As some of you may know, I’ve been working—or lurking according to Josh Weinberg ; ) — behind the scenes at The Radavist for a few months! While my house hasn’t fully turned into a revolving product testing site, these are a few of my most tried-and-true products alongside some new favorites from this year. Enjoy!
Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Dry Daypack – $40
I’ve made so many unplanned grocery runs at the end of a ride—praying on the ride home that the flimsy handles of a paper bag won’t rip, pockets stuffed, can of beans tucked in a spare bottle cage, or a bag of tortilla chips stuffed under my bib straps—so much so that I almost never leave home now without this handy little pack. As you can see, it packs up super small so I can always find space in a handlebar bag or pocket to stash it away, then deploy it if I swing by my favorite bakery, farm stand, or the grocery store. The one downside of this product, imo, is the micro size of its stuff sack—an extra half-ounce of volume would have gone a long way here. Mine is an older design but the current iteration features a zipper closure instead of a roll-top and retails for $39.95 (which may seem on the high side, but, a few broken bottles of kombucha later and it starts to sound quite reasonable).
Pretty Great Instant Coffee – $15 Per Box
An instant coffee company has to be pretty confident in their product to charge essentially the same amount per cup as an actual coffee shop. Each box comes with five sleeves, so I’ll admit that PG is on the spendy-ier side of what seems conscionable for instant coffee. However, as my partner and I only bring a JetBoil stove about 50% of the time while out touring, instant coffee is the only kind of coffee accoutrement I ever pack. I’d much rather tote a few sachets of this with me than succumb to gas station swill or a cold, sugar-and-cream Starbucks bottled concoction while out touring. And, imo, the single-origin Guatemala is truly Pretty Great.
Swift Industries Catalyst Pack – $160
Full disclosure, I’m a Swift Industries ambassador but I was running their bags by choice well before we started working together. That said, the Catalyst Pack is one of my most used products. Of course, I do love the Zeitgeist, this bag’s older sibling, but I can’t always run a Zeitgeist sans rack without it buzzing the front tire. The Catalyst, on the other hand, has become a near daily carry: this time of year, it’s the ideal size for carrying a couple extra layers and in the warmer months, I often throw a pair of running or climbing shoes in it to commute to the trails and crag. In the summer when my gear list is the most minimal, I’ve even managed to rock it for a couple of local tours! The bag is made from recycled polyester and the interior features a drawcord and fabric liner closure, with an extra compression strap, to keep everything cinched and tidy.
Petzl Bindi Headlamp – $45
On casual summer tours where the daylight hours run long, I often only run a dynamo light on my bike and pack this little guy as a camp light. Weighing in at a minuscule 35 grams, USB-chargeable, and offering a 200-lumen beam, the Petzl Bindi is a nearly unnoticeable addition to your stash of lighting electronics. On trips where I’m packing a real headlamp, I’ll often still stow away the Bindi as an emergency back-up.
RedShift Cruise Control Drop Bar Grips – $30
I’ve been loving these flat top Redshift inserts for well over a year now and often get asked “what bars are you running” while out riding. These inserts are compatible with 31.8mm diameter bars and, along with providing an ergonomic hand rest, they offer a surprising amount of cushioning! I hope to try the inserts for the drops soon.
PEARL iZUMi Lobster Gloves – $85
Hands down the best cold weather winter gloves I’ve owned! Although we don’t have much humidity to contend with in Colorado, I’ve ridden in some pretty frosty-feeling conditions. For whatever reason, poor circulation or being a smaller person, I have never had success with any heavyweight gloves for the truly frigid days—my hands always numb out and the dreaded screaming barfies follow. Discovering the Lobster with PEARL iZUMi’s hybrid glove-mitten design, that pairs two fingers together (à la the Vulcan salute), was no small revelation for me and has greatly benefited my last three winters of riding. They combine vegan leather with Primaloft insulation and have thoughtful details like a soft thumb swipe and screen-compatible touch points (though, tbh, I always feel like a bear pawing at my phone so always just slide my hand out when needed). They are quite warm, however, and since the cardinal rule of staying comfortable in the cold is don’t sweat, I typically bring a second, lighter pair of gloves/mittens with me to wear on any prolonged climbs. They work great for skiing too!