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Graham Mccarthy "gmccarthy15" (Cheshire)
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Nike Clima-Fit Convertible Running Jacket
Nike Clima-Fit Convertible Running Jacket

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cord Management Solutions?, 26 Mar 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I confess, I don't normally buy Nike equipment, or any other `designer' sports gear for that matter, I frequently find them over-priced and of average quality. The Nike Clima-Fit Convertible Running Jacket might just be the exception to this rule. I did quite a bit of research here and compared several running jackets and this one won, why?

I wanted a jacket that would keep the wind off in winter, keep me cool, was water resistant, ventilated and that fit well. Ideally I would be able to remove the sleeves in spring/autumn when the weather is warmer but wet.

The Nike Clima-Fit Convertible Running Jacket met all of my criteria, and no other jacket that I looked at quite did. I like the removable sleeves and the `cord management solutions' (what a dreadful use of English, it's a good job Nike are only in charge of clothing and not the English language). These are essentially elastic draw strings around the waist that end in the pockets. They allow you to adjust the fit of the jacket to stop it flapping around when running.

It's important to ensure that a running jacket is well ventilated otherwise you can resemble a boil-in-the-bag chicken after a few kilometres. This jacket is very well ventilated and allows moisture to dissipate quickly without letting you get cold.

The jacket is also very light indeed and all in all has proved to be very practical. I'd suggest that the jacket is water resistant rather than waterproof and that works well. It will always be a compromise between ventilation and water resistance I suppose.

So to conclude, I can highly recommend the Nike Clima-Fit Convertible Running Jacket, even if it is made by Nike and unusually for me I'll give it 5 starts because unusually for Nike, they met all of my expectations. Gosh.


No Title Available

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good when it's very cold but..............., 15 Mar 2010
Designing the perfect running glove seems to be a challenge beyond the sports industry. Gloves need to keep you hands warm in cold weather (in very cold weather they can really freeze) and well ventilated in more temperate weather. The hands have to contend with the wind-chill and later the heat and sweat associated with running, even in cold weather.

I bought a pair of these Nike Thermal Running Gloves because my usual running gloves were not keeping my hands warn enough in sub-zero temperatures and they really hurt when they warm back up. In this respect the Nike Thermal Running Gloves worked very well and I was really pleased with them, so far so good. On the down side they don't seem to be sufficiently well ventilated to fully prevent moisture build-up on longer runs and here they can become unpleasantly clammy. I've started a number of runs with them on only to finish the run holding them in my hand. I'm not convinced that the fleece material used is really ideal for running gloves.

The gloves do have an integral key pocket in the palm, it's only small and my somewhat large car key won't fit into it, but it may be useful for smaller keys.

So in summary, the Nike Thermal Running Gloves have proved useful but are in my opinion only for running in very cold weather because they fail to wick excess moisture away sufficiently well to remain comfortable when you warm up.


No Title Available

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth it, 12 Mar 2010
I do like Under Armour clothing, it really is high-quality kit, well made, well designed and comfortable and these Cold Gear leggings are all of these things. I use them to run in cold weather and went out many times this winter in sub-zero temperatures (-9 one Saturday morning) wearing these leggings. I think that once the temperature rises above about 5 degrees I'll swap over to my Heatgear leggings. These leggings are designed as base-layer clothing as opposed to running wear, so whilst warm, comfortable and supportive they don't have any pockets. The Moisture Transport feature may sound like marketing nonsense but it works; these leggings don't hold water, don't really get particularly wet so much as damp, and even this dries out very quickly. I wear them all the time for running but they are probably even better suited to skiing, hiking and cycling. The compression element of the leggings works well to prevent injury so if in doubt I'd go for the smaller size. I give them 5 stars and can't recommend them highly enough.


No Title Available

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good investment, 12 Mar 2010
These Skins compression half-tights are really comfortable and really do support the Quads, Glutes and Hamstring well. At 45cm long they come to just above the knee. They are well made, clearly a quality piece clothing, and are anatomically designed for comfort, with vented areas in the back and the crotch. I started wearing them to help my running but it's hard to quantify whether they have improved my times, but I do seem to suffer fewer injuries when I wear them. They are also comfortable enough to wear during the day. If you do suffer a groin strain (common in runners) they really help to reduce the recovery time. I've washed my pair many times now and they still look like new. I can definitely recommend them.


Lifeventure Soft Fibre Advance Large Towel -
Lifeventure Soft Fibre Advance Large Towel -
Offered by MDC Direct
Price: £19.50

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars How good can a towel get?, 12 Mar 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
These Lifeventure Soft-Fibre towels are really remarkable. I bought some of various sizes to take to the gym. They fold up to a really small size; the picture makes it look much bigger than it is in reality. The case for the large towel is about 18 x 9 x 3cm. So it fits easily into my sports bag and means that I don't need to carry such a large bag anymore.

I'm over 6 foot and the large size towel easily dries me completely, so unless you need a towel for family use I'd recommend the large size. It takes a little getting used to, you can't really rub it on your skin like a traditional cotton towel, you need to pat yourself dry, but it dries very effectively indeed.

A key advantage of this towel is just how quickly it dries out. The technical details state that it dries 4x quicker than a standard towel - My experience is that it dries much more quickly than that. I can go swimming in the morning and then use the same towel after my lunchtime run, and it's dry.

I initially bought one towel to gauge how good it was - I was a little sceptical and they are pricey, but having tested one I've now bought another three.

So in short, I highly recommend these towels for sports use - I suspect they are equally useful for holidays and hiking alike. So why only four stars? Well, although greatly superior to a heavy cotton towel that can take hours to dry, it is still relatively expensive.


Nike Elite Running Socks
Nike Elite Running Socks

4.0 out of 5 stars Aerodynamic Socks, 12 Mar 2010
This review is from: Nike Elite Running Socks (Apparel)
It's hard to get too worked up about a sock, even a sock as good as the Nike Elite Cushioned Sock. They are comfortable and definitely superior to your average cotton ankle sock; they do also keep feet cool and dry. Even when washed they seem to hold very little water and can be dried within a few minutes. This was really helpful during winter running and expect that they'll perform equally well during summer running. They are a little pricey and this prevents me from giving them 5 stars, but I now own two pairs so I must think that they're worth it.

I'm especially impressed by the Nike Swift Technology - aerodynamic socks - how fantastic is that? It's hard to gauge just how much time these socks have helped me to shave of my 10Km times but I'm thinking maybe I could make the 2012 Olympics with socks like these. They are also marked reassuringly with a large `L' and `R' on the big toe, presumably to reduce the levels of pernicious doubt and uncertainty that seems to pervade the universe.


Nike Elite Runing Cushioned Quarter Socks
Nike Elite Runing Cushioned Quarter Socks
Offered by Euroshoppinguk
Price: £16.90

47 of 47 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Aerodynamic Socks, 18 Feb 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
It's hard to get too worked up about a sock, even a sock as good as the Nike Elite Cushioned Sock. They are comfortable and definitely superior to your average cotton ankle sock; they do also keep feet cool and dry. Even when washed they seem to hold very little water and can be dried within a few minutes. This was really helpful during winter running and expect that they'll perform equally well during summer running. They are a little pricey and this prevents me from giving them 5 stars, but I now own two pairs so I must think that they're worth it.

I'm especially impressed by the Nike Swift Technology - aerodynamic socks - how fantastic is that? It's hard to gauge just how much time these socks have helped me to shave of my 10Km times but I'm thinking maybe I could make the 2012 Olympics with socks like these. They are also marked with a large `L' and `R' on the big toe, presumably to reduce the levels of pernicious doubt and uncertainty that seems to pervade the universe.
Comment Comments (6) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 20, 2011 5:12 PM BST


Timex Sport Ironman Fullsize Multi-function Triathlon 30 Lap - T5E931
Timex Sport Ironman Fullsize Multi-function Triathlon 30 Lap - T5E931
Price: £27.99

54 of 61 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Value for Money, 9 Dec 2009
I required a robust watch/stop watch with split timer to enable me to time the miles/Km when I'm running races. The 30 lap split timer is fine for me and enables me to time the miles in a marathon, but with only 30 laps it won't accommodate all 42 Km, which is a curious weakness.

This watch is relatively simple and quite intuitive to use (and how many watches can you say that about?). The buttons are large, clearly labelled and work easily enough. The back-light is useful when running at night. The display is very clear and the split/start button on the front is easy to find and use when I'm running.

It's water proof to 100m and I've worn mine many times in the sauna, steam room and pool for up to 30 minutes at a time and it's still working fine. It seems very robust and well made.

It's not the prettiest watch in the world, it looks inexpensive and plastic and whilst it is demonstrably robust it is plastic. It's also quite thick at about 1cm so I'm not too sure that I agree with E Schilling about its credentials as a unisex watch.

I do highly recommend this watch; it is a no-nonsense, functional sports watch that meets my needs exactly and for a very reasonable price. So why only 4 stars? Well I think the 30 lap limit is an oversight and the cheap appearance stops me wearing it to work. These are minor quibbles but one has standards to maintain.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 3, 2013 3:29 PM BST


Sibelius 5 Student
Sibelius 5 Student

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Software at a Good Price, 2 Sep 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Sibelius 5 Student (CD-ROM)
I had five simple requirements for a piece of music software; these were:

Manually write sheet music from the keyboard and mouse quickly.
Transcribe music from a MIDI keyboard
Enable me to include notes (fingering, chords, lyrics etc.)
Transpose MIDI files from the web into printed sheet music.
Play the music through my PC or piano.

Sibelius 5 is probably the market leading package. I always think that the hallmark of great software is how intuitive it is. If you can use it without reading the instructions that it's been well designed. By this measurement Sibelius 5 isn't great and early on I had to spend time with the manual, but having taken a day or two to get to grips with it, it is really quite straightforward.

Sibelius 5 meets all of my requirements, entering music on the computer is quite time consuming but ultimately a simple process. Using the piano keyboard can be quicker when entered note by note, but the results are more variable when the flexi input option is used.

Sibelius 5 meets all of my requirements and enables me to share scores with my piano tutor. It's good but it's not great. I've evaluated Finale PrintMusic 2009 and of the two, Sibelius 5 is clearly the superior product, more intuitive and more flexible.

Sibelius 6 is now available and several features that make it even better and more useful that Sibelius 5, but it isn't yet available in student form and is therefore an order of magnitude too expensive for a humble user like me with my simple requirements.

Having spent 2-3 months with Sibelius 5 now I'm happy with my purchase and with the facilities on offer. An added bonus is that mist schools seem to use Sibelius and so having it at home has helped my daughter with her music homework.

Amazon recommends the book `A Comprehensive Guide to Sibelius Notation Software'. Be aware that this is for Sibelius 4 and there are several important differences between 4 and 5. It's a good book but not that helpful for Sibelius 5 I think.


Belkin 17" Laptop Messenger Bag in Black and Red
Belkin 17" Laptop Messenger Bag in Black and Red
Offered by SENDERCITY
Price: £31.30

204 of 210 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Practical & Stylish, 6 Jun 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
OK, let's deal with the size of this bag. If your laptop is bigger than 39cm x 27cm x 5cm then your going to struggle to fit it in. I'd regard these measurements as the limit. The laptop compartment is very well padded and so I really wouldn't bother with a sleeve and it's also red inside, a nice touch. Inside, in addition to the padded laptop compartment, there are three open pockets, one measuring 40x20 (suitable for an A4 pad) and two at 15x20 that will fit a mouse etc. There is also a zipped compartment measuring 32x9 and a couple of business card size pockets. There's also sufficient room for the power supply in here and a separate nylon `pencil' case is supplied for this(very handy).

On the outside of the case there's a zipped pocket measuring 30 wide x 20 deep with a pocket inside and a further zipped compartment on the front 15x25. I'm not sure how handy this one is, you could only really get thin items in it. Finally there is an open pocket with a Velcro seal measuring 40x25 that can be used to hide the shoulder strap and/or carry a thin A4 binder.

The bag is very neat and very well made; the crimson interior and trimmings are a nice touch and makes this bag slightly unusual. The handle is wide, secure and slightly padded making it comfortable to carry, even when it's fully loaded. The shoulder strap is wide enough to spread the load and won't cut into your shoulder and a really nice feature is the way that is can be stowed in the pocket when not in use (although it cannot be detached from the bag).

The bag isn't as capacious as some and if you `live' out of your laptop bag then this probably isn't the one for you. But if you need a stylish bag that's easy to carry, neat and well made, then for the price you really won't do better than this one. I can highly recommend it.
Comment Comments (14) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 2, 2012 10:40 AM BST


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