Back in the Saddle With Another Mt. Hiei Climb (and Thoughts on Under Armour Clothes and Stock)
Heading Up Mt. Hiei with Damien Douxchamps, but without a good camera -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic DMC-TS3 at an effective 29mm — 1/8 sec, f/3.3, ISO 400 — map & image datanearby photos
Heading Up Mt. Hiei
with Damien Douxchamps, but without a good camera

昨日、友達一緒比叡山登った。小さいゴミのカメラしか無かったので、今回写真はかなり質が悪いです。ごめん。

The past few months have conspired to keep me mostly inactive, with travel, injuries, and colds weighing me down for most of the summer, but I'm finally feeling pretty good, so when I came across some photos of a previous hike up Kyoto's Mt. Hiei while tidying up my photo archive, I thought it was about time to try it again, so the next morning I did it.

Luck would have it that Damien was available to give it a try, so we met at the trailhead yesterday morning at 8:00.

This was my fifth hike of the mountain. I brought a full-frame SLR the first, second, and third times. On the fourth I just brought the iPhone, but because the camera lacks quality (and the battery lacks endurance) I thought maybe I'd get a step up with a small compact camera we have lying around, but wow was I wrong. The photo quality is just pathetic. So sorry about that.

Muddy you walk along/in a stream for just the first few minutes -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic DMC-TS3 at an effective 29mm — 1/10 sec, f/3.3, ISO 400 — map & image datanearby photos
Muddy
you walk along/in a stream for just the first few minutes
“ Feeling Great! ” he was actually a bit tired -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic DMC-TS3 at an effective 29mm — 1/60 sec, f/3.3, ISO 320 — map & image datanearby photos
Feeling Great!
he was actually a bit tired

Damien has had his head buried in a startup business for almost the last year, so hasn't gotten out for much exercise, so this was a sudden challenge for him. Still, he did much better than I did my first time.

More Water than Normal -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic DMC-TS3 at an effective 29mm — 1/15 sec, f/3.3, ISO 400 — map & image datanearby photos
More Water than Normal
So Stylish at the Top! with bonus crazy hat hair -- Rest area near to of Mt. Hiei -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic DMC-TS3 at an effective 29mm — 1/1000 sec, f/3.3, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
So Stylish at the Top!
with bonus crazy hat hair

My clothes are all about function.

The leggings and shirt are from Under Armour's Heat Gear compression line (which I've written about in the past here and here). They're designed to be worn when it's hot, to wick away sweat and keep you cool. They do a fantastic job of it.

These versions are of the compression type, which means the stretchy fabric wears like a second skin. They have non-compression versions that apparently wick just as well, but I like the compression aspect because it makes you feel more comfortable; it eliminates the sticky/clingy/yucky feeling of a wet shirt. It's just always there, so you don't feel any wet cling, and you also don't feel sweat dripping down your back/arms/whatever. It's really just so much more comfortable than a non-compression shirt such as the Uniqlo Dry T that I wrote about a couple of years ago. I still wear those when I'm not exercising, but they're comparatively horrible for exercise.

I could get white and navy colors at Amazon Japan, but to add some variety to my workouts while in The States this summer I picked up orange, bright blue (to match my eyes, you know), and just to be odd, purple.

A side note about the company that makes these, Under Armour...

When I first gave them a try I noticed the really high quality of their product right away, a feeling that has only strengthened over the months as I've tried more products. But on top of that, while in The States for the summer, over the course of many visits to a trampoline park, I noticed that Under Armour was the predominant brand that the kids were wearing. Not Nike, not Adidas, not Umbro, not New Balance, not Champion. Five year olds, 10 year olds, 15-year olds (and adults).

These kids are already voting with their parents' money, and will soon vote with their own. Under Armour, it seems, is cool with the young generation, and I think this bodes very well for Under Armour's future because one's idea of style sticks with us as we age.

(When I was a kid in the 70s and 80s, a red sweater vest was the epitome of old and grandpa, because back then, that's what old men wore. They wore it because they thought it looked good, because when they were kids in the 40s and 50s, it did look good. Back then, a red sweater vest was the epitome of preppy cool, and that fashion sense stuck with the men even though it didn't stick with the general culture.)

This certainly wasn't the limit of my research, but I ended up buying a few shares of Under Armour stock. With a market cap of $15B it's quite risky... that's 1/5th the market cap of Nike, but the company doesn't feel like it has nearly that much presence, so it's got to grow into its pricing. In most trailing comparisons to Nike it seems overpriced, but it's smaller and has more momentum, so those expectations are built into the current price. On Wall Street, expectations can be quite fickle, so it wouldn't surprise me to see this stock level out for a year or two at half its current price, but it also wouldn't surprise me to see it much higher five and ten years out.

We'll see. I'm in at $69.61/share.

僕が好きな運動用の服のメーカーはアンダーアーマーです。 値段一寸高いけれども、質が最高です。ジムでは結構人気ですが、この間アメリカで気が付くのはこのブランドは若者にかなり 人気です。品質がよい+人気はいい組み合わせので、会社の株を一寸買いました。将来はどうかな〜?

Anyway, back to yesterday's climb. Because it was Damien's first time, I let him set the pace, and we made it in 2h 18m. That about what it took on my first time (2h 8m), but Damien was in much better shape at the end than I had been. For example, he can stand:

Not So Much Worse for Wear -- Rest area near to of Mt. Hiei -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic DMC-TS3 at an effective 29mm — 1/100 sec, f/3.3, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Not So Much Worse for Wear

I'll have to try again by myself sometime soon, to see if I can beat the 1h 37m time of the previous hike. But it's so painful to do it with a crappy camera, I'll have to give some thought into what to do there.

Continued here...


All 7 comments so far, oldest first...

You might want to consider a mirror-less camera, such as the Nikon P7100. I find that it is easy to carry, and produces excellent results particularly when the lighting is good and the subject isn’t fast moving.

— comment by Tom in SF on September 28th, 2014 at 1:40am JST (2 years, 8 months ago) comment permalink

Have you tried the UA “charged” cotton tees? They’re my favorite, and I have 1-2 in every color they make.

I don’t. For exercise or daily wear?

One bad thing about the company is that they have scant info available about their products (their web site is bad to atrocious), and it seems that what they offer in Japan is sometimes specific to the Japanese market, so I can find out even less about it. In particular, it’s tough to choose a size if you’re not in the middle of the bell curve…. perhaps it’s a smart business move to ignore people like me, but it’s frustrating as a customer to look at their meager size offerings and be torn between a size “M” based on my waist, or a “3L” based on my height. It doesn’t matter all that much for the compression shirts (they’re so stretchy that it may well be one size fits all), but after spending an hour on both sites (US & Japan), I gave up trying to find a windbreaker from them that was worth taking the chance to order. —Jeffrey

— comment by Jake on September 29th, 2014 at 7:29am JST (2 years, 8 months ago) comment permalink

I would also suggest a mirrorless camera. I’ve been hearing lots of good things about the Fuji X-T1. It has a high-quality sensor, easy controls and a bunch of good lenses available. If you don’t feel like investing in any more lenses, you could go with the Fuji X100S, which has a fixed 23mm f/2 lens (34.5mm equivalent) which is great for these types of walking-around shots.

As for Under Armour, I don’t think it’s just kids where they have gained a foothold as I see people in a range of ages wear them. Moreover, while lots of people wear their clothes for recreation, there is a big contingent of athletes that wear them as well. Cleats, uniforms, etc. I think the professional leagues still have deals with Nike, but that could change.

— comment by Christopher on September 29th, 2014 at 10:56am JST (2 years, 8 months ago) comment permalink

Another alternative is DX. Not quite as small, but better picture quality and take the same lenses.
I love my AF35/2D.

— comment by Daniel on September 29th, 2014 at 4:45pm JST (2 years, 8 months ago) comment permalink

“When I first gave them a try I noticed the really high quality of their product right away, a feeling that has only strengthened over the months as I’ve tried more products. …” — Jeffrey F.

Could you be specific about the product lines (monikers, model codes, or similar) and the stores|shops where you bought Under Armour things of high quality?

I ask your definition of “high quality” in a long winded way by way of example …

In my case at local Sports Authority store, polyester Adidas Galaxy line of tennis polo shirts (MSRP $30-35; generally bought at discount) & other t-shirts around same price have roughly finished stitching, and loose thread-ends are easily visible; weave is coarse to touch. Under Armour shirts available have the similar qualities regarding stitching.

In comparison, Adidas Barricade & Climachill polo shirts (MSRP $60; not available at the store) have cleanly finished stitching and have no loose thread ends that I could find easily. The weave (or, is it “knit”?) is only slightly softer in comparison, so it is not big of a difference. These should be washed in cold water per tag, where Galaxy line of clothes can be washed in warm water, along with most of my laundry. These were bought at discount & shipped free within contiguous USA, and were then imported by a family member on a trip.

On a side note, if I had to wash clothes with relatively better stitching (than Galaxy line) in cold water, I would have already bought Nike clothes which are conveniently available near the Adidas section around the same price in more designs.

– – – –

Hey, I just notice the preview! Thanks much, Jeffrey.

I’ve bought all my Under Armour either at Amazon Japan or Amazon US. The only shirts I’ve gotten are the Heat Gear compression shirts (this one). I’ve also gotten a hat, some five-finger socks (probably not avail. in the US), and leggings. Quality seems high on all of them… tight stitching, and everything looks good as new after going through the washer and dryer. (Our washer does only non-hot tapwater, so everything is cold-water washed.) —Jeffrey

— comment by parv on October 1st, 2014 at 9:48pm JST (2 years, 8 months ago) comment permalink

Jeffrey, the UA “charged” cotton tees are great for daily wear and for working out. That’s why I love them. They’re versatile. They hold their shape, they dry quickly, and they wear like iron.

I can’t help you much with the sizing, because I don’t know what the Japanese site is like. But I’m 6’2″, 225 pounds, and I wear an XL. And the size will stay XL if you wash them according to instructions (cold water, air dry).

I can be out for a jog and get hit by a quick shower, but the shirt will be virtually dry by the time I get home. Oh, yeah, they’re soft and comfortable as heck. I give them five stars.

— comment by Jake on October 3rd, 2014 at 10:02am JST (2 years, 8 months ago) comment permalink

Stumbled across this page browsing around after using your great Exif viewer page (Thanks for maintaining a web interface for that fantastic exifTool! As an aside, It does not show the location info field that my Nikon S9900 creates, just the GPS coord fields. Can you update it to show all fields ? Thanks !).
Anyways, let us know other stock picks, so we can short them 😉 seems UA tanked a year after you bought at $69 and is now below $20. Hope you got out in Sept 2015 at $100 BTW, Yahoo (which I used to love) only shows max 1 year history chart on UA, so I had to use Google ;-(

It’s split 2:1 one time since I bought it, so my price in current terms is $35. This, along with the CEO’s comments make for a disheartening experience. Products are great, but that doesn’t mean that the business is, of course. About the location field, perhaps send some specific example photos to the ExifTool author (e.g. this photo has the location “xyz”, and that photo has the location “pdq”, etc.) and perhaps he’ll be able to figure out how to decode it. —Jeffrey

— comment by Lurker on February 19th, 2017 at 3:37am JST (3 months, 6 days ago) comment permalink
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