It seems like I have been in a perpetual quest for the ideal bike rack since I started riding 17 years ago. Trunk mounts, hitch mounts and roof mounts have all made their rounds with promises of being the perfect rack. My recent review of the Yakima Ridgeback 5 is just one story of many in this line of failures. After experimenting with the rack systems I knew I wanted a hitch mounted design, but needed ground clearance on a compact sedan. Not a easy task apparently. Scouring the web I found two companies making a possible solution, one of those being 1UP USA. If you hang around enough bike geeks they are bound to come up in conversation, but few of those people actually own one. I contacted the company to see if they thought it might solve my issues. After quite a few informative and responsive emails, I purchased their Quick Rack model with three add-ons. Fast forward a few months and I have been using the rack weekly to find out if it was worth the hype.
Look, I am not going to pretend to be something I am not. I climb indoors, because it I enjoy it and it is the only upper body workout I am willing to do. I consider myself a quasi climber because I have never been to a crag or bouldered outdoors (yet). None the less I recognize the need for discipline specific gear that serves the user. After climbing at the gym a few times I noticed I never had a place for my stuff and my current children's chalk bag (no joke) wasn't cutting it anymore. I decided I wanted a replacement that was stationed upright on the ground and allowed easy access to the chalk. I stumbled upon a small company called Beta Labs that was producing an interesting chalk bucket called the Buck-It (of course). I took a chance and order one off Amazon to give it a shot.
There is a lot of hype in the outdoor world about double walled, insulated coolers and water bottles. For years I have been acquiring a collection of Kleen Kanteen products. Everything from their bottles to their insulated food containers have made their way into the rotation. My wife and I were even hiking through a remote part of Hawaii and we found a used Insulated Wide Mouth that had presumably fallen out of one of the tourist helicopters. It is still used daily. Recently they had one of their gigantic 64 oz Insulated Classic bottles available and I snagged one. A few months later the temperatures in Phoenix hit those summertime highs and the bottle was put to the test.