Thursday, April 24, 2014


Pick-Pocket Proof Pants™ - P^cubed ® Travel Pants---review

at the NY Times Travel Show-NYC


Men/Women's: Cool Spring Gear Part 3

Whether going somewhere across datelines and borders-or closer to home-one's encounters with pesky thieves- very skilled at getting the goods-undetectably-can ruin any day/week/month…and beyond.

The spacious, light filled Brooklyn headquarters---super well organized…with on site customer service/packaging btw…many style sizes sell out -but regular massive inventory shipments =no worries

Even so called 'safe' zones of the world-have petty crime problems-which can ruin any trip for the theft victim…missing an ID packed wallet, or  an iPhone with a loaded SIM card- that was casually placed in an unsecured back pocket (though why people do that is beyond comprehension)…

AND so necessity breeds quality solutions-for one NYC based entrepreneur-when a close call for his wallet in Vietnam by a swarm of skilled pickpocket types- a few years back-led to an epiphany for what is missing in clothing…

THAT IS…well made, tailored, durable and practical attire for urban or rugged terrain-that is pulled together enough not to raise eyebrows at sketchy border crossings…but tricked out with hidden-secure pockets…for the 'stuff''everyone moving about- hauls around.

The guy versions have added button flap to the waist pockets-another layer of security-but …IMO… breaks up a lean line.

Clothing Arts -has been up and running for a few seasons-and has really taken off-in a matter of speaking…with several pants, shirts and shorts styles-all distinguished by the P^ cubed logo-with focused/edited-line of seperates-for both genders.

Its offerings are so unique to the market---in fact,…that we even ventured to a far flung (for us) Brooklyn destination on an alphabet subway we've never even taken before-to see first hand the operations of this successful enterprise.

The women's P^cubed® Pick-Pocket Proof Pants™Travel Pant we got…has multiple lightweight, well placed pockets-(with design patents in place, fyi)...some with zippers, all security minded…beginning with two- side waist ones…that we often just keep unzipped just to rest our hands there. 

WHAT'S DIFFERENT-the waist pockets kinda lie imperceptibly  ---not to adding inches to our mid-section (what woman would ever want that)...with an inner fabric piece divider on one side-more typical of menswear-but sooo practical. It would be tough for prying hands to slip into these--the angled to the front pockets are placed just so.
flat waist-most flattering cut for pants-belt loops are securely stitched on fits most belt sizes…including traveler belts…side pockets place so as not to add inches on the side- when carrying personal items
Notably-the zippers add no weight but are clearly tough. Won't rip out or catch….and when zipped up-the zipper cage cannot easily be grabbed by anyone but the person wearing the pants. As it should be!

 covered zipper lies flat and well hidden under a flap…buttons securely sewed on-we doubt they will ever unravel...
On the leg-mid-thigh- there are also two on the outer side cargo like-pockets--that when unbuttoned - reveal even more secure storage areas…big enough for currency-room card keys and credit cards/ids like driver's license-or government issued plastic cards. (Fyi-the flaps lie flat-like- no unflattering added inches here either, esp. when empty).

One has a hidden zipper in the button flap -the other button flap one without a zipper-is good for stashing an easy grab lipgloss, 3 oz sunscreen tube etc.

Bonus points-that all of the pockets-including two rear pockets-one with a hidden zipper- for secure haulage -are comfortably placed= ---where our body doesn't ever bend-so as to limit the interior  'space' of the pocket…or add annoying perceptible bulges when we put stuff inside.
nice shape pocket-sized just right...
Hot weather demands Capri lengths---and the Travel Pant  inner tabs--secure to outer buttons around mid-calf…for a roll-up option. (New convertible zip-off pants/sorts for women-like the guys have now-coming in a few months)

The flat front cut-is flattering…and on trend…a design detail other outdoor companies that make women's casual lifestyle/travel apparel-don't get.

 Impressive when we think the two guys running this entity have toiled in the financial industry-not the garmento one.

Double stitched seams with serious threading-and a tad of stretch in the fabric (we felt, anyway)-is great for contorting oneself in economy class-or for scrambling up a mountain without worrying about seam splits. The  Nature-Like™ Nylon material-with woven in UPF 50+ has really good hand feel, can scrunch up to pack-and emerge just fine-really resists dirt, and water-and cleans in cold water. We drip dried ours-but tumble dry low is an option too.
serious puncture-and pull apart resistant zipper teeth that won't get bent out of shape either - -stitched in place----super well made---this side pocket has the inner tab---good for metal coins---kind of see in this picture

There isn't any shrinkage after laundering-a positive that eliminates the need for stretching calisthenics…but the waist - does has two adjustable button tabs in the back for expansion/contraction purposes.

roll up ez-for capri length-the button on the leg-isn't noticeable when not needed…tabs are inside and not noticeably when the pants are hanging at regular length
Fit-wise-for us-the pants waist part rests right above the top of our narrow by USA standards sized hip bones-where we like our jeans to hit too. For other women -the waist fit might be a bit higher. There is a new cut for women-with an even higher waist rise-(muffin top solution here-we guess)-coming in a few months.

SIZING -we usually wear a PANT regular size American XXS (00-0), a French 32-34 and UK 4-6---and the Clothing Arts Size 2 fit us fine--- we feel the pants are more silhouetted like a European cut than the typical "fuller" more generous sizing-typical of American women's clothing. Super athletic legs- "curvy" gals-or those wanting more of a loose boyfriend fit-should def. size up. Petite and tall inseam options---in sizes 2-16.

WHAT ELSE-color options-think safari/neutrals-grey, khaki, olive…that matchy match with a rainbow's worth of color/pattern/prints.

Priced at $99.95-these pants are versatile-and not expensive at all…and one pair can eliminate the need for multiple pant styles in wide range of climates- when traveling-and need for a purse or worse, a fanny pack …

 For traveling gals-these are no brainers but we wear them all the time in a trendy fashion driven city- …as the polished silhouette -a classic (smarter) safari look that has been in style for decades… easily lends itself to dress-up possibilities-swap out the hiking boots or river sandals-for heels, a cute top/blazer/scarf/bling=done.

It did not surprise us at all -to learn that evolutionary possibilities for Clothing Arts includes retail distribution in more fashion-y outlets---in addition to being available online, and in select, well-respected travel catalogues.

PLUS: For men…new business pant---delivering in May 2014
image grabbed off the website-looks like a dressy chino...

-made of the same Nature-Like™ Nylon-that drapes well, comes in four color options….

joining a roster shirts, shorts., casual and adventure selections-including handsome cotton twill, Teflon® tough straight leg cut- P^cubed® Pick-Pocket Proof Pants™ Business Traveler Pants.


antique sewing machines and posters…very cool----have been lovingly collected
and framed…homemade frames too...


Monday, April 21, 2014

NATHAN™s Tri Series GEAR UP AND GO Hydration, Nutrition, Transport- Solutions Cool Spring Gear Part 2

AP Pro Aerobar Hydration System, Hyper SpeedFeed Nutrition Box,  QuickShot Plus Insulated Flask, Haul-It All Bag, Lock Laces REVIEW

Triathlon training-like golf-are athletic endeavors we spend a lot of time (and $) on…and are also activities where the amateurs can compete on the same courses as professional athletes (neat!).
... Or even with the pros -at some competitions.

So we understand why many amateur athletes identify with the competitors who earn cash from races-and have to have the 'stuff'' the pros wear-from the performance apparel--- to the gear they swim, bike, run- or swing with. The entire endorsement industry is bulging with athletes contracted as brand representatives.

However, we barely pay attention to what the professionals are wearing/using-because we are not professionals even though in our minds anyway-we're skilled amateurs at the aforementioned sports.

Point being-we don't care who endorses it----"it"-preferably priced in our budget, something we don't need to pay someone to install/figure out…and of course- has to work for us.

We summarized NATHAN™Sports reflective portable hydration solutions- a few months back but this week actually got to review some affordable selections from their Tri Series for hydration, and eating on the go.

Even judging by the pictures on the website-we could tell that a lot of thought went into every product… and immensely practical designs popped off the screen-no matter where we clicked.

AND when we got the AP Pro Aerobar Hydration System, the Hyper SpeedFeed Nutrition Box, and the QuickShot Plus Insulated Flask to try out in real life-we knew straight away-that all three were superior to what we have been using instead, and that clearly there was serious athletic input into these highly engineered products…in this case-pro triathlete Andy Potts ---a guy we actually have heard of.

First off, the easy to install AP PRO AEROBAR HYDRATION SYSTEM.

Efficient and easy…24oz size (710 mL)-positioning is ideal-no rattling at all…and the streamlined shaped bottle sits  a tiny bit-slightly lower in aero bars than what we have used before-probably more aero.
There are multiple reasons why this easy to sip, clean, fill on the go, BPA free- turbo shaped hydration system is superior to every other way to carry water---enabling triathletes to "stay tucked, stay fast, stay hydrated."

These circular clips click easily onto aero bars-can be angled too--- four attachments-the patent pending "Articulation Arms"-made of durable plastic-swivel to fit. We snapped on in seconds-with the curved part up top-though even that swivels around. Our aero bars do not have a lot of leg (length) room---it fit perfectly though---even where our bars angled up...-and for longer bars of bigger humans-more ability to adjust where the hydration unit sits. Molded black cage holds the bottle securely.

fits width just right

the clear hydration straw-gets firmly caged in a flexible Straw Mast-that gets inserted into the bottle first (tabs at the ends-squish in and securely adjust)-no wiggling once placed in. The plastic straw (two enclosed)…then securely inserts-  angled end first…hitting the bottom for good to the last drop sipping.  The angle is customizable. What we really noticed and major bonus points here...  the straw opening-and the straw- are placed further back on the bottle than what we had been using-which is great-because now we don't feel like the straw will jam into our Adam's Apple-when we are supremely crouched over the aero bar and get even more aggressive with our tuck. Nathan's hydration system's nifty design-adjust for one's height and position----not a one fits all approach-good thing. 

More bonus points…as noted before-the bottle sits super securely in a black cage holster. Why this matters to us big time---we hit a bump at the Nationals last season…and our aero water bottle from Pro Design popped right out-at mile 5ish. UGH. The Nathan™ bottle- can be-with a bit of effort- snapped out and then entirely opened by easily twisting apart-in half -for cleaning...
easy to follow instructions, two plastic drink tubes+two white caps...

the whitish cap snaps on with pressure applied- insures liquids stays inside when transporting---it is attached by a velcro orange tab-remove it for training+ races…leaving the orange splash guard Quick Fill Port protected cap (that also can be snapped out to fill the bottle from a pitcher). This design feature is great for long races with bottle exchanges…and the orange clip where the cap's orange tab is inserted=Deck Ring…can clip down on inspirational picture-or in our case, slide a gel pack tab instead.

Can squeeze a handed out water bottle-or one caged somewhere else on the bike- accessibly replacing consumed fluids-in seconds through the orange Quick Fill Port. Removes the entire need to replace a bottle somewhere tricky-(like behind our seat) - sliding it back in---losing the bottle and or seconds…and worse, focus…!
No splash-mouthpiece-Soft Sip Bite Valve-pushes onto straw after heating up in hot water for 30-60 secs. We tried-water easily flowed through for "controlled access"---but it's optional…we preferred not using it…guess it is more what we are used to.


Hyper SpeedFeed-attaches by three velcro tabs…longer in length that most aero boxes we've seen-secure tightly right up against the front vertical bar---so knees don't rub against sides of the box when peddling…though the shape is slightly more tapered at the end and taller people won't even have to deal with this. Two velcro straps secure on the horizontal bars. Those 3M™ stripes are reflective too!

ANOTHER winner that is so much better than what we had--- from the Nathan™Sports Tri series= the lightweight aero nutrition box Hyper SpeedFeed-that bravo-closes/opens by one hand via a magnetic -embedded snap-for easy access-without a need to look down…though the clear top enables seeing what's inside…if you do.
Can fit a lot in here-really exceptional for those doing long courses in particular…the interior can be easily cleaned. Depending on the training distance or race length-we fit in four gel packs,  five gel blocs, keys, and for racing-with no keys carried- a few crackers that are always needed after a swim to settle stomach churn. Also we can stash the used gel packs in here a lot easier than the tinier one we had…for a litter free ride. Great!!!!

AVAILABLE NOW=we found online from about $25- depending---on retailer + the fine print….

logo 3M™ reflective pops-multiple colors available too
The QuickShot Plus Insulated-Fire&Ice™flask -a Nathan™ hydration handheld...
fits different hand sizes including ours-which are small-adjustable hand strap

Very cool-no drip yet squeeze just a tad-the liquid evenly flows…high flow Race Cap. Strap is mesh-lets the sweat wick out-back of hand...
The QuickShot Plus Insulated flask is the first double wall flask on the market-meaning it keeps icy cold water seriously icy cold for hours… in an ergonomic hand held shape---inside an easy to clean holster.

The reflective details cover the surface from all angles…including the entire bottle…that stands out when the headlights hit- even when partially covered up by our fingers.

Widely available now-$30
No need to to do anything but squeeze the bottle -get the water out. Cap twists off for ez cleaning. The zipper compartment held two gels, keys-ez---could fit more in there too if need be…like a Metro card in the side mesh stretchy slip..and more gels...

The flask attachment straps will not stretch out-unlike the one we had used prior!!! In daylight-the bottle is pink/grey…can see as the light hits-it reflects…as pictured below...fits palm of our hand just right too...

The double wall flask weighs like nothing-holds 8oz liquids. We're not big on body heat but get the humid temps above 85Fº or so---even we start to wilt. Keeping icy cold water immediately cools our core down-helps us keep the pace….fit in ice chips to 'sip' when needed -in hot hot weather. What a difference.

The HAUL-IT-ALL BAG from Nathan™ Sports Tri series-is a portable solution for those that carry their gear around---where ever-including those that bike with their stuff. It weighs like nothing---has serious reflective details at the bottom (as seen above)---and importantly -is mostly mesh-thereby see through…which we hope is good enough for races that now require clear bags to carry all our gear. At least-lets the wet swimsuit/towels breath.

Drawstring closure, adjustable, lightly padded backstraps, internal zippered compartment---and a reinforced durable nylon bottom…a cleanly clearly -thought out hauler---it is available now in other colors.

We think-they could make an even bigger one with side pockets/compartments (this one carries 35L)---kinda like the Flight Control bag---

But out of the same mostly mesh material---it could work for hauling all our tri race gear to a race (we hope) instead of a clear plastic bag that rarely is big enough…and double as our gym bag ---cause we travel with way more hair/beauty products-to and fro-than most guys.

compressive laces---stretch (tiny bit) as foot expands w/pounding-adjusts on the go 
Speed laces are not just for racing---we have them on every pair of running shoes we own because stopping our stride to adjust the fit - is really annoying.

NATHAN™ Sports delivers a smart version-the patented Lock Laces™ that are fast and intuitive--- to install…just remove laces you have…lace in the stretch compressive ones provided (multiple color options)…put shoes on for the fit…slide laces through the round lock----trim excess laces..and shove in the lock part, snap shut. DONE.

Widely available --- $7.95---and of course-re-usable too. A not big investment that pays off after the first run...

Sunday, April 20, 2014

ADLENS® Adjustables™ Eyewear-Cool Gear for Spring 2014 Part 1


Never be out of focus….

Were we ever surprised AND intrigued by the pr pitch we got from- really-a fashion leaning entity- about adjustable eyewear---for the near and far sighted…available in "regular"styles,  new-sunglasses and on trend upscale John Lennon inspired styled- collections -that we were perfectly willing to haul it to a retail store to check it out ourselves.
Available now-$59---in other colors too
 And we don't even wear or need prescription glasses !!!!

tiny sturdy dial at the temples-one on each side….close one eye to individually adjust-Corrects over 90% of spherical errors (-6D to +3D spherical)-meaning probably help you read the super fine print---or seeing a movie screen---clearly...
WHAT: The Adlens® Adjustables sounded so cool-(duh-patented of course)…and neatly solve the problem we witnessed just last week when out with a gaggle of 20+ people at a restaurant- with all but one- forgetting their reading glasses-resulting in one pair getting passed around---resulting in the ordering off the menu taking even longer than forever

featherweight too-kinda see the adjustable part within the overall lens-award winning Alvarez technology-2 wave shaped polycarbonate plates slide across each other -do the honors-change the power of the lens-separately left-right. Nice.
...because no one has the same visual needs-let alone individual variances in l/r eyeball vision…meaning more squinting than reading….and just 'having' the audibly recited, special.

... SO-the Aldens® = "Variable Focus Eyewear"-are really just that -and a solution---each side has an adjustable unobtrusive dial- on the left ---and right-(shut one eye at a time for accuracy)-accounting for differences in needs…ideal for one person-or in a crowd of sharers.

The pair we tried---pictured---is made of plastic-a durable plastic that weighs like nothing. Lookwise-they are perfectly acceptable fashion friendly- but clearly not like a $400 pair of  luxury designer logo-ed specs. (The Adlens® John Lennon™ collection might satisfy that requirement…)

NOTE: All over the company websites are reminders - that these specs are not meant to replace or "be a substitute for" prescription eyeglasses, or replace examinations by a professionally trained Optometrist or Ophthalmologist ...or be used for driving or operating heavy machinery. (WHEN TO WEAR link)

OKAY---livin' in the USA we get that…but imo the ADLENs® we have are so practical….because for a modest price- theoretically these will be the only pair of glasses we might ever need for many scenarios---because they adjust. Easily too. Just turn the dial. 

WHAT ELSE: As an extra pair to stash in the car-in a handbag-or just to have- in place of costly 'script readers/eyewear…one pair of Aldens® can be used by many. But why share…we're keeping ours to ourselves. Truth be told-the three people we showed this to…went and got a pair for themselves. Yes, that cool.

Other collections with the adjustable tech onboard-Emergensee™ $49, the round specs/sunglasses Hemisphere® $89 clear----sunglass version $99, John Lennon™ iconic collection $125-$199,  plus coming soon-Adlens®Focuss hipster looking-for progressive wearers--exclusively to Lenscrafters…in USA. 

FYI: From a UK based company-with distribution all over…providing solutions for refractive vision needs- worldwide.

BONUS POINTS: The Buy One Give One program…from the website…a WIN WIN!!!!

For every pair of glasses purchased from The John Lennon™ Collection and Hemisphere® Sun and Optical ranges, Adlens®donates a pair of glasses to someone in the developing world via the Buy One Give One program, administered by our charitable partner Vision for a Nation.
Variable focus eyewear reduces the time and ongoing costs associated with traditional eyecare, overcoming fundamental barriers to treatment in countries with fewer resources. 85% of Rwandans live in rural areas - Vision for a Nation trains health care workers to provide immediate and long-term eyecare in their local community.

VFAN Short HD from Sebastian Ford on Vimeo.

WOLVERINE Women's Footwear No. 1883, Wolverine 1000 Mile & by Samantha Pleet 1000 Mile Fall 2014

MAE Ankle Bootie-No. 1883 collection. Love this mix of suede and woolen upper…cushioned footbed, rubber outsole and block heel 1.5"- make these durable and easy to spend the day upright, on. In black tan and grey (pictured).

Outdoor Retailer/SLC

Men's workbooks may be Wolverine's original claim to fame-but for us, the standouts of the Fall 2014 preview =the women's lifestyle collections-No. 1883 (priced under $200), and the premium group=Wolverine 1000 Mile.

ELOISE: Ankle Bootie-No. 1883---waxy suede upper-pictured in tan…cushioned footbed, rubber outsole-block heel 1.5"---girlish take on a chukka...
All boots, ankle booties and shoes are feminine-even the lace-ups modeled on hiker styles and men's classic kicks-with a will be in demand  broadening of the No. 1883 offerings for women---and a few winning Wolverine 1000 Mile carry-overs from last season in more colors---plus, few new silhouettes.

ARDIE: Boot- No. 1883-pull-on (black and taupe-and pictured-tan)-can wear with jeans or a flirty skirt---suede and nubuck leather upper, rubber outsole
Wear the collar up or down-the MABEL boot -No. 1883-comes in a rich eggplant color that's a deep neutral tone for Fall 2014. Full grain leather upper, cushioned footbed, rubber outsole-and a heel height of 1" make these city and country friendly. Really great.

LAVERNE: Lace-Up Boot-No 1883-Full grin leather upper-slim hiker style…cushioned footbed and rubber outsole, 1" heel...

MAJORIE: Pull-on boot-No 1883 full grain leather upper with hints of motorcycle -with two adjustable side buckles. Cushioned footbed, rubber outsole…1" heel height.

MAIJA: 1000 Mile Buckle Boot-full grain leather upper, unlined with leather footbed-breathable. Pictured in mahogany-also in black

Rich leathers, leather welts, and stitch details that are prevalent on luxury labels-all here in the Wolverine 1000 Mile collection for women. These updated classic looks are inspired by equestrian and military designs…with narrower profiles that are decidedly for the gals.  Beautifully made…!
Rubber/leather outsole and rubber heel-hallmarks of a well made boot.

one of our fav styles for cooler temps-ELSIE: Lace-Up Riding boot we'd walk in…full grian leather upper, unlined w/ a leather footbed…leather welt, rubber/leather outsole like the above  Maija-both with 1" heel heights. Also in black.

VILLAGE: Lace-up ankle bootie…equestrian braid detail…available in full grain leather or suede…leather lined and footbed, rubber/leather outsole+rubber heel.

Our favorite booties from the Wolverine 1000 Mile collection are fashioned by the talented Samantha Pleet---who has previously done the design honors for this shoe company.

Feminine and spot-on modern booties with Wolverine heritage in the mix- are highlights for Fall 2014.

We love the warm autumnal tones---including olive green/brown that matches up with the basic neutral colors in any wardrobe. Including black---and a crisp winter white.

this PROVINCE lace boot hits at just the right spot on legs to flatter---and give a long lean look. Full grain leather or suede upper…the red version is muted enough to be versatile…2.5" heel just right.

Taking a look that is a men's classic-add a 2" inch stacked heel-slim it down-ARC: Twin Gore Chelsea Boot----full grain leather or suede upper, leather lining, leather footbed, rubber/leather outsole and rubber outsole…nice.

A two tone winner-straight out of the 19th century-BONNY boot is a carry over, available now $320- but the color options for Fall include the sharp looking - Brown/Green combo. Basically a pull on with adjustable top buckle closure.the top curves add a feminine grace ---not blocky cut-so elongates the legs…

BONNY boot in black/grey suede on the right-new for Fall 2014 (Aug. 1st delivery) will probably sell the best…imo.