Coros Apex GPS Watch Review

In my quest to find a watch to meet my needs, I decided to try the Coros Apex GPS Watch.  The company, Coros, is a newer company on the GPS scene. They created two watches the Coros Apex and the Pace. I chose the Apex, because it has all of the same features of the Pace but has a “less sporty look”. I wanted a watch I could wear wherever.

Coros designed the Apex as a Multisport Watch for athletes who want to train harder, smarter, and more efficiently. Along with pace, distance, time, you can even create workouts specifically geared towards your fitness level and training needs.

1000s, 400s, mile repeats?  You got it!  (A key imprtance for me)

After a workout, you can easily upload your data to the Coros App. If you use Strava or Trainingpeaks, it will sync to that too.  It does everything a Garmin Forerunner will, and I believe everything the Garmin Fenix does too.

In exchange for an unbiased review, Coros gave me 50% off the watch.

Coros apex gps watch review

Thoughts:

Right off the back, I liked the look of the watch. I like the sleekness of white but also the ability to change bands if I want too. Plus, it’s not a big, heavy, watch. Of any watch I’ve used, it’s by far the lightest.

I’m upgrading from the Garmin 220, so the Coros Apex has a lot of features.  Since I run, I’m most interested in the running and overall health features.  Before researching watches, I was unfamiliar with the brand Coros.  It’s a newer company but well known for running, cycling, and swimming.

As far as features go, the Apex is most similar to the Garmin 935.

Design:

The Apex is available in two different sizes, 42mm and 46mm.  I went with the smaller 42mm because I like a smaller watch that I can wear daily.  It looks sporty but not ultra-sporty.  It’s something I can get away with outside of the fitness world.

One thing I haven’t experimented with (yet), is the removable bands. Once the white gets dirty, I’m sure I’ll be changing bands.  I like pink so maybe that will be next.

Coros apex gps watch review

Battery Life:

It’s advertised to go about ten days on a single charge, and I’ve had success with that.  In fact, I only charged it once on my entire trip in California.  I wore it every day and used the GPS mode for either hiking or running.

Marin Headlands San Francisco

Hiking the Marin Headlands

It can also be in “Full GPS mode for 25 hours (or 35 with the larger 46 mm).  I have no need for that length of GPS, but if you are an ultra runner, I can see a huge benefit to not changing watches.  I appreciate I don’t have to charge it after every workout because I usually forget.

Features:

The Coros Apex Watch has a lot of features. Since I upgraded from a Garmin 220, it took me a while to get used to everything. In fact, I’m not fully used to everything just yet.

The important features to me were the ability to program a workout like 12X400 with 400 jog in between (or any track workout) as well as the essential time, distance, pace.  I liked the look of the Fitbit, but it could not program track workouts.

Seems simple right?  Believe me, the Coros Apex Watch has all of that and far far more.  I’m a basic runner and would prefer an “easy to use” watch versus one with 10,000 features that I didn’t use.  Luckily, the Apex Coros is both easy to use and has a ton of features.

Coros apex gps watch review

Here are just a few of many features:

Running:

  • Distance, pace, and speed (compared to other GPS brands, I’ve found it accurate
  • Entire Indoor/Treadmill Run Feature: I used Coros inside (my first time using a GPS watch inside ever), and the indoor GPS is accurate as well.
  • Heart Rate, Heart Rate Zone
  • Cadence and Stride Length (in real time)
  • Auto-lap, auto-pause
  • Ability to display more or less data on the screen:  Seeing the data is neat, but I personally don’t need to see it every second of my run. You can adjust the data screens to show more or less information.

The only issue, I’ve found with the Apex is, I’ve bumped it a couple of times and accidentally paused the watch (while still running). I wish there was a little more resistance on the side button, but it hasn’t been enough to make me dislike the watch or even be enough.

Cycling

Keep in mind, I don’t cycle. At all! The Coros Apex does all of the cycling data too.

  • Distance, speed, HR, HR zone, and so on.

Swimming

For the LOLZ, I decided to get back into the pool just to see what the Apex did.  Back in my day (omg I’m old…a decade ago), we had no GPS watches to track our collegiate swimming laps. To be honest that was probably good.  Moving forward, it was a whole new experience to get all of this information in the pool.  Like other sports, it did the following:

  • Distance, pace, stroke count,
  • I swam in the pool but you can differentiate between the pool and open water swimming.

Heart Rate Monitor:

I used the Heart Rate Monitor, and in comparison to my Fitbit, it’s pretty spot on. I didn’t have an issue, and the accuracy seemed right in line.

Coros apex gps watch review

Hiking:

While there isn’t a “hiking” GPS, I’ve been using running and it’s been accurate. A couple of cool hiking orientated features are the built in compass as well as altimeter (checking altitude). I’ve found myself using both regularly and it’s been an awesome addition to hikes.

Coros apex gps watch review

Coros apex gps watch review

Daily Factors and Sleep Tracking:

Sleep Tracking was a big feature for me.  I like the ability to track sleep on the Fitbit Versa.  I don’t think Garmin does a great job at it.  The Apex also has you standard activity and sleep tracking features.

I think the sleep tracking is far more accurate and better than Garmin.  I do believe, Fitbit sleep tracking is better.

Other Overall Wellness Features:

  •  Daily steps, active calories, exercise time (all fairly accurate and the steps was within 100 of what other trackers said)
  • Smart Notifications (I like to see texts or phone calls but have stopped notifications on social platforms (which I also do on my phone).
  • Elevation: I’ve enjoyed tracking the elevation for hiking.  When we went out to California, it was a lot of fun to track our climbing.

Overall Thoughts:

I like my Coros Apex Watch. I like the general design and the ability to wear it outside of fitness. I appreciate all of the features in the watch as well as it not being “big and bulky”.  It’s the smallest GPS watch I’ve seen on the market.

I know I don’t use every single feature, but the Apex marks all of the basic things I need (a basic GPS watch, that can be used for complex workouts, as well as being out and about). Coros, in general, flew under my radar until recently but if you are looking for a GPS watch, the Apex is one to consider.

Pros:

  • Lightweight and slimmest GPS watch I’ve tried
  • Long battery life
  • Sleep Tracking
  • Built-in heart rate monitor
  • Bonus hiking features including altimeter and compass
  • So. Many. Features. (maybe too many for me, but there are a lot!)

Cons:

  • Lack of music ability which many watches have at that price
  • The start/stop button for running can be finicky, and it is relatively easy to accidentally pause a run.

In finding a watch the Coros meets all of my needs. From tracking pace, distance, time, and workouts to hiking elevation, I haven’t found a feature it doesn’t have that I need.  Plus the overall look can’t be overlooked as a functional but cute watch.

If you are interested, you can use the code Hollie10 and receive 10% off the watch (which is $30).

Questions for you:

Do you wear a GPS watch? What kind?

What features are most important to you in a watch? 

Busy Bee Cafe (Ventura, CA)

Busy Bee Cafe (Ventura, CA)

While on the 8-hour drive from Carlsbad to San Fransico, we decided to stop at the Busy Bee Cafe in Downtown Ventura.  By the name, you obviously think, cafe, not a diner.  But instead, it’s one of the most decorated diners out there.  If there is anything I learned while going to diners in California, is the decorations and atmosphere is usually at the top.

Busy bee cafe ventura california

Atmosphere: A
The Busy Bee Cafe is located in downtown Ventura.  The walkable downtown is beautiful with plenty of parking. The outside appears to be a little cafe with a retro “time to eat” clock at the top.

Busy bee cafe ventura california

The inside is as retro as it gets.  There is a full-length bar, tables, and booths.  Everything is chrome with red booths, coat racks, and vintage signs all across the restaurant.

Coffee: A
The coffee was brewed hot and fresh, and the waitress refilled it multiple times. I have no complaints. One unique addition was the multiple coffee mate creamers at the table. There were several single-serve flavors including Irish cream french vanilla.

Busy bee cafe ventura california

Food: A
The Busy Bee Cafe serves everything at all times. If you want pork chops at 6 am…go for it.  Breakfast for lunch?  Go for it.  There are plenty of blue plate specials as well.  I decided to order the farmers omelet with their famous biscuit and gravy.  Growing up, I loved good biscuits and gravy.  It was my favorite!

Busy bee cafe ventura california

Without reading the menu, I would expect the Farmers Omelet to have every vegetable imaginable. The Famers omelet actually had all of the proteins available!  It was cooked well.

Busy bee cafe ventura california

The biscuit and gravy were perfect. They serve the gravy on the side so you can top as much as you would like.  For me, that was all of it.

Service: A
We saw many of the wait staff including the manager. The employees worked as a team which was cool. The food came out quickly, and I have no complaints.

Cost: $
For my meal and coffee, the cost was $13.

Overall Thoughts/Summary:
I liked the Busy Bee Cafe, and it’s a great stop along 101.  If I’m in the area again, I would definitely go back.

Atmosphere: A
Coffee: A
Food: A
Service: A
Cost: $10-15

Overall: A

You Can See All Diner Reviews Here.

Questions for you:
What is your favorite type of omelet?
Do you have a downtown where you live?

 

Jackson Diner

Jackson Diner

Recently I went to the Jackson Diner. I came across the Jackson Diner when looking for new and closer diners to review. I stumbled upon their “specials menu” and noticed they had German Night on Mondays. I knew, when I did go, it needed to be on a Monday for German Night. They also have nights dedicated to Italian, Mexican, and Greek. It’s one of the most unique menus I’ve seen in a diner.

Atmosphere: A
The Jackson Diner is located in a shopping mall. Based on an online photo, I wasn’t expecting that. The outside appears to be just a casual restaurant, but the inside is a flashback from the past. It looks like a funky, fun, diner. Everything is metallic and shiny, and there are plenty of booths, tables, and a full-length bar.

Jackson diner nj

Coffee: A
The coffee was brewed hot and fresh, and the waitress refilled it multiple times. That particular day was bitter cold, so I welcomed a hot drink. The whipped cream overflowed out which made it fun.

Jackson diner nj

Food: A
As I mentioned, I strategically planned to come on a Monday Night for German Night. Even with the German night, there are plenty of other “regular options,” and the Jackson Diner has every diner option you can imagine. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner including pork chops, seafood, and another page of specials that isn’t “German Night.”

I decided to order the Brautwurst which came with potatoes as well as red cabbage.  Since I was hungry, I also ordered a cup of the lobster bisque.

The lobster bisque was good and hot and had a kick to it which I really liked. I like all spicy foods, so it was a pleasant surprise.

Jackson diner nj

The German Special did not disappoint. There was a lot of Bratwurst! I had expected maybe a link or two, but there were 3.  The sauce was good, and the potatoes were juicy.  To be honest, I had never had red cabbage before so didn’t know what to expect. It was pickled and delicious. It looked almost like shredded beets.

Jackson diner nj

In all, I really liked my meal.

Service: A
Everyone from the waitress to the manager and the host were all friendly and funny. It was one of the best teams of employees I’ve seen.

Cost: $
For my soup, meal, and coffee the cost was $18.

Overall Thoughts/Would I Come Back?
I really liked the Jackson Diner, and I will be back. Everything from the atmosphere to the food and service was great.

Atmosphere: A
Coffee: A
Food: A
Service: A
Cost: $10-$15

Overall: A

You Can See All 228 Diner Reviews Here.

Questions for you:

Have you ever had German Food before?

Are you excited for the Super Bowl? 

 

Brooks Ricochet Shoe Review

Brooks Ricochet Shoe Review

Right now, Brooks is the top brand in run specialty. Since they only make running and walking shoes, they do a good job. The Brooks Richochet is a new shoe from Brooks. Similar to the Brooks Levitate 2, it uses DNA AMP. It’s much more responsive than both the Brooks Ghost or Brooks Glycerin. Just because you like the softer Ghost or Glycerin, doesn’t mean you’ll like the firmer Richochet or Levitate. In fact, most people prefer one or the other.

It’s lighter with less cushion than the Levitate 2, but still a lot of cushioning. Personally, I’ve thought the Levirate 2 feels like a bulky shoe. Generally, I like bulkier shoes, but the Levitate 2 has always just felt like a brick. I was excited to hear Brooks made a lighter version of the Levitate.

Brooks Ricochet Shoe Review

Fit:

The fit of the Ricochet is interesting. It fits similar to the Levitate with an almost sock-like fit that comes up higher than a traditional shoe. It’s seamless and has plenty of space for those (like me!) with a wider forefront. I typically wear between a size 10-11 wide, and the 10.5 fits fine.

Diving more into the upper, the higher sock-like fit was created to keep “the foot more secure” as well as not allowing dirt in. I’m not a fan of it in any shoe or brand that does this (unless it’s a trail boot) and would prefer a traditional upper. It does take time to get used too.  It is seamless and doesn’t rub, so that is a plus. Do I feel more secure with the higher upper? No.

Ride:

The Richoet is different than most of the Brooks line.  It has a layer of DNA AMP to provide the maximum of amount of energy return.  There is also a layer of DNA foam to cut down on weight (Which is why the Levitate is so heavy).

As Brooks says, this design is supposed to provide flexibility between the two layers of cushion while also being responsive.

Brooks Ricochet Shoe Review

While running, I could feel how responsive the shoe was. I appreciate how firm and responsive the shoe is without being overly heavy or bulky. While I don’t think it would be the best speed work shoe, I think it’s a much “faster” shoe than most of their neutral shoes.

Something to note, which I’ve been finding more and more with several models across brands, is the lack is traction.  During rainy or slick days, the Richochet does not grip the found like many other shoes. I save them for dry days or the treadmill.

Conclusion:

I think the Richoet is a good shoe from Brooks for someone looking for a firmer and more responsive shoe from the Glycerin or Ghost. It’s also a good shoe for someone who likes the Levitate but wants a lighter shoe. Would I personally choose it over the Ghost or Glycerin? No, but I prefer a softer shoe.

From Brooks, I’m team DNA forever. I think the Ricochet could use tune-ups from the upper to just the overall weight, but typically most new shoes need some help. I’ll continue to use the shoe for workouts and occasionally for daily runs, but I still prefer the Glycerin or Ghost.

Shoe Rotation:

Daily Runs: Brooks Glycerin, Hoka Cavu, New Balance 1080,  Saucony Triumph

Workouts: Nike Fly, Brooks Richochet

Races: Nike Streak LT, Nike Fly

Questions for you:

What is your current favorite shoe?

Do you prefer a heavy or light shoe? 

Alexis Diner (Denville)

Alexis Diner (Denville)

After Hiking the Mahlon Reservation and Headley Overlook, I stopped at the Alexis Diner. When I arrived around dinner time, it wasn’t crowded and there were plenty of booths and tables open. I got a booth in the back which was peaceful.

Alexis Diner Denville NJ

Atmosphere: A
The Alexis Diner is everything you expect in a diner. The atmosphere is big, shiny, metallic, and stands out in a local shopping center.  The inside is lit by blue lights with plenty of booths, tables, and a full-length bar.  There is a large dessert case towards the front with plenty of delicious looking treats.

Alexis Diner Denville NJ

Coffee: B
The coffee was good but nothing unique or unusual. That’s been the trend lately. It wasn’t the best or worst, just average.

Alexis Diner Denville NJ

Food: B
After hiking, I was hungry. Alexis Diner has 10+ pages of food, so you’ll struggle not finding what you’re looking for.

I can never turn down a good Greek platter and ordered the  “Greek Pikilia” for an appetizer. It came with olives, spanokopita, grape leaves, pita, and tomatoes. It could have used hummus to round it out, but other than that it was good.

Alexis Diner Denville NJ

For my entree, I ordered the “Heartburn Hotel” which came with hot pastrami, imported swiss, cole slaw, and spicy mustard. The sandwich itself was good, but could have used more mustard. It also came with French fries which were good, but nothing unusual.

Alexis Diner Denville NJ

It was so much food, I ended up bringing some home.

Service: B
The waitress was friendly and one of the best I’ve had. I was disappointed because both the appetizer and entree came out at the same time. It wasn’t a make or break for coming back but I doubt I would have ordered both if I knew they would come out at the same time.

Cost: $$
For the coffee; appetizer, and meal it was $30. It’s definitely one of the most expensive diners I’ve been too.

Overall Thoughts:
I liked the Alexis Diner and I would go back if I’m in the area. It’s definitely expensive though.

Atmosphere: A
Coffee:  B
Food: B
Service: A
Cost: $20-30
Overall: B

You Can See All 226 Diners Here.

Questions for you:
What is your favorite type of sandwich?
Do you like hummus?

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