Midweek Mini-Reviews: GoToobs Reusable Gel Pouches, Avex Water Bottles & Hoo-Rag Head Wraps
As much as I love gels during a ride, I hate the packaging waste. And, given the opportunity, I wouldn’t mind using real food more frequently, too. Healthier and cheaper and all. HumanGear’s GoToob lets me do just that.
The GoToob is a soft “bottle” aimed at travelers with three sizes from 1.25oz up to the 3oz models tested here. They’re marketing mostly for holding shampoo, lotion and soap, but they’re made of silicone, FDA approved food-safe and 100% BPA-free and PC-free. Which means they’ll hold many foods and liquids safely without imparting a taste. And they have a lifetime guarantee, which means they’re unlikely to burst if you happen to wipe out and land directly on it.
I used them to mix up some of Infinit Nutrition’s Napalm gel and, above, my own concoction of peanut butter, almond butter, sea salt and mashed overly ripe banana. Delicious, and I was able to get about 90% of the contents out with some careful squeezing.
More pics and details on this, plus Avex’s cool flip top water bottle and a face-saving, multipurpose wrap from HooRag after the break…
Perhaps the best part? The nut butter/banana concoction washed out just by rinsing and shaking it with a little soapy water inside. No scrubbing necessary.
After a long weekend ride, I left one filled with gel in my hydration pack for about a week. Yes, it grew mold, but that too washed out quickly and easily and left no stains. I used Camelbak’s reservoir cleaning brush in that case, which is possible because the cap and collar slip off easily when unscrewed. Once the cap is screwed on, it sort of locks them in place. If you pulled hard enough, you could yank them off, but it doesn’t seem likely to happen during normal use.
The collar also has a rotating bezel that hides or reveals different words like soap, sun, shamp, cond, that reveal the contents. There’s also a blank spot where you can write “mush” should you imitate my recipe. They retail for $8 to $10 each, and they list retailers on their website along with a compatibility list. Unfortunately, some almond butters have been listed as not compatible, so maybe stick with peanut or other nut butters. Overall, these things are pretty awesome.
Avex’s new Pecos Autospout water bottle is a BPA-free, double wall insulated wide mouth bottle with a unique cap. The lid features a push button cover that pops open to reveal a silicone spout.
The button is easy to push and the cap flips open far enough not to interfere with drinking. While it adds a half second step to your hydrating, I like that it keeps the spout clean. For cyclocross training rides, gravel road rides or mountain biking, particularly in the wetter winter months, it’s nice to have a clean drinking surface.
They hold 22oz, one more ounce than Camelbak’s standard Podium Chill bottles, and the squeeze-ability is on par with the Podium bottles, and they leave about the same third-ounce remnant fluid as Camelbak’s bottles, too. They managed to keep my drinks cool for a couple hours on warmer days. I didn’t get to try them in the dead heat of the summer, though. The screw top reveals a full size opening, making it easy to fill with ice and dump sports drink mix into. Retail is $12.99 and comes in the two colors shown here.
Hoo-Rags are a seamless tube of cotton/polyester microfiber that can be worn any way you could possibly need during a bike ride. There’s a nice page on their website showing all of them, pick what you need: mouth-and-nose cover, head warmer, balaclava, neck gaiter, etc.
It’s sized generously, and I was able to tuck it all the way down into my winter jersey and still cover my nose. The material’s thin and stretchy enough that folding it over itself still wouldn’t add much bulk. That also means they’re easy to breath through, yet it’s knitted tightly enough to block the cold air from biting too hard. The fabric is soft with no seams, even at the edges, which makes them super comfortable.
Retail is $14.95 with free shipping in the US, and they come in about a million prints and colors.