You're not alone if your 2010 New Year's resolutions included getting fit — even I promised I'd step away from my computer and get on a treadmill every once in awhile. OK, fine, five days a week. So while looking for some inspiration to climb on the elliptical, I picked out five items I'd want on my fitness wish list to get me through tough gym sessions, hours of walking (that pedometer doesn't lie), and Winter weather workouts, while still catering to my geeky taste. Find out what they are in this slideshow.
Yesterday, FitSugar brought a fun product over to my desk — this cute bomber style ski jacket. At first glance I thought it was just a jacket, but little did I know that this Radiance Jacket from Mountain Hardwear is outfitted with all the necessary gear to heat up the jacket and to charge your gadgets, you know. . . for those long ski runs in the Swiss Alps. The way it works is the jacket needs a high-tech Ardica power system to perform all of its geeky functions.
The padded heater goes into the back of the jacket (I'm not gonna lie, she is a bit heavy), and the tiny square Moshi power system connects to the USB port which is accessible from the lower left pocket in the jacket. With the heater, you can get up to nine hours of heat on its lowest setting and three when it's on high. When charged up, the Moshi power unit can connect to a variety of devices, thanks to its handy adapters, and at the end of the day, you can just directly plug it into the wall to recharge it for another day. FitSugar took the jacket for a test drive, so you can see what she thought of it by reading her full review here.
To see my overall thoughts about the jacket, just read more
If you are looking forward to Winter but not the cold that accompanies it, Mountain Hardwear has constructed a jacket for you. The Radiance Jacket ($230) is pre-wired for the Ardica Moshi Power System ($145).
When fully charged, the battery powered energy pack will keep you warm for a little over eight and a half hours when set on the low setting and three hours when set for high. The heater fits into an internal pocket in the back of the jacket that sits between your scapula with extra heating coils in the front just above the pockets. Simply pressing the black button on the top of the jacket turns on the heater. The contrast between the lightweight jacket and the stiff battery is quite noticeable though. Known for their lightweight yet warm jackets (I ski in an older version of the company's Flip Jacket), the power system makes the jacket heavy.
I sat in my cold house (why houses in Northern California aren't well insulated is beyond me) and cranked the jacket to the high setting and was quite toasty. I was sweating in minutes. I have no doubt it would keep me warm on the slopes or sitting at a snowy football game, I am not sure I want to pay $375 to stay warm. Think of all the hot chocolate you could buy, even overpriced ski lodge cocoa, with that kind of dough.
If you're an electronics junkie, the jacket will charge them. To learn how read more
Spring is about warmer weather, buds growing, and flowers blooming. Well, not quite yet. First comes the rain and when it rains, that means mud.
Don't let a little mud prevent you from taking that first spring hike you've been looking forward to all winter. All you need is a rain jacket, some waterproof trail shoes like these from Keen, and something to protect your lower legs from getting wet and dirty.
What you need are these Nut Shell Ventigaiters from Mountain Hardwear. They do an awesome job of keeping the mud, rocks, and wetness from getting into your shoes. If you get hot, these gaiters also have an optional roll back mesh lining near your calf that can be opened to let your legs "breathe."
These are also made for women, so they'll fit you better than other unisex gaiters. For $29.95, they're cheaper than most too.