Sports Hydration and Drinking Vessel Essentials
Sports hydration and travel vessels are a practical gift combo that can be used year-round. Here are our staff picks:
Skratch Hydration. Don’t let the winter cold prevent you from staying properly hydrated. All Skratch Hydration and Recovery mixes can be used with hot water so you can stay warm and hydrated in the backcountry. Like hot tea? Perennial favorite Matcha Green Tea and Lemon is a versatile flavor that does well either hot and cold.
Our favorite is one of Skratch’s seasonal winter warmer flavors, Hot Apple Cider. Thanks to crazy Colorado weather, we tested it in a Camelbak Podium 24 oz. insulated water bottle (MSRP $16) cold during a road bike ride one day, and then hot in a YETI Rambler 12 oz bottle with Hot Shot cap (MSRP $29.99) on a snowshoe trip the following day.
Having a back-to-back comparison was nice. While it tasted good and gave us enough fuel to keep on going, the spiciness of the Hot Apple Cider tasted better hot, rather than cold.
Ranging in price and size ($1.95 for a single serving to $49 for a 60 serving resealable bag), Skratch Hydration powders can be used as stocking stuffers or as part of an affordable, thoughtfully personalized or themed gift (e.g. Skratch Lemon and Lime flavored packets with a Taylor Phinney Limited Edition water bottle MSRP $10)
Got a sweet tooth? Use Skratch Sport Recovery mixes with delectable flavors like Horchata in hot water for a tasty winter post-activity treat. The new single-serve packets resemble mini flasks so you don’t even need to use another drinking vessel.
YETI upgraded its popular Rambler mug series, so now everyone in the family can have a mug that suits their hot beverage habits. In addition to the 14 oz. mug (its wide mouth makes it ideal for soup or oatmeal), there is now a24 oz. mug (tall mug great for seasonal beer festivals), and 10 oz. stackable mugs (ideal for a couple with cramped kitchen storage space). Once associated exclusively for the outdoor lifestyle, YETI’s expansion into mainstream (it can now be found in Williams-Sonoma) demonstrates the quality of the product in a variety of environments, indoor and out.
Runners will like the Nathan SpeedShot Plus Insulated Flask 12 oz handheld water bottle (MSRP $31.99).
We thought the Nathan SpeedShot Plus Insulated Flask has a comfortable and simple design. It fits snugly in the hand and its soft, stretchy ‘holster’ with a strap around the back of the hand makes it easy to hold.
The 12 oz bottle holds enough water for most runs between 1-2 hours, and the double-wall bottle kept water from getting hot during 2-hour runs on hot summer mornings. The holster also includes a small pocket that fits 1-2 gel packets and car keys.
Other noticeable features: the bottle also fits in a small fanny pack along with a windbreaker, etc for longer mountain runs, and is easy to clean with a simple bike-bottle-style lid and no hoses or small compartments that can harbor old drink powder or bacteria.
For wine lovers, the Hydro Flask Skyline Series is a great choice to take to base camp, picnics, or festivals.
We like the Skyline Series 25 oz wine bottle (MSRP $44.95) because of its portability and sustainability. Key features of the Skyline Series wine bottle: TempShield double-wall vacuum insulation keeps your vino at ideal temperatures, Pure Pour opening pours easily without drips, silicone base for extra traction, and a leakproof cap. And did we mention that it holds an entire bottle of wine?!
Make it a set with the Skyline Series 10 oz wine tumbler (MSRP $29.95). Like to color coordinate? A variety of colorways are available to choose from.