Why We Chose It: Long gone are the days of using a dish towel to dry off your face at the gym. Slowtide has brought fashion and function to the sweat cleanup game with their high-performance fitness towels.
Why We Liked It: All of Slowtide’s towels, especially the fitness version, look amazing and come in a variety of different colorways to fit your individual style. Sweat absorption was supreme for after workout cleanups and the unique modern aesthetic made the Slowtide fitness towel a staple in my everyday life. Made to be 100 percent certified OEKO-TEX® you can also be sure that the materials used in Slowtide’s fitness towels are safe to human touch (something to be mindful of these days).
Tester Tip: With multiple designs and colorways, go crazy and grab a Slowtide towel for every occasion!
Why We Chose It: Cotopaxi strives to design outdoor gear that shakes things up, like using excess fabric to create funky textile patterns or changing the way insulated jackets keep us warm (move over goose feathers, llama fibers are here to stay).
Why We Liked It: Cotopaxi has taken this forward-thinking approach to design their Veloz hydration pack. Created to have near-perfect weight distribution across your back, the Veloz is meant to never hinder your physical activity. Carrying the perfect amount of water (3L) and a few energy bars, I barely noticed the Veloz on my back during long hikes or mountain bike rides in the hills of Laguna Beach.
Tester Tip: This pack will feel slightly weird at first, but you’ll learn to love the weight distribution and optimization for movement of any kind.
Why We Chose It: Everyone should rethink their one-use water bottle habits. Why not create a new healthy habit that involves one of the best hydration system companies on the market?
Why We Liked It: The Camelbak Nano Handheld water bottle, or soft flask, is simple but it gets the job done. It’ll carry just enough water for a run, as well as carry your car keys or energy gels in it’s integrated pouch.
Tester Tip: Using the Nano Handheld’s X-Grip, you could potentially get away without actually holding the water flask throughout your runs, saving some energy expenditure.
prAna Revolution Yoga Mat ($90)
Why We Chose It: Grip for days and manufactured from 100% non-Amazon harvested tree rubber: What’s not to like about the prAna Revolution mat?
Why We Liked It: One major test I have for yoga mats is whether or not the mat can survive a sweaty, hot yoga class with no towel. What does this test look like? Picture someone moving through a vigorous Vinyasa flow class, sweating profusely all over the mat but never slipping or missing a beat. The prAna Revolution mat passed with flying colors and will stay in my mat rotation well into the future.
Tester Tip: Be prepared to bring your yoga to the next level. Grip will make a huge difference in your practice.
Why We Chose It: I’ve always admired prAna for their continued commitment to protecting the earth and doing everything in their power to make high performance clothing that is sustainable. Whether you are purchasing one of their 100-percent Fair Trade, Recycled Fabric or standard production pieces, you are supporting an organization that is trying to leave the world in a better place than they found it. I dig that.
Why We Liked It: The Pratt ¼ zip long sleeve shirt is designed with a polyester blend to give you the highest moisture wicking performance possible. This shirt kept my body temperature at a very comfortable level during my chilly early morning runs as well as my evening circuit workouts near the beach. This shirt will keep you warm while you push yourself while also letting your worked up heat and moisture escape at the same time.
Tester Tip: First run out I made the mistake of wearing a base layer underneath the shirt. The Pratt by itself will keep you plenty warm and regulate your body temperature effectively.
Why We Chose It: Body-mapped mesh panels under the armpits and around the neck area were unlike anything we’ve seen before in breathable athletic apparel, so we thought we’d give Smartwool’s ultra-lightweight jacket a try.
Why We Liked It: This jacket is so light I can guarantee you will forget you even have it on. The breathable mesh panels are in just the right places to keep your body at the perfect temp, but strategically positioned to not compromise protection from water and rain. I loved this jacket for my mountain bike rides and trail runs, as well as running around town.
Tester Tip: Known for making some of the best socks in the world, Smartwool has some serious clout to bring to the apparel world. This jacket is a no-risk gamble that will provide many dry and comfortable miles of running, paddling, hiking and running for years to come.
Why We Chose It: Ever since lululemon showed that there was a under-served market in quality athletic wear, an endless number of activewear apparel brands have popped up in recent years. Vuori is a relative newcomer to this category, but has taken a simple, yet unique approach to their clothing. Designed to be moved and sweat in as well as have the ability to transition into everyday life is an ethos that really intrigued us.
Why We Liked It: Quality. The Vuori Kore Short feels like a short that should cost twice as much as its retail price. Unique features like a built-in undercarriage and 4-way stretch give the short the ability to move fluidly with you, no matter what activity you are participating in. The shorts made it through a few HIIT workouts, hot yoga sessions and a Sunday BBQ gathering with friends, all with ease.
Tester Tip: Follow Vuori’s sizing chart for these shorts and they will fit perfectly. Also be prepared to wear the Kore Short for multiple days in a row without noticing (they are that comfortable and stylish).
All Photos By Jack Antal
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