Inov-8 Roclite 295

2012-03-04 09.16.17

I have been on an ultralight backpacking kick. For me, discovering a new hobby or activity means one thing – gear! I love any excuse to buy gear and backpacking/camping has some of the most exciting things. When it came to looking at shedding weight, I thought about what sort of shoes I really needed. I am really new to this but I soon realized, I am not really doing any serious trekking. I am not climbing Everest or doing extreme bouldering. So, did I really need full on leather boots? I did a lot of research online, in particular at BPL, and found lots of people mentioning Inov-8. Admittedly, I am a brand whore and I had never heard of this brand. I don’t really trust new shoe companies because I don’t feel like they’ve had time to prove themselves. I decided to take a shot anyway and ordered a pair of their Roclite 295’s. They are trail running shoes, which I later learned are a popular style of shoe worn by hikers, particularly those that don’t anticipate heavy terrain.

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Elsewhere | Topo Designs Daypack


I did a month-long review of the daypack offering from Topo Designs. I had such a great time using the bag as my daily carry to and from work. It really is a perfect intersection of functionality, design, and price. The guys at Topo Designs, based in Colorado, are really nice. Simply put, they are the kind of small business owners this country needs. Go check out my detailed Road Test.

| Read the full write-up at Carryology |

Nau x Klean Kanteen


Over a year ago, I caught wind that Civia Cycles was coming out with a more affordable version of their Bryan belt-drive commuter bike. It was to be called the Kingfield and they removed some features like disc brakes and switched to a cheaper internal gear hub (IGH) to drop the price a few hundred dollars. I spoke to my local bike shop (LBS), Wheelhouse, and promised I’d have them build the bike as soon as it became available. Fast forward to a few months ago and I was able to piece together my dream bike. It has a sort of modern yet classy look and I was careful with each component and accessory, making sure they fit the theme. I often chose leather over nylon, brass over plastic.


At first, I decided to keep a water cage and bottle off the bike altogether. I wasn’t planning on taking long trips with it anyway and I couldn’t imagine any sort of bottle & cage setup that would be aesthetically pleasing. After looking at some commuter builds online and perusing the Velo Orange website, I saw some nice looking steel wire cages. I picked one up and installed it right away. I still had the issue of the bottle, though. Luckily, around this same time, Nau collaborated with Klean Kanteen on a water bottle and I was asked if I’d like to take a look. I really thought it was just a regular Klean Kanteen bottle with some Nau branding. I was about to pass but at the last minute, I saw what looked like wood on the cap. I asked if it was actually bamboo and I was told it was.  I had to see for myself.


The bottle is a beauty. It’s the same stainless steel bottle Klean bottle you are familiar with but some some fun refinements. Like I said, the screw lid utilizes sustainably harvested bamboo. Food-grade silicone lines the threads for a water-tight seal and in keeping with the no paint, no plastic, and no rubber mantra, the logo is laser-etched. I’ve been bringing the bottle to work on my commute and it holds enough water for multiple days (I have a very short ride). The one thing I didn’t like about the bottle is the strong smell from the factory when you first open it. It smells like a mix of plastic and metal. It’s not bad, per se, but I think like with any new bottle, it would benefit from a few thorough washes with warm and slightly soapy water.

The bottle holds 27 oz (that’s over 3 cups!) and fits in a standard bottle cage just fine. Luckily for me, I don’t have any of the rattling issues I’ve read so much about. As far as I am concerned, this bottle has a permanent place on my bike.

Elsewhere | Osprey Momentum 26


A few weeks ago, the kind folks at Osprey sent me their commuter backpack, the Momentum 26 to test. I have been putting it through the paces, taking to and from work on my bike and to the local shopping center for some Costco and farmer’s market action. The thing has little secrets hidden all over; things that make you smile when you discover them.

| Read the full write-up over at Carryology |

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