Kind of Blue
1. Osprey Manta 28 - $150
Osprey makes every variation of pack to satisfy your every possible desire in terms of how you like to organize your gear. The Manta 28 is not their lightest pack, (it comes in at 2lbs. 5 oz. while the Tempest 22 and Escapist 20 come in at 1 lb. 10 oz.) but what you gain is features and improved compartmentalization. It also has the magnetic holder for your bite valve, a more functional zippered hip belt pocket, and a mesh back panel that keeps the pack off your back, allowing for airflow between you and the pack.
Apparently the Colombian coffee is what you should be drinking right now, that is if you care about “fresh” coffee. Heart goes to great lengths to work closely with growers and source high quality beans. La Primavera comes highly recommended.
From the OSMO site: “When you exercise, you stress your body. During recovery you adapt to those stresses, getting stronger and more efficient. Osmo Acute Recovery is the result of over ten years of Dr. Stacy Sims' lab and field research with elite athletes to: Speed Recovery, Optimize Training Adaptions, Rapidly Restore Glycogen. Osmo uses only the highest quality natural ingredients like organic vanilla because putting the best in your body is the only way to get the best out of it.” I can only tell you that I've been using their recovery for a couple of years now and it works!
“Olympic medalists, Tour de France riders, and pro triathletes know hydration is critical to top performance. That's why they've replaced their sponsors' drinks with Dr. Stacy Sims’ hydration formulas for years. Osmo Active brings the benefits of Stacy's hydration science to everyone. Increase Power Output, Improve Endurance, Reduce Cramping. Osmo Active has been developed to maximize the rate of fluid absorption into the body and uses only the highest quality natural ingredients - like organic fruit.” Again, I can't explain the science…I'll leave that to Stacy, she actually did the research. I'll just keep using it, because it works!
“Trail Butter is a delicious, all-natural nut-butter, designed to provide lasting energy and nutrition to outdoor enthusiasts and home consumers alike, through the use of supplemental whole- food ingredients. Using a triple nut blend of almonds, peanuts and hazelnuts as the foundation, dried fruits, seeds, nectar and honey and oils are added to create a tasty mixture fortified only with nature’s most energy packed foods.” Made in Portland, Oregon and now available in a portable 4.5 oz. pouch. Trail butter is real food for your next adventure! Oh, and it really adds wonderful flavor to my morning oatmeal as well. I'm hooked.
While not as convenient as the pouch, the 8 oz. jar is the best deal going.
Snowpeak makes high quality titanium cookware. I've gravitated to this size since its large enough to boil the water I need for breakfast and dinner, and small enough that it won't get damaged in a seat bag. This is my go-to pot. Also the 450 cup and a Trangia stove fit perfectly inside. Highly recommended.
Some will debate single wall vs. double wall on these 450 cups. For weight savings, I'm voting for the single wall. If you don't care about carrying extra weight get the double wall. For an extra $6 you can get green, pink, or blue anodized. I'm backing the classic Ti, but that's just me.
Unless you've been hiding under a rock and ignoring all social media, you've heard of The Athletic. Jeremy and Julie have turned their Instagram success into a wildly successful business. It all started with the PDX airport carpet design sock, and now their dedicated site has at least 13 different sock designs in every possible color to match your kit. They just opened a brick and mortar storefront in NW Portland. Go pay them a visit. For winter it's all about the wool socks and black and white scheme, so I'm loving the Julie K collection which comes with 2 bidons (bottles) a casquette (cap), a pair of socks, and 3 sketchbooks. For runners they have a full line of shirts and shorts too. Those are flying off the racks. Get over there quick!