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Midweek Mini Reviews – Goods from Muscle Milk, AeroPress, Chrome Apparel, Hydrapak & Pearl Izumi

Aeropress espresso and coffee press for travel and hot or cold single cup pours

The Aerobie AeroPress, which is available through Kinetic Koffee’s website, is a simple hand powered espresso and coffee press. It’s perfect for a quick cup or two when you don’t want to brew a full pot, or when power’s not available. We’ve used ours camping this summer and at the BURN 24 Hour Challenge by boiling water on the camp stove. Not only is it really easy, but it’s pretty quick and the coffee it produces it quite tasty.

See what’s in the box, plus several other mini reviews of Muscle Milk, Swiftwick socks, and more after the break…


Hydrapak’s New Insulated Bottles, New Bladders, and Bags

Hydrapak had quite a few things to show off in their booth this year, including these new insulated water bottles. While an insulated bottle is nothing new, a bottle with actual PrimaLoft insulation is. Utilizing a full double wall construction with the PrimaLoft sandwiched in the middle, the bottle remains very flexible but still with excellent insulative properties.

Check out more on the insulate bottles, new bladders, and a few new bags after the break!


Initial Review: Hydrapak Reyes hydration pack

Though they remain a fairly small player in what’s become a very crowded hydration market, Hydrapak are mounting a bit of a stealth attack on the big boys with their excellent reservoirs, very clever gel-dispensing bottles, and some very well executed packs.  At Interbike last fall, their Reyes hydration pack  caught my eye with its ‘just right’ size, streamlined appearance, and light 1.25lb weight.  I’ve been using the Reyes for virtually all of my sub-3 hour rides since then and have come away very impressed- not just with the included bladder but with the entire package.

Though I do own smaller packs, there is really a minimum amount of gear that I’m comfortable headed for the hills with.  A tube, small tool kit, CO2, tire pump, phone, wallet, and a some reserve snacks are really the basics as far as I’m concerned.  Throw in a lightweight jacket or knee and arm warmers and most race-oriented packs start to look awful sausage-y.  For this load (and even a bit more), the Reyes’ 5L cargo capacity is just about perfect.  It’s also nice that they’ve thought to accommodate a 3L bladder- it’s always possible to under-fill the bladder, but when was the last time you wish that you’d brought less water on a ride?  Click ‘more’ to read on. READ MORE ->

POC Borrows HydraPak Reservoir for New VPD Spine Protecting Hydration Pack

If you’re among our more aggressive riding readers, you’re probably familiar with POC. They’ve been building their VPD (Visco-elastic Polymer Dough) into their protective gear for years, and now thrive developed a new hydration pack with VPD spine protection and a licensed HydraPak reversible reservoir. Reversible? Yep, you can turn the bladder inside out to make cleaning and drying a snap.

Full press release after the break…


Interbike 2010: New bags from Hydrapak

Satisfied (for the time being) with one of the best and most widely specified reservoirs on the market, Hydrapak have made a concerted effort to bring their bags to the head of the class for 2011.  While the company’s bags have long worked well, 2011’s line may be their first to go toe-to-toe with bigger companies’ on the sales floor.  After the jump:  the bags that jumped out at us from the Hydrapak booth…

New Hydrapak Morro Lightweight Hydration Pack with Storage


SEA OTTER CLASSIC 2010 – Hydrapak’s new Morro hydration pack is part of their Pro Series of high end gear.  It’s a lightweight, full featured pack with 800 (13.1L) of internal and external storage compartments, a 100oz reservoir and a padded, stowable hip belt.

The Morro uses Hydrapak’s excellent magnetic clip to keep the mouthpiece from dangling about and their reservoir and removable hose are top notch.  Pack weight is 1lb 13oz (820g) and it retails for $109.99.  Check out more photos after the break…


Review: Hydrapak Gel-Bot Water Bottle

hydrapak-gel-bot-water-review-cover REVIEW: Hydrapak’s Gel-Bot is a tall waterbottle that combines a standard waterbottle with a gel-loading cylinder and a dual-valve spout.  It allows you to load up to two gel packs (3.2oz) into the cylinder and have 24oz of fluid in the bottle.

I’ve used it on road and mountain bike rides, and it works flawlessly.  Perhaps too good, you don’t realize how fast you can suck down two gel packs until you have them locked and loaded in a quick dispensing unit!  It’s perfect on fast group rides when the pace is unrelenting and it’s all you can do to grab a bottle on your way to the back of the paceline.  Some of our group rides as so fast and furious that there’s simply no way I’m digging around in a jersey pocket for a gel, riding one-handed long enough to tear the top off, holding the gel pack between my teeth while I stuff the tab under my shorts leg then squeeze the goo into my mouth.  It just isn’t happening.  But the Gel-Bot saves the day because all you have to do is squeeze.

In fact, the only thing I didn’t like is it makes me feel a little dirty…which I’ll explain after the break…


New HydraPak DualBot Water Bottle


Available in 20 or 24 oz sizes, the new HydraPak DualBot features our new dual function nozzle. Perfect for any bike cage, pull open the bite valve and get a high flow of water. With the bite valve closed, simply squeeze the DualBot and get a quick spray burst of water from the dual valve. A dust cap for the center valve keeps things clean and snaps in place when not in use. Price: 24oz $10.99 – 20oz $9.99

Hydrapak’s PureBot – First “EA” Free Water Bottle

hydrapak-purebot_water-bottleHydrapak has just released their new PureBot water bottle, which claims to be the safest and first/only water bottle that’s “EA” free. What’s EA? I’d heard of BPA (Bisphenol-A), but had to ask, too, and here’s their perfectly crafted, no-need-to-rewrite response:

“BPA is just one ball shrinking chemical in plastics…The new Hydrapak Purebot sports water bottle is the first Plastipure® certified EA-Free plastic sports water bottle on the market! Almost all plastics sold today release chemicals that have estrogenic activity (EA). While estrogens (the female sex hormones) occur naturally in the body, many scientific studies have shown that significant health problems can occur when chemicals are ingested that mimic or block the actions of these female sex hormones. This EA commonly occurs when harmful chemicals leach from plastics into the water and food we consume. Young children, infants and the fetus are particularly vulnerable and sensitive to chemicals having EA.”

Health related problems due to ingesting chemicals exhibiting EA are:
• Early puberty in females
• Reduced sperm counts in males
• Altered functions of reproductive organs
• Obesity
• Altered rates of growth
• Altered behaviors
• Increased rates of some breast, ovarian, testicular and prostate cancers

The Hydrapak Purebot retails for $9.99 (24oz bottle), is EA-free, has a large screw-top lid and is available in Continuous Sinuous (Blue) or Grasslands (Green).  It fits in normal cycling water bottle cages.