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