Wednesday, May 30, 2018

3-Ways To Improve Running Fitness In An Hour

I believe in committing to at least 3-times weekly of run. It has to be a variety of tempo run, interval run and speedwork. Often, many of us are short of time to exercise and we often find excuses not to commit ourselves to a regular fitness workout, or in this case, a run. Depending on your level of commitment, my "go to" workout that I will share in this article revolves around your ability to commit a 30mins or a 60mins workout duration. 

Why Time-based workout?
Simple. Time doesn't change, the level of effort and distance covered does!

How # 1: 30Minutes Blast
Suggested Running Workout: 
Run at Tempo pace for 30minutes. If you are a beginner to an intermediate runner, you will get between 4.5km to 6km. Aim to cover more distance as you progress.
Focus On: 
- Discipline to maintain the tempo pace. 
- Avoid going too fast at the start.

This HIIT should allow you to try beating your 5km effort. If you have a 5km PB of about 30mins, expect yourself to cover the same distance in less time. Use the balance time to run at tempo pace. Be surprised what you can achieve!
Focus On: 
- Breathe. Do not hold back your breathing.

How #2: 60mins Endurance
Suggested Running Workout:
A beginner to an intermediate runner should be able to cover between 7km to 10km within 60mins. Because you have more "time", you can opt for a few variation to the Tempo run. My personal favourite is to do a Tempo Negative Split where I run the second 30mins faster than the first 30mins. Sometimes, I couple the Tempo run with an easier Tempo basic, or hammer the Tempo at race pace for 60mins. Either way, the aim for the 60mins is really to run as far as you can. 
Focus On:
- Discipline to maintain the tempo pace. 
- If you are gonna go fast, make sure you can last the next 58minutes!
- Breathe. Do not hold back your breathing.

Gamify Your Run
I benchmark my 60mins run to cover these milestones: 5km (time), 30mins (distance), 10km (time) and 60mins (distance). By doing this, I come out with a set of data where I know i am improving or at at a plateau. It is "racing against yourself". Bonus point - trying to remember all the data while pushing at 80% effort, it's a good mental exercise.
Focus On:
-Having Fun
- Remembering your data!

How #3: Stair Climbs!
This "cross workout" is pretty new to me and inspired by a fellow Garmin athlete which has made running up stairwell his niche. Soh Wai Ching's feat of running skyscrapers prompt me to think on how/what other ways for me to improve my run. We all know Soh is fast. We know he always strive for improvement and hungry to be the best... 
I made the stairs at home my next best friend when I do not have access to the gym or opportunity to run outside due to work calls or rain! This workout gives you strong quads and calves muscle, making you run-ready if the race requires a certain level of climbs up slopes.
I utilise my Garmin device (Fenix 3HR) that helps track the floors I conquered. By definition, one floor is about 16-steps or 3-m elevation. So, if you do not have a device to track, paper and pen can help! 
Focus On:
- How many floors can you climb in an hour
- Safety! Hold the handrail!

Since January 1, 2018, I have been consistently doing the above at least 5 times a week, missing out only on days I am required to travel. The benefit has been great and it provide a great challenge for me to #BeatYesterday, as how Garmin says. I have improved my 5km and 10km tming for this year - bearing in mind that I have been training, but my past achievements goes back 3, maybe 5 years ago. It is a good reality check that I am not as strong or as fast as I used to be. With priority changes in life, we have to be dynamic and remain focus on the one thing that matters to us apart from family and work. For me, it is my "race readiness" - and for that, I can truly said i am 90% ready (the last 10% is to sign up) ;-)

Monday, May 28, 2018

Garmin Fenix 3 HR Sapphire Review

A very late review of the Garmin Fenix 3HR which I have been using the past 2 years, almost. I got this as part of the yearly collaboration with Garmin Malaysia and Team 2ndSkin. Needless to say, the relationship has always been very productive and this review of the Fenix 3HR continues the commitment I have to review products shared by Garmin. As you all may already know, this F3HR, as it is called has been supersede by the new Fenix5 variants. I do not have the opportunity to review the F5, but think of the F5 as F3 on steroids - bigger screen and bigger memories to even include a color map. The other big differences with the F3 vs F5 is that the strap is a quick change on F5, which requires no tools. Software wise, the F5 supports "True Up" which essentially allows multiple Garmin devices to be used and for all datas to be included (such as daily HR and Stress indicator). The differences between the two stops there, as far as I know. And this review, as outdated as it may sound in the world where gadgets are replaced faster than running shoes... will be about the F3HR.
The photos below will do most of the talking. As you can see, the F3HR even comes with an USB wall plug, which is rare nowadays as Garmin look to cut cost by not providing any USB wall plugs. The Charger can fit into the older F3 (wiithout HR, but not vice-versa as this charging cradle has a recessed area where the HR sensor sits. So, for my F3 (being used by my wife now), we just need to maintain one docking when travelling.

Cover/sticker to give the faux screen. 

How the items are stacked up in the box.
Two chargers bundled! I am impressed.

The recessed part is to house the HR sensor.

Two buttons on the left. Top is for Select - start-stop. Bottom is Lap/Return.
Left side is three button, top is for power/light. Middle is UP and the bottom is Down.
The straps is standard Garmin... since using it for the past 2 years, I have changed the original strap out and used OEM products, mainly for color and price.

Setting Up
First thing when you fire up the Fenix 3HR is to set which wrist you wear the watch. The reason for this is not well known even to the Garmin community. The biggest guess is the orientation of the accelometer and how it will assist the auto-light up function. Flick the wrist to get the light up. It may also be for swim stroke recognition? Some has tried this on both wrist with no reported differences to the results. I would say... just set it up as which wrist you are usually wearing your watch. 

The original/standard watch face is a bit boring, It was the first thing I change in all my newer Garmin devices (since 920XT).

Updating with a new watch face is via Garmin ConnectIQ, which is a no fuss. The best watchface app for me is an app called "Face It". Which convert any photos you have to be your watch face.
Then the pairing will be standard Garmin-style. No fuss here.

Once all the setup is done, the Fenix 3HR will sync with all the items you want via Garmin Connect App, on Website and also using the Garmin Express app on computer. 
The Fenix 3HR is a very robust watch with Sapphire glass and I have never had a nick/scratch on the watch glass. The metal part/bezel was sturdy as well, saved a few part with discoloration due to wear and tear. the only other issue may be what appear to be "hairline" cracks on the resin of the HR sensor. While it doesn't effect the performance and accuracy, it can be quite a shock to some that has invested in this device. My advice is to bring it to AECO Technologies for it to be checked! If you are interested to get the Fenix 3HR, My advice is to get it from AECO and their authorised distributor for a peace of mind. It is currently retailing at about RM2099 (including GST).

Subaru Forester XT vs 2.0iP - Visual Differences

Subaru Forester has been a more common sight on the road in Malaysia in the recent years since this All Wheel Drive (AWD) mid-size SUV has been made more affordable to the general masses. Most of the Forester running on the Malaysian road are the naturally aspirated (NA) version, which are usually marked as 2.0i (standard trim)and the 2.0i-P (premium trim). Then there is the turbocharged version which are rare and not often seen known as the 2.0 XT.
Subaru Forester 2.0i-P. Photo taken from CarSifu.My
Performance differences is huge. the NA is 150ps and the XT is 241ps. Torque is 190Nm vs 350Nm. Pricing wise, it is also significant with RM100K between them mainly due to the CKD (NA) vs CBU (XT) which meant higher tax structure.
The Forester XT engine bay with top-mount intercooler. Not obvious as no scoop over the hood
The older generation Forester (up till 2006) was shaped more like a station wagon and with an intercooler scoop. To the Subaru community, they are known as the SG version.
SG version. 2nd Generation XT. Photo: Wikipedia
It then evolved to the SH version (third generation, up till 2013) where it starts to take shape as a mid-sized SUV vs a stationwagon like stance.
SH version. Third generation XT. Photo: Wikipedia
When the 4th Generation (or known as SJ) came out in 2013, they took the shape of what you are familiar with. And with Subaru going mainstream and offering NA version of Forester, the XT (or FXT) became similar looking as the NA (of FNA). Some of you may had seen these Forester on the road more than once - and may had tried to outrun them if you are driving similar SUV such as CRV and CX5.
Same-Same, but different. You can't tell which one is NA and which is XT
So, if you are a new car owner or not been aware of these "Wannabe Sports SUV hiding as Soccer Mum Vehicles", you may had on many occasion, managed to outrun (speed and pick up) these 2.0i and 2.0iP which only packs 150ps (about 148hp if you prefer metric).  And maybe, on the rare occasion you came across one that looked exactly the same, only to be humbled - and that Forester ain't even trying. So this post is to help you to identify the NA and the XT.
The physical signs it's a FXT
If you are looking from your rear view mirror, It is often not too obvious other than the silver roof rail. Only the FXT has a silver roof rail. While it may take some effort to see, that is why I felt the scoop of the FXT should remain...
Silver Roof Rail vs all Black Roof Rail.. 
And if you are tailing from the back, the double muffler is a clear sign it's a FXT. And while these can be installed by FNA, you can't fake it without cutting your lower bumper lip.
Double muffler with corresponding cut off bumper lip - and the XT emblem
The FXT is shod with 18 inches wheels with very different rims pattern, while the FNA is on 17 inches (6-spokes). The FXT is 5-spoke in Y-shape. Some FNA are known to replace their 17inches with the FXT rims for the more "complete" look. 
Not the best photo, but here you go with the rim!
These are just a few tell-tale sign of the FXT that you can see physically. The other not so obvious are the huge sun/moonroof that opens up big enough for two adults to climb through. I love the sunroof as it provides a very roomy feel when the interior liner are pulled back. 
The Forester XT.
Hope this thread was useful to help you recognise and take notice of the rare FXT!

Monday, April 02, 2018

Life-Work Balance In Action

At work and outside of work, I am always passionate at what I do. When a person talks of Work-Life balance, I see it as Life-Work balance. As cliche as it may sound as you flip the two noun; the meaning is significant. One places WORK as the higher importance, where else the other (my view) put LIFE as the bigger perspective. I have been approaching my WORK with a lot of personal LIFE influence!

I see my work as an extension of my passion in the sports that I do. Developing people to the point I can make myself redundant, providing guidance including sharing of my own personal mistakes and challenges I face along the way. You be surprised how empowering your direct reports, providing them a safe place to make mistakes, and assuring them you will be there to work alongside with them, can create a cohesive and engaged team. "Creating and developing leaders", should had been my "job title".

Outside of work, I have been active in recreational and amateur level (age group as we call it) when it comes to running and triathlon. and with a short 22 years of swimming (pool, lake and open water), biking (mountain biking, road biking), running (road and trails) I have self-taught, self-learn, started a blog (been more than 15 years since!), and has never stopped sharing. How many of you here reading this had this moment when you look back and tell yourself "I wish someone had told me this before?". I had on many occasions!

In the past 6 years (coming!), I have been privileged to be part of Team 2ndSkin which consist of people as passionate in sports as myself. 2ndSkin as a brand is a local (Malaysia) sports apparel supplier. You can check them out here. Team 2ndSkin collaborate with big brands such as Garmin and Hammer Nutrition, and we have local brand such as LifelineID and Kraftfit being part of the collaborating brands as well. In the past, the team had the opportunity to test both prototype and final production Skechers Performance shoes. Skechers has ceased to be the sponsors since 2017. Adhoc collaborators such as BodyTech KL that does run analysis, Doof Malaysia which has provided me awesome beanbags (at home), JVC Malaysia that has shared with me their action camera, UFL Malaysia that has provided me with Camelbak products. I thank all of you current and former sponsors! I felt privileged!

On a personal level, I see myself to be more than just brand ambassadors. Along the way, I realised my dream of sharing and helping others to improve their personal mission when it comes to sports. And that to me, circled back to how I treat work professionally everyday - pushing others so they achieve their dream and aspiration. Have a great week ahead!

Friday, February 09, 2018

Bose QuietComfort QC35 Review

The want for better flight experience
Being privileged to be travelling a fair bit in my current job meant I spent quick some time in transit and in planes. Over the past 3 years, I have covered close to 300k km and has made friends with many airport and planes. It has also come to a point where all I look forward to in the plane were decent in-flight entertainment (IFE) and sound cancelling headphone to drown out the signature low hums of the plane and (oh no) babies or toddlers crying. Even in Business class, the Noise Cancelling (NC) headset that comes with all business class, are sub par when it comes to comfort and functionality.
Euro269 for QC25, bought at Schipol Airport under Capi Shop
The Beginning - QC25
At end of 2015, my wife got me a QC25 - the successor of QC15 (which is still in use by Emirates business class), a step better in terms of comfort and NC than the QC15. My IFE was never the same anymore and the comfort I get wearing a headphone up to 17 hours in flight - has never been more enjoyable. The unit was bought in Schipol Airport as my sister-in-law was returning back from Amsterdam.
Triple Black Limited Edition
About 18-months into using QC25, it developed a problem that was identified by Bose International to be effecting the first batch (and mine was in that batch). Basically one side (often the right, where the electronics of the unit sits) will not function and that makes the headphone not usable. I had the toughest time trying to get in touch with Atlas AV Malaysia (as the authorised distributor, sales & services, and service centre) to look into my problem and offer a solution. Bose elsewhere has given a one-to-one replacement. I was entitled for this under the warranty, but was upset how Atlas managed my case. Lucky for me, the place the QC25 was bought, which was Capi Electronic actually honored my defect and offered the refund - all Euro269 plus the cost of me sending the QC25 to them in Netherlands! That my friend, was First Class Customer Experience and Services. 
Bose sucks, why not Sony?
The QC25 was then superseded by the new wireless unit marketed as QC35. Bluetooth enabled for your daily listening while commuting in trains (where low hums and human chatter are completely blocked off). At the same time, as my trust for Bose as a brand in Malaysia (via Atlas) was so low, I was looking for alternative. Sony came out with their newest WH1000XM2, which succeed WH1000X. Sony XM2 came with NC able to match Bose industry standard NC. Users gave thumbs up on the music quality where Bose lacked in the low frequencies/bass. Both were priced very closely, meaning it is also Sony's most expensive Headphone ever. What made me chose QC35 over XM2 was the fact that QC35 was a few notch more comfortable for me. 
SR1499 for QC35
I wore the XM2 at outlets for a duration of one or two songs (and Bohemian Rhapsody always one of them) and felt uncomfortable as the ear-muff was small and presses against my ears - heating them up. Then the metal band over XM2 was too tight, giving me a slight pressure across the side of my head. But wearing the QC25, I could wear them for hours - and QC35 is just QC25 with better technology. Plus, I am not sure how Sony after sales will be, or how easily the replacement ear-piece and headband can be found for cheap (via my online stores). Bose on the other hand, I know Atlas sucks - but I have the assurance that Bose outside of Malaysia were good. Evidence was two shops I went in Dubai in my recent travel and when I related my experience, both offered me a replacement - but of course, my unit already sent to Capi for refund. Even at the Dubai airport, i was offered a one-for-one replacement, no question asked! 
The most disappointing for me was still the fact that Bose Malaysia under Atlas Malaysia has much to learn  when it comes to after sales services. For the record, it took me no less than 12 emails, over 20 days to get a response, that too after I put it up a complain on Bose International Facebook and at Atlas Malaysia Facebook page. It then took two weeks before they offer me a WHITE QC25... no thank you. By then, already processing my refund.
Based on the combination of comfort and after sales - Bose won me over again. Then it was the question of QC35, or QC35ii?
Do You Need Google Assistant?
The biggest differences between QC35 and QC35ii was the additional button on the left cup that triggers Google Assistant or Siri. You will need to ask yourself if you will use this for about additional RM100 (USD30) vs QC35. One may argue it also helps you to select the level of NC (off-Low-High). For me, if i want the headphone to be NC, it will be NC all the while unless the battery runs flat. And both QC35 and QC35ii connects on the Bose App, which controls the level of NC from the phone as well.
It's always HIGH for me
I was also told that the QC35ii does not have the (much needed) dual-prong airplane adapter needed in most planes IFE, and the QC35 comes with it as standard.
The built quality of this on QC25 was much better I would say
Bose QC35 - Review, finally
Now that you know how I came to the decision to get the Bose vs Sony, factoring the comfort level of Bose headphones, the industry standard NC, even though the less than good experience with the Malaysia distributor. I paid SR1399 after a SR100 discount at the airport, and with the refund of Euro269 (SR1237), it is a small top up for me. What worked even better was the Duty Free at Dubai airport accept my Emirates points and I managed to exchange SR1000 from 60,000 EK points... allowing me to purchase the QC35 and a Bose Soundlink Mini II with additional RM300 to save...
SR699, almost half the price compared to Malaysia...
So, i literally got the QC35 and the Soundlink Mini II, free. (We all love Free, isn't it?)
Out of the box, the QC35 box was smaller than the QC25, which the airport was still selling at SR1399 (no discount), which was the same price as the QC35. It is a no brainer why QC35 was the choice. Also, Dubai airport has limited QC35ii (at SR 1599 no discount) - but not in demand as Saudi sort of blocks Google (like China, just not as strict), making Google Assistant not possible to be used.
The QC35 came charged at 60% out of the box.
The box came with a soft case, cable, dual-prong airline adapter and micro-usb cable for charging. The Manual and warranty card came as standard, as expected.
The QC35 came folded the same way as the QC25 (that i used to have). The biggest differences is the cable of QC35 is thinner. I will have to be extra careful or just get a replacement if the cable snap. That is one point for Bose to consider perhaps in the newer QuietComfort.
The pairing of the QC35 was via the Bose app. It can be downloaded on both android and iPhone store. It was easy to pair and there wasn't any instances the connection was dropped in my few weeks of using.
Even a cool function to "name" your QC35
The app also allow up to two QC35 to be linked on the same "music" and allow up to two devices (phone/tablets/ipad) to be linked. Pretty "perfect" I would say ;-)
Sound, how about the sound?
I am comparing this against QC25 and it is a big differences. Many that has judged Bose with less than great sound may had been referring to QC25 as benchmark. Even on Bluetooth where purist may say the signal transmitted will be "dirty". Personally, I was impressed with the sound quality coming out from QC35 when I listen to Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody and Metallica "Enter Sandman". Unless you are hardcore EDM folks or listen to Electronica a lot, you may end up being more critical as the bass may not be at the level you want - for that, an amp and a 12inch woofer in a boombox strap to your head may provide you the SPL (sound pressure level) you will need. The NC on QC35, made the songs sound like music, not "noise".
Verdict - vs other brands
It is a very expensive decision, mine just made easier as it was considered as a gift, and an upgrade due to the refund and the air-miles exchange. Otherwise, I may just decide to use those provided by the airline - and cringe every time. If you been using a NC headphones, you will appreciate what a NC headphones will do in making your commuting and travelling more bearable. If you really want to get one, put in consideration of comfort first, then the ease to get spare parts - as these leather ear-muff will need replacing within 18months, or based on your usage. Even the headband, which are made from good leather, will need replacing. 
Ain't she pretty?
I compare this Bose with Sony, as it is the closest you will get both price wise and feature wise. I have tested Senheineser BT450, and a few others NC earphones in the market over the past 3-months and the closest competitor was still the Sony MH1000XM2. There are many features, that sometimes, you wonder if it really mattered. Sony has a cool feature where you place your hand over the right cup and the NC will be switched off, and you can have a conversation. However, I do find it rude if someone has their headphones on while I am talking to them, never mind you are now seen cupping your hand over one side as if you do not want to listen - but it may be a conversation starter. Also, I found a flaw where if you were to rest the right side on something that covers the cup, the NC goes off, not ideal when you are sleeping in the plane, and your head tilt in such way to off the NC... No way to override that I was told. 
On spare parts, particularly the ear pads, I been asking around the Sony reseller, none of them can tell me how much the replacement pads will cost - but for Bose, they stock them and the pads for QC25-35ii are the same. Then, if you search for OEM resellers from China, it is easier (and way cheaper) to get Bose replacement and almost impossible to obtain Sony's replacement. 
Lastly, with all things being equal, Customer Service experience in Malaysia will never differ far - and for that, I look at International warranty where Bose may just edge Sony with it. 
My choice was clear - it was after all, really experiencing the flights without NC headphones, and having to search for a replacement worthy to challenge Bose, that made me come back to Bose. 

Thursday, November 02, 2017

Ironman Malaysia Update : 3 More Days to Hottest Ironman Race!


Over 1,800 athletes expected in Langkawi for IRONMAN® Malaysia and IRONMAN® 70.3® Langkawi on November 11, 2017

TAMPA, Fla./KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia: (November 6, 2017) – Some of the world’s best triathletes will convene in Langkawi, Malaysia on 11 November 2017 to race at the 5th edition of IRONMAN® Malaysia, as announced today by IRONMAN, a Wanda Sports Holding company.

Fredrik Croneborg – who won his first IRONMAN race in Malaysia last year with a time of 8h39min12sec – is back to Langkawi in 2017 hoping to take the trophy home again. The 36 year-old Swedish triathlete shared his excitement to be back to Langkawi this year “IRONMAN Malaysia is my favorite race. I’ve raced all around the world but Malaysia is where I perform at my best and if feels special because I got my first IRONMAN win here. Langkawi is also one of the nicest destination for holidays and I will keep coming back, even after my racing career. Starting as a defending champion, it's impossible to improve my ranking, but I feel better prepared this year. I hope I can improve my timing from last year and hopefully retain my title.”

In the professional female category, Diana Riesler from Germany will be the most expected contender for the win on Meritus Pelangi Beach Resort & Spa finish line after winning the three previous editions of IRONMAN Malaysia in 2014, 2015 and 2016. “IRONMAN Langkawi was my first ever IRONMAN race in 2008 as an amateur and I promised myself to come back to race again here as a professional. I returned in 2014 as a professional athlete and bagged my first IRONMAN win. The tropical climate and the hospitality of local supporters make it really special. I’m excited to race in Langkawi again and fight for another win on November 11.”

“We are delighted to have our two defending champions Fredrik Croneborg and Diana Riesler back to Langkawi this year. They are both exceptional triathletes and an inspiration for all the age-group athletes who will be racing here on 11 November.” said Geoff Meyer, Asia Managing Director for IRONMAN. “The amazing response from the IRONMAN community shows that Langkawi is one of the preferred locations to race and we are looking forward to another great race this year.”

The full list of professional triathletes racing at IRONMAN Malaysia can be downloaded here

This year’s event in Langkawi will host over 1,800 athletes shared between IRONMAN Malaysia and IRONMAN® 70.3® Langkawi. More than 70% of registered athletes are coming from over 50 different countries. The Top 4 countries are Japan, Singapore, Australia and Philippines.

2017 IRONMAN 70.3 Langkawi will be an age group race only offering 30 qualifying slots for the 2018 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa.

2017 IRONMAN Malaysia will offer a $25,000 USD professional prize purse and 50 age-group qualifying slots for the 2018 IRONMAN® World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, United States of America.

2017 IRONMAN Malaysia and 2017 IRONMAN 70.3 Langkawi races are part of the 2018 Asia TriClub Qualifier Series.

IRONKIDS race will be held on November 10, for kids aged between 4 and 17, taking part in 3 distances; 500m, 1km and 1.5km dash along Cenang Beach, sharing the IRONMAN finisher’s arch with kids able to experience the same finish line as their heroes at the Meritus Pelangi Beach Resort & Spa.

The IRONMAN Sports and Lifestyle Expo will take place from November 8-12 at Mahsuri International Exhibition Centre (MIEC), featuring booths by sports and lifestyle exhibitors as well as the IRONMAN official merchandise.

The 2017 IRONMAN Malaysia Langkawi is supported by Malaysia Major Events (MME), a division of Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB), an agency under the Ministry of Tourism and Culture Malaysia; Kedah State, Langkawi Development Authority (LADA), and Naturally Langkawi.

Athlete inquiries may be directed to

For more information on the IRONMAN brand and global event series, visit  Media may contact Aw Li-Ann at

About Malaysia Major Events
Malaysia Major Events (MME) is a division of Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB), an agency under the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Malaysia (MoTAC). MME was established under the Government’s Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) to identify, promote, facilitate as well as support viable international events to be staged in Malaysia. With its main objective to enhance Malaysia’s economic growth and profile, MME is also tasked to identify and support major event bids for sports, arts, lifestyles and entertainment events and provide assistance to home-grown and home-hosted events in order to further strengthen Malaysia’s global appeal as the venue of choice for major events in the region. MME also acts as a conduit between the public and private sectors in ensuring seamless processes are achieved through synergistic relationships with diverse event stakeholders in staging successful events in Malaysia.
For more information, please visit and follow MME on, twitter @MyMajorEvents and Instagram @mymajorevents.

A Wanda Sports Holdings company, IRONMAN operates a global portfolio of events that includes the IRONMAN® Triathlon Series, the IRONMAN® 70.3® Triathlon Series, 5150™ Triathlon Series, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series®, Iron Girl®, IRONKIDS®, International Triathlon Union World Triathlon Series races, road cycling events including the UCI Velothon® Series, mountain bike races including the Absa Cape Epic®, premier marathons including the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon, and other multisport races. IRONMAN’s events, together with all other Wanda Sports Holdings events, provide more than a million participants annually the benefits of endurance sports through the company’s vast offerings. The iconic IRONMAN® Series of events is the largest participation sports platform in the world. Since the inception of the IRONMAN® brand in 1978, athletes have proven that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE® by crossing finish lines at the world’s most challenging endurance races. Beginning as a single race, IRONMAN has grown to become a global sensation with more than 200 events across 50 countries. For more information, visit

About Wanda Sports Holdings

Wanda Sports Holdings is the world’s leading sports business entity, founded to capture the opportunities in the global sports industry and to contribute to the prosperous international sports landscape – in three key areas: 1) Spectator Sports (media and marketing business), 2) Participation Sports (active lifestyle business), 3) Services (digital, production and service business). Wanda Sports Holding incorporates the international sports marketing company Infront Sports & Media, the iconic endurance brand IRONMAN, and Wanda Sports China. The headquarters are in Guangzhou, China.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Tumi Cameron Commuter Review

The Cameron Commuter
Tumi. A brand specializing in bags and luggage. Often a lifestyle brand and on the high side of pricing. My wife surprised me with a Tumi backpack, and this prompt me to write a review, as I believe this backpack deserves a mention.
Tumi Cameron Commuter.
This is a low profile and sized at 29cm(W)x12cm(D)x43cm(H) which is significantly smaller footprint when compared to the (office) standard issue HP backpack at 36cm (W)x9cm(D)x51cm(H).

Wifey’s intention was to prevent me from lugging everything I can as my everyday carry (EDC) when I go to work or travel (for work). Volume wise, the Cameron is 23liter vs HP a 25liter pack. 
The Cameron Commuter is a very well built bag - you don’t expect anything less at the (high) price you paying for. 
Size comparison visually
Coming almost to the same price point as my Camelbak Kudu 18, the Cameron are certainly more refined and business-like. While my Camelbak made statement due to the bright colour, the Cameron blends in elegantly without shouting “I have a Tumi”. If you seen how one of the Tumi bag model are common among business travellers, you will know what I meant - and why the leather patch with your initial is essential (because many are carrying the same bag model from Tumi!)

The most subtle indication it's a 
Tumi on the Cameron
When I first got the Cameron, I transferred all items from my HP bag and realized this Tumi swallowed up all the items, and still have a lot of space. So, I removed all my items again, unlike the HP when I can’t put anymore stuff into the front pocket compartment as the main compartment already filled up (and pushed against) the outer compartment.
From experience (of having many bags, bagpacks, messenger bags), having many pockets and compartment doesn’t meant they are all usable (maximized) due to stackability - and the Cameron 12cm depth vs HP 9cm deep is a dead giveaway why this Cameron fits more than it looked.

That was when I decided to test, and document what this Cameron can do, hence worth the trouble for this review. Below is my usual travel EDC. These items are essential (some say I overly prepare) and they include headlights and red blinkers inside the yellow Camelbak tool case.

A little about my EDC, the larger black pouch carries the laptop chargers, phone wall charger and phone cables, and the Kensington lock. The small black pouch has my wireless mouse, earphones for conference calls, wiping cloth(I hate fingerprints on screens) and 12feet of paracord. I bring my Bose QC25 for travel to make the plane ride more enjoyable, and I always have a power bank, my pencil case (which is a Camelbak tool bag), a camera (Panasonic FT4), a foldable jacket (Salomon), an additional earphone (JVC no less) and a waterproof bag. Other items such as extra ziplock bag, cable ties are dependent but as important for travel. When I am not travelling, the charger pouch, passport and Bose stays home. It is then replaced with another pouch that carries other “survival” EDC. 
Field test

The shoulder pad were sufficiently padded and able to manage the load full. Due to the smaller footprint, it doesn’t feel particularly big, or uncomfortable. Weight distribution is neutral for typical commute/travel. Unless you plan to have this behind you whole day long, something with better air circulation (to separate the physical bag and your back such as those available on hiking bags) may be a better choice.

The bag zippers were smooth. No indication of brand (as YKK is often synonymous with durable zips). The main main compartment zipper will end in either one of the side pockets, it is a bit troublesome to “dig” it out especially if you have the side pockets filled. I do not leave my zippers in the middle of the bag, as it may actually pry open or opened when you are commuting/travelling in crowded spaces.
Both zipper ends in the side pocket
The inner pockets were functional except the name card holder. It’s too shallow to hold anything except your name card, and if you have a card holder, it won’t fit in there as well. Maybe it’s just meant as a slot to place your contacts card should you misplace or lose your bag, which brings me to the next paragraph.
The pocket closest to this caption is the card holder.
Tumi Tracker - it’s a feature that Tumi included in this bag that may potentially make it possible for you to be reunited with your bag should you lose it because of your own carelessness. It’s not a GPS chip embedded type of function so there are limitations. There is a 20-digit code unique to each bag and if a Good Samaritan finds them, and decided to do you a big favour, call the US number, give the 20-digit number, you may get your bag back. I will hold this hope with humanity.
You only need to register once - and you have the number back to your email. So don’t worry about having to remember the numbers; as it actually make more sense to keep your bag close to you. However, if you do own the luggage bag (to check in), this may be an additional insurance should the airline misplace your luggage .. and the airline tag gets separated... maybe.
The two front zip - Left and Right Pockets
The two-front zipped compartments were impressive. Tumi did some magic and made them both highly usable instead of just aesthetic. One side has a phone sleeve able to fit my OnePlus2 5.5inches. A 16k mAh powerbank, a Buff and a reflective vest all fits in with space to spare.
Powerbank, Phone, Camelbak tool Bag
And still have space for this two items!
The other side slips in my tags, earphone in a casing and a folded dry bag, with space to spare.
And still with space to spare...
Inside the Cameron, there is an inner zipped pocket that runs 3/4 height of the bag - which I have not utilized. It also have a padded slip pocket for tablets, which I am unlikely to utilize except maybe as a separate compartment for passport and boarding passes. There are two more slide pocket deep and wide enough for an external HDD each.
How it all fitted in
Right pocket with lining for cold drinks that may condensate

Left pocket for other utilities.
There are three daisy-chain loop that you can use to attach anything, including a metal buckle - perhaps a touch to make you feel it’s an exclusive (read: expensive) bag. The other two daisy chain is at each of the strap which is useful to clip blinkers perhaps?
You can hang marketing stuff here if you want
Loops for you to secure other items
One more nice touch to the bag is a hidden compartment behind the bag that is secured with magnetic closure. The size fits a passport and boarding pass very nicely. I supposed this, together with the Bag-sleeve (where you use it to hang/secure the bag to your carry-on luggage completes the "commuter" tag this Cameron lives up to. Nice touch Tumi.
Secret Compartment

able to fit my passport and the leather cover

where the passport is relative to the size of the compartment

the luggage sleeve
Wrapping it up
It’s a very nice bag that is not loud. Something you don’t see often as the market is flooded with the monogram series. My wife choice (I am one of them) were perfect. While she bought this hoping I won’t put all the items above, as I do have the tendencies to put everything I think I need, the Cameron surprised me and her that it holds everything I need and don’t need.
If there is two things I wished it had, a leather patch for my initial (isn’t that why people get a Tumi?) and the material to be Cordura (hardier and self healing) instead of Nylon - because Nylon does not reflect the exclusivity of the brand.
leather detailing on the bag

Size comparison against a 21inch Echolac carry-on luggage

side profile vs 21inches Echolac

Specification (from a few sources online, as Tumi does not have much info surprisingly):
Dimension (approx): 29cm(W)x12cm(D)x43cm(H)
Weight: Approx 750grams empty
Laptop dimensions: up to 15 inches (my office issued laptop is a 14.4inch and fits nicely)
Other Details:
Two zip pockets on front
- Double zip top closure
- Open pockets on sides
- Bag sleeve on back to slide onto luggage handle
- Adjustable padded straps with leather detailings
- Double Nylon grab handle 
- Hidden pocket with magnetic closure
- One Zip pocket
- 4 slip pockets
- One pen holder (which is really a pocket, not explicit "pen" loop, which is great!)
- One padded slip pocket (for tablet?)
- One key sling with clip
- Tumi Tracker ID sewn 
100% Nylon outer
100% Polyester lining inner

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