Saturday, November 29, 2014



For those who drive their cars-Car and Driver branded vehicle sized gadgets make hitting the road-a bit more user friendly, organized, tidy - at budget prices.
Car and Driver portable vacuum-handy cleaner-upper $14.95

Car and Driver heated travel mug ($9.95) with heated power adapter, 
Military inspired outerwear and footwear- rugged handsome style-  not only for guys who never ever bother glancing in the mirror---but also for those who spend waaay to many minutes-primping. 

… by APLHA Industries-reinterpreted WWII Bomber Flight jackets by the original company producing the iconic uniforms.

hangtags /dog tags

A keeper for sure-the N-B3 55th Anniversary Parka $435-on back reflective tape, a screen print and drag handle-feature of military jackets used by soldiers to move a wounded soldier, D ring detail, reinforced elbows, contrast stitching, wool knit cuffs and waistband keeps cold to, 

100% Washed Flight nylon shell=water resistant, 100% polyester lining and a dense 100% needle-punched polyester interlining which makes the jacket warmer, 55th Anniversary Patch
MA 1 City Explorer Flight Jacket $175-100% water resistant flight nylon, 100% ploy lining-a genius collaboration with PALLADIUM BOOTS-=matchy match up with Pampa Hi-Zip MA 1 $75 and Baggy Zip MA 1 Zip boots pictured below
men's Baggy Zip MA-1 Zip-collab Alpha Industries and Palladium footwear-a French born company made the boots for their troops… using the same nylon the Alpha Industries jacket sport-with Emergency Landing Orange lining-$90
Mineral glass lenses- OTIS EYEWEAR sunglasses-in classic shapes-deliver optically correct, clear -color balanced views-with exceptional performance-NO SCRATCHING-highly durable, and lightweight…and 100%UVA/UVB Blocking.

MADE IN THE USA-beer and sunglasses-smart pairing and sure to sell out-
SHWOOD Sunglasses Camby- handmade in Portland using sustainably harvested wood & EXPERIMENT with NATURE Beer...

From PAT'S BACKCOUNTRY Beverages ---the several years in the making-(all those licenses)-portable BEER kit---authentic tasting two options 1919 Pale Rail 5.2% alc by volume-Black Hops 6.1% alc by volume (per pint) from a Colorado (really, where else)- based company.
other choices include all natural soda flavors-

THINK-portable lightweight carbonator- Soda Stream that takes up a lot less space-

for sale-Carbonator Starter Kits-w/ 5 soda concentrates+6 Activator Packets, Portable Bottle-BPA Free-20oz, Activator packets-sold in pack of 12-need one/drink
PAT'S BACKCOUNTRY Beverages-activator packet

IMO-better way to drink a cold one-YETI  20oz RAMBLER $29.99-kitchen grade 18/8 stainless steel and double wall vacuum insulation-clear lid so you can tell when you might need a refill.
Made in the USA-the Buck Knives Avid and Pro level lines and Custom options-include loads of options  for outdoors, everyday and collectors (Legacy)---made from top of the line materials, patented tech features-and blessed with a FOREVER WARRANTY.

Rosewood, Macassar Ebony, Heritage Walnut Drymondwood® handles -durable and with rich finish

FROM ZIPPO- the FOUR IN ONE WOODSMAN™ converts to an axe hatchet with 5"blade, a 15" bow saw-for cutting --- a mallet and stake puller-for chopping, sawing, pounding and pulling. Nifty ---widely available online…ultimate tool for outdoors or survival needs.

Hatchet sheath is a handle-blade easily stows away---FOUR IN ONE WOODSMAN™
Power  to go merges with multi-tool -by Goal Zero-Switch 10®-pack less…take more.

Goal Zero Switch 10 Multi- tool…3000 mAh Recharger with USB output replaceable lightweight high density battery w/ LED indicator, lightweight fan tool-breeze on the go, 100 LumenFlashlight tool, device specific MicroUSB charging cable, Flip-out USB charging tip, SolarReady™-with Nomad 7 Solar Panel (not pictured…$119.95-total weight 4oz

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

HOLIDAY GIFTS-Outdoors/Athletic-Better Gym Bags, Active+Casual Apparel

Holiday gifts are a perfect excuse to elevate one's gym bags-style wise- beyond giveaway haulers from races, trade shows ...

New to us-Gregory-vintage flavored Sunbird series that refs its design history (backpacks)…and produces sturdy selections made from classic-cotton-polyester canvas, authentic steel alligator clips and figure eight attachment systems, and chrome-tanned leather details.

Sunrise Tote-zippered main compartment, front zippered pocket, internal zip pocket, quilted bottom panel, detachable shoulder strap $129
A bump up, materials wise than Herschel…imo….the tote, cross-body and backpack are urban worthy and roomy enough for gym and travel essentials. Prices $99-$149---deliver Spring 2015 but worth keeping eye out for…i.e.-gift cards.

Kletter Day-classic panel loading teardrop shape pack with #10 YKK zip on main compartment, figure 8 sliders for attachments, top, bottom and front leather attachment panels, single/ax pole attachment loop (works for sneakers), reinforced original spec shoulder harness w/ alligator clip adjustment, inch wide hip belt webbing, quilted Cordura® tough back panel (pictured below) and Cordura® nylon bottom $149

Offshore Day-single large main compartment with interior sleeve-good for personal electronics, top zip accessory pocket,  quilted Cordura® tough nylon back panel, ice axe/trekking pole attachment loops, 2 leather attachment panels on front $99

Sax Blue-nice color-Boardwalk Shoulder messenger bag-ready for post school days- with front zippered pocket with internal accessory sleeves, large main compartment with hook+loop secured sleeve for laptop-reading material, rear zipper pocket-pictured below…$129

zippered back pocket-nice added compartment

Bonus points always go to entrepreneurs…these well thought out haulers by NOMAD by Tess Johnson-has mass transit and electronic friendly details…that really are unique.

Subway card slot easily accessed on the shoulder strap-2 pockets in fact-can hold smartphone, keys, etc

all bags are lined with custom designed patterns…inner zip compartment and metal closures…and theres an inner circle pocket for umbrella/water bottle, lobster hook for keys= SMART. Back outer zip pocket for notebooks-laptops. Weather tough=6 color waves available for backpack.
Sophisticated leather bags for women/men with an eye for modern luxury…two brands that command attention…as both use chromium free, vegetable dyes, water based glues---- made by eco conscious companies---!

From Spain-Pikolinos accessories include this camera bag style stunner-but there are several satchels available

GYMANO BAG $300-primo leather with adjustable leather shoulder strap, outer pockets-made in Ethiopia
We're fairly obsessed with OLIBERTÉ---an amazing entity based in Ethiopia that makes Fair Trade Certified haulers and footwear-using mostly locally sourced materials---resulting in unique-exceptional quality. (Footwear review for Fall 2014)

Gymano Bag-rustic brown-$300-back zip pocket ---

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Colorado based MADE IN THE USA- TOPO DESIGNS-Rover Pack works off the mountains-low profile haulers made with water resistant cloth upper,  rugged 1000d Cordura® base, cinch closure, 2 exterior zips for quick access to personal items,  inner laptop sleeve, side pockets w/ compression straps...and back straps padded+mesh w/ accessory D-rings are compatible with sternum strap. $139

Apparel wise-treat the athlete you know to something by iconic brands that just stand out…


We previewed the cold weather 2014 offerings-but only recently tried out a Windstopper enabled running vest (Air 2.0 WINDSTOPPER ACTIVE SHELL LADY VEST) that for us-really showed its namesake's ability to performed as billed-on bike rides in freezing cold.

What a difference----Holy Cow.

Close fitting (runs true to size-we wear USA women's 00/0 ---and the Gore Running Size 34 fit perfectly)--- and with enough stretch to wear layered over rather thick L/S basics…or just plain ole' tech tee for year round wear…and the slightly longer back hem allows for coverage when we're in that aero position on our tri-bike….resulting in a noticeable difference in our ability to stay warm -core-wise. Particularly noticeable on breezy days though riding a bike makes everyday a somewhat windy day.

Other features-the concealed front zip pocket-so well integrated we did not notice it until a few runs later-big enough hold Metrocard in case we wimp out somewhere in Central Park and opt for mass transit those last few miles... reflective pops on hem, mesh lining-and venting back---very helpful after finally getting warmed up, and inner chest pocket with detachable hair elastic (keys)-and a concealed back pocket for gels…

Price wise-the entire Gore Running collection is what we would call premium priced-but given our experience and how versatile our vest is-we hike in it too…def. worth it for the smart design features, top-of-the-line fabrics from namesake Gore-Tex®…and durable quality that will probably last for years.

Mythos Running Collection-w/ Gore Tex® Active+-close fit-Mythos 2.0 Jacket w/ adjustable collar  and hem w/ one hand operation, pre-shaped elbows, front zip w/semi-lock slider, reflective pops all over-Mythos tights-3 versions including a cozy thermo-regulating stretchy one we wish we had last year for SURE
As a holiday gift item-Gore Running accessories (gloves, hats) as well as apparel would probably thrill any active outdoors person.

For women only-MK (Mountain Khakis) hit a home run with this comfy Christi Fleece Lined Shirt ($99.95)---mad for plaid on the outside---plush faux fur fleece lining. Expect a guy version next year-given the interest…from media that eyed this winner.

MK Christi Fleece Lined Shirt

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Holiday Gifts -Outdoors+The SPORTY Fitness Stocking Stuffers

There are so much 'stuff' for sale-for in/out door fitness activities---it's surprising how expensive similar products are.

Excluding combing through yard sales/eBay…more time efficient and with a warranty (plus) are the new product offerings by the appropriately named, iFIT…including their ACTIVE Fitness Tracker that does what pricier versions do but sells for $79.99 -pairs wirelessly-to sync with the iFIT platform app (iOS/Android) to track activity (steps), calories, and sleep- around  the clock-while also displaying real time (!) ---

Just in time for holiday calorie counting -log in your food intake for that stat too, plus access iFit's library of food/recipes for (theoretically) healthier eating---and there's even a barcode scanner that helps in doing that.

Plus there is the capability to send/receive messages with those who also have who are iFIT app enabled-show up on the tracker. TMI?

Maybe but we thought the functionality/price ratio exceptional -available in-store/online WALMART

For more traditional exercise options- iFit 's related company PRO-FORM accessories make ideal stocking stuffers for home fitness options...
XFinity Fitness Band-$29.99 comes packaged w/ 2 DVDs w/ exercises

Gold's Gym XTREME cable jump ropes…$11.77 (Walmart)…adjustable up to 110" in lengthen-non-slip grip handles with removable weights on-to in or decrease resistance.

ergonomically shaped handles-PRO-FORM weights-probably better wrapped and tucked under the TREE
Brilliant idea-heart rate monitors that work with ANT+ fitness machines-or synch via Bluetooth® Smart Low Energy with the miCOACH train and run app (iOS, Android, Microsoft smartphones) for real time info without the need for a strap.

We tried out the miCOACH ADIDAS with the medium impact moisture wicking racer back bra with an inner front pocket in the band -with two metal snaps -where to click in the super lightweight ANT+ transmitter. There is also a monitor that synchs with BLUETOOTH SMART and pairs with miCOACH app (Android, iOS) of real time heart rate info on smartphones.

FYI: Helpful suggestions on which monitor to get.

comfy no chafe-the transmitter is easy to snap in---get the monitor working properly from start-wet it with water...$54.95 Choices-ANT+ transmitter-or Bluetooth Smart transmitter. There's also a sleeveless tank with pocket for transmitter-both items have sensor fibers knit into the fabric. PLUS-works with textile strap too-that's adjustable

Mesh panels for increased venting-seamless design is comfy. Medium impact support-which is good for activities like cycling (indoors-and outdoors), and most fitness machines.

snaps right in with left-right specific placement battery is replaceable -lasts about five months


Footwear is a tough purchase for a gift-but these OOFOS recovery slip-ons are a revelation-seriously. Just get the recipient to try them on pronto---and watch a smile emerge. That good.

A limited edition-the unisex OOFOS get a bit of a style bump up for women (YAY!!!!)with the narrower silhouette of these patent shiny OOcloog slip-ons. $64.95
Made from a proprietary OOFOAM™foam and patented footbed design- that is so cushy, shock absorbing-  kind of arch massaging-that we wish they could find a way to make dress shoes out of the material.

thong sandals $39.99 - in multiple colors
Our original pair-we wear all the time-held up very well considering the concrete pavement  that's our go-to terrain-$44.95. Fit wise-whole sizes -run half size large imo. Size 8 women fit us- and typically wear 8.5 dress shoe and a size 9 running shoe.
Not too sexy but an essential for those who spend a lot of time on their feet-custom fitting D30 Comfort Insole-"…engineered for comfort…" really make a difference-even in the fashion comfort shoes we wear…let alone the pricier single sole pumps that come out for glammy night's out.
come in sizes-trim to fit...
scissors cut through fairly easily-D30 paired with Cobb Hill wedge boots=all day upright ability.-every spot of the foot is ably supported-with increased shock absorption and arch support…providing mid foot stability and encouraging a natural heel-toe stride when walking…unlike competitor brands that don't offer as much total support…available soon on Tactical Distributors

Patented shock absorption materials from D30 (D3O Decell) ---a UK based company-that also has other branded technology used in a wide range of products by the likes of Schutt Sports (provider-NFL's helmets), Icon and Klim motorcycle apparel, Burton Snowboards and USA's Special Forces.

So impressive-we got pair of the insoles  for pal who spends a lot of time running around airports trying to catch flights---found on Amazon for $25.00-typical price for techy insoles.
 Foam rolling may be the new stretching-but these rollers are better…a versatile piece of equipment that gets the knots out.

flexible-bend around for exact targeting of what aches-like calf muscles. LOVE THESE branded Gold's Gym 
TRIGGERPOINT foam rollers got refreshed over the summer...
GRID X $49.99-firmest foam roller-gets into muscles

TRIGGERPOINT Mini Foam Rollers $24.95-four inches long by 5.5" diameter-travel friendly-hard hollow core hand wrapped with EVA foam makes it harder than those foam rollers we see around the gym.
But yes-there is stretching-these colorful mats are very handy.
Stretch it out-or find your practice---Lotus Yoga Mat has lotus patterns to help with proper alignment-neat. $9.99