Saturday, March 31, 2012


Outdoor Retailer/SLC

words/tradeshow images Judith Ecochard

THE BASICS -That Make An Athlete's Life Easier:

Attending a media preview for fashion types at the bumpin' Standard Hotel,  had a guy asking us, " what do you do-- run? bike...?"

"Triathlons",  we replied. How did he know... the giveaway-our Road ID wristlet ($19.95)---like a secret club -and a symbol of identity as much as a flashy college ring.

In fact, a few days later-when we saw a guy doing laps in the pool-with a lap counter attached--- wearing a Road ID bracelet---we knew he was seriously getting ready for the racing season.

Road ID is a simple really, but totally genius idea-a non-irrritating, you forget you are wearing it----velcro (or silicone band) wristlet (anklet) with critical id info...

The need-long bicycle rides in rural areas.

For us, this is a comforting piece of equipment -as vital as a spare tire---except we don't need to learn how to use.

Ancillary products are now available too-all with user safety as an MO---and imho-this is a good purchase for senior, senior citizens too.

YMX by Yellowman

Ed Hardy-who's that...ha ha, that tattoo inspired brand has nothing on the fabulous YMX by Yellowman collection of leggings, and sports specific tops-blessed with vividly-clear par excellence- permanently printed masterful designs---

Fashion/function is on another level with these pieces, many Asian inspired...that are boldly colored and graphically illustrated like no other label we can think of.

And denim friendly too.

PLUS: The technical fabrics-MadKool® ---boast woven in SPF+ (30-50, depending), wash and dry friendly, anti bacterial, moisture wicking, breathable...stretchy with shape retention, wrinkle resistant, and naturally abrasive resistant. With a silky hand feel too. Very nice.

Living Color Reflect Hoodie mid weight MadKool® $150 

Semi-fitted Contour Jacket $125/Vest $110 mid weight fleece, 4 way stretch, non piling, wicking, breathable, machine wash/ dry, zipped hand warmers, reflective logo, 2 way reflective zipper 

Living Cloud, Core L/S, featherweight MadKool® $98 each

Dragon L/S-featherweigt MadKool® $98

matching leggings $89

Living Peony Long Sleeve $98 featherweight MadKool® 

Living Henna Turtleneck $108 featherweight MadKool®

Living Henna Mesh tank $59

Living Garden Core  L/S $98-MadKool featherweight

Living Peony Short Sleeve tri pocket jersey $98 and Core L/S $98-madKool fatherwieght

Living Sun Short Sleeve try pocket jersey $98 and matching Sport Sleeves $32 madKool fabric

pockets on back blend in

Elemental Air Tank-Yakuza style print $64

available now for SPring 2012


MPG apparel is a complete line of wearable, stylish and flattering activewear-originally aimed at professional ballet dancers---with terrific fit and functionality...quick drying and moisture wicking.

This past OR show, we zeroed in on their collection of comfortably compressive YOGAToner separates that are a smartly made group of eight items- tops and bottoms ---that have yoga stretches in mind-but are really good for any workout endeavor...comprised of 86% nylon, and easy recovery 12% spandex fabric---with  flat lock and triple stitched seams- in sizes XS to there really is a perfect fit...including the XS size---something a lot of American brands have started cutting too big.

Racer back tank top $55-tagless label for added comfort-with medium support built in bra

compressive panels

great stretch and shape retention-with internal mesh panels for added support

body supporting design-internal mesh panels add strength support-fitted short $35

sport tight $62

shaped waistband flatters and holds in

Available now----

Capri $58

high waisted pant $80

packaged in a recycled box

WHAT ELSE: A super nice collection of ripstop nylon tough haulers that we think can be used all the time without screaming GYMBAG!

lots of side zip pockets with colorful linings

GRANGERS is a UK based company that is the brains behind cleaner and waterproofing washes/treatments for performance apparel, gear and footwear.

After all, no point in spending anything on technical pieces if the performance features fade away in attempts to get the grime out ---

Preserving the functionality, an odor and scent free way too----for sensitive skin that can't tolerate the regular detergents.

Eco-aware, Grangers formulations-including a Merino Wool cleaner, a Performance Wash that restores breathability and repellency, and a one step, 2 for 1- wash and waterproofer-that we use to keep pristine-a fashiony white jacket that smudges up with NYC dirt..

....all formulated without damaging to the environment chemicals.

Easy to use---just add to a machine wash cycle...and widely available.

There are a lot of water haulers out on the market---but as a standout brand-the only made in the USA metal water bottles- the ones from LIBERTY BOTTLEWORKS ---are exceptional...for many reasons.

The bottle tops---- snuggly/airtight click on with a quick turn and satisfying snap- without the usual ridges at the top of the container with a twist on top- that can get grimy and hard to clean too.

ADDED Plus: Made from recycled and recyclable durable aluminum, BPA free and terrific graphics-including raised designs and artists series. (24oz-32oz)
Topo series-with mountain range maps...1% sales goes to Conservation Alliance

You are what you eat...nutrition almost seemed like an afterthought ---it was more food as fuel prior/ post performance---until we started going the distance with marathons and half Ironman's ---where on the go eating had a new meaning...and became a necessity.

GU has delivered the satisfying fizzy Brew tabs (lo cal too)/tabbed gels/and candy worthy Energy Chew chomps that we rely on for easily digestible keep going fuel on the move.

New for April 2012-is the Proctane Ultra Endurance Energy Drink (Lemon Line, Grape, Tropical Fruit) that has "the optimal ratio of complex to simple carbs customized for rapid absorption..." with electrolytes, sodium potassium, a synergistic combo of taurine and caffeine for an added kick--- something called Beta Alanine that "helps improve muscle buffering capacity and performance..." and Branched Amino Acids- (Roctane Amino Blend Histidine, Leucine, Valine, Isoleucine)-that we know reduce muscle damage-and add extra energy.

For us this means way more of what we need than stuff like Gatorade which makes us gag anyway. Smartly enhanced and thirst quenching-we tried the Tropical Blend on a four hour long bike ride on rolling hills-on one of those weird 70 degree plus days in winter...not exactly Leadville-but challenging for us, none the less.


Authentically tasty as per what's on the label-not weird chemically-the Proctane Ultra Endurance Energy Drink def delivered more than just plain water...and interesting for us, we noticeably felt less muscle tired afterwards. ($2.59 for a single serving packet).

ideal 4-1 ration of complex-simple carbs, amino acids, anti-oxidants, electrolytes-gels in many flavors.

2XU is the premier compression wear brand for active (and not so active) athletes---with precisely engineered, sport specific separates to wear during active endeavors, and for recovery.

women's elite compression race sock $60

Now available-  a new range of compression socks in a bunch of colors...and a great way to test out just what this category of active wear is really all about--- for not a lot of money.

Personally- our black "Refresh, Pure, Recovery" Recovery socks-that we got a year ago- get worn a lot---and not just when we work out or right after.

When we know we are going to be on our feet all day-or stuck in a plane, or have tired legs to begin with-before we are going to be on our feet all day...these re-invigorating socks deliver massage like, anti-fatigue powers-we feel the difference, immediately.

Made of highly durable PWX Power with nylon elastometric yarns for added compression...with the highest power denier-a tighter weave- on the calves and shins where we need it...the socks have a graduated design to promote better circulation. That works.


Other specifically crafted,  race compression socks available too---are priced $55-$60.

Expect to hear more from 2XU ---as athletes and weekend warriors alike-start to "get" the benefits of well made compression performance wear.

piping detail with reflectivity (left) and plaid l/s shirt with 3M Scotchlite-reflection woven in

3M™ is a conglomerate that makes so many products we take for granted (Post-its), and three ranges of warmth---for its insulating-Thinsulate -that's in a huge number of performance and fashion garments from many, many companies.

Extra important - to be seen-with 3M's Scotchlite 360 degree reflectivity---and fortunately, a standard feature in a lot of outerwear we previewed at OR.

3M Insulation

Too tired to cook or just not interested, we know we need to get in the complete protein grams devoured after a workout--- and being busy types who don't eat certain traditional sources of that stuff---it's hard to get enough of that vital muscle workhorse-that is so vital for repairing.

empty wrappers everywhere-so where did the good stuff go?

Easy solution-the Clif Builder's Bars-that are as yummy as desert-except packed with 20 protein grams, 23 vitamins and minerals (including a significant iron amount too)...and complex carbs in an ideal ratio that's been proven to help recovery efforts, body wise.

A smart choice for easy eats without the fuss...we really rely on these during the tri season---

Added plus-low glycemic (no crash and burn), no artificial sweetners-and no trans fat. AND they are all delish-there is not one flavor we tried that didn't taste really good and authentic-including our fav Chocolate Mint and the new S'mores-sweet but not too sweet...chewy but not gooey.

Between Clif Builder's Bar...and the satisfyingly crunchy, snack size  Crunch Bars (six flavors-including the quicky inhaled Peanut Butter and Chocolate Peanut Butter Granola Bar)...delivering lots of flavor, high percentage of organic ingredients-with less than 200 calories too...

even our cat is amazed how fast Clif Crunch and Builder's bars disappear

next time -save some Clif Bars for me...
...about one third-to one half of what we eat-and need to eat- on any given day, is covered!

Curious-as we were to discover...just what enough protein is...check out

CODA: Performance wear brand ATHLETA has put up the Athleta Iron Girl Guide...specifically tailored for 5k, 10k, and half marathon runs-along with sprint/intermediate distance triathlons---with 8-12 week, day by day schedules...FYI enough exercise, we feel -to get a gal across the finish line.