like it cold but all I know is that once I decide, I want it to stay that way. So if it’s ice cold water you crave or hot tea, the thinksport bottle will ensure it’s the temperature you wanted without messy, exterior sweating messing up the papers on your desk or the dry towel in your gym bag. The bottle has a wide mouth opening for easy brewing, cleaning and filling but also has a polypropylene spout for a more convenient sip. No more luke-warm tea or tepid water during a long workout which makes this bottle worth the investment at $19.99.
Saucony has a line called the SAUCONY ORIGINAL SHOES. This category will remind you of the shoes your crazy uncle used to run his first marathon. I tested the SAUCONY JAZZ ORIGINAL. With a totally classic look these shoes are ideal for any casual outing. This shoe is comfortable for walking and you can definitely run in it. I walked the Outdoor Retailer show in this shoe for 3 days with no problems. With a classic tread and thick sole you will feel transported to a time when shoes were thicker and bulkier. This shoe is not built to ventilate and run through the desert with the lightest material. This shoe is a full shoe with a thick tongue and a thick sole. This is a great city living shoe. The SAUCONY JAZZ ORIGINAL comes with black and white broad laces. The other color variations provide different lace colors so you can choose to be bold or just blend. This is the ideal active lifestyle shoe.