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The X Factor

By Racer X

The X Factor


With warm, wet weather on the horizon, I am reminded of the classic outdoor optimist’s expression, "There is no bad weather, only the wrong clothing." Many outdoor gear companies are showing the way to do it right. When it comes to offering quality and ecologically sound products for consumers, Racer X says find out what you can about the products you buy, since what you buy influences the global market place.

Patagonia Recycled Frisbee
What would I have done in college without Walter Fredrick Morrison?

Morrison, the ingenious inventor of the original plastic plate, died this year at the age of 90, but his legacy continues to soar with Sport Discs, Freestyle Discs and the original Wham-O brand Frisbees being hucked and chucked around the globe with glee. Patagonia offers a 175-gram original Wham-O made from 60% post consumer plastics at a discount price. Racer X says, “I wish Discraft made something this cool.”



Montbell Rain Trekker Jacket and Pants
Breathable, will keep you dry—and good value for your yen.

Montbell continues to offer some of the best cost performance in outdoor gear. Featuring a three-layer Breeze Dry-Tec combination of fabrics, the Rain Trekker Jacket and Rain Trekker Pants combination is well suited for Japan’s sultry and wet weather. The lightweight men’s and women’s specific models feature Aqua tech zippers, two-way adjustable hood, underarm zippers for breathability, zippered pockets and their own stuff sacks for lightweight travel.



Prana Evolution "eco" Yoga Mat
Wherever you go, there you are, practicing or relaxing comfortably.

Made from a base layer of natural vulcanized biodegradable rubber that eliminates the need for toxic glues and PVC materials, The Revolution “eco” Mat has dual scrim construction and is wider and longer than most mats sold (198 cm. x 76 cm.). As Japan in residence Yoga Instructor and Yoga Slacker Adi Carter says, “The Prana Revolution is one of my favorite mats; it’s eco-conscious and also super sticky. The extra surface area is a big plus, and it’s thick enough to lay down in the back of your car or tent as a sleeping pad should you need that sort of versatility from your yoga mat.”



Adidas Elevation ClimaCool a136 Sunglasses
Good Protection, Clear Vision and made for the outdoors

When it comes to outdoor or sports eyewear, Adidas has gotten most everything right with the versatile Elevation ClimaCool a136 sunglasses, except maybe the name. Best suited for larger mugs, these eye protectors with anti-fog lenses can be fitted with an optional elastic strap providing enough protection and security for a spring Fuji climb or even early summer surfing. Choose from many color combinations and relax in comfort knowing the two pairs of polycarbonate lenses with UVA B and C radiation coating will keep all harmful rays blocked out. The Tri-Fit temple adjustment on the arms ensures a good fit. Check out the similar a143 Terrex Pro model if you want custom fitted prescription lenses.