The Perfect Gift: For The Great Outdoors

 

For our second sporty gift guide, we are turning our attention to the outdoorsman and outdoorswoman. For that trail runner, hiker, kayaker, woodsman or adventurer, or those who just like to look the part, here are a few of our favorite gift ideas to suit their sport of choice. It’s the perfect gift for THE OUTDOORSY.

Clockwise from top left: VESTAL GUIDE WATCH. Cased in surgical-grade stainless steel case and an ultra scratch-resistant K1 crystal is a multi-functional altimeter, barometer and compass so stylish, your adventurer might want to wear it regardless of their outdoor pursuits. The altimeter features an instant altitude read out along with an elevation-gain graph; the barometer alerts with an incoming storm warning indicator; and the digital compass holds it bearing for quick reference and ultra reliable accuracy. Now $300

SOREL JOPLIN BOOTS. The Joplin Boot takes that classic Sorel styling and mixes it with some 70’s rock n’ roll style. Lightweight with a relaxed suede upper and breathable lining, these boots stay comfortable all day long. Crepe outsole provides traction and flexibility. $125

PATAGONIA RETRO X VEST. A Patagonia classic for men and women, the cozy Retro X Vest is made of plush breathable and windproof Synchilla polyester fleece that is 86% recycled and lined with soft brushed moisture-wicking mesh. Quilted nylon panels on the shoulders and collar for reinforcement; spandex bindings at cuffs and hem for warmth; and a wide back panel for an ergonomic fit, make this the perfect extra layer for any outdoor activity. $179

BIG AGNES SHOVELHEAD HOODED JACKET. This 700 fill DownTek™ mid-weight  down jacket is water repellent and constructed to be warm. The nylon rip-stop shell is wind and water resistant, while Insotect Flow™ vertical baffles with Flow Gates™ provide optimal insulation. Worn on its own or under a shell, this is a great all-sport down jacket with fun neon details for extra style. $249.95

PETZL TIKKA RXP HEADLAMP. Featuring a built-in sensor that automatically adjusts light output from 7 – 215 lumens, the Petzl Tikka RXP is the ideal lighting solution for runs, hikes and climbs, or anyplace else you might need some illumination. Whether looking at an object at close range or in the distance, the Reactive sensor adjusts the beam width and light output to accommodate any situation. $89.95

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The Ultimate Gift: For The Cyclist

 

Welcome to the Holiday shopping season and the first installment of our STYLE OF SPORT Gift Guides! We are going sport by sport for the next month bringing you the most coveted gifts for the runners, skiers, yogis, triathletes, gym rats, snowboarders, outdoorsman and other athletes in your life. First up, the ultimate gift FOR THE CYCLIST…

CLICK ABOVE TO SHOP 

Clockwise top left: PINARELLO DOGMA 65.1 THINK 2. This thoroughbred of a bicycle is built for pure speed. At this year’s Tour de France it claimed seven stage victories and the top two spots on the podium. Performance, power, precision and stiffness come together in this iconic bicycle, distinctive for its unique asymmetrical frame and fork design. The 2014 model boasts the strongest carbon fiber ever produced, making it its lightest frame to date and coveted bike of champions. Shown here in yellow, it is also available in a range of customizable color combinations. ($5,300 frame and fork only)

GIRO AEON BIKE HELMET. Extremely light, durable and well ventilated, the Giro Aeon features 24 strategically sculpted vents in a construction that fuses the helmet’s outer shell with an impact-absorbing EPS liner. The Roc Loc 5® fitting system allows full adjustment the helmet’s tension and vertical position for a comfortable and customized fit. Available in a chic palette of matte colors. $250

SIDI WIRE CYCLING SHOES. Another podium placing piece of equipment, the Wire is noted for it’s exceptional stiffness, comfort and clean aesthetic. The Tecno 3 buckle system offers micro adjustability and fit consistency with precision and ease. For those who prefer the snuggest of fits, the shoe’s tongue and instep strap are padded generously for ultra comfort. The vented carbon fiber sole is extremely light, but strong for optimal power transfer to the pedal. $499

GARMIN EDGE TOURING BICYCLE COMPUTER. The Edge Touring computer functions like the GPS navigator in your car, but comes loaded with maps and features specifically designed for cycling. Whether you have a destination in mind or a distance you want to ride, the Edge Touring will show you the way. Choose between road and mountain bike modes to calculate the most appropriate route, be it paved or unpaved roads, paths or trails. No particular route in mind? Search for rides on Garmin Connect™ or Garmin Adventures to follow on your next ride. $249   Read More

 

It’s A Wrap… Kinesiology Tape

 

 

A few years ago, at the Beijing Olympics, I noticed Beach Volleyball Gold Medalist Kerri Walsh’s shoulder covered in very badass-looking colorful tape. It was applied with an intricate criss-crossing pattern and I was intrigued to find out more. As an recreational athlete who tends to overdo it with a fair amount of frequency, I am always interested in what professional athletes do to treat their injuries. Since its their job to get back on the field or court as quickly as possible, they usually have access to the most progressive therapies. It turns out the latest thing is Kenisio Tape and in the London Olympic Games it was everywhere.

Kinesiology Tape is applied to reduce pain and inflammation, and support muscles in movement. Developed in the mid-1970s by Dr. Kenzo Kase, a well-known Japanese practitioner in chiropractics and acupuncture, the tape was designed in response to the limitations he encountered working with traditional sports tape. Kenisio tape has a texture and elasticity very close to human skin. It is non-restrictive and allows for full range of motion, in contrast to traditional sports tape.

A few weeks ago, I found a doctor in NYC, Dr. Vladimir Friedman, DC, CCSP,CKTP, a chiropractor who uses the Kinesiology Tape as a post-treatment therapy. Nursing a hamstring strain going into a half-marathon, it seemed like the perfect time to see if Kenisio Tape worked. I felt I had come full circle when there on his wall was a picture of Kerri Walsh! While the jury is out as to whether Kinesiology Tape really works, I shaved 5 minutes off my time and broke that elsuive 2hr mark. You be the judge.

For more information on Kinesiology Tape, watch the segment from CBS This Morning above.

 

Burton + L.A.M.B + BIONIC

 

GWEN STEFANI & PHARELL WILLIAMS MIX IT UP WITH BURTON SNOWBOARDS

LEFT: BURTON x L.A.M.B. BOMBER JACKET WITH TUX SNOWBOARD PANTS; RIGHT BURTON x BIONIC BOMBER DOWN SNOWBOARD JACKET WITH 3L SNOWBOARD PANT

 

A few weeks ago we reported on Burton Snowboard’s collaboration and capsule collection with Filson, BURTON x FILSON, but the mash-ups have not stopped there. Now available online and in stores are two more collaborative collections from Burton, that bring the influence of two of the music industry’s biggest stars to snowboard style… one with Gwen Stefani’s L.A.M.B. and the other with Pharrell’s BIONIC.

BURTON x L.A.M.B. 

The highly-anticipated women’s outerwear collection created with Gwen Stefani’s L.A.M.B. label is finally available in select stores and online, and mixes Gwen’s bold street style with Burton’s tech-savvy functionality. The L.A.M.B. for Burton collection features ten pieces that include down jackets, anoraks, parkas and pants that can’t be missed, each with different prints from large dalmatian dots to an oversized houndstooth.

The goal was to have some fun and try something a little different,” said Gwen Stefani. “The clothing itself is really technical and performance-oriented so it was a new challenge. We worked really hard on the pants – I wanted to design a pair that had a really great fit and is super flattering but also cool with an edge.” Her favorite pieces from the collection, she says, are the Parka Jacket and Tux Pant.

BURTON x BIONIC

Also just in time for the holidays, is Burton’s capsule collection of eco-conscious winter outerwear and accessories created with music and style icon Pharrell Williams, brand ambassador for BIONIC Yarn. BIONIC is an eco-textile brand that makes luxe high-performance fabrics from recycled plastic bottles. BIONIC Yarn incorporates 40-45% recycled content which actually makes it up to 400% stronger than traditional thread and a very durable fabric for snowboard outerwear.

Pharell took his inspiration for this collection from South American textiles, and traditional Peruvian prints are the foundation of the line. With a look that feels both modern and vintage, the Burton x BIONIC line is made up of 7 pieces that include jackets, pants, and accessories designed to transition from wintery weekend pursuits to the daily grind. The brightly striped Bomber Down Jacket features a distinctive silhouette inspired by 1970’s ski jackets, reflecting yet another mash-up of ski and snowboard style!

Both the L.A.M.B collection for women and BIONIC collection for men are available in super limited supply. Grab these pieces while they last at select snowboard shops, Burton flagship stores and on Burton.com.

 

 

In A Flash: Reflective Illuminated

 

ALL ITEMS ABOVE PHOTOGRAPHED WITH FLASH TO DEMONSTRATE THEIR REFLECTIVITY. 
CLICK EACH TO VIEW BY DAY.

 

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: NIKE CHEYENNE VAPOR 2 FLASH RUNNING BACKPACK; NIKE FLASH ALLOVER RUNNING JACKET; PUMA FAAS 100 R RUNNING SHOES; LULULEMON REFLECTIVE BRISK RUN GLOVE; PUMA PURE NIGHTCAT RUNNING JACKET; SAUCONY RIDE 6 RUNNING SHOES

 

As the days get shorter, we runners, cyclists and other outdoor sport lovers increasingly find ourselves out there in lightless early mornings and evenings. Fortunately, there is a whole range of shoes, gear and apparel designed with new reflective technology guaranteed we will be seen in the dark. The Nike Flash Pack includes a range of shoes, jackets, tights and accessories created specifically for running. The Nike Allover Flash Running Jacket features a glass-beaded exterior that produces 360 degrees of 400-candlepower reflectivity for enhanced visibility. As seen in the picture above, and in all the other items featured here, it glows like flash bulb when light hits it.

Currently available from Puma as well is a new collection of running shoes and apparel that use reflectivity as both a safety and a design element. While the Faas 100 R Stealth Running Shoes and Pure Nightcat Jacket may appear muted in color by day, they illuminate with patterns and graphics sure to be seen under passing headlight beams by night. In addition, the Asics Lite-Show, Saucony ViZiPro and Nathan TorchLight collections all include performance driven shoes, apparel and gear created to keep you in the light even when it’s dark.

In addition to reflectivity, the pieces in all these collection are made for cold weather running. They are warm and breathable, wind and weather resistant, designed to keep you out there enjoying those outdoor sports even when the weather might try to keep you indoors.

 

Our Kind of Granola Bar

 
KIND HEALTHY GRAIN BARS

 

While it’s hard not to love a good granola bar, with its seemingly healthy combination of whole grains, nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and honey, they are often so high in fat and sugar that the calorie count is the same as a candy bar. That’s why we are so happy our friends at Kind, makers of one of our favorite snack bars and granolas, have just come out with a new line of granola bars called Kind Healthy Grains Bars.

As with their other products, these granola bars are made with simple all natural ingredients: whole grains like oats, millet, quinoa, and amaranth, combined with other tasty ingredients like nuts, seeds, coconut, berries, peanut butter and chocolate. They are sweetened with brown rice syrup, maple syrup and/or honey, all low glycemic to keep blood sugar levels in check.

Each of these chewy and crunchy bars has about 150 calories, 24 grams of carbs, 8 grams of sugar, 3 grams of fiber, 5 grams of fat. They are gluten-free and available in 5 flavors: Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate, Vanilla Blueberry, Maple Pumpkin Seeds, Dark Chocolate Chunk, Oats & Honey… all of which are equally delicious! So if you are snackers like us or looking for a extra bit of fuel on the go, add these to your arsenal of healthy treats.

WANT MORE SNACK BARS? CLICK TO SEE MORE OF OUR FAVORITES

 

Ski You At The Barre

 
AMIE ENGERBRETSON IN MURREN SCHILTORN, SWITZERLAND

 

With many resorts officially open for business, ski season is upon us, but it’s still early and there is plenty of time to get those ski legs in shape. We heard about a cool ski conditioning class being taught out in Lake Tahoe, California by a local ripper and ski model, Amie Engerbretson. For you skiers who can also be found at the bar (class that is), Amie’s class is a barre style workout created specifically for ski conditioning. It is designed to build responsive stabilizer muscles and an iron core, as well as those strong legs and glutes essential for great skiing. As Amie says, “a strong, prepared body instills confidence and everything from there is a trickle down effect. Conditioning improves your on hill performance, helps prevent injury and guarantees a fun day out on the hill”

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Todd Snyder City Gym

 

 

A few weeks ago, we reported on a crop of new bespoke sporting goods and apparel stores that had recently opened in downtown Manhattan, distinctive for their integration of design and sport. Another shop of note just joined the group, Todd Snyder City Gym, a pop-up which features the Todd Snyder + Champion collection, in addition to a curated collection of vintage inspired sporting goods, books, magazines and other American made miscellania.

The Todd Snyder + Champion collection is designer Todd Snyder’s collaboration with the 94-year-old sportswear brand Champion, and reflects a nostalgia for the high school gymnasium of yore. It features vintage inspired sweatshirts, sweatpants, varsity jackets, t-shirts and other sport influenced apparel. The design of the store creates the perfect backdrop for the collection and this era, complete with aged metal lockers, vintage black and white sport photographs, as well as a display of old school sporting goods for sale, such as assorted leather balls from Leather Head, wooden bats by Hoosier and classic canvas hi-tops from PF Flyers. Read More

 

All Puffed Up

 

          

THE SEASON’S BEST AND BRIGHTEST DOWN JACKETS

Whether cruising city streets, hanging out in the country, or racing down the slopes, stay warm and toasty wherever you may be with a bright and colorful down puffer sure to keep those winter blues away.  From the very affordable to the ultra luxe, there are so many colors and styles from which to choose, it’s hard to pick just one. Unless indicated, all are available for both men and women, and yes, all come in your basic black as well.

ROW 1: PATAGONIA WOMENS DOWNTOWN LOFT JACKET $279. This city style hip-length jacket is insulated with 600-fill grey goose down and has a water repellent DWR shell. The hood stows into a high shawl collar for extra warmth and style. STIO HOMETOWN DOWN JACKET $275. From Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where the weather can be brutal, comes this 800-fill down jacket that features DownTek™, a water repellent goose down that stays warm and dry from the slopes to the streets. MOUNTAIN HARDWARE GHOST WHISPERER HOODED DOWN JACKET $320. Weighing in at a nothing 8oz, this might be the lightest down jacket out there, but comes packed with 850-fill Q.Shield™ down that resists moisture to stay warm in all conditions.

ROW 2: ARC’TERYX THORIUM AR HOODY $285. This 750-fill European grey goose down jacket is great as substantial mid layer or on its own in cold, dry conditions. It features strategic placement of both synthetic and down insulation in the areas most prone to moisture and retains its warmth when wet. UNIQLO ULTRA LIGHT DOWN PARKA $69.90. Although this is a far less technical jacket than the others featured, it is still hard to believe the price is less than $70. Available in 12 colors, it is ultralight and thin, and packs down into a small stow pocket for easy travel. MONCLER BADY JACKET $975. On the other side of the price spectrum is this ultra luxe down hoody. It is sleek, shiny and very warm, with that unmistakable Moncler style for which you pay the big bucks.

ROW 3: THE NORTH FACE WOMEN’S SUPER DIEZ JACKET $349. Made with 900-fill down, this super lightweight jacket skimps on the bulk but not on the warmth. Slim fitting and shiny, it is durable and rugged with a whole lot of sporty style. MONTBELL FROST SMOKE PARKA $189. This lightweight parka packs high loft 800-fill goose down inside a DWR water resistant and wind shedding Ballistic nylon shell. DUVETICA PADDED COAT $745. Winter is no match for this ultra stylish long down coat stuffed with lofty down in a bright and shiny shell.

 

Hi-Tech Goggle Spex

 

Take a glance into the future with the newest trend in snow goggles. Google glasses may soon be taking over the streets, but goggle vision has taken over the slopes. For all you backcountry skiers and snowboarders who venture into uncharted territory, and for those who stay in bounds but enjoy a cool gadget, hi-tech snow goggles with GPS tracking are the ultimate accessory. Without having to pull off a glove or open a pocket, altitude, temperature, speed, distance, location, time and a host of other digital data are revealed before your eyes with in-lens displays that transform your goggles into ocular dashboards. Check out the three top models leading the way in goggle vision.

ZEAL OPTICS Z3 GPS LIVE

Shown above, the Zeal Z3 Live GPS-enabled goggles display performance-based information like speed, distance, altitude, location, time, temperature and jump stats at a glance with non-obtrusive heads-up graphics. Bluetooth enabled with Smartphone connectivity, these goggles also display caller ID and text messages. In addition to its high tech features, these goggles are designed with an airflow ventilation system that brings cool outside air in and moves warm air out to help prevent fogging. Triple-density foam molds to the face for a secure fit and wicks away moisture. A spherical anti-glare polarized lens provides wide peripheral vision, and is available with photochromatic technology that automatically changes the lens from dark to light in varying weather conditions. Price $599
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Merino Wool: Hi-Tech By Nature

 

ROW 1: IBEX SHAK FREESTAR ZIP-UP MID-LAYER; ICEBREAKER SPRITE RACERBACK TANK & HOT PANTS; SMARTWOOL NTS MID 250 PATTERN BOTTOM; ROW 2: ICEBREAKER OASIS LEGGINGS; PATAGONIA MERINO 3 MIDWEIGHT ZIP NECK; ICEBREAKER UNISEX POCKET HAT; ROW 3: SMARTWOOL PHD NTS LIGHT 195 WIND ZIP T; NIKE DRI-FIT WOOL V-NECK; ICEBREAKER UNISEX CORONET GLOVES

Merino wool is fast becoming the performance fabric of choice for many athletes and outdoor enthusiasts. It is a uniquely versatile fabric that keeps the athlete warm when its cold and cool when it’s hot — ideal for running, hiking, skiing, cycling, and any other outdoor sport.

Merino is regarded as being one of the finest and softest wools, consisting of a higher number of thread fibers than others. These fibers trap tiny pockets of air which act to insulate in cold weather, and at the same time wick moisture away to the surface, keeping the body cool when it’s heating up. Because the individual fibers stay dry this keeps the fabric odor-free, aided by the anti-bacterial lanolin naturally occurring in the wool. Few other single fabrics work so well in such a broad range of temperatures.

Whereas synthetic fabrics, essentially a blend of polyester and nylon, have been the popular choice for activewear in recent years, brands like Smartwool and Icebreaker have been toting the advantages of Merino wool for a while now, and using it exclusively in their sport apparel. Other major sport brands like Nike, Patagonia, Arc’Teryx and Lululemon, seeing the benefits, have recently added Merino based apparel to their product line. As a result, stylish Merino baselayers, performance tops and bottoms, hats, gloves and other accessories are now available in a wide variety styles and colors, designed to appeal to all kinds of athletes and sports enthusiasts.

 

The ElliptiGO

 
THE ELLIPTIGO

 

The ElliptiGO is an outdoor elliptical bicycle, designed to mimic the motion of running while on two wheels. I had been seeing these bikes here and there, and was curious to check one out, although I was unsure whether this was a gimicky hybrid cycling apparatus or a serious piece of fitness equipment. Once my good friend and former pro Volleyball player, Gabrielle Reece, told me she had an ElliptiGO, I figured it was legit and had to give it a try.

I just had the opportunity to take one out for a test ride in New York City’s Central Park and am on board. I had a great workout riding the 6.2 mile lap of flats, uphills and downhills and had a blast at the same time. Propelled by long elliptical strides, the ElliptiGO provides a fun and low-impact way to exercise outside, which beats a cardio machine at the gym any day. For the same reason that I am such a fan of Stand Up Paddleboarding, the upright stance forces you to use your core muscles and the height of the vantage point provides an enjoyable vista as well.

In a test commissioned by the company, researchers found that riding an ElliptiGO burns 33% more calories than riding a regular bike, while delivering a cardiovascular workout comparable to running. Besides the quads, the glutes and hamstrings are actively engaged, and as Gabby pointed out, the hips are getting a good stretch at the same time.

The company has been targeting the ElliptiGO to runners, both injured and healthy, as way to train and experience benefits of running outdoors without any of the negative results from the impact of the sport. The ElliptiGO has become a cross-training tool for many runners, and promotional videos feature testimonials from such pros as ultra marathoner, Dean Karnases, and former world champion distance runner, Mary Decker Slaney, toting the ElliptiGO as a way to increase increase milage through cross-training, get back into running after injury, and enjoy the physical and psychological benefits of running without the pounding of the sport. My experience is this is fun and effective aerobic training for any fitness enthusiast looking to add something new to their workout routine.

The ElliptiGO is available in three different models ranging from the most basic 3 speed model, priced at $1799, to the 11-speed sleek carbon fiber model, priced at $3499. They’re not cheap, so you know they’re pretty serious. For more information and to take one for a test ride, go to ELLIPTIGO.COM.

 

 

Burton x Filson

 
FILSON X BURTON SENTRY SNOWBOARD JACKET & SQUIRE SNOWBOARD JACKET

 

Two of our favorite and most prominent outdoor brands, Burton and Filson, have just launched a small Burton x Filson capsule collection that brings their two worlds, and seemingly opposite ends of the outdoor spectrum, together. Filson, founded in 1897, is a company rich in tradition, with a long history as manufacturers of quality upscale hunting and fishing apparel. Associated with an older and more staid customer, Filson is not the first company that would come to mind to collaborate with Burton Snowboards and those crazy snowboard shreddin’ kids. Burton Snowboards has grown up, however, and its riders matured. With the company’s 40th birthday not too far off, the respect for its elders is apparent in this and other recent collaborations with long established heritage brands, such as Redwing Shoes and Manitobah Mukluks. In turn, these heritage brands understand the tradition of high quality functional sportswear Burton has been creating since 1977, and the value of partnering with a brand that has such extreme customer loyalty.

The collection features 4 pieces — 3 jackets and 1 pair of pants — for men only (sorry ladies!) and marries the signature fabrics for which Filson is famous with Burton’s experience in creating highly functional snowboard outerwear. The Sentry Jacket, shown above, uses Filson’s Tin Cloth, a weather repellent oilcloth originally created in the early 1900’s and designed for the Pacific Northwest’s exploding timber industry. The Squire Jacket utilizes a combo of Filson’s rugged Mackinaw Wool and durable wax-soaked cotton Shelter Cloth. With these fabrics, Burton has added its own signature detailing designed for the snowboarder, such as drop-tail styling, vents and powder skirts, and hidden sound and goggle pockets… marrying tech with timeless style.

While at first it seems that Burton and Filson couldn’t be more different, this collaboration actually shows how similar these two companies really are, both as sportswear and as lifestyle brands. Both have a reputation for creating sport apparel that works, designed with the kind of style that is wearable anyplace and anytime, and appeals to all sorts of customers, whether they participate in the sport for which they were designed or not.

 

The Watch To Watch

 
MI COACH SPORT RUN WATCH

 

Just back from the New York City Marathon Expo, where there was all sorts of super cool new running shoes, apparel and gear. I have to say the hot item of the show was the running watch just debuted by Adidas. Like many state of the art running watches on the market, such as the Suunto Ambit2, Nike+ Sportwatch, and Garmin Forerunner 610, the MI COACH SPORT RUN watch has GPS for pace, distance and route logging; customizable training data screens; heart rate monitor; and timer, interval and lap functionality. There are a number of unique features, however, that set it apart.

To start, the MI COACH SPORT RUN is the first touch screen sport watch — i.e. no tiny buttons to access data — and the screen is color. Simply swipe from function to function. The heart rate monitor measures bpm off the wrist, so no additonal heart rate strap is required. The watch also features a built in MP3 player with 4GB of data storage and Bluetooth audio for use with cordless headphones. It syncs with the MiCoach platform for workout planning and tracking, and real time coaching is delivered via audio cues or vibration alerts from the watch.

Now I have not tested the watch myself, although I am eager to take it out for a run, but from what I saw in the demo and its ultra sleek style, this looks like the watch to watch!

 
 

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