The temptation to rack up 'yer holiday gifts in an Amazon shopping cart has never been stronger. But then again... so has the urge to support small businesses who are making high-quality stuff (and bringing good into the world!).
So let's support the latter this holiday season. Here are some dope items from our favorite brands that we know and 🧡. Enjoy!
Pre-pandemic, we had the pleasure of providing coffee to the SF-based Outer Shell for their Friday coffee meet-ups. They make the most beautiful + functional bicycle bags on the 🌎. We rock the Handlebar Bag (perfect fit for a camera and/or lunch and/or a beer), Mini Saddlebag, and Half Framebag. There's a load of choice out there today for gear like this - but we know how hard these folks work on the details + designs of every product. Do it up!
NOCS are the jam. Not only are they exceptionally cool-looking... they also happen to be lightweight and mega-packable for your next hike or bike ride. Back in May, we took 'em on a maiden voyage up Highway 1 near Cambria & San Simeon. We of course spotted Zebra near Hearst Castle and immediately busted out the NOCS. Watching a Zebra do stuff is pretty crazy -- watching one as if you were right next to it (with binoculars) is even better 🦓.
We've had one for about eight years strong now (the same one). Back in 2017, we managed to (accidentally) drop it from a fire lookout tower in Sequoia National Forest ... and watched as it dropped some 80 feet down onto a pile of rocks. It bounced violently off and to the left, into a thicket. It was fine. Not a dent on the damned thing. Pretty great!
TBH, we use this more for non-camping trips as of late. Easy to throw in a bag and have something useful for brewing coffee at your hotel (or relative's house)... after, you know, it's safe to travel again.
Another time-trusted bit 'o goodness in our lives - the Wallowa Hat has pretty much been on my head daily for the last two years. It's super lightweight, breathes well, and packs into nothing. I couldn't imagine going anywhere without this thing... especially after a long run (goodbye sweaty running hat, hello stylish & breathable Tillak hat) or on a bikepacking trip (folds down neatly into near-nothing).
There's not enough money in the world that would convince me to attend any type of "festival" (in the pre-pandemic sense). That said, we love this freakin' thing. It's been with us for a few years now - on the beach, in the park, on every camping trip we've done in recent memory. Great for morning stretches (my personal fav) and doesn't let in that typical "ground moisture" that inevitably soaks your buttcheeks with other blankets 🍑