What We’re Loving: Funny Water Bottles, Hip Packs, Apple Watches, And Bucket List Hikes
Our favorite triathlon-related things—old, new, and random—right now.
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Sometimes we’re more triathlon-focused and sometimes we’re not. As multi-sport athletes, we all reserve the right to be interested in multiple things. And here at Triathlete, we (and our colleagues at VeloNews, Backpacker, Women’s Running, Yoga Journal, and more) are interested in lots of things. That’s why the things our staff, writers, and colleagues are loving this week are a little all over the place. But that’s OK.
Spurcycle Condiment Water Bottles
The most eye-catching feature of my Juliana Joplin mountain bike is typically my hamburger bell (it’s “strictly for performance,” I tell people). Recently a friend found these hilarious Spurcycle Purist water bottles that put a clever spin on ketchup, mustard, and relish to complement the burger. There’s the yellow Must Go Hard with “ingredients” listed like attack and breakaways, the red Faster Catchup! (wheelies and tailwhips included) and the green Relish Your Ride (fresh air, open roads, ripping descents).
— Jené Shaw, contributing writer
Ultralight Black Hole Mini Hip Pack
One of my recent favorite pieces of gear is the Ultralight Black Hole Mini Hip Pack 1L from Patagonia. I go on a lot of short three-mile hikes with my 8-year-old daughter and this hip pack is just big enough to bring snacks, keys, license, and phone. It is super light and fits comfortably; I can hardly tell it’s there.
– Heidi Carcella, art director
Apple Watch Series 5
We review a lot of super high-tech watches that are made specifically for endurance athletes. This is not that. While the Apple Watch Series 5 doesn’t quite hold up to what triathletes will need for longer training (the battery life with GPS running is just OK), it’s become my go-to watch over the last six months or so. I used to switch back and forth between my Garmin and this Apple Watch, but my Garmin’s been in a drawer since the pandemic hit. With no races for the foreseeable future, I’ve instead started focusing on meeting goals in Apple’s activity tracker. Each month Apple presents a new “challenge” and it’s become a fun little carrot to chase as I try to stay motivated in a brutally hot climate with no access to gyms. I’m not ashamed to say that on more than one occasion I’ve done stair repeats at the end of the night to try to hit my move goal. Yes, you can pair other devices with the activity tracker, but it’s not as seamless. Fitness aside, nothing works as well when paired with an iPhone (for obvious reasons). Maybe my Garmin will make an appearance again when the weather cools, but for now, this watch is keeping me moving and motivated.
– Liz Hichens, senior digital editor
Maroon Bells Four Passes Loop
Last week I took my first vacation in, I dunno, a year (?). Who’s counting. Since we moved to Boulder back in June, I’ve been wanting to check out some of the “real” mountains, the stuff that makes the postcards. So last week we hiked the 28(ish)-mile four passes loop around Maroon Bells, which is just outside Aspen, in case you were wondering. The loop crosses four mountain passes, all over 12,000 feet; it’s surrounded by amazing maroon bell-shaped mountains and endless meadows and creeks; and it’s considered the best one-day ultra-run in the state—if you’re looking for something ambitious. We did it in two days, which was actually quite aggressive with all the backpacking stuff you have to carry. (Why do you have to carry so much stuff?) And while I’m not sold on backpacking, and we got cold dumped on coming down the last pass, the region and hike itself are exactly the kind of vacation everyone needs.
– Kelly O’Mara, editor-in-chief