It’s that time of year again when people are asking what you want for Christmas, or perhaps you’re just buying for yourself. We’re not judging and we think you’ll like everything here. Merry Christmas!
Good Spread Peanut Butter
We’ve seen companies across many industries take the Tom’s Shoes approach over the past few years, but I haven’t been as excited about any of them as I have been about Good Spread. When you buy their peanut butter – which is organic and all natural, by the way – a malnourished child will receive an equivalent amount of therapeutic food.
On top of that, this peanut butter rocks. It’s not oily, doesn’t need to be stirred, oh, and it tastes great. Put a jar under the tree or stuff some packets in a stocking and be ready to tell a cool story.
Yes, Columbia makes these base layers in lightweight and heavyweight, but so does everyone else. What sets them apart is the technology that lies directly against your skin called Omni-heat.
I’ve talked about this technology many times before but if you’re new here, pay attention. Omni-heat is thermal reflective dots that send your body heat back to itself, keeping you plenty warm. I find I wear a few less layers when I put this on first, so if you’re looking to slim down or to look skinnier in the outdoors, also give it a try. I almost exclusively wear this on the ski slopes.
Like to take your music with you but worried about water, sand, snow, dirt, or weather getting to it? The Fugoo speaker with Tough Jacket has you covered.
I’ve been using this everywhere for a few months now and not only is it not damaged but it still looks brand new. It’s survived extended days at the wood pile, being knocked around the garage while I’m waxing skis, and still looks good enough to rock out on a Friday afternoon in the office.
With true 360 degree sound this speaker’s Tough case is easily removed and transplanted to two other options to give you a lighter weight model if you don’t need the durability.
Don’t let cold, wet toes ruin your day. With Columbia’s Omni-heat boots you can say goodbye to both.
The first time I wore these I found myself a few stories up on an adventure ropes course at an Olympic facility near Park City, Utah. There was a winter storm happening which added to the complexity of walking across a rope while 40′ above the ground, but cold feet never entered the picture to distract me from the task at hand.
Not only is the Bugaboot™ warm, but it’s also stylish. I wore them to the office during a snowstorm and never realized so many people would have commented on my shoes.
This bottle made our gift guide last year as well and for good reason. They have so many options available you’d think I’d be overwhelmend, but I only find myself wanting one of each.
Hydroflask promises to keep hots up to 12 hours and colds up to 24. When they told me this I was in Thailand, sitting on the beach during a 95 degree day. Yeah, right, was my response.
They sent me that bottle and I put it right to the test. Christine parked at the top of the downtown parking garage for a few hours each morning for swim lessons. While the temperature outside was in the 90s, inside the car I’m sure it was many degrees warmer.
The outside of the bottle was warm, just like you’d expect, but because of the multiple walls of insulation, plus a little magic that I don’t understand, the water still contained ice cubes. We repeated this in many parking lots for an entire summer and I’m still amazed that it worked every time.
Lorpen Technical Ski Socks
This year’s ski season started off with an experiment. I’ve always enjoyed the lightest weight socks I could find, usually meaning less innovation and technical prowess. Lorpen was first on my feet with the T3 Light Ski Sock.
Instead of straight Merino wool, which I love, they’ve mixed in a healthy bit of PrimaLoft® Yarn to wick sweat and dry much faster. It’s been warm this year so I had a chance to test them right off the bat and I’ve become a fan.
With strategic padding when you might need it most, they’ve brought high tech into an area we normally don’t think about, until it’s too late and has already ruined our day.
If you suffer from warm, sweaty feet or get banged up shins while chasing your kids down the slope, you ought to give this sock a try.
Falke SK Energizing Wool Ski Socks
Speaking of technical ski socks, I had never thought about trying compression socks on the slopes until Falke reached out to me with the SK Energizing Wool compression socks.
I’ve worn compression socks before but had always reserved them for airplane rides or long days on a trade show floor; sometimes combining both into the same wearing. I thought it was a little weird to wear them in ski boots but I’m always up for trying new things.
When I first tried them on I thought there’d be no way I’d every be comfortable in them all day: they were tight and I felt like they were cutting off my blood flow. Boy, was I wrong.
I drove to the ski hill in the socks, skied for six hours, ate dinner out with my family, then drove home. I didn’t take the socks off until bed and had almost forgot they were on my feet.
I didn’t find they sweaty and my legs felt noticeably less fatigued the following day. They might be something to these and it’s worth checking out.
Super.Natural Base Layer
When someone tells me they have a base layer that doesn’t smell, my first reaction is: nuh-uh! I’m game for testing anything, especially anti-smell stuff, and I figured I could really put this one to the test.
I immediately skied back-to-back days with this shirt, making sure to work up whatever sweat I could find. Super.Natural uses a blend of Merino Wool, Polyester and Lycra with the latter two materials being notoriously stinky. I had never tried this particular blend and I was surprised by the results.
After two days of skiing, I could have worn this shirt to work and no one would have known. Some form of magic might also be woven into the fabric but it’s not listed on the label.
This base layer uses a thin material but I found it durable, comfortable and as warm as I needed it to be. I’ll definitely be living in it during the shoulder seasons.