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Ryan Bruss

Mostly just a regular dude, with a family, who likes adventure sports.
Joined about 2 years ago
TREKOLOGY Inflatable Camping Pillow
Ohuhu Telescopic Ladder
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Ryan Recommends


686 Glcr Gore-Tex Stretch Dispatch Bib Pant
Ski Gear
If you're an avid skier and/or snowboarder and haven't come full circle back to bibs, then clearly you've never tomahawked down a mountain at 50+ mph in two feet of fresh pow. Bottom line - if you don't want snow down your pants, wear bibs. These ones from 686 are fantastic. Great pockets, great ventilation, gore-tex, and they stretch!
Apple Airpods Pro
These are just really good wireless earbuds. The battery life is long, the sound is great, and they're really intuitive to use with other apple devices. The spatial audio update was fantastic. I was watching a movie on my iPad, turned to look at something and the sound started coming out more from the ear that was closest to the iPad. It through me off at first, but now I love it.
Apple TV 4K
Streaming Media Player
This is my third Apple TV device. It's a fantastic upgrade over the previous version and a must have if you have a 4K TV. We don't have a cable subscription and stream all our entertainment through the Apple TV. We use Hulu for live TV and sports, but there's also several other options available. The picture looks great connected to my LG OLED TV and the screensavers are mesmerizing. I sometimes just watch them rather than turning something else on.
Brooklinen Sheets
Hands down the best sheets you're going to buy.
I met my wife using this app, so I haven't used it in 5 years, but it was the absolute best dating app at the time (by a country mile).
Clif Bloks Energy Chews
Travel Bag
I ALWAYS have these skiing, biking, hiking, trail running, basically anything that involves me doing physical activity away from infrastructure. They're great when you need a little bit of food energy and can't get to any or don't want to fill your stomach. I like the black cherry flavor with a bit of caffeine for an extra boost, but there's lots of flavors and they're all good (with the notable exception of Margarita, that one is super gross).
This is an incredibly fun game that can be played with everyone. My wife, who hates games, even likes it. The game goes quick so you can play as many rounds as your group is up for.
Cotopaxi Allpa 35
This is my luggage now. I initially bought this for taking international trips lasting 2 to 3 weeks and it was perfect for that. But, I just started using it for everything. I've had it for 5 years and it's been on every trip I've taken since then via plane, train, or automobile. It looks and functions exactly the same as it did when it was brand new. I can't recommend this enough. I would buy another one, but I'm not sure I'll ever have to.
Coway Air Purifier
Air Purifier
In Western Washington wildfire smoke is always an issue in the late summer and my home doesn't have a central air heating or cooling system so indoor air purifiers are a must have. I had some friends that recommended the Coway products to help mitigate the smoke and this version was also the top rated by Wirecutter. I'm so happy I bought it. It was undersized for the space we have, but it was all we could get on short notice. I really liked that it has an indicator of current air quality and then automatically speeds up and slows down to adjust for what's needed. After the smoke left, we repainted a dresser in our garage and nearly fumigated ourselves out of the house. I hooked this up in the garage and it cleared out the air rather quickly. I'll be buying a bigger one of these for the living room and moving this one to my bedroom.
Dryguy Dx Forced Air Boot Dryer
Boot Dryer
If you live in the Pacific Northwest, you should have a boot/shoe dryer. This one works well for my family, but it's fairly basic technology. You could even DIY one if you wanted, but these things aren't that expensive. Just stop reading this review and buy one if you live in a wet climate and don't have one.
Feit Electric Led String Lights
Outdoor Light
This string lights are super good looking and easy to setup (as long as you something to hold them up). We picked these up from Costco for a very reasonable price. I love that they're LED so they don't draw a lot of current and don't get hot. I made a couple of concrete and 2x4 freestanding posts to hold them up on the span from our house to the bank of trees in our yard. The light is a warm and inviting color.
FEIT Electric Smart Bulbs
Light Bulb
I switched from Phillips Hue to these because I didn't like having a hub. So far so good. I like the range of color options. The companion app is not very good, but they seem to work just fine with Alexa.
Five Ten Freerider Pro
Bike Shoes
Most mountain bikers, regardless of skill level, should probably be riding flat pedals rather than clipped pedals. If you are, purpose made flat pedal mountain bike shoes are a huge upgrade over regular sneakers. And the Freerider Pro from FiveTen are probably the best you can buy. They are super comfortable, have a nice sticky bottom to help you connect with the pedals, and have some water resistance. I've only owned one pair of these and they're the ones I bought 3 years ago and I'm fairly sure they've got at least 3 more years of life left. I've worn them in everything from 100 degree sunny days in Texas to 40 degrees and raining in the PNW and have never felt like I needed a different shoe. If these ever do wear out, I'm buying another pair without hesitation.
Folding Metal Dog Crate
Dog Crates
These are the best crates for dogs. There are lots of brands and options, but they all seem to be roughly the same. They're a bit heavier than some other lighter options for dog crates, but puppies will destroy most of them. My first dog was an escape artist, but I was able to pad lock it shut and keep him contained. The removable plastic tray is handy for the inevitable accident. These will also last forever. We're on our 3rd puppy and still using the first one I got 8 years ago.
GE French Door Refrigerator
This is a great looking refrigerator. It's not the biggest, but it makes good use of the space it has and is plenty big for my family of 3. The counter depth looks so much better than our previous full depth refrigerator and really opens up the space in our kitchen.
GE Oven Slide-In Front-Control Convection Gas Range
I'm a huge fan of gas ranges and this one is fantastic. I don't really see the need to buy expensive ranges when you can get just about everything you need from this one. This is the slide-in version of Wirecutter's top rated gas range (slide-ins look great). The griddle in the middle is a really nice feature. We use it all the time to heat up tortillas, make pancakes, and toast bread.
Generic Simplehuman Sized Trashbags
Trash Bag
Simplehuman trashcans are the best looking and functioning trashcans you're going to find, but it sucks having to buy their trash bags all the time. I found generic ones on amazon for way cheaper (because who needs designer trash bags?). They are marketed using the same letter codes that Simplehuman uses.
Home Decorators Collection Cellular Shade
Buying shades for your entire house can get expensive quickly so it was important that we find something inexpensive, but that also look nice. These satisfy both of those requirements. I love that they are both light filtering and blackout. Most of our windows are south facing and the blackout feature was nice during the summer when we needed to try and keep the inside of the house as cool as possible. They were also incredibly easy to install and customizable to 1/4" so they even fit a couple of our wonky windows.
Khala Beeswax Sandwich Wraps
Beeswax Wraps
I received these as a gift and so far they work really well. It's really nice to be able to grab one of these and wrap up half an onion vs having to dig through our mess of containers and lids. I also like that they're much more durable than foil.
KitchenAid Mixer
The most used kitchen appliance in our kitchen. If you have one, you know. If you don't have one, you should get one.
KOHLER Cimarron Toilet
I never thought choosing a new toilet for our bathroom remodel would be the most difficult choice, but there are seemingly infinite options at a wide range of prices. Why do some of them cost over $500!? This one was less than half that. It looks nice, cleans easily, came with the seat (which apparently most don't), and does exactly what you would expect it to without issue. It doesn't use that much water and has never clogged. It's also compatible with bidet seats, if you're into that sort of thing, which I am.
KRAUS Bolden Kitchen Faucet
There are so many options out there for kitchen sink faucets and some of them are ridiculously expensive for reasons I don't quite understand. I saw this one at Home Depot and it looked nice and seemed like a reasonable price so that's went I went with. Turned out to be a great decision. It's intuitive, easy to turn on and off without fancy sensors (even when holding a pot with two hands) , and durable. The switch from spray to stream just works. It switches when you intend it to and not when you don't. I know that seems obvious, but seemingly everyone I've used before this is impossible to control stream vs spray. There aren't any signs of wear, the sprayer goes back to where it's supposed to after you pull it out from the holder. If you want a nice looking kitchen faucet that does what it's supposed to and don't want to drop a ton of money, go with this.
Kuat NV 2.0 Bike Hitch Rack
Bike Rack
Hitch mount tray style bike racks are by far the best and safest option for carrying your bikes around. If you've spent the money for a nice bike, you don't want to use a cheap rack and risk losing it on the highway. Roof mounts are ok until you forget the bike is on there and pull into your garage. Also, nobody wants to put a 50lb e-bike on their roof rack. I've used a bunch of these and this one from Kuat is the best I've found. The combo foot/hand lever for moving the rack to/from the upright position is awesome. It's so much easier than the pins you have to pull out on other hitch mount tray racks. It's also rather easy to take on and off the hitch. It comes off in under a minute and goes on in under 2. If you have the extender on so it holds 4 bikes, you might need someone to help you since it's a little heavy. I really didn't think i'd use the little bike maintenance attachment, but it's come in handy at the trail a couple times when I needed to make some emergency repairs. It's not the cheapest option out there, but it's worth it if you're carrying expensive bikes. Although, if you're just carrying around some clunkers, you're better off with something cheaper.
I care a lot about the picture quality of my TVs. I'm one of those people that can immediately tell of something is "off" in the picture. This is by far the best TV I've ever owned. The picture is amazing. LG OLEDs are the gold standard for picture quality. The previous one I owned needed a lot setup to get the picture just right, but it looks like the fixed that because this was beautiful right out of the box. This is the best TV for those looking for the best picture quality.
Lifeproof Essential Oak Flooring
If I could recommend only one product from my remodel, this would be it. I really don't see any reason why you'd go with anything other than this flooring. I was a bit apprehensive about this looking "cheap," but I was very wrong. It looks really really good. Everyone that visits compliments it. We did put an underlayment under it. They say you don't need it, but I'd recommend it. The cost of the underlayment was negligible compared to the cost of the flooring, which really isn't that much compared to other options. So far it's held up extremely well. The aforementioned cats, dogs, and human have yet to scratch or stain it. Also, since the floor gives just a little (not noticeable when walking) so when you accidentally drop the jar of salsa, the jar remains intact rather than exploding salsa everywhere. We put this in every room in the house except the bathrooms, although you could put it there if you wanted.
Line Sick Day 104
You're entitled to 5 sick days per year; they should all be spent on these. I love these skis for anything from spring skiing, to days in the trees, to a few inches of freshies. They even worked well for a surprise deep day in Park City. They are light, so you can throw them around for really tight turns, but damp enough to be stable at high speeds. I think some people even use them for touring, but I haven't done that with these yet. If you you're a directional skier that likes to pressure the tips, then mount them at the recommended point. If you're more of a centered stance skier and like a little bit extra tail to ollie with, then you can mount them 1-2 cm more forward than the recommended point.
Lodge Cast Iron Pan
Pots & Pans
Everyone needs one of these in their kitchen.
Look Pivot Bindings
These are my go-to resort bindings. I've been using them for years and the only issues I've ever had are user error. In all my years of riding them, they've never released when prematurely, but have always released when I've needed them to.
Miliko Transparent Hardcover A5 Square Grid Spiral Notebook
I don't take notes on anything else and I'm not sure I ever will. The A5 size is perfect for me. I hate full size notebooks and anything smaller just gets lost. Also, if you don't use grid paper notebooks, why? Seriously, why? I don't get it. Grid paper is far superior in every way to lined paper.
Moment Deathwish Tour
COVID is pushing more skiers into the backcountry and I'm no exception. I picked these up to be a versatile ski for touring with a lean towards powder performance (why else would I walk myself up the mountain instead of taking a lift). I had these out in the resort at Mt. Baker, WA and was really pleased with how they handled the downhill. Powder, check. Tracked out powder, check. Railing turns on hard groomers, surprisingly, check. Playful tree skiing, check. The only place they may be lacking is straight-lining icy chunder, but they are a light weight touring ski and that's not their intent. After today, I'm even considering getting the non-tour version of these for resort riding.
Moment Wildcat / Blister Pro
I love these skis for skiing in the resort any time there's been recent snow. They float in powder, blast through crud, and are super playful. If you're looking for a really fun ski for deeper days in the resort and laying down figure 11s, you should give these serious consideration. If you like to make lots of turns, look for something else.
Netgear Nighthawk Router
I did a lot of research on wifi routers before buying this one. We have a lot of devices that need high speed reliable wifi connections and also a lot of smart home devices that I don't want on the same network as our computers. This router handles all of the devices without issue. It was really easy to setup a guest network to connect the smart home devices to. The companion app is very handy for making sure there are no unknown devices connected and temporarily turning off the connection for my step-daughter's nintendo switch when she's not supposed to be using it. I can also share the wifi password with friends and family that visit with a QR code rather than having to tell them my password. This also uses the new wifi 6 standard so it's future proof (for a little while at least). This isn't the cheapest router out there, but it's well worth the money, in my opinion.
Non-Slip Stair Runners for Wooden Steps
Stair Parts
After having one dog and one human slip down the stairs I decided to completely ruin the aesthetic by adding these and I'm quite happy I did. They actually don't look too bad. They use static to stick to the stairs and are machine washable. Our dogs are so much more confident going up and down the stairs now. If you have steep hardwood stairs and like to wear socks, these are a must have. I should also report that no dogs or humans were injured prior to or after adding these.
Nuun Hydration
Supplement Bar
I have at least one of these a day. I prefer the sport lemon lime flavor. It tastes good and doesn't have many (if any) calories.
Opttico Office Chair Wheels for Ikea Chairs
Office Chair
These are a HUGE upgrade over the casters on my IKEA office chair. Most office chair casters are hot garbage, but the ones on my IKEA chair were especially bad. These are basically roller blade wheels. They roll so much better than the casters and don't scratch my floor when they get stuck and slide instead of roll. I use these on hardwood (actually vinyl plank, see my recommendation of that also), but I bet they would work on carpet without a plastic mat. Although most office chairs use the same standard, IKEA (of course) has to be different. So make sure you get the proper size for your chair. As far as I can tell that means IKEA and Not IKEA.
Pet Grooming Gloves
Pet Grooming Supplies
Pet grooming gloves are super handy for regular brushing your dogs and are a game changer for bath time. They can get a ton of fur out preventing it from collecting everywhere in your house. These tend to work best for longer haired dogs.
Food Containers
The 13x9 baking dish is a must have for every kitchen. They also make the best pie plates.
R Cookbook
If you use R for statistical programming and/or data analysis, this book is essential. I've had it on my desk for 10 years and I still use it. Much of the information is available searching google and finding your way to stackoverflow, but it's so much easier to just pick up the book and flip to the section I need when I need to refresh my memory.
Rheem Smart Tank Electric Water Heater
Water Heater
I originally went into getting a new water heater with the expectation that I would do tankless since they are more energy efficient. However, it was going to be cost prohibitive to run a new gas line and you should never ever get an electric tankless water heater. The hybrid tank water heaters are almost as energy efficient as tankless and I really like this one from Rheem. It has a companion app that I can use to change settings, look at how much energy is being used, and even set to vacation mode so it's not keeping 50 gallons of water hot while we're away. The side benefit of using a compressor to heat the water is it dehumidifies our garage at the same time.
Ryobi P238 Cordless Impact Driver
Driver Kit
Everyone who does any work around the house or puts together IKEA furniture (they specifically say not to use power tools, so only do this if you are careful not to over tighten) needs a cordless impact driver. There's a night and day difference between using an impact driver for screws and bolts vs a drill driver. And, if you're going to get an impact driver, you should get one that uses a brushless motor for added power. This one from Ryobi has worked out very well for me, but I made the choice long ago to go with Ryobi as my cordless tool set. I would not recommend buying this impact driver from Ryobi if you already have cordless tools from another brand (you should buy that brand's impact driver). The batteries are expensive and you want to be able to share them across your tools.
Simple Human Dual Compartment Trash Can
Trash Can
It seems a little ridiculous to recommend a trash can, but I really like this one. Simple Human makes good looking stuff. We don't have room for a hidden trash can and recycle bin, so we wanted something that looked good in the kitchen but was also functional. My favorite part about this one is the size of the recycle bin side. Other's have a tiny area for recycling and we'd have to put in a new bag every day, which seemed wasteful. Now we're changing the recycle and trash sides at about the same time.
Sole Performance Thin Insoles
The best aftermarket insoles that I've found. I don't heat mold them because my feet get warm and they quickly form to my feet. I have these in my ski boots, and hiking boots. I prefer the thin ones, but just match the thickness of the stock insoles with the closest SOLE makes.
Sonicare Toothbrush
I've had mine for 8 years and it's still going strong. I recommend the generic heads because they are a lot cheaper and work just as well.
Sony WH-1000XM4 Headphones
"WHAT!?" Is my only response when my wife is talking to me and I'm wearing these. The 3D audio is great for watching movies or playing games with surround sound.
Stashers Reusable Food Storage
Silicone Reusable Bags
We have a bunch of these. They are the best ziplock bag replacements we could find. The way the close is superior to other options we've found. The ones we purchased a few years ago are still going strong. They've more than made up for the cost of buying sandwich bags and kept a lot of plastic out of our trash. Food can get stuck in the corners; I like to wash them inside out in the dishwasher (but Stashers says not to do that). It hasn't caused a problem with ours yet.
Steadyrack Bike Rack
Bike Storage
There are a lot of different ways to store bikes and this is by far the best I've found. The swivel function is clutch when you're trying to minimize wall space. If you take your time and measure carefully you can set them up so you never have to lift the full weight of the bike to get them on and off, which is really handy for those with heavy electric bikes. I didn't do that since I wanted to stagger the heights to get them even closer together. Make sure you get the right model for the type of bike you're putting on it. It's based on the tire width. The ones made for road bikes don't have a wheel tray wide enough for mountain bike tires. This isn't the cheapest way to hang bikes on the wall, but it's the safest and one of the better looking options.
The Skill Board
Balance Board
I really like this balance board. Most other balance boards I've seen are a flat board on top of a foam roller. This one works with a ball instead of a cylinder so you get 360 degrees of balance. It makes it much harder to learn, but also much more useful for real world applications. The progressions mechanism works really well. To make it more or less challenging you simply use the supplied pump to inflate or deflate the ball (flatter ball = easier).
Transition Patrol X01
Mountain Bike
The mountain biking in the Seattle area is significantly different than the mountain biking in Central Texas (what they call the "Hill Country") so when I moved back to Seattle I was in need of something better suited for what I'd be riding here. I did a lot of research and pined over this decision for several months. I finally landed on the Transition Patrol. Transition is Washington brand owned by people who ride mountain bikes here and the Patrol is as perfect a bike for Pacific Northwest Riding as I can imagine. Compared to my other bike, I was faster on both the uphills and the downhills. The steep seat tube angle really helps with the climbing and the long reach and coil shock really help with the descending. This is is a bike designed for riders looking to push their limits and there's very few riders out there who could even approach the limits of this bike. If you're serious about mountain biking and live in the Pacific Northwest, you should check this one out.
Vitade Stream Webcam
I got this to upgrade my video conferencing for work. It is a huge improvement over the Macbook Air built-in camera. The picture is a lot clearer and I'm told the sound is also better.
Whoop Strap and Membership
Fitness Tracker
This a fantastic fitness tracker. All the data is on my phone, it has a long battery life, is waterproof, can be charged while wearing, and isn't noticeable while sleeping. I've found the process of paying attention to my sleep helps me do all the things that help me sleep better. It can also broadcast my heart rate so I can use it with other fitness tracking apps.
Yaktrax Icetrekkers Diamond Grip
I highly recommend these for anyone that likes to hike in the winter. My wife and I hiked Mt. Si. last weekend and these were essential to make the last mile. They went on easily and gave us excellent grip. They came off really quickly too, which was important because it was a busy day on Mt. Si. and other people were coming down behind us and I didn't want to get passed because getting passed is the worst!
Zgear Usb Charging Hub
Charging Dock
Plugging everything that charges via USB into a brick that plugs into your surge protector is silly. Get one one of these (has both USB A and C) so you can plug one thing into your surge protector and the rest into one brick.


1-800-Got-Junk? - Seattle
Junk Removal
Maybe a little more expensive than you'd like, but they arrive quick, fast, and in a hurry.
All Climate Heating & Air Conditioning
I used All Climate to install a new gas line for a gas range. They were very quick and professional with lots of communication. Price was reasonable and excellent quality. The King County inspector commented on how professional everything looked.
The refrigerator in the house I just purchased was leaking and I had no idea why. I was recommended Appliance ASAP by a local appliance store. It was easy to schedule an appointment. The repair person diagnosed the problem quickly. The water line to the dispenser was broken. He fixed it with a $10 part that he had on hand and was out in 30 minutes. He also cleaned up some of the dust that was back there while he had it open. All in all it was much much cheaper than buying a new refrigerator.
Attic Project
The crawl space in my new house was absolutely disgusting. Dead rats, insulation falling down, just gross. I saw the recommendation for Attic Project from one of my friends on Fresh Chalk and decided to give them a call. It was easy to schedule the first consultation. They came out, took pictures, and gave me an estimate. Not the cheapest, but it was necessary and they were very professional. We scheduled the work for a day I wasn't home (crawl space access from outside). They took care of everything! Cleaned up the old stuff, sanitized, rodent proofed (with 5 year warranty) and send me the pictures when they were done. Awesome work, professional company, highly recommend.
D. A. Burns
Carpet Cleaner
We were dog sitting and she had an accident on our brand new sofa. These guys did a fantastic job getting the smell out and not shrinking or distorting the fabric. They even put a water repellant coating for no extra charge.
Fairwood Construction, LLC
General Contractor
We bought a house in February that needed a lot of work before we could really call it home and we were in a bit of a rush to get it done. Completely new bathroom (which required framing in a wall), updating the kitchen, installing new flooring throughout the house, painting, electrical work. The craftsmanship was high, Adam brought in skilled tradespeople, worked weekends to meet deadlines, kept me informed of issues he found and helped me decide the best way to handle them, and overall helped us make our new house feel like home.
Gray Barn Nursery
My wife and I have gotten numerous plants from here. They are also associated with Pacific Topsoils and I was able to call and have bulk mulch and gravel delivered same-day!
Martinez Painting
Manuel and his son did an amazing job painting the interior of our remodel. They painted walls, ceiling, trim, cabinets, hand rails. Basically everything. They did drywall repair, painted new walls and matched the texture of the existing wall. They were punctual and worked Saturdays so we could move the remodel project along. I can't say enough good things. Highly recommend.
Mirsky Electric
I needed some GFCI outlets installed and my breaker panel looked at. The outlets were a quick change and the electrician gave me lots of info about the panel. He could have recommended changing it and I probably would have done it, but it's a big expense and gave me his honest opinion that it probably doesn't need to be changed, but that I should keep an eye on it. I appreciate that he told my what he would do if it was his house.
Parker Eco Pest Control
I needed a non-toxic way to prevent sugar ants from invading my house since we have two dogs and two cats. They were very responsive and were able to come out quickly. The guy who came respected social distancing and wore a mask, which I appreciated.
PCC Market - Redmond
Lots of grocery options in Redmond, but PCC is the best. We really like their produce!
Price Busters Plumbing
Found these guys from friend recommendations on Fresh Chalk and was not disappointed. Very friendly, knowledgeable, and well priced. They will be my first call any time I need a plumber from here on out.
Video Only
Home Automation
This is the only place to buy home audio and video equipment if you live in the Seattle metro area. You will get a better price than everywhere else.


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