Aquapac Noatak Wet & Dry Bag – separate your sweaters and those mouldy sandwiches

Noatak Wet & Dry Bag

You've probably been on picnics, or hikes, where the weather doesn't cooperate and you're left scrambling to collect leftovers in the rain. Then, you have to hump everything home. When you get back - you find that there are bits of cake in your clothes, salad in your socks and your pullover is soaked in wine.

Noatak believes it has a better way of rapid packing stuff that is meant to be kept separate. Their Wet & Dry bags do just that - pack stuff that is wet and dry... and keep them separate. Then, they keep everything waterproofed (nearly).

The bag itself is a thin, lightweight multi-layered PVC thingy (sorry, but I couldn't think of the technical term). Inside, there is another clear PVC divider. Pack wet stuff on one side, dry on the other. When I say 'pack', I actually mean 'stuff'... as the bag functions like a duffle bag.

You roll the top down, secure it with some clips and - voila! The bag is now water-resistant. I wanted to say waterproof but you wouldn't want this to fall into the ocean. It's meant primarily for getting caught in the rain or walking through a waterfall... that kind of thing.

Here's a video that shows you how it works - the clips and clasps - and it has some groovy jazz music (so adjust your speakers accordingly):

Where to Buy:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Direct from Aquapac


Put extra Ping in your Pong – 100% Carbon Fibre Table Tennis Paddle

Carbotec 100

Pull out this carbon fibre table tennis paddle from Donic-Schildkröt and strike fear into your opponent. It's black, sleek and almost stealth looking. Tell them that this Carbotec bat was born from years of military research - used extensively during Desert Storm. Psyche them out of the game - even if you can't play.

Then, if you actually can play, this is supposed to help your game by being lighter, faster, stronger.

If you are feeling cheap, there are different versions of the product at different price points (the street price of the Carbotec is roughly $100).

Unless you are playing at tournament level, the carbon fibre isn't going to do much for your game but it's still cool looking.

Where to Buy:
Donic-Schildkröt Carbotec 100 Table Tennis Bat With Concave Grip from Amazon UK

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Cut the Cable – Jabra Sport Bluetooth Stereo Headset

Jabra Sport bluetooth headst

Yes, it's running earphones day! Check out our previous post on running earphones with the Sennheiser CX680i.

If you are looking for a pair of running earphones, this could be your best bet. The Jabra Sport bluetooth stereo headset is a pair of earphones for running and other sweaty sports that comes with 'Military Grade' rain, dust and shock protection (whatever that is).

Still, it's great to see a bluetooth headset that aims to offer high-quality stereo, virtual surround sound audio, while also providing a mic with wind protection to take phone calls. It also includes a built-in FM Radio. This thing packs a punch.

It's also meant to stay in your ears while exercising - how vigorously, we don't know yet.

If you primarily use your earphones for running, then you'll be happy to hear that it comes with a free download of the Endomondo Sports Tracker, "A fitness tracking application for smartphones that functions as a motivational tool for running, giving quick updates on speed, distance, and lap time." The sports tracker works with your smartphone and keeps data on your past runs via GPS tracking, so you can do lots of analytics and data-slicing on your jog to the grocery store and back.

The bluetooth earpiece works with iPhone, Blackberry and Android devices.

Click here for a virtual tour of the product on Jabra's website.

Where to Buy:
Jabra Sport at Amazon USA
Jabra Sport at Amazon UK

Running Earphones – Sennheiser CX 680i

Sennheiser CX680i Sports Earphones

If you're looking for the best running earphones, you have a lot more choice now than there used to be. However, defining 'best' is going to be a personal experience, since no two ears are exactly alike and manufacturers are trying to hedge their bets by making earphones that adapt to a variety of different sports activities.

At the very least, the best sport earphones should be sweatproof, or waterproof. They should have good noise cancelling or, at least, sound isolation capabilities and they should stay in your ears no matter what you get up to.

If you want a pair of wireless headphones, check out the Jabra Sport bluetooth running head set. Otherwise, read on.

The Sennheiser CX 680i has received very good reviews on all counts. They are sweat proof, sound isolating, stay in most people's ears well and comes with a mic + remote, so you can answer your phone on the go.

If you are an audiophile, then check out this review of the Sennheiser CX 680i on HeadphoneInfo. They not only give you some useful pointers but they also compare its sonic qualities against other competitors.

Sennheiser In-Ear -Copyright HeadphoneInfo

I particularly like the photo where they show you exactly what these headphones look like in a plastic ear. I wonder where they get the plastic ears from? Are their mannequins out there missing them?

Where to Buy:
Buy at Amazon USA
Buy at Amazon UK

Wearable Hydration Pack – Hi Gear Aqua Compact

Aqua Compact Hydration Pack

Rather than clipping a bottle to your belt, how about wearing your water? Here's an especially good hydration pack for running - the Hi Gear Aqua Compact Hydration Pack.

Even if you're not a long-distance runner, triathlete, or hiking in the Outback, having 1.5 litres of water evenly distributed across your body could be a far more comfortable experience than lugging it around on your belt - especially, if you need access to it easily when you are in competition.

This Hydration pack from HiGear is made from Ripstop Polyester, weighs 500g when empty and has reflective piping to keep you visible in the dark. You wear it on the outside of your clothes and fasten it securely with adjustable waist and chest straps.

The price is nice, too - £20/$30.

Where to Buy:
Go Outdoors UK

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Hydration Packs at Amazon USA
Hydration Packs at Amazon UK


Blister Free Socks Guaranteed – the Wright Sock

The Wright Sock

The Wright Sock

Rather than buying hiking sock liners, why not get a double layer sock that is blister free?

The Wright Sock are blister free socks - guaranteed by the company - that come in a variety of types for different applications.

There are hiking socks, running socks, walking socks - in different colours, thicknesses and materials - to suit different activities. Even makes a good travel clothing wear companion.

The principle behind the double layer sock is pretty straightforward. The inner sock is snug on your foot and allowed to move more freely within the outer sock, so that the friction takes place between the two sock layers - not between your foot and the sock. The inner sock is also designed to whick away moisture, so you don't end up with jungle foot at the end of your exertions.

Where to Buy:
Amazon USA
Amazon UK
Direct from The Wright Sock

Wolverine Fulcrum Hiking Boot puts a spring in your step

Wolverine Fulcrum ICS Boot

For many, hiking is synonymous with chafing. And Trail Mix. I know I'd rather have the latter.

Getting a good boot to fit is the first step. Breaking it in, the next thousand.

Not so, apparently, with the Wolverine Fulcrum. The company boasts that it contains the Wolverine ICS (individual comfort system) - nice name. What this means in reality is that there's a small gel disc in the heel of the boot that can somehow be adjusted to support how different people walk.

Okay - come again. What exactly does that mean?

Alright, so this "Patented Gel Insert... Advanced Comfort Technology... Customized setting" thingy-ma-jingy is a plastic disc that you lift and rotate into different positions to set the degree of firmness that suits you. That's a lot of hyperbole for a piece of plastic!

Still, if this boot is more comfortable - I'll take it.

And, it doesn't look half bad, either.

Oh, yes, and by the way - it's Gore-Tex to be waterproof and whacks away moisture. I'm sure that will smell heavenly in the summer sun... my feet are ripening already.

Where to Buy:
Amazon USA
Direct from Wolverine